Industry Europe – Issue 24.4

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VOLUME 24/4 – 2014 • €6

The world of European manufacturing






Conscious uncoupling A British divorce from the EU might, it seems, be as civilised as the parting of Gwyneth and Chris.


Iain Mansfield, Director of Trade and Investment at the UK’s embassy in the Philippines, is no doubt jolly good at boosting Britain’s trade. Whether he is as good at furthering his own career may be in some doubt. For Mr Mansfield is the winner of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) ‘Brexit’ prize for the best essay on what Britain outside the EU might look like. Of course, as a career diplomat, he is careful to point out that his paper does not address the question of whether the UK should or should not leave the EU but merely seeks to consider what might be the consequences of an exit and how Britain might go about optimising its new position. But his conclusion that, given a decision to leave following a referendum, “a scenario for an open, prosperous and globally engaged UK is eminently achievable” is still political dynamite since it flatly contradicts the warnings from defenders of the status quo that a UK exit would be disastrous. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has been trying to frighten the British for years with his dire prophecies of the loss of three million jobs if the country left the EU (a claim that assumes that all exports to the EU would cease immediately) and, perhaps despairing of the electorate’s ability to grasp such sophisticated arguments, has now taken to warning that the country would end up as ‘Billy No Mates.. in fact, Billy No Jobs’. And while Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a referendum, everyone knows that he hopes to gain some minor concessions from the EU and then recommend staying in, mostly for the traditional Tory reasons of holding on to Nurse for fear of something worse. No-one really knows what the Labour Party’s position is but it’s a safe bet to assume that they are not going to be keen on anything that promises less regulation. So a paper that

argues, in considerable detail, that the UK would have every chance of securing exit terms that might well improve its trading position in the world is not likely to be welcomed by the government or the opposition. Mr Mansfield might do well to stash his €100,000 winnings away against a rainy day.

Maintaining free trade The highest priority in the situation of a UK exit, says Mr Mansfield, would be to ensure that zero tariffs were maintained on trade between the UK and the EU, with the exception of agriculture. This could best be achieved by joining Norway, Iceland and Switzerland in the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) but by staying out of the European Economic Area and the Single Market. The latter is far more than just a customs union or a free trade zone and It is membership of it that brings ‘all of the most onerous and controversial aspects of EU membership, including the free movement of people and the Working Time Directive’. Of course, the UK would need to accept some EU regulation on product standards to maintain free access to its markets but these are little different from those that exporters to non-EU countries currently have to meet and in which the UK has no say. In the post-exit situation, however, there would be no need at all to accept regulation on purely internal matters such as working hours, renewable energy targets, health and safety laws etc. It is conceivable that such proposals could meet with a De Gaulle-style ‘Non’, but it would surely be in the interests of major trading partners such as Germany and France to maintain tariff-free trading with the UK. If there were a ‘Non’, the UK would be faced with an average EU tariff of 2.7 per cent – a problem but hardly a catastrophe.

Outside the EU, the UK would continue to honour the EU and WTO Free Trade Agreements with non-EU countries that it has already signed and would be free to pursue its own FTAs with major trading nations such as the USA and China, “unconstrained,” says Mr Mansfield, “by the concerns of more protectionist EU member states.” After all, as he reminds us, the EU has not so far succeeded in concluding an FTA with a single one of the BRIC countries. Measures such as these would accelerate the already apparent shift in UK trade from the EU to the world’s emerging markets, where growth is strongest. What about the risk to inward investment? What makes the UK attractive to foreign investors – its liberalised energy and employment markets, the ease of raising capital and of starting a business – would remain as strong as ever and a reduction in regulation together with tax breaks and supply-side incentives would make for an even more business-friendly environment. If zero tariffs were agreed there is therefore no reason why the UK would not maintain, or even improve on, its position as the No. 1 destination for FDI in Europe. Overall, says Mr Mansfield, the UK “would probably be neither significantly richer nor poorer; there is no recorded correlation between EU membership and GDP growth.” But the crucial point he makes is that a UK withdrawal from the EU is not at all a withdrawal from globalism. The country’s character, “that of a global nation (the world’s sixth largest economy) open to the world, would be unchanged.” That means that “ultimately, whether or not the UK exits from the EU is a political, not an economic decision.” Or, as Bill Clinton might have said, had he been President of the EU and not of the USA, ‘It’s the politics, stupid. Always has n been, always will be’. Industry Europe 3

CONTENTS Editor Peter Mercer

Production Manager Kamila Kajtoch

Deputy Editor Victoria Hattersley

Administration Anna Chamberlain Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey

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

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

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

Above: Automotive Industry p6

Comment 1 5

IT Support Jack Everson

Opinion Conscious uncoupling Bill Jamieson Clash of the titans

Automotive Industry 6 9

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

© Industry Europe 2014 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher. POSITIVE PUBLICATIONS

Planning for prosperity Premium winners; volume losers Automotive news The latest from the industry

News 14 16 18 19 20 21

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

Reports 12 22 23

Superconductors make fusion the future for energy The ITER project

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

Aerospace 24

Advanced aerospace structures Sonaca

Automation & Tooling A Square Root Company

28 34

The future in robotics Comau Precise productivity Mikron Machining

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

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38 44 48 52

A winning formula Dacia Driving new SUV concepts forward Volvo World-class driveline technology ZF Friedrichshafen Global leader in automotive interiors Johnson Controls

VOL 24/4

Above: Dacia p38

Building & Construction Above: Mikron Machining p34 Below: Johnson Controls p52

59 63 68

World-class cleanroom solutions Dagard Environmentally friendly windows and doors Alphacan

Wood – The sustainable choice Metsä Wood

Above: Caffaro p72 Below: APL p98

Chemicals 72

Repositioned for growth Caffaro

Electronics 75 78

Coool solutions CooolCase The capacity to deliver Epcos

Energy 82 86

The winning strategy is diversification Renco We’ve got the power The Switch

HVAC & Refrigeration 90

The spirit of the air Wolf Anlagen

Hydraulics 94

Leading in power hydraulics Hydrotor

Marine 98

Above: FLSmidth p102 Below: Bridon p118

Out in front APL

Mechanical Engineering Above: Alphacan p63 Below: Metsä Wood p68

102 The full service provider FL Smith


107 From mining to finished metals Mineco


112 Following tradition Incas

Also in this issue... 115 118 124 127 130

Leading in high-performance aluminas Alteo Heavy lifting Bridon Clean and green Nilfisk-Advance Top security EVVA Taps with a difference Paini Rubinetterie Industry Europe 5




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

Clash of the titans As a modest recovery struggles to gain traction across the eurozone, a War of the Titans has broken out for the hearts and minds of policymakers.


ow can the spectre of deflation be avoided and recovery strengthened? In one corner is Christine Lagarde, formidable head of the International Monetary Fund. In the other is Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank. Frustrated at the timid rates of economic upturn, Lagarde has been urging the ECB to abandon what many see is prolonged dithering over monetary policy and boost bank lending by adopting monetary expansion through Quantitative Easing. But Mario Draghi continues to hesitate. In what resembles a slow motion Dance of the Seven Veils, he continues to hint that a resort to unconventional policy is not ruled out. But action there comes none. Meanwhile, deflation fears are rising. Few prospects are surely worse than a prolonged period of Japan-style stagnation, the economy barely ticking over as banks are crippled by huge levels of bad debt and households and businesses are averse to stepping up spending. The good news, for the moment, is that the eurozone recovery is gaining ground. Member economies began to recover in the second quarter of last year following a double dip recession from the end of 2011 to the opening months of last year. Eurozone GDP as a whole still fell by 0.4 per cent over the year but Germany registered growth of 0.4 per cent while French GDP rose by 0.3 per cent. The Italian, Spanish and, especially, the Dutch economies look to have emerged from recession by the end of last year. Encouragingly, growth is spreading from core eurozone to the beleaguered peripheral economies. And Markit and other surveys suggest that the pace may pick up this year. Germany is expected to remain the bestperforming major country, while France, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal may grow by around one per cent.

However, the upturn is muted overall, and given high unemployment rates in many of the eurozone’s member states (above 25 per cent in Greece and Spain), worries about deflation, the continued problems in the banking sector and the continued need for austerity, it would be premature to assume that the eurozone’s difficulties are behind it.

“The channels of financial intermediation in the zone are fractured. Until that is fixed, nothing the ECB tries to do will make much difference.” And the spectre of deflation looms closer. The fall in March’s inflation rate to 0.5 per cent has sparked calls for ECB action to loosen monetary policy to get inflation nearer to the two per cent target. In response, Mario Draghi has said: “We do not exclude further monetary policy easing. The Governing Council is unanimous in its commitment to using also unconventional instruments.” However, there was no indication of the possible timing of any QE. And Draghi also refused to give details as to how it might work.

Doubts persist The Governing Council could wait some months before any further loosening of policy, if any, to see whether the recovering economy and the effects of low interest rates push the inflation rate towards the target. The argument for waiting (and waiting) is that, except in the eurozone periphery, incomes are rising faster than prices and the risks of deflation may prove over-stated. In Germany, for example, there has recently been a far from deflationary, and above-inflation,

pay settlement between German public sector workers and their Government employers. The deal, which covers 2.1m workers, granted a 3.0 per cent wage increase backdated to 1 March, with a further 2.4 per cent next year. And according to a leaked ECB internal assessment of QE, the central bank would need to buy assets worth €1 trillion of purchases of euro-denominated securities (or €80 billion a month) to lift inflation by as little as a fifth of a percentage point. This adds to the suspicion that the ECB remains doubtful about the efficacy of QE and suspicious of taking radical QE action. Asked about the IMF’s calls for monetary easing, Mr Draghi’s reply was regarded as a sharp rebuff. He may have felt it necessary to guard the sovereignty of the central bank. Or it may be that he does not share the urge to activism demonstrated across the Atlantic. There is a respectable case for scepticism over the efficacy of cheap money schemes. For five years, the response of central banks in the developed world to sub-normal growth rates has been to devise programmes aimed at delivering more monetary stimulus. When these schemes have yielded disappointing results, central bankers have argued that things would have been a lot worse without them and, egged on by market traders keen to enjoy a ride on rising asset values, have sought fresh ways of delivering cheap money. For the eurozone as a whole, the scope for such stimulus looks even more constrained. Says Monument Securities economist Stephen Lewis, “In such circumstances, monetary policy would probably have scant effect in boosting consumer prices. As Mr Draghi laboured to explain, the channels of financial intermediation in the zone are fractured. Until that is fixed, nothing the ECB tries to do will make much difference.” The Titans look set to slug it out for some time yet. n Industry Europe 7

Jaguar F-Type long-awaited return to sports car form

PLANNING FOR PROSPERITY Europe’s carmakers look for routes to profitability as premium marques and value brands thrive while volume products decline. Tony Lewin reports.


ore powerful than either horsepower or corporate power, the forces now sweeping through the European – and global – automotive industry are reshaping the landscape like never before. The longpromised new era of electric cars has finally become reality, with big names such as BMW and Wall Street darling start-up Tesla fielding advanced products and gaining very positive press along the way. Despite high early-adopter prices, Europeans bought over 30,000 battery-powered models in 2013, and with both the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus now available as electrics, the figure could double once again in 2014. Though these may come to be seen as significant milestones in the history of the automobile, when considered in the broader context of the 12 million customers who buy petrol and diesel-powered cars in Europe each year,

C4 Cactus – a welcome return to originality for Citroen

8 Industry Europe

electric models are still no more than an intriguing sideshow. For the same prevailing winds of continent-wide austerity that have blunted the take-up of minority-appeal electric cars are also rocking the foundations of the volume car business – to the extent that one automaker group has had to reform its structure in order to ensure its survival. A quick roll-call of winners and losers shows how things are changing. Business is booming – provided your product is in a trendy segment such as that for compact SUVs. Typified by the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008, these have successfully captured the zeitgeist of urban escapism and, being built on the basis of mass-production hatchbacks, are also good news for profit margins. Prestigious small-to-medium cars are good news, too, with the new Mercedes A-Class and a refreshed Audi A3 helping boost the segment

by a quarter – impressive in an overall market that struggled to reach its already disappointing 2012 sales total. Yet for those producers not fortunate enough to have strong products in these few growth segments, the picture is one of a continuing struggle. Large, exotic and ostentatious cars of whatever stripe appear to be falling out of favour with consumers, though individual launches of long awaited new models such as the Mercedes S-Class and Jaguar F-Type sports car have provided a misleadingly positive influence on otherwise troubled sectors. Another remarkable performance is that turned in by the Range Rover Evoque, the super-stylish sporty SUV that has the Land Rover factory working round the clock to meet worldwide demand. At the opposite end of the prestige scale comes an equally successful story – that of Dacia, the Romanian-based budget brand controlled by Renault. Its sensible, familyoriented hatchbacks and light off-roaders have caught the mood of the moment and have seen their sales rocket by a quarter: in a still-declining climate this represents a powerful trend. Big-number losers include larger nonpremium saloons such as the Ford Mondeo, Peugeot 508 and Toyota Avensis, all down by a third, and the Renault Mégane, down by a quarter; other stalwarts such the Nissan Qashqai and Mercedes C-Class paused for breath as their factories geared up for newgeneration models.

Peugeot 308- Car of the Year winner reflects Golf values

Problems for volume manufacturers So much for individual models. Widening the focus back to the fortunes of the broader manufacturing groups reveals a rather different picture. Though they may be experiencing slackening demand for many of their core products in the European market, German premium carmakers Audi, BMW and Mercedes are regularly reporting the best-ever monthly sales totals in their corporate histories thanks to eager, status-hungry buyers in booming markets such as China and the US; Jaguar and Land Rover, too, are benefiting from this phenomenon and also reporting all-time highs in sales. These automakers with a global sales footprint have the luxury of not being over dependent on the still troubled European market – in stark contrast to difficulties faced by Ford, General Motors in the shape of Opel and Vauxhall, Renault and, most critically, PSA Peugeot Citroën. The French automaker, though traditionally Europe’s second largest by volume and the only one apart from Volkswagen still selling more than a million units per year in the region, is continuing to pay the price for largely lacklustre models and a lack of serious reach outside Europe; things came to a head in February this year when China’s Dongfeng and the French government each took a rescuing stake, the Peugeot family sacrificing its overall control in the process. Now led by dynamic ex-Renault manager Carlos Tavares and with the Citroen C4 Cactus marking a return to design originality and the Car of the

Year title awarded to the Golf-rivalling Peugeot 308, PSA is displaying the hardware and the talent – if not yet the hard business figures – that may allow it to survive. A further string to PSA’s bow could be the new generation of its C1 and 108 city cars, produced in conjunction with Toyota in the Czech Republic: this is launching into a growing segment, presently dominated by the stillpopular Fiat 500 and destined to be the focus of worldwide attention as Renault launches its radical rear-engined Twingo, itself developed in parallel with the upcoming two- and fourseater Smart models from Daimler. It is tempting to speculate that were it not for the stellar performance of its Dacia budget brand, Renault could have been in similar straits to its compatriot PSA. The core Renault brand did well to stem its fall to just 1.5 per cent in 2013, the declines across its larger ranges offset by the positive buyer response to its new Clio and Captur. For Renault, the new Twingo is a major opportunity to claw back customers lost to classier rivals such as the Fiat 500 and Mini; the new Mégane and Scenic cannot come soon enough, and a prestigious new-concept Espace will be good for corporate self esteem. Yet with austerity still the watchword, the icing on Renault’s cake will surely continue to be Dacia for some while.

The squeezed middle Much has been said and written about the travails of the Americans in Europe, with GM’s Opel-Vauxhall suffering particularly public ago-

nies in the face of the frequent policy shifts imposed by headquarters in Detroit; now, with Chevrolet and its rebranded low-cost Korean cars finally withdrawn from the equation, Opel has a better chance of competing as a full-line manufacturer once more. Like Ford, however, it is one of the principal victims of the squeezed middle phenomenon as value brands such as Kia, Hyundai and Skoda gain yet more traction and the premium marques expand into the segments for smaller cars. Opel’s compact Adam city car, with its two-tone paint finish and extensive portfolio of personalisation options, is another model seeking to cash in on the Fiat 500’s kudos; it will be facing ever stronger opposition as Peugeot and Toyota add stylish touches to their upcoming 108 and Aygo respectively, Renault launches its innovative Twingo and Ford weighs in with a larger, though less stylish, Ka. Not to be overlooked, either, are Renault’s companion models from Smart, hoping at last to bring Daimler’s small-car brand into the black. No overview of the European scene would be complete without mention of Fiat and the Asian brands. Fiat has lost out heavily in recent years, with only the chic 500 saving it from commercial and critical meltdown; now, however, the formalised fusion with Chrysler has given the group more financial muscle and a clearer focus. Enough, perhaps, to end the string of unfulfilled promises for Alfa Romeo, a marque of such enormous potential that VW boss Ferdinand Piech repeatedly states Industry Europe 9

Renault Twingo – new city car with radical rear engine layout

he would like to buy it. One way or another, there is so much emotion tied up in Alfa that with the right products it could begin to worry BMW. As for Lancia, another proud marque under Fiat’s roof, any residual goodwill risks being squandered as it is forced to market ungainly US Chrysler models distinguished only by token Lancia styling touches. Many would however argue that such sentiment has no place in the hard-nosed business of surviving in a shrinking market. While others mourn classic marques like Saab that have been hung out to dry, the Korean combine Hyundai Kia has been quietly mopping up customers and building a sizeable market share. With their sharply styled and generally European assembled family hatchbacks, MPVs and SUVs, Hyundai and Kia have become the largest Asia-based force in the European market, comfortably outdistancing the traditional number one, Toyota, and the aspiring number one, Nissan. The big loser here, surprisingly, is Honda. Though known for their technical prowess and quality engineering, Honda’s models have failed to keep up with consumer tastes and the brand has sunk to seventh out of the eight Asian car brands – behind even Suzuki and Mazda, the latter bolstered by its successful CX-5 compact SUV and stylish Mazda6 executive saloon.

Modular solutions Yet as every auto industry CEO knows, some to their cost, sales league tables do not tell the whole story. In crisis times in particular, many sales take place at less than cost, with companies keen to run down stocks and keep the factories turning. Aside from the obvious starting point of a competitive product, two further factors are essential prerequisites for long term independence: meticulous management of production capacity, with no slack in the system, and a hawk-like control of production costs achieved through the use of standardised ranges of components that are all interchangeable. The market leading Volkswagen group was first to show its hand in the systematisation of design and assembly, one of the most far-reaching industrial developments yet seen. VW’s MQB system is a modular kit of parts that will eventually underpin every model from the small Polo to the big Passat – as well as most of the ranges of sister marques SEAT, Skoda and Audi – and allows the easy and low-cost production of almost any permutation of length, width, suspension, gearbox type, diesel, petrol, hybrid or battery power. Elements from a second set of parts will eventually underpin the larger Audi models, with some commonised systems even to be found on elite marques Bentley, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bugatti.

Dacia Duster- keenly priced no-nonsense utility is a formula or success

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Other carmaking groups to have committed themselves to similar modular strategies are Renault Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën and Volvo, the latter also managing to commonise many components between petrol and diesel engines. Such strategies are costly and timeconsuming to force through as they reach into every layer of the process, from product planning to design, to testing and to manufacture and in-service maintenance. But if you want to show the agility today’s fast-moving market demands and to be able to respond quickly and cost-effectively with the right product at the right time, it’s the only way to go. “With our modular toolkits,” says VW group CEO Martin Winterkorn, “we already have the key in our hands. They place us in a position to develop and build our cars faster, more flexibly and more economically than in the past. We can offer even greater variety – as well as producing niche models in a profitable way. Our toolkits also mean that we can roll out all our innovations and powertrains to all segments and brands within a very short space of time.” The Volkswagen group already has 310 different models on the market around the world, assuredly all sold at healthy margins, and Winterkorn has stated it will add a further hundred this year and next. Flexibility, agility, scalability and profitability are all built into the n system – and that says it all.

Opel-Vauxhall Adam- aming for slice of Fiat 500 action



New developments in the Automotive industry

New press line at Jaguar Land Rover Halewood

J ŠKODA AUTO has built 11 million cars in Mladá Boleslav


KODA AUTO has produced 11 million vehicles at its main factory in Mladá Boleslav. Six ŠKODA models are currently produced in Mladá Boleslav: the Octavia, Octavia Combi, Fabia, Fabia Combi, Rapid and Rapid Spaceback. As part of the most comprehensive product campaign in its corporate history, the carmaker has extensively modernised and expanded its production facilities over the past three years. “Mladá Boleslav is the heart of the global ŠKODA production network,” says Michael Oeljeklaus,

ŠKODA board member for Production. “This, the 11 million vehicles produced, demonstrates the strength and importance of both the plant and the company. More than 50% of all ŠKODA cars built to date have left the production lines in Mlad· Boleslav, of which one million were produced in the last two years alone. In the years ahead, ŠKODA will continue to grow with the most comprehensive model campaign in the company’s history and our main factory is going to play a key role.” Visit:

aguar Land Rover, the UK’s leading manufacturer of premium vehicles, has invested £45m in a new state-of-the-art servo press line at its Halewood Operations, near Liverpool, England. The new Servo stamping line, the first of its kind to be built in the UK, is 13 metres tall and over 85 metres long. It has a combined press stamping capacity of 7900 tonnes, making it the fastest and one of the biggest and most powerful press lines across Jaguar Land Rover, stamping both steel and aluminium panels. Compared to the more mechanical operation of the existing Halewood presses, the direct drive servo system can handle higher tonnages in addition to working at higher speeds, allowing Halewood to increase the volume of stamped parts. Visit:

New Magneti Marelli Crevalcore building inaugurated


he new office building at the Magneti Marelli plant in Crevalcore, Bologna, has been inaugurated. The major earthquate that struck the Emilia Romagna Region in May 2012 had irreparably damaged the building. In just six months, Magneti Marelli managed to complete the reconstruction works in compliance with the new anti-seismic regulations issued by the Emilia Romagna Region,

which require a reticular containing structure made of steel. This steel structure penetrates 16m into the ground and provides external support to the building, thus making it earthquake-proof. The Crevalcore plant is dedicated to the production of powertrain components for the automotive market. Visit:

New body plant at Volvo Car Torslanda


964 was a milestone for Sweden’s automotive industry. That was the year Volvo Cars opened its gates at the Torslanda plant, marking the biggest industrial investment in Sweden’s history. The opening of the new body plant, Torslanda TA3, together with the multi-billion investment in the SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform, constitutes the basis for the production of future model generations. First off the mark with the new platform is the all-new XC90, which will be launched later in 2014. Visit:

Daimler and BAIC further expand Mercedes-Benz production capacities in China


the presence of Germany’s Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel and the Chinese State President Xi Jinping, Daimler AG and its Chinese partner Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC Group) have signed an agreement on the further expansion of the

Valeo strengthens its active safety offering


aleo has announced a cooperation, development and licensing agreement with LeddarTech, a manufacturer of advanced detection and ranging solutions, based on infrared LED technology using time-of-flight measurements. The agreement will enable Valeo to develop a new infrared sensor for volume produced vehicles and cross a new threshold in the development of road obstacle detection and tracking functions. The agreement will allow Valeo to offer its carmaker customers new active safety solutions. Visit:

production capacities of their joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd. (BBAC). Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler AG, said: “We are deeply rooted in China. The agreement we have signed today shows once again that we are making steady progress in China together with our longstanding partner BAIC. The Chinese automobile market continues to have great potential. We want to

participate in this growth, also by expanding our local production” The existing production capacities at BBAC for the C-Class, the E-Class and the GLK will be more than doubled to over 200,000 per annum in 2015 – then including the compact GLA, which will go into production at BBAC next year. Visit: Industry Europe 11


New developments in the Automotive industry

SEAT generates the highest revenue in its history


EAT is improving despite the economic downturn. With a major upswing in sales demand and production, SEAT closed 2013 with the highest revenue in its history having posted a turnover of €6473 million, or 6.3% more than the previous year. “2013 was a difficult and demanding year, but SEAT proved its potential by joining the ranks of the fastest growing brands in Europe and set sales and production records for the past years,” highlighted SEAT president Jürgen Stackmann during the presentation of the 2013 results. SEAT has made enormous investment efforts over the past five years in order to guarantee its future, amounting to over €2600 million for investments and R&D expenses. Visit:

Rolls-Royce Wraith has one of 2014’s best interiors


olls-Royce Wraith has been named one of Ward’s 10 Best Interiors for 2014. This year, 41 vehicles with all-new or redesigned passenger compartments sought top honours for fit-andfinish, comfort, ergonomics, functionality, value, safety and aesthetics. While entries included compact cars, pickup trucks and utilities vehicles, premium and luxury brands, such as Rolls-Royce, have made their way into the competition. “If anyone thought Rolls-Royce interiors were stuffy and aloof, they need to catch a glimpse of the new two-door Wraith. It exudes youthful energy; it’s fabulously appointed and it’s a tribute to hand craftsmanship,” says Tom Murphy, WardsAuto World executive editor. “Open the carriage-style door of the Wraith and it’s easy to be blown away by so many details – the

beautiful silence when the door closes and the window presses tightly into the seal, the sound of the strumming harp when the engine starts, the warmth of the Canadel Paneling made of Brazilian rosewood and, of course, the ability to guarantee a starry sky on a cloudy night. The Spirit of Ecstasy lives on.” Visit:

Bentley Motors to become Centre of Excellence for 12-cylinder engine Audi achieves best-


has been announced that Bentley Motor’s Crewe headquarters will become the Centre of Excellence for the Volkswagen Group for all W12 engine production from the end of 2014 onwards. With this decision, Bentley will export engines for the first time in its history, creating around 100 jobs across the business. Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, said: “This is an important step, not just for Bentley but also for the UK manufacturing sector. This W12 Centre of Excellence is recognition of the long standing engine manufacturing expertise we have that has resulted in performance improvements across the model ranges over recent years.” Visit:

Dacia sets a new trade record in 2013


013 was an exceptional year for Dacia, with sales reaching 429,540 vehicles, a 19.3% increase compared to 2012 when the brand’s previous trade record had been set. More than 290,000 Dacia vehicles were registered in 2013 in European markets overall, which corresponds to a market share of 2.11%. In a ranking of sales per country the top position continues to be held by France, with almost 94,000

Zero-emission Nissan e-NV200 taxis in Amsterdam


msterdam’s Taxi Electric will become the first private taxi company to add the new 100% electric Nissan e-NV200 taxi to its green-energy-fuelled, zeroemission fleet. The combination of Nissan’s innovative zero-emission technology, in the form of 12 Industry Europe

units and a market share of 4.3%. Dacia occupies the 5th position on the market and Sandero ranks 3rd. Germany is in 2nd place in this ranking, with over 47,000 units and a market share of 1.5% Visit:

the 100% electric Nissan LEAF and Taxi Electric’s ground-breaking city transportation model have been a recipe for success since the start of operation in 2011. Now the two companies have teamed up again to build on this success and take the next step forward – introducing the gamechanging all-electric Nissan e-NV200 taxi this summer.

ever March sales


udi reported March 2014 sales of 14,246 vehicles, which stands as the brand’s 39th consecutive month of record monthly sales. For the month, Audi sales in the US finished 7.5% ahead of the 13,253 sales recorded in March 2013. Through the first quarter of 2014, Audi US sales stood at 35,228, or 3.0% ahead of the record pace set in the year-earlier quarter. “What drove the Audi momentum story to its 39th consecutive record month was consistently strong demand across our product line-up – particularly for our SUV models and our A6 premium sedan,” said Mark Del Rosso, chief operating officer, Audi America. “Add in the tech-forward A3 premium compact sedans after their official sales launch later this week and the outlook for the rest of 2014 is extremely positive.” Visit: Taxi Electric, based in Amsterdam, operates a fleet of 25 Nissan LEAF vehicles and was the first private taxi service to switch to a fleet of 100% electric taxis in November 2011. The Dutch company’s fleet of Nissan LEAFs have now amassed a trouble-free 1.5 million km in taxi operations – clear proof of the electric vehicle’s high quality and reliability. Visit:

INDUSTRYNEWS BMW Group expands US plant in South Carolina

Citroen DS in China U


he BMW Group is expanding capacity at its US plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. “To meet strong global demand for our BMW X models, we will invest a total of one billion US dollars in our Spartanburg plant by 2016. This will increase annual production capacity by 50% up to 450,000 vehicles from 300,000 currently,”explained chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, Norbert Reithofer, at a special ceremony in Spartanburg commemorating 20 years of production in the US. BMW X3, X5, X5 M, X6 and X6 M models have been manufactured so far in Spartanburg, BMW’s centre of competence for X vehicles. The ceremony celebrated the start of production of the BMW X4. Norbert Reithofer also announced a further expansion of the X model family: “With

the BMW X7, we are developing another, larger X model, which we will produce at our US plant for our world markets – once again underscoring our commitment to the US.” Visit:

Aston Martin showroom in Macau

Honeywell provides turbos to Scuderia British automotive company expands into Ferrari in Formula 1 German vehicle market


ston Martin is strengthening its presence in Macau with the launch of an exceptional new showroom in the glamorous South East Asian city. Mr Gordon Choy, Aston Martin HK managing director, said: “Macau is becoming an even more important market for Aston Martin owing to the fast-growing demand for luxury goods in this region. We foresee that this will continue to grow in the coming years, especially after the construction of the forthcoming Hong KongZhuhai-Macau Bridge.” Visit:

HELLA gets OLEDs in shape


he lighting expert, HELLA, is significantly extending the use of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) with its integration of bent OLED modules in a prototype for combination rear lamps. A total of 28 of these differently shaped OLED modules is able to produce three-dimensional, illuminated structures. Organic, light emitting diodes are made up


oneywell Turbo Technologies are boosting the engines of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 car in 2014. Formula 1 has adopted a new rules package that requires cars to be turbocharged marking a new technical era for the pinnacle of global motorsport racing. Honeywell is supporting the Scuderia Ferrari team with the unique technical challenge of moving to an all-new turbocharged 1.6L V6 engine from a 2.4L naturally-aspirated V8 configuration used from 2006 through 2013. This downsized 1.6L engine produces the equivalent power of a production Honeywell turbocharged 16L commercial vehicle engine. The new downsized turbo engines are also designed with the latest in energy recovery technology to support other systems in the race car. Visit:

of ultra-thin, organic, semi-conductor layers, which emit a diffuse, homogeneous and glare-free light. In contrast to the usual LEDs, which emit light with a spot-like effect, the OLEDs generate light over a complete area and consequently open up a huge variety of new possibilities when it comes to lighting in and around a vehicle. The bent shape of the organic LEDs is brought about by the use

nveiled for the Chinese press last December at the Carrousel du Louvre, in Paris, the Citroen DS 5LS has now gone on sale in China. The launch of this new saloon, the second DS that will be manufactured in China, marks a new stage in the DS offensive in that country. Yves Bonnefont, CEO DS, says: “China is the largest car market in the world, but it is also the fastest-growing premium car market in the world. That is why it is the No. 1 priority in the development of DS, our premium brand. The DS 5LS is the first luxury saloon in the three-box C-segment in China. Designed to meet the expectations of Chinese car buyers while offering the best of French know-how, the DS 5LS is debuting at just the right time to step up the offensive of the fast-growing DS brand in China.” Visit:


utomotive Insulations, which manufactures thermal and acoustic insulation components, has set up a second overseas operation Rheinland Insulations (RI), as part of its business strategy to expand into the growing European automotive market. The RI Rheinland Insulations ( en/) site was set up at the end of 2013 in Hilden near Dusseldorf. Over the past three months the company has gained the relevant quality accreditations and is currently manufacturing materials for car production in Germany, as well as being sent over to the company’s UK headquarters in Rugby. RI is also producing materials for the construction and specialist vehicle markets to develop a Europe-wide sales strategy. Visit: of a flexible OLED substrate which, unlike the rigid glass substrates used up until now, enables virtually three-dimensional shapes to be fashioned with bend radii of just a few millimetres. HELLA is in the process of developing technologies,which allow a rigid, bent OLED module to be created out of a flexible, organic, light emitting diode. Visit: Industry Europe 13

SUPERCONDUCTORS MAKE FUSION THE FUTURE FOR ENERGY Bruce Meechan reports on work relating to the international development of the ITER fusion reactor and hears from Antonio della Corte, a world authority on super-conductors.


xtremes of temperature are quite literally at the core of the international effort to make fusion reactors a commercial reality in order to alleviate the world’s growing energy crisis and develop a sustainable energy source for the future with zero or low CO2 emission sources. While debate rages over the relative merits of wind turbines, shale gas and other ‘alternative’ technologies, work is underway to construct an experimental fusion reactor, known as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor – or ITER – at Cadarache, Southern France. Crucial to its success will be the production of large electro-magnets in Italy, featuring the use of super-conducting cable supplied by Tratos Cavi SpA, the leading European manufacturer of Electrical, Electronic and Fibre Optic cables. Nuclear fusion – as opposed to fission where atoms split – has remained the elusive Holy Grail for physicists over the past half century, offering the promise of virtually 14 Industry Europe

unlimited power supply without the production of radioactive waste. What is more, they will use abundant sources of fuel, and will not leak radiation above normal background levels; so health risks diminish while the end-of-life disposal process for the reactor itself becomes far simpler. Therefore, although no one has an operational reactor, the day is coming and fusion reactors are now in experimental stages at several laboratories across the United States and around the world. It is anticipated that ITER will demonstrate the feasibility of using sustained fusion reactions to generate electricity. Employing nuclear fusion generates energy when two atoms join to form one; so in a fusion reactor, hydrogen atoms come together to form helium atoms, neutrons and vast amounts of energy or heat. In order to control and contain the collision process, very large and powerful magnets are required to propel the hydrogen particles. Critical is

the fact that unlike conventional magnets wound with copper, those featuring superconducting wire are far more compact and offer 99 per cent or higher efficiency.

Pushing the boundaries Creating the ITER reactor and the Japanese JT60SA unit are therefore massive undertakings, with international collaboration throughout. The Italian National Agency for New Technologies (ENEA) is responsible for putting together the tender for assembling very large quantities of super-conducting wire in conjunction with Tratos and Criotec; the latter being a specialist in ultra-low temperature work. Tratos became involved in the first stage of the contract, processing the specialised superconducting material, worth €90 million and supplied by Fusion for Energy (F4E), at its plant in Pieve Santo Stefano in Italy, after which it was transported to Criotec near Turin for final assembly.

As well as the cutting edge complexity of the science being developed, the quantities involved are also impressive – while the specification boundaries have been pushed higher than ever before in pursuit of the ultimate goal. The Head of Super-conductive Laboratories for Tratos, Antonio della Corte, reports: “500 tonnes of NbSn and 240 tonnes of NbTi wire are being produced for the ITER project and a further 35 tonnes of NbTi for the JT60SA in Japan. On the ITER project, each Toroidal Field (TF) conductor is composed of 900 super-conducting strands, plus a further 522 copper strands, with each one having an outside diameter of 0.82mm. The final conductor has a diameter of 40.5mm, plus an outer steel jacket that is 2.0mm thick. “There will be 18 TF magnets built for the ITER project in France measuring 15 metres by nine metres, while the seven PF magnets are a colossal 24 metres across. The JT60 project employs a similar number of magnets.”

Referring to the application of the superconducting magnets to the fusion process, Antonio della Corte continues: “In operation, the plasma confined by the magnetic field generated will be at a temperature of 60 million degrees, while the super conducting strands of the magnets must be maintained at a super-cooled 4.5 Kelvin – equating to minus 268 degree Celsius. “The function then of the conduit manufactured in South Korea and Italy is to carry the refrigerant liquid, in the form of supercooled helium which enables the resistance of the conducting wires to be reduced to the lowest and most efficient possible levels. The conduits also function to provide shielding against electro-magnetic loads.”

Mega magnets Super-conducting magnets are, of course, already used successfully in the power industry as well as other fields such as medicine. Some experimental power stations employ Super-Conductor Magnetic Storage units to regulate current, while in hospitals

Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) scanners assist doctors with precise sections through the bodies of patients suffering anything from cancer to cartilage problems. Large diameter super-conducting magnets were also key to the success of the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator. The specification of the ITER and JT60SA magnets and the super-conductor wire for them is, however, of the most exacting standards to help crack one of the greatest and potentially most rewarding challenges for mankind. With Government ministers in the UK revealing that they are making contingency plans to pay industrial users to shut down to avoid black-outs during periods of high demand, and ‘renewable technologies’ proving unreliable as well as expensive, we have to hope that fusion power becomes a reality very soon. All life on Earth is directly or indirectly reliant on the Sun’s energy – one giant fusion reactor. Now contemporary super-conductor technology is helping us reach for the science of the stars. n

Industry Europe 15


New contracts and orders in industry

Nederman signs order with Chinese Aluminium Group

ANDRITZ HYDRO to supply electromechanical equipment for Lauca hydropower plant


ederman has signed contracts with Zhongwang Aluminium Group to supply complete solutions for filtrating fumes from the aluminium smelting processes. The new contracts are worth around SEK 85 million. The Zhongwang Aluminium Group is one of the largest enterprises for supplying aluminium profiles in the world. The order includes the design, manufacturing and complete turnkey supply of Nederman filters and coolers, engi-

neered and produced by the Nederman factory in Suzhou, China and with project management by the Nederman Chinese Organisation. 

 “We got our first contract from Zhongwang Aluminium Group in August last year and this second agreement shows the confidence we have gained and our ability to deliver in accordance to Zhongwang Aluminium Group’s high demands,” says Sven Kristensson, CEO of Nederman. Visit:

Technip to supply world’s first commercial gas carbon capture and storage project


echnip has been awarded a contract by Shell UK Limited to provide front-end engineering design (FEED) for the onshore elements of the Peterhead Gas Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) demonstration project in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The project is designed to capture, compress and transport by pipeline one million tonnes a year of carbon dioxide to an offshore gas reservoir for long-term storage beneath the North Sea. The FEED scope includes a grassroots carbon capture and compression plant and modifications to an existing combined cycle gas turbine power plant.

Norsafe to deliver workboats for Swedish coastguard


orwegian boat-building company Norsafe has been awarded a contract to deliver Magnum 750 rescue boats to the Swedish Coastguard (KBV). The company’s seventh boat order for delivery in 2014, Norsafe looks forward to working with this well-informed and experienced customer

16 Industry Europe

nternational technology Group ANDRITZ is to supply the electromechanical equipment for the new Lauca hydropower plant, Angola, via Construtora Norberto Odebrecht to GAMEK (Gabinete de Aproveitamento do Medio Kwanza), a part of the Angolan power corporation ENE (Empresa Nacional de Electricidade). The order value for comparable deliveries lies in the lower three-digit million euro range; the order will come into force in the course of 2014 upon fulfillment of all administrative requirements. Commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2017. The hydropower station planned on the Kwanza River will comprise two power houses, for which the ANDRITZ HYDRO deliveries will include six Francis turbines, each with an output of 340 megawatts, as well as generators and additional equipment. Lauca will supply a total output of 2067 megawatts, providing clean energy from hydropower for 750,000 people. Visit:

Technip’s operating centre in Milton Keynes, UK, which executed a pre-FEED study for the Peterhead CCS project about 18 months ago, will execute the FEED for this next phase. This office serves as a centre of excellence for the development of end-to-end solutions for carbon capture and sequestration projects. Stan Knez, Technip’s senior vice-president, Process Technology, commented: “Technip is committed to the development of innovative, sustainable solutions and we look forward to expanding into the carbon capture and sequestration value chain.” Visit: which has an extensive knowledge of these next-generation workboats. In 1997, KBV purchased new workboats from Norsafe, and this resulted in the design of Norsafe’s Magnum 750. 15 years later, these boats are still in active duty by KBV and are used for dive-operations, controlling speed and alcohol at sea, custom inspections and

search and rescue operations amongst other tasks. The boats are in operation from the southernmost tip of Sweden to the far north. KBV is a high-end user and gaining access to their operators is highly valuable to Norsafe. Their rich experience will benefit all of our customers. Visit:


Vallourec wins large order for a supercritical power plant V

allourec, world leader in premium tubular solutions, has been selected to supply 10,000 tons of tubes for the construction of the Shuqaiq Steam Power Plant (SSPP) in Saudi Arabia. Deliveries are scheduled for the first, second and third quarters of 2014. Vallourec’s products will be used in the boilers of the oil-fired steam power plant which will be built by Yantai Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd, the Chinese subsidiary of South Korean group Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), for the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) in Shuqaiq. Nicolas de Coignac, managing director of Vallourec’s Power Business, said: “This important order illustrates that the market for new-built power generation plants is today driven by Asia and the Middle East, with several projects destined for Saudi Arabia. In this increasingly competitive

environment, we were able to win this contract thanks to the high quality of our product and our short delivery times. Our new project management approach, as well as Hyundai Heavy Industries’ positive experience with us on a similar project in Jeddah, contributed to this success.” The 2640 MW plant is intended for the desalination of seawater and will be completed by 2017. Visit:

Tratos wins major Electricity North West cable order


ratos, a leading European manufacturer of electrical, electronic and fibre optic cables, has won a £1 million Multiple Awardees Contract from Electricity North West Ltd for the supply of 132kv cables. The cables, designed and manufactured in accordance with specification ES400C14, will be used across the Electricity North West 132kV distribution network, which connects 2.4 million properties and more than 5 million people in the region to the National Grid. Its

Funkwerk secures new contract from Bombardier


unkwerk AG, Kölleda, has secured a further contract from Bombardier Transportation for the supply of state-of-the-art audio systems to equip 60 multiple unit trains operating in the Hamburg suburban railway system (S-Bahn). The electro-acoustic system (ELA) from Funkwerk is already in use and successful in

Contract from Mongolia for Vossloh rail fasteners


ossloh Fastening Systems, a subsidiary of rail technology specialist Vossloh, has been awarded a contract to supply rail fastening systems for a new heavy-haul line in Mongolia. Around 270 kilometres in length, the line will run from the world’s biggest hard coal mines in Tavan Tolgoi up to Gashuun Sukhait at the border with China. In only a few weeks, shipments of the first fasteners will commence and, according to present plans, be completed in the first half of 2015. For this line used to carry enormous loads across steppes and the Gobi desert, Vossloh has devised a new type of fastening system ideally adapted to the extreme requirements of coal haulage, as well as the tough climatic and challenging soil conditions prevailing in Mongolia. It was this special product and the longstanding global experience that enabled Vossloh, as a rail fastening specialist, to win over the Mongolian rail company. For Vossloh Fastening Systems this first order from Mongolia serves as an important reference project. Over the years ahead, additional lines of up to 5500 kilometres are due to be laid. Visit:

network covers a diverse range of terrain, from isolated farms in rural areas such as Cumbria, to areas of heavy industry and urban populations including Manchester. The 132kV high voltage cables are being manufactured in Tratos’ factory in Arezzo, Italy, which was recently extended, to the cost of €6 million, to house a Continuous Vulcanisation line for the completely dry curing of polymeric high voltage cables. Visit: suburban trains also supplied by Bombardier in Stuttgart and Frankfurt, enabling the new project to be implemented promptly. Use of standardised hardware and software components further allows for significant synergies to be realised – such as in spares pooling and through know-how transfer. The Funkwerk audio system approved for use up to safety integrity level SIL 2 exhibits

a significant degree of automation and high availability. Its key functions include driver announcements to passengers, control of on-board and off-train announcements on the correct side, and communication between passengers and the driver. Up to three vehicles operating in multiple traction can be interconnected. Visit: Industry Europe 17


Combining strengths

SMA Solar Technology and Danfoss create converter alliance Kemira acquires BASF AKD emulsion business MA Solar Technology AG and Danfoss AS plan With the acquisition of Danfoss’ solar inverter


to enter into a close strategic partnership for a step change in competitiveness. The two leading system technology specialists will take full advantage of economies of scale and joint development initiatives. In addition, Danfoss acquires 20% of SMA’s outstanding shares and plans to sell its complete solar inverter business to SMA. “The strategic alliance with Danfoss strengthens SMA’s leading position in the global photovoltaic market. We are faced with a highly competitive market environment and increased price pressure. In this context, SMA will benefit from Danfoss’ years of experience in automated drives. By establishing a close cooperation there is significant potential to improve the cost position in both companies,” says SMA CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon.

business, SMA will increase the attractiveness of its product portfolio. After the completion of the transaction SMA will launch new products for the fast growing market segments of medium-sized photovoltaic plants in Europe, China and the USA. Visit: Pierre-Pascal Urbon

Inwido acquires two Danish window companies


nwido, Europe’s largest supplier of windows and doors, has acquired the two Danish businesses JNA Vinduer & Døre and SPAR Vinduer with a turnover of approximately DKK 155 million. This aquisition is strategically important for Inwido in order to approach the growing consumer market

AREVA and Schneider Electric join forces


REVA has selected Schneider Electric as its preferred supplier of power equipment for its offshore wind projects. This includes in particular the wind farm of 100 5MW turbines in the bay of Saint Brieuc off the coast of Brittany and the current tenders for the offshore wind farms at Le Tréport off the coast of 18 Industry Europe

on the Internet. The acquisitions of JNA and SPAR are in line with Inwido’s strategy to seek growth both organically and through acquisitions. They are also motivated by the ambition to be represented in the growing market of windows and doors on the Internet – an area where Inwido today has limited presence. “We have seen that certain groups of consumers not only want to get the product information online, but also increasingly want the ability to purchase directly online. The acquisitions of JNA and SPAR gives us an option for this target group,” says Håkan Jeppsson, president and CEO of Inwido. JNA and SPAR will after the acquisition be an independent business unit within Inwido Denmark. Visit: Haute-Normandie and the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier in Pays de la Loire (France). Developed as part of the offshore wind call for tender program launched by the French government in 2011, these wind farms will not only contribute to France meeting its targets laid down in the EU’s Climate and Energy Package, but also firmly establish a French sector of excel-


emira is set to acquire BASF’s global alkyl ketene dimer (AKD) emulsion business. “Kemira is a global leader in paper and pulp chemistry and the leading supplier of sizing products for the paper industry. This acquisition of the AKD emulsion business is one part in implementing our strategy and will further strengthen our possibilities to serve our Paper customers especially on the continental European market,” said Kenneth Nystén, senior vicepresident, Regional Business Unit Paper EMEA. With this transaction BASF, the leading supplier of paper chemistry, will further optimise its paper chemicals portfolio in order to focus on customer-oriented products and solutions to improve the efficiency of paper machines and lower the total cost of operation. “In line with our recent announcement we have evaluated all strategic options for the AKD emulsion business and found an excellent partner in Kemira who will ensure a smooth transition and uninterrupted supply of customers,” said Andreas Tuerk, senior vice-president, Paper Chemicals Europe. Visit:

lence for a promising technology. Under the terms of the agreement signed by the two groups, Schneider Electric will supply transformers and circuit breakers for AREVA’s wind farms. These components will be manufactured at two of Schneider Electric’s French industrial sites, located near Metz and Grenoble.

LINKINGUP Solvay to accelerate its OLED display development

Trelleborg buys stake in pipe seal company



olvay has completed the acquisition of US-based Plextronics Inc. to bolster its Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) electronic display technology and launch a new development platform with a strong Asian foothold. With Plextronics, Solvay is expanding its know-how in emerging applications such as OLED TV screens, OLED lighting and in lithium-ion batteries. OLED technology uses stacked layers of organic compounds that emit light when submitted to an electric current. It boosts luminance efficiency and ultimately enables bendable displays as it reduces their thickness and weight. “The acquisition of Plextronics is an important milestone in growing our OLED capabilities,” said Bill Chen, general manager of Solvay OLED incubator. “Solvay’s own OLED know-how will be reinforced thanks to Plextronics’ complementary technologies and dedicated staff. With the creation of the Solvay OLED Incubator, we aim to evolve into a new business and strengthen our presence in Asia, mainly in South Korea.” Visit:

Materialise acquires leading Polish prototyping centre


aterialise is proud to announce the acquisition of e-Prototypy, Poland’s leading provider of rapid prototypes and 3D Printing. e-Prototypy has been active in the Polish market since 2008 and has grown to become the market leader in this region. e-Prototypy offers a broad range of 3D printing solutions, with a specialisation in the production of laser sintered components, and has been investing in scanning and reverse engineering services. Materialise has been a market leader in the Czech market, through its subsidiary in Usti Nad Labem CR, since 2004. “With the acquisition of e-Prototypy, Materialise shows its commitment to further invest in the eastern European mar-

Masonite acquires Door-Stop International


ne of the world’s leading door manufacturers, Masonite International Corporation, has bought Door-Stop International, the largest UK composite door company. Masonite is a leading manufacturer of interior and exterior doors for domestic and commercial markets. It employs over 7000

ket,” says Bart Van Der Schueren, vice-president Industrial Production, Materialise. “Thanks to the acquisition, Polish customers will be gaining access to the vast production capacity of Materialise. Furthermore, current Materialise customers will benefit from access to the scanning and reverse engineering services of e-Prototypy.” “As part of Materialise, our customers will be given access to even better service with a larger range of 3D Printing technologies and they can benefit from Materialise’s 23 years of experience in this industry,” says Grzegorz Sworobowicz, vice-CEO and co-founder of e-Prototypy. Visit: people and sells to 70 countries from over 70 locations worldwide. Masonite’s UK division operates from its 400,000 square-foot factory and is a landmark for drivers on the M1 in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. 

 Since 1925, Masonite’s advanced manufacturing capabilities and technology-driven sales and service solutions have created sustainable competitive advantages that provide

relleborg has, through its business area Trelleborg Industrial Solutions, signed an agreement to acquire a 51% stake in the North American group Max Seal. Max Seal develops and manufactures polymer-based sealing systems for various types of pipes deployed in water and wastewater systems. The business transaction will create a leading position in North America, while complementing Trelleborg’s existing range and presence in the US. It will also provide access to the rapidly growing markets in Latin America. The business has its main facility in Tijuana, Mexico, and a sales company in the US. Net sales in 2013 amounted to approximately SEK 80 M. The joint venture is part of Trelleborg’s strategy to strengthen its positions in attractive and profitable market segments. “This jointly owned company provides us with a broader customer base, an excellent combination of a competitive product mix and improved geographic presence. Trelleborg commands a strong position in pipe seal systems in the European market and we can now offer our customers enhanced global support, which will create new potential for expansion,” says Mikael Fryklund, president of the Trelleborg Industrial Solutions business area. Visit:

customers with innovative quality products and exceptional service at compelling values.

 “The UK composite door market is an exciting place to be,” says Robin Baker, general manager for Masonite UK. “Acquiring Door-Stop and its impressive online business model places Masonite into this market and positions us for further growth.”

 Visit: Industry Europe 19



Relocations and expansions across Europe

Way cleared for mine development


Major investment for Pickersgill-Kaye


ickersgill-Kaye Ltd and sister company Pickersgills will benefit from significant investment being made by parent company, Joseph Kaye Holdings Group, in new software systems at its Leeds manufacturing plant that will help boost productivity and bring customer benefits. More than £100,000 is being spent by the group on new computer equipment, software and training from Epicor for an ERP solution that is designed to streamline the firm’s entire data operations, from manufacturing to administration and customer service. The lock manufacturer and coating and electroplating specialist believes that consolidating all its information on a single database makes financial and production sense as it will enable them to analyse and interrogate data for strategic purposes much more efficiently. Visit:

ContiTech expands production capacity in Slovakia


ontiTech Vibration Control is expanding its commitment in Slovakia. In the past few months, the company has invested around €7.5 million in the Dolné Vestenice site. Currently ContiTech is commissioning a new production hall which will increase the existing production area by another 4000m2. The site now has a total area of some 20,000m2. “This new facility will strengthen our site in Slovakia, taking us one step closer to our eastern European customers,” says Kai Uwe Frühauf, head of the ContiTech Vibration Control business unit. “We want to tap into additional business with automotive manufacturers in the eastern European market.” The company is aiming to increase sales by about 30% between now and 2016. ContiTech Vibration Control has had a presence in Slovakia since 1996 with the Dolné Vestenice site. The business unit produces vibration control components for the automotive industry and other industries, and sealing technology for brakes and steering systems on-site for its customers around the world. Visit:

Alcoa expands in Hungary


lcoa, the inventor and global leader of forged aluminum wheels, is investing US$13 million to expand its wheel manufacturing plant in Europe, to meet growing demand for its lightweight, durable, lowmaintenance aluminum truck wheels. The expansion of the Székesfehérvár, Hungary, facility will enable Alcoa to 20 Industry Europe

tratex International Plc, the AIM-quoted exploration and development company focused on gold and base metals in Turkey, East Africa and West Africa, has announced that the Forest Permit has been awarded for the Altıntepe gold project in Turkey. This development marks the start of construction at the site, which is expected to take approximately six months. Bob Foster, chief executive officer, said: “This is very good news indeed as the Forest Permit was the final regulatory hurdle facing the project. Bahar have already commenced clearing of the site to facilitate construction and, following a site visit and project review with Bahar in April, we anticipate providing the market with further details of project planning and timelines. “This is a major step in the transition of Stratex to being a gold-producing company and allows us to plan for the future with even more confidence.” Visit:

Shell opens first research centre in China


hell has opened a new technology centre in Shanghai, China dedicated to research and development into lubricants and oils. The centre (Shell Shanghai Technology Limited) will focus on lubricant product development and application for China and the wider Asia region covering countries such as India, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Matthias Bichsel, Shell’s Projects & Technology director, said, “The Shanghai facility will bring Shell’s technology leadership even closer to customers and partners in the region. Shell has long been at the forefront of lubricant science and technology. We recognise that better oils and greases can lead to energy savings and improved machine performance.” The centre will become a part of Shell’s network of lubricants laboratories, working closely with the other two centres, in Hamburg, Germany and Houston, USA. These are part of a wider 10-centre strong global network of Shell R&D centres. Visit:

produce twice as many Dura-Bright® EVO surface-treated wheels in Europe by early 2015, compared with current production levels. “Demand for Alcoa’s forged aluminum wheels continues to grow in Europe, as emissions regulations drive up the need for stronger, lighter and easier-to-maintain wheels that increase payload, reduce main-

tenance costs and enhance sustainability,” said Tim Myers, president, Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products. “Additional capacity at our manufacturing facility in Hungary positions us to capture this growth.” Construction on the production line expansion began in January 2014, with completion expected in early 2015. 


INDUSTRYPEOPLE WEG appoints a new general sales manager for subsidiary Watt Drive


EG, a leading international supplier of drive technology, has appointed Markus Weber as the new sales manager of its subsidiary Watt Drive Antriebstechnik GmbH (Watt Drive). Markus’s remit involves steering all sales activities, including field sales, internal sales and exports. As the new department head, he is responsible for approximately 20 sales staff in Austria. However, his role is not limited to the Austrian market, it also includes worldwide sales of Watt Drive products. Weber brings 20 years of sales experience to his new position and is very familiar with the Austrian market and drive technology. With a background in mechanical engineering, he joined WEG as key account manager in Austria in 2009.

New senior vice-president at Concentric AB


Ing. Andreas Wolf has been appointed senior vice-president of Europe and Rest of World (RoW) at Concentric AB, with responsibility for operations in the UK, Sweden, Germany, China and India. Andreas joined the Concentric group as managing director of Licos Trucktec GmbH in June 2013 when Licos was acquired by Concentric. He had held that position since his appointment in 1998, making a major contribution to growing and developing the business. Andreas Wolf is a qualified engineer and has held senior positions at ZF Luftfahrttechnik GmbH and ZF Friedrichshafen AG. He also sits on the German VDA council as a representative of the automotive suppliers.

Senior appointment at metalweb


etalweb has appointed a new regional sales manager UK North to develop the business in the northern part of the country. Tom Cuddy, who joins from Thyssenkrupp where he held the position of key accounts director, will report to managing director, Bruce Maggs. As metalweb’s new sales manager North, Cuddy who will be based at the firm’s Manchester operation, will be responsible for the growth of the business in the North, with his territory stretching from Scotland to Stoke.

Key appointment at Unique Maritime Group


nique Maritime Group has announced the joining of Scott Jamieson as the Group business development manager for its Diving Division. He will be based at UMG’s head office in Sharjah, UAE. His main responsibilities will focus on developing Unique’s relationships with key

Dunlop appoints general sales manager for EMEA region B irmingham-based Dunlop Aircraft Tyres has expanded its team with the appointment of Patrice Moreau as general sales manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Reporting to sales and marketing director David Skepper, Patrice joins with more than 19 years’ experience in commercial and business aviation. Patrice started at Bombardier Aerospace where he successfully concluded the sales of the company’s first Dash 8 Q400 and CRJ700 regional aircraft while the programmes were still in their design phases.

clients in the diving industry and seeking new business opportunities to support its diving division. The division currently has a wide range of commercial products either available for sale or rent. Some of these include the Air and Mixed Gas Diving Systems, SAT Systems, Hyperbaric Reception Facilities, Personal and Ancillary Diving Equipment, Scuba Replacement Packages, Diving Compressors, etc. Industry Europe 21


TECHNOLOGYSPOTLIGHT MTU Aero Engines produces parts by additive manufacturing


unich-based MTU Aero Engines has produced components for production engines – borescope bosses for the PurePower® PW1100G-JM engine, the Pratt & Whitney engine to power the A320neo – using selective laser melting, or SLM. The low-pressure turbine for the PW1100GJM geared turbofan (GTF) engine will be the first turbine ever to come equipped with borescope bosses produced by additive manufacturing processes. The bosses form part of the turbine case and allow the blading to be inspected at specified intervals for wear and damage using a borescope. “We used to make these parts by casting or by milling them from the solid,” explains chief operating officer Dr Rainer Martens. “Now they are being manufactured by SLM. With this technique, the first step is to slice up a 3D CAD model of the component to be produced. A laser then builds up the solid equivalent of the model layer by layer from a powdered material, the layer thickness being 20 to 40 micrometers. The

powder particles are locally melted and fused together.” The processes allow complex components that are extremely difficult, if not impossible to manufacture using conventional methods to be produced with only small amounts of material and few tools. The technology opens the door to entirely new designs, appreciably cuts development, production and lead times, and brings down production costs. Visit:

Borescope boss for the PurePower® PW1100G-JM, the engine to power the A320neo. It’s part of the turbine case.

Biofore Concept Car drives sustainable change


he Biofore Concept Car showcases the use of UPM’s innovative biomaterials in the automotive industry. The majority of parts traditionally made from plastics are replaced with high quality, safe and durable biomaterials, UPM Formi and UPM Grada, which can significantly improve the overall environmental performance of car manufacturing. The Biofore Concept Car is designed and manufactured by students from the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Parts made of UPM Grada thermoformable wood material are the passenger compartment floor, centre console, display panel cover and door panels. Grada technology revitalises the forming of wood with heat and pressure, and opens up new opportunities for designs not achievable with traditional methods. 22 Industry Europe

Parts made of UPM Formi biocomposite include front mask, side skirts, dashboard, door panels and interior panels. UPM Formi is a durable, high quality biocomposite for injection moulding, extrusion and thermoforming production. The vehicle runs on UPM’s wood-based renewable diesel UPM BioVerno, which will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels. “The Biofore Concept Car showcases the potential of UPM’s biomaterials not only for the automotive industry, but also for various other enduses including design, acoustics – a wide range of industrial and consumer applications. The possibilities are endless,” says Elisa Nilsson, vice-president of Brand and Communications at UPM.

Advances in technology across industry

Morgan Advanced Materials develops armoured composite crew compartment M organ Advanced Materials, through its Composites & Defence Systems business, has drawn on its extensive materials and engineering expertise to design and develop a bespoke armoured composite crew compartment for Tata Motors’ Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicle (LAMV) programme for the Indian Ministry of Defence. The LAMV incorporates crew protection based upon Morgan’s bespoke composite and ceramic ‘pod’ technology, which has been developed over the past 20 years. The pod creates a detachable, blast and ballistic-resistant crew compartment, which was easily integrated onto the Tata-produced chassis and can be modified to provide higher levels of protection as and when required. The Morgan composite and ceramic ‘pod’ provided a weight saving in excess of 1000kg, making it less than half the weight of a similarly protected steel structure. composites-defence-systems/


NOTICEBOARD Jetter AG presents new series of servomotors

MAPAL develops solutions for engines with thermally sprayed coatings



he automation specialist from Ludwigsburg is expanding its portfolio of servomotors. The new JHN motors are above all noted for their space-saving design and dimensions as well as high torque, and are therefore especially suited for use in extremely compact machines. “The right choice and design of the servomotors is critical for the optimal use of drive as well as machine performance,” explains Gunther Raila, product manager at Jetter. “By adding the JHN motors to the product range, we now have motors that offer a high power density despite their very compact design.” This is made possible by an automated segment winding technology and an optimised motor construction. For Gunther Raila, the advantage this has over the products of the competition is clear: “Our JHN motors enable plants and machinery to be planned more flexibly and made much smaller.” Visit:

recision cutting tool expert MAPAL is now supplying innovative tools that have been developed to provide efficient and reliable machining of cylinder bores in engines that use the latest thermally sprayed ferrous metal coating technology. Two families of tools are offered, the first uses PCD contour blades and is for pre-machining and conditioning of cylinder bore surfaces before metal spraying, while the second family comprises tools with PcBN blades for dressing the surfaces after spraying. At present, the bores of most aluminium cylinder crankcases are lined with cast or shrink-fit grey iron bushes. Replacing the bushes with thermally sprayed ferrous metal coatings allows lighter and more compact engine blocks to be produced, but this new technology brings with it new machining challenges. To address these challenges, MAPAL has developed the PCD contour blade tools so that they create a defined structure on the cylinder bore to prepare it for spraying. This structure has been designed to prevent blistering and inhomogeneity in the sprayed coating, and it also features small undercuts to ensure optimum coating adhesion. Visit:

DELO: New RFID adhesive for stable jetting processes D ELO Industrial Adhesives has developed a new adhesive for the reliable bonding of RFID chips and antennas. It transmits electrical signals reliably, gives high long-term die shear strength, and enables efficient production as it can be jetted. For this chip attach process, DELO developed the new anisotropic conductive DELOMONOPOX AC245 adhesive. It is based on an epoxy resin and provides the utmost reliability thanks to optimised

filler content. To verify this, DELO subjected the bonded labels to the special 85/85 test where specimens are stored at +85 °C and 85% relative humidity. The tag sensitivity remains at 85% of the initial value even after 1000 hours under these conditions.The product is suitable for the antenna substrates PET/aluminum, PET/copper or paperbased structures, and for both HF and UHF tags. Visit:

Tata Steel partnership helps create tractors of tomorrow T

ata Steel, Europe’s second largest steel maker, has teamed up with JCB Landpower to create the company’s most productive tractor yet. Using innovative design and engineering methods Tata Steel engineers have been able to reduce the weight of the next generation of JCB Fastrac machines making them leaner on fuel consumption, able to handle bigger loads and safer than previous models while retaining the strength required by farmers around the world.

A three-way partnership involving Tata Steel, JCB Landpower, and GKN – the current manufacturer of the Fastrac 4000 tractor chassis – was formed to develop the optimally-designed next generation vehicle which was previewed recently at the Agritechnica show in Hanover, Germany. The specifications for the next generation Fastrac included an increase in the existing load-carrying capacity, combined with a reduced turning circle. These enhancements,

alongside the move to a more fuel-efficient engine to meet strict new EU and US emissions standards, called for a complete redesign of the existing chassis structure. By using computer-aided engineering tools, engineers from Tata Steel worked closely with JCB Landpower and GKN Structures to design a strong chassis structure which was as light as possible. Visit: Industry Europe 23



Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the new ‘silk road’ from China.


train decorated with a dragon pulled into Duisburg station at the end of last month. Its arrival signalled the opening of a new ‘silk road’ between east and west as trade between Germany and China grows ever more important. The train had travelled some 11,000 km from the ‘megacity’ of Chongqing to Duisburg. As part of his landmark visit to Germany, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the last stop on the ‘Yuxinou’ rail line to welcome the train carrying electrical goods and laptop parts as it pulled into the old industrial city which still boasts the world’s biggest inland port and remains one of Germany’s most important transport and commercial hubs. It took 16 days for the train to cover the vast distance from the Chinese city with a population of more than 30 million people, travelling through central Asia, Russia, Belarus and Poland before its arrival in Germany. Set up in 2011 by a group of rail companies, the Yuxinou is just 2000km short of the world’s longest rail line that links Germany to Shanghai. It has shaved more than 20 days off the sea route and, in the words of a spokesman for the port of Duisburg, “the value of this rail link, known in China as the ‘new silk road’, is more than just symbolic. It has found itself a position in the market and now operates up to three weekly services.” Now the drive is on to increase traffic in both directions to make the link more profitable. “At the moment, the amount of goods travelling from China to Europe is much larger than the other way round. That’s a problem,” said Maria Leenen, director of market research group SCI Verkehr. “Too often freight cars arriving from China return empty,” said industrial expert Werner Griese. “This must not remain the case. Germany must position itself to retain its position as the main trading partner of China in Europe.” 24 Industry Europe

The new silk road could not have come at a more important time for both nations. For China, bent on an expansionist course that knows no boundaries, the commercial conquest of the world is their ultimate goal. For the Germans, whose exports are central to the economic health of the country, the rail link will provide a swifter, surer way of getting the coveted ‘Made in Germany’ brands that the Chinese love – cars, fridges, machine tools, cookers and washing machines among them – to the marketplace.

“Chinese companies are growing more self-confident and are intensively pursuing the goal of establishing their brands in other countries.” China’s brand offensive German analysts say the country must not make the mistake of not taking Chinese competitors seriously. They cite how Germany – home to numerous camera manufacturers – lost out in the assault by Japanese camera makers in the 1970s. “Chinese companies are growing more selfconfident and are intensively pursuing the goal of establishing their brands in other countries,” said the Munich Technical University in a recent study of ‘Chinese Champions’. Chinese firms already produce high tech products that meet the highest standards, the study says. The Chinese government is encouraging the expansion of its companies because it wants to shed the country’s image as a cheap, low-tech manufacturing location and to turn it into a centre of innovation. ‘Zou chu qu’, loosely translated as ‘go out’, is the message the country’s Communist planners are sending to the Chinese business community.

Germany is an important focus of the Chinese offensive because it has scores of medium-sized businesses with valuable know-how. Now the Yuxinou train is bringing their goods more swiftly to the country, analysts say it is time for Germany to step up the flow of goods the other way. “Rail is twice as fast as sea transport and twice as cheap as air freight,” said Erich Staake, head of the company that operates the Duisburg port. “It is time to maximise this innovative new link.” “Europe can meet a sudden surge in demand in industry or trade, say in textiles, while China can reach its markets more rapidly,” Ms Leenen added. “The link provides a welcome transport connection and gateway for Chinese provinces situated deep inside the country. It’s still early days yet for this mode of transport. But it could have a promising future if the conditions are right, notably in terms of safety and security, punctuality and a stable political situation.” After the glad-handing and fanfare of the first train’s arrival, a quiet offensive began to boost the transport of freight from Germany back to China aboard the train. China is Germany’s top trade partner in Asia, while Germany is China’s leading European partner. Bilateral trade exceeded €117 billion last year. Marketing expert professor Nirmalya Kumar said, “Brands like BMW and Mercedes are alive largely thanks to China’s growing market. There, they are adapting to the needs of their customers. BMW and Mercedes remain relevant as luxury brands. Relatively, however, the balance will shift – in favour of new brands from the emerging markets. “Over the past 40 years China defined itself by the cheap label ‘Made in China’. In the coming 30 years, however, the world will more and more define itself by the label ‘Owned by China’. China will own many global companies and important resources n across the world.”



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on plans to ease the burden on business – and on workers.


rench workers already have a 35-hour working week and five weeks’ holiday a year – and now they have also been given the right to ignore their bosses’ emails and phone calls after 6pm. Unions and employers in the technology industry have struck a legally binding deal allowing employees to switch off their phones and laptops during evenings and weekends if they do not wish to be contacted. The agreement includes one million workers in the digital and consultancy sectors, who had complained they were often bombarded with messages from their managers after clocking off. Companies affected by the deal include the French arms of Google and Facebook – which have complained that the time difference between Paris and Silicon Valley in California means staff must keep in touch outside of French working hours. Pam Villarreal, a US labour expert at the National Centre for Policy Analysis, insists the new rules could have an adverse effect on all foreign businesses with operations in France. She said: “Within the technology industry and digital consultancy sectors, there’s always something going wrong outside of office hours. If at 10am a worker in San Francisco needs to get hold of colleague in Paris, he will no longer be able to do that if the man refuses to answer his phone. “This could have a negative impact on business for the US or other foreign businesses attempting in vain to reach someone in France who has gone home and turned his phone and computer off. Workers may overwhelmingly support this, but it will be interesting to see how it pans out in terms of productivity. This deal could also bring the unintended consequence of higher labour costs, as firms may have to hire more workers to deal with issues arising after 6pm. Frankly, it is typically French.”

Simpler for business But while French bosses struggle to reach their workers after 6pm, the government is also unveiling a raft of 50 more measures aimed solely at untangling tax and labour regulations to make businesses more productive and breathe life in the nation’s stagnant economy. The proposals – piloted by Socialist MP Thierry Mandon and the Woodeum CEO Guillaume Poitrinal – are intended to encourage growth by removing obstacles for companies. Key elements include making it easier to start a business, and to hire workers. The changes will also attempt to shorten and simplify France’s infamous 4000-page labour code, and make workers’ notorious 45-line payslips easier for them to read.

“It is a rare moment in France when the government does something that keeps both employers and workers happy at the same time.” A spokesman for the French employers federation MEDEF said: “We broadly welcome this attempt at streamlining the regulations. France has a reputation for kilometres of red tape that strangles businesses, where time and money is pointlessly spent not on the firm’s core activity but on simply keeping the tax man happy. So it is a rare moment in France when the government does something that keeps both employers and workers happy at the same time.” The government is also planning on abolishing 192 taxes on firms and individuals that that are deemed to cost more to levy than the 100 million euros or less they each

bring in annually. In comparison, Germany has only three taxes that each bring in less than 100 million euros per year and the United Kingdom has none. Among France’s 192 low-yield earners are a tax on the number of balls in a pinball machine and a charge on cross country skiing. Premises with table football must pay a tax of five euros per year for every ball in the machine. Finance Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said: “There are a lot of taxes that bring in relatively small sums and serve only as an added complexity for businesses to deal with. So we want to simplify all this to spur business growth and make a dent in unemployment.” Many French companies have also welcomed new trade agreements signed with China during the visit of the country’s Xi Jinping in April – including signing a rescue merger between ailing car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen and China’s Dongfeng, and paving the way for a large order for Airbus jets. France also agreed to provide technical assistance to Chinese wine-makers in experimental vineyards and mechanisation techniques, and to aid them with marketing strategies for the finished product. In exchange, the Chinese industry will assist its EU counterpart by organising wine-tasting events in China to promote the appreciation, and sales, of wines there. Asian marketing specialist Thierry Charpentier said: “The US moved very swiftly to create its bilateral trade agreement with China on wine transactions. They are gradually eating further into France’s wine exports, and their sales to China where wine consumption is increasing massively is a large part of this. Now the French are fighting back. “France has the advantage of the positive preconception of luxury and quality across the agribusiness sector. The Chinese are very opportunistic. The Americans and Germans have had their moment with China. Maybe n now it is France’s turn.” Industry Europe 25


onaca was formed in 1977 when the British company Fairey Aviation went into receivership. Following this company’s demise it was taken into public ownership by the Belgian Government in order to secure the licensed production of the new F-16 fighter aircraft. From 1979 until 1991 Sonaca produced over 200 F-16 fighters for the Belgian and Danish air forces. in parallel, Sonaca has built a strong slat production partnership with Airbus for the A310 and the successful A320 family. In the early 1990s 24 Industry Europe

it became the major partner in the Brazilian Embraer Regional Jet programme. Since 2003 Sonaca has operated a modern manufacturing facility in Quebec, Canada, as well as in Wichita, Kansas, where it is focused on producing wing panels for aviation companies such as Bombardier and IAI/Gulfstream. More recently in 2011, Sonaca established an assembly facility in Tainjin, China, which is strategically located only a short distance from the new Airbus production plant. Today, in addition to its 100,000 square metre facility

Sonaca is a global leader in the design and manufacture of large aluminium and composite structures for the aviation industry. Philip Yorke talked to Marcel Devresse, the company’s director of marketing and operations, about its on-going investments in Asia and Brazil and the new hightech products being developed for Airbus and Embraer.

located at its headquarters in southern Belgium, the company operates state-of-the-art production facilities in Brazil,Canada, the USA and China. Currently Sonaca employs more than 2300 people worldwide and in 2013 the group recorded sales of over €360 million.

Leading in advanced aerospace structures Sonaca’s core business is centred around the development, manufacture and assembly of aerospace structures and their

associated subsystems. The company leads the field in its chosen niche markets and is the supplier of choice for many of aviation’s most respected OEMs. These include Airbus, Embraer, Dassault Aviation, Bombardier, IAI/Gulfstream and Pilatus. Sonaca Engineering Services also provides end-to-end solutions for the most complex technical challenges in aerospace.

Today the company’s fully integrated services include everything from the initial design to the final build phase. This encompasses project and programme management, engineering design & development as well as material and process qualification, testing and certification. In addition, Sonaca also offers dedicated manufacturing support as well as logistic and supply chain optimisation.

Devress said, “We have more than 250 highly qualified engineers working on the development of new wing configurations and advanced engineering specifications. These include complex wing geometry for the latest Airbus A350 where composite wing components have been introduced for the first time. We have also developed new technology for the de-icing systems

Industry Europe 25

for the latest family of Airbus aircraft. We are pleased to report that the production of the Airbus A330 is likely to continue and we are in the process of developing a new version of this well-known model. We are also contributing to new modifications for the Dassault F7X100 aircraft and these are now being delivered at a rate of three a month. “When it comes to protecting the environment we are just as innovative. For example we have reduced our overall energy consumption significantly and have been particularly active in the surface treatment and painting of our fixed and moveable wing components. Our sheet metal facility in Brazil is currently using a sulfo-tartric anodising process without any chrome content and is using a painting process with a drastically reduced level of chrome (Low VOC) on A350 components. “We differentiate ourselves from our competitors in many ways, one of which is our ability to take on everything involved from design to final delivery. This includes the certification and testing of both static and fatigue operations, which minimises the involvement of our OEM customers in these areas. We have also built up unblemished relationships with them through close cooperation and guaranteeing total reliability. Our unique expertise speaks for itself and over 26 Industry Europe

the years we have not had a single difficulty with our customer relations and as a result of this track record we remain the suppliers of choice for the wing sections and components that we develop and manufacture.” Devresse added, “Today Sonaca is in very good shape both financially and order-wise, as we have business committed to us for the next five years. However, we are not resting on our laurels and are working on a new strategic plan to carry us through to 2020 and beyond. By the end of 2020 we will probably be discussing the successor to the Airbus A320, so we are currently making strategic evaluations to build on our success of the last five years, in order to maximise our future

sales. We will also be considering entering into new joint ventures and even acquisitions if the right opportunities present themselves.”

From strength to strength Sonaca is justifiably proud of its state-of-the-art global R&D centres where it currently employs more than 250 specialist engineers. Thanks to this unrivalled concentration of engineering talent, the Sonaca Group is recognised as a world leader and is a highly regarded partner in the field of fixed and moveable leading edge wing design and manufacture. Today Sonaca’s activities are structured around three key product lines: wing leading edges, fuselage panels and wing panels. In

addition, only Sonaca offers a truly integrated production service from initial design to the finished product. Therefore the company’s extended range of expertise in the development of metallic and composite structures is considered second to none. To underscore this point, Sonaca is cited as a ‘single-source’ supplier to both Airbus and Embraer. The company’s global operations are going from strength to strength and its on-going commitment to investments in new technology and plant will help to ensure that Sonaca maintains the clear blue sky that it has created n between itself and the competition. For further details of Sonaca’s innovative products and services visit:

THE FUTURE IN ROBOTICS Comau SpA is an abbreviation of Consorzio Macchine Utensili (Tool Machine Consortium). Today, thanks to its 40 year experience in industrial automation, Comau is a recognised global leader in sustainable automation and maintenance service solutions. Barbara Rossi speaks to Mauro Giaccone, Italy Sales Director for Comau Robotics.

28 Industry Europe


ur success is built on our consolidated experience in the automotive sector, our excellence centres, and our skills and know-how. All of these elements allow us to be always at the cutting-edge, with a wide range of solutions for a spectrum of industries and applications. Today Comau can really claim to have a global presence (with facilities in 23 countries) thanks to which we can offer customised localised solutions in numerous fields” Mr Giaccone explains. Comau SpA, wholly owned by the Fiat Group, is a multinational with 13,300 employees worldwide and a €1.5 billion 2012 turnover. The company, which has 15 works and 23 branches across the world, is organised into a number of business units: Body Welding, Powertrain Systems, Robotics, Adaptive Solutions. The company’s solutions range from machining

and assembly modules to body welding systems and integrated robotics. Comau is an all-round player taking care of the whole production process: from the initial idea and design to the finished product and also providing full service training and maintenance. Its strategic services include asset management, project management and eComau (which offers a fully comprehensive approach to environmentally friendly industrial processes).

New entries Comau Robotics is the only Italian manufacturer of anthropomorphic robots and has recently presented innovative products, featuring improvements with regard to performance and design, together with new application packages. The most important new entries are the new Racer robot, the new programming terminal TP5

and the new compact version of the C5G control unit, as well as new robot models. The new Racer, with a 7kg payload and a maximum horizontal reach of 1400mm, is the fastest robot in its category in the world, delivering better and more precise performances thanks to the most modern technology together with innovative design. Similar improvements have been implemented with regard to the TP5 terminal, which is increasingly more ergonomic and intuitive. Overall improvement, from design and performance to user interface and new software, is at the basis of all of Comau innovation processes. The new 3D simulator (RoboSim Pro) is an example of it: this is a useful tool for both system integrators and universities. The RoboSim Pro is able to carry out 3D simulations of robotised cells in an even more precise manner, as well as truly new

Industry Europe 29

off-line programming. The new (E-motion) software optimises the robot’s movements and makes them smoother, so as to make it faster and improve its performance. Furthermore, with the new Smart5 NJ 130 Shelf robot, which delivers incredible performances with a wide operational area, Comau has strongly re-entered the Interpresse field. “We are building a new production site for our robotics unit in Kunshan, China. This facility will include new commercial offices, a showroom and a training hall for clients. Here we will manufacture products for the Far East market, while production for other countries will remain in Turin.” “Similarly to Comau SpA in general, also in the robotics unit applications for the automotive sector are very important, with a share of turnover of about 70%, but over the years we have widened the spectrum of sectors that we serve. It now includes research centres, universities and schools, as well as various industries. Applications in the food & beverage and packaging (palletisation in particular) sectors have become 30 Industry Europe

of particular significance in the last two to three years and are going to further grow in the future. Obviously, as we belong to the Fiat group, the automotive industry is very important for us and Fiat-Chrysler is our main automotive client.” “Today Italy and Europe are still our most important markets, however non European markets will become increasingly more important, partly because of the strong link that we have with Fiat- Chrysler (we follow their geographical expansion pattern). Non European markets are already very significant for us, starting with China, Thailand, India and Indonesia, followed by Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and the US. Suffice to say that Comau is generating almost one third of its turnover in APAC countries, mainly due to the rapid expansion of the Chinese market, where our company has an important presence. We are going to focus on these markets, which offer us the potential for a two figure growth in the future. There will definitely be a shift from the share of turnover generated in Europe to that in countries such as China and Brazil.”

Industry Europe 31

Grey and ductile cast iron parts from 1 to 4.000 kg, from prototypes to serial production. Over 150 customers from several markets: compressors and pumps, robotics, railway, wind energy, textile, urban fixtures, tractors and cranes, woodworking machinery, etc. 2 production sites 35.000 tons/year capacity 180 employees Certified: UNI EN ISO 9001:2008 UNI EN ISO 14001:2004 Lloyd’s Register (for ductile iron castings up to 1.500 kg) |

TwinSpin® HIGH PRECISION REDUCTION GEARS The only cycloidal compact gear in the world below 120 mm diameter. Ideal solution for the wrist axis of small and medium payload robots. • • • • • • • •


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32 Industry Europe


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“Sales of anthropomorphic robots will increase everywhere, but particularly so in so called emerging markets. Our strategy in Europe will be that of conquering a larger share of the market. We already have a very high market share in the European automotive sector, so in Europe market potential is to be found in other fields, for instance palletisation.” “We will carry on expanding our offer, first of all by continuously widening our range of robot models (in terms of payload, maximum horizontal reach, etc.). This will probably lead us to entering new application fields.” “Our suppliers are important insofar as they try to keep pace with our technol-

ogy. Our TP5 robot has been developed in partnership with one of our suppliers, Keba. Another important supplier is B & R, from which we purchase all our electronic components, such as drives, etc. For us it is a real strategic partner in our endeavour to acquire new markets.” “I think that our future growth will be achieved through an expansion of volume rather than by means of acquisitions. We expect to double the volume of robots sold in the next three years (we currently sell about 2000 a year), focusing on the markets previously mentioned. In order to achieve these results we are going to offer increasingly innovative and competitive products and assert a stronger presence in countries

with growing markets, alongside supplying more client services and most of all operating in partnership with the main system integrators. Our future projects include the opening of strategic sites in fast growing markets such as Thailand and Indonesia.” n

Industry Europe 33

PRECISE PRODUCTIVITY Mikron Machining, a leading supplier of customised, highly productive machining solutions, utilises its five platforms to enable its customers to be more competitive and more productive. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Axel Warth, head of marketing and business development, to find out how this is achieved. 34 Industry Europe


ikron Machining employs around 530 people at its production companies – Mikron SA Agno (Switzerland, headquarters), Mikron Tool SA Agno (Switzerland) and Mikron GmbH Rottweil (Germany) – and its sales and service company Mikron Corp. Monroe (USA). As the leading supplier of customised highly productive machining solutions for the manufacturing of complex high-precision metal components, the company’s machining solutions are widely regarded as some of the best in the world. The high-performance cutting tools used on the systems are developed and produced in-house at Mikron Machining. Having installed over 7000 machining systems worldwide, Mikron Machining customers are primarily found in the fields of automotive, electronics and telecommunications, consumer goods, building and pneumatics and hydrau-

lics. All of the solutions offered by Mikron are developed and created in-house, thanks to a team of dedicated engineering experts.

Making customers more competitive Axel Warth, Mikron’s head of marketing and business development, spoke to Industry Europe to explain how the company’s solutions enable its customers to be more productive. He said, “Our products and solutions support industrial production companies in a wide variety of sectors in manufacturing their products more quickly and cost-effectively, thus reducing unit costs, space requirements and staffing costs. Furthermore, customers also increase their manufacturing quality as we enable them to be more efficient. By supporting our customers in being more competitive in their markets, we are a true partner.”

Mikron Machining’s core products feature five standard platforms which effectively form the foundation of every customer solution offered by the company. Offering the Mikron Multistar family, the Mikron Multifactor, the Mikron NAM, the Mikron NRG and the Mikron Multistep XT-200, it can deliver machining solutions for work-piece sizes ranging from 20mm right up to 200mm, ensuring the highest levels of both productivity and flexibility in order to meet its customers’ myriad needs. Working with clients to develop the ideal machining solution by carefully and expertly customising one of its five standard platforms is integral to Mikron’s ongoing, long-term success. Mr Warth explained, “We always deliver a highly productive solution for our customers because we take the time to completely understand their needs. Usually, customers come

Industry Europe 35

to us with details of the product they want to manufacture or are already manufacturing and then we begin to think about how to make that product in as efficient, effective a way as possible. Through our deep understanding of our standard platforms and the unrivalled expertise of our dedicated workforce, we can deliver the best solution for them.”

‘Astonishing numbers’ Mikron Machining’s two main areas are automotive components, which currently accounts for 51 per cent of its activities, and pen tips for the writing industry, which accounts for 11

36 Industry Europe

per cent. With 145 million pen tips produced daily on Mikron machines, or 40 billion tips a year, the company is proud that 95 per cent of all pen tips in the world are produced by Mikron’s customers on its machines. Mr Warth added, “There are so many astonishing numbers with Mikron! Those 40 billion pen tips a year means there are 6.5 each for every person in the world produced a year on Mikron machines. And for the automotive sector, seven million automotive parts are produced daily on Mikron machines. So this is why and how we have built our reputation for being highly productive.”

Mikron Machining‘s future is expected to yield even more ‘astonishing numbers’ for the company. With plans for continued development of its five standard platforms, it aims to maximise its recent investment in a stateof-the-art Product Lifecycle Management system. Mr Warth explained, “We introduced a PLM system in 2013 and it runs on SAP software. This impressive tool supports the standardisation of base components and the modularisation of sub-systems. Mikron Machining has continued to invest systematically in the expansion of its tool distribution network and associated global logistics in the

year under review, and is also ensuring that its own machinery is always up to date with the latest technological developments.

Global outreach Currently most active in Europe and Switzerland, which account for 55 per cent and 16 per cent of its turnover respectively, the company also serves Asia Pacific, India and North America – which together account for 28 per cent of turnover. Furthermore, Mikron is also increasing its activities in other global markets. As it is able to deliver its products worldwide, the company is happy to work with customers in any sector in any country,

with the common denominator being a desire for increased productivity. Mr Warth concluded, “From our key production sites in Switzerland and Germany, together with our global network of skilled service personnel, we can serve customers anywhere in the world. As a company that is experienced in delivering solutions that enable customers to produce more in a more effective, efficient manner, we are ready to assess each customer’s needs on an individual and highly customised basis – with the end result always ensuring increased productivity through precise n machining solutions.”

TORQUE MOTORS BY TECHNAI TEAM QUALITY FIRST, on standard or individual executions. Since 1993, we have been developing Direct Drive technology and system design integration. Technai Team offers a full range of standard Torque motors or individual executions, from Ø 93 to Ø 1220 mm. The successful relationship between TECHNAI TEAM and MIKRON SA Agno, is founded on an efficient cooperation during the machine design activities, with the common aim to achieve the optimal integration between quality and performance rationality.

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A WINNING FORMULA Dacia’s Logan was originally conceived as the answer to the motoring needs of emerging countries but it proved so successful that now, ten years later, the Romanian car maker’s eight models are big sellers in the European market too. Peter Mercer reports.

38 Industry Europe


last September’s Frankfurt Motor Show Dacia presented the latest version of its Duster 4x4 SUV. First launched in 2010, the Duster was the first Dacia off-road vehicle and is already established as the best-selling SUV on the Romanian market, thanks to its combination of real sports utility 4x4 capabilities and proven Renault and Nissan technologies with unbeatable prices. To date more than 500,000 units have been sold. The new Duster features a new exterior and interior design that enhances its 4x4 character as well as double optic headlights. “We have built on the appeal of the original model. Identifying components such as the grille have been modernised and we have strengthened the 4x4 design cues

of the vehicle while keeping all its useful features,” says David Durand, Head of Styling for the Entry range. “The result is a new Duster with an even stronger character that retains its original DNA.” The renaissance of the Dacia brand dates back to the 2004 launch of the allnew Logan, a small affordable saloon that was initially aimed at the world’s emerging markets. The new car was the key element in the Renault Group’s strategy to establish a second brand that would offer reliability, practicality and efficiency at an unbeatable price. The group acquired 51 per cent of Dacia’s shares in 1999 and raised its stake to more than 99 per cent in 2004. During those years it has invested more than two billion euros in the total modernisa-

tion of Dacia’s Mioveni production plant in Romania as well as in the reorganisation of the supplier network, the rebuilding of the commercial network and a new programme of employee training. By far the greater part of this huge investment went into the comprehensive upgrading of the Assembly Plant, which now has a production capacity of 350,000 units a year, and of the Powertrain and Chassis Plant. The Dacia production facilities at Mioveni now operate on a three shift system. Most of the operations at the Mioveni plant are still in the hands of the workforce rather than being carried out by robots but the overall organisation of the plant fully conforms to Renault’s general practice and, in fact, any Dacia employee could move into another Renault

Industry Europe 39

CAPIROM was created in the year 2000 and is the Romanian branch of the API Group from France. CAPIROM is specialised in the development, industrialisation and production of plastic parts and assemblies mainly for automotive industry and some sport articles.

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Landi Renzo Landi Renzo, listed on the Italian Stock Exchange, is a world

Landi Renzo , characterized by high investments in research, a

leader in alternative fuels systems for the automotive industry.

flexible business model, cutting-edge technologies, ensures a

The company is a global partner to leading automobile manufac-

top-rate system for reducing costs and maintaining high quality

turers and over 8 million vehicles worldwide are equipped with

standards. This has allowed the group to become the first one

its systems.

in the sector to obtain the prestigious ISO-TS 16949 certification specifically for the automotive sector.

Headquartered in Italy, Landi Renzo operates globally through its international subsidiaries and extensive distributor network.

In 2014, Landi Renzo celebrates 60 years of innovation in clean transportation.

plant anywhere in the world and immediately recognise the same processes and the same work environment.

Expanding range When the Logan was first proposed it was intended to be a single model - a robust, reliable and affordable saloon that Dacia would produce to meet the rapidly rising demand for such a basic vehicle in emerging markets. But the Logan proved to be such a success that Dacia has now become the Number Two brand of the Renault group and one of the most dynamic brands in Europe, with sales of more than 250,000 units per year and important positions in the French, German, Italian and Spanish markets. What’s more, the remarkable success of the Logan quickly led to the development of other models aimed at different market segments. First the Logan MCV, which was introduced in 2006 as a new concept estate car, took the Dacia brand firmly into the European market. And then 2008 saw the launch of the Sandero five door hatchback, a model that proved a strong competitor in the supermini category, one of the most impor-

42 Industry Europe

tant segments in the European car market, and took Dacia into an even stronger position in the French, German and Italian markets. In fact, between 2008 and 2009 the Sandero more than doubled Dacia’s sales in Western Europe. And then, in 2010, Dacia brought off something of a revolution in the fiercely contested SUV segment with the introduction of the Duster, a genuine 4x4 off-road capable vehicle that took the motoring press, industry analysts and, most importantly, the public by surprise with its unique combination of high performance and low cost. Today almost 94 per cent of the cars manufactured at the Mioveni plant are exported to some 37 countries worldwide. Dacia’s main export markets in 2013 were France (83,469 units), Germany (43,395 units), Algeria (35,949 units), Turkey (30,333 units) and Spain (27,792 units). Other important export markets include Morocco, Italy, Belgium, the UK and Poland. And Dacia vehicle are today produced not just in Romania but at plants in Morocco (Casablanca and Tangiers) and in India, where the plant at Chennai produces

the right hand drive version of the Duster mainly for the UK market. All of these plants are run separately. “To put it simply, Dacia’s success comes from offering the best combination of low cost, roominess and reliability on the market,” says Silviu Sepciu, Head of Communication, Dacia. “And it has developed not only a model to address a single niche but a whole range of models that cover some of the most important market segments, from the supermini segment, with the Sandero and the Sandero Stepway, through the mainstream Logan sedan and its estate car version to the highly successful Duster SUV. In fact the Duster is today the best-selling Dacia model, with some 500,000 units sold worldwide.”

First choice Dacia’s success was firmly underlined in 2012 when it was identified as the most reliable auto marque by the publication Que Choisir following a survey of almost 30,000 drivers in Belgium, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. Taking first place among 31 other brands, the Dacia range won out over such prestigious brands as BMW, Mercedes and Toyota.

It was also in 2012, eight years after the launch of the Logan and the beginning of a new era for Dacia, that the company presented the new Logan and the new Sandero at the Paris Motor Show. The new models feature a completely new, more modern design, specifically aimed at the expectations of today’s European driver, as well as a new range of engines, including a 90 BHP 0.9 litre petrol unit, and advanced equipment such as the Medianav satnav system. Like the rest of the Dacia range, the New Logan and New Sandero come with a threeyear or 100,000 kilometre warranty. When the Logan was first launched plenty of industry commentators thought that Renault was taking a huge chance in producing a car specifically aimed at developing markets. But it proved not only spectacularly successful in its original target markets but a fast seller in the sophisticated – and crowded – markets of Western Europe. Now, with a comprehensive range of eight different models, Dacia has taken its place as Renault’s worldwide second brand, bringing the same kind of brand extension to the group as Skoda has done for many years for VW. It was indeed the way to go. n

Industry Europe 43


CONCEPTS FORWARD Volvo’s latest concept car, the XC Coupe, has taken the motoring world by storm with its special sports capabilities, futuristic styling and contemporary safety profile. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at Volvo’s latest innovative Coupe range and at a company that continues to win prestigious awards by setting new standards in the automotive industry.

44 Industry Europe


he Volvo Car Corporation was founded in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1927 by Gustav Larson and Assar Gabrielsson. Their pioneering spirit and innovative genius lives on today in every aspect of the company’s broad range of automotive products. Since that time the company has delivered a constant stream of innovative cars equipped with ground-breaking design features. Volvo Car’s vision is to be the world’s most progressive premium car brand. Until 1999, the company formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group, before being acquired by the Ford Motor Company. Today the Volvo

Car Group is owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding of China which purchased the company in 2010. In 2012 Volvo Cars sold almost half a million vehicles worldwide, with its main markets being the USA, Sweden, China, Germany and the UK.

All eyes on Volvo Testament to Volvo’s continuing commitment to innovation and new technology has been its launch of the most advanced SUV range to date at the 2014 Detroit Motor show. At the international trade fair staged earlier this year, the Volvo concept XC Coupe was

awarded the title ‘Best Concept Car’ by the ‘EyesON Design Awards’, whilst Volvo’s most recent concept vehicle, the ‘XC90’ won the coveted award for ‘Best use of colour, Graphics and Materials’. The 2014 North American International Auto Show held in Detroit, hosted the world premiere of Volvo’s new Concept XC Coupe, which is the second of three new concept cars created by Volvo. The Concept XC Coupe demonstrates the design potential of the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that will form the basis for the design of cars developed by Volvo in the future, starting

Industry Europe 45

with the all-new Volvo XC90 which premieres later this year. Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars said, “I am honoured and very happy of course. This is very encouraging and it shows that Volvo’s new design direction is appreciated not only by the general public and the press, but also by the leading people in the car design business, and Volvo Cars has only just started its exciting new journey with a brand new design language.” The ‘EyesON’ Design Award ceremony is an annual event that takes place in conjunction with the Detroit Motor Show. The jury includes a prominent group of designers, auto makers and leading academics.

High-tech sports gear Volvo’s Concept XC Coupe was inspired by the design of modern sports equipment and is a sophisticated and capable vehicle designed for people with an active lifestyle. This second concept car from Volvo demonstrates how 46 Industry Europe

innovative engineering makes it possible to reinforce the company’s world-beating safety profile without compromising on design, size or weight. This is largely due to the extensive use of high-strength boron steel and structures with a new and ingenious decoupling, which means that Volvo can make cars more compact and even safer at the same time. The new car’s connection with modern, high-tech sports gear is very apparent. In order to strike a balance between aesthetics and functionality, the Volvo design team has also given traditional SUV elements such as side mouldings and skid-plates a more modern interpretation that integrates them into the sleek design and keeps them flush with the surrounding body areas. In 1997 Volvo Cars paved the way for a completely new automotive segment with its V70 Cross Country series which was the first of a new breed of sports vehicle. The range has been continuously developed and upgraded since then and currently ranges from the Volvo Cross Country, via

the XC60 and XC70 to the new XC90. “With the Volvo Concept XC Coupe, we take this unique blend of capable ruggedness and expressive elegance up to a new sportier attitude,” added Ingenlath.

Enhancing supply chain efficiency Successful companies like Volvo can gain additional business advantages by not only caring for its customers, employees and the environment, but also for society as a whole. Volvo Car’s values, such as sustainable development, human rights, good terms of employment and ethical business practices are also reflected as its clear requirements for all Volvo suppliers. This covers the entire value chain, wherever the supplier stage represents a key link. The emphasis on quality, product development, cost-efficiency, delivery capacity and environmental care are all high priorities at Volvo and this is reflected in the company’s ‘Excellence Award’ (the VQE Award). This represents the status that Volvo Cars expects

from all its suppliers in order for them to meet its high quality global standards. A recent example of an outstanding achievement by a key Volvo supplier was the VQE Award presented to Permaniova Lasersystem AB. This is a Swedish integrator of robotised laser systems for metal processing and in particular for welding, 3D cutting, brazing and cladding. The award was given for the company’s roof-welding laser station for the Volvo XC90. For the first time, roofto-side alignment was to be welded with a special overlap joint. This was to produce a weld-seam that could easily be covered with a PVC layer. This could then be painted in any colour, without adding the costly plastic strip in a matching colour. In a mutual R&D project, Permaniva developed the necessary laser welding tool with fully integrated robotn independent seam tracking. For further details of the Volvo Car Group’s’ latest innovative range of vehicles and product services visit:

Industry Europe 47

WORLD-CLASS DRIVELINE TECHNOLOGY ZF Friedrichshafen is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology with 121 production facilities throughout the world. This year the company laid the foundation stone for its new corporate headquarters. Industry Europe finds out more about its European production facilities, latest supplier awards and world-class product innovations.


ounded in 1915, German ZF Friedrichshafen Group originally focused on the development and production of transmissions for airships and vehicles. Today, its product range includes transmissions and steering systems as well as chassis components and complete axle systems

and modules. The group’s overall turnover for 2013 was around €17 million, confirming its position as one of the top 10 automotive suppliers worldwide. In February 2014, ZF laid the foundation stone for a new Corporate Headquarters in Friedrichshafen. After its completion, this

will offer employment for 600 office workers and provide visitors with a unique insight into the work and history of the group. It will also increase the group’s R&D capacities and ease pressure on its existing Research Centre in Graf-von-Soden-Platz, as CEO Stefan Sommer has explained: “Once the

central departments are transferred to the ZF Forum, the R&D Centre will be able to refocus its core task and we can pool and rearrange ZF Group’s Corporate Research and Development.”

European presence In addition to its German headquarters, ZF has many separate facilities throughout Europe. Today it is present in France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Turkey, Spain, Ukraine, the UK, Russia and Hungary, to name just a few. To maintain its leading position, the group is constantly expanding its European production capacities. For example, in January this year it inaugurated a new production building for commercial vehicle transmissions in Russia. Through

an existing joint venture between ZF and Kamaz, Russia’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, a modern production facility in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny covering an area of 20,000m2 is now in operation. This is part of an ongoing investment package totaling €90 million which the partners will use to expand capacities at the location by 2016.

Key products ZF’s range of products is so vast that it would be impossible to list them all here; it would therefore make sense to mention just some of the highlights. For example, it recently became the first transmission manufacturer worldwide to develop a modern passenger car automatic transmission with nine gears. It was designed for vehicles with transverse

engines and front or four-wheel drive and can therefore be installed in 75 per cent of all cars produced worldwide. This concept can replace the company’s previous eight-speed automatic transmission for cars, designed to achieve more than 6 per cent fuel savings. The company has also hit the news with its adaptive clamping system CDC (Continuous Damping Control), which entered volume production for the first time in the new Honda Civic Tourer in February 2014. The CDC for both axles, which has been a major success for the ZF for years, has now been specially adapted by the supplier to meet the requirements of subcompact and compact cars as well as MUVs. Uwe Coßmann, head of ZF Car’s Chassis Technology division, said of this partnership

with Honda: “We are very pleased about the world’s first application of the CDC 1XL – particularly because it takes places at Honda, a large, globally active automotive manufacturer. The product showcases the potential of our technical solution for compact and subcompact cars.”

ZF’s CDC 1XL, the electronically controlled adaptive clamping system, will minimize the effects of large rear axle load fluctuations in the new Tourer. A control system analyses the data on road condition, payload, vehicle speed and drivability collected by the integrated sensor system and

optimally adjusts the characteristic curve within milliseconds. All of this is possible thanks to electronically controlled proportional valves which minimise oil flow in the damper tube (for hard damping characteristics) or will expand the diameter once again (for soft suspension).

Strong in R&D R&D is crucial to ZF’s overall business strategy, helping it to maintain its strong global position. In all, the group invests around 5 per cent of its total revenue (about €838 million) in research and development each year. In the years to come it expects this figure to grow to 1 billion annually in order to increase its strength and remain ahead of the growing competition. In February 2014, the company announced it will be bolstering Corporate Research and Development at its headquarters with the establishment of a new testing centre for transmissions in its Research & Development Centre on Graf-von-SodenPlatz in 2015 and 2016. The testing centre will be built in the western part of the R&D Centre. The new building will be home to test benches and workshops. The plan is for modular fixtures to be installed so the building can be used for various purposes depending on the research and development requirements.

The importance of supply relationships In part, ZF Friedrichshafen’s worldwide success is down to the strong global supplier network it has built up since its establishment. The importance of certain of its key suppliers was recognised in November 2013 at the company’s sixth annual supplier awards ceremony. This year was a first in one way, however, as the award winner in the ‘Innovation’ category was decided through a concept competition. The jury found the most outstanding innovation to be a concept for separation springs made of tempered flat wire, developed by Mubea Tellerfedern GmbH from Attendorn. Not only does this innovation increase the service life of springs installed in transmis-

sions, it also saves space and weight and provides for more comfort and efficiency. In the other categories, winners were determined in the same way as in previous years – by means of a standardised selection procedure. In the Production category there were three winners: Veldener Präzisiontechnik GmbH, which supplies ZF with a variety of finished parts from bolts and sleeves to pistons; SLR Giesserei St. Leon-Rot GmbH produces housings and axle brackets; and Rausch und Pausch GmbH in Selb that produces items such as solenoid valves for ZF’s 9-speed automatic transmission. DB Schenker, one of the world’s biggest logistics groups, was the winner in the Non-Production Materials category. This is in recognition of the fact that DB Schenker

ensures on-schedule and reliable transport for all group divisions. Meanwhile, a top supplier in the area of massive forming and machining of steel and aluminium is Hirschvogel Umfortechnik GmbH. The winner in the Global Supplier category produces and provides ZF with forged and finished parts in excellent quality. The award in the Energy Efficiency category was presented for the second time, this year to Teamtechnik Maschinen und Anlagen GmbH. This company is an expert in highly flexible assembly and test equipment, supplying ZF’s Saarbrücken location and realising a highly innovative solution for electromobility at its headquarters in Freiberg: the first self-sufficient photovoltaic system with storage battery n in Baden-Württemberg.


AUTOMOTIVE INTERIORS As a global leader in automotive interiors, providing everything from seating, overhead systems, doors and instrument panels to electronics, Johnson Controls Automotive Experience supports almost all major automakers in their vehicle development. Industry Europe looks at the company’s worldwide presence, innovative products, its latest supplier awards and the importance it places on maintaining strong supplier relationships.


eadquartered in Burscheid, Germany, Johnson Controls Automotive Experience operates 240 production plants and development centres throughout the world, from North America and Europe to Asia. The company’s main focus is the continuous development of state-of-the-art technologies, to which end it employs over 6000 highly skilled engineers and designers. This is how it remains at the forefront of the automotive interiors segment. The main Technology Centre is housed at Johnson Automotive’s Burscheid headquarters. This facility houses everything from product development and industrial design, to consumer and market research, benchmarking, prototyping and testing. Today more than 1700 of the division’s 91,000 global employees are based here.

Complete automotive solutions Johnson Controls Automotive’s products and solutions fall into two main categories: Seating and Interiors. The first of these encompasses everything from complete seats, metal structures & mechanisms to seat foam, seat fabrics

and trims. With a full-service design offering, the company is able to apply its expertise to create automotive seat systems that integrate seamlessly with the interior to enhance both the user experience and the vehicle appeal. Comfortlab®, its global laboratory network, provides insights into differing regional and global comfort expectations so it is able to tailor its offering to meet the needs of its customers wherever they are. In the area of Interiors, Johnson Controls is able to work with its OEM customers to develop functional solutions that can significantly differentiate their products from those of their competitors. These solutions cover instrument panels, floor consoles, door panels, headliners & overhead systems, and overhead consoles that offer superior quality, craftsmanship, colour and consistency. It uses high-end surface materials from cut & sewn wrapped leather to foils and slush skins. It is also the market leader in developing natural, renewable lightweight materials, such as natural fibre carrier materials for interior components that look great but can also enhance fuel efficiency.

Dedicated to innovation As R&D and technological design play such a key part in the company’s activities, it is no surprise that in the past few months alone we have seen some exciting new additions to its portfolio. For example, it has recently developed an automatic seat preadjustment system that brings the driver’s seat into a comfortable and safe position based on the size of the driver. Given that many people suffer from neck and back pain owing to poorly adjusted seats, this is an important step forward in terms of user comfort. It is also very convenient if one person drives the same vehicle, as the seat will automatically adjust itself to fit the new driver. To create this groundbreaking solution, the ergonomics specialists at Johnson Controls developed an algorithm that determines the optimal seat position based on the driver’s size. Based on this, the adjustment motors move the seat to a position that is both comfortable and safe. In September 2013 Johnson Controls introduced a door panel manufactured using its new Compression Hybrid Moulding

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(CHyM) process technology. This technology for manufacturing door panels is able to combine the benefits of both natural fibre components and thermoplastic injection moulding. Rigorous tests have shown that door panels manufactured using this process are able to achieve a 40 per cent weight reduction without compromising on strength or safety. Finally, in December 2013 the company announced that it will be supplying key components for the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. These will include front seats and optional Executive rear seats, the rear-seat entertainment system, the headliner and sun visors. It will be providing the automaker’s own seat production plant with key seat components, with the seat structure based on a modular solution that can be adapted to different vehicle segments. The seat adjustment mechanisms have a compact, lightweight design and there is an optional Memory package to save the seat positions. Johnson Controls has also come up with an all-new tandem solution. With this, the patented, specially mounted actuator limits the forward adjustment range of the cushion base to only half, while lengthening the complete seat cushion and adapting the suspension to suit the size and weight of the passenger.

Sika Automotive GmbH received a Johnson Controls Supplier Performance Award for their adhesive solutions for various applications Sika’s strength as automotive supplier of innovative adhesive solutions is the global availability of the products. Additionally Sika offers a professional technical support for the customer. Close collaboration in an early stage of a project is important to ensure the feasibility and guarantees the best solutions. Sika as a strong partner provides a full range of adhesive technologies to automotive customers like Johnson Controls.

The importance of suppliers In part, Johnson Controls’ worldwide success is down to the strong global supplier network it has built up in the 80 years since its establishment. Indeed, the importance of certain of its key suppliers was recognised in October 2013 at the company’s third annual European Supplier Awards. They include both Performance Awards and Leadership Awards, taking into account factors such as quality, cost awareness, logistics, design, technology and service. The Performance Awards were presented in gold, silver or bronze, depending on the total number of points achieved. Among the recipients of the Leadership Awards were EOC Belgium N.V., which supplies a compound formulation for a new line of lightweight automotive seats; Bayer Material Science AG (Germany), which has succeeded in combining excellent quality performance with strong environmental improvement programs; Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany), which supplies motors and drives for car seats with electric seat adjustment functions; and Kostel Promet D.O.O. (Croatia), which cuts and sews seat covers for Johnson Controls. Winners of the Supplier Performance Awards were as follows: Higa S.R.O. from Slovakia, Robert Bosch GmbH from Germany and Scherdel Marienberg GmbH from

Germany received Supplier Performance Awards in gold. Asmo Co. Ltd (Japan), Baumann Springs Ltd (Switzerland), voestalpine Stamptec (Germany), Havd-Group AB (Sweden) and BASF Polyurethanes GmbH (Germany) were awarded Supplier Performance Awards in silver. Eight companies received Supplier Performance Awards in bronze: W.E.T. Automotive Systems (Germany), SINFLEX Indústria de Molas Técnicas Lda (Portugal), Leoni Wiring Systems (Germany), GABEC s.c. P.J. Kotkowscy (Poland), Estampaciones Industriales S.A. (Spain), Industrias Garita S.L. (Spain), Harbort GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) and Bayer MaterialScience AG (Germany). A separate awards ceremony was held for Johnson Controls’ Interiors suppliers, also including Performance and Leadership awards. The winner of the Gold Supplier Performance Award was IZO-BLOK SP Z.O.O., a Polish manufacturer of foamed plastic parts. Sika Automotive GmbH from Germany and the Belgian company Total Research & Technology both received Silver Awards. The Bronze Supplier Performance Awards for Interiors went to Polyvlies – Franz Beyer GmbH & Co KG (Germany), Polydesign Systems S.A.R.L. (Morocco), Euroform Deutschland GmbH, Jute Kassel GmbH (Germany), Aditec S.A. (France), ITW Auto-

motive Products GmbH (Germany), and J.H. Ziegler GmbH & Co. KG (Germany). The Leadership Award for Quality also went to IZO-BLOK. The Customer Satisfaction awards went to C.H. Müller GmbH from Germany, a market leader in laminating and coating; and ChongQing BoAo Magnesium Aluminium Manufacturing Co. Ltd from China. For Global Growth, the winners were Styron Deutschland Anlagengesellschaft mbH, a plastics manufacturer; and Carl Bechem GmbH, a supplier of technical lubricants and additives for users in the automotive industry. Kelly Bysouth, group vice-president Purchasing, said at the prestigious event: “Johnson Controls Automotive Seating places high importance on effective supplier management. Excellent suppliers are a competitive advantage in our industry. With the Supplier Awards we acknowledge the value our best suppliers have brought to use n in the past 12 months.”

WORLD-CLASS CLEANROOM SOLUTIONS The French company Dagard designs, manufactures, installs and maintains cleanrooms, walk-in cold rooms, and insulated constructions for customers from leading universities, general research laboratories, biotechnology, microelectronics and pharmaceutical companies. Marco Siebel spoke to Marketing Director Daniel Quinet about the latest developments and expectations for the future.


agard, founded in 1951, offers total cleanroom solutions - from conception to completion. The company has two production plants based in France, with 400 employees. Daniel Quinet: “Turnover for 2013 was 72 million Euro, and we expect that number to reach between 85 and 90 million Euro within the next three years. Sales of clean rooms and walk-in cold rooms are responsible for 30 per cent each, with sales of insulated constructions responsible for the remaining 40 per cent.” Dagard has customers in the USA, Australia, Singapore, Russia, Germany and the Middle-East.

Daniel Quinet: “We see a lot of potential in the French speaking countries on the African continent. 18 per cent of turnover is generated by sales outside of France, and we expect that number to rise to between 20 and 25 per cent within the next three years.”

In-house design & production Dagard’s R&D team designs generic or new innovative products and gears them up for production in one of the two factories that offer large production capacities with the necessary flexibility for each project: continuous and discontinuous production lines for panels, high precision sheet metal working, multi-purpose industrial joinery, machining,

material assembling (steel, aluminium, PVC, HPL, glass), welding and painting workshops for steel and stainless steel. Once production is completed, a team travels to the client’s site to install the cleanrooms or other constructions. Daniel Quinet: “We have sales teams in the USA, Australia, Russia, on the African continent and in Europe. We send out our construction teams systematically to our clients’ production sites to ensure all safety regulations and quality measures are met, and that the final product can be handed over to our client with the guarantee that it will surpass all expectations. We provide a consultancy and assistance service throughout the warranty period and for the lifespan of an installation. We assist in the maintenance of the serviceability of an installation with spare parts, and can provide preventive maintenance and repair services.”

Sustainable development The expansion agents used by the company for insulating foams are CFC-free and HCFC-free in compliance with the Kyoto Protocol to limit greenhouse gases. Dagard uses 100 per cent organic mineral wool that is made up of fibres classified as non-carcinogenic by the World Health Organization. Mineral wool scraps, pallets, and film are 100 per cent recycled, while the steel being used, from the recycling

aspect and its impact on the greenhouse gas emissions inventory, is one of the most efficiently reprocessed products. Dagard’s system of project management and close relations between production, engineering and installation departments allows optimal consumption of materials and recycling of products not used during installation. Daniel Quinet: “A series of in-factory and on-site procedures is designed to keep the impact of company activities on the environment to a minimum: selection of materials, selection of low energy and water consumption industrial processes, use of limited quantities of non-polluting consumables, optimization of packaging materials, selective sorting of all waste, special procedures for rerouting discards and chips to authorized suppliers and processing plants. We also invest a lot of time in training programmes for our employees, in preventive safety programmes and site cleanliness verifications and culture of environment friendliness.”

Cleanrooms and cold rooms Cleanroom technology is used in many sectors: production and packaging of drugs and cosmetics, in the nuclear industry and the aerospace industry, high tech technologies industries, in the healthcare sector, in operating theatres and surgical units, data centres, in bio-safety laboratories (P3, P4) and research laboratories...

Based on the concept of modular sandwich panels, Dagard has developed airtight envelop system (walls, ceilings, doors and accessories) which, combined with efficient air treatment solutions, allows the construction of cleanrooms of any class. Frigorific cells and modular cold rooms are used in the kitchens of restaurants , delicatessens, bakery, pastry and catering, preparation units, by florists to preserve flowers, in supermarkets and grocery stores. These refrigerating cells and cold rooms are made of insulating sandwich panels with camlocks, associated with a wide range of doors: insulated hinged doors, insulated sliding doors, glass doors, service doors, swing doors.

Insulated constructions Based on the sandwich panel concept, Dagard designs, manufactures and installs insulated and/or fire resistant partitions and ceilings, as well as insulated and fire resistant doors. These products are intended for processing laboratories, butchers’ workshops,

delicatessen, catering, cold stores, warehouses, commercial kitchens, central kitchens. Daniel Quinet: “As we continue to expand our activities overseas, especially in the USA and in the French speaking countries on the African continent, we are determined to

maintain the reputation of our brand name. We aim to keep our product range and production system as flexible as possible so that we can offer custom made cleanroom and cold room solutions to our customers n the world over.”


WINDOWS AND DOORS Rooted in the Trentino area of northern Italy, from which it draws its strong culture of environmental friendliness and sustainability, Alphacan is the Italian leader in PVC u-systems for doors and windows. Mr Luciotti, its CEO, talks to Barbara Rossi about his company and two new very innovative lines: IN’ALPHA70 and PRESTIGIO.


lphacan, led by the Bonetti family, began operations in the early 1970s as a manufacturer of PVC profiles for windows. It then started working through the Profilia and Fersina brands and finally became a business unit of the Alphacan group. Now Alphacan designs and produces a complete range of PVC frame systems, which includes profiles for windows, French windows, shutter systems, entry doors, sliding doors and special fittings. Many important projects have been completed thanks to its products, which are made of special PVC-u mixtures properly enriched with high-

quality components, all strictly in compliance with Italian and European regulation. Mr Luciotti says, “Over the years we have developed and consolidated our business on the target markets of Southern Europe, strengthening our exports, which today can count on an organisation able to fulfil the needs of the main operators in the sector, as well as those of the final users. Thanks to our modern set-up, the potential of our production department and assets such as skilled staff who work in synergy and with passion, Alphacan truly represents Made-in-Italy quality and design; these are the distinguishing fea-

tures which make our systems for PVC doors and windows internationally renowned.” Alphacan is always at the cutting-edge and its aim is that of developing new sustainable models, continuously increasing the efficiency of external shell construction products, resulting in buildings with reduced energy consumption. The Alphacan Group has five plants in Europe and a highly specialised and skilled staff of 750 people. It is part of the Kem One Innovative Vinyls division and has two R&D Centres, as well as a production capacity of 80,000 tonnes of PVC profiles a year.

Alphacan S.p.a. is the Italian division of the group and manufactures and distributes profile systems for PVC doors and windows all over the world. The Italian company mainly operates on its national market, but in the last few years it has increased its exports, significantly growing in Southern Europe, the Balkans and Latin America. Since its very start, not only has Alphacan been the leader in Italy with regard to the PVC profile market, but it has also been the first company to launch PVC

window profiles in South-East Asia, an area characterised by a tropical climate with high humidity and extreme temperatures. The Alphacan profiles have now been installed for more than twenty years, and are tangible evidence of their unequalled resistance and reliability over time.

IN’ALPHA70 and PRESTIGIO In terms of innovation, Alphacan has recently presented its new IN’ALPHA70 and PRESTIGIO systems for PVC windows and

French windows. The technology on which these new systems are based is called biomimesis. The Alphacan researchers have taken this approach, inspired by biological structures which are inherently resistant and insulating, in order to develop and patent the IN’ALPHA70 and PRESTIGIO lines, insulated and reinforced with longitudinal fibreglass. The profiles of the new IN’ALPHA70 system have textured surfaces, with many innovative colours and shades, which are extremely stable and resistant to the effect

of atmospheric agents, while also offering an excellent thermo-sound insulation performance. They are suitable for use in both new buildings and in renovations and comply with UNI EN 12608 requirements (as does the rest of the Alphacan range), as well as being adaptable to different architectural styles. IN’ALPHA PRESTIGIO combines the performance and design of Italian frames

with a special commitment to environmental friendliness, obtained by combining the construction simplicity of its components with the high thermal insulation level of the frame, which is even higher thanks to the internal foaming process developed by the Alphacan research department. “PVC is a non polluting, environmentallyfriendly material, which requires a limited

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amount of energy for its production and does not use up natural resources. Furthermore, PVC profiles are durable and non-toxic, as well as being totally recyclable. It’s not by chance that this very same material is used for food containers and in medical environments. A study conducted by the University of Barcelona has ascertained that over an entire life cycle windows with PVC profiles offer lower CO2 emissions than those made with other materials such as wood, aluminium and glass. For all of these reasons they are widely used in Northern Europe, but haven’t still reached the same usage levels in Italy, so there is a lot of potential for growth. The windows and doors that use our PVC frame systems offer excellent protection and insulation, giving the opportunity of achieving up to 40 per cent savings with regard to heating, high levels of sound insulation and low maintenance needs. Our frames are very easy to install and represent the best that the market can offer, in terms of performance and materials, as well as with regard to the innovative technologies employed in their production and the certifications held.” n

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WOOD – THE SUSTAINABLE CHOICE Metsä Wood uses the finest wood from the northern forests to supply environmentally friendly wood-based products for construction, industrial customers and distributor partners across Europe. Peter Mercer reports.


etsä Wood is a major wood products supplier in Europe. It specialises in serving the needs of the building and construction industry with products and systems for roofs, walls, floors, frames and facades as well as producing a wide range of products for its distribution customers, including interior cladding and flooring and garden decking. It also supplies rough sawn timber, Kerto LVL and plywood to industrial customers including manufacturers of windows and doors,

cladding and moulding, furniture and flooring and garden structures as well as plywood for construction and a wide variety of demanding transport applications in trucks, trains, buses, delivery vans and cargo trailers. All of Metsä Wood’s core products use high-quality northern wood as a raw material. Thanks to the slow growth of trees in the northern forests, the company’s premium products are exceptionally durable, making them ideal for a wide range of highly demand-

ing applications and end-uses. For the home owner Metsä Wood’s products also have the advantage of presenting a very attractive appearance. Environmentally aware customers also appreciate that the timber raw material absorbs carbon dioxide as the trees grow in sustainably managed forests and this remains in the wood products for their entire lifetime. Metsä Wood reaches its customers through a comprehensive service network in more than 20 countries. In 2013 its sales were €897m and it employed around 2500 people. The company is a core business of Metsä Group, a Finnish forest industry group, whose products include tissue and cooking papers, consumer packaging paperboard, pulp wood products as well as wood supply and forest services. The Group’s total sales in 2013 were €4.9bn and it employs approximately 11,000 people. Metsä Group’s parent company is owned by 123,000 Finnish forest owners, and good cooperation with them guarantees the supply of certified wood raw material for production.

Pine and spruce products Metsä Wood’s core products include Nordic Premium Timber, plywood and Kerto LVL. High quality pine and spruce timber is used in all areas of construction as well by the manufacturers of furniture, windows and packaging

materials. Metsä Wood’s plywoods are also made from uniform quality spruce or birch; their production draws on more than a century of Finnish plywood manufacturing tradition brought up-to-date by intensive R&D. The strength, durability and easy handling of the company’s plywood panels make them ideal for a wide variety of demanding applications. Kerto is produced from 3mm rotary-peeled spruce veneers glued together to form a homogenous bonded structure. It is produced in three different types that offer technical performances specifically suited to joists, lintels, roof and flooring panels and stud in both load-bearing and non-load bearing structures. Thermo Wood is thermally modified wood; its excellent durability, dimensional stability and insulating qualities as well as its long-lasting ‘new’ appearance make it ideal for both outdoor uses and interior decoration.

Production assets Metsä Wood operates through 12 production plants and 16 upgrading and distribution units. “We have three major pine sawmills in Finland and two spruce sawmills. We are also managing the SVIR sawmill in Russia, and have a smaller sawmill in Estonia,” says Henrik Söderström, Metsä Wood SVP Timber and Upgrades. “Our Kerto production

plants are based in Lohja and Punkaharju in Finland and together they have an output capacity of some 230,000 cubic metres. We also have two plywood mills in Finland. “The sawmills produce rough sawn timber which then goes to our upgrading units for machining, finishing, impregnating, painting or other upgrading processes. These operations are located close to our main markets for finished products. Such units we have for example in the UK. Europe is and will remain our main market for upgraded timber products as it is for rough sawn timber but the latter is a global business and we are seeing significant growth in our sales in the Far East in particular.” Last year Metsä Wood completed a €30m investment in its sawmill at Vilppula, Finland. The project at the mill, which now has an annual capacity of 450,000m3 a year, included a new infeed, saw line and green sorting lines. “This is a strategically important investment for Metsä Group because it allows us to maximise the processing value of wood raw material,” said Kari Jordan, president and CEO of Metsä Group. “The new flexible saw line replaces two old ones, substantially increasing the sawmill’s production efficiency.” “The investment has made the Vilppula sawmill the most modern in the world,” adds

Henrik Söderström. “The speed of the old saw lines was 60 metres per minute whereas the new single line can run at a maximum of 180 metres a minute. Also, production flexibility and efficiency have been hugely increased, giving us a greater ability to respond to varying customer needs.”

Product development As a European leader in engineered wood products, investing in research and continuous product development is vital for Metsä Wood’s ability to meet the increasing requirements of its customers. The company focuses its R&D on two sites; the development centre for engineered wood products is located at the Kerto LVL mill in Lohja and development work on special plywood is carried out at the plywood mill in Suolahti. New products from Metsä Wood include Spruce MouldGuard, a surface impregnated softwood plywood that significantly reduces the risk of mould growth in comparison to unprotected plywood panels. The panels are strong, light, rigid and easy to install using conventional woodworking tools and fasteners. FireResist is a new surface impregnated softwood plywood panel with enhanced fire resistant properties. It can be used in interior applications such as wall and ceiling structures for improved fire safety. Another key new engineered product is Metsä Wood Spruce WeatherGuard, a spruce plywood panel with a hydrophobic surface that rejects rainwater while still allowing the panel to breathe. It is an all-purpose construction panel that can be used in floor, wall and roof structures as well as agricultural structures, pedestrian bridges and renovating homes and buildings.

Sustainable products, sustainable processes A recent example of Metsä Wood’s ability to supply wood construction products for large scale projects is its 2013 contract to provide wooden structures for the new DB Schenker terminal being built in Vantaa, Finland. The

contract covers the delivery and installation of the frame, roof and exterior walls of a 12,000m2 extension to the transport and logistics company’s terminal. “We chose Metsä Wood because the costeffectiveness, schedule and environmental values of the delivery met our needs,” said Marco Furu, real estate director at DB Schenker. “The environmental goals of our parent company, Deutsche Bahn Group, form the guidelines for our actions. Sustainably built and maintained real estate is one aspect of reaching these goals. Metsä Wood’s wooden structures’ extremely small carbon footprint in comparison with other materials on the market was an important criterion for us.” But if the company’s products are inherently environmentally-friendly so are its investment decisions. In January 2013 it inaugurated a new bioenergy heating plant at the Kerto mill in Lohja that now supplies around 160,000 MWh of heat to the Lohja district heating network as well as process steam to the Kerto mill itself. “The new heating plant is pivotal in improving the competitiveness of the Kerto mill because most of the previous fossil fuel-based heat production is now replaced by bioenergy heat,” explains Henrik Söderström, “and, of course, the fuel it uses comes from the mill’s own by-products, supplemented by forest chips and other wood-based fuels. We calculate that

our bioenergy heating plant will decrease the annual carbon emissions of the Kerto mill and the Lohja area by about 40,000 tonnes.” Europe is likely to remain Metsä Wood’s principal market in the foreseeable future. “Our service network covers most European countries and thus we are well equipped for reliably serving our major customer segments of construction, industrial and distribution partners across Europe,” says Mr Söderström. “Our strategy is based on industrial efficiency. We have three focus areas to drive the industrial efficiency: partnerships, simplicity in operations and operational excellence. In terms of customer promise these mean commitment, reliability and quality – we believe these are all highly important attributes of an industrial supplier. In practice, these mean security of supply, lower inventories owing to high delivery reliability and qualities tailored to meet our partners’ needs. The demands of operational excellence dictate that we continuously seek to improve our environmental and safety performance throughout our operation. We have a proven track record for improving material efficiency and safety performance, particularly over the past five years. Combined with our primary raw material – renewable northern wood from sustainably managed forests – we believe these deliver an additional value to our customers.” n

REPOSITIONED FOR GROWTH Barbara Rossi speaks to Mr Francesco Bertolini, CEO of Caffaro Industrie SpA, a producer of fine chemicals and chlorinated paraffin and a member of the Bertolini Group.

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affaro Industrie SpA operates from the Torviscosa site, near the north eastern Italian town of Udine, which was previously home to the SNIA VISCOSA industrial district founded in the late 1930s. After having been in special administration Caffaro, as well as its sister firm Caffaro Brescia, were purchased by Caffaro Finanziaria, whose ownership is equally shared by Gruppo Bertolini and Gruppo Todisco, in 2011. The Bertolini Group, headed by Mr Bertolini, is headquartered in Bologna, employs 300 people and has a turnover of £270 million. It specialises in chemical products. Today the company, with its 150 employees and its €50 million turnover, occupies an area of 450,000 sqm, out of the 1,205,000 sqm of the original SNIA industrial district. Part of the remaining area is occupied by the Bracco Group, with which Caffaro Industrie SpA has several projects.

The business of Caffaro Industrie SpA is organised around two areas: production of fine chemicals and chlorine derivates. In fact, over the years, production has undergone a complex evolution and the manufacturing of fine chemicals was developed in the late 1990s, alongside the already existing chlorinated paraffin work. The company also carries out work for third parties, particularly in terms of Taed (Tetraacetylethylenediamine); an activity especially developed in recent years, using Caffaro’s extensive know-how, built up over 70 years, and its existing facilities. Work in the fine chemical line of business is subdivided into multi-plant and multipurpose plant respectively. The fine chemical area is equipped with 26 installed reactors of different materials (AISI 316L to glass lined), of a volume ranging from 2.5 to 35 m3, as well as 23 rectifying and distillation columns, more than 70 heat

exchangers and special equipment devices of various types (crystallizers, solid and liquid centrifuges, thin film evaporators, etc), several storage tanks and pumps. Currently the fine chemical division manufactures ketones, esters, organic carbonates and detergency products such as Taed and other specialties. The other 50 per cent of turnover derives from the chlorinated organic compounds division, thanks to which Caffaro Industrie SpA produces normal chlorinated, stabilised chlorinated and solfan chlorinated paraffin, as well as hydrochloric acid (of which the company is able to produce 35,000 tons annually). In this division, Caffaro is also engaged in producing specialties, particularly green plasticizers (phthalate free plasticizers) used in several markets. The quality system of Caffaro Industrie SpA fully complies with UNI EN ISO 9001:2008 and, as the Torviscosa site holds

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an AIA (Integrated Environmental Authorisation) the company offers maximum compliance with all environmental requirements set out by the European Union. Caffaro has also joined the Responsible Care Program and is a member of both Federchimica and AssindUd (the industrial association of Udine). The Bertolini Group is involved in the Federchimica board, of which its CEO, Mr Bertolini, is a member.

Environmentally friendly chlorine soda The Bertolini group is also involved in another project being developed at the former SNIA VISCOSA Torviscosa site. In fact, the group, through Caffaro Finanziaria (which is jointly owned by the Todisco group) is part of a joint venture with the Bracco group and Friulia - the public financial body of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, in which Udine is located - to develop a new public-private company, Halo Industry, which will become operational at the end of 2015. Thanks to a new environmentally

friendly plant, Halo Industry will produce chlorine soda. €40 million had been invested in this project, in which Caffaro Finanziaria participates with a share of 55 per cent, Friulia with 30 per cent and Bracco with 15 per cent. Mr Bertolini tells Industry Europe, “The fine chemical sector is developing continuously. Our products are used for detergents, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, lubricant, coating and herbicidal applications. They are mainly for export to Europe, China, India and North America. Chloroparaffins on the other hand are sold 50 per cent in Italy and 50 per cent in Europe, with most derivates mainly being placed on the Italian market. Geographically, our focus market for fine chemicals is North America (both US and Canada). We are planning to increase our market share there, thanks to our own fine chemicals production. Obviously as soon as our chlorine soda project becomes operational, this division will also grow rapidly, there-

Global Strategy is an international management consultancy and corporate finance company. It helps entrepreneurs, managers and financial investors with development, strategic planning, internationalisation, and financial and industrial crisis resolution processes; as well as with extraordinary operation and M&A planning and implementation. In its capacity as industrial and financial adviser Global Strategy helped Gruppo Bertolini/Todisco with the purchasing of Caffaro Industrie, which was in extraordinary administration, the reorganisation and development strategy of the Torvisca chemical plant and the structuring/procurement of the financial resources for the implementation of new production investments. Global Strategy • Via Durini 5, 20122 Milano, Italy +39 02784632 • •

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fore I would say that our future growth will be pulled by both of these business areas. We are now investing a lot in both of our divisions, while in the past, before our acquisition, Caffaro did not benefit from as much investment due to a difficult economic situation and then to the fact that it was in special administration. We have an internal R & D department, staffed with 15 people, which benefits from the enormous know-how developed by SNIA over the years. With the current facilities and staff we have the potential of reaching a turnover of €100 million, which we aim to achieve by 2015. We will grow thanks to an expansion of our volumes, rather than through acquisitions.” “Many of our suppliers, who are leading European companies, are also our clients, as we carry out contract manufacturing for them. We have been working with them for a long time. In fact all our manufacturing agreements are with companies which were n already our suppliers.”

“Our purpose is to work as a reliable partner, not just as a service provider. Our goal is to be and remain agile and flexible in order to provide the best quality service to our clients.” ISL NARDI is a logistic consultant and services company providing Supply Chain Management Services. ISL NARDI has historically been a valued name in process innovation. Since 1949, the company has provided secure and reliable service solutions to its customers, with support from its successful partnerships located on the five continents. ISL NARDI guarantees an exclusive service because it has built its base on the needs of its clients. Via Tiziano 9/A - 20145 Milan - Italy T: +39 02 46 718.1 | F: +39 02 467 18200 | E:

CooolCase GmbH, a family run business in Dresden, Germany, has been building computer cases and subracks for the whole range of electronics, from PCBs to OLEDs, since the early 1960s. Marco Siebel spoke with sales manager Udo Gätke about how the company has become one of the last European OEM computer case builders to keep its manufacturing sites in Europe.


do Gätke: “European or German quality still counts with our customers, for whom we design and build OEM computer cases. For major companies like the one that talks of building a smarter planet and the one that stresses sense and simplicity, we have designed and manufactured mechanical subracks for the whole range of electronics, from PCBs to OLEDs.” Cooolcase employs 160 people, and has its production facility in Dresden, where it merged with a mechanical engineering company a couple of years ago in order to better serve its customers. Major investments were made in 3D laser-enabled cutting machines. Udo Gätke: “Since we are a privately owned company, we tend to go about investments and growth expectations more prudently than public companies. We expect growth to come from new energy storing technologies, where they will need cooling solutions.

Business relationship CooolCase – FSP Fortron Source After our business establishment in 1995 we started to supply CooolCase in 1996. We are fortunate to say that CooolCase is our costumer for almost twenty years now and always kept trust and reliance in us. These reliance shows in constant supplies, successful completed projects and running projects. Communication, flexibility and reliability are the key factors for our successful, long-termed partnership. These Conditions were set eighteen years ago and are still expanding and improving. Both sides benefit from this well working cooperation and we are looking forward in a bright future for this business

IPC-cases: 4U for every demand The IPC 1400 is an all-rounder meeting ultimate demands. This universal and particularly versatile 4U 19” case is manufactured from galvanised sheet steel with a onepiece aluminium design bezel. It supports all applications in the context of the ATX standard, for example as a server or control system enclosure, and thus satisfies the highest user demands. Dampers protect the hard disks reliably against vibration, while filter mats in front of the two drive cages provide additional protection for the valuable installed components. Both filters and fans can be replaced quickly without the need for tools. A high-strength brace over the full width of the case further enhances the stability and rigidity of the case body. This brace can furthermore be used as a

top-holder to ensure the firm seating of the installed interface cards. A special bank of fans guarantees a strong air flow for cooling of the integrated components. In conjunction with perforated slot covers, this ensures a defined circulation within the case as a whole, and thus a long reliable service life. The additional all round dust seal even achieves protection compliant with IP50.

PC cases: individual customer design The PC 600 is a midi tower case with a discreet appearance and ample space for a diversity of installed components. Readily accessible USB 2.0 ports and HD audio jacks are provided in the front panel. Perforated sections in the front and side panels guarantee effective heat dissipation from the case. For cooling of the installed components, 80mm

fans can be mounted at the front and rear. Complete assembly from one side reduces the time required to build the system, while the folded edges on all open panels and plates ensure safe handling. The case satisfies all relevant European quality standards.

Coool PC: innovative cooling solutions The innovative and patented cooling concept of the CooolServer 3100 implements high-performance cooling while at the same time protecting the installed components against dust and dampness – and that without resorting to liquid cooling. Through the integration of two centrifugal fans, as part of a completely new approach to heat dissipation, the folded heat sink achieves a continuous heat transfer of 320W. This level of thermal

efficiency is made possible by a high-quality aluminium alloy. The closed air circuit is furthermore a guarantee for outstanding EMC shielding. Thanks to its quiet operation, the system is especially suitable for use in the high-performance of industry and server context.

MobilDisplay presentation systems The CooolCase MobilDisplay is a flexible screen system for the presentation of digital media content at any required location. It

embodies a high level of technical quality and achieves prominence through an attractive appearance, simple installation and convenient handling: 46” Full HD display for perfect clarity, integrated PC with 250 GB hard disk and pre-installed operating system, quick-assembly system for simple transport and installation, illuminated front panel as additional advertising space. Udo Gätke: “Our forecast for the next few years is consolidation of our turnover and of our presence on the central European

market. But we won’t shy away from seizing opportunities on the Indian and South n African horizons.”

THE CAPACITY TO DELIVER Epcos is part of the giant TDK Group of Japan and is a global leader in the development and manufacture of high-tech capacitors and inductors. Philip Yorke takes a closer look some of the company’s latest innovative products and how it is shaping the future of technology in the communications and automotive electronics sectors.


pcos AG is based in Munich, German, and develops and produces electronic components, modules and systems focused on fast-growing, leading edge technology sectors. These include advanced products for information and communications technology applications and for automotive electronics, as well as for industrial and consumer electronics. Epcos capacitors are used throughout the electrical and

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engineering industries and are used to store electrical charges, or to regulate current and voltage in electronic circuitry. The company’s product portfolio includes aluminium, electrolytic capacitors, film capacitors and power capacitors, as well as solutions for power factor correction. Epcos inductors fulfil two basic electrical functions at the same time: they filter electrical current and store electromagnetic energy.

Among other things, the company’s inductors are used in switch-mode power supplies for applications in information and communications technology. In addition, Epcos ceramic components are indispensable when used in automotive electronics and household appliances, as well as in telecommunications and entertainment electronics. Today Epcos operates a global network of manufacturing plants and R&D centres and

currently employs more than 25,500 people worldwide. In 2013 TDK Epcos recorded sales of more than €1.8 billion.

Quality and innovation driving sales The Epcos vision is to make the Epcos brand synonymous with outstanding technological and business performance in the field of electronics. With its Quality Management (QM) system and its ‘zero-defect’ commitment to its customers, the company is continually improving both its processes and the quality of its products. Carmakers and manufacturers of automotive electronics systems are leading the way in demanding ever more efficient, energy-saving and cost-effective components. Therefore economy, customer benefit and quality are key criteria of the company’s product assessment profile. However, environmental compatibility is also high on Epcos’ agenda.

A recent example of Epcos’ advanced technology was revealed in February this year when it launched the world’s smallest Bluetooth Smart Module, which reduces power consumption to about one quarter of that of traditional Bluetooth devices. Epcos AG’s ultra- compact Bluetooth low energy module is designed for the Bluetooth 4.0 low energy (LE) specification. Thanks to its compact size the new module is very well suited for use in emerging wearable devices. This is a market that researchers expect will grow rapidly in the near future. Therefore, mass production of the company’s SESUBPAN T2541 began in February this year.

Industry’s smallest multilayer diplexer Smartphones and other high-tech communication devices will now benefit from the launch of the new multilayer diplexer from Epcos. With its miniature dimensions of only 1.0mm X 0.5mm X 0.4mm, the latest diplexer

from Epcos is the smallest in the industry. This means that the volume of the new component is more than 60 per cent smaller than those of existing 1608 diplexers, Despite its significant reduction in size, the new Epcos diplexer provides equal or even better insertion loss and attention performance. For example, the maximum low band insertion loss at 2.4 to 2.5 GHz is just 0.5dB, while the high band attenuation in the same frequency range is at least 25dB. Mass production of this item was commenced in February this year. This latest diplexer from Epcos is ideal for use in both Bluetooth and WLAN circuitry in mobile devices. The company has also expanded its portfolio of MHQ-P high Q multilayer inductors which now features the highest Q factor for any multilayer inductor of its size and is suitable for all RF applications, such as smartphones, tablets and other modern mobile devices. The achievement of such a high Q factor in an extremely

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compact package was made possible by the use of the company’s proprietary dielectric materials technology and an internal electrode cross-section design with a high-aspect ratio. This was combined with an optimised L-shaped terminal layout. The new 0402 components have a volume that is 70 per cent smaller and a footprint that is 53 per cent smaller than existing MHQ 0603P series and are designed to make RF circuits in multifunctional communications devices more efficient than ever before.

In the field of power capacitors, Epcos has extended its range with higher-density products. The new MKK DCi-R series with resin impregnation is based on the well-proven MKK DC series with gas impregnation and the MKK DC-1 with oil impregnation. This new series features capacitors that are rated to have more than 10,000uf and designed for voltages up to 4000V DC. The energy density of the new resin impregnated capacitors is about 10 per cent higher than that of existing gas-impregnated types.

Furthermore, the flat winding technology allows a volume fill factor of about 95 per cent to be achieved, so that highly compact components can be produced in fully automated production runs. What’s more, thanks to its rugged design, these capacitors are characterised by their high current capability and their ability to withstand high n voltage current peaks. For further details of Epcos’ latest innovative products and services visit:

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THE WINNING STRATEGY IS DIVERSIFICATION Italy’s Renco SpA has certainly diversified, with activities ranging from oil & gas and construction to asset management and other services. This is the secret of its success, as its current president, Giovanni Gasparini, explains to Industry Europe. Barbara Rossi reports.

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enco SpA is headquartered in Pesaro, central Italy. Here the company was set up as a design and engineering organisation for the oil and gas sector in 1979 by Mr Rinaldo Gasparini, father of the current president. The company grew over the years, diversifying its activity to also include materials supply and construction services. In the 1990s, diversification started on a geographical basis as well, and Renco began building residential facilities in Kazakhstan and Russia. A lot of the building stock was not sold, but rented out and managed by the company itself. Renco, whose most recent turnover was €210 million and which employs 4000 worldwide, can boast of having completed 1000 projects globally, in over 50 countries, as well as having 16 subsidiary companies in 10 countries. It regards safety, quality and on-time performance as being the pillars of its activity.

Currently Renco is organised into four divisions: industrial plants, infrastructure, services and asset management. The industrial plants division deals with turnkey EPC contracting services, as well as with installation only, for upstream oil and gas plants, gas compression and storage systems, and power production and distribution systems (especially in terms of small to medium size generating stations). The division also supplies services to the renewable energy industry: for wind farms, photovoltaic systems and hydroelectric facilities. The service division deals with supplying and managing technical personnel to the oil and gas and energy sector. It offers consultancy services, plant management, staff training, alongside on-site NDT and safety valve hot checks. “We have a database of 15,000 sector experts whom we can supply, wherever they are needed,” Mr Gasparini tells Industry Europe.

“Through our construction division we have built an array of buildings. We started in Russia and Kazakhstan, constructing buildings for renting. To start with we were building residential facilities and offices for expatriate staff working for the oil and gas sectors. We then widened the boundaries of our work, both geographically and in terms of the type of buildings. We have diversified, so as to be able to face the competition from what used to be called emerging countries. We soon understood that the way to do this was to be able to carry out projects with a strong service or technological element. The medical construction sector fits this description; hence we have completed medical centres and facilities in various locations. “Our newest division deals with asset management. This side of the business was started in 2008 as a spin-off from the construction

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division. I would say that the real estate stock that we manage is equally divided between hotels and rented flats or offices.” The main contributor to Renco’s turnover, with a 50 per cent share, is the industrial plants division, while the remainder is equally generated from the rest. The balance among the different divisions varies from year to year, depending on market demand. Recently the company has further widened the boundaries of its work, including financial services in its range. “Every customer and every project is unique and we tailor our offer to them,” says Mr Gasparini. “We are also increasing our service quality, focusing on internal quality procedures.” The company already holds ISO9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications.

Spending time in Mozambique “Right now our attention is focused on Mozambique, where important discoveries for the oil and gas sector have been made. We have actually entered this market with

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our construction division and are building a tourist village. We plan to then expand our activity in the country to the oil and gas sector. This is in line with our expansion strategy, as we establish our presence on a particular geographical market through one of our divisions, and then follow on with one or more of the others.” As well as Mozambique, other markets where Renco already has a branch and where it intends to expand its presence are Iraq and the United Arab Emirates (in both of these markets the company has initiated its work through the oil and gas division). Currently the geographical markets ranking in first position in terms of importance are Kazakhstan, Armenia and the Congo, followed by other countries, such as Russia, Tanzania (Zanzibar in particular), Libya, France, Poland and Colombia. The type of presence and activity carried out in these different markets varies. For instance, in Armenia Renco is active with regard to con-

struction, in Zanzibar it has a tourist village and in the Congo it works in oil and gas. When asked about Renco’s future, Mr Gasparini says, “In the short term I see the future of my company as unfolding in terms of organic growth, while in the medium to long term, acquisitions could appear on our horizon. Definitely the different divisions will grow in a balanced way. This is a winning model because it balances cash flow, as well as creating synergies that we can use for growth purposes. The various divisions generate and facilitate work for each other, alongside offering savings, as many overheads are shared.” Renco has many existing strategic partnerships with companies which can offer products and services complementary to its activity (mainly for oil and gas and construction). Again partnerships are usually established in a particular market for a particular division and, once consolidated, are n developed at a global level.

Eurasian Economic Community A new big opportunity for European manufacturers Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, there were many initiatives to integrate the newly formed independent republics. The Eurasian Economic Union “EurAsEC”, makes a step ahead, not only for its economical and political will, but for its effectiveness. Actually inside the EAC we have the first integration project called the Eurasian Custom Union (EAC) joined by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan (with more to come).

With the EAC a market of more than 170 million persons is accessible with a common effort in terms of official language (Russian), certification procedures and permits. As a very good example, before the EAC those three countries required a separate procedure of product / production certification for each with a three times higher cost and considerable time loss. Now this integration makes possible to choose in which country to certify the production and those certificates will be valid for all the EAC and also the validity of most of the certificates was extended from three to five years. Many European standards were also included in the new Technical Rules of the Custom Union simplifying the task of the engineering companies. The very well known GOST Marking


now substituted by the new

However, the procedure once not taken very seriously of GOST certification of conformity, now require the understanding in full of the new rules and this is a difficult task and we strongly suggest to contact a qualified Certification Agency that can consult and follow up the procedures of certification needed. The most important step is to act even before the contract is signed, and this is a must for an engineering company that deals with a complicated project. Only with a certification strategy well fitted will be possible to evaluate the costs and avoid useless procedures. With the new Custom Union Declaration of Conformity became important, not only to obtain from the suppliers the Declaration itself, but also to check the documentation on which it is based and the scheme of certification applied. For this a specialized Certification Agency should help the engineering company or the manufacturer with an audit job in front of the suppliers, both to avoid asking for unnecessary procedure and to get the proper documentation formatted according to the rules. To pass the custom is often an easy task but getting the permit to use for the equipment and avoid problems during installation can be a lot more complicated and the manufacturer is responsible for those steps too, regardless of contract.

Why EAC can be regarded positively by the European manufacturers? As we very well know, to adapt a production for a foreign market, moreover when language, norms and traditional rules are well far away from our experience, it’s a difficult and time consuming task. For those reasons many small and middle companies cannot afford the related costs and loose ground in terms of market shares and opportunities.

(Our Company East Certification and Service, with more than 15 years experience and the high qualified staff can handle the task with minimum effort and a warranty of success even in the most complicated fields of oil & gas, heavy industry or petrochemical. - ) Marco Ponzalino Director East Certification & Service *images taken from Wikipedia

Leading drive train developer and manufacturer The Switch has maintained its reputation as an innovator in this fast-moving industry thanks to a continued focus on fresh ideas. Industry Europe’s Emma-Jane Batey spoke to president and CEO Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen to learn more.

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ndustry Europe last spoke with The Switch in 2012 which, while that may only be two years ago, is a life-time in the fast-moving world of ecologically responsible power generation. Having continued to develop apace, The Switch has added to its roster of sectors and applications. An increasing number of customers are appreciating the value of incorporating its technologically advanced drive trains in their power generation solutions. A leading supplier of megawatt-class permanent magnet generators and full-power converters, Finland-based The Switch has boosted its profile by concentrating on how to integrate its technology into new premium-quality turbines. President and CEO Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen spoke to Industry Europe to explain: “In the past two years we have seen considerable pressure on the wind power industry, with the prices being continuously pushed down. Wind power is still our core business, but we have seen clear consolidation across the industry.”

Understanding the industry This trend for consolidation throughout the wind power industry has meant that there has been what Mr Mäkinen described as ‘a weeding out process’. He continued, “Where there were perhaps 80 companies in the industry in China, today there are more like only 20. As well as consolidation, there were some companies that just didn’t make it. Even though wind power generation is a relatively new industry, the global economic crisis has certainly contributed to the fact that everyone – from the huge power station-owning conglomerates to the energy end users – is looking to save money. The good thing about this is that the companies that have ridden the waves and survived are strong. The Switch has a strong reputation and order backlog.” The upturn in the wind power industry is evidenced by the fact that the share price of Vestas has increased by more than 500 per cent in the past 18 months. Mr Mäkinen

added, “The industry is much stronger now. It’s not so new, and we’ve had the time to become more established as a sector.” The success story that is The Switch is thanks to its ability to innovate and to diversify. The progress of the company is a part of the industry’s return to an upward trajectory. He said, “The Switch is performing well; we’re aiming for profitability in our selected applications and a good position in the industry. We’re seeing that vertical integration is no longer a prominent trend in the wind turbine industry, with many of the major manufacturers keen to make all of the components themselves. Instead, they are turning to reliable partners for collaboration. This trend has certainly contributed to our excellent achievements in recent years as these turbine manufacturers can utilise the technology that we offer and can integrate it into their solutions.” He continued: “Many of our customers in the wind power industry have also recently

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JL MAG Rare-Earth Co. Europe B.V. JL MAG Europe is a subsidiary company of JL Mag Ganzhou China. With mining and production facilities at it’s disposal, the focus is placed on the availability, security of supply and recycling of Rare Earth elements with high production technology and broad knowledge in the materials and their relation to the magnetic function. From the very hart of Brainport Eindhoven (The Netherlands), one of the most innovative regions of the world, JL Mag Europe has successfully introduced its unique business model to their target markets in Renewable Energy, E-Mobility, Industrial Automation and High Tech Systems. Meanwhile our production facilities in China have been audited according ISO 9001, 14001, VDA 6.3 standards and released for Mass production. In parallel we have introduced our “Cradle to Cradle” concept by making our Separating Technology available which makes it possible not only to recycle all “Production Wastes”, but also recycle finished magnets in a “end of life” situation.

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focused on their own core competencies, so there is a growing trend for more specialism in a certain product. The Switch is the ideal partner for these companies as we can integrate our advanced technology into their components, helping to differentiate their products in a market that is always looking for excellence.”

Diversified applications The Switch’s customers are not only found in the wind power industry, although this remains its largest application sector. As well as providing the permanent magnet generator for two of the world’s largest eight-megawatt turbines, the company has recently announced a permanent magnet shaft generator order for the marine industry. Mr Mäkinen said, “The

Switch is diversifying into other industries. Our permanent magnet machines and full-power converters can be integrated into other energygenerating applications, like wave and tidal power plants. We know that the market needs field-proven and reliable technology and we provide that value.” The company’s diversification strategy means it has been finding other markets for the same technology it has created for the wind power industry. For example, it is now active in using permanent magnet technology for the global marine industry in shaft generators and propulsion applications. Mr Mäkinen added, “We’re always looking for the killer application. Our advanced drive trains are already playing a part in the changes and developments of the various

industries in which we are – or may soon become – active, such as in marine, mining and other industrial applications where we see high potential. We’re also excited about our new marine shaft generator, which allows a ship to save fuel and better meet the more stringent emission regulations by using a permanent magnet generator and full-power converter.” With The Switch’s plans for the future defined by Mr Mäkinen as a desire to change the world with advanced drive trains, it is clear that the rapid changes across the power generation industry are helping to drive the accomplishments of this ambitious company. Mr Mäkinen concluded, “The Switch is well positioned to be the clear choice for OEMs n making efficient energy solutions.”

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THE SPIRIT OF AIR Air technology is at the heart of WOLF Anlagen Technik – as it connects the business divisions of Surface Engineering, HVAC and Agricultural Engineering. Julia Snow spoke to CEO Siegfried Vogl-Wolf to find out about all three.

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was back in 1950, in the heart of the world’s largest hop-growing region Hallertau, that Anton Wolf started a business that dealt with the development and construction of hop kilns. Soon he developed the first German hop-picking machine, followed by the manufacture of air heaters and hot air generators for industrial use – the birth of the air conditioning division. In 1972 WOLF added the production of painting and drying booths for refinishing which led to the Surface Technology division. The interplay of innovative ideas, continuous product development, advanced manufacturing and production technology and, not least, the commitment and loyalty of employees has enabled the company to grow from a family business to a mediumsized industrial enterprise. Currently around 280 people, mainly from the region, are looking after customers – from research and development, planning, design, manufacturing to installation and customer service. Planning and construction are located exclusively in-house, and the production is equipped with the most modern CNC manufacturing and processing machinery in conjunction with a CAD - bending cell. The premises cover a total area of around 93,000m².

Hi-tech products for many applications “We have chosen the motto ‘Spirit of Air’, because the common factor between hop picking machines, air conditioning units and paint booths is the use of air in different ways. The processes range from blowing, extracting, cooling or warming, filtering and cleaning through to drying, moistening and silencing.” explains Mr Vogl-Wolf. Air conditioning units are the company’s core products – offered in a very diverse range. There are industrial units for heating and ventilation of large areas such as warehouses, high temperature equipment for

process engineering, roof top units, hygiene and refrigeration air handling units as well as full air handling units. Satisfied customers include hotels, large hospitals, rehabilitation centres, airports, schools and institutes, swimming pools, shopping centres and many more. “We make one of the best ‘weatherproof’ air conditioning units for interior and exterior use, up to the highest class T1/TB1, as well as fulfilling the highest hygiene requirements for operating theatres.” “We keep pushing the development of our products, so that we can stay ahead of the field. We also need to look out for constantly changing norms and guidelines that are issued by legislative and professional bodies. When we build a customised system we need to make sure that it is future proof by incorporating the latest know-how and technologies.” The company holds German and international patents and licenses for its own

technologies such as the latest Red-Eye System. This innovation minimises the energy consumption of paint and drying booths by measuring the temperature of the painted object rather than that of the environment – thereby controlling and optimising the drying process. With this system the engineers have managed to implement the principle of “not one degree too high or one minute too long.”

Solid setup across the market “Our production is 100 per cent located in Geisenfeld, Germany. We are shareholders in a small refrigeration plant specialist nearby, which complements our capacities perfectly and which gives us a competitive advantage.” For the future there is enough capacity for extensions on the 93.000 square metres owned by the company. There are already plans for a second production line which will be started as soon as the order books require this – for an immediate increase of production capacity.

“With a tight network of service centres across Germany, an Online Service Center and excellent spare parts supply we can offer high product safety and reliability for our customers.” says Mr Vogl-Wolf. “In addition, we have a network of technical customer advisers as well as representatives within and outside of German borders. “Our supplier list today does not differ much from the one we had 10 years ago. We are a family business, and we stand by our suppliers. To name a few, we work with AAF-Lufttechnik, Aerotechnik, BTN, Danfoss, EBM Papst, E+S Eisen+Stahl Service Center, HerkulesHebetechnik, Hombach Wärmetechnik, Jung Leuchten, Klingenburg, Pflaum & Söhne Bausysteme, Siemens, Stahl-Metall-Service und Ziehl Abegg (in alphabetical order). 92 Industry Europe

Technology at home in many markets In the division of agricultural machines WOLF has customers in hops farming worldwide. Currently there is a focus on export markets and on new application areas like tea drying. Well known customers in the division of surface technologies include major automotive brands, the paint industry as well as paint institutes, but also machine builders and general industry. Within this division there is also currently much emphasis on export activities, but also in industrial coating systems. In air conditioning, which is the strongest in terms of sales, the main market is still Germany, but there are local offices in Austria, Afghanistan, Holland, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden.

Steady path ahead “While the world’s population is growing, we see potential for growth in surface technologies and in air conditioning. In air conditioning it is working in our favour that automated air conditioning systems have definitely replaced the manual control of room temperatures as a much more efficient method.” says Mr Vogl-Wolf. “When it comes to growth, we prefer a steady step by step approach, but of

course we see that consolidation is happening all over the markets. Acquisitions are part of this, but we cannot say whether there may be one on the cards for us in the future.” There is a strategic document entitled Agenda 2020, which outlines WOLF’s further development plans. “We are serious about reaching our goals, we work hard every day and we keep re-aligning the milestones as we go.” n

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HYDRAULICS Created in 1945 as the National Tractor and Agricultural Machinery Company, and following a number of production-focus changes over the decades, Hydrotor S.A. is today one of Poland’s leading manufacturers of power hydraulics appliances. The Hydrotor Group employs over 760 people, while Hydrotor S.A. has 340 staff. Piotr Sadowski writes for ‘Industry Europe’.


ydrotor’s core area of manufacturing lies in constructions based on innovative technological and engineering solutions; the product range includes high pressure pumps, gear pumps, control valves, selector valves, hydraulic aggregates and cylinders, power sources and flow meters. “We also produce parts for machinery and appliances,” says Marcin Andrearczyk, representing Hydrotor S.A. “In order to fully meet the demands of the market we are currently working on modernising our machine park and plan to expand the scope of production to include new types of gear pumps, valve blocks and valves, as selector systems. In mid-2012 we started the operation of a new large element processing unit as well as a low noise level pumps project.” Hydrotor’s offer also includes the renovation of elements of power hydraulics – pumps, actuators, selectors and other elements of hydraulics, something that the company has been carrying out since its beginnings nearly 70 years ago. Over the decades it has established its own, unique methods of renovating hydraulics elements. “We offer one-year guarantees on our renovated elements, which should be a strong confirmation that they are highly reliable,” confirms Mr Andrearczyk. “In recent years we have also gained a lot of experiences with orders for repairs coming from foreign manufacturers.”

Large-scale investments As Mr Andrearczyk points out, the continuous expansion of manufacturing capabilities is what the market and the clients expect of Hydrotor. Every year, the company plans new investments in its machine park. “In 2012 we completed and launched our biggest ever investment – the Centre for Precise Processing of Large Elements – worth over PLN 28 million,” says Mr Andrearczyk. “The Centre was a result of R&D activities carried out together with the Technological and Environmental University in Bydgoszcz as part of activities 1.4–4.1 of the Operating Programme ‘Innovative Economy’. The result of this work is the Centre which enables us to carry out the most complex and precise processing of large-size elements at the highest levels of quality and capability. Owing to their size and weight, these elements would be impossible to process without the operations of the highly innovative and modern Centre, which employs the latest technologies which, in turn, guarantee long-life elements, easier assembly as well as new methods for repairing and regenerating parts.” The machine park where high-precision processing takes place is equipped with two MIKROMAT 20V portal centres, where manufacturing processes take place in an air-conditioned production hall at a temperature of 19.8°C, with variations being no bigger than 0.48°C/2 hours. The company

is able to process elements (up to sizes of 5000mm/2500mm/1850mm and maximum weight of 15 tonnes) to the precision of several micrometres. “We regularly process elements of machinery from such well-known producers as Kovosvit MAS – one of the largest manufacturers of CNC processing appliances in Europe, and SW–Schwäbische Werkezegumaschinen GmbH, a major producer of CNC processing machines for the automotive industry, but we also focus on processing elements used in industrial sectors such as aircraft, wind energy and other areas where the highest precision is required,” summarises Mr Andrearczyk.

Excellent technological equipment In addition to the Centre, Hydrotor also operates the largest CMM Zeiss MMZG machine in Poland for measuring processed elements, as well as for carrying out external measurement services. The MMZG 30/60/20 machine, manufactured by Carl Zeis consortium, enables measurements to be carried out in the range of X-3000mm, Y-6000mm, Z-2000mm, at the highest precision. The Maximum Permissible Error for Length Measurement is 3.5+L/400μm. In order to increase the possibility of measuring large elements, the machine has been mounted on 700mmhigh pillars, thus increasing the clearance over the portal to 3200mm.

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“By using the Zeiss VAST active scanning head it is possible to conduct measurements using terminals made from carbon fibre with a length of up to 1200mm,” explains Mr Andrearczyk. “A customer who uses our measurement services obtains a 3D measurement protocol and can be assured of the highest quality of service, completed by qualified specialists. Our measurements often allow you to avoid unnecessary costs associated with the returns of products and eliminate errors at the production stage.” In fact the entire large element processing service at Hydrotor is very innovative, as the technologies used are unique and offered by very few companies. Owing to the difficulty associated with ensuring the required processing accuracy, the need to guarantee appropriate temperature conditions in the production process is of vital importance. The degree of spread of similar technologies in precision processing across the world does not exceed 5 per cent – making Hydrotor a truly impressive and unique market player.

Strong business relationships The client base of Hydrotor includes manufacturers of agricultural machinery and appliances, as well as enterprises in electro-machinery, construction, mining and many other areas where wide-ranging mobile hydraulics are used. “We work with well-known clients such as Idex Corporation, Parker Hannifin, Bosch Rexroth and CLAAS Industrietechnik,” says Mr Andrearczyk. “A significant part of our production

WORLD OF STEEL WITHIN YOUR REACH The Benteler Distribution Poland limited liability company, which has been present on the Polish market since 1994, is a leading supplier of steel products. The company is part of the German Benteler Trading group, which total annual sales is estimated as 600,000 tons of steel. The group employs more than 1,500 employees in 29 countries. To meet the needs of customers and to confront the competition, Benteler Distribution Poland continually conducts wide-ranging policy of diversifying both suppliers and assortment range. It also offers a wide range of services as well as full service.

reaches trading and spare parts businesses. It is important to understand that elements of power hydraulics are those that undergo the greatest wear and tear in machinery and appliances, therefore spare parts are an important area in the market for hydraulics.” Hydrotor also cooperates with a wide range of suppliers, including suppliers of tools, who often support the company with the most optimal tool and technological solutions. This cooperation is based on partnership relationships with suppliers such as foundries, manufacturers of aluminium profiles and suppliers of steel. Such cooperation is a very important factor in the effective operation of a modern enterprise, such as Hydrotor. “Approximately 40 per cent of all our products are sold abroad, mainly to EU countries, as well as the US, former USSR countries and the Middle East,” explains the company’s representative. “Export markets are very important for us, particularly the German market; however we cannot forget about the importance of Poland, where we have been operating for nearly 70 years. The products of the entire Hydrotor Group go to over 20 different countries and overall export surpasses 50 per cent. We are currently undertaking an order for valves and pumps for clients from Egypt and Saudi

Arabia. We are also engaged in intensive marketing activities in the Russian and Middle Eastern markets.”

Outlook on future growth Hydrotor S.A. will continue to grow organically, as well as through mergers and acquisitions such as WPH Wrocław, WIZAMOR and ZEHS Lubań. In acquisitions, the company looks to further expand the Group in terms of the core business, hydraulics. “We want to achieve synergy through joint sales and purchasing policy, as well as

optimal use of resources of each and every business unit within Group,” concludes Mr Andrearczyk. “Cooperation between the companies in the Group is very important, as it translates into the highest product quality and reduced costs of manufacturing. Over the years we have created a strong Group that brings together power hydraulics producers that complement one another. Future acquisitions are possible under appropriate circumstances but the main driver in future expansion will come n from organic growth.”

PASSEROTTI, an Eriks Group company is a technical distributor of SIMRIT-FREUDENBERG-MERKEL Seals, TRELLEBORG Antivibration mounts, SKF Bearings and LOCTITE products.


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APL is a globally operating provider of container transportation services and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines logistics company. Industry Europe looks at the company’s operations and its latest developments, including a complete organisational realignment.


lobal container transportation services company APL was founded over 160 years ago as the first New York to Asia shipping company. Acquired by Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) Group, a global shipping transportation logistics company based in Singapore, APL has grown to become the world’s fourth largest container shipping business. Listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in its two business units, APL and APL Logistics provide supply chain management, consolidation services, freight forwarding and international logistics services. With a global staff of 11,000 based in 200 offices, APL provides seamless global connectivity by utilising its comprehensive fleet of modern vessels and commercially integrated routes.

Range of services APL’s container fleet offers services ranging from standard dry cargo containers to refrigerated and special containers. The service covers everything from equipment design to maintenance and repair. Containers can be refrigerated if need be, or adapted to contain hazardous materials, and APL also offers packing and loading services to ensure clients’ products will not be damaged during shipping. Oversized cargoes which pose unique challenges, such as military tanks or road-building machinery, can also be moved safely and efficiently by APL’s specially-trained professionals. All the biggest modern shipping companies, if they want to remain competitive, must also offer E-business solutions

whereby clients can have easy access to their shipment information and transaction over the internet. With APL clients can manage their bills and track shipments online. Meanwhile, Electronic Data Exchange systems allow them to communicate booking information and receive invoices etc without the need to send paper documents – a far more convenient and less time-consuming, not to mention environmentally friendly, method of document exchange.

Structural changes In January this year (2014) APL announced an organisational realignment to its functional structure in order to drive the business forward. Through this, it will move from its previous geographically-organised structure

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to a functional one. The functions will be in the areas of Trade, Commerce, Operations, Procurement and Planning & Strategy. Company president Kenneth Glenn said of the move: “The container shipping industry is undergoing profound changes, characterised by low growth and intense competition. We recognise there is a need for APL to respond more quickly to the market and to our customers. We are pushing ahead with our strategy to sharpen our competitive edge through cost efficiency and organisational agility while building on our strong reputation for service quality.”

New cooperation Also in January this year, APL announced a new strategic cooperation with Maersk and OOCL on three existing Far East to Indian Subcontinent services, starting in February 2014. In a slot sharing agreement that also includes partners CMA CGM, Emirates Shipping Line, Hamburg Süd and Regional Container Lines, 18 vessels with a total capacity of about 17,500 TEU will be deployed on the three Far East-Indian Subcontinent services. The enhanced network will enable the carriers to offer three weekly sailings – covering China, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – compared to one weekly sailing currently offered independently by each liner. “Our multi-carrier cooperation will provide more frequent sailings between Asia’s

major trading hubs, and at the same time eliminate unnecessary service duplications,” the partner carriers said in a joint statement. “With improved operational efficiency and a more comprehensive service structure, the enhanced Far East-Indian Subcontinent services will offer shippers flexible and competitive options best catered to their needs.”

Worldwide presence APL serves more than 25,000 locations in 105 countries around the world. Its vessel routes cover Asia-Europe, Australia, Intra-Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe-North America and Asia-North America. The main hubs for APL are Rotterdam for Europe, with the majority of its routes calling here for cargo to be loaded or unloaded and often discharged for feeder services on other transportation. In Asia, APL has a strong presence in its historic Sin-

gapore hub, as well as a number of Chinese ports, with its US coverage emanating from hubs on the west coast in LA and Seattle. Currently operating a fleet of nearly 150 ships, APL has a mix of size and ownership, with both chartered and own ownership, although all ships in its fleet must meet the extraordinarily strict requirements of quality, environmental and maintenance standards that exceed international demands. As the majority of APL’s customer requirements are large, international intra-Asia, US or European logistics, the ships vary from 1500TU capacity to 9000TU capacity, giving APL the ability to delivery the largest loads worldwide. The quality and standard of the fleet is taken for granted at APL – the company believes this is a non-negotiable aspect prior to any charter or sale and leaseback agreement when adding to its fleet. It is this reliability that truly adds value to the APL offer. n

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THE FULL SERVICE PROVIDER FLSmidth is a leader in the supply of equipment and services to the global cement and minerals industries. Peter Mercer reports on the company’s success in leveraging its expertise in cement technology into minerals processing and its fast-growing customer services business.


LSmidth won its first contract for a cement plant, near Limhamm in Sweden, in 1887. Today the Danish company supplies the cement and minerals industries globally with engineering, single machines and complete processing plants as well as comprehensive maintenance and support services that range up to the complete operation of customers’ processing facilities. FLSmidth currently offers its full service solutions in six core focus industries: cement, coal, iron ore, copper, gold and fertilisers; its technologies and services range from material handling in the quarry through the entire processing operations of the end product. Headquartered at Valby, near Copenhagen, a site it moved to in 1956, FLSmidth today employs more than 15,000 people all over the world and had revenues in 2013 of €3.6bn. Until the later part of the 20th century the company was focused on designing and 102 Industry Europe

producing machinery for the cement industry. It introduced the coal-fired rotary kiln to the European market at the end of the 19th century – an innovation from the USA that revolutionised cement production – and by the 1950s FLSmidth machinery was used in 40 per cent of all cement production in the entire world. In the following years the company continued to introduce new machines and processes that reinforced its position as a technology leader in the industry, including the ATOX vertical mill, which combined the grinding, separation and drying processes into a single unit. Since the 1980s FLSmidth has sold more than 300 ATOX mills.

Refocusing and expansion Then, following the economic recession of the 1980s, FLSmidth began to diversify into a number of other businesses until it had grown into a Group of some 125 companies in which two thirds of sales were in non-core

activities. However at the beginning of the 21st century it was decided to dispose of the Group’s non-strategic interests and refocus on the development and production of equipment, production plants, systems and services for the global cement and minerals industries. This return to the company’s roots was marked in 2006 when it was awarded a contract by Holcim to supply the world’s biggest cement production line at Ste Genevieve, Missouri, in the USA. At the same time the company began a series of strategic acquisitions that would enable it to expand its services into the minerals industries. Perhaps the most important of these was the acquisition in 2007 of the process division of the Canadian company GL&V, consisting of Dorr-Oliver Eimco and Krebs Engineers. The expertise in separation equipment for the metals and minerals industries that this purchase brought to the Group enabled FLSmidth to offer customers

the entire flow sheet of a typical minerals plant, from raw material extraction to the final end product. “Our strategy is to be the leading singlesource supplier in all the industries we serve,” explains President of the Cement Division Per Mejnert Kristensen. “We have built up this position in the cement industry over many years and, thanks to our strategy of key acquisitions, we can now offer the minerals industry the same complete service. In fact today around one third of our business is in the cement industry and two thirds in industries such as copper, gold, iron ore and coal. “This is vital to our continuing success since the cement industry typically experiences booms and downturns over cycles of six to eight years; so by leveraging our experience and technological expertise in cement equipment and plants, we can smooth out the market fluctuations. This expansion was reinforced by the global branding strategy that we adopted in 2009 – ‘One Company – One Name – One Source’ – highlighting our position as a supplier of the whole value chain to both

the cement and the minerals processing industries. So customers in the copper industry, for example, can now source from us everything they need for the complete processing operation – equipment for crushing, grinding, filtration, flotation, material handling, screening, thickening and even for sampling and on-line analysis.”

Core cement competence All of this market expansion has, of course, been made possible by FLSmidth’s experience over more than 130 years in undertaking large and small cement plant design and construction around the world. Over the last eight years the company has delivered more than 100 plants in Europe, Asia and Africa alone. Its ‘One Source’ strategy enables it to offer customers everything from process design and project management to equipment supply and commissioning, even including training for the operators who will run the plant. Recent projects for the global cement industry have included a complete new 6,000 tonnes per day production unit near Benin City in Nigeria. The contract between

FLSmidth and BUA International, the owner of local cement producer EDO, included mechanical and electrical engineering, equipment supply and sea transport, supervision of installation and commissioning and the training of staff. The complete package of FLSmidth machinery supplied included EV crushers for limestone and laterite, an ATOX 50 raw mill, a five stage in-line calciner preheater and two support kilns, a Cross-Bar clinker cooler, UMS cement mills and four packing plants. And when Russia needed to produce more cement in the run-up to this year’s Winter Olympics, FLSmidth helped to dramatically increase capacity at the JSC Verkhnebakansky cement plant, which is located east of the Crimean peninsula. The project involved creating a new production line alongside the existing small line without disrupting current production. FLSmidth developed an energy-efficient solution using the latest technology and supplied all the machinery for the plant as well as a stateof-the-art laboratory and control systems, including a RoboLab industrial robot. The company supplied a total of 4,900 tonnes

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of key equipment and developed the documentation for manufacturing and the specifications for purchasing the remaining 13,000 tonnes. The new line has a capacity of 6,200 tonnes of clinker per day, making it the largest dry cement plant in Russia. It features one of the largest ATOX mills FLSmidth has supplied. During construction the old line never stopped production and, in fact, cement produced by it was used in the construction of the new line.

Cutting edge technology In all its business areas FLSmidth leads the way in improving environmental protection through cutting edge technology and optimised product manufacturing, fabrication and installation. “Our R&D activities are a huge part of the business we carry out in-house and our Dania R&D Centre in Denmark is the largest facility of its kind in the industry,” says Per Mejnert Kristensen, “Cement production is, of course, extremely energy intensive so a lot of our work in recent years has been in improving energy efficiency but we are also putting a lot of effort into reducing emissions. Our HOTDISC combustion system was introduced 14 years ago but it remains a highly effective process for burning alternative fuels in a controlled and environmentally-friendly manner. It can burn all forms of solid waste, from sludge or grains to huge used tyres or large pieces of timber such as old telephone poles and so turns otherwise useless and environmentally challenging solid waste into useful energy in a completely safe and economical way. Many new cement plants today are equipped with this technology.” FLSmidth is also an industry leader in the development of air pollution technology and offers a wide range of solutions to reduce particulate matter and gaseous emissions. With more than 8,000 systems installed worldwide, the company is a one-stop source for helping customers comply with environmental regulations all the way through from project development to after-sale services. FLSmidth is also leading the way in waste heat recovery systems. Its Kalina Cycle technology is a unique system that uses a binary working fluid of ammonia and water to achieve improved heat transfer and higher efficiency. The system is ideally suited to the waste gas streams of the pre-heater and clinker cooler vent of a cement plant. 104 Industry Europe

Expanding services In 2010 FLSmidth won three major contracts for the complete operation and maintenance (O&M) of customers’ cement plants. At the time this was a new line of business which involved taking on the complete responsibility for staffing, equipment maintenance and spare parts and technical support for an agreed time span and within agreed production targets. “Our O&M operations have seen huge growth in the last four years,” says Mr Kristensen. “FLSmidth has more than 100 years’ experience in designing, manufacturing and installing cement plants all over the world as well as in servicing these plants and supplying spare parts. But now we are increasingly involved in taking over the operation and maintenance of cement plants as well and we are extending our O&M business into the minerals industry too.” “In effect we agree to take over the operation of our customer’s plant, guaranteeing output levels for an agreed price per tonne so the customer is only charged if we perform. By turning fixed costs into performance-linked variable costs, O&M offers our customers an attractive business solution and it helps us to smooth out the cyclical variations in the capital side of our business. The demand for complete new cement or minerals plants may go up and down over 106 Industry Europe

the years but existing plants need to be operated and maintained all the time.” Today long-term O&M contracts are showing significant growth potential in all six of FLSmidth’s focus industries, an important development since copper and gold have already joined cement as the company’s most important industries overall. A further step in this strategy was taken in 2012 with the acquisition of Ludowici, the Australian specialist in coal centrifuges and vibrating screens for the minerals industries. This move has given FLSmidth the strategic capability to offer a complete coal preparation flowsheet and significantly boosted its programme to further expand its vital Customer Services business.

Old and new customers “We are very excited about the growth opportunities in our Customer Services division, particularly in O&M contracts, but we are still very active in capital projects all over the world,” says Per Mejnert Kristensen. “We have long-standing relationships with many customers for whom we continue to deliver new and more efficient plants and we are also winning new orders in fast-developing regions such as the Middle East and Africa.” The Indonesian cement producer PT Semen Gresik, for example, is a well-known customer; cooperation between the two companies goes

back to 1910 and the commissioning of PT Semen Padang’s first cement production line. The latest order, the fifth from the Indonesian company, came as recently as February of this year – following another order only two months previously – and is for a €42m greenfield cement plant in Central Java. Equipment for the new plant includes a raw mill, coal mill, preheater, kiln, burner, clinker cooler and silo equipment as well as a complete control system for the entire plant. By comparison, Qatari cement producer Al Khalij Cement is a relatively new customer, although FLSmidth has already supplied it with a cement plant in 2007. In December 2013 came a follow-up order for a duplicate cement production line for Al Khalij’s plant 100km east of Doha. This line is being supplied in cooperation with China’s CNBM International Engineering, which is the turnkey contractor for the project; FLSmidth’s role is to engineer the plant and supply the main equipment, which includes conveyor transport systems, mills, a complete pyro line and electrical and automation systems. “The FLSmidth and CNBM offering combines environmentally cutting-edge process know-how, engineering and equipment supply from FLSmidth with a cost-effective EPC contract,” says Per Mejnert Kristensen. “Together we can offer the customer the best n of both worlds.”

FROM MINING TO FINISHED METALS Mineco is an international group of companies specialising in the production of non-ferrous metals, mining and metallurgy. Philip Yorke reports on the unstoppable growth of a dynamic, eco-friendly company.


ollowing the success of its investments in a major mining venture in Serbia, Mineco has embarked on another ambitious investment programme. On this occasion the focus has been centred on a major lead and zinc mine in Bosnia-Herzegovina where its local mining company, ‘Gross’, has exceeded all expectations. Mineco was founded in Switzerland in 2003 and is today comprised of an international group of companies with shared ambitions and goals. Although at its core Mineco remains a physical trading enterprise specialising in nonferrous metals, over the years it has evolved vertically into other areas such as geological exploration, mining and more recently, metallurgy. This has enabled it to enjoy both longterm stability and greater substance. Today Mineco operates three modern lead and zinc mines, as well as a secondary lead smelting and refining facility close to Moscow.

Mineco is continuing to make major investments in four other mining projects in South East Europe, which are in various stages of development. These represent new and very productive lead, zinc, copper, silver and antimony projects. In addition, directly or through its holdings, Mineco has minority stakes in more than ten other mining and metallurgy companies with assets in Turkey, Canada, Peru, Congo, Taiwan and China. Currently Mineco employs more than 2000 people worldwide and plans to create a further 1500 jobs over the next five years.

Diversity driving dynamic growth Mineco’s mission is to become one of the largest vertically integrated metals groups in Europe and one that is capable of controlling the entire value chain. This strategy embraces the mining of raw materials, as

well as the production and supply of finished metals and their by-products. The company began its operations with the acquisition of the Rudnik mine in Serbia in 2004, which was the first mine to be privatised during the post World War Two period in the region. The mine operates mainly as an underground facility but also has an open pit operation for the extraction of copper ore. Following the replacement of key mining equipment and the upgrading of overall production standards, the company installed the latest mining technology and employed over 250 people to run the facility. Health and safety targets were also tightened and after ten years of operations and certification to ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001, Rudnik represents the ‘gold standard’ in Serbia’s mining industry. In 2013 the Rudnik mine reached an annual ore production of more than 280 WMT and this is expected to increase to over

GROSS Lead & Zinc mine

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320,000 WMT this fiscal year, while currently employing more than 450 workers. Following the success of the investment in the Rudnik mine, Mineco worked to acquire another zinc and lead mine in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this time with different partners. Mineco’s subsidiary ‘Gross’ succeeded in obtaining the mining licence for the mine in 2006 and the company restarted production one year later. With an initial workforce of 250 trained personnel and considerable investments in new technology, Gross achieved production of over 188,000 WMT in 2010. By 2013 this had risen to more than 280,000 WMT with a workforce of over 550 people. Further capital expenditure is planned that will take capacity to around 400,000WMT in the near future. A third ‘inactive’ mine known as ‘Veliki Majdan’ was purchased by Mineco in Serbia in 2006. This became a model in the industry for the successful recovery of a derelict mine, thanks to the tenacity, conviction and

commitment of Mineco to invest in the considerable refurbishment needed. In 2009, after two and a half years, production commenced once again at the mine and quickly reached a level of around 50,000 WMT per year of lead and zinc ore, which also demonstrated a relatively high silver content. In addition to these extensive facilities, Mineco owns and operates ‘Fregat’, one of Europe’s biggest secondary lead recycling smelter and refinery plants which was purchased in 2011. The company spent many millions of dollars to improve the efficiency and output of the facility and has increased the site’s initial output from 6000MT annually to more than 30,000MT of lead in 2013. In the longer term this site is designed to achieve production levels of around 90,000MT per year.

New horizons Mineco is committed to expansion via organic growth, acquisition and a move into new markets. The company’s principal

markets are located in South East Europe and the CIS, although through its strategic partners it has access to ore markets worldwide. In addition to its core mining activities, Mineco is currently developing a new business division that will focus on the growing energy sector. This will involve the design, construction and operation of mini hydroelectric power plants. The initial locations are planned in several European countries and the company’s initial target is to reach an aggregate 50MW of installed capacity in the short term. In other areas of operation, Mineco is also involved in the supply of byproducts of its smelting processes. Among its many investment activities, the company lists equity portfolio, distressed debt and n real estate. For further details of Mineco’s innovative products and investment services visit:

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FOLLOWING TRADITION In order to keep track of goods stored in their warehouses, the Incas used the knots and strings of a special comb; a precursor of the system integration activities carried out by Incas SpA. Hence why the company is named after the civilisation of pre-Columbian America, which built an empire mainly through road building and commerce, rather than waging war, as Mr Ermanno Rondi, Incas SpA’s MD, explains to Barbara Rossi.


ncas SpA was set up in 1981 in Biella, northern Italy, as a small company manufacturing automatic weighing and labelling systems. Because of the industrial vocation of the area in which it was based, strongly focused on the textile sector, the company was mainly serving this industry, as well as food production companies based in the Parma area. Incas was a real innovator, as weighing and labelling tasks had previously only been carried out manually. Over the years its activity expanded to include packaging lines, again starting with products designed for the textile industry (but also for the plastic and mechanical sectors) until it began the production of supply chain automation systems. Mr Rondi points out, “Up to the end of the 1990s 50 per cent of our turnover came from the textile industry, now its contribution is of less than 1 per cent. Our ability to change has been the basis for our success. We have been able to adapt to changes in market demand. Our business model has been that of being able to produce automated systems for the whole logistical chain, from production, warehouse and materials handling to delivery systems. Today we are a reference company in our sector in Italy, with a turnover slightly exceeding €20 million and 150 employees. “We take care of a whole project, from the initial requirements, design, PC, AS 400 and PLC software to mechanical and electrical design and boards, installation and post-installation assistance. Only mechanical components are purchased from external suppliers. We now provide both turn-key logistical automation systems, as well as individual automation solutions, to fulfil any needs that clients may have in a particular logistical area. This is totally in line with our flexibility and modularity.

A whole system can also be completed module by module, initially focusing on a particular area and then expanding it with other solutions regarding other company processes. In fact, as automation systems have a strong impact on a company and its organisation, taking a modular path may sometimes be beneficial so as to better integrate automation solutions dealing with different production phases. ”

Technological development Huge importance is placed on reliability and ease of maintenance. This is a real strength of the company, proven by the fact that one client has a system which has been in use since 1983. “This focus is probably owing to the fact that I come from the aeronautical engineering sector, where these qualities are a must,” explains Mr Rondi. “The mechanical part of the solution is mainly standardised

to guarantee reliability and durability, so that future upgrading can be carried out (our systems have a life cycle of about 30 years). Customisation, on the other hand, has a great role to play with regard to software. “We develop new products every year. We will launch a new touch screen industrial terminal by the end of the year. This is a very innovative product, as these terminals are small, robust, offer a high performance, can be integrated on both cabled and wi-fi networks, are able to collect data and control machinery, but are low-cost. We also recently presented a multi-order picking trolley, of which we are already installing some models.” As if this was not enough, Incas is also involved, together with the Politecnico di Milano, in the E-scoop European project. The aim is to produce handling systems which will no longer require a PLC electrical

board, thanks to smart modules, each of which is equipped with a remote control unit and connected software. Incas is also working on another project with the Politecnico di Milano: Retail Logistics 2.0. The aim of this project is to analyse the impact of logistics in the future of retail, so as to adapt logistical solutions to future retail channels where multimedia will be used for ordering and purchasing, mixing the boundaries of in-store and on-line services. Incas also has a myriad of smaller projects in the pipeline, as it channels 3-4 per cent of its turnover into R&D. The company, which as well as the Biella facilities has a production plant in Bologna, specialises in transport management systems. It has an operational branch in Barcelona, Spain, supporting small to medium systems, which it supplies to a wide range of market segments, including all industrial sectors, distribution and third logistical parties. As long as there are products to be moved the company has solutions to offer. Clients include Kaiser Roth (part of the Golden Lady Group), Golden Lady itself and Gucci from the fashion industry; Giunti, Feltrinelli, Messaggerie Libri and Mondadori from publishing; L’Erbolario from natural cosmetics; and Amplifon, the hearing aid specialist.

Maintaining quality The company’s turnover has grown significantly in recent years and, even more remarkably, it is still mainly generated in Italy (only about 25 per cent is derived from export). Mr Rondi explains: “As system integrators we have to translate the technology and culture of a geographical area or country into another context. For this reason, operating in different geographical and cultural contexts can be challenging. It is not just a matter of supplying a product; we have to interpret an organisational model. For instance, there are substantial differences between northern European countries and Italy, as well as between Italy and other continents (in terms of organisation, creativity, work conditions, culture and legislation). This means that, for instance, some of the models of logistical automation in use in Holland or Germany would not be marketable in Italy. “Although we are rooted in Italy, our mind is set on the world. We follow Italian companies when they move or expand abroad. For instance, one of our clients is Kaiser Roth in the US, which is part of the Italian Golden Lady Group. Today our products are used by them because we bring an element of flexibility and creativity which makes a differ-

ence. Italian companies with foreign operations are the main vehicle that we use to win over any initial diffidence that there might be towards us in foreign markets. Our export share is going to grow thanks to this model. We are already present in Spain, eastern Europe, the US, Brazil, Mexico and Serbia. Eastern European countries are definitely an area of interest for us, as there is a strong Italian presence and we are appreciated. Country perception is very important when somebody has to decide to buy a system.” Future growth is going to follow organic expansion and collaborations. Despite the general negative economic trend which commenced in 2008, Incas has continued to increase its turnover. “Recently we have managed to take on several highly qualified young people, something of which I am particularly proud. I am very keen on my staff. We have our calibrated growth path, as it is essential that we keep our high quality level. If growth is too rapid it could be detrimental to quality. “Quality is critical for us. For this reason we have selected a range of suppliers for our mechanical components, with which we have developed a relationship and on which we can rely. They are mainly based in Italy and Europe (Germany in particular).” n

Alteo is the global leader in the development and manufacture of speciality industrial aluminas. Philip Yorke spoke to Diego Audemard, the company’s commercial director for the fused alumina business, about its new strategy for growth and its move into high-value niche markets.



ince Alteo was founded 120 years ago it has led the field in the production of aluminas for many of the world’s most successful manufacturing industries. Initially the company was part of Pechiney, before Alcan took it over and then more recently, Rio Tinto. However in 2012 Alteo was acquired by H.I.G. Capital Europe, a successful private equity group. Today as the world’s largest producer of non-metallurgical alumina, Alteo offers a unique range of speciality alumina products that range from commodity hydrates and special calcined aluminas to tabular and fused aluminas. The consistent high quality of Alteo products has made it the supplier of choice for many of the world’s main industrial manufacturers. They rely on Alteo’s speciality aluminas for abrasives, ceramics, refractories, glass and flame retardants. There is a new sense of optimism at Alteo since H.I.G Capital acquired the company and it now employs more than 700 people worldwide and operates four state-of-the-art facilities in Europe. Three of these are situated in France. The company’s flagship alumina refinery is located at Gardanne and its white fused alumina facility is based at La Bâthie, in the French Alps. Alteo’s brown fused alumina

plant is also located in France at Beyrède, in the Pyrenees. The company’s fourth production facility is a tabular alumina plant, which is situated near Leipzeig in Germany at Teutschental. The Alteo Alumina Group is also supported by an extensive global network of 14 dedicated sales offices located in the main regional zones (Europe, North America and Asia) and 84 specialized agents and distributors.

Product diversity driving sales Today Alteo is busy enhancing its future growth by embarking on a series of major investment programmes, particularly in relation to new product development and sustainability. The company’s latest investments in its R&D facilities provide customers with specialist testing apparatus designed to promote ‘working in partnership’ opportunities with its customers and universities. In yet another significant move, the company has also made a major investment in its bauxite residue management programme in order to ensure its sustainability and reduce the facility’s environmental impact. This commitment to future growth will allow the extensive Gardanne plant to maintain complete control of its manufacturing process from bauxite to alumina.

Audemard said, “Our move from being part of a large industrial group to that of one being owned by a smaller company dedicated to promoting our core businesses, has had a profound effect on our ability to be more flexible and innovative. And thanks to our many years as part of industrial giants such as Rio Tinto we have also earned the reputation for having the highest quality production processes and products in the industry with the highest EHS standards.” “Within the fused alumina business, our key competences relate to the production of white-fused alumina, brown fused alumina, semi-friable alumina, sintered bauxite, zirconia alumina, bubble alumina and silicon nitrides for bonded and coated abrasives, blasting, refractories, ceramics and laminated flooring applications.” “Being in the alumina business for more than 100 years, one of our biggest strengths is our unrivalled, in-depth knowledge of the feedstock. Alteo’s current fused alumina production capacity is more than 60,000 tons per annum and our biggest markets today are France, Germany, Austria and Sweden, as well as the USA, Turkey, Japan, China and Taiwan. The fused alumina market shows positive signs and we expect to meet this demand with the specialty products we develop. Indeed, part of

our strategy is to focus on developing our ‘customer partnership’ programme where we work to achieve the optimal product match for each customer. Furthermore, not many companies have the ability to produce such a wide range of speciality fused aluminas as we do.” Audemard added, “As a company we are also committed to reducing our energy consumption and increasing the efficient recycling of our waste products. In fact these waste products are now forming the basis for a whole new range of products thanks to our in-house R&D’s innovative approach to new product development. As far as future growth is concerned all options are open, whether

it is through acquisitions or joint ventures, or n the move into new niche markets”. For further details of Alteo’s innovative products and services visit:

ALTEO AT A GLANCE – Focus on the fused alumina division World leading producer of fused products: White fused aluminas, bubble aluminas, brown fused aluminas, semi friable aluminas, zirconia aluminas (25 per cent), sintered bauxite, silicon nitride and Abral®. 100 per cent made in France.

Total fusion capacity (WFA, BFA, ZR 25 per cent): 60 000 mt/year. Supplying to all around the world in full trucks loads (24 mt) and full container loads (18-20 mt). For a wide range of applications: Bonded and coated abrasives, blasting, refractories, ceramics and laminated flooring applications. Technical and R&D support to improve and create customized products.

“The trusted partner for all your repair needs of industrial equipment!” Faucets, valves, gearboxes, pumps Blowers, centrifuges, vacuum pumps 111 Chemin du Puits Germain, 13119 Saint-Savournin, France Tel: +33 4 42 04 63 95 • Email:

HEAVY LIFTING Bridon’s high performance wire and ropes are meeting the most demanding challenges in construction, mining and oil and gas extraction around the world. Peter Mercer reports.

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ridon International is the world’s leading specialist in the manufacture of steel wire and ropes for technically demanding applications in mining, construction, offshore oil and gas and in many other specialised areas of engineering. Its steel and wire rope has been used in high-profile projects across the world, from Wembley Stadium and the Newport City Bridge in Wales to the Inchon Munhak Stadium in Korea and the Kiev Olympic Stadium. “There are many rope manufacturers across the world but I think it’s fair to say that Bridon has no real direct competitor,” says managing Director Jonathon Templeman. “We produce technically advanced, very high performance ropes and wires that are almost like a machine – they are highly engineered, with moving parts that often require lubrication and they can cost as much as £1 million for a single rope. The core of our business is very heavy lifting – ropes for deep shaft mines, for example, can go down to more than 3 km in a single fall and deepwater offshore lifting can also require 3 km ropes that have to be able to withstand extreme pressures, low temperatures and corrosion from the sea. “Modern rope design is essentially the art of an intelligent compromise between strength and flexibility. Static and structural ropes priori-

tise strength because they don’t need to bend much but ropes for mining or offshore mooring must be able to cope with movement.” Bridon was formed as a company in 1924 from an amalgamation of wire rope producers, the oldest of which dates back to the late 18th century. In 2008 it was acquired by the specialist manufacturing investor Melrose PLC. Headquartered in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, Bridon currently operates eleven manufacturing units worldwide, four in the UK, three in North America and one each in Germany, China, Indonesia and New Zealand.

Neptune Quay In November 2012 Bridon opened its newest manufacturing facility, a state-of-the-art factory at Neptune Quay on the banks of the River Tyne that is capable of producing the largest and most complex ropes in the world, with pieceweights of up to 600 tonnes, for the offshore oil and gas industry. Neptune Quay is home to the world’s largest rope-closing machine (the stages of rope production include drawing the wire, stranding it and then closing it around a core). This machine, which was constructed to Bridon’s own unique specification, is enabling the company to produce far more complex ropes than has ever been possible before in such

large weights. These highly engineered ropes feature enhanced breaking loads, optimised bend fatigue performance, effective lubrication and minimal rotation under load. The Neptune facility ships to the company’s customers across the world and is a key element in its strategy of expanding into a range of developing markets where its ropes are used in the most challenging environments where they have to withstand the ravages of salt water and temperatures down to minus forty degrees centigrade. It has a central role in Bridon’s vision for the future and will act as a base for technological innovation in rope manufacturing across the world. “Neptune Quay is now our most important site for serving the offshore industry – its waterside location means we can load directly on to supply vessels and we have an innovative transport stander that can move units of more than 600 tonnes,” explains Mr Templeman. “But our nearby Willington Quay factory continues to produce many of our core products for construction, mining and industrial applications. Crane ropes, for example, for ports, steel mills and construction projects are made there. And at our headquarters, the Doncaster Wire Mill and Ropery, we have a 60,000 tonne wire mill that supports all the UK plants and the plant in Germany.” Industry Europe 119

ESGARD Heavy Duty Wire Rope and Cable Lube The Preferred Technology for Protecting High-Performance Wire Rope and Cable Owners and operators know that proper lubrication is critical to protect their investment in high-performance, heavy-lift wire rope and cable. Since 1975, when dealing with extremes of hot and cold and when operating under high pressure and ocean depth conditions, they choose Esgard Heavy Duty Wire Rope and Cable Lube.

Esgard Inc. 515 Debonnaire Rd., Scott, Louisiana 70583, USA 337-234-6327 (office) | 337-234-0113 (fax)

Pentre Engineering Bold Industrial Park, Neills Rd, Bold, St Helens, Merseyside, WA9 4TJ Tel: +44 (0) 1744 811820 Fax: +44 (0) 1744 819994 Email:

Pentre are an ISO 9001 Accredited Company, for the Design and Manufacture of Offshore Steel drums, Cradles and Lifting Beams, designed by our in-house engineering team. As an option we can provide third party approval by DNV and manufacture to detailed Quality Plans, ITP’s, material and weld traceability, coded welders and procedures, NDT inspection and CSWIP Lvl 2 welding inspectors.

TRINECKE ZELEZARNY (TZ) is a fully integrated operation manufacturing 2.2 million tonnes of basic oxygen steel per annum in a comprehensive range of long products. MORAVIA STEEL, the parent company, is primarily responsible for the supply of all raw materials, the sale of the final products and the many logistics activities necessary to achieve the planned production targets of TZ. Wire rod in coil forms an important part of the product range. The wire rod mill was reconstructed 15 years ago to improve quality and this year will be further enhanced with the installation of new equipment specifically aimed at providing our customers with material improvements which will strengthen the supply chain through to the final product. By mutual cooperation with our customers the mission is that we can continue to develop our companies for the next generations.

MORAVIA STEEL and TRINECKE ZELEZARNY wish BRIDON INTERNATIONAL LTD every success with their future plans.

Technology innovation Doncaster is also home to Bridon’s new Technology Centre which was opened in February 2013 specifically to lead the development of the world’s most advanced offshore ropes. However this major investment in personnel, unique test equipment and forensic laboratories will also advance the development of rope technology across Bridon’s core markets of mining, construction and fishing as well as in oil and gas. “As well as playing a key role in new product development the BTC also offers our customers an extensive range of unique facilities for testing, analysing and verifying new and used ropes. If a rope fails – and it won’t often be one of ours – we can carry out a detailed inquest,” says Jon Templeman. “The Centre also expands our ability to do more joint technological devel-

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opment with our customers. In the lifting world the demand is for longer, stronger and lighter ropes – offshore work is much deeper than in the past and mining is going to similar depths so customers want ropes that put the lightest possible load on their winches or cranes but still have massive lifting capabilities.” Recent technological innovations from Bridon include the Big T Bristar dragline rope that has been engineered to withstand the most challenging dragline applications in open-pit mining and the Tiger 24 LS hoist rope that delivers the lowest possible cost per tonne hoisted. The Endurance Dyform DSC8 crane rope is another significant advance with its very high breaking force and crush-resistant characteristics. “In the DSC8 we achieve the superior crush resistance by compacting the metal and it also

benefits from the expertise we have developed in the technology of synthetic cores,” explains Mr Templeman. “Rather than injecting the plastic to form the core we extrude it at the same time as drawing the rope. The next generation of ropes will be hybrid products that blend steel and synthetic strands in the same rope. We are currently doing a lot of research in this field.”

Global opportunities The global oil and gas production industry is currently Bridon’s fastest growing customer sector, making up 35 per cent of current business and expanding rapidly in regions such as the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and Brazil. “Mining until last year made up around 20 per cent of our business but has fallen away following the problems in the global industry,” says Jon

Templeman. “Fishing is a fairly small sector but it is solid and growing as fishing quotas are increased across the world while the construction and industrial demand tends to follow the overall growth – or lack of it – in the UK economy.” Of course, Bridon serves customers in the construction industry across the world. A recent major project was for the new Doha International Airport for which Bridon supplied a total of 1400 stainless steel ropes, mostly to support a car park canopy. The 150 tonnes of Dyform strand was manufactured at Gelsenkirchen and delivered in time

for the grand opening of the airport on Qatar National day in December 2012. Looking to future growth prospects, Mr Templeman sees opportunities across the world, in Asia, Africa and South America. “In China there is continuing rapid growth in the construction of ports and of other infrastructure projects and that means many more cranes that need our hoist ropes. The offshore oil and gas industry in China is also growing so that’s another valuable market for a company with our unmatched expertise. There is obviously huge potential for the offshore industry in Brazil, where we opened

a warehouse and a service centre last year, and mining remains a strong market there as well as in Chile and Peru. Indeed, as our business grows in the region we may well find we need to set up a manufacturing operation in Brazil. In south-east Asia we already have facilities in Singapore and Indonesia and we have recently expanded our sales office in Russia and set up another in Poland. Africa too has huge potential for growth in oil and gas, mining and infrastructure projects. In fact, wherever in the world there is a need for really heavy lifting, Bridon n will be providing the answers.”

Basamro Basamro aims to be not just a supplier, but an integral part of our customers’ operations. Given our long-term relationship with Bridon, we are confident that we have succeeded in this aim. Our business relationship with Bridon is based on friendship, trust and reliability, and gives them the confidence to entrust their valuable cargo to us. We at Basamro provide shipments from the UK and the Continent to the former USSR countries and beyond. We hope to be working with Bridon for many years to come.

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CLEAN AND GREEN Danish professional cleaning equipment specialist Nilfisk-Advance is one of the world’s leading producers of professional cleaning equipment. Today the company is firmly committed to being an environmentally responsible organisation.


ilfisk-Advance is based in Denmark but has production facilities in Asia, Europe and the Americas as well as sales companies in 43 countries and distributors in 70 countries. It is partly this global presence that has allowed it to maintain its success for over a century since its establishment in 1906 by a Danish engineer Mr P.A Fisker, with his partner Mr Nilsen. Since the late 1980s Nilfisk-Advance has been a part of the NKT Group, and following this it began to enjoy a period of rapid development as opposed to the steady growth it had seen over the previous decades. With a series of acquisitions of smaller companies it has been able to expand its product portfolio and international presence.

The majority of the company’s business is with B2B customers (around 85 per cent) although a small percentage of its products, including the high-pressure washers manufactured by its subsidiary Alto, are for the consumer market. However, the company continues to be best-known for its industrial and professional cleaning equipment, as we shall see. In 2013 it achieved sales of €881 million.

Acquisitions and expansions In February 2012 Nilfisk was able to strengthen its position in the industrial market in the UK with the acquisition of the British dealer Industrial Cleaning Machines (ICM) – a Wolverhampton based company specialising in the Service,

Hire and Sale of industrial cleaning machinery. At the end of 2013 it further increased its presence in the UK market with the acquisition of Arrow Supplies, a Scottish company specialising in the sale and servicing of commercial cleaning machinery. Such acquisitions will allow Nilfisk to expand its market reach and establish a strong industrial service capability in the industrial heartland of the UK. In December 2012 the company announced the opening of its newest international operation in Peru. The new sales company will be based in Lima and will offer direct sales and service to Nilfisk’s customers across the country. This is all part of the company’s continued global expansion: the launch of this Peruvian operation has strengthened its footprint in Central and South America. It will allow Nilfisk to better serve its customers and meet the increasing demand for high quality products in the professional cleaning industry.

Range of products Nilfisk-Advance’s cleaning solutions have a number of applications, including industrial, construction, automotive, schools and offices, shopping centres or domestic, for example. Its range includes industrial vacuum cleaners, which makes up around 35 per cent of its business, floor-care equipment such as floor scrubbers and sweepers (40 per cent) with the rest (15 per cent) consisting of high-pressure washers for the consumer market. The company doesn’t develop specific products for certain markets. Instead, its

GNB For 15 years we have been supplying GNB batteries to Nilfisk in Europe for their OE demand as well as their sales within the Replacement market. We see this business based upon a perfect partnership rather than the normal buyer-/seller constellation and are looking forward to the next many years!

philosophy is one of ‘universality’ whereby its range is the same across all group companies. It believes this is the best way to offer its customers consistency and the highest quality products. This strategy has led to a widening of its product range as it is able to focus on the development of each of its lines rather than customising certain areas. A company spokesperson explained: “We are offering everything required, from small vacuum cleaners up to very large industrial sweepers for big industrial sites – for example, car manufacturers, coal mines or steel foundries. We cover the full range – but of course, we can’t produce everything everywhere. Our factories specialise in particular product ranges.”

Product development is a key part of the company’s activities. Its aim is to renew all its lines every three to four years to keep up with current market demands. Generally, the purpose of product development is to meet the customers’ need to cut their overall cleaning costs. This means creating products that run continuously and have maximum up-time.

Keeping it green For Nilfisk-Advance, the most important focus moving forward is to offer products which are both efficient and environmentally friendly. It is a participant in the United Nations Global Compact and the Carbon Disclosure Project. It calls this environmen-

tal strategy ‘Green meets Clean’. All its new products are developed with the aim of ‘providing equal or enhanced cleaning efficiency while using less energy, less water and less detergent’. Nilfisk-Advance operates a ‘Customer Focused Development Process’ as it believes that optimal environmental products begin in the design and concept phase of product. Its website states that ‘incorporated in our global development process is the obligation to consider the four key environmental factors in our industry: energy, water, less detergent and disposal’. The company’s EcoFlex System is in line with this environmental focus. This is a cleaning technology that achieves both environmentally sustainable cleaning methods as well as the highest standards of effective cleaning. It is a series of patented dispensing systems which allows the user to clean using only water without detergents. Where surfaces are very grimy and in need of both water and detergents, the EcoFlex will reduce water consumption by 50 per cent and the need for detergents by 35 per cent. Thus, it ensures a clean environmental for the user whilst also minimising the n consumption of resources.

EVVA has been a byword for security for more than 90 years. Now it is taking a major step forward with the launch of a new range of electronic access control products. CEO Stefan Ehrlich-Adam explains the new strategy to Peter Mercer.



VVA, the Austrian family-owned company that has been leading the way in lock technology since 1937, has this year opened a new chapter in its development story. Already recognised as one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of access solutions that use both mechanical and electronic systems, the company is not only launching a new range of electronic access control systems but is also bringing the development and production of the electronic elements of its products in-house. “We have had an excellent relationship for many years with our provider of electronic access control technologies but we have now decided to develop our own systems,” explains Stefan Ehrlich-Adam. “This is an important step for us and will enable EVVA to

develop into a truly independent producer and supplier of integrated electronic access control systems. We are launching in early 2014 the first products in our new portfolio – Xesar and Airkey – and these two new technologies will be the basis for continuing innovations. Unlike mechanical locking systems, electronic systems need updating continually – we will need to enhance their functionality at least every couple of years - so we will all have to think and move faster. But we don’t find this a problem; EVVA has been a by-word for innovation in security for more than 90 years, ever since and before the company was awarded the first patent for a cylinder padlock in 1937. Since then we have filed applications for more than 200 national and international patents – you could say that innovation is part of our DNA.”

Xesar, which will be available in early 2014, combines high security with convenient and uncomplicated operation. All the elements of the system – wall readers, escutcheons and cylinders – may be programmed via a tablet PC. Time profiles can be monitored and access events read out and programming and operation is especially easy. Suitable for internal or external doors and for both highsecurity and high-traffic zones, Xesar can be used in all buildings and sectors, from small businesses to public institutions and large corporate organisations. With Airkey, mobile phones will become keys. Authorised users will simply hold up their NFC-enabled smartphone in front of the EVVA electronic cylinder which will recognise the authorisation and open the door. All Industry Europe 127

access authorisations are managed centrally in the easy-to-use Airkey software, ensuring that only people with access authorisation to specific doors can open them with their mobile phone. Airkey has already been proven in a big field test carried out at the Vienna University of Technology.

Differentiating solutions From its origins as an Austrian family business EVVA has grown into one of the leading manufacturers of security technology in Europe. Its headquarters and main production site are in Vienna and it serves its customers through a total of 13 subsidiaries across the continents as well as through distributors right across the world. It currently employs some 800 people, over 450 of them in Austria. It produces both mechanical master key systems and electronic access control systems for buildings of all kinds, from flats and houses, hotels and restaurants, schools and hospitals to office buildings, industrial premises and retail and wholesale premises. “Despite the importance to the future of the company of electronic access technol-

128 Industry Europe

ogy we always remember that at EVVA our roots are in mechanical systems and we will continue to work on improving these, constantly looking to differentiate our solutions,” says Mr Ehrlich-Adam. “After all, whatever the sophistication of the electronic technology we can deliver, the basic securitisation of any building still rests on mechanical protection – the control and access systems still depend on a secure lock. We continue to work on developing additional tamper-proof locking elements to make our mechanical systems more secure. We put a lot of effort into lock cylinder security – thus increasing protection against illegal entry techniques – and into key copying security – to protect against illegal key duplication. Illegal key copying, for example, is a very different business from 20 years ago – people these days use the newest technologies available – so we have to keep at least one step ahead.” Whether they are mechanical locking systems or electronic access systems, EVVA’s solutions are always optimised to meet the needs of specific user groups. The first step, as Stefan Ehrlich-Adam explains, is to decide which level of technology is appropri-

ate for each customer application. “Basically we offer simpler systems for applications such as residential buildings, intermediate systems for schools, sports and leisure centres and so on and the highest level systems for airports, energy facilities and other sensitive infrastructure developments.We explain to customers the different security levels we can supply and establish which is the most appropriate for their requirements. “Our core business is the design, manufacture and supply of security systems that are suitable for master key control, that is, a system which has one key which opens everything and lots of other keys that open only some doors. The challenge here is to design a system that offers high numbers of combinations in a complex hierarchy; it is a challenging mathematical and technological problem. For example, if you want a reversible key – one that fits the lock either way up – that severely limits the number of combinations.”

Steady growth Although EVVA exports its products worldwide it remains very much a European business, selling over 90 per cent of output

in western and eastern Europe. “Our family has been making locks since the 1860s and we have grown mostly organically, taking fairly small steps along the road,” says Mr Ehrlich-Adam. “We have advanced by constantly bringing new products to the market and expanding our presence country by country, often by taking over our distributors and turning them into subsidiaries that can deliver products and services locally. But despite our conservative approach we have been able to grow substantially the size of the business in the last years and we are beginning to grow in more distant markets overseas.”

EVVA has been sensitive to the issue of environmental protection for many years. In fact, the company recently won an award for its expertise in climate protection and energy efficiency from klima:aktiv, the Austrian Ministry for the Environment’s climate protection initiative. A programme to upgrade all lighting fittings with energy-efficient lights begun in 2009 resulted in a reduction of 40 per cent in energy consumption at the Vienna production plant. “We have now taken a big step forward from this and installed a large photovoltaic generating system that provides our basic energy requirements all year long,” says Stefan Ehrlich-Adam. “We continue to take a leading

role in environmental protection projects with the city of Vienna and we are currently working on a CSR report. We are learning to look at environmental issues in a new way so that we can move forward with more profound initiatives. One of our goals, for example, is to develop an oil-free production facility. “Overall EVVA will continue along the path that we have set out on this year, developing electronic access solutions that are sophisticated yet easy-to-use and supporting our customers with more effective remote services. We will do what EVVA has always done – introduce new, even disruptive, ideas into what has always been a very traditional industry.” n

Industry Europe 129

130 Industry Europe

All images © Poletti Roberto Quater Video

TAPS WITH A DIFFERENCE Taps and fittings with a difference. This is what Paini Rubinetterie SpA manufactures and distributes, offering a comprehensive range of distinctively designed, high-quality and environmentally friendly products for domestic use. Barbara Rossi talks to the company’s CEO, Mr Marco Paini.


aini Rubinetterie SpA still retains its family company spirit, even if over the years it has undergone significant growth and it is now part of the Paini Group, which is involved in a number of activities. The group employs 550 people and achieved a turnover of €120 million last year. Paini started its business in 1954 and in the 60 years since then has become one of the leading companies in its sector. In 1972 it became a joint-stock company and a more modern and better-equipped plant was built; but the real growth leap coincided with the invention of the single lever in the 1980s. Today Paini Rubinetterie occupies a 76,000m2 area (of which 66,000m2 are covered) In Pagno (45km from Milano Malpensa airport, 90km from Milan and 120km from Turin) and employs 390 people. In 2012 it achieved a €76 million turnover. The production cycle operates in compliance with the strictest legislation, utilising raw materials of superior quality. “All our products are made with metal and plastic components. Plastic use is increasing, mainly in order to fulfil technical needs and comply with global legislation regarding metal use, rather than for economic purposes,” Mr Paini explains.

The taps and fittings range (for bathroom, shower, kitchen and thermostatic use) manufactured by the company is very comprehensive, and includes basic, thermostatic, shower and ‘art’ collections. There is even a catalogue dedicated to products specifically designed for the hotel sector. All of the products offer a five-year guarantee and the company holds a number of certifications, complying with the legal requirements set by different countries (including NF and IAPMO standards respectively for France and the USA). “We are constantly developing our products. Generally design is developed internally, but for the super luxury, top range lines, we avail ourselves of external architects and designers.”

Saving water and energy “Our R&D is one of our assets. We are always very innovative, especially with regard to the technical side of the products and in terms of the use of new materials. We have done a lot of work on water and energy saving. We have developed cartridges which lower water usage by 50 per cent. Also, energy savings are possible because only cold water is used with the

lever in the middle (default) position. Obviously the tap can then be opened in such a way so as to get hot water when this is required.” 95 per cent of production takes place at the Italian site, while the remainder is made at the company’s production facilities in China. Three million pieces a year are manufactured in Italy. “As we are growing – in 2012 our turnover increased by 7 per cent and this year it will increase by 3 per cent – we are planning an expansion of our Italian works, so as to increase production capacity. We are investing €2 million a year in replacing and updating our production machinery.” The two main categories of clients served by the company are D.I.Y retail chains and wholesalers (the latter then sell the products to construction professionals, such as plumbers, etc.). Europe is the main geographical market, generating 60 per cent of turnover, while 20 per cent comes from the domestic market (Italy), 10 per cent from the USA (where the company has a commercial branch) and the remainder (10 per cent) from the rest of America, Asia and Africa. Rubinetterie Paini SpA has commercial branches in the UK and in France as well as in the USA.

via Roma, 60. 28010 Briga Novarese (NO) Tel: +39 0322 912034 Email: RG Srl specialises in producing complete fixing kits for taps and fittings. Operating for several years, we have based our growth on practicability, seriousness, professionalism and the reliability of all our organisation. All of this is confirmed through company and business situations that do not want to give up these basic requirements. The capacity of a young, dynamic and specialised company ensures our customers excellent quality standards. Complete servicing and flexibility sum up a service capable of meeting any special requirements.

It sells its products in other countries thanks to agents or distributors. “While ‘older’ Europe (France, the UK, Germany, and so on.) is an important market, we are really targeting new countries, particularly Russia, where we are already present, but where we intend to grow. In 2014 we will enter the Chinese market, where we currently

All images © Poletti Roberto Quater Video

produce, but only sell very sporadically. We will start distributing five or six lines, 100 per cent made- in-Italy. We will use our Chinese works as a distribution basis.” The range of products is very wide. In order to fulfil the technical requirements of taps in different countries, there are dedicated lines for different markets (for instance the UK).

“We will grow by widening our geographical markets and increasing our market share in existing ones, but still through the same channels that we already use. We are very observant of what is happening around us and we are thinking of a possible small acquisition of an Italian company. Obviously to achieve double digit growth we would have to look at acquisitions of foreign companies or brands, or alternatively jointventures. I think that we will have to decide which direction to take, but I believe that our trend will be that of continuing as a family company which develops new products and markets. Of course, rapid changes take place in the world, so we must always be ready to reinvent ourselves and change strategy, if necessary. “Our suppliers are very important to us, I would say fundamental to our success, because most of them are able to respond n quickly to our needs.”



H 40

Heemskerk Fijnmechanica BV Inside back HegerGuss GmbH 88 HTC 32

Polydesign Systems S.A.R.L 57 Polyurethane Products and Consulting 120 Polyvlies Franz Beyer GmbH & Co. KG 56 PPG Industries 41 Promould 70

123 65 97



ICMI 114 ISL NARDI Srl 74 IZO-Blok 55, 56

Capirom - Arper Plastiques Industries 40 Carfos 117 Chiaperotti Srl 30 Chimar Srl 66 Contango Rudnik doo 110 Conta Flexible Products 65 Cor.Tubi 41 CRTubi 132

RG Srl 132 Rockwool Core Solutions 62 Rörvik Timber AB 71 Rulmeca 105





B Basamro Shipping BV B.B.C. Srl Benteler Distribution Poland


Deco Guss GmbH Dos and Donts Dresselhaus DuPont Titanium Technology

129 61 93 64

E East Certification & Service ELJ Automotive SA EOC Group ER SAHA Esgard Inc. Euroimballaggi snc

85 40 54 70 120 133

76 109

G Gabec s.c. P.J. Kotkowscy 57 GIMAS 104 Global Strategy 74 GNB Industrial Power 126 GROSS d.o.o. 109 Grundmeier KG 65

88 92




43 132

M Manuthiers SAS Mecasud Mikrosan Makina Ve Kalp San. AŞ Millfield Enterprises Limited Moravia Steel Mubea Tellerfedern GmbH

60 117 64 121 121 51

N Nyrosten Korrosionschutzmittel GmbH & Co.

F Fortron Source (Europa) GmbH Fregat LLC

JL MAG Rare-Earth Co. Europe BV Jung-Leuchten GmbH


T Technai 37 Tekno Kalip 92 ThyssenKrupp Aerospace 27 Trelleborg Outside back

U Utensiltecnica Srl 65 UTi 27

Versowood 70 Von Roll Schweiz AG 88

W 110

Weber Ultrasonics

Inside front


P Parigi Industry Srl Passerotti Pentre Engineering Permanova Lasersystem

Scatolificio Fornara 133 Scherdel Marienberg GmbH 54 SCM Group 32 Sika Automotive GmbH 57 Sinflex Indústria de Molas Técnicas LDA 56 Spinea s.r.o. 32 SPO GmbH 80


O Ocean partners UK Ltd


X-Press Feeders 100 132 97 120 47

Z Zoll Sped


Trelleborg is a global engineering group whose leading positions are based on advanced polymer technology and in-depth applications know-how. We develop high-performance solutions that seal, damp and protect in demanding industrial environments. Trelleborg Material & Mixing Lesina, s.r.o. develops, produces and sells world class custom rubber compounds for the rubber industry. We have extensive experience of manufacturing and developing rubber compounds for such products as vibration dampers, hoses, conveyor belts, cables, profiles and many other applications. We use all common types of polymers and through our experience from working with an extensive range of recipes; we can offer the market a very wide program of compounds. In addition to existing recipes, our experienced chemists are able to put together customized solutions and provide technical advisory services regarding compounds and alternative raw materials.


Trelleborg Material & Mixing Lesina, s.r.o. - Lesina, 351 34 Skalná, Czech Republic Tel.: +420 354 524 914, Mobile: +420 775 877 959, Fax: +420 354 524 999, Email:

Articles inside

Following tradition Incas article cover image

Following tradition Incas

pages 114-116
Heavy lifting Bridon article cover image

Heavy lifting Bridon

pages 120-125
Clean and green Nilfisk-Advance article cover image

Clean and green Nilfisk-Advance

pages 126-128
Leading in high-performance aluminas Alteo article cover image

Leading in high-performance aluminas Alteo

pages 117-119
Top security EVVA article cover image

Top security EVVA

pages 129-131
From mining to finished metals Mineco article cover image

From mining to finished metals Mineco

pages 109-113
Out in front APL article cover image

Out in front APL

pages 100-103
The full service provider FL Smith article cover image

The full service provider FL Smith

pages 104-108
We’ve got the power The Switch article cover image

We’ve got the power The Switch

pages 88-91
The spirit of the air Wolf Anlagen article cover image

The spirit of the air Wolf Anlagen

pages 92-95
Leading in power hydraulics Hydrotor article cover image

Leading in power hydraulics Hydrotor

pages 96-99
The capacity to deliver Epcos article cover image

The capacity to deliver Epcos

pages 80-83
The winning strategy is diversification Renco article cover image

The winning strategy is diversification Renco

pages 84-87
Wood – The sustainable choice Metsä Wood article cover image

Wood – The sustainable choice Metsä Wood

pages 70-73
Repositioned for growth Caffaro article cover image

Repositioned for growth Caffaro

pages 74-76
Coool solutions CooolCase article cover image

Coool solutions CooolCase

pages 77-79
Environmentally friendly windows and doors article cover image

Environmentally friendly windows and doors

pages 65-69
Driving new SUV concepts forward Volvo article cover image

Driving new SUV concepts forward Volvo

pages 46-49
The future in robotics Comau article cover image

The future in robotics Comau

pages 30-35
World-class cleanroom solutions Dagard article cover image

World-class cleanroom solutions Dagard

pages 61-64
Global leader in automotive interiors article cover image

Global leader in automotive interiors

pages 54-60
World-class driveline technology ZF Friedrichshafen article cover image

World-class driveline technology ZF Friedrichshafen

pages 50-53
A winning formula Dacia article cover image

A winning formula Dacia

pages 40-45
Precise productivity Mikron Machining article cover image

Precise productivity Mikron Machining

pages 36-39
Advanced aerospace structures Sonaca article cover image

Advanced aerospace structures Sonaca

pages 26-29
Linking up Combining strengths article cover image

Linking up Combining strengths

pages 18-19
Planning for prosperity Premium winners; volume losers article cover image

Planning for prosperity Premium winners; volume losers

pages 8-10
Moving on Relocations and expansions article cover image

Moving on Relocations and expansions

page 20
Technology spotlight Advances in technology article cover image

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

page 22
Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris article cover image

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

page 25
Winning business New orders and contracts article cover image

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 16-17
Superconductors make fusion the future for energy article cover image

Superconductors make fusion the future for energy

pages 14-15
Bill Jamieson Clash of the titans article cover image

Bill Jamieson Clash of the titans

page 7
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