Industry Europe – Issue 24.9

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VOLUME 24/9 – 2014

The world of European manufacturing






Plus ça change… A French report on London’s view of France is not encouraging.


he managing director of John Lewis seems not to have much enjoyed his recent trip to France. “Nothing works there,” complained Andy Street, “and nobody cares about it.” Probably most Brits would find shopping under the stained glass dome of the Galeries Lafayette in the Boulevard Haussmann a good bit more inspiring than buying stuff in any of Mr Street’s emporia but it’s true that that cathedral of the religion of retail was opened in 1912. France now, he said, is in terminal decline – it’s finished. The new French prime minister Manuel Valls was in London a couple of days after Mr Street’s outburst, to tell a City audience that, far from being finished, France was genuinely set upon a path of important structural reforms and that his government was committed to re-establishing the country’s competitiveness, growth and sound public finances. Mr Valls, observed Le Monde’s correspondent in London, would need to show a great capacity for persuasion. It would be something of an understatement, he wrote, to say that France today inspired scepticism in British financial circles. The newspaper quoted one UK economist as saying that France was now the sick man of Europe only for another to add that it was the sick man not just of Europe but of the entire world. And French bankers and lawyers working in the City are apparently just as despairing of their country’s image abroad. An asset manager is quoted as saying that while ‘French bashing’ has for long been common in London it is now part of everyday life – “Joking about the economic plight of France is now just a way of beginning every meeting. It’s a great way to break the ice with my clients” – while a French banker working for a German bank in London says that the image of France is now vraiment catastrophique. Another French veteran of the financial world, who has worked in

London for 25 years, concludes ‘We have reached the bottom’. For sure, Le Monde’s man in London remembers to assure his readers that all this is a bit over the top; people who know their way around the world of finance and economics and can see past the clichés know that comparisons between France and the UK are not invariably to the disadvantage of the former. It’s true that growth this year in Britain looks like reaching 3.2 per cent while in France it’s virtually non-existent, but that is in part a consequence of the UK making up more lost ground after experiencing a much more violent recession. And while the government debt levels of the two countries are roughly similar, the budget deficit of the UK is a good percentage point higher than in France.

Can France change? But what really concerns the British – and maybe many of the French too – is not so much the country’s current economic difficulties as the doubt that it has the will to overcome them. The key problem is ‘un immobilisme politique’ , an entrenched opposition to change. The column quotes Stephen King, chief economist at HSBC: “Are the French really ready for change? At the moment, I am not convinced.” And Simon Tilford, of the Centre for European Reform, says that the French government seems to have no direction or strategy and there is doubt that it is capable of carrying out even the reforms it has announced. Le Monde points out too that there is a crucial difference between the criticisms of France that you hear in the City and those that come from Germany. London is much less concerned with the deficit, which in Berlin is an obsession. It’s rather the apparent French hostility to business that is considered incomprehensible. That little phrase of François Hollande during his

presidential campaign – “Mon adversaire, c’est le monde de la finance” – would have been unimaginable in Britain. Actually the British seem to have been even keener on bashing bankers over the last six years than on dissing the French but it’s true that, outside the loony left, there is not the same enmity towards enterprise. British workers seem to understand, as they did not in the dark days of the 1970s, that their jobs depend on the profitability of the companies they work for. For too many in France it’s still seen as a zero sum game – if the bosses win, the workers lose. Indeed Le Monde’s journalist will be well aware that his own profession is not immune to such attitudes. A recent Nieman report highlights some of the difficulties that French newspapers are facing as they try to adjust to the digital age. Advertising revenue for the French press has fallen by 36 per cent since 2008 and national newspaper sales fell by 10 per cent in the last year alone. Yet the level of newsroom staffing across the industry has hardly changed at all and integrated newsrooms that combine digital and non-digital coverage remain the exception. French journalists remain protected by collective bargaining contracts that make it hard to shift them over to writing for the Web, not to mention giving many of them up to 12 weeks holiday per year. And when the last editor of Liberation, the radical journal founded by Jean-Paul Sartre after the 1968 student protests, suggested changing the time of the daily editorial conference from 10am to 9.30am, he had to back down in the face of protests of a rather different kind. So it’s no surprise that when Le Monde’s correspondent asked his contacts in London if they did not think that the arrival of the reformist Mr Valls as prime minister would change things, the reply was “We’re n not holding our breath.” Industry Europe 3

CONTENTS Editor Peter Mercer

IT Support Jack Everson

Deputy Editor Victoria Hattersley

Production Manager Kamila Kajtoch

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

Administration Anna Chamberlain Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey

Metals Industry

Art Administration Tania Balderson Advertising Manager Andrew Briggs

Art Director Gareth Harrey

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

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



Opinion Plus ça change… Bill Jamieson Building to a catharsis?

Brighter short-term outlook for European metals sector ... but action needed

to boost international growth

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Metals news The latest from the industry Vallourec tubes for Mont Saint-Michel High profile bridge project for steel giant

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

Events Spotlight 22 26

Technological Showcase for the Sheet Metal Working Industry EuroBLECH A New Look For BrauBeviale BrauBeviale

Reports 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

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

Aerospace 30

Passion is the key Tecnam

Agriculture 33 36 40 44

In top gear Wisconsin Engineering Agricultural transportation experts Metaltech Agricultural innovations New Holland Agriculture Simply the best Nitrogénművek

Audio Equipment 48 52

Intelligent headsets GN Netcom Acoustic specialist Woodtai

Automation & Tooling 55 A Square Root Company

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:

4 Industry Europe

World-beating manufacturing systems ZAHORANSKY

Automotive 58 60 64 68 73

Leading in tail lighting Odelo New beginnings Letrika Taking full responsibilty HAVD Group Continued global expansion Cooper Stanard Automotive Delivering on Peugeot-Citroen’s strategic plan PSA Peugeot-Citroen

VOL 24/9

Above: DesleeClama p149

Building & Construction 78

The complete bathroom package DEBA

Chemicals 82

Master-class in technology-driven coatings Ruskie Kraski

Consumer Goods 86

Above: Tecnam p30 Below: New Holland Agriculture p40

A new chapter in a growth story Ontex

Electrical & Electronics 94 99 101 105

Hot property Strix Customised forced ventilation units

Above: Strix Ltd p94 Below: Knjaz Milos and Bambi p106

WISTRO Elektro-Mechanik

Switched-on efficiency Everel Group Pursuit of quality Sunner

Food & Drink 106 Serbia’s sweet success Knjaz Milos and Bambi 112 Gostol’s bakery solutions Gostol 116 Leading the wine market in Poland Jantoń Group

Heavy Vehicles 120 Heavy-duty precision Sisu Axles 125 Growing in size Komatsu Italia Manufacturing

Marine 129 Heavy-duty experts Conquest Offshore


Above: Avure p132 Below: Cividale Group p157

132 Pressure for perfection Avure 136 Advanced fasteners Gawel Zaklad Produkcji Srub

Above: Cooper Standard p68 Below: Ontex p86

Paper & Printing 142 Creating value from waste IL Recycling 146 Your ideal Mediterranean partner M Demajo Graphic Arts

Textiles 149 New concepts in high-technology textiles DesleeClama

Also in this issue... 154 157 160 164 168

Precision surface soluions Lapmaster Wolters Value-added steel Cividale Group Lloyds Register Energy Lloyds Register High-precision, innovation and reliability Schneeberger Fast materials solutions BIBUS METALS Industry Europe 5




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

Building to a catharsis? A political as well as an economic storm is brewing in Europe.


ow ironic, but how telling, that in the week US unemployment dipped below six per cent to a six-year low, European markets were plunged into turmoil on evidence of worsening economic slowdown and yet another confused and inconclusive European Central Bank meeting. There is much about America’s recovery that’s far from perfect. But it is a model of economic performance compared to the deepening paralysis that now grips the eurozone. Latest Eurostat readings show unemployment in the euro area stubbornly stuck at 11.5 per cent. Many of its economies are now in retreat where a pulse can be detected at all. A recent Markit business confidence survey showed the eurozone economy ‘stuck in a rut’. Its latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) recorded a further fall in activity. The overall picture, it said, is of an economy ‘struggling against multiple headwinds’. One of the biggest ‘headwinds’ of all are the euro area’s policymakers. It was not just the miserable PMI readings but growing fears of policy gridlock across the eurozone and an explosion of pent-up political frustration ahead that have prompted a fresh outbreak of market volatility. Hints by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi that he was retreating from previous pledges for a one trillion euro stimulus blockbuster, and confusion over the scale of future quantitative easing on which the zone’s most ailing economies have been desperately counting, have unnerved markets. Adding to the disarray were reports that senior German economists had erupted with fury to the ECB’s first asset purchases, which could end up in a tangle of law suits in the German courts. Wrote the president of Germany’s leading think tank, the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, “My prediction is not that the euro will fall apart, but that it leads to a stagnation and animosity even more than we see today across the people of Europe.” 6 Industry Europe

In France and Italy – the second and third largest eurozone countries respectively – growth has ground to a near standstill while budget deficits continue to climb. Both countries have new political leaderships but face entrenched resistance to reform. Meanwhile the ECB seems as reluctant as ever to take action by way of monetary loosening. While Mario Draghi gave the impression that the ECB had more policy ammunition to fire if needed, this has been his mantra for many months. Specific action on monetary easing – with firm numbers attached – is what markets have been expecting for months.

There is much about America’s recovery that’s far from perfect. But it is a model of economic performance compared to the deepening paralysis that now grips the eurozone. So, far from Draghi’s remarks reassuring policy watchers, it left the impression that it has run out of road. And it risks being dumped with the blame – rather than euro politicians for their failure to take the action required: cutting the bureaucratic stranglehold, easing regulatory barriers to expansion and employment and liberalising their economies. Says Marc Ostwald, economist at ADM Investor Services International, “if current ECB measures are not effective, if France continues to do nothing to reinvigorate its economy, and if ECB suggestions that it could still do government bond QE proves to be nothing than hollow bluster, then the prospects for the eurozone do appear very bleak, and further EUR weakness, perhaps very sharp, would appear inevitable.”

Italy and France on the edge Anyone doubting the nature of the precipice to which many of the eurozone economies are now clinging would have learnt much from the backcloth to the ECB’s Governing Council meeting in October. It was held in Naples, where the effects of eurozone policies – or more accurately the lack of them – on Mediterranean member states were vividly evident. The jobless rate in Naples is running at 25 per cent – and at 56 per cent for the 15–24 age group. Far from the economy turning up, it looks set to enter its third recession since the global financial crisis. “In truth,” says veteran eurozone watcher Stephen Lewis, “it makes more sense to regard Italy’s malaise since 2008 as one long recession, with only two brief intermissions in the downtrend in economic activity along the way.” The country’s new prime minister, with his carefully cultivated image of dynamism, promised a clean break from the past and the start of an era of structural change. However, eight months on, hopes for Italy’s economic revival are being sorely tested. Last year its real GDP was 12 per cent below its 2007 level, while government debt leapt by 29 per cent. And the economy shows no sign of expanding to any meaningful extent. Yet, formidable though these problems are, they have been eclipsed by those of France, regarded as part of the eurozone core. Growth here has slowed to a crawl, voter frustration is increasingly evident, and attempts to wriggle out of commitments to reduce its budget deficit to the EU-mandated level of three per cent threaten more trouble. So: convergence ambitions are floundering, Germany recoils at the open-ended commitment to bail out countries that have done little to pursue growth policies. And markets smell trouble ahead. This is why many now believe a political as well as economic storm is brewing in the eurozone. Six years on from the global n crisis, it awaits a cathartic moment.

Industry Europe 7


8 Industry Europe

Metals demand in Europe is strengthening, helping to stabilise prices, but the metals industry still wants action to ease the burden of high energy costs and climate change measures.


he European metals sector looks likely to be able to sustain through the rest of this year and at least part of 2015 a recovery in domestic demand and output in most of its segments, especially steel and aluminium. This is despite recent statistics showing a possible downturn in major economies like Germany. However, amidst the increased confidence stemming from a brighter outlook for the sector, there is still much concern in the industry about its weakening position in international markets, particularly steel and aluminium, and what can be done about to bolster its competiveness. Industry representatives have become even more outspoken in their calls for more effective initiatives by the European Union and national governments to ease cost burdens in areas like energy and climate change measures. There has been pickup in demand in Europe this year, but it will probably be based on relatively slow economic growth which the industry does not want to see combined with high and rising costs. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) underlined the weakness of the European recovery by cutting its forecast growth for the eurozone next year from 1.5 per cent to 1.3 per cent. Its German growth forecast for this year was slashed from 1.9 per cent to 1.4 per cent. The IMF changes to its forecasts came as Germany’s Economy Ministry revealed that industrial output in the country in August had dropped by 4 per cent compared with the previous month – its biggest fall since 2009. “The German recovery has been looking weak at the moment but we should not get depressed by these figures,” says Casper Burgering, a metals analyst at the Dutch bank

ABN AMRO. “The underlying factors supporting a recovery in Germany and elsewhere in Europe are still there.” Two key trends in Europe favouring growth have been economic revivals in previously struggling countries in southern Europe like Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece and increasing output in automobiles which are a major consumer of steel and other metals. “In Europe where we’ve had a very weak (automotive) market for the last couple of years, we see actually the weakest markets now coming back,” explains Tim Armstrong, vice-president, forecast planning at IHS Automotive. “Spain and Portugal are going to be some of the strongest growing markets for the next few years. That’s actually feeding into the overall (automotive) growth level.”

Rising steel use Stronger demand from big customer markets like automotive and restocking owing to low inventories have been boosting overall use of steel in the region after two years of feeble sales. Use is expected by the World Steel Association’s (WSA) in its latest short-term projections to rise by 4 per cent to 146 million tons this year and by 2.9 per cent in 2015. The higher demand in Europe coincides with similar upward trends in North America and Japan but with less rapid growth in some emerging economies, especially China. “Recoveries in the EU, United States and Japan are expected to be stronger than previously thought, but not strong enough to offset the slowdown in the emerging economies,” says Hans Juergen Kerkhoff, chairman of the WSA economics committee and president of the German Steel Federation. Helped by a surge of restocking, steel out-

put in Europe shot up by close to 7 per cent in the first two months of the year—an increase which has levelled out since the spring. This has contrasted with steep rises in steel imports, particularly of finished steel products – 33 per cent in the second quarter and 32 per cent in July and August. “Low priced imports benefit more from the fragile recovery in the EU market than domestic producers do,” says Axel Eggert, interim director general of EUROFER, the European steel producers association. “Moreover the combination of volume and pricing effects exacerbates the already severe margin pressure in the EU steel sector.” Tighter supply-demand balances in Europe have helped to stabilise prices in steel, aluminium, copper and other metals. “Prices should now stay steady for a while,” said Mr Burgering. “Steel prices are still soft because not much has been done recently to further reduce production capacity in Europe.” With non-ferrous metals, the ending of the US policy of quantitative easing to stimulate the economy has been reducing the pressure on prices from speculative money. “Instead of financial influences on metal prices, we’ve been seeing the supply-demand fundamentals do more to dictate prices,” said one Londonbased metals analyst. However, improvements in demand and prices have not yet been sufficiently durable to make European metal producers more confident about the futures of their sector in an increasingly competitive global market.

Action programme The European Commission launched an action programme last year to boost the steel sector in the wake of worries about

Industry Europe 9

production overcapacity, increasing energy costs, reliance on imported raw materials, competition from state-subsidised producers outside Europe and more challenging environmental requirements. Around 60,000 jobs had been lost in the steel sector since 2007, mainly because of plant closures and overcapacity which has led to production dropping from 210 million tonnes in 2007 to 166 million tonnes last year. The action programme includes more industry-friendly regulation, addressing skill needs, stimulating demand for steel and dealing with high energy costs. In a review issued in June this year on the programme’s progress, the Commission claimed that about half of the actions had already been implemented either by the Commission itself or by the EU member states or the industry. “No new production sites closures with corresponding job losses took place since the adoption of the Action Plan in June 2013,” the review concluded. The European Aluminium Association (EAA) also published last year its own action agenda which included affordable energy prices based on sound climate policies, measures to curb illegal scrap exports and greater support for innovation and the creation of aluminium valuechain clusters. Some recent initiatives have been aimed at encouraging Europe’s metals sector to work more closely together with other industries to improve production processes, increase innovation and raise energy energy efficiency. The European non-ferrous metals industry, with seven other process industries like chemicals, engineering and ceramics, is a member of a European R&D project, called Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and energy Efficiency (SPIRE). 10 Industry Europe

It is a EU-based public private partnership (PPP) which is an important part of the EU’s recently launched seven-year Horizon 2020 research programme. By jointly developing technologies and best practices in resource and energy efficiency and by combining the know-how and expertise of its member sectors, it hopes to make the whole of European industry more competitive. SPIRE’s target is a 30 per cent reduction in the need for fossil and non-renewable energy amongs its industry partners compared with current levels and a 20 per cent cut in requirements for primary raw materials. Also, it wants CO2 emissions in the industries to be decreased by 40 per cent compared to today’s levels. Aligned with the SPIRE concept is a scheme to use collaborative initiatives between industrial sites or parks, such as the sharing of utilities, services and by-product resources – what the economists call industrial symbiosis – to achieve these targets.

Sites collaboration Many of Europe’s industrial sites are focused on producing the same category of materials, such as iron and steel and chemicals, mainly because they were originally established by single companies in these sectors. “There are a number of locations in Europe where, for example, iron and steel production sites are adjacent to chemical sites but there is no significant integration between the two,” explains Mark Lewis, project coordinator at Low Carbon Industrial Manufacturing Parks (LOCIMAP), an organisation with close links to SPIRE. “We can learn from the level of integration in certain industrial sites in the Middle East between metals and chemicals production,” he adds.

In Saudi Arabia, for example, steel and petrochemical plants in the country’s massive Jubail Industrial City share energy and water facilities and other infrastructure. At Ras al-Khair, 60 kilometres north of Jubail, it is creating a minerals industrial complex with its own power station and water desalination plant to exploit Saudi deposits of phosphate and bauxite. The centrepiece of the project, due to start coming on stream this year, is an alumina refinery, aluminium smelter and rolling mill, with the smelter having a capacity of 740,000 tonnes-a-year of aluminium. The site will also be making the fertilizer di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and the chemicals phosphoric and sulphuric acid. “The big difference with sites in emerging economies like the Middle East is that they consist of new plants with the latest technologies while industrial sites in Europe mainly comprise aged plants,” says Mr Lewis. “Nonetheless much could be done by adjacent sites in Europe by cooperating in areas like re-use of waste products and the sharing of heat generated by their facilities.” LOCIMAP has been helping to initiate discussions on possible collaboration in aspects like energy and waste between an integrated steel site, owned by Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI) of Thailand, and a petrochemicals complex adjacent to each other in Teesside, north-east England. The main operator at the petrochemicals site is Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), the state-controlled Saudi petrochemicals and metals producer, which has chemicals and steel plants at Jubail and has an interest in the Ras Al Khair complex. If Europe’s metals sector is to maintain its global leadership in the development of process technologies and production efficiencies it may have to do more to learn from the practices of its competitors outside the region. n


New developments in the Metals industry

voestalpine to supply heavy plate for the second South Stream pipeline


BE Group looks for new CEO K

immo Väkiparta has informed the Board of Directors that he wishes to resign from his position as president and CEO of BE Group. “My task was primarily to significantly strengthen the group’s competitiveness through various cost reduction programs. This task is now completed and therefore I think it is time for

a more market-oriented CEO to take over,” says Kimmo Väkiparta. A recruitment process for the appointment of a new CEO has started and the board of directors has appointed Lars Engström, former president and CEO of Munters, as acting president and CEO. Visit:

Salzgitter Group’s Berg participations secure huge pipes order



his year sees the voestalpine Group securing its third major contract in the pipeline business. Following the first, now completed, contract for the Russian-European pipeline project South Stream, and for Rota 3, a pipeline project in Brazil, voestalpine will deliver 120,000 tons of sour-gas-resistant, high-strength linepipe plates for the second South Stream pipeline by spring 2015. As with the first South Stream pipeline, 35% of the project volume goes to voestalpine’s long-term Russian partner OMK, which will source around half of its requirements for highest quality heavy plate from Linz. The contract again highlights the professional nature of the partnership between voestalpine Grobblech and Russian tube manufacturer OMK which stretches back over many years. The material being supplied includes highest quality sourgas-resistant, high-strength linepipe plates. Visit:

ArcelorMittal announces 700 new jobs in France


rcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company, has announced 700 new jobs will be created at its French sites in 2014. ArcelorMittal is the largest steel company in France, with a workforce of nearly 20,000 over some 50 industrial and distribution sites.

he Salzgitter Group participations Berg Steel Pipe Corp. and Berg Spiral Pipe Corp., both located in the United States, have received an order from Energy Transfer Partners, Dallas, USA, for the delivery of 480,000 net tons (approx. 430,000 metric tons) of large-diameter pipes for the ET Rover Pipeline Project. The two companies in Panama City and Mobile are subsidiaries of EUROPIPE GmbH, Mülheim, Germany, a joint venture of Salzgitter AG and AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke. The order volume for more than 1000km spiral and longitudinally welded pipes represents the largest single order in Berg’s corporate history. In addition, EUROPIPE GmbH, Mülheim, Germany, will be supplying a small volume of thick-walled large-

diameter pipes as part of this order. The ET Rover Pipeline is expected to transport up to 3.25 BCF (billion cubic feet) of natural gas per day from the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays to multiple markets in the Central United States and in Canada. Visit:

Novelis casts first ingot at new aluminium recycling centre


ovelis, the world leader in aluminium rolling and recycling, has successfully cast the first productionsized ingot – almost 10 metres long – at its 200 million euro aluminium recycling and casting centre in Nachterstedt, Germany. Located adjacent to the company’s existing aluminium rolling mill, the new plant will produce up to 400,000 metric tons of aluminium sheet ingot from recycled material annually, and is projected to be the world’s largest aluminium recycling centre. The company is still in the process of actively recruiting qualified candidates to fill the centre’s 200 new jobs. Erwin Mayr, senior vice-president of Novelis and president, Novelis Europe, said, “This major investment further highlights our long-term sustainability commitment to dramatically increase the recycled content of our products across all market segments and save valuable natural resources, whilst enabling our customers to create products with a smaller environmental footprint.” Visit: France has become the group’s leading production centre for steel used in the automotive sector (Usibor® and iCARe®) as well as the leading production centre for steel for the energy sector. The company’s largest global R&D centre is located in Maizières, France. The group has invested more than €2bn since 2006 in the production of

high-quality steels in France. The group continues to make regular investments at all its sites. It has also announced investment of €92m for the complete renovation of one of its blast furnaces in Dunkirk as well as investment of €90m to develop the production of electrical steels at the SaintChély d’Apcher site in Lozère. Visit: Industry Europe 11


New developments in the Metals industry

ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe invests in modernising Ruukki Construction to focus on roofing business in Romania continuous caster in Duisburg-Beeckerwerth



Trimet acquires aluminum smelter in Voerde

SSAB’s Hardox celebrates 40 years

conjunction with the combination of SSAB and Rautaruukki, operations serving the companies’ construction customers have been merged into a new division – Ruukki Construction. Ruukki is a well-known brand in the residential roofing business and sees growth potential in this business also in the Romanian market. However, market conditions in the steel structure and component businesses in Romania have remained weak, and Ruukki has been unable to turn the businesses back to profitability. As a consequence, Ruukki plans to discontinue these businesses and focus solely on the roofing business. There are plans to use the existing sandwich panel line and profiling lines in Romania in Ruukki’s other plants elsewhere. Visit:


rimet Aluminium SE has acquired Voerde Aluminium GmbH and all 280 of its employees. The company manufactures primary aluminum and carbon anodes used in electrolysis for metal extraction. Trimet will continue to run the aluminum smelter and anode factory at its location on the Lower Rhine and will take over the full staff. With the Voerde location, the materials specialist has expanded its production capacity for primary aluminum, continuing the positive growth demonstrated over the past few years. “Key European industries have great demand for aluminum. With the Voerde location, we can meet the growing demand. The staff and the technical equipment are perfectly aligned with Trimet’s orientation as a provider of customised solutions,” says Dr Martin Iffert, CEO of Trimet Aluminium SE. Visit:

Outokumpu creates special surface with an 800-tonne stainless steel façade for Baosteel’s head offices


KS, a joint venture between Outokumpu and Baosteel Group in China, is delivering over 800 tonnes of high-quality coldrolled stainless steel plate for the cladding of Baosteel’s landmark head offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou in China.

12 Industry Europe

he current reline of blast furnace 2 in Duisburg-Schwelgern is being used as an opportunity to modernise a further key facility of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe: Work has started on revamping one of the continuous casters in Duisburg-Beeckerwerth. The work is being carried out in parallel with the reline of blast furnace 2 in order to minimise production losses. The aim of the modernisation of continuous caster 1 is to improve slab quality and widen the product range. The modernisation will involve costs of around 90 million euros. “This is further evidence that despite all the burdens being imposed on us, for example in terms of energy prices, we continue to put our faith in the Duisburg site and are investing in its sustainability,” says Dr Herbert Eichelkraut, chief operating officer at Thyssen-


Krupp Steel Europe. “This is an important signal for our employees, but also for our customers and suppliers.” Visit:

SAB’s aim was to develop a wear plate that was both harder and tougher than other steels on the market when the company produced Hardox 40 years ago. It needed to be hard to be able to withstand severe wear and tear over a long period of time and tough to be able to handle bending and intense use without cracking. “When the material was launched in 1974 as the ‘bendable wear plate’, it was the first wear plate in the world to combine both hardness and

toughness and also work well as construction steel,” says Christer Offerman, a wear plate specialist at SSAB. “The fact that Hardox is an excellent structural steel has been one of the keys to its success. This is of great importance to our customers. It means that they can produce effective solutions for thin and light dump bodies, containers and buckets, which can also handle high levels of wear and tear.” Visit:

Baosteel’s head office in Shanghai includes three buildings with a total façade area of some 48,000 square metres. In Guangzhou, the main building of Baosteel’s southern headquarters will be 140 metres tall. Both projects began last year and are expected to be completed in 2016. Says Austin Lu, head of Outokumpu’s Asia-Pacific operations: “These build-

ings are a great opportunity not only for Baosteel to demonstrate its competence as a construction materials supplier, but also for Outokumpu to showcase its expertise in high-performance stainless steel. Both Baosteel and the architect are attaching great importance to the building materials used in these projects.” Visit:

INDUSTRYNEWS optimises production Sheffield Forgemasters to supply crucial Hydro capacity in Sunndal castings for US Navy submarine fleet H

ydro has decided to reduce remelt activities at its primary metal plant in Sunndal, Norway, and to replace volumes by ramping up production at its SU3 potline. The SU3 potline consists of two production halls with a total production capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year. Owing to the economic downturn, Hydro curtailed SU3 in 2009. Hydro has now decided to restart parts of the remaining potline. “We will start up one of the four remaining sections in November and December. Given that the startup goes according to plan, the rest of SU3 will be ramped up by mid-year next year,” says Hilde Merete Aasheim, head of Hydro’s Primary Metal business area. Visit:


he contract will see Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) deliver 84 castings to General Dynamics Electric Boat Corporation, the company responsible for the design, construction and lifecycle support of submarines for the US Navy. SFIL won the order based on its strong working relationship with Electric Boat Corporation and its unparalleled history of supplying high specification steel castings for both the US and the UK Navy submarine programmes. SFIL are only one of a handful of companies around the globe qualified by the US Navy to produce these high integrity casting, having undergone an extensive qualification program involving both Electric Boat and the US Navy.

Dr Graham Honeyman, chief executive at Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd, said: “This is a landmark order for Sheffield Forgemasters and for the UK and it cements our long-standing working partnership with Electric Boat Corporation.” Visit:

Tata Steel opens new automotive finishing line

UC RUSAL launches pilot unit at Urals aluminium smelter


ata Steel has opened a new finishing line at its IJmuiden steelworks in the Netherlands. Tata Steel has invested €12 million in Finishing Line 32, which will process up to 400,000 tonnes of galvanised (corrosion resistant) steel coil a year. Henrik Adam, Tata Steel’s chief commercial officer, said: “This investment will enable us to improve the supply of high-quality steels to customers while also improving delivery times. The new finishing line enables us to meet the most stringent quality standards for advanced steels, some of which are used by automotive manufacturers for vehicle body panels and safety-critical components. These steels are often stronger and thinner enabling our automotive customers to produce more fuel-efficient and lighter-weight vehicles.” Visit:

EVRAZ ZSMK adopts pulverised coal injection technology


VRAZ ZSMK has launched a pulverised coal injection unit for two of its blast furnaces. The unit’s production capacity amounts to 160 tons of pulverised coal fuel per hour, or about 1.3 million tons annually. Investment for this project has exceeded 7 billion rubles. “This change-over to PCI technology


RUSAL, a leading global aluminium producer, has launched a pilot unit at the Urals aluminium smelter (ìUAZî) to produce primary scandium concentrate using red mud for the production of alloys. The new unit is capable of producing 2.5 tonnes per year of primary scandium oxide concentrate. Throughout 2014, investment in the project has totaled 74 million rubles. The company expects to create a pilot plant, along with the necessary technology, for the processing of the primary scandium concentrate into a commercial product, where the content of scandium oxide will reach 99.0% by the end of 2014. The market price for such a product ranges from USD3000 – USD5000 per kg. The capacity of a pilot plant will be 500kg per year.

is in alignment with EVRAZ’s strategy to reduce costs and to improve production performance. EVRAZ NTMK – the first EVRAZ plant to adopt this technology – has already appreciated the cost advantage of PCI, so we expect that the application of this technology at EVRAZ ZSMK will also be a success,” commented Alexey Ivanov, EVRAZ’s vicepresident and head of the Steel division.

The scandium oxide produced will be used for the production of aluminium-scandium alloys at RUSAL’s smelters. The use of scandium greatly improves the consumer properties of aluminium alloys. Visit:

Pulverised coal injection ensures substantial cost savings on natural gas consumed for hot iron production, and results in the reduction of coke consumption by 15–20%. At the same time blast furnace productivity improves approximately by 5%. In addition, the new technology is good for the environment as it reduces emissions of greenhouse gases. Visit: Industry Europe 13



Mont St Michel, in Normandy, has just become an island, after decades attached to the French coast. A new bridge allows this world-famous site to revert to being an island on certain days in the year, and ensures that access is car-free. Robert Williams reports on the part that French steel company Vallourec has played in the project.


he old road causeway to Mont St Michel has been replaced by a new dyke. At the end of the dyke is a bridge made of steel tubes which extends to below the mediaeval abbey. It was French company Vallourec that manufactured the seamless steel tubes that support the new bridge, which opened to the public in July 2014. The 760 metre-long bridge was built with about 400 tons of seamless steel tubes produced in Vallourec’s Aulnoye-Aymeries plant. These tubes form the 124 columns that anchor the bridge deep to the seafloor, removing the need for solid concrete piers. The tubes, up to nine and a half metres long, have a diameter of 244.5mm and wall thicknesses of between 40–60mm. The thinner-walled tubes are used at the beginning and end of the structure, and the thicker-walled ones in the middlesection, where the load factors are greater. A special anti-corrosion coating protects them from aggressive saltwater. 14 Industry Europe

Vallourec has experience in this area, as it is the world leader in premium tubular solutions. As well as for the construction sector, many of its products are built for the energy market, including oil and gas, and also for power generation The company also has expertise across other industrial sectors, including automobile manufacturing. With 24,000 employees, sales of 5.6 billion euros in 2013 – 81 per cent from outside Europe – integrated manufacturing facilities integrated in more than 20 countries and advanced Research and Development, Vallourec offers its customers innovative global solutions to meet the energy challenges of the 21st century. Vallourec developed in the late nineteenth century in two traditionally industrial French regions: the North, around Valenciennes near Lille, Maubeuge near the Belgian border, and Burgundy, around the town of Montbard. Both of these regions are still the

Group’s main production areas, with a head office in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris. For the oil and gas industry, Vallourec designs and develops a comprehensive range of products including seamless tubes and premium connections for drilling operations, line pipes and well equipment capable of withstanding extreme operating conditions, including high pressures, high temperatures, deviated wells, deep offshore and corrosive environments

Tubes for multiple applications Vallourec recently won a contract from Technip Umbilicals for the Edradour project operated by TOTAL in the UK. As part of this first industrial order, Vallourec will deliver super duplex welded tubes for umbilicals from its plant located in Venarey-Les Laumes. A key component in subsea installations, umbilicals are made of small-diameter tubes, cables and optical fibres, which con-

nect the equipment on the seabed together and to a control station at the surface by transporting fluids, supplying power, and transmitting information. Vallourec produces tubes to be fitted into umbilicals. These tubes offer superior strength and mechanical properties compared to products currently available on the market. In power generation, Vallourec offers a premium range of tubes capable of withstanding the most severe temperature and pressure conditions. Its solutions enable power companies to meet the challenges of energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions in power plants. In the construction industry, Vallourec manufactures tubes used in architectural projects, industrial or collective equipment and private buildings. Vallourec has provided tubes for the construction of the steel structure of the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Stade de France and the Grande Arche de la Défense in Paris, Wembley Stadium in London, Bangkok Airport in Thailand, as well as certain components used to build the top of One World Trade Centre in New York. Recently, in preparation for the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Vallourec provided structural seamless steel tubes for the renovation and construction of Brazilian stadiums.

have put Saint-Saulve steel mill at the cutting edge of technology. One of these was a new vacuum plant and forging machine, built for the production of high-alloy steel grades, which came on line in 2001. The electric arc process at Saint Saulve mainly uses scrap metal – about 70,000 tonnes a month, delivered by road, rail and water. A 200 metre-long quay was built to facilitate transportation by water. Continuous cast tube rounds are the starting material for tube production. The manufacturing programme consists mainly of special steels, although the carbon steel produced in Saint-Saulve is still competitive. Saint-Saulve supplies billets with a range of diameters from 180 to 325mm. Diameters of 140mm can also be produced with the help of a forging machine.

The mill in Saint-Saulve has been thoroughly modernised with the help of considerable investment. In 2001 a vacuum plant and a forging machine came on line for the production of high-alloy steel grades and since early 2008 production capacity has been increased to 730,000 tonnes per year. Vallourec says that the increase is the result of continuous improvements in production techniques as well as of the infrastructure investment. Last year, the company invested 87.4 million euros in research and development. More than 500 engineers and technicians work at its production sites and six research centers located in France, Germany, Brazil and the US. These centres, equipped for high performance testing and modeling, provide expertise in all Vallourec’s main sectors. n

The Saint-Saulve Mill One of Vallourec’s key facilities is the SaintSaulve steel mill, which was established in Valenciennes in 1975. Today, Vallourec has a steel mill in Saint-Saulve and three pipe mills. In recent years, two major investments Industry Europe 15


New contracts and orders in industry

Kalmar to supply the first Super Gloria reachstacker Kongsberg wins


almar, part of Cargotec, has received an order from Egon Evertz KG for Super Gloria, the world’s biggest reachstacker. The machine will

be operated at Salzgitter Flachstahl for handling hot and cold steel slabs. The design and build project was completed by Kalmar in 12 months. The Evertz Group, a company based in Solingen, Germany has specialised in serving steel mills all over the world with products and as service provider for over 50 years. Through the constant improvement of techniques, procedures and parts for steel production, it has become the leading name in the industry. Kalmar’s solution was devised to meet Egon Evertz’s increasing requirement to handle heavier loads. The Kalmar DRG650-92A5XS reachstacker is called ‘Super Gloria’ because it is now the largest reachstacker in Kalmar’s hugely successful Gloria range. The completely new design resulted in an impressive lift capacity of 65 tonnes at 4.0m load centre in dynamic mode (drive) or 65 tonnes at 5.0m load centre in static mode (non driving). Visit:

Balfour Beatty awarded contract for Crossrail’s new Woolwich station


alfour Beatty has announced the award of a £70 million contract to complete and fit-out the new Crossrail station at Woolwich. The four-year project will ensure quicker, easier and more convenient travel for commuters from Woolwich to a range of destinations across London and the South East, supporting regeneration in the Thames Gateway area and significantly reducing journey times for commuters to locations such as Bond Street, Heathrow and Canary Wharf. Works will include designing, fitting-out and handing over the works associated with the new Woolwich Station together with installing plant and finishing works at the two portals where the Crossrail trains will surface from either end of the Thames Tunnel at North Woolwich and Plumstead. At its height, the project will employ 200 people. Balfour Beatty is committed to supporting apprenticeships and local employment and will work with Crossrail and the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Newham to create apprenticeships and roles for the long-term unemployed or those who have been out of education or training for six months or more. Work will complete in 2018 when Crossrail is due to fully open for service. Visit:

Technip awarded contract in the Kingdom of Bahrain


echnip has been awarded by The Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) a significant contract on a reimbursable basis to develop the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) of the refinery located in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The FEED contract covers four main work packages

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that include units aimed at processing the ‘bottom of the barrel’ components to high value products, and all associated offsites and utilities, to provide seamless integration with existing refinery facilities earmarked for retention. Marco Villa, Technip Region B president said: “We are proud to be associated with BAPCO for this major development of the

driveline contract in North America and Asia


ongsberg Automotive’s Driveline business area has been nominated by a major North American OEM for supplying automatic transmission (AT) shifters. The contract has an estimated total value of €122 million (NOK 1.0 billion) over its 6-year duration. The shifters will be used in a C segment ‘Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV)’ to be sold globally. The unique design of this shifter will enable compatibility with multiple transmissions across different platforms. The shifters will be manufactured at Kongsberg’s facilities in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and Wuxi, China and production under the contract is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2016. “It’s very satisfying that our expertise in AT shifter design is recognised by North American OEMs. This nomination is a testament to the value Kongsberg Automotive can bring to customers with our full system capabilities in AT shifter technology, and our global production platform,” said Joachim Magnusson, executive vice-president for Kongsberg Automotive’s Driveline business. Visit:

Joachim Magnusson

refinery. The award confirms Technip’s leading position as partner of choice to provide high-end services for strategic investments. This reflects at the same time the importance of following the client and having a keen understanding of its needs from the earliest stage of an initiative.” Visit:

WINNINGBUSINESS Bouygues to construct two tunnels for the Hong Kong metro


hrough its subsidiaries Dragages Hong Kong and Bouygues Travaux Publics, Bouygues Construction has won a contract worth HK$ 5.2 billion (roughly €490 million) from MTR Corporation for the construction of 2x2 tunnels that will form part of a 6-kilometre extension of the Shatin to Central Link. These tunnels are among the major infrastructure projects currently under way in the city, connecting tourist sites and the financial district. The two eastern tunnels, each approximately 540m long, will run from the south ventilation building and the new Exhibition station on the Shatin to Central Link. The two western tunnels, each approximately 450m long, will be bored between the Fenwick Pier emergency egress point and the existing Admiralty station. Bouygues Construction will also construct the ventilation building. Philippe Bonnave, deputy chief executive of Bouygues Construction, said: “Bouygues Travaux Publics has achieved the status of a global reference for underground works, following a series of technically complex projects, adapting to the most diverse geologies. This latest success further demonstrates our ability to meet technical challenges and carry out very large-scale infrastructure projects.” Visit:

HANZA signs manufacturing agreement with Saab Dynamics H ANZA has signed a multi-year production contract with Saab Dynamics containing both mechanics and electronics. The agreement is intended to provide production to a number of HANZA factories initially in Sweden.

AREVA wins a contract to supply fuel assemblies to RWE


REVA has been selected by the utility RWE to supply fuel assemblies to the Emsland nuclear power plant located near Lingen, Germany. From 2016 to 2020, the power plant will receive a total of four reloads of AREVA’s HTP™ fuel design, one of the group’s proven fuel assembly

HANZA Holding AB, Sweden’s leading business partner in manufacturing solutions, has developed the cooperation with security and defence company Saab Dynamics through a multi-year agreement with an unofficial order value.
 HANZA’s business model is based on increasing growth and profitability for product owners by providing effective manufacturing solutions. “We already have cooperations with several other business areas within Saab Defence. It will be exciting to develop Dynamics as well,” said Thomas Lindstrom, vice-president Sales & Marketing HANZA. Saab Dynamics offers ground combat weapons, missile systems, torpedoes, sensor systems, unmanned underwater vehicles and signature management systems for defence and remotely operated vehicles and safety systems for the offshore industry and nuclear power plants. Visit:

designs developed for pressurised water reactors (PWR). The fuel assemblies will be produced in Germany in AREVA’s Lingen manufacturing plant. “This order reinforces the historical links between AREVA and RWE that were established in the 1960s with the construction of the first German nuclear power plants and pursued through service and modernisation

ABB wins order for Scotland’s CaithnessMoray subsea power link


BB has won an order worth over $800 million from Scottish Hydro Electric (SHE) Transmission plc to provide the Caithness-Moray high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission link, which will connect the electricity grid on either side of the Moray Firth in northern Scotland. This follows a favourable decision by Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets), an independent National Regulatory Authority, on the need for the link. ABB will design, engineer, supply and commission two 320-kilovolt land-based HVDC Light converter stations, one rated at 1200 megawatts (MW) at Blackhillock in Moray and another rated at 800 MW situated at Spittal in Caithness. ABB’s scope of supply also includes submarine and underground cables covering a total transmission length of nearly 160km. The link is scheduled to become operational in 2018. “We are pleased to support this major transmission project that will enable integration of a significant amount of renewable energy into the grid and supply clean, emission-free electricity to millions of people,” said Claudio Facchin, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. Visit: contracts. It shows the competitiveness of AREVA’s integrated offer for nuclear power plant operators,” said Peter Reimann, senior vice-president of AREVA’s fuel activities in Germany. AREVA is a world leader in nuclear power. The group’s offer covers every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle. Visit: Industry Europe 17


Combining strengths

Atlas Copco acquires compressor business in New Zealand

Nico Delvaux


tlas Copco, a leading provider of industrial productivity solutions, has acquired the compressor distribution and service business from the Lancaster Group in New Zealand. The acquired businesses are those of Ash Air (NZ) Ltd, Fox Air NZ Ltd, MBAR 2011 Ltd and Ash Air Oil & Gas Ltd. The businesses, located throughout New Zealand, had combined revenues in the fiscal year 2013 of approximately MNZD 30 (MSEK 162) and around 120 employees. The businesses provide high-quality sales and servicing of industrial compressors and related equipment to a broad range of customers in the region. “By acquiring this group of high-quality distributors we will further expand and strengthen our presence in New Zealand,” said Nico Delvaux, president of Atlas Copco’s Compressor Technique business area. “These businesses will complement our existing organisation well and will serve as a strong base for further growth.” The businesses will be part of the Compressor Technique business area. Visit:

Electrolux to acquire GE Appliances


Electrolux has entered into an agreement to acquire the appliances business of General Electric, one of the premier manufacturers of kitchen and laundry products in the United States. The acquisition enhances Electrolux’s position as a global player in home appliances, offering an unparalleled opportunity to invest in innova18 Industry Europe

Cool-Therm acquires AC AirCon Ltd C

ool-Therm Ltd has acquired AC Air Con Ltd, the specialist supplier of chiller and compressor parts. The deal enables Cool-Therm, best known for its pioneering development of the Turbomiser chiller, to become a one-stop shop for the supply of parts for all mainstream chillers and compressors. Importantly, the company will now stock key components for Turbocor-based chillers, including compressors and electrical circuit boards, as well as service spares for all other makes of chillers and compressors, such as Frascold, Dorin, Refcomp and Geoclima. Ken Strong, managing director of CoolTherm, said: “We are delighted at the acquisition of AC Air Con Ltd, and the additional capabilities it gives Cool-Therm. As one of the first companies in the world to develop and commercialise

Turbocor, in the form of the highly successful Turbomiser chiller, we now have several hundred chillers in service across the country. Cool-Therm will also supply valves, control gear, motor protectors, expansion valves, pressure transducers, fan speed controls and lubricants. Visit:

CUBIC acquires Stanfo


UBIC-Modulsystem AS has acquired the Elsinore enterprise Stanfo AS. CUBIC is a leading supplier of enclosures for any type of electrical switchboard. With the purchase of Stanfo CUBIC positions itself as a qualified and reliable supplier within customised solutions. “Stanfo’s product range is a superb supplement to our present programme. CUBIC will

tion and growth, which will benefit consumers, retailers, employees and shareholders. “GE’s premium, high-quality appliances complement our own iconic brands and will enhance our presence in North America,” said Keith McLoughlin, president and CEO of Electrolux. “The acquisition, which is our largest ever, strengthens our commitment to the appliance business and also provides

gain an even stronger market position within customised solutions, whether they are lacquered or in stainless steel,” says Torben Fristrup, CEO/ managing director of CUBIC-Modulsystem AS. In the future Stanfo, with around 25 employees, will form part of the CUBIC Group. Lately, CUBIC has seen a positive growth within customised enclosure solutions. The solutions are applicable in all feasible areas, but are especially used in the pharmaceutical, food processing, electronic and windmill industries, as well as train service and transportation. “With CUBIC as the new owner we get access to skills and resources which will increase Stanfo’s growth even further,” says Preben Christiansen, managing director of Stanfo. Visit: Electrolux with the scale and opportunity to accelerate our investments in innovation and global growth.” The acquisition of GE Appliances is an important step for Electrolux towards realising the group’s vision: to be the best appliance company in the world as measured by customers, employees and shareholders. Visit:

LINKINGUP Scandi Standard acquires Bosarpskyckling AB


candi Standard, through its subsidiary Kronfågel AB, is acquiring the Swedish organic and KRAV-approved chicken producer Bosarpskyckling AB. The acquisition will give Kronfågel AB an expanded customer offering, helping to meet the ever-stronger demand for organic food. Bosarpskyckling AB is Sweden’s leading producer of organic broiler chickens under the Bosarp brand. “This acquisition is in line with our long-term strategy of offering consumers healthy and climatesmart chicken products,” says Leif Bergvall Hansen, CEO of Scandi Standard.

“Demand for white meat is growing, and the acquisition will enable Kronfågel AB to further develop and strengthen its customer offering with KRAV-approved, organic premium chicken,” says Magnus Lagergren, CEO of Kronfågel AB. “We are delighted that Kronfågel AB will be our new owner,” says the Alwén family via Birgitta Alwén. “Together, Bosarp and Kronfågel will develop our business to meet the growing demand for Bosarp’s organic chicken.” The acquisition is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2014.

Trelleborg divests rubber boot facility T DPx Holdings to acquire Gallus BioPharmaceuticals


Px Holdings BV, privately owned by JLL Partners and Royal DSM, has reached a definitive agreement to acquire all shares of Gallus BioPharmaceuticals, LLC, a leading contract manufacturing company specialising in biologics and current portfolio company of Ridgemont Equity Partners. Following the transaction, Patheon’s biologic drug substance business, a unit of DPx Holdings, will span four facilities in Europe, Australia and North America and include 550 employees globally. DPx Holdings is the parent company of Patheon, DSM Fine Chemicals and Banner Life Sciences. The Patheon pharma services business provides commercial manufacturing, pharmaceutical product development services for a full array of solid and sterile dosage forms, and biologic and chemical drug substance development and manufacturing. The addition of Gallus BioPharmaceuticals makes Patheon a leading provider of process development as well as clinical and commercial scale manufacturing of mammalian cell culture derived products. Patheon can offer its customers a broad array of disposable manufacturing technology, as well as commercial scale production, throughout its global network. Visit:

Merger in CO2 and dry ice sector


he German firm BUSE Gastek GmbH, headquartered in Bad Hönningen, is merging its business divisions for CO2 production and recovery plant construction and dry ice technology with the Swiss company ASCO CARBON DIOXIDE LTD, headquartered in Romanshorn. Employees of BUSE Gastek working in these divisions will be transferred

to ASCO, a subsidiary of the German specialist in industrial gases Messer Group. Based on sales figures for 2013, the merger will result in a competitive company with an estimated annual turnover of €32 million. The joint venture will operate under the name ASCO CARBON DIOXIDE LTD. The joint venture offers solutions for a wide range of CO2 sources, whether natural

relleborg has signed an agreement to divest a facility that manufactures rubber boots for light vehicles. The business operation is based in Spain and is part of the Trelleborg Industrial Solutions business area. The buyer is the French Group Delmon Industrie SA. Trelleborg is active in the production of polymer boots for drive shaft (constant velocity joints) and steering systems (rack and pinion) for light vehicles. Generally, two materials are used for boots in these applications, either rubber or thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). Trelleborg supplies boots in both materials. The market demand for TPE boots for constant velocity joints and rack and pinion is steadily increasing, while demand for rubber boots is shrinking. Trelleborg is therefore divesting its Spanish business operation that solely manufactures rubber boots for constant velocity joints. Visit:

sources, stack gas, brewing and other fermentation processes, ammonia, hydrogen or ethylene oxide production, or a host of other industrial sources. “The merger will allow us to combine and expand our core competencies and pool our strengths,” enthuses ASCO managing director, Marco Pellegrino. Visit: Industry Europe 19



Relocations and expansions across Europe

New Bristol models announced

Stena and Sonangol launch a world class maritime training facility in Angola



conic British carmaker, Bristol Cars, has announced significant new investments. The first new Bristol car since 2003 will be launched at the Kensington High Street showroom in 2015 in the shape of an all-new 70th anniversary model, codenamed Project Pinnacle. Since the company was bought in 2011, millions of pounds have been invested in the business to re-establish its place as an iconic British carmaker for the connoisseur motorist. A specialist new Parts, Service and Restoration facility in Brentford, west London was opened this year and has quickly established itself as the leading Bristol centre in the world. The company also confirms that development work is underway on an all-new flagship Bristol Range-Extended Electric grand tourer. Frazer-Nash Research’s technology will underpin the Range-Extended Electric powertrain of this new design from Bristol Cars. Visit:

WACKER expands test facility for thermal insulation systems in Burghausen


he Munich-based WACKER Group has built a new test facility for certifying modern external thermal insulation composite systems at its Burghausen site. The key features of the facility are two climatic chambers with weathering walls as per EOTA (European Organisation for Technical Approvals) guidelines. They can be used to test exterior insulation systems under a wide variety of climatic conditions. The group invested around €1 million in the expansion project. WACKER is thus extending its range of services and consulting offering for customers and partners, while meeting the globally rising demand for high-quality exterior insulation systems. Visit:

Tibbett Logistics boosts automotive logistics operations in Bucharest


omania’s largest privately owned contract logistics specialist, Tibbett Logistics – part of the UK-based Keswick Enterprises Group – reports that it has nearly quadrupled the scale of its automotive logistics operations in Bucharest over the past five years. Automotive operations

20 Industry Europe

August the Centro De Formação Maritima De Angola (CFMA) was officially launched by top management from Sonangol, the Angolan public sector energy company and the Stena Group of Sweden. The CFMA is a world class maritime training facility, the first of its kind in Angola and the most modern maritime campus in Africa. The campus will be an internationally recognised centre of excellence, linked through Stena to leading maritime institutions in Europe and Asia in order to deliver marine education, training and certification to Angolan seafarers in order to satisfy Sonangol’s and Angola’s future requirements for marine expertise. “The development of the Maritime Training Centre has been a natural step for Stena Bulk in our close relation with Sonangol where education has been one of the fundamental questions since we started our joint venture through Stena Sonangol Suezmax Pool,” says Erik Hånell, CEO Stena Bulk. Visit:

Wavin UK announces multi-million pound investment programme


avin, the UK’s leading manufacturer of heating, plumbing and drainage products, has announced a multi-million pound investment programme to create two dedicated manufacturing facilities in Doncaster and Chippenham. The move will see the creation of a dedicated plumbing and heating manufacturing facility in Doncaster for the company’s Hep2O flexible plumbing brand, and an above and below ground plastic drainage manufacturing facility in Chippenham focusing on its Wavin OSMA brand. “The planned changes to our manufacturing facilities in Doncaster and Chippenham will simplify our supply chain and improve the service offering to our customers,” commented Brent Nicholls, Wavin’s managing director for south-west Europe. Visit:

now cover some 11,500m2 (124,000 sq ft) of warehousing in the city alone. Since relocating its automotive logistics operations to a 3000m2 (32,000 sq ft) distribution centre at Equest Park, Bucharest in 2009, Tibbett Logistics has been steadily growing these activities, and they now employ a total of 350 people. This month sees the addition of a further 2000m2 (21,500 sq ft) of ware-

housing to accommodate new VMI (vendor managed inventory) operations for its worldrenowned automotive component manufacturing customer. These include managing the inbound flow of components from Asian suppliers, receiving and sorting product, quality inspection and the scheduling of deliveries into the client’s Bucharest factory. Visit:



CKF apppoints business development manager


New CEO for Kira Plastinina


ira Plastinina Style, one of Russia’s leading manufacturers of female clothes, shoes and accessories, has announced the appointment of Jan Heere as its new CEO. The new CEO has more than 14 years of experience in the international retail market. As the international director in Marks and Spencer he was in charge of 54 countries. For 10 years he worked in the Inditex Group, 5 years as the general director in Inditex Russia. Under his guidance the company increased the number of stores in Russia and the CIS by more than 35 times (from 6 to 212 points of sale). Kira Plastinina said: “Jan Heere is an effective manager in the international retail sector. Under his governance world famous businesses achieved great success. Thanks to his extensive experience with leading trade marks we will be able to bring the company to a new growth level. We aim to be an international omnichannel player.”

Joachim Hechler joins Kobil Systems as CTO IN

September, Joachim Hechler, long-standing executive vice-president at SAP and member of SAP’s executive council, started his new job as chief technology officer (CTO) at Kobil Systems. “We are exceptionally pleased to have found in Mr Hechler such a prestigious and experienced manager for the job,” explained Ismet Koyun, founder and CEO of the internationally active IT security specialist based in Worms. As the CTO, Hechler will initiate and responsibly supervise the development of new security products and solutions which can be deployed across sectors and internationally. He is leading a team of 40 developers who are focusing on the topic of security.

New head of Interior Design at Rolls Royce


olls-Royce Motor Cars has announced the appointment of Daniel Starke as head of Interior Design. Starke began his career in the automotive industry with Volkswagen and Audi, before moving to the Interior Design team at BMW in 2001. He was appointed head of Interior Design for

imon Miles, former commercial director of Silsoe Technology Ltd, has joined CKF Systems as business development manager. Simon, a highly respected mechanical engineer with 34 years’ experience in engineering research, development, design and production, has worked closely with CKF over many years and has a wealth of knowledge relating to robotic design, build and installation. “We are very fortunate to secure someone with the talent of Simon,” explains Kevin Staines, sales director, CKF Systems Ltd. “He is an expert in mechatronic systems and has an extensive understanding of the food, agricultural and horticultural industries.”

Balfour Beatty CEO joins Suiko


ike Peasland, former Balfour Beatty Construction Services CEO, has joined Suiko, the operational excellence consultancy, to bolster the firm’s capability in the construction sector. After commanding an enviable position in the manufacturing sector for almost two decades, Suiko has now turned its attention to the building and construction industry. Mike Peasland is appointed in a senior advisory role to strengthen the team. Mike said, “In the current climate of increased market activity pushing up prices, contractors

will need to find different ways of delivering projects as they strive for growth, without eating cash. Suiko has a compelling proposition to deliver this strategy.”

BMW in 2009, with responsibility for the interior design of the BMW i3 and i8. Rolls-Royce director of design Giles Taylor said, “We are delighted to welcome Daniel to the Rolls-Royce family. His considerable design experience, and proven track record are an ideal match for the world’s leading luxury company. He will be a very valuable addition to the Rolls-Royce design team.” Industry Europe 21



Advances in technology across industry

Biomimetic solution for Understanding the underwater world we all came from and it is vital the fact that marine ecosystems are central to safe antimicrobial plastics ITisto where our future, but the earth’s oceans, seas the health of our planet and vital to our econoand waterways remain a mystery to us – a final mies,” project leader Dr Chiara Petrioli says. in mass production frontier. The Sunrise project is at the forefront Identifying threats to oil and gas pipelines, moniof a revolution in communications, creating an underwater ‘internet of things’, that will mobilise robots to work in groups, interacting together and passing back information to us on life underwater. Thanks to the SUNRISE project, supported by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme, underwater robots will be able to work autonomously, having received instructions. For the first time they will be able to communicate to each other and send data back to computers through the Internet, regardless of swiftly changing circumstances and challenges to data transmission. “The gaps in our knowledge of the underwater world are extensive. We know so little despite


arx Plastics is launching its first ready to use Saniconcentratesô for manufacturers in Europe and the US to safely create self-sanitising products with an antibacterial property of up to 99% within 24 hours. The technology developed by Parx Plastics is the world’s first antimicrobial solution without toxins or chemicals. It does not use chemicals such as Triclosan or heavy metals such as silver, nor does it use biocides, Nano-particles, quaternary salts or any other harmful substances. The antimicrobial property is achieved by making use of one of the most important trace elements in the human body. The trace element, present in our food, is essential for a healthy immune system and for building up and maintaining cells, hair, nails and skin. Absolute safety is guaranteed not only by the biocompatibility but also because the technology does not migrate. The antibacterial property is the result of an intrinsic change and not of leaching substances. The surface of a product becomes hostile to bacteria by means of a mere physical and mechanical action. The first materials taken into mass production at the Italian facility in Bologna are a Sani-ABS and a Saniconcentrateô based on Eastman’s copolymer Tritanô. Visit: 22 Industry Europe

toring the environment, protecting archeological sites and finding out more about the geology of our planet – the ways teams of aquatic robots could help us learn more is endless. Visit:

Energy efficiency in buildings increases thanks to the HIFIVENT project


ecnalia is coordinating the European HIFIVENT project, which is seeking to develop a new concept of ventilated façade that will improve the energy efficiency of buildings. With this project it will be possible to cut energy consumption while achieving energy savings and interior comfort. Most of the materials currently being used (aluminium, stone, ceramic, etc.) have a high environmental impact, while wood, the sustainable material par excellence, requires a lot of maintenance to increase its useful service life in exterior applications.

The HIFIVENT project sets out to develop a new system of ventilated façade based on wood plastic composites (WPC), which include in their make-up a large percentage of agricultural/forestry residues, which significantly cuts their carbon footprint. The presence of a polymer material coating the vegetable fibres reduces the treatments that would otherwise be necessary to preserve it. The project’s consortium comprises partners across the whole value chain of the product, from the suppliers of the raw material to the manufacturers of the product and the end users. Visit:



New Bosch Aerotwin Plus


eveloped and manufactured to the highest standard, the new Aerotwin Plus range features Bosch’s Power Protection Plus (P.P.P), a unique wiper rubber with a patented coating. Designed to offer the smoothest, quietest and most efficient wiper performance, the new range incorporates innovative rubber with flat-blade technology. Compatible with 93% of vehicles with OE fit flat blades; the new line provides quick and easy coverage of the majority of car makes and models. The Aerotwin Plus’s new adapter system provides greater flexibility and ensures the highest numbers of vehicles are supported by each wiper blade. Each wiper blade is compatible with 10 different types of wiper arm and, with just 15 single part numbers and four separate adapters, Aerotwin Plus wiper blades can be fitted to vehicles with speed and ease. The simplicity of the adapter mechanism means they can be installed by both motorists and technicians.

As modern vehicles develop, designers and engineers look to maximise fuel efficiency through improved aerodynamics – with the curve and angle of the windscreen a critical element. Designed without the traditional metal frame, flat-blade wiper technology ensures that the pressure of the blade is evenly distributed over all shapes of windscreen. Visit:

ACO Marine unveils new Maripur NF plant


CO Marine, a leading supplier of advanced wastewater treatment systems, is about to introduce a new version of its established Maripur wastewater treatment range. The next generation ACO Maripur NF® sewage treatment system has been developed to ensure operators of specialist tonnage in the passenger and mega-yacht sectors comply with the impending IMO Resolution MEPC 227(64) – including Section 4.2. This requires vessels with 12 or more passengers operating in IMO designated ‘Special Areas’ to also treat Phosphorous and Total Nitrogens. The ACO Maripur NF® is a high-end, black and grey water treatment system that combines the company’s ACO-MF filtration technology with its new patented ACO ‘bio-sword’, a self-cleaning filtration element that effectively treats a ship’s wastewater to well below the mandatory levels. Visit:

CAMECA launches next generation Bauer gear motors for atom probe microscope steel mill overhead crane C


hen Kranbau Köthen, a major European manufacturer of overhead cranes, was commissioned to develop a new series of cranes for use in the scrap yard of a global steel producer’s mill in Luxembourg, it turned to gear motor specialist, Bauer, part of Altra Industrial Motion. Looking at all the issues of the Kranbau project, engineers at Bauer developed a solution, based on modified versions of their BK series of bevel gear motors. BK80 models were identified as the best choice for the cranes’ travel drives and BK90s for the trolley drives. The housings of the BK motors are made from spheroidal graphite cast iron, a robust and corrosion resistant material that can withstand harsh environmental conditions. High IP protection and a corrosion-resistant coating, also help them stand up to the rigours of scrap yard operations. Bauer engineers suggested modifying the BK motors to include specially reinforced torque arms and heavy-duty encoders, to better suit the specific needs of the application. Alexander Dölger, Bauer’s global account manager for Crane Technologies, says:

“Advanced drives engineering often requires bespoke solutions for demanding applications. Our 75 years of experience across virtually all sectors means that very few problems are new to us and we are able to rapidly identify the best possible solution for each application.” Visit:

AMECA, a world leader in scientific instrumentation and metrology solutions, has released its latest generation atom probe microscope. The LEAP 5000 offers unparalleled 3-dimensional nano-scale surface, bulk and interfacial materials analysis with atom-by-atom identification and accurate spatial positioning. According to Dr Tom Kelly, CAMECA vicepresident for Innovation and New Technologies, and inventor of the Local Electrode™ Atom Probe (LEAP) technique: “This highly sophisticated materials analysis instrument integrates mature technologies from previous LEAP models and comes equipped with a redesigned detection system offering increased efficiency, advanced laser control, faster data collection and real-time monitoring capabilities, all housed in a more robust and ergonomic platform.” Thanks to these advances along with greatly enhanced ease-of-use and productivity, the LEAP 5000 continues to set the industry standard in providing the ultimate in analytical accuracy, sensitivity, and 3D spatial resolution across a wide variety of metals, semiconductors and insulators. Visit:

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rom 21–25 October 2014 the international sheet metal working industry will meet again for its leading industry fair EuroBLECH 2014 in Hanover, Germany. A total of 1580 exhibitors from 40 countries will present an impressive range of machines, tools and systems across eight exhibition 24 Industry Europe

halls. Live demonstrations of machinery are a main attraction of the exhibition. EuroBLECH 2014, the 23rd International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition, presents the entire sheet metal working technology chain: sheet metal, semi-finished and finished products, handling, separa-

tion, forming, flexible sheet metal working, joining, welding, tube / section processing, surface treatment, processing of hybrid structures, tools, quality control, CAD/CAM systems, factory equipment and R&D. The show targets all sheet metal working specialists at every management level in small

and medium-sized companies as well as large enterprises. Visitors include engineers, production managers, quality managers, buyers, manufacturers, technical directors and experts in associations and R&D. The official EuroBLECH 2014 Show Preview is now available to view on the show website. The Show Preview includes hundreds of exhibitor profiles as well as detailed information on the products and services on display at this year’s show: The show website also offers an up-to-date exhibitor list, useful information on the exhibition and tips on travel and accommodation. EuroBLECH 2014 is open from Tuesday, 21 October to Friday, 24 October 2014, from 09.00–18.00 and on Saturday, 25 October 2014, from 09.00–15.00. Visit:

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rauBeviale is the world’s most important capital goods exhibition for the beverage industry in 2014. The exhibition takes place in Nürnberg from 11–13 November and is presented in a new outfit: The some 1300 exhibitors and approx. 33,000 trade visitors can look forward to a completely revised exhibition concept and supporting programme. Small and medium enterprises and global players profit from the extensive spectrum of raw materials, technologies, logistics and marketing ideas, but the event also focuses on international beverage trends.

The exhibition is convincing with its popular mix of professional presentation and personal contact in a friendly atmosphere. Trend topic at this year’s BrauBeviale: ‘Culture of Craft Brewing’, being pushed by the honorary sponsor of the exhibition, the Private Brauereien Bayern (Bavarian Association of Private Breweries), and the European Beer Star Award, which has had its exhibition home at BrauBeviale since 2004. The highlights include the presentation of the awards for 2014, free tastings accompanied by sommeliers in the Craft Beer Corner, the

Tour of Exhibitors with solutions specifically for craft brewers or the European MicroBrew Symposium the day before the exhibition. Jim Koch, founder and managing director of the Boston Beer Company, will open the exhibition in BrauBeviale’s stylish new forum. At the BrauBeviale Forum top names and top themes in enthralling presentations and discussions connected to beverage manufacture and marketing invite visitors to stay, listen or join in the discussions. PET@BrauBeviale makes clear that PET also offers attractive solutions for small and medium enterprises. The market-orientated PETnology concept ‘connecting comPETence’ with PETarena and Packaging Wall of Excellence takes place for the first time in 2014. The event starts with the two-day international PETnology Congress, which takes place immediately before the exhibition. For more information please visit

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Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on helping stressed-out workers.


ermany is poised to enact the first ‘anti-stress’ law in the world which would make it illegal for employers to send e-mails to workers during their time off and holidays. The country’s labour minister Andrea Nahles announced her backing for the legislation in August while promoting a study into workers’ mental health. Frau Nahles said she had commissioned the Federal Institute for Health and Safety at Work to produce a feasibility study for a new law to protect workers from stress caused by smartphones and ‘constant contact’ with their bosses. Although specifically targeted at emails, it might ultimately lay down rules forbidding bosses from telephoning workers late in the evenings during their free time. “There is an undeniable link between having to be constantly available for work and the rise in mental illnesses,” she said, while admitting seconds later than implementing any such law would be ‘challenging’. The announcement comes on the back of some major companies in Germany already implementing their own rules regarding emails and phone calls during employee downtime. Car giant Daimler has guaranteed its 100,000-strong workforce stress-free breaks by giving them the option to choose to have all their new emails deleted while they are away – and to promise none being forwarded to their own personal devices. “Our employees should relax on holiday and not read work-related emails,” said Daimler board member Wilfried Porth. “With our ‘Mail on Holiday’ system they start back after the holidays with a clean desk. There is no traffic jam in their inbox. That is an emotional relief.” Daimler said its employees are free to decide whether they wish to use the ‘Mail on Holiday’ system, but assured staff it would not snoop on who had done so. 30 Industry Europe

Managers at Deutsche Telekom have implemented a system whereby bosses stop sending emails to staff during the evenings, weekends and holidays. In 2011 Volkswagen announced its company servers would stop sending emails to employee BlackBerrys during the evenings. Guntram Schneider, labour minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, called for an anti-stress law at the start of August. He envisaged a law banning employers from contacting employees at certain times of the day, saying it was necessary for their sanity and health. The Association of German Pension Providers said 66,441 workers were on disability pensions last year because of mental illnesses, including depression. A major German health insurer said stress levels among workers had increased significantly in the last 12 months. Germany’s coalition government pledged in its agreement forging an alliance last year that it would improve the work-life balance of workers. Several big unions in Germany, including the public sector organisation Ve.rdi, are in favour of stricter guidelines holding bosses accountable for behaving ‘respectfully’ towards employees out of office and factory hours.

Kids are stressed too Stress, and its causes, is a major theme in Germany and is not confined to the workplace. The first Kindergarten for stressedout under-fives has opened with toddlers as young as three chilling out with massages, foot baths and walking through wet grass without shoes and socks. Experts formulated the programme in conjunction with the Kneipp Association, the country’s largest non-commercial health organisation in Germany that is dedicated to the prevention of diseases through a healthy lifestyle.

It comes as childcare professionals warn that youngsters are taking on board the worries of recession, money and security at an age when they cannot understand what the words mean, let alone spell them. Driven into anxiety by the worries of their parents, the stressed-out toddlers are having the best years of their lives blighted by concerns that should only be handled by adults. At the Kindergarten in Stuttgart where the programme is being pioneered, children have increased their resistance to catching the common cold by 60 per cent in a few short weeks of doing the antistress exercises. German health insurance schemes and the Kneipp Association fund the courses. Sylvia Gross, 49, said children being subjected to hectic timetables also increases their stress levels. She said; “Much is required from children today. They rush from one appointment to the next without barely a chance to breathe. They occassionally need some time out in order to come down again. The things we do here have a curative, relaxing effect upon them. The children themselves are curious, they find the therapies exciting.” Therapies include stepping in and out of tubs filled with cool water and the children being encouraged to massage one another with soft brushes, rope skipping and simply lying quietly wbhile thinking of their favourite thing. Sociologist Juergen Schoettker in Frankfurt said: “It seems there is a correlation between adults being stressed out and their children. Children copy everything their parents do, from using taboo words to sneaking drinks when they are older. “If they see frazzled and fried parents day in, day out, as a result of workplace stress, it will be passed on. Therefore it is better if it is dealt with by adult employers rather than n kindergarten therapists.”



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on the latest French discomforts.


rench President Francois Hollande’s embattled presidency hit a new low this month when the boss of Britain’s retail giant John Lewis branded his country ‘hopeless and downbeat’ and urged those with investments there to ‘get them out quickly’. Andy Street’s scathing assessment of 21st century France came after more than a year of warnings from Mr Hollande’s own experts that their economy was on the brink of disaster. In September, his new economy minister Emmanuel Macron described his country as ‘sick’ and in dire need of reform to save the nation from financial collapse. The former Rothschild banker said France was now paying the price for a ‘lost decade’ of failure to tackle ten per cent unemployment and revive growth. He called for radical changes, including free market reforms, shorter holidays and longer working hours. The harsh comments came the same week as former president Nicolas Sarkozy launched his bid for re-election as leader in 2017. Sarkozy, 59, said he was standing again because the socialists were ‘ruining France’ and disastrous left-wing policies had left him ‘no choice’ but to make a challenge for the leadership. A day later, a new poll revealed Mr Hollande is now one of France’s most unpopular presidents in recent history, with 85 per cent of voters saying he should not stand for re-election. And then a day after that, his jilted ex-lover Valerie Trierweiler said in her new book that Mr Hollande ‘does not like poor people’ and refers to them in private as ‘the toothless’. Now Mr Hollande has been left reeling by Mr Street’s remarks, in which he told the media: “You get on Eurostar from something I can only describe as the squalor pit of Europe, Gare du Nord, and you get off at a modern, forwardlooking station (St Pancras). “I have never been to a country more ill at ease: nothing works and worse, nobody cares about it. If I needed any further evidence of a

country in decline, here it is. Every time I see it, I shall think, God help France.” He later backtracked in a statement issued by John Lewis, saying: “The remarks I made were supposed to be light-hearted views, and tongue in cheek. On reflection I clearly went too far.” But Mr Hollande ensured his prime minister Manuel Valls hit back at the criticism during a visit to Britain in early October, during which he met David Cameron. Mr Valls lambasted the British trait of ‘French bashing’, which he described as ‘not particularly pleasant’, and singling out Mr Street the French prime minister said: “This business leader has had to apologise. He made some absurd statements. Perhaps he’d drunk too much beer. He announced an investment in France and then said France is finished. One has to show a bit of respect.”

“I have never been to a country more ill at ease: nothing works and worse, nobody cares about it.” Trouble in Disneyland Meanwhile it emerged this week that Europe’s biggest tourist attraction, Disneyland Paris, is also running out of money and turning to its American masters Walt Disney for a bail out. The US giant is poised to take full control of Euro Disney, the ailing French firm that runs the theme park, with a one billion euro rescue package to keep the attraction open. Despite drawing millions of visitors a year and owning the rights to all of the popular Disney characters, the French-operated theme park has never made a profit since launching in 1992. Now the park says business has deteriorated ever further as cash-strapped families in France and across Europe rein in their spending. As many as five of its top seven visiting nations were plunged into recession in 2013,

drastically cutting the number of visitors, and its range of Disney hotels at the park – which are undercut by local, cheaper rivals – have also seen their takings dwindle. The park now expects to report financial losses of €120 million this year. Euro Disney shares on the Paris stock exchange plunged more than 20 per cent on the news amid signs than none of the company’s other shareholders were prepared to participate in the re-financing, including Saudi prince Al Waleed bin Talal, who owns ten per cent. Euro Disney finance director Mark Stead said: “It is clear that if none of the other shareholders participate, Walt Disney will increase its holding.” Euro Disney said cutting its mountain of debt would leave it with more cash to improve and invest in new facilities, which could include new rides to ‘enhance the guest experience’. It will also embark on a €415 million rights issue open to all investors, backed by Walt Disney. In addition, around €590 million of the group’s debt owed to Walt Disney will be converted into equity, while credit lines extended to Euro Disney by its parent will also be consolidated. Walt Disney said in a statement: “This recapitalisation plan will improve Euro Disney Group’s financial position and enable it to continue investing in the guest experience. “With this effort, we are demonstrating The Walt Disney Company’s continued confidence in Disneyland Paris, which remains the number one tourist destination in Europe.” Euro Disney runs seven hotels and two theme parks, including Disneyland Paris. Soon after it opened, the French theatre director, Ariane Mnouchkine, famously described it as a ‘cultural Chernobyl’. The park’s next major boost is expected to come in 2016 when it will open a new leisure complex, Villages Nature, in partnership with France’s leading holiday apartment rental company Pierre et Vacances. n Industry Europe 31

PASSION IS THE KEY Tecnam is a leading Italian company in the aviation industry. Eugenia Fiusco spoke with Mr Fogliano, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, about their products, their commitment to quality and research, as well as their strategy for growth.

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ecnam was founded over sixty five years ago by two brothers, Giovanni and Gino Pascale, whose extraordinary business adventure started with making paper airplanes in their childhood home. Their passion for aviation never faded. On the contrary, it grew stronger and stronger and the result is a world leading company building a wide range of aircraft. Today, Tecnam is still owned and managed by the Pascale family. Its headquarters and production plant are located in the area adjacent to Capua airport. Tecnam’s production facility extends on an area of over 40,000 square metres and the plant itself covers an area of 11,000 square metres. “Our production is divided into two main groups of aircraft: high wing and low

wing. Among them, there are the P2006 TWIN line, and the 2010, both EASA CS 23 certified, twin and single engine aircraft, JAR-VLA certified single engine, all great for flight schools; Light Sport Aircraft for the North American market, such as the P92, P2002, P2008, and the ASTORE, and ultralight models which boast six generations of models. Moreover, we produce aircraft according to the European certification CS23 (known as FAR23 the US). We offer both two seat and four seat models,” says Mr Fogliano.

Safety is the key Tecnam is the first choice of private general customers and flight training centres. With over 3800 Tecnam aircraft operating around

the world, Tecnam customers and operators are supported by a global network of over 60 dealers and 100 Tecnam Service Centres. “We have a subsidiary in Sebring, Florida,” adds Mr Fogliano. “Thanks to our diversified production, we are able to serve different segments of the market. For example, the ultralight two seater aircraft appeal to general customers who are passionate about flying; whereas, certified aircraft are aimed at flying training centres and small businesses,” explains the CFO of Tecnam. Last but not least, the Italian company provides aircraft equipped with airborne systems. “We work in collaboration with some of the major companies in the airborne industry and they help us offer the very best.” Tecnam aircraft are equipped with state-of-

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the art airborne search & identification radars, surveillance systems, large format long range day and infrared stabilized optical sensors, depending on the needs of the clients. Tecnam also produces the MRI and MMA models. The MRI line provides maritime surveillance in order to supply information on all activities carried out at sea within the territorial waters or Economic Exclusivity Zone that could impact the security, safety, economy or environment of a country. The MRIs may be used for maritime safety and search and rescue operations, fisheries protection, maritime oil fields protection, illegal immigration interdiction and other law enforcement missions. The MMA (Multi Mission Aircraft) are special mission aircraft

equipped with additional electrical power (a separate 28V/70Amps electrical mission supply), a retractable sensor system and an integrated pilot flight guidance system/sensor operator workstation.

Future growth “In our business, developing and investing are vital to the success and, sometimes, survival of the company,” says Mr Fogliano. “We take advantage of unfavourable market conditions to invest in the development of new products and get ready to get back in the game.” With the recent financial crisis having been particularly prolonged, the investment needed to be equally significant. “Investing and diversifying is crucial to face

hard times. Our after sales assistance service and spares sales helped to balance our low profits in other areas.” As part of this investment plan, Tecnam is working on a brand new aircraft. “This new product belongs to the upper segment of the market. It is an 11 seat, double engine aircraft for short distance journeys, about 150-400 miles,” explains the CFO of Tecnam. “It is a versatile aircraft as it can be used for public transport as well as in public services, such has hospitals and cargo.” Finally, Tecnam is a proud provider of internships and research programmes for students. Among its close collaborators are the University of Naples and the CIRA, the Italian n Aerospace Research Centre. Experience A good name is undertaking an obligation. Messrs. Winter GmbH & Co. KG have a tradition of more than 80 years in the field of development, production and service of flight instruments. Our great experience is leading to innovation and continuous further development. Qualification On the basis of modern technique and best expert’s knowledge, precision is possible. We therefore always take use of methods, procedures and machines corresponding to up to date knowledge and technique. Our endeavour is to have a qualified and specialized staff in order to reach best quality in all scopes of our company.

Gebr. Winter GmbH & Co KG | Hauptstr. 25, D 72417 Jungingen | Tel: +49 (0)7477 262

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IN TOP GEAR The Czech company WISCONSIN ENGINEERING CZ, s.r.o., a major producer of garden machines and grounds maintenance equipment, continues a long tradition of agricultural machinery production in Prostejov. Its success in the 21st century is, however, based on innovations which help the business to stay ahead of its competitors. Romana Moares reports on recent company development and new products launched in the last few years.


he core business of the company operating under the rather unusual name of Wisconsin Engineering, is the production of lawn tractors, utility tractors, snow blowers and, last but not least, production of a wide range of accessories for (not only) their machines. Warranty and after-warranty maintenance as well as door-to-door delivery of spare parts are an integral part of the company services. Wisconsin Engineering did not follow the route of purchasing and importing the products of foreign manufacturers. The decision to focus on making high-quality and fully competitive Czech products has proved to be a good one – amongst other benefits it has improved employment in the region and made excellent use of highly skilled and experienced engineering staff in Prostejov. One of the reasons behind the company’s dynamic growth has been its product development capability. The product development team has worked intensively throughout the years to continuously introduce new garden and utility machines, thus keeping abreast of

large local and international competitors. The company’s portfolio can be roughly divided into two groups: utility machines which include – in line with current trends – universal all-year garden and ground maintenance machinery, and agricultural products, i.e. specialized machines for agricultural gardening, orchard management, vineyards and forestry.

English name, Czech tradition Do not be fooled by the English sounding company name. Today’s company follows the tradition of agricultural machines production in Prostejov started in 1878 as a purely Czech business. And so is Wisconin Engineering today. Members of the older generation remember well the symbol of man standing astride holding a hammer and the Wikov brand, younger people are familiar with its successor, Agrostroj. In the 1990s, the current owner decided to join this more than hundred-year tradition with the American technology and knowhow. The current company name is the result of a partnership with American Wis-

consin Engineering which started in 1998. “In 2000 the Americans finished their involvement in Prostejov, however, we kept the business running and continued to produce some of their machines,” explains the owner and company director Ing. Jaroslav Olmr. The letter “W” included in names of various products thus symbolizes the century long engineering tradition in Prostejov and the testimony of the renowned Wikov brand. Just like any other engineering business, Wisconsin Engineering was hit by the recession in late 2000. “We had to reduce staff numbers but the recession made us analyze market needs in detail and identify new opportunities,” says the owner. They succeeded very well – which is demonstrated by the current company position and an increase in demand of 300 per cent in 2013, not only from the local market but primarily from global customers.

The needs of modern society Roughly 50 per cent of the company’s activities are today made up of sub-contracting, with the other 50 per cent represented by Industry Europe 33

own manufacturing. Wisconsin has portrayed itself as a highly reliable and flexible subcontractor able to provide both production of parts and assembly of sub-assemblies and final products for garden machinery and grounds maintenance. “Global companies make use of sub-contracting options to obtain the best possible quality of manufactured parts, a competitive price and the use of the latest technology. Rolls-Royce is the name that comes first to mind,” says Ing. Olmr. From its own production the company offers machines and equipment in line with the needs of modern society, emphasising automatic controls, comfortable and safe handling, quiet and money-saving operations, as well as environmentally friendly design. “Machines with electric and hybrid motors are gaining in popularity, and this is the direction that our own development efforts are taking”, says Mr Olmr.

The success of any company is underpinned by its important relationship with its sub-contractors. In this context the owner mentions Kubota (supplier of motors) as well as Hydro Gear, Kawasaki and Kohler. “But we must not forget all the other companies with whom we have worked for years, and who are indispensable for our work,” he adds.

Innovations in gardening equipment What is a typical product from Wisconsin? Current number one in grounds maintenance tractors is the W3800 PIRANA. This robust tractor with a diesel 4-stroke three-valve Kubota engine with a power rating of 20.2 HP is designed for all-day operation in the most demanding of conditions. Thanks to a range of auxiliary equipment the machine can be used all year round, and is also available in a petrol version powered by a Kawasaki engine. The model was launched as recently as the

end of last year and during the current season has become the best selling Wisconsin machine not only in the Czech Republic, but abroad as well. An innovation in the range is the ALMAS industrial sweeper. This is intended for the cleaning of paths, pavements, loading and parking bays, as well as floors in industrial and warehousing premises. It is a low-maintenance and durable assistant, saving time and ensuring rapid and efficient removal of waste, leaves and snow without great effort. Other innovations for 2014 are the W2989 Junior diesel mower with a 13 HP Kubota motor, currently winning over the domestic market and the Buffalo mulching machine fitted with a 10 horsepower Kohler motor, manual starting and hydrostatic drive, which management has high hopes for, particularly if a new law on road and path maintenance is adopted.

The Core Strength

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A look into the future The major sums that the company has recently invested in development are beginning to bear fruit. Wisconsin machines and equipment have made their mark in the demanding markets of Western Europe such as Germany, Austria, Spain and Britain, and demand is also rising in those countries where the firm is yet to have a commercial presence, such as Saudi Arabia and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Currently the company is actively engaged in preparing new projects, the outcomes from which are to be launched during the 2015 season. Preparations are also in hand for an increase in production volume, in order to meet the enormous interest generated by the new products. “We definitely have the capacity to meet this rising demand, we are capable of increasing turnover by 40 per cent and for the future we are assuming an increase in staff numbers,” says Mr Olmr. “In the long run we want to reduce our dependence on key customers so that no individual customer exceeds 15 per cent of our output. But we want to achieve this not through restrictions on deliveries, but rather through an increase in turnover,” he stresses in conclusion. Everything points to that goal being met. n


Curtis Machine Company designs and manufactures gears and gearboxes for industrial, automotive, and agricultural applications. Additionally, we supply precision machined parts to our customers. Curtis Machine Company, Inc. was founded in 1946 and is the largest designer and manufacturer of right angle bevel gearboxes in our torque range in North America. Parallel shaft speed reducers are also designed and manufactured. In-house, we cut straight bevel, spiral bevel, spur and helical gears in common ratios of 1:1, 1.35:1, 1.5:1, 2:1 and 3:1. Custom and higher ratios of bevel, spur and helical gears are also designed and manufactured. Curtis Machine has a proprietary process to produce our “Whisper Quiet Gear” technology. “Whisper Gears” are our unique, very quiet, spiral bevel gears designed and manufactured to deliver strength and quality. Curtis gearboxes also feature a unique design called “straddle mounted bearings” which gives more horsepower capacity per unit as well as better lubrication, symmetry and compactness. Horsepower capacities range from fractional to over 360 in our standard line. We make over 5,000 different assemblies. Curtis is an ISO 9001:2008 quality certified company. Our dominant market share position has been earned by supplying only the highest quality assemblies to the best known “original equipment manufacturers” and distributors of auto, military, farm and industrial equipment. Our factory houses very sophisticated, exacting and efficient production machine tools. Our engineering test laboratory is the finest in our industry. It is used for quality control, research and development of transmissions and integral parts for our customers’ special requirements. Curtis Machine has graduate engineers on staff who are experts in the design of mechanical transmission units while minimizing cost. Our in-house sales managers are also especially well qualified to work with customers and their staff regarding the specific application needs that various market segments present. Should you desire additional information about Curtis Machine Company or our products, please send your inquiry to us via email or at one of the above listed numbers. You may also view our web site at: Our web site features our catalog with horsepower/torque charts, drawings with both metric and imperial measurements and a listing of our standard gears and SAE flanges. We are a small business, woman-owned company. We look forward to working with you and remember


P.O. Box 700, 4209 Jayhawk Drive, Dodge City, KS 67801 USA Phone: 620-227-7164 • Fax: 620-227-2971 Email: •

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AGRICULTURAL TRANSPORTATION EXPERTS Metaltech, a company from Miroslawiec, is a leading Polish manufacturer in the field of agricultural machinery. Various kinds of trailers and equipment for harvesting, preserving, and feeding are its flagship products.

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etaltech was founded in 1992, by three partners. Soon, the fourth one was co-opted. These four partners have run the company ever since. Metaltech began its activity on the basis of the local State Centre of Agricultural Machines in Miroslawiec, which went bankrupt due to the falling agricultural market in the early 1990s. “Fortunately, in 1992 the market situation improved and the market itself kept expanding utill 2012. When we started in 1992, we employed 70 people. A few years later, Metaltech employed 120 people”, says Mr. Ireneusz Ciepielewski, Metaltech’s director general. In 1997 Metaltech established cooperation with a German company, which was looking for a reliable partner that would manufacture agricultural trailers for them. The partnership turned out to be mutually beneficial: the German company gained a solid trailer manufacturer and Metaltech

entered the demanding German market with its modern trailers. In 2000 the company launched its products onto the domestic market. The offer included hook lift, platform, and flatbed trailers, from 6 to 20 tonnes of load capacity. Significant trading began however in 2004 when SAPARD (Special Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development) was introduced. This programme was established by the Council of the European Union to help the countries of Central and Eastern Europe deal with the problems of structural adjustment in their agricultural sectors and rural areas. “SAPARD stimulated demand for agricultural transport. Farmers often decided to purchase our products, which admittedly where more expensive had much higher quality, and thereby reliability. Earlier, the need of our domestic market oscillated between 20-30 trailers units per year but

when SAPARD program came into force our annual sales increased up to 1,000 units in 2012”, says Mr. Ciepielewski.

Active in Poland and Europe Nowadays, the company’s annual revenue is estimated at around € 17.5 million, and 1,300 trailer units. These statistics make Metaltech one of the leading agricultural trailer manufacturer in Poland, with second or third position in the market. The company employs 300 people. Current share of export in total sales revenue amounts to 30 per cent, compared to the sales figures from 2000s (70 per cent). “A smaller share of export in our on-going turnover does not mean that export has decreased. It is because the level of our domestic sales has significantly increased”, explains Mr. Ciepielewski. Germany, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands are foremost foreign commercial outlets for the company.

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Metaltech has a design office, and operates modern machinery such as laser cutters, welding robots and numerically controlled machines. All metal parts are thoroughly cleaned in the process of blasting, to be thereafter varnished or powder- coated. The company has an extensive network of partners. It cooperates with more than 30 operators and dealers, both at home and abroad. Korbanek, a trading house from

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Tarnowo Podgorne, is Metaltech’s long term partner and one of the biggest sellers of company’s products.

Trailers for every occasion The company’s product catalogue includes various types of trailers (agricultural, transhipping, platform, building, hook lift), containers for PH trailers, loader wagons (ROTO), devices for transporting silage, vertical mix wagons, forest tree nurseries and forestry machines.

The trilateral tipping trailer segment is where Metaltech is an expert and the undisputed leader. This type of trailer is designed for transportation of agricultural products, especially granular and powdery materials such as corn or grain. The bodies of the trailers are made from durable rolled profiles. The construction of the body makes it possible to open the side walls by a central lock on each side. The trilateral tipping system makes unloading comfortable, efficient and

safe. A shipping window in the back wall helps the line unloading. The chief asset of these trailers is their high leak tightness that allows transportation of loose materials without any further packing. Hook lift trailers from Metaltech are very popular in foreign markets. These trailers are recommended where transportation is based on containers, especially in those places where traditional motor transport is difficult (marshes, fields, forest ways). Large size wheels make it possible to work in very demanding off-road conditions. High quality loading and lifting hydraulic systems make the trailer very reliable. Theiry versatility

Company Diamon Sp. z o.o. exists on the market since 2004 and based on many years of experience of employees produces fittings and tubes for the Air Braking Systems.

makes the hook lift trailers suitable for transporting almost every kind of products. Building trailers are yet another of company’s flagship products. They are designed for transportation and unloading of heavy materials such as stones, rubbles and soil. Their main asset is a very strong construction of body and chassis and a lifting angle of body increased compared to a normal trailer. Very strong suspension rockers and wheels of size: 550/60R22.5 and 20.5R22.5 make it possible to work in off-road conditions. This type of trailer is recommended to work on building sites and earth works.

Further development Although the situation of the company is very good, Metaltech does not rest on its laurels, and seeks its future in a further development of the agricultural market. The firm plans to launch some new types of trailers (including manure spreaders), and expand its dealer network in the area of 1000 km from the company’s headquarters in Miroslawiec. Moreover, it is currently investing in a new plant named Metaltech II - a modern, 4 000 square foot production hall, with an area of 20 ha. n

DIAMON Sp. z o.o. Zdziechowice 62 46-310 Gorzów Śląski - Polska tel./fax: +48 34 35 88 305 e-mail:

Industry Europe 39

AGRICULTURAL INNOVATIONS New Holland Agriculture is a global leader in the design and manufacture of clean-energy tractors, harvesters and material handling equipment. Industry Europe looks at some of the most exciting new product launches from the company.

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ince 1895 New Holland has led the field in providing farmers with solutions that improve farming efficiency and productivity. Today the company remains committed to its hugely successful ‘Clean Energy Leader’ strategy, which is designed to actively promote the use of renewable fuels, emissions reduction systems and sustainable agricultural technology. The company is part of the International Case Holland Group, a hugely successful conglomerate. New Holland’s unparalleled range of equipment offers cash-crop producers, livestock farmers, contractors, vineyards and ground-care professionals the largest choice of easy-to-operate farm equipment in the world. There are more than 80 product lines and over 300 models from which to choose. These state-of-the-art machines are complemented by the company’s own extensive network of after-sales support and spare part services, as well as a range of tailored financial products to suit every farm operator’s requirements.

50 years in the UK With production facilities across five continents, New Holland Agriculture continues to expand its global presence. In May this year (2014) it held a press conference to celebrate 50 years of continuous tractor operations in its Basildon, UK plant. As the only remaining tractor plant in the UK, New Holland is aware of the crucial role it plays in the British agricultural sector.

Speaking at the event, Colin Larkin, the Basildon plant manager, explained the role that the Basildon Plant’s participation in the World Class Manufacturing (WCM) programme has played in its success. Based on leading Japanese production techniques, WCM is a production system designed to reduce waste. It has enabled the plant to successfully manage extremely complex processes. It currently manufactures 14 tractor ranges, 133 models and 12,000 configurations using 9680 part numbers.

New combines New Holland’s range of agricultural machinery is of course too vast to mention it all here. Instead, we give some highlights from its more recent product launches. July 2014 saw the launch of its all-new CR combines which offer up to 50 per cent more productivity in small grains and grain crackage as low as 0.2 per cent. It also boasts the brand new Harvest Suite Ultra cab which is larger and offers a wider glass area than previous models. According to Hedley Cooper, head of combine harvester product management, “The new CR range is the culmination of 40 years of Twin Rotor technology. It offers the best of New Holland’s harvesting technologies: Twin Pitch Rotors, Dynamic Feed Roll™, SmartTrax™ rubber tracks, Terraglide™ suspension, ECOBlue™ SCR and Hi-eSCR engine technologies – all working together to deliver the very best

performance. All this is coupled with the Harvest Suite™ Ultra cab that redefines harvesting comfort.” New Holland has also been upgrading its mid-range combines, significantly increasing their capacity and performance. The CX5000 and CX6000 Elevation combines share the distinctive styling, high output levels and excellent performance of New Holland’s flagship combines. The range offers four basic models, two 5-strawwalker and two 6-strawwalker; two Laterale versions for sustained performance on steep slopes; and the CX5090 Elevation Hillside for combining in severe hillside conditions. The new CX5000 and 6000 Elevation range offers a solution for all: from livestock farmers who want quality straw to contractors and cash crop farmers who can easily switch crops without compromising on performance and quality. Finally, the company has completed its TC combine range with a new TC4.90 four strawwalker model. This range was designed to deliver a dependable performance in varied crops and conditions. Just like the 5 strawwalker models launched in 2013, they can significantly increase output without compromising straw and combine quality. “The entire TC range shares many advanced features with our mid-range combines. It is the answer for owners of TC5000 combines looking for a replacement Industry Europe 41

with more technology and low maintenance costs without breaking the bank,” stated Hedley Cooper.

The new ActiveSweep But it is not just in the area of combines that we have been seeing development and innovation. Over the past 40 years, New Holland has produced over 235,000 rollbelt balers. In celebration of this significant milestone, its all-new roll-belt models will feature a 40-year decal which will also market the success of these new models. The latest generation has redefined round baling with advanced roll belt technology that can

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improve capacity by up to 20 per cent and density by up to 5 per cent. New Holland introduced the new RollBelt™ variable chamber baler series in 2013, featuring customised feeding systems like the SuperFeed™ and CropCutter™ rotor options. The new ActiveSweep™ crop processing solution offers a further choice to enable tailored baling. Available on both Roll-Belt 150 and RollBelt 180 models, ActiveSweep has been purpose-developed by New Holland to transfer the crop directly from the pick-up to the bale chamber for gentle handling. Ideally suited to those wishing maintain long

unbroken stems, ActiveSweep is perfect for baling hay and straw, minimising losses and producing a bale that can be unrolled for easy feeding or bedding.

Precision land management Modern agricultural methods increasingly incorporate information technology to manage equipment in the field as efficiently as possible. The all-new New Holland PLM® Connect is a state-of-the-art communication system that can facilitate the control and supervision of equipment from a centralised office, allowing machine operation to be monitored and managed without the need

to spend time travelling between separate operations. It is a flexible system, needing just a 12volt supply to enable it to work with all brands of equipment. A key PLM® Connect feature is connectivity between equipment. Machine utilisation is another key feature: Machines within a fleet can be quickly examined in order to decrease down time and increase performance, efficiency and in turn profitability. Although PLM® Connect is a full New Holland product, it is designed to offer compatibility with competitor products to include older machinery. This will enable the system to be added to any existing fleets.

Two levels of PLM® Connect, Essential and Professional, are available with core features including 360°, 24/7 machine access, optimised input management and detailed performance analysis and evaluation. PLM® Connect Essential ideally suits the needs of medium sized farms and can be fitted to tractors that are not equipped with CAN Bus technology. PLM® Connect Professional offers indepth, real time information on equipment both locally and working at long distances from the main farm office. Fitted to vehicles with CAN Bus technology, PLM® Connect Professional relays detailed operating

information to enable the remote monitoring of machine parameters and live communication with operators. Experienced operator input can be delivered to those less familiar with a given operation to instantaneously improve productivity and operating efficiency thanks to the real time connection. “New Holland is aware of the reluctance some farmers and contractors have with modern connectivity systems,” adds Luca Mainardi, head of Tractor and Precision Land Management Product Management. “A key feature of PLM® Connect is its ability to evolve to meet the changing experience n of the end user.”

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With 80 years of experience, how can a well established company improve efficiency, reduce its environmental impact, improve its capacity, improve customer relations and meet the challenges of chemical and fertilizer production in the 21st century? Nitrogénművek Zrt are meeting these challenges and more. Edina Beale investigates.


itrogénművek Zrt has been operating since 1931, making it one of the oldest chemical companies in Hungary. The company produces nitrogen based fertilisers, inorganic chemicals and industrial gases. In excess of 95 per cent of the products produced are nitrogen-based fertilisers including CAN (Calcium-ammonium nitrate), AN (Ammonium nitrates) Urea and liquid fertilisers. The present production rate is approximately 1,000,000 tons per year. The leading product in this range is CAN which accounts for approximately 50 per cent of production.

Growing capacities Building capacity, improving efficiency and reducing environmental impact are important strategies at Nitrogénművek Zrt. In 2012, the

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company started an investment program to increase the capacity of the Ammonia plant. This project is due for completion in 2015. Once completed the plant will be able to produce 1300 tons per day ammonia and reduce the energy required to do this by 3 per cent. Another area where capacity has been increased is in the production of nitric acid. In 2013 output increased to 1700 tons per day with plans to increase that figure to 1800 tons per day in 2014. Once complete the nitric acid plant will be extremely efficient in addition to being the highest capacity plant in the world, with the lowest environmental impact. The company is also investing in a new, high efficiency, 2000 ton per day AN/CAN fertiliser unit. It is not only new equipment that improves efficiency. At the present time the company is

reviewing its procedures in a number of key areas, including the Ammonia plant, to see where changing operating procedures and methods can increase efficiency and capacity. By adopting this approach the company is potentially able to gain maximum efficiency with minimum investment. The company acknowledges that there are some areas where there is a need to build new plant, to replace ageing and inefficient systems, and areas are now being identified for this process. To power the actual equipment required for the manufacture of the products there is a need for energy, and Nitrogénművek Zrt has invested in a new electricity generating system that produces 3MW. Plans are already underway to introduce a new system that generates 10MW.

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In addition to the energy that Nitrogénművek generate itselves there is also usually a significant volume that must be purchased from the market. Alpiq Energy SE Branch Office in Hungary has been the main supplier of electrical energy to Nitrogénművek for several years. Alpiq provides a wide range of solutions combining flexibility with attractive prices. The cooperation between Alpiq and Nitrogénművek goes back to 2003 when the electrical energy market in Hungary was liberalised. Over the last ten years Nitrogénművek has been able to keep its electrical energy costs as low as possible by combining Alpiq solutions such as balance group management and access to the forward and spot markets.

Working with partners Providing customers with quality products that meet their needs is essential to any business and Nitrogénművek Zrt has established the Genezis Partner Network to support its

customers. This initiative has paid dividends as the improved direct communication with partners has provided a number of advantages. Firstly, partners are now able to access support from a company with over 80 years’ experience in the field. Secondly the company has been able to identify the additional needs or requirements of its partners to give a great insight and advantage when examining future investments and development programs. At the present time Nitrogénművek Zrt is a major provider in the Hungarian market with two thirds of production being sold on the domestic markets. Transportation costs are a major factor when exporting goods but the company has found that exports are possible and profitable to surrounding countries and one third of current production is sent abroad. However, improved and more efficient production methods may mean that there is the potential to expand and increase export markets and this opportunity is being closely monitored.

Keeping it green The company’s investment in new plants and machinery has greatly reduced its environmental impact. However, the introduction of ETSIII in January of 2013 has meant that it is now working to reduce the energy consumption at the Ammonia plant to meet the new requirements. The fertiliser factory is close to a housing estate and as a part of this project

Alpiq Energy SE offers a broad range of products and services in the field of wholesale and origination in CEE, as well as end customer sales in various countries. Contact Alpiq Energy SE Branch Office in Hungary T +36 1 886 3400

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work is also being undertaken to reduce the noise levels at some plants. To demonstrate its commitment to a greener future, the company has introduced an environmental policy to ensure that all operations are compliant with environmental regulations and regulatory decisions. To achieve this, it will fully consider the environmental aspects of the installation of new technologies, of revamping the existing ones and of product development. Another component of the policy is to communicate with all stakeholders including the local community. The company also has a willingness to cooperate with the professional and NGO organisations to solve environmental problems, and to contribute to new environmental regulations and legislation. Nitrogénművek Zrt is the leading fertilizer producer in Hungary. The company has a well-educated staff with many years experience, investments have made the company even more competitive and a determination to succeed has ensured that the company has survived many problems over its 80 year history. Recent developments, including the foundation of the Genezis Partner Network, have ensured that the company is able to keep its finger on the pulse of its customers’ needs and requirements. For the future, the company has one main goal, to become the most competitive fertilizer producer in the Central and n Eastern European region.

INTELLIGENT HEADSETS GN Netcom is part of the GN Store Nord group, supplying headsets and other equipment under the Jabra brand. Industry Europe looks at the latest from the company, including recent awards, appointments and the launch of the Jabra MOTION Office™ wireless headset.

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Store Nord’s history goes back to 1869 when the Great Northern Telegraph Company was founded. Initially functioning as a telegraph company, it today focuses on headsets, through GN Netcom, and hearing instruments and audiological diagnostics equipment company, through GN ReSound. GN headsets are marketed globally under the Jabra brand whereas GN’s hearing instruments are marketed under the ReSound, Beltone and Interton brands. All products are largely manufactured in China. The total work force comprises around 4100 employees of which approximately 900 are in Denmark. The group’s headquarters are in Ballerup, just outside Copenhagen. It sells its products worldwide and is seeing particularly strong growth in Asia.

Developing the Jabra brand One of the big developments for GN Netcom in the areas of music and sports is that technology has moved much further in supporting music streaming. And as demand has grown and technology improved so the company has developed more complementary consumer products. One product is the Jabra Halo and another is the Jabra Clipper. For music and

sport, there is the Jabra Sport, which is ideal for running or riding a bike. The Jabra Halo connects easily to a mobile phone through Bluetooth and enables the user to stream music and to take calls wirelessly. A corded option can be used if the player of choice doesn’t support Bluetooth Stereo/A2DP. The Jabra Clipper gives the wearer wireless stereo music and calls in one small Bluetooth clip. Its in-ear headphones block external noise, which enhance its clear, vibrant music and calling quality. It also automatically switches between music and incoming calls to the phone. In 2013 the Jabra Mobile division strengthened its portfolio by launching additional models of successful products. The distinct Jabra headsets, Jabra Revo Wireless and Jabra Vox, were launched to target more preferences and users. With these launches, all of Jabra’s headsets that are targeting the attractive fast-growing segment where voice communication and music are integrating are available in both black and white to match the standard colors of smartphones. Meanwhile the popular Jabra SPORT was launched in a Wireless+ edition with enhanced wireless performance and new innovative features. It offers users more

flexibility with an adjustable behind-the-head cord and four sizes of ear gels to improve sound experience. All Jabra SPORT products come with special features when used with the Endomondo Sports Tracker app, which is offered as a free download with Jabra SPORT products.

Introducing the Jabra MOTION Office™ The office products side of the business continues to expand as well. In April this year (2014) the Jabra line was extended still further with the introduction of the new Jabra MOTION Office™ wireless headset. Building on Jabra MOTION™ and its innovative use of sensors, Jabra MOTION Office™ will be the ultimate wireless Bluetooth headset solution for the mobile office worker. Jabra MOTION™ Office is among other things enhanced to offer unique triple connectivity for both mobile, softphone (IP telephone) and desk phone through Bluetooth technology. The connectivity to all types of devices increases the suitability for corporates which are deploying UC but at the same prefer to maintain part of their traditional desk phone solution on a short- or longer term basis. Jabra MOTION™ Office thereby provides an excellent solution for the modern office worker who needs the flexibility to transfer

calls from the office desk to the car or home office without taking off the headset. Using the latest motion sensor technology, the headset adapts volume to fit the changing sound environment and allows the user to move from the office to the open road in one smooth transition, connecting and transferring calls from all phones to Jabra MOTION™ Office. It is a high-end solution launched to address the Mobile and Unified Communications (UC) market where the current installed base of traditional desk phones need to be supported. Holger Reisinger, GN Netcom vice-president of Marketing, Products and Alliances, says: “The main objective with the Jabra MOTION Office has been to let knowledge workers and team members in remote areas gain the full benefits from their mobile devices and collaboration technologies. The Jabra MOTION Office is the headset which bridges the gap between the users and the promise of productivity and innovation, allowing free flow of information.”

Unified communication Another area of continued success for GN Netcom is Unified Communication. Today office communication takes place via different devices and media types. These include telephone land lines, mobile phones, video conferencing, email and soft phones – and employees can feel stressed and overwhelmed trying to juggle all the different channels and still work effectively. Unified Communication brings together all these devices and interfaces into one single integrated application. It makes it easier for people to connect, communicate and work together. The result is more productive employees and smoother interactions. This is another big growth area for GN Netcom and will continue to be so. It also sees the convergence of professional and mobile products, as people increasingly work in different places. Looking ahead, there is still a great deal of scope for development in GN Netcom’s existing markets: According to a company

spokesperson: “I think the overall shape of the company will remain the same in the coming years but hopefully we will have gained a bigger market share with our new products. We are still focused very much on our professional users, developing wireless products for call centres, but I do believe expansion over the next years will come in these areas of sport and music for the consumer market. And Unified Communication n for the office market.”

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China’s Woodtai Enterprises, a specialist in acoustic technology, has seen business growth of 12 per cent a year for the past three years. And while there’s every reason for optimism looking forward, the market is not without its challenges. Felicity Landon reports.


oodtai’s business is very specialist. This isn’t a company that churns out mass produced electronic components day after day – instead, Woodtai focuses on high-spec products developed in-house and in partnership with its customers. The model is very much high-mix, low-volume, and managing director Thomas Ip doesn’t see that changing. 52 Industry Europe

“We have a very customer-oriented strategy. Our business is not about turning out millions of 27 mm speakers with very thin margins – it’s about custom-made products with shorter lifecycles,” he says. “Of course that means we have a higher selling price – but we still have to think about stepping up productivity, and about absorbing higher labour and other costs without passing these on to the customer.”

Woodtai develops and produces mini speaker devices, earphones and headphones, acoustic components for hearing aids – including earphones, conductors, sound tubes and filters – and other components for hearing aids, such as telecoil and cables. Founded in 1981 in Hong Kong, the company is still headquartered there, with a team of eight in management, admin, finance,

marketing and logistics. Its manufacturing is split between Xiamen and Quanzhou, two sites 100 kms apart. At Xiamen, 200 people are employed in the factory, 15 in research and development, and others in finance, admin, QA and logistics. At Quanzhou, the focus is on production only, and 120 people work there.

Made to order The company supplies speakers and components for Bluetooth headsets, office telephony and portable devices, while its hearing aid components go to hearing aid manufacturers and are used in audiometers, machines to evaluate hearing loss. Mr Ip estimates that 95 per cent of Woodtai’s products are custom-made. “Our customers give us their requirements, including thickness, diameter and electro-acoustic requirements, during the early development stage of a product and we will provide a prototype for them,” he says. “But sometimes we also initiate and develop our own products, building samples and sharing them with our customers. For example, we have just developed a new 6mm driver used in music headphones with linear frequency response and ultra low distortion – this is now in volume

production. And we have developed a 10mm loudspeaker used in a digital camera.” Woodtai also sometimes works with contract manufacturers on a second sourcing basis. This model is in demand where OEMs already have an existing supplier and are looking for ‘localisation’ – in other words, the contractor wants to establish an alternative supply in China. “What we don’t have is ‘commodity’ speakers,” says Mr Ip. No surprise, then that R&D is a really vital part of the mix. Woodtai has two R&D teams – one of acoustic engineers, the other of mechanical and electrical engineers. “Acoustic design is mainly based on experience,” he says. “We do have some simulation software, but experience is most important. Also, we provide advice; our speakers are mainly going to be installed inside the housing of our customers’ products, so we give them some application advice about any issues that will affect sound quality, balancing, etc.”

Increasing productivity Woodtai has made significant investments in its workshops and factories recently, including purchasing a reliability testing machine and a

range of injection moulding, gluing, winding and testing machines. That investment will continue, says Mr Ip, and that’s partly due to ‘simple mathematics’, as he puts it. Woodtai’s business growth has averaged 12 per cent for 2012, 2013 and 2014 (forecast), but labour and other costs are rising fast in China. “Our strategy is not really to increase the number of people, but to increase productivity and employ more machinery,” he says. “If we can buy machinery that will save us employing two extra people, it pays for itself in one year. Labour costs as a percentage of turnover need to be reduced. We have to achieve growth without passing any cost to the customer and without sacrificing our product margins – otherwise we can’t survive.” He says it isn’t really a case of automation – it can’t be, because this isn’t a business based on churning out millions of cheap identical parts. “But we are building tighter manufacturing processes and consolidating some manufacturing steps. This process is at a very early stage, but it will continue.” Meanwhile, a new development for the company is the planned roll-out of its own brand of earphones. Mr Ip is under no illusions here – he knows he’s looking to break

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into a tough, crowded market – but he is confident of success based on Woodtai’s established expertise and knowledge. “We are a latecomer, for sure, and we may not have our own well-known brand name. But we have been in the industry for a very long time. Our core technology is sound quality, so we are capable of making very high-end earphones. What we do need is to find the right people to market and brand our product.”

Global markets Woodtai’s key markets at present are Europe and Japan – but where its products actually end up depends on the geographical markets of its customers, of course. “Our customers’ products go all over the world, with our components within them. Of course, the biggest developing market is China, but we are not really focusing on the domestic market. “It’s a pity that in China we don’t really have leading brands in electronics or the medical industry. Even the bigger operators in China that we could name are market followers – they are not up to the stage where they are looking for a high-quality offer like ours. So in this case we can’t compete on the price. Having said that, our products do find their way back to China inside our European customers’ products!” He believes that Woodtai’s future growth will come mainly through organic expansion, and particularly in the areas of speakers used in high-end music earphones and the use of moving coil units inside hearing aids, instead of armature drivers.” “We should have double digit growth annually,” he says. “I think that is achievable. We have some important new designs in the pipeline, which will be launched this year and n in 2015.”


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


AHORANSKY was founded in Germany in 1902 by Anton Zahoransky and it opened up a new era in brush production when he developed the world’s first reliable tufting tool for a drilling and tufting machine for brushes. Since then the company has remained an independent, family-owned business and has grown to become a global market leader that offers complete business solutions in the field of

machine building and automation technology. Currently the company operates four distinct divisions: Mould making, Systems technology, Packaging machines and Brush machines. Today the ZAHORANSKY Group is present in 10 locations in six countries with global representation and branch offices worldwide. In 2013 the company employed over 600 people and recorded revenues of more than €70 million.

Expanding product portfolio ZAHORANSKY manufactures a diverse range of machines that are capable of producing a wide variety of products from small interdental brushes, mascara and hair brushes and tooth brushes, to brushes for personal care. In addition the company’s portfolio includes hand brushes, brooms, hard brushes, as well as WC and dish wash brushes for household use. However, the company is expanding its prod-

uct portfolio further with particular emphasis on the medical industries where its advanced technology can play an important role. Steinebrunner says, “Our automation technology leads the field and this is endorsed by the blue chip companies that rely on our hightech equipment. This includes companies such as P&G, GSK and Unilever. We have become a one-stop-shop where companies like this rely on us to set up a complete production line. We are the clear global brand leaders in most of our chosen disciplines and especially when it comes to the manufacture of toothbrushes where every second toothbrush in the world has been made on a ZAHORANSKY machine. “Companies such as P&G (Oral-B, Gillette), Freudenberg (Vileda) and Johnson & Johnson are all long-term customers of ours. The quality and reliability of our machines is widely acknowledged, which is supported by the fact that they have an operational life of up to 30 years. We have developed the most sophisticated technologies and the

most reliable equipment in the world. Our products are at work in other industries too with companies such as Wilkinson and Siemens, and all these multi-nationals have their own culture and special requirements, so by nature we are very customer focused.” Steinebrunner adds, “We see our future growth coming from the industrial automation sector for our mounting processes. We also offer our advance technology to other industries that require robotics including the packaging industry. Recently we have seen significant growth in the demand for our needle-feeding systems for the medical industry. “Around 80 per cent of our entire R&D is conducted in-house, including prototyping and testing, and much of the balance is coming from our close collaboration with our customers. We are also proud of our track record when it comes to after-sales service and technical support. Our customers benefit from online access for trouble- shooting and they also can rely on our very fast spare parts service as well as a global network of

engineers who are on stand by to fly out to any location the same day if required. We also keep to our delivery dates and our ecofriendly processes are continually upgraded. In fact in India we are the top-rated company for operating the most environmentallyfriendly ‘green building’ in the country.” In 2013 ZAHORANSKY opened a new, purpose-built facility for making injection moulds and machines in India and this will act as the company’s centre for serving its customers throughout the region. The state-of-the-art 2,500m2 building was formally inaugurated in November 2013. Today ZAHORANSKY has manufacturing locations in Germany and Spain and the addition of this new facility will mean that its customers in that region can be supported and served around the clock.

Award winning technology Throughout its long history, ZAHORANSKY has made innovation a priority and this culture is manifested in every machine that it develops. The company recently won

the coveted FEIB innovation award for its unique, fully automatic tuft quality control system. This advanced monitoring system substitutes manual quality control checks with its intelligent algorithm technology that eliminates defective brushes immediately. The new mechatronic solution from ZAHORANSKY means that during production the tufting force of each tuft is measured and compared to a reference value. If the reading is outside the prescribed limits, the value is logged and displayed on the monitor. The unique system identifies and ejects

defective brushes instantly. Furthermore, the sensor systems, hardware and controls have all been developed and manufactured in-house by ZAHORANSKY.

Greater efficiency The ZAHORANSKY brand stands for reliability, precision and sophisticated technology and is driven by the constantly increasing demands of its customers. As far as improving production efficiency in the injection mould making process is concerned, integrating upstream and downstream working processes cannot

be avoided according to ZAHORANSKY. This is precisely where the company’s systems technology is most valuable. Its specialists develop innovative concepts, modules and solutions for the integrated automation of injection moulding production processes, specifically for the manufacture of plastic products in the consumer, medical technology and n cosmetic sectors. For further details of ZAHORANSKY’s innovative products and services visit:

LEADING IN TAIL LIGHTING Auto rear light specialist odelo is looking forward to new opportunities now that it is part of a major Turkish group.


delo develops and produces complex tail light systems and LEDs for the automotive industry. The company is the technology leader in auto tail lights thanks to its strength in innovation and its use of the most up-to-date technologies. In fact, odelo developed and produced the world’s first all-LED tail light system in 1998 and today its engineers continue to develop new products and technologies for the future requirements of the automotive industry. Odelo GmbH was established as a company as recently as 2008 when the tail light unit of the Schefenacker Group was separated from the rest of the business. Schefenacker itself was founded in Esslingen, in southern Germany, in 1935 to produce car interior lights and expanded to include exterior mirrors, tail lights and LED tail light systems. Today odelo employs 1600 people at five locations in Germany and Slovenia.

New ownership In 2011 a new chapter opened in the history of odelo when it was acquired by the Istanbulbased Bayraktarlar Holding, an international trading conglomerate with extensive activities in Turkey. The Turkish company was founded in 1935 by Mehmet Bayraktar and entered the automotive market in 1979 as a supplier to the local automotive industry under its Farba brand. It has a successful track record in developing a national presence in the Turkish automotive lighting business. Bayraktarlar saw the acquisition of odelo as an ideal opportunity to expand its international business and strengthen its market position in the automotive supplier industry in Europe. Ahment Bayraktar, Vice President of Bayraktarlar Holding, said when the acquisi-

tion was announced, “odelo’s high quality and innovative product portfolio, its strong technology base and extensive client relations are a perfect match for our existing automotive business. We will be working as partners to ensure that this acquisition will create value for our clients worldwide. He also made it clear that Bayraktarlar planned to invest in new technology at odelo. “Innovation is the key to future market success and competitiveness in the automotive supply industry. Through knowledge sharing and operational improvements, Bayraktarlar plans to even further enhance odelo’d competitiveness.”

Loyal customers Tail lights are an important contributor to the overall appearance of a vehicle – they have a significant aesthetic role to play as well as making driving safer. Indeed the complexity of modern tail lights is a reflection of the high level of expectations they have to meet regarding their design, quality and functionality. Odelo points out that only a company that has always had the highest expectations for its products’ quality and technology can develop and produce such technologically sophisticated components to meet the ever more complex demands of its customers. Odelo claims that it is because its products so clearly stand apart from those of its competitors that its clients remain so loyal. The company delivers most of its products to the major German auto makers, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Opel, Porsche and Volkswagen. Overall it has a 20 per cent share of the market in Germany. Today the headquarters of odelo Deutschland are in Geislingen, in southern Germany, but its LED production is located

at a dedicated plant in Kamp-Lintfort, in north west Germany. odelo LED specialises in the development and production of LEDs for automotive applications, with each product tailored to the technical and quality requirements of individual clients. The unique production method at the plant makes possible the maximum flexibility in the optical and geometric design of the LEDs so that it can produce tail light modules that stand out as innovative and unique. Yet at the same time this innovative production technology can be used to make LEDs with standard emission properties. The in-depth expertise at the Kamp-Lintfort plant also enables it to make most of the actual LEDs for odelo signal lights.

Quality for the aftermarket ULO is a subsidiary of the odelo group that supplies spare parts to the independent aftermarket. The head and rear lights, door mirrors and daytime running lights that are distributed under the ULO brand are original parts and therefore perfect in terms of quality and precision fit and fulfil entirely the high stadards for original parts set by the auto industry. At the ULO plant in Geislingen experts are employed for each country in which ULO parts are distributed. They are totally familiar with the characteristics of their national markets and maintain close personal contect with ULO wholesalers throughout Europe. ULO’s product range alos includes universal parts for commercial vehicles.

Lean production rewarded In 2005 odelo built a new lighting plant in Slovenia. In July 2013 this subsidiary, odelo Slovenija, received the prestigious Automo-

Posredništvo in trgovina na debelo tive Lean Production Award in the category ‘International SME’ after a study carried out by the magazine Automobil Produktion in cooperation with the Munich business consultancy Agamus Consult. Ever since the company was founded lean culture has been an inherent part of the plant philosophy at odelo Slovenija. Managing director and CEO of the odelo group Klaus Holeczek explained that the plant’s motivated employees, a culture open to mistakes and innovation, flexibility and the full support of the plant’s management were just as important as the lean alignment of the plant’s processes. He pointed out that the importance of lean thinking in the plant had also been underlined by the establishing of an internal lean promotion team which was responsible for the continuous monitoring of all the processes at the plant and their further development in terms of the the ‘Lean Spirit’. “Close cooperation on product and process development between Slovenia and Germany has also been crucial in ensuring the high degree of maturity of projects being launched at our Slovenia plant,” said Mr Holeczek. “There is no doubt that the team from Germany has contributed significantly n to the success of odelo Slovenija.”


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NEW BEGINNINGS Slovenian-based automotive parts manufacturer Letrika d.d. has undergone some major changes in recent years, including a re-branding and takeover by the German Mahle Group. Industry Europe looks at the background behind the company and its activities.


ince Industry Europe last interviewed Iskra Autoelektrika d.d. in 2010 some major changes have taken place. One of the biggest of these was its 2012 change in name to Letrika d.d. which gave the group an entirely new brand identity. The history of Letrika goes back to 1960 when its predecessor Iskra Avtoelectrika was established as a producer of automotive electric parts. The ensuing years saw rapid growth, and today the company is a well-known expert in all areas of the automotive parts business, from research and development to production and sales.

Today the group has more than 2600 employees with manufacturing plants and production companies operating worldwide, including a number of locations in what it sees at the most important markets for its automotive products. From its headquarters in Slovenia, Letrika presides over a global network of production companies in Slovenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil and China. In addition to these are its trading companies in France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the USA. Continued investment is a major component of the group’s strategy for growth. In

May this year (2014) its subsidiary Letrika Komen d.o.o. – a producer of aluminium castings using die cast technology – opened a new die cast production hall covering an area of 1000m2. This investment, which has already greatly improved productivity, amounted to some 2 million euros.

Mahle takeover Another important development took place this year, when the Germany-based Mahle Group signed an agreement for the acquisition of the majority shares in Letrika d.d. Mahle is a global giant in the automotive and

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engine industry with some 65,000 employees at 140 production locations. For Letrika, this means that it will now be able to take advantage of important production synergies with the group and use its know-how to develop its business on all its existing global markets. The company’s management has also pointed out that the two organisations, whilst different in size, share similar strategies which include a focus on e-mobility and green technologies.

Production profile Letrika offers a wide product range covering the production, development and sale of starters, alternators, electric drive and mechatronic systems. They are split into three core groups: engine rotating electrics; electric drive systems and mechatronic systems. Its customers are some of the biggest global producers in the agriculture, construction, automotive and many other industries. In the area of engine rotating electrics, Letrika produces starter motors and alternators for vehicles with internal combustion engines. The technical performance and characteristics of these products

are the result of long-term relationships with manufacturers of internal combustion engines, in order to meet their high requirements and expectations. High operating reliability is assured by a continuous optimisation of the design for use in different operating conditions. When it comes to electric drive systems the product range includes: DC e-motors/ generators; BLPM e-motors/generators; AC e-motors/generators; electronic control units (ECUs); conversion kits; solenoid switches and various accessories. By producing many different types of electric motors, corresponding controllers and other elements such as graphic display and master CAN controllers, Letrika is able to offer its customers complete battery supplied drive systems. They are mainly used as traction systems, electrically assisted steering systems, hydraulic pump drive systems and so on. Letrika’s mechatronics systems include motors for electric powered steering, motors and controllers for air and hydrogen blowers and motors for water and other liquid pumps. Finally, it should be noted that a large percentage of the group’s R&D efforts when it comes

to new product development are focused on exploiting renewable energy sources. The fields it focuses on here are e-mobility, efficient energy use and solar and wind energy.

A strong partner In addition to the production companies mentioned above, Letrika is also involved in three separate joint-ventures. Two of these – Letrika Lab d.o.o. and Letrika Sol d.o.o. – are in Slovenia. These focus respectively on R&D for power motors and the manufacture of green technologies, particularly solar micro inverters. The third joint-venture, Letrika Roots, was established in 2013 in India with its business partner Roots Industries India Ltd – a manufacturer of various electrical products. In March this year it announced its plans to start the manufacture of a selection of starters and alternators for the OE and aftermarket for a number of different automotive segments in India, exploring potential markets such as those for agricultural tractors, trucks, buses and construction equipment. Letrika is also well-known as a reliable partner for its many long-term customers. In April this year it signed an important

five-year agreement with the German global corporation Deutz to supply it with a wide range of products, alternators and starter motors adapted to meet its specific needs. This is a particularly significant achievement for the Letrika Group as it will open up new possibilities in China for its second largest production company, Letrika Suzhou, as Deutz already has a strong presence here. A company spokesperson explained how the company is able to maintain strong relationships with its global customers: “In order to supply the global automotive industry, it is imperative that you hold a number of highly regulated quality certificates, such as the ISO 19001, ISO 14001 and the TS 16949. We have all these, of course, plus a large R&D department that ensures all our products are of the very latest capabilities and highest quality. Furthermore, we always work with our clients to design and develop products that meet their exact needs, with 100 per cent testing way in advance of any launch.” n

Henkel operates worldwide with leading brands and technologies in three business areas: • Laundry & Home Care • Beauty Care • Adhesive Technologies Henkel offers innovative products and reliable brands in all business sectors. Adhesives, Sealants and Functional Coatings from Henkel serve the automotive transportation, electronics, aerospace, metal, durable goods, consumer goods, maintenance and repair and packaging industries, and offer a broad range of products for the craftsman and consumer. As the global leader in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings technologies for the automotive industry, Henkel creates competitive advantages for its customers along the entire value chain of car manufacturing. It partners with customers right from the start, so that it understands their needs and develops tailored solutions – for today and tomorrow. Henkel offers products for the forging and pressure die casting of parts, together with products for machining and ultimately for sealing porous materials. Its BONDERITE L-MR xyz machining product can reduce waste and save money on tooling, product usage and service additives.

Exterior HQ -Gothenburg

TAKING FULL RESPONSIBILITY The Swedish manufacturer of interior parts and trimmings to the global vehicle industry HAVD Group offers a full service solution to customers across the automotive, marine and rail markets. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to CEO Bjorn Hedenberg to learn more.


ased in Gothenburg, Sweden, HAVD Group develops, manufactures and supplies interior parts to the vehicle industry worldwide. Offering front and rear seating, interior trims, instrument panels, surface materials and accessories, HAVD Group produces and


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provides a complete service to its customers. It also offers interiors for trains, including driver cabins, dining cars and passenger cars for rail-bound vehicles. A centralised company with all its services under one roof, HAVD Group operates pro-

Vacuum forming

duction sites in Sweden and Hungary which take responsibility for products from concept to finished article. CEO Bjorn Hedenberg spoke to Industry Europe to explain how the company’s product portfolio and centralised organisation delivers the best service to cus-

Exterior Novus

tomers. Mr Hedenberg said, “HAVD Group has a number of unique benefits that we pass on to our customers; as a large, centralised organisation we maintain strong control over every aspect of our production, from first concept right up to deliver to our customers, yet we also have the advantages of a smaller company with the ability to plan carefully and be totally efficient.” This focus on taking responsibility across every aspect of the business and the products manufactured is identified by Mr Hedenberg as being a key differentiator for HAVD Group. He continued, “Our values are all about giving and taking responsibil-

ity, working with openness and having high ethics. Being responsible is the watchword in HAVD Group’s ethical guidelines and remains our most important promise, both to our customers and to our employees.”

Quality first HAVD Group puts quality first and strives for continuous improvement. Its product development division conducts advanced product development for its active markets, primarily the automotive market but also trains, trucks and buses, with experienced engineers and designers creating products that meet the customer’s precise needs. Mr Hedenberg

added, “We regularly upgrade our training as well as using the very latest tools in 3D Cad systems and FEM analysis. We use Catia V5, SolidWorks, Alias, C-Max and other packages and can work on customers’ sites or from our in-house engineering lab.”

Specialised experience In Gothenburg, HAVD Group also operates a machine shop specialising in sheet metal and mechanical assemblies. The workshop is fully equipped to handle everything from welding, bending and moulding as well as developing prototypes and test parts in single bars or mini-series. Capable of working

Sewing and assembly

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in steel, aluminium, stainless steel or other metals as determined by the customer, HAVD Group’s machine shop is an important ingredient in its success with custombuilt prototype construction. HAVD Group has an interior décor workshop in Gothenburg as well as a large production facility in Hungary, with over 100 employees across both sites. Mr Hedenberg

continued, “At our interior décor workshop we specialise in linings for the automotive, rail and marine markets. Our products include upholstery, door panels, steering wheels, hand brakes, gear lever gaiters, cushions and other interior details for buses, trucks and cars. In fact, for simplicity, you can say that we do the industrial hand sewing for anything you find inside a vehicle.”

molded polyurethane

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Environmental responsibility is also a key element in HAVD Group’s operation. Mr Hedenberg identifies ‘excellence, continuous development and environmental sustainability’ as the company’s most important tools to achieve quality of product and service and its use of measurable parameters across the business helps to maintain these high standards. He added,


“The Group’s shared focus is to protect the environment. In terms of product development, we leverage our expertise to the make the total environmental impact as small as possible. So during transport we work to reduce the environmental impact by using full loads yet keeping weights low and for waste management and purchasing we work with partners that are also committed to a responsible environmental programme. We have a strict environmental policy that goes beyond all of the applicable laws and regulatory requirements.” With a focus on sustainable development both in terms of product portfolio and geographical growth, HAVD Group’s future looks positive. A company where new ideas are highly valued, it is open to introducing new products and services that complement its offer. Mr Hedenberg concluded, “We offer the customer excellence in our areas of expertise. As a leader in developing, manufacturing and supplying interior parts and trimmings to the vehicle industry worldwide, HAVD Group is committed to maintaining our strong position and expanding our global footprint in a n responsible, ethical manner.”

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Cooper Standard Automotive Inc. is a leading automotive supplier with a clear focus on ecological and technological improvement. With new investments, acquisitions and partnerships in Asia the company is set to increase its presence still further in this lucrative market.


ooper Standard Automotive Inc. has a real global reach, with more than 70 locations in 19 countries, and offers solutions in the body sealing, fuel, brake and emissions, thermal management and anti-vibration segments of the industry. Its sales continue to look healthy: for the second quarter of 2014, the company reported revenue of $857.6 million, up 9.3 per cent from $784.7 million of for the second quarter of 2014. The company’s range of products includes fuel and brake delivery systems and emission management technologies, complete heating and cooling management components and systems for hybrids, electric vehicles and internal combustion engines and power trains, body sealing solutions to keep noise, dust and water away from vehicle occupants, as well as a complete range of anti-vibration control products. The group, established in 1960 and headquartered in Novi, Michigan (USA) has been growing through a series of acquisitions and organic growth and operates with a mission of ‘providing outstanding service, support and innovative solutions to our customers, benefiting all stakeholders of Cooper Standard’.

Expanding east Cooper Standard Automotive has long recognised that the Asia Pacific region offers the greatest growth opportunities for automotive production through to 2020. As such, it continues to bolster its strong presence there. In this regard, the year 2014 has been a particularly busy one for the company: in September, for example, it announced its agreement to purchase an additional 47.5 per cent of Huayu-Cooper Standard Sealing Systems Co. – an existing joint venture with the company Huayu Automotive Systems Co. With this, Cooper Standard will be the 95 per cent equity owner of the business and will own nine manufacturing facilities and two technical centres in China. This single move will make it the clear leader in the Chinese automotive sealing market so it represents a significant milestone. But this is not all: in July this year Cooper Standard held the grand opening event

for its new Asia Pacific Technical Centre in Shanghai, China. At this time the company’s Asia Pacific headquarters were also relocated from Kunshan, China to the new Shanghai facility. This Technical Centre covers 762 square metres and has 55 employees. From this location, the company will provide local technical support with engineering and design capabilities to the entire Asia Pacific region customer base. As part of its continued eastward expansion, Cooper Standard has also been making inroads into the Japanese market. In July this year it announced the establishment of a joint venture with the Japanese INOAC Corp. in order to further increase the reach of its fluid transfer systems products in the Asia Pacific automotive market. It is expected that the partnership with this leading auto parts supplier will offer the best opportunity for Cooper Standard to successfully enter the Japanese market.

European leader In Europe the company supplies all the major OEMs in the automotive sector and in each country is focused on fulfilling the needs of its local market. Germany hosts three of the company’s sites, one in Landau and two in Mannheim. In Germany the company is specialised in manufacturing sealing parts for leading German automotive manufacturers. Here it operates with a high level of integration with the group. In fact, in Germany there is a common management team which can avail itself of the support and the solid foundations of the global company. The company occupies a market leading position in Germany in terms of sealing products for European OEMs, thanks its wide portfolio offer.

Operational excellence and innovation Cooper Standard’s focus on operational excellence is accompanied by a real culture of innovation. Tangible proof of this commitment can be found in the awards it holds, which include PACE, Society of Plastic Engineers, Global Six Sigma Award Best Achievement of Design and Six Sigma, as well as by the over 500 patents obtained worldwide.

While in the past the company had a focus on supplying the actual sealing, in the last few years Standard Cooper has increasingly widened its offer to include complete sealing systems fulfilling customers’ demands, with the advantage that now clients only have to deal with one supplier for the whole system. In fact, in recent times its strategy has been to widen its product portfolio, alongside the improvement of its existing offer.

Greener solutions Community and employee involvement are part of the life of the group, alongside green initiatives, which for the last few years have been of increasing importance. Continuous research efforts are channelled into improving a vehicle’s overall carbon footprint. Alongside this, Cooper Standard is continuously working to enhance its manufacturing processes, thus reducing its own company emissions and increasing recyclability. The R&D department at the Mannheim site is focused on research aimed at improving products and processes at the environmental level. Products comply with E05/E06 regulations with regard to cleaner emissions, and this is an area of development which has been growing in recent years.

Future focus A recent strategic divestment will allow Cooper Standard Holding Inc. to focus more on its leading product lines. In June

2014 it entered into an agreement with Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp. to sell its thermal and emissions product line. Jeffrey Edwards, chairman and CEO of Cooper Standard, said of this important move: “A strategic decision was made to divest our thermal and emissions product line and allow the company to focus resources on our four core product groups: sealing and trim; fuel and brake delivery; fluid transfer and anti-vibration systems.” This streamlining of its operations will ensure that Cooper Standard gains an even greater competitive advantage in its core areas of n production in the years to come.

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PSA Peugeot-Citroen continues to roll out its global strategic plan “Back in the Race” and the results demonstrate that the plan is delivering its initial benefits in terms of improved competitiveness and growth in its key markets. The group’s suppliers and partners have played a major role its return to global growth and this commitment was rewarded recently at the company’s 10th annual supplier awards held in Paris. Philip Yorke reports.

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SA Peugeot Citroen is a leading global automotive group that continues to enhance its performance both at home and abroad. The company’s strategy for growth has seen sales improve significantly in its most promising overseas markets, in particular in the Chinese market, where in 2013 sales were up by almost 19 per cent, and by around 3 per cent in Latin America. The company reports that sales have continued to increase overall in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico. China remains the world’s largest automobile market and in 2013 it grew by 13.9 per cent, with 22 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold. PSA Peugeot Citroen increased its sales to China in 2013 to 557,000 units – a rise of 26.1 per cent. In a highly competitive environment, PSA Peugeot Citroen’s priority is to offer attractive, safe and affordable mobility solutions to the largest number of customers. With this in mind, the economic aspect of each project is taken into account from the early design phase and on to complete vehicle development. Thanks to innovative options for new materials and components, both 74 Industry Europe

Peugeot and Citroen are successfully reducing costs and improving quality throughout each entire value chain.

New roadmap accelerates growth On April 14th this year, Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the PSA Peugeot Citroen Managing Board, presented the company’s 2014-2018 “Back in the Race” roadmap, which is designed to accelerate the Group’s recovery. The “Back in the Race” strategy is based around four operational objectives, which include a focused, targeted global product plan closely aligned to market demand, a drive for profitable international growth and an upgrading programme to improve competitiveness. These goals are supported by its three premium brands: DS, Peugeot and Citroen. The group plans to accelerate its expansion in China, by tripling volumes with its partner Dongfeng by 2022 and by successfully completing the development of the company’s DS brand. In addition, the partnership with Dongfeng will also help to drive faster growth in the ASEAN region. At the same time, PSA Peugeot Citroen

plans to turn around the situation in Russia and transform its business model in Latin America. The group’s key objective here is to return it to profit in both regions within the next three years. Furthermore, in order to address its competitiveness challenges, PSA Peugeot Citroen has stepped up the modernisation of its manufacturing plants worldwide, in order to bring them in line with the latest global benchmarks.

Suppliers win coveted awards for excellence PSA Peugeot Citroen believe that supplier relations provide the cornerstone for product excellence and that they will make a major contribution to the success of the new “Back in the Race” strategic plan for growth. This year’s coveted awards celebrate suppliers who are fully engaged in their relationship with the group and who have demonstrated the deepest understanding of its expectations and provided the most proactive ability to meet them. In recognition of the sustained efforts made by its suppliers and the excellence of

iObeya by KAP IT : the Enterprise platform for Visual Management

Today, many organisations are undergoing Lean transformations, deploying Visual Management (‘sticky note meetings’) as the new way of working. However, traditional Visual Management practices in large organisations are faced with serious limitations : difficulty sharing information across multi-site teams, the high cost of travel and meeting space, lack of confidentiality of sensitive information on display….ultimately preventing the Lean optimisation process. As early adopters of Lean, PSA Peugeot Citroën believed in iObeya from the outset because the solution eliminates these limitations, without impacting management rituals.

the results they have delivered, the group honoured supplier performance in six priority categories, which were: Cost savings. The award is given for the ability to propose solutions to reduce the cost of delivered standard parts, by leveraging the full range of supply chain, marketing and purchasing drivers. This year’s awards went to Chongqing Jianshe, Faurecia Echappement and BASF. Value Creation. Here the award was given for the ability to propose breakthrough technical solutions and new services capable of creating new value. Winners this year were KAP IT and Continental.

iObeya is an enterprise platform that proposes secure, virtual meeting rooms equipped for Visual Management. Project teams can now interact in real time and regardless of location, using visual boards, sticky notes and other tools through an enriched and immersive user interface. As testified by Jean-Pierre Dumoulin, CTO of PSA Peugeot-Citroen, “Teams are much more productive. Space savings enabled a six month return on investment. I am a big fan of iObeya”. Visual Management in large organisations is entering the Digital era, pushing boundaries and offering new perspectives. iObeya is pioneering this inevitable transformation, already seducing more than 23,000 users in 60 companies across the globe.

Programme management. This covers the supplier’s performance in the area of quality deliverables, on-time delivery, managing cost variances, project management, successful launches and technical expertise. In this category the awards were given to TRW and Magna. Quality. This sector relates to performance in auto parts quality, from “Cradle-to-grave” including quality development, quality when new and quality in field. The three winning companies were: Bosch (Braking), Yazaki and Alsin. Indirect Material Machinery & Equipment. This award relates to service and

quality performance in the provision of services and the supply of industrial equipment. This year’s winners were Sugino, Actemium and Acobal. After Sales Delivery Performance. This category covers quality of service, as measured by suppliers’ on-time, on-spec performance in delivering spare parts to the dealer network. Winners in this sector were: Visscher Caravelle, Gates and Metro. The group also launched a new award this year for “Best Plants of 2013”. These unique awards were presented to 96 individual production facilities worldwide in recognition of their performance in manu-

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facturing excellence. This in turn is enabling the group to meet its high quality standards, from producing the whole vehicle to handing over the keys. Finally, a special jury prize was awarded to two long serving suppliers, IBIDEN and Total Lubricants, to honour their long-standing partnership with the automotive group.

Diverse innovations The group believes that innovative technology can have the greatest impact on improving automotive safety. This includes automotive safety systems and radar-based technologies, as well as environmental incar considerations. By bringing down costs the group can offer these advanced features as standard. Recent examples include Blind Spot detection systems using ultrasound sensors that cost ten times less than traditional radar systems. In addition, the company produces headup display systems that cost three times less than rival solutions and these are available as standard equipment on the current Peugeot 308, Citroen DS5 and Peugeot 508 models. Furthermore, the group has also developed less expensive ‘Stop & Start’ and hybrid solutions for its electronic vehicles. n For further details of PSA Peugeot Citroen’s latest innovative products and services visit: Industry Europe 77

THE COMPLETE BATHROOM PACKAGE DEBA has been supplying high quality modular bathrooms to cruise ships, hotels, hospitals and housing projects for many years. Now its bathrooms have been chosen for one of London’s most prestigious development projects. Peter Mercer reports.


July of this year DEBA, the German market leader in premium bathroom systems, signed a contract to supply approximately 1300 modular bathroom units for the Battersea Power Station re-development project, one of the largest construction projects in Europe in recent years. Phase One of the redevelopment will include a main block constructed around the historic Grade II power station itself and a second eight storey block next to it. The project forms part of a strategic plan to create a high-density, mixed use development that will include apartments, retail facilities, business studios, theatre space and two levels of basement parking.

DEBA is working with Carillion who is the main contractor for Phase 1 of the project. Eamonn Witter, DEBA’s UK manager of sales and marketing, said, “DEBA is perhaps the only off-site bathroom production company that can deliver completely bespoke solutions in which the customer can have their design wishes fulfilled with an unrivalled level of quality in both the structure and the finish. “When I first began working in the UK market, there was a good deal of scepticism about the use of the ‘Pod’ bathroom concept in complex construction projects – people were not convinced that these products were

engineered to a standard that could meet the very demanding requirements of high end construction projects. But after we successfully completed a number of large hotel projects, including two Grange hotels in London, and 15 senior living projects in the greater London area, DEBA was being talked about in the industry as offering solutions that combined advanced engineering, high quality products and ease of installation. DEBA was able to prove that it could defy conventional on-site wisdom and deliver precision-made, lightweight yet robust bathroom modules direct to the site where they could simply be craned in and connected to water and electricity supplies in between 5 to 10 hours per unit. “Building a bathroom on-site in the conventional way requires seven or eight skilled – and costly – tradesmen working in a confined space, all trying to co-ordinate their work and bring to their materials to the site while attempting to deliver a bathroom that

will meet the ever more exacting demands of the client. With a DEBA bathroom module all that work is done at the factory in carefully controlled conditions to ensure that the quality of the delivered product is outstanding.” DEBA prefabricated bathrooms are based on a self-supporting steel sandwich construction that includes floor, wall and ceiling elements, a temporary door and all necessary electrical, sanitary installations as well as heating, ventilation and water supply and waste pipes. They are delivered readyto-install direct to the site and after craning in or installed in single units, they are simply connected up and ready for immediate use.

Changing markets Its reputation for delivering high-quality, designoriented bathroom systems in large quantities has made DEBA the market leader in its native Germany for more than 20 years. Originally the business was located in the port city of Kiel,

in Northern Germany, where it specialised in producing high-end, engineered bathrooms for cruise ships. For many years major cruise line operators such as Royal Caribbean were among it’s regular clients. As part of the reunification of Germany after 1989, government incentives were offered to businesses to set up operations in the former East and DEBA took the opportunity to acquire an old engineering works with a very large site in Salzwedel, south-east of Hamburg. It transferred its modern CNC machines and essential tooling to the new site along with its core management team who recruited and trained a local workforce. In the following years the cruise ship building business in Northern Europe went into decline as it was increasingly unable to compete with low cost producers in Korea, China, India and other parts of Asia. With its modular bathrooms for cruise ships now uncompetitive because of the long distances to the Asian shipyards, DEBA began to

Laufen Bathrooms AG “Laufen is delighted to be associated with DEBA, a company with whom we share common goals to produce and deliver only the finest quality, innovation and design wishes for clients who aspire to create the best bathroom experience imaginable. We wish DEBA continued success with their major projects throughout Europe.” Ilker Hussein, Commercial Director Laufen Bathrooms AG E:

re-orientate its business towards the hotel market. Although it still served its remaining cruise ship customers, for more than 12 years, starting in the early 1990s, DEBA built up a highly successful business supplying bespoke modular bathrooms to major hotel projects across Europe. Its ability to meet the individual design wishes of designers and clients made its engineered, off-site bathroom solutions the first choice in many high profile hotel projects for clients such as Ritz Carlton, Kempinski, Capella, Hilton and Radisson Blu. The hotel business continued to grow in the first decade of the new century and DEBA expanded into the UK and Irish markets as construction of hotels acceler-

ated in these countries. Soon these export markets accounted for some 60 per cent of its total business as the German market remained steady thanks to numerous hotel renovation projects.

New directions All this changed with the crash of 2008. Prestige new hotel projects were now rare but while many of its competitors did not survive, DEBA brought in new investment and shook up its management structure. In 2011 it appointed a new CEO, Henrik Dinesen. Crucially it also made the decision to switch its focus to bathrooms for the high-end residential projects that were a growing market in the UK.

Under Mr Dinesen’s leadership, DEBA has now succeeded in becoming the market leader in the production and delivery of highend, off-site bathrooms for UK residential projects. Its clients have included European Land, the Heron Group, Capco, Canary Wharf Construction and CIT, It has worked with many of the UK’s major contractors, including the Mace Group, Sir Robert McAlpine and Carillion. DEBA’s main production site remains at Salzwedel, which is home to the company headquarters and more than 200 highly trained workers. It also operates a smaller production facility in Poland. The more complex, high-specification bathrooms are usually produced at Salzwedel while the simpler, lower cost units, for hospitals or retirement homes, for example, are made in Poland. Total production at both sites is currently running at around 3,000 bathrooms a year but with a clear upwards trend. “We are very proud that DEBA has been selected to provide modular bathrooms for the Battersea Power Station project. It is not only the biggest contract we have ever undertaken but also gives us invaluable visibility in the UK construction industry,” says Henrik Dinesen. “To be associated with the redevelopment of such an iconic building – an Art Deco masterpiece that has been a landmark on the London skyline since the 1930s – is a huge boost to DEBA’s image and reputation. We intend to ensure that our clients – and the lucky people who finally take up residence in the apartments – are completely satisfied with the quality of our n products for years to come.”

MASTER-CLASS IN TECHNOLOGYDRIVEN COATINGS The Russian Coatings Corporation is a technology leader in the development and manufacture of advanced liquid and powder coating products for a wide range of industrial applications. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that is continuing to build on its diverse product portfolio and extend its global reach.


he Russian Coatings Corporation, (Ruskie Kraski) was founded over 175 years ago and has grown to become a major Russian player in the production of high-tech coatings. The company has a diverse portfolio of products that range from decorative coatings to automotive finishes and a wide range of industrial coatings, as well as a range of anti-corrosive materials.

Russian Coatings currently employs 1200 people and produces more than 40,000 tons of coating products per year.

Innovation and investment driving sales Major investments in new plant and technology that were initiated by Russian Coatings in 2012 and 2013 are now producing the desired results. Today the company’s roll-

ing investment programme continues with the installation of a fifth powder coatings production line. In addition, the company’s modern R&D centre has been enhanced with the latest testing equipment designed to measure the protective properties of paint materials. In the meantime, work continues on its small-batch production facilities. In order to improve its environmental and

industrial safety standards yet further, the company has installed a closed water circuit for vacuum pumps as well as a special system for its alkali washing waste re-circulation plant. In 2013 alone, it committed more than US$ 3 million to the latest IT systems and a state-of-the-art warehouse for the packaging of its finished products. In the nearest future it is also planning to replace its main reactors and mixers in its resin workshop, which will significantly increase its capacity and improve its portfolio of binders to produce the automotive and industrial paint materials. Valery Abramov, Russian Coatings’ CEO, commented, “Thanks to our long-term strategic planning, we are seeing stable and consistent growth of sales in each of our niche markets. One of our fastest growing sectors is the industrial division which

includes anti-corrosive materials such as our ‘Prodecor’™, a special material that we have developed for roads and airfields that is ‘Linia’™, and the range of products ‘Strela’™ designed for agricultural machinery and railway rolling stock applications”.

industrial and powder coatings businesses where there is considerable scope to enter new markets. In addition, there is also significant potential for its new anti-microbial and tailor-made water-based paints.

Increasing demand for water-based paints

As part of its strategic plan for future growth, Russian Coatings continues to attract a growing number of new partners and distributors. It has been involved in long-term cooperation programmes for the development of its new materials with such major companies as BASF, Evonik, DuPont, BYK-Chemie and Dow Chemical. Work is underway with the Russian scientific organisations (YarSintez, Yaroslavl State Technical University, St. Petersburg Technical University). The company is justifiably proud of its heritage, as

In tandem with the company’s continuous improvement of its solvent-based products, Russian Coatings is increasing its production of the latest water-based paints. The growing demand for more environmentallyfriendly products can be seen clearly in the decorative paints sector, where it has a 44 per cent share of the domestic market. However, the company believes that its best future growth prospects stem from its

Growing network of global partners

well as its long-term partnerships with leading providers such as BASF with whom it has been working for more than 40 years. Russian Coatings is constantly expanding and updating its product portfolio to meet today’s demanding technological challenges. There are numerous examples of its success in new product development. For example, its Vika brand is gaining market share in Russia and across all the postSoviet territories. Vika is a market leader in high-quality metallic enamels and last year was supplemented with eight kinds of new polyester putties and expanded its range of tinting systems.Today Vika’s distribution network includes more than 50 partners and it is sold in 256 outlets across Russia and the CIS countries. Russian Coatings continues to build upon its growing network of distributors and is now extending its distribution network outside of its traditional markets.

Five year strategy for growth Russian Coatings’ state-of-the-art facilities and high quality products match the best that can be found anywhere in Europe and its success is inextricably linked to

its integrated management system that is endorsed by certification to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO/TS 16949. Abramov added, “We understand the tasks before us and these are set out in our five-year strategy for growth. Our primary task is to satisfy the demand for our high-quality, competitive products and thereby increase our sales volumes. In our OEM business sector it is the increase of materials produced using technology from the Axalta company, in the auto-refinish sector – the expansion of our mix-systems and assortment of varnishes and primers under the brands Vika and Guntex, in the industrial paints sector – broadening the scope of application for anticorrosive materials ProdecorTM. This will help us to drive our future sales forward. “However, we also strive to create the best conditions for the development of our employees’ skills and to increase production efficiency based on ‘lean manufacturing’ principles, to involve our people in a more active n lifestyle of sport, culture and leisure.” For further details of Russian Coatings innovative new products and customer services visit:


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


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

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

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

Global reach Since it began as a family company in Belgium in 1979, Ontex has grown into a truly global business. Today it has a total of 15 manufacturing facilities in 12 countries across Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Australia and China. It employs more than 5000 people across the globe and generated sales of €1.5 billion in 2013 in over 100 countries. Ontex’s core business is built around three categories – products for baby care, adult incontinence and feminine care. Baby care products, mostly nappies but also baby pants and wet wipes, currently account for more than 50 per cent of revenue. Adult incontinence products, such as pants, towels and bed protectors, make up some 33 per cent and feminine care products, such as sanitary pads, panty liners and tampons, add up to around 13 per cent. Ontex is headquartered in Erembodegem, near Aalst in Belgium, and its 15 production 90 Industry Europe

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

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

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

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

Expansion and diversification A major element in Ontex’s continued growth and profitability is that its business is geographically diversified. In 2013 some 68 per cent of revenue was generated in Western Europe, around 13 per cent in eastern Europe and the rest in the Middle East, Africa and the rest of the world. This strategy of global expansion and diversification has undoubtedly played a major part in the company’s success in growing its revenues between 2003 and 2013 at a compound annual rate of 7.2 per cent, including acquisitions. What this means in simple terms is that Ontex has doubled its revenue over the last ten years. This strong performance has continued into 2014. Ontex group sales in the first half of the year of €809.9 million represents an increase of 11.2 per cent compared to the first half of 2013. Even in the mature Western European market, sales grew strongly by 8 per cent year-on-year while growth markets such as Central Europe saw sales

increase by as much as 24 per cent. In the MEA region Ontex strengthened its position in Turkey and achieved a strong performance in Morocco and Pakistan. “Our performance in the second quarter of 2014 was a continuation of the trends seen in 2013 with a robust performance across all our key product groups,” says Charles Bouaziz. “In our mature markets we have continued to support retailers in the development of their brands and to help them to take the opportunity presented by the withdrawal of the US company Kimberly Clark from the Western European market. In our MEA and other growth markets favourable demographics and the development of our own Ontex brands has delivered very strong top line growth. With our continued focus on sustainable growth, we have leveraged this performance to deliver improvements in profitability whilst adding additional capacity to support future growth.”

R&D and marketing A key element in this sustained performance has been Ontex’s continuous investment in the development of its products and in the expansion and updating of its manufacturing facilities. “Our annual revenue growth of

some 7 per cent over the last ten years has enabled us to maintain a constant level of investment at around 3 per cent per year of revenue,” says Mr Bouaziz, “and now thanks to our engineering know-how, we manufacture some of our own production lines – it is quicker than buying in machinery and we know exactly what we need.” A steady flow of innovation in babycare, feminine care and adult care also plays a vital role in the company’s success. It’s three R&D Centres in Belgium and Germany develop solutions to keep the company’s retail partners competitive in terms of performance, value and consumer satisfaction. “Understanding customer preferences is just as important as technical excellence,” says Mr Bouaziz, “so soon after I took over as CEO in 2013 I recruited a head of marketing and strengthened the marketing team. Success in this business today is not just about delivering an excellent product; it’s also about fully understanding changes in customer demands and hearing the voice of the consumer. To do that we have to work closely with our retail partners, our suppliers and with other sources of knowledge in universities and technical institutes.”

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

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

Looking forward Ontex’s strategy for the future focuses on helping its retailer partners to gain greater share of the market and, in countries where the retail trade is fragmented, to grow its own brands through expansion and acquisition. “We have three criteria when looking at acquisitions,” says Charles Bouaziz. “Is

the target outside western Europe; does it have a strong brand; is it in the adult incontinence market? We need to meet at least two of these three criteria; for example, Serenity met the second and third. We are confident that with our strategy, we can achieve organic top-line growth of 4 to 6 per cent per year, and deliver success to our partners, our stakeholders and our employees, as well as ensuring a good return for our new shareholders. Ontex has been a growth story for ten years; now we want to make that story even more attractive to even more people.” n

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HOT PROPERTY Strix Ltd is a global leader in the design and manufacture of thermostatic controls for small domestic appliances. Philip Yorke talked to Paul Hussey, the company’s CEO, about its latest ground-breaking new products and move into new markets.


trix was founded as ‘Castletown Thermostats’ by Eric Taylor on the Isle of Man in 1951 and began by designing and manufacturing thermostatic controls for small domestic appliances. By 1982, the company had changed its name to Strix, under the direction of John Taylor, son of the company’s founder. In 1989 Strix opened its first overseas office in Hong Kong. The mid90s saw the launch of the U-series, a revolutionary under-floor heating system with a 360° cordless connector. In July 2009 Strix celebrated the sale of its 1 billionth control, a testament to the international business that Strix services today. Today Strix is at the forefront of the development and manufacture of safety control systems for small domestic appliances and filtration products. The company maintains its international presence with its head office on the Isle of Man and sales offices across Europe and China. Strix employs almost 900 people and markets its product in over

100 countries worldwide. In 2013, The Strix Group posted revenues of circa. €100 million.

Innovation with safety built-in Strix products are defined by their fusion of functional design, safety, aesthetics, materials and support services across the value chain that incorporate unique features and benefits for its customers. Consumer safety is of paramount importance to Strix, which works closely with its safety partners around the world to continually develop, monitor and enforce international safety standards. All Strix products are designed to comply with relevant safety standards and they carry the following approval marks as appropriate: BEAB, UL, CSA, CCC and CQC. Strix works with leading brands and key OEMs to design appliances that meet the changing demands of the consumer market. Mr Hussey says, “Since the company was sold to the Private Equity investor ABN Amro in 2005, we have seen significant

growth. The new management team has been focused on introducing new application technology and increasing shareholder value. During the last four years the company has invested considerable funds in the overhaul of the entire Strix product range and its manufacturing processes. “As a result of these investments, we can now enter more competitive markets, as we are able to offer greater price benefits to our OEM customers. We are now breaking into new growth markets including the Middle East, Asia and South America. We see our biggest growth opportunities in the unregulated economies where we have the potential to maximise our sales by introducing competitively priced quality products that satisfy the local consumer needs. “We manufacture mainly in China and our state-of-the-art facility is located close to our offices in Hong Kong. However, we still operate a small manufacturing site on the Isle-of-Man in the UK. We have a number Industry Europe 95

Aperam Alloys Imphy A world class leader in bimetals is accompanying Strix in its developments.

Taisu plastification material SCI&TECH Co., Ltd. specialises in the development and industrialisation of modified polymer materials. We mainly produce environmental flame retardant, environmental halogen free flame retardant, high intensity and thermo stability nylon, PBT, PC and PP. Our products have been widely used in the area of electronics, automobile, communication and armarium. The company covers an area of 21000m2 and we can produce 5000 tons per month and now has 23 production lines which including 6 w. p. twin-screw extruders and 17 national advanced-level twin-screw extruders. We possess several high polymer material professors and outstanding professional persons. Every year, we will invent new modified engineering plastic materials which are suitable for market demands. The flame retardant halogen free nylon which is produced by the flame retardant halogen free from our own invention, which is able to completely replace or even exceed the same products of big foreign polymer corporation. We provide high-performance materials especially modified PA to all over China and several other countries. Our materials are certificated by some authoritative organisations like UL, SGS etc, our company is also certified by ISO9001, ISO14000, etc, and we are highly praised by all our customers. Visit for more information.

TAISU INDUSTRIAL ZONE FENGXIN ROAD(LOUCUN NIUGEN AO) GUANGMING NEW DISTRICT SHENZHEN Phone: +86-0755-29625958, +86-0755-33266881, +86-0755-33266882, +86-075533266890 Fax: +86-0755-29625758 E-mail: Contact: Hunter Li ( General manager). Phone: +86 13825223306 Li Ang ( Business Manager). Phone: +86 13430720227

of very exciting products currently being launched worldwide. This includes our unique IFH (Instant Flow Heater), which is capable of bringing water to the boil from cold in around three seconds. This offers huge environmental, efficiency and cost benefits as it avoids the need to keep water warm as in many of the existing hot water dispensers that have a large tank of water held at approximately 60–80C to achieve the required dispense time. We have also created another ground-breaking product for the mother and baby market. “This totally new appliance is the result of the latest Strix control technology and was developed in association with the famous ‘Tommee Tippee’ brand. The new ‘PerfectPrep’ machine automates much of the process of preparing infant formula milk and delivers purified water at the perfect temperature for baby. It also eliminates any bacteria that may be present, and all achieved within just two minutes. “Yet another world-beating product that we will be launching in the fourth quarter of this year is our patented ‘Turbo-Toast’ machine which is capable of delivering a perfect slice of toast within 55 seconds, instead of the customary three to four. 98 Industry Europe

Hussey adds, “Interestingly, China remains the behemoth in the small appliance manufacturing sector, with over 90 per cent of all small electrical appliances made in China. We spend a great deal of time and money on new technology platforms and having developed the next innovative product, we then project-manage its progress throughout the value chain, to ensure that it gets to market on time. “As far as the future is concerned, our focus is clearly on organic growth and we have plenty of exciting new products in the pipeline. “We are committed to developing the most cost-efficient, innovative products and we are well respected in the industry as the neutral party, whose integrity and reliability is unquestionable. Strix is rather like Switzerland, in so far as we are a neutral company, and everyone wants to do business with us!”

Free-flowing innovation The quality and quantity of new, innovative products coming out of the Strix stable is remarkable and it continues to set new standards in the industry. Last year the company announced the launch of its revolutionary kettle control family: ‘KeAi’, pronounced ‘Kai’. This heralds the advent of a brand new

integrated cordless control system, which is not just physically smaller, but also has an integrated cord set and neon, which in turn allows appliances to be made more compact, without reducing their water capacity. This product also reduces the number of electrical connections involved, which improves safety and reliability yet further. Strix has also launched a new system for water filtration appliances. The Aqua Optima Anti Bacteria Filter combines multi-treatment technologies to remove over 99.9 per cent of all contaminates, which may be present in n potable mains-water supplies. For details of the Strix Group’s range of innovative products and services visit:

New ILI-Standard External Fan Series Size132-160


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

IL-Servo External Fan Series

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

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

Neue ILI-Standard Fremdlüfterreihe der Baugrößen 132-160



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

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

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

SWITCHED-ON EFFICIENCY The Everel Group is a global leader in the design and manufacture of customised user-interfaces for the appliances and automotive industries. Philip Yorke talked to Matteo Bazzaro, the company’s sales and marketing director about its latest mechantronic solutions and move into new markets.


he Everel Group has its headquarters in Verona, Italy, and is a leading global supplier of electromechanical components. Through its own well-known brands, such as Molveno, Dreefs, Giem and Signal Lux, the company offers a wide range of products in the domestic appliances sector. These include switches, selectors and encoders, electrical induction motors and heating elements, as well as signal lights, motors and heating elements. In addition, the company supplies heating and ventilation systems, cooker hoods, computer accessories and gardening equipment. Everel is also a well-established partner for the design and manufacture of customised components for major automotive brands such as BMW, Opel, Fiat and Toyota. The company has production facilities and sales companies in Gemany, France, Romania and China.

Focus on quality Quality is at the heart of everything that the company undertakes and this commitment is underpinned by its continuous programme of research and development. As a result, Everel has broadened its automotive product range and introduced its first collision warning radar, a high frequency device that is easily fitted into cars, trucks and coaches. The quality of Everel products is characterised by its attention to detail throughout the entire supply chain. Quality at Everel means

understanding changing market needs and customer requirements with the objective of achieving optimal customer satisfaction. Bazzaro said, “We have changed our value proposal. In the past we were just selling products, however today we are providing solutions and developing complete sub-assemblies in close cooperation with our clients. This means added value for our customers through the co-development of

cutting-edge products. So we are working more closely with their R&D departments and less with their procurement offices. “Today we see the development of encoders as one of our biggest potential markets and we have developed new encoder platforms, which are now embedded in our flagship products. Our latest encoders have many flexible new features that offer greater efficiency and performance.”

Bazzaro added, “We are also expanding our manufacturing capabilities especially in South America in countries such as Brazil, Equador, Chile and Columbia. However our most important market in the region at the present time is Mexico, where we are seeing strong sales and a broad expansion of our activities. Currently our prime manufacturing sites are located in Italy, Romania and Germany, but within the next few years we plan to establish manufacturing facilities in the US and Mexico. “However, our bread and butter sales come from our traditional catalogue products, which include items such as switches, encoders and heating elements. Today we are combining our electronic products with new mechatronics and LEDs. Our automotive division is also seeing strong growth where we are adding new customers and moving from a tier two supplier to a tier one supplier in many instances. “For the next two years we are focussed on organic growth but we plan to keep the door open for joint ventures or acquisitions if they present themselves. Developing our

presence in the US market is the next big step, and as a new mechatronic provider we can also offer new ideas and new more flexible product development services. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, and as a result we have significantly reduced waste and improved our production processes, which are now more efficient and consume less energy than before”.

Customised user-interfaces The Everel Group is the world’s leading provider of customised user-interfaces for the specific needs of the domestic appliance and automotive industries. It is acknowledged that household and professional users prefer to buy appliances with advanced features but still choose to opt for

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traditional user-interfaces such as knobs to quickly select a function. Today with Everel products, it is not only possible to customise the rotation of the knob, for example, torque value, fixed detent positions, momentary positions and free-rotation, but also to offer a push-button mechanism that can be added to allow the user to simply push the knob to enable a selected function. Everel also offers dual-encoder mechanisms for more complex user-interface operations, as well as a wide range of advanced features such as displays, which can be integrated into the board to show the knob position. LED lighting is also embedded into the encoder to turn the knob on when required. In another move, Everel has also developed four new PCBs for its EC brush-

less motors designed for domestic and industrial fan units. All these Everel drivers have a micro-processor built-in to manage the various advanced operating features. For its most popular SELV 12 Vac, Everel has developed a 230 Vac version, which does not rely on an external power supply, in contrast to most other brushless motors on the market. This version is specially designed to optimise the efficiency of domestic applications and air-exchange fans. Everel’s second version is suitable for motors up to 15W power on application with rear fastening. In this version, two options are available: SELV 12 and 230 Vac. n For further details of Everel’s latest innovative products and services visit:

PURSUIT OF QUALITY The Chinese company Sunner, part of the global Sunner Group, has over 10 years’ experience in the manufacture of white goods components, covering a complete range of gas cooker and oven components. Industry Europe finds out more about its activities.


ith 12 factories located in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Hong Kong and more besides, Sunner has the Chinese market for high quality oven components well and truly covered. But the company’s ambitions reach further than this: in addition to leading the domestic market, it plans to one day become the global leader in free standing and built-in cooker components. And with Asian companies increasingly recognised for their quality and reliability – as opposed to simply their competitive pricing – this is by no means an unachievable goal.

Production profile Sunner’s wide and continuously updated range of oven components has certainly gained a reputation for quality. It covers everything from door hinges, motors, mechanical timers, knobs and lampholders to adjustable legs, cast iron grids, steel grids, pipe holders and much more. New additions to the range include a turnspit, glass cover hinge supports and a micro switch. In addition to its production capacities, the company also has an in-house testing centre. Here it can carry out data identification, production design and salt fog testing, amongst other things, to ensure its components continue to meet the high standards of quality it has set itself. All production is certified according to the ISO 9001, CE, SGS, ROHS, UL and VDE standards.

A positive outlook In order to continue meeting these criteria, Sunner fosters a positive corporate culture amongst its employees with ‘Confidence, Integrity, Motivation and Innovation’ being the watchwords to success. According to the company, it is these values, combined with a strict focus on quality under the maxim ‘Quality is life’, that has enabled it to build up strong relationships with its clients. It believes this will also allow it to continue n growing its strong international reputation in the coming years.

SERBIA’S SWEET SUCCESS Two dynamic Serbian companies are building on the excellent opportunities this fast-moving, centrallylocated country has to offer to customers worldwide. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Daniel Boehi, CEO of mineral water producer Knjaz Milos and COO of confectionery manufacturer Bambi to learn more.


ith mineral water producer Knjaz Milos achieving higher profit margins than Nestlé and confectionery manufacturer Bambi one of the largest and most profitable companies in Serbia, it is clear that these two companies have a lot to offer. Daniel Boehi is CEO of Knjaz Milos and COO of Bambi; his passion for Serbia, his personal knowledge of international marketing and manufacturing, and his understanding of how to create and deliver products that consumers want to buy is a key element in these two success stories. Mr Boehi explained to Industry Europe how the unique history of both Knjaz Milos and Bambi has driven their growth. He said, “Both companies come from a long communist history in Serbia where they were owned by the state. This environment meant that while

all the equipment was very well made, it was not particularly technically-advanced. We also have a great deal of skill and experience in our workforce, gained over years of hard work that was focused on solid performance.”

Strong foundations This strong foundation proved to be an appealing prospect when investment group Salford Capital Partners bought Knjaz Milos and Bambi in 2004, alongside other Serbian state owned companies in the dairy, beverage and confectionery industries. Mr Boehi continued, “The investment group carefully selected companies that were not necessarily in perfect condition in terms of commercial performance but were well suited to restructuring and resale.”

Today, Knjaz Milos and Bambi have harnessed almost-constant investment and modernisation to ensure that it is able to offer the best of its long-term know-how alongside its thoroughly modern marketing capabilities. Mr Boehi said, “We have completed a number of phases to bring all the production capacity right up to the modern age; restructured, invested, new marketing, new procedures, new products, a new way of selling ...we are fresh and innovative while not forgetting our strong Serbian background in high quality manufacturing.” Mr Boehi clearly explained the role the former-Yugoslavian protected markets played in the history of Knjaz Milos and Bambi, and the impact this had on the companies’ understanding of how to maximise potential.

Polymer Commerce d.o.o. was established in 2008. We work with leading companies in the confectionery, dairy, ice-cream and frozen food industries, including: Bambi-Banat AD Pozarevac; Imlek AD Beograd; AD Mlekara Subotica; Frikom AD Beograd; Niska Mlekara AD; Kuc Company Ltd and Mlekoprodukt Zrenjanin. Our products are made from PS, PET and PVC, depending on customer needs. Our current portfolio includes more than 50 different types of containers and closures. Our vision is to meet the needs of the Serbian market, and exports, in compliance with all relevant environmental regulations. Polimer Commerce D.o.o. Prvomajska 4/a, Plandiste, Serbia

He said, “Eastern European markets were very protected, with the market share of these companies very high, but they had never learned how to fight when competition came along as they hadn’t needed to. Over the past ten years, everything has changed; companies have tried to modernise, to keep their high

market share. But unless they’ve been totally open-minded about turning themselves around to be able to effectively compete with global giants like Nestle and Mondelez, they fail.” Failure was never an option for Knjaz Milos and Bambi. With the former founded in 1811 and the latter in 1989 and with a combined

turnover of €147m, both companies were committed to succeeding in the new market. Mr Boehi continued, “We are still local but we’re fighting against big players, large conglomerates...and we’re winning. We have an incredibly strong market locally and across South East Europe, where we’re the leading

player in Greece, Romania, most formerYugoslavian countries. We’ve got excellent growth potential too – we’ve defined our success and we can repeat it.”

Home of Plazma! The product portfolios of Knjaz Milos and Bambi are also key to this impressive achievement. Knjaz Milos produces mineral water, carbonated soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages and, in December 2006, was the first Serbian company to obtain an ISO 22000 certification for food safety. Bambi produces biscuits and chocolates, including the famous Plazma biscuits. Mr Boehi explained

more about Bambi’s smart strategy. He said, “We produce confectionery that is very like the world’s leading brands, but made to suit local palettes and pockets. For the vast majority of large conglomerates in our markets, their products are sold locally at a high premium as they are not produced locally. But Bambi manufactures everything here in Serbia, using our excellent facilities and highly experienced workforce – we are very good and squeezing the potential out of our equipment so that we can produce a high quality at a low price.” The clever thinking employed by Bambi to push its highly successful Plazma biscuit brand is set to play an important role in the com-

pany’s future growth. Mr Boehi explained how this simple, tasty sweet biscuit is firmly in the hearts of Serbian people, with Bambi working hard to deliver Plazma in new formats. Mr Boehi added, “We are keen to find co-partners to help utilise this exciting opportunity. We’re working on new packaging formats and new ways to present Plazma – in spreads, crumbles, milkshakes...everyone loves Plazma!” Both Knjaz Milos and Bambi are enjoying phenomenal growth in export markets, with every third dollar the company makes coming from outside Serbia. Added to is continuing strong performance locally, it is a recipe for n certain success.

Gostol’s bakery line in Slovenia

GOSTOL’S BAKERY SOLUTIONS Mr Matjaž Kompara, managing director of Gostol – Gopan d.o.o., Nova Gorica, Slovenija shares his views on the future of his company, one of the highly respected names in the bakery industry. Vanja Švačko reports.


lthough founded in 1992, Gostol has a long tradition of machine building and casting, which started already in 1947. Today the company develops and manufactures equipment for the baking industries and is owned by joint-stock company Gopek d.d. The headquarter and the main production facility, with 200 employees, is located in Slovenia, while the other one, where some parts are manufactured, is in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The long lifespan industrial bakery equipment is sold under the brand name “Gostol”. It includes equipment for dough preparing, dough dividing, dough moulding, and equipment for fermentation, baking, cooling and equipment, performed with robot solutions. The company offers complete solutions for producing bread and bread products in medium and large sized industrial bakeries.

Gostol’s bakery line in Romania

Mr Kompara says, “Customers usually come to us with the specification of bread or bread products and the exact production capacity, they would like to achieve in their bakery. We offer them the benefit of our experience from the initial idea for the project to its realization, establishing a brand new bakery production line with sturdy constructed bakery equipment. More than 90 per cent of our turnover is realized with such projects.”

Gostol’s bakery line in Ukraine

Gostol’s bakery line in Malta

Gostol’s bakery line in Russia

Gostol’s bakery line in Romania

In search of complete solutions

“Highlights of last year’s R&D are two great novelties. The first one is a robotised composition for dough preparation “Robomix”. Its flexibility allows the use of different technological procedures of dough preparation, taking into account all the technological requirements written in the product recipe. There are other high-quality features such as regulation of temperature and moisture of the pre-dough and dough, easier maintenance of equipment etc. “The second one is the bakery equipment for vacuum depanning and tin bread moving, for capacities up to 5.500 kg/h. The main advantage of the device is that machine can handle different kind of bread, which are performed with different bread surfaces, and different kind of seeds,” explains Mr Kompara.

The company also offers complete client’s support, starting from; proposing the most optimal solution for bakery production, continuing with equipment construction, bakery equipment production, assembling, delivery and putting into operation and finally with training of operational staff. Gostol – Gopan d.o.o. stays in on line contact with customers for after sales support and delivery of spare parts.

Complete solution is the key attribute that distinguishes Gostol - Gopan d.o.o. as a reliable supplier on today’s rapidly changable market. In its search for the combination of energy saving and good quality construction, the company came up with new generation of cyclothermic tunnel baking oven type TPN. It is functional, easy to control, requires low maintenance and a great energy saver. A lot of research has also been done on industrial dough dividers which are crucial machines in the entire bakery line. In an attempt to offer optimal solutions, the company uses many experiences. They are gathered from different markets and regions, where the production technologies, or bread types, usually vary.

Market expansion At Gostol they are aware of great challenges for future in the bakery business. Proactive investments policy is one of the strategies to meet modern market demands. “Last year we worked to renovate the production facilities, to organise and centralise the main storage and to ensure better

Gostol’s bakery line in Belgium Industry Europe 113

Gostol – Gopan d.o.o. facility in Nova Gorica, Slovenia

working conditions for our personnel”, states Mr Kompara. Building a long lasting partnership with renomated suppliers like Weishaupt, Lenze, SKF, Danfoss, Eaton, Rittal etc. is another strategic advantage in providing clients with reliable equipment and competent after sale services. Gostol – Gopan d.o.o. Nova Gorica expands its activities globally. Gostol has a representative office in Ukraine, three subsidiaries; in Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, a joint venture company in India,

Gostol’s bakery line in Romania

as well as a number of European agents and dealers. The main markets are Russia, Ukraine, Slovenia, Belgium, Norway, Romania, Moldova, Italy, Finland and USA. “We have started working intensively on the US market,” claims Mr Kompara. “Investors are looking for high-quality, energy saving and fully automatic industrial bakery equipment. The Cyclothermic tunnel baking oven of the new generation is already in production in US. There are other potential markets for Gostol such as South Africa and India, where our equipment is already in pro-

duction in bakeries; and Middle East, where we have already started important activities to build a sales network.”

Attributes of success Gostol – Gopan d.o.o. Nova Gorica recognises the increased potential market share, while bakery trends are changing nowadays and Gostol equipment fits with market needs. The company focuses on its proven formula for success which includes continual R&D with a goal to offer complete and customized bakery solutions. Many decades of market

Gostol’s bakery line in Russia

experience are giving to the company and its employees motivation to be one of the leading suppliers of industrial bakery equipment. Mr Kompara concludes, “A fast growing population is changing its daily nutrition habits and people want to consume fresh, healthy, tasty bread or other types of bakery products. As a supplier of industrial bakery equipment, we have to exercise flexibility in following the trends, standards and requirements for industrial bakery equipment in order, to satisfy the final consumer. We believe this is one of the greatest challenge for the bakery business overall, as well as n for our company in particular.” Gostol-Gopan d.o.o. Nova Gorica Prvomajska 37, SI-5000 Nova Gorica, Slovenia - Tel: + 386 5 330 71 00 |

LEADING THE WINE MARKET IN POLAND Established in 1976, but operating under its current manufacturing and business identity since 1992, Jantoń Group of Poland is considered to be the most dynamic distributor and wholesaler of wines in the country. Piotr Sadowski writes for ‘Industry Europe’.

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oday, after a number of transformations and ongoing investments, the Janton Group is made up of a number of companies, with Jantoń S.A. SPK being the key entity in the Group and also the largest wine manufacturer in Poland. “Our second company, Jantoń Distribution Ltd, operates through a network of wholesale points and has many clients, particularly in Central and South-Eastern Poland,” explains Jacek Jantoń, chief executive and president of the board. “Over the years we have been investing heavily in our capacity, including launching our own bottling facility and winery in Dobroń in 1995. This was followed by the launch of an upgraded bottling unit in 1999, equipped with new technological lines. In 2007 we moved the offices to Dobroń and also opened a new storage facility for ready products.” Thanks to ongoing growth, Jantoń S.A. SPK is also one of Poland’s most dynamic importers of wine, in bottles, but mostly in bulk quantities, from both the Old and New Worlds. Thus the company’s customers are able to select from wines from France, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Australia, the US, South Africa, Chile and Argentina. “We also have a small internet and fixed shop, VINORAMA Ltd, which is a distributor of boutique and more expensive wines,” points out Mr Jantoń. “Looking at our market position, Jantoń S.A. SPK is the third biggest market player of its kind in Poland,

with annual sales of PLN 170 million and around 160 staff. Jantoń Distribution Ltd has a turnover of over PLN 200 million and employs a similar number of people.

Taking the lead As Mr Jantoń points out, the fact that the wine market is so differentiated in Poland is very much the result of the pro-activeness of his company. Year-on-year, Jantoń has been launching new products, thus taking the lead in providing Polish consumers with a wide selection of wines. “The market has been appreciative of this and over the years we have won many different awards,” says the group’s chief executive. “Most recently, the Competition of the Polish Wine Council awarded four awards, each in their own respective market category, and Jantoń won two of those: one for our Hunter (“Zbójeckie”) Mulled Wine; and the other for the Argentinean wine Celebro, bottled by Jantoń S.A. SPK. We have also received numerous recognitions as a company, including every year the ‘Fair Play Company’ title, the Business Gazelles titles several times, just to mention a few. We also have all the key quality management certificates, ISO 9001, HACCP, ISO 22000, BRC and IFS.”

Focus on investments Jantoń Group’s dynamic growth has been achieved through ongoing expansion and investments, both in its facilities, but also Industry Europe 117

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in its human resources. Two major recent investments are certainly worth mentioning. The first one has been the launch of a brand new high-level storage facility for 4,000 pallets, fitted with automated pallet-movement systems, which is a highly innovative technological improvement. The second most recent investment is the modernisation of two new technological lines. Together these projects are worth PLN 5 million. Jantoń Group is also investing as a socially-responsible business in a number of sports-based initiatives – these include a female basketball team, a local youth football team, as well as horse-drawn carriage sports. “For me personally, but also for the wider management team, it is very important to be a socially-responsible corporate organisation, to be able to give something back to the community,” says Mr Jantoń. “We also publicise our sponsoring activities and our operations in general through various media channels, including the trade and general press and the Internet. It is an important way for promoting Jantoń Group as when you are working in the alcohol business the possibility to advertise is limited by various legislations and rules.”

Distribution in Poland and across export markets Jantoń S.A. SPK cooperates with all major wholesale (Makro, Selgross and others) and retail networks in the country (all of the largescale retail networks), with 90 per cent of distribution going to Poland and 10 per cent to foreign customers. “Export activities are very new for us, as only two years ago turnover from foreign sales was around 2 per cent,” explains Mr Jantoń. “Today we work with Lithuania and Latvia, where we sell economy products, as well as Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland and Japan, where we distribute organic wine made from aronia berries. We are looking to expand to new markets, which is the responsibility of our dedicated export department.” In the near future Jantoń Group will focus on two main strategies for growth; the production company, Jantoń S.A. SPK will increase its scope of operations through organic expansion, further investments as well as purchases of more brands of wine from across the world. Jantoń Distribution Ltd, while growing organically, will also be engaged in various acquisitions, depending on whether they are appropriate to the overall growth strategy of the entire Group. n Industry Europe 119

HEAVY-DUTY PRECISION Sisu Axles is a global leader in the design and manufacture of heavy-duty planetary reduction axles. Philip Yorke talked to Jouni Teppo, the company’s managing director about its latest niche market products and move into new markets.

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ounded in Finland over 80 years ago, Sisu Axles has its roots in the Finnish truck, military and special vehicle industry. Working in close cooperation with Sisu Trucks of Finland the company has created a unique knowledge base that extends beyond vehicle axle technology. Today Sisu Axles is owned by Marmon Highway Technologies (MHT), a Berkshire Hathaway company, which serves the global heavy transport industry. Sisu Axles is based in Hämeenlinna, Southern Finland and its specialized products are employed in heavy-duty vehicles working in extreme environments worldwide. The company serves customers that are niche market suppliers rather than those making products for high-volume vehicle manufacturing. Sisu Axles provides solutions that are tailor-made to meet individual terrain challenges, whether its for steer drive, multiaxle rear axles or steer non-drive axles.

In addition, Sisu produces axles for special purpose vehicles such as those designed for military and industrial applications. In 2013 the company produced over 5,000 heavy-duty axles and recorded sales of around €30 million.

Tailor-made solutions Sisu Axles is a true solutions provider and driven by the specialized requirements of its customers. The company’s solutions are available worldwide and are supported by its experienced R&D team in Finland and by its extensive spares department with its high availability which minimizes the risk of vehicles down-time. Sisu Axles is unique in that it can assist customers to equip their vehicle with axle systems that they will not find anywhere else. Teppo says, “We remain a very flexible independent company as an autonomous business unit of the MHT Group which

operates a well proven decentralised system. We are structured to provide dedicated customer services through our two divisions: Sisu Axles OEM, which is involved in axle engineering, manufacture and assembly, and Sisu Aftermarket Services, which operates at a different location and focuses on technical support, marketing and after-sales services. “Until recently we had our own machine workshop, which now operates as a privately owned company and much of our machining is outsourced to the new company called Sisu Worx. We have an extensive, experienced and dedicated supplier base to support our specialized business. We have our own engineering team and our products are based entirely on our own design and engineering expertise and capabilities. “Among our key customers Patria, Sisu Trucks & Cargotec are related to the former

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Sisu Corporation and we serve three main areas of activity: Defence, Heavy-duty Trucks and Tractors for the shipping container industry. We work with many big global OEMs such as Kenworth, Western Star, Peterbilt and Ginaf. Of course Marmon-Herrington is also a big customer of ours and we work closely with them to serve our clients in the North American market. We are unique in terms of our size and spread of market, which we serve with our highly dedicated team of sales engineers.”

Company, an MHT company that is based in Louisville, Kentucky. At the time of the acquisition, MHT President Kelly Dier said, “Sisu Axles is a great match for our organisation. Like other MHT companies, Sisu Axles serves niche markets that require highly engineered designs. The strongest attraction for us however, was the existing management team, which has earned a stellar reputation for combining innovative, practical products with responsive, flexible services.”

Market leaders

Dedicated customer support

Two years ago Sisu Axles was acquired by Marmon Highway Technologies, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, which serves the global heavy-duty transportation industry. MHT is a global market leader in its chosen disciplines and offers a broad range of innovative components and assemblies throughout its diverse product portfolio. Sisu Axles offers perfect synergy with the MHT heavy engineering companies and continues to benefit from its international connections and advanced engineering expertise. Today Sisu Axles develops and manufactures a wide range of exceptionally rugged and durable planetary-drive axles and related aftermarket parts. In the North American market, Sisu Axles’ products are sold and serviced exclusively by the Marmon-Herrington

Sisu Axles’ on-going success is not just based upon its innovative, heavy duty products and solutions. Since its foundation, the company has placed a high priority on its close collaboration with customers and providing them with unrivalled service and support. Sisu offers expert advice on the use, maintenance and repair of its axles as well as a full trouble-shooting and testing service. Sisu customers also benefit from a 24/7 customer support portal and a fair and prompt warranty administration service. Sisu Axles also provides original spare parts with guaranteed availability, which is backed up by an express delivery service to avoid any potential down-time. Customers are also provided with clear and comprehensive maintenance and spare parts manuals

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at the time of purchase. In line with all MHT companies, Sisu is dedicated to delivering the best products, and providing optimal service and support, as well as investing in new technologies for the benefit of its customers. n For more information, visit:

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


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

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

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

Decades of expertise The Italian factory started its activity in 1963 as FAI, when it was set up in the Vicenza area by G. Bettanin, a local entrepreneur. The company carried on growing until the end of the 1980s, when there was the first contact with Japanese giant Komatsu, which was very interested in acquiring a factory for production of utility excavators in Europe. The collaboration between the two companies became increasingly close until there was an outright acquisition in 1996 and Komatsu Utility Europe was born. Komatsu Italia Manufacturing is strongly rooted in the Veneto region of north-eastern Italy. Its legal office is in the Vicenza area -Noventa Vicentina- and its head office and plant in Este -near Padua. “Today we have 360 employees and an production capacity of 10,000 machines a year,” said Mr Prandini. “Our production peak was in 2007, when we reached a total output

of 12,000 machines. Obviously with the economic downturn of the last few years there has been a decrease in production levels, as in the number of employees. Nevertheless, we are now growing every year and we expect to reach an output of 4500 machines by the end of 2014.” Komatsu Italia Manufacturing only deals with production for European markets, because the Brussels-based European organisation takes care of product distribution. Research and development is conducted at different levels: global, regional and local. While the global organisation plays an important role in terms of coordination and has an R&D centre in Japan, and Komatsu Europe has facilities in Germany, the Italian operation also has its own R&D department. Carrying out research and development is vital to its work, as its products are continuously evolving, especially to comply with new emissions requirements at European and global level. “We have recently launched two very important new hydraulic excavators, of which we are the sole producers outside of Japan: the PC170LC and PC138US. They are both traditional excavators but of a higher dimen-

sional class than those which we traditionally manufactured. The former has an operating weight ranging from 17.280kg to 17.940kg and increased net-horse power, while the latter is designed with an ultra-short tail swing to meet the challenges of work in confined areas. It offers exceptional stability and has an operating weight ranging from 13.700kg to 14.870kg. Both models feature low consumption, environmental friendliness, total versatility, low noise design and the highest safety standards, amongst other characteristics.”

Flexibility, innovation and high-quality “Our R&D department is very active and our range will significantly grow in the next two to three years, when we will present other innovative products,” Mr Prandini revealed. “Our mid-term plan, which has recently been approved, outlines investments in production technology, resulting in a new production line and possibly, if there is a positive market response, in structural investments.” The market segments served are earthmoving and construction, plus some niche sectors, such as demolition, defence, civil defence and non industrial earth-moving.

Via Liutai 1, 40050 Castello d’Argile (Bologna) - Italy Phone: +39 051 6868611 | Fax: +39 051 6868620

Borghi Impianti Oleodinamici belongs to the Borghi Group which is a group of companies that thanks to the high know-how and experience is an ideal partner to design and produce tubes, hoses and fittings for hydraulic system in according to the severe OEM’s technical and quality requirements, in Automotive and Industrial applications. All Borghi products are made internally. Borghi Impianti Oleodinamici SpA, established in 1960 by its founder Mr Oliviero Borghi, is the company leader in design and production of bent rigid tubes for Industrial Application, EarthMoving, Construction Equipment, renewable energy.

The products manufactured are not supplied directly to the final customers, as the widespread Komatsu network of distributors plays this intermediary role. “Europe is our main outlet market, generating 70 per cent of turnover, although we experience drastically different demand levels according to the country,” said Mr Prandini. “Generally southern Europe is suffering, central and northern European countries vary from a slight decrease in demand to showing signs of recovery, but eastern Europe is doing very well, thanks to the fact that there there is a need to complete smaller or residential infrastructure projects, which requires the size of machinery that we produce. “Similarly, outside Europe we fare well in all the markets where there is a shift from manual to automated work and/or where utility or midi-machines are required for

smaller projects. Significant outlet markets are Australia, South-Africa, Turkey, Egypt and Gabon. Russia is also a fundamental market for us, which we follow directly, as it is outside the scope of our European organisation. We are also strong in countries where there is a need for infrastructural work but where this is carried out by small construction companies which do not utilise larger machinery in their work. Examples of these are Angola, north Africa and some south African countries, as well as some Asian markets.”

Growth expectations Future geographical development will depend on the group’s strategy. “We are obviously happy to manufacture for any market selected by our group,” said Mr Prandini. “I expect growth in Africa, following on Komatsu Global’s

Hydraulic cylinders. FAROIL is a company with a strong industrial vocation, which has rapidly grown at international level. The company, achieving a high level of success, thanks to the attention that it has always paid to customers’ specific requirements and their products. In this way, it has established efficient co-design partnerships for continuous product improvement. FAROIL still wholly designs and manufactures its products in Italy. This has ensured a continuous growth, first in the agricultural field and then in the industrial sector, where FAROIL is a well-established player, trusted by all the leading European manufacturers, which use its products. Tel: 0039 0376 527580 | E-mail: |

footsteps , particularly in Kenya and neighbouring countries. What I think is important for us as Komatsu Italia Manufacturing is consolidating our recovery in all the markets where we used to have very high volumes.” For the future Komatsu Italia Manufacturing will concentrate on producing machines which offer high quality, high performance and good value for money. “We are very much part of the global strategy of the group and must optimise our production flexibility to fulfil its requirements,” said Mr Prandini. “I think that we have delivered on this and that this is the reason why we have been asked to manufacture the two midi models described earlier. The advantage of being part of a strong Japanese group is their long-term vision, thanks to which we have never stopped investing in innovation, not even at the worst times of the recent recession. While keeping our Italian roots, we have totally adopted the Japanese production philosophy, which I consider to be the best in the world.” Being an innovative and flexible production site manufacturing high-quality Komatsu products is the real added value of the Italian company, which in line with the rest of the group presents a top of the range offering. The company holds all the certifications required in its industry in terms of quality and environmental sustainability (ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001). Being totally in line with the Japanese vision, the company welcomes visits from customers, allowing them to view the site and the n production process.

HEAVY-DUTY EXPERTISE Conquest Offshore BV is a leading Dutch specialist in the provision of heavy-lift equipment for operations involving onshore, offshore and near-shore marine projects. Philip Yorke talked to Floris Bomers, the company’s operations manager about the complex role it played in the re-floating of the stricken Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia and its strategy to expand its marine operations.

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onquest Offshore BV was formed as the result of a joint venture between Concordia Offshore, Paul van Es Holding and Zwaggerman Offshore Services to provide exceptional offshore heavy-lift services. The participating partners have a long and proven track record of success in the marine and offshore industry. Together the companies have united to form a strong and unrivalled coalition that offers a unique product portfolio and extended range of marine services. Today Conquest offshore is leading the world in the development and supply of heavy-duty crane barges, and is capitalising on the growing demand for very large offshore barges with exceptional heavy-lift capabilities. The all-new MB1 Conquest multi-purpose barge is specifically designed for year-round operation in harsh marine environments and is in full compliance with UK, Dutch and Danish operating regulations.

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As part of the well-known Concordia Group, the company benefits from its expertise in the building of pontoons, seagoing ships, accommodation vessels and mobile offshore units. Conquest Offshore also inherits Concordia’s culture of innovative thinking and an open-minded approach to complex turnkey marine projects.

Unique capabilities Conquest’s unique multi-purpose crane barge sets new standards in efficiency and offers a wide variety of heavy-lift capabilities. The new crane barge offers exceptional working characteristics due to the many special features built-in to its advanced design. For example the crane has a movable foundation placed on deck with 32 specially designed clamps with elastic damping and it also has a unique dynamic load system. Bomers said, “Since we were founded in 2012 to meet the growing global demand

for highly specialised heavy-lift crane barges, we have seen a steady increase in the demand for our heavy-lift equipment and services. In 2014 we joined the major marine league when we were selected to help re-float the stricken Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia. In cooperation with a large group of international marine companies, we installed the sponsons to re-float the Costa Concordia. Our unique crane vessel accommodates 60 people and is characterised by its 1,400 ton full revolving crane and its huge deck area. “This high profile project has provided us with a big PR coup and we performed our role excellently which helped to significantly speed up the re-floating process, thus eliminating the risk of expensive delays. We installed 19 special sponsons along the side of the Italian vessel, and now our MB1 Crane Barge is on stand-by awaiting further instructions. Our MB1 crane barge was also

MirTac MirTac is a no-nonsense consultancy firm with a vast background in the maritime industry and leading provider of the StarIPS fleet management software developed by SIS Marine. The software is used onboard vessels, heavy-lift barges, maritime offices, assets and rigs worldwide, linking them seamlessly. MirTac specializes in: • Consultancy and Analysis of Fleet Management • Redesign and Organization of processes such as Maintenance, Quality Assurance, Safety, Crew, Admin onboard • Translating customer practice with all available data into a proven and effective IT backbone, Star IPS Customers such as Conquest Offshore claim MirTac to excel in comprehensive knowledge of fleet operations. Combined effort and teamwork with customers lead to increased efficiency, less downtime, compliance with regulations, transparency and a highly professional organisation. Some references: Jumbo Shipping, Jack-Up Barge, Anthony Veder, Fugro, JR Shipping, RollDock, Scaldis…

involved in another high profile project in the UK recently when we laid a series of large concrete mats in the Thames estuary. “We are also expanding our range of marine services to include the salvage and de-commissioning of older offshore drilling platforms in the North Sea, as well as in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Persian Gulf. We are well placed to serve this market and it complements our other offshore services such as the installation of wind turbines and other heavy-lift activities. In addition to our sister companies, we work with other specialist marine companies,such as Zwagerman International, the Concordia Group, Jack-Up Barge BV, the Rotterdam Offshore group, Holland Shipyards BV and The Offshore Partners BV, which allows us to offer our customers the most comprehensive and cost-effective range of state-of-theart marine facilities and services”.

spare part inventories. In addition, it will streamline the company’s document control, safety and environmental procedures. MirTac’s proven track record in the offshore industry will further enhance Conquest’s fleet management system and will reduce down time, as well as supporting the barge master with detailed instructions and ready-to-use procedures on board. Barend Tooten, the managing director of MirTac said, “The Conquest MB1 multi-purpose crane can install wind turbine foundations as well as play a part in transporting

and unloading heavy equipment. We are proud to support Conquest in their day-today operations.” Bomers added, “There is a large market out there in logistics and installation work for the wind turbine industry as well as for other maritime work such as decommissioning, which requires the unrivalled mobility and capacity that our unique facilities can offer. The acquisition of MirTac’s star software will enhance our services across the board and benefit our customers through increased n efficiency and cost savings”

New fleet management system Earlier this year Conquest Offshore purchased Star software and related database implementations services with maritime consultancy firm MirTac. This cutting-edge software will assist Conquest Offshore with its management of efficient maintenance planning, inspections, procurement and Industry Europe 131

Ever since it found a way to turn carbon into synthetic diamonds 60 years ago, Avure has been using high pressure technology to produce innovative and costeffective solutions for metal processing and forming. Peter Mercer reports.



or nearly six decades engineers and scientists at Avure Technologies have led the world in the design and construction of high pressure processing systems to meet the needs of many industries. The company’s isostatic processing equipment has opened up a whole new world of possibilities in metallurgy and ceramics and its Flexform sheet metal forming systems have enabled customers to create complex shapes while saving up to 90 per cent in tooling costs as well as significant savings in man hours thanks to a reduction in the need for grinding / manual correction. Its high pressure technology has also been extended to the pasteurisation of food products such as seafood, vegetables and beverages. Avure’s history goes back to the mid-1950s when the Swedish electrical power company ASEA began to commercialise isostatic pres-

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sure technology. In fact, ASEA was one of hte first companies in the world to create systems to produce synthetic industrial diamonds, employing pressures of nearly 1 million psi. In the 1960s it introduced isostatic presses and Flexform sheet metal forming presses to the industrial market and these were further developed when ASEA became part of Sweden’s ABB. In 1999 the high pressure business unit of ABB was acquired by Flow International of the USA who subsequently took forward the expansion of its high pressure technology into the food preservation market under the Avure brand. In 2009 Avure Technologies was sold to the privately-owned US company Milestone Partners. Then, in 2013, the company was divided into two stand-alone divisions – Avure Food, headquartered in Middleton, Ohio, and Avure Industry, headquartered in Vasteras, Sweden, where 90 per cent of current indus-

trial production and assembly takes place. Avure Industry also has a facility in Columbus, Ohio, which takes care of projects in the North and South America regions and customer serivce for North and South America. Today Avure Industry is focused on two high pressure technologies – isostatic presses for advanced material densification and Flexform presses for sheet metal forming.

QUINTUS “After it had successfully developed systems that could withstand the huge pressures required to transform carbon into industrial diamonds, ASEA realised that the same technology could be used to compress other metallic or ceramic powders. The problem, however, was how to ensure the safety and reliability of containment systems with pressures of 1 million psi that would be in regular

industrial use,” explains Avure Industry Sales and Business development Director Mats Sjostedt. “The solution was the development in the early 1960s of the QUINTUS wirewound pressure vessel, which is still considered to be the safest and most reliable pressure containment system ever designed.” QUINTUS wire-wound vessels combine unmatched strength with a light, compact structure. Unlike conventional forged steel mono-block vessels they are pre-stressed and wound completely with high tensile cold-rolled spring steel ribbon. Pre-stressing causes the forged steel vessel wall to remain in residual compression even when subjected to maximum loads and the wire winding is not only much stronger than forged steel but more layers of wire can always be added to increase the strength. QUINTUS wire-wound vessels are typically half the weight of conventional presses and will leak before they break, so avoiding the catastrophic failures that can occur with mono-block vessels and the frequent and expensive inspection procedures that are required to prevent such failures. They also have a working life that is typically twenty times that of conventional designs.

Material densification Avure’s Hot Isostatic Pressing systems (HIP) use compressed high pressure gas to produce parts that have excellent isotropic material properties and show the highest possible density of all available compaction methods. HIP Castings presses are widely used to completely remove internal porosity in castings. The HIP-ing of casted parts results in parts with a better fatigue and strength and provides more uniform properties in various metals such as aluminium, titanium, nickel-based super alloys and stainless steel. Hip’s unique ability to densify castings

is crucial to the production of components such as turbine blades, joint implants and engine parts. The removal of potential initiators of failure, such as shrinkage defects, pores and voids, significantly improves the strength and durability of cast components. The use of HIP also widens the range of titanium alloy compositions possible for castings in comparison with wrought systems. Significant cost savings can also be achieved with investment casting and HIP in comparison to machining parts from solid. “Avure’s material densification systems are widely used for refining castings in the aerospace, automotive, bio-medical, energy and consumer electronics industries,” says Mats Sjostedt. “In essence you put a cast part into a hot isostatic press and all the cracks and other defects just disappear, resulting in parts with highly accurate tolerances and very long lifetimes. A critical advantage of HIP is that parts for aircraft or automobiles, for example, no longer have to be over-designed to ensure their strength, which means they can weigh less and cost less. Reducing weight is essential in new-generation, fuel-efficient airplanes and with an estimated 35,000 new airplanes required by 2035 and 137,000 engines the potential demand for Avure’s HIP casting systems in immense. “In the automotive industry too the drive towards reducing the weight of cars and trucks means increasing use of aluminium parts. But aluminium is a low viscosity metal and it is easy to get cracks in castings. With HIP, defect-free aluminium castings can be guaranteed for critical applications such as engine blocks and costs reduced thanks to much lower scrap rates. And in the energy industry the expansion of deep-sea oilfields and the likely demand for up to 500 new nuclear reactors over the next 20 years will

also drive the increase in demand for our HIP systems.” Avure’s HIP technology is also widely used in powder metallurgy. The hot isostatic pressing of encapsulated powder metals produces net or near net shape parts with special particle properties. HIP treated PM parts are isotropic and deliver significant savings in materials and lead times compared to wrought components. HIP also enhances the versatility and design flexibility inherent in powder metallurgy by allowing, for example, freedom in chemical composition, particle size, distribution, form and even permitting graded structures. HIP PM parts are increasingly used in the oil and gas producing industries for valves, pumps and drilling components, where they reduce the need for costly frequent inspections, and as components for solar panels, electrodes for steel production and, of course, in the aerospace industry. The technology is also critical to the fast-growing 3D Printing industry, where parts such as hip implants need to be structurally perfect.

Flexform Avure’s solutions for metal forming are centred on its Flexform fluid cell forming system. Introduced by ASEA in the 1960s, Flexform employs a soft rubber diaphragm filled with highly pressurised fluid to press flat metal blanks uniformly into and around a lower tool half, which can be a punch or die. It is a highly versatile solution for manufacturing highly defined prototype components, particularly in industries where speed and lower costs are crucial in reducing time-to-market and staying globally competitive. Flexform is also ideal for low volume parts production. Today Avure is the leading fluid cell press supplier to the aerospace industry, with Industry Europe 133

more than 100 Flexform systems in operation at the plants of major aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna, Embraer, Alenia, BAE Systems, EADS and Mitsubishi. The aerospace industry began using fluid cell pressing more than 50 years ago as a replacement for the rubber pad forming technique that had been in use as an economical method of forming sheet metal parts since the advent of metal aircraft (multi-piece metal tooling was too expensive for the small volume of aircraft parts). The advantages offered by Flexforming include better part definition and more complex shapes thanks to the higher forming pressure, deeper and more intricate shapes, better productivity and larger parts. At high pressure, parts can also be formed to their final shape in one forming operation, eliminating the need for downstream manual corrections. Testimony to these advantages is offered by J.J Rousse, of the French aerospace company Daher-Socata: “For many parts, hand correction of incompletely-formed shapes has been completely eliminated. Even very large parts can now be formed to tolerance in a single pressing. We have documented cost savings of 25 to 42 per cent on sampled parts thanks to fewer required cycles and reduced manual rework”. 134 Industry Europe

“Ninety per cent of our sheet metal forming equipment business is concerned with the production of structural aluminium parts for the aerospace industry,” explains Mats Sjostedt. “There can be as many as 7000 different such parts in each aircraft and our Flexform systems are ideal for their costeffective low volume (2000 to 3000 units per year) production.” The latest orders for Avure’s fluid cell presses include a hydroform deep-draw press for Kale Pratt & Whitney, the joint venture between Pratt & Whitney of the USA and Kale Holding of Turkey. The press will enable the Turkish facility to produce high quality sheet metal engine components with great accuracy, repeatability and lower costs. A new Avure high pressure fluid cell press has also just been installed at the Ohio plant of Jones Metal Products Co; it will provide JMP with economical parts-forming solutions to customers in industries such as aerospace, defence, medical, rail, lighting and power generation where there is zero margin for error. Avure offers application support in the form of training courses and tool design consultancy services in order to help its customers get the best result from the Flexform process. This also helps them to understand where they can make improvements in their

businesses, focusing on the complete process from determination of materials blank to the final pressed part.

Auto applications Flexform is also widely used in the automotive industry for fast, low-cost prototyping, validating tools and parts and saving time in new model development. And although auto-making, unlike aerospace, typically involves very high volumes, there are parts of the industry where Flexform is the preferred method for parts production too. These include limited edition cars, buses, trucks and farm and construction equipment. Formed automotive components include bumpers, doors, bonnets, roof and floor panels, pillars and support beams. In fact in the auto industry, Flexform is considered to be economically viable for parts with production volumes up to several thousand parts per year, Avure has supplied Flexform solutions for decades to major auto OEMs such as Ford, Daimler-Benz, Volvo, BMW, GAZ and Saab.

Total service Over nearly six decades Avure engineers have installed high pressure systems for customers worldwide, with many of these presses

LPL Scandinavia was established for demands from Scandinavian clients. We are a member of the LPL Group, which is a medium sized Germany based project forwarder. With our head office in Germany along with an established network of own offices and experienced international cooperation partners, which has been set up over many years, LPL Scandinavia is a competent partner for the entire range of project logistics. We are focused on traffic between Scandinavia to worldwide destinations v.v. and cross trades. First class service through passion, dynamism, reliability and transparency in planning and implementation are the hallmarks of all products form our company. LPL Scandianvia offers:

being in service for more than 40 years and with some exceeding one million cycles under high pressure. To keep all these units in peak operating condition, the company employs a full-time team to provide global technical support. These experts can identify and correct any abnormalities in the pressure system that might compromise safety or operating efficiency and ensure that customers’ systems keep working like new. “Our service offer begins from the moment a unit is ordered,” says Mats Sjostedt. “We understand that each customer has a need to produce a specific part and so we don’t just sell them a machine but use our wealth of experience and knowledge to help them find the optimum solution; we then follow through with expert installation, machine set-up and continuous staff training as well as our equipment, services (including spare parts, service engineers, inspections and trouble shooting) and application support. This is then backed up by preventative maintenance, high quality service, efficient parts inventory and continual system improvement. “Global leaders are defined by their track record and in the demanding business of ultra-high pressure systems, Avure’s record n is second to none.”

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Logistics consulting Solution design Route surveys Feasibility checks Loading surveys Cost control Project management Seafreight (Chartering, H/L, FCL + LCL, Breakbulk, RoRo) Road transportation (Standard, ODC & H/L, Barging) Airfreight (incl. Charter) Warehousing and distribution Seaworthy packing, Industrial packing Erection and installation Customs clearance Full documentation services

For further information, visit our new website at:

LPL Scandinavia GmbH, Contrescarpe 45, 28195 Bremen T: +49 (0)421 34978-0 | F: +49 (0)40 236481-260 | E:

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ADVANCED FASTENERS Gawel Zaklad Produkcji Srub (GZPS) is Poland’s leading producer of screws. Almost all its output is based on non-standard products, manufactured according to the customers’ specification. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.


ZPS [Gawel Screw Production Plant] is an innovative Polish company established in 1983 by Wieslaw Gawel. As a family business with a long tradition, it ensures that its products are always of the highest quality. The company’s headquarters are located in Palikówka, Poland. The hi-tech manufacturing of fasteners such as wood, metal and plastic screws is the company’s key area of expertise. “We are focused on individual orders, which allows us to fully meet the needs of our customers,” says Tomasz Gawel, the company’s co-owner and president.

Constant development At the very beginning of its activities in 1983, GZPS was processing metals for the construction industry. In 1991 it decided

to concentrate on the production of fixing elements. In 1993, in order to extend its production capabilities and increase its range of services, a line for galvanic coatings was installed. A heat and galvanic treatment department was also created. Since then the company has seen dynamic growth and development. Over the years, it has constantly implemented new products and has become a leader in the production of items such as self-drilling screws for the assembly of window fittings with PCV profiles (1996), stainless steel screws A2 (1997), wire-collated screws (2003), and stainless steel screws covered with specialist paint for UV protection (2004). In 2004 a new warehouse-office complex was built which has extended its storage capacity by 2500 pallet places.

Today, GZPS is one of Poland’s leading producers of screws. Its annual output is estimated at 2 billion units, or 4,000 tonnes of screws. It makes fasteners with diameters from 2 to12mm. Its products are used by many international corporations in industries such as household appliances, electronics, construction, automotive and furniture. “The construction industry is currently our biggest market, particularly its more specialised areas such as roof windows, and aluminum structures. However, in recent times we have also seen an increase in demand for our products in the automotive industry and this will soon take over in terms of sales. In the case of appliances and the construction industries, around 80 per cent of our sales goes to final producers, whilst with automotive the majority goes to Tier 1 suppliers,” says Mr Gawel.

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The company employees 220 people and its sales in 2014 are expected to reach PLN 65 million (more than €16 million). The export share is estimated at half of total sales. The EU countries, as well as Russia and Ukraine, are GZPS’s biggest foreign markets. The start of 2014 saw the launch of the company’s Centre for Research and Development. “The Centre works on the new directions for our company development, preparing new solutions for forms, threads and materials. It is working to make our fasteners even cheaper and better,” says Mr Gawel.

Hi-tech products “In the early years of the company’s development, threaded screws for wood were its main products. Now our products are more

New Zinc is a dynamically developing modern electroplating shop: we currently have two lines in operation (rack and barrel), with a third line (our second rack line) under construction and a fourth line (our second barrel line) in the pipeline for 2015. New Zinc provides services for plating steel and cast iron parts. From our rack lines our offer includes: • zinc acid coating • zinc alkaline coating • zinc- iron coating • zinc - nickel coating From our barrel lines: • zinc alkaline coating • zinc - iron coating • zinc - nickel coating with a range of sealers More information about New Zinc on tel: +48 33 813 42 92 fax: +48 33 813 42 93 mail:

New Zinc New Zinc is a zinc plating company, which has been operating on the Polish market since 2007. Our company continues the tradition of the Nuova Zincorotostatica electroplating founded by the family of Rua in 1965 in Turin. Our services include zinc plating (zinc acid, zinc alkaline, ZnFe and ZnNi with different types of passivations and sealers on barrels and racks) on steel and cast iron products. We owe our high position in the market to the experience of qualified staff and modern technology. Electroplated coatings made by us are characterized by the highest quality and high corrosion resistance. The quality of electroplating processes performed in our factory is confirmed by external audits and satisfaction of very demanding automotive customers.

advanced and complex in shape as well as in the type of thread. Our total production is either custom manufactured according to the customer’s specification or it presents our specific solutions, for example the patented thread for plastics ALFATECH,” explains Mr Gawel. The unique ALFATech threaded fasteners have been implemented thanks to the company’s own research and development work on metal processing, metal structural changes in the manufacturing processes for cold metalworking, the development of new tool designs and the development of new production technologies for threaded fasteners. GZPS was one of the first companies in Poland to hold the DÖRKEN Licence

that allows the use of lamellar zinc, which is a great alternative for galvanic corrosion protection and does not interfere with the natural environment, whilst also providing corrosion resistance.

Full control GZPS has another unique attribute. “Most companies have some parts of the production process outsourced. We try to do everything at home. This enables us to fully control the entire production process,” explains Mr Gawel. However, the company does cooperatre on the basis of long-term contracts with materials suppliers. One of its long-term

partners is Valbruna Polska, a part of the Valbruna Stainless Steel Group. This group is a leader in the steel industry and both a supplier and producer of stainless steel and special metal alloys. Gawel’s plans for growth in the coming years include the start of new production processes, further minimising the need for outsourcing and increasing the production of more complex products. Soon the Centre for Research and Development will achieve compliance with the ISO 17025 standard. The Centre also works on the use of new materials n and searches for new market niches.


FROM WASTE IL Recycling is a Swedish recycling company with operations in Sweden and Poland. It has been working to supply manufacturers in various industries with raw materials for over 60 years. Industry Europe looks at the complete solutions the company offers to improve efficiency.


ince its establishment over 60 years ago, IL Recycling has grown into one of the world’s largest full-service recycling and waste management companies, handling virtually all kinds of materials. IL is a recycling company with national operations in Sweden as well as several locations in Poland – in Warsaw, Poznan, Gorzow and Katowice, where it uses the local brand name First Recycling. A company spokesperson says: “IL Recycling has four owners, all Swedenbased paper mills. They are Fiskeby Board, SCA, Smurfit Kappa and Stora Enso. We were originally created by our paper mill owners to provide them with recycled fibre

– but for some recycled products, the best sales opportunities are to be found outside Sweden. In that case, we make sure that we find suitable customers abroad and arrange transport. For example, we export highgrade fibres to Germany, Italy and Spain.”

Fields of expertise IL Recycling’s 700+ employees have expertise covering the entire recycling process, from analysis, collection and transport of residual products to sorting, processing and delivery of recycled raw materials to industry. IL Recycling provides the vessels and containers for sorting and recycling, and handles the transport from the collection

points to the recycling plants. IL Recycling also has the very latest technology in place, enabling it to offer the smartest solutions for efficient and above all profitable recycling. IL’s core activities are paper and plastic, although other kinds of materials are also processed via business partners. Common materials and items that the company collects and processes include batteries, glass packaging, plastic packaging, metal packaging, corrugated board, electrical waste, light bulbs, newspapers and scrap metal. The company handles waste left over from all kinds of operations, viewing waste as a valuable resource that often goes unused simply for lack of time or expertise. As well as

the environmental benefits, the more that is recycled the better the waste management economics as well. This is because when sorting at source is introduced it reduces the volume of unsorted waste – one of the most expensive things to dispose of. Another important activity for IL Recycling is trade in raw materials on both the Swedish and the international market. The raw materials it trades are recycled fibres, metals, scrap, plastic and others. IL Recycling is part of an international network of leading trading companies in the recycling sector, which enables it to reach customers all over the world. A further field of activity is the confidential processing of sensitive or secret material such as paper documents or worn-out hard disks. This confidential service, operating

under the name of Reisswolf, has the highest security level in the industry. Finally, IL Recycling has municipal cleaning contracts in a number of municipalities in Sweden.

Growth in Poland

With plants across Sweden and Poland, IL Recycling is the leading operator on the Swedish recycling market, and expects to become the leading operator on the Polish market. Its core activities in Poland are paper and plastic, although other kinds of material are also processed via business partners. The company spokesperson continues: “At IL Recycling we believe that there are major possibilities of contributing to increasing recycling in Poland. IL Recycling Polska is striving to lead the way

and to drive continued development, and sees good opportunities for growth in this dynamic market. Another field in which we expect growth is the energy sector, with energy plants. It is currently our fastest growing field.”

Investments Three years ago, in 2011, IL Recycling introduced the collection of biological waste for the production of biogas in large parts of Svealand, (south-central Sweden) and opened a new scrap metal plant in northern Sweden. Last year (2013) the company also completed the replacemnt of three smaller plants south of the capital Stockholm by one single n bigger plant, north of the city.

YOUR IDEAL MEDITERRANEAN PARTNER A cleverly-selected portfolio of services and products makes Maltabased Company M. Demajo Group ‘the ideal Mediterranean partner’. Backed by a century of trading in different sectors, such as ICT, Financial Services, Retail, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Business to Business as well as engineering services in North Africa, the company brings experience, competence and innovation in a proactive and forward-looking style. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Michael Balzan Demajo, general manager of M Demajo Graphic Arts, a subsidiary of the M Demajo Group, to learn more.

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trategically located on the Mediterranean island of Malta, family owned and operated M. Demajo Group prides itself on offering a reliable and flexible service to its customers on the island as well as to its near-neighbour countries in north Africa and southern Europe. Mr Balzan Demajo is the great-grandson of the founder Mr Demajo, who established the company in Malta in 1910. Today, the company is one of Malta’s largest, privately owned businesses, with a number of fourthgeneration Demajo family members actively working in all sectors of the group. Mr Balzan Demajo spoke to Industry Europe to highlight the company’s solid capabilities and excellent understanding of this increasingly-important region. He said, “We have our headquarters in Valletta, Malta and we are also present across much of the Mediterranean in our core business areas of consumer import and distribution, hospitality (such as hosting conferences and incentive events), packaging solutions, ICT, energy and engineering projects and various business-tobusiness services ranging from pre-press and post-press solutions to supplying infrastructure products. Mr Balzan Demajo explained how this varied offer has evolved. He said, “We have always strived to achieve a strong sense of team work, understanding and service, which we believe are the most important factors in building a successful business. By concentrating on listening to our local and neighbouring customers, we have strategically built our offer to ensure we can expertly deliver the types of products and services that are required. Our forward-looking philosophy blends traditional values with dynamic Industry Europe 147

Colors – our Nature! ACTEGA Colorchemie, we are the specialists in water-based flexo inks and provide color solutions for your substrate from corrugated to tissue to film. Visit us on Or contact us by mail A member of

achievement and it is this common thread that runs through all our active sectors.” We spoke with Mr Balzan Demajo about one of the many successful subsidiaries of the group; M. Demajo (Graphic Arts) Ltd which is one of the leading suppliers of Prepress, Press and Postpress machinery and equipment to the Maltese printing industry. As Heidelberg, Polar Mohr and Watkiss representatives, the company enjoys a leading market position. It is also acknowledged as the undisputed leader in the field of servicing, support and maintenance of machinery in the printing industry. Furthermore, it is a major supplier of consumables, printing paper and board, representing prominent brands such as Moorim Paper, Norske Skog, Epple, Bottcher, Signode, APP and others. An especially strong division in the sales, distribution and servicing of Heidelberg re-marketed machinery has been established, which is proving to be very successful across the Mediterranean. Mr Balzan Demajo added, “We’ve delivered and installed re-marketed machinery in several 148 Industry Europe

neighbouring countries as well as of course Malta – anywhere a customer wants a re-marketed Heidelberg machine delivered, we can deliver. We are also very active in the export of water-based inks to customers in Sicily, Tunisia and Libya, with our in-depth understanding of these countries proving to be a key advantage for us. Of course we are very focused on our core business here in Malta and over the past two years we have re-aligned ourselves with the demands of today’s market requirements and will carry on doing so in order to lead by example in every sector in which we operate to bring profits for both our customers and ourselves. It is only by making your customer the foremost priority that you can achieve success. With M. Demajo’s position in the Mediterranean, just 100km south of Sicily, and its multi-lingual workforce fully acquainted with the cultural and commercial differences of neighbouring countries, the company is well positioned for growth. With expected expansion in sales support across the Mediterranean and North Africa, M. Demajo Graphic

Arts is currently considering mutually-beneficial partnerships with brands that could gain from its excellent location. Mr Balzan Demajo concluded, “Even though Malta is a tiny island, we are perfectly positioned to utilise the opportunities of our near neighbours – countries that we have long done business with and completely understand. Our history and family ownership has created a solid foundation from which we have gradually and strategically grown over the years and our latest appreciation of how our varied offer suits our local customers is also ideally matched to further expansion across the region. We have extensive investments planned that we predict will see us continue to grow over the next 3–5 years, with our target markets in the Mediterranean and North Africa likely to enjoy considerable n growth in the coming years.” For more information contact us at: Email: Tel: +356 2552 0000

NEW CONCEPTS IN HIGH-TECHNOLOGY TEXTILES DesleeClama is a global leader in the design and manufacture of textiles for the mattress industry. Philip Yorke talked to Ben Ducatteeuw the company’s marketing director, about the success of its innovation and design centre and the futuristic technology that is driving global sales.

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esleeClama was founded in 1928 by Maurice Deslee and today the company remains a family-owned business driven by his grandson Jos Deslee and Hans Dewaele. Since that time the Belgium-based supplier of woven and knitted fabrics has gone from producing all of its products at one facility in Belgium to having a global footprint that includes nine factories in eight countries. As a result, sales have soared and the company’s directors believe that DesleeClama is now well-positioned for even more

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dramatic growth. Currently the company employs around 900 people and in 2013 recorded sales of €90 million.

Building on success The transformation of the Deslee family business began with a greenfield project in the US (Inman) in 2001. This was followed by the acquisition of the Clama mattress company in 2003, which offered not only synergy, but also the opportunity to become a global player overnight. Deslee was already successful in marketing its

products in South America and Indonesia, where it established a production plant and greenfield development in 1997. With this famous brand now part of the Deslee Group, the company re-launched itself as the DesleeClama Group and in 2006 invested in the construction of two new state-of-the-art facilities on green-field sites in Romania and Brazil. This success was compounded by another important strategic move, which involved the acquisition of the Steinhoff Group South Africa. This gain was then

swiftly followed by the establishment of a joint venture with the Mattex Group of South Africa, the region’s market leader. Following major investments in new technology, DesleeMattex has become an important part of the DesleeClama Group. These modern facilities offer easy reach to populations where the company knows that interest in the quality of sleep is rising. The stated goal of the DesleeClama Group is to “create a company that is the world’s strongest provider of textiles to the mattress Industry”.

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Value-added solutions Today DesleeClama offers a wide range of standard and performance fabrics, such as ‘sound absorbing’ and ‘smart cover’ that won the ‘Intelligent Material & Design awards at Interzum last year. Its long-standing relationships with key suppliers, including Fresche Bioscience pty Ltd and Tanatex chemicals BV, ensure it is able to offer the highest levels of quality and service. DesleeClama’s new design studios and showrooms allow manufacturers to work collaboratively with designers

on-site. “We want to offer full solutions to our customers” says Eric Delaby, VP of sales in North America. “We’re known as an innovation company with a wide range of finishes and performance yarns, but we also want to reposition ourselves as a design company.” “To underscore its commitment to be a design company with focus on the creation of value-added, innovative fabrics, the company established its own Innovation and Design Centre (or IDC), as part of an important new strategy for growth.

“We recently launched the bed of the future and showcased a bed that uses textiles that do not stain, are sound absorbing and offer light therapy and gentle massage. We even have a bed that will help you to wake up in the best possible way. In addition, we have invested in new knitted fabrics that due to their new construction provide better stretch and recovery. Furthermore, we have developed temperature-controlling fabrics, which help to increase blood circulation and a fabric that reduces static electricity, without the need for grounding.” Ducatteeuw added, “We are focussed on organic, internal growth following many years of investment in new plants and technology. The main investment in the foreseeable future will be focussed on the addition of new

machines and technology. We are also taking care of the environment through our use of greener, recyclable products and eco-finishing processes. In the past we relied upon water for finishing our fabrics but today we have adopted a 100 per cent dry system and use solar panels and alternative energy sources throughout our manufacturing processes.”

Innovation driving sales The company’s goal is to double its sales by the year 2017 and says that if it is possible to achieve that objective with its existing infrastructure, that will be fine but if it is necessary to add another facility then the company will do that or whatever it takes. DesleeClama is relying on innovation to fuel its future growth. “Five years ago, innovative products contrib-

uted 20 per cent to our total annual sales,” explains Hans Dewaele Co-CEO at DesleeClama. “Now it’s closer to 40 per cent. “There is a conservative perspective in the mattress industry, but that’s changing. More and more people understand that innovation is driving our business. We now have customers asking for first right of refusal or asking to preview new fabrics before important trade shows.” With a clear vision of its development strategy and its state-of-the-art facilities to deliver on its promises, DesleeClama looks set to achieve its ambitious goals for growth. n For further details of DesleeClama products and design services visit:


Lapmaster Wolters is a world leader in precision surface solutions. Industry Europe reports on recent developments at the company.


ntil 2014, Lapmaster Wolters was known as ‘Peter Wolters’. Its acquisition this year by the Lapmaster Group has brought it not only a name change but an entirely new lease of life. Already active through subsidiaries in the US, Asia and Europe, the company is now poised for even further expansion. The headquarters of Lapmaster Wolters today are in Rendsburg, where the main production facility is located. The company serves a huge range of industry sectors with its precision surface solutions – from silicon and sapphire wafer manufacturing, automotive, medical, aerospace and transportation to alternative energies and every type of heavy industry.

Looking back The company began when Johann Peter Wolters started making carding machines in the little house Schlickum, in Mettmann, in 1804. Peter Wolters continually grew over the years and started its own construction and tooling department in the 1940s. Over the years, the shape and nature of the business has changed but the company’s

innovative research and development has reinforced its competitiveness in the area of super finishing and has enhanced its position in international markets. Today Lapmaster Wolters offers a unique and comprehensive scope of highprecision processing machines. These range from single-wheel and two-wheel fine-grinding machines via double-side flat grinding machines, through-feed grinders and lapping, polishing, honing and deburring machines for flat work pieces up to compact high-precision multi-spindle

machines for economic inner diameter and outer diameter grinding as well as polygon grinding. The range is completed with the supply of consumables and spare parts, including diamond fine-grinding wheels, grinding spindles and quills, piece carriers, polishing pads and so on.

Meeting customer needs “We continue to develop new products to serve the needs of our diverse customer base,” said a company spokesperson. “For example, we have developed several new

technologies for our customers in the silicon wafer manufacturing industry. “This industry is struggling to make any profit at all, squeezed between manufacturing costs and consumer expectations for computer equipment. We are making products that enable a higher throughput and better yields.”

Investing in the company Investment is on-going at Lapmaster Wolters, especially as customers are increasingly requesting ‘one-stop shopping’. They are

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looking for the company to be able to meet all their surface finishing needs. “We continue to invest both in internal research and development and through acquisition of complementary technologies. In 2009, we acquired the assets and intellectual property of the US-based Micron, a manufacturer of creep feed grinding equipment that largely serves the aerospace and automotive industries,” said the spokesperson.

Global growth The company does about 70 per cent of its business in Germany and about 90 per cent in Europe. But this is set to change. “Lapmaster Wolters has a long history and a large customer base in Europe - but our business is developing rapidly in other parts of the world. Around half of our business now is in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. “Our company is moving into every growing economy. Three years ago we opened a sales and service location in India and we our taking system orders from Thailand. The BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are also a focal point for our sales and service activities. “As these economies grow and wealth increases, there is a demand for better quality and better technologies. They therefore require equipment that is of a higher quality.”

Looking ahead Future growth plans for Lapmaster Wolters were multi-faceted. Its strong market presence in the growing economies of the world provides an anchor to its strategy. “Finding new technological solutions that enable profitability for our silicon and sapphire substrate manufacturing customers is key to market share growth,” concludes the spokesperson. “Continuing our growth through our acquisition strategy will enable us to add complementary technologies that will both grow our business and enable our customers by providing them with solutions to their high-tolerance requirements.” n

VALUE-ADDED STEEL Luigi Scordamaglia, Sales Director of the Cividale Group, talks to Barbara Rossi about the important changes implemented by the company since the last conversation with Industry Europe. These include a new foundry based in Russia, production of subsea compressors, castings for large construction projects like stadiums and suspended bridges.


he Cividale group started its activity in the late 1960s in north eastern Italy, where the group is still mainly based today. Specifically the headquarters are in the town of Tavagnacco, in the Udine area, where the group started its business in the steel casting field with Acciaieria Fonderia Cividale SpA, initially producing mainly steel

billets for forging and manganese steel castings. From 1977 onwards, an expansion process started through the acquisition and creation of other foundries, thus leading to the actual Cividale Group, which today serves worldwide clients involved in the power generation, oil and gas, ship-building and mechanical engineering industries.

Today the group employs 1450 people overall and achieved a 2012 turnover of €360 million. Among the different foundries within Cividale Group, the castings production ranges from a few grams of investmentcastings up to 90 tons hand-moulded steel castings, in all different steel grades, from low carbon steel to high alloy steel, stainless steel,

Industry Europe 157

duplex and super-duplex with specific attention to high-integrity castings. The Cividale Group also produces steel ingots, cast iron and die-cast aluminium parts for the automotive and household appliances sector. Within the Cividale Group, there is also a forging shop capable of producing forged items up 20 tons in delivery condition. Moreover, it is also involved in producing drawn and enamelled copper wire. Cividale’s core business is supplying roughmachined castings. Nowadays it has the capability to provide fully finish-machined parts ready to be installed and to take care of any other specific treatment that may be required by its customers for each specific project: Special thermal heat treatment, overlaying and soldering of special metals, ‘revamping’ of hydraulic turbines. We act as a project manager for our clients, taking care of the whole process, from foundry design to production, from quality certification to delivery on site.

158 Industry Europe

The main sector served by the group is the power generation industry, for which the Cividale Group manufactures the critical components of the power plants. Other sectors supplied by Cividale are oil & gas and off-shore as well as ship-building and the mechanical industry. The group’s clients include some of the most important worldwide business players operating in these sectors. A leader on the domestic steel casting market, the group is also among the most important producers in its industry in both European and overseas markets.

Russian JV Since Industry Europe last spoke to the company, there has been an important addition to the Cividale family. In fact, Cividale has chosen to increase its focus on the Russian market, where it has set up a joint-venture with Russian company BVK in Chelyabinsk. The total investment

amount is €45m, where the share amount of Cividale represents 30 per cent. The main role of Cividale in this project has been in lay-out design and knowledge transfer, as well as in terms of operational staff training. This joint-venture has been established to create a Russian based foundry, but also to supply the country directly with the rest of the Cividale range. The works, which was officially opened on 30th September 2013, occupies an area of 150,000m2, of which 35,000m2 are covered, and employs 300 people. The target for the first three years is that of achieving an annual output of 10,000 tonnes of steel castings for valves used in the pipelines located in this region of the world (increasing to 16,000 tonnes in the following years). In terms of ingots the target is of an immediate output of 20,000 tonnes. “The Russian market is growing and we aim to supply it with a high-quality range which

Thanks to the strong metal processing skills developed and to the implementation of ever better performing supply chain management SW solutions, QUIN is a strategic partner at international level for companies aiming to continuously improve their performance and control of own operational processes. QUIN s.r.l. Via L’Aquila 1/B Tavagnacco (UD) •

was not yet manufactured there,” Mr Scordamaglia explained. Another important novelty in terms of products is that of subsea compressors. Recently the first prototype was built for an important client and this has been followed by a similar project for another prestigious customer. “We are also always investing to update the quality of our production systems. In fact, our strategy is to offer a high-quality range of products, which really offers an added value to customers, so as to face off competition, especially that which originates in low cost countries. This year we have invested €15m in this area. We also continuously pay attention to work safety and environmental issues and we are already ISO 14001 certified and implementing OHSAS 18001 in all our companies. “Last year, we also made an investment in Bosnia, acquiring our own deburring facilities, to carry out one of our ancillary activities instead of outsourcing it.”

The group has increased its sales on the North American market as well as in Russia. “Now, after the establishment of our Russian joint-venture, we are at the point of a technological consolidation step, as the opening of the Russian foundry required a significant effort and continuous support in terms of human resources. We will then concentrate on high technology products. We carry out work in partnership with Udine Innovazione (linked to Udine University) with regard to developing new special steel grades. Specifically, a lot of work has been done on steels, in particular duplex, super-duplex and Inconel, materials which are especially used in the North Sea, because of their high resistance to aggressive corrosion.” Cividale’s suppliers play an important role in helping the group to offer high-quality, value-added products, by supplying it with upto-date products, components and software. In particular Danieli and IMF have worked

closely with the group with regard to the setting up of the Russian foundry, respectively supplying furnaces and moulding systems. In Italy itself there are a number of important suppliers, including the company Presezzi for finish machining components. With regard to cutting-edge software systems the cooperation with Engine Soft is very significant. “ At the moment there has been a general decrease in the power generation sector in terms of lack of new plants being built. We are obviously feeling this and responding by concentrating on maintaining our market position and widening it through the acquisition of new clients. We are also compensating for this decrease in power generation with an increase in the process pumps and compressors which we supply to the oil & gas industry. We hope to see an improvement in the power generation industry from mid-2014. Power generation will nevertheless remain our core n reference market.”

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LLOYD’S REGISTER ENERGY The Big Picture explained by Sebastian Buca Can you explain to us what the Lloyd’s Register group does and when it was founded? Lloyd’s Register (LR) is a global engineering, technical and business services organisation wholly owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to research and education in science and engineering. Founded in 1760 as a marine classification society, LR now operates across many industry sectors, with over 9000 employees in 78 countries. LR has a long-standing reputation for integrity, impartiality and technical excellence. Our compliance, risk and technical consultancy services give clients confidence that their assets and businesses are safe, sustainable and dependable. Through our Global Technology Centres and research network, LR is at the forefront of understanding the application of new science and technology to futureproof our clients’ businesses. LR’s expertise spans from Oil & Gas to Power and Manufacturing. The LR Group is constituted by two entities: Lloyd’s Register Limited, representing the operational entity, where all the profit is made and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, which manages the profit by partially redistributing it internally, for growth, development and training, while the other part is used for our educational trust, LRET and for some other charity purpose. There are no shareholders or owners, but a board of trustees managing our Foundation. This is an important aspect which guarantees our impartiality and integrity and differentiates us from all our competitors. Our independent status is derived by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, which is compliant with the UK Charities Act. This ownership

structure allows Lloyd’s Register Energy to offer advice that is free from commercial constraints. Lloyd’s Register Energy’s work helps to keep society’s critical energy infrastructure safe and reliable, it also helps to promote public education within the energy industry, engineering and technological disciplines by contributing proceeds to charity. We exist to support a safer society, protecting life and property, and not public shareholder returns. Our business identity represents a move beyond the expectations of the past towards the future of global energy assurance. It continues the tradition of respecting the trust our clients place in our hands. The Lloyd’s Register Group owes its name and foundation to a 17th century London coffee house owned by Edward Lloyd, a meeting place of merchants, marine underwriters and others connected with shipping. In 1760, customers of the coffee house formed the ‘Register Society’ to examine merchant ships and ‘classify’ them according to their condition. The first Register of Ships was printed in 1764. The early 1900s saw our Group widening its expertise in other sectors, such as Industry and later on Energy as well as management systems certification.

Can you explain the Oil&Gas and Energy services that Lloyd’s Register offers? We provide design appraisal, inspection and consultancy services to asset owners, manufacturers, operators and engineering procurement contractors, particularly those responsible for assets which could pose a risk to people or the environment.

Our combination of asset knowledge, technical expertise and ability to generate value quickly, helps clients’ asset management and safety assurance across the energy supply chain – from oil fields and pipelines to refineries, power stations and manufacturing – as they tackle some of the largest and most complex challenges in the commercial world. Oil&Gas covers two areas: Upstream, including exploration, rigging / drilling; and Downstream, including the processing of crude oil, refineries and petrochemicals. Finally let’s not forget that the term ‘energy’ encompasses both traditional energy (thermoelectric, hydroelectric, etc.) and renewable energy.

What clients do you target and offer services to in Italy? We focus on the major players of Oil&Gas, Energy and Transportation. And by players we mean both end users on one hand and on the other the people who build the platforms, and all those who carry out EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contracting. We believe it is our responsibility to ensure that every one of our clients has the technical support and guidance needed to build and operate energy plant safely and efficiently. We give energy operators confidence that they are effectively addressing today’s economic, legislative and corporate responsibilities.

What is your general opinion of the Italian market? There are many Italian companies which manufacture components for the Oil&Gas and Power sectors and which are recognised worldwide as top suppliers, both in terms of technology and innovation as well as in terms of high quality. We are talking about manufacturers

able to grow and be successful even in the tough economic and financial conditions we all experienced in these last years, because all of them invested most of their profits, instead of distributing them, in R&D, efficiency programs, Total Quality, which boosted their growth and presence on the local and international markets, demonstrating that Italy plays a top role in these type of businesses. Lloyd’s Register, as high level quality service deliverer, serves these companies by using the same approach, expanding year after year its niche market share and confirming more than 250 years of excellence.

What should the Italian market focus on? Are excellence and quality values to be developed, in contrast to other countries which concentrate on quantity, and if so, what should be done to be able to focus on these values? In my view, the Italian companies have to compete with their foreign competitors on Quality, Innovation and Creativity. Another important aspect which should differentiate them from others is the long-term vision and strategic plans in terms of presence and development. These are the ones which plough their profits back internally, investing in order to reach cutting edge technological and quality level, cooperating with the best universities, such as Politecnico di Milano / Torino / Bari, retaining and growing their talents and creating a motivating workplace. The market awards the Italian companies which pursue a quality not quantity and low price strategy. This should be the winning recipe for all western countries industries. In the current challenging and complex energy environment, initiatives that nurture technical innovation can no longer be an afterthought for business

or government; they must be central to any organisation’s strategy for sustainable growth and leadership. They are central to our growth too. We are driving the development of new concepts and technologies through collaborative R&D, and our focus is firmly on innovation – to benefit our clients and society’s future.

Shall we talk about the culture of quality in Italy? Lloyd’s Register in a certain sense acts as a guarantor of continuity in qualitative terms. It often happens that companies, in an effort to make savings and manage costs, get rid of their best employees when they arrive at a critical age, and thus they lose the experience acquired over by the years by these employees. Therefore, unless a younger employee has worked side by side with the expert to facilitate the transfer of experience and knowledge, the risk is that all the know-how acquired over time will be lost. If one loses sight of the overall process in concentrating on an individual process, value flows are interrupted, and the risk is that the very quality upon which the success of Italian companies depends will be lost. In the specific case, the handover and succession between an expert employee leaving and a newcomer is crucial and needs to be planned in order to give enough time to the knowledge transfer. Lloyd’s Register often acts as an advisor, supporting the manufacturers or EPC contractors in understanding the importance of ‘end to end’ value process monitoring, concentrating on every single process in the creation of value, but mostly on the overall ‘big picture’ and end result.

What should Italian entrepreneurs be concentrating on, and what strategy should he or she opt for? Concentrating on quality requires things done properly at the first time and proving it through certification. Certification has a cost which is accepted only if it’s a value added. Just think about the value creation process, for example in a power plant construction project. The company which is going to build the plant (EPC contractor) has to consider several phases, their deliverables and related costs. These phases could be seen as Design and Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation, Commissioning and Testing and Start Up. Afterwards a performance test period follows, where the end user and the EPC contractor check the parameters which indicate the correct functioning of the whole. Therefore we can immagine a certain number of engineering hours budgeted for that phase, a budget for buying all necessary

materials, components and services in the Procurement phase, costs for man-hours and machinery in Construction, etc. All the process owners of these single processes (the ones who manage and are responsible to deliver in each phase) are pushed to save money or even cut costs in their own process in order to make savings and increase the project margin, but in many cases, normally when inexperienced project managers are acting or in case of companies whose main objective is the financials and not the overall success of the project, including, most importantly customer satisfaction. These uncontrolled cuts are very dangerous, because it makes people loose the focus on the end to end project process and its end result, and can create and avalanche of quality issues and mistakes, which propagate and reach potentially enormous proportions at the end, causing not only a margin erosion but, in many cases, huge losses, due to liquidated damages or penalties for delay and missing deliverables. When this is realized, normally it’s too late. One of the root causes of this issue is that peoples performance is normally measured only on the process they manage, and not also on the end result of the project. Changing this approach by using KPI’s extended to the overall result creates a better quality culture, team spirit, unity, focus on the end client and, very importantly, saves a lot of time and money. The lesson here is that while focusing on the single process we should never lose the focus on the end to end process chain and its final result. Modifying something in a single process could negatively impact the final outcome. The ones who understood this principle are the successful ones.

Lloyd’s Register Lloyd’s Register is unique. At its heart, a charity with a mission to protect life and property and to advance transport and engineering education and research. And funding this is our operating arm, a successful, profitmaking business which relies on the skills, knowledge and experience of our employees – professionals and experts in their fields. We provide independent assurance and expert advice to companies operating high- risk, capital-intensive assets in the energy and transportation sectors. We help our clients to ensure the quality construction and operation of critical infrastructure – ships, oil platforms, power plants, trains. Through our business assurance services we help companies manage their systems and risks across a wide range of sectors.

Technical excellence As an independent third-party, Lloyd’s Register needs to keep at the forefront of technology and increasingly understand the fundamental science and academic analysis behind new technologies. Through this we can assess the risk of new technology before it is applied to engineering solutions, helping to ensure that people are safe and that essential assets perform as required. Our reputation for technical excellence relies on retaining, developing and attracting the best engineering and technical talent, with over 9,000 employees in 78 countries supporting clients worldwide. Through the investment of around £100 million in two global technology centres, in the UK and Singapore, we are developing and supporting the innovations that will play a vital role in the immediate and long-term future of shipping and energy. Our global technology centres serve as the cornerstone for our global research and development network, which currently includes over 50 academic and technical institutions sponsored by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation also funds education, inspiring and supporting the next generation into careers in science, engineering and technology, from school through to university and post-graduate research.

Life matters Lloyd’s Register’s compliance, risk and technical consultancy services give clients confidence that their assets and businesses are safe, sustainable and dependable. The safety we expect in our everyday lives depends on things working – and working properly. The transport system that takes us to work, the platform producing the oil that fuels our vehicles, the ships carrying people and cargoes and the systems and equipment that enable life to proceed as normal – all these assets must be checked and properly managed to ensure they are meeting the relevant standards. n This is the task of the Lloyd’s Register Group.

Through these services we support a significant part of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s charitable objectives, and generate the profits to fund science, engineering and technology research for public benefit worldwide.

Please contact us for further information in SW Europe area at: Lloyd’s Register EMEA Via Cadorna 69 20090 Vimodrone (Mi) - Italy E: T: +39 02 36575 31 W:

LR Energy Business SERVICES:


Public benefit

- 2nd and 3rd party inspection and certification, including Design Appraisal, according to various codes and standards such as ASME, EN directives (PED, TPED, ATEX, CE marking), MOM, DOSH, OSH, IBR, MLHW - Technical Due Diligence also known as SMART Inspection - Technical Training - Technical advice – project lifecycle for Oil & Gas and Power sectors

Materials & equipment such as boilers, heat exchangers, piping, valves, motors, compressors, pumps, pressure vessels, welding qualifications and welders certifications, supply chain qualification

SECTORS COVERED: - Manufacturing - Oil & Gas upstream - Oil & Gas downstream - Traditional Power (thermal, hydro, nuclear) - Renewable Power (wind, solar, geo-thermal)

Since its establishment, the name Schneeberger has been a synonym for modern linear technology all over the world. Over the years the company has introduced technological innovations which have set new market standards, as Barbara Rossi learnt.




stablished in 1923, today Schneeberger stands for pioneering innovations in linear motion technology. Linear bearings and profiled rail guideways together with measuring systems, racks, slides, positioning systems and mineral casting are all part of its extensive manufacturing capability and product range. Schneeberger serves original equipment manufacturers operating in various industries worldwide – from machine tool, solar and semiconductor technology to electrical and medical engineering, among other products. Schneeberger commercial companies and sole agents are present in all the main industrialised countries, ensuring a global customer service.

Optimum profiled guideways for heavy loads Highly reliable profiled linear guideways are fundamental when the heaviest loads in milling, turning, drilling or grinding machines

need to be moved in an accurate manner. The Monorail MR Schneeberger product line is the ideal solution for the most varied types of applications and for very different weight categories, as it is able to handle heavy tools of up to 150 tonnes, always with the utmost precision. When producing large engines to manufacture generators or dealing with aeronautical or space technology, as well as with other heavy machinery producing sectors, the components to be moved to work centres are often very heavy. Maximum precision is nevertheless required in their manufacture, thus the linear guideways used in this process are a decisive and fundamental factor. Exactly because of their full awareness of this issue, with the MR Monorail range the Schneeberger technicians and engineers have developed profiled guideways which are custom-designed for this type of applications and available in five

different sizes. For normal applications the standard version allows for accelerations up to 50m/s2 and is designed for speeds up to 3m/s. The monorail MR 100 model is the most important of its series and offers a 1.5 Mega-Newton (150 tonnes) load capacity and is therefore perfect for very heavy loads. In addition to this, Schneeberger is able to supply guideways of different sizes calibrated to the specific precision categories of the various applications – from G3 (standard) to G2 and from G1 to G60 (high precision). Moreover, it’s possible to also integrate AMS positioning into the reading system. The basic technical structure of all the systems of the Monorail MR range is identical. The basic bodies of the guide carriage and the track are manufactured in high quality hardened steel, so as to guarantee to be lasting. The rotating bodies used are rollers of a special shape, designed to obtain maxi-

mum rigidity and a high static and dynamic system load capacity. In order to prevent dirt infiltrations and lubricant leakage the company’s technicians have mounted cross double-lip wipers on the front terminal plates. If the guideways have to be used in extreme external conditions, among the optional features that Sch-

neeberger can supply, there are additional wipers, which can be inserted directly on the guideway, thus facilitating replacement or boost operations even in the spaces between the guide carriages. The MR series guide carriages are equipped with several lubricating joints, in a variable quantity up to a maximum of 20,

which can be used according to the applications. Special lubricating joints for short run systems are also available, as are a lubricating system with independent guides and a minimal air/oil lubricating system. The maximum length available for single piece rails in sizes 25, 35, 45, 55 and 65 is 6000 mm. The MR 100 guideway can have

a maximum length of 3000 mm. Greater lengths can be obtained, without encountering any difficulties, by joining several rail components with the utmost precision. Schneeberger is extremely well-positioned on the market both from a financial and technological point of view. Its aim is that of maintaining sustained growth and continuing to shape its future. It intends to remain faithful to its mission of helping its customers build machines allowing them to manufacture innovative products, offering increased performances in technological, as well as in economic terms. The

company is able to perform at these levels, thanks to the fact that it has at its disposal broad specialist knowledge, gained from many successful projects in various industries. In addition to this, it works closely with its customers, with whom it evaluates the optimum products from its standard range or alternatively defines project-specific solutions. Thanks to years of experience and consistent focus on linear technology, Schneeberger is in a position to continually develop its products and solutions and thus provide its customers with many technical advantages. FEM

calculations and 3D simulations allow the company to determine whether the required specifications and characteristics can be achieved – all before the first prototypes are built. Schneeberger products are manufactured in the company’s own production facilities, utilizing the most advanced manufacturing technology and highly skilled employees. The manufacturing process is subjected to demanding and applicationoriented checks and inspections, thanks to which the highest level of quality is guaranteed at all times. n

FAST MATERIALS SOLUTIONS BIBUS METALS is a Swiss distributor for semi-finished products in nickel-based alloys, titanium, titanium alloys, zirconium, and tantalum. Marco Siebel spoke with Sales Manager Mike Zika about the company’s international expansion projects and latest investments.

168 Industry Europe


IBUS METALS’ warehouses stock large quantities of rods, bars, sheets, plates, tubes, pipes, wire, strip and welding material. State-of-the-art technologies and logistics procedures ensure extremely efficient clean processing. The sawmill connected to the warehouse cuts tubes and profiles in desired lengths - even two-sided mitre cuts can be produced. Mike Zika: “Besides stocking semifinished products we also have warehouses where we cut on-site. We provide centrifugal products in different qualities and in the Czech Republic, Romania and Poland we have Jurid brake-pads in the portfolio. Our products are used in virtually every industry, worldwide: aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, chemical and process industries, electrical resistance heating,

marine engineering, oil and gas extraction industries, petrochemical processing, pollution control and waste processing, power generation, thermal processing and heat treatment, and in welding.” The family-run business is head-quartered in Switzerland, in Fehraltorf near the industrial city of Zürich. BIBUS METALS also maintains a large service centre and sales organisations in Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and China. BIBUS METALS is known as a full service supplier, i.e. some customers only need metal sheets or tubes, while other customers come to BIBUS METALS because they need special profiles, in different metals and shapes. Mike Zika: “Besides the service centres and sales organisation mentioned, BIBUS

METALS has sales organisations in Austria, France, Great Britain, Romania, Ukraine and Russia. If you can communicate with people in their own mother tongue it is simply easier than if you are there as a foreigner.” BIBUS MEATLS AG was founded in 1979 after becoming the exclusive distributor for Special Metals in Switzerland and Austria. Special Metals Corporation is the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of nickel alloys with production plants in the USA and the UK. BIBUS METALS AG belongs to BIBUS Holding AG. Right from the start BIBUS METALS built and expanded the warehouse for large stocks of rods, bars, sheets, plates, tubes, pipes, wire, strip and welding material so that it rapidly became the foremost deliverer for heat and corrosion resistant materials.

Industry Europe 169

In order to enlarge its portfolio BIBUS METALS added in the early nineties titanium and titanium alloys to its already extensive range of products. In 2000 BIBUS METALS became the exclusive Special Metals distributor for all Eastern European countries. Mike Zika: “As a supplier of nickel- and titanium alloys, quality has always been of great concern to us. We took the challenge in August 1994 and acquired the ISO 9001 and in 2013 the EN ISO 13485 Medical accreditation to the rules of the Swiss Association for Quality and Management Systems. All our material is purchased, stocked and controlled according to these rules.”

Titanium watches In Switzerland, BIBUS METALS AG serves the watch-making industry by cutting a great deal of titanium watch housings, and anything up to 10 mm thick is cut in-house. Everything thicker than that is cut with water jet. Mike Zika: “In Switzerland we work with the largest waterjet company in Switzerland, Waterjet AG in Aarwangen, near Zurich, to cut components to sketches or drawings, while in Poland we have our on-site waterjet

170 Industry Europe

cutting facility. With this additional service we can deliver extremely quickly custom cut metal products.

Traceability In all machining steps, particular emphasis is placed on traceability of the products. This enables a mill test certificate to be supplied for all products, if required. Mike Zika: “The energy, aerospace and medical industries are important clients for us. We also deliver to the space industry and chemical applications industry. Our

core competence is that we have very large warehouses throughout the world, and together with the logistics departments BIBUS METALS can supply customers very quickly - either in standard sizes or cut to n size - that is what distinguishes us”




AAK 108 ACTEGA Colorchemie GmbH 148 Alfagomma SpA 43 Alpiq Energy SE 46 Aperam Alloys Imphy 96 Assag 156

G.B.I.E. Slip-Coat Gebr. Winter GmbH & Co KG GTP Company GVB GmbH

B Bibus Metals 167 Bilz Vibration Technology AG 167 Borghi Impianti Oleodinamici SpA 127 Buckeye 88

C CAAC Pioneer Logistics Carlo Salvi SpA C.Brandauer & Co. Ltd Centrostal-Kujawy Company CeramTec GmbH Comelf SA Crosswater Ltd Curtis Machine Company

5 139 96 39 24 127 80 35

D Decoleta a.s. Delex Teknik Diamon Sp. z o.o. Dimontonate Floccati S.p.A. Doceram GmbH

72 67 39 70 25

Emsclad 96 Ernesto Malvestiti SpA 104 ESEA Samrev 122 Eumar 80

F Faroil Srl Fob-Decor Sp. z o.o. FOR SpA Fresche Bioscience Pty Ltd

H Haas Food Equipment GmbH Henkel Slovenija d.o.o. Hühoco Group

76 57 34 63 59

L Laufen Bathrooms Lenze Pogonska Tehinka d.o.o. Lloyd’s Register LPL Scandinavia GmbH

80 115 174 135


88 85 118 108


R 151

S Samo Purnat s.p. 59 Shenzhen Taisu 97 Material Technology Co. Ltd Sipac 144 Sisu Worx 123 Smurfit Kappa 93 Spectra-Physics 173 Sundquist Components AB 66 Sunner World Trading 105 Synthopol Chemie 85

T Tanatex Chemicals BV Tehimpex d.o.o. Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions

153 115 47

V 131 32

N New Zinc Sp. z o.o.


R2 Group


Varesina Stampi 122 VFI 108

W 140

O Optima Packaging

128 118 127 151

109 63 71

Ilgomtubi Srl 127 Industrial Technics 124 Italpolimeri SpA 93

KAP IT Kardex Remstar Kawasaki Motors Europe Kovikor d.o.o. Krauss Maffei

Pantex International Perstorp Holding AB P.H.U. Solag Polimer Commerce d.o.o.



MirTac BV MT Propeller


P 70 32 108 25

Woodtai Enterprises Ltd


Y 89

Yu-Label 108

Z Zen Fonderie Srl ZPHU Paweł Mataśka

123 118

Articles inside

Fast materials solutions BIBUS METALS

pages 168-176

High-precision, innovation and reliability Schneeberger

pages 164-167

Lloyds Register Energy Lloyds Register

pages 160-163

Value-added steel Cividale Group

pages 157-159

Precision surface soluions Lapmaster Wolters

pages 154-156

New concepts in high-technology textiles DesleeClama

pages 149-153

Heavy-duty experts Conquest Offshore

pages 129-131

Pressure for perfection Avure

pages 132-135

Growing in size Komatsu Italia Manufacturing

pages 125-128

Your ideal Mediterranean partner M Demajo Graphic Arts

pages 146-148

Heavy-duty precision Sisu Axles

pages 120-124

Creating value from waste IL Recycling

pages 142-145

Advanced fasteners Gawel Zaklad Produkcji Srub

pages 136-141

Leading the wine market in Poland Jantoń Group

pages 116-119

Gostol’s bakery solutions Gostol

pages 112-115

Switched-on efficiency Everel Group

pages 101-104

Customised forced ventilation units

pages 99-100

Serbia’s sweet success Knjaz Milos and Bambi

pages 106-111

Pursuit of quality Sunner

page 105

Hot property Strix

pages 94-98

A new chapter in a growth story Ontex

pages 86-93

Master-class in technology-driven coatings Ruskie Kraski

pages 82-85

The complete bathroom package DEBA

pages 78-81

Taking full responsibilty HAVD Group

pages 64-67

Delivering on Peugeot-Citroen’s strategic plan

pages 73-77

New beginnings Letrika

pages 60-63

Continued global expansion Cooper Stanard Automotive

pages 68-72

Leading in tail lighting Odelo

pages 58-59

World-beating manufacturing systems ZAHORANSKY

pages 55-57

Acoustic specialist Woodtai

pages 52-54

Agricultural transportation experts Metaltech

pages 36-39

In top gear Wisconsin Engineering

pages 33-35

Intelligent headsets GN Netcom

pages 48-51

Simply the best Nitrogénművek

pages 44-47

Focus on Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin

page 28

Agricultural innovations New Holland Agriculture

pages 40-43

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

page 20

Linking up Combining strengths

pages 16-17

Brighter short-term outlook for European metals sector ... but action needed

pages 6-8

Vallourec tubes for Mont Saint-Michel

pages 12-13

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 14-15

A New Look For BrauBeviale BrauBeviale

pages 26-27

Industry people Appointments

page 19

Moving on Relocations and expansions

page 18
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