Industry Europe – Issue 24.10

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VOLUME 24/10 – 2014

The world of European manufacturing






A bumpy start Jean-Claude Juncker and the art of staying cool.


would be fair to say that the new president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has not had an easy first week on the job. Facing, as he does, opposition from recalcitrant Brits – not to mention the furore surrounding the recent tax surcharges and controversy relating to his former position as prime minister of Luxembourg. The news that Brussels has ordered the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece and Cyprus to pay extra surcharges to the EU budget within weeks has already caused foot-stamping manifestations of outrage from British prime minister David Cameron. Britain’s own surcharge amounts to an extra £1.7 billion, apparently owing to its relative prosperity. (Even if said prosperity comes partly from factoring in illegal activities like drug trafficking and prostitution). “If people think I am paying that bill on 1 December, they have another think coming,” he stormed terrifyingly to an assembled crowd of reporters in Brussels – who we can only imagine were quaking. It is perhaps understandable that he feels under pressure to put on a good show of defiance – especially given his recent humiliation over his largely ignored opposition to Juncker’s appointment – but I would suspect that nobody really envisaged that the UK would be paying the full sum in December anyway. And so, indeed, would appear to be the case. The UK has ostensibly been rescued by none other than Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. He rode in to Brussels like a white knight and returned bringing peace with honour. He had, he said, agreed to hand over just £850 million to the EU. Furthermore, the bill will be paid in two separate transactions in 2015, giving the UK government 12 more months to stump up the cash. But how did he manage to arrange for the bill to be halved? Or, more to the point, has he in fact halved it at all? Some of the

more uncharitable souls were immediately sceptical of Osborne’s assertion. And rightly so, as it turns out. Treasury aides have now conceded that Britain will in fact pay the £850 million whilst also returning the rebate cheque to Brussels. In other words, the full £1.7 billion will still be paid, just not immediately. Put in this light, Osborne’s negotiating skills are something of a chimera. And of course the UK is not the only country to have had its feathers ruffled by the surcharge. The Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Cyprus have also been on the receiving end of some eye-watering bills. So not only has Juncker been obliged to square up to David Cameron over the issue, he has also faced the wrath of other leaders including Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi. He recently insisted to Mr Renzi that “I am not the leader of a gang of bureaucrats,” to which Mr Renzi replied, “I insist on respect.” Already being referred to by wags in Brussels as ‘The Godfather response’. It is a little ironic, then, that during his campaign for the Commission presidency, Juncker declared his intention to be a ‘compromise machine’ – whatever that might mean. In fact, of course, he has been far blunter than we have come to expect from Commission presidents. His predecessor Jose Manuel Barroso was much more given to comments such as, “There is no stability without solidarity and no solidarity without stability.” Wars of words weren’t really for him – “Usually I don’t comment on the comments of others.” So far Juncker, on the other hand, is deliberately setting himself up as a man who is not to be intimidated. To David’s Cameron’s “I will not pay,” he countered: “I am not the type who trembles, in front of prime ministers or at any other time.” (Who is?) Even the mighty rage of Cameron did not, it appears, unsettle him. Neither have the wearyingly predictable slurs from the British tabloids about his ‘Nazi father-in-law’.

Thorny issue Perhaps it is the controversy surrounding Juncker from his days as the longserving prime minister of Luxembourg that has prompted him to put on a display of strength early in his presidency. The past week has seen French, German and Dutch finance ministers attack Luxembourg for allowing multinational companies to create complicated structures in order to avoid billions of dollars of tax. The calls for Luxembourg to put an end to the practice of arranging special deals to help corporations avoid tax came after a huge cache of 28,000 leaked tax papers from the tiny Grand Duchy revealed the country had been rubber-stamping tax avoidance on a well-nigh industrial scale. There is, therefore, a question mark over whether there is a conflict of interest between the EU’s investigations into Luxembourg and Juncker’s previous position. Sven Giegold, finance spokesman for the Greens in the European Parliament, insisted that “These revelations are a major blow to the credibility of new Commission president Juncker and his capacity to act for the public interest.” He went on to say that Juncker was “Directly complicit in this mass corporate tax avoidance. The Commission must now set out a comprehensive action plan against tax dumping. Only by doing so can Juncker begin the path to redemption and try to dispel the doubts about his conflict of interest.” Juncker himself has been conspicuously silent but apparently serene about the matter. His official spokesman was on hand to say that he did not feel under any pressure to explain how he oversaw changes to Luxembourg’s tax laws. Indeed, he said, “If he was a teenager I’d say he was cool.” Cool. Just like The Fonz. It remains to be seen whether Mr Juncker will continue to maintain this cool in the n months to come. Industry Europe 3

CONTENTS Editor Peter Mercer

IT Support Jack Everson

Deputy Editor Victoria Hattersley

Production Manager Kamila Kajtoch

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

Administration Anna Chamberlain Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey Art Administration Tania Balderson Advertising Manager Andrew Briggs

Art Director Gareth Harrey

Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Massimo Ragazzo Helen Leisi Anthony McClintock Ben Snowing Anna Dudek Stephen Moore Martin Gisborne Victoria Pease

Art Editor Rob Czerwinski Designers Leon Esterhuizen Paul Abbott Claire Bidle Web Development Neil Robertson

Comment 1 4

Opinion A bumpy start Bill Jamieson Cracking the code

Energy Industry 6

9 12

Europe’s last dash before lights out Europe avoids power blackouts – but for how long? Chemical news The latest from the industry A first in geothermal energy Harnessing geothermal power in coastal regions

News 14 16 18 19 20 21 24

Winning business New orders and contracts Linking up Combining strengths Moving on Relocations and expansions Industry people Appointments Technology spotlight Advances in technology Notice board New products and processes Events Euromould 2014


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

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4 Industry Europe

Energy Industry p6

22 23

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

Aerospace & Defence 25

Global defence leader Saab Dynamics

Agricultural Machinery 28 32 36

Focused on farming performance Farmtech Leader in farm machinery Metal-Fach Agricultural technology leader Pöttinger

Automation & Tooling 40 44 48 52 55

New horizons in automation technology Insta Automation

Handling, assembling, loading and processing SIR World-beating manufacturing systems ZAHORANSKY European leader in lathe machinery FAT Mission accomplished JEB

Automotive 58 62 66 70 75 78 81

Intelligent light systems Automotive Lighting Magnetic technology leader Vacuumschmelze Improving vehicle efficiency Hilite Lighting the future SG Automotive Streamlining international expansion ALT Technologies Masterpieces in aluminium and magnesium alloys DGS

Aiming for larger volumes Ajkai Elektronikai

VOL 24/10

Above: ALT Technologies p75

Chemicals 84

Global shipping leader Odfjell

Construction Above: Farmtech p28 Below: JEB p55

88 94 98 102 105 108

A new culture for cement giant HeidelbergCement Transforming utility safety and protection Scheidt Smart hydraulics Hydroline Nordic market leader Ostnor Profiles for a greener environment Megrame Growing in size Komatsu Italia Manufacturing

Above: Ontex p112 Below: SSP Technology p131

Consumer Goods

112 A new chapter in a growth story Ontex


122 High performance partner Lacroix Electronics

Energy & Utilities

127 Storing expertise fuelling growth ISISAN 131 The answer is blowing in the wind SSP Technology

Food Production

136 Sweet success EdHaas Hungaria 138 Small steps to big results Gallicoop Turkey Processing


141 Climate control TA Hydronics


144 Much more than just a foundry Livar 148 Experts in workshop equipment JOTKEL

Above: Matisa p152 Below: PMA p174

Rail Above: SG Automotive p70 Below: HeidelbergCement p88

152 Matisa takes its expertise to InnoTrans Matisa 156 Rolling technology forward TZV Gredelj

Transport & Logistics

159 Optimising logistics in the Asia-Pacific region SDV 163 From Italy to the world Savino Del Bene

Also in this issue… 167 170 174 178 180 185

High performance materials Ahlstrom Power players Honda Delivering complete protection PMA Customised forced ventilation units WISTRO Elektro-Mechanik

Flexible refrigeration solutions Hauser Appliances with a difference Sabaf Group Industry Europe 5




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

Cracking the code As pronouncements from the ECB become increasingly unfathomable, the eurozone slips closer towards recession.


ANTED: Blindfolded expert with Jesuitical mindset to de-code deeply encrypted material and extract complex meaning. Fluency in Braille required. Grasp of economics a bonus but not essential. Such are the qualities now required to make sense of the pronouncements of the European Central Bank. Top economists rake over its statements but are little the wiser on resulting action while in the real world to which the ECB seems blind, the eurozone slides further towards recession. They would have gained little enlightenment from the Bank’s latest monthly meeting. The press conference given by ECB president Mario Draghi was woefully symptomatic of so much that is wrong with this institution: a descent into baffling ambiguity and tortuous gobbledygook from which it is difficult to derive any coherent meaning, still less any serious solution to the eurozone’s problems. UK companies doing business in the eurozone or seeking to boost exports into the region need little introduction as to ‘the problems’. Growth in the 27-member currency zone is lamentable. There are one or two flickers of recovery – Spain for example, and even Greece – but these are barely sufficient to sustain any hope of a corner being turned. The European Commission has cut its growth forecast for the eurozone for this year to just 0.8 per cent. The previous estimate was 1.2 per cent. Germany’s economy started the year strongly, but has been slowing recently amid problems in France and Italy and subdued investment elsewhere. Some now fear the eurozone’s economic powerhouse will contract in the final months of the year, pushing into technical recession. These fears were heightened by figures showing that industrial production in Germany slumped by 3.1 per cent in August. Economists had been hoping for a rebound 6 Industry Europe

to two per cent growth in September. Instead it managed just 1.4 per cent. For Italy the EU Commission has slashed its GDP growth forecast, by 1.2 percentage points – to minus 0.4 per cent – and halved its 2015 forecast to 0.6 per cent. Its forecasts for the Netherlands have been lowered across the board, Portugal is forecast to overshoot its 2015 fiscal target and for France it has queried claims of €3.6–€3.7 billion of extra 2015 budgetary savings owing to lack of details on the measures proposed. However, for Spain it forecasts GDP growth of 1.7 per cent next year, though it notes consumer confidence fell back in October.

The press conference given by ECB president Mario Draghi was woefully symptomatic of so much that is wrong with this institution This was the background against which Mario Draghi sought to explain the latest thinking of the ECB Governing Council. Clarity was not to the fore. For at least a year the world has been waiting for Europe’s central bank to take action similar to the US and UK: a big monetary boost. It has tried negative interest rates. It has tried cheap loans. But it has so far resisted following the path of full-blown quantitative easing. Instead there was yet more time-marking with talk of a reinforced balance sheet target, with specific references to ‘the dimensions it had at the beginning of 2012’, and an explicit reference to March 2012 when the size was around €3tn (£2.35 trillion). This implied a balance sheet expansion target of €1tn. He added the ECB had begun buying covered bonds as part of earlier-announced stimulus attempts, and would soon be buying asset-

backed securities. “One must,” declared Mr Draghi, “look at the correlation between balance sheet size and inflation expectations.”

Unconventional measures So now that’s clear, what is the Bank actually doing? Joining the dots of Draghi’s remarks, he said the ECB was committed to further measures if needed and that ECB staff had been tasked with preparing for this. “The governing council,” he said, “will closely monitor and continuously assess the appropriateness of its monetary policy stance. “Should it become necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation, the governing council is unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional instruments within its mandate. The governing council has tasked ECB staff… with ensuring the timely preparation of further measures to be implemented, if needed.” And what exactly would determine whether further measures were needed – as if the current anaemic performance of the eurozone was not already sufficient? An evident contingency was a further lurch to deflation. Little wonder that a Reuters story highlighted some national central bankers’ frustration with Draghi’s communication style and added that between seven and ten council members of the ECB had been against quantitative easing. Draghi downplayed these disagreements but indicated that “the risks are on the downside. We know we have to be prepared.” This, noted a banking analyst who could barely conceal his excitement, “was a noticeable departure from the script.” Consensus conclusion (for now): the tone was judged to be more dovish than previously, even if no action was taken, and nearterm QE is considered more likely, though whether this will come in December or further delayed into early 2015 was impossible to decipher. But perhaps that’s just the n result the ECB wanted.

Industry Europe 7

Irish Wind could have huge export potential Source: Irish Wind Energy Association

EUROPE’S LAST DASH BEFORE LIGHTS OUT Europe breathed a sigh of relief at the end of October as Ukraine and Russia signed a deal that will keep gas flowing to central Europe this winter. But while Europe might have avoided a bleak cold winter without heat, the prospect of power blackouts grows menacingly near and quick-fixes are in short supply.


his last days as European Energy Commissioner, Germany’s Gunther Oettinger brokered a deal between Russia and Ukraine that should avoid any major gas supply disruptions this winter. As tensions between the two former Soviet states escalated, Russia had threatened to shut off gas supplies to its western neighbor, as happened in 2006 and 2009, when large parts of Europe shivered as gas stopped flowing west through Ukraine. But the deal signed between Moscow and Kiev only lasts until March, and falls far short of removing European concerns over security of supply. As Europe’s own gas reserves in the North Sea dwindle, the 8 Industry Europe

continent depends on imported gas to meet its energy needs, and much of that comes from Russia. In 2013, Russian gas giant Gazprom said it sold 30 per cent of all gas consumed in the European Union. Oettinger and his Spanish successor, Miguel Cañete, and national ministers across the EU want to cut dependence on Russian gas, but there is no simple solution.

Energy ‘crunch’ Indeed, Europe faces a looming ‘energy crunch’ as much of the continent’s energy infrastructure nears the end of its useful life. Coal and nuclear power plants have been the backbone of European power genera-

tion for nearly a century, but many old coalfired power plants have been shut, or mothballed, as a result of tighter environmental rules and emissions limits. Meanwhile most of the EU’s 200+ operational nuclear reactors were built over 40 years ago and are nearing the end of their design-life. Four British reactors were taken offline in the summer for emergency maintenance after inspectors found a crack in one of their boilers, and those of similar design were closed as a precautionary measure. Germany permanently closed eight nuclear reactors in 2011 in response to safety concerns following the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Two reactors in Belgium were

Hinkley Point: a new nuclear reactor needs state support

shut down for a second time in two years in March 2014 after cracks were found, and have yet to return to the grid. Even in France, which boasts Europe’s biggest and most modern nuclear fleet, technical problems forced the temporary closure of the country’s oldest power plant in April. According to the World Nuclear Association, Europe stands to lose 120 Gigawatts of nuclear power capacity by 2050 unless a rapid program of new nuclear-build gets underway in the next decade. But at present only four reactors are currently under construction – in France, Finland and Slovakia – which together bring less than 5 gigawatts of additional capacity. At the same time less than 4 gigawatts of gas-fired power plant capacity is currently under construction, down from 12 gigawatts two years ago. The prospect of a nuclear revival is tempered by the twin challenge of cost and the long lead-time needed to build new reactors. Nuclear developers want price

guarantees to get new projects off the ground. Electricité de France’s plans for a new reactor at Hinkley Point in England is only set to go ahead after the UK government got EU approval to offer a 35-year fixed price agreement.

Patchwork policy EU member states are looking increasingly at national support mechanisms to keep the lights on. The UK’s carbon floor price for nuclear is one example. The UK and several other countries are considering introducing ‘capacity payments’ to keep power plant on standby, ready to start up at short notice. Many see this as the inevitable consequence of the growing role of ‘intermittent’ renewable energy like wind and solar. Renewables’ share of the EU power market is set to reach 35 per cent by 2020, and in October national government backed plans for a a binding EU target of at least a 40 per cent domestic reduction in GHG emissions

by 2030 versus 1990; a target binding at EU level to source at least 27 per cent of its final energy demand from renewables; and a nonbinding EU target to improve energy efficiency by at least 27 per cent compared with energy demand projections. Sweden already relies on renewables for 50 per cent of all energy (not just power) and Latvia and Finland are both nudging 40 per cent. This reliance on renewable energy means that countries become increasingly vulnerable to power cuts on calm, winter days when demand is high but production from wind and solar plant is very low. Countries like Germany and France want to introduce a payments mechanism that would incentivise power generators to keep ailing coal- and gas-fired plants idle, ready to be pressed into service when renewable output is insufficient to meet demand. Without capacity payments, such plant – typically among the oldest and most expensive to run – would be decommissioned. Industry Europe 9

Abengoa solar: Spanish solar gets limited support

Capacity payments could become inevitable in countries with a large share of renewables. But capacity payments, carbon floor prices and other forms of ‘state aid’ are firmly at odds with the EU’s policy to build a single energy market. Brussels remains wedded to the belief that the answer to Europe’s energy woes is to further integrate EU energy markets, stimulate greater efficiencies through competition, and cut reliance on fossil fuels by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency. “The Internal Electricity Market faces the risk of fragmentation,” said out-going energy commissioner Oettinger in a speech at the annual gathering of the EU electricity industry, Eurelectric, in June. “It stems from uncoordinated national decisions run against our common objectives,” he warned, though he did accept that some state intervention could be justified if it did not distort the electricity market. The fear is that capacity payments would offer a lifeline to obsolete plant that would otherwise be closed, and could deter investment in new plant, especially cross-border investment if the rules are different from state to state.

Level playing field Eurelectric, for one, has called for even closer integration of national markets so that power can flow more readily across borders to resolve regional imbalances. “However, the growth of renewables, which is necessary to pursue the European decarbonisation agenda, brings a new reality to power systems. In many markets the introduc10 Industry Europe

tion of a capacity element is becoming increasingly important,” Eurelectric said in October as it called for stronger leadership on the energy market by the new EU Commission. But it said such capacity payments must create a level playing field. All this underscores the fact that existing policy has created an uneven playing field, as those countries blessed with abundant renewable energy resources – those of the sun-drenched Mediterranean and windy Atlantic coasts – have greater resource potential. But under the EU’s existing rules they cannot export some of that potential to less-favoured countries. Policy-makers wanted to ensure that the likes of Poland could wean themselves off coal through national efforts rather than buying surplus wind and hydropower from neighbouring Sweden. The result is that investment is not directed to where resource potential is greatest. Cloudy Britain is in the midst of a solar energy boom, while cash-strapped Italy and Spain clamp down on their solar sectors, no longer able to afford the feed-in tariffs that attract investments. Meanwhile windswept Ireland cannot unlock the vast potential of its onshore wind power because it cannot export to the UK, despite the fact that Irish wind is up to three times as productive as UK solar. And Germany has the world’s biggest wind sector despite inland wind speeds that allow many wind farms to generate only 15 per cent of the time.

on the Aland islands, between Sweden and Finland, did not qualify for Swedish renewable energy subsidies because the islands, despite being Swedish-speaking and connected to the Swedish power grid, are an autonomous part of neighbouring Finland. The court’s leading advisor had said in January that Sweden’s action had broken EU rules on freedom of movement of goods, but in the final ruling this summer the ECJ ruled Sweden’s action was in line with the EU’s renewable energy directive, which allows national support. Therefore national support schemes for renewable energy are able to remain in place until at least 2020 while the capacity mechanisms and floor prices that national governments want to introduce are at odds with EU single market rules. Yet without some guarantees for conventional generators, Europe faces an increased reliance on intermittent renewables and imported gas, both of which are at the behest of the weather, and the political climate. Meanwhile recent tensions between Russia and Ukraine highlight how much issues beyond EU borders can still make n European capitals shiver.

Renewables restrictions These economic irregularities were challenged in a European Court of Justice case brought after Sweden ruled that wind power generated Naftogaz : Ukraine remains a major export route for European gas



New developments in the Energy industry

E.ON power-to-gas pilot unit in Falkenhagen AREVA and GAMESA create European E .ON’s power-to-gas (P2G) pilot unit in Falkenhagen in eastern Germany has delivered a positive performance in its first year of operation, injecting more than two million kilowatt-hours of hydrogen into the gas transmission system. “Falkenhagen has given us valuable experience that will help us refine all aspects of power-to-gas technology, from conducting the regulatory approv-

als process to building and operating P2G units and marketing their hydrogen output. After just one year we can already say that P2G has significant potential. We even see near-term opportunities for commercial applications in areas like mobility,” E.ON Deutschland CEO Ingo Luge said. The Falkenhagen unit uses renewable-source electricity to power electrolysis equipment that transforms water into hydrogen, which is injected into the natural gas transmission system. With a capacity of two megawatts, it can produce 360 cubic metres of hydrogen per hour. This stored energy becomes part of the natural gas supply and can be used for space heating and industrial applications, in areas like mobility, and power generation. Visit:

BP and CGG to develop marine seismic source technology


and CGG have announced an agreement for collaborative research and development in new types of marine vibratory seismic sources. The agreement combines the companies’ research efforts and expertise to develop and deploy innovative seismic source technology, and builds on successful prototype trials. Seismic surveys have for decades been the exploration industry’s key tool for identifying oil- and gasbearing rocks below the seabed. And both BP and CGG recognise the significant potential for new vibratory seismic sources to improve technical performance, while maintaining a focus on environmental sensitivity. “BP has an established track record of innovation and industry leadership in the area of seismic acquisition, which plays to our notable strengths in exploration and resource progression,” said Eric Green, vice-president Advanced Seismic Imaging Technology at BP. “This agreement highlights BP’s ongoing commitment to remaining at the forefront of this important field.” Visit:



REVA and GAMESA have entered into exclusive negotiations to create a 50/50 joint-venture company in the field of offshore wind power. The offshore market represents one of the most promising areas for the development of renewable energies, particularly in the coastal countries of northern Europe, where the installed base should reach over 25 GW by 2020, and in Asia. By joining forces, AREVA and GAMESA will enable the JV to become one of the leading players in the global offshore wind market, contributing to the development of this growing sector through: expertise, innovation and investments in R&D to develop competitive and reliable technologies of the future; industrialisation capacity and expertise in the development of a supply chain, both internal and external; and application of efficient onshore practices into offshore activities. The JV will fulfill existing industrial development commitments both in the UK and France, that have up until now been led by AREVA, which notably include the creation of a turbine assembly and blades manufacturing plants at Le Havre and the implementation of a network of sub-contractors and partners. Visit:

Capacity of Katharina UGS facility increased 1.5 times


he third cavern of the Katharina underground gas storage facility (a joint-venture established between Gazprom and VNG) with a capacity of nearly 60 million cubic metres was commissioned in Bernburg. The facility’s aggregate working gas volume now totals some 170 million cubic metres. “Gazprom aims at increasing its gas storage capacities abroad to boost the flexibility and

AMEC JV awarded new Sellafield waste treatment contract


MEC, the international engineering and project management company, working in a joint-venture with Jacobs Engineering Group and Balfour Beatty, has been selected to deliver Sellafield’s Box Encapsulation Plant (BEP) project in West Cumbria. The four-year reimbursable

reliability of our export supplies,” said Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee. In 2017 Katharina will comprise seven caverns. The aggregate volume of the storage facility will exceed 600 million cubic metres, and the daily deliverability will total 26 million cubic metres. Visit: framework contract, awarded by Sellafield Limited, has a potential value range of between £240 million and £336 million and the joint venture partners will share the financial terms equally. BEP is designed to treat Magnox reactor waste currently stored at Sellafield by containing it in concrete and getting it ready for long-term storage.

Under the terms of the contract, the joint venture will deliver the complete life cycle of services to the project, which addresses the clean-up of one of the most hazardous legacy facilities on the Sellafield site; from project management, design, engineering, procurement, installation, and construction management through to inactive commissioning. Visit: Industry Europe 11


New developments in the Energy industry

First plant components delivered to ITER New international wind power


he first plant system components have been delivered to the ITER construction site in Saint Paul-lez-Durance, France. Shipped from the United States in four crates, the 12 high-voltage surge arrestors were part of the US contribution to the installation’s steady state electrical system.

The surge arresters belong to a large system that will be installed between the 400 kVswitchyard and the transformers that feed power to the ITER plant systems and components. As their name suggests, they are designed to protect the transformers from a major voltage surge that can be caused by lightning. “These are the first of many thousands of components to be delivered to ITER by the project’s members,” said Ken Blackler, head of the Assembly & Operations Division. For all the parties involved, this first delivery provided a concrete opportunity to test the administrative, technical, industrial and regulatory procedures that will accompany the procurement of plant and machine components by the ITER members. Visit:

Vattenfall signs wind power contract with Gamesa


he Spanish wind power manufacturer Gamesa has been entrusted with supplying the turbines to what will become Vattenfall’s largest onshore wind farm in Sweden. It will supply 18 wind turbines to the Höge Väg wind farm in Kristianstad in Scania province. The contract is worth a total of SEK 312 million. “This project is completely in line with our strategy to invest in wind power only where there are good wind conditions and where it is profitable. We have found such a site in the Höge Väg project and it’s really pleasing to present a solid investment in renewable energy in southern Sweden,” concludes Alberto Mendez Rebollo, head of Vattenfall Vindkraft AB. This is the first time that Gamesa has supplied turbines to a wind farm owned by Vattenfall. “This contract with Vattenfall, one of the world’s leading energy suppliers, is a sign of confidence in Gamesa’s technical solutions. The contract also marks a milestone in our product

Shell announces Gabon deep-water gas discovery


hell has announced a frontier exploration discovery offshore Gabon, West Africa. The well Leopard-1 encountered a substantial gas column with around 200 metres net gas pay in a pre-salt reservoir. Leopard-1 is located around 145km off the Gabonese coast, west of Gamba. It

12 Industry Europe

and sales strategy for northern Europe, and especially in Sweden, one of our prioritised markets,” says Ricardo Chocarro, CEO of Gamesa’s European operations. Visit:

was drilled in water 2110 metres deep to a total vertical depth of 5063 metres. Shell and partners are planning to undertake an appraisal programme to further determine the resource volumes. “Shell has been exploring in Gabon for over 50 years. This latest deep-water discovery is a testament to the innovation of our explorers in pursuing new plays, and

consultancy established


our Dutch and German consultancies in the field of offshore renewable energy have established a new international consultancy company, Wind Minds, with the objective of combining all their expertise and experience in developing and building new offshore wind farms in north-west Europe, America and Asia. Two of their first targets are Japan and Korea, countries visited when Wind Minds joined the trade mission of the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp. The four companies combined employ over 100 specialist with over 15 years of experience and were directly involved in over 40 offshore wind projects in north-west Europe, the US, Canada and Asia. Together they have expert knowledge which covers all phases of a wind farm’s life cycle. From feasibility studies to development and construction management to technical due diligence. “With Wind Minds we have created a onestop shop for developers, investors, governments and utility companies. Our focus is to be a pro-active partner for our clients, providing them with independent consultancy in all disciplines related to offshore wind power,” says Arno Verbeek of Pondera Consult. Other participating companies are MECAL Independent eXperts, Ep4 Offshore, and BBB Umwelttechnik GmbH. Visit: application of our global sub-surface expertise,” said Andy Brown, Shell Upstream international director. “We are proud to be sharing this success with CNOOC Limited, our partner in the licence.” Leopard-1 was drilled in licence BCD10, operated by Shell (75%). Second partner in the venture is CNOOC Limited (25%). Visit:

INDUSTRYNEWS First power achieved by new IBERDROLA opens its first offshore wind farm wind turbines at Coal Clough



BERDROLA has officially opened its West of Duddon Sands (WoDS) offshore windfarm. With an investment of €2 billion, this offshore wind facility developed by IBERDROLA, through its subsidiary ScottishPower Renewables, in a jointventure with Dong Energy was commissioned more than two months ahead of schedule. Ignacio Galán, IBERDROLA chairman, highlighted that this infrastructure “has been a significant engineering challenge, with many obstacles to overcome, but ultimately it has been a major success. It has tested the UK’s ability to deliver major renewable energy projects, in terms of workforce skills, supply chain depth, facilities and logistics.” Located approximately 20km off the Barrowin-Furness coastline in north-west England, the wind farm covers a total area of 67km2, has 108 Siemens turbines with 3.6MW unit capacity and has also seen more than 200km of undersea cables installed. West of Duddon Sands has led the renewable energy industry in efforts to reduce the cost of offshore wind. IBERDROLA’s first offshore windfarm will generate enough power to meet the annual electricity demands of approximately 280,000 British homes. Visit:

Oil and gas discovery in the Alta prospect


rilling of exploration well 7220/11-1 on the Alta prospect in production licence (PL) 609 in the Barents Sea is in the process of being successfully completed. The well is located 20km north-east of the Gohta discovery and some 160km from the Norwegian coastline. “This is a breakthrough discovery. RWE Dea

cottishPower Renewables has achieved first electricity generation from the new turbines at Coal Clough windfarm near Burnley. The company is currently replacing 24 wind turbines installed in 1992, with eight modern turbines, which will increase the total generating capacity of the wind farm from 9.6 MW to 16 MW. Gerry Gibson, project manager at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “First power generation is an important milestone for any renewable energy project, and we are very pleased with the progress we have achieved at Coal Clough.” The construction project at Coal Clough started in early 2014, with the laying of tracks and civil engineering work. Turbine deliveries were completed on schedule, between late July and late August. All eight turbines were constructed by the end of September, and the old turbines have been dismantled. Visit:

Agreements for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station approved


he European Commission has approved the terms of agreements between EDF Group and the UK Government to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. The proposed agreements are for a long-term contract for the electricity generated at Hinkley Point C and for a guarantee for the project’s debt. As proposed in October 2013, the Contract for Difference already contained a series of ‘gainshare’ mechanisms in which customers would benefit if the project construction costs or equity returns were more favourable than forecast. The Commission, the UK Government and EDF have accepted reinforcement of the ‘gainshare mechanisms’ in the package approved by the Commission. EDF Energy has also committed that electricity from the proposed power station will be sold at market price and recorded separately from EDF Energy’s other electricity production. Visit:

Eneco acquires heat and electricity generation in Utrecht


neco has significantly expanded its heat production in Utrecht by taking over Nuon’s heat supply network and a number of its power plants. As part of this agreement, Eneco will take over two facilities used for producing electricity and district heating, five auxiliary heating plants, seven heat transfer stations and a 25km-long network of pipelines. The production sites generate heat for 50,000 households and 1200 business customers in Utrecht and Nieuwegein. For Eneco, this agreement is an important step forwards. Nuon and its predecessors have been generating heat in Utrecht since 1923, energy that Eneco subsequently supplies to its customers. With the current heat supply agreement set to expire at the end of 2014, it was time for the two parties to consider how

are among a handful of companies who have had a long-term commitment to Barents Sea exploration. Alta may come to mark the turning point in establishing new, vital oil and gas infrastructure in northern Norway,” says Hugo Sandal, managing director of RWE Dea Norge. The main objective of well 7220/11-1 was to prove the presence of hydrocarbons in reservoir rocks of Permo-Carboniferous and

district heating can be supplied to customers in the Utrecht area in future. Of the two options – extending the agreement or transferring generation to Eneco – the latter proved to be the most realistic, in view of current market conditions. Visit:

Triassic age. The well encountered a gross hydrocarbon column of 55 metres, consisting of 10 metres gas and 45 metres oil in carbonate rocks of good reservoir quality. The preliminary evaluation of the gross recoverable oil and gas resources in the Alta accumulation is estimated at between 14 and 50 million Sm3 of oil and 5 and 17 billion Sm3 of gas. Visit: Industry Europe 13

The Euroméditerranée business eco-city in Marseille

A FIRST IN GEOTHERMAL ENERGY France’s first marine geothermal power plant is to be constructed in the Euroméditerranée business eco-city in Marseille. This project, for which France-based GDF Suez is the main contractor, will use marine geothermal energy to provide heating and cooling to buildings within the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille network. This project has significance both for France and for Europe’s coastal regions as a whole – many of which could benefit from similar projects in the future. Geothermal power plant


September 2014, Constructructa, Foncière des Régions, EcoCité Euroméditerranée and GDF SUEZ subsidiary company Cofely Services signed an agreement to build France’s first marinepowered heating and cooling plant. Located in the heart of the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille, the Thassalia marine geothermal plant is one of a kind, and will use marine geothermal energy to provide heating and cooling for those buildings connected to its network. It will therefore transform the Mediterranean Sea into a sustainable energy source for around 500,000m2 of Marseille.

Groundbreaking business eco-city Born out of a central government initiative in 1995, the ‘Euroméditerranée’ project is a national infrastructure project designed to put Marseille on a par with Europe’s great14 Industry Europe

GDF Suez geothermal drilling power will be used for the building of France’s first marine geothermal energy plant

est cities. The project involves the building of a new ‘city within a city’ based on sound sustainable development principles. It will see the renovation of an area of 480 hectares in the heart of the city between the commercial harbour ‘Vieux-Port’ and the train station. A €7 billion project supported by the French government, local authorities and the European, it has been billed as a ground-breaking ‘Mediterranean model of sustainable development’. This sustainable ethos is based upon five integrated principles: Bioclimatic conceptualisation in terms of urban planning and architecture; a social mix that is both functional and inter-generational; reduction of health risks through climate management, biodiversity and urban quality; low carbon mobility; and, finally, the regional project ‘Nature in the City’ which is a particular part of the eco-city’s energy strategy (a reduction in the urban heat island phenomenon). The implementation of renewable and innovative energy systems, such as the marine geothermal energy plant, naturally forms a key part of this.

How will the plant work? The plant will generate renewable energy by pumping seawater from the Port of Marseille to feed heat exchangers and heat pumps that will produce either heat or refrigeration to meet demand for both. The result-

ing heating and cooling services will then be delivered to buildings by a 3-kilometre pipeline network. Although similar geothermal plants are already in operation, including the one in Paris that draws water from the River Seine, the Thassalia plant will be the first in France to use saltwater; a fact that imposes significantly higher technical constraints, especially in terms of corrosion control.

Developing coastal regions The Thassalia marine geothermal plant is an excellent example of how innovation is driving energy transition and energy efficiency. Bear in mind that geothermal energy is expected to represent 0.3 per cent of EU electricity consumption by 2020 and 1.3 per cent of EU heating and cooling consumption. This project demonstrates just one of the ways in which this can be achieved. GDF Suez’s Cofely Services is contributing its expertise in heating technology to the project. This division of the group provides sustainable solutions to enable its customers to reduce energy consumption, improve economic performance and control their environmental impact. This is based on a combination of its professional expertise and the implementation of intelligent systems – including optimised energy consumption, utilisation of local, renewable energy sources, optimised operation and

maintenance of facilities and installations, and thermal renovation of buildings. Meanwhile Climespace, the Group specialist in urban cooling networks, has contributed its refrigeration expertise. Climespace produces and distributes cool air through special residential and commercial air conditioning networks. It does so by leveraging its six production plants, two cold storage units and an underground network of over 43 miles of tunnels and city waterways. “Although innovation is integral to Cofely Services’ DNA, we are also committed to providing our partner regions with solutions that meet their needs by anticipating their future challenges and concerns,” explained Cofely Services CEO Jean-Pierre Monéger, underlining the company’s intention to establish Euroméditerranée as a laboratory for urban sustainability. Work on the plant is scheduled to begin at the start of next year, and when it comes on stream at the end of January 2016 it is expected to deliver a 70 per cent reduction in EcoCité greenhouse gas emissions and reduce its water consumption by 65 per cent. This type of plant therefore offers considerable potential for coastal regions, especially when you realise that 40 per cent of the world’s population lives within 100km of the sea. All of these regions could, one day, benefit from including a Thassalia-like n solution into their energy mix. Industry Europe 15


New contracts and orders in industry

NCC to construct tunnel in Telemark, Norway


CC has been commissioned to construct a new tunnel along the E134 highway between Gvammen and Århus in Telemark, Norway. The construction period will be four and a half years and the contract is worth SEK 1.140 billion. “We are delighted to have been selected by the Norwegian Road Administration. NCC’s leadingedge technical expertise makes us competitive when it comes to major infrastructure projects, which is a factor that will benefit those who live and work in Telemark,” says Håkon Tjomsland, business area manager for NCC Construction Norway. The new tunnel will be 9.4km long. The contract also includes construction of 1.1km of roads on either side of the mountain, 5km of local roads and two crossings. The order also encompasses several smaller bridges and portals, as well as other structures along the section to be built. The tunnel will facilitate traffic in two directions. Since traffic will be routed through the tunnel from Gvammen to Århus, the length of the E134 highway will be shortened by approximately 11km. Visit: Visit:

Saab receives order for Gripen E support and maintenance systems


Nederman receives two orders in America


ederman has received an order for multiple air filtration systems to a customer within the environmental recycling industry and an order for an electric power generation plant in South America. The two orders are worth SEK 69 million in total. The environmental recycling solution is a repeat order for a Nederman customer and includes three multi module dust collection systems with associated ancillary equipment and controls. The electric power facility order includes a pulse jet self-cleaning cartridge filter system and silencer. “We continue to strengthen our position in the USA. These orders confirm our ability to fulfil our customers’ needs for eco-efficient solutions that filter, clean and recycle, obtain repeat orders and attract new customers,” says Sven Kristensson, Nederman’s CEO. Visit:

Skanska constructs new healthcare building in Sweden


kanska has signed a contract with Uppsala County in Sweden for construction of a new healthcare building at the Uppsala University Hospital. The contract is worth SEK 1.2 billion, which will be included in order bookings for Skanska Sweden for the fourth quarter in 2014.

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The new building, with a total area of 59,500m2, will strengthen the Uppsala University Hospital and meet the needs of a growing population. It creates new facilities for advanced healthcare and treatment activities in oncology, radiotherapy and surgery. The aim is to certify the building according to the environmental classification system Miljöbyggnad at the highest level, Gold.

efence and security company Saab has received an order for Gripen E role equipment, along with support and maintenance equipment. The value of the order amounts to approx. SEK 5.8 billion. The order is part of Saab’s existing agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) covering activity for the Gripen E from 2013 to 2026. Delivery will begin in 2016. This is the fourth order under the Gripen E agreement between Saab and FMV announced on 15 February 2013. Three earlier orders, linked to the development and production of Gripen E, were received during 2013. Work will be performed within the business areas Aeronautics, Electronic Defence Systems and Support & Services. “Work with Gripen E goes according to schedule and budget. This order represents another important step in Saab’s commitment to deliver the next generation of the Gripen system to Sweden,” says Lennart Sindahl, senior executive vice-president of Saab and head of Saab’s business area Aeronautics. Visit: Construction work will start during the first quarter of 2015 and will be completed late summer 2017. Skanska Sweden is one of Sweden’s largest construction companies, with operations in building and civil-engineering construction. The business unit has approximately 11,000 employees and revenue in 2013 amounted to approximately SEK 30 billion. Visit:

WINNINGBUSINESS Renault chooses Fortum Charge & Drive charging solution


ortum and Renault have entered into a cooperation agreement regarding charging infrastructure in Norway, thus expanding the Charge & Drive network to around 500 smart charging stations in the Nordic countries in the coming nine months. By choosing Charge & Drive, the leading smart charging system, Renault will provide its customers with an easy and convenient solution for electric vehicles (EVs). Every Renault ZOE also comes with a 12-month charge-for-free offer. “The fact that Renault along with other top-tier automakers and businesses choose to

cooperate with Fortum in the Norwegian market is the best testimonial for our Charge & Drive platform. We are dedicated to making it easy and convenient to charge electric vehicles,” says Jan Haugen Ihle, country manager for Fortum Charge & Drive Norway. The agreement covers 100 charging stations, of which the majority will be 22-kW fast chargers to be placed in strategic and relevant locations. Fortum will be responsible for the customer offerings, system solutions, installation and servicing of the chargers. Visit:

provides Wärtsilä’s gas handling systems chosen Vallourec premium line pipe for Egina for world’s largest ethane carriers V


ix new 87,000 cubic metres capacity very large ethane carriers (VLECs), being built at the Samsung Heavy Industries yard in South Korea, will feature Wärtsilä gas handling systems. Wärtsilä is the market leader in cargo handling technology for gas carriers and has an extensive reference base. There is an option for additional vessels within this series. These vessels will be the biggest ethane carriers ever built, and represent a new generation of such vessels mainly transporting ethane as feedstock to the petrochemical industry. The VLECs are being built for the Reliance Group, India’s largest private sector enterprise. The group

has businesses in the energy and materials value chain, including petrochemicals. The new vessels will carry ethane from American shale gas to India to be processed for making plastic. Wärtsilä’s scope of supply represents a complete cargo handling package for each ship. This includes the process and arrangement engineering; the deck tank; all equipment related to the cargo handling; and a purpose-built reliquefaction plant to handle the C-ethane from the American shale gas. Visit:

Alstom to supply the city of Strasbourg with 12 Citadis trams

to the existing CTS fleet as part of the extension of lines A[1] and D[2]. They will serve the Illkirch-Graffenstaden town centre, which has been considerably expanded in recent years and will also run on the cross-border line linking the centre of Strasbourg in France with Kehl in Germany. “Following an initial order for 41 Citadis trams in 2003, this new contract is confirma-


lstom has signed a framework agreement with the Communauté des Transports Strasbourgeois (CTS, the Strasbourg Transport Company) for the supply of 50 Citadis trams. The first part of the agreement concerns an order for 12 trams, worth a total of 41 million euros. These trams will be added

allourec, world leader in premium tubular solutions, has started delivering premium line pipe for the offshore Egina field, operated by Total Upstream Nigeria. The Egina oil field is located 130km off the coast of Nigeria, in 1750m water depth. The field is currently under development and the production is scheduled to begin at the end of 2017. Vallourec has started delivering its first tons of premium subsea line pipe, out of a package of 24,000 tons that the group has been awarded for this offshore project. 16,000 tons of flowlines will be used as production, water injection and gas export lines. An additional 8000 tons of seamless line pipe will follow for a riser pipe-in-pipe construction. Vallourec is supplying the flowlines to Bell Oil & Gas, a Nigerian oil and gas services company. As part of the Nigerian Human Capacity Development program, Vallourec is providing training for young Nigerian engineers on pipe production and their applications. Consequently, Vallourec has been proven to comply with the Nigerian local content requirements relating to this project. Visit:

tion of the trust which the CTS has placed in Alstom and its Citadis solution. The trams in the Citadis range, which have been adopted by 46 cities worldwide, offer a combination of tried and tested basic techniques and flexible layouts to ensure reliability, comfort and customisation,” said Ana Giros, managing director of Alstom Transport France. Visit: Industry Europe 17


Combining strengths

Arla acquires Falbygdens Ost A

rla Foods in Sweden is acquiring cheese company Falbygdens Ost from the food company Atria Scandinavia. The acquisition is in line with Arla’s strategy to drive its premium cheese segment. The acquisition is subject to approval from the Swedish Competition Authority. “Falbygdens Ost is a strategic complement to Arla’s own cheese business. Through its acquisition, Arla is adding further value to its farmer-owner milk and thus it continues to be profitable,” says Henri de Sauvage, executive vice-president of Arla Foods in Sweden. Falbygdens Ost has operations in Falköping, where they mature and process cheese by flavouring and packaging. The company buys its cheese from other manufacturers and has approximately 100 employees, sales of around SEK 470 million and is currently owned by Atria Scandinavia, which in turn is part of the listed Finnish group Atria Abp. 


STRABAG takes over industry services provider DIW


TRABAG SE has acquired DIW Instandhaltung Ltd & Co. KG of Stuttgart, a 100% subsidiary of Voith GmbH, for integration into its property and facility services division STRABAG PFS. With the acquisition, STRABAG PFS expands its service portfolio to include industrial cleaning and consolidates its position as the second-largest facility services company in Germany. DIW’s approximately 6000 employees generate revenue of about € 175 million a year. Of this amount, 75% is generated in Germany, where

HEXPOL acquires VIGAR Rubber Compounding


EXPOL has signed an agreement to acquire the VIGAR Rubber Compounding business within Grupo Vigar from the founders’ families. Vigar Rubber Compounding has more than 50 years’ experience of rubber compounding and is today a well-known rubber compounder in the Spanish and German markets.

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the company has a nationwide presence, and 25% at its nine locations in Austria. The company’s services primarily cover technical industrial cleaning as well as infrastructural and technical facility management for industrial companies. “With DIW, we are acquiring a successful company that perfectly complements the services offered by STRABAG PFS. DIW’s industrial focus is a valuable addition to our range of services and our circle of clients,” says Thomas Birtel, CEO of STRABAG SE. Visit: According to Ralph Wolkener, president HEXPOL Compounding Europe: “The acquisition is a very good complement to HEXPOL Compounding in Europe and broadens and strengthens our presence with rubber compounds in the Spanish and German markets.” Vigar Rubber Compounding, with manufacturing facilities in Rubi, Spain and Viersen, Germany, had a turnover of €57 million in 2013 .

Tessenderlo Group and TETRA Chemicals form partnership


essenderlo Group and TETRA Chemicals Europe AB (a subsidiary of TETRA Technologies, Inc.) have signed a long-term agreement with regard to the production and marketing of calcium chloride. Tessenderlo Group will build a new calcium chloride production plant on its site in Ham, Belgium and TETRA Chemicals will market the product. The agreement will allow both parties to strengthen their respective global positions as market leaders in calcium chloride (TETRA Chemicals) and potassium sulphate (Tessenderlo Group). As a result of the agreement that was concluded between Tessenderlo Group and TETRA Chemicals, Tessenderlo Group will invest in the construction of a new calcium chloride plant in Ham. The new production plant, which will be fully owned by Tessenderlo Group, is scheduled to be operational in the third quarter of 2015. The new plant will process part of the hydrochloric acid from the sulphate plant into calcium chloride. This strategically important investment confirms Tessenderlo Group’s commitment in the Belgian plant and in the development of its potassium sulphate business. With this investment, Tessenderlo Group will be in a better position to take advantage of the growing market demand for potassium sulphate, especially from the agricultural sector that applies increasingly intensive farming methods. Visit:

Georg Brunstam, CEO HEXPOL Group, said: “This is a further step in expanding and strengthening the HEXPOL Group with a further acquisition within our core business. Vigar Rubber Compounding, with its competence and capabilities, will fit nicely into the HEXPOL Group and gives us a stronger European presence.” Visit:

LINKINGUP Tikkurila to purchase ISO Paint Nordic


ikkurila has agreed on the acquisition of the business of ISO Paint Nordic AS, which focuses on developing, manufacturing and selling energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable coatings. The acquisition will complement Tikkurila’s professional product range, technologies and expertise in energy-efficient coating solutions and solutions which extend the life cycle of structures. For example, the products reduce the amount of heating or cooling energy needed in buildings. “This acquisition supports our profitable growth strategy well. Demand for energyefficient and eco-efficient solutions has clearly grown in the recent years, and we expect this positive trend to continue,” says Erkki Järvinen, President and CEO of Tikkurila. ISO Paint Nordic is the market leader in its sector in Scandinavia. The revenue of the acquired business amounted to approximately €7.5 million in 2013 and it had approximately 20 employees. The company has a modern and efficient production facility in Lunderskov, Denmark. The company’s products are sold in about 20 countries. In addition to the Nordic countries, its main markets include Germany, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Australia. Visit:

H+H to acquire Grupa Ozarow’s aircrete activities


+H International subsidiary H+H Polska Sp. z.o.o. has signed an agreement with Grupa Ozarow SA to acquire 100% of the shares in its Polish aircrete company Grupa Prefabet SA for a total consideration of PLN 60 million. Grupa Prefabet Sp. SA is one of the main aircrete producers in Poland with five production plants.

VTG acquires AEE to expand wagon leasing fleet


TG Aktiengesellschaft has acquired the wagon hire company AAE, Ahaus Alstätter Eisenbahn Holding AG. This merger enables VTG to strengthen its position as the largest private wagon hire company in Europe, with a fleet consisting of around 80,000 wagons. The main focus of the newly acquired fleet is on combined transport wagons which in turn rounds off VTG’s

wagon and service range in Europe and closes a vital gap in its product portfolio. “Acquiring AAE represents a major strategic step forward for our company,” explains Dr Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG Aktiengesellschaft. “The merger of two innovation leaders will lead to the establishment of the only single-source provider of all essential wagon segments for rail freight transportation throughout Europe. This will open us up to new customer groups and allow us to continue to address the market segment with the strongest growth potential.” AAE is a leading provider as a rental company for combined transport services. ‘Combined’ or ‘intermodal’ transportation refers to all forwarding and transport operations which involve the same loading units, e.g. containers, by rail combined with other modes of transport. Visit:

Danfoss and Vacon to join forces


anfoss has announced a public tender offer for all shares of the Finnish AC drives company Vacon. “After a careful examination of Danfoss’ offer, the board of directors of Vacon has unanimously decided to recommend that the shareholders accept it. By joining forces, the two companies will create a Nordic-based global player – a new AC drives business with the clear ambition to build a leading position in the AC drives market,” says Panu Routila, chairman of the board at Vacon. The background for Danfoss’ offer is the company’s strategic focus on creating profitable growth. Vacon is a good match to achieve this ambition. Today, both Danfoss Power Electronics and Vacon are significant players in the AC drives business, and together they will gain an even stronger market position.

Revenue in 2013 was DKK 133 million. Poland is the biggest aircrete market in Europe, but activity levels have dropped significantly in recent years owing to the market slowdown, which has led to extensive overcapacity and lack of profitability among producers. . Michael T. Andersen, CEO of H+H International, says: “This is in line with our announced strategy of consolidating H+H’s

“We have a clear strategic ambition to be one of the absolute top players in the businesses in which we operate. Vacon is a very strong and innovative player and by creating this new drives business we can ensure a strong long-term growth trajectory,” says Niels B. Christiansen, Danfoss CEO. Visit:

position as one of the leading European aircrete suppliers and become the overall number one within our chosen geographical footprint. It is expected that the combined Polish aircrete activities will gain from economy of scale in the competitive Polish market and will be able to capture significant cost and efficiency synergies.” Visit: Industry Europe 19



Relocations and expansions across Europe

Audi extends Neckarsulm site

Schlemmer plans to double turnover in Romania



UDI AG has inaugurated its Audi Böllinger Höfe site in Heilbronn. A state-ofthe-art logistics centre and production of the Audi R8 are already up and running in the Böllinger Höfe industrial park – situated around 6km from the main plant in Neckarsulm. With six models and 20 derivatives, Neckarsulm is one of the plants with the greatest product diversity and complexity in the entire Volkswagen Group. The Audi Böllinger Höfe site covers 23 hectares, around a quarter of the total area of the plant in Neckarsulm. Norbert Rank, chairman of the Works Council in Neckarsulm, comments: “With the commissioning of the Böllinger Höfe we are creating the necessary scope for further optimising the structures at the Neckarsulm site. And we managed to bring together central areas of quattro GmbH.” The Audi Böllinger Höfe site will also be home to the new R8 production facility. Various production areas, which were previously accommodated separately at the Neckarsulm plant, have now been brought together under a single roof. Visit:

xtensive work has begun on the second major expansion of Schlemmer’s plant in Satu Mare in Romania. Schlemmer CEO Josef Minster and CFO Christian von der Linde celebrated the start of construction together with the workforce and representatives of partner companies; a significant expansion of production capacity and the product portfolio is anticipated for as early as March 2015. Schlemmer Romania currently manufactures some 70 million metres of corrugated tubing a year for its two major business segments: automotive and industrial applications. “In this second expansion since the opening of the plant in 2004, we are constructing a further production hall of about 4000 square metres in size. In future, Schlemmer Romania will also manufacture injection mould products here; moreover, production capacity for corrugated tubes will increase once again,” said CEO Josef Minster. CFO Christian von der Linde added: “By expanding our plant, we are aiming to double turnover in Satu Mare. Both the eastern European market and the current order situation for Germany and other countries have made this expansion urgently necessary.” Visit:

CHOMARAT opens new North American facility Volvo Cars increases production in its Torslanda plant


HOMARAT has just celebrated the opening of its new 58,500 square foot factory in South Carolina. This new plant will specialise in developing CHOMARAT’s advanced composite business and is equipped with a LIBA MAX5 100-inch (variable width) machine designed to produce carbon, spread-tow, multiaxial reinforcements and carbon looms. To meet its customers’ requirements, CHOMARAT develops robust technical expertise that is based on a wealth of knowledge. CHOMARAT’s teams provides support for the Group’s customers in the most innovationoriented sectors, like automotive, aerospace, sports, energy, boating, protection, building & construction and civil engineering, and also in markets requiring creativity and expertise, like luxury goods. This new production capacity will enable CHOMARAT to offer innovative solutions in advanced composite textiles throughout the United States in the industrial, automotive and aerospace markets. “Our aim is to promote our latest innovations and to develop new partnerships in order to provide the North American market with advanced reinforcements, thanks to our highly skilled staff and state of the art machinery,” explains Florent Troubat, president of CHOMARAT Group. Visit:

TOP opens second location in the Netherlands


he Dutch food innovation company TOP BV has opened a second location in Helmond, The Netherlands. The new location is fully geared to practical innovation, with a pilot plant where new food technologies can be tested. This way TOP wants to stimulate the innovative power of SMEs even further.

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olvo Cars will add a third working shift in its Torslanda, Gothenburg plant to meet the increasing customer demand for the company’s new cars. The expansion, planned for the first quarter of 2015, will be made in connection with the start of production for the all-new Volvo XC90 SUV. Adding the third shift means the company will create approximately 1300 new jobs and follows the opening of an entirely new body shop which lifted the production capacity in the Torslanda plant to 300,000 cars annually. This also means the total number of employees at Torslanda increases by close to 40%. The all-new Volvo XC90 SUV marks the first car from the new in-house developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which will form the base for a range of upcoming new Volvo models. The new platform as well as the expansion of the Torslanda plant are part of Volvo’s ongoing USD 11 billion investment program in new products and production capacity. The Torslanda plant will also implement a revised working agreement to further support higher production volumes. Visit:

Practical innovation is part of TOP’s mission. In Helmond, kitchen-scale recipes can be easily translated into production-scale because of the direct access to a production facility. This is often a challenge for food companies, as they do not have the equipment to scale up, resulting in a slow down of the innovation process. Wouter de Heij CEO of TOP: “Many SMEs only have

facilities to develop what they already produce, thereby limiting themselves to line extension. With our facilities in Helmond we make it possible for companies to innovate outside their current range.” The production facility is set up to offer flexibility, with the technologies and machinery of TOP and its partners. Visit:


INDUSTRYPEOPLE Rajiv Sharma appointed executive director of Coats plc

Management buyout at Reinhausen Plasma GmbH


oats plc is pleased to announce the appointment of Rajiv Sharma, Global CEO, Coats Industrial, as an executive director of the Coats plc board. Rajiv joined Coats in November 2010 to head the Industrial Division which, under his leadership, has been at the forefront of product and service innovation for the global apparel and footwear industries. Mike Clasper, chairman, Coats plc, said: “Rajiv’s appointment reflects the significant progress that has been made in the Industrial Division over the last four years under his leadership, as well as his strong commercial and operational skills. Rajiv’s experience will prove valuable to the board and to Coats as we move towards once again becoming a listed company.” Visit:

Supacat appoints engineering director & chief engineer


teve Austen has joined Supacat Group as engineering director & chief engineer to lead the company’s engineering capability in developing and delivering innovative, high performance products for the defence, marine, renewables and energy sectors. A Chartered Engineer, Naval Architect and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Steve brings over 25 years’ experience in R&D, design, supply and support across the defence and marine sectors, and specialist expertise in composites. On his appointment Steve Austen commented, “I’ve worked alongside Supacat for over a decade and have always been impressed with their engineering capabilities, innovation, responsiveness and ‘can do’ attitude, so it is a great privilege for me to join the company.” Visit:

New national sales manager for sara LBS


ara LBS has appointed Tony Saunders to lead sales. The company is already recognised as a leading supplier and installer of premium loading bay solutions and highspeed industrial doors. Tony will work closely with the existing sales team to continue expansion into industries such as pharmaceu-


ollowing a management buyout, Dr Stefan Nettesheim and Klaus Forster took over Reinhausen Plasma GmbH, including all assets and patents. The company has been renamed relyon plasma GmbH. The MBO underlines the confidence of the new management in the growing trans-sectoral market for atmospheric plasma applications. Nettesheim, CEO of the company since November 2011, explained: “With our development skills and our interdisciplinary team that knows the diverse possibilities of practice-orientated plasma applications, we’re convinced that we can influence the market more strongly than in the past.” Klaus Forster, COO in charge of organisational development and procurement, added: “We have extensive industrial experience in medical technology, automotive, packaging, electronics, aerospace and various other industries as well as in research and laboratory fields.” Visit:

Dirk Vandenberghe elected Eurometaux president


urometaux, the European non-ferrous metals association, has elected Dirk Vandenberghe, CEO of Metallo-Chimique NV, as its new president. Dirk Vandenberghe succeeds Oliver Bell, executive vice-president of Norsk Hydro ASA and chairman of the German ‘Metals pro Climate initiative’. Dirk Vandenberghe commented: “I look forward to leading the European nonferrous metals industry’s efforts to strengthen its competitiveness and continue developing solutions for more sustainable products, services and infrastructure.” Before joining Belgium-based Metallo-Chimique NV as CEO in 2011, Dirk Vandenberghe spent 20 years at Arcelor, where his last assignment was as general manager of Arcelor Mittal Tailored Bank. Visit:

ticals, food & beverage production, automotives and warehouse & distribution. Tony comments: “Combined, the existing sales team has decade’s worth of experience in working directly with end-users, specifiers and architects to design and supply bespoke, solution lead products. My goal is to harvest this experience and knowledge.” Visit: Industry Europe 21



Advances in technology across industry

Research paves the way for custom-made catalysts World’s longest superconductor cable yields new knowledge



team of researchers led by Jordi Llorca from the Nanoengineering Research Centre (CRnE) and the Institute of Energy Technologies (INTE) – both of which belong to the UPC – has studied how atoms move in a real catalyst and has demonstrated that they react differently depending on the type of support being used. This research opens the door to designing new custom-made catalysts for energy and industrial applications and for the removal of pollutant gases. The catalyst chosen by the researchers contained metal (rhodium and palladium) nanoparticles prepared by the Dendrimers and Molecular Polygons Group at the UB. The nanoparticles were fixed to a ceria support. This catalyst is very effective at producing hydrogen, a product that could replace fossil fuels before they are depleted and allow the current energy model to be changed in favour of a more sustainable and environmentally friendly one. Jordi Llorca explains that the results of the study pave the way for obtaining hydrogen in the most efficient way possible, that is, from water and etha-

nol – the latter of which is a renewable, inexpensive resource that is easily obtained from forestry and agricultural waste. “The nanoparticles know where they are supported and react accordingly.” This discovery, he explains, “paves the way for custom-made catalysts that are more efficient because they can be developed or adapted according to the process for which they are required.” In the case of hydrogen, the research team discovered that to produce it the atoms in the catalyst need to be in certain positions. These positions allow electrons to be exchanged between the metal nanoparticles and the ceria support appropriately when they break and form new chemical bonds to produce hydrogen. In vehicles that use combustion engines (cars, motorcycles, planes, ships, etc.) with ceriasupported catalysts, new nanostructures could be designed or existing ones adapted to make them more energy efficient. Visit:

ssen’s superconductor has now been live for 4300 hours. RWE and its project partners have given a positive interim report on AmpaCity’s first 180 days at work. The world’s longest superconductor has amply fulfilled expectations, transmitting five times as much electricity as a conventional copper cable. As an added plus, dissipation is near-zero. Since commissioning the 1 kilometre-long cable in April 2014, RWE has used it to deliver around 20 million kilowatthours. Funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy enabled the flagship project to go ahead. “The energy transition calls for bold innovation. We need to design an efficient and secure system to meet tomorrow’s energy needs. So we had no hesitation in choosing this excellent project for sponsorship under our energy research programme,” explained Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Economics and Energy. The superconductor transmits current at minus 200 degrees Celsius rather than minus 270. The properties of the superconductor’s special ceramic material, coupled with cooling to minus 200, make the cable an ideal electric conductor. In Essen, the 10,000-volt superconductor cable replaces a conventional 110,000-volt power line. This technology makes it possible to reduce the number of substations and shift them to the outskirts, releasing valuable inner-city land. “Operations have so far proceeded smoothly. We have gained valuable knowledge of this technology, which has helped us improve the whole superconductor system further,” reported Dr Joachim Schneider, technical director at RWE Deutschland. Visit:

GDF SUEZ and Electrabel to support research against climate change


DF SUEZ and Electrabel have signed a cooperation agreement with KU LEUVEN (University of Leuven) to support the unique SpaceBillboard project that aims to fund the design and space launch of a new type of satellite called a CubeSat. Four aerospace researchers had the simple but so-far unique idea of funding their researches using a miniaturised satellite that will be the first advertising billboard in space on which companies can pay to display their logo or a message. “It should allow us to raise around 22 Industry Europe

€100,000, which would be enough to fund the construction of a base station to monitor this CubeSat here at KUL,” explains university professor Dirk Vandepitte. GDF SUEZ and Electrabel are the original and lead sponsors of this world first, whose main mission will be to measure the heat emitted and absorbed by the Earth in order to analyse and gain a better understanding of climate change as the basis for combatting greenhouse gas emissions more effectively. Having been committed proactively

to these issues for many years, GDF SUEZ has set itself the target of cutting its own CO2 emissions by 10% between now and 2020. Electrabel’s ‘Working Together for Less CO2’ plan has already reduced CO2 emissions from its power generating facilities by 6.1 million metric tons. “It’s part of our commitment to aerospace and to achieving our targets in terms of limiting CO2 emissions,” explains Kristof Schelderman, communication manager for GDF SUEZ in Belgium. Visit:


NOTICEBOARD SericaTM: A premium finish for automotive exposed panels


ata Steel, Europe’s second-largest steel producer, has launched its new Serica™ product, a premium hot-dip galvanised surface finish. With guaranteed low waviness after forming (see below), the new product offers customers the highest possible surface quality and paint appearance for exposed automotive panels, including hoods, doors, fenders and body sides. Serica enables a consistently excellent paint finish even when thinner or fewer paint layers are

used. Combined with the cost-effective process of hot-dip coating, Serica allows Tata Steel to offer significant total cost of ownership benefits to its customers. In addition, hot-dip galvanising offers a sustainable production process which uses a relatively low amount of energy. The first two steel grades in which Serica will be commercially available are the formable DX56 steel and the high-strength steel BH180, commonly used for fenders and doors. Sander Heinhuis, Tata Steel’s European marketing manager for Automotive, said: “Creating a great finish on automotive parts is naturally an essential part of the vehicle production process. By using steels with the new Serica surface quality customers can achieve an excellent paint appearance on exposed body panels while at the same time using a sustainable hot-dip galvanised coating process.” Visit:

ENGEL e-pic: Fast, flexible and compact

Securyfence simplifies exchanging mesh panels and doors


he ENGEL e-pic recently celebrated its world premiere at Fakuma 2014 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. This new development now sees ENGEL cover the complete spectrum of handling requirements in injection moulding in an even better way, from simple part removal, depositing, and sprue separation, through sophisticated insert-placing and take-out, to combining various process steps in a highly-integrated production cell. The objective in this product development was to combine maximum performance with maximum economy. Another important efficiency factor is the use of weight-optimised parts which keeps the accelerated masses low. The compact design also contributes to its excellent efficiency. When deployed on injection moulding machines with an integrated conveyor belt, the ENGEL e-pic works inside the machine’s safety gate without needing extra space. And it needs far less vertical space than comparable third-party robots. The ENGEL e-pic is designed for horizontal and vertical part removal and handling of small parts and sprues with a load-bearing capacity of up to 2 kg. It is deployed on injection moulding machines with clamping forces up to 2,200 kN. Visit:


imarox has extended the Securyfence safety fencing system with a new line of hinged and sliding doors. The new doors are always supplied pre-assembled and are not only stronger and more robust than in the previous line, but also increase the flexibility of the system. The new hinged and sliding doors in the Securyfence range are available with a width of 730 and 990 millimetres, the dimensions in which the standard mesh panels are available. This means that companies that are already using Securyfence for safety fencing can replace a mesh panel with a door in a matter of minutes. Companies that want to install a sliding door because they no longer have room for a hinged door due to changes in production, no longer have to buy a whole new door. The new doors are stronger and more robust than previously due to a change in construction. Moreover, installing a different type of handle has made them easier to open and close. A special emergency button makes it possible to exit the shielded enclosure quickly in urgent situations when the door is locked. Visit:

Pneumatic cord and yarn grips I

nstron, a leading provider of testing equipment designed to evaluate the mechanical properties of materials and components, offers an easy solution designed specifically to overcome the problem of premature failure for industrial textile fibres – including Aramid and UHMwPE. Instron Pneumatic Cord and Yarn Grips (2714-04x), which test up to 2 kN, are designed with interchangeable clamping blocks that accommodate fibres or yarns made from conventional fibres or newly developed high-performance fibers. This cost-effective new feature allows customers to utilise the same grip body as the common actuator and carrier for a range of application-specific clamping blocks. Before the addition of the interchangeable clamping blocks it was necessary for a lab to purchase a full set of grips, with grip bodies, grip faces and single purpose capstans. The Pneumatic Cord and Yarn Grips incorporate a capstan design that evenly distributes the gripping force over the curved surface of an involute specially designed to maximise breaking load. The capstan provides support for the specimen, making the transition from the free-stressed length of specimen to the rigidly clamped portion gradually rather than abruptly, thus minimising breakage of the specimen adjacent to the jaw face. Visit:

Industry Europe 23



Germany Allan Hall reports on a Germany that remains divided 25 years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall.


is a quarter of century since the world witnessed crowds with pickaxes and hammers tear down the most hated symbol of oppression ever built by man. The events of 9 November 1989 – the night the Berlin Wall fell – have burned themselves into the collective consciousness of us all. Who can ever forget the sheer unbridled joy of the ‘Ossis’ – the easterners – marching through the opened barriers to a neon-lit west that their rulers had always claimed was a fool’s paradise? What began on that chilly night would morph into the planet’s biggest party: day followed day of riotous drinking and dancing, where strangers glugged from each other’s champagne bottles, kissed, hugged, cried and drank some more as each flake of reinforced concrete chipped from the ‘AntiFascist Protection Barrier’ became another nail in the coffin of the state which erected it. So hated was it by Berliners, soon after the champagne corks stopped popping it was dismantled wholesale and flogged off around the globe. Now bits of it can be seen virtually everywhere in the world – except in the city where it was built and where it reigned supreme during the cold war. There are chunks of it in Paris, New York, Moscow, Kuala Lumpur, Stockholm, Ulan Bator, even Beijing – but precious little left in Berlin, which was the first big mistake of the west. Every tourist who visits the capital of reunited Germany wants to see ‘the wall’ but has to make do with a few rag-tag sections dotted here and there, together with a piece left in situ at the Bernauer Strasse crossing point complete with a reconstructed death strip and watchtower. For the most part, it has vanished, gone for good, like the tyrants who built it and manned it; a huge cash-generating machine was given away and the city fathers curse themselves to this day for the speed in which they disposed of it. 24 Industry Europe

So it was with lanterns instead of machine guns and wire that the fall of the wall was celebrated on 9 November 2014. Thousands of lights lit up where it once stood for three days over the anniversary, charting the path of the wall’s no man’s land through the centre of the city.

Divisions remaining Tens of thousands of visitors poured into the city for the celebrations, the circus atmosphere going some way to disguise the reality of the failure to make two Germanys one. The bill for reunification was calculated earlier this year at over 1.6 trillion pounds – and rising. That cost has been borne by every German taxpayer and many others beside in the EU. It has paid for new roads and the demolition of old factories in the decrepit east. It has built new houses, hotels, hospitals, schools, bridges, farm buildings and power plants, and renovated grand old palaces and castles that the communists allowed to fall into disrepair. As a result the average life expectancy for women has gone up from 77 to 83 and for men from 69 to 77. But one Germany remains a work in progress. The economic strength of east Germany remains two thirds of that of the west and that parity in all things will still take many years to achieve. Unemployment is chronically higher and a study released in august this year showed poverty was still more prevalent in the east. And neo-Nazism continues to stalk the fraulein-free towns where desperate, skin-headed men unable to find a girlfriend – more women have left to go west than men – embrace the ideals of the far right instead of a girlfriend. Westerners still refuse to go east, easterners still continue to pour west. The exodus has contributed to the fact that parts of eastern Germany now have the lowest birth rates in the entire world. A phrase that was popular a year after the wall came down remains popular

now. It is ‘Die Mauer steht noch in den Koepfchen’ – ‘The wall still stands in the minds’ – and it is true.

An illusion of power There is one final, ironic point to make about the Berlin Wall and the two systems it defined. For all its menace, its significance as a flashpoint, its sheer physical presence, it was actually the guardian of nothing. A book published two years ago showed how the vaunted country, with its steroid-muscular female Olympians and its alleged powerful army, was actually paralytic for most of its existence and not fit for any purpose at all. ‘The Blue Strangler: How the GDR Drank’ by Thomas Kochan is both amusing and tragic; a chronicle of how in the workers’ paradise every person – from child to OAP – drank an average of 143 litres of beer, 12 litres of wine and 16 litres of spirits a year. It was higher than any other country in the Soviet empire. The book, named after a 40 per cent vodka produced by the state, details how the country of 17 million lacked basic foodstuffs, building materials, clothes, consumer goods of every type – but was awash with booze. It became the narcotic which dulled the senses to the drab life that the German Democratic Republic forced upon its unwilling citizens. While booze had no place on the production lines of the West German factories churning out the ‘economic miracle’, East German plants resembled industrial pubs. But Kochan notes that it was a sober East German mass, the Monday evening demonstrators who defied the state in cities like Leipzig, Dresden and East Berlin, who eventually tore down the wall and the country that built it. Drink was banned for the demos. It didn’t last long. One only has to look back at the drinking done atop the wall when it fell to see that their thirsts had returned with the whiff n of freedom on the cold night air.



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on the latest from two of France’s major energy players, Alstom and Areva.


rance’s engineering and energy giant Alstom is to sell off most of its power generating assets to US group General Electric in a €12.4 billion deal finally authorised this month by the Paris government. GE won a two-month long bidding war in June against Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for Alstom’s energy assets, which represent around 70 per cent of the French conglomerate’s revenues. But another five months were then needed for the government to give its approval for the alliance after a new law this year that gave Paris veto rights over foreign bids for ‘strategic’ French companies, notably those in the energy and transport sectors. Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron has now announced that the government is “satisfied that state interests in France’s nuclear activities and energy security are fully taken into account under the deal.” GE will now take on Alstom’s nuclear, steam turbine, offshore wind and hydro power businesses, which it will run as 50-50 joint ventures with French shareholders – which include the government. It will merge its electricity grid business into Alstom’s on a 50-50 basis, and it will take over Alstom’s profitable gas turbine business completely. At the same time, the US firm will hand its own train signalling business to Alstom – which makes France’s TGV fast trains – and, bolstered by an infusion of cash from the deal, this will then be the core business of Alstom. GE has also agreed to create jobs in France, rather than cut them through consolidation, and even promised to pay a penalty of 50,000 euros for every job out of the 1000 promised that it fails to create in France. And in a victory for Paris, GE has also agreed to give the socialist government holding key blocks of shares in the joint ventures, and granted the government a veto over key decisions.

Also, as part of the deal, the French government has agreed to buy the 20 per cent stake held by Alstom’s largest shareholder, the Bouygues family, giving it two seats on the board of the post-deal company which has just released its half-year fiscal results for April to end-September showing a 32 per cent drop in net income to 255 million euros. Steve Bolze, president of GE Power and Water, said that with government approval now given, all that was needed is the backing of Alstom’s shareholders at a December 19 meeting and the agreement of the antitrust authorities in 20 countries. He added: “The deal is on track to close in mid-2015. The numbers from areas like providing services to Alstom’s existing customers look better than ever. “We like it more today than the day we announced it. We’ll be bigger in Europe and bigger all over the world.”

Challenges for Areva Meanwhile, experts have cast doubt on whether France’s struggling nuclear reactor builder Areva is likely to win much in the way of big nuclear export contracts, despite a major government-backed effort to woo new customers. French utility giant EDF may have just won European Union approval to build two Arevadesigned EPR reactors in Britain, which will be Areva’s first reactor sales since 2007. But the high-grade EPR reactors, with an outer skin designed to withstand a commercial airline crash and a built-in core catcher to collect radioactive remains in case of a meltdown, are feared to be too expensive for emerging markets, where most growth in nuclear generation is taking place. Yves Marignac, director of France’s independent nuclear consultant WISE-Paris, said: “The EPR is too big, too complex and too costly for most of the existing market.

“Also for one French company, which is 84 per cent state-owned, to buy reactors from another French company, which is 87 per cent state-owned, and with subsidies from the UK government, is hardly the model of a competitive export industry.” Areva chief executive Luc Oursel has also had to backtrack on his long-standing forecast that Areva will win ten new EPR orders by 2016 after first-half losses this year led to the biggest dive in the company’s stock in a decade. Since losing a landmark United Arab Emirates contract in 2009 to South Korea’s Kepco, Areva has lost out on tenders in Finland and the Czech Republic and made no progress in India. Meanwhile, Russia’s Rosatom has won a string of contracts in emerging markets with its build, own and operate model. The nuclear industry is also moving increasingly to a vendor financing model, which forces reactor builders to take a stake in their customers’ projects. And Japanese, South Korean, Chinese and Russian reactor builders now provide financing packages at rates about 2 per cent lower than the French industry can match, according to Philippe Pradel, head of nuclear development at French utility GDF Suez. This was amply highlighted by the fact that Areva wants to finance the UK reactor at Hinkley Point C with money it is required to set aside to cover the cost of eventual decommissioning of its French nuclear installations, rather than issuing new debt, he said. Areva has yet to get government approval for that move, and with net financial debt of €4.73 billion in June, the company has little room to take on more to compete effectively with Russia and its Asian competitors. Mr Pradel added: “We are out of the race straight away. There is really no point n in competing.” Industry Europe 25


he 21st EuroMold, which is to take place at the end of November 2014 at the exhibition centre in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, will again present itself as a globally positioned trade fair. From November 25–28 2014, approximately 1000 exhibitors from some 32 countries will meet around 50,000 international visitors from all areas of industry. This makes EuroMold by far the most international trade fair within its field. Furthermore, there are no comparable trade fairs with so many world premieres and examples of the most recent trends from across the entire sector. At this year’s trade fair, the organisers are expecting the proportion of foreign visitors to be around 50%. As things currently stand, there will be approximately 40 first-time

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exhibitors from Germany and around 60 first-time exhibitors from abroad represented at the trade fair. The majority of the foreign first-time exhibitors will be made up primarily of Portuguese mold- and toolmakers, as well as companies from the Netherlands, Great Britain, France and China. Mold- and toolmaking is thus the largest industrial sector represented at the trade fair, followed by rapid prototyping & tooling and the accessories and peripheral devices manufacturing industry. Alongside these, representatives from all other areas of the overall process chain are expected to be present, for example from the engineering, design, machine tooling and software sectors. Eberhard Döring, manager of the EuroMold trade fair, commented: “In contrast,

other trade fairs that have a national focus bring together mainly German exhibitors and visitors, by no means displaying stateof-the-art technology and failing to offer these numerous opportunities to establish business contacts around the world that can be found at EuroMold. Within a global market, it is apparent that German companies enter new markets with international partners. In this regard, EuroMold serves as the world’s only platform that has been established within its field for several years and can offer an incomparably broad variety of international companies from the entire industrial process chain. Once again in 2014, companies will benefit from our international n orientation within the global market.” Visit:



reviously known as Saab Bofors Dynamics AB, Saab Dynamics is a subsidiary of Saab AB, specialising in missile and antitank systems. It also has excellent industrial underwater competence. Main product areas cover torpedoes, ROVs, UUVs and Underwater Data Acquisition Platforms. Its headquarters and main operational centre is at Karlskoga, 240km west of Stockholm, and there are other important bases at Linköping and Eskilstuna. It currently employs over 1500 people. Its corporate heritage has roots in Bofors, founded in 1646 to make cannon, and

Saab’s aviation interests, which started around 1937. In 1999, Saab purchased the Celsius group, the parent group of Bofors. The company has two core businesses: complete missile solutions and short range support weapons. The company is prime contractor for the Swedish defence forces. Although relatively small when compared to the competition, Saab Dynamics is also a significant player on the international market, both as a system supplier and as a partner. Exports account for more than 80 per cent of the company’s order book.

Saab Dynamics, part of the global giant Saab AB, serves the worldwide market with missile and anti-tank systems. Industry Europe looks at the background from this division and some of its latest achievements.

Recent contract Saab Dynamics consistently wins high-profile contracts from customers all over the world. For example, in July this year (2014) it received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) regarding design plans for a New Lightweight Torpedo (NLT). This order amounts to some MSEK 43. Speaking at the time, Görgen Johansson, senior vice-president and head of business area Saab Dynamics, said: “We are very pleased and proud to have the continued confidence to deliver torpedo weapon systems to FMV and the Swedish Navy in the commenceIndustry Europe 25

ment of the work to deliver the replacement for the Torpedo 45. Saab Dynamics has over the years established a unique experience and expertise in developing underwater systems for shallow waters and the types of environment that exist in the Baltic Sea.”

Teaming up Saab Dynamics also recognises the value of strategic partnerships when it comes to tendering for major contracts. In June it announced the signature of a cooperation agreement with Nexter Munitions for the supply of the AT4 Disposable Shoulder-Launched Weapon System to the future French Roquette NG programme. Mr Johansson explained: “By teaming up with Nexter Munition, we get access to a company in France with the expertise needed to support us with the Roquette NG programme, throughout both tender and execution.”

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The AT4 is one of the most successful anti-armour weapons ever developed, battle proven in some of the most challenging of today’s warfare environments. It is a lightweight, man-portable, fully disposable weapon system. The weapon is just as effective against landing craft, aircraft and helicopters as it is against land-based vehicles. It can also be employed to protect fixed-defence installations, supply points and other vital assets.

Dividing costs As in many other areas of defence development costs for guided weapons have risen enormously. Few countries outside the US feel they can afford to develop advanced missiles on their own. This has caused many countries, including Sweden, to participate in cross-border missile development projects. “It’s a very big portion of our spending,” says a company spokesperson. “But it’s

tricky to say just how much. While we have our own budget for development, some is taken on by our subcontractors and partners. In addition to meeting the high costs of development, another reason for international collaboration is to form credible competition to the US defence industry.

Lean and light A high proportion of the company’s production is contracted out; in many cases to factories and workshops that Saab previously owned but has since sold off. “Our strategy since the formation of Saab Dynamics has been to out-source our production facilities. The previous company Bofors produced everything. We had our own steel production at one end of the factory and at the other end we produced guns and ammunition. “But that cost money. We had very modern, paint workshops, electronic and mechanical

workshops, with a lot of investment tied up in state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. But with the limited size of our orders they were under utilised, by up to 70 per cent. “So, we sold them to companies working on the commercial civil market. Because their markets were less specialised they could secure jobs and increase the number of employees, while we were no longer lumbered with big capital investments in a volatile market. “The only production we now have is the final assembly and tests. No components, no sub systems are produced within the company. It’s subcontractors all the way.” While reliance on subcontractors gives Saab Dynamics more flexibility, it does mean the company has to pay close attention to quality control and compliance monitoring. “Our purchasing department has become more and more vital for the company in that

they are very, very professional in buying,” says the company spokesperson. “In the R&D section they must be very specific in terms of handing over all the specifications for what should be bought quality wise, and everything must be very well specified and controlled. During the years that we have been active that the purchasing department is much more important today than it used to be.”

Adapting to changes The future of Saab Dynamics is rooted in the sea changes that have affected the defence industry in the past decades. “During the cold war, Sweden had a powerful domestic defence industry. We designed and produced our own submarines, fighter aircraft and missile systems and most of the equipment for the forces in Sweden was produced within Sweden.” “Now the size of our army has shrunk by more than 90 per cent and defence contracts

have reduced proportionately. Where once we could rely on a strong domestic market and could double that income through exports, now the vast percentage of our sales come from the export market. So that’s the sales pattern for the future.” To exploit these changes, Saab Dynamics has established a strong presence in n markets outside Europe.



Farmtech is a European leader in the design and manufacture of high-tech all-purpose agricultural vehicles and other machinery. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that is poised for significant growth, and reports on the products that are driving its global expansion.


armtech was founded in Slovenia in 1954 and is a subsidiary of the Austrian industrial group Komptech, a leading supplier of machines for the mechanical and biological treatment of solid waste and biomass. Farmtech became part of the Komptech Group in 1997 and has since seen consistent growth and a broadening of its product portfolio. Today Farmtech manufactures more than 1000 farm equipment units per year. In addition to transportation vehicles for the agricultural industry, it also produces equipment for the environmental and recycling industry.

The Komptech Group operates in locations in Austria, Germany and the USA. Today the group employs more than 550 people worldwide, and last year recorded sales of over €100 million. In 2013 Farmtech contributed over €20 million to Group revenues, and currently employs 260 people.

Diversity and innovation The broad range of products offered by Farmtech is designed to meet the growing and diverse needs of today’s modern agricultural users. The company produces all types of single axle, double axle, tri-axle and tandem

tipping trailers as well as all-purpose farm vehicles and manure spreaders. Farmtech’s manure spreader range includes mountain spreaders from 4 and 5.5 tons, as well as spreaders ranging from 6.2 to 12 tons. This is in addition to a special all-purpose spreader produced in sizes from 18 to 22 tons. With its in-house R&D team Farmtech continues to set new standards in terms of innovation and cost-effectiveness. In addition to traditional crops and bulk materials, there is also a growing demand for the transportation of heavy goods such as sand, gravel, building rubble, soils and

Industry Europe 29

recycling materials. Until now mostly joined trucks were used for the transport of heavy goods in bulk, but Farmtech has made these trucks obsolete with its tractor-drawn heavy-duty dump tipper, the Gravis 2000. This new, all-round vehicle offers unlimited non-slip traction and outperforms all others on the market. A major characteristic of the company’s latest dump tipper is its massive vehicle frame, which is made of rigid longitudinal and cross beams of 8mm steel.

Thanks to its exceptional construction, this heavy-duty new Farmtech vehicle avoids the need for additional reinforcement beams, enabling reduction of its unladen weight to 7 tons, in turn increasing its maximum payload to 26 tons. Furthermore, the low centre of gravity provides maximum vehicle stability thanks to its unique hollow axle construction. Today Farmtech uses the latest CAD systems and technology in direct combination with an SAP system to design and construct

new models that precisely meet today’s modern farming needs. This has resulted in the flexible development of component modules and new, innovative design options across the board.

On-going investments Farmtech opened a new purpose-built plant in Ljutomer, Slovenia in 2007 and continues to invest in new technology. This new stateof-the-art plant has enabled the company to take on more complex and demanding

projects. Many new technologies have been incorporated at the company’s two plants, including the latest laser welding equipment and a special chamber for powder coating operations. In addition, fully automated storage solutions are now in place as well as advanced handling systems. Today Farmtech is a modern, lean and innovative company that operates two modern facilities in Ljutomer, Slovenia. From here the company also conducts its management and sales operations, and provides support to its customers and trade partners. All Farmtech products are manufactured inhouse. However, both plants are responsible for more than just manufacturing alone – they also do product development, backed

up by the company’s own group research centre, as well as offering full repair and maintenance capabilities. Currently Farmtech has more than 80 dedicated dealers located throughout the European market. The company’s biggest markets are Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which together represent over 50 per cent of sales. Other key export countries include the former Yugoslav countries: domestic Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia. In addition, the company also has its sights set firmly on other growth markets such as Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Russia. Farther afield Farmtech is looking at other lucrative markets including Australia and Japan. At the same time it is expanding

its product portfolio, and is already serving other growth markets including forestry, the building industry and special project construction equipment. A spokesman for the company said: “Farmtech is a well-established and trustworthy partner that you can rely on for proactive decision making, fairness and approachability. Our products are costeffective and innovative, and with them we improve the working conditions of our customers by helping them to make their work n easier and more productive.” For further details of Farmtech’s latest innovative products and services visit

LEADER IN FARM MACHINERY Metal-Fach Ltd, with its headquarters in Sokółka in north-eastern Poland, is one the leading manufacturers of farming machinery in the country as well as across Europe and beyond. The company’s dynamic growth, particularly since 2002, has been remarkable, and has secured Metal-Fach one of the strongest positions in the market. Piotr Sadowski reports for ‘Industry Europe’.

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elebrating 25 years of operations in 2014, Metal-Fach began its activities as a manufacturer of central heating boilers. Then, in 2002, it expanded its production scope and launched the first models of agricultural machinery and equipment. “Our growth since then is really the key highlight of our history of development,” says Janusz Kaźmierowski, chief executive and president of the company, who has been with Metal-Fach for the past 11 years. “While in 2003 we were

employing 150 people, our staff headcount today surpasses 800. We have also been making 100 per cent increases in our turnover, year-on-year, with the most recent results showing sales at the level of PLN 240 million.”

Market leader Agricultural machinery is the company’s key product area, accounting for around 80–90 per cent of the overall manufacturing output. But Metal-Fach is also the market leader in

Poland, or comes in a close second place. In the area of central heating boilers; the market is dispersed and there are many competitors, but this particular product line continues to be an important area of manufacturing for the company. “Since 2010 we have also been producing trailers, Our range of Nova truck semi-trailers are items which we manufacturer solely in accordance with customised orders, with specific client needs in mind,” says Mr Kaźmierowski. “It is also worth noting that

the manufacturing areas on which we focus are in fact quite closely-related and we are able to transfer design methodologies and solutions directly to the vast range of agricultural machinery which we produce.” Metal-Fach is a company renowned throughout Poland and Europe, with exports accounting for around 50 per cent of the overall sales. It distributes its products across the whole of the European Union and is a particularly strong player in the Baltic States, as well as further east, in Russia and former Soviet Republics. It even has its own company in Kazakhstan to service the regional market there. “We also sell beyond Europe, which means we are effectively a global player, whose competitive edge is owing to our ability to process and complete orders rapidly and create customised products, including custombased paint options,” Mr Kaźmierowski points out. “We have excellent technological back-up, all of which means that we are valued by our business partners, including leading names such as Bonel, John Deere, Praboli or Zetor. We also work closely with a wide range of established and highly reliable suppliers, both in Poland, but also in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and China.”

Robust manufacturing capabilities The company facilities currently cover 16.5 hectares of land, including 4.3 hectares of roofed and sheltered production floors. In 2010 Metal-Fach completed the project of building one of Poland’s largest paint workshops, with more than a hectare of roofed space. This has given the company a huge amount of flexibility, both in terms of the painting techniques that can be used (powder coating; wet coating; cataphoresis, i.e. the application of protective layers using the best available methods, in a fully automated painting process; and other techniques), as well as the wide range of colours which can be used according to customers’ require-

ments. The paint workshop has painting lines which reach an impressive 2.5 kilometre in length. This investment was vital, as prior to its completion painting was the only problematic bottleneck at the company. With a total of 3200 metres of conveyor lines, Metal-Fach also has 3D laser machining centres for the processing of sections and pipes. It also has a team of several dozens of design engineers, who work on designs of new products and solutions. In addition, in its R&D activities, the company also cooperates directly with leading engineering and design institutes and educational centres. Apart from excellent quality products and after-sales service, the customers also receive technical support, spare parts services, as well as warranty and post-warranty services. Metal-Fach’s team of experienced and skilled professionals guarantees the high quality of its products, meets the demands of Polish and foreign markets and drives the continuous growth of the company. Over the years, Metal-Fach has received numerous awards not only for its equipment but also for its social and staff policy.

Wide range of agricultural machinery During the last decade of operation in the agricultural machinery sector, Metal-Fach has marketed a wide range of products, from silage presses, through single- and double-axle trailers, to platforms for bales and digging reels. There are two types of baling presses available: the Z589 variable chamber displacement press and the Z562, available with the rotor or the rotor and blades, depending on the optional configuration. The offer includes bale wrappers, i.e. machines which are intended for wrapping individual bales of semi-dry grass and legumes hay. The wrappers are stationary models: the Z552 and Z560 hydraulic-driven models and the Z561 electric-driven model. The Z237, Z577 and Z593 are self-loading wrappers. Front loaders and equipment for

front loaders are a huge success among customers. There is also a wide selection of feeder wagons and manure spreaders. Manufacturing and sale of mono-axial trailers with the capacity range from 1.5 to 4 tons, double-axial trailers from 6 to 12 tons, and tandem trailers from 8 to 10 and 12 tons of capacity ensures the superiority of Metal-Fach and makes the company one of the largest manufacturers in Poland.

Positive outlook on the future Metal-Fach will continue strengthening its activities in the current production segments, particularly, of course, in the area of agricultural machinery manufacturing, especially in crop-processing machinery. “We will continue to get better, stronger and modernise our operations,” concludes Mr Kaźmierowski. “We will develop our activities in the markets where we are already present, as well as reach and establish ourselves in new ones. We will also continue operating as a socially-responsible corporate organisation, which actively supports n the local community and sports.”

AGRO-RAMI AGRO-RAMI is known primarily from its sale of agricultural machinery and spare parts for them, as well as from the sale of high-end tires for industries and agriculture. The company is a wholesaler and direct representative of many global brands in Poland. Both, continuous development and valuable 20 years of experience make AGRO-RAMI an expert in the agricultural market. The company’s regular sales are estimated as 35,000 articles from more than 100 product groups. The company is a dealer of Case Steyr agricultural tractors for the entire Greater Poland region and the sole representative of the BKT tires brand. BKT is a manufacturer of high quality tires for automotive, agriculture, forestry, the construction industry, materials handling and forklift trucks. The BKT production base includes more than 12,000 items ranging from small KART tires up to TUBES made in butyl technology. BKT has offices in countries around the world. In Poland, it is AGRO-RAMI Raniś i wspólnicy s.c, located in Kościelna Wieś near Kalisz, where its central warehouse of tires is situated.

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AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGY LEADER Pöttinger continues to set standards in the area of agricultural technology. Industry Europe looks at its success over the past year and some of its latest product launches.

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he Austrian company Pöttinger is backed by a long tradition and has been developing innovative agricultural technology for almost 140 years, promoting every aspect of cost-effective and sustainable agriculture. The financial year 2013/14 has been another significant one for Pöttinger: with a turnover of €314 million, the family-owned company has not only increased growth for the fourth time in a row, but has also achieved a new record turnover in the company’s more than 140-year history. The combination of concentrating on its core competencies and the dedication of its around 1575 employees is what has brought this continued success

Impressive market reach The company is renowned for its fair partnerships and reliable business relationships. From this sound foundation, Pöttinger consistently extends and optimises its worldwide dealership network while promoting ongoing internationalisation.

In addition to its production locations in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic, the company is also represented by its own sales subsidiaries, such as in northern and southern Germany, in France, in Switzerland, Italy, Canada, Czech Republic, Australia, the USA, the UK, Ukraine and Russia. Core markets, such as Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland and the Czech Republic continue to be served well. Eastern Europe, the CIS, Oceania and western Europe have also been seeing steady growth. A company spokesperson says: “As a result the Pöttinger product range stretches from Alpine equipment especially designed for working in steep, mountainous terrain through to high-performance loader wagons that deliver pure productivity and efficiency. Pöttinger has set standards with the technical competence integrated into its products: ground tracking and forage protection, smooth operation and lightweight construction, high performance at the same time as

high energy efficiency thanks to reduced diesel consumption and the unique paintwork quality of the machines.”

Product innovations Pottinger’s products fall into two key areas – grassland and tillage. Grassland includes the likes of disc mowers, drum mowers, tedders, rakes, self loading wagons, silage trailers, round balers and forage harvesters. In tillage, products include the likes of ploughs, stubble cultivators and disc harrows. The company also produces rotary harrows and drilling technology. The year 2014 has seen yet more exciting product innovations from this dynamic producer. The new FARO loader wagon range introduced in September this year promises to be the smoothest running rotor-type loader wagon on the market today. New developments in this range include a wind guard with swath roller for optimised forage flow and an additional tracking roller. It also features a heavy-duty

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single-stage incoming gear unit to give it 14 per cent more drive power with a corresponding increase in capacity. Another new launch for Pöttinger, its singlerotor rake, has been designed in-line with the company’s focus on high forage quality, perfect ground tracking and cost-effective use of base forage. The latest technical developments on the larger models of rake have now been integrated into some of the company’s TOP range of single-rotor rakes, including the TOP 342, TOP 382, TOP 422 and TOP 462 with working widths of 3.40m to 4.60m. In July this year, the company was able to set new standards in productivity and 38 Industry Europe

efficiency with the launch of the NOVACAT S12 mower combination. With a working width of 11.2m and a power requirement of just 160 hp, this mower combination is a real fuel saver. Operation is straightforward and convenient using a double-acting hydraulic connection. Perfect ground tracking is achieved by the mower combination thanks to centre point suspension that enables a freedom of movement of +/- 22 degrees. Yet another product to be introduced was Pöttinger’s new combined wagon model, the EUROPROFI COMBILINE, which was launched in June this year in order to meet the various demands placed on the

loader wagon as well as individual customer requirements. Importantly, the assembly line for these wagons allows order-specific manufacturing, mixed production of different types of loader wagon, higher capacity and even better product quality. Furthermore, Pöttinger has been building on its proven drum mower technology with the development of the EUROCAT 272 and 312. The EUROCAT 272 ED is also available with a tine-type conditioner. Drum-type mowers are known for their clog-free, tidy cut. Pöttinger mower drum technology specialises in smooth crop flow and excellent clearance. The two new drum mowers have working widths of

2.70 and 3.05m. A key feature of these is the unique hydraulic lower linkage arm that enables easy mounting without having to adjust the tractor hitch struts.

Rollers for all soil types All soil types are different, which is why Pöttinger offers a wide range of rear rollers to match every type of soil for LION power harrows, SYNKRO stubble cultivators and

TERRADISC disc harrows. The whole range of Pöttinger rollers features precision manufacturing and robust design engineering. The decision in favour of a particular type of rear roller depends on whether, and to what extent, re-compaction of the soil is desired. On the other hand, the method of re-compaction depends very much on the type of soil and the moisture content of the ground. The important factor is that the seed is provided with the

optimum conditions for uniform and stressfree germination. Too fine a structure on the surface can cause mud and crust, which prevent the exchange of gases. A rough, clod-strewn surface, however, makes it difficult to achieve the desired level of cover for the seed. A wide selection of trailed rollers is available, ranging from standard cage drum rollers to packer rollers and rollers with stripn wide compaction. Industry Europe 39

NEW HORIZONS IN AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGY Insta Automation is part of the Insta Group of Finland and a market leader in automation and instrumentation technology. Philip Yorke spoke to Jarno Pitkänen, the company’s director, Installation Division, about its diverse range of services and move into the nuclear power sector.


nsta Group Oy is a family-owned business that is dedicated to building and maintaining a safe and competitive society. The group was founded by Finn Mattsson in Tampere, Finland, in 1960 and consists of four companies: Insta Automation; which specialises in industrial automation, Insta DefSec, which develops critical situation awareness and data security; and in another sector, Insta ILS provides life-cycle services for the aviation industry. In addition, Insta Innovation focuses on virtual technology and other innovative high-tech services. In the early days, Insta Automation began by focusing on specific industrial automation projects and the installation of instrumentation equipment. Since that time the company has been able to build upon its in-depth expertise to serve a diverse range

of industries in sectors such as process automation, water treatment, manufacturing and stage automation. Insta Automation’s clients represent a broad range of business sectors that include energy, refinery, water treatment, pulp and paper and the industrial process industries. In 2013, the Insta Group recorded sales of more than €84 million and currently employs over 750 people.

Optimising reliability worldwide Insta Automation provides reliable, highquality process electrification and instrumentation installations to the highest standards. The company’s installation process includes the commissioning and testing of the complete installation, which in turn makes it possible for Insta Automation to fully guarantee its products. The company’s broad range of

services include the installation of automation and instrumentation, control boxes, electrical installations, commissioning and testing, and maintenance. Insta Automation has built a team of professionals that is unrivalled in its niche marketplace. These highly qualified specialists are focused on disciplines relating to manufacturing plants, production processes and operational systems. The company is both client and service driven and adopts a flexible approach that is backed by a reputation for completing projects on time and within budget. Pitkanen said, “The European market is not a buoyant one at the present time and is even influenced by the current sanctions incurred by Russia. However, while some sectors are not seeing any significant growth, the energy

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sector remains a steady growth market for us as more and more biomass plants are being commissioned as part of a global strategy to reduce global warming. However, the nuclear power sector is one of the few that is not price driven but quality and safety driven. This is one area where we are becoming more active and are in discussions with a number of contractors in Finland.” Pitkanen added, “Fortunately our engineering division has a lot of future work on its books which is a good sign for the future. Having recently purchased another leading

Finnish company which specialises in the oil refinery sector, called Mattila Porvoo, we remain open to further acquisitions if the synergy is right. Our group has also invested in the building of a new, modern office complex which has just opened in August this year and will add yet further to the group’s overall efficiency.”

Prestige installations Insta Automation continues to win prestige contracts in the energy sector and its latest contract is no exception. The company in

association with Tammervoima of Finland has signed a contract concerning the delivery of instrumentation installations to Tarastejärvi waste to energy power plant in Tampere, Finland. The new state-of-the-art boiler will serve as a base unit to meet the district heating power needs of Finland’s Pirkanmaa municipality. Furthermore, Insta Automation has also provided electrification and instrumentation installations to a major bio-oil production plant at the Fortum Joensuu power plant and has also completed the delivery of instrumentation

installations at a new waste-to-energy power plant at Vantaa Langmossebergen in Finland. Today, Insta Automation’s solutions cover all areas of the automation industry and its maintenance and repair services ensure the efficient lifecycle of its clients’ facilities. As a customer of Insta Automation you receive 24/7 emergency and remote access support. This is in addition to full documentation management and comprehensive automation spare parts services, all of which are designed to guarantee uninterrupted operations for customers. n For further details of Insta Automation’s unique range of products and services visit:

Cost Reduction with SME GmbH, Germany We offer you the tangible savings through optimal purchasing, logistic and outsourcing strategy. We supply you with the widest possible range of industrial materials, products and assemblies: mechanics, electrics, electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics or anything else needed by your business. Our worldwide sourcing and manufacturing bring an efficient solution to your procurement and secure the continuous cost reduction and process improvement.

HANDLING, ASSEMBLING, LOADING AND PROCESSING Barbara Rossi speaks to the general manager of SIR SPA – Lino Ferrari – about the customised robotised solutions on offer, the importance of R&D and the vital role of suppliers and how his company has no margin for error.

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IR SpA was established in Modena in 1984 by Luciano Passoni, an experienced university-qualified engineer who had developed a passion for the first anthropomorphic robots which had started appearing on the market. Mr Passoni, who is still the CEO of SIR, was previously one of the partners of an important engineering design firm which was collaborating with two other companies, respectively specialised in mechanical engineering and manufacturing of electric and electronics systems. Thanks to this partnership the three companies were able to provide turn-key solutions, with shared commercial and organisational resources. One of their main clients was the Fiat group, which had started producing anthropomorphic robots through Comau in 1983. This was the spark for Mr Passoni’s passion and SIR SpA was created from the merger of the three companies. SIR stands for Soluzioni Industriali Robotizzate (Robotised Industrial Solutions) and at first it was indeed producing these products, as proven by Tomcat – a six-axis anthropomorphic robot, which was extremely innovative for its time. This robot took its name from the fact that at the first trade fair where it was showcased it drew a cat. “Until recently there were still some models of Tomcat in active service. We have repurchased one model so that it can be displayed at our premises, as part of our heritage,” Mr Ferrari says. SIR soon stopped actually manufacturing anthropomorphic robots, turning its attention to providing integrated robotised turn-key solutions. While the actual robots

are sourced from the best manufacturers on the market, SIR is active in solution engineering, integration, testing and installation. “We source the actual robots from high-quality, highly reliable suppliers, without being restricted to any particular manufacturer. Today our role is mainly in engineering, operating as a system integrator,” explains Mr Ferrari. “We only supply customised turn-key solutions, unique for each customer. We act as real partners to our clients and our main role is in the engineering and initial technical and economic assessment phase. We have to understand what the needs of our clients are and how to best fulfil them through a customised technical solution. Our know-how and experience are extremely important at this stage, especially because we serve a very varied range of clients. Some of them are very technologically advanced with cutting-edge R&D departments, while some of our smaller customers may need more support during this initial phase. Thanks to our vast knowledge of the anthropomorphic robot manufacturing sector we can select the best robots for the needs of the customer and then integrate them in a turn-key solution. At present we have about 3000 systems installed in various countries. “For us R&D is absolutely vital (we have developed 200 patents in Italy) and we are continuously searching for new products and ways of customising and integrating them, for two main reasons. The first is that the market demands new solutions, while the second is that the products offered by this sector are continuously evolving,

especially in terms of software and electronics. Increasingly the market has new needs, for instance there is now interest for these products in countries which previously did not use them.”

No margin for error The R&D department is led by Davide Passoni, son of the company founder, together with another four engineers. Moreover, SIR has a long-term collaboration with the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, proven by the fact that a university laboratory is actually based at the company’s premises and that there is a SIR laboratory at the university. “As well as being valuable in terms of the actual collaboration, this partnership allows us to recruit new engineering graduates and access research funds.” The company operates from a sole site in Modena and employs 80 members of staff plus the employees based at the organisation’s foreign technical and commercial offices and branches. In fact, in order to provide logistics support to its customers the company has a network of foreign technical and commercial offices and branches, as well as using the global network of the B & T Group to which it belongs. Recently it opened a technical and commercial office in Germany and is transforming its US office into an actual branch, so as to be better able to assist its clients in this geographical area (an office is also present in Brazil). For similar reasons, SIR has recently launched its new multilingual website www.sir-mo. com. “A website of this type is particularly important for a company such as ours,

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offering customised rather than standard solutions, because it provides our customers with the opportunity of understanding our technology and what we offer.” The turnover for 2013 was €28 million and SIR stands in good stead for growth, as it owns a plot of land next to its Modena site, for which it has building permission. “Should the need arise at any time, we can proceed with building. We are the main robotics solution integrator in Italy and one of the main ones in Europe. However, in order to maintain our high-level customised offer we cannot expand indiscriminately, because our key feature is engineering, for which skilled staff that have undergone years of the right training is required. Manufacturing is not an issue, as we have suppliers which can do this for us, but we have no margin for errors. Every solution that we supply is unique and has to be optimal, as we have no second chance. Because of this our solutions have to be based on solid ideas and engineering.” The range of sectors supplied by SIR robotised industrial solutions is extremely wide, in fact unique in its industry, although the core business is in mechanics, aerospace and automotive, with a particular focus on high-quality engineering. The middle-high range of these sectors will continue to be the engine for growth in the

future, but industries such as food, beverage, packaging, tissue and sanitary tiles also offer scope for expansion, as there will be increasing demand for robotised industrial solutions for their packaging and storage needs, especially at a time when warehousing is kept to a minimum. Geographically Italy generates about 35 per cent of turnover, while ‘old Europe’ is still the cornerstone of the business (see Germany for the automotive sector). Other interesting markets are the former Yugoslavian countries, North America and Mexico, as well as Turkey, where German companies are increasingly setting up production facilities and SIR is keeping a watchful eye. “We need to further develop our presence on existing markets; Turkey is very interesting, while other geographical areas of potential interest call for a certain caution due to possible political instability or custom duty issues. The heart of our engineering must remain here, but we are considering possible partnerships in areas where there is a high demand for engineering processes. Developing abroad with our own sites is possible, but would require a lot of staff training. The other option is that of creating partnerships with local engineering entities, so as to be able to have support staff able to intervene very quickly – something which the market increasingly demands and

which is the reason why, for instance, tier1 suppliers are inceasingly based near automotive production facilities.” For SIR, suppliers are absolutely critical. While it is free to choose robot manufacturers from the four corners of the globe, it tends to prefer flexible and dynamic small to medium local companies offering high-quality products. “We delegate quality control to them (although all solutions are then internally tested) and they are very scrupulous, as ultimately they will have to pay the consequences of any mistakes. They have been selected over the years and we are fully prepared to invest in them in terms of know-how and technology, as they are extremely valuable.” Mr Ferrari concludes, “SIR is an atypical company, because in 30 years it has created its own market and clientele. We are an extremely dynamic operation, staffed by people who truly feel passionate about what they are doing. We are really customer and market-oriented and follow an ethical code, involving respect for others, good staff relations and meritocracy. We often hold open-house events because we feel that getting clients to visit us is our best possible business card. By coming here they can see with their own eyes what we are capable of doing and where our talent lies, as well as n feeling our passion for our work.” Industry Europe 47


MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS ZAHORANSKY is the global leader in the development and manufacture of sophisticated equipment for the manufacture of toothbrushes, household and industrial brushes, injection moulds and medical devices. Philip Yorke talked to Gerhard Steinebrunner, the company’s managing director about its unique, innovative products and move into new markets.


AHORANSKY was founded in Germany in 1902 by Anton Zahoransky and it opened up a new era in brush production when he developed the world’s first reliable tufting tool for a drilling and tufting machine for brushes. Since then the company has remained an independent, family-owned business and has grown to become a global market leader that offers complete business solutions in the field of machine building and automation technology. Currently the company operates four distinct divisions: Mould making, Systems technology, Packaging machines and Brush machines. Today the ZAHORANSKY Group is present in 10 locations in six countries with global representation and branch offices worldwide. In 2013 the company employed over 600 people and recorded revenues of more than €70 million.

Expanding product portfolio ZAHORANSKY manufactures a diverse range of machines that are capable of producing a wide variety of products from small interdental brushes, mascara and hair brushes and tooth brushes, to brushes for personal care. In addition the company’s portfolio includes hand brushes, brooms, hard brushes, as well as WC and dish wash brushes for household use. However, the company is expanding its product portfolio further with particular emphasis on the medical industries where its advanced technology can play an important role. Steinebrunner says, “Our automation technology leads the field and this is endorsed by the blue chip companies that rely on our hightech equipment. This includes companies such as P&G, GSK and Unilever. We have become a one-stop-shop where companies like this rely on us to set up a complete

production line. We are the clear global brand leaders in most of our chosen disciplines and especially when it comes to the manufacture of toothbrushes where every second toothbrush in the world has been made on a ZAHORANSKY machine. “Companies such as P&G (Oral-B, Gillette), Freudenberg (Vileda) and Johnson & Johnson are all long-term customers of ours. The quality and reliability of our machines is widely acknowledged, which is supported by the fact that they have an operational life of up to 30 years. We have developed the most sophisticated technologies and the most reliable equipment in the world. Our products are at work in other industries too with companies such as Wilkinson and Siemens, and all these multi-nationals have their own culture and special requirements, so by nature we are very customer focused.”

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Steinebrunner adds, “We see our future growth coming from the industrial automation sector for our mounting processes. We also offer our advance technology to other industries that require robotics including the packaging industry. Recently we have seen significant growth in the demand for our needle-feeding systems for the medical industry. “Around 80 per cent of our entire R&D is conducted in-house, including prototyping and testing, and much of the balance is coming from our close collaboration with our customers. We are also proud of our track record when it comes to after-sales service and technical support. Our customers benefit from online access for trouble- shooting and they also can rely on our very fast spare parts service as well as a global network of engineers who are on stand by to fly out to any location the same day if required. We also keep to our delivery dates and our ecofriendly processes are continually upgraded. In fact in India we are the top-rated company for operating the most environmentallyfriendly ‘green building’ in the country.” In 2013 ZAHORANSKY opened a new, purpose-built facility for making injection moulds

and machines in India and this will act as the company’s centre for serving its customers throughout the region. The state-of-the-art 2,500m2 building was formally inaugurated in November 2013. Today ZAHORANSKY has manufacturing locations in Germany and Spain and the addition of this new facility will mean that its customers in that region can be supported and served around the clock.

Award winning technology Throughout its long history, ZAHORANSKY has made innovation a priority and this culture is manifested in every machine that it develops. The company recently won the coveted FEIB innovation award for its unique, fully automatic tuft quality control system. This advanced monitoring system substitutes manual quality control checks with its intelligent algorithm technology that eliminates defective brushes immediately. The new mechatronic solution from ZAHORANSKY means that during production the tufting force of each tuft is measured and compared to a reference value. If the reading is outside the prescribed limits, the value is logged and displayed on the moni-

tor. The unique system identifies and ejects defective brushes instantly. Furthermore, the sensor systems, hardware and controls have all been developed and manufactured in-house by ZAHORANSKY.

Greater efficiency The ZAHORANSKY brand stands for reliability, precision and sophisticated technology and is driven by the constantly increasing demands of its customers. As far as improving production efficiency in the injection mould making process is concerned, integrating upstream and downstream working processes cannot be avoided according to ZAHORANSKY. This is precisely where the company’s systems technology is most valuable. Its specialists develop innovative concepts, modules and solutions for the integrated automation of injection moulding production processes, specifically for the manufacture of plastic products in the consumer, medical technology and n cosmetic sectors. For further details of ZAHORANSKY’s innovative products and services visit:

EUROPEAN LEADER IN LATHE MACHINERY Fabryka Automatów Tokarskich SA (FAT) is part of the Belgian HACO Group. FAT HACO, operating from Wrocław in Poland, is Europe’s leading manufacturer of conventional and CNC lathe machinery. The powerful FAT lathes are used throughout the world, particularly amongst clients in western Europe, North America, as well as South Africa, the Far East, Australia and Oceania. With over 60 years of experience in lathe construction, FAT delivers top performance lathes at competitive prices. Piotr Sadowski writes for ‘Industry Europe’.

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hen FAT HACO last featured in an article published in this magazine a few years ago the company had a number of major projects to complete, involving the production of very heavy lathes, with high turning diameters and turning torques. “We have successfully completed these projects,” says Ireneusz Ostrowski at FAT HACO. “The TUR 4MN machines are now in operation at ThyssenKrupp in Germany and are generating contracts for new machines of this type.

Moreover, we held Open Days in 2013 during which we exhibited our largest ever machine, the TUR lathe compound with two independent machine beds, turning diameter of three metres and a 22-metre distance between centres. The machine was produced for our American customer Ellwood City Forge. It is currently being assembled by our specialist team of engineers.” The TUR 4MN machine is a manual/CNC combination high precision, heavy-duty lathe equipped with the latest Siemens SINUMERIK 840 D SL control system and AC drives. It functions as a production unit for manufacturing high precision complicated parts made as one-offs or in small and large batches, and has unlimited applications. To ensure very high torque at low speeds, the machine is equipped with a gearbox which is automatically programmable as standard. To achieve higher productivity, more flexibility and to reduce non-cutting time, the machine can be equipped with special tooling systems.

FAT HACO has also manufactured, as planned and on the basis of previous contracts (as in the case of ThyssenKrupp), new heavy-duty lathes capable of processing workpieces of up to 30 tonnes in weight. The company has also modernised the FCT 700 slant bed lathe into a fast, precise and highly productive turn-mill centre for the machining of complicated large and small parts. The machine has been re-designed and the bed extended up to 4.100mm in length between centres. Several models of this lathe have already been sold. “FCT 700 is a turning centre providing a significant increase in productivity and results in increased profitability,” says Mr Ostrowski. “The 70 degree inclined bed ensures optimum chip removal, easy setting and inspection of the tools, and optimal access to the workpiece for the operator. The lathe is equipped, as standard, with a 12-station bi-directional tool turret for static VDI 50 tooling. It can be optionally equipped with a tool turret for driven tools

which, in combination with the continuous C-axis, enables complicated milling, drilling and tapping operations.”

Continuously strengthening market position FAT HACO does not have any competitors in Poland so its main challengers come from Europe – countries such as Spain, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic. Nevertheless, the company is able to improve and strengthen its position on the global market with machines manufactured strictly to customers’ needs. FAT HACO produces around 200 machines every year, with an increasing share of large, heavyweight units. “The trend in the market is that customers are looking for solutions which will replace several machines, lower costs and boost productivity,” explains Mr Ostrowski. “We are able to produce such solutions, which become in effect dedicated processing machines of the highest quality and reliability. The key to

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flexibility and reliability also lies in the fact that FAT produces almost 80 per cent of all components itself or within the HACO Group and thus has an excellent check on the quality of materials.” The company regularly exhibits its excellent products at the largest trade fairs both in Poland and abroad, where its dedicated dealers promote the company through their comprehensive knowledge of the applicability and

suitability of FAT lathes for potential customers’ various needs. A big focus has also been put on promotion through the Internet with the corporate website becoming much more integrated with the websites of individual dealers across the world. “We manage to attract a wide range of customers, who include owners of small workshops as well as the largest players in power hydraulics, ship and aircraft building, steel and foundry industries,” says

Mr Ostrowski. “We also produce machines for clients in the plastics and paper industries, agriculture and increasingly in the oil and gas sector. The company sells 30 per cent of its products in Poland and 70 per cent across export markets: the whole of western Europe, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, amongst other countries.”

Excellent prospects for the future FAT also invests in its own technology and always ensures that it sources the components that it requires only from the most reliable producers. Most of the company’s suppliers are globally-renowned manufacturers with whom it has cooperated for many years. FAT is also one of the most robust and independent companies in the HACO Group, and the only one which produces lathes. “However, in addition to lathes, we also produce other special machines which are, in some way, linked to turning and milling technology,” concludes Mr Ostrowski. “One recent very special device developed for a client in Russia was a complete production line for the grinding of welds on large gas pipe ends. Our latest project is a special, large peeling machine for aluminium shafts. We are currently building this lathe for a n customer in China.”

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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED JEB Engineering Design Ltd. is part of the international JEB Group and a global technology leader in the development and manufacture of complex, high quality machine tools, component assemblies and individual components. Philip Yorke talked to the production manager, John Talbot, about its growing portfolio of products and how it accomplished a major R&D breakthrough by developing the world’s most advanced non-lethal training ammunition.

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rom the outset JEB has benefited from its commitment to quality, innovation and the continuous drive of its management team. The company was founded in rural Suffolk, in 1972 by John James, Eric Bone and Barry Littlewood, whose combined initials form the company logo. Following consistent growth through the years, the company has established itself as a global market supplier of high quality machine tools, metal stamped components and assemblies for the Electronics, Medical and Munitions industries. JEB has continuously built upon its expertise in its design and tooling capabilities, together with the unrivalled success in the utilisation of Bihler Vari-slide automatic forming machines. The company is fully QA certificated to ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 and operates in the UK from its two state-of-the-art manufacturing plants in Mildenhall, Suffolk, and at Oldham, Lancashire. A milestone was achieved when JEB acquired a major shareholding in a small company in 2003 known as UTM, with a mission to provide safe training ammunition that would allow military, law enforcement and

professional training organisations to “train as they fight” in authentic training environments and disciplines.

Multi-disciplined technology Today JEB prides itself in providing innovative solutions for the manufacture and assembly of a wide range of quality products that rely on the latest multi-disciplined technologies. From a single source, JEB can not only optimise products for manufacture, but also handle new product development from an early design stage through to commercialisation. The company has many years experience of tool and jig design with in-house tooling facilities for metal or plastic components and their subsequent assembly. This is supported by a broad range of engineering skills, quality management and regulatory support for the validation of its manufacturing processes. JEB has developed its business around three core skill areas: Metal Stamping, Injection moulding and High-end assembly. In each area the company applies the same high standards and production values. John Talbot

said, “Much of our success stems from our early days when we began by making machine tools for Bihler automatic forming machines. This led us to making tools to allow us to produce components in-house, as a sub-contract component manufacturer. Through time, we then became the agent for Bihler in the UK. Barry Littlewood, our CEO, set up Bihler in America in 1976 and continued to develop the business in the UK. Today, JEB provides multi-disciplined solutions for the manufacture of components and assemblies, through to the high volume production of training munitions”. “Our success in the USA has been enhanced by the winning of a major contract against much bigger competition, where we secured the US Department of Defence business for the production of 5.56 training munitions for M16 and M249 Weapon systems. Today our products are distributed worldwide through our network of agents”. “Furthermore, whilst the defence market is very important to us we are seeing strong growth in the medical sector too where we are focussed on increasing our market share.

K3 Syspro At K3 Syspro, we recognise that leading manufacturing companies such as JEB Engineering Design need a leading enterprise level business solution, tailored to meet their production and distribution needs. As a global enterprise, JEB needs to be able to quickly receive, track and fulfil orders all around the globe, and as such needs a SYSPRO solution that is scalable enough to enable this to happen. At K3 Syspro we deliver tailored business solutions to help manufacturers streamline operations, address customisation requirements and manage complicated supply chains in order to build profitable, sustainable businesses. And because we specialise in manufacturing, we understand the issues that affect our customers and provide world-class solutions to help them thrive.

In November this year we are having a significant presence at the “Compamed Trade Fair” in Düsseldorf, where we shall be exhibiting in Hall 8A on stand S25. Our Colleagues from the US will also be joining us at the exhibition to demonstrate a surgical light product that to date has only been sold and manufactured in the US. In Tandem with the exhibition, we shall also be launching our new website that will complement our increasing presence in the market. We continue to employ the very latest technology for CNC machining, laser and ultrasonic welding with associated finishing and de-burring processes. Our Class 8 assembly area supported by a fully automated cleaning and passivation process meet the very high standards required by the healthcare industry”. “We remain very flexible in providing solutions for low to high volume manufacturing, moulding, over-moulding, and assembly processes”. Talbot added, “Where we score is when someone comes to us with a sketch. We can then take it and develop the product or component right through to commercial manufacture. We continue to drive costs down through providing innovative solutions and a prime example of this was the re-design of a metal clinch form that enabled

us to significantly reduce the material thickness of a kettle control component supplied to Strix Ltd., one of our major customers. We are constantly evaluating our processes to stay one step ahead of the competition. We are also proud of our on-going apprenticeship scheme and have recently been awarded Apprenticeship Employer of the Year for a medium sized organisation within our region. Winning this award automatically enters JEB into the National Finals which are also held in November. Today, approximately half of our current workforce has been employed through this scheme”.

Advanced patented engineering Following the major shareholding acquisition of UTM, JEB Engineering Design put their exceptional engineering skills to work and developed a completely new aluminium training round that replaced the original UTM zinc round. The new design, quality control and advanced engineering proved highly successful when tested by the US military and achieved a 99.8 per cent reliability rating in 2007 and has done so in every year since. This makes it the highest rated nonlethal training ammunition on the market with low emission and non-toxic primer options also available.

JEB says that continual advances in manufacturing and product assembly techniques are driving ever greater demands for quality assurance. To respond to these market forces the company uses statistical process controls, to monitor, in agreement with its customer, predetermined parameters. This data can then be analysed and shared. “First class equipment, well trained personnel, sound quality procedures and the overriding desire to ensure customer satisfaction. These are the essential ingredients of our continued n success” commented Talbot. For further details of the JEB Group’s innovative products and services, visit their new website at

INTELLIGENT LIGHT SYSTEMS For about 25 years car manufacturers have offered, in addition to robust Halogen bulb based headlamps, alternative lighting options equipped with High Intensity Discharge lamps (HID) – called ‘Xenon’ light. For more than 10 years, electronically controlled Adaptive Frontlighting Systems (AFS) from Automotive Lighting with dynamic beam pattern variation have been improving driving safety during the night by enhancing visibility under different and difficult driving conditions. Nowadays, the new ILS-Systems are fully equipped with LED light sources.


ince 2008, when Automotive Lighting started the production of the first all-LED headlamp for the Audi R8, the potential of semiconductor based light sources which offer vast terrain of styling opportunities with scalable performance and adaptable functionalities combining safety benefits with styling opportunities has grown,” said Johannes Geywitz-Senn, head of Marketing at Automotive Lighting, a division of Magneti Marelli Group. Enhanced signal and adaptive main functions have been developed and offered with the aim of increasing driving safety during day and night. Adaptive lighting functions are adjusting the low beam pattern of headlamps according to the specific driving conditions.

Customised solutions for intelligent lighting systems Automotive Lighting keeps developing lighting systems with typical brand signatures in close cooperation with carmakers all over the 58 Industry Europe

world. The carmakers offer a broad program of alternative solutions according to the needs of their customers. AFS-headlamps enhance driving safety and comfort, and provide an enormous added value. “For that reason they have become the standard in the flagship vehicles of Europe’s best carmakers and the option for nearly all car segments,” comments Ilona Rutkiewicz, responsible for Marketing Communication at Automotive Lighting. A few years ago, Volkswagen was the first carmaker that offered camera-controlled ‘Glarefree High Beam’ (GHB) as enhanced safety related technology has set a new standard within vehicle lighting technology. The UN/ECE-regulation R-123 permits lighting systems which encompasses various functions including: static bend light or cornering function, dynamic curve light, motor way light and glarefree high beam. (Pic.2) Using continuously improved elements of modular concepts, the set makers customise the desired lighting solution for each

carmaker. Automotive Lighting incorporates innovative technologies in different scenarios which are in line with the particular DNA of carmakers’ vehicle programs.

How it works All adaptive lighting functions are activated when the automatic mode is selected by the driver. The high class adaptive lighting systems use vertical and horizontal beam control. The function to which the most attention is paid is camera supported glarefree high beam. The camera located behind the windscreen monitors the traffic. Once oncoming traffic is detected, the camera sends the signals of their positions via CAN-Bus to the electronic control unit of the headlamp. Depending on the concept philosophy of the lighting system, the light distribution is controlled either electro-mechanically or electronically. During the electro-mechanical control, the integrated stepper motors are used to swivel or level the modules and to

adjust the shape of the cut-off-line. When controlling electronically, the LED light sources are dimmed or switched on and off in order to offer the best visibility to the driver and to limit glare for other drivers.

VW: the initiator of glarefree high beam The Adaptive Frontlighting Xenon System (AFX) developed for Volkswagen cars was the first example of glarefree high beam as enhanced adaptive frontlighting functions. As early as in 2010, the series production of Volkswagen models equipped them with the AFX module. The function, called ‘masked high beam’ at VW, became a wellknown term.

Swivelling projector modules – adaptive functions using mechatronics The core element of the headlamp of the Volkswagen Touran is the centrally located 70mm AFX projector module, generating all main frontlighting functions with one D3S

Xenon bulb. The module is equipped with a stepper motor operated triple-layer shutter. Continuously adapting, the shutter creates various shapes of cut-off lines. Complementary projector modules in both headlamps are swivelled and levelled by means of integrated stepper motors. Jointly, they ensure various lighting functions including glarefree high beam. The detected traffic partners are omitted and glare for other drivers is avoided.

BMW: First swivelling LED reflectors in the market As a pioneer in projector technology since 1986 and a leader in dynamically operated projectors since 2003, BMW initiated the market introduction of dynamic reflectors for adaptive frontlighting in 2013. Automotive Lighting developed these lighting innovations, alongside the first all-LED headlamp to offer dynamic curve light through horizontally rotated reflectors.

Adaptive functions using electromechanical actuators Basically, each headlamp of this BMW option consists of two double reflectors and incorporates such adaptive functions as glarefree high beam, dynamic curve light and static bend light. Both reflectors of one unit are divided into two parts by design elements in the form of horizontal blinds. The reflectors are vertically adjustable by means of stepper motors. Additionally, the outboard reflector is also swivelled horizontally by another stepper motor. The two reflectors in the bottom of both units jointly provide the full high beam. In the case of oncoming or proceeding traffic, the inboard high beam reflector is switched off. From this moment on, the chambers of the glarefree high beam (outer reflectors) in both headlamps of the car take over the masked high beam distribution. They swivel horizontally by means of stepper motors and, in doing so, they omit the oncoming or proceeding cars. Using vertical stepper motor, Industry Europe 59

the range of the beam pattern is lifted to a maximum without dazzling other drivers. By offering mechatronically controlled adaptive reflectors, BMW once again initiated a new innovation in automotive frontlighting technology.

Audi: Electronically controlled adaptive multi-reflector system The high-end version of the latest Audi TT (MY2015) is equipped with all-LED headlamps using a low beam projector electronic light module called an ‘e-light’, and reflectors

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for the adaptive light functions. The light distribution is controlled by sophisticated integrated electronics. The headlamp impresses with its linear ‘matrix’ high beam function and the progressive turn signal function.

Individually addressable LEDs in segmented reflectors The linear ‘matrix high beam’ is realized by three segmented reflectors. Two of them use one five-chip LED each which generate the glarefree high beam distribution. The third separate reflector unit, sitting inbound close to the bend light reflector, is powered by two single LEDs. One of them is responsible for the additional spot, the other for the side illumination. All LED chips can be individually activated: Once the camera detects oncoming or proceeding traffic, the information is transmitted to the electronic control unit which controls the relevant LED chips and switches them off in order to avoid dazzling other drivers. When the oncoming car moves closer, the first chips are modulated again. The process moves on as the other drivers pass without any risk from light glare.

Mercedes-Benz: ‘Multibeam’ double projector concept The optimum combination of advantages of the intelligent electronic control and mechatronic actuation embodies the headlamp of Mercedes-Benz CLS (C218 facelift) using two projector modules per headlamp to overlay the light distribution. Referring to driving safety and regarding technological innovation, this headlamp sets new standards. Particular attention is paid to the glarefree high beam function which Mercedes-Benz calls ‘MULTIBEAM LED’.

Milliseconds away The outboard module ‘LFX’ is the core element of this intelligent frontlighting system. It is powered by one four-chip LED array. Equipped with a stepper motor controlled three-dimensionally defined rotating shutter drum, it generates incrementally adjusted light distribution. This shutter drum is located in the middle of the module between the semiconductor light sources and the carefully shaped lens. This multi-function spot module generates the basic light distributions including flat cut-off line, country road light, motorway

light and the ‘glarefree high beam’ function. Using an additional vertically adjusting stepper motor, it can allow drivers to increase speed and still use the high beam light without dazzling other drivers. The camera provides the information for maximum range enhancement. The integrated horizontal stepper motor is generating a dynamic curve light and supports the adjustment of the beam pattern during adverse weather conditions. This LFX-module is equipped with integrated thermo-management by integrated NTC-elements, a passive heat sink and a motor-driven active ventilator. The inbound ‘PHB’ module complements the light distribution. This camera controlled

module is equipped with a pattern of 24 single LEDs on a rigid board with integrated electronics. A complex, numerically calculated brush-like collimation optic captures the emitted light from the activated chips, bundles and re-orientates the light rays towards the secondary lens which generates the light beam pattern for the road. In a flash, the light distribution adapts precisely to each given traffic situation: The integrated control units calculate the light distribution 100 times per second and the 24 high performance LEDs of the ‘MULTIBEAM LED’ module generate 16 individually controlled high-beam segments. The camera located

behind the windscreen detects other traffic and multi-beam segments can be switched off within 10 milliseconds if necessary. When the view ahead is clear, the full light beam is activated again.

Benefits of the glarefree high beam Carmakers do their best to combine light performance with extremely precise light distribution on the road to ensure night driving is safe experience. Automotive Lighting has developed and provides all the abovementioned systems, including the various combinations of electronic and mechatronic n control concepts. Industry Europe 61

MAGNETIC TECHNOLOGY LEADER Vacuumschmelze GmbH, a manufacturer of advanced magnetic materials and related products for the automotive and many other industry sectors besides, continues to expand its range of world-leading products.


stablished in 1914, Hanau-based Vacuumschmelze GmbH has seen continuous expansion and a long-term dedication to staying at the very forefront of innovative materials development, resulting in annual sales of €325 million and over 3800 employees in 50 countries. Although particularly well-known for its materials for the automotive industry, many multi-national industry sectors use Vacuumschmelze products as an integral element of their optimised production. The magnetic alloys that are melted in VAC’s main production facility in Hanau are used in communication and medical technology, the space industry and for clocks and watches. The company’s product range is divided into semi-finished products in the form of tapes, strips, round rods and wires that can then be further processed by the customer to create cores, components and permanent magnets. The company also produces winning products for optimised production such as the innovative adhering varnish VACCOAT 20011, which represents a completely new coating and manufacturing process for segmented sintered neodymium iron boron magnets, also known as NdFeB magnets). 62 Industry Europe

New product innovation Vacuumschmelze has increased its development and manufacture of new products and solutions. Some of these were showcased at the electronica trade show, which took place in September 2014. Its current sensors now feature advanced integration of electronic components thanks to the development of a new highly integrated circuit. This new 4648-xxx family of sensors are fully compatible with their predecessors. At this year’s CWIEME (Coil Winding, Insulation & Electrical Manufacturing) trade fair in May, the company took the opportunity to present its impressive range of core stacks for electric motors. Core stacks of its VACOFLUX 48 alloy can now be manufactured with a significantly reduced strip thickness of 50µm. In addition to this premium technology for ultra-advanced requirements, it also presented stamped lamination stacks from VACODUR 49 as cost-optimised alternatives for large production runs. Furthermore, Vacuumschmelze’s technical developments in the field of CoFe alloys are already well-known in the world of motor racing and have also demonstrated their superiority in ‘junior’ competitions. The new

VACSTACK core stacks, containing VACOFLUX 48 laminations, are installed in the new racing car entered by ETH Zürich in the Formula Student Electric championship.

Staying green With each new development, Vacuumschmelze is compounding its commitment to offering ‘Advanced materials – the key to progress’ – its vision and marketing slogan that is present across its website and literature. As the company leads the way in developing, manufacturing and distributing green technologies for the benefit of its wide-ranging client base, its technical know-how and continuous innovation is clearly evident. Many materials and semi-finished products originating from Vacuumschmelze have already proven their excellence in the field of renewable energy, particularly as the new current sensors used in solar inverters have been created at Hanau. These sensors help to monitor the output alternating current from solar systems in the power supply and the direct current element. Compared to typical Hall element compensation sensors, the many advantages of the VAC current

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sensors include a very small offset current with negligible temperature drift and barely measurable long-term drift along with exceptional accuracy. In April 2014, Swiss scientist Andre Boschberg and his Solar Impulse team presented their new aircraft in which they plan to fly around the world in five stages in 2015 using nothing more than solar power. Solar Impulse 2, or SI2, is the successor to the first Solar Impulse craft, HBSIA, which notched up major milestones including solar-powered night flight and crossing the North American continent.

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Both aircraft are constructed using materials manufactured by Vacuumschmelze, with specific properties that significantly enhance the performance of the highefficiency electrical motors. VAC’s ULTRAVAC 44 V6 alloy was used in the stator and rotor of the aircraft’s motors. In addition, magnet systems bonded together from small blocks of VACODYM were used. By assembling magnet systems from small individual magnets, eddy current losses in the rotor can be reduced and motor efficiency can be increased to 98 per cent.

Forward focus Expansion across the global market sectors it serves will continue to be a priority for Vacuumschmelze. Its production sites in Germany, Malaysia, China and Slovakia are able to draw on the economic benefits of each location and its dedicated R&D team at Hanau gives the company a clear operational definition. Looking ahead, the company will continue to diversify its product range to support its plans for further global expansion. Participation in trade fairs will also continue to be an important part of its promotional activities. n


Germany-based Hilite is a global leader in the development of engine and transmission products designed to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Industry Europe looks at the latest from the company.


ilite International is a leading global supplier of automotive system solutions with a special focus on fuel efficient engine and transmission products for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Hilite products are installed in many of the world’s leading automotive OEM brands, including VW, Chrysler, Ford, GM and BMW. The company is owned by the international investment Group 3i along with its co-investor, the Chinese Investment Corporation (CIC) who are dedicated to growing and developing Hilite’s global engineering capabilities. 66 Industry Europe

Hilite is headquartered in Marktheidenfeld, Germany, and today the company employs over 1400 people at eight locations across Europe, North America and Asia. In 2013 Hilite generated revenues of more than €391 million.

Investing in cutting-edge technology Since its establishment in 1999, Hilite has grown to become a globally active supplier to the automotive passenger car and commercial vehicle industries. Today the company’s advanced, highly innovative products for engines and transmissions systems set the

standards across the automotive industry sector. Modern transmissions make a significant contribution to meeting future demands for the reduction of emissions and fuel consumption. With the trend towards automatic transmissions that offer wide ratio ranges of seven, eight or more gears and the growing potential of hybrid vehicles designed to improve energy efficiency, Hilite’s innovative concepts and applications have kept it at the forefront of today’s drive-train technology. The relentless increase in the demand for global energy and the subsequent rise in oil

prices, in addition to the challenge of global warming, have increased the demand for new concepts in drive-train technology to reduce fuel consumption. Hilite products are setting the standards for modern solenoid valve technology and are designed for specific applications based upon clients’ individual requirements. Solenoid valve functions are therefore developed regarding system pressure, hysteresis, leakage and other dynamic specifications such as response time and control stability. Today Hilite is recognised worldwide for its commitment to achieving optimum functional

performance, energy efficiency, dynamics, durability and cost-effectiveness. A company spokesperson said, “At Hilite we operate two distinct product groups: engine applications and transmission products. We place a very high priority on our investments in R&D in order to maintain our position as the technology leader in our field.” This year (2014) the company invested in the expansion of its Nürtingen site to become the technological centre for the entire Hilite Group. A space of 4000m2 has been used to create a modern development centre with around 200 employees, including 160 devel-

opers. The new centre has been equipped with a sample centre for assembling prototypes under clean room conditions; process engineering facilities; a test facility; application engineering and return part analysis for the diagnosis of customer returned samples. Hilite is a first-tier supplier to the big global automotive manufacturers and works in close partnership with them to optimise their engine and transmission systems. Its latest double clutch transmission products have been developed in-house and are some of the most advanced products of their kind on the market.

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This year saw the introduction of the Flowtronic valve, developed in cooperation with Melecs of Vienna. This is an entire family of valves for which the control electronics are integrated into a magnet. This means that the functionality of the valve control units is represented by a chip in the magnet. The valve can therefore be directly connected to the CAN bus in the vehicle. Because there is an entire family of valves, the different valve functions can be represented by adapting the corresponding hydraulic components on the magnet. Hilite also invests in the development of systems, including solenoid valves for controlling regulated oil pumps, thermo management of oil and water systems and multi-channel valves with integrated functions like regulating oil pumps and switching piston cooling functions along with a range of innovative products for torque distribution in four-wheel-drive vehicles. “We are also increasing our investments in head-count, which will be rising to more than 1600 in the upcoming years. We will also continue to grow organically in all regions with our operations located in close proximity to our key automotive customers’ manufacturing bases.” 68 Industry Europe

Continuous camphaser technology Another technological development from Hilite is its continuous cam-phaser that undertakes a smooth relative adjustment of the camshaft dependent upon the load and speed of the engine. These phaser systems receive their oil supply directly from the oil pump of the engine and because of their low leakage they minimise the energy required to perform the adjustments during operation. Hilite camphasers are designed to be able to perform equally efficiently in ‘hot-idle’ mode, at low oil pressure and low oil viscosity, as well as under normal driving conditions. Through its extensive use of aluminium components, Hilite has reduced the total weight of its camphaser system with chain and belt drive. In particular, this lightweight phaser can also reduce the inertial masses involved. This is especially important for small engines where weight and performance are deciding factors in choosing such a system. Hilite continues to push the technological boundaries when it comes to automotive valve technology with a focus on durability, low weight, variability, modularity, efficiency n and cost-effectiveness. Industry Europe 69

LIGHTING THE FUTURE SG Automotive d.o.o. made its name as one of the recognised suppliers for commercial LED lights globally. Mr Benjamin Nikl, sales manager of SG Automotive, spoke to Vanja Švačko about the company’s strategies for staying strong in this competitive market.

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ust a year after CMP Electronic Ltd was founded in 1997, the Grah family and Alfred Schefenacker put together their ideas for a potential business and started the joint venture SGA (Schefenacker Grah Automotive). While CMP Electronic was engaged in automotive wire harness assembly production, SG Automotive started introducing new production programs and offering different electronic components for the automotive industry. Mr Nikl said, “Since 1999 our offers have ranged from LED based electronics for brake lights to today’s more complex whole tail light LED electronics assemblies. Since 2008 we have established the spin-off Grah Lighting as a well recognised worldwide supplier for commercial LED lights (street

lighting, industrial lighting and ambient/office lighting) and in 2011 the program for induction heater electronics was started.” It is safe to say that today SG Automotive is one of the few manufacturers in the world whose energy efficient LED streetlights are produced on the most advanced automotive production line in compliance with the standard Automotive ISO/TS 16949. There are regular investments in modernisation of equipment such as 3D robotic technology for applying gasket etc., as well as in development of its own manufacturing procedures to speed up production times. The company offers a range of products (automotive, lighting, home appliances and others), with the automotive sector contributing the most to its turnover (about 73 per cent).

According to Mr Nikl, “Almost all products are customised according to customer demands and applications. The lighting range is mostly standardised and has different customisation possibilities (colour, light output, consumption, dimming, applications, built-in camera etc.).”

Group stratification The history of SG Automotive has been marked by the fast growth of production facilities and product diversification, while today it is focusing on growth through development of new products and technologies. The group currently employs more than 1000 people and has six plants - four in Slovenia, one each in Serbia and the USA. In fact, an expansion in the USA – an assembly plant for LED lighting – is currently in its final stage;

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similar projects are planned in Russia and preliminary discussions on a plant in UAE are under way. All plants are well integrated into the group. Sustainability is a main priority in such a large company in terms of both product development and general strategy. “We have two major strategies when it comes to the future of our company,” explained Mr Nikl. “Our short term strategy is to sustain the same number of employees, while the long term strategy aims to balance the three levels of product groups as well as to sustain the automotive business at the current level.”

Supplier of the year Considering the fact that SG Automotive has pioneered the use of LED technology in lighting and automotive signalisation, it does not come as a surprise that it has clients among world leading automotive manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Porsche, VW, Ford, Hyundai, Bentley, GM, Nissan, Volvo, Toyota etc. 74 Industry Europe

SG Automotive acts as an OEM to clients like Adria, Thorn, Franke, Miele, Man, Land Rover etc., and as a system supplier to AngellDemmel, Odelo, Bos, Magna, Savoye and many others. The company is also maintaining strong partnership with suppliers like Philips Lumileds, which is an important partner in the development of LED lighting. In 2013 the company was also awarded Supplier of the Year by one of its biggest customers in the field of automotive electronics.

Key investments In the past few years SG Automotive has invested in the expansion of production facilities in Serbia, Slovenia and USA. Apart from having a major focus on markets of Europe and USA, there have been some indications of possible expansion to the Russian market through its plant in Serbia. Mr Nikl said, “The automotive sector is the one where customer demands are getting higher. Our main goal is to be a solution providing partner and to grow

synergisticly within our chosen strategic partnerships. With stricter demands and new technologies there is always some additional potential to grow.” The R&D department in SG Automotive is working at the moment in the field of electronics and in the field of consumer goods. Mr Nikl stated, “The lighting segment brought out a new generation of LED streetlights at the beginning of this year which was presented at the fair in Frankfurt, with quite impressive feedback. Technologies in the assembly process are known and highly efficient and in some lean processes and customised technology ideas we are trying to create a competitive edge.” SG Automotive is well placed to fulfil its vision to become one of the global leaders in the EMS and OEM business and to satisfy the most demanding customers in the field of automotive n electronics and home appliances. Visit:



Integration with its worldwide customer base is of utmost importance for ALT Technologies, a leading manufacturer of labelling, self-adhesive and die-cut products for the automotive industry, electronics, durable goods and security sectors. Mr Verstraeten, the company’s managing director, talks to Vanja Švačko about the impact that the overseas expansion has had on the growth of ALT.

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he Netherlands-based company ALT Technologies was initially started as a label manufacturer. Today it boasts high proficiency in automotive safety solutions and delivers in-car safety products that can be found in all leading brands such as Audi, Ford, Opel, Volvo, Porsche, Renault, Jaguar, Toyota and Nissan. Apart from airbag covers, inflatable curtain wraps for side airbags and high quality value-added labels mainly for the automotive and durable goods industries, the company

develops tailor-made solutions in partnership with its customers in order to respond to their specific needs. Its ambition is to continue supplying those who in turn supply the best car manufacturers in the world. For meeting the international standards required by the industry ALT Technologies has been accredited by ISOTS 16949: 2009 and ISO 14001:2004.

Change of focus In 2002 ALT’s management decided to change its focus from the safety labels market to the automotive and home appliances sectors and to invest €1.5 million in automotive safety production capacity. “Changing our focus to the automotive industry proved to be the right decision,” said Mr Verstraeten. “If you look at the part of our turnover coming from the automotive industry, it is steadily increasing. A few years ago we had 70 per cent turnover from that sector, and now it has grown to 80 per cent. The rest comes from home appliances.” Focusing on new sectors demanded fresh investment policies. In the course of ten years ALT has opened production facilities in Romania (Lupeni), Belgium (Diegem), a sales office in China (Shanghai) and last year a plant in China (Jiading). The company also has a distribution centre in the USA, near the Mexican border. Mr Verstraeten explained, “The main reason for switching to this large-scale approach was that, at the end of the day, we are all moving to global platforms. Our

suppliers not only have a global presence, but global standards as well. That enables us to deliver products with the same specifications in all regions of the world. In our new plant in China we can make the same types of products for our Asian customers as we do here in Europe for European ones.”

Gainful investments Apart from attracting capital for global expansion and investing in production facilities, the past few years at ALT Technologies have been marked by a number of investments in lucrative projects and new products. The company has launched new market-leading automotive safety applications, invested in its flexible circuits R&D project and increased sales abroad. There have also been some significant investments in new digital equipment and an Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP) for production facilities located in Europe. ALT Technologies is currently developing new products aimed at helping the world’s leading automotive manufacturers to reduce the weight and cost competitiveness of their cars. Thanks to an advanced copper printing technology, electrical functions can be integrated into products made of plastic film, as well as on textiles or leather by stitching and adhesion. Mr Verstraeten explained, “Our new product – flexible electronic circuits – is basically an electrical circuit printed on to flexible material which can be used on all kinds of applications in the car, from seats, armrests, floor matt

heating and steering systems to car pedals, fuel tank connections and LED lighting. Apart from reducing costs and weight (for example flexible circuits can replace numerous wires), it significantly lowers energy consumption and is environmentally friendly.”

Partner in development According to Mr Verstraeten, “ALT Technologies is also trying to keep pace with future demands by working on some other revolutionary products such as an air bag located outside the vehicle for pedestrian protection. Markets for those products are in a very early stage so it is a long-term project.” Through its team of specialists in different areas of production and marketing, the company works in close partnership with its customers, offering them appropriate and tailor-made solutions that can reduce the costs of their own products. All airbagrelated products are of the highest quality and it is no surprise that ALT Technologies occupies the leading position in Europe when it comes to supplying manufacturers of automotive safety systems. The company’s parallel investments in overseas expansion in China, new projects and innovative products, the latest quality accreditations and in novel materials represent a strong foundation for organic growth. At the same time it does not exclude the future possibility of starting up new facilities in emerging n and fast developing markets. Visit:

MASTERPIECES IN ALUMINIUM AND MAGNESIUM ALLOYS DGS, a leading manufacturer of aluminium structures and specialised components for the automotive and allied industries, continues to strengthen its global presence.


andbrake systems, gear shifters, automotive body parts, mechanical device parts or construction equipment – everywhere you find light metal components with high requirements for dimensional accuracy and wear and stress resistance. DGS Druckguss Systeme AG ranks among the world leaders in the production of large-sized structural castings made of aluminium. With a total workforce of some 750 employees and three plants in Switzerland, the Czech Republic and China, the company produces die-cast parts made from aluminium, magnesium or zinc. The company, that was established in 1925 as a trial laboratory for the die-casting department of Bühler AG in Uzwil, Switzerland, has grown into a full system supplier. Its headquarters in St. Gallen house the centralised R&D as well as the aluminium

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casting production, including structural castings and magnesium. Automated equipment and processes make DGS the partner of choice in the field of medium and large series production. Its additional offering of FEM calculations and logistics expertise round off the package.

Cutting edge production technology DGS has extensive know-how and its multifunctional machinery allows it to handle various aluminium and magnesium alloys in the common die-casting processes, even under vacuum. It has vast experience in casting, machining, heat treatment, assembly and coated surfaces, realised by over 50 diecasting machines with locking forces from 200 to 3200 tonnes. Further production sites are located at Liberec, Czech Republic, for the produc-

tion of aluminium castings and structural casting; and in Nansha, China – a facility for aluminium castings including structural and magnesium castings and the assembly of handbrake systems.

Expanding in China A key milestone in the company’s international development was its establishment of a subsidiary in China in 2007, launched to meet the needs of its Far Eastern automotive customers in their local markets. In order to boost its commitment to China’s vehicle sector, DGS Druckguss Systeme has now built a new die-casting plant with increased capacity in Nansha. One of the first local suppliers to manufacture structural parts for Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the greenfield plant can help automakers produce lightweight vehicles with lower car-

bon dioxide emissions. There are also plans to establish its own R&D department at the plant in the future. Anchoring its expansion strategy on the new plant, DGS Druckguss Systeme aims to sustain, even increase, its 30 to 40 per cent annual growth rate in China. “We established our business here to follow our customers. It is a localisation from Europe. We serve our traditional European customers that require the same product and same core competence in their factories here as they do in Europe,” says CEO Andreas Muller. DGS Druckguss Systeme also enters into joint ventures with innovative companies, such as Engineered Control Systems, to pioneer new die-casting applications and develop and produce complete systems such as shifter or braking systems. Industry Europe 79

“We are willing to invest in China and transfer our technology and know-how. The longterm perspective is that the plant will be able to develop and grow independently. We see the Chinese plant becoming the second-largest plant in the group within the next few years.”

Die casting with record dimensions At the end of 2013 DGS AG produced what is probably the largest die casting made in Europe, with outer dimensions of 2050 mm x 1230 mm x 54.5 mm. The part serves as a frame mount for an innovative solar collector made by Hoval, a producer of solar power installations. The new module is equally suited for rooftop as well as for in-roof installation. Despite its dimensions, the finished part weighs just 6400 grams. The frame is designed to resist wind speeds of up to 140 km/h and snow loads of up to 700 kg/ m2. A further requirement is that under all circumstances the tightness of the gasket protect-

ing the solar modules must be ensured in order to prevent water infiltrations. Compared to a welded construction made from profiles, the new casting solution offers several advantages as a result of the integration of attachments such as edge reinforcements, consoles and stops. This saves the customer complex and costly welding operations. Furthermore, the special aluminium alloy used for the part does not need surface protection. Ensuring a uniform quality of casting despite the die’s extremely long flow paths of over two metres represented a challenge of its own. Particular attention was paid to avoiding warping owing to the shrinkage of the massive sprue on the one hand and to the ejection and die-cutting on the other hand. Ensuring the exact function of the cutting die when stamping the contour, despite having to cut edges two metres in length, proved to be equally challenging.

SAKER Ltd is the strong, dynamically-developing company and it has been ranked among the significant processors of the non-ferrous metals and waste metal. The company was founded in the year 1992 and it bases on a tradition and the experiences obtained by longtime activities in an area of treatment with the waste metals. The company has been adapting to the increasing hard requirements of the suppliers and customers by investing in the modern technologies, high-quality technical background and by the team of the highly-qualified experts. In 2006 was founded the branch factory Alusak – production of aluminium alloys. The final product are Al-ingots destined as enter material for the foundries. Production capacity is 1800 tons/month. 80 Industry Europe

Such large frames for photovoltaic panels are a growing business segment for DGS. In addition to its traditional business fields the company is therefore increasingly active in the manufacture of components for the renewable energy sector, as well as for the n hybrid and electric vehicle industry.

AIMING FOR LARGER VOLUMES Ajkai Elektronikai Kft and AE-Plasztik Kft are two Hungarian manufacturing firms which have been operating with great success in the past decades mainly as a result of a strong long-term relationship with one prominent partner. Recovering well from the recession, now both firms have begun to widen their customer base and aim to meet large volume production needs. Edina Beale investigates.

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rivatised by Hungarian private investors in 1992, the electronics manufacturer unit of the formerly state owned Videoton company changed its name to Kvattro Zrt and began to search for new business. Despite forming a significant supplier relationship with the Japanese company Suzuki, Kvattro was operating unsuccessfully, so in 1996 the owner group, Műszertechnika Holding Zrt, decided to make a fresh start and established Ajkai Elektronikai Kft to manufacture only the most marketable products. By 2008 the company’s staff numbers increased from 300 to 690 and its turnover from 500 million to 7500 million HUF. A strategic decision was made again in 2008 to separate the plastic division, and as a result AE-Plasztik Kft was established whilst Ajkai Elektronikai Kft continued with the production of metal products.

Metal parts for automotive industry Today Ajkai Elektronikai Kft (AE) employs 330 people and last year turnover reached 3.7 billion HUF. The company is an expert

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in cold forming and stamping with excenter and hydraulic presses up to 600 tonnes, and is engaged in spot and CO welding, galvanisation surface treatment and mechanical assembly activities. These modern technologies are used to manufacture parts including car bodies and chassis, door hinges, petrol door covers, steering wheel adjusting assemblies and mechanics for seat adjusting for various clients in the automotive industry. AE has been supplying Suzuki for the past 20 years and the company’s technological investments have been continuously adjusted to satisfy the needs and requirements of this key client. Recently 230 million HUF has been invested to manufacture tools for 30 different parts being developed for Suzuki’s new S-Cross model, which came out in the middle of 2013. “Our most important client is Magyar Suzuki Zrt, whom we have served as suppliers since 1992,” says Mr József Lautner, managing director of AE. “We continuously extend the number of products to all their

models, which reassures us that we have a good position with them. This is achieved by reliable delivery, good quality and flexible cooperation. These strengths, however, are not enough; we must develop our technology continuously in order to compete with many of our rivals in this sector.” The company intends to increase the number of automated stamping machines and purchase a new CO welding facility based on robotics. Plans also include the installation of a robot feeder for the stamping machines and the modernisation of the storage system. Currently 92 per cent of production is distributed in Hungary. However, an increase in exports is expected as a result of a strong link with Fuji Koyo to whose Czech plant AE supplies steering wheel adjusting mechanisms. Also, as a result of a recent agreement with Johnson Controls, a global supplier of automotive industries, AE is now focusing on manufacturing more compound products in large volumes for its European plants too, as Mr Lautner confirms: “Our aim is to carry out current proposals in good quality and on time.

We must also continue with our developments that focus on efficiency and quality improvement. In the long term, however, we wish to start large volume production for new partners and build more complex product structures by developing their technology.”

Plastic auto parts Since its separation from Ajkai Electronics, AE Plasztik Kft has been operating very successfully. In the past five years the company’s staff number increased from 220 to 320 and it more than doubled its turnover, currently achieving 4 billion HUF. The company is equipped with up-todate technologies to carry out plastic injection moulding, tampo printing, electronics assembly and stamping activities. It targets

the automotive sector with products such as internal and external handles, seat adjusting pieces, steering switches and plastic parts for potentiometers, switches, and connectors for the electromechanical sector. Product development is an ongoing process at AE Plasztik. Currently 40 different plastic parts and their tools are being developed to supply Johnson Controls and Suzuki. Seven modern plastic injection moulding machines worth 150 million were installed for the new projects. The factory has also completed an energy rationalisation development programme whilst modernising their premises for 40 million HUF. Future plans include the replacement of outdated machinery for plastic production and building a new state-of-the-art warehouse.

According to managing director of AE Plasztik, Mr László Kersner, the company’s success is due to its good quality products, prompt delivery and relatively cheap prices. The exceptional networking ability of the project managers is of special value to compete with rival companies. Currently the company exports products mainly to the UK, Slovakia, Germany and Slovenia and Mr Kersner is optimistic about the future: “We are hoping to enhance our large volume production from a few hundred thousand to a million pieces with Johnson Controls. Another objective is to increase business with Sumitomo from the current five to 15 per cent. In addition, we intend to provide more added value products for all our customers.” n

H-8308 Zalahaláp (Hungary) Petőfit tér 3. Tel.: +36 87 510-049 Fax: +36 87 510-048 Email:

Csavária Kft. is a specialist in the production and distribution of screws, fasteners and parts. The company has been operating since 1992 and is located in Hungary, Zalahaláp, Industry Park. In accordance with the requirements of more rapidly developing technology, we also produce specialist parts for the automotive industry, including companies Ajkai Elektronikai Kft and AE Plasztik Kft. Csavária Kft. makes other specialist components too that are used in the agriculture, vehicle, building and tram industries. As well as production, we also pursue a wholesale business for standardised fasteners with a 500 ton stock warehouse and we are ISO 9001 quality assured.

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GLOBAL SHIPPING LEADER Norwegian Odfjell ASA is a leader in the transportation and storage of bulk liquid chemicals, acids, edible oils and other special products. Industry Europe looks at its operations.


orwegian chemical transportation and storage company Odfjell ASA has unrivalled expertise in the shipping of complex chemical products. The company transports around 20 million tonnes of chemicals a year from everyday chemicals to high value, sophisticated products. Odfjell’s specialised fleet consists of about 80 ships. The company also has three new-

buildings on order. The total capacity of the current fleet is around 2.2 million dwt. A gross revenue of USD 1028 million was generated for last year (2013).

Looking back Established in 1916, over the decades Odfjell grew in the business of transportation. In the 1950s the company began to focus on the transportation of specialised cargoes, such as chemicals and liquid gases. In the early 1960s it entered into a cooperation with WestfalLarsen & Co A/S and went on to operate as Odfjell-Westfal-Larsen (OWL) until late 1989. In 1986, the company was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange with the Odfjell family maintaining a controlling stake. Then in 1990, Westfal-Larsen and Odfjell parted company with Odfjell buying out its partner.

“In 2000 there was another major development for us,” says a company spokesperson. “We merged with Seachem to form the largest chemical tanker operator.” A big portion of the company’s ships today are stainless steel and this gives it a great deal of flexibility in terms of cleaning, safety and quality.

Global service provider Headquartered in Bergen, Norway, the company’s current operations are fully integrated with in-house functions for chartering, operations and ship management. Major trade lanes are from the US and Europe to Asia, India, the Middle East and South America. In addition, there is a considerable trade between the US, Europe and South America. Seagoing transport from the Middle East Region to destinations both in the East and

in the West is increasing as new production capacity is being developed in this area. Over the past few years there has also been a large production increase in the Far East. A considerable share of this volume goes to overseas markets. Volumes shipped regionally are steadily increasing, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. As end-users of petrochemicals require products delivered on shorter notice and with less lead-time, the major petrochemical producers are building production complexes closer to their markets. The company’s largest regional operation is in

Asia, where 13 ships are operated out of Singapore. Furthermore, it has seven ships employed in the inter-European trade and six ships along the coasts of South America.

New partnership In May 2014 Odjfell entered into an agreement with affiliates of Breakwater Capital and Oak Hill Advisors to form a liquefied petroleum gas and ethylene shipping joint venture. At the same time the company announced that it has exercised its option for construction of four 22,000 cbm LPG/E gas carriers at Nantong Sinopacific, scheduled for delivery

between September 2016 and June 2017. The contract price in total was in the region of USD 200 million. In the LPG/E gas carrier segment, Odfjell currently owns and operates two 2008-built 9000 cbm vessels, has four 17,000 cbm vessels under construction at Nantong Sinopacific, scheduled for delivery between October 2015 and May 2016, and the option for four vessels. In accordance with the agreement, Breakwater and Oak Hill Advisors have jointly agreed to invest approximately $50 million as consideration for a 50 per cent equity interest

in Odfjell’s LPG/E business. Odfjell’s aim is to work with its partners and build new partnerships with other first-class operators to create a leading LPG/E shipping platform founded upon second-to-none operational excellence, a modern and eco-friendly fleet and a longterm market perspective. Jan A. Hammer, president and CEO of Odfjell, said of this move: “Odfjell is delighted to have Breakwater Capital and Oak Hill Advisors as its partner in the shipping segment of LPG and ethylene. Together, we will enhance our growth opportunities and broaden our capabilities.”

Terminal activities The tank terminal business contributes a good deal to Odfjell’s positive results. It has direct investments in tank terminals in the Netherlands, the US, Singapore, Korea, Belgium, Oman, Iran and China. It has recently been expanding its tank terminal activities. For example, a new tank terminal in Tianjin became operational this year.

Furthermore, the company cooperates with another 11 terminals in South America and one in Canada. These tank terminals are partly owned by related parties. Its terminal business alone generated a gross revenue of more than USD 129 million in 2013. “We have a strategy to expand the tank terminal activities along Odfjell’s major shipping lanes,” adds the company spokesperson. “We also focus on strategic ports in newly industrialised countries, in order to improve the development of chemical markets. In addition to being profitable investments on a stand-alone basis, our tank terminals also play an important operational role in our cargoconsolidation programme to reduce the time our ships spend in port.” Commercially, the combination of shipping and tank terminals gives Odfjell an excellent position to offer complete logistical packages to its customers. The demand for combined service has steadily increased as a result of the industry’s ongoing pursuit of improving n efficiency in the supply chain.



HeidelbergCement is the world market leader in aggregates and a prominent player in the fields of cement, concrete and other downstream activities – making it one of the world’s largest manufacturers of building materials. Industry Europe looks at its activities, and at how a new business culture is set to foster sustainable growth.


eadquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, HeidelbergCement has operations in more than 40 countries around the world. It operates in two core lines of business: cement and aggregates (sand, gravel and crushed rock), in both of which it is acknowledged as one of the global leaders. Its product range is supplemented with downstream activities such as ready-mix concrete, concrete products and concrete elements. In 2013, group revenue amounted to some €14 billion. Over the past few years the company has continued to expand its operations throughout Asia-Pacific and the AfricaMediterranean Basin, as well as maintaining its strong position in Europe and North America. Since 2010 it has been divided into six group areas: Western and Northern Europe; Eastern Europe-Central Asia; North America; Asia-Australia-Africa; Asia-Pacific; and Group Services.

Within the Eastern Europe-Central Asia division alone Heidelberg has 18 cement plants, three grinding plants, 28 cement terminals, 70 aggregates operations, 208 ready mix concrete operations and three concrete products plants across 11 countries. In Western and Northern Europe, meanwhile, it operates across 11 countries with 21 cement plants, six grinding plants, three ground granulated burning slag plants, 53 cement terminals, 176 aggregates plants, 39 asphalt plants, 596 ready mix concrete plants, 34 concrete products facilities and 22 brickmaking facilities. With these capabilities in Europe and Central Asia alone, it is easy to see why it remains a world leader.

Cement and aggregates activities HeidelbergCement’s focus is divided equally between its cement and aggregates activities. Formerly the emphasis was on cement,

but the acquisition of building materials manufacturer Hanson in 2007 has created a second core strategic pillar. Hanson has deposits in North America, the UK and Australia so it has allowed Heidelberg to strengthen its raw material base considerably. Alongside aggregates, cement is one of the essential components of concrete. The company offers various kinds of cement using different additives for a range of applications. These include: white cements; high sulphate resisting Aquament and Portland cement for hydraulic engineering; anti-sulphate for sewage works construction; microcem, which is extremely fine cement for soil injection and masonry repair; and Depocrete and Procrete for waste dump sealing. The varieties of aggregates cannot be controlled in the same way as cements. Their features as high quality raw mate-

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Höganäs Bjuf AB Höganäs Bjuf AB is a multinational organization, part of Borgestad Industries, headquartered in Sweden, with subsidiaries and representatives around the world. Höganäs Bjuf has a well-deserved global reputation as a developer, producer and supplier of smart refractory solutions. The company serves the cement and steel industries, as well as a range of other applications that require refractories capable of withstanding high temperatures and highly corrosive or abrasive operating conditions. Our high quality and customized product line include fire clay, high alumina and magnesite bricks, monolithics, precast blocks, anchor systems, insulations materials, linometerTM XLNT for kiln lining measurements, coating binder CoroTexPro and mixers. Our activities range from applicationsdriven R&D, production, distribution, support and services for complete refractory management, including wrecking, installation, supervision and maintenance. The ambition of Höganäs Bjuf is to offer the most effective refractory products and turnkey solutions that will contribute to increased efficiency and profitability among the customers.

rial for ready mixed concrete and concrete products depend on the specifications of the quarries from which they are derived. In addition to their function as an essential component of concrete, aggregates are also used for structural fill, road base, railway ballast and others. In addition to these two main areas, Heidelberg offers concrete products such as building blocks, pavers, prefabricated ceilings and walls; and building materials such as limestone aggregates, sand-lime bricks and products and services for waste stabilisation or landfill construction.

A new business culture In September this year (2014) HeidelbergCement implemented its Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) in order to continuously optimise the working processes in cement production. The new program, which will be introduced at 65 cement plants worldwide, takes a systematic approach in order to generate ideas among the employees, prioritise, and implement them. The process enhance-

ments is expected to lead to sustainable result improvements of at least €120 million by the end of 2017. “With our Continuous Improvement Program we are changing the business culture at our production sites,” says Dr Bernd Scheifele, chairman of the managing board of HeidelbergCement. “Our staff at the cement plants will be trained in entrepreneurial thinking in order to identify improvement potentials and implement them with creative ideas. In this way, we want to secure the efficiency gains from our previous projects while further improving our production processes systematically.” The Continuous Improvement Program, which has been tested at three pilot sites in Europe since the beginning of 2014, has already led to result improvements of almost €4 million.

Continued investment Heidelberg continuously invests in new plant to improve its capabilities and maintain its position as a global leader.

In July 2011 it opened a modernised kiln in its Polish cement plant Górazdze. This involved the expansion of the clinker capacity to 6000 tonnes per day. This has confirmed Górazdze’s position as HeidelbergCement’s most advanced cement plant in Europe. Last year the company expanded its cement capacity in Liberia with the commissioning of a new cement mill at its cement grinding plant in the capital city of Monrovia. The investment in the new mill, which has an annual capacity of 0.5 million tonnes, amounted to US$ 14 million. Its Liberian subsidiary Cemenco is the only cement producer in Liberia and has a strong market position. The company is part of HeidelbergCement’s network of cement grinding facilities on the West African coast supporting the group’s regional strategic presence. By setting up adequate capacities to better serve the growing market in important coastal cities, HeidelbergCement is aiming to maintain its competitive edge in n West Africa.

TRANSFORMING UTILITY SAFETY AND PROTECTION Scheidt is a technology leader in the design and manufacture of concrete units for the protection of utility installations and water treatment plants. Philip Yorke talked to Georgine Scheidt, the company’s assistant to the CEO, about its latest products and plans for further expansion.

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cheidt was founded in 1889 as a construction company and manufacturer of concrete products. Over the years it has grown to become a market leader in the design and manufacture of buildings designed to protect a wide range of utility installations. These purpose-built units are made from top-quality reinforced concrete in order to protect power plants and a wide range of other installations. Among the most important of these are pump stations, gas control units, railway control and signalling, switching units in transformer stations and telecommunication equipment.

More recently the Scheidt Group has been providing its in-depth expertise to the operators of wind power and biogas plants as well as to operators of photovoltaic energy plants. Manufacturing at Scheidt takes place at its three state-of-the-art plants in Germany. These are strategically located at Arnstadt, Hoyerswerda and at Rinteln, the company’s headquarters.

Customised turn-key solutions In addition to being a leading provider of transformer stations for medium and low voltage equipment, Scheidt also delivers

complete customised solutions to power companies as a key part of their everyday business offering. Projects start with the initial design and planning phase and run right through to the installation and commissioning of the building and its equipment. Scheidt is also very flexible in its approach: once the reinforced concrete shell is complete, the customer can decide whether Scheidt should install the electrical or sanitary equipment, or they can opt to finish the installation of equipment themselves. The Scheidt sales network covers Germany and the whole of Europe and is

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comprised of its own dedicated internal and external sales forces at each site, as well as having a network of trade representatives and other trade partners. Georgine Scheidt said, “We are a company that is always adapting to our changing market requirements and looking for niche markets to serve. We also invest continuously in new plant and technology and have recently added two new production halls at Rinteln, which has significantly increased our manufacturing capacity. “Germany remains our biggest market today; however, we are seeing growth in all our European export markets such as the UK and the Netherlands where we work with big brands such as Schneider Electric and ALFEN b.v.. In addition, we are also seeing growth in our other export markets such as Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania, as well as in the Czech Republic and Austria.” She added, “Our biggest market sector is the electrical energy industry, which represents around 70 per cent of our sales. 96 Industry Europe

Other markets, such as water, contribute 10 per cent, gas 10 per cent with infrastructure making up the balance. All of our products are tailor-made to suit our customers’ individual specifications; however, we also contribute our own ideas and innovative solutions whenever it is appropriate to do so. As a company we are a very flexible partner and as such are able to move much faster than our competitors. “We also operate state-of-the-art facilities at our three extensive installations in Germany. For the future we plan to continue to grow organically but will keep the door open for possible joint ventures if the right conditions present themselves.” Scheidt is acknowledged as a technology leader in its field owing to its in-house R&D facilities and matrix structure. It is also able to adapt quickly to new market requirements and is prepared to manage new energy sources as well as accommodating the latest sensitive technology that is required today for its buildings.

Putting safety first When it comes to safety and plant protection, Scheidt offers each industry optimised, tailor-made solutions. In addition to power plant protection, the company also protects two of the world’s most important elements: water and terrain. As part of its product portfolio, Scheidt prefabricates collection vessels which are used for ground-sealing systems for the safe handling and storage of liquids that are hazardous to water. The company’s modular vessels can also be equipped with fireproofing and soundproofing walls for the protection of adjacent residential areas. In addition, Scheidt is well known for its individual switchgear stations, which can be manufactured to any size as single- or multi-storey units and come with a variety of roofing options. The fact that the individual elements are prefabricated and equipped at the company’s factory means that the entire structure can be erected and put into operation within a very short space of time.

Furthermore, concrete floor slabs can also be constructed from prefabricated concrete elements or simply cast with ‘in-situ’ concrete. Another alternative is an elevated floor made of composite wooden panels with an anti-slip coating. Transformers can be mounted on adjustable, galvanised steel transformer rails. Scheidt is committed to staying one step ahead of its competitors with its innovative ideas and individual tailor-made solutions. That is why the company offers not only serial and standard stations, but also individual switchgear stations. n For further details of Scheidt’s latest innovative products and services visit:

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Component manufacturing facilities

Finished products ready for packaging

SMART HYDRAULICS Expansion, acquisition, new services and ‘smart hydraulics’ are all on the agenda for Finland’s Hydroline Oy. Felicity Landon reports.

Final application Futuristic Excavator


ydroline takes the long-term view. For more than 50 years, this family-owned company has specialised in the development and manufacture of specialist hydraulic cylinders. Today it is the biggest company in hydraulics in Finland; its market share in Europe is constantly growing and Hydroline is an increasingly well-known brand. The company that began as a one-man operation in the basement of a house now employs 220 people worldwide, and dramatic expansion is planned for the next few years. Its customers include some of the world’s best-known brands, including Sandvik Mining & Construction, Cargotec, John Deere Forestry and Rocla. Hydroline’s headquarters and main 12,000 sq m production site are at Kuopio in centraleastern Finland. This year (2014), the company opened a new production plant at Stargard Szczecinski, in north-western Poland; a greenfield development, it was, as CEO Mikko

Finished products at drying room

Laakkonen says, “started from zero by our people, and finished by our people.” The 4000 sq m Polish plant is a vital part of Hydroline’s ambitious plans for geographical expansion. “We have plans for production in Asia and the Americas in 2015-2020,” says Mr Laakkonen. “From Finland, our direct exports are currently around 30 per cent and we expect exports to grow. Having said that, we are serving a very strong high-end manufacturing industry in Finland which has been vital for our growth, so we will continue to serve that as a priority. “However, we look forward to having growth from other markets as well. We are really close to the Russian market, which is very interesting for us – we have done a lot of market research and it looks really promising. We can serve the Russian market from Finland, or we might consider a production site inside Russia.” Hydroline is at present mainly active in central Europe, but the aim is to grow worldwide, says Jani Lehikoinen, vice-president, business development & marketing. “In Asia, the demand for high-end products is growing rapidly. Also, South America and South Africa are very interesting for us.”

New market sectors At present, 96 per cent of Hydroline’s sales are to the mobile machinery sector – including various types of construction and forestry machinery, load handling equipment and other machines moving on wheels, chains or tracks. “Our market share is growing fastest in the load handling segment. The demand for forestry equipment is also growing quite well,” says Mr Lehikoinen. “As for new markets for Hydroline, the energy segment is definitely growing the fastest, including wave and wind energy. “Overall, we are expanding our segmentation to marine & offshore, energy and industrial solutions, in addition to our strong mobile segment.” The company recently set up a subsidiary, Hydroline Energy Oy, reflecting its plans for this sector. “Definitely we can apply the knowledge we have and the technology we have in these new segments,” says Mr Laakkonen. “The technology used in the energy segment is not so different from that in mobile machinery. Of course, marine & offshore operations require certain certifications and you need to ensure you are up to speed with these. Our more

than 50 years of experience ensures that we already have the required knowledge to go into these markets.” Hydroline commits at least 4 per cent of its turnover to development work, and key focus areas are preventive maintenance, industrial internet, intelligent hydraulics, common rail and digital hydraulics. “At the moment, the majority of our offering is hydraulic cylinders and piston accumulators,” says Mr Lehikoinen. “We are focusing on high-end hydraulic products for demanding applications. In the future we will also move to the control systems and bigger hydraulic systems. Our service business will then support the expansion of our product portfolio.”

Smart hydraulics Smart hydraulics is the main driver of future products, he says. “That is quite a broad topic. In our case, it means utilising the industrial internet and creating more and more intelligence inside the product. We are focused on preventative maintenance, and another main driver is that we want to make a safer work environment and help our customers to build more and more energy-efficient machines.”

Cylinder in boom application

Information acquisition is the key, he says. “We are looking to extract more and more information from the different machines, so the end users can make their work more efficient. We already have a good supplier base and network for this and a strong R&D team as well. But, as we seek continuous improvement, we will be hiring and training new professionals. Incidentally, ‘smart’ also means the way in

which we produce our solutions and the way we deliver our goods to the customers – basically, we are looking at intelligent components and also intelligent ways of producing them. It is a whole big picture. We have to be smart in everything we do – in R&D, production and delivery.” As part of this push for smarter solutions, he hints that mergers and acquisitions could be on the way. Hydroline is owned by the

Laakkonen family, with investment company Etera holding a 19 per cent share. “We have a long-term approach to developing our business,” says Mr Lehikoinen. “We really appreciate our personnel and consider them as part of the family. Our management and owners are easy to reach. Our customers respect the commitment throughout the organisation. We are more flexible and more committed to our work compared to our competitors.”

Headquarters in Finland

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Close to customers But geographic expansion is inevitable. “A key issue is logistics and customer demand. The lead time from order to delivery has to be shorter all the time. This also means we need to have locations all around the world close to the customers and the market, so we can be as quick as possible. So definitely we want to be in Asia and the Americas, and maybe inside the Russian market too. “There are three ways to grow: organic growth, new customers and segments,

Final application Futuristic Drill

and mergers and acquisitions. Most of the growth will come from new customers and mergers and acquisitions – although we have experienced rapid growth from our traditional customers as well. “It is a little bit too early to give details of our plans in Asia and the Americas, but we are using all the available tools to expand our activity internationally. Mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures – these kinds of things we are considering all the time.” Hydroline has not only survived the global recession but has grown in the past few

years. Budgeted growth for the current financial year is nearly 20 per cent. “Not many companies in our industry have managed to survive these past few difficult years,” says Mr Laakkonen. “But we have made good decisions and, what is most important, we have a very good team of different kinds of experts. That has helped our company to grow despite the market situation. “The upcoming years will be really interesting – there is a lot happening, we are growing fast and we are very ambitious n about our development.”

NORDIC MARKET LEADER Ostnor, created from the merger of four companies in 2007, develops and manufactures taps and accessories. Having previously focused on two strong brands, this year the company added a third brand to its portfolio, as Industry Europe reports.


stnor is the Nordic region’s leading mixer company, headquartered in Mora, Sweden. Its roots go back to 1927 – and some components of the company go back much further – but Ostnor as it exists today started a new chapter in 2007, when four companies were merged into one. The challenge then was to create a cohesive company with long-term and improved profitability, and a key developmental step was formulating and introducing collective fundamental values across the new group. Today, Ostnor has a very strong position in its home market of Sweden, where it makes 75 per cent of its sales. The Nordic countries outside Sweden are also strong

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markets, with 17 per cent of sales going to Norway, Denmark and Finland. Its turnover for 2013 amounted to SEK 824 million.

Well-established brands Ostnor develops and manufactures a wide range of taps and accessories, with the consistent theme of operations being leading-edge technology, high quality, attractive design and eco-friendliness. Marketing is through the strong, well-established product brands FM Mattsson and Mora Armatur – the strength of these brands is one of the group’s most valuable assets. Outside the Nordic region, the FM Mattsson and Mora Armatur brands primarily occupy niches in

specific market segments. Ostnor is active in Germany, Russia, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Australia and Iceland. Mora Armatur is one of the leading brands for product development and marketing of sanitary fittings (kitchen and bathroom taps) in the Nordics. In the heating, ventilation and sanitation sector it is recognised as an innovator that offers products that are elegant and of the highest quality. Ostnor’s oldest roots are through FM Mattsson, Sweden’s most well-established tap manufacturer. Founded in 1865 by Frost Matts Mattsson, the company initially made parts of traditional Mora clocks, nit combs, small bells, brooches and pastry wheels. Mattsson manufactured his first barrel taps and boiler room taps in 1876. FM Mattsson, which supplies hundreds of thousands of mixers every year, was the first to introduce ceramic seals, non-freeze garden taps and two world-unique solutions – soft closing single lever mixers and thermostatic mixing valves. “For most people, a mixer is just an attractive interior design feature that supplies water and enhances the interior of a kitchen or bathroom,” says the company. “For us who have been working with mixers for over 100 years,

it means so much more. We value aesthetic qualities both on the inside and the outside. Among other things, that means developing technical solutions that help to save water and energy, thereby improving the environment. To us, aesthetic value means always taking the whole picture into account.

New beginnings This year (2014) has seen an important third addition to the Ostnor brand portfolio. In April the company acquired Damixa, Denmark’s leading producer of kitchen, bath and shower fixtures. This has allowed Ostnor to strengthen its position in the Nordic market by gathering three of the strongest Nordic brands under the same roof. Following this move, the company is now the market leader in Sweden, Denmark and Iceland, and number two in Norway and Finland. Damixa was already well-established in the Nordic region with sales amounting to some SEK 250 million and more than 100 employees. The range has a high technical content and is clearly associated with Danish design. Claes Seldeby, Ostnor’s president and CEO, said of the move: “The acquisition of Damixa fits well into our strategy of creating profitable growth with the help of clearly

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positioned trademarks, market breadth and competitive ranges. With this acquisition we will strengthen our market share in the Nordic region and broaden our product range with a third brand.”

Sustainable design Sustainability is important to Ostnor. For example, the company has worked in partnership with the Umeå Institute of Design, reflecting the important focus on energy rationalisation and water savings as

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expressed in its Ecosafe products. This partnership has developed some shared-brand product platforms in recent years. A good example is the FM Mattsson 9000E II basin mixer, which is extremely energy-efficient and has a classic design that suits many different bathroom interiors. It complies with the highest level (A) in the new Swedish energy classification system. The E in 9000E stands for Ecosafe, the Ostnor concept based on environmental awareness at all stages. This includes mini-

mising environmental impact in the factory, choosing optimal materials and providing energy-smart functions that make the end products eco-friendly and recyclable. For example, the Eco Flow function on the aerator means that the tap works exactly as usual but air is mixed into the jet. This limits the water flow, making the mixer very energyefficient. Cold Start is another energy-saving function. When the lever is in the neutral position, it delivers cold water instead of a mixture n of cold and hot.


GREENER ENVIRONMENT UAB Megrame began by producing PVC windows in 1992 and has grown to become one of Europe’s biggest manufacturers. Today the family owned business is also one of Europe’s largest producers of wooden windows, doors and glazing units. Philip Yorke traces the remarkable success story of Megrame and takes a closer look at its latest environmentally friendly products.


egrame is a privately owned company that is the largest manufacturer of PVC, wood and aluminium doors and windows in the Baltic States. In 1996 the company went into partnership with Gealan Werke Fickenscher of Germany, which is the foremost European producer of PVC profiles. As a result, Gealan Baltic was formed. This company now compounds, extrudes and distributes PVC profiles at the

Megrame facilities. Subsequently, Megrame has produced wood windows, facades, patio and entry doors, using only the highest quality materials and employing the latest and most advanced German technologies. Megrame’s state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment is manufactured by Michael Weinig and Hess Technology of Germany, both of which are leaders in wood processing equipment and technology. One

of the most advanced LISEC glass cutting machines was also installed and this unique machine optimises, cuts and grinds glass quickly and economically. Following this investment a fully integrated LISEC insulated glass-unit manufacturing line was added to the system, thus significantly increasing the efficiency and capability of the plant. Other major investments have added yet further to the company’s reputation for efficiency and cost-effectiveness. These include the addition of the latest extrusion presses and ‘Unicontrol’ wood profiling machines.

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Today Megrame offers low energy PVC windows and doors, window sills and a wide assortment of single and double glazing units. These high quality products can be supplied with additional benefits such as protection against noise and sun, with added safety features, and the introduction of tinted, or laminated glass.

Lead-free efficiency Megrame undertakes complex projects and long-term cooperation with major construction companies throughout Europe. Megrame

also offers expert consultations to advise customers on the selection of windows and doors in order to meet the most demanding specifications. With the on-going drive for more environmentally friendly doors and windows, Megrame has been manufacturing plastic doors and windows using lead-free PVC profiles since 2006. These energy-efficient windows are more durable, more stable and more resistant to external impact. They also maintain their white and shiny lustre for significantly longer than traditional units. The stabiliser used

is non-toxic and therefore does not affect human health or the environment. In addition, recycled lead-free profiles can be used for the manufacture of new PVC products, such as toys, packaging and medical supplies. Today Megrame windows and doors are popular owing to their design and practical functionality. The company’s ‘green Line’ plastic windows and doors represent the highest quality and environmentally friendly products available on the market today.

Award winning technologies One of Megrame’s latest and most innovative products is its low energy wooden window, the Gealan Euro 110M, which was awarded a gold medal in Lithuania’s recent ‘product of the year’ competition. This modified type of low energy window protects and insulates the energy and matches the requirements

for the most energy-efficient houses. This new window from Megrame is not only safe and long lasting, but also meets the criteria for optimal sound insulation and EU break-in protection requirements. This latest window technology was developed by Megrame and represents many years of diligent development work. Megrame’s ‘wood-warm’ windows are made from 110mm-wide 6-layer glued wood profiles. These can be coated with selected materials and filled with argon gasses for optimal insulation. Special aluminium profiles also protect the wood from harmful environmental impact. What’s more, the company’s Gealan S9000 low-energy window was also awarded a gold medal. This range features a new system of energy-efficient windows characterised by exceptionally high thermal insulation parameters. After analysing the advantages of join-

ing several elements from different systems, the Gealan S9000 attained the value of heat transmission co-efficient equal to Uf – 0.77, by using steel reinforcement in the profiles. These new 6-chamber windows for passive houses are made from Gealan S9000 units with 83mm frame width profile systems. The advantage of using this type of window is that it is possible to use 50mm width glazing units with one of the highest possible coefficients of energy conductivity. All Megrame products are certified in compliance with the international quality standards ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, and all pass the most stringent quality tests. In addition, all the company’s windows and doors bear the famous CE mark of quality control. n For further details of Megrame’s latest innovative products and services visit:

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GROWING IN SIZE Komatsu Italia Manufacturing SpA took on a new name in January 2014 to reflect the wider range of products the company had started producing. Managing director Enrico Prandini spoke to Industry Europe. Barbara Rossi reports.

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omatsu Italia Manufacturing (formerly Komatsu Utility Europe) is part of the Komatsu group, which ranks in second place globally in the earth moving machinery sector. A 100 per cent Japanese group, the global organisation present in all continents is Komatsu Global, which is then subdivided into divisions focused on the world regions. The European organisation is Komatsu Europe, which has five production plants, one of which is Komatsu Italia Manufacturing.

“For us Europe is our domestic market, but we also export our products to often many countries worldwide,” Mr Prandini explained. “Generally, our specialism is manufacturing machines with weights up to 19 tonnes. We make mini excavators, midi excavators, traditional excavators ranging from 13 to 17 tonnes, backhoe loaders, skid steer loaders and two models of wheeled excavators. Each of the European plants specialises in one type of production and traditionally we have produced lighter

machinery, hence the word ‘Utility’ in our former name. However, our portfolio has been widening in recent years and we have been asked to produce some larger models.”

Decades of expertise The Italian factory started its activity in 1963 as FAI, when it was set up in the Vicenza area by G. Bettanin, a local entrepreneur. The company carried on growing until the end of the 1980s, when there was the first contact with Japanese giant Komatsu, which was very interested in acquiring a factory for production of utility excavators in Europe. The collaboration between the two companies became increasingly close until there was an outright acquisition in 1996 and Komatsu Utility Europe was born. Komatsu Italia Manufacturing is strongly rooted in the Veneto region of north-eastern

Italy. Its legal office is in the Vicenza area -Noventa Vicentina- and its head office and plant in Este -near Padua. “Today we have 360 employees and an production capacity of 10,000 machines a year,” said Mr Prandini. “Our production peak was in 2007, when we reached a total output of 12,000 machines. Obviously with the economic downturn of the last few years there has been a decrease in production levels, as in the number of employees. Nevertheless, we are now growing every year and we expect to reach an output of 4500 machines by the end of 2014.” Komatsu Italia Manufacturing only deals with production for European markets, because the Brussels-based European organisation takes care of product distribution. Research and development is conducted at different levels: global, regional and local. While the

global organisation plays an important role in terms of coordination and has an R&D centre in Japan, and Komatsu Europe has facilities in Germany, the Italian operation also has its own R&D department. Carrying out research and development is vital to its work, as its products are continuously evolving, especially to comply with new emissions requirements at European and global level. “We have recently launched two very important new hydraulic excavators, of which we are the sole producers outside of Japan: the PC170LC and PC138US. They are both traditional excavators but of a higher dimensional class than those which we traditionally manufactured. The former has an operating weight ranging from 17.280kg to 17.940kg and increased net-horse power, while the latter is designed with an ultra-short tail swing to meet the challenges of work in confined

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areas. It offers exceptional stability and has an operating weight ranging from 13.700kg to 14.870kg. Both models feature low consumption, environmental friendliness, total versatility, low noise design and the highest safety standards, amongst other characteristics.”

Flexibility, innovation and high-quality “Our R&D department is very active and our range will significantly grow in the next two to three years, when we will present other innovative products,” Mr Prandini revealed. “Our mid-term plan, which has recently been approved, outlines investments in production technology, resulting in a new production line and possibly, if there is a positive market response, in structural investments.”

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The market segments served are earthmoving and construction, plus some niche sectors, such as demolition, defence, civil defence and non industrial earth-moving. The products manufactured are not supplied directly to the final customers, as the widespread Komatsu network of distributors plays this intermediary role. “Europe is our main outlet market, generating 70 per cent of turnover, although we experience drastically different demand levels according to the country,” said Mr Prandini. “Generally southern Europe is suffering, central and northern European countries vary from a slight decrease in demand to showing signs of recovery, but eastern Europe is doing very well, thanks to the fact that there

there is a need to complete smaller or residential infrastructure projects, which requires the size of machinery that we produce. “Similarly, outside Europe we fare well in all the markets where there is a shift from manual to automated work and/or where utility or midi-machines are required for smaller projects. Significant outlet markets are Australia, South-Africa, Turkey, Egypt and Gabon. Russia is also a fundamental market for us, which we follow directly, as it is outside the scope of our European organisation. We are also strong in countries where there is a need for infrastructural work but where this is carried out by small construction companies which do not utilise larger machinery in their work. Examples

Phone: +39 0542 23717 Fax: +39 0542 658252

E-mail :

TecSo Import offers its customers cost reduction processes for engineering (component/ machinery redesign) and outsourcing (for cast-iron and steel castings, as well as for highprecision mechanical components). With regard to outsourcing - thanks to its organisation, which has sites in Italy, India, China and Eastern Europe - TecSo Import is able to take care of the following processes on behalf of its customers: • Identification of suppliers equipped with the skills and technology necessary to produce the components demanded by clients. • Negotiation with suppliers to achieve the cost targets set by clients. • Management of sampling and related activities, as well as sample approval tests. • Start-up and management of production of the above mentioned components. • Management of clients’ production and delivery programmes. • Door-to-door logistics management, covering all phases (from production countries to delivery at customers’ premises). • Spare part warehouse management on behalf of clients. • Product alteration management and introduction into the production process.

of these are Angola, north Africa and some south African countries, as well as some Asian markets.”

Growth expectations Future geographical development will depend on the group’s strategy. “We are obviously happy to manufacture for any market selected by our group,” said Mr Prandini. “I expect growth in Africa, following on Komatsu Global’s footsteps , particularly in Kenya and neighbouring countries. What I think is important for us as Komatsu Italia Manufacturing is consolidating our recovery in all the markets where we used to have very high volumes.”

For the future Komatsu Italia Manufacturing will concentrate on producing machines which offer high quality, high performance and good value for money. “We are very much part of the global strategy of the group and must optimise our production flexibility to fulfil its requirements,” said Mr Prandini. “I think that we have delivered on this and that this is the reason why we have been asked to manufacture the two midi models described earlier. The advantage of being part of a strong Japanese group is their long-term vision, thanks to which we have never stopped investing in innovation, not even at the worst times of the recent recession. While keeping our Italian

roots, we have totally adopted the Japanese production philosophy, which I consider to be the best in the world.” Being an innovative and flexible production site manufacturing high-quality Komatsu products is the real added value of the Italian company, which in line with the rest of the group presents a top of the range offering. The company holds all the certifications required in its industry in terms of quality and environmental sustainability (ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001). Being totally in line with the Japanese vision, the company welcomes visits from customers, allowing them to view the site and the n production process. Industry Europe 111


A GROWTH STORY Some eleven years after it was taken into private ownership Belgium’s Ontex is a public company once more. It sees its new access to capital markets as a key advantage in improving what is already an impressive growth performance. Peter Mercer reports.


June of this year, Ontex, the Belgium-based manufacturer of hygienic disposable products, completed a successful IPO on the Euronext Brussels exchange. A total of some 33 million shares were sold, resulting in gross proceeds of about €600 million. “This was a landmark day for Ontex, its employees, customers, consumers and shareholders as the business returned to the Euronext exchange,” says Charles Bouaziz, CEO of Ontex. ”Our main shareholders, Goldman Sachs and TPG, who bought Ontex in 2010, saw that with the company on a firm growth path, this was a good time

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to return to the market. We will benefit from a greatly reduced level of debt and will have access to an additional source of capital, which is important as we want to invest in growth. Our two largest shareholders still hold 45 per cent of the company, while the IPO has led to a diversification of ownership, an improvement of our corporate ratings and enhanced our attractiveness on the market. “Over the last few years our business has expanded its geographical presence - both organically and through acquisitions - and has increased the weight of our own brands and incontinence products in our mix. We aim to deliver both top and bottom line growth,

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Huhtamaki Films Huhtamaki Films produces engineered and innovative films for the consumer, industrial and pressure sensitive market. We strive to proactively develop high-quality film solutions and manufacture our products with the highest efficiency. No matter if it’s in Europe, Americas, Asia or anywhere else - we want to be as close to our customers as possible. In the area of hygiene, Huhtamaki Films products look after consumers for an entire lifetime: from packaging for baby diapers, via feminine hygiene products, to incontinence

products, as well as packaging for hygienic tissues and more. Since two decades Ontex and Huhtamaki Films have been collaborating successfully on customizing products for the hygiene market and customer needs. Both companies focus on innovative products for different applications and internalize the concept of Collaborate + Innovate, which is Huhtamaki Films’ dedicated innovation approach by building collaborative relationships, dedicated to understanding our partner’s needs, and delivering market defining success.

Avery Dennison Closure Solutions Avery Dennison is committed to making a difference with our customers in each region throughout the world. We rely on our extensive R&D capabilities to create increasingly better and more sustainable nonwoven closure solutions that cover the full range of diaper tiers and feminine care packaging needs.

Avery Dennison cost-effective innovations include high performance pre-combined closures with hook elements and pressure-sensitive reseal tapes for sanitary napkin pouches. Visit:

providing high quality and innovative hygiene solutions to our customers and consumers, further developing the brands of our retail partners as well as our own Ontex brands.”

Global reach Since it began as a family company in Belgium in 1979, Ontex has grown into a truly global business. Today it has a total of 15 manufacturing facilities in 12 countries across Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Australia and China. It employs more than 5000 people across the globe and generated sales of €1.5 billion in 2013 in over 100 countries. Ontex’s core business is built around three categories – products for baby care, adult incontinence and feminine care. Baby care products, mostly nappies but also baby pants and wet wipes, currently account for more than 50 per cent of revenue. Adult incontinence products, such as pants, towels and bed protectors, make up some 33 per cent and feminine care products, such as sanitary pads, panty liners and tampons, add up to around 13 per cent. Ontex is headquartered in Erembodegem, near Aalst in Belgium, and its 15 production 116 Industry Europe

facilities are located in Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Algeria, Turkey, Pakistan, China and Australia. The company also reaches its customers through 23 sales and marketing teams across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australia.

Brand strategy Across the world Ontex sells its products primarily to major retailers. More than 60 per cent of these sales are of retailer brands and the rest are Ontex’s own brands. The company’s core strategy over the years has been to develop deep relationships with the major European retail chains such as Ahold, Aldi, Auchan, Carrefour, E. Leclerc, Lidl, Metro, Rewe and Tesco, helping them to establish or enhance their own branded product lines. The large number of retail partners means that the total business is significantly diversified, with the largest customer accounting for only 6 per cent of the company’s revenue; indeed the ten largest customers together account for less than 40 per cent of total sales by value. “When Ontex was created in 1979 the business was wholly focused on production for retailer brands,” explains Charles

Bouaziz. “More recently, however, two factors have driven the development of Ontex’s brands– our expansion outside western Europe, in countries such as Turkey, Russia and Pakistan, and our growth in the adult incontinence market in Europe, where through acquisitions such as that of the Italian brand Serenity in 2013 we have greatly expanded our presence. The Serenity business now accounts for one third of our total Healthcare business, that is the sales and delivery of our products to nursing homes, hospitals and to consumers’ own homes. The acquisition has also delivered important financial and operational synergies, helping to drive efficiency in production and procurement, and bringing us expertise in product development and home delivery systems.” Ontex’s own brands also include Moltex, a top-quality eco-nappy that was invented and developed in Germany, and is made with sustainable raw materials to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. The Helen Harper range of babycare, feminine care and adult incontinence products offers top performance quality at attractive prices to consumers across eastern Europe and in

Russia. The Canbebe brand was acquired by Ontex when it moved into Turkey in 1990 and is now a leading regional babycare brand that is widely distributed in many markets in the Middle East and Africa.

Expansion and diversification A major element in Ontex’s continued growth and profitability is that its business is geographically diversified. In 2013 some 68 per cent of revenue was generated in Western Europe, around 13 per cent in eastern Europe and the rest in the Middle East, Africa and the rest of the world. This strategy of global expansion and diversification has undoubtedly played a major part in the company’s success in growing its revenues between 2003 and 2013 at a compound annual rate of 7.2 per cent, including acquisitions. What this means in simple terms is that Ontex has doubled its revenue over the last ten years.

This strong performance has continued into 2014. Ontex group sales in the first half of the year of €809.9 million represents an increase of 11.2 per cent compared to the first half of 2013. Even in the mature Western European market, sales grew strongly by 8 per cent year-on-year while growth markets such as Central Europe saw sales increase by as much as 24 per cent. In the MEA region Ontex strengthened its position in Turkey and achieved a strong performance in Morocco and Pakistan. “Our performance in the second quarter of 2014 was a continuation of the trends seen in 2013 with a robust performance across all our key product groups,” says Charles Bouaziz. “In our mature markets we have continued to support retailers in the development of their brands and to help them to take the opportunity presented by the withdrawal of the US company Kimberly Clark from the Western European

market. In our MEA and other growth markets favourable demographics and the development of our own Ontex brands has delivered very strong top line growth. With our continued focus on sustainable growth, we have leveraged this performance to deliver improvements in profitability whilst adding additional capacity to support future growth.”

R&D and marketing A key element in this sustained performance has been Ontex’s continuous investment in the development of its products and in the expansion and updating of its manufacturing facilities. “Our annual revenue growth of some 7 per cent over the last ten years has enabled us to maintain a constant level of investment at around 3 per cent per year of revenue,” says Mr Bouaziz, “and now thanks to our engineering know-how, we manufacture some of our own production lines – it

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• Manufacturer of silicone papers, carbonless copy papers and self adhesive papers. • Outstanding service and flexibility. • Cut to customer’s needs - over 400 satisfied customers. • Your global partner - supplying to over 50 countries around the world. • Environmentally aware - issued with FSC certificate, ISO 14001. • Family owned business. • Tradition and innovation. • 20 years of experience.

PASACO PASACO, from Solec Kujawski, Poland, is the world’s leading producer of niche carbonless copy papers (sc, sccb, selectively coated papers, secured carbonless copy papers with watermarks, etc.). The company is the biggest producer of non-standard industrial rolls in Europe and the biggest producer of cash register rolls in Central and Eastern Europe. It is also a manufacturer of silicone paper and self-adhesive materials. Recently, the PASACO offer expanded with the new product: thermal paper for digital tachograph. PASACO employs more than 300 people. Its products are sold to more than 50 countries; its annual sales are estimated as €34 million.

is quicker than buying in machinery and we know exactly what we need.” A steady flow of innovation in babycare, feminine care and adult care also plays a vital role in the company’s success. It’s three R&D Centres in Belgium and Germany develop solutions to keep the company’s retail partners competitive in terms of performance, value and consumer satisfaction. “Understanding customer preferences is just as important as technical excellence,” says Mr Bouaziz, “so soon after I took

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over as CEO in 2013 I recruited a head of marketing and strengthened the marketing team. Success in this business today is not just about delivering an excellent product; it’s also about fully understanding changes in customer demands and hearing the voice of the consumer. To do that we have to work closely with our retail partners, our suppliers and with other sources of knowledge in universities and technical institutes.” Sustainability is also a central concern at Ontex; it is committed to maximising energy

efficiency, reducing the impact of production by minimising waste, encouraging recycling and increasing the efficiency of its logistics operations. Its central warehouse logistics project for raw material delivery in Europe, for example, has already resulted in a decrease in truck mileage of some 800,000 km – equivalent to a reduction in CO2 emissions of almost 600 tonnes. “We are constantly working to produce lighter and thinner products with the same or even better performance – these not only

reduce raw material consumption but need fewer trucks to transport them. So you reduce costs and environmental impact at the same time,” explains Mr Bouaziz. “We are also developing ranges of biodegradable products but, of course, these are more costly and therefore appeal only to certain types of consumers.”

Looking forward Ontex’s strategy for the future focuses on helping its retailer partners to gain greater share of the market and, in countries where the retail trade is fragmented, to grow its own brands through expansion and acquisition. “We have three criteria when looking at acquisitions,” says Charles Bouaziz. “Is the target outside western Europe; does it have a strong brand; is it in the adult incontinence market? We need to meet at least two of these three criteria; for example, Serenity met the second and third. We are confident that with our strategy, we can achieve organic top-line growth of 4 to 6 per cent per year, and deliver success to our partners, our stakeholders and our employees, as well as ensuring a good return for our new shareholders. Ontex has been a growth story for ten years; now we want to make that story even more attractive to even more people.” n Industry Europe 121


Already a leading player in the European EMS market, France’s Lacroix Electronics has plans to soon join the top three in quality and service, thanks to a strategically balanced portfolio and a mix of high value and low cost production facilities. Peter Mercer reports.


his May, Lacroix Electronics celebrated the inauguration of its expanded plant at Kwidzyn in Poland. The event was attended by employees, local authority representatives, journalists and political figures, including Janusz Lewandowski, Member of the European Commission, Jean-Marc Fenet, Head of the Economic Department 122 Industry Europe

of the French Embassy in Poland and Jerzy Kozdron, Polish Deputy Justice Minister (representing the Polish Prime Minister). Francois Beauxis, managing director of Lacroix Electronics, and Jean-Marc Tychyj, general manager of the Kwidzyn plant, explained the progress that has been made since the plant was first established in 1997

and the role it now plays in the European operations of Lacroix Electronics and in the expanding Polish economy. “Our Kwidzyn plant was originally built in partnership with one of our major customers, Philips, and has specialised in electronics manufacturing services for the industrial and automotive markets,” said Mr Beauxis. “Its out-

put has grown steadily over the years but 18 months ago we put in place a programme for a significant expansion of the facility to 12,000 sq. m, including a new building and new production plant. This investment will boost even further the key role that Kwidzyn is already playing in driving growth for Lacroix Electronics. We expect the company to grow by around 27 per cent in 2014 and most of that will be thanks to this investment in Poland.”

Forty years’ experience Based in the Maine et Loire region of western France, Lacroix Electronics specialises in Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) – the design and manufacturing of electronic assemblies and associated services – for the industrial, automotive, home automation, aerospace, defence and medical markets. For more than 40 years it has been a close partner to its customers in the design and production of circuit boards and today, with a turnover of €180m (2013) and more than

2000 employees, it is ranked among the top ten European EMS companies. Lacroix Electronics is one of the three divisions of the Lacroix Group, a French family-controlled enterprise that is headquartered in Nantes, in western France, and currently employs some 2900 people. The other divisions of the group are Lacroix Sofrel, which specialises in telemetry solutions for the monitoring and control of remote sites, and Lacroix Signalisation, which designs and manufactures products for road signalling, traffic management and urban equipment. In 2013 the group generated revenues of €330m.

Production strategy The headquarters of Lacroix Electronics are at Saint Pierre Montlimart, near Nantes, the site of a circuit board plant that it acquired in 1988. Today the 12,000m2 plant runs six production lines, including one line dedicated to prototyping, and has 460 employees. It offers a customised service producing electronic

cards and sub-assemblies for clients in the aeronautics, defence, medical, industrial, home automation and automotive sectors. Among its long-standing customers is Zodiac Aerospace, the world-leading French manufacturer of aircraft passenger seats, who, in 2013, selected Lacroix as its best supplier of the year. In addition to its facility in Poland, Lacroix also has production plants outside France in Zriba, Tunisia, and in Willich (Dusseldorf) in Germany. R&D centres are located in France at Rennes, Toulouse, Grenoble and Quimper as well as at the Willich facility. “Our presence in four countries keeps us close to our customers, which is of crucial importance to the efficient management of their supply chains and although there has been a trend for European manufacturers to extend these chains to Asia, many are now coming back to European suppliers such as ourselves as the cost/quality trade-off changes,” explains Francois Beauxis. “By dividing development and production between

different sites we are also able to maximise the return on our skills in what we call ‘Time to Market’ and ‘Time to Volume’ project management. What this means is that we can use our plants in France and Germany, and our R&D centres, for high mix/low volume production for high value products for our clients in the aerospace, automotive, industrial and medical industries and concentrate low mix/high volume production in Poland and Tunisia. In fact, it is often the case that when a product has been fully developed and the client now requires higher volumes, we can transfer production to one of our lower cost production sites, such as Kwidzyn.”

Market opportunities Electronic assemblies for the automotive industry currently account for some third of Lacroix Electronics’ output. Applications include auto lighting, instruments and communications, safety systems, engine control and driver comfort. Products for home

automation (lighting, heating, alarms etc) and for industrial applications (automation and robotics, energy supply and all-terrain vehicles etc) each account for a quarter. “One of our fastest growing markets today is aerospace. It currently accounts for only around 10 per cent of our business but we expect it to at least double in value in the next ten years,” says Mr Beauxis. “We currently supply assemblies for both civil and military aircraft, military communications, naval surveillance systems and intelligent munitions but we see the real growth coming as aircraft become ever more ‘electric’, with fly-by-wire control systems, passenger comfort and entertainment systems, electronic maintenance systems and so on. The latest airliners even have electrical systems to taxi on the tarmac. We supply many of the Tier One suppliers to the European aerospace industry and our proven capabilities in the design and production of electronic assemblies that have to function in extreme environments as well as our track

Mikrostyk S.A. The cooperation between Lacroix and Mikrostyk S.A. has

to motivate each other and to set the new goals to optimize

lasted for more than eight years. Our joint adventure has

processes and ensure the highest quality. This is required

begun from small elements for the electronics industry, to

by our joint customers, so the standards must be raised

develop a few years later with Lacroix the projects for the

every day! Thanks to these substantive discussions and

leaders on the market of suppliers of the first order in the

cross-initiatives all the time we are thinking how to improve

automotive sector in such areas as vehicle lighting, sound

processes and accomplish the philosophy of Kaizen in our

systems, etc. Such brands as BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen,

organization. Lacroix is our window on the international

PSA are final users of our products. For all these years we

business, by its specificity and geographical locations it is

have developed a number of tools, from the smallest ones to

much easier for them to reach the big industry players. We,

several ton progressive tools on 500 ton presses. From sev-

in turn, offer them the local services on an international

eral thousands of components produced per year, we went to

level. In other words, strict local cooperation allows us to

several million parts, which required from us to adapt a very

achieve a global dimension. Creating a cluster within a com-

complex production processes to the most stringent quality

mon campus, connecting people who trust each other with a

aspects. It was necessary to implement a number of invest-

strong motivation for continuous improvement, we have the

ments into new presses, automatic lines and to reorganize

perfect primer to create the most competitive supply chain

our way of functioning. Our relationship with Lacroix are

for our mutual customers.

sometimes stormy, but only purposes of our discussions are

record in project management and product support put us in an excellent position for further growth in this market.” Lacroix is also currently reinforcing its market position in the medical sector and has recently joined the MedTech Pharma association, an organisation that aims to promote innovation and networking in the medical sector and highlight recent trends in medical and pharmaceutical technology. Lacroix Electronics already delivers customised services to many of the major players in the medical market as well as helping start-up companies in the design and industrialisation of innovative products. For example, it is currently producing miniaturised electronic capsules for BodyCap, a start-up company in Lower Normandy. BodyCap’s innovative system, Anipill, is a device the size of a medical pill that when swallowed

measures reliably and regularly the internal temperature of animals for the purposes of research or medical assessment. The data from one or several animals is transferred continuously by telemetry to a screen. Lacroix was able to use its rapid production line dedicated to prototypes for this project and to contribute its experience in complex project management and advanced product industrialisation. Later this year, BodyCap’s capsule will be certified for human use under the name e-Celsius.

Growth targets Looking to the near future, Mr Beauxis says that Lacroix Electronics has a clear strategy for further growth: “The market for electronic assemblies is growing significantly and we plan to grow a little above the market trend – we think growth of 10 to 15 per cent a year

is perfectly achievable. In fact our strategic objective is to become one of the top EMS companies in Europe by 2018 – we are currently around 10th – and to do this we will continue to improve and expand our total service offering to our customers. To succeed in today’s market you have to deliver not only excellence in design, development and production but also a comprehensive services right through from consulting to supply chain management and customer staff training. “Of course, we will also ensure that we maintain our strategic balance between a variety of market sectors and the advantages of our low volume/high mix and high volume/ low mix production facilities in different countries. That is why the expansion of the Polish n plant is such an important step for us.”

Shell Gas Bobtail: ISISAN is the biggest supplier of Shell in Turkey. ISISAN has been supplying storage and transportation tanks to the LPG distributors of the Turkey.

STORING EXPERTISE FUELLING GROWTH ISISAN is a Turkish company which was founded in 1968 in a small workshop producing hot water boilers and simple, non-pressurised tanks. Years later, the company is now a major manufacturer of pressurised tanks, as well as being involved in flour milling, animal feed production and manufacturing pipes. Industry Europe spoke to company representatives Ugur Dundar Poyraz and Serdal Kara to find out more.

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ADNOC 55m³ LPG S. Trailer, ADNOC has placed an order for 5pcs. to ISISAN for 2014. ADNOC is one of the biggest distributors of LPG in U.A.E, ADNOC has been purchasing LPG storage and transportation tanks from ISISAN since 2000.

Ukraine Messer 300m3 Cryogenic Storage Tank: The tanks has been supplied to Messer Corp and shipped to Ukraine.


ISISAN approaches its 50th anniversary, it can look back on years of growth which have allowed it to become the core member of a group that employs 1000 people. One key turning point in its history stands out: the decision taken in 1980 to focus on the manufacture of pressurised vessels, particularly transport and storage tanks for LPG, cryogenics, CO2 and LNG. This move laid the foundations for ISISAN’s current status as an industrial powerhouse. Since taking this step, ISISAN has won clients from all corners of the world. Mr Poyraz states that the company now exports 50 per cent of its products to more than 60 countries around the world, and can include some of the world’s most famous petroleum and gas companies amongst its custom-

Naftal 1000pcs. of 1750kg LPG Storage Tank: This project was completed for the biggest LPG distributor in Algeria. The tanks were supplied to NAFTAL within one year period and were successfully delivered to the NAFTAL worksite in Algeria.

ers (including BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, PO and Total), as well as household names in other industries, such as Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Du Pont, Ülker and Efes Pilsen. In order to meet demand, the company has constructed a massive production area of 46,000m2 (including 25,000m2 of covered space) in the industrial zone of Kayseri in Turkey’s Central Anatolian region.

From Anatolia to the world ISISAN’s Kayseri facility now focuses largely on providing transport and storage solutions for LPG, LNG, CO2 and Cryogenics transportation and storage. It has carried out significant projects in these areas for its international customers, including manufacturing 1000 LPG for Algeria’s NAFTAL, and

80 LPG S trailers for GASCO in Saudi Arabia. Most recently, the company completed startup operations for the manufacturing of cryogenic tanks for the Serbian company to be used at ASU. ISISAN’s sales and marketing manager, Serdal Kara, oversaw the installation of two vertical engineered tanks each with a capacity of 200m3. Mr Kara emphasised ISISAN’s ability to meet its customers’ needs with bespoke products: “We have manufactured 12 engineered tanks with capacities of between 200 and 300m³ in the last year. In addition, we have manufactured and delivered seven specially engineered tanks built on a separate manufacturing line with an exclusive crew. We offer an extensive engineering service and provide our customers with 3D drawings before

manufacturing process begins. The design of the tanks is based on field reports sent to us by the customer and ISISAN is proud to be able to deliver such fine tailor-made products.”

200m3 Cryogenic tank successfully supplied to Messer for an ASU plant located in Bor / Serbia

An eye to global opportunities In addition to its massive factory in Kayseri, ISISAN also operates a maintenance and repair workshop in Istanbul and international branch offices in Frankfurt, Dubai and Mumbai. These offices support the company’s ambitious growth strategy, serving to identify new investment and sales opportunities. Mr Poyraz believes that the company’s willingness to maintain a physical presence in four key regions has allowed it to reach out to customers quickly and react effectively to changing requirements. This has translated into growing levels of customer satisfaction, which ISISAN has been able to turn into increased market

Messer 300m3 CO2 Storage tank: This tank is a good example for Engineering products of ISISAN. This picture is chosen because all ISISAN’s Executive and Engineering Crew are proud of their work and the end result, smiling with the pleasure of a successful project.

share. India has become a particular focus of late, owing to its status as one of the fastestgrowing industrial economies in the world.

Research and quality Mr Poyraz is also proud to discuss ISISAN’s commitment to remaining ahead of the curve in terms of product development. To this end, the firm recently visited the Breakbulk 2014 trade fair in Antwerp, Belgium, in order to gain an overview of new vehicles and seek alternative techniques for moving products around the world. Mr Poyraz points out that the company invests heavily in research and development in order to

create new products and fine-tune existing ones. He sees ISISAN’s R&D unit as the custodian of the company’s values and principles, particularly its commitment to adapting constantly to new opportunities. This attitude is also carried through into ISISAN’s strong commitment to quality management, guided by the latest ISO standards, and its energetic pursuit of long-term customer satisfaction through a comprehensive after sales program.

A future in the community Mr Poyraz is justifiably proud to outline the company’s past achievements, which

Russia 90m³ Cryogenic Storage Tanks: 3 pcs. of 90m³ Cryogenic tank were produced for one of the biggest cryogenic gases distributor in the world. The tanks were shipped to the project site with a successful operation carried out from ISISAN to the inner regions of Russia.

have been built on a consistent willingness to look to the future. This attitude is not restricted to ISISAN’s business activities, but can also be seen in the contribution it makes to society through sustainable educational and health projects. ISISAN has made generous contributions to the wider community in the Anatolian Region: most recently involving support for the construction of new buildings at Nuh Naci Yazgan University and the Erciyes University Law School. It has also given help to a hospital burns unit, a mental disabilities training school and a primary school in the vicinity n of its Kayseri factory.

THE ANSWER IS BLOWING IN THE WIND Leading wind turbine blade company SSP Technology delivers its full service, tailor-made products to customers across the world. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to marketing coordinator Martin Fischer to find out more.


stablished in Denmark in 2008, SSP Technology is a leading wind turbine blade technology company. Offering a complete service from its Kirkeby, central Denmark facilities, SSP Technology has enjoyed solid and steady growth in this increasingly important sector. SSP Technology’s full service solution starts with creating customised blade designs and goes right through to subcomponent manufacturing and zero-series production of complete blade systems. Marketing coordinator Martin Fischer spoke to Industry Europe to explain how this progressive company maximises its facilities to deliver high-end products. He said, “We’ve had a strong position since we started in 2001, with significant historical growth in both revenues and profitability. Since 2001, we’ve been manufacturing more than 40 moulds, with each capable of a high number of blade prints each year. We’ve designed

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and developed more than 15 unique blades ranging up to 7MW, which really highlights how we utilise our impressive, state-of-theart 16,500m2 facilities.”

Skilled workforce SSP Technology’s facilities are also very well positioned. Close to the international harbours of Odense and Esbjerg, the company has major motorways less than 2km away and is also easily accessible by the international airports of Copenhagen and Hamburg. Mr Fischer added, “Our main site in Kirkeby is where our headquarters, our tooling and equipment design facilities and our manufacturing capabilities are all housed. We also have another dedicated component design and engineering centre located close to the respected Aalborg University in the Danish city of Aalborg.” He continued, “Furthermore, our specific northern European region is very much

a wind energy cluster with many experienced professionals. So we are fortunate to be able to source new and experienced employees from this cluster. Throughout our history, we have been at the forefront of developing long, durable, high quality blades. This means that we have been able to attract highly skilled professionals who are interested in joining a cuttingedge company.” As well as growth in terms of portfolio and headcount, SSP Technology has also expanded its global reach in recent years with new customers in Asia and South America. As an independent, turnkey provider of multi-component solutions for larger rotor blades, SSP Technology is proud of its superior material handling capabilities. It marries this with extensive experience in using a variety of composite materials such as glass fibre and carbon fibre to be able to deliver a complete value-chain capability.

Mr Fischer added, “We have earned worldwide patents for design and production of complex blade structures such as root joints, spars and mould technology. With our team of over 30 industry experts with strong academic backgrounds and highly capable engineering and technology skills, we are

continually working on solutions that help us stand apart from the competition.” The patented root joint created by SSP Technology is an important feather in its cap. A unique design for the root joint component of the blades, this is the section where the connection is made between the blades and

the rotor hub of the turbine to which it must be attached. The unique SSP Technology root joint enables the blade to carry higher loads/be longer, which allows it produce more energy. Mr Fischer explained, “Our root joint becomes a very good investment in the long run for our customers; it is the strongest solution on the market. It has a far lower failure rate, it can be sectioned without lowering the load capacity and it is especially suited to off-shore applications thanks to its superior load capacity.”

Exceeding expectations With all SSP Technology’s solutions tailormade to meet the exact requirements of each customer, the company is committed to delivering turbine blades that exceed expectations. A recent example of this is the project it has just completed for Samsung Heavy Industries. Flemming Sorensen, cofounder, CTO and managing director of SSP Technology was involved in the entire project and he said, “Development and production of the world’s longest blade is not done overnight. It is an extremely delicate process that needs constant focus, testing and followup. In close cooperation with our customer, we have made sure that nothing has been left to chance. Daily coordination meetings,

quality checks and inspections have been a natural part of our working day for the last 24 months.” The 7MW wind turbines in this project are equipped with the SSP Technology blades and can produce the annual energy used by an average family in just 30 minutes. As SSP Technology is committed to staying ahead of the future challenges of this fastmoving industry, it predicts two major trends. Mr Fischer explained, “We will see a greater

demand for larger offshore wind turbines – with longer blades of greater durability – and we will see a stronger standardisation across the wind turbine industry. We are striving to prepare for these two trends. In terms of our future aims, we are very much focused on Japan. Owing to the Fukushima accident its energy policy has shifted in favour of sustainable energy and we know that we have a lot to offer as an experienced Danish company.” n

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SWEET SUCCESS 2014 is a special year at EdHaas Hungaria Kft as they are celebrating their 25th birthday. Haas has a distinguished history; in fact their Austrian parent company is looking forward to celebrating a century of the Haas brand next year. The reasons behind this long term success are the company’s continuing family ownership and the management’s commitment to keep up with the trends to satisfy the housewives of all times.

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he history of Haas goes back for more than 100 years when Eduard I invented baking powder and offered it to his patients as a medicine. His son, Edudard Haas II set up a grocery shop in Linz but it was his grandchild Eduard Haas III who was the main founder of the family empire. In 1915 he not only distributed products but also started the production of baking powder. 1927 was a major milestone when the peppermint flavoured sweet PEZ was produced. The concept of selling the sweet in a

toy dispenser figure was a great success in the 1950s. In 1962, V Edward Haas established Haas International Trading House, which is still today the exclusive distributor of many international brands. More production and distribution plants were developed in Austria and soon subsidiaries were established in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Russia and in Ukraine and products were distributed to 60 different countries. The Hungarian subsidiary, EdHaas Hungaria Kft was founded in 1989 by EdHaas International and Győri Keksz Kft initially to produce PEZ sweets. In 1994 the company was completely bought out by Haas, and in the same year the production of traditional Haas powder products started in Jánossomorja, midway between Vienna and Győr, Hungary. Today production is carried out on a 4400m2 area in Jánossomorja, where a 1100m2 production facility and a 3300m2 logistic warehouse was built in 2009. The centre office building of the company is located in Győr and was newly developed in 2011.

brands including Manner, PEZ, Zaini, and since 2014 D’arbo, covering the whole of Hungary. They also provide private label products for the largest supermarkets in the country, including CBA, Coop, Tesco, Spar, Metro, Lidl and Penny Market. Since the beginnings of the 1990s the company has sold over 570 million sachet powder products and over 154 million packets of PEZ sweets in the domestic market. The company’s Wellness Effervescent tablets are market leading products in Hungary with a 40 per cent share. Domestic sales have now reached 53 million tubes of tablets. In this segment the company has developed an extensive product portfolio under the Haas, VITATAB, Premium and Private label brands. In order to sustain this key position wellness products are frequently supported by Big Billboard/City light ad campaigns. Most recently, in 2013 the company invested in a TV Campaign to launch a new premium product line that includes more vitamins and is sold in unique packaging.

Extensive product portfolio

Special spirit

The product portfolio of EdHaas Hungaria has been continuously extended in the past 15 years. The company’s most recent product range is Haas Naturals, which targets the needs and requirements of health conscious customers. This gluten free powder product range is manufactured with natural aromas and without any artificial colours. In addition to their own products the company distributes market leading confectionary

EdHaas Hungaria is proud of its heritage as a family company and that special spirit is a vital part of the modern Haas atmosphere. The company is an important employer in the West Hungary region whilst the management group has remained unchanged since the very beginning and is typified by balance and loyalty. Mr Tibor Bozori, managing director of EdHaas Hungaria sums up the key to success in the long run: “It is due to the joint coopera-

tion and persistent work of the office staff, the sales team and workforce in Jánossomorja that the company has been so successful for many years. With our own modern warehouse, factory and office buildings we have created a positive environment for our staff and suppliers. “Our colleagues are the keystones of our company; the respect towards each other and the company, their commitment and cooperation, has all contributed to the success of Haas. We believe that the family atmosphere, the fact that we have all been working together for so long and the informal good relationships have built a strong team.” Currently 80 per cent of Haas products are distributed in Hungary to major supermarkets. Products however are also exported to the Czech, Slovak, Ukraine and Romanian market whilst Croatia is also a new market . Last year EdHaas Hungaria turned over 2.7 billion HUF. Besides the good sales figures, the company’s achievement has also been recognized by industry professionals who awarded the Hungarian firm the Superbrands award five times. In 2012 the Haas Natural custard family range has won the Product of the Year award in the dessert category based on consumers votes. Mr Bozori is confident that the company will continue with its success and that the business can look forward to a positive and bright future. “We are very optimistic about the future, we would like to maintain our significant position among the Hungarian food producers and wish to become the eastern and central European production centre of the group.” n

Raben Trans European Hungary Ltd Raben Trans European Hungary Ltd has been the main supplier of collecting freight to EdHaas Hungary Ltd for several years. The cooperation between EdHaas Hungary Ltd and Raben Trans European Hungary Ltd goes back to 2006 when Raben was owned by Wincanton Plc. Then in 2012 Raben Group has bought the company and has been delivering reliable and good, quality service continuously. EdHaas Hungary Ltd is looking forward to a long term partnership with Raben Trans European Hungary Ltd.

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During the recession the food industry has faced many challenges. There have been concerns over the quality of food, increased consumer demand for more ‘natural’ products and increasing costs for the production of quality food stuffs. One company, Gallicoop Turkey Processing Pltd, has met these challenges head on and is emerging as the provider of choice for many customers. Edina Beale investigates.


allicoop Turkey Processing Pltd was established in 1989 as a British-Hungarian venture with the aim of creating an integrated closed system turkey breeding plant by securing the necessary feed and processing and supplying poultry products from one site. This business strategy enables the company to control each and every step of its operation process from nursery to the table. From the production of special poultry feed, through breeding and processing turkey and then delivering the final product to the market, the integrated system allows Gallicoop to guarantee compliance with EU food safety and provide excellent product quality. Listening to the wants and needs of the consumer, the company has made a number of substantial improvements to its production line and to its operation procedures. Today Gallicoop produces an extensive range of advanced quality products for direct consumption; in addition to fresh poultry produced during primary processing the product range includes sausages, ham-type products, cold cuts, pates, cooked and smoked alimentary substances, wieners and breaded products. In the past few years the company has introduced a number of new products to the market, including Natura turkey breast and

Körös turkey breast ham. However, the most recent and significant innovation has been launched to meet consumers’ increasing demand for more natural and less processed food – a cold cut product without E numbers. This is the first product of its kind in Hungary. Prudent spending in recent years has ensured that the company maintains the highest of standards, although investment has had to be limited to areas where there was sound, identified business need. However, money has been spent over the past ten years and the investments that have been made are worth recognition. In 2006 a new sewage system was introduced. In 2010 a substantial investment was made to build and operate a biogas plant; this project was completed in 2012 and now provides an additional resource for the company. In 2011 two new production lines were installed; the first for coating products, the second, for frying them. These projects were completed despite the prevailing fiscal situation. Recently Gallicoop has made an important investment by increasing the capacity of its cooling storage facility and has also invested wisely in the digital age; it started by introducing its Facebook page and has strengthened its media communication policy.

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Investment has also been made to ensure that brand recognition is increased; this has been achieved by an increased advertising campaign and budget.

People First Whilst branding and brand recognition is a vital part of the business, the employees who produce the product are the key ingredient to the company’s continued success. Gallicoop is the largest employer of the Békés county region and provides jobs for 906 people and therefore supports, directly and indirectly, many thousands of people. The company has been able to maintain staff numbers throughout the difficult recession years, as it is against its policy to solve problems by reducing human resources. The company has been steadily increasing its market share, whilst reaching a 32.4 billion HUF turnover in 2012 and a 32.1 billion HUF in 2013.

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Domestic strengths In 2013 the company exported more than one third of its annual production; 12 thousand tonnes of turkey meat was supplied to markets including Croatia, Russia, France, UK, Portugal, Spain and Hongkong. This result is a 115.6 per cent increase of the quantity exported in the previous year. Mr Istvan Erdélyi, managing director, outlines the company’s values: “In the past years we have managed to increase our market position slowly but continuously, whilst extending our export activities. Currently our market share is 44.5 per cent in Hungary. The key to our success is closely related to our six star values: Hungarian workforce, Hungarian basic materials, Hungarian poultry, Hungarian abattoir, Hungarian ownership and Hungarian forage. These values provide us with the strategic and competitive advantage that has enabled us to achieve our market leading position in the domestic market.”

Mr Erdélyi summarises the company’s approach thus: “Predominantly we aim to meet our customer’s needs, and for them the most important is high quality and reliability. Nothing can stop us providing these two key requirements for our customers. In addition to this, we are always looking for new opportunities to become better at meeting these expectations. It is nice to dream big, but we are happy if we continue on our road and make progress with small steps.” Gallicoop Turkey Processing Pltd has worked tirelessly to ensure that the company and the workforce are united in their aim to provide quality products for their very discerning customers. Despite the adversities that have affected the industry, from the financial sector, the customer requirement sector and other areas, the company continues to take those important small steps that make an enormous difference to a profitable, n sustainable business.

CLIMATE CONTROL TA Hydronics is the leading global provider of hydronic distribution systems and room temperature control. Industry Europe looks at its activities and some of the high-profile projects in which it has been involved.


ith experience of more than 100,000 projects worldwide, TA Hydronics is unrivalled in its understanding of the multiple aspects of hydronic distribution. Hydronics is the use of water as the heat-transfer medium in heating and cooling systems. It helps customers everywhere to optimise their HVAC systems so that they deliver the greatest comfort with maximum efficiency.

TA Hydronics is part of the UK-based international engineering group IMI plc, which has around 13,000 employees and a turnover of £1.79 billion. IMI is listed as a member of the FTSE 100 on the London Stock Exchange. The company’s products include pressurisation vessels for water control, balancing & control valves, differential pressure controllers, floor heating controls, thermostatic controls, expert system components and much more besides.

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Three become one TA Hydronics was formed in 2011 when IMI brought together three of its Indoor Climate companies – TA, the leader in hydronic balancing, Heimeier, the number one thermostatic control manufacturer, and Pneumatex, the pressurisation and water quality specialists. The unifying of these three businesses under a single brand has enabled TA Hydronics to offer its customers throughout the world across-theboard hydronic expertise and the guarantee of optimum efficiency in their HVAC systems. At the time of this reorganisation, a spokesperson for the company explained how the new single corporate brand would make it even easier for the company to deliver total hydronic solutions. “We had a solid portfolio of three major multi-national brands but we found that our activities were unnecessarily disjointed. This in-depth rebranding exercise has been a massive undertaking to ensure that our customers continue to get the same first-class service from us worldwide in an easier, more transparent way. It’s certainly been a challenge but one which will definitely benefit our customers, our employees and our shareholders.

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“We wanted to create a cohesive single corporate brand so we could more clearly showcase our expertise and technical know-how. Essentially we were hiding our light under a bushel before, concealing our excellent knowledge and experience by operating three different brands without a single point of contact. Once we realised just how complementary the three brands are and how our customers would really benefit from being able to access them from one place, the strategic rebranding was set in motion.”

High profile projects TA Hydronics has been involved in delivering climate control solutions for some of the world’s biggest building projects. It supplied, for example, valves for the cooling system in the huge Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai, the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 2008. This 808m high tower includes luxury residential units, hotels, restaurants, a library, a fitness suite and four swimming pools and all these facilities have to be maintained at a consistent internal temperature in a location of

extreme heat. Bespoke balancing valves commissioned from TA Hydronics control the complex cooling system, comprising some 946,000 litres of water, throughout the building. The company was able to deliver an innovative and time-efficient installation that provided significantly more value than alternative approaches and enabled the contractor to commission the system on-time and without penalty. But it’s not only on land that TA Hydronics’ expertise is required. In the past the company has also supplied a hydronic solution for climate control on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship ‘Allure of the Seas’. Carrying a maximum of 6360 passengers and built by STX Europe in Finland, this ship is one of the two largest passenger vessels in the world (the other is her sister ship ‘Oasis of the Seas’). For climate control on this massive vessel STX Europe needed a strong and knowledgeable partner who could deliver a hydronic solution that would ensure the highest comfort levels in all parts of the ship as well as maximum operational efficiency and reliability. With the support of the experts at TA Hydronics’ Engineering

Support Centre, hydronic calculations for the ship’s cooling system were carried out in a detailed way that paid off during commissioning. According to the contractor, commissioning time was cut by 66 per cent compared to previous projects with less detailed calculations. Currently, TA Hydronics is involved in the building of the state-of-the-art Novope-

cherskie Lipky residential quarter in Kiev, Ukraine. Its developer UDP needed to find an expert heating, ventilation and air conditioning provider and TA fit the bill exactly. The challenge for the company here has been to deliver high quality hydronic solutions that perform well in both hot summers and harsh winters, but can also maintain a healthy and comfortable indoor climate.

Construction of this multi-phase development is expected to be completed in 2017. TA Hydronics will be seeing the project right through to the final stages with its specially designed indoor climate system. The project involved the delivery of a combination of balancing valves, differential pressure controllers, zone control valves and pumped hot n water supply controls.

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MUCH MORE THAN JUST A FOUNDRY Slovenia’s Livar foundry is using key enabling technologies for its break through into emerging markets. By enhancing its innovation capacity, business services and entrepreneurial focus, Livar is adding machining and assembly processes to its production of iron castings to take it to new levels of metal technology and new markets. Peter Mercer reports

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ivar is the largest foundry in Slovenia, producing around 40,000 tons of grey cast iron and nodular cast iron each year at two production sites. Nodular iron castings are mostly produced at its plant in Ivancna Gorica, which is also the company’s headquarters, while grey iron castings are produced at Crnomelj. The beginnings of iron casting in Ivančna Gorica reach back to the setting up of a small mechanical workshop where a cupola furnace was lit for the first time in 1954; so this year is Livar’s 60th anniversary. Today the company’s castings are widely used in agricultural machinery and civil engineering as well as by the home appliance, automotive, pipe fitting, and railway industries. Its major current markets are in Italy and Germany as well as in Slovenia itself. Livar is widely known in Slovenia and in the countries of the former Yugoslavia for its range of cast iron manhole covers and gratings, which have been a feature of the region’s streets for more than 40 years. “These traditional products for the utilities market still account for 5 per cent of our turnover and we are finding new markets

for them as far afield as the Middle East but today we are focused on presenting Livar as a technologically advanced and comprehensively equipped foundry that can manage the complete production process of castings and workpieces,” says Livar CEO Alenka Rabuza. “That means that as well as casting parts we can also undertake a wide range of mechanical processes, such as turning, milling, drilling, slotting and balancing. We have our own tool-making shop and design department and we are fully equipped with the latest CNC machines and CAD, CAM. Our development of these mechanical processing capabilities means that we can work with our customers to develop products from the initial concept to the final workpiece. “For example, in the past we would supply castings for, say, tractors or combines, to a customer who would then carry out the necessary machining and assembly and sell the finished part on to the end customer. Now we can work with the end customer ourselves to develop the part and deliver it completely machined – we have 50 years of experience

in this. That means we can offer a very high degree of flexibility and guarantee quality as well as delivering significant cost savings to the customer. In essence, we want the market to understand that Livar is no longer just a foundry.”

Rapid restructuring This transformation of Livar has been achieved in a very short time. A comprehensive restructuring of all the company’s operations, focused primarily on improving quality and encouraging innovation, was set in motion only at the end of 2012 but a year later the management had succeeded in diversifying the product range, particularly by introducing higher value products, and in turning the cash-flow positive so that critical new investments could be implemented. Ms Rabuza says that the restructuring is coming to its completion in 2014 now that the company has been stabilised financially, organisationally and in terms of its human resources. The way is now open for an intensive investment programme over the next three years to further modernise and auto-

mate production to achieve greater capacity and productivity, higher product quality and better cost-effectiveness. “In 2013 and 2014 we will have invested a total of almost €4 million in our production facilities,” she says. “The two largest investments to date are the installation of a new holding furnace for the cupola furnace at the Crnomelj plant and a new DISAMATIC moulding line at Ivancna Gorica. We intend to continue with this intensive investment programme over the next three years which will extend further our capabilities in mechanical processing and give us a better educated workforce with the skills and technical knowledge necessary for success in today’s markets.”

New markets The company is raising its competitiveness not only on existing value chains and their leaders but also on new markets. Livar’s largest market sector remains the farming machinery industry, a market where it sees excellent opportunity for organic growth and opportunities to move up the value-added ladder, particularly through the production of fixtures and fittings. The construction machinery, electricity and machine building industries are also important sectors and the company is building up a significant business in the railway industry.

A part of Livar’s development plan up to 2020 is to increase the share of nodular cast iron in the production mix and to offer more machining and assembly services. “We are developing technically demanding nodular iron castings that can withstand extremes of heat and cold and by focusing on the enhancement of mechanical properties we see opportunities to offer advanced nodular castings that can be used in place of steel and welded castings, which are much more expensive,” explains Ms Rabuza. “We are also taking advantage of our technical knowledge, flexibility and machining capabilities to offer small and medium batches of castings. We are not interested in high volume production but in leveraging our expertise in metallurgical engineering to build a niche position. We can offer rapid prototyping, for example, to produce and deliver parts in as little as 10 days.” Livar intends to continue to develop its current export markets in western and eastern Europe, which include Italy, Germany, Austria, Benelux, Sweden, Finland and Russia, while also exploring the potential of more distant regions such as the Middle East and the USA. “Italy is a very important market for us, partly because of the historical ties with Slovenia and its proximity, but we are growing our business significantly

in Germany and Hungary,” says Alenka Rabuza. “We are currently supplying castings for railway train brakes to a Germanowned customer in Hungary and for the UK we are producing parts for the vehicle exhaust system aftermarket.”

Securing the future Care for the environment is a key concern at Livar and the issue is addressed at a number of levels. There is extensive cooperation with suppliers to develop environmentfriendly materials as well as a continuing drive to ensure the efficient use of energy, a field in which the company has received two awards. Equal attention is given to reducing the amount of waste resulting from production. In cooperation with the Slovenian Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Livar is working on a project to reconstitute waste foundry sand into a construction material. “We have put a lot of money and effort in the last two years into reducing the environmental impact of our business,” explains Ms Rabuza. “Our main foundry is located in the middle of a small town, only 500 metres from the school, so it’s really important that we present a clean and responsible image to our neighbours, our visitors and all our customers. When people come to see us they find a plant that is

very different from the traditional image of an iron foundry.” Alenka Rabuza is certain that the future growth and profitability of Livar rests above all on maintaining and developing close strategic ties with its business partners – both its suppliers and its customers. “We work hard on maintaining dialogue across the supply chain so we can continue to exchange knowledge, skills and innovative thinking between all parties to achieve the best possible results. By 2020 we intend that 30 per cent of our production will be of machined and part-assembled castings – it’s currently around 10 per cent – and we will continue to develop strategic alliances with our major customers to take us into new sectors and n new export markets.”

EXPERTS IN WORKSHOP EQUIPMENT JOTKEL, a company from Krotoszyn, is Poland’s leading provider of equipment for workshops, warehouses, factories, and workers’ social areas. Its motto is: tradition, competence, and quality.

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OTKEL was founded in 1978 by Mr Jan Krzywonos, the company’s owner and president ever since. Initially it was offering only various services but in 1980 it started production. “At the beginning the whole production process was carried out in my car garage, then it was moved to a nearby outhouse, and then a production hall had to be constructed to accommodate the growing output, and finally I had to buy land from an agricultural cooperative to build a bigger production hall on it,” says Mr Krzywonos. At the beginning of the 1990s the local Polish representative of the Coca-Cola Company placed an order with JOTKEL. “It was a breakthrough point for our company as we had to increase our production capacity and had to adapt the company to the rapid implementation of large orders and the production of high quality. Moreover, we had to learn how to properly reconcile the management of the company in the event of receiving orders of very different sizes, since

some of them have been very large and the others have been very small orders. We have learnt to manage all of them.” explains Mr Krzywonos. Since 2000, JOTKEL has been a holder of the Certificate of the Quality Management System granted by The Polish Register of Shipping. In June 2007 it acquired the Certificate of the Integrated Quality, Environment and Work Safety Management System complying with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and PN-N 18001. “We are still improving our management system and the whole company. Our goals and objectives for the near future are finishing the building and the industrial investments and full integration of our information systems,” adds Mr Krzywonos.

More than 1000 orders daily JOTKEL specialises in providing equipment for workshops, warehouses, factories and workers social area. It manufactures industrial furniture, other carbon and stain-

less steel products, aluminum products, tool trolleys and professional hand trucks. Its service range varies and includes structural sections and steel processing. In its market offer the company includes more than 1000 products. JOTKEL is also a producer of outdoor fitness equipment. Each day, more than 1000 orders are realised. “They are complex orders, not simple ones,” points out Mr Krzywonos. The majority of the production (approx. 70 per cent) is realised according to the customers’ specific orders. This is why the company has developed a strong R&D department, which employs not less than eight per cent of the JOTKEL staff. The automotive industry, logistics, food industry, municipalities and council authorities are among key JOTKEL clients. “Thanks to our years of experience and the technical equipment at our disposal, we are prepared to cooperate within the vast scope of sheet metal working. Our modern machinery resources enable us to manu-

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facture products from carbon steel, stainless steel and non-ferrous metals, according to individual customers’ demands. We are proud that JOTKEL has been the first in Poland to put into operation an ultramodern L6 Flying Optics Laser, made by FINN POWER,” says Mr Krzywonos.

Balanced development and harmonious coexistence The company employs more than 200 people. Production is carried out on more than 100 technology stands. “The key driver of

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our business is to meet client requirements and to fulfill their wishes so that our customers are satisfied with JOTKEL products for many years. That is why we take the greatest satisfaction in many years’ cooperation with our clients. Our motto is tradition, competence, and quality. Our aim is to produce durable and safe goods of the highest quality that meets our customers’ expectations – goods that are manufactured in safe conditions, in a way that minimises the impact on the natural environment. As we are guided by a philosophy of balanced

development and harmonious coexistence with nature and other people, JOTKEL commits itself to particular involvement and care in the following fields: product quality and safety, protection of the natural environment and peoples’ health and safety,” adds Mr Krzywonos. According to Mr Krzywonos, the company’s economic situation is very good. Its sales have been growing since 2009, a year which due to the crisis in Europe was exceptionally weak. In 2013 exports made up 40 per cent of JOTKEL’s total sales.

Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and the UK are among the company’s main foreign markets. In these markets JOTKEL is a supplier of ready-made elements under other brand names. The company is successful in Poland and abroad. This is both a result of the company’s high quality and a rare skill of matching the most valuable partners, especially with suppliers of raw materials, equipment and technology. The company cooperates with companies such as Sklejka Eko, a leading Polish plywood manufacturer, and Investa, a well-known supplier of stainless steel and aluminum. Power-Tech, a company from Walcz, Poland, is a specialist in the production of laser cutting systems that use the latest laser technology – fiber laser – and provides a wide range of services related to sheet metal working. “Power Tech is a company that combines in its activities very advanced technology with a very good approach to cooperation with customers,” n says Mr Krzywonos.

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A record number of exhibitors and visitors at InnoTrans provided Swiss railway maintenance machine specialist Matisa with the ideal forum for meeting both existing and potential customers. Felicity Landon reports.

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nnoTrans, recognised as the world’s leading business meeting place for technology, is held in Berlin every two years. This well-established, international trade fair for transport technology took place for the tenth time, from September 23–26 2014, and was attended by 138,872 trade visitors from more than 100 countries. Innovations in rail technology were presented by 2758 exhibitors from 55 countries and all available space on the exhibition grounds at Berlin ExpoCenter City was occupied, with displays covering a net area of 102,843 square metres. Among the exhibitors was Matisa, the Swiss pioneer in track maintenance work mechanisation. Founded in 1945, Matisa was a forerunner in creating the machines that would enable the mechanisation of railway maintenance. The first tamping machine was developed that year and the company today maintains that pioneering spirit, and its passion for innovation and research. Based in Crissier, near Lausanne, Matisa offers a complete range of machines and ser-

vices. The quality, reliability and performance of its tampers, ballast regulators, ballast cleaners, track laying and renewal machines, as well as the accuracy of its track measuring vehicles, are recognised worldwide. “The intrinsic quality of our machines is complemented by the high level of service provided by Matisa Customer Service, which supports those machines right from the design stage and throughout their working life,” says Mr Grossniklaus.

Long-term connection with InnoTrans When InnoTrans first launched, Matisa would attend the biannual event as a visitor – but that has changed in recent years, as sales and marketing director Roger Grossniklaus explains. “Initially, InnoTrans focused on rolling stock, locomotives, passenger wagons, trams and metro, so it was not really our business,” he says. “However, we went there from the start as visitors. Many of our customers were there, so it was a really useful place to meet them.

“However, the products being promoted at InnoTrans evolved. About eight years ago, the first suppliers in track maintenance activities exhibited, and it became a bigger thing for our industry from then on. We decided to have our first stand there in 2008, because customers had said it was good to see us but it would be very convenient if we had a base where they could come and find us.” SwissRail had offered Swiss exhibitors the opportunity to share its stand, and Matisa took up the offer, having a small booth with logo and name, at which to welcome customers. “It was a very small booth at the beginning but the customers kept coming in bigger numbers! So now we have a larger presence at InnoTrans, because customers have asked for it and the focus of the event has expanded.” So what did Matisa gain at InnoTrans? “Well, I would say that success at an exhibition is difficult to measure in terms of return on investment, but it is certainly of benefit to us to be given the opportunity to interact

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with the industry,” he says. “It is investing to demonstrate to customers that we are still a very large player in the market. “This year was really busy – they recorded the biggest attendance ever, and we could feel that. There were plenty of customers and a whole range of them. We had visitors who knew us and just called by to say hello. There were others who had read about us and heard about us, and wanted to talk about what we are doing and what sort of equipment we are manufacturing. And there were those who wanted to talk about specifics and discuss the types of machinery they might be looking at in the future.”

Complex machines The competitive environment in which Matisa operates is complex. First, while it has a range of products and broadly speaking the shape of a machine remains the same, each customer has their own particular way of working, so each machine is adapted and customised to their needs. “So our machines are very

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specific products,” explains Mr Grossniklaus. “A customer’s decision to place an order isn’t only from the price competition point of view, it’s also from the feasibility and commercial point of view of their operations. “In addition, we have a range of products and our competition has a range of products which partly overlaps. Therefore, in some areas we may be competing against each other but in others they may have additional products or we may have additional products that they don’t have.” Matisa recently delivered a B 45 UE universal tamping machine to the Swiss company Scheuchzer. To provide optimum user-friendliness, the machine is fitted with the latest technologies developed by Matisa, in particular a ‘human-machine interface’ using a touch screen and joystick controls for the tamping operators. The machine is equipped with tools for managing the ballast, notably when renewing the track; it has a front plough and two ballast-removing ploughs. The trailer is fitted

with central and lateral ploughs as well as a brush with a vertical conveyor and a hopper. The modular brush shaft can realise three different brushing profiles – in particular a deep brushing, to meet the latest Swiss Railways requirements. The machine is able to tamp tracks equipped with Y sleepers due to the longitudinal mobility of all tamping units and can work on steep slopes, thanks to three motorised axles. It is driven by a C15 Caterpillar engine with a power of 433kW – its low engine rotation speed significantly reduces fuel consumption and noise. Among recent orders, Matisa is to supply two tamping machines to the London Underground. Due to be delivered in summer 2015, the machines will be specially adapted to allow for gauge and tracking laying differences compared to conventional overground networks. Meanwhile, in what is a ‘small industry’ in which everyone knows everybody else, Matisa continues to focus on further innovations and on delivering best-in-class products and n service in the months ahead.

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ROLLING TECHNOLOGY FORWARD Gredelj is a European railway rolling-stock manufacturer, which due to its continuous investment programme has evolved to become a major player in the rail vehicle construction industry. Philip Yorke looks at its remarkable progress and the innovative products that are winning it new contracts worldwide.


he railway rolling-stock company TZV Gredelj was founded in 1894 as the main workshop of the Hungarian State Railways for the repair and overhaul of its steam locomotives. Throughout its 120 years of operation the company has led the field in the design and manufacture of railway vehicles, as well as in their repair and modernisation. Despite some recent financial difficulties, the company is very positive about its future prospects and is running its business under new organisational systems and management protocols. Since moving into its new state-of-the-art facilities in 2010, Gredelj has created one

of the most modern plants in Europe and houses the latest, high-tech, robotic and quality control equipment. This major investment has enabled Gredelj to expand its operations further in the international marketplace. Today the company is fully certified to ISO9001 and ISO14001 and currently employs more than 1000 people, of which over 200 are highly qualified engineers.

New technology driving sales With its new cutting-edge manufacturing facilities now fully operational, Gredelj is well placed to move forward with its plans for global expansion. The company’s priorities are

to enter new markets and develop its partnerships with its customers and local companies, as well as optimising the utilisation of its modern production facilities. Together with its strategic American partner, the National Railway Equipment Company (NREC), Gredelj will focus on its export activities that relate not only to the design and production of all types of railway vehicles but also their reconstruction and refurbishment. Currently TZV Gredelj manufactures a wide range of locomotives, passenger coaches and freight cars, interior parts, namely seats for railway vehicles, as well as electric and diesel multiple units. In addi-

tion, Gredelj produces complex mechanical structures, bogies as well as a variety of customised rail vehicles. The introduction of new technology to Gredelj has helped drive the company’s global sales to new levels. In collaboration with its strategic partner the NREC, the company has delivered 30 locomotives

constructed for the National Railways of Morroco (ONCF). This in turn has created a platform for the continued delivery of new advanced locomotives to the region and for the sale of vehicles and rolling stock to other African markets. In addition to the locomotives produced for the Moroccan market, the company has

also delivered a large number of modernised passenger coaches for Croatian Railways as well as a series of upgraded vehicles for the railways of Montenegro. Furthermore, Gredelj has delivered a number of dieselelectric locomotives for Kosovo railways and couchette railcars for the Italian State Railway company, Trenitalia.

Extending customer services and support According to managing director, Mr Pero Hrkac, there are numerous on-going negotiations with many international railway companies. The company is particularly active where it already has a reputation for high-quality, cost-effective rail products and services. These potential export countries include markets such as Algeria, Iran, Indonesia and Turkmenistan. Hrkac said,“Today Gredelj is proud of its high quality products and services and the fact that our locomotives, coaches and multiple units have all been designed in accordance with UIC and AAR standards. Furthermore, these are capable of running on all track gauges: narrow, wide or standard. Today our railway vehicles are transporting passengers and goods all over the world from Argentina and Guinea to Saudi Arabia.”

Hrkac added, “Our goal is to satisfy our clients’ demands and interests by extending our services and capabilities as well as being a competitive player that is represented on as many world markets as possible.” Gredelj offers a diverse programme of design and production services that cover all types of railway vehicles, passenger coaches and freight cars. It also specialises in the production of low-floor trams, bogies and locomotive main frames. The company’s specialised customer services include the design and development of new technologies for surface protection and preparation, and for metal forming.

Specialised services are also offered on various machines and CNC machining centres and turning machines as well as shearing machines for steel plate. These services are in addition to laser and gas cutting machines and those for plasma cutting punching and bending. A wide range of training and consultancy programmes are also on offer at Gredelj.

Adopting greener processes Gredelj is committed to minimising its global carbon footprint and continues to take steps to enhance its environmental protection systems and programmes. The

As a part of INA, we produce and We deliver out products in standard sale the following group of products: commercial packages as well as in bulk. • Oils and fluids for engines and automotive applications Our plant is ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, • Industrial lubricants and related products as well as OHSAS 18001. • Metalworking fluids • Corrosion preventives • Lubricating greases • Additional program • Additives Commercial sector: +385 (0)1 2412 260 Technical support: +385 (0)1 2404 564

company implemented the environmental management system ISO 14001 in 2004 and this was validated and extended in 2011. The education of its employees and the development of ecological awareness is an on-going mission of improvement at Gredelj. Quality testing of discharged waste water is conducted and analysed by an authorised external laboratory to ensure the prevention of contamination caused by waste and hazardous materials entering the water course.

Showcasing the future TZV Gredelj participated at this years InnoTrans, the leading international rail technology fair, held in Berlin from September 23 to 26, 2014. At the exhibiting stand 401 in hall 1.2, Gredelj presented its products and services with special emphasis on the low floor DMU for regional transport produced for the Croatian Railways; and on locomotives which are being refurbished and modernized for different customers in cooperation with the longtime business partner, the US NRE – National Railway n Equipment Company. For further details of TZV Gredelj’s rail vehicles and customer services visit


THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION SDV is a global leader in IT based logistics solutions and supply-chain management. Philip Yorke looks at a company that is optimising its opportunities for growth in the Asia Pacific region and its recent move into the emerging Myanmar market.

S Cosmetics

DV was established in 1885 in France as a freight forwarder that specialised in serving the trade lanes between France and Africa. However, since 1986 it has been the main logistics subsidiary of the International Bolloré Group. Today SDV is a leading global logistics and supply-chain management company that offers a diverse range of specialised business services that include international transport, customs brokerage, warehousing and distribution and supply-chain management via IT-based logistics solutions. SDV Asia Pacific regional headquarters are based in Singapore, where the group employs

over 1,000 people, and invested over 50 million SGD recently in a LEED platinum standard Green Logistics Warehouse. SDV operates in Asia Pacific in 24 countries, with its own full-fledged offices, and its activities are divided into six main business segments: Logistics, Supply Chain, Multimodal transport, Customs and regulatory compliance and Industrial projects. The Group operates over 120,000 sqm of logistics facilities in Singapore, all complementing the vertical approach towards specific industries (aerospace, healthcare, flavor and fragrances, cosmetics, luxury retail, oil & gas, as well as Industry Europe 159

SDV Singapore Green Hub

power generation and telecom) with numerous value-added services. These industries are served by the Group with excellence with a global network of over 600 offices, and employing around 36,000 people in more than 100 countries worldwide.

In depth customized supply-chain solutions When it comes to supply-chain management, SDV clearly leads the field. It provides its customers with unique, in-depth expertise that creates solutions that result in a vital competitive edge. Beyond the traditional services of logistics and multimodal transport offered to its customers, SDV Asia Pacific brings them in-depth visibility on their operations through performing IT based solutions (LINK, SQUARE, etc.), all interconnected to the core Transport Management System.

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This visibility enables it to provide detailed and accurate reporting, and allows complementary services of enhancement of the supply-chain processes: a team of upmarket solution engineers are here to assist in value-added solution concepts going from network design, logistics design consultancy, re-engineering and pilotage of the flows, etc. A constant focus is given on safety, regulatory compliance and respect for the environment. End-to-End projects in environments as challenging as the African continent, optimization of the flows with multiple consolidations through hubs around the world, mixing multimodal transports, floor re-design of a logistics warehouse to improve efficiency and productivity, e-commerce distribution in fast-growing environment such as China or Southeast Asia

are some of the daily services rendered by SDV to its customers in Asia Pacific. The number of value-added services performed within the logistics warehouses is permanently increasing, and corresponds to the needs of the industry to externalize part of the processes: Quality control, labeling, kitting, bottling, repackaging, serialization, repairs, tagging, destruction, etc. are as many of the services provided. In the healthcare sector, SDV is one of the industry’s suppliers of choice for supply-chain management solutions. Here the company must demonstrate considerable flexibility within the industry’s stringent healthcare and safety requirements and with production undergoing both externalisation and internalisation processes. Today, SDV designs comprehensive solutions for all areas of the pharmaceutical

Furnaces at the Yard in Sattahip, Thailand, to be Installed at an LNG Site in Darwin, Australia

industry including sourcing upstream, international transport and global distribution form its dedicated worldwide hubs. SDV’s commitment to tailor-made, optimised services is also to be found in its two other key operating areas: High Tech industries and Aerospace. For example, in the consumer electronics sector it takes into account domain names as diverse as desktop computers, electronic devices and semi-conductors. For each one of these, the supply chain from manufacturer to the final user presents specific constraints and the high value of the products adds to the complexity of handling when dealing with risk prevention linked to fragility and theft.

New growth opportunities Earlier this year, SDV Asia Pacific took the strategic decision to expand its influence in the region with the creation of SDV Myanmar. In May this year SDV became fully operational in the booming Myanmar market. “As the country moves toward democratic and economic reforms, many of our customers are exploring this region and some of them already took the plunge on investing massively in Myanmar,” said Julien Loiret, General Manager Sales and Development of SDV in Myanmar. “The opportunities abound in raw materials such as oil & gas but also in catering for the healthcare and communications of a country with a population of 62 million. 162 Industry Europe

Therefore to anticipate a strong growth in demand for transport and logistics and to accompany our customers in Myanmar’s booming market, SDV is providing a wide range of services and solutions especially in the oil & gas, telecom, healthcare and fashion industries,” added Elizabeth Shwe, who joins SDV Myanmar as a Director.

Strengthening global logistics SDV is committed to strengthening its global logistics business worldwide and this strategy was enhanced recently when SDV Singapore entered into a new joint-venture agreement with C J Patel. C J Patel is a diverse group of organisations across a variety of industries based in the South Pacific and is also a distribution specialist. This joint-venture consolidates synergies in each company’s supply-chain that will enhance both organisations’ ability to deliver world-class products around the South Pacific region. The new company operates under the name of SDV Fiji and combines the expertise of two strong business partners that complement each other in terms of distribution, network facilities and integrated information systems. While geographical coverage is almost complete in Asia-Pacific, SDV is always alert to provide extra services in the existing sites and/or design tailormade facilities answering the specific needs n of its customers.

For further details of SDV’s innovative logistics and supply-chain services visit: Julien Loiret / SDV Myanmar General Manager E-mail: Elizabeth Shwe / SDV Myanmar Director E-mail:


TO THE WORLD Savino Del Bene is Italy’s biggest forwarding company and one of the top 25 freight forwarders in the world. Daniele Garavaglia talks to COO Fabio Nocentini about the group’s wide range of logistics solutions, global customer base and plans for future expansion.


rom the very heart of Tuscany to the whole world, with over 200 offices in almost every marketplace, Savino Del Bene delivers cutting-edge and highefficiency logistics solutions to international manufacturers and traders, fulfilling the most demanding import/export needs of the manufacturing industry. Since its establishment in Florence over a century ago, Savino Del Bene has developed into a group of logistics companies, with an annual turnover of nearly €1 billion. Its worldwide operations cover sea transport (75 per cent of total revenue), air (25 per cent) and land (5 per cent). The group’s seamlessly operating freight system can meet almost any order size or time requirement – owing in large part to the dedication of its 2900 highly skilled employees.

Customed logistics solutions for every market “Savino Del Bene is a freight forwarding company, providing our customers with integrated and customised logistics solu-

tions. We specialise in air, sea, surface transportation and all related services with a professional, experienced team ready to meet our customers’ demands. With a professional team available at all times in every local market, we are able to adapt to the requirements of individual markets through our widespread presence and full understanding of local customs and administrative regulations. Savino Del Bene offers tailor-made solutions combined with highly competitive rates and professionalism,” says COO Fabio Nocentini. In 2008, when the global financial and economic crisis caused a heavy reduction in freight volumes all over the world, the company initiated a reorganisation process that has totally transformed its business model. This process was aimed at exercising stricter controls on running costs, more effective and rational financial management, and the verticalisation of core market sectors. In the end, Savino Del Bene was able to turn the crisis into a winning opportunity for change and improvement,

thus multiplying expansion opportunities. It has experienced tremendous growth and almost doubled its revenues, allowing it to compete directly with the major global players in its sector.

Partnerships with major sea and air carriers The group’s offer of integrated and flexible services – guaranteed by compliance with the strictest international standards for air and sea freight – relies on strong supply relationships with major sea carriers (Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company, CMA-CGM Group) and air carriers (Cargolux, Alitalia, Air France, Lufthansa, American Airlines and Air China, to name but a few). These supplier relationships are vitally important as they allow it to reach almost any destination throughout the world. Mr Nocentini adds: “We constantly strive to enhance our relationships with core air and ocean transportation partners, from whom Savino Del Bene demands high quality and flexibility in order to offer tailor-made services

and convenient rates.” Customers can choose from a wide range of transportation solutions, from overnight air to ocean vessel charter services. It specialises in the movement of air freight, ocean LCL and FCL, and cargo services on the international level. “We have global purchasing power and access to specific equipment required for the movement of all kinds of freight, including oversized cargo. We can offer advanced logistics solutions which include storage, pick & pack, distribution and

more. We also support the operations of our core business customers through value added services and integrated logistics support. Savino Del Bene has gone to great lengths to ensure that your goods are safe and secure by means of advanced video and motion detectors.”

Innovative vertical markets A cutting-edge IT department, constantly enhanced through continued investments, supports this business model and provides

logistics supply chain applications (through tracking & tracing controls, electronic data interchange, warehouse management system and statistical reports) to meet the specific needs of customers, whatever their industry sector. A new ‘vertical markets’ strategy was a real turning point for the company: “We created and trained dedicated teams for each production sector we serve, including automotive, machinery, fashion and textiles, fresh fruits and vegetables, food & beverage,

pharmaceuticals and oil & gas. We can now offer our customers the support of experts in their field with in-depth knowledge of technical, regulatory and operational issues involved in the transportation and distribution of a specific product.” Furthermore, the company is a member of several national and international professional associations.

Africa – the news logistic market Savino Del Bene is particularly strong in the Italian market, where it is responsible for the

shipping of around 25 per cent of all manufactured goods. But its continued global expansion means it now has a network of offices, logistics warehouses and distribution centres throughout the world. Mr Nocentini describes the company’s global outreach: “Our early focus was to develop freight forwarding services primarily to the USA. However, our structure soon grew global in line with the development of the world’s economy. Today we work mainly in Europe, the Americas and Asia. New and

exciting scenarios are emerging for Africa, which is set to become a crucial area of the logistics development. Therefore, we are ready to focus on consolidating our market position and strengthening our operating structures throughout the world, as well as increasing our penetration in emerging markets.” Having provided its customers with the highest quality of logistics services for over 100 years, Savino Del Bene is set to face its second century of business with renewed n energy and commitment.

HIGH PERFORMANCE MATERIALS Ahlstrom is a world-leading high performance fibre-based materials producer. Its products are used in a wide range of everyday applications from filters, medical fibres and life sciences to wall coverings and food packaging. Industry Europe finds out the latest from the company.


stablished in Finland in 1851, Ahlstrom has evolved from a diversified conglomerate into a highly 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.

October 2014 saw the appointment of a new chairman of the board for Ahlstrom. Robin Ahlström was elected following the resignation of the previous chairman, Pertti Korhonen. Mr Ahlström has been a member of the board since 2013. In his new role, he will also become a member of the Shareholders’ Nomination Board. 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. The company currently has 29 manufacturing plants and 25 sales offices across the world. In terms of sales, today Europe accounts for 50 per cent, North America 22 per cent, South America 13 per cent, Asia-

Pacific 13 per cent and the rest of the world 2 per cent. It employs around 3500 people and net sales for 2013 amounted to some €1 billion.

Recent product launches Continuous product development has always been one of the cornerstones of Ahlstrom’s strategy and 2014 has been no exception to this. In May this year, for example, it launched its EasyLife Spray & Up product – a new offering for the fast growing digital wall décor market. The patent-pending EasyLife Spray & Up has a unique, integrated adhesive system, which significantly improves the decorating experience for consumers. Ahlstrom EasyLife Spray & Up is quick, easy and clean to use: no additional adhesive or specialist tools are required, just water and a spray bottle. The user can simply spray the wall with water, apply the material to the wall and the job is done. Application time is reduced by up to 60 per cent plus cleaning up is much easier and faster than with traditional wallpapers. September of this year saw the introduction of Ahlstrom Pleat2Save filtration media to enlarge its indoor air portfolio. This is a new portfolio of product targeted at residential, commercial, healthcare and HVAC applica-

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tions. It provides superior durability during demanding processes and usage conditions compared to other similar products. According to Fulvio Capussotti, executive vice-president, Advanced Filtration: “Ahlstrom Pleat2Save is a robust product that offer excellent processing performance during filter pleating. This will bring significant savings to the filter manufacturers and cleaner air for the end customers.”

Growth in China Already a globally renowned company, Ahlstrom is never ready to rest on its laurels when it comes to expanding its worldwide presence. The Asian market offers particularly strong opportunities for growth – something which the company has been keen to take advantage of. In May this year it celebrated the inauguration of its new wallcovering substrates production line in Binzhou, China. The new line represents an investment of around €40 million and it produces high-end wallcovering products for the Chinese market. According to Jan Lång, president and CEO of Ahlstrom: “This is a major step in the execution of our strategy and provides us with many growth opportunities in Asia. We have now established Binzhou as a

manufacturing platform in the region, further strengthening our presence and commitment to customers.” The same month saw the inauguration of the company’s new Product & Technology Development Centre in Shanghai, China. This new centre will improve the company’s direct support to its customers in China with local product development. It employs around 30 people and will serve all five of Ahlstrom’s business units in China. “The new Shanghai product development centre supports Ahlstrom’s growth strategy and strengthens our presence and local market understanding. We are pleased to start long-term development work in Asia and reinforce our offering for a clean and healthy environment to help our customers stay ahead. To more quickly address the local market needs, it is crucial to develop new products and technology close to our customers here in China,” said Mr Lång.

Staying green 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 prod-

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

ucts with sustainability as a driver. A company spokesperson 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, 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. Ahlstrom has identified five key performance indicators that support its sustainability programme and reflects 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. In line with this, the company has set itself a zero waste to landfill target to be n achieved by 2015.

POWER PLAYERS Honda leads the world in the design and development of household and industrial power products. Industry Europe looks at the company’s operations in France.


onda is a global brand that has steadily built upon its reputation for innovation and design excellence since it entered the field of power products in 1953. However it wasn’t until 1993 that Honda Europe Power Equipment (HEPE) became a fully integrated subsidiary of the Honda Motor Group. Today Honda France Manufacturing is responsible for the manufacture of petrol and electrical walk-behind lawn mowers, ride-on mowers and power generators, as well as hand held trimmers and tillers. Honda France supplies more than 30 countries in the European region as well as exporting a selected range of power products to Japan. With increasing competition from the emerging markets and to maintain its position as the world’s number one supplier of quality power products, Honda has put even greater emphasis on its R&D programme.

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This has resulted in a whole new range of energy efficient, versatile power tools and products. The company’s focus on new technologies and high quality is its answer to cheap imports that are flooding the European marketplace. As an integral part of its global strategy for growth, Honda is committed to providing the best quality products for its customers, with speed and affordability combined with low CO2 emissions. Honda Power Equipment offers more than 60 different product models in six major product families. These six categories are generators, lawn mowers, pumps, snowblowers, tillers and trimmers.

A new generation of portable power Every year Honda produces around 50,000 compact petrol generators ranging in capacity from 0.6 – 80KVA, a large proportion of which are manufactured in France.

The broad line-up of models are designed to meet a diverse range of needs, from providing an emergency power source in the event of a power failure, to out-door construction work and leisure activities. Honda has three generator product lines and is constantly raising the standard of its generators to add enhanced performance and value for its customers. In 2012 Honda announced that it was launching its new generation of portable power generator products across all three of its product model ranges. Over three years of investment in research and development have gone into the re-engineering of its ranges, which have resulted in new technological innovations being installed in its Economy Series, the Deluxe Series and in its Industrial Series of generators. Whilst each series of Honda generators retains its own product differentiation, and each

Industry Europe 171

includes advances based upon Honda’s analysis of its user segments, the entire product platform shares a number of common elements. These products also meet the latest EPA Phase III timing and guidelines, which address the latest clean air standards for emissions from engines used in non-road applications. At last year’s GIE+EXPO trade show (2013) Honda Power Equipment introduced the EB2000i. This is an all-new 2000 watt portable generator equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to meet the Electrical Test Lab requirements for the City of Los Angeles. Based on the popular consumer EB2000i generator model, this new model maintains the key performance attributes of the EU series unit while adding a 120V/20A GFCI receptacle, which provides greater flexibility for most work site applications. In January this year (2014) Honda Power Equipment debuted the all-new EU7000is portable generator at this year’s World of Concrete trade show venue – adding greater power performance to its popular Super Quiet series. This new generator delivers

more of what Honda generator customers have come to expect from Honda: fuel efficiency, clean power output, quiet operation and longer running times in a portable package. Ideal for a host of commercial and residential applications, the Honda is the company’s first application of electronic fuel injection to a generator, resulting in greater fuel efficiency, extremely easy starting without the need for a choke, and longer operating times than the model it replaces.

Growth in robotics The year 2012 saw the international launch of Honda Power Equipment’s most innovative power product to date: the Honda Mimo, the world’s most advanced commercial robotic product. The Mimo offers the perfect solution for home owners who want a beautiful lawn all year round, but without having to find the time or energy to mow it themselves. This is the ultimate time and labour saving device and once installed the Honda Mimo requires minimal human interaction when working, to ensure a perfectly cut lawn throughout the length of the mowing season.

European sales of robotic lawn mowers are seeing strong growth with consumers today tending to use the garden as an ‘outdoor living room’ to enjoy the increased contact with their surroundings and the option to eat ‘outdoors’ in comfort. The Mimo robotic mower offers the ideal solution for people living busy lives who do not have the time to maintain a lawn, as well as for the ageing population who may not be able to maintain their lawn. Honda’s Mimo operates using one of three modes: random, directional or mixed to suit the size and type of garden landscape. The Mimo can also ascend slopes and when it encounters patches of thick or long grass it will automatically reduce wheel speed whilst maintaining its blade speed in order to deal effectively with tough lawn areas. Honda has been working on the development of robotic products since 1986 and the Honda Mimo is the company’s first commercially produced robotic device. The Mimo is manufactured by Honda France Manufacturing, in Orleans and is available from authorised Honda dealers across Europe. n

Industry Europe 173



PMA is the clear global leader in the development and manufacture of cable protection systems for a broad range of industrial applications. Philip Yorke talked to Martin Gueller, the company’s sales director, and Sandro Schwarz, its business development director for the Americas, about PMA’s latest ground-breaking products and its move into new markets.


MA AG was founded in Switzerland in 1975 and quickly earned a reputation for its high-quality and innovative products. This early success helped the company to become established as the global market leader in cable protection systems that it is today. PMA has a broad portfolio that extends to over 6500 products, which serve customers in the railway, mechanical engineering and shipbuilding industries. PMA headquarters are in Uster, Switzerland, close to Zurich. All manufacturing and R&D facilities are on this site. In addition to its extensive premises in Uster, the company also operates distribution centres and subsidiaries in Germany, the UK, France, Spain, Italy and the USA. Today the PMA Group is part of the ABB low voltage division.

Focus on innovation Most of the products manufactured at PMA’s state-of-the-art plant in Switzerland are manufactured from polyamide raw materials; the company’s advanced materials technology is one of its unique strengths. PMA technicians are able to combine materials that normally would be impossible to combine; they manage to bind them through a range of unique innovative processes. Another product feature

that makes the company’s cable systems attractive across all markets is that not only does it supply entire systems but each of its 6500 products are interchangeable, which enables customers to mix and match products in order to achieve the optimal results. PMA also works in close collaboration with its customers to develop tailor made solutions that meet their specific industrial requirements. Due to the company’s unique expertise it is able to offer its customers a number of key advantages. These are based upon its extensive research and design capabilities. PMA’s specific solutions can provide customers with a competitive edge through safe and reliable systems that are easy to install. In addition, customers can benefit from vibration proof connections with high impact strengths even at low temperatures. Added to these are other product advantages such as high chemical resistance, fire protection and high compression strength during peak loads. In the rail sector, thanks to its constant investment in R&D, the company has established a market leading position in cable protection systems for the rail industry worldwide. In another ground-breaking development, PMA has announced innovative 176 Industry Europe

and reliable fire barrier solutions for the rail industry. Designed to be used in conjunction with its existing proven cable protection systems, these unique solutions fulfil the requirements of the new European railway fire safety standard EN45545-3. Gueller said, “To underscore our technological lead we recently launched a range of ground breaking new products at the ‘InnoTrans’ Trade Show. These included a new system that offered four different solutions that can ensure that fire cannot spread for 60 minutes and at the same time can withstand temperatures of –60C. We call this our ‘PMA FIRE BARRIER’ range. We have also invested in technology to produce new ‘over extruded’ products in order to create a smooth surface. In fact we have built a new extrusion line specifically for this purpose. In addition, we have developed a unique anti-microbial product for use in the food and beverage industry. In the past we had single-layer cable protection systems, then multi-layer systems and today we have special over extruded products, conduits with smooth inner layers are being developed. Schwarz added, “Smooth inner layers offer many benefits especially in the trans-

portation of air from one room to another as it guarantees no noise during transit. Today we protect every kind of cable from fine glass fibres to high voltage power cables. We are also strong in robotics and today we can go after this market thanks to our close association with our parent company ABB, as it is a market leader in this field. Similarly, we also see growth opportunities in the renewable energy sector, where we have dedicated products and a new project and strategy in place. As the only company in the ABB Group that is specialised in cable protection systems, we are able to use their global expertise as a springboard to help develop new products and move into new markets.” One of the reasons PMA has been able to maintain its leading market position is the strong relationships it has built with key suppliers, such as the Germany cable systems specialist PFLITSCH.

Putting safety and security first Whatever the application, safety remains a main priority at PMA. This is especially true in the marine sector where safety has an absolute top priority for the company’s

marine applications. In ship building, cable and cable bundles are subjected to high stresses and constant vibration, which also increases the risk of damage through overheating and abrasion leading to short circuits. Cable routing around machinery must provide complete protection and the cables must be easily integrated into a ship’s prefabricated elements. PMA cable systems protect many of the world’s greatest ships including the Queen Mary as well as many large and small merchant vessels. The automation industry sector is another area where PMA technology provides safety and security through its range of highly specialised, flexible products. In the field of automation there is a need for products that can withstand the severe stresses of fast and frequent motion. Solutions developed by PMA for the automation industry meet all known international requirements and standards. Special conduit designs, along with supports and abrasive protection for the moving elements, enable engineers to achieve a massive n reduction in torsion forces. For further details of PMA’s latest innovative products and services visit:

New ILI-Standard External Fan Series Size132-160


or over 20 years WISTRO Elektro-Mechanik has been supplying a wide range of customers with forced ventilation units for variable speed motors. WISTRO has worked continuously to adapt itself to market conditions and today offers its customers a comprehensive range of external fan units to meet almost every need. In addition to its standard design with a wide voltage application range and high degree of protection, it offers variations with direct current power supply, -40°C variants, units for explosion-proof motors and servo motors. The size spectrum ranges from 63 to 560. For two years, customised casing parts or entire cases have been manufactured indeIL-Servo External Fan Series

pendently in the company’s newly integrated sheet metal manufacturing facilities. Product development is carried out in advance in cooperation with the customer. Technical specifications such as air pressure, airflow or noise emissions can be documented and reproduced with up-to-date equipment such as volume flow measurement facilities (up to 30,000m³/h at 2,000Pa) noise measuring and other equipment. The aforementioned options are not only available for in-house development but are also offered to customers and third parties as an additional service. WISTRO will soon be introducing its new advanced internal rotor series, initially in sizes of 132 and 160 (and thus also 180 and IL-Standard External Fan Series

200/2-pole). In the future, well-established and more advanced features will work to complement each other in the ILI series. NEW: The terminal box ends with the b-side bearing shield of the forced ventilation unit and can be turned by 90° thanks to its new square shape. The new plug arrangement results in a shorter structural dimension. Both sizes will also be available in 400/690V versions, whilst the 160 size is now also suitable for 1~ 60Hz operation. The air intake grill is flow optimised. The inner suction room will be used in the same way as before, which allows for installation against surfaces and thus leads to shorter installation dimensions. Of course, the new products also fulfil the ErP directive, valid from 2015. n

Neue ILI-Standard Fremdlüfterreihe der Baugrößen 132-160



eit zwanzig Jahren ist WISTRO ElektroMechanik bekannt für die Belieferung eines breiten Kundenspektrums mit Fremdbelüftungen für drehzahlvariable Motoren. Dabei hat sich WISTRO stets den Marktbedingungen angepasst und bietet seinen Kunden heute eine umfangreiche Palette von Fremdlüfteraggregaten, die nahezu alle Bedürfnisse abdeckt. Neben der Standardausführung mit breiten Spannungseinsatzbereich und hoher Schutzart werden unter anderem Typen mit Gleichstromversorgung, minus 40°C-Varianten, Einheiten für explosionsgeschützte und Servomotoren angeboten. Das Baugrößenspektrum reicht von 63 bis 560. Seit zwei Jahren werden in der neu integrierten Blechfertigung kundenindividuelle Gehäuseteile oder komplette Gehäuse eigenIL-Servo Fremdlüfterreihe

ständig gefertigt. Die Entwicklung erfolgt im Vorfeld in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Kunden. Lufttechnische Spezifikationen wie Druck, Volumenstrom oder Geräuschemission können mit zeitgemäßer Ausrüstung wie Volumenstrommessanlagen (bis 30.000m³/h bei 2.000Pa), Geräuschmesseinrichtungen und weiterem Equipment reproduzierbar dokumentiert werden. Vorgenannte Möglichkeiten stehen nicht nur der eigenen Entwicklung zur Verfügung sondern werden als Dienstleistung auch Kunden und Dritten angeboten. Zurzeit steht die Einführung der weiterentwickelten Innenläuferreihe bevor, zunächst der Baugrößen 132 und 160 (und damit auch 180 und 200/2-polig). Zukünftig ergänzen sich bewährte und weiterentwickelte Eigenschaften in der ILI-Reihe. IL-Standard Fremdlüfterreihe

NEU: Der Klemmenkasten schließt mit dem b-seitigen Lagerschild der Fremdbelüftungseinheit ab und ist durch die neue quadratische Form jeweils um 90° drehbar. Die neue Anordnung des Steckers führt zu einem kürzeren Baumaß bei den Stecker-Ausführungen. Beide Baugrößen werden zudem als 400/690V-Variante erhältlich sein, wobei die Baugröße 160 jetzt auch für 1~ 60Hz-Betrieb geeignet ist. Das Lufteinlassgitter ist strömungsoptimiert. Unverändert wird der innere Ansaugraum genutzt, was den Einbau gegen Flächen ermöglicht und so zu kürzeren Einbaumaßen führt. Selbstverständlich erfüllen auch die neuen Produkte die ab 2015 gültige ErP-Richtlinie. n

FLEXIBLE REFRIGERATION SOLUTIONS Hauser GmbH is a leading European supplier of refrigerated display cabinets and refrigeration systems based in Linz-Urfahr, Austria. Industry Europe looks at the latest from the company, including its continued dedication to the production of energy-efficient solutions.

180 Industry Europe


auser is a family business with more than 60 years of experience in refrigeration. The company manufactures refrigeration cabinets for commercial purposes and employs over 400 people. Hauser sells only to other businesses, and its biggest customers are supermarkets, cash and carry outlets and discount stores. The company has two main production plants. The factory in Austria, at Sankt Martin im Mühlkreis, has an area of 13,500 square metres and was established in 1971. Besides producing refrigeration cabinets, the factory at Sankt Martin has four test rooms that enable Hauser to conduct tests in-house. Hauser set up its factory in the Czech Republic back in 1990. This factory, in Kaplice, has helped it to build up its strong position in central and eastern European markets.

Leader in refrigerated cabinets Hauser’s refrigerated cabinets include serveover counters, multideck display cabinets, deep-freezing cabinets and integral refrigerated cabinets. In terms of serve-over counters, at the EuroShop 2014 trade show it introduced its new versatile models from the Varius series, which can adapt flexibly to specific customer needs. Its efficient refrigerated multideck display cabinets are offered in its trademark Regius, Regas, Renima and Rebas ranges. All of these have design features which are regularly updated and wide-ranging configurations. All Hauser cabinets of this kind can be configured individually to accommodate a wide range of market sizes and applications.

Meanwhile, Hauser’s Meranis, Mirengo and Museta deep-freezing cabinets come in a range of configurations, from chest-style freezers to upright multi-tiered versions. It also offers integral refrigerated cabinets that are simply plugged and are available according to customer request.

LED lighting solutions In the retail sector, refrigeration cabinets are expected to be visually impressive as well as reliable. One way to enhance the visual impact of refrigeration is through LED lighting, and Hauser has introduced LED lighting in units such as its Regius display cabinet for meat and dairy products. “Visually, LED means you can play with different colours

Industry Europe 181

BITZER – THE HEART OF FRESHNESS The BITZER Group is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of refrigeration compressors. Refrigeration and air conditioning technology makes an invaluable contribution to our world: food can be transported thousands of kilometers and then stored, all the while maintaining freshness and quality. Air conditioning has vastly improved living and working environments. Blood banks save the lives of countless people every day, whilst process cooling makes it possible to manufacture many products such as semiconductors. All this means that air conditioning and refrigeration systems have to function properly. In other words, their hearts have to beat reliably. These hearts are the compressors.

BITZER has been producing refrigeration compressors, condensing units and pressure vessels for refrigeration and air conditioning technology for 80 years, and it guarantees customers worldwide that they can rely on the perfect heartbeat everywhere and at all times. The compressor specialist BITZER is a globally active company with sales companies and production sites for reciprocating, screw and scroll compressors as well as pressure vessels. In 2013, 3,200 employees generated sales of €621 million.

and create any colour you want. We offer LED lighting as standard on our serve-over cabinets. LED lighting also has important advantages in terms of energy efficiency. It consumes less electricity and at the same time it brings less heat into the cabinet,” says a company spokesperson. The look of retail spaces has changed a lot since the 1970s, and for supermarkets battling to attract the attention of consumers, a uniform white colour for refrigeration units is sometimes no longer enough. To ensure that it can meet the expectations of its clients, Hauser runs a fully automated painting line. “For the retail sector, colour has an important role to play. Our customers often want green or orange colours for displaying fruit and vegetables as a way to reiterate the freshness. The new painting line means that we can do the jobs in-house and react more quickly to our customers’ changing requirements.”

Energy efficiency But it is not just the look and functioning of a product that matter: Hauser’s customers are also concerned about the running costs of a refrigeration unit as opposed to the upfront cost. With energy prices continuing to soar, energy efficiency is a key driver, particularly for the big retail chains. In the area of systems engineering, Hauser uses modern technolo-

184 Industry Europe

gies that include integrated systems to utilise waste heat from refrigeration systems and carbon dioxide as a natural and environmentally sound refrigerant for the future. Its ingenious Eco ES system enables supermarkets to save energy by using the heat that is discharged by their refrigeration cabinets to heat the whole of the building. Heating the supermarket with the refrigeration system can bring down its overall energy consumption. Rather than being wasted, the heat that comes out of the refrigeration system is fed into a heat exchanger in the store. Thanks to Hauser’s Eco ES technology, supermarkets with substantial refrigeration capacity have even been able to do without oil and gas heating altogether. Hauser has the capacity to provide customers with turnkey solutions, including planning, delivery and installation. Taking a centralised approach also allows refrigeration to be centrally controlled, making for greater energy efficiency. The company spokesperson adds: “With the Eco ES system, all sorts of temperatures can be visualised on the screen of a PC. You can see the store’s temperature as well as the refrigeration temperature. There are even clever modules that pick up the weather forecast and are synchronised with it. This means that the system will start producing hot water if it knows the weather is going to be cold.”

Market outreach Countries outside Austria account for over 70 per cent of Hauser’s sales, making the company a highly successful exporter. Besides supplying refrigeration units to many of the big European supermarket chains, Hauser also sells refrigeration systems for industrial premises such as meat factories and delivery depots. Hauser’s independent sales offices in Austria, Germany and the UK can deal with customers directly. The company also has a wide network of service engineers, and customers throughout Europe can contact Hauser on a special 24-hour hotline. “After-sales care is part of the Hauser philosophy. We don’t just want to sell equipment. We want to help our clients to maintain it and look after it properly.” n



The Sabaf Group – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of gas home appliance components and hinges for domestic ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers – has recently launched some exciting new products. As well as having a social conscience, the company differentiates itself through the high level of service that it provides. Barbara Rossi reports.

Industry Europe 185


he Sabaf Group designs and manufactures components for gas cooking appliances, such as taps, thermostats, burners, accessories and hinges. The latter category of products, manufactured by Faringosi Hinges Srl, facilitates the smooth opening and closing of oven, washing machine, dishwasher and dryer doors. In addition to the design and manufacture of these products, Sabaf offers complementary services and has a hi-tech testing laboratory where it can test each product’s compliance with all relevant worldwide legislation. The company holds the ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications, as well as SA8000.

The group is composed of the holding company Sabaf SpA and of the subsidiaries Faringosi Hinges Srl (based in Milan) Sabaf Do Brasil (which manufactures burners for the South American market) and Sabaf Turkey (which also makes burners). The group also includes Sabaf Immobiliare, which manages its real estate, alongside Sabaf US Corporation, Sabaf Mexico S.a.d.c.v. and Sabaf Appliance Components Trading (China), which are all commercial companies. Lastly, it has a sales office in Poland. Sabaf supplies its products to manufacturers of domestic gas cookers and built-in hobs and ovens, as well as manufacturers

of household appliances such as washing machines, dryers, ovens and dishwashers. Alongside supplying products to the domestic market, the company exports to eastern and western Europe, as well as to other continents. However, a lot of the products sold in Italy are fitted into appliances which are then exported.

The new HE2.1 range Recently Sabaf has expanded its Series II burners with the new HE2.1 range. This new version enables those already using Series II to increase the performance of their cooktops at no extra cost. In fact, simply

replacing the flame-spreader and its lid leads to energy savings of around 68 per cent. Series II was designed from the start as a modular system in which the burner cup fixed to the hob surface is common to all versions, thus enabling the creation of different models without the need for technical modifications to the appliance top. As well as being the most advanced and recent

series, Series II HE 2.1 is able to increase the overall cooktop or free-standing cooker efficiency, guaranteeing the best results and user safety, as well as the lowest emissions.

Key advantages Alongside its innovative products and high quality, Sabaf differentiates itself from competitors thanks to its strong service offering. In a

market in which price and quality are a must by default, service has really become crucial and Sabaf certainly has a lot to offer in this field. In fact, it does not limit its customer service to its components, but extends it to the whole appliance. The company supports its clients during the product design and certification phases. Offering this level of support is no easy task, as it involves dealing with different sets of

country-specific legislation. However, complying with local legislation and obtaining local certifications is a requirement in order to export to different markets. Having to repeat tests owing to non-compliance is extremely costly both in terms of time and money. Dealing with gas cooking products is quite complex, as it requires a high level of knowledge of the combustion process, different types of usage and how to best adapt individual components to the cooktop (especially burners and taps). Furthermore, specialised staff and a hi-tech

laboratory are also necessary. For this reason many manufacturers of gas appliances, who could simply employ their own technical departments for this task, prefer to rely on Sabaf, its expertise and facilities. Sabaf can test the appliances on which it has mounted its components and provide its clients with a comprehensive test report, which is then used as supporting evidence in the certification application process. This is what gives Sabaf a competitive edge.

Plans for growth In the main, Sabaf intends to follow an organic expansion pattern, possibly aided by joint ventures both within and outside Europe. Its strategy is to pursue growth in international markets, replicating its cultural and industrial model in emerging countries, and always upholding its high level of service. In addition to this, it aims to continue offering high quality and advanced technology, resulting in superior product performance in terms of environmental friendliness. The main material used by the group, aluminium, requires less energy expenditure during its extraction and processing than other materials employed in the industry. The group’s strategies also include the continuous development of new products to meet customers’ increasingly complex demands. Furthermore, Sabaf will carry on developing the technical skills of its employees, its image and its reputation. It has achieved the latter thanks to the attention it dedicates to social issues, such as the Sabaf Charter of Values initiative, written according to the methodology recommended by SEAN and the Istituto Europeo per il Bilancio Sociale (IBS). This is based on the most important legislation and guidelines regarding human rights and corporate social responsibility n both in Italy and worldwide.


A A.F. Baeder Ges.m.b.H Agro-Rami AKA Printed Circuit Boards Andritz Metals August Bertrams GmbH Avery Dennison Avesco AG

H 31 35 73 65 38 119 155

Höganäs Bjuf Huhtamaki

I IBAU Hamburg Idemitsu Chemicals INA Maziva



Biolink 77 Bitzer Austria GmbH 183 Boxline United 166 Büter Group 38

K3 Syspro Kartel Bombe Sanayi Dished Heads Kuka Roboter

C CAAC Pioneer Logistics c.a.e.m. Srl Cargolux Sirlines International SA CH Polymers Csavária Kft

5 188 161 169 83

D D&E Trading Oy 101 DIAB 133 Disatech 172 DSV Air & Sea AS 135

E ERBA SpA Eurosped Exterfer d.o.o.

188 166 31

F Fineline Global Frank Mohn AS Fusion Electronics Pvt. Ltd

90 60 158

57 129 50

T Tecnomaster SpA 72 Tecnomeccanica SpA 60 TecSo Import Srl 111 Tiger Coatings GmbH & Co. KG 182 Tinby 143 Trioplast 121



Mesa Parts GmbH 69 Metalfirma Srl 172 Mevera Metall AB 104 Mikron SA 189 Mikrostyk SA 125 Momentive 133 MSC 166

UAB Gretsch-Unitas Baltic



Nimet Srl 101


P Pasaco 118 Pflitsch GmbH & Co. KG 177 Piciesse Elettronica Srl 73 Plastik 121 Power-Tech 151

R 73 86 72

Raben Trans European Hungary Kft 137 Relius Farbenwerke GmbH 97 Resch Import/Export GmbH 140 Roxel 27

114 155 147


G Georgia Pacific Cellulose GHH-Bonatrans Group GIBA Gießerei Handels-Gesellschaft

92 115

Schunk 46 Shipping Services Italia 166 Siemens AG 97 SME GmbH 43 Sütőker Zrt 140

Saker spol. s.r.o. Schneeberger GmbH

80 54


V Vacon Plc


W Walter Widmann GmbH


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Articles inside

Appliances with a difference Sabaf Group

pages 187-194

Flexible refrigeration solutions Hauser

pages 182-186

Customised forced ventilation units

pages 180-181

Delivering complete protection PMA

pages 176-179

Power players Honda

pages 172-175

High performance materials Ahlstrom

pages 169-171

From Italy to the world Savino Del Bene

pages 165-168

Rolling technology forward TZV Gredelj

pages 158-160

Optimising logistics in the Asia-Pacific region SDV

pages 161-164

Matisa takes its expertise to InnoTrans Matisa

pages 154-157

Experts in workshop equipment JOTKEL

pages 150-153

Much more than just a foundry Livar

pages 146-149

Climate control TA Hydronics

pages 143-145

Small steps to big results Gallicoop Turkey Processing

pages 140-142

The answer is blowing in the wind SSP Technology

pages 133-137

Storing expertise fuelling growth ISISAN

pages 129-132

High performance partner Lacroix Electronics

pages 124-128

Sweet success EdHaas Hungaria

pages 138-139

Growing in size Komatsu Italia Manufacturing

pages 110-113

A new chapter in a growth story Ontex

pages 114-123

Profiles for a greener environment Megrame

pages 107-109

Nordic market leader Ostnor

pages 104-106

Transforming utility safety and protection Scheidt

pages 96-99

Global shipping leader Odfjell

pages 86-89

A new culture for cement giant HeidelbergCement

pages 90-95

Masterpieces in aluminium and magnesium alloys

pages 80-82

Smart hydraulics Hydroline

pages 100-103

Aiming for larger volumes Ajkai Elektronikai

pages 83-85

Lighting the future SG Automotive

pages 72-76

Streamlining international expansion ALT Technologies

pages 77-79

Magnetic technology leader Vacuumschmelze

pages 64-67

Intelligent light systems Automotive Lighting

pages 60-63

Improving vehicle efficiency Hilite

pages 68-71

Mission accomplished JEB

pages 57-59

European leader in lathe machinery FAT

pages 54-56

World-beating manufacturing systems ZAHORANSKY

pages 50-53

Handling, assembling, loading and processing SIR

pages 46-49

Leader in farm machinery Metal-Fach

pages 34-37

New horizons in automation technology

pages 42-45

Focused on farming performance Farmtech

pages 30-33

Global defence leader Saab Dynamics

pages 27-29

Agricultural technology leader Pöttinger

pages 38-41

Events Euromould 2014

page 26

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

page 25

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 16-17

Europe’s last dash before lights out Europe avoids

pages 8-10

Opinion A bumpy start

pages 3-5

A first in geothermal energy Harnessing geothermal

pages 14-15

Bill Jamieson Cracking the code

pages 6-7

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

page 22

Moving on Relocations and expansions

page 20

Linking up Combining strengths

pages 18-19
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