Industry Europe – Issue 23.8

Page 1

VOLUME 23/8 – 2013 • €6

The world of European manufacturing






Strategy-free zone America’s response to the Syrian atrocities shows that moral outrage is no substitute for rational policy.


a recent satirical piece in the Financial Times by Robert Shrimsley an aide assures President Obama that the joint chiefs are ready for action against Syria. “But they want an exit strategy?” suggests Obama. “No sir,” replies the aide. “That’s only necessary if you have an entry strategy.” If you listen to the babble of special pleading now engulfing Capitol Hill you might think indeed that the only entry strategy the US really has is to do something – anything – so it won’t lose face. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel warns that “a refusal to act would undermine the credibility of the US” and that “the word of the US must mean something.” Secretary of State John Kerry thinks that “the world wants to know if America will rise to this moment.” Maybe Kerry needs to get out more because it’s more likely that what the world really wants to know is if the US can be dissuaded from doing something really stupid and dangerous. Kerry’s analysis of the Syrian situation offers, however, little hope. “A dictator and his family, in their lust to hold on to power, were willing to infect the air of Damascus with a poison that killed innocent mothers and fathers and hundreds of their children,” he explained, as if the savage complexities of Syria’s civil war could be understood in terms of the battle between good and evil in Gotham City. And when a state department spokesman said that this was America’s ‘Munich moment’ one feared that Washington had watched ‘Mars Attacks’ one time too many. In fact, what the world wants to know is not what can be done to make the American government feel better about itself but what can be done to help protect the Syrian people from horrors such as the August chemical attack and all the rest of the murderous violence that they have endured for the past two years. What kind of action, if any, will actually improve the situation without, at the same time, making contingent problems worse?

Let us leave aside the issue of whether the Assad regime was actually responsible for the attack. Most western intelligence agencies seem convinced that it was, although no-one has been able to come up with any explanation of why it should choose to do something so stupid and selfdefeating. Assad & Co must have known that, at the least, there would be redoubled international support for the rebels and a total loss of whatever shreds of moral authority they might have hitherto clung on to. And at the worst there would be direct US strikes on Syria. So maybe it was a mistake – a rogue commander, a communications failure – or maybe, as they insist, someone else did it. Let’s also put aside the question of whether the USA has the right to go charging around the world punishing the bad guys and rescuing the innocent (always add ‘women and children’ here for maximum emotional effect). International law is at best a shaky concept but it’s pretty clear that the use of force against a sovereign state without a UN mandate is illegal aggression unless the security of a country or its allies is directly threatened. The UK could certainly claim such a right after the invasion of the Falklands and the USA had a perfectly reasonable case to go after Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Even in the second Iraq war America thought it was acting to counter a threat to its allies in the region from Saddam’s WMDs. Or that’s what it said it thought. But what conceivable threat does Syria now pose to the USA or any other country? It hasn’t attacked anyone since 1973 and is in no state to do so now.

Consequences But still America seems determined to act. So what are the options? Syria’s chemical weapons production sites could certainly be hit but that risks releasing poison gases

over large areas and unpredictable numbers of civilian casualties. And anyway, the stockpiles are in artillery shells and bombs that can be stored anywhere and have certainly already been removed from major bases. More likely are missile strikes against airfields and military bases to, as Obama puts it, “degrade Assad’s capabilities and upgrade the capabilities of the opposition.” The obvious problem here is that the US would be effectively entering the war on the side of the rebels. And we don’t have to go as far as the Russians, who claim that there are practically no Syrians fighting Assad any more, to recognise that the Syrian opposition forces are dominated by Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist groups such as Jahal al-Nusra. What would happen to the Shias, Druzes, Christians, Alawites and moderate Sunnis, who have rubbed along together under a largely secular regime, if that lot win the war? And what might be the consequences for the US and its allies if Syria’s chemical weapons then fall into their hands? ‘My enemy’s enemy is my friend’ is all very well as a rule of thumb but you’d better make sure who your real enemy is to begin with. Of course, there are cynics who say that America’s moral zeal to punish Syria is just a cover; what it really sees is an opportunity to weaken Iran, Syria’s main sponsor which it can’t confront directly, by overthrowing Assad and damaging Hezbollah. That might suit Israel too. But that seems far too clever a game for Obama’s guys. It was Tony Blair who did more than most to promote the doctrine of liberal interventionism – charging in to stop civil conflicts all over the place. Now even the French have bought it. Challenged the other day to say why we shouldn’t leave the Syrians to deal with their own problems, President Hollande replied, “Tout est notre problème.” No it isn’t, n François. No it isn’t. Industry Europe 3

CONTENTS Editor Peter Mercer

Production Manager Kamila Kajtoch

Deputy Editor Victoria Hattersley

Administration Anna Chamberlain Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey

Profile Writers Abigail Saltmarsh Felicity Landon Piotr Sadowski Emma-Jane Batey Barbara Rossi Philip Yorke

Art Administration Tania Balderson Advertising Manager Andrew Briggs Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Massimo Ragazzo Helen Leisi Mac McCarthy Anthony McClintock Ben Snowing Anna Dudek Stephen Moore Martin Gisborne Victoria Pease

Art Director Gareth Harrey Art Editor Rob Czerwinski Designers Leon Esterhuizen Paul Abbott Claire Bidle Web Development Neil Robertson IT Support Jack Everson

Shipbuilding Industry p6

Comment Industry Europe Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 779850 Email: Web:

© Industry Europe 2013 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher. POSITIVE PUBLICATIONS

A Square Root Company

1 4 5

Shipbuilding Industry 6 9 12

4 Industry Europe

European yards see hope in new technologies Focus on new propulsion systems

Chemical news The latest from the industry Energy from the sea DCNS develops new technologies

News 14 16 18 19 20

Winning business New orders and contracts Linking up Combining strengths Moving on Relocations and expansions Industry people Appointments Technology spotlight Advances in technology

Reports 22 23

US Industry Today, Industry Europe’s sister publication, is published in the United States of America. For further information or to subscribe contact: Sue Poeton, 100 Morris Avenue, Suite 202, Springfield, NJ 07081. Tel: +1 973 218-0310 Fax: +1 973 218-0311. Email: Web site:

Opinion Strategy-free zone Bill Jamieson How to turn a spark into a flame James Srodes Taking off

Focus on Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

Air Handling and Gases 24 28

BOGE – Best of German engineering BOGE Quality, sustainability, partnership SOL

VOL 23/8

Above: Tornos p98

Automotive 33 40 46 50

Leaders in car exteriors Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior Innovative safety solutions ALT Diversity in metals ZML Industries Keeping things moving Gates

Construction 53

Above: BOGE p24 Below: ALT p40

Tuned concrete sleepers Abetong

Consumer Goods 56

Above: ETI Group p67 Below: Panasonic p76

The green team Nopa Nordic

Electrical 60

Partnerships in power Koncar – Generators

and Motors

64 67

40 years old: Experience brings positive future outlook Eurocarbo Controlling the power ETI Group

Energy 72 76 79

Below: Gates p50

Optimising overhead conductivity Lumpi-Berndorf Greener homes, brighter future Panasonic First on the grid Woodward Kempen

Materials Handling 84 88

Experts in automation AZO Smooth operator Eton Systems

Above: Eton Systems p88 Below: Ahlstrom p106

Metals 93 Strength in steel Acciaieria Arvedi 98 Precise in their actions Tornos 102 Small parts in special materials Bufab Lann

Texiles 106 Sustainability in high performance fibre-based materials Ahlstrom

Also in this issue... 112 Advancing biometric security worldwide Morpho 117 A pioneer in coatings Oerlikon Balzers Industry Europe 5




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

How to turn a spark into a flame A strengthening economy, exports on the rise and now signs of incipient recovery in the eurozone: but is the outlook for UK exporters as good as it seems?


ecent news on UK exports has been encouraging. The trade deficit shrank from £2.6 billion in May to £1.5 billion in June. Exports grew by 3.2 per cent over the month, while imports increased by just 0.6 per cent. Over the second quarter, exports of goods reached a record high of £78.4 billion as the production sector began to regain some of its strength. Exports of goods were up 6.4 per cent compared to a year earlier and saw their fastest real growth in over two years. Exports to developing countries have been in the van of the advance. Over the past year sales of British goods to the world’s fast-growing countries have risen by more than 11 per cent while exports to the EU fell by 1.5 per cent. Half the UK’s exports now go outside the EU – hardly surprising given the problems in the eurozone. UK exports to China were 20 per cent up in the second quarter of 2013 compared with a year earlier. Says Katie Evans, economist with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, “Rising export growth and stronger manufacturing output spell good news for the UK economy. While we expect growth of at least 1.0 per cent this year, there is a limit to the support domestic demand can provide to the economy. A sustained improvement in exports would put UK growth on a surer footing.” Now, month-on-month changes in trade can be erratic. But this improvement appears to be slightly more solid, with exports 4.3 per cent higher over the April-June quarter compared to the same quarter a year earlier. And this matters, because time and again Prime Minister David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne have repeated their ambition to bring about a rebalancing of the UK economy, with greater emphasis on the manufacturing sector than from the financial sector, and from domestic consumer spending to exports. 6 Industry Europe

But how good is this improvement? And can it be sustained? After all, the pound on a trade-weighted basis has experienced a depreciation of around 25 per cent in the wake of the global financial crisis. The absence of any export uplift would be very worrying indeed. As it is, the UK experienced several years of poor net export performance and general economic stagnation before finally seeing recovery signs. Last year the UK’s current account deficit was the largest on record and net trade was a drag on GDP growth. And the UK has not run a trade surplus for 16 years.

“Rising export growth and stronger manufacturing output spell good news for the UK economy... A sustained improvement in exports would put UK growth on a surer footing.” UK’s import habit The need to see growth of any kind appears to have taken precedence over the goal of rebalancing the UK economy. As HSBC economist John Zhu sharply reminds us, “This gap between exports and imports must be paid for by borrowing from abroad. Large deficits cannot be sustained indefinitely. The UK can do better, and must do better.” But how? Rebalancing, says Zhu, will require an improvement in our current dismal rate of productivity growth which has worked to erode some of the gains from a lower exchange rate. Also in need of atten-

tion are the gaps in manufacturing capacity and skilled labour. Restrictions on bank lending, particularly to exporting SMEs, may also have delayed the rebalancing process. And all this takes time to rectify. A worrying feature of the trade figures is that, despite an effective devaluation of the pound and the squeeze on domestic household demand, import growth has outpaced domestic demand for the past three years. “The UK,” says Zhu “seems unwilling or unable to kick its import habit and use domestic alternatives.” The positive points for the UK are that we are still competitive in many manufacturing industries such as cars and pharmaceuticals, as well as high skilled services sectors. Recent evidence of success in exporting to Asia Pacific, China in particular, shows we have a capability to export to these markets, albeit trailing that of Germany. Throughout the summer of 2013 growing signs of a broad-based upturn in the UK should help boost business confidence and with it bank lending which tends to lag rather than lead upturns. We have assurances from Bank of England governor Mark Carney through his new policy of forward guidance that interest rates will stay lower for longer. And there is guarded optimism about a continuing uplift in some parts of the eurozone, though renewed turbulence over sovereign debt levels and austerity programmes in Greece, Portugal and Spain looks set to arise later this autumn. So it is heartening that our export picture is improving. And there is a reasonable prospect of further progress. But this is from a low base, and with much ground to cover before we can close the gap in our trade in goods. Rebalancing will need further impetus from banks, from business investment, and from government in lowering tax and n regulatory barriers to growth.




Veteran commentator on Washington & Wall Street

Taking off Despite the efforts of the president, US business is accelerating towards recovery.


aving spent the better part of the last year reporting how President Barack Obama’s attempts to accelerate the US economic recovery have failed, it now is time to step back and acknowledge that there are clear signs that America is in a lot better shape than most of its European and Asian global competitors. Put most simply, US manufacturers have begun to enjoy an increasing domestic advantage in competitive costs of production that is causing a significant shift in overseas production back to America. This ‘reshoring’ is causing new plants and facilities to be constructed and new jobs to be created, often in regions that traditionally have been free of union high-wage demands and high local taxes. None of this will do Mr Obama much good politically to be sure. Whatever the outcome of his muddled foreign policy strategy for Syria (or more importantly, Iran) the American president increasingly is becoming a lame duck even though he still has more than three years left in office. Such is the nature of the extravagant American political system that this autumn of 2013 marks the official start of the Congressional midterm elections in which all of the House and one third of the Senate must campaign for re-election 14 months from now. At this writing the oddsmakers predict the opposition Republicans who control the House will probably increase their majority and there is increasing

betting that they may wrest control of the Senate away from the President’s Democrat leadership. Whatever happens between now and November 2014, the much decried ‘gridlock’ between the White House and Capitol Hill can only continue to prevent the president’s domestic policy wish list of higher taxes, greater social spending and increased regulation of the markets from moving forward. While this is not a particularly uplifting spectacle, the brighter side is that for once Washington cannot interfere with the American private sector and its capital markets finding innovative ways to improve the economy on its own. Driving the US manufacturing revival is a sharp decline in domestic energy prices. We have written before about the boom in new US oil production coming from the ‘fracking’ of mammoth oil shale deposits, many of which are conveniently located in the once derelict Rust Belt regions of Ohio and Pennsylvania. The real energy boost however is coming from America’s natural gas reserves where wholesale prices have dropped by half since 2005, cutting the cost of feedstock and fuel. Already this gives US gas consumers a cost advantage of between two and a half and nearly four times costs in Europe and Japan. As always, success breeds more success. Dow Chemical reports it and other energy producers plan to invest $110 billion in new gas discovery and production technol-

ogy to meet the rising demand by industries that are shifting from other fuels (coal, most notably) to gas-fired plants. A forecast recently issued by the Boston Consulting Group, one of the partners in the exclusive World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, says that the sharp advantage America will enjoy in energy costs will begin to kick in in earnest by 2015 and that a full blown economic recovery will be underway by 2020, that is, at the end of the first term in office of whoever succeeds Mr Obama as president. Another piece of good news out of bad news is that while wage levels remain depressed throughout much of the American workforce, wage levels in formerly low cost countries – China most notably – have been rising significantly. That reversal of advantage, plus the higher global costs of fuel for ocean and air shipping all are driving US manufacturers to bring production back home. The Boston group economists predict that by 2020 American factories will have recaptured as much as $115 billion a year in exports away from European and Japanese competitors as well as Chinese and other Asian rivals.

Southern revival There is a political factor in this economic transformation that should not be ignored. Whether it is a domestic US corporation like Dow Chemical, Boeing, any of the motor manufacturers, or whether it is a foreign-based

maker like Siemens, Toyota or Michelin, most of the new plant capacity that is being planned to take advantage of the energy and wage stimulus is being focused mainly in the southern tier of states that runs from Texas to the Atlantic seaboard. Because most of these states have strong anti-union environments, plus historic low wage levels to begin with, a new plant in the American south-east offers a wage cost advantage that the Boston economists estimate by 2015 will triumph over Germany and France by nearly 35 per cent and over Japan by nearly 20 pe cent. ‘Offshoring’ may suddenly become a strategy that European Community exporters may have to adopt over the next decade. Since most of these same states are bastions of conservative political identity, a concentrated economic revival in the region will certainly have impact on the 2014 mid-terms and on the presidential sweepstakes in 2016. For now Mr Obama will continue to suffer from a lacklustre economic recovery that leaves 12 million workers out of jobs and millions more forced to take part time jobs at reduced pay while the broader recovery wavers between one and two-and-a-half per cent annual growth rates through the rest of this year and well into next. Meanwhile, American innovators will have a relatively free hand in fashioning their own recovery strategies. There is sunshine behind even n the darkest clouds. Industry Europe 7

Italian ferry operator Lauro Shipping has entered into an agreement that will see a series of LNG-powered passenger/vehicle ferries developed around RollsRoyce’s Environship concept for Mediterranean use. Credit: Rolls-Royce


IN NEW TECHNOLOGIES With many newbuild orders still going to East Asia, Europe’s shipbuilders are focusing on the development of new eco-friendly ship propulsion systems. Jim Shaw reports. A new LNG-powered cruise vessel being developed by Finland’s Wärtsilä would incorporate a wide hull but narrow superstructure to cut construction costs and allow over 90 per cent of the cabins to have balconies. Credit: Wärtsilä


ver the past year shipowners have been rushing to place orders in world shipyards because of what they see as the ‘bottom end of the market’, with shipbuilding prices now expected to rise after a long recessionary period. This has seen construction contracts for newbuildings up 60.4 per cent in South Korea through the 8 Industry Europe

first half of this year while Chinese yards posted a 113.2 per cent increase during the same period. European yards have largely been left out of this ordering frenzy except in the offshore and cruise sectors where specialist yards in Norway, Germany and Italy have gained additional contracts. Germany’s Meyer Werft

was able to announce in July that it had confirmed an order for a second ‘Breakaway Plus’ cruise ship from Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), which has long been a steady customer. The yard delivered the original ‘Breakaway’ ship, the 4000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway, to NCL in April and will deliver a second, the Norwegian Getaway,

Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia shipyard has started construction of a new dual-fuel ferry equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system that will be delivered to Canada’s Société des traversiers du Québec late next year. Credit: Fincantieri

in mid-January. The latest NCL order, to be preceded by a third ship in late 2015, will not be completed until 2017. Only a month prior to the latest NCL order Florida’s Royal Caribbean Cruises had signed a contract with the German builder for a third Quantum-class cruise ship for delivery in mid2016. Meyer Werft is already working on the first two Quantum ships, as well as a research vessel wanted by the German government. These contracts have given the Papenburgbased builder a substantial order book that will carry it well through the next several years.

Italian expansion In Italy, the Fincantieri Group has also won a number of additional cruise ship contracts, including new vessels for Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Lines, but it has also been steadily diversifying, both in product and yard locality. At the start of this year it took a controlling interest in STX OSV, a world leader in the construction of supply vessels for the offshore industry. The new Norway-based subsidiary, since renamed Vard, won a 1.1 billion dollar contract to build four offshore pipe-laying vessels for a joint-venture formed between Norway’s DOF Subsea and French multinational Technip in August. However, illustrating the amount of international sourcing now taking place among European builders, the first two ships will be built in

Romania, and finished in Norway, while the next two will be wholly built at Fincantieri’s new yard in Brazil. At the same time, the Italian builder, which has also acquired shipyards in Vietnam and the United States, has chosen its Castellammare di Stabia shipyard near Naples to build a new dual-fuel ferry for Société des traversiers du Québec of Canada. This vessel, to be capable of running on either liquid natural gas (LNG) or marine diesel oil, represents what is expected to be a major new sector for European shipbuilders and equipment manufacturers as world air emission regulations are tightened. Taking notice of this trend, Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri’s CEO, recently commented that “There are reasons to be reasonably optimistic about the future.”

Prospects in LNG The move towards using LNG as a marine fuel has been gaining momentum over the past five years and European companies, such as Italy’s Fincantieri and Finland’s Wärtsilä, have been at the forefront of this development. According to a recent forecast by MEC Intelligence, a market insight firm that focuses on the maritime sector, nearly 10,000 vessels could be adopting LNG propulsion by 2020 compared to less than 100 today. Prior to MEC’s forecast, the Norwegian classification society Det Norske had predicted that

LNG could become the dominant fuel source for all merchant ships within 40 years. The reason for such growth is strict new emission regulations requiring the reduction of sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) to 0.1 per cent in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) by 2015 and 0.5 per cent globally by 2020. The key compliance options available for vessel operators to meet these regulations are either adoption of new types of fuel, such as LNG or low sulphur marine gasoil, or by using catalytic converter ‘scrubber’ technology on existing heavy fuel oil (HFO) burning power plants.

Taking the lead Finland’s engine-builder Wärtsilä has been quick in developing both ‘scrubber’ technology and new power plants that can burn several types of fuel, as has its competitor MAN Diesel. At the same time, European shipbuilders have been turning out a wide variety of vessels that make use of these innovative gas-fueled propulsion systems. Earlier this year Finland’s Viking Line began operating the 56,000gt cruise ferry Viking Grace, built by STX Europe, between Turku and Stockholm using Wärtsilä dual-fuel main engines burning LNG as the dominant fuel. A few months later Norway’s Bergen Group Fosen delivered the 25,000gt ferry Stavangerfjord to Fjord Line as the first large cruise ferry in the world to be powered exclusively by LNG. The hull of Industry Europe 9

Illustrating the current geographical scope of shipbuilding in Europe is the Dutch-designed platform supply vessel World Diamond which was built in Galaţi, Romenia this year for Norway’s World Wide Supply group. Credit: Damen

The twin LNG storage tanks required for the new Scandinavian ferry Viking Grace can be seen on the stern of the 56,000gt vessel as it departs STX Finland’s yard at Turku, Finland. Credit: STX Finland

this ship, as well as that of its sister vessel, Bergensfjord, was built in Poland by Stocznia Gdansk while fitting out was accomplished in Norway. Later this year Buksér og Berging AS of Norway will place the world’s first LNGfueled tugboats into operation at several Norwegian ports while Stavanger-based Island Offshore is already operating the world’s first platform supply vessel (PSV) using fully dedicated LNG-burning main engines. In Italy, Naples-based Lauro Shipping has entered into an agreement with Rolls-Royce that will see a series of gas powered passenger/auto ferries developed for Mediterranean use, all to be powered by LNG-burning Bergen engines.

improve overall efficiency. Estimated time to refuel the ship’s LNG, which would be held in two C-type 6300 cubic metre capacity tanks, would be approximately eight hours. Although the latest Quantum design would cost more to build than a conventional container ship of the same size, its payback time would only be about five to eight years, depending on the future cost of fuel, and it would be a much more energy-efficient transporter.

LNG-powered cruise ships? LNG is also being looked at in the cruise sector and Finland’s Wärtsilä has come up with several ship designs that feature LNG propulsion, including a medium-sized 65,000gt ship that follows on an earlier project accomplished in cooperation with shipbuilder STX Europe, which covered a larger 125,000gt vessel. The Finnish company said it chose the smaller size this time around because it sees an increasing demand for such tonnage among both large and small operators. Beyond dual-fuel diesel/ electric drive, which would see LNG tanks Norway’s NLI Solutions, along with Rolls-Royce’s marine division and Wilhelmsen Technical Solutions, has developed an self-propelled LNG barge for ship bunkering purposes. Credit: NLI

10 Industry Europe

situated below the ship’s lido area at the stern, and shafted rather than podded drive, the Wärtsilä cruiser would feature a hull beam of 43.2 metres to give better stability and allow the construction of higher cabin decks. Propulsion would be generated by two Wärtsilä 6L50DF and two Wärtsilä 8L50DF main engines, which would run primarily on LNG, but with marine diesel as a standby. As the average daily LNG consumption for a typical cruise would be about 45 tons, or 105 cubic metres, the vessel would be able to make a 12-day cruise without refueling. LNG bunkering would be accomplished via the ship’s open mooring deck at the stern while tank ventilation would be through a pipe running to the top end of the superstructure and venting at more than 10 metres above the uppermost deck.

LNG container ships Wärtsilä is not the only European company advancing new LNG propulsion designs. Several of Europe’s leading classification societies have also been moving into ship design, one such being Det Norske, which introduced a container ship design called ‘Quantum’ last year. The design centres around a 6200-TEU capacity vessel with an operating speed of 21 knots but with the ability to operate at higher or lower speeds using an electric drive with twin steerable Azipod propulsors. Earlier this year a larger 9000-TEU capacity design was introduced by DNV with a slightly higher speed of 22 knots. This ship, with external measurements such that it will be able to use the post-2015 Panama Canal, would be powered by a single slow-speed dual-fuel engine driving a single four-bladed propeller. An Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system on the engine would reduce NOx emissions substantially and the addition of a Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) system would

Battery-powered ferries Looking beyond LNG propulsion as a new technology that can be exploited by European builders, other sources of marine propulsion are also being studied. Norway, already a pioneer in LNG propulsion development, is moving quickly into all-battery operation and the country’s Fjellstrand yard is now building an 80-metre-long catamaran ferry that will operate between the towns of Lavik and Oppedal using lithium-ion batteries alone. The batteries, which will power two electric motors driving twin Rolls-Royce Azipull propulsion units, will be charged while the vessel is loading or unloading and when it is moored overnight. Developed by Fjellstrand in cooperation with Siemens AG, the 10-knot vessel will have a capacity for 120 cars and 360 passengers and is expected to take only about 20 minutes to make its crossing between the two Norwegian towns. The use of battery-based propulsion systems, while limited to smaller vessels that make relatively short runs, would appear to have considerable potential in areas where a large number of ferries are operated. Great Britain’s CalMac Ferries has already placed a Scottish-built ‘hybrid’ ferry in service that uses diesel-electric drive in combination with lithium ion batteries – a propulsion concept that is also being studied for tugboat and n work craft use.



New developments in the Shipbuilding industry

MAN units to power offshore construction ship


AN Diesel & Turbo has won an order to supply the main gensets for a multi-layer vessel newbuilding, recently commenced by Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven AG for British client, Ceona. The Ceona Amazon will be equipped with 2 x 9L32/44CR + 4 x 8L32/44CR main gensets, providing a total output of 28 MW. Each engine will be constructed at MAN Diesel & Turbo’s Augsburg production facility in southern Germany, and later transported to the company’s Frederikshavn, Denmark site for a full electrical test before the gensets’ delivery to the shipyard. The 32/44CR has gained a strong foothold in the offshore market due to its second-to-none

power and SFOC. MAN Diesel & Turbo reports the new order as being the third significant 32/44CR order the company has secured in the offshore market this year alone. Visit:

STX Finland to Keel-laying of Quantum of the Seas execute conversion


he official keel-laying of the cruise ship Quantum of the Seas has been celebrated at MEYER WERFT in Papenburg by putting a 430-ts block (the first of 74) in place in the yard’s covered building dock. Harri Kulovaara, executive vice-president Maritime of Royal Caribbean International, put down the lucky penny in the dock before the block of the new ship was lowered by the 800-ts crane. This keel-laying marks the official start of construction of the Quantum of the Seas. For the time being the 167,800-gt Quantum of the Seas is the biggest ship the shipyard has built so far. Visit:

Key milestone in HMS Ocean upkeep programme


he undocking of amphibious assault ship HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy’s largest ship, at the end of July marked an important milestone in the extensive 15 month deep maintenance period being carried out by Babcock. The upkeep programme is the largest on a Royal Navy warship in Devon-

ITG Group orders two PSVs of the PX121 design from ULSTEIN


he ROC yard, China, will be constructing two platform supply ships of ULSTEIN’s PX121 designs for the ITG Group. The contract includes an option for two more vessels.The PX121 has become very popular among various ship-owners and investment companies, and ROC is a new yard entering the stage of constructing vessels carrying the X-BOW® hull line design from ULSTEIN. This inverted bow leads to reduced speed loss in waves, and consequently less fuel oil consumption. Ulstein Design & Solutions provides a comprehensive design & equipment package that includes basic and detail design, all major equipment, site support/construction consultancy and commissioning. Visit:

of Fjord Line’s cruise ferry


TX Finland Oy and Fjord Line AS have signed a contract for the conversion of the cruise ferry MS Bergensfjord. The ship will undergo extensive interior changes which are designed by the Norwegian Falkum-Hansen Design. Several cabin areas will be converted to public spaces; the tax free shop, cafeteria and restaurant areas are to be increased significantly. The four month conversion project will be carried out by STX Finland’s Rauma shipyard. MS Bergensfjord was built in Norway in 1993. After the conversion she will operate between Sandefjord (Norway) and Strömstad (Sweden). STX Finland’s Rauma shipyard was chosen to execute the conversion based on quality and price and experience in similar conversion projects, says CEO of Fjord Line AS Ingvald Fardal. Visit: port for over 20 years, and is the first on an amphibious ship under the full implementation of the Surface Ship Support Alliance (SSSA) Class Output Management (COM) approach, under which Babcock leads the support of all amphibious vessels. Among the alteration and addition packages are the new 997 Medium Range Radar system; four 30mm Automated Small Calibre

Turkish opportunity for Navantia


he Turkish Navy has initialised a program for the acquisition of a LHD, based on the Juan Carlos I, built by Navantia for the Spanish Navy. The Turkish Navy, as well as representatives from local industry, had the opportunity to visit the LHD Juan Carlos I in Istanbul, last June and know the capabilities of the ship The Australian Government has already chosen Navantia as the designer and builder of two LHDs based on the Juan Carlos I. Visit:

Gun Systems to replace existing 20mm guns; a new fire detection system; the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) (DII(F)) enabling information sharing and collaborative working across the Armed Forces and MoD; and the DNA(2) Command System – the ‘brain’ of the ship and central to its fighting capability against air and surface threats. Visit: Industry Europe 11


New developments in the Shipbuilding industry

Wärtsilä propulsion solutions for new offshore pipe laying vessels


ärtsilä has received an order to supply the propulsion solutions for six new offshore pipe laying vessels being built by IHC Merwede. Three of the ships are to be built for Subsea 7, the seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services contractor to the offshore energy industry. The other three vessels have been ordered by Seabras Sapura, the Sapura Kencana and Seadrill partnership entity. All six vessels will be deployed to serve the Brazilian offshore market by Petrobras, the multinational energy corporation. The scope of supply for each ship comprises six 8-cylinder

Wärtsilä 32 engines, two transverse thrusters, two retractable thrusters, and three steerable underwater de-mountable thrusters. Visit:

Bergen Engines becomes Rolls-Royce secures offshore vessel new Tognum subsidiary


orwegian engine manufacturer Bergen Engines AS has become part of the Tognum Group. Following the acquisition of Tognum AG by the joint venture of Rolls-Royce plc and Daimler AG, the former Rolls-Royce subsidiary Bergen Engines was merged into the Tognum Group. “By formally incorporating Bergen Engines AS into Tognum we are starting the next phase of our joint activities. This is an important milestone for both customers and employees as this enables us to combine the medium- and high-speed portfolios under one roof,” said John Paterson, chairman of the supervisory board of Tognum AG. Visit:

Headquarters of Bergen Engines AS in Bergen, Norway



incantieri, one of the world’s top shipbuilding groups, and the Krylov State Research Centre of Russia, one of the world’s most prestigious centres for shipbuilding research, have signed a framework agreement with the aim of jointly developing new projects for technological innovation within the industry.

12 Industry Europe

contract in Brazil


Cammell Laird hosts naming ceremony for two new ferries


iverpool (UK) city region based shipyard and engineering firm Cammell Laird has hosted a formal naming ceremony for the first complete ships constructed by the company in 20 years for Scottish ferry operator Western Ferries. The ceremony marked the completion of a multi-million pound contract which has seen Birkenhead based Cammell Laird build two new car ferries for Western Ferries: MV Sound of Seil and MV Sound of Soay. The new vessels can carry 54 cars and are enlarged versions of the company’s roll-on roll-off ferry MV Sound of Shuna, which can carry 45 cars. Visit:

Another AIDA order for Lloyd Werft

olls-Royce has signed a contract with the Brazilian shipyard Aliança SA Industria Naval e Empresa de Navegacao, a subsidiary of Fischer Group, and Brazilian shipowner Asgaard Navegaçäo SA for the design and delivery of equipment to two offshore vessels for Asgaard. The contract value is about £11 million to Rolls-Royce. The two vessels are Oil Spill Response Vessels (OSRV), type UT 535 E, with systems designed to prevent damage from oil spills. They have the capacity to transfer recovered oil for proper onshore disposal. Anders Almestad, Rolls-Royce, president Offshore, said: “We are very pleased that Asgaard have chosen Rolls-Royce design and integrated systems for their new offshore vessels. Asgaard is a new customer to us and working closely together with them during the construction of these advanced vessels will be vital.” Visit:

second cruise ship from AIDA Cruises is to dock at Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven AG in October. The ‘AIDAcara’ will call October 7–19 and follow ‘AIDAbella’ which was at the yard in April. The ‘AIDAcara’ is 193.3m long, 27.6m wide and of 38,557 GT. When she was built in 1996 she was the first ship in AIDA’s new Club Ship cruise shipping concept. Since then AIDA Cruises has become the market leader in German cruise shipping. During her stay, the Bremerhaven shipyard will carry out technical work on ‘AIDAcara’ including conservation, tank cleaning, gearing and rudder work, gangway weight tests and seacock inspection. AIDA Cruises personnel will themselves organise conversion and renewal work in the passenger areas. Visit:

For Fincantieri, this agreement not only offers the prospect of technological progress, but also represents an extremely significant achievement in strategic terms. In fact, it will be able to benefit in many different ways from the Krylov Centre’s unique research & design knowledge of the high-tech vessels and offshore engineering structures, that will contribute to achieve the common goal of

designing the most sophisticated vessels and offshore structures. Krylov also stands to benefit from the exchange of knowledge with Fincantieri, which will give the Centre access to its enormous technological and manufacturing know-how gained in the construction and marketing of highly complex vessels. Visit:


INDUSTRYNEWS BAE Systems US Shipyard gears up to repair USS Wasp


AE Systems Ship Repair has welcomed the US Navy’s amphibious assault ship, USS Wasp (LHD 1), to its Norfolk, VA, shipyard where it will execute a $110 million contract to perform maintenance and modernisation to the vessel. The contract modification secures a fiscal 2013 drydocking planned maintenance availability, which includes the planning and execution of depot-level maintenance, alterations and modifications that will update and improve the ship’s military and technical capabilities. Accommodating aircraft and amphibious vehicles, the USS Wasp was the Navy’s vessel of choice in responding to Hurricane Irene in 2011 as well as Super Storm Sandy in 2012, offering emergency communications assistance, air traffic control capabilities and carrying aircraft and equipment. The US Navy also relies on the USS Wasp as the test platform for Joint Strike Fighters. Visit:

VARD orders four vessels for offshore industry

MS Stavangerfjord wins Energy Efficiency Award


ARD, the Norwegian subsidiary of Fincantieri and a world leader in the design and construction of offshore support vessels for oil & gas extraction and production, has secured an order from the DOF Subsea-Technip joint ventures to build four Pipe Lay Support Vessels (PLSVs). The contract, worth a total of approximately USD 1.1 million (NOK 6.5 billion) is the largest in VARD’s history. The four vessels will be constructed by the VARD group’s shipbuilding network. Two of the vessels will be built at the Tulcea yard in Romania but outfitted at the Søviknes yard in Norway. The other two vessels will be built and outfitted at the Promar yard in Brazil. The design of the new ships has been developed by VARD in collaboration with DOF and Technip, while the pipe-laying equipment will be supplied by Huisman of Holland. Visit:


he IMO’s Energy Efficiency Award (previously Clean Ship Award) has been won by Fjord Linesí Stavangerfjord – designed and constructed by Bergen Group Fosen. Stavangerfjord is the first international service passenger ferry to run on pure LNG engines. The award pays tribute to the ship that makes the greatest contribution towards energy efficiency in relation to its function or operation. Stavangerfjord is operating as a night ferry on the BergenStavanger-Hirtshals route in Norway and as a day ferry on the Hirtshals-Langesund route. Visit:

Polish yard builds CEONA AMAZON hull Aker Arctic’s Oblique Icebreaker


teel cutting for Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven has begun at Poland’s CRIST Shipyard on CEONA AMAZON, a state-of-the-art, multi-functional offshore newbuilding ordered by London shipping company CEONA. The keel for the big DP2 ship will also be laid at the CRIST Gdynia facility in August. It is part of a positive cooperative venture which Lloyd Werft says has helped it further develop its strategy as a completion facility. The newbuilding will be delivered to CEONA in October 2014. Visit:


DCNS completes CVN Charles de Gaulle refit

In addition to scheduled maintenance, the refit was used to undertake significant modernisation. The work was performed in the Vauban drydock at the Toulon naval base. The ship was given a complete facelift that included the repainting of a total area of 26,000 square metres and the complete refurbishment of one of the main galleys. Other modernisation work


he French Navy’s Fleet Support Service (SSF) signed off on the completion of the intermediate refit of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle after six months’ work by DCNS. From hull to combat system, the project involved some 950 people and 1 million person-hours’ work.

onstruction is underway on the first ever Oblique Icebreaker, a unique vessel type from Aker Arctic that will bring ice management and pollution control in thick first year ice to a new level. The first ARC 100 is due delivery to the Russian Ministry of Transport in early 2014, after a collabo-

rative build involving Kaliningrad’s OJSC Yantar and Helsinki’s Arctech yards. The resulting newbuilding is a breakthrough in asymmetric three-thruster conceptual design, which will bring new capability in terminal operations, ice management and oil spill response in freezing seas. The 76m-long vessel, with her oblique icebreaking action, is a game changer in year-round oil spill response. Additionally, a single Oblique Icebreaker cuts channels through ice for cargo ships to follow as wide as two equivalent conventional icebreakers moving ahead side by side. Visit: included the replacement of the stabilisation computer. The propulsion system and other shipboard systems and equipment were inspected, overhauled and tested to ensure optimal performance in operation. Some 35 kilometres of cabling was also installed with a view to the later installation of a state-of-the-art IP network. Visit: Industry Europe 13

Floating offshore wind turbine field

France’s world leader in naval defence DCNS has drawn on its knowledge of the sea and its unique experience of new technologies to position itself on the renewable energy market.

ENERGY FROM THE SEA Tidal stream turbine


he theoretical potential of marine energy is unparalleled. Each year, the oceans receive a quantity of solar energy that is one thousand times greater than world demand. They redistribute this energy in the form of winds, currents, waves, etc. According to Ifremer, marine energies could potentially represent a net contribution of 17.2 TWh/year in 2020, and contribute to the objective of increasing renewable energy production in line with Grenelle Environment Project. 14 Industry Europe

Tidal stream turbine

To capture marine energies, seven families of technologies coexist at different levels of maturity. The most well-known is the fixed offshore wind turbine. It is the most mature of the renewable marine energy technologies and is similar to land-based wind turbine systems, which convert the wind’s kinetic energy into mechanical energy then electrical energy using turbines. Fixed wind turbines are installed on foundations directly set on the continental shelf.

Alongside fixed offshore wind turbines, we find floating offshore wind turbines, which allow the installation of energy-conversion systems far from the coast in areas where the depth exceeds 50 metres. This system allows the exploitation of stronger and more consistent winds, thus giving access to denser energy resources whilst minimising the visual impact from the coast. The other technologies used to convert marine energies are tidal turbines (which har-

Tidal stream turbine

ness the energy of tidal currents), wave-energy conversion systems (which harness wave energy), ocean thermal energy conversion systems (which harness the temperature gradient between surface waters and deep waters in tropical seas), tidal dams (which harness tidal energy) and reverse osmosis (which consists of purifying seawater by a filtering system). These technologies are at different levels of maturity: fixed wind turbines are now sufficiently mature to allow large-scale commercial contracts. Similarly, certain tidal turbines are ready for industrialisation and certain projects for farms are being developed. However, three other technologies, related to waves, wind and thermal energy, are still in the development phase and, for the most advanced of these, are at the stage of sea demonstrators.

DCNS on the marine energy market In the frame of its Championship growth strategy, DCNS aims to generate one-third of its revenue in the energy sector by the end of the decade. In parallel to its naval defence activities in France and internationally, the group intends to develop on the marine renewable energy market in particular. Its knowledge of the sea, its capacity to deliver technologically complex turnkey maritime projects and ensure availability over 25 years, has led DCNS to orient its choices as a function of the degree of technology maturity, alignment with the group’s

expertise and of course the capacity to attain energy costs that will allow the emergence of a market. The group has thus selected the areas of offshore floating wind turbines, tidal turbines, wave-energy conversion systems and ocean thermal energy conversion systems. For these four technologies, DCNS aims to develop its capacity and offer turnkey energy farms. Its goal is to access the market by capitalising on its know-how as integrator, equipment supplier and high added-value service provider, and at the same time complete this know-how through partnerships, investments or external-growth operations. For offshore floating wind turbines, DCNS has developed Winflo technology, which will lead to the realisation of a 1MW demonstrator connected to the power grid, with launch foreseen for 2014. The installation of a pilot site will then allow the validation of the economic model prior to the installation of commercial farms with units of higher power (from 5 to 7 MW) by 2020, initially in France then globally. For tidal turbines, DCNS became the majority shareholder of the Irish company OpenHydro in March 2013. Already chosen by EDF for the project to build a farm off the PaimpolBréhat coast, it has also been preselected by other energy providers, in particular in Canada and Scotland. In parallel, in France and subject to a government call for tender, DCNS plans to invest in an industrial facility in Cherbourg as of 2014–2015. The aim is that this plant should

become the European industrial nerve centre for tidal turbines. For ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), DCNS installed a land-based OTEC prototype on Reunion Island in 2012. This small-scale reproduction of the energy production system of a future OTEC plant contributes to the validation of the potential of this technology. The French Overseas Departments and Collectivities (DOM-COM), the Caribbean and Asia could benefit from floating plants as soon as 2014. For wave-energy conversion systems, DCNS is currently evaluating several technologies: in particular it signed a letter of intent in 2011 with the Finnish energy provider Fortum in relation to the development of wave energy in France. In parallel, DCNS is also deploying the ‘Houles Australes’ project off Reunion Island, which will allow the testing of technology from the Australian company Carnegie Wave Energy Limited. At this stage, DCNS is amongst the very first industrial groups to invest in these types of technologies and is undoubtedly the only one to invest in all four segments at the same time. This is a key position considering that the need for alternative energies has never been so urgent, with an estimated increase in demand of 30 per cent by 2030 according to the International Energy Agency. Just one nautical mile to go from naval defence to marine n energy, and DCNS is already there. Industry Europe 15


New contracts and orders in industry

DOF Subsea and Technip to build Outokumpu wins contract with Casa de four pipelay support vessels T

he joint venture owned by DOF ASA’s subsidiary DOF Subsea and Technip has been awarded four contracts by Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras). These contracts cover the construction of four new pipelay support vessels (PLSVs) and operation in Brazilian waters to install flexible pipes. The combined value of the contracts for the DOF Group is approximately NOK 10 billion. Two of the PLSVs will have a 300-ton laying tension capacity and will be fabricated in Brazil with a high national content. The other two vessels will be designed to achieve a 650-ton laying tension capacity, thus enabling the installation of large diameter flexible pipes in ultra-deepwater environments, such as the Brazilian pre-salt. Vard Holdings Limited (‘VARD’), one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of offshore

and specialised vessels, will be in charge of the design and construction of the four PLSVs. Under the DOF Subsea/Technip joint venture agreement, Technip will manage flexible pipelay and Norskan SA, a DOF ASA subsidiary, will be responsible for marine operations. Delivery of the PLSVs is scheduled for 2016–2017. Visit:

STRABAG lands new orders worth internationally €230 million S TRABAG SE has been very successful internationally in the past few months, as four new contracts have increased the order backlog by more than €230 million. Oman’s Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources awarded STRABAG Oman LLC the contract to build a 1.2km flood protection dam near the city of Sur. The project also comprises considerable earthworks and erosion protection works in the drainage of the Wadi Canal. Also in Oman, the Ministry of Transport and Communication awarded STRABAG Oman LLC the contract to expand and upgrade the road between Wadi Minqal and Wadi Bani Jaber. In Thailand, STRABAG has been commissioned to produce and deliver 1.73 million concrete sleepers within five years for installation at three railway construction projects. A sleeper factory will be built north of Bangkok within the coming year specifically for the €88 million project. In Brunei, Japanese plant manufacturer Toyo Kanetsu K.K. has commissioned STRABAG International GmbH to plan and build a concrete outer tank for the interim storage of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Visit:

Meyer Burger awarded contracts for over CHF 22 million


eyer Burger Technology Ltd has signed a strategically important contract with a leading solar wafer manufacturer in Asia for the delivery of water-based diamond wire saws. As a major supplier of monocrystalline silicon solar wafers for high performance cells, the customer is relying

16 Industry Europe

on Meyer Burger’s advanced diamond wire technology for the manufacture of wafers to reduce production process costs while opening up new perspectives for high efficiency cells. Meyer Burger has also successfully concluded a contract with an important module manufacturer in Asia for the delivery of module equipment for the production of high quality,

Moneda de Mexico


utokumpu has won a contract with Casa de Moneda de Mexico (The Mexican Mint) supplying coin blanks to support the Latin American marketplace. Outokumpu’s Mexinox facility, located in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, is a regular supplier to Casa de Moneda for its Mexican currency bimetallic coin production. The new contract supports Casa de Moneda on its export business for stainless steel coin blanks. Stainless steel is used for coinage in several countries, but is a relatively new offering for Latin America. The stainless steel application requires exceptional surface quality on both sides of the delivered strips as well as consistent gauge and hardness control. It is due to the mastery of such applications that Outokumpu was awarded this new contract.

 Casa de Moneda’s Luis Sanchez comments on the Casa de Moneda-Outokumpu partnership: “As we continue to expand our business, we rely on the technical expertise, quality and expansive portfolio that Outokumpu offers.”
Established in 1535, Casa de Moneda is America’s oldest mint. Visit:

innovative solar modules. The state-of-theart module technologies include lamination, cell connection, handling and performance testing equipment as well as comprehensive customer training and support services. The signing of these contracts confirms Meyer Burger’s view that the PV market is showing signs of recovery. Visit:

WINNINGBUSINESS Siemens to expand baggage handling system at Munich Airport Terminal 2


iemens has received an order to expand the existing baggage handling system at Terminal 2 of Munich Airport from the Terminal 2 Company. The sorting capacity of the baggage handling system and the storage capacity of the early bag store system are to be increased by around 30% after completion at the end of 2015. The extension and conversion work will be performed during ongoing operation. The order comprises the layout, engineering, assembly, commissioning and integration of the system. After completion of the new satellite building at Terminal 2, up to 11 million more passengers can be handled per year. “Thanks to the innova-

tive Siemens technology, our baggage handling system provides top value in terms of reliability and availability. To ensure fast passenger handling in the future, too, we decided on a three-stage expansion of the system together with Siemens,” says Christian Wallner, executive board member at the Terminal 2 Company. Siemens’ three-stage delivery comprises the extension of the existing baggage handling system by another 15km by 2015. This also includes the installation of two baggage carousels in the arrivals area, two removal carousels in the sorting area, and further conveying equipment. Visit:

Tata Steel rail contract to link Saudi Arabia’s two holy cities


ata Steel has won an order to manufacture 60,000 tonnes of high-quality rail for a new high-speed line linking the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The new railway will allow millions of pilgrims to cross the 276 miles (444km) between the two cities at speeds of 200mph (320kmh). The line will cross desert, withstanding temperatures ranging from freezing to 50ºC, as well as sand storms, flash flooding and shifting dunes. Gérard Glas, Rail Sector Head for Tata Steel, said: “This is a prestigious project which will see the holy cities being linked by rail for the first time. Tata Steel is delighted to be contributing to this high-speed line, which will have to overcome some major challenges presented by building a high-capacity rail line across some of the most extreme terrain in the world.” Steel for the project will be made at Tata Steel’s Scunthorpe plant before being rolled into rail in lengths of 25 metres both there and at the company’s plant in Hayange, Northern France. Visit:

NCC to construct highway north of Oslo


CC is to construct a four-lane highway in Hadeland, one of the major traffic routes between Oppland County and Oslo. The Gran-Jaren section of Highway 4 will be a total of 9.3km long. The order amounts to SEK 1235 million. The highway construction also includes a 1.7km two-lane tunnel, two major over-

passes, 11.4km of local roads and several structures and other projects along the highway. The highway project on the Gran-Jaren section will be implemented as a collaborative project by NCC Norway and NCC Sweden. Many infrastructure projects have expanded in recent years and NCC has the opportunity to capitalise on resources from throughout the Nordic region.

Aker Solutions wins contract for Johan Castberg floater study


ker Solutions has won a contract from Statoil to conduct an extended concept study for the floater for the Johan Castberg oilfield development in the Barents Sea. The contract, worth NOK 250 million, includes options for further work. “This is an exciting opportunity to take part in the development of a major new oil field in northern Norway,” says Per Harald Kongelf, regional president for Norway at Aker Solutions. Aker Solutions has previously conducted concept studies for the Johan Castberg field, which is estimated to hold between 400 million and 600 million barrels of oil. The Statoil-operated field is located about 240 kilometres north-west of Hammerfest. Visit: “With more than 18,000 employees, we have a clear advantage in this type of comprehensive infrastructure project. We have excellent potential to staff the projects and offer expertise,” says Håkan Tjomsland, business area head, NCC Construction Norway. The project is scheduled for completion on 16 December 2016. Visit: Industry Europe 17


Combining strengths

AAK acquires Unipro in Turkey A

AK, one of the world-leading producers of high value-added vegetable oils and fats, has acquired Unipro from Unilever. Unipro is a leading supplier of oils and fats to the Industrial

and Bakery markets in Turkey and the surrounding region. Founded in 1990 and located in Istanbul, Unipro employs approximately 37 people and had revenues of approximately SEK 700 million in 2012. The acquisition of Unipro includes ten established brands, a core management and sales organisation, all related know-how and the Unipro company name for Bakery and Industrial fats. In connection with the acquisition, AAK has entered a 5-year toll manufacturing agreement with Unilever relating to the supply of Unipro products. “AAK will strengthen its presence in the 16th largest economy in the world which also has a strong real GDP growth. This is AAK’s next step in its strategy of increasing focus on growth markets,” says Torben Friis Lange, senior vice-president AAK. “This acquisition is an integral part of AAK Acceleration, and adds presence in areas which are identified as strategically important,” says Arne Frank, president and CEO, AAK Group. Visit:

SSAB strengthens its presence in Holland


ardox Wearparts Center Geha Beheer BV (Geha) is acquiring Laverman Holding BV (Laverman) and forming Geha-Laverman. The new company will be a strong, complete supplier with a comprehensive range of wear products and services. In connection with the merger, SSAB – which currently holds a minority stake in Geha – is increasing its shareholding in the new company to 51%. “By combining Geha’s know-how regarding Hardox wearparts and Laverman’s focus on castings, a company is being formed that will possess broad expertise and a complete customer offering,” says Chris Van Beurden,

vice-president Wear Services EMEA. “I see great opportunities for SSAB to further strengthen its presence in the region through an increased stake in the new company.” Geha-Laverman will be a leading supplier of wear products to the demolition and recycling market. The new company will focus primarily on segments such as demolition, waste management, scrap, sand and glass recycling. Bulk materials handling, infrastructure and quarrying will also be core market sectors. The company will have 46 employees. Visit:

Balfour Beatty sells its UK Facilities Management business

business, its customers and employees, this transaction has achieved good value and will enable us to allocate more resource to target growth sectors and markets in the future.” Operating as Balfour Beatty WorkPlace, the UK FM business is a leading provider of outsourced integrated services and total facilities management solutions with capabilities including facilities manage-


alfour Beatty has signed a binding agreement to sell its UK facilities management business to GDF Suez Energy Services for approximately £190 million in cash. Commenting on the sale, Andrew McNaughton, CEO of Balfour Beatty, said: “In addition to finding a good new home for the

18 Industry Europe

ABB acquires ring motor business from Alstom


BB, the leading power and automation technology group, announced the acquisition of Alstom’s ring motor business to enhance its gearless mill drive (GMD) system business. The business, based in Bilbao, Spain, has about 120 employees and will become part of ABB’s Process Automation division. Gearless mill drive systems are used in the mining industry for processing large quantities of ore to extract metals such as copper, gold, platinum, iron and molybdenum. “The acquisition will combine the leading ring motor product from Alstom with ABB’s electrical offering for GMD systems, enabling ABB to enhance its position as a strong vertically-integrated systems provider,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division. “The acquired expertise and market strength will provide new opportunities for growth.” The ring motor product and ABB’s current electrical offering for GMD systems can only work in combination and are therefore fully complementary. The know-how, experience and technology that this acquisition brings will enable ABB to increase manufacturing capabilities and strengthen the ring motor business. In the long term, end users will enjoy the benefits of ABB’s enhanced product quality control and system performance. Visit:

ment, business process outsourcing and energy services. The business is expected to continue to provide facilities management services to Balfour Beatty’s current portfolio of social infrastructure PPP assets in the UK and to collaborate with the group on the development of its investments in the future. Visit:

LINKINGUP Atlas Copco to expand into process vacuum solutions


tlas Copco AB and Edwards Group Ltd have entered into an agreement whereby Atlas Copco will acquire Edwards, a leading global supplier of vacuum and abatement solutions for an amount of up to BSEK 10.6. The company is headquartered in the United Kingdom and listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in New York. “Edwards is a technology leader with a welldeveloped structure and solid customer relationships in industries we know well. It is a great fit for Atlas Copco,” said Ronnie Leten, president and CEO at Atlas Copco. “The vacuum solutions market is growing and has similar characteristics to our existing industrial businesses.”

Edwards is a technology and market leader in sophisticated vacuum products and abatement solutions with more than 90 years’ experience. The products and services are integral to manufacturing processes, such as for semiconductors and flat panel displays, and are used within an increasingly diverse range of industrial applications. Edwards has more than 3200 employees and is headquartered in Crawley, United Kingdom. The acquisition of Edwards offers Atlas Copco an opportunity to expand into a growing business which serves industries that are wellknown to Atlas Copco. Visit:

AkzoNobel to divest Building Adhesives business to Sika ThyssenKrupp Aerospace kzoNobel has received a binding offer for the purchase of its Building Adhesives business by Sika AG for €260 million. Building Adhesives generated annual revenues of €185 million in 2012. The transaction will see all of Building Adhesives’ approximately 550 employees as well as its two manufacturing facilities in Rosendahl (Germany) and Damville (France) and its products and brands transfer to Swiss-based Sika AG. The intended sale of Building Adhesives follows a strategic review of the business’ fit within AkzoNobel’s portfolio. Building Adhesives is a standalone business within AkzoNobel’s Decorative Paints business area, primarily serving the professional market in north western Europe with a portfolio of brands and products including floor and wall levelling compounds, floor adhesives, tile setting, sealants and floor finishes. Its respected brands include Schönox, Casco, Cégécol, Synteko and EriKeeper. “We want to focus our Decorative Paints business at AkzoNobel on the strong strategic paint positions we have in Europe and the


growth markets of Asia and South America,” commented AkzoNobel CEO Ton Büchner. “The intended sale of Building Adhesives is in line with this strategy.” Visit:

Dassault Systèmes purchases SFE

its CATIA and SIMULIA applications, bringing to the market an innovative technology for seamless transitions, from early conceptual engineering and performance optimisation to detailed body design. “The combined SFE and Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform capabilities will lead to complete coverage of the entire value chain for the transportation & mobil-


assault Systèmes has announced the acquisition of SFE GmbH, a leader in body conceptual engineering and performance evaluation and optimisation. The addition of SFE’s technology to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform enhances Dassault Systèmes’ transportation & mobility industry solution experiences, such as ‘Target Zero Defect’. This acquisition expands

acquires the Waterjet Group


hyssenKrupp Aerospace, via its UK subsidiary, has acquired the business activities of The Waterjet Group, based in Darton, South Yorkshire, UK. The Waterjet Group was established in 2002 and is a leading UK waterjet cutting company for the aerospace industry. The company has several waterjets and related value added equipment, a large number of aerospace approvals and to a smaller extent also serves other high-tech industries, including the medical technology sector. ThyssenKrupp Aerospace has been working with The Waterjet Group for many years and will be integrating its employees, equipment and technical expertise into the ThyssenKrupp Aerospace global network. “The acquisition of The Waterjet Group has strategic advantages for us,” explains Jürgen Funke, president of ThyssenKrupp Aerospace. “We have been successfully operating waterjet cutting facilities in the USA, Canada, Australia and Finland, so the UK is a logical extension of these services.” Visit:

ity industry. From quick modeling to post processing analysis, to product performance simulation and shape optimisation, the full design process is integrated. I see numerous places where this capability can bring value to other industries, not just transportation & mobility,” said Bernard Charlès, president & CEO, Dassault Systèmes. Visit: Industry Europe 19



Relocations and expansions across Europe

EuroChem to establish joint venture in China


uroChem, Russia’s largest mineral fertiliser producer and a top ten agrochemical company globally, has announced plans to create a joint venture with Migao Corporation, a China-based speciality potash fertiliser producer, in Yunnan, southern China. It is expected that the new joint venture will produce up to 60,000 tonnes of potassium nitrate and up to 200,000 tonnes of chloride-free NPK fertilisers per annum. EuroChem and Migao Corporation plan to begin the construction of a plant in 2013 and launch production in 2014. Dmitry Strezhnev, CEO of EuroChem, commented: “EuroChem is delighted to announce a new joint venture project in China, the largest consumer of fertilisers in the world and a region of strategic importance for us. We already sell over 200,000 tonnes of speciality NPK fertilisers in the Chinese market, and the new joint venture is a next logical step.” Visit:

ContiTech focuses knowhow at Slovakian site


ontiTech AG of Hanover, Germany, has broken ground on the expansion of its plant in DolnÈ Vestenice, Slovakia. By building a new production hall, ContiTech Vibration Control, a business unit of ContiTech AG, is enlarging the existing production area by around 4,000 square meters. In conjunction with this groundbreaking ceremony, Heinz-Gerhard Wente, a member of the Executive Board at Continental AG and chairman of the Executive Board at ContiTech AG, also opened a new research and development (R&D) center. In total, ContiTech has invested around €7.5 million in these projects. “The expansion allows us to now focus all our production in Slovakia at one plant and create capacity for additional business,” says Karl Armbrecht, technical director at the site. Visit:

Mitsubishi Electric launches industrial automation business in Turkey


itsubishi Electric Corporation has announced that its local Turkish entity, Mitsubishi Electric Turkey AS, has integrated the operations of GENEL TEKNIK SISTEMLER SANAYI ve TiCARET ANONIM SIRKETI (GTS) and is now inaugurating sales of

20 Industry Europe

Concentric opens European hydraulics centre in Bavaria


oncentric AB has opened a new plant in Hof, Bavaria, consolidating all its European hydraulics manufacturing operations into a single site. The inauguration of the new 9000m2 Hof facility is the culmination of an SEK 36 million (approximately €4.2 million) restructuring programme to create one centre of excellence for Concentric’s hydraulics technology and manufacturing in Europe. It involves the closure of the existing older plants in Hof and SkÂnes Fagerhult, Sweden and the gradual transfer of all production lines into the new facility during 2013. Like Concentric’s American centre of excellence in Rockford, Illinois, the new Hof plant is designed to create a ‘best in class’ hydraulics facility in the region. This announcement completes the reorganisation of the company’s hydraulics business (formerly known as Haldex Hydraulics Division) which became part of Concentric AB when it was formed in June 2011. Visit:

Unique Maritime Group expands global operations in Nigeria


nique Maritime Group (UMG), one of the world’s leading integrated turnkey subsea and offshore solution providers, has recently opened up a new office in the African subcontinent as part of its geographical expansion strategy. The office is situated in Nigeria and will be called Unique Wellube Nigeria Limited. Some of the primary engineering services that will be offered by Unique Wellube Nigeria Limited include Pipeline Rehabilitation, Hot Tapping & Line Stopping, On-Site Machining, Under Pressure Leak Sealing, Pipeline Repair Clamps, On-Line Safety Valve Testing, On-Line Valve Maintenance and Pipe Freezing. Visit:

industrial automation systems under a new 42-person organisation encompassing five sales offices in the country. Under the new structure, Mitsubishi Electric envisions industrial automation sales reaching 3 billion yen by the fiscal year ending in March 2016 in Turkey, one of its priority markets. For further growth, Mitsubishi Electric Turkey also expects to

develop sales in neighboring countries. In addition, Mitsubishi Electric Turkey will support efforts to expand other Mitsubishi Electric businesses in Turkey, including those involving air conditioning and infrastructurerelated business, such as satellites, elevators/ escalators, electrical equipment for railcars, and power systems. Visit:


INDUSTRYPEOPLE New managing director of Volkswagen Group (UK) Limited


aul Willcox has been appointed Managing Director of Volkswagen Group (UK) Limited, taking over from Simon Thomas who leaves the UK to take up a global marketing role. Willcox, 49, joins the business on 16 September from Nissan, where he has held the role of senior vice-president, Sales and Marketing for Europe since June 2011. He has worked in the motor industry for a number of years, having started his career, following graduation with a degree in Management Sciences, at Peugeot GB.

New MD for Pipe Center and Climate Center L

ee Newman has been appointed managing director of Pipe Center and Climate Center, the specialist HVAC business unit of Wolseley UK. Steve Ashmore, managing director, Wolseley UK, said: “Lee has been appointed to take Pipe Center and Climate Center to the next level and capitalise on the exciting growth opportunities that we believe will emerge in the future. With his track record of delivering step changes in business performance, I’m delighted to welcome Lee back to Wolseley UK in this key leadership role.”

New CEO for NSK Europe Ltd


Jürgen Ackermann has been appointed CEO of NSK Europe, one of the world’s leading suppliers of bearings and automotive components. Dr Ackermann has been at NSK Europe since 2007, most recently in the position of COO. “With Dr Ackermann, NSK will continue its successful growth path in Europe and keep pursuing its aim of attaining quality leadership across the board,” said the previous CEO Norbert Schneider, who is assuming the position of non-executive chairman. Before joining NSK, Dr Jürgen Ackermann was managing director at Norgren Deutschland, one of the top ten suppliers of motion and fluid control technologies worldwide.

MTU Aero Engines renews contract with COO


TU Aero Engines AG’s supervisory board has voted to extend chief operating officer Dr Rainer Martens’ contract. Martens has been a member of MTU’s board of management since 15 April 2006, with overall responsibility for engineering and production. The contract renewal is for a term of

QIWI plc appoints Dmitry Pleskonos to the board of directors


IWI plc, the leading provider of next generation payment services in Russia and the CIS, has announced that Mr Dmitry Pleskonos has been appointed to the company’s board of directors as an independent director and a member of the audit committee. Mr Pleskonos has over 20 years of international executive experience. Since August 2012 he has also served as a director of KONTI Group. “We are pleased to welcome Dmitry to the QIWI board,” said Andrey Romanenko, chairman of the board of QIWI. “His broad industry knowledge, financial and strategic expertise, and valuable management insights will be an asset to QIWI going forward.”

five years, commencing on 15 April 2014. “I’m very pleased to continue in my role as COO, especially so knowing that MTU has everything in place for a great future, so that all of us will be in for even more exciting challenges to come,” Martens said. “The most pressing topic on the agenda for the coming years will be the preparations for introducing the newgeneration GTF engines into service.” Industry Europe 21



Advances in technology across industry

Railway researchers complete Understanding a new virtual testing project turbulence A project that could enable manufacturers of rail vehicles to use virtual testing of trains in order to ensure safety standards throughout Europe while making huge savings on development costs has relied on a key contribution from a research team based at the UK’s University of Huddersfield. Among the partners in the DynoTRAIN project – alongside manufacturers and rail infrastructure bodies in seven European nations – is the Institute for Railway Research (IRR), which occupies a purposebuilt suite of labs at the University of Huddersfield. A speciality of the IRR is in the development of modelling software that can simulate the dynamic behaviour of railway vehicles, leading to an estimate of the safe operation of a train in differing conditions.

“One of our tasks as part of DynoTRAIN has been to build mathematical tools that take data collected from different countries about the track and synthesise that data into a representative track that you would use in a virtual test environment,” explained The IRR’s Head of Research Dr Yann Bezin. But it relies on a massive database of information about real tracks and real railway systems and this was gathered as part of DynoTRAIN by assembling a special train – locomotives, passenger carriages and freight wagons – fitted out with a battery of testing equipment, such as a laser system that captured the shape of the rail every 25 cms over thousands of kilometres. Visit:

Tracking tools

advanced solution on the market for tracking tools by using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). RFID technology is a wireless technology that allows storage and retrieval of information remotely. It enables the identification of a tool thanks to an electronic chip which is encapsulated inside it. It uses the energy propagated by the short distance radio signal from the transmitter. Facom engineers sought an integration of this RFID chip to ensure the best data transmission. Enclosed within a shock-resistant shell, the chip is durably protected, even against chemical agents, without modifying the basic features of the tool or its ergonomics. Visit:


he annual financial impact of FOD (Foreign Object Damage) is estimated to be billions of dollars, with indirect costs often higher than direct costs. This applies across all sectors of industry due to material and human risks (non-compliance, production delays, incidents affecting individuals). The synergy of the Facom and Cribmaster brands, divisions of the Stanley Black & Decker group, has enabled the development of the most 22 Industry Europe


cientists have developed a new understanding of how turbulence works, which could help to optimise vehicle performance and save billions in global energy costs. Dr Ati Sharma, a senior lecturer in aerodynamics and flight mechanics at the University of Southampton, has been working in collaboration with Beverley McKeon, professor of aeronautics and associate director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to build models of turbulent flow. Recently, they developed a new and improved way of predicting the composition of turbulence near walls, which could lead to significant fuel savings, as a large amount of energy is consumed by ships and planes, for example, to counteract turbulence-induced drag. Finding a way to reduce the drag by 30% could save the global economy billions of dollars in fuel costs and associated emissions annually. Sharma and McKeon’s latest work provides a way of analysing a large-scale flow by breaking it down into smaller, simpler subequations, or ‘blocks’ that can be simply added together to introduce more complexity and eventually get back to the full equations. With very few blocks, things look a lot like the results of an extremely expensive, real-flow simulation or a full laboratory experiment, but the mathematics are simple enough to be performed on a laptop computer. “We now have a low-cost way of looking at the ‘skeleton’ of wall turbulence,” says Professor McKeon. “It was surprising to find that turbulence condenses to these essential building blocks so easily.” Visit:



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on French moves to help China to produce quality wines.


hile French winemakers continue to battle against the glut of foreign imports, three of the industry’s most prestigious brands are heading abroad to help China put its own wines on the world map. Dom Perignon, MoÎt-Hennessy and Chateau Lafite-Rothschild are all investing millions of euros in a bid to produce high-end vintages for China’s increasingly discerning drinkers fed up with overpriced and mediocre domestic wines. But the move has sparked criticism in France that teaching the Chinese to make quality wine now could pose another threat to sales of French wine in years to come. Christophe Navarre, chief executive of MoÎt-Hennessy – which is planting 30 hectares of grapes in the Shangri-La region of Yunnan province – even remarked provocatively: “I dream one day of going back to France with a bottle of Shangri-La red wine and saying it’s the best wine in the world.” Christophe Salin, president of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (DBR), which owns the vaunted Château Lafite, said his company was investing 12.3 million euros with Chinese state-investment partner CITIC to develop 25 hectares of vineyards in eastern Shandong province to produce top quality red wine. He said: “China deserves the production of great wines. But we don’t want to create another Château Lafite, we wish to produce a great wine on Chinese soil.” China is the world’s fifth-largest wine consumer, but their wine industry is dominated by a few large local producers that make midpriced wine mostly considered to be far inferior to imported French and New World wines. But Chinese wine expert Jim Boyce, who runs the website ‘Grape wall of China’ said he believed the country had the potential to compete with all the most highly-regarded wine producing countries in the world. He said: “The potential is there to make something very, very good. There are a lot of

people who’ve been telling me for years that Yunnan is where it’s going to happen.” But back in France, a recent study found that 60 per cent of French vineyards are now struggling to break even as exports are undermined by wines mainly from the USA, Chile, Argentina, Australia and South Africa. A spokesman for the Federation of French Wine and Spirits Exporters said: “Here in France, wine drinkers tend to stay loyal to French made wine which dominates the marketplace. “But our exports are suffering from competition with foreign winemakers, and the last thing we need is an enormous country like China flooding the market with their own wines – let alone decent wines made with the help of French wine producers.”

“We don’t want to create another Château Lafite, we wish to produce a great wine on Chinese soil.” Egg crisis French egg producers have also threatened more direct – and very messy – protests throughout the autumn in anger at low prices which they blame on the European Union. Furious poultry farmers smashed hundreds of thousands of eggs outside tax offices and supermarkets in August, insisting their profits had been slashed following an EU directive in January aimed at protecting the well-being of hens, and setting minimum cage sizes with extra space for birds to ‘nest, scratch and roost’. The rules have sent production costs soaring, but the price of eggs has not risen as a result, farmers claim. The first protests erupted in Brittany among a collective of 20 egg producers who hurled crates of eggs from the backs of trucks in

night-time rampages throughout the region. They claimed it was a ‘symbolic gesture’ in their demand for the government to order the destruction of five per cent of France’s entire egg production to reduce supply. Poultry farmers currently get paid 63 pence per kilo of eggs, but the new EU directive means they cost 80 pence per kilo to produce, according to Yves-Marie Beaudet, the head of the egg section of the Brittany dairy farmers union. The European Union had 15 to 20 million excess laying hens out of a total of around 350 million, Mr Beaudet said, adding: “Our livelihoods are threatened. We are ready to give these eggs we are destroying to developing countries, but they cannot stay on French territory. “It seems that it takes a bunch of 20 farmers to chuck eggs for the government to grasp the issue. We need France’s entire egg production to be reduced by five per cent, and our protests will continue and escalate throughout the autumn until that happens.” Agriculture minister Stèphane Le Foll has blamed the crisis on supermarkets seeking higher profit margins and told the French media that ‘better regulation of production’ and not ‘wanton destruction’ was the solution. France’s largest farming union, the FNSEA, also said it did not back militant action, with a spokesman saying: “You don’t solve this crisis by smashing eggs.” The left-wing Confèdèration Paysanne was even more critical, saying ‘greedy farmers’ had first increased the number of hens and were now complaining there were too many. The union’s spokesman Laurent Pinatel said: “Egg producers have often taken advantage of European norms to increase the size of their coops by 30–50 per cent. Some egglaying farms have 100,000 birds, and it is this unbridled industrialisation that has wreaked damage. Today, we have no choice but to cut n the number of hens.” Industry Europe 23



Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the costs and opportunities of cleaner fuel for shipping.


ew legislation will herald a revolution in the way goods are transported around the globe. In a bid to clean up polluted waters – with an eye on oceans farther afield – ships which rely only on heavy fuel oil will no longer be allowed to sail in the North and Baltic Seas from 2014. Heavy diesel oil is dirty and smelly, the residue of the refining process which is used to power most of the world’s freighters and cruise liners. It has to be heated to 122 degrees Fahrenheit before the sludge can even move through the fuel lines of ships, turning the gigantic engines before being emitted through funnels as black and yellow smog denoting soot and sulphur. Christoph Brockmann, vice-president of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency in Hamburg, is among those who have been pressing for global shipping to consider new propellants. “Diesel engines tolerate all sorts of fuel,” he said. “We need to clean up the heavy oil burners.” Natural gas seems to be the solution that shipping will turn to. Tests show that power output remains the same when a diesel is switched to be powered by natural gas but pollutants are almost totally banished. In Scandinavia some ferries already use LNG and experts calculate that freighters can be modified to have LNG tanks without sacrificing too much valuable cargo space. German gas company Linde formed a joint venture last year with Hamburg ship fuel provider Bomin to develop an LNG infrastructure around the major ports in the North and Baltic Sea region with the first planned locations scheduled for Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Rotterdam. Now comes the hard part – convincing the German Ship Owners Association that converting all vessels is the way of the future because it estimates the price of a new ship would jump between 15 and 20 per cent owing to the high costs of the tank system. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has declared the North Sea and Baltic 24 Industry Europe

Sea an ‘Emissions Control Area’. Starting in 2014, the maximum allowable sulphur content in fuel, currently at 1 per cent, will be reduced to only 0.1 per cent for ships sailing in waters between the English Channel and the Baltic states. Marine gas oil, which is similar to the diesel fuel used in cars, is more expensive than diesel but less polluting: the German shippers believe they are caught between a rock and a hard place.

Tests show that power output remains the same when a diesel is switched to be powered by natural gas but pollutants are almost totally banished. “Someone should have looked at the price lists,” says Hanns Conzen, managing director of the Lübeck-based shipping company TT-Line. “The IMO’s verdict, which came at the request of the countries bordering the North and Baltic Seas, including Germany, is life-threatening.” He calculates a cost at €2.5 million a year for each ferry his line runs.

Conversion boom But the future is just around the corner. Some Canadian and US maritime regions already operate a similar ban on heavy-fuelonly ships which means the global industry is gearing up to accept the inevitable. While it will mean a huge outlay for many, the upside will mean full order books and more jobs for those heavy engineering companies waiting to cash in on the changes. Rolls-Royce Plc won a contract earlier this year to convert the merchant ship Bergen Viking to run on engines powered by natural gas, replacing the current diesel engines. The Norwegian ship owner Bergen Tankers AS has chosen gas engines and accompanying

systems from Rolls-Royce for the upgrade. Neil Gilliver, Rolls-Royce, President Merchant, said; “LNG is growing in popularity as a marine fuel, due to its environmental characteristics and lower cost than diesel. The new engines for Bergen Viking will have reduced fuel consumption by about 25 per cent while massively cutting down on pollutants.” In Germany the shipyard business is gearing up for the changeover. In June Finland’s Wärtsilä was awarded a retrofitting contract by the German shipyard BVT Brenn - und Verformtechnik Bremen GmbH to refit a ferry which sails between Emden and Borkum Island on the Lower Saxon Wadden Sea National Park, an ecologically sensitive UNESCO World Heritage listed area in the south-eastern part of the North Sea. In January the German shipyard Meyer Werft delivered the LNG tanker Coral Energy to Rotterdam-based shipowner Anthony Veder, also equipped with Wärtsilä power units. The ship will operate in those specific regions that the IMO is banning heavy-oil-only burners from beginning next year. Hans Lehrmann, a shipping industry analyst, said: “While there is undoubtedly opposition to anything that will affect a company’s bottom line, massive opportunities exist for heavy engineering and shipbuilding companies in the conversion of old vessels and the building of new ones. Germany has an unparalleled history of shipbuilding excellence and is well placed to meet the challenges that are awaiting the industry. “But the IMO and other environmental agencies must be careful that they do not price shippers out of business. A ferry line that has to pass on increased costs to haulage firms could find that the companies affected find it cheaper to put the trucks back on the road, thus negating any pollution-saving benefits. It is a tricky business but there is no doubt that the days of heavy-fuel-only n carriers are numbered.”

BOGE – BEST OF GERMAN ENGINEERING Known for their innovation, quality and reliability, BOGE compressed air systems and equipment are synonymous with all that is understood by the term ‘Made in Germany’. And behind the BOGE name is a very definitive culture, as the international sales director, Gavin Monn, tells Colin Chinery.


ith a 105-year pedigree of engineering expertise, proven technology and innovation, BOGE is delivering premium-quality, energy-efficient and cost-effective compressed air systems and equipment to industrialists and consumers across the world. Based in Bielefeld, north west Germany, the family-owned company is represented in 80 countries and sells in 120, with oneto-one customer support for compressors designed, engineered and manufactured to the most exacting standards.

“We address the higher market segment for compressed air. If you think of German cars like Mercedes and BMW, this is the kind of reputation and brand positioning we have,” says BOGE’s international sales director, Gavin Monn. BOGE manufactures a complete range of lubricated and oil-free screw and piston compressors from 1 to 480 HP as well as a complementary range of filters, dryers and condensate management equipment. Compressed air is considered the fourth utility, and BOGE products are found in

most industry sectors including pharmaceutical, food, plastics and steel. Big-brand customers include Audi, Peugeot, ThyssenKrupp, Renault, BMW, Shell, Grundig, Saint-Gobain, Siemens and Coca-Cola.

Solutions not salesmen “We offer competent solutions and customer focus,” says Mr Monn, “to provide solutions and look after customers; we are not just salesmen to them. “A key point is that we offer a German designed and manufactured product. A large percentage of our employees on the site are engineers and we have a committed staff to ensure that our products run faultlessly and last for ever.” Around 400 highly qualified staff are employed at BOGE’s headquarters which saw a €10m investment in 2009. “We have the latest technology, and to keep our reputation we invest a lot in R&D, with over 40 engineers

in our development department working on new concepts to beat our competitors.” Among the Bielefeld facilities is a quality department staffed by seven quality controllers, and incorporating a measuring endurance test facility in which key components are tested to destruction. “It’s both a showpiece for visitors and a means of seeing how we can make further improvements in our engineering,” says Mr Monn. A separate division – BOGE Plant Engineering – produces custom-engineered products. “You come to us with any particular need and we will develop a solution, whether it’s going to Siberia or Saudi Arabia. Whatever your need, we will develop it for you.” Meantime, continuous growth has meant BOGE reaching beyond its Bielefeld headquarters and developing an additional site in Saxony, a €12m investment the first phase of which is due to open in September (2013).

Energy saving is an increasingly major selling point. “Price can be a secondary consideration behind reliability and efficiency. The capital cost of a compressor is less than 10 per cent of the total costs over a ten-year period. Seventy-five per cent is accounted for by energy costs. “We know that if you are to succeed in selling into sophisticated markets – Germany, the UK, North America – you must prove, you have energy-efficient products. So we try to be better than anyone else.”

Family business – and culture Central to the success and longevity of BOGE is the culture of this family-owned business. Now in its fourth generation – with the great-grandson of the founder, Otto Boge, the current managing director – BOGE is experienced in resisting approaches from admiring would-be buyers. “There have been lots of people coming through the door talking to the owners, but

they are not interested. It’s been family owned for over 100 years and we want to keep it family owned for another 100,” says Mr Monn. “So we are not dressing the company up for someone to come along and buy it. Our decision-making is thinking long term and how we can be in business for another 100 years.” BOGE’s location in one of the most industrialised areas in Germany ensures an excellent skills base. And the company’s reputation as an exceptionally good employer – winning awards from the town council for being a family-friendly employer – is a result of an employer/employee mutual loyalty and sense of cohesion. “During the significant downturn at the end of 2008, one of our competitors was cutting back and cutting its head count. But we didn’t get rid of a single employee. We had people painting and doing similar jobs until the business picked up.

“We are a family business, not a hire and fire business. We believe in our people, and in return we get loyalty and good commitment from our employees. “We believe in fairness and even-handedness in our dealings with our employees and our customers and partners. We have common goals that all our employees strive towards, and this is one of the best points about being a family-owned business – flexibility and adaptability. We can move very quickly and we can make decisions quickly.”

BOGE – simply the best Germany remains BOGE’s biggest market, followed by the UK, China, North America and the Far East, but over the next four years BOGE expects exports to account for most of an anticipated 40 per cent growth. In 1995 exports accounted for just a quarter of output; by 2015 this is likely to rise to two-thirds. And with 200 plus employed outside Germany, new daughter companies are opened yearly in all BOGE’s major operational markets, offering inventory and technical support for its customers. “We know that in our business the salesman will sell the first piece of equipment to a customer, but we know it’s the way we look after that customer that will sell the second, third and fourth. “One of our biggest principles is responsibility. We believe that when a person buys a compressor from us, they should buy peace of mind and not have to worry about their manufacturing going down all the time.” And the company founded 105 years ago has unveiled a new slogan – BOGE: “Best of n German Engineering.”

QUALITY, SUSTAINABILITY, PARTNERSHIP Diversification and a willingness to not only be a supplier but a true solution provider are the factors at the basis of the success of SOL, and this is now reflected in the new visual image of the company, as SOL’s marketing manager, Mr Beccalli, tells Barbara Rossi.


OL has a history of more than 80 years, having started its business in Livorno (Leghorn) in 1927, although the headquarters were and still are in Monza, near Milan. At first it was supplying a range of technical gases – albeit in a more limited version than it currently does – to shipyards for their welding activities, hence its beginnings in a harbour town such as Livorno. In the 1950s, operations expanded to the supply of technical gases to the steel sector. The range on offer expanded over the years, as did the number of industrial sectors supplied. The two most important mile-

stones in the history of the company were the diversification towards medical gases and homecare and the internationalisation process (the latter started in the 1980s and reached full bloom in recent years). Today, the core business of the company is the production, distribution and commercialisation of technical and medical gases, alongside which, thanks to a dedicated team, SOL also researches, designs, constructs and manages production plants at its own premises, as well as at on-site production units located at its clients’ works. The current range of gases is composed of

oxygen, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, acetylene, nitrous oxide, helium and gas mixtures, as well as refrigerating, medicinal, special and high purity gases. While this is the specialism of SOL as a company, the diversification process carried out over time has resulted in the SOL Group also including other entities. First of all, there is Vivisol, the specialist in homecare services, which distributes medical gases and services for home therapy as the core of its activity. While together SOL and Vivisol generate more than 95 per cent of the group’s turnover, there are also another

two companies: Biotechsol and Hydrosol, respectively operating in the biotechnology and renewable energy fields. “The main industries to which we supply our products are manufacturing in general (with a particular focus on metal fabrication), oil & gas, chemical and pharmaceutical, food, environment, and healthcare. Sol is specialised in each of these sectors, and holds all industry specific certifications, including ISO9000 (since 1994) and OHSAS (for several years). For the last two years SOL has also published a sustainability report,” Mr Beccalli explains. He adds, “There is a continuous product evolution in terms of the increased certified quality of our offer, concerning production and distribution of gases, as well as stocking facilities at clients’ premises. Our identity on the market is that of a solution provider, not only supplying the relevant gas, but also all that is

necessary for its use in the client’s production process. For instance, we provide application technologies using our gases as well as equipments and services correlated, as an example welding devices, machines and welding training courses for the metal fabrication sector. Other examples of what we offer are oxyfuel processes and technologies for metal production sector, including oxygen regulation ramps and burners. Examples of technologies and products that we propose and manufacture for the food sector are food freezing processes and the relevant equipments used like freezing tunnels, while for the environment industry we supply machines to improve and optimise the treatment of water and air effluents. At the service level we are developing IT solutions, for instance for the traceability of gases within clients’ plants. For the last ten years we have offered total gas management, which includes

gases, stocking facilities, relevant machinery and management services.” SOL has 34 primary sites – where gas is produced – and 54 transformation plants (including two filling facilities situated in India as part of a joint-venture) – where gas is bottled, checked and distributed to clients. The geographical expansion process started with EU countries, then encompassed south-eastern Europe, in order to be present at local level, as well as Turkey and India. “Modernisation of our sites is an ongoing project. Other important investments made in recent years include a primary plant in Bulgaria for carbon dioxide production, with other local facilities to follow soon as well as the acquisition of a company in Romania two years ago. We are active in various R&D projects, in particular to do with sustainable mobility, specifically in terms of hydrogen and hydrogen/methane mixtures.

Of course, investments have also been channelled into the acquisition and maintenance of our gas distribution vehicles and stocking facilities, as well as a SAP system.”

Fond of diversity Diversification is the distinguishing trait of the company, which has been stimulated by two factors, the first of which is that SOL’s products and services are employed in different markets. The second element is the will of the company to be a solution provider, meaning that SOL tries to solve customers’ issues, identifying and pursuing various new development lines in the course of this endeavours. The diversification process will continue in the future. “We have been able to expand and invest thanks to our solid financial structure, which has protected us at times of market instability, as well as allowing us to have available

30 Industry Europe

resources for innovation, thus being able to enact our solution provider market philosophy. We currently employ 2500 people and achieved a 2012 turnover of €583 million.” “We plan to widen the geographical boundaries of the markets that we serve, through acquisitions and establishment of our own facilities, especially in emerging markets, replicating the growth method adopted in the past. Three factors have characterised our activity and growth in the last few years and will carry on doing so in the future: quality, to differentiate ourselves from competitors; sustainability, both in economic and environmental terms; and partnership with the clients or companies that n we work with.”

LEADERS IN CAR EXTERIORS Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior, a wholly owned subsidiary of Plastic Omnium, with headquarters in Levallois, France, is one of the world’s leading producers of car exterior parts and modules. Its Polish operations in Kleszczow, Gliwice and Poznan are the group’s leading plants in Europe.

“P Aleksander Czajka, country director for Poland

oland is a very important part of Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior’s business. In terms of the number of employees, it is the company’s second biggest after France. Approximately 800 people work in the Polish Auto Exterior plants. Currently, important projects are being transferred from manufacturing plants located in western Europe to plants in Poland. This is real proof of the confidence that the parent company has placed in us. The company’s management repeatedly visited us last year. Mr Laurent Burelle, chairman of the supervi-

sory board and the executive director, visited us three times. Every day we prove that Poland is a good place to invest,” says Aleksander Czajka, country director for Poland, in charge of Plastic Omnium’s Polish plants in Gliwice, Kleszczow and Poznan.

Bumpers from Poland Plastic Omnium is a family-owned global company that is a preferred partner of automotive manufacturers. It was founded by Pierre Burelle in 1946. Its two main pillars of production are equipment for the

automotive industry and for urban systems. Its automotive division is composed of two main enterprises, Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior and Inergy Automotive Systems. The first provides external plastic elements (thermoplastics and composite) for cars, like bumpers and energy absorption systems, fender and front-end modules. The second one provides fuel tanks. Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior has been present in Poland for many years, but the year 2011 was crucial for the development of its activities in this country, owing to two

36 Industry Europe

important events: the start of full production at the new factory in Kleszczow and the acquisition of Plastal Poland. A new production unit located in the Tulipan Park Gliwice industrial zone in Kleszczow was built on a greenfield site covering an area of 45,000m2. It has a 14,500m2 hall for the production of front and rear bumpers for European OEMs such as Opel and Skoda. The plant is located at a distance of 7km from the General Motors plant, and 285km from the Skoda plant in the Czech Republic. The construction of the plant was based

on the most modern technologies meeting the highest quality requirements, and was completed in July 2011. December 2011 saw the formal signing of a contract for the acquisition of Plastal Poland by Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior. “Plastal Poland is a company that has gone through a number of ownership changes over the past decade, with the production plants eventually being brought to bankruptcy in 2009,” recalls Mr Czajka. The two plants included in the acquisition, in Gliwice and Poznan, supplied Fiat, Volkswagen, BMW, Audi and Ford. The factory

in Gliwice is located just a few kilometres from the Tulipan Park. “How 2011 changed the scale of Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior’s activities in Poland is clearly demonstrated by the increased sales. In 2009, the company’s sales were estimated at €5 million, while the sales forecast for 2013 has hit €97 million, and sales in 2015 are to reach €140 million,” explains Mr Czajka. “The first seven months after Plastal Poland was taken over by Plastic Omnium Auto Exteriors were marked by the process of integration into the family of Plastic Omnium worldwide, including the adaptation of security systems, quality management system, financial and operational reporting,” adds Mr Czajka. Automotive bumpers are the key product manufactured by Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior. The production for each plant is


dedicated to a different client: the Poznan plant makes bumpers for VW, as VW’s production unit is located in the same city, while Fiat and BMW are the main customers for the Gliwice plant bumpers. Products manufactured at the Kleszczow plant go to GM (which owns the Opel factory in neighbouring Gliwice) as well as to Skoda and VW. The company is also open to cooperation with other local manufacturers that have plants in central and southern Europe, for example with Korean car makers, Hyundai and Kia that have their factories in the nearby Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Key factors of success The people factor is very important for the company. It declares that it is working very hard to ensure the best possible career with Plastic Omnium for its employees. “We have an excellent, well-motivated and experienced workforce. Some of our people have been working in the business for 15 years and we are proud that we have a low staff turnover. Even during the hard times we do not reduce our number of employees, but instead move them from one of our plants to another. In 2012 we transferred 70 people from our Gliwice plant to Kleszczow,” says Mr Czajka.

Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior’s success is not only down to the company’s own capabilities, but also to the selection of the right partners. “Plastic Omnium has a policy of centralised purchasing of components. Thanks to this we can take advantage of economies of scale and get the best quality supplies, while maintaining optimal prices. We have five or six Polish companies working for our plants. They all meet Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior’s strict requirements for product n quality,” says Mr Czajka. Visit:

Impuls Ltd We specialize in production of multi-dimensions complicated boxes (packaging) made of five-layer cardboards with high endurance. We also make standard packaging made of various cardboards. On our packaging we are able to make a printed/design using a technique of silk-screen printing. In our warehouse we offer a wide variety of packaging and

materials needed to comprehensive pack and protection of your products. IMPULS aims at getting client’s full satisfaction with a deadline deliver of products which fulfils requirements about quality and price. We declare total support to realise of quality aims, which we realise continuously.

Industry Europe 39

40 Industry Europe

INNOVATIVE SAFETY SOLUTIONS ALT is a global leader in the design and manufacture of in-car safety solutions that include airbag and inflatable curtain-wrap technology. Philip Yorke talked to Jean-Luc Verstraeten, the company’s managing director, about its revolutionary flexible electronic circuits, life-saving pedestrian airbags and ambitious plans for further global expansion.


was founded in 1935 and quickly gained a reputation for its manufacturing expertise and product innovation. In 2002, ALT was the subject of a management buy-out, and in 2004 it invested more than €1.5 million in a new automotive safety production facility in Romania. The company’s focus today is on self-adhesive and die-cut products for the automotive, electronics, durable goods and security market sectors. ALT works in close partnership with its customers and has been responsible for the development of many unique products for a wide variety of applications. These include passenger airbag covers, inflatable in-car curtain wraps and a wide range of seals. In addition, ALT produces protective components, high-performance labels, film materials and adhesives. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company operates three state-of-the-art

manufacturing facilities, one in Utrecht, the Netherlands, one in Lupini, Romania, and another in Shanghai, China. In addition, ALT has a global sales office in Brussels, Belgium.

Putting safety first ALT specialises in the development of automotive safety solutions, and its flagship product is its unique, inflatable curtain-wrap product for automotive side-airbags. The company’s functional adhesive technology is also used for frontal impact airbag covers for both driver and passenger locations, as well as for head impact, side impact, knee and seatbelt protection systems. Furthermore, ALT also manufactures high-performance safety labelling for metal, plastic, glass and other surfaces which are exposed to harsh and hazardous automotive conditions. Mr Verstraeten said, “Early in 2002 we decided to change the product focus of ALT as the safety labels market had become

fragmented and highly competitive, making it more and more difficult to achieve a reasonable return on investment. Therefore we decided to look for a different market where there would be consistent growth and where we could use our expertise to add value, which is when we decided to focus more on the automotive and home appliances sectors. We began by producing airbag covers. These are high-tech products which protect the air bag and must open instantly upon impact and therefore must have the highest quality, fail-safe systems built-in. We began with one well-known OEM customer and today supply virtually every passenger car manufacturer in the world, from VW and Volvo to GM, Porsche and Toyota. “We have grown steadily with our customers and continue to invest in new plant and technology, especially in the emerging markets. We are planning to build more manufacturing facilities in China and Romania where we

already have a major production presence, and in the longer term we are looking to expand production to include South America and in particular Brazil.” Mr Verstraeten added, “We are very much an innovation and application driven company and currently we are developing several revolutionary new products, one of which involves flexible electronic circuits which will transform many of today’s automotive functions, especially those relating to heating and steering systems as well as in areas such as car pedals and fuel tank connections. These technological advances will result in significant weight reductions and related cost reductions for the world’s automotive manufacturers. “In yet another area we are developing an air bag to protect pedestrians in the event of an accident which will be located on the outside of the vehicle. All these significant innovations are at an advanced stage of development. Today, our airbag and other

occupant safety systems meet the highest quality standards, and by our calculations they help to save a life every two hours.”

Global expansion In 2008, ALT opened its new, state-of-the-art production facility in Romania and has since continued to upgrade and extend its production capabilities there. In 2011, ALT attracted a major new shareholder and with this came new capital for further global expansion. The resulting significant new funding was invested in an entirely new, purpose-built production facility in China as well as in new software, new equipment and product R&D. Capital has also been invested in a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system from QAD, as well as in a range of the latest digital production equipment. The new facility in China became operational in 2012 and today supplies the fast growing Chinese market with more than 10 million air-

bag covers and related airbag systems a year. By the end of 2013 this is expected to grow to more than 30 million products. ALT is continuing to look to the future and is investigating opportunities for similar operations in South America and India. ALT has also invested heavily in its European production facilities in Romania. This includes new ERP systems (QAD Enterprise Applications) which will enable end-to-end electronic data interchange (EDI) with both its customers and suppliers. Underscoring its commitment to maintaining the highest standards, all ATL’s manufacturing facilities have been independently assessed and certified to international quality standards, TS 16949, ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. n For further information about ATL’s latest innovative products and services visit:

DIVERSITY IN METALS ZML Industries SpA is an Italian leader in aluminium die-casting, grey cast iron casting and the production of copper wire for household appliances and the automotive sector. Industry Europe looks at the history of the company and its activities.


he roots of ZML Industries SpA go back to the late 1960s, when the company started manufacturing components for the household appliances industry. ZML, started by the Zanussi group, was acquired by Electrolux in 1984 and then in 2002 a further ownership change took place with ZML being purchased by an American investment fund. Finally, in 2006, ZML was wholly acquired by Mr Valduga, head of the Cividale group, whose core business is steel production for the oil and gas sector, employs 1500 people and has an annual turnover of around €360 million. The Cividale group is presently led by the heirs of Mr Valduga, the Valduga and Bernardino families.

46 Industry Europe

Since 2002 ZML has increased its diversification, especially towards the automotive sector. Nowadays ZML Industries SpA, which has 580 employees and a turnover of €167 million, is subdivided into three divisions: aluminium, cast iron and copper wire. Currently, the activity of the aluminium division is entirely for the production of components for the automotive industry, supplying all major European car manufacturers, with about 70 per cent of this production for the car industry and the remaining 30 per cent for industrial vehicles. The cast iron division is more diversified, with 45 per cent of its products supplying the automotive industry, 40 per cent the household appliances sector and 5 per cent the mechanical

industry. The copper wire division production is channelled towards the automotive industry for 60 per cent of its output and the household appliances one for 40 per cent. The global crisis hasn’t affected the company as badly as it affected foundries working for other sectors, and the ZML product quality has meant that the company has been retained as a supplier by clients, even

during the difficult economic times. In addition to this, in production terms ZML has very quickly recuperated from the recession.

Production facilities All production takes place at one site, where ZML has a large 300,000m2 plant, divided into three separate factories. A recent investment consisted of the creation of a new €12

million cast iron production line. At present, ZML is the Italian leader in cast iron and the purpose of this project is not an increase in production volumes but an optimisation of production costs and a widening of the range of products offered, especially in terms of new materials, in order to allow ZML to be in the best possible position in comparison to competitors in other countries, such as

Turkey, Spain and Germany. This investment has allowed ZML to add spheroidal cast iron to its current grey cast iron production. This is particularly important as this new type of cast iron is able to offer a performance similar to that of steel and therefore is in demand from not just the automotive industry but increasingly also the household appliances sector. The new line was completed in the spring of last year (2012). Investment has also been focused on the copper wire division, in which the company doesn’t cast copper, but cuts and enamels it. In view of the fact that copper prices are at their maximum historical value, clients are increasingly interested in substitute materials. For this reason, over the past three or four years ZML has developed and introduced its range of enamelled aluminium wire. The aluminium division has not been undergoing significant investments and will mainly be concerned with developing new product design with clients, but logically there is the intention of keeping up with the market in terms of new products. Research and development is carried out by internal technicians, aided by external universities such as Trieste and Padua. ZML holds regional and ISO certifications, such as ISO/TS and ISO 14001:2004. All the new production lines are at the cutting edge, environmentally as well as productively. The company has important achievements to be proud of in the environmental field, such as having more than halved its water consumption in the past five years or so. The ultimate objective

is that of a nil waste policy, with consumption reduced to a minimum. ZML subscribes to the European Foundation for Quality Management excellence model (EFQM), seeking to implement the best possible practices at various in-company levels.

Focused on export Export markets are crucial to the company’s activity, with over 70 per cent of output exported, mainly all over Europe (98 per cent of export) and on a smaller scale to

South America (2 per cent of export). Export has been growing since 2006 and now foreign markets, especially in German-speaking countries, are very substantial. This is partly due to the fact that ZML, based near Pordenone in the Italian north eastern region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, is geographically close to them, making their supply easy in logistical terms. But it is also down to the fact that in the post-economic crisis era foreign markets are growing at a faster pace than the Italian market is having a bearing

on this. Around 80–85 per cent of aluminium production is for export, along with 65 per cent of the cast iron output and as well as 65 per cent of the copper wire produced. Export could grow by another 10 per cent for the reasons previously mentioned, but also because of the shorter payment terms encountered outside Italy. ZML has no intention of diversifying its core business to other market segments, but wants to widen the range of products on offer which could, as in the case of the cast iron line, bring in new clients. The company plans to optimise its activity, without necessarily searching for large volume growth, requiring n substantial investment.

L.M.& P. Srl has been operating in the field of injection mould production for light alloy die-casting since 1973. Today L.M.&P. Srl is an ISO 9001 certified company able to manufacture heavy moulds up to 15 tonnes.

LM&P srl - Mansuè Treviso Italy - Via delle Industrie, 4 Tel: +39 0422 741197 | Fax: +39 0422 741718 E-mail: |

KEEPING THINGS MOVING Gates has a century-long history of providing people and industries with the hoses, belts, accessories and services that keep equipment and operations running smoothly and efficiently. And on its 50th anniversary, Gates Europe is poised for further expansion from the Urals to the Cape and across to China, as Frank Baart, marketing manager of the Industrial Division Europe, tells Colin Chinery.


it moves you, there’s a good chance Gates has a part in it’, runs the mission-encompassing slogan of the Gates Corporation, global market leader in the production of hi-tech rubber belts and hoses for industrial, hydraulic, agricultural and automotive applications. And Gates is an indisputably impressive mover, with Daimler, Volkswagen, JCB, Claas and John Deere among top OE clients in its European Industrial division alone. This year, Gates is celebrating its halfcentennial in Europe at its Belgian headquarters in Erembodegem, and nearby Ghent from where its hub distributes products made in Europe and across the globe. “Right from the start, by bringing on new ideas, by looking at the market a bit differently and by giving more service to the distributors and end-users, we soon made our inroads here in Europe,” reflects Frank Baart, marketing manager, Industrial Division.

Drivers of success Fifty years on and specialisation, research and quality control continue to drive Gates’ success, and an operation that started in western Europe is moving increasingly into eastern Europe – where Gates has logistics and production facilities – Russia, the CIS, Turkey and the Middle East. In the global automotive industry, the name Gates is synonymous with high-quality problem-solving value-adding products and services. Gates not only supplies all major car and machine manufacturers, but also the aftermarket. And as a result of its close cooperation with OE manufacturers, Gates leads the way in design and manufacturing methods, its products excelling thanks to their reliable performance and long life. Alongside the auto sector, energy exploration and extraction, infrastructure, agriculture, transport and general manufacturing,

are other major end-user markets. Put more simply, Gates can be found ‘wherever people work or play’. “If you see something that is moving, whether on the road, in a machine, a windmill or whatever, we have products that make those things move,” says Mr Baart. “And the term motion has a dual interpretation, because it is also the emotions that move us. And we are very much emotionally connected to our products.”

Your complete programme Serving these vast and diverse markets are two product areas: Power Transmission and Fluid Power. The complete industrial Gates Power Transmission programme includes V-belts, multi-ribbed and synchronous belts, flexible couplings, tension testing tools, tensioners, pulleys and complete drive systems. The industrial application range extends from minimum drives on computer printers

Industry Europe 51

or other high-precision tools to industrial compressors and agricultural harvesters and tractors. From the Fluid Power side comes an integrated line of high performance hydraulic hoses, couplings, fittings and self-assembly equipment. All elements of the hose assembly process are designed together, to offer factory quality assemblies in applications ranging across construction, mining and manufacturing to agriculture, transport and beyond. Recent examples of innovation in both areas are the PowerGrip® GTX rubber synchronous belt and the GSM coupling.

Distributors and partners At the customer end, another two distinct groups, OE clients and – “an area that is very important to us,” says Mr Baart – the replacement business. “Across the world we have 150,000 distributor partners. If we want to bring our products to end users then we need distributors, and many are also our service partners. “High-performance, high-quality products are bywords for Gates, and especially where there are problem applications, our customers need these qualities along with durability. Installing our product is one thing; installing it in a correct way and in compliance with safety regulations, is quite another. So training is very, very important.” Gates has been synonymous with innovation ever since 1917 when John Gates developed the V belt, thereby solving the problem of slippage and alignment. Now

the basic belt for power transmission, its success propelled the company to become the largest manufacturer of drive belts, a title it still holds. Thirty years later, Gates developed the first synchronous belt, and it was advances like these that were to be the foundation for the continuous development of Gates belts and hoses.

World leadership Unsurprisingly the Gates Corporation invests continuously in optimisation, research and development. “To remain a world leader, you have to come up with new ideas all the time, and we have six specialist R&D centres around the world,” says Frank Baart. “We know the importance of getting closer to the customer and end user, and understand exactly what product they need.” “We will continue to introduce new products and integrated systems and solutions, while increasing the service offering to distributors and end users. For example, it is not only a belt that we are supplying to customers such as Daimler-Benz, but also the complete accessory system. And the service we build around our products is a feature that we will be developing more and more in the future.” Currently, Gates has 21 facilities in Europe – where it employs 3000 people in different production, sales and distribution centres (250 at the two units in Erembodegem and in the Ghent distribution centre) – and 14,000 across the world at more than 100 locations in over 30 countries: manufacturing, distribution centres, sales and service offices.

Tomorrow Africa “As a global company we always look on a global level. Our last major investment was fluid power plants in China where we now have six production facilities. And China is where most of the world’s manufacturing is going or developing. The next big thing will probably be Africa. At the moment, we are primarily in Northern Africa and South Africa and we shall continue to move North to South and South to the North until we have it all covered.” Gates lays claim to ‘Powering Progress’ in its niche sector, and Frank Baart explains why: “People trust our products, their quality, performance, safety – very important on the fluid power side – and longevity. So when it comes to motion quality and high performance we claim that we are the global partner of choice. We make things move.” n


Leading Swedish prefabricated concrete manufacturer Abetong has created an innovative timber replacement railway sleeper that is set to be installed worldwide. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to th general manager, Ulf Malmqvist, and Rikard Bolmsvik, in charge of development, for more information.

Industry Europe 53


one of Sweden’s leading manufacturers in the production and development of prefabricated concrete products, Abetong’s annual turnover is around SEK 1200 and it employs over 520 people. Abetong is a member of HeidelbergCement Northern Europe, a global leader in aggregates and a prominent player in the fields of cement, concrete and other downstream activities with nearly 53,000 employees in 2500 locations in over 40 countries. Abetong is comprosed of four strong divisions, with 14 sales units throughout Sweden. The divisions focus on prefabricated concrete elements for the housing industry, the agricultural sector and the railway market. Ulf Malmqvist is the general manager for the international railway industry. He told Industry Europe the latest news from his division as its recent development gets ready to be launched to the market. He said, “We are very excited to talk about our new product which is soon to be introduced to the wider global market. It’s a unique product, and one which we know is perfectly in tune with the changing needs of the railway industry.”

54 Industry Europe

New ways for railways Abetong’s innovative new product is focused on both the environment and the railway industry. A timber replacement sleeper that is made of pre-stressed concrete, the Tuned Concrete Sleeper, or TCS, has taken many years of expert development. Mr Bolmsvik continued, “Our Tuned Concrete Sleeper has been uniquely tuned to mimic the properties of a timber sleeper, but it is made of prestressed concrete. This gives it the performance of a timber sleeper but without the major drawbacks of an ordinary timber sleeper. It is perfectly suited to spot sleeper replacement on the type of ageing railway lines that keep some communities connected but that are not well-maintained.” The key aspect of the Abetong TCS is the tuning process. The prestressed concrete sleeper is tuned using a patent-pending tuning machine to ensure that it gives the TCS similar characteristics to the timber sleepers, which in turn eliminates the creation of stiff points at the position of the alternative timber sleepers. Whilst there are almost no new railway lines built using timber sleepers, there are many

railways, particularly in Sweden and Europe in general that are still running on these hardto-maintain timber sleepers. Creating a huge maintenance issue that is costly and logistically difficult, the timber sleeper lines are an integral part of many rural communities. Mr Malmqvist explained, “There are often political issues for wanting to keep costs down on rural railway lines, but for the people in these communities the railways are a vital lifeline. Also, these lines are often used as secondary lines for transporting goods and people to the main lines. So they need to be maintained but at an affordable price. Until now, there has been no alternative for replacing damaged timber sleepers. But thanks to the TCS we can meet this demand.”

Cost effective The issue with railway lines equipped with traditional timber sleepers is that the ballast under the sleepers do not cope with the loads produced by the new type of sleepers used in modern railway construction. So when the ballast needs replacing at huge cost, the suggestion of closing the track is often raised, but

now Abetong’s TCS can be employed without ballast replacement. With a key benefit that the TCS can be used for ‘spot sleeper replacement’, randomly mixed in with good timber sleepers that do not need replacing, the issues of cost versus communities wanting to keep their active railway are addressed. Mr Bolmsvik explained how the demand for the TCS is very likely to dramatically increase in the near future. He said, “There are changes to the European railway industry that will rapidly boost the demand for our Tuned Concrete Sleeper as there is no alternative. This is why we are in the process of obtaining two patents for it – for the features of the product and for the tuning machine – in order to protect our innovation.” The changes to the European railway industry will soon see a ban on using poisonous creosote on railway sleepers. With all traditional timber sleepers currently coated in creosote, Abetong’s timber replacement sleeper is the only alternative for these applications. Mr Malmqvist added, “The ban has been done in such a way that there can be granted permission to continue with creo-

soted sleepers if there is no suitable alternative, so it is imperative that we work hard to inform the relevant players in the European railway industry that there is a suitable alternative. The Abetong Tuned Concrete Sleeper is an effective alternative that is safe and easy to install.” A test track is currently installed in Sweden and in spring 2014 Abetong will com-

plete the increase in its production capacity in order to be prepared for the expected upturn in demand. With active licences already in Finland, Norway, Switzerland, the Baltic States and Austria, and with interest in Asia, Australia and Africa, Abetong’s current priority is to boost the awareness of its ecologically responsible timber replacement sleeper to railway industries worldwide. n

THE GREEN TEAM The leading manufacturer of ecologically responsible private label goods in the Nordic region, Nopa Nordic AS, has the stability and flexibility to grow with its customers. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to CEO Henrik Jorgensen to find out more.


ounded in Denmark in 1964 by Niels Thostrup, Nopa Nordic AS is still owned by the Thostrup family. The Nordic region’s largest and leading manufacturer of ecologically responsible private label goods in the cleaning products, detergents and personal care sectors, Nopa Nordic is widely respected as a stable and reliable partner. CEO Henrik Jorgensen spoke to Industry Europe about how the company is proud of its long-term focus on delivering eco-friendly products to an increasingly wide customer base. “We introduced our first eco-friendly product in 1993 and we haven’t looked back! We also haven’t used any optical brighteners since we phased them out in 1996. As a proudly eco-friendly company with wonderful green products available in each of our product categories, we are excited about the growth potential we see both in our domestic and Nordic markets and beyond.” Mr Jorgensen explained that the company is seeing a larger demand ‘south of the Danish border’ in addition to a continued demand in its traditional Nordic market. He said, “We expect growth in both these areas, which is very interesting for us as we 56 Industry Europe

can really shine. Our development teams are packed full of experts that understand and continue to research the very specific needs of each market – the type of detergent that a consumer wants and needs in the south of Europe is very different from that which is required in the north, for example.”

Market advantage This appreciation and long-term experience of the various markets and their specific demands is one reason that Mr Jorgensen believes that Nopa Nordic stands out from the competition. He continued, “We are very strong in terms of new product development and we always take into consideration the various market requirements so that a new product can be tailored to suit each market where it is sold. We’ve been active so long that our extensive experience in product development is able to be effectively implemented, making it a highly valued service for our customers. As a private label manufacturer, this is a real advantage.” The new product development and indeed product portfolio maintenance is certainly enhanced by Nopa Nordic’s collaborations with a number of leading health associations. As many of the company’s

products are in the personal care and detergent category, its work alongside asthma and allergy associations adds a medically advantageous aspect too. Mr Jorgensen explained, “Nopa Nordic’s private label products are both green and extremely functional – this is how we have built our solid reputation and how we intend to continue our strong growth in new markets. We have a huge knowledge gained over nearly 50 years – very few companies in our field can even get close to that.” Nopa Nordic is primarily focused on manufacturing private label goods for its customers, most of whom are well-known Nordic and European supermarkets and chain stores. The company offers ‘deep consumer insight’ as a standard part of its product development, with a high level of eco-friendly technology ‘built in’ to its products such as detergents and shampoos.

Growth is green Nopa Nordic’s aim for the future is to continue its impressive growth while maintaining its famous eco-friendly quality. It will follow its customers into new markets, with exciting growth likely particularly in Russia, Germany, Asia and the Benelux countries. Mr

Industry Europe 57

Your professional partner in blow moulded packaging for any purpose whatsoever. Our many years’ experience and deep technical insight make us the perfect choice no matter whether you are looking for specialised custom-designed packaging or standard solutions.

AB ETIPRODUCTS OY Piispanportti 9, 02240 Espoo, Finland Tel: +358 9 819 444 48 Fax: +358 9 819 444 44 E-mail:

58 Industry Europe

Bollerup Jensens Sæbefabrik A/S develops and produces soaps, cleansers and detergents. We also produce technical products such as sodium and potassium silicates for private and industrial use. Our range includes soap flakes, brown soft soap and water glass cleaning products. Our products are available in Denmark and internationally. Bollerup Jensens Sæbefabrik A/S was founded in 1988 and is based in Tarm, Denmark.

Bindesbølvej 16 - 20 Aadum | Tarm, 6880 | Denmark Phone: 45 97 37 60 33 | Fax: 45 97 37 62 68

Jorgensen added, “Asia is a very interesting new market for us and also for many of our customers, so there is a great synergy there. In many ways it is still a niche market for our type of private label product manufacturing but as the lifestyle of many people in Asia changes more in line with western habits, sadly there is also an increase in allergies and asthma. But of course this presents us with a great opportunity for growth, so we will push to work with prospective partners here. This is also interesting because there can be ethical and production quality issues with some manufacturing in Asia and as we are well-known for our high quality, our production will be exactly as agreed.” Mr Jorgensen explained that Nopa Nordic also aims to double its turnover within the next few years. With many geographical markets in Nopa Nordic’s active sectors increasingly driven by green issues, the company is better placed than ever to achieve its aims. Mr Jorgensen concluded,

“We are perfectly aligned with the market – our bio and green products have long been before their time! We are ready for growth, with organic growth expected as well as being open to strategic acquisitions. As a family company with a solid financial position, we can move quickly when we see an opportunity for us to reach our goals faster, particularly if it means that we can expand into new markets where a company with the same eco-friendly philosophy is already n performing well.”

Industry Europe 59

PARTNERSHIPS IN POWER Although it always projected itself as a European manufacturer in terms of quality and recognition, Končar – Generators and Motors Inc. expects that the Croatian accession to the European Union will additionally simplify formalities in the exchange of goods, and enhance the company’s organic growth. Vanja Švačko spoke to Mr Roman Nota, president of Končar – Generators and Motors management board.


he reputation of the company Končar – Generators and Motors is founded upon a tradition of over 90 years. Since 1921 the company has been producing its own motors, and after World War II it started development of generators. Before it went through a complete reorganisation, Končar consisted of 30 small factories. “In the 1990s the Končar Group underwent a major transformation and was divided into separate companies according to their product range,” said Mr Nota. “While some of the factories remained single, in 1997, Končar – Generators was amalgamated with Končar – Medium Electrical Machines into a new company Končar – Generators and Motors Inc.” Today, the core business is contained within two units: one is for production of a comprehensive range of large generators and the other for medium-sized generators and motors. In addition to producing hydro

generators up to 200 MVA and various types of high-voltage motors or motors for traction, the company undertakes servicing, overhauls, upgrading, revitalisation and modernisation of its own existing generators and motors, as well as servicing those of other producers. The company is also involved in the production of rail vehicles, trams and trains. All work is performed by 500 employees at its 30,000m2 production area in the Croatian capital, Zagreb. The company is an essential part of the Končar Group, over 80 per cent of whose products are in the field of power engineering. Mr Nota explained, “The main characteristic of the Group and our company is that we have our own products. Starting from the blank paper to the first sketches, through the projects, budgets, designs, production, tests – everything is our independent work. That knowledge we have been gaining over the years.”

Industry Europe 61

Pressure vessels Components for power plant industry Different welded steel structure Nasipi 50, 1420 TRBOVLJE, SLOVENIJA Tel.: +386 (0)3 56 67 200 | Fax: +386 (0)3 56 67 212 |

The company is very proactive in the scientific community, cooperating with Končar – Institute for Electrical Engineering Inc. and the University of Zagreb (the faculties of electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering).

Overcoming technological gap The key prerequisite for the company is to invest, especially in technology. However, during the war in the former Yugoslavia Končar was under-investing and hence the plants and fleet were not renewed. “Now we are trying to compensate for the technological and investment gap with the competition. Since in our production there are technologies that need to be upgraded, our long-term investment plan is to try to bring up every year one of the technologies to a higher level of quality and productivity,” added Mr Nota. However, apart from the stagnation caused by the civil war, the continuation of the global economic crisis did not affect the company on a large scale. Since the generators are always produced according to the customer’s specification, there was only a mild slowdown in orders and delay in the beginning of projects. Another reason for the company’s sustained production is the stability of the hydro business. “Each country that has electricity today,” said Mr Nota, “requires the update and replacement of old plants with new ones. And this is what keeps our business alive, even in times of economic uncertainty.”

tion materials) are purchased from the best European manufacturers; for example bearings for the rotary machines are imported from Germany. According to Mr Nota, this is one of the main reasons why Končar’s customers keep on coming back, recognising the combination of the best materials and superior technologies that make its products consistent in performance and reliability.

In pursuit of new partnerships Končar’s generators are selling on all continents, but its main markets are Croatia and the neighbouring countries Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. As far as participation at other markets is concerned, the company in this moment has a lot of ongoing projects within the EU and Europe e.g. Austria, France, the UK and Scandinavia. “As for other markets,” added Mr Nota, “we are present in Turkey because a huge amount of hydropower resources means continuing opportunities for business projects. With some of our partners, we also work in the Philippines, the USA and Costa Rica. We are also interested in expanding our business in Africa, India and the countries of South America.”

Končar has already built its generators into some of the largest hydropower and thermopower plants in Nigeria, Zambia, Iraq and former Yugoslav countries, and its motors are sold to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria and it has performed different kinds of servicing in Scandinavia. Together with with the Slovenian company Litostroj Power, Končar has performed a number of successful projects and each well-done job has opened a new door for new projects and partnerships. “Končar has historically grown on the strength and hard work of people who were living with rotary machines and accumulated the knowledge that we possess today. We have never bought or borrowed someone else’s knowledge or capacity. However, what we value most are fruitful partnerships, mainly with turbine manufacturers which are essential for our business,” concluded Mr Nota. Excellence achieved so far in production and performance is the result of synergy between a carefully nurtured technical culture and n wisely chosen partnerships. Visit:

Working with the best Končar sells motors to the industrial sector and generators to government and public electrical industries, as well as to private investors in countries all over the world. When ordering generators, customers call for a long-life quality product with 40 years warranty. To fulfil that requirement, the company has to procure the best materials. All the key components for the active part of the generator like the dynamo sheet metals and copper products (wires and insulaIndustry Europe 63

40 YEARS OLD: EXPERIENCE BRINGS POSITIVE FUTURE OUTLOOK A worldwide leader in sintered materials – such as electrical and mechanical carbon, brush holders and silicon carbide – this year Eurocarbo is celebrating its 40th birthday with excellent products, an outstanding service and competitive prices. Barbara Rossi talks to Mr Nello Tizzoni, the company’s sales director. 64 Industry Europe


urocarbo SpA is based in the Teramo area, in the central Italian region of Abruzzo. Here the company manufactures carbon/ graphite components for mechanical and electrical applications. The range of products is composed of brushes for electrical engines for industrial and consumer purposes, as well as brushes for the automotive sector. Examples of applications using electric engines for consumer purposes include residential automated gates and lifts. In terms of mechanical applications the company produces graphite components for pumps of various types, for the mechanical, chemical and oil and gas industries, as well as for pumps for domestic use (as in the case of residential boilers) and for the food sector (such as those used for espresso coffee machines and for dairy and chocolate production). Products for mechanical applications include rings, bearings and machined carbon. The company holds all

relevant certifications with regard to the food and water industries – including TIFQ, NSF and WRAS – as well as being ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certified. While partly owned by its management, the majority shareholder of the company is the Milan-based Vidoni family that owns various mechanical seal firms. Eurocarbo supplies the rest of the Roten Group, owned by the Vidoni family, with some of its products such as seal rings. Mr Tizzoni explains, “We are the only group in the mechanical seal sector that is able to produce carbon internally. We also supply advanced ceramic components, specifically silicon carbide, for special applications. “We have a well-equipped internal R&D department and for the past two years about 10 per cent of our annual turnover has been invested in this area, as well as in machinery and infrastructure (the Vidoni group’s annual turnover is €30 million). We

are continuously improving our eco products (products which contain no lead and metals) and have developed an all-carbon range.” Around 35 per cent of Eurocarbo’s turnover is generated by products for electrical applications, while the remainder comes from products for mechanical applications (with 5 per cent of this accounted for by products for special applications). Production takes place at a single site, which has recently been expanded, so that half of its 30,000m2 area is now occupied by covered facilities in which 130 people are employed. This leaves space for future expansion, which could indeed take place as the company is experiencing a growth trend.

Big and small Eurocarbo’s clients are pump manufacturers and companies supplying components to the oil sector, as well as firms engaged in Industry Europe 65

New building 2013

General view of factory

Investment 2013: new additional building, improved layout to implement lean production

repairs and maintenance. They include both multinationals and smaller companies. In the former category the company’s client lists include names such as the Wilo Group and the Grundfos Group for the mechanical/industrial sector; the Weir Group in the oil industry; Fluid Utec in the food pump field; Turkey based Vansan and Alarko, as well as India-based Saer, in the submersible pumps and agriculture sector. Meanwhile clients from the electrical/ automotive industry – for which Eurocarbo supplies pre-assembled brushes with holders, in addition to other components – includes the globally renowned company Bosch. Exports are very important for the company, generating 60 per cent of turnover. This mainly comes from western Europe – with Germany and France as the main markets – although there are also other potential markets and contacts in Asia. “We participate in the European version of Achema, the chemical sector trade fair, which takes place every three years. Last

May we also took part in Achema Asia, where our stand was very successful, as we are planning to focus much more on the important Chinese market. Italy nevertheless remains an important market for us. Export is even higher for components for electrical applications, where it reaches a 70 per cent share of turnover. This is mainly owing to the business we do with Bosch. We are very used to working in foreign markets and have skilled multilingual staff able to take care of our clients. “The expansion towards Asia is inevitable, as our clients have relocated much of their production there and we intend to carry on supplying them with our products. The group to which we belong already has a branch in China, near Shanghai, which we currently use as a base. We just intend to expand commercially in China, but have no plans for commencing production there. To start with, the distribution focus in China will be on semifinished products for mechanical applications. T.M.A. 2 S.r.l is located in the Valtesino di Grottammare industrial area, near Ascoli Piceno, about 2 km from the Grottammare motorway exit. The company was set up in 1985 by three partners, who had previous experience in the metalwork sector, both as employees and as partners of other companies. Our company is a high precision mechanical workshop specialised in: -

design and manufacturing of blanking and drawing dies; design and manufacturing of injection moulds for plastic materials; design and manufacturing of casting dies; manufacturing of dies for powders, carbons and sintered materials; manufacturing of mechanical components, industrial machines components and small pre-assembled sets.

66 Industry Europe

“I believe that, as well as having an efficient organisational structure, one of our strengths as a group, and as a company, is that for us carbon is still our core business, while some of our competitors no longer take this view. This makes us particularly committed to this sector, on which we rely and in which we are investing (as Roten Group, as well as Eurocarbo). With regard to pumps, replacing graphite with other materials is quite problematic, as possible replacement materials are too expensive, so I do believe that graphite will carry on being important in the future. ”

Positive outlook In terms of growth, Mr Tizzoni is keen to highlight how Eurocarbo aims to be a real partner for its customers. In addition to expanding into new markets, the company is planning to grow through the acquisition of new clients in existing markets, in Italy as well as abroad. “As well as our previously mentioned strong points, we also have an excellent relationship with our highly valued staff. I have to say that we work surrounded by a real family atmosphere. Of course, as a medium company based in Italy there are currently issues with banks with regard to getting financed, but we really believe that this situation will soon resolve. We are also lucky, insofar as we do not have cash flow problems, because our clients are very punctual with payments. My future outlook is therefore positive, as we are armed with products whose excellence is widely recognised, alongside offering an outstanding service and competitive prices. As the cherry on top of the cake we are also in a position to n make investments.”

CONTROLLING THE POWER The ETI Group has a strong production base in 13 countries across the world and branch offices in more than 60 countries. With a reputation as one of the leading producers in the field of fuses and an important niche player in the field of switchgear, the group is today a widely trusted company when it comes to the protection and safety of properties and their users. Vanja Švačko reports.


more than half a century’s long history, the ETI Group has managed to gain significant experience in innovating products and solutions for the protection of residential, commercial, industrial and power distribution installations. Established in 1950 in the central Slovenian city of Izlake, the company started making ceramic products, setting up its first electro-porcelain Bergman pipe in 1954. It took them only a decade to engage in the manufacturing of electrotechnical products and to become one of the first to offer safety fuses to its customers. What followed was the development of innovative products such as their first miniature circuit breaker. This initiated the compa-

ny’s shift towards an electrotechnical range of goods and the beginning of automation upon development of its first assembly line. Integration with the ceramic factory Svit Kamnik in 1981 shaped the form of future production and today this plant is one of the company’s main manufacturers of a large part of the technical ceramic range.

Expansion through subsidiaries Fifteen years ago ETI embarked upon a new plan of establishing subsidiaries. The first of these were ETI Proplast in Slovenia and ETI Polam in Poland. Today ETI has daughter companies in 11 European countries (such as the former Yugoslav republics, Ukraine, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania and Germany).

As well as establishing subsidiaries, ETI was also pursuing its expansion policy through various acquisitions, such as a plant in Hildburghausen for the manufacture of miniature circuit breakers and so on. Today the company has three production sites: apart from the ceramic manufacturer Kamnik, Trbovlje deals with special-purpose fuses, while the facility in Izlake, which is also the company’s headquarters, makes the whole range of products including switchgears, fuses and some of the technical ceramic items. Some of the subsidiaries have autonomous production (Bosnian ETI Sarajevo, Slovakian ETI Elb, Polish ETI Polam, German ETI De and Slovenian ETI Proplast) and are basically in charge of semi-finished

products and the assembly of goods for the Group or for their own needs. This additional manufacturing area consists of 31,154m2. ETI thus has a network of manufacturers, more than 1600 employees and a turnover of €95 million.

Product range The ETI Group specialises in a range of products in four main categories: electrotechnical products, technical ceramic

products, tools and equipment and specific plastic products. The first category offers solutions for residential, commercial and industrial installations, solutions for energy installations, protection of semiconductors, protection of photovoltaic systems and other renewable energy sources and special fuses. Within the category of technical ceramic goods the company makes electrotechnical ceramics, household appliances parts, products for the chemical industry

and so on. In the tool shop the assembly lines and tools are designed and manufactured for the main production.

Innovating success ETI’s constant dedication to research and improvement of its products within the frame of international standards has resulted in the company pioneering and innovating in almost all areas of its activities. It is a pioneer in the field of protection of photovoltaic

systems (protection on the AC and DC side of the plant). The company took part in this year’s Intersolar trade fair, showcasing the products and solutions from ETI Green Protect programme. It also has some new and challenging lines in PV system protection, as well as being aimed towards the mining industry (cylindrical fuse-links CH14 and NH DC HRC fuse-links). A new universal current-sensitive RCCBs EFI B type and B+ type provide fault and additional protection against direct or indirect contact of live parts, as well as fire protection

in the cases of the fire hazard exposure. Special features such as sensitivity to pure sinus residual current make these suitable for protection of various sites, vehicles and machine tools (frequency converters, charging stations for electric vehicles, UPS, computer data centres, electronic equipment on construction sites, test set-ups in laboratories and so on). ETI has also introduced a unique switchgear product, KZS 1M, with an outstanding feature combination of miniature circuit breaker and residual current circuit breaker. Because of its complex protective qualities, it

is highly recommended in premises such as hospitals and kindergartens. The company also innovates in the area of technology (switchgear and fuses), with solutions being very often designed to meet customers’ specific requests.

Market strategy The political and economic crisis in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s brought about changes in the status and market orientation of ETI, which finally began to operate under the current name ETI Elektroelement d.d.

Although Germany is its largest market, ETI’s presence in eastern European markets is clearly visible in growing revenues. While in that part of the Europe, as well as in Slovenia and Balkans, the company is selling its products under its well-known ETI brand, in western Europe the company still operates through OEM partners and sells only specific items on demand. As its presence in the European markets continues to grow, the company is looking forward to expanding to the Asian market as well. In the last few years ETI has made pivotal investments in ecological projects (including a wastewater treatment plant in Izlake) and has introduced modern organisational principles of mass production. All these developments make ETI a reliable partner with a plan to combine partnership with wholesalers and active technical support to users. The company will continue to enlarge the range of its products in addition to strengthening its brand, while n expanding more towards the east. Visit:

Development centre RC eNeM – New Materials Ltd. • Podvine 36, 1410 Zagorje ob Savi Tel.: +386(0)35660524 • E-Mail: • Web:

Developing new materials in the area of: • • • • •

Ceramic materials and fuses Nano materials Nano materials in glass industry Advanced electronic assemblies SPD - Surge Protection Devices in advanced networks

• New materials and energy from the process of generating electricity • New materials for selective laser sintering • Switching equipment • Nano varistor

Metaloplastika was founded in 1960. Production program is quits diversified, but can be classified in a few basic categories: • Contact knives needed in the production of low-voltage fuses and knife fuses • Electro-installation material • Electro-contact components for switches, extension cords, plugs • Valves for bottles of LPG and pressure regulators • Products for the water industry (nuts, connectors, fittings, caps, inserts,…)

METALOPLASTIKA a.d. Zlatiborska 48 31310 Čajetina SERBIA

T. +381 31 831 570 F. +381 31 831 386 E.

72 Industry Europe

OPTIMISING OVERHEAD CONDUCTIVITY Lumpi-Berndorf is a technology leader in the development and manufacture of overhead conductors as well as aluminium-clad steel wires. Philip Yorke talked to Rainer Puerzelmayer, the company’s general manager, and Norbert Hadinger, its managing director, about the company’s latest ingenious contribution to optimising electricity load flows, and about the consolidation of its three primary manufacturing facilities.


2005 there was a fusion between two of Austria’s leading wire and conductor companies; the result has been the birth of a dynamic and visionary company that is not only introducing innovative new products but capturing the imagination and attention of leading utilities and contractors worldwide. Today, Lumpi-Berndorf is jointly managed by two leading experts in the field, Rainer Puerzelmayer and Norbert Hadinger, who between them have brought an unparalleled wealth of expertise, experience and know-how to the new company. The merger between Lumpi and Berndorf in 2005 was a strategic success and created fertile ground for the development of new products as well as a renewed commitment to providing the best products and services possible in a highly competitive energy marketplace. The increased production facilities also created greater freedom regarding project-related contracts, and a combined network of global contacts boosted access to export markets. Today the company is headquartered at Linz, whereas the factory in Berndorf has been

producing aluminium-clad steel wires since 1970. It currently supplies more than 4000 tonnes of high tensile, aluminium coated steel wires every year as well as around 10,000 tonnes of overhead conductors, which is expected to increase to 15,000 tonness in the next two years.

Keeping data and electricity flowing The special solutions developed by LumpiBerndorf are designed specifically for the needs of individual customers, and provide special constructions for the economical and flexible uprating of existing overhead lines. Over the last few decades, there have been major increases in the demand for energy, which has led to the liberalisation of the market and to an increased demand in loadflows. Enhanced distribution and improved transmission performances are therefore considered top priorities today. Lumpi-Berndorf has answered this challenge with a number of innovative options for the economical uprating of existing overhead lines. Mr Hadinger said, “Because the demand for energy increases significantly year on year

and governments require 10 –15 years to pass the legislation required for the erection of new power towers and lines, optimising existing infrastructure is the only way forward. There is huge demand for the reconstruction of energy networks all over Europe. In Austria alone, more than €8 billion has been allocated to meet existing demands and this figure can be multiplied by a factor of 20 for bigger countries such as Germany. Rainer Puerzelmayer added, “In response to this energy supply crisis we have developed conductors that can transmit double the current overhead loads but can still be used on existing grids. We call these our HTLS (high temperature low sag) conductors. These high temperature conductors for high voltage lines are available along with a range of other special conductors to address the technical problems facing the power transmission industry today. Our very latest HTLS conductor significantly reduces the ‘corona effect’ and is more environmentally friendly than any other existing conductors today. There are many other benefits which I am unable to mention at this stage, but suffice to say that

this ground-breaking new conductor, which has been developed entirely in-house, offers some exciting, cutting-edge technology and will be available early in 2014” Conductors with optical fibres also form part of Lumpi-Berndorf’s high-technology product portfolio. OPGW/OPPC are considered the ideal combination for energy and data transmission whilst also offering an optimal protection function. Comprehensive test data is available on all products from

74 Industry Europe

the company and it documents the high quality and reliability of all products developed and produced by Lumpi-Berndorf.

Consolidation of advanced production processes As a result of the merger in 2005, LumpiBerndorf has two main production facilities in Austria: one in Berndorf and one in Linz. In 2012, the company acquired a leading Norwegian overhead conductor manufac-

turer called Horten Aluminium Conductors (HAC), which not only provided increased capacity, but also extended the company’s influence in the Nordic and Northern European markets. This was in addition to introducing new customers to the company. In a move to streamline production and exploit the potential economies of scale, LumpiBerndorf is consolidating its production activities and moving most HAC manufacturing lines to their site at Berndorf.

INOTAL Aluminium is a Hungarian producer of aluminium semis serving its customers with a flexible production system allowing short lead times and having possibilities for small production lots in the following product groups: Wire rods in alloys: 1xxx, 4xxx, 5xxx, 6xxx in diameters 9,5 - 18,5 mm. Drawn wires in alloys: 1xxx, 5xxx, 6xxx in diameters 0,2 - 10 mm. Narrow strips in alloys 1xxx, 3xxx, 8xxx with thickness 0,2 - 2,0 mm and width up to 350 mm. Slugs in composition: 1xxx and 3xxx with thickness 3-9 mm, diam. 13-76 mm. Inotal is installing a new 30.000 ton/year capacity properzi line for increasing its reliability and further improving its rod quality. The building of the new hall has already started in 2012, the machine has been produced by the Italian Continuus Properzi and is expected to start production at the end of 2013. Inotal has been a supplier of aluminium wire rods and drawn wires to Lumpi-Berndorf for more than a decade.

Mr Puerzelmayer commented, “The plan is to enhance our production facilities and capabilities through a controlled shut-down of our plants in Norway and to bring production facilities to Berndorf. The Norwegian company, HAC was acquired at the end of 2012 and will give us better access to the Nordic market. “Around 50 per cent of this new production capability will be transferred to Berndorf later this year and the remainder in 2014. At the end of this consolidation period Lumpi-Berndorf will be more efficient, more capable and able to offer our customers the best R&D and production facilities.

“Our main customers are the big utilities (such as EON, APG) and their sub contractors and we are looking at expanding our geographical reach, particularly in the Middle East where we are already quite well represented. Another focus for export growth is our expansion in the Nordic region where we are already serving big multinational companies such as Ericsson, thanks to our recent acquisition there.” Together with a wide range of standard overhead conductors and an enviable, dedicated custom-made service, Lumpi-Berndorf n is capable of meeting any challenge.

Supplying Europe with

Aluminium Rod

since 1990.

Contact: | Phone: +44 (0)208 768 2290


photo credit: Networkrail

World-famous technology brand Panasonic is playing a key role in the development and provision of greener energy, thanks to its Eco Solutions division. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to business developer Daniel Roca to find out more.


ith nearly 40 years of research and development into solar modules under its belt, Panasonic has an extensive knowledge in what is seen by many as a modern solution to providing sustainable energy. In 1975, global technology giant SANYO started its research and development programme into amorphous silicon solar cells, with this division becoming part of Panasonic in 2011 and taking the name Panasonic Eco Solutions Energy Management Europe (PESEMEU) in 2012. Today, PESEMEU is able to provide one of the key elements of sustainable energy solutions – solar photovoltaic solar modules using their unique HIT solar cells. Known as one of the best solutions for saving energy thanks to its very high efficiency and excellent real-condition performance capability, HIT PV is set to play an important role in the distributive energy mix of the future. Business developer Daniel Roca told Industry Europe how PESEMEU is leading the way in this rapidly developing field. He said, “PV technology is increasingly important and, as an experienced player in the PV industry, we are able to really add value to the PV market. Here at Panasonic we are very excited about the future of the PV market because PV in a grid parity situation has been at the centre of our strategy for

decades. Our experts can see the incredible potential of solutions combining PV and other consumer, managing and storing devices to locally generate and consume electricity, relieving the electricity grid and securing a high level of comfort while at the same time respecting the environment and contributing to significant long-term cost savings on the energy bill.

Understanding Europe PESEMEU is primarily focused on the consumer PV market. Mr Roca continued, “Of course, there is great potential for the PV market across sectors, from large-scale corporate projects to urban property development projects, but our particular focus is the European domestic sector. Our core aim is to help private property owners to reduce their energy bills by installing a PV-based solution.” Working to a classic business model with distributors across its active markets throughout Europe, PESEMEU particularly supports its network of registered premium installers in all key markets. Providing suitable training, marketing support and other relevant factors, the company has a clear route-to-market due to its excellent long-term relationships with its distributors and installers. This ensures that its PV solutions are both installed and maintained with optimum

Industry Europe 77

photo credit: Solarcentury

efficiency, which results in higher levels of sustainability and customer satisfaction. Mr Roca added, “It is important to mention that we currently are a pure PV-component business; we only sell PV modules.” However, Mr Roca continued, “The reason we adopted the name Panasonic Eco Solutions in 2012 is that we plan to move on to offer complete solutions. Not only is this more effective for final customers, but it also means that we can more closely manage our offer. Our goal for the very near future is to move from a components-only business to a complete solutions business, and we are already in the process of preparing to make this happen.”

Growth through added value This added-value strategy that will characterise PESEMEU’s next few years is in perfect balance with the ever-changing demands of the PV industry. Mr Roca pointed out that information regarding real-time own consumption of energy is increasingly sought by domestic consumers in particular. He said, “People want to know

78 Industry Europe

how and when they’re using energy; when they can use their own generated power and how they can manage their consumption to increase their autarky. They realise that feeding into the grid becomes less and less attractive and are excited about the idea of self-sufficiency, or getting close to that. There are a lot of complex issues but, as we have such a long history in PV innovation and development, we are perfectly positioned to optimise the opportunities that go along with solving these issues.” PESEMEU’s strategy will continue to see it focus on the European domestic market, with particular opportunities identified in the stable market of the Netherlands. It also intends to re-energise its previously-strong market Germany and Italy. Mr Roca concluded, “There are a number of important legislative changes coming into force in various active and nonactive European markets, mostly connected to subsidies that will make installing PV solutions more appealing for consumers and small businesses. We are closely monitoring these changes to ensure that we maintain our strong n position in the future.”

FIRST ON THE GRID Woodward Kempen is a global leader in the design and manufacture of wind turbine converters for onshore and offshore applications. Philip Yorke talked to Ludger Rupp, the company’s global sales director, about its modular power converter systems and growth in the offshore renewable energy market.


oodward Kempen specialises in the development of renewable power systems (RPS) and is a global leader in the development and manufacture of modular wind power converter technology. The company forms an integral part of Woodward Inc., which was founded in 1870 in Colorado, USA and specialises in the development of integrated technologies for the aerospace and energy industries. Today Woodward’s growth is driven by its commitment to meeting the increasing demand for fuel-efficient, low-emission and highperformance energy management systems. With multiple global locations, Woodward is able to respond quickly to changing market needs by providing optimised solutions tailored to the local demands of its customers. The company is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York and employs

more than 6000 people worldwide. In 2012 Woodward Inc. recorded sales of approximately €2 billion.

Optimised power generation systems Woodward’s expertise in the development and manufacture of renewable energy wind converters is underscored by its established track record. The company provides innovative, tailor-made solutions worldwide and has supplied more than 11,000 wind turbine systems for both onshore and offshore applications. Woodward offers a broad portfolio of products including low and medium voltage, doubly fed (DFIG) and full size converter technology. The company’s latest flagship Concycle® medium voltage converter has been especially designed for operation in offshore wind turbines and provides optimal, high-performance results based upon many

years of experience in offshore converter technology. Woodward also produces low voltage DFIG converters and full-size solutions for permanent magnet generators, which deliver optimal reliability and quality in a power-generating system, designed for variable speed wind turbines. The intelligent control of its Concycle® wind converters complies fully with all international grid code requirements. Woodward is a also technology leader in the field of solar energy solutions and its 1000V solar inverters offer efficiencies of about 98 per cent and a wide, maximum power point tracking (MPPT) that improves energy yield while offering one of the smallest CO2 footprints on the market. Additionally, Woodward offers power electronics solutions for power distribution, energy storage and marine propulsion applications.

Industry Europe 79

80 Industry Europe

Fideltronik is the biggest Polish and leading Electronic Solutions Provider in Central Europe offering Customers End-to-End services. For over 27 years we have been building a company which understands and satisfies customers’ needs, by establishing long term relationship and offering highest quality and flexibility. Fideltronik has been set up in 1986 when its current CEO, Mr. Zbigniew Fidelus, started to design and manufacture measurement systems. The next milestone was the implementation of EMS services in 1995. From the beginning our goal was to offer not only electronics and mechanical assembly, but also complex support on all stages of the product lifecycle, like: concept, development, industrialization, NPI, mass manufacturing, value engineering, after market service and phase out. The Important milestone in 2006 was a Contract signoff with Woodward Kempen manufacturing site. Currently Woodward has reaffirmed its well-established position as one of the Fideltronik’s TOP3 clients. The performance contributed Fideltronik being ranked as a strategic and long term supplier to Woodward. Currently, Fideltronik provide a wide spectrum of electronic products to customers all over the world for the industrial, lighting, telecom, automotive and consumer sectors, with the full range from high-mix/low-volume assemblies up to high volume manufacturing. We offer highest flexibility that adjusts to fluctuations in volume demands, cost targets and delivery requirements. A manufacturing process is fully managed according to Lean Manufacturing Methodology. Manufacturing facilities are fully supported by engineering and logistics resources, enabling a fast ramp from prototype to volume production. Our big advantage is own Research & Development office employing 40 engineers and Test&Tooling Unit designing and building testers and specialized production tools. Years of experience as the biggest Polish Electronic Solutions Provider enabled us to develop and offer specialized IT services: • Software Development – specialized in business applications, rich experience in ERP/MES/PLM systems. Agile. • Component Engineering – professional services for component management. Commercial and Technical information. Obsolescence monitoring. BOM cleansing. Mechanical modelling. 3D Constructions. • Business Software Implementation and Consulting - focused on Oracle Applications. Our dynamic crew includes the most talented, creative and highly educated employees coordinated by strong and stable management board, supported by an experienced engineering team what guarantees continuous growth and defines highest standards. Strategic growth plan is to reach the level of 250M EUR of yearly turnover by the year 2017, what will be possible with the intended acquisition, new production hall of 10 000sqm scheduled to be opened by 2015 and dynamic expansion of high added value services: HW and SW design, engineering, software development and testers building, maintaining the stable increase of the EMS services. For further information about Fideltronik please visit: or personally visit our company.

No. of employees: No. of engineers: Yearly revenue: Manufacturing sites in Poland: Manufacturing space: Number of final products: Number of component managed: Number of products shipped yearly: Integrated ERP system - Oracle eBS

1,500 150 140,000,000 EUR 5 30,000 sqm 3,000 items 30,000 items 12,000,000 pcs

Mr Rupp said, “We were one of the early pioneers when we entered the renewable energy market in 1995, producing IGBT frequency converters for wind turbines based upon the new requirements of the upcoming market. We had specific requirements to meet from the big energy providers such as Eon, and we supplied OEM manufacturers with converters rated up to 6MW. Now in offshore applications we are talking about wind installations that produce 6–10 megawatts of power and the demand for reliability and power quality continues to increase.” “Initially it was the European market that was driving the industry but this is now a mature market and the main drivers for growth today are the emerging markets such as China, South Africa, India and South America, and in particular Brazil. Our wind turbine converters provide the gateway between the wind turbine and the grid itself and these

82 Industry Europe

world-class products control the electrical output of the wind turbine.” Mr Rupp added, “Our extensive facility here in Kempen, Germany, is the global hub for our offshore applications worldwide and it is here that we specialise in the bigger output converters of 3MW and over. Offshore applications represent the biggest growth opportunity for us and we design our converters to meet the toughest and harshest conditions experienced at sea. Therefore reliability is of utmost importance to operators because servicing offshore installations is a very costly business, both in terms of maintenance and in respect of the revenues lost through an interruption in supply. However, in any event we do offer an unparalleled after-sales and technical support service worldwide and we also work closely with our customers to develop the optimal product to suit their specific requirements. “In addition to our wind turbine converters, we also manufacture energy storage converters, solar inverters and shore power and dynamic positioning inverters. As an independent supplier we offer flexibility with our products and we are innovative in our approach to product development and customer service. It is also important to remember that we are a truly global organisation and can therefore provide

a tailor-made, local service wherever a wind turbine installation may be required anywhere in the world.”

Innovative, modular platforms Woodward’s Concycle® wind converters set the standards when it comes to reliability, efficiency and innovative technology. This is especially true of the company’s compact, modular MP1 platform. This cutting-edge compact converter is well established in both onshore and offshore wind turbines and is being constantly updated to comply with the latest international grid code legislation requirements. As a customer-orientated and flexible partner, Woodward also offers a local tender solution in countries where it is necessary for local suppliers to produce a certain percentage of the sustainable value chain. This is often required where a special tender consortium is involved like Brazil. Based upon the individual technology licence contract and the industrial property rights, Woodward is able to provide the appropriate critical elements of the overall project. n For further information about Woodward’s latest wind turbine converters and services visit:

Industry Europe 83

EXPERTS IN AUTOMATION AZO GmbH & Co. KG designs and produces machines for the automatic handling of bulk goods and powders. AZO’s systems for automated raw material handling are used in the food sector, in the plastics and pharmaceutical industries and by manufacturers of chemical and cleaning products.

84 Industry Europe


ood and pharmaceutical companies rely on AZO’s machines to ensure the efficiency of their production processes. Within the production process, the equipment that AZO supplies covers many different functions, including screening, conveying, dosing and weighing. When bulk goods are delivered to a factory, AZO’s machines are used to screen out contaminants. On the factory floor, AZO’s suction weighing systems transport bulk quantities to a predetermined point in the process and precisely weigh the ingredients that have to be added to the recipe. To meet the needs of its customers in various industry sectors, AZO is organised into four different divisions: AZO Food, AZO Vital (which serves the pharmaceutical industry), AZO Chem and AZO Poly (for plastics manufacturers). What happens inside a chocolate factory or a pharmaceutical plant is a complex business where a one-size-fits-all approach cannot succeed. For this reason, AZO works

in close cooperation with its clients, giving them carefully considered advice on the best way to automate their processes. “We produce systems that provide reliable automation for production processes,” stated a company spokesperson. “Most of them are tailor-made for our customers.”

A tradition of innovation AZO, based in the German town of Osterburken, is a family company, established in 1949 by Adolf Zimmermann and his wife, Marianne. AZO’s original headquarters were an old sheep shed but the firm now employs over 900 people. The breakthrough came when Adolf Zimmermann created a flour-sieving machine for the bread-making industry, released onto the market in 1952. This pyramidal graincleaning machine was the forerunner of a concept, the cyclone screener, that AZO still sells today. The cyclone screener is a kind of automatic, industrial-sized sieve that can be

used as part of a continuous production process. When powder is thrown against a screen, fine particles are small enough to pass through it, while unwanted, coarse particles like contaminants or agglomerates are too big to get through the screen fabric and are discharged. “The cyclone screener is still a top-selling product,” said the spokesperson. “It is used as part of a system for quality control of ingredients.” As early as the 1980s, AZO saw the potential of information technology, which enables an industrial process to be controlled from a computer screen. AZO’s subsidiary company, hsh-systeme for process-IT, installs computer systems on production lines to support such tasks as manual weighing and batch tracking. “Computer controls are essential for handling automated processes. They are especially valuable for track-and-trace purposes, where a large amount of data has to be collected.” In the event of a problem at a food factory,

Industry Europe 85

86 Industry Europe

AZO’s Kastor software package, which precisely documents product quantities, will identify the contaminated batch, ensuring that any affected customers can be warned as early as possible.

ShuttleDos AZO’s ShuttleDos system for super-fast batch automation was developed by the company in 2005 and is proving very popular with customers. “We have continued to develop this concept, which has attracted a lot of interest in the market, particularly over the last couple of years,” the spokesperson explained. “The ShuttleDos system’s main advantages are high throughput, lower dust levels and superior hygiene. The ShuttleDos system is especially suited to applications in the food sector, but it could be installed for customers of any one of our four divisions. “Each recipe will have a dedicated container. During the production process, the shuttle system moves the containers from one dosing station to the next. By moving the con-

tainer within the production system, the shuttle makes it possible to bring in more containers for weighing and dosing. Previously, the weighing scale caused a bottleneck because it had to go through the whole system. With the ShuttleDos system, the containers move around, and instead of the travelling scale, there is a fixed scale under each container.”

the food sector will require new production capacity. In international markets, nothing is guaranteed, so incoming raw materials must be checked to prevent contamination. Asian consumers now attach more importance to food quality. Automation and track-and-trace technology will be needed in order to satisfy n their expectations.”

Asian markets Demand for AZO’s services is growing. In 2010, the company built a new production hall in order to increase capacity. The source of the demand is global. Outside Germany, AZO has sales companies not only in Europe but also in emerging economies like China and Thailand. The company spokesperson believes that Asian countries represent a big potential market for AZO. “People in Thailand are looking for a higher quality of life, with people becoming more concerned about food quality. Indonesia is another big market with great potential. The growth in the Asian population means that Industry Europe 87

SMOOTH OPERATOR Eton Systems is the global leader in the design and manufacture of overhead conveyor systems. This innovative company is continuing to broaden the technology gap between itself and its competitors. Recently the company launched a new family of products for handling sensitive surface products as well as an advanced range of control devices that are web-connected for greater flexibility and smoother operation. Philip Yorke reports.


ton Systems was founded in Sweden in 1967 and evolved from Eton Fashion, a Swedish company that had been making shirts since 1928. As the company grew, it became aware of the benefits of streamlining its production processes in order to minimise down-time and achieve greater production

efficiency. This led to the founding of Eton Systems, the world’s first unit production system (UPS), which was inspired by Inge Davidson, a technician and co-owner of the Eton shirt factory. Davidson had fine-tuned the company’s production processes but this was not enough, so he designed an ingenious hanging

conveyer system that didn’t take up valuable floor space and required minimal adaptation to fit to existing machines. Like most great inventions, his system was simple, effective and quite unique, and as a result, workstation operators could focus on sewing garments without wasting

time on handling bundles of unfinished garments. Therefore, not only did productivity greatly improve, but production could now be planned and controlled down to the finest detail. Today, there are more than 4000 Eton systems installed in over 60 countries worldwide and operating in a variety of manufacturing industries that range from apparel and home textiles, to furniture and the automotive industries.

Flexible productivity improves handling Eton’s ‘Flexible Productivity Concept’ (FPC) is based on two distinct system platforms and provides a wide array of flexible system tools that allows the UPS to be optimised for maximum customer profitability. The company’s systems provide highly efficient

solutions which are perfectly suited to an individual customer’s specific operations and requirements. Peter Garnbratt, Eton Systems’ sales manager, said, “As technology leaders in our field we offer unique solutions that will transport and store goods directly above the active production area to reduce all manual handling. This system takes out the handling of all pallets, pallet racks, forklifts and all heavy manual lifting. By reducing all handling operations and the equipment involved, we increase the active production area by between 50 per cent to 100 per cent. Furthermore, in addition to transportation, we can buffer and sequence the goods to be directed to all desired locations in the factory. The result is balanced bottlenecks and increased productivity in all parallel operations.

Mr Garnbatt added, “In addition to our new touch-screen terminals we are also launching a new product family for sensitive products. Through a new patented system we can buffer large or small items without the parts touching each other or getting soiled.This means we are now able to handle products that have sensitive surfaces and are produced in both clean-room and other sensitive environments. “Together with INCA Plast AB we developed a new clean product family. Reliable suppliers like Inca Plast that help us to constantly develop new material and functions are essential for our expansion. “We produce almost all our components in Europe to meet very high requirements and to be able to deliver the best quality and most reliable system for our customers.

Industry Europe 89

We work harder! Customer specific solutions in mould injection and extrusion of plastic profiles and pipes.

Bruksgatan 8, Box 63, 330 21 Reftele Tel/Fax: 0371-212 87 E-mail:


Your Complete Injection Molding Partner Inca Plast is a family-owned and managed injection molding company located in southern Sweden. Our mission is to be a complete partner when it comes to plastic products. We serve our customers with all processes concerning injection molding: From your idea to a distributed product. The company was founded in 1982 and the family’s experience of injection molding reaches back for three generations. We believe that strong and reliable relationships with our customers is the foundation for success. This strive, together with a highly automated production process, helps us to generate the highest value as possible for our customers. Besides injection molding, we serve our customers with assembling, pad printing and distribution. is a very reliable supplier that always deliver high quality. Inca produce some of our most “Inca technical and qualified products in a cost efficient production setup.

Peter Garnbratt, Sales and Commercial Director, Eton Systems

Inca Plast AB, Box 9, S-330 33 Hillerstorp, Sweden | Tel: +46 (0)370-228 45 | E-mail:

“We focus on many different industry sectors. Today our main focus is on vehicles, plastic, filters, painting, assembly and furniture. For example, in furniture, we have a big advantage by being able to handle both hard and soft material in an effective and efficient way. We have a weight limitation of 12kg, but we are still able to handle the part of the production chain where we can meet the weight limitation. We can then work with our partners who help us to handle the product when it is too heavy for us.”

New terminals offer optimal efficiency In February 2013 the company launched two new ground-breaking products, the first a smart touch-screen terminal application and the ‘Eton Standard Apparel’, a new, significantly improved light system developed especially for high volume production operations.

With the emerging economies of China, India and Brazil, the main thrust is on system optimisation and the adoption of high-end technologies to achieve optimal productivity levels. The new touch-screen terminal from Eton Systems can be used on smart phones and tablets and complements Eton’s existing systems. In keeping with Davidson’s concept of innovation combined with simplicity of operation, this latest product offers an everyday tool for operators that increases both their efficiency and their monitoring accuracy. Another major advantage of the terminal application is its mobility. Users can monitor and control production efficiency wherever they are, and it is also designed to be used at all workstations. As a result of its early success, Eton is looking to expand its areas of use to include production managers, thus opening up a new multimedia platform.

This could include the uploading of pictures or movie clips to provide instructions and to offer practical demonstrations to operators. The second product launch in February involved a new concept for large volume production that enhances production capacity per square metre of floor space. This is called the ‘Eton Standard Apparel’ concept. This offers an advanced production tool designed to streamline production line processes that also means greater cost-effectiveness throughout the production cycle. This unique system includes structured, module-based software with standard modules, bundle tracking modules and optional network modules with hardware systems for loading, production n control and optional bundle tracking. For further details of Eton Systems’ latest conveyer solutions and services visit:

STRENGTH IN STEEL Acciaieria Arvedi SpA is an Italian company specialising in steel production. Part of the Arvedi Group, its success is built on a continuous series of technological investments which have revolutionised the process of steel production. Industry Europe looks at the latest from the company.


ince being founded in 1992, Acciaieria Arvedi has produced over 20 million tonnes of steel at its plant in Cremona, northern Italy. Overseen by Group President Giovanni Arvedi, the company’s early success was founded on the use of its patented ISP line (in-line strip production) at its casting and rolling plant, which became the world’s second mini-mill for flat-rolled steel production. In 2009, the company took another groundbreaking step with the establishment of a second plant dedicated to Arvedi’s new ESP (endless strip production) technology, which connects casting and rolling in a fully continuous process. Through a constant drive to break down technological barriers and tireless research, Acciaieria Arvedi currently has a wide European market presence and

represents approximately 60 per cent of the Arvedi Group’s entire annual turnover. It has also been expanding elsewhere: for example, in December 2012 it invested in the production of tubes for special applications in the Brazilian market.

Key to success In order to maintain its success, Arvedi had adopted a continuous investment policy since the very beginning. Since its establishment, there has been a succession of investments covering a range of projects, from the construction of its first plant in Cremona to the recent implementation of an electric oven. In April 2011, it produced the first 0.8mm hot rolled coil with a table width of 1500mm using its own ESP technology. The ESP line has allowed Arvedi to develop

products of the highest quality while reducing strip thickness. Arvedi’s success can also be attributed to its ability to successfully monitor market trends. Having exclusively served the steel tube sector for its first five years, in 1997 it moved on to a broader range of highvalue sectors such as the automotive and construction industries. According to a company spokesperson, Arvedi’s success is also driven by its strong partnerships with its clients, based on agility and efficiency: “As a company, we pride ourselves on our ability to make decisions quickly in line with market demands whilst continuing to provide highquality products. In the past few years, we have successfully taken part in a number of joint projects within the steel industry. This can be credited to our ability to deal with

Industry Europe 93

GAP S.p.A. STEEL INDUSTRY SERVICES • A landmark in the steel industry for more than 60 years • 410 machineries and equipment • 170 employees Main activities: • Scrap Service • Slag Handling • Metal Recovery • Materials Handling • Logistics and Warehouse Management • Industrial Demolition • Industrial Cleaning • Design and Construction of Industrial Installations

Quality & Safety

GAP S.p.A.

Experience & Innovation

HEAD OFFICE: Via Carducci, 47 SOVERE - Italy Phone: +39 035 979292 • Fax: +39 035 982550 OPERATION OFFICE: Via della Volta, 183 BRESCIA - Italy Phone: +39 030 3532377 • Fax: +39 030 3469447 •

sudden market changes, especially during the volatile financial situation we have experienced in the past two years.”

Growth in numbers Today, Arvedi has an impressive and innovative product portfolio that includes black, pickled and galvanised coils. Production is tailored towards special steels (particularly high strength and dual phase), and thin and ultra-thin gauges, the last being especially profitable. In terms of marketing and communications, the company feels that the best way to successfully communicate with its customers is to let the product do the talking. “A high-quality product and a satisfied customer is the best form of marketing that we have. Also, in an age of

96 Industry Europe

growing depersonalisation, we still believe in the importance of personal relations. We are present at all major trade fairs so as to reinforce our brand. Our most recent appearance was at Made In Steel in Milan in April this year (2013).”

Bright future Having survived the recession through resilience and the support of its excellent reputation, Arvedi’s expansion looks set to continue, both in its traditional European market and also in the Middle East and North Africa. “Currently market trends are still quite volatile which means that we need to react quickly. Therefore, the key to our future lies in sharp decisiveness, product flexibility and competitive technology,” concludes the spokesperson. n

Industry Europe 97

PRECISE IN THEIR ACTIONS Swiss company Tornos specialises in the manufacture of machines designed to produce parts requiring extreme precision and quality.


ith a new subsidiary in Brazil and strengthened operations at its other bases, Tornos is looking to build its business in Europe and to achieve strong growth in the BRIC countries. This, according to vice-president and head of sales and marketing, Willi Nef, will come through the continued development of innovative machinery. “There is always a big demand in new markets for our machinery, and with our new equipment, particularly the MultiSwiss, we are seeing a lot of interest,” he says. “Because of this, growth in the future is likely to be organic but we also would not rule out expansion by acquisition if the opportunity was right.”

Innovative new products Tornos specialises in the manufacture of machines designed to produce parts requiring extreme precision and quality. The company 98 Industry Europe

has a worldwide sales and services network. It primarily manufactures CNC Swiss-type singlespindle turning machines for parts less than 38mm in diameter, multi-spindle machines with numerical or cam control for parts up to 34mm in diameter and machining centres for complex parts of 1 dm3 in volume, requiring high precision. At the Hanover Fair in September 2011, Tornos launched a range of new products. The Moutier-based company chose it as the arena to unveil no fewer than five world premieres, along with two new completely revolutionary product ranges – the MultiSwiss 6x14 and the Cyklos lines. “The MultiSwiss is a very compact, high production machine for small parts,” explains

Mr Nef. “There has been a very, very high level of interest for these unique machines and so we expect strong demand.” The MultiSwiss 6x14 machine provides a link between multi-spindle turning machines and Swiss-type single-spindle machines. Based on the ‘fully integrated’ concept and featuring innovative front access, this new machine is designed with three types of customer in mind: users of numerical multi-spindle turning machines; users of cam-operated machines and users of single-spindle turning machines.

User-friendly The numerically-controlled machine features new technologies and contains all the peripherals required for optimal operation, at a

lower price than any other CNC multi-spindle machine. It takes its name from the maximum bar passage diameter (14mm) multiplied by the number of spindles. The user-friendly MultiSwiss has been designed to offer maximum user comfort and is the first frontal machine available on the market in this size. It is also the first machine not to use Hirth gearing to lock the barrel. This classic system, well known to Tornos, has been successfully replaced with a torque motor. The quill type spindles are equipped with a hydrostatic bearing to guarantee excellent damping. In addition, the MultiSwiss 6x14 is the first multi-spindle turning machine on the market to offer an integrated peripheral concept.

Industry Europe 99

Göltenbodt tool holder for MultiSwiss – validated in the TORNOS standard program Based on a well-known column of GWS tools and incorporating cutting fluid management, the range of GWS tool holders for the MultiSwiss offers variable or 0-point positioning with optimal precision, repeatability and flexibility. These tool holders are the product of a collaboration between Tornos and Göltenbodt, to make the most of the expertise of each company.

Surface treatment Cyklos will be the first of a new kind of surface treatment machine. It is the first surface treatment machine that can be installed in a standard machine shop, avoiding transport cost and logistic difficulties. No waste or vapour will be outside the machine – all is collected for maximum environmental friendliness. Unlike a traditional process, which works using vertical immersion, the Cyklos works by rotating, thus guaranteeing superior quality. It was presented alongside the MultiSigma 8x28 Chucker machine. This machining solution allows Tornos to establish itself as a supplier of genuine solutions. The new concept allows its customers to make serious steps forward in how they organise the treatment of their large-volume parts. With Cyklos and MultiSigma, Tornos offers a real lean manufacturing solution.

Extensive range At EMO 2011, Tornos showed, for the first time the Delta 38/5 machine – its passport to the world of large diameters. This turning

machine offers great rigidity and high power as well as specific G900-type programming help macros. Now Tornos has the most extensive range of products in the world when it comes to Swiss-type automatic turning machines. Also presented was the Almac CU1007 machining centre. With its degreasing and cleaning cell, this enables parts to be fully machined, which means front and rear faces are machined on a single machine. The robot at the centre of the assembly enables the

part to be loaded and transferred between machines, and also manages the palletisation and cleaning of the part. The machining centre will be used to produce a brand new medical part. “All these machines are about improving efficiency and production levels for our customers,” says Mr Nef. “The MultiSwiss in particular is ideal for many companies as it is easy to access for set-up and because of its modularity allows quick changeover.” n

SMALL PARTS IN SPECIAL MATERIALS Bufab Lann is a technology leader in the manufacture of high precision ‘turned parts’ for a diverse range of industries. Philip Yorke talked to Örjan Frejd, the company’s sales manager, about its unrivalled production setup, speciality in unique steels such as Bumax Alloy within Bufab Group and its move into new markets.


ufab Lann is part of the Bufab Industrial Group of Sweden which is composed of over 30 companies worldwide. The group is a truly global concern employing around 700 people and, in 2012, it recorded sales of more than €210 million. Bufab Lann is an integral part of the Bufab Group and was founded in the 1940s as a small independent engineering workshop but quickly grew to become a major player in the Nordic markets. Today the company supplies more than 2000 tonnes of high-quality components every year to leading companies throughout the world. Bufab Lann develops unique compounds which are designed to meet each customer’s specific requirements and these are produced in house at a stateof-the-art plant in Varnamo, Sweden.

Bufab Lann is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of turned parts for a diverse range of industries and offers clients a one-stop-shop, following the production process from concept right through to the final application. It uses the most advanced machining methods to manufacture customised components in materials such as steel, brass, stainless steel and aluminium. The company produces small and medium size volumes on single spindle CNC lathes, and larger volumes on CNC controlled multi-spindle machines. For very large series

production runs the company utilises its world-class rotary transfer machines. Bufab Lann’s unique technical breadth and in-depth expertise makes it the partner of choice for many discerning companies worldwide.

Global commitment to quality and service Working in partnership with its customers to achieve the best possible outcomes has always been a priority at Bufab Lann along with an ongoing commitment to unparalleled precision and customer service. The

highest standards of quality and reliability are expected of all components involved in the manufacture of trucks, cars, ships and submarines and all of these are industry sectors served by Bufab Lann. Mr Frejd said, “The automotive sector remains our biggest single market, and Volvo features predominantly in this area, where we supply them with several specific machined components. We are unique in that we operate three different types of machine equipments at Varnamo, which range from small and low run CNC lathes to multi-spindle machines capable

Örjan Frejd, Sales Manager at Bufab Lann

of producing 10,000–100,000 items per run, and finally to round-table rotary transfer machines which are capable of producing millions of parts at remarkable speeds. “Outside of the automotive sector, we are also very active in segments such as hydraulics, pumps and motors and material handling. For instance, we produce hydraulic components, quick-release machined parts and parts for general industry where heat transfer specialists such as Alfa Laval can rely on us for a

wide range of vital components. However, we are also looking at new market sectors such as marine and renewable energy.” Mr Frejd added, “As part of the global Bufab Group we benefit from their vast resources and their logistics network, which means that we can serve our overseas customers in close proximity to their manufacturing facilities, whether they are located in Europe, China or America. Another major asset is our access to highly specialised

stainless steels which are well-known in the industry under the Bumax label and are unique to the Bufab Group of companies. This gives us, as well as our clients, a significant competitive edge. Unlike many of our competitors, we are able not only to supply a wide range of components but also to manage the whole value chain from start-up to just-in-time delivery anywhere in the world. “Another point that I would like to stress is that our customers get the same level of

expertise and input, regardless of whether they are small family-run companies or big multinationals. Furthermore, the same applies whether they require prototype runs of 500 items or series runs of millions. Unstinting quality is the theme that runs through everything that we do at Bufab Lann. As far as the future is concerned we will continue to grow with our clients organically, but Bufab also keep a weather-eye open for possible acquisitions, should the company with the right synergy present itself. “Like all Swedish companies we are very environmentally aware and do everything possible to minimise our carbon footprint. We are

certified to ISO 9001 as well as TS 16949 and for environmental considerations are also certified to ISO 14001, which is underscored by our exclusive and efficient special press. This ensures that every scrap of our waste material and cooling oil can be recycled. We have also invested in a further 2000m2 of state-ofthe-art production facilities and new washing equipment with additional cleanliness control equipment, which has boosted our capacity to machine precision parts for pumps, hydraulics and motors. “The investment of new washing machines takes us to a new level of cleanliness within upgraded fuel component requirements. The

act of improving lifetime and reducing friction in car engines will result in tougher demands in terms of cleanliness in the future. The washing equipment developed and sold by Teijo Viverk will give us 10 times cleaner parts. “All our products are tailor-made to meet our customer’s individual specifications: this, combined with the huge supply of fasteners and standard components within the Bufab Group, is yet another reason why we are different from our competitors and able to provide such a n high level of customer service.” For further information about Bufab Lann’s range of high-tech products and services visit:

Industry Europe 105

SUSTAINABILITY IN HIGH PERFORMANCE FIBREBASED MATERIALS Long-established manufacturer of high performance fibre-based materials, Ahlstrom, is focused on sustainability, economic, social and environmental. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Anna Wessman, Ahlstrom’s vice-president of sustainability, to learn more.

106 Industry Europe

Industry Europe 107

High Quality Waterborne Binders and Additives for Nonwoven, Paper & Board and Coatings Industries


stablished in Finland in 1851, Ahlstrom has evolved from a diversified conglomerate into a focused specialist. Its core activities are dedicated to the manufacture of high-performance fibre-based materials, speciality nonwovens and papers, from natural and synthetic fibres. The company supplies these materials to industrial customers for further processing, with applications across a range of industries including construction, automotive, healthcare, food and beverages, energy and water. Ahlstrom has four key business areas, Advanced Filtration, Building and Energy,

Food and Medical and Transportation Filtration all offering value added fibre-based materials to their customers. It enjoys a wide customer base; none of Ahlstrom’s customers have a dominating position, with its ten biggest customers constituting just 20 per cent of net sales. This gives the company a very strong, well-balanced position across market segments and has proved to be a profitable strategy during the economic downturn. In 2012, Ahlstrom employed over 5000 people worldwide and its net sales amounted to approximately €1.6 billion. This year after the

Label and Processing business area demerger the sales are some €1 billion with over 3800 employees. With operations in more than 20 countries on six continents, it truly is a worldwide company.

Green and global Recognising the global megatrends of environmental awareness, resource scarcity and demographics and urbanisation, its unique expertise in fibres, chemistry and materials technology enable Ahlstrom to create products with sustainability as a driver.

Canfor Pulp, Sustainable and Innova ve Products FURTHER ENHANCING SECTOR LEADERSHIP Canfor Pulp produces pulp and paper products from some of the best managed forests in the world. We believe forest products have a vital role to play in building a green economy - wood is the only natural and renewable source for building and packaging products, products that contribute to the fight against global warming by con nuing to store carbon throughout their service life and beyond. Our pulp mills have reduced the intensity of their carbon dioxide emissions levels by 57% since 1990. We demonstrate our commitment to sustainability by caring for the forests and minimizing waste at every step. Le over wood chips from sawmills are used to make our pulp and paper. Bark chips and sawdust are used to generate green energy that helps our mills run cleanly and efficiently. Almost every hectare of the woodlands we source from is third-party cer fied under interna onally recognized standards for sustainable forest management, and we pride ourselves on the rela onships we’ve built with communi es and environmental groups. We believe in more value less impact. Canfor Pulp is unique among many suppliers of NBSK in that it maintains the Canfor Pulp Innova on laboratory, CPI. Prac cing open innova on, CPI maintains a unique network of contractors, suppliers and partners comprising world class consultants in LC refining and ssue, research organiza ons dedicated to the development of next genera on fibre measurement and fibre products, and University researchers. The annually awarded CPLP Grants Program is connec ng with world class researchers many of whom have not previously prac ced in pulp, paper and related areas. Maintaining an ac ve refined pulp quality database of mill performance and compe tor data available to customers through, posi ons CPI to ac vely support customers. Development of the world leading “Mihari” advanced fibre quality management project will deliver new and unique pulp proper es informa on to customers and set CPLP further apart from the compe on in terms of customer support. Focusing on end-uses our fibers are best suited for. Iden fying applica ons fibers have not been used for so far. Maintaining ac ve core competence in the cri cal area of LC refining as this is the technical intersec on between Canfor Pulp and our customers. Offering strong exper se and knowhow locally in the markets we operate in. It’s the kind of thinking that has sustained our forests, our products and our company since the 1930’s. Embracing new technologies and building on our commitment to world-leading forest management will keep us strong into the next century. From forest to customer, we’re the new green economy. Find out more at

Vice-president for sustainability, Anna Wessman, is dedicated to ensuring that the whole company works in as responsible a manner as possible, for the benefit of the environment, the business and its people, both employees and customers. Ms Wessman spoke to Industry Europe about how this is

being achieved. She said, “We have a leading market position in all the sectors where we are active and we have been established for over 160 years. With sustainability in mind, we make products that protect people, purify air and liquids and provide surface and structure to our customers’ products.

As all human activity has an impact on the environment, we only want to make products with purpose, such that are truly needed by people. With them we help our customers to achieve their own sustainability goals.” Economic responsibility at Ahlstrom is characterised by its responsible business

conduct. As a company, it observes the law of the host country, offers local job opportunities, pays local and national taxes and brings prosperity to the region. Ahlstrom’s social responsibility is also a natural part of how the company operates, with safety, taking care of employees and offering excellent training and personal development all central issues. Furthermore, the products with purpose are made in order to have a favourable social impact. Environmental responsibility is certainly an area where Ahlstrom shines. Passionate about both finding innovative ways to enhance its green performance and to minimise the environmental impact of its operations, Ahlstrom’s focus is throughout its entire process. Ms Wessman continued, “Our environmental responsibility programme starts in product development where 80 per

cent of the environmental impacts of products are determined. We are committed to EcoDesign. All our plants are environmentally certified. We only buy pulp from companies that are certified, so that we can guarantee that the whole of our value chain is committed to sustainability too.”

Identifying excellence Ahlstrom has identified five key performance indicators that support its sustainability programme and reflect its targets with regard to reduced environmental impact. Water intake, electrical efficiency, fuel energy, waste to landfill and CO2 emissions are all major areas of importance, with each area given substantial concentration. Ms Wessman pointed out, “We have set ourselves a zero waste to landfill target to be achieved by 2015.”

With 91 per cent of its fibre raw materials coming from renewable sources in 2012 and all its wood fibre suppliers having thirdparty certification in their forests, responsible sourcing and knowing the origin of the fibres is an important issue. Ahlstrom’s vision is to be inspiring people, passionate about new ideas and growing with customers. Ms Wessman added, “We are continually driven to create sustainable and profitable relationships with our customers. By offering competitively priced, value added products to our customers across the world we will continue to grow and succeed. As all of our products are developed and manufactured in as sustainable a manner as possible, our customers can work with us safe in the knowledge that we can positively contribute to their own sustainability aims n and help them stay ahead.”

ADVANCING BIOMETRIC SECURITY WORLDWIDE Morpho is a global leader in the development and manufacture of identification, detection and e-document solutions. The company has seen strong growth in its delivery of security systems to governments and national agencies, as well as to administrations dedicated to law enforcement and border control. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that is responsible for an increasing number of the world’s most advanced technologies and is number one in many of its high-tech disciplines.

112 Industry Europe


orpho is the clear market leader in security solutions worldwide and subsidiary of the giant Safron Group of the USA. The Safran Group’s three core businesses are: aerospace, defence and security. In 2012, the group recorded sales of over €13.6 billion and it currently employs more than 62,500 people. Today the security business is playing a major role in Safran’s future development. Morpho’s integrated security systems are already deployed in more than 100 countries worldwide and generate annual revenues of over €1.5 billion.

In addition, the company has more than 85 subsidiaries and branches covering all five continents and is supported by over 8100 employees across the globe. In order to maintain its high-profile leadership position, Morpho dedicates over 10 per cent of its turnover to cutting-edge research and development, which in 2012 amounted to more than €160 million.

Revolutionising biometric ID technology The advanced techniques used by Morpho in its core field of biometrics are being continuously enhanced to offer greater speed and

efficiency. This is applicable to all areas of identification including the processing of finger and palm prints, as well as in facial recognition, iris recognition and the combined uses of these multi-biometric disciplines. Morpho has been a pioneer in this field for 30 years and today leads the world in this vital technology sector. The company’s development of its precise and fast ‘automated fingerprint identification system’ (AFIS) is capable of millions of matches per second. In the fight against counterfeit fraud, Morpho’s EMV Pro-Digit technology embodies all the advantages of biom-

etric payment systems. This cutting-edge equipment brings significant advances and improvements in protection against counterfeit fraud, as well as offering greater user convenience and improved overall efficiency for card users. With Morpho’s biometric payment systems there are fewer possibilities for stealing pin codes of card holders, and it also offers more secure web services. Furthermore, biometric authentication guarantees maximum privacy, together with safe storage of personal information, because the user’s biometric data is kept confidential between the smart card and the biometric sensors. Today Morpho’s one-touch authentication via fingerprint reading revolutionises card security. In addition, users no longer need to worry about losing or forgetting PIN codes. With this system they are free to choose between biometric payment and payment per password or signature identification. This advanced biometric technology means reduced PIN code management and subsequently reduced costs for card issuers, since fewer customers are at risk of losing their cards. It is also worth noting that Morpho’s unrivalled expertise in biometrics is shared across the entire company through the merging and standardisation of scores,

management of large data bases, performance assessment of new arrivals and all the business associated with advanced biometric solutions. Between 2007 and 2008, the company filed for more than 40 worldwide patents, which clearly demonstrates how Morpho’s R&D teams are committed to keeping its technological expertise at the highest levels and to help it maintain strong command of its complete, integrated systems.

Enhancing global security In July this year, in Lyon, France, Morpho signed a partnership agreement to provide Interpol with a new range of innovative biometric solutions, as well as other technical support services to enhance global security. This partnership covers the supply of automated biometric identification systems to Interpol, as well as the provision of state-ofthe-art security systems for Interpol’s Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI). In addition, it involves further collaboration on the subject of border control security. Under this important five-year partnership, Morpho’s cutting-edge facial recognition technology will also be provided to Interpol as an additional criminal identification tool. Interpol Secretary General, Ronald K. Noble said, “The constant and fast-moving evolution in biomet-

ric technology means that private sector expertise and support through partnerships such as those with Morpho are essential. As criminals employ ever more sophisticated ways to avoid detection, so too must enforcement agencies benefit from the latest advances in technology, especially in biometrics.” Since 1999, Morpho has provided Interpol with its ‘automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS), enabling officers in all member countries to conduct checks and identify

internationally wanted persons via Interpol’s global network. Under this new partnership agreement, the current system will be replaced with Morpho’s latest generation of AFIS technology, which includes enhanced capabilities and offers even greater speed and efficiency. For further details about Morpho’s latest high technology security systems for both the private and government sectors visit: n

116 Industry Europe


COATINGS Oerlikon Balzers is the leading global provider of thin-film coatings to improve the performance and longevity of precision components and tools. Abigail Saltmarsh finds out more about its latest developments.


Roland Herb, the senior vice president and head of business line tools at Oerlikon Balzers, is in no doubt as to what keeps the leading global provider of thin-film coatings so successful: innovation. The company, which is a segment of the Switzerland-based Oerlikon Group, develops and manufactures coatings that significantly improve the performance and longevity of precision components and tools. “For us, innovation is a major pillar of any of our strategies,” he says. “Developing new technologies is essential for us if we wish to remain a leader and to ensure that we gain new markets.” “Along with the other keystones of our business model – to ensure we have customer proximity, a good global footprint and a presence in a wide range of industries – this is an important driver for us for the future.”

An expanding footprint Oerlikon Balzers’ coatings, marketed under the Balinit® brand name, are extremely thin and exceptionally hard. They significantly reduce friction and wear. The company also develops processes, manufactures and sells systems and production facilities, and offers contract coating services through a dynamically growing network. Under the technology brand ePD™, it develops integrated services and solutions for the metallisation of plastic parts with chrome effects. “We have 91 coating centres in 33 countries across Europe, the Americas and Asia – and this footprint is constantly expanding. Last year saw expansion in

Malaysia, India and China, and our plan now is to continue expansion in new countries in South East Asia and eastern Europe, as well as expanding capacity and strengthening our footprint in places such as Turkey and the USA.”

Diverse applications The company’s solutions are used in a broad range of applications in the automotive and machine industry, in food and packaging, medical technology and increasingly in aerospace. Leading tool manufacturers and automobile manufacturers are among Oerlikon Balzers’ customers. “We have over 20,000 customers around the world and process more than 200 million precision tools and components every year – these range from items as small as watch pins up to dies for entire car bodies,” says Dr Herb. The largest area of application for physical vapour deposition (PVD) hard material coatings is precision tools for metal cutting (drills and cutters), forming tools, plastics processing and metal die casting as well as low friction coatings for automotive applications. A relatively new but rapidly growing area of focus is the coating of precision components in order to reduce friction and improve durability. Other industries in which PVD hard material coatings are used include general machinery industries, the aircraft industry, motor racing and the medical and hygiene technology industry. PVD coatings are also being increasingly used in the luxury goods industry (watches, cell phones) – for aesthetics and practicality. Industry Europe 117

New technologies One major area of focus at the moment for Oerlikon Balzers is the industrialisation of S3p™ and ePD™ technologies. Both were launched in 2011 and are now set to propel the company into further growth. S3p™ – also referred to as ‘scalable pulsed power plasma’ – enables extremely smooth yet dense and hard coatings to be manufactured reliably and efficiently for the first time. The application potential for this technology is wide-ranging in a large number of fields.

118 Industry Europe

“Dense, hard and highly adhesive coatings, with a controlled microstructure, are extremely important for the coating of tools in order to increase productivity. For many years physical vapour deposition (PVD) – using arc evaporation technology – has proven able to deliver these properties, and for a decade researchers tried to combine this technology with the sputtering process to achieve extremely smooth surfaces,” explains Dr Franz, the regional executive manager for Europe of Oerlikon Balzers.

“Oerlikon Balzers has managed to overcome all of the limitations of the previous approaches and expanded the parameter range in several dimensions independently of one another. The technology is protected by multiple patent applications and is now ready for production.”

Greener options Following a pilot in Germany, the first ePD™ (embedded PVD for design parts) technology centre in the world was opened at the Suzhou

location, China. In contrast to traditional procedures, the low-emissions, eco-friendly ePD™ technology for the metallisation of plastic parts does not use any environmentally damaging materials, such as chromium VI. “ePD™ offers innovative functional features, such as radar-transparent metallisation for distance sensor systems, lightweight construction and a greater variety of design possibilities. Testing by major car manufacturers is underway and certification for use in high-volume production is expected during 2013,” says Dr Franz.

“We will continue to focus on innovation as we grow and, of course, our future strategies will increasingly involve environmental concerns. ePD™ is ecofriendly and as we grow our technologies, then products and solutions will become greener,” he says.

Continued growth Looking ahead, he says the company expects to see organic growth across all the industries in which it is involved but the medical and aerospace industries are likely to be par-

ticularly interesting. In France, it has recently opened a centre of competences, with a focus on aerospace applications. As the company grows, it will also continue to pursue its strategy of following its customers and the developing markets. “Our aim is to further strengthen our position as a leader, bringing new solutions in metallic and plastic-related applications and to develop our geographical footprint around the world,” says Dr Herb. “We plan to strengthen our existing markets through further innovation n and outstanding services.” Industry Europe 119


A AB Etiproducts Oy Alba Poludnie Polska Sp Z.o.o. Arauco Forest Products BV Automatdetaljer AB

H P 58 P 37 P 108 P 90

B BeBeX AB P 90 Biolink Gesellschaft fur P 45 Verbindungstechnologien mbH Bollerup Jensen AS P 59 Boxholm Stal AB P 104 BRT Corriere Espresso Inside back

C Canfor Pulp and Paper Europe CH-Polymers Oy

P 109 P 108

HS Umformtechnik GmbH

S P 86

I Inca Plast AB Inotal Plc Isovolta AG Izo-Blok SA

P 91 P 75 P 62 P 34

Dansk Elastomer AS Dau GmbH & Co. KG DMN-Westinghouse

Jing King Technology Holding Ltd P 115

E E. Bourgeois Euro Alloys Ltd

P 62 P 75

Kluber Lubrication Munchen SE & Co. KG Kovit Projekti d.o.o.

P 27

Fideltronik Figura Solutions Fina Cosimo Srl Fronius International GmbH

U UTi Logistics AB

P 90

V P 45

P 62 Watt Drive Antriebstechnik GmbH P 26 P 49

Z M Metaloplastika Moreschi Srl MPI Magneti Permanenti Industriali Srl

P 71 P 94 P 69

P 69

P Plamtex d.o.o. P 69 Promens Kolding P 58 Przedsiebiorstwo Impuls Sp z.o.o. P 37

G Gates Europe NV Inside front GfE Metalle und Materialien GmbH P 119 Gindre Duchavany SA P 62 Goltenbodt Technology GmbH P 100 Gruppo Piantoni P 95

P 66 P 104 P 32


Nabaltec AG P 81 P 111 P 31 P 119

T.M.A. 2 Srl Teijo Viverk Thermomess Srl





LM & P Srl P 55 P 80 P 86

P 78 P 58 Outside back



Sanel NV Schela Plast AS SRAM

Q QAD Netherlands BV

P 42

R RC Enem d.o.o. Redur Messwandler GmbH

P 71 P 80

ZEZ Silko sro Zinkteknik AB

P 82 P 90

Articles inside

A pioneer in coatings Oerlikon Balzers

pages 117-124

Advancing biometric security worldwide Morpho

pages 112-116

Sustainability in high performance fibre-based materials Ahlstrom

pages 106-111

Precise in their actions Tornos

pages 98-101

Small parts in special materials Bufab Lann

pages 102-105

Strength in steel Acciaieria Arvedi

pages 93-97

Smooth operator Eton Systems

pages 88-92

Experts in automation AZO

pages 84-87

First on the grid Woodward Kempen

pages 79-83

Optimising overhead conductivity Lumpi-Berndorf

pages 72-75

Controlling the power ETI Group

pages 67-71

Partnerships in power Koncar – Generators

pages 60-63

40 years old: Experience brings positive future outlook Eurocarbo

pages 64-66

Leaders in car exteriors Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior

pages 33-39

The green team Nopa Nordic

pages 56-59

Tuned concrete sleepers Abetong

pages 53-55

Keeping things moving Gates

pages 50-52

Innovative safety solutions ALT

pages 40-45

Diversity in metals ZML Industries

pages 46-49

Quality, sustainability, partnership SOL

pages 28-32

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

page 23

Focus on Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin

page 22

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 14-15

Linking up Combining strengths

pages 16-17

Moving on Relocations and expansions

page 18

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

pages 20-21

Industry people Appointments

page 19

Energy from the sea DCNS develops new technologies

pages 12-13
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.