Industry Europe – Issue 25.3

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VOLUME 25/3 – 2015

The world of European manufacturing



© Copyright Daimler




They were warned The rise of ISIS shows that good intentions are no substitute for strategic thinking.


October 2002, on the eve of the Iraq war, former Prime Minister Tony Blair met France’s Jacques Chirac at an Anglo French summit. Over lunch the French President warned Blair that while it would be easy enough for the US (and Britain) to topple Saddam Hussein, the subsequent consequences were likely to be disastrous; there would almost certainly be a civil war in Iraq. According to one of Blair’s senior advisers the Prime Minister was not in a mood to listen. Indeed it is said that after the meeting Blair rolled his eyes and said, “poor old Jacques, he just doesn’t get it does he?” Alas, we now know that poor old Jacques got it all too well, as the American victory was followed by an almost complete loss of control of the country. With the disbanding of the Iraqi army and the effective dismantling of the Iraqi state, the country did indeed collapse into sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias and a terrorist insurgency against the occupying powers. It wasn’t until the US ‘surge’ in 2007 that the Americans succeeded in turning the Sunni community against al-Qaeda and isolating the extremists. Iraq continued to be a Shia-dominated state but at least the resentments of the Sunnis, who made up a fifth of the population, seemed to be under control. Most people could get on with the essential business of bribing officials to get anything at all done. And then Syria caught fire. When the ‘Arab Spring’ spread from North Africa to fuel protests and then revolution against the Assad regime the Western powers and all of the media were full of hope. There were calls from almost every side for support for the ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria but, maybe because the NATO powers were now not entirely happy about how things had turned out in Libya, there was little enthusiasm for armed intervention against Assad. In the event it was left to Saudi Ara-

bia and the Gulf States to take the lead in supporting the anti-Assad forces. Hundreds of millions of dollars and huge quantities of modern weapons were poured into Syria. But while this kept the pressure on the regime it was not enough to overcome it – Assad had his own backers in Russia, Hezbollah and the latter’s paymasters, Iran. So Syria’s descent into a civil was even more nightmarish than Iraq’s. So, by 2014 Assad was still there, still controlling 13 out of 14 Syrian provincial capitals, but without the forces to rout the rebels. What was even worse was that huge amounts of the military aid had ended up in the hands of extreme jihadi groups such as al-Nusra and al-Qaeda. And while the ‘moderate’ opposition had maybe never had much of a chance in this conflict, now it had been supplanted by what was, in effect, a proxy war between Sunnis and Shias, between the region’s bitter enemies, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Game changer And then, when it hardly seemed possible that things could get worse, ISIS turned up. In no time these religious fanatics were not only dominating the Sunni opposition to Assad in Syria, and helping themselves to huge quantities of US and Saudi weapons, but they had under their control most of the north and east of Syria and were set on creating a ‘caliphate’ that would redraw the map of the Middle East. Their advance into Iraq was predictable but still took everyone by surprise, above all the Shia government. In January 2014 the holy warriors took Fallujah, only 40 miles from Baghdad (with a lot less trouble than the US Marines ten years earlier), and in June they captured Mosul after a mere four days of fighting. The 350,000 strong Iraqi army took to its heels leaving a fiercely sectarian bunch of Sunni jihadists in control

of huge areas of the north and east of the country. Iraq had fallen apart. A little late in the day the Saudis began to have second thoughts about the monster they had nurtured. The kingdom had been the principal source of funding for terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, since the 1980s and its promotion of the puritanical and intolerant agenda of Wahhabism across the Middle East – and beyond – had inspired countless jihadists and encouraged the struggle between Sunnis and Shias to take ever more violent forms. But jihadism was strictly for export. Now they saw that Saudi fighters they had encouraged to join the struggle In Syria might return to threaten the kingdom itself. And it was not impossible to imagine ISIS itself carrying its revolution from the Levant to the Arabian Peninsula. So we now have a US-led coalition to confront ISIS that includes 62 countries, including the UK, France, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and Turkey. And since the US, at least, has to deploy its air power against ISIS in Syria it is inevitably thereby aiding Assad in his own struggle. But Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Turkey are still as hostile as ever to Assad and also have little time for the Kurds whom the US is protecting against ISIS in Iraq. And America is not only taking the heat off the Syrian regime; it is also clearly moving towards some kind of deal with Iran, Assad’s backer and the Saudis’ principal enemy in the Sunni/Shia struggle. So everyone is fighting but it’s far from clear which side they are actually on. What would ‘old Jacques’ now make of this unholy mess? He foresaw the catastrophe that followed ‘regime change’ in Iraq but even he could hardly have imagined that the West’s attempts to rid the Middle East of its dictators would lead to the creation of a jihadi state – a violently intolerant theocracy – in their place. But maybe Tony Blair could at n least say ‘sorry’. Industry Europe 1

CONTENTS Editor Peter Mercer

IT Support Jack Everson

Deputy Editor Victoria Hattersley

Production Manager Kamila Kajtoch

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

Administration Anna Chamberlain Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey

Art Director Gareth Harrey

Designers Leon Esterhuizen Paul Abbott Claire Bidle Web Development Neil Robertson

1 5

Opinion They were warned Bill Jamieson The double edged sword of devaluation

Automotive Industry

Art Administration Tania Balderson


Who’s driving your car? Autonomous driving: closer

than you imagine

Advertising Manager Andrew Briggs

9 12

Automotive news The latest from the industry Towards tomorrow’s automobile The Volkswagen

Group’s ‘Future Tracks’ programme

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

Art Editor Rob Czerwinski


News 14 16 18 19 20 21

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

Reports 22 23

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 2015 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

Events Spotlight 24

INDEX 2015 Visit the world-leading

international design exhibition


SENSOR+TEST 2015 All the latest sensor, measuring

and testing technologies in one place

Anuga FoodTec 26

One for all – all in one Preview of the world’s leading

food and beverage trade show

28 32 35

Create value out of water & waste Nijhuis Industries Strong in stainless steel AWH Motivated for success Biomashin

Hannover Messe 38

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:

2 Industry Europe

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

Hannover Messe – The wait is over Highlights of the

world’s biggest industrial fair

40 45 46 49 50 54

An international outlook Amisco Group Contract manufacturing masterclass Assel Integration, innovation and service. The keys for trustful partnerships DOMO Test of success Sonel Compressed air specialists VMC Italian leaders in electron beam welding OMCD Celsia

VOL 25/3

Above: Alcomet p247 57 58 61

Gearing up Neptun Gears Leading powder metal innovation Subsea and underground challenges

Food & Drink

Hellenic Cables

193 196 200 204 208

The first choice for automation YASKAWA Laser-sharp innovation Trumpf Group

Automotive 72 76 80 86 89

New climate for prawn production Findus Poultry perfection Her-Csi-Hús Protecting local brewing tradition Jakubiak Regional Breweries

Focused on premium brands Wyborowa Pernod Ricard

Above: Nijhuis p28 Below: Gaspari Menotti p100

From field to table Agrokor

The new era of visual management for lean KAP IT


Pioneers of innovative locking systems HUF Delivering outstanding performance ZF Global leader in automotive leather Wollsdorf Quality interiors Apollo

212 Pioneers in healthcare solutions

Building & Construction 92 96 100 104 108 112 114 121 126 129 136 139

190 Leading energy player Gas Natural Fenosa

GKN Sinter Metals

Automation & Tooling 64 67

Energy & Utilities

Concrete solutions ASA Market leader in doors and fittings Doco International

A cut above the rest Gaspari Menotti Unique lifting solutions Palazzani Leader in construction ceramics Röben Polska Otis moves the world Otis Inspiring sustainable flooring solutions Tarkett Doors, windows and façades Alumil Revolutionising the crusher MB Crusher A lasting legacy Alutech Reliable partner in construction MOLEWSKI The pipe is right Pipelife


Mölnlycke Health Care

Measurement & Control 220 Investing to meet demand Crouzet Switches

Metals & Metalworking 223 228 236 240 244 247 252 255

A long-term success story Beltrame Group A strong partnership Feralpi Group Innovation that mobilises the world Schaeffler Group

Niche market leader Valbruna Stainless Steel Positioned for continued growth Alteams A strategic focus Alcomet From shape to solution Calvi Making the most of waste metals Kuusakoski

Plastics 258 Driving thermoplastic innovation forward Quadrant

142 A new identity Leybold Optics 147 Asking more from chemicals Solvay 150 Start with Sika Sika

Transport & Logistics

Consumer Goods

266 270 275 278

154 Clean and green Drylock Technologies 160 A sustainable future for P&G Procter & Gamble 166 Unilever: Innovating for sustainability Unilever

Above: Unilever p166 Below: Kuusakoski p255

262 Unstoppable logistics Waberer’s

Also in this issue... Adding value to high-tech PCBs Aspocomp Leader in refrigeration systems HAUSER Pioneers in abrasives technology Ekamant Global ambitions TWE Group Industry Europe 3




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

The double edged sword of devaluation EU growth is rising but the weak euro is a problem for UK exporters.


uite the best news for UK companies exporting to the eurozone has been the recent upturn in prospects in the single currency area. Business optimism across the eurozone economies surged in the first quarter of 2015 towards pre-crisis levels. According to the latest International Business Report from accounts Grant Thornton, optimism amongst eurozone business leaders jumped to 38 pe cent, from 13 per cent in the previous quarter. And the eurozone economies hardest hit by the financial crisis, such as Ireland and Spain, showed some of the strongest improvements, with Ireland ranking highest. Meanwhile growth forecasts are being raised. The European Central Bank has recently lifted its prediction for eurozone growth from 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent. And ECB president Mario Draghi says that growth will strengthen to reach 2.1 per cent by 2017. Sluggish though it may be by recent UK standards, it’s a big change from the dispiriting stagnation of recent years. Sentiment has been helped by low inflation, ultra-low interest rates and the ECB’s Quantitative Easing programme set to inject at least €1.1 trillion (£834 billion) into the eurozone economy by purchasing €60 billion of assets a month until September 2016. But something else has helped, too: a marked competitive devaluation of the euro against sterling and other major currencies. The fall in the euro – down more than 12 per cent this year alone – is a major fillip to large European multinationals such as Merck, BASF, Volkswagen, Adidas, Peugeot and Airbus. The greater the level of confidence across these companies for investment and expansion, the greater the opportunities for UK companies for component parts and services.

Downside for UK exporters But this is a double-edged sword for the UK. While there is an exchange rate fillip for 4 Industry Europe

the eurozone, there is a downside for the UK: the greater the devaluation of the euro against the sterling, the more difficult it is to compete successfully in the eurozone. The UK is finding export growth to the eurozone an uphill struggle – making the efforts of companies that are succeeding with their exports all the more commendable. Recent trade figures revealed a widening of Britain’s trade deficit in the three months to February, with its trade deficit in goods with the European Union rising by £1.5 billion to £21.1 billion in the three months to February – the largest deficit since 1998.

While there is an exchange rate fillip for the eurozone, there is a downside for the UK: the greater the devaluation of the euro against the sterling, the more difficult it is to compete successfully in the eurozone. Paul Hollingsworth, economist at Capital Economics, says the strong pound and sluggish growth in eurozone economies have been “acting as a straightjacket on exporters.” But the trade figures also showed a rise in UK goods exports to countries outside the EU. British exports to the rest of the world are surging ahead of those to the EU. It is the first time since records began that such sales of UK goods have outstripped those to the EU for six months in a row. Exports to the Continent were worth £148 billion last year compared with £145 billion to non-EU countries. But the gap has been closing in recent years as the crisis in the eurozone and continuing stagnation have hit demand for British-made goods.

UK firms have been looking further afield for business – with the result that exports to the EU in the three months to February were 7.4 per cent lower than a year earlier at £34.4 billion. Over the same period UK exports to the rest of the world were up 4.2 per cent to £37.9 billion. None of this undermines the importance of the eurozone – and the EU more generally – to UK businesses and its economy overall. But it does serve as a reminder of the value to the EU of the UK as a trading partner whatever the nature of the political relationship, and as a counter to muchpublicised concerns over the ‘disastrous’ consequences of a re-negotiation: as matters stand, rather more of a ‘disaster’ for EU companies than the UK. For them the UK market is a trading relationship they would have every wish to continue. That – and the fact that between 2007 and 2013 UK payments accounted for almost 18 per cent of VAT contributions to the EU budget – would give the UK government a powerful hand to play in any renegotiation of membership terms However, in the meantime, the UK has wrestled with a negative balance in its EU trade and the net drag on its GDP performance as a result. In contrast to business optimism across the eurozone, confidence amongst UK business leaders fell slightly in the first quarter of the year, according to the Grant Thornton business report. It reveals stagnating confidence amongst UK business leaders, down to 65 per cent in the first quarter compared with the record 83 per cent registered in the same period last year. A lack of skilled workers (31 per cent), economic uncertainty (28 per cent) and regulation and red tape (23 per cent) are amongst UK business leaders’ top concerns and are constraining their growth prospects. There is much it could do here to improve its prospects. n

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Mercedes F015 concept car – designed from the outset for autonomous operation

WHO’S DRIVING YOUR CAR? In the global auto industry the big new concept is autonomous driving and the first cars able to partially drive themselves are not far off. Tony Lewin reports.


ike any other global business, the motor industry is prone to changes in mood and shifts in focus. After the doom and gloom of the 2008 crisis and the Chapter 11 collapse of General Motors and Chrysler there was a brief flurry of interest in electric cars; after that, crossovers and plug-in hybrids became the focus and, with the US market picking up and the European slide showing signs of having bottomed out, faster and more powerful models began to be seen as respectable again – especially as a source of much-needed profits. But while those recent trends may paint a somewhat confusing picture, there can be no doubt whatsoever as to what has been gripping the newly resurgent car business over the past 12 months. Wherever you go, whoever you speak to, the most excited and the most bullish talk is about autonomous driving – vehicles which, to a greater or lesser extent, guide themselves on certain

6 Industry Europe

types of journey and which could in theory leave the driver to relax with a newspaper, work through a full inbox of emails, or simply sit back and enjoy the ride. In truth, the speed and intensity of all the announcements has rather taken the industry by surprise. Developments in driverless vehicles – or autonomous cars, autopiloted cars, piloted drive, depending on who you are listening to – had been bubbling under for several years, with a handful of cumbersome research vehicles and many caveats about legal liability and infrastructure compatibility. It was only a year ago that Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn declared his group would be marketing a self-driving car by 2020, and later that year that the Google driverless prototype made its much-publicised debut on the internet giant’s California campus. These were the two real wake-up calls, and since then the declarations and the predictions have been coming thick and fast.

As a slight aside, the fact that the Google name is now cropping up in an automotive context is an immensely significant one: it is a sign of an imminent and far-reaching shift in who does what and who gets the fattest returns in the auto business. Electronics giants Apple, Sony and Nokia are also keen for a slice of the action and to see their electronic software embedded in vehicle communications installations encompassing entertainment, navigation and, sooner than most people expect, vehicle guidance and control. The shift in emphasis towards electronics has meant a parallel change of focus for several leading automakers. January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year upstaged the globally famous Detroit auto show two weeks later by hosting several key automotive debuts, most notably the unveiling of Mercedes-Benz’s dramatically futuristic autonomous driving F015 concept car; likewise, Carlos Ghosn chose

The zFAS controller, about the size of a tablet computer, is central to the control of Audi’s piloted vehicles

the Barcelona Mobile World Congress, just a week before Geneva’s prestigious annual Salon de l’Automobile in March, to deliver his timetable for the introduction of autonomous driving technologies on upcoming Renault and Nissan models. Coming from the CEO of one of the principal companies making the running, Ghosn’s words were carefully heeded by the whole industry and serve as a convenient benchmark against which to measure the progress being made by other runners in the field. The first stage, Ghosn declared, will come in 2016, with a feature that will allow cars to negotiate stop-and-go traffic without direct driver intervention. The second wave, in 2018, will include cars able to drive themselves on the highway, including changing lanes. The third wave will feature technology that permits the car to handle more complex city driving autonomously. In all these cases, Ghosn stressed, the driver will remain in control at the wheel and have the option to use the technology when appropriate. High-end Renault and Nissan cars would be the first to feature this technology, he noted.

Measuring up So, where are we now on Ghosn’s scale? Many cars, even cheaper ones, already come fully fitted with smartphone connectiv-

ity, allowing music, phone and navigation functions to be conducted hands free; some already function as wi-fi hotspots, while several brands include eCall – automated emergency calling in the event of an accident to get the assistance to the scene more quickly. These could be described as static functions: for some years many brands have also offered active functions such as lane-keeping, traffic sign recognition and radar-based intelligent speed-adapting cruise control to maintain safe distances on motorways. Most medium and large models offer automatic collision-mitigation braking too, if the driver fails to heed warnings of an impending hazard, and the Volvo-pioneered city braking for the protection of pedestrians, cyclists (and no-claims bonuses) is becoming popular even on the smallest models thanks to the bonus points it now provides in Euro NCAP’s safety ratings. Programmed parking is commonplace too. Many of the above features are important building-brick technologies underpinning Ghosn’s first stage of the autonomous driving timetable; rather fewer makers have yet begun to offer so-called follow-to-stop cruise control, which would qualify as the full level one capability. Principally expounded by Mercedes on its S-Class, even this relatively limited capability requires a host of short and medium distance sensors, cameras

and electronic intervention in the accelerator, brakes and, to a limited extent, steering. No one has yet reached stage two with a production model, though a prototype Audi successfully navigated itself from California’s silicon valley to Las Vegas in time for a well publicised arrival at the Consumer Electronics Show, and a research vehicle built by electronics supplier Delphi completed a 3400-mile coast-to-coast trip to New York in ‘hands-off’ mode for 99 per cent of the time. Along the way, said Delphi, the vehicle encountered complex driving situations such as traffic circles, construction zones, bridges, tunnels, aggressive drivers and a variety of weather conditions. Wall Street hero and CEO of electric car maker Tesla, Elon Musk, recently stated that his company’s Model S sedans were all technically capable of autonomous operation but that this capability would not be activated until road conditions and infrastructure provisions made it safe to do so. US legislation, to date much the most liberal when it comes to the testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads, still requires the presence of conventional steering wheel and pedal controls, as well as a human driver ready to intervene should things go wrong. No such rules applied in two other defining self-driving moments: when Audi’s potent A7 lapped the Hockenheim grand

Industry Europe 7

prix circuit at racing speeds with no one aboard, and when Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche stepped out of the back seat of a Mercedes S-Class that had just brought him onto the company’s stand at the Frankfurt motor show – again with no one driving.

Challenges ahead Ghosn’s third stage, that of handling complex city-centre driving without driver intervention, will be much more challenging on every level and few automakers have dared set a timetable for this. Volvo is especially cautious, having revealed its Autopilot field trial for blending in 100 autonomous cars in with everyday traffic on selected Swedish roads. “It is relatively easy to build and demonstrate a self-driving concept vehicle, but if you want to create an impact in the real world, you have to design and produce a complete system that will be safe, robust and affordable for ordinary customers,” says Dr Erik Coelingh, technical specialist at Volvo Cars. The main challenge is to design an Autopilot that is robust for traffic scenarios as well as for technical faults that may occur, says Volvo. It cannot be expected that the driver is ready to suddenly intervene in a critical situation. Initially, the cars will drive autonomously on selected roads with suitable conditions, for example without oncoming traffic, cyclists and pedestrians. “Making this complex system 99 per cent reliable is not good enough. You need to get much closer to 100 per cent before you can let self-driving cars mix with other road users in real-life traffic,” adds Coelingh. “Here, we have a similar approach to that of the aircraft industry. Our fail-operational architecture includes backup systems that will ensure that Autopilot will continue to function safely also if an element of the system were to become disabled. For example, the probability of a brake system failure is very small, but a selfdriving vehicle needs a second independent system to brake the vehicle to a stop, as it is unlikely that the driver will be prepared to press the brake pedal.” Set against this backdrop, Audi’s demonstration of an A7 racing around the Hockenheimring was comparatively straightforward: the environment was a precisely mapped and carefully controlled one, GPS triangulation kept the car’s position and speed at the exact computed safe values, there were no unpredictable pedestrians, cyclists or

8 Industry Europe

oncoming traffic, and the likelihood of hackers, jammers or electromagnetic interference spoiling the show was next to zero.

Proof of concept The F015 concept car, revealed by Mercedes at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and demonstrated to the media in San Francisco in March, is the first vehicle to have been designed from scratch to operate autonomously, though conventional controls can be called upon if the driver so desires. The four occupants sit facing each other in individual swivel chairs in the huge interior space: the front seats swivel to face the direction of travel if manual driving mode is selected. Other capabilities of the design build on the same technologies already available on the S500 Intelligent Drive – a whole suite of systems to accelerate and brake the car, keep it in lane, help it avoid collisions and brake for crossing traffic at junctions. Fully automated cars like the F015 are many years away, concedes even Mercedes, and numerous technical and legal hurdles must be overcome before their use on public roads becomes possible. Yet the likely benefits are considerable: Mercedes anticipates much lower energy consumption, and in Europe the introduction of elements of an intelligent traffic infrastructure is expected to

Delphi’s automated car arrives in New York in the first hands-off coast-to-coast drive

reduce road fatalities by 30 per cent and cut congestion by 15 per cent by 2020. Ironically, too, the higher the proportion of autonomously guided vehicles on the road, the lower the share of erratic human-driven models there will be, making travel safer still. Far-sighted automakers such as Volkswagen and Daimler are buddying up with the electronics community in the safe expectation that it will be software as much as petrol, diesel, hydrogen or electricity that makes cars move, and that as much power will reside in the central control networks as in the vehicles themselves. The historic shift already seems to be underway and, spurred on by Ghosn’s timely comments, the auto industry is set to shed its old-fashioned metal-bashing image and adopt the allure of a slick, silicon valley operator. The ramifications of wholesale automation of traffic, whether just on motorways or also in well-disciplined city centres, are immense – not only for the automobile designers and the highway builders, but also for the car occupants. And there will be new commercial considerations too, not least of which will be the challenge for manufacturers keen to retain customer loyalty to find ways of building a convincing brand experience within a vehicle that the customer may n never even drive.



New developments in the Automotive industry

Record year for Automobili Lamborghini Nissan sets direction for European growth



2014 Automobili Lamborghini SpA again improved its key financial figures and reached new records in terms of sales and turnover in its history of more than 50 years. Worldwide deliveries to customers increased from 2.121 to 2.530 units: a growth of 19%. Turnover showed an even stronger growth of 24% from €508 million to €629 million. The over-proportional growth in turnover is due to a continuing high demand for the Lamborghini

Aventador and the very successful market introduction of the new Huracán. “For the fourth year in a row Automobili Lamborghini delivered a very satisfying performance. The record values underline the attractiveness of our model portfolio as well as the strength of our global brand, product and commercial strategy,” said Stephan Winkelmann, president and CEO of AutomobiliLamborghini SpA. Visit:

ver the past 12 months Nissan has released 12 new models in Europe and sold more than 724,000 vehicles. Meeting surging demand for the crossover segment with new versions of the Nissan Qashqai, Juke and X-Trail, the company has been breaking records with its line-up of EVs, while bringing excitement to everyone through NISMO. Nissan’s commitment to bold design, great quality and accessible technology is demonstrated here today with the release of the new SWAY concept that will re-invent the small car segment. “Our approach to strengthening the Nissan brand, products and service is clearly working. We continue to invest in our strong manufacturing footprint in Europe and we are well positioned to grow in Europe,” said Paul Willcox, chairman of Nissan in Europe. “We have seen the best-ever European sales with a 50% increase in five years and new versions of the pioneering Qashqai, Juke and X-Trail.” Visit:

achieves second-best US SEAT to hire 100 engineers this year Audi sales month in March 2015 IN M 2015 SEAT will hire 100 engineers. The announcement was made by SEAT’s executive committee chairman Jürgen Stackmann during the presentation of results for 2014. This hiring of new employees will entail a 10% increase in the current headcount of 900 persons at SEAT’s Technical Centre (CTS), reaching a total of 1000 highly-qualified employees in the year of its 40th anniversary. The 100 engineers will reinforce the projects currently under development at the CTS, especially in the areas of electronics, bodywork and engine development for SEAT and the Volkswagen Group. The CTS is the only design

Double ‘Red Dot Award’ for Magneti Marelli


utomotive Lighting, the Magneti Marelli division devoted to automotive lighting, has received two ‘Red Dot Awards 2015’. The first award was for the Full LED smart headlamp developed together with Audi for the Audi TT3, MY 2015 – ‘Red Dot Best of the Best’ award – for the high quality of

and development centre in southern Europe, and makes SEAT the number one industrial investor in R&D in Spain. Visit:

the design and the innovative project. The second award was for an OLED (organic LED) technology rear light prototype, awarded for its design quality. These two awards provide further evidence of the company’s technological excellence within the most advanced solutions for automotive lighting. The ‘Red Dot Award: Product Design’ is one of the most coveted product design

arch 2015 stands as the 51st straight monthly sales record in Audi US history, as well as the best-ever March results. The previous March record was set in 2014 with sales of 14,246 vehicles. Through the first quarter of 2015, Audi US sales rose 13.8% from last year to 40,098 vehicles. “The dedication of our dealers, coupled with the timely launch of the Spring of Audi Sales Event, resulted in many happy Audi customers during the month of March,” said Mark Del Rosso, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, Audi America. Visit:

awards at an international level and was established in 1955. In 2015 designers and companies from 56 countries presented around 4928 innovative products at the competition for the ‘Red Dot Award: Product Design’. The official award ceremony will take place on 29 June 2015 at the AaltoTheater in Essen, Germany. Visit: Industry Europe 9


New developments in the Automotive industry

Porsche achieves new records in revenue and profit

P ŠKODA expands Kvasiny site


he ŠKODA Kvasiny plant and public infrastructure surrounding the East Bohemian site are to be modernised and expanded over the next few years. By 2018, ŠKODA will have created up to 1300 new jobs and increased production capacity up to 280,000 vehicles per year at the Kvasiny plant. At the same time, the Czech state and the Hradec Králové region will be making investments into the public infrastructure and improving education and health in the city and region. “As an important cornerstone of ŠKODA production network, the Kvasiny plant makes a vital contribution to ŠKODA’s growth strategy,” says CEO Prof. Dr hc Winfried Vahland. “Over the coming years, ŠKODA will be expanding further in this location. Before then, Kvasiny will be experiencing the most comprehensive modernization and expansion in its 81-year history.” Visit:

orsche AG has set new records in terms of deliveries, revenue and profit in the 2014 fiscal year. With 189,849 vehicles, deliveries were 17% above the figure of the previous year. Revenue rose by one-fifth to €17.2 billion. The operating profit grew by just over five% to €2.7 billion. With 22,401 employees, the number of people working for Porsche reached a new peak at the end of the year. A year earlier, the figure was 19,456 employees: an increase of 15%. Matthias Müller, chairman of the executive board, stressed that the sports car manufacturer has reached the essential objectives of the ‘Strategy 2018’ ahead of schedule. “Porsche is now better positioned than ever. A crucial cornerstone for this success is the Macan. By the end of the year, we had delivered nearly 45,000 units of our new five-door sports car.” With the Macan, Porsche has also won many new customers: worldwide, three out of four Macan customers have opted for a vehicle of the Porsche brand for the first time. Visit:

Maserati Alfieri announced as ‘2014 Concept Car of the Year’


he Maserati Alfieri Concept has been announced as ‘2014 Concept Car of the Year’ at the prestigious Car Design Night in Geneva, organised by Car Design News and attended by the industry’s leading automotive designers. The Alfieri Concept was first unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show 2014; a striking 2+2 concept car celebrating the brand’s centenary, with the name Alfieri commemorating the most prominent of the founding Maserati brothers. The concept car was designed at the Centro Stile in Turin, masterminded by head of the Centro Stile Lorenzo Ramaciotti and led by Marco

Volvo Cars to build new factory in US


olvo Cars is to build a brand new manufacturing facility in the US, fulfilling its ambition to be a truly global car maker, investing around 500 million dollars in a new plant and underscoring its long term commitment to the US market. The company has drawn up a short list of potential locations and full details of the 10 Industry Europe

Tencone, who proudly accepted the Car Concept of the Year award on Maserati’s behalf. The Maserati Alfieri is now confirmed for production in 2017 followed by a cabriolet version later on. Visit:

location of the new factory and the size of the investment will be announced at a later date. The move means Volvo is now a global car manufacturer with an industrial footprint on all three key continents. It has two factories in Europe, two in China and the future plant in the US, which will be part of the Americas region that was announced in January.

Year of investment continues for Bentley


entley has underlined its commitment to future skills development by announcing the company’s largest intake of apprentices in 25 years. 63 apprentices are to be recruited for positions starting in September 2015. Marlies Rogait, member of the board for Human Resources, said: “At such an exciting time in Bentley’s history, with our new SUV, the Bentayga, nearing production, we are investing heavily in our future. We have a highly skilled and passionate workforce, whose skills are passed on via the apprenticeship programme to create the Bentley experts of tomorrow. We are proud that this is our largest intake of apprentices in 25 years, demonstrating our commitment to development and training.” Visit: “Volvo Cars cannot claim to be a true global car maker without an industrial presence in the US. Today, we became that,” said Hâkan Samuelsson, chief executive and president. “The US is an absolutely crucial part of our global transformation and today’s announcement makes it perfectly clear that Volvo is in the US to stay.” Visit:

INDUSTRYNEWS Honda of the UK Manufacturing confirms additional £200m investment


onda’s flagship production facility in Europe, Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM), will become a global production hub for the next generation Civic five door model, as Honda continues to develop its global production network to maximise the efficiency and quality of its manufacturing operations. Honda will invest over £200 million into new, advanced production technologies and processes, further enhancing Honda’s European manufacturing

facilities. This new contribution brings Honda’s total investment in HUM to over £2.2 billion since 1985. “By establishing HUM as a global production facility for the Civic five door, Honda is demonstrating its long-term commitment to manufacturing in the UK and Europe. This is incredibly important for HUM and is a reward for the commitment and effort put in by Honda Associates in recent years,” said Jason Smith, director of HUM. Visit:

New BMW board of management member for Production Mercedes C-Class is


he supervisory board of BMW AG has appointed Oliver Zipse as the new board of management member for Production, effective from the end of the Annual General Meeting on 13 May 2015. Zipse will take over from Harald Krüger, who will become chairman of the board of management. “Oliver Zipse has broad experience within the BMW Group’s international production network. This decision ensures continuity and sets the course for the company’s ongoing successful development,” said Prof. Joachim Milberg, chairman of the supervisory board of BMW AG. Zipse’s previous roles include managing director of Plant Oxford (UK) and senior vice-president of Technical Planning for Production. Visit:

World Car of the Year


Valeo and Safran showcase jointly developed innovative solutions


aleo and Safran, two French equipment manufacturers globally recognized for their leading edge technologies and innovative mindset – the former in the auto industry and the latter in the aerospace, defense and security markets – recently showcased their latest technological innovations at the HÙtel des Invalides in Paris. Jacques Aschenbroich, CEO of Valeo, said, “The signature of our partnership agreement in

September 2013 marked the start of our joint teamwork. Our teams are united, they work well together and respect each other. In other words, we are ONE team that shares the same values, and the same obsession with innovation and swift execution. This is only the start of a long story, clearly reflecting our ability to develop a real French center of technological excellence.” Visit:

New UK Automotive Innovation Centre for Jaguar Land Rover

vation Centre (NAIC) at the University of Warwick recently. The 33,000m2 facility, which is due to open in Spring 2017, will become the hub for Jaguar Land Rover’s advanced research and will boast cutting-edge workshops, laboratories, virtual engineering suites and advanced powertrain facilities, equipped to enable a full range of design, visualisation and prototyping activities.


Ratan Tata (chairman Emeritus of Tata Group), Mr Cyrus Mistry (chairman of Tata Group) and Jaguar Land Rover chief executive officer Dr Ralf Speth joined Professor Lord Bhattacharyya (chairman and founder of WMG) to unveil the foundation stone for the new National Automotive Inno-

ercedes-Benz won three categories in the prestigious ‘World Car Awards 2015’. at the New York International Auto Show. Particular success was enjoyed by the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which won the ‘World Car of the Year 2015 Award’. The S-Class Coupé was voted ‘World Luxury Car 2015’, while the MercedesAMG GT sports car picked up the award for ‘World Performance Car 2015’. Mercedes-Benz was the only automobile manufacturer to make it into the final round of the awards with five vehicles. This commanding performance is unprecedented in the 11-year history of the ‘World Car of the Year’ awards and serves to reflect the tremendous popularity of the Stuttgart-based brand among their customers. Visit:

Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s chief executive officer, said: “The National Automotive Innovation Centre will serve as a generator of new skills and new thinking, providing a perfect, collaborative environment in which to learn, research and develop the designs and technologies that will shape the vehicles and personal mobility solutions of the future.” Visit: Industry Europe 11


ith a new future-oriented programme, the Volkswagen Group intends to provide answers to the major challenges faced by the automotive industry. This was announced by the chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Prof. Dr Martin Winterkorn, directly before the opening of the Geneva Motor Show: “With our ‘Future Tracks’ initiative, we intend to break new ground and to reorient our thinking and our action. For this purpose, the best developers, production experts and strategists will all work together.” Winterkorn said “Over the next few years, our industry will face one of the greatest upheavals since the invention of the automobile. People’s mobility expectations are undergoing a fundamental transformation. Their wishes concerning their own cars are changing faster and faster. There are fundamental differences between lifestyles and needs from region to region. And digitalisation is increasingly redefining the way we live and work. Against the backdrop of these challenges, the automobile industry must 12 Industry Europe

not bury its head in the sand but must welcome these developments and take them into account in its long-term strategies. “One of the main challenges for our industry will be to adapt even faster to the changing needs of customers. Customers will call upon us to react faster and more flexibly in order to offer precisely the right car with the right technology at the right time. This will force us to think about whether we may need to significantly shorten the normal model cycles of seven to eight years. And the fact that the car is more and more becoming a mobile computer will have revolutionary consequences for future operation. The new Audi TT, for example, with its virtual cockpit gives a foretaste of these developments.” In Winterkorn’s opinion, progressive digitalisation will challenge conventional model strategies. “In future, customers may well implement part of the next facelift themselves, via a software update in their own garage. This development could soon place us in a position to offer additional added value for customers, irrespective of previous model cycles.” Against the backdrop of increasingly diverse customer

The Volkswagen Group’s ‘Future Tracks’ programme is developing the auto technologies of the future.

wishes changing at a faster and faster pace, he said that it was necessary to ask “whether every current model would automatically have a successor. It is more probable that people will increasingly expect us to provide entirely new body variants or designs of which we currently have no idea. These are questions that touch the future of our industry to the core, questions that will call for intensive efforts on our part.”

Future mobility Volkswagen currently employs a total of 46,000 researchers and developers as well as over 10,000 IT experts, all of whom are working on the mobility of the future such as alternative drive concepts or the digitalisation of vehicles and factories. But Winterkorn stressed that “at Volkswagen, technology is never an end in itself. All these technologies serve people, our customers. Because they make driving safer and more comfortable, because they conserve resources and protect the environment, and because they bring together the mobile and the digital worlds.” That is why he would like

to see “in Europe in particular, a climate where new technologies are not eyed with suspicion right from the outset,” but rather a climate “where innovations are truly welcome. As a centre of automotive engineering and manufacturing, Europe must, for example, drive forward core technologies such as piloted driving with determination and speed. In this context I highly welcome the interest of Apple, Google and others in the automobile. Because that means the car will gain more acceptance from ‘Digital Natives’.” Volkswagen is paying very close attention to issues of the future such as electromobility, the digitalisation of vehicles, factories and retail, or social change, which is altering, and to a certain extent redefining, the role of the automobile. “Future Tracks’ programme is the umbrella for all of these activities,” Winterkorn said. Thanks to sensor technology and connectivity,

the group already has the largest networked fleet in the world on the road as well as the world’s largest low-CO2 fleet, with the present lineup including 57 model variants that already meet the 95 gram target. VW also already offers the widest range of electromobility solutions in the automotive industry, with nine electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

Environmental goals Winterkorn also insists that Volkswagen is fully committed to its environmental goals and that the present low level of oil prices would not change that. “Oil will not be as cheap as it is at the moment for ever. The CO2 limits apply irrespective of fuel prices. And, more importantly, this is about our responsibility for protecting the climate. That is why our approach to drive diversity is the right one. That is why ever more efficient petrol and diesel engines are indispensable. Let me be very clear about one point:

those who talk down diesel are jeopardising CO2 targets.” The current status of the group’s ecological realignment initiative launched in 2012 is very positive, and Volkswagen is well ahead of schedule with its most important environmental targets. For example, emissions by the EU new vehicle fleet were brought down to approximately 125 grams CO2/km last year. That is 13 per cent less than 2010 and 31 per cent less than 1995. This means the group is already well below the legal limit for 2015. Production processes have also been made 19 per cent more environmentally compatible within the space of four years, well on the way to the group’s target of 25 per cent. But, according to Winterkorn, “The second half will be tougher than the first. Every additional gram and per cent we save will be a hard-fought battle.” n

Industry Europe 13


New contracts and orders in industry

Hat trick order for Bestobell Marine in China Windsor stacks up for Metsä Wood B estobell Marine, part of the President Engineering Group, has received its third order in the past 12 months from Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in China. The deal involves the supply of 460 cryogenic miniature needle globe valves per ship for four Teekay/CNOOC/China Shipping Group LNG (liquefied natural gas) Carriers to be built at the shipyard, which will be chartered by BG Group. Bestobell Marine has already secured orders for its cryogenic globe and check valves, as well as its unique FLIV (float level isolation) valves, for ten LNG Carriers currently under construction at the shipyard, with this latest order completing the hat trick for the company. Duncan Gaskin, sales director at Bestobell Marine, said: “This third contract with Hudong Zhonghua is testament to our expertise in developing cryogenic valve solutions for the marine sector globally. We see huge potential in the Chinese market over the next five years, which opens up very exciting opportunities for Bestobell Marine to become the leading supplier of cryogenic valves for vessels in China.” Visit:

CTT SYSTEMS receives airline order for A350-900 humidifiers


TT SYSTEMS, the market leader for anti-condensation systems for commercial aircraft and the provider of humidification products for cockpit, crew rest and cabin areas, has been awarded its first Airbus A350-customer order for flight deck and flight crew rest compartment humidifiers. The airline has ordered humidifiers for flight deck and flight crew rest compartment to be installed in its first A350-900 aircraft. The airline has in total 12 A350-900 on order and is operating a fleet of Boeing 787s equipped with CTT’s flight deck/crew rest humidifiers. The flight deck air is normally extremely dry as is the air in the crew rest compartments. By humidifying the air, work and rest conditions improve significantly. Not only will crew benefit from higher humidity levels during flights, but they will also recover faster during layovers and return flights. “CTT is pleased with this first A350-order and delighted that it is from a Boeing 787-customer reassuring our product humidifiers are sought after for the world’s two most advanced commercial aircraft,” says Peter Landquist, vice-president Sales & Marketing of CTT Systems. Visit:

M+W Group to deliver UK first-of-akind waste to energy facility


eading global engineering and construction company, M+W Group, has been appointed as main contractor for the delivery of a £111 (€150) million state-of-the art energy from waste (EfW) facility in Lanarkshire, Scotland. M+W Group will engineer, procure and construct (EPC) a new 12.5 MWe

14 Industry Europe

thermal treatment plant alongside a new Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) on the site at Levenseat in Lanarkshire. M+W Group was selected as the main contractor based on the company’s in-house engineering expertise, understanding of the treatment process as well as its demonstrable track record of safely delivering major complex facilities to the highest international standards.


ndependent materials handling business, Windsor, has been awarded a long-term nationwide contract for the supply and maintenance of the MHE fleet of premium-quality wood products business, Metsä Wood. The deal will see the provision and maintenance of forklifts, sideloaders, cleaning and other machines across four key production sites, and follows a six-month tender process involving seven different potential suppliers and 10 equipment manufacturers, each of which were asked to come up with ways of improving an already efficient operation. In choosing Windsor, the former Finnforest business cited the company’s independent approach and commitment to delivering additional safety, efficiency and fleet management capabilities as crucial elements of their winning proposal. Gary Isherwood, operations purchasing manager at Metsä Wood UK, said: “Our commitment to improving our operational capabilities is a key part of our ethos, as is delivering industrial efficiencies across the business. It may make us a more demanding customer, when it comes to materials handling, but we feel it makes us a better supplier to our customers and a better company to work for.” Visit: In addition to being the first major new waste treatment and management facility in Levenseat, the new infrastructure will be the first of its kind in the UK, combining fluidised bed gasification technology and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) processed by the MRF. It will produce enough electricity to supply the equivalent of around 18,000 homes. Visit:

WINNINGBUSINESS PKC Group wins new contracts worth €30 million


KC Group has won new business contracts in the amount of about €30 million from two major global vehicle manufacturers. The new contracts are estimated to launch by 2018 and to generate annual revenue of about €30 million. The major part of the revenue relates to the engagement of PKC North America to manufacture high current fuse modules and associated EDS routing and retention shields for a new light vehicle platform. The focus of the PKC North America components has been on special power distribution centrre (PDC) development for com-

mercial and light commercial vehicles. However, extension of this product line to light vehicles provides PKC with economies of scale and strengthens its partnership with a key customer. In addition, PKC Group has been selected as a global wiring harness supplier to a leading global agriculture vehicle manufacturer. PKC Group will supply complete harnesses to a new agricultural equipment platform. This new business award strengthens PKC Group’s market position within global agricultural equipment segment. Visit:

Nifco UK secures £50 million deal


MMK becomes a steel supplier for Ford in Russia


JSC Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK) has been named as a steel supplier for Ford cars produced in Russia. MMK has successfully completed the acceptance process for its steel plate with Ford Sollers Holding, Ford carmaker in Russia, and is increasing supplies of automotive sheet to the corporation. Currently, two items of ultralow-carbon steel in various drawing categories used in the production of car body parts (including the front) for Ford Focus, have been fully accepted. High-duty ultralowcarbon steel for Ford Focus hoods is at the pilot batch approval stage. MMK also expects several items of ultralow-carbon steel for the production of Ford Kuga and Ford Explorer parts to be accepted.

Furthermore, the company aims to supply the car manufacturer with high-density microalloyed and dual-phase steel both with galvanised coating and as a cold-rolled uncoated product. Visit:

SKF supplies bearings for nextgeneration aircraft engines

and accessory gearbox bearings throughout the development of the LEAP engine. The ceramic hybrid mainshaft bearings that have been specially developed for the LEAP engine programme will help contribute to a lighter, quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft engine, that emits up to 16% less carbon than its predecessor, the CFM56 engine.


KF will supply CFM International with mainshaft and gearbox bearings for the LEAP engine programme, a high-bypass aircraft turbofan engine. SKF has a long business relationship with CFM International and has contributed knowledge in manufacturing technology, design and testing of mainshaft

ar parts manufacturer Nifco UK has announced that it has won its largest ever contract. The plastics manufacturer, which produces parts used in car engines and interiors, has revealed that it has won a contract that could be worth as much as £50 million with automotive giant Ford. Nifco was awarded the multi-year deal following a competitive tender process that saw the firm go head-tohead against companies from the UK and around the world. The contract will see Nifco produce a complex thermostatic control assembly for a next generation Ford low CO2 engine. Work will start immediately with engineers from Nifco working with Ford’s product development teams. It is expected the new deal will secure up to 50 new jobs for the region, added to the 295 jobs that will have been maintained and secured since 2012. Mike Matthews, managing director and European operations officer, said that the contract was a hugely significant win for the company. “The scope and size of the deal is unprecedented, and is made even more significant by the fact we have managed to displace competitors from right around the world.” Visit:

“Being involved in one of the industry’s most prestigious engine development programs is an exciting opportunity for us. It is also an acknowledgment that our collaborative approach to technology development supports the industry’s focus on reducing emissions,” says Patrick Tong, president, Speciality Business. Visit: Industry Europe 15


Combining strengths

Caldic completes acquisition of The Ingredient Company DSM and CVC


aldic BV, international distributor and producer of food ingredients, chemicals and technical products, has completed the acquisition of The Ingredient Company, a leading distributor of savoury and nutrition ingredients in Canada. The completion of this agreement underlines Caldic’s strong position and aspiration to become a leading North American food ingredient solution provider using its distribution and manufacturing capabilities. The Ingredient Company has years of experience offering food ingredients which provide flavour and functionality in finished products to food manufacturers. The product portfolio contains

flavours, spice extracts, condiments, gelatine and natural fruits and vegetables which are seen as very complementary to the existing Caldic range. The acquisition of The Ingredient Company will further enhance Caldic’s established expertise and product offering in the Savoury and Nutrition market sectors. According to Mr Olav van Caldenborgh, CEO of Caldic BV, the combination of The Ingredient Company and Caldic “makes us an even more strategic business partner to our customers and forms another pillar for potential growth for our company.” Visit:

Atlas Copco completes acquisition of Kalibriercentrum Bayern


tlas Copco, a leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions, has completed the acquisition of Kalibriercentrum Bayern, which specialises in calibration services.Kalibriercentrum Bayern, which is headquartered near Munich with an additional laboratory in Kiel, Germany, has 27 employees and annual revenue of about €3 million. The company provides laboratory and field calibration and related services to customers in such industries as motor vehicle manufacturing and aerospace. The acquired company becomes part of the Service division in Atlas Copco’s Industrial Technique business area. Atlas Copco announced 25 February 2015 that it had agreed to acquire Kalibriercentrum Bayern. Visit:

Trelleborg acquires agricultural tire business


relleborg has, through its business area Trelleborg Wheel Systems, signed an agreement to acquire Armstrong Tyres, an Australian service and distribution company of agricultural tires. The business specialises in tyres and complete wheels for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)

16 Industry Europe

and tractor dealers, and holds a marketleading position in Australia. The acquisition increases Trelleborg’s presence in the Australian market and strengthens the base for the sale of tires to the aftermarket. The acquired operation has its head office in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. Sales in 2014 amounted to approximately SEK 50 million.

announce partnership


oyal DSM, the Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, and CVC Capital Partners (CVC), one of the world’s leading investment advisory firms, have announced a partnership for DSM’s activities in Polymer Intermediates (Caprolactam and Acrylonitrile) and Composite Resins through the formation of a new company, provisionally called NewCo. According to the terms of the transaction, NewCo will be 65% owned by CVC and 35 per cent by DSM, with 1950 employees. The enterprise value of the transaction is €600 million plus an earn-out of up to €175 million. Closing, subject to customary conditions and approvals, is expected in Q3 2015. Feike Sijbesma, chief executive officer and chairman of the managing board of Royal DSM said: “NewCo will operate as an independent, dedicated company under the leadership of CVC. DSM can now focus fully on improving the operational performance of its Nutrition and Performance Materials businesses as well as benefitting from the future value creation in this new venture.” NewCo will operate as an independent company with three business units: caprolactam, acrylonitrile and composite resins. Visit: “A local presence and global reach have become key drivers in our business strategy. This acquisition provides us with an excellent opportunity to expand our range of agricultural and complete wheels in an attractive and major market,” says Maurizio Vischi, president of the Trelleborg Wheel Systems business area. Visit:


Eltel makes an acquisition in Germany KONE acquires Express Elevators



ltel has announced its acquisition of Edi.Son Energietechnik GmbH, specialising in planning, design and construction of 110 to 380 kV overhead lines in Germany. With the acquisition of Edi.Son, Eltel is in the position to deliver both transmission lines and substations up to 380 kV to the German customers. The acquisition is an important step for Eltel and its growth strategy to extend its market scope in one of the largest European markets. Eltel is present in the Nordic, Baltic, Polish and UK markets to deliver project services, upgrades and maintenance to power transmission and distribution system operators and counts as one of the leading players with its Power segment. Axel Hjärne, CEO of Eltel comments:
“The acquisition of Edi.Son is a great step for Eltel and our journey as a leading Infranet company in Europe. Eltel has a very long tradition of building high voltage transmission lines internationally and we are very happy to announce a strengthened entry with Edi.Son in the German market.” Visit:

ONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, has acquired Express Elevators Ltd (Express), a British company that specialises in the maintenance, repair, modernisation and installation of elevators. Express is based in Yorkshire and located in close proximity to KONE’s regional offices in Keighley. The company currently has over 2000 elevators in service and employs approximately 100 people. “The acquisition of Express will assist KONE to consolidate and expand in Yorkshire and the surrounding regions in the future,” says Michael Williams, KONE Great Britain managing director. “I look forward to bringing fast, reliable and dedicated service of Express to our customer base.” Visit:

HARMAN acquires Bang & Olufsen’s Automotive audio business


ARMAN International Industries, Incorporated, the leading global infotainment, audio and enterprise automation group, has signed an agreement to acquire Bang & Olufsen’s Automotive car audio business. Bang & Olufsen sound systems are available in a wide range of Audi, Aston Martin, BMW and Mercedes-Benz car models. “Bang & Olufsen is a distinctive brand that will complement our existing premium branded offerings and strengthen HARMAN’s position in this segment. While Bang & Olufsen branded solutions will continue at the top of the high-end luxury segment, we will rapidly grow B&O PLAY

branded solutions in the larger mass luxury market,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, HARMAN chairman, president and CEO. Terms of the agreement include a purchase price of €145 million for the Bang & Olufsen Automotive audio business, as well as license payments for an exclusive license to the Bang & Olufsen and B&O PLAY brands within the automotive industry. HARMAN will assume all Bang & Olufsen Automotive customer programmes, and all Bang & Olufsen Automotive development and production resources will be transferred to HARMAN. Visit:

ASSA ABLOY acquires Quantum Secure

step further in being able to provide our customers with an end to end identity management system. The company has experienced very strong growth since its founding and we look forward to continued growth in the future,” says Johan Molin, president and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. “Our acquisition of Quantum Secure gives customers a robust, policy-driven software


SSA ABLOY has acquired Quantum Secure, Inc., the leading provider of solutions to help enterprises manage identities and meet compliance requirements in highly-regulated industries. “This acquisition reinforces our strategy of being the world leader in secure identity solutions. Quantum Secure takes us one

application that will help them achieve their identity management goals,” says Denis Hébert, executive vice-president ASSA ABLOY and Head of business unit HID Global. Quantum Secure was founded in 2004 and the head office is located in San Jose, California. The company has some 175 employees and contractors. Visit: Industry Europe 17



Relocations and expansions across Europe

Fortum to invest in a new combined New water treatment plant heat and power plant in Zabrze, Poland at Lecta’s Zaragoza Mill


ortum has decided to build a new multifuel combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Zabrze, Poland. The total value of the investment is approximately EUR 200 million (PLN 870 million). The new plant is planned to start commercial operations by the end of 2018, providing district heating to some 70,000 households in Zabrze and Bytom. The new plant will primarily be fuelled by refuse derived fuel (RDF) and coal but can also use biomass and a mixture of fuels. The amount of RDF can be up to 50% of the total fuel usage. The residential and industrial waste for RDF is sourced locally. The new plant will replace the existing purely coal-fired, outdated units in Zabrze and Bytom. The investment is expected to significantly improve the efficiency of operations and reduce CO2 and other emissions in the area. Visit:

WACKER starts up new production plant for Polyvinyl Acetate in China


acker Chemie AG has inaugurated its new production plant for foodgrade polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) solid resins at its Nanjing site (Jiangsu province) in China. With an annual capacity of 20,000 metric tons, the plant is the largest of its kind in Asia and it is certified to the highest food standards. PVAc solid resins find use in the manufacture of gumbase for chewing gum. With this investment, WACKER intends to secure sufficient long-term capacity to meet the strong demand for PVAc solid resins and thus continue to offer its Asia-Pacific customers high supply security and product quality. The Group invested around €20 million in the expansion project. WACKER is thereby strengthening its position as the worldís leading manufacturer of PVAc solid resins for the chewing-gum industry. Auguste Willems, Wacker Chemie AG Executive Board member, said, “Asia has become one of the biggest markets for chewing gum. Thanks to the new plant, we can keep pace with our customers’ strong demand for high-quality polyvinyl acetate solid resins in the region in the future.” Visit:

ThyssenKrupp Aerospace service centre in India


hyssenKrupp Aerospace has commissioned its first location in India. On a total area of around 3,300 m≤ the new Service Center in Bangalore will store the entire range of materials used in the aviation industry: aluminum, titanium and steel in the shape of bars, plate and sheet as well as round rods.

18 Industry Europe


ecta has successfully completed a new phase in its ambitious investment plan at its Zaragoza mill, totalling some 23 million euros, aimed at reducing its environmental impact. Lectaís goal is that the Zaragoza site become a benchmark for sustainability in the paper industry. Following the installation of two new electrostatic precipitators in the millís recovery boilers, resulting in a 74% reduction in solid particle emissions, Lecta has started up a biological water purification plant with excellent results. In the first few months, there has already been a drastic reduction in effluent load, with values far below the legal limits. Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) values were cut nearly in half, Total Suspended Solids (TSS) have decreased by 36% and in the case of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5), the decrease was even more pronounced: 72% compared to the average observed in 2013. Zaragoza is Lectaís only integrated mill, manufacturing both pulp and paper with a total production capacity of 500,000 tons of pulp, coated paper, uncoated paper and base paper for specialty products. Visit:

Krantech expands in subsea market


rantech Holdings Ltd have been awarded a UK Regional Growth Fund (RGF) Grant of £300K, for a £1.5 million investment of a 10,000 square foot, New Manufacturing Unit (additional to the existing workshop), based at Colliery Close, Staveley, Chesterfield. The RGF grant is based around the creation of 15 new jobs (in addition to the circa 50 current employees of Krantech Holdings Ltd) and the New Manufacturing Unit will complement the existing medium/heavy fabrication workshop. Krantech Holdings Ltd predominant Client base is in the Subsea Oil/Gas market sector and the New Manufacturing Unit will fulfil additional requirements for precision CNC machining and large machining capacities. Visit:

As one of the foremost global providers in the market for production and raw materials, processing services and the management of complex supply chains, ThyssenKrupp Aerospace supplies the required materials just in time, cut and machined precisely to customer specifications “Our new Service Center in Bangalore offers us the ideal opportunity for an even

closer relationship with India’s dynamically developing aerospace sector,” said J¸rgen Funke, Chief Executive Officer of ThyssenKrupp Aerospace. Visit:


INDUSTRYPEOPLE Stefan Doboczky appointed CEO of Lenzing AG


he supervisory board of Lenzing AG appointed Stefan Doboczky as the new chairman of the management board (CEO). Mr Doboczky, Austrian, brings to Lenzing a broad international management experience and extensive expertise in Asia. Since 1998 he has worked in various management positions for Royal DSM in Europe and Asia. In his current role as member of the managing board he has been responsible for the successful strategic repositioning of the global pharmaceutical businesses, for Corporate Operations & Responsible Care, as well as for the corporation’s growth agenda in the Asian markets. Mr. Doboczky holds a PhD in chemistry from the TU Wien and a MBA from Swiss Business School IMD. Visit:

PowerCell Sweden appoints new Marketing and Sales director


he newly listed fuel cell company PowerCell Sweden AB has appointed Andreas Bodén, former director Engineering at PowerCell Sweden, to new Marketing and Sales director. Andreas Bodén has worked for the company since 2009 and possesses a thorough knowledge and experience of both the products and the international fuel cell market. Andreas has an extensive international experience within the fuel cell market. He holds a Masters in Chemical Engineering and a doctor’s degree in Chemical Engineering within fuel cells and has many years of experience in research and development of fuel cells and fuel cell systems. Andreas has previously worked with fuel cells at Volvo Technology and is also a board member of Hydrogen Sweden. Visit:

Scania appoints new chief financial officer


ohan Haeggman has been appointed chief financial officer (CFO) of Scania and member of the company’s executive board. Johan Haeggman, born in 1960, is currently senior vice-president and head of Corporate Control and member of Scania’s management group (Corporate Units). He joined the

Williams appointed Sabic vice-president Europe C

hemical manufacturing firm Sabic has revealed that Mark Williams will replace Koos van Haasteren as vice-president Europe. Williams, who is currently senior general manager Manufacturing, will officially take up the role on 1 April. The 47-year-old has been with the company since September 1989, when he joined ICI Chemicals & Polymers in Teesside. In 1999, the company was bought by Huntsman and subsequently acquired by Sabic in 2007. Williams has held various management positions in Europe and the United States and during the last two years he has been responsible for Sabic’s petrochemical and polymers facilities across Europe. Visit:

E2S Warning Signals appoints new central Europe sales manager


2S Warning Signals, the world’s leading independent manufacturer of audible and visual warning devices for hazardous areas, fire & industrial and wide area applications, has appointed Düsseldorf-based Joachim Ebert as central Europe sales manager, replacing Wolfgang Pfanner who has retired after seven years. His key tasks are to build on the strong business base developed by Wolfgang through strengthening relationships with established channel partners, spearheading penetration into new geographies and developing further direct supply relationships with OEM customers in key industry sectors. Joachim brings extensive previous experience to his new role, having held similar positions with JAC Products, an American automotive component manufacturer, and Sunfab, a Swedish manufacturer of industrial pumps and motors; both used a similar European sales model involving direct sales and indirect partner channels. Visit:

company in 1989 as trainee and took up his first management position in 1991. Johan Haeggman, who has a Masters in Business Administration, has held a number of managerial positions at Scania. Prior to his current position, he was chief financial officer and member of the executive board of Scania Latin America between 2004 and 2010. Visit: Industry Europe 19



Advances in technology across industry

Siemens develops overhead sensor system for parking Mitsubishi Electric develops IoT

factory controller for future factories


itsubishi Electric Corporation has announced its Internet of Things (IoT) Factory Controller to connect e-F@ctory, the company’s factory automation (FA) solution, with the cloud for the emerging IoT ecosystem. IoT Factory Controller is now being verified in test operation, with commercialisation targeted at April 2016. Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory solution makes factories truly visible by using advanced technologies to directly interconnect shop-floor data. Plant operators can analyse and visualise the data with graphs to achieve greater productivity and quality. Predictive maintenance and diagnostics utilising massive amounts of data are expected to become an important part of future manufacturing operations. Increased data from sensors on production lines, etc. will raise the need for expanded data-processing capacity in factories. Visit:


ccording to the latest Apcoa study, motorists drive an average of 4.5 kilometres before they finally find somewhere to park. That costs time, gasoline and nerves. The new radar sensors mounted overhead controlled parking management system from Siemens is helping to optimise the use of urban parking facilities and radically reduce the congestion caused by motorists searching for a space. The overhead sensor is currently being put through its paces at the testing ground in Munich. An initial pilot project is planned for summer 2015. A sensor network – based on newly developed radar sensors mounted overhead – continuously monitors the parking lot and reports the occupancy status to a parking control centre. The control centre, which records the sensor data, calculates the corresponding parking space occupancy, and prepares it for use by app operators in services such as assistance for drivers in locating parking spaces. What makes the solution really special is that the software works with a system that is capable of learning. It detects recurring parking space situations at particular times and calculates forecasts so that users know what to expect when they arrive at their destination. Visit:

Researchers develop ‘space grease’ T

he Estonian Materials Technologies Competence Centre (MATECC) has signed an agreement with the European Space Agency. Researchers of the centre and of the University of Tartu will start to develop a nanotechnology lubricant suitable for extreme conditions. Shuttles and equipment used in space consist of numerous elements and have several friction-prone details, the surface of which must be greased to ensure smooth operation. Due to extreme temperature, pressure and radiation conditions, conventional oils and greases cannot be used in space. This is why solid substances 20 Industry Europe

such as molybdenum disulfide and graphite are preferred for space usage. Researchers involved in the activities of the Estonian Materials Technologies Competence Centre have been studying friction mechanisms and the characteristics of materials on the nanoscale for several years already and have developed novel additives to lubricant oils together with the industry. Martin Järvekülg, research fellow in Materials Science at the University of Tartu and project manager of the Estonian Materials Technologies Competence Centre, said that the aim of the cooperation between the centre and the

European Space Agency is to develop a lubricant based on the combination of nanoparticles and ionic liquids. Visit:



Wammes & Partner launches new micro-spectrometer


ammes & Partner, a German light technology company, has launched MR-16 V4, a portable CCD-based high-end micro-spectrometer. Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the device has a size of only 148 x 96 x 35 mm and a weight of 550g. It allows a variety of on-site measuring operations in visible light with wavelengths between 380 and 780 nanometres. MR-16 V4 is based on a MEMS spectrochip for capturing the photons, coupled with a linear CCD converting the photons into electrons. The digitised signal is processed by the integrated micro-computer and visualized on a multi-color

touch-display. MR-16 V4 is equipped with internal memory for some 2000 measuring operations. Further data can be saved on a Micro SD card and also exported using the USB port. MR-16 V4 is suitable for a wide range of light-related measurements required in fields such as lighting technology, display technology, automotive, medicine, architecture, energy consulting, chemistry, and biology. Wammes & Partner have developed the MR-16 V4 micro-spectrometer in cooperation with its worldwide network of technology partners. It will distribute the device both through

its subsidiary Global LightZ, specialising in light technology, as well as the display-focused subsidiary i-sft. Visit:

Feeder innovation comes full circle Spheros steps T on the gas he very first product launched by SUN Automation Group 30 years ago, the Extend-O-Feed® Lead Edge Feeder, has come full circle – the latest state-of-the-art model plays an integral part in the group’s unique new CorrStream® digital printing solutions. SUN Automation has applied the same level of innovation and attention to detail used in the development of the Lead Edge Feeder, to the refinement of its class leading range of CorrStream high output single pass, drop on demand inkjet print solutions. An in-depth understanding of box makers’ needs enables the company to add significant value to the corrugated sector, reducing the cost of printing, for example, up to 4,000m2 batch runs, and putting plants back in control of production efficiency and profitability. Sean Moloney, global product manager for Digital at SUN Automation, said: “We’ve utilised several years of development to present an industrial inkjet solution to the corrugated industry. Combining the latest inkjet technology with our expertise in corrugated sheet handling, CorrStream reduces cost by migrating low end runs from Flexo, while meeting new market demand and opportunity.” SUN Automation’s CorrStream is equipped with the trusted Lead Edge Feeder, pairing established equipment with innovative technology. Visit:

Panasonic offers much extended range of Ni-MH batteries


evelopers and buyers will now find that Panasonic has an even better and more comprehensive range of powerful Ni-MH batteries. The Panasonic engineers have further refined the specifications of these types, which are specially designed for use in extreme temperatures. The world’s largest manufacturer of industrial batteries now also offers infrastructure types in Ni-MH technology. The new low-temperature types BK-250A and BK-130AA can be used down to -30°C and up to +65°C. The two specialist batteries impress with their excellent low- temperature discharge behaviour. This makes them predestined for use in all exterior applications such as walkie-talkies, communications and locating devices. The new BK-310CH is a particularly robust battery which has an excellent discharge characteristic in high temperature ranges. It is therefore ideally suitable for backup systems, emergency lighting, street lighting, elevators and much more. The likewise improved BK-160AH offers different properties. Engineers can best use them where long life is required in conjunction with an outstandingly good charging characteristic at high temperatures. The models BK-10V1S and BK-10V10T represent a brand-new offering from the battery specialist. With these units, Panasonic is marketing infrastructure types in Ni-MH technology for the first time. Visit:


pheros is launching a new gas heater specially developed for gas-powered buses. The Thermo G natural-gas-powered heater was built and optimised on the basis of many years of experience and the tradition of its successful predecessor, the GBW. Available as a CNG variant, the innovative heating system Thermo G, with its high heat ouput and low emissions, ensures pleasant temperatures in the bus even before the bus is started. Just like its predecessor, the Thermo G has a heat output of 30 kW. Its major advantage over the GBW is that the heater is designed for a greater temperature range. The Thermo G can thus be used for temperatures as low as -40°C. Moreover, it impresses thanks to its optimised gas pressure regulator, lower weight and compact dimensions, making it easier to install in vehicles. The GBW successor’s diagnostic capability has also been optimised. The Thermo G can, for example, be read out via flash code and the PC-based Spheros Thermo Test (STT) diagnostic system. Visit:

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Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on Germany’s crumbling road and rail bridges.


he juggernaut that is Germany’s export led economy faces being stopped in its tracks by more than just the euro crisis and diminishing demand abroad for its goods and services. The crumbling road and rail bridges of the country are now in such a shocking state of disrepair that the wheels of commerce which thunder along asphalt and steel are being dramatically slowed – and sometimes stopped altogether. Rail bosses say, for example, closing just one particular bridge at Frankfurt-Main railway station would result in 33,000 minutes a day of lost time for trains across Germany. Deutsche Bahn, the rail network operator, has funds to repair just 125 bridges – and 1400 need construction surgery, 1000 of them ‘urgently’. On average a rail bridge lasts 100 years, but many in Germany are already older than this. The increased size of both passenger and freight trains has taken a heavy toll on them – but that is nothing compared to the state of the nation’s road spans. “What’s good for GDP will eventually be a death knoll for a country’s bridges,” said broadcaster Deutsche Welle in a recent web report on the dire situation. Recently a portent of things to come was seen when the vital A40 bridge between the country’s largest inland port of Duisburg connecting it with Oberhausen was completely shut. Some 11,000 trucks which use it every day snarled up minor roads in a bid to get their goods to market. When the bridge was built in 1971 its planners never envisaged the sheer volume of traffic, and the increased weight of articulated vehicles, which would be using it. Enhanced X-Ray technology has aided engineers in finding out the interior weaknesses of bridges more quickly – only to shock transport chiefs who somehow have to find the money to repair them. In North 22 Industry Europe

Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous and industrialised state, experts say 150 bridges will have to be rebuilt while 64 need urgent repairs. The single A40 bridge closure resulted in eight- and nine-mile traffic jams on four detour routes to get across the Rhine. Seeing as how it will take ten years to build a new bridge, the scale of the traffic nightmare facing shippers is colossal.

On average a rail bridge lasts 100 years, but many in Germany are already older than this. The increased size of both passenger and freight trains has taken a heavy toll on them – but that is nothing compared to the state of the nation’s road spans. “This situation is absolutely unacceptable,” said the NRW transportation minister, Michael Groschek, who has approached Berlin for central funds. “We need this, otherwise we will have no other choice but to paralyse parts of our economy.”

Long-standing problem In total some 40 per cent of autobahn bridges and a fifth of the total 18,000 mile road network are in need of serious attention. But it seems that Chancellor Merkel, determined for Germany to maintain balanced budgets, will not be stumping up the

17 billion euros estimated for emergency road bridge repairs any time soon. “If Germany continues on the economic path it’s currently pursuing and doesn’t boost (infrastructure) investment, in only five years from now it could be in a much worse position internationally,” Marcel Fratzscher, president of the DIW Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, said recently. “Although Germany is not widely seen as a country with deficient public infrastructure, the reality is that this has been a neglected area for some time,” the IMF said in the summer of last year. Mrs Merkel pledged to spend five billion euros on infrastructure during the four-year term she began in 2013, but experts deride this as a fraction of what is needed. Some 13,000, or 20 per cent, of the 67,000 bridges owned by local authorities in Germany are in poor shape and need repair or complete replacement, the government-financed German Institute of Urban Affairs said in a report published in September 2013. German capital investment as a percentage of GDP has been on a downward trend since the 1960s. The country has had negative net public investment since 2003: meaning money spent by the government hasnít been sufficient to replace what was lost to wear and tear. “The cost of lagging infrastructure investment is a deterioration of potential growth,” said Johannes Gareis, an economist at Natixis SA in Frankfurt. “This isn’t just about the capital stock but also about technological progress.” One trucking company owner said: “It is a sorry state of affairs that if we have time-sensitive orders and we are ready to ship that we are delayed because the roads and bridges are collapsing beneath our trucks. It’s not as if transport companies don’t already pay colossal amounts of tax.” n



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on concerns about preparations for the World Cup and the government’s attempts to make sure that its citizens are the right weight.


rench construction giant Vinci has been accused of using ‘terrorised migrant slave labour’ on building projects linked to the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar. The Paris-based human rights watchdog Sherpa claims foreign labourers have had their passports confiscated and live in ‘squalid lodgings’ while working 66 hours a week on ‘derisory wages’. The group has lodged a legal complaint in France against Vinci for ‘forced labour infractions’ and ‘keeping people in servitude’ on building sites in the world’s richest state. Sherpa spokeswoman Marie-Laure Guislain said: “Migrants are terrorised by the idea of the reprisals that they could suffer. We have collected formal proof of inhumane and dangerous working conditions and violation of international and local laws which explain the frequent accidents and deaths on building sites. And worse, passports are confiscated by the company and workers are subjected to threats if they attempt to leave or change employer.” Sherpa director Laetitia Liebert added: “I hope this complaint will force Vinci to scrupulously respect the rights of migrant workers in the years to come and set an example for the whole of the construction industry. The construction will continue and even increase ahead of the World Cup, however various calls by unions and human rights groups have so far been insufficient to improve workers’ situations. It is therefore crucial to prevent any future violations of the basic rights of workers with this legal action.” Vinci said it ‘absolutely denies’ the claims made by Sherpa, and said in a statement: “The group respects local labour laws and fundamental rights in Qatar as well as in all the countries where it operates. In Qatar, each worker has free access to his passport while work and rest times are strictly respected.”

The Qatar authorities have also denied the claims and accused foreign media of running a malicious campaign against the first Gulf nation to host a Soccer World Cup. Qatar also insisted none of the workers employed for World Cup projects have been exploited. Qatar is Vinci’s second largest shareholder through its Qatar Investment Fund, which holds 5.3 per cent according to Thomson Reuters data. The shock decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar came amid warnings about the extreme summer temperatures in the country, which can exceed 50 degrees. Football’s world governing body FIFA has now ruled the event will be held in November and December, sparking a flood of complaints from European football associations over disruption to their domestic seasons.

Size matters Also in France, the government has voted to ban super-skinny models from the catwalk and advertising in a move widely opposed by the nation’s thriving fashion industry. Fashion bosses will now face six month prison sentences or fines of up to €60,000 for hiring underweight girls in advertising or on the catwalk. The law means that models will need medical certificates showing their boss mass index – calculated by dividing one’s weight in kilogrammes by the square of one’s height in metres. The tough new rules are an amendment to Health Minister Marisol Touraine’s health reform package by Socialist MP and neurologist Olivier Veran. The new health reforms will also crack down so-called pro-anorexia websites that ‘incite extreme thinness’ by encouraging people to diet. It will now become illegal in France to ‘provoke a person to seek excessive weight loss by encouraging prolonged nutritional deprivation that could lead to health risks or death’.

Offenders will face fines of up to €15,000 and a one-year prison sentence, the law states. France’s National Union of Modelling Agencies has complained that the law on models will affect the competitiveness of the French fashion industry. But it is backed by veteran Italian designer Giorgio Armani, who said recently that the fashion industry had a duty to ‘work together against anorexia’. He added: “The industry has to recognise the link between its preference for abnormally thin models and the growth in eating disorders among young women.” Also under the sweeping health reforms, France will tackle child obesity by banning restaurants from offering free unlimited fizzy drinks. The law will apply to all sugary soft drinks in places open to the public, including fast-food chains, cafes and restaurants. It also states that ‘water is the only essential drink’ and should be made freely available in all bars and restaurants. The legislation aims to reduce consumption of fizzy drinks by 25 per cent after a study by France’s National Institute for Health and Medical Research found 20 million French people are now overweight and seven million of those are clinically obese – double the figure for 15 years ago. France imposed a ‘fat tax’ on sugary soft drinks four years ago in a bid to combat child obesity, which added just over 1p to a can of fizzy drink like Coca-Cola or Fanta. It also began rationing tomato ketchup and salt in school canteens to one day a week when chips are served. A French health ministry spokesman said: “It is clearly unhealthy to be either too fat or too thin, and we are aiming to legislate for both. We French may be among the least overweight in Europe but we have nothing to be complacent about. Obesity in particular is rising as swiftly in France as it is in other EU countries and action must be taken before it n gets any more serious.” Industry Europe 23


Join us at the Dubai World Trade Centre and celebrate the 25th Anniversary edition of INDEX from 18–21 May 2015. INDEX International Design Exhibition, now in its 25th year, continues to grow and adapt inline with the demands of the region’s architecture and design industries.


he INDEX International Design Exhibition is the largest event for the architecture and design industry in the Middle East. It attracts more than 700 exhibitors from 50 countries. INDEX provides an unrivalled business and networking opportunity for buyers and sellers of residential interiors products and services from around the world to source an astounding array of the very latest design innovations, trends and techniques. More than just an exhibition, the event provides attendees with unrivalled access to information, intelligence, contacts and hands on experience. Experts from around the world engage in the industry’s most topical discussions, finding design solutions, facing challenges and seizing opportunities. The show is the gateway to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) providing both exhibitors and visitors with the opportunity to conduct serious business with like-minded professionals.

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Show profile INDEX 2015 presents eight dedicated product sectors, along with three new subsectors, all of which cover the entire spectrum of products and services required for the design, fit-out or upgrade of residential, retail and hospitality spaces. INDEX’s product sectors include: furnishings, furniture, kitchen & bathroom, lighting, objets, outdoor living, retail (formerly InRetail), and textiles.

New for 2015 • INDEX artisan – a brand new sub-sector of INDEX furnishings, celebrating craftsmanship; displaying a variety of designer, ethnic and modern handmade crafts and objet d’art. • INDEX contemporary collection – a new sub-sector of INDEX furniture, providing a focus on contemporary furniture design.

• INDEX sleep – a new sub-sector of INDEX textiles, focusing on mattresses, bedding, n and related accessories. Pre-register online at to fast-track into the event. Entry is FREE for trade professionals.

SENSOR+TEST 2015 The leading international trade fair for sensors, measuring, and testing technology, the SENSOR+TEST, will be held from 19 to 21 May 2015 at the Nürnberg Exhibition Centre.


he SENSOR+TEST is a must-go venue for developers and engineers from all industries as well as for technically oriented engineering and science students. Without today’s sensor and measuring technology, appliances, machines, systems and industrial processes could not be designed according to the state of the art or further developed in view of future innovations. Moreover, without the latest testing technology, the ever-increasing standards of quality could not be met within the cost limits imposed by external factors. There is no comparable platform where innovative users can meet so many important suppliers of sensor, measuring and testing technology from all over the globe. But of course that’s not all: The forums and the action area as well as accompanying conferences will give visitors a comprehensive

survey to update their technical knowledge and experience new developments. This year, the SENSOR+TEST puts the spotlight on the subject of Environmental Monitoring, because environmental protection in industry – as well as in general – is hardly possible without reliable measuring values. Whether we want to avoid health hazards, optimise industrial processes or comply with new statutory requirements, precise monitoring of ambient conditions is now a more important task for sensing, measuring and testing technology than ever before. Exhibitors will present their latest developments on the special forum, on their booths and in lectures. The trade fair with about 550 suppliers, two forums for company presentations, an action area for live demonstrations as well as the AMA Conferences 2015 ‘SENSOR” and IRS²’

offer efficient and comprehensive technical information. The AMA Association for Sensors and Measurement and AMA Service as organisers count with approximately 8000 visitors. n More information about topics, products, applications and programs, are available at

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From 24–27 March 2015, representatives from all aspects of the food production industry will be converging on the Cologne Exhibition Centre for Anuga FoodTec 2015. We take the opportunity to look at what makes this world-leading trade show such an unmissable event for manufacturers, buyers and suppliers alike.


nuga FoodTec is generally recognised to be one of the leading global trade shows for the food and beverage industry. It is unique in being the only trade fair in the world to cover every single aspect of food production, from machines and systems to analytics and services. In addition, for the first time, there will be an emphasis on presenting ingredients and packaging materials alongside the traditional exhibition focus points. To give some idea of the sheer scale of this event: it has attracted some 1289 exhibitors from 41 countries, and 42,986 visitors from 130 countries. This includes representatives from all top 10 food & beverage companies. The exhibition space itself covers an astonishing 127,000 square metres.

Key sectors From machines and packaging materials to food production, ingredients, analytics and services, Anuga FoodTec really does unite 26 Industry Europe

the entire process chain under one roof. These are divided into four key sections: Food Processing; Food Packaging; Food Safety and Services & Solutions. Within these for main areas there will be representation from companies of all sizes in the following key sub-sections: • Process Technology • Filling and Packaging Technology • Packing Materials, packaging and packaging aids • Automation, data processing, controlling and regulation technology • Food safety and quality management • Operating materials, environmental technology and biotechnology • Refrigeration and air-conditioning technology • Conveying, transport and storage installation • Ingredients and auxiliary materials • Components, assemblies, surface technology and accessories • Service firms, organisations and publishers

Unique opportunity For exhibitors, Anuga FoodTec offers the opportunity to expand their international business network. Nowhere else will they have the chance to meet such a large number of key decision makers – management, production directors, quality managers and marketing directors – from all areas of the global food processing industry. Added to this is guaranteed media exposure: 531 journalists were accredited for the last edition of the show, resulting in 2500 articles in the trade press. Anuga FoodTec also attracts more than 42,000 visitors, and with good reason. With just one visit they can get an overview of the latest developments across the entire spectrum of food and drinks manufacturing. Here they can meet representatives from such globally renowned companies as GEA, Siemens, Bosch, Rockwell, Exxon, Thermo Fischer, Ecolab, Krones. Alfa Laval and many more besides.

Everything covered A particular focus for the 2015 edition of the show will be ‘Resource Efficiency’, with exhibitors presenting solutions on how energy, water and food resources can be reduced during the production process. Alongside this there will be a number of other forums and specialist symposia in areas such as automation, preservation and packaging, sterilisation technologies, ethics in food production and much more besides. As mentioned above, this year’s show will see a greatly increased emphasis on food ingredients, with a new meeting point dedicated to this particular issue. Here, representatives from all aspects of the food production industry can get together to learn about the newest technologies available and the latest trends the industry has to offer. Also under the spotlight will be food analytics – one of the most significant issues for the food industry today. Quality managers, labo-

ratory managers etc. can learn about the latest analytical methodologies and how these can be incorporated into the development of new products to ensure safe processing and food safety. Furthermore, the world of robotics is going through yet another radical transformation: not only are we seeing a greater focus on smaller, more lightweight machines; perhaps even more significantly we are also entering an age of direct cooperation between man and machine and experts at Anuga FoodTec will look at the implications of this. All of the biggest advances in food and beverage production automation will be showcased and they’re not to be missed. The above is just a brief snapshot of the scope of this world-leading event. But whatever your reason for attending, one thing is certain: with the huge range of segments and topics covered, the show promises to offer something for everyone. Whether you

are looking to target niche suppliers, learn about emerging technologies, make contact with major global players or simply get an overview of the industry as a whole, Anuga n FoodTec has it all.

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CREATE VALUE OUT OF WATER & WASTE Specialising in smart water & waste solutions for the industrial and municipal market, Nijhuis Industries has a global network of Sales & Service Centers and business partners that meet the world’s strictest water & waste standards. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to marketing officer Steven Nieuwboer to learn more about its ‘Solid Solutions in a Fluid World’ promise.


ctive worldwide with more than 2400 completed projects in over 85 countries, Nijhuis Industries designs, manufactures and delivers robust technology, solid solutions and added value services to treat effluent, process water, biogas and air across a wide range of industries and municipalities. Based in the Netherlands, Nijhuis encompasses Nijhuis Water Technology, Nijhuis Ozone Solutions, Nijhuis H2OK and has Sales & Service Centers in China, Canada, central Europe, Germany, Latin America, Middle East, Russia, 28 Industry Europe

UK, Ukraine and USA. Nijhuis has a network of over 40 certified business partners that all work together to create value out of water & waste with their smart solutions. With its commitment to realising the value of (waste)water, recover valuable raw materials and make them available for sustainable reuse, Nijhuis is driven by its mission of ‘Solid solutions in a fluid world’. This important statement underpins the whole operation, as marketing officer Steven Nieuwboer explained to Industry Europe. He

said, “Our vision and company mission of ‘Solid Solutions in a Fluid World, highlights our determination to fulfil the market’s need for innovative, sustainable solutions at the lowest possible operational cost. Our team of highly trained and experienced technologists and process engineers are constantly evaluating the most appropriate solutions for purifying wastewater, recovering valuable resources and chemical free disinfection and reuse of process water while meeting increasinglystringent environmental requirements.”

Mr Nieuwboer continued, “That’s why we promise to deliver ‘Solid Solutions in a Fluid World’. It’s a promise that shows that we strongly believe that through combining our longstanding expertise and know-how we can design, manufacture and deliver solid solutions with the highest level of innovation to meet today’s challenges as well as those of the future.” The team of experts at Nijhuis are experienced in performing treatability studies and the state-of-the-art facilities at each site have the capability to provide lab testing and pilot testing. There is also a complete R&D department which is continuously working on the innovation and improvement of existing technologies and the development of new solutions. Mr Nieuwboer continued, “We also have our own engineering and manufactur-

ing facilities which allow us to guarantee a quick and flexible approach as well as short delivery times. We offer everything from single units right up to integrated overall solutions or containerised installations according to specific and local requirements so all customers can be assured that Nijhuis can provide the exact solution they need – even if they don’t know exactly what they need. We offer testing on-site and, thanks to our incredible R&D department, we aim to stay at least one step ahead of the industry challenges.”

Water & waste everywhere The broad scope of Nijhuis’s capabilities means that its customers can be found across industrial and municipal sectors, including food, beverage, oil, gas & mining and municipalities. For the food industry, its most active

industry sector, the company offers a wide range of solutions. Wastewater & process water reuse systems are implemented in the complete food chain, with projects completed for slaughterhouses, meat processing, fish processing, edible oil production and vegetable harvesting. Solutions available for the food industry include meeting ever demanding discharge limits, removal of fats, oils and grease, recovery of valuable product, chemical free disinfection and the reuse of water. Mr Nieuwboer added, “Nijhuis Industries will select, design and build the most suitable plant for each application, taking into consideration investment, operational costs, local requirements and reliability. With our added value services, customers can be sure that Nijhuis will deliver our proven combination of expertise and know-how together with engineering skill.”

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For the oil, gas & mining sector, Nijhuis offers solutions for the removal of hydrocarbons and other contaminations from water. It also provides solutions for treating wastewater prior to reuse in the production process or discharge, providing the added benefit of reducing wastewater disposal costs and environmental compliance. Mr Nieuwboer explained, “We have extensive experience all over the world in the design, development and implementation of waste water and

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sludge treatment plants for oil refineries, the petrochemicals industry and for tank farms. Our engineers are certainly well used to the exceptionally high technological standards required in the oil, petrochemical and tank farm industries.”

Waste not Creating value from waste is integral to Nijhuis’s ongoing success. Realising the value of wastewater and waste underlines Nijhuis Industries’

determination to fulfill the market’s need for innovative, sustainable solutions with minimum life cycle cost and is promoted across all of its divisions and active sectors, with the various methods of extracting value wherever possible at the heart of every project. Mr Nieuwboer commented, “Our waste to value understanding is very important in the completion of each solution; whether it’s sludge and waste digestion, anaerobic digestion systems for manure, algae refining and harvesting or recycling, we

are always trying to find the most effective, ecologically-sustainable solution that gives the best performance for our customers and create value out of water and waste.” With its innovative smart and solid solutions such as the AecomixTM to turn a (waste) water plant into a true powerplant in one single process (winner of the ADBA Industry

Award in 2014 and nominated for the Aquatech Innovation Award in 2013), the Nijhuis Ammonia Recovery, the Intelligent DAF and Nijhuis Oil Recovery combined with their online monitoring programme, the company expects its future to be every bit as successful as its past. It regularly participates in important international trade exhibitions,

such as the Anuga FoodTec fair in March and the AquaTech in November. Furthermore, its recent acquisitions in 2013 of Excellent Ozone Solutions (nowadays Nijhuis Ozone Solutions) and H20K Water & Energy (nowadays Nijhuis H2OK) will enable it to continue expanding its range of innovative n smart and solid solutions.

CORE PRODUCTS For many installations, companies have to contend with new noise standards. The AER-SB/L submersible aerator with silencer is an excellent solution here, as it does not produce any blower sound and yields a large radial oxygen dispersion.

Purifying water in a more budget-friendly and energy-efficient way with Aquasystems International NV

The high price of a new water treatment plant can sometimes put companies off investing in processing their own waste water. Aquasystems has proven that this in many instances is beneficial for companies to treat their own wastewater. “By optimising the aeration system of existing water treatment plants, you optimise performance hence increased efficiencies and markedly lower costs,” explains Frederic Meunier, International Sales & Marketing Manager. Aquasystems International NV was formed over 40 years ago by Johny Haegeman. It has gained global recognition through the production of robust, well-designed treatment equipment of high quality with proven results, a long lifetime and minimal maintenance. The company is internationally renowned and regularly implement complete projects in water technology across borders.

The AER-AS/MIX-SL, meanwhile, consists of a surface aerator with separate mixer that is maintenance-free for five years. It is a solution to enable separate denitrification and/or optimise the oxygen uptake. The AER-GS has a high aeration efficiency and constant mixing, almost independent of the airflow. As a result you can save significant amounts of energy. Many customers have had their membrane diffused aeration replaced by the AQUA TURBO® AER-GS aerator/mixers. The AER-GS is a mechanical, blower-supplied base aerator/mixer that stands freely on the base. It consists of a blockage-free fan with mixer blades on top and air-distribution blades underneath to shear and disperse the air bubbles. Together with the simple installation and the intense mixing with very low consumption, this is a very robust and flexible system Various companies such as Waterleau, Nijhuis Water Technology, Belgomilk, Eurofreez, Cargill, Devoghel, Aaqua, Enprotech, Veolia, Pantarein, Bio Armor and others have made use of Aquasystems International NV solutions. Phone: +32 2 362.02.62 Email:

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STRONG IN STAINLESS STEEL For decades Armaturenwerk Hötensleben GmbH (AWH) has been manufacturing high-quality stainless steel components for the food, cosmetics, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Julia Snow spoke to marketing manager Mandy Bode about its new products and markets.


WH is a partner of choice for machine manufacturers, end consumers and distributors when it comes to quality stainless steel components used in process industries. In 2014 the company generated a turnover of €79 million, while the workforce increased to 404. The logistics and warehouse centre in Hötensleben, west of Magdeburg, the collection and dispatch warehouse for tubes and pipes in Essenbach (Bavaria) and a collection and dispatch warehouse for small parts and tubes in Vienna (Austria) allow for short delivery times in central Europe. The company has all the advantages of state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies, core competences in the areas of cleaning technology, valve technology, product recovery technology and a quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001:2008, ATEX and PED. “The majority of our business is conducted in the food sector (70 per cent), followed by pharmaceuticals (20 per cent). Cosmetics and chemicals make up the remainder,” explains Mandy Bode. Standard products are supplemented by customised components, which are planned and

implemented in close cooperation with customers. Comprehensive technical advice and services form the basis for long-term customer relationships – AWH sees itself in the role of a consultant and service provider, always aiming for the highest degree of added value for clients and partners. For AWH, the quality of its raw materials is of highest importance: stainless steel is sourced from Ilta Inox, and forged blanks come from Gebr. Nagel in Hagen, Germany.

Investments The company traces its roots back to the year 1859, and the growth of the business continues to trigger substantial investments. “A new tube storage was built in 2001,” reports Mrs Bode, “followed by a new logistics hall in 2004 and a new production hall in 2009. In 2012 we opened a new electropolishing bath, and in 2013 the fourth building phase resulted in a new production site including administrative facilities. A test stand for cleaning technology is due to be installed here next year, and last year we purchased another 100,000m2 of space for future expansion.”

New products AWH’s core product range consists of cleaning nozzles (spate and jet cleaners), product recovery systems, valve technology (manual and pneumatic), ball valves and pneumatic actuators. A number of new products have been launched recently, including the TANKO® CP2. “This is a jet cleaner functioning as a connection between the TANKO® S series of spate cleaners and the TANKO® JM series of jet cleaners. It is designed for the cleaning of containers up to 4m in diameter, and its slow and even rotation – combined with the strong impact – makes the TANKO® CP2 ideal for containers that hold liquids with strong adhesive properties,” explains Mrs Bode.

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The VMove 1 is a new pneumatic actuator for AWH butterfly valves. It comes with a position display and a double M12 initiator connection as standard. The integrated position display makes the adding of initiators an easy task: Screw in, switch on and the system is ready to go. The transparent cover of the position display is splash-proof, and acts as an additional optical checkpoint for the positioning of the valve. There are no additional external moving parts and therefore no more risk of injuries to the machine operator. The double bearing axle inside the actuator ensures stable operation, as well as high torque. The VMove 1 will be available from March 2015. A further innovation from AWH’s butterfly valve technology is the leakage butterfly valve with pneumatic auxiliary valves. It guarantees a safe separation of materials and is equipped with a leakage valve and rinse valve as standard. These auxiliary valves can be controlled separately or in a synchronized manner. Both valves are easy to clean – owing to their efficient design – and are fully isolated when closed. The delivery of the first new valves is planned for the first quarter of 2015.

ANUGA Food Tech This global event for the food and drinks industry drew 42,000 visitors from 131 countries in 2012, making it an important event for AWH, says Mrs Bode: “We are well known in Germany, therefore we focus on international

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markets at this exhibition. Mainly we want to present our company and our products and win new customers. Equally, we want to keep in touch with our existing customers – and the fair is always a good opportunity for some face-to-face meetings.”

Expanding the global network AWH components are sold worldwide, in all standards and with documentation in the appropriate languages, based on national and international standards. “After Germany, Europe is a very important market for us,” says Mrs Bode. “We have representatives in France and Italy, as well as a storage facility in Austria. The Ukraine is very interesting too, but we are currently awaiting further political developments there. “We are definitely planning more growth, mainly in Europe and North Africa. New geo-

graphical markets are on the agenda, but our strategy is controlled growth from within. As a member of the NEUMO Ehrenberg Group we can use synergies among the group members, and benefit from group-wide representations and distribution structures n around the world.”

MOTIVATED FOR SUCCESS Biomashinostroene AD is Bulgarian company specialising in the design and manufacture of stainless steel processing systems and equipment for various industries. Sales manager Snezhana Kaneva talks about the company’s current work and future plans, emphasising its performance in the past few years. Vanja Švačko reports.


ounded in 1986 in Plovdiv, in 1996 Biomashin turned into a private family-owned business and began investing in new technologies in order to reach new markets. The company’s processing equipment is mainly manufactured for the dairy and food processing, beer and beverage, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Its inhouse engineering and design departments are constantly working on new designs and advanced technological solutions. Its clients include world-renowned companies from the engineering, food and beverage sectors. Some of the most complex products in Biomashin’s range include process and storage tanks, shelf and tube heat exchangers, equipment working under pressure and so on. The company is considered to be the European leader in the production of heat exchangers and evaporators. When asked about the company’s ability to focus on more demanding equipment

that requires high quality standards, Mrs Kaneva says: “Just recently we have started manufacturing large tubular heat exchangers (weighing around 100 tons) for the milk processing industry, which represents the main end use segment for our company. Thanks to manufacturing technologies we use, including laser and plasma cutting, machining, automatic grinding, welding and tube expansion, we are able to produce complete equipment solutions with all components in our own factory. This makes Biomashin a very flexible company, able to keep up with the changing market demands.”

Internal potential Biomashin currently employs around 200 people and operates one large production plant in Plovdiv. Its facilities boast the most up-to-date technical equipment (90 per cent of the manufacturing processes are automated). Between 2011 and 2013

the company invested in new production premises that increased its total area by an additional 5000m2. Today Biomashin occupies 36,000m2, almost half of which is covered production area. “Along with the successful modernisation of our facilities, we have implemented the ERP and CRM management systems. Our current plan for expanding our production capacity is focused mainly on maximising our in-house potential and improving our production processes,” explains Mrs Kaneva.

Strategic development Aside from expanding its production facilities, Biomashin has continued to improve its productivity by increasing the automation of its manufacturing processes. In 2011 a modern line for the construction of vessels and heat exchangers was installed in the newly built premises. The line included a six-metre welding machine and a roll-bending machine.

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Equipment for the preparation of details (high-tech laser cutting machine and a plasma cutting machine) was installed last year and immediately improved the quality of subsequent processes such as welding. Around 90 per cent of the company’s processes are now automated, including vertical and horizontal welding, orbital welding and the welding of serpentines. “As a result,” says Mrs Kaneva, “we have achieved products of the highest quality, increased our production capacity, shortened production times and ultimately gained more satisfied customers, which has definitely helped us to increase our market share.”

we will offer our current and potential customers the most advanced and innovative products, as well as efficient technological solutions based on our vast experience and knowledge. Together with the understanding of our customers’ needs we will provide workable solutions which are in line with n current market demands.” Visit:

Market ambitions With only 10 per cent of its sales accounted for by the domestic market, Biomashin is an export-oriented company with a presence in Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand, South America and other regions. The certificates it holds, including ISO 9001:2008, EC 97/23/EG – PED and BS OHSAS 18001:2007, allow the company to sell its products in the EU, countries of the former Soviet Union and Switzerland. Mrs Kaneva explains that the company is aiming to become a leader in the production of process tanks and S&T heat exchangers for European, Middle Eastern and American markets, featuring high quality products, innovative designs and technologies. “We continuously work towards becoming the best equipped company in the industry. We are highly effective, flexible and fast moving.” As a part of its market strategy, in 2015 Biomashin will participate in the Anuga Food Tec exhibition, one of the most important fairs for the food processing industry. The company has high expectations. “We are a traditional exhibitor in this fair,” explains Mrs Kaneva. “Being a project-oriented company, Industry Europe 37

HANNOVER MESSE – THE WAIT IS OVER Hannover Messe 2015, the world’s biggest industrial fair, takes place from 13–17 April. The event will showcase products and technologies from companies throughout the world, as well as providing a forum for discussion on some of the biggest trends in manufacturing.

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ince its establishment, Hannover Messe has been the place to find out about the most innovative, game-changing technologies developments – and the 2015 edition of the show will be no exception. Here, visitors can meet decisions-makers, investors and developers across the whole spectrum of industrial manufacturing. Whatever you are looking for – you will find it at Hannover Messe. Core sectors covered by this year’s show include: • Industrial Automation and IT – Discover the latest innovations in production and process automation, robotics, assembly and materials handling systems. Find out why technical professionals in the mechanical engineering sector have to embrace change in order to keep up with the fourth industrial revolution. Discover Industry 4.0 up close and its implications for global manufacturing. • Energy & Environmental Engineering – Over the course of the five days visitors can discover the latest innovations in renewable and conventional forms of energy – from environmentally friendly production to transmission and storage. Find out about how new drive technologies are paving the way to high-performance, resource-conserving electromobility. • Power Transmission & Control – Aside from IT, power transmission and control are core components of the smart fac-

tory. Machines, equipment and materials exchange information digitally, autonomously monitoring their condition and optimising their operation during running production. Without innovations from power transmission and control, there would be no smart factory. Hannover Messe will bring together all the new developments and concepts into a single venue. • Industrial Subcontracting & Production Engineering – Find out about how developments in the subcontracting sector (such as lightweight construction, nanostructures and laser technology) as well as compressed air and vacuum technology and surface technologies form the foundation for groundbreaking products and processes. Get to know the tools that can revolutionise your production processes and experience cross-industry innovations live at Hannover Messe.

Research & Development As always, another key priority for Hannover Messe will be the showcasing of the latest product and technological developments. From initial concepts to groundbreaking innovations, every phase of industrial research is on show at Hannover Messe. Whether the topic involves cross-sector applications for the transition to renewable forms of energy or

highly specialised solutions in microsystems engineering, research & development are the drivers of modern industry. Numerous events, including the now-traditional Night of Innovations, will provide unique opportunities for visitors to network and develop their ideas.

Global market information hub Hannover Messe’s Global Business & Markets is Europe’s leading forum for international trade. This year, over 5000 decision makers will attend the event in Hall 6 to discuss new global market opportunities. The line-up includes high-level conferences, quality advice from expert advisors and a multidisciplinary Investment Lounge – all clustered in a central networking area that will attract business delegations from around the world. At the forum you will find expert advice on a huge range of issues, from international marketing strategies and export financing to intellectual property protection. There will be opportunities to network with high-ranking government representatives and trade and business organisations from around the world as well as international financial service providers. It’s the place to be for anyone looking to develop their international business or n invest in emerging markets.

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AN INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK Manufacturing coils, solenoids and pilot valves, the Italy-based Amisco Group is an international supplier to the pneumatics, hydraulics, fluid control and automotive sectors, amongst others. At this year’s Hannover Messe show it will be presenting new products for the refrigeration industry, as Daniele Garavaglia discovers.

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misco’s history goes back to 1936 when Alessandro Novellone set up a company manufacturing transceivers and, later, television sets. This company was renamed ‘Amisco’ in 1974 and since then it has grown to be a world leader in the manufacture of coils, solenoids and pilot valves. “Our products are used in several industries: pneumatics, hydraulics, fluid control and automotive. This latter has been experiencing an upward trend in the past three years,” explains Cesare Novellone, president and general manager of the group and son of the founder. Today he runs the company alongside his sisters Donata and Alessandra.

Four branches The Amisco Group is composed of four separate branches, as Mr Novellone explains: “Production is concentrated in our headquarters in Paderno Dugnano (Milan). This facility, covering an area of 8000 square metres, is home to various strategic functions such as design, QA, process docu-

mentation and laboratory testing. Its Italian affiliates are Sali (based in Castelleone, near Cremona), responsible for medium-volume production; and Sacem (Arcore, near Monza), which takes care of the assembly and final testing of pneumatic components for solenoids. In 2006, Amisco Acsc was established in Shenzhen to manufacture coils for the Far Eastern market.” The group has an aggregated turnover of more than €50 million and 370 employees, who systematically attend training and motivational courses. Broadly speaking, its products fall into two categories: standard products and customised products. In the past few years, the group has been widening its standard product range with the aim of phasing out customised products as they require higher investments in moulds and equipment for customers. “We’ve been thoroughly revising our 10mm, 15mm, and 22mm valve ranges,” says Mr Novellone. “One of our ongoing projects is a solenoid we have developed for the refrigeration industry named EVI3

PS16. Coils for the automotive sector are another field of potential development: we are enhancing this kind of items in our Chinese site and plan to expand on the European market.”

A selected range of suppliers All Amisco products come with a strict quality guarantee and are fully tested throughout every stage of production. Its design and development staff supports customers in launching new models by sharing project files, supplying moulds and equipment and performing extensive preliminary testing. In fact, the group was one of the first Italian companies to be certified according to the ISO 9000 standard. Furthermore, in the year 2000 it implemented lean production in its factories, splitting manufacturing into machining centres dedicated to a single product or product family. Amisco’s relationship with its suppliers is key to its success. It works with some of the leading players in several industry sectors, including Casarollo Piero, Almet, Mca, and

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Gi.fe for metal shearing, and Spema and Ghidini Elettromeccanica for assembling processes. The companies Irce, Elektrisola Atesina and Essex Italy are its copper suppliers for coils. When it comes to plastics, major suppliers are Du Pont de Nemours,

Domo Engeneering Plastics Italy and Mito Polimeri for raw materials, and Marca, Arte Plast and Mec-plast for moulding. Turnings are taken care of by Viglienghi, Torneria Colombo and Record, while Vmc is in charge of various treatments.

Increasing market presence Building on its long-term experience, over the years Amisco has been steadily conquering the global markets. According to Mr Novellone: “Today Amisco Group exports 80 per cent of its production, whilst its coils and solenoids are sold in more than 30 countries on five continents. Whilst its primary market remains Europe (50 per cent), Amisco has recently invested heavily in the Americas (the US and Brazil) and the Far East (India, Taiwan and China). This expansion to the East and West has been implemented both by localising the production and by creating a global network of sales and distribution agents. Our goal is to strengthen our penetration into the main markets. This is why we have chosen to confirm our presence in Hannover Messe year after year. We also participate in PTC China and visit exhibitions in Russia, Turkey, Brazil and Argentina.”

New production sites Considerable investments are being laid out in the company’s 2013–2015 plan. Projects in development include the creation of a production site in the Czech Republic 42 Industry Europe

Elettromeccanica Ghioni has been manufacturing electric windings and electronic assemblies since 1979. We make air windings and reel windings using enamelled copper wires with a diameter of up to 2mm, (solenoid valves, relays, coils for special applications) employing cutting-edge rectilineal and automatic machines, thanks to which we can fulfil the most diverse market needs. We carry out assemblies of up to 4000kg with the help of hydraulic presses. We work with leading companies of the solenoid valve, household appliance, nebulization machine and radio control sectors. We carry out all production phases - from storing to shipment of the final product - at the same site. IMQ certified since 1998 ISO 9001: 2000 certified since 2003

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High precision parts for the pneumatic and hydraulic industry applications is Gervasoni’s core business since its founding. Gervasoni’s extensive machining experience together with dedicated production cells makes Gervasoni a world leader for the supply of finished complex precision machined parts for all applications in the pneumatic and hydraulic markets. GERVASONI SPA • Via Caberardi, 7A, 24012 Val Brembilla - IT T: +39034559911 • F: +39034559970 • E: •

Since 1949 GI-FE srl has specialised in the production of small and medium-sized sheared metal parts with hight speed presses Bruderer and Haulick&Roos, and of assembled metal+plastic and metal+metal pieces. We produce over 120 million sheared pieces and we produce more than 20 million assembled pieces per year. Our parts are used by Italian, European, American and Chinese customers active in the automotive, aerospace, electrical and electromechanical fields, fuel cells, medical equipment, defence and telecommunications. Via Trieste 4 20096 Piotello (MI) Tel: +39.02.9267087 / 02.9267141

to handle labour-intensive manufacturing in eastern Europe. “By opening a factory in the Czech Republic, we’ll be able to follow our customers to eastern Europe and to maximise a reserve of cheaper production capacity and better logistics when compared to Italy.”

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ITALY Fax: +39.02.9266603

MEC-PLAST is a company specialised in mould making and thermoplastic materials moulding. Its site covers a 1000sqm area, where the company designs and manufactures moulds, as well as carrying out moulding and assembling work. Moreover, the technical department can avail itself of the most advanced CAD/CAM/CAE software and the best machines available on the market. Contact us - Tel: +39 0290965880, E-mail:

The US is a target too. “Over the past 15 years, the US market has experienced a considerable reduction in local production. Today our US customers are once again buying from local suppliers, but have problems finding reliable and technically qualified vendors – possibly because of a

lack of investment from North American manufacturers during the recession. Considering the ongoing market recovery, a US affiliate would complete our international profile and allow us to cover the South American markets – thus avoiding high n import costs.”



ssel was founded in 1982 near Gdansk, Poland and started life as an electronics design and manufacturing business. The company saw consistent growth from the outset and, following the remarkable success of its own TV brand, the Trilux, established itself as a clearly focused, broad based contract manufacturing services provider. Assel continuously enhances its excellence in contract manufactring. At any time, it is quickly able to increase capacity by 30–50 per cent to flexibly meet customers’ needs. As a progressive company, Assel continues to invest heavily in new plant and advanced software solutions and is certified to ISO 9001, ISO14001 and more recently to ISO 22301. Every 30 seconds, a product with the same level of complexity as a notebook leaves Assel’s production line.

Broad range of flexible services Today Assel offers flexible, master-class contract manufacturing services. As part of this, Assel organises and manages supply chains for a variety of material genres – from electronics, to mechanics, to hydraulics, plastics, cable harnesses and more. Its innovative engineers have a great deal of experience in test development and dedicated engineering support. When it comes to assembly services at Assel, all operations are conducted in a clean manufacturing environment in line with recognised 5S leanorientated workplace protocols, as well as being ESD protected and humidity controlled. In 2014, over 650 million components were placed, in addition to approximately 3 million printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs).

Integrated systems From simple box-built items to highly complex and sophisticated fully integrated systems, Assel has been responsible for playing a major role in the success of thousands of its customers’ electronic and electromechnical products. The company manages a wide variety of projects, mainly high mixture projects from very high to very low volume.

Assel is an electronics and electromechanics contract manufacturing provider, offering a wide range of manufacturing solutions. Philip Yorke talked to Anna Lenartowska, the company’s business development manager, about the growing appeal of Assel’s latest capabilities which are being featured at the forthcoming industry trade show in Hannover, Germany. Assel is an attractive partner for customers seeking to outsource mid-sized projects.

The company has developed its own unique project management software to optimise and enhance any individual integrated planning process. With the help of these advanced software solutions, Assel’s managers are able to strongly manage the supply chain, optimising involvement in the material, which translates into a reduction of costs and planning deliveries of materials so that the materials arrive when they are required. Lenartowska said, “We did not focus entirely on contract manufacturing until 1999 when we made the strategic decision to stop producing our own-brand television sets. Today we have contract customers from all over Europe with our main customers coming from Germany, the UK, France and the Nordic countries. “We assemble complex products for a wide range of industries including automotive, marine, security systems, access control and industrial automation systems. We can project manage and manufacture literally any electronic or electromechanical product. “Our state-of-the-art facilities cover more than 14,000 square metres and are strategically located near Gdansk. Among our many capabilities are PCB assembly, electro-mechanical assembly and systems integration and procurement services. We also offer design for manufacturing (DFM) services and, unlike many of our competitors, are able to work equally efficiently for both large and small volume production runs. Lenartowska added, “We will be demonstrating our many unique strengths at the forthcoming electronics trade show in Hanover, Germany in April. Visitors can find us in Hall 6 on stand number A49. In addition to our manufacturing capabilities we will be showcasing our advanced information systems and technologies in planning and in the general lean management of our business.” Today Assel is the preferred partner for companies that need reliable and flexible assembly and integration services at the highest level. Assel delivers its advanced contract manufacturing services through a comprehensive range of tailor-made services, quality controls and flexibility, n which is combined with both operational and cost efficiencies. For further details of Assel’s services visit:

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INTEGRATION, INNOVATION AND SERVICE. THE KEYS FOR TRUSTFUL PARTNERSHIPS DOMO Chemicals is a European market leader in the manufacturing of nylon and its intermediates for a wide range of industrial applications. DOMO Engineering Plastics forms an integral part of DOMO Chemicals. The company has seen strong growth since it was founded in 1994 and continues to drive growth through a combination of innovative, high-quality products and dedicated customer service.

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OMO Chemicals’ roots lie in the carpet & yarn manufaturing. The textile history of DOMO Group, a family controlled investment company, based in Belgium (Ghent-Zwijnaarde), created in 1994 the opportunity of backwards integration into the production and sales of caprolactam in Leuna, Germany, which is the start of the company’s chemicals business. Today the company is active in the field of Nylon 6 intermediates and resins, engineering plastics compounds and Nylon 6 packaging film as well as fertilizers and distribution of petrochemical products. In 2014 the company generated annual sales surpassing €1 billion and employed more than 800 people.

On-going investments From the outset DOMO has been an entrepreneurial success story and, since the acquisition of the Leuna Caprolactam site in 1994, the company invested more than €600 million as part of its modernisation and investment programme. Following the acquisition of the Premnitz engineering plastics facility in 2002, the company made a quantum leap forward in terms of its capabilities and production capacities and this event was the real start of DOMO’s Nylon 6 engineering plastics business.

In 2013 another major investment was made as part of the company’s global expansion programme: the acquisition of the Aquafil Engineering Plastics business with locations in Italy, USA and China, which enabled the company to provide highly specialised engineering plastic solutions to its customers worldwide.

New products unveiled at Milano DOMO Engineering Plastics will have a major presence at the PLAST 2015 Trade Fair to be held later this year in Milano, Italy from the 5th to the 9th of May. This will give the company an excellent opportunity to showcase its latest innovative products and to present DOMO as a valuable, future-orientated player in the plastics industry. At the DOMO Booth, an entire area will be dedicated to the latest injection moulding technologies and will feature the contribution that DOMAMID® made to the important advances in this sector. In Milano, DOMO will launch two new entries in its ECONAMID® product range: The world’s first PA6 and PA 6.6 sustainable flame-retardant products. DOMO’s ECONAMID® 6G30 VOEF and ECONAMID® 66G25 VOP are respectively halogen-free and red phosphorous-based glass-fibre reinforced and recycled flame retardant materials.

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Innovation and sustainability driving sales DOMO Engineering Plastics provides a wide range of solutions to its customers in the automotive, electrical and industrial goods sectors. For customers who prefer an ecological solution, the company’s ECONAMID® range may be the product of choice. This brand represents a sustainable and reliable product that serves a wide variety of industrial applications. DOMO also has a clear focus on innovative and individually customised products for its customers. Due to its on-going commitment to investments in R&D and sustainable solutions, DOMO Engineering Plastics is seen as a responsible partner for customers that are continuously improving their product ranges and efficiency. High levels of customer service, from technical support and new project development, to high performance deliveries are designed to ensure complete customer satisfaction. As part of its environmental management system, which is certified in accordance with the international standard ISO 14001, the company continues to reduce emissions, as well as waste and energy consumption during the production processes at its sites.

Broad applications DOMO Engineering Plastics materials are designed to serve three main market sectors: automotive, electrical & electronics and industrial & consumer goods. In the automotive sector, clutch pedals, lights, indicator supports, engine covers and air intake mani-

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folds are just a few examples of where DOMO Engineering Plastics materials play a role in today’s automotive industry. The company’s DOMAMID® products for the automotive sector, include long-term, heat stabilised and hydrolysis resistant materials for the ‘underthe-bonnet’ market segment, whilst DOMO’s UV stabilised, high quality surface materials cover the needs of both interior and exterior automotive components. The company’s DOMAMID® products also provide specific materials for a wide range of electronic applications, with industrial switches, fans, electrical fuses and plugs being the most common applications moulded with these materials. DOMAMID® 6G60 and 65HCE are widely used to replace metal in the furniture industry and for industrial machine parts. Coloured glassfilled UV-stabilized grades are commonly used to mould ‘Do it yourself’ tools, while DOMAMID® low temperature impact modified polyamides have been particularly developed for winter sports equipment. Today DOMO Engineering Plastics materials are woven into the fabric of the everyday life of families and professionals all over the world. The company is fully dedicated to continuously develop it’s innovation capabilities to play an active role in building the future success of its customers with a primary focus on health, safety and environment. n For further details of DOMO Chemicals’ innovative products and services visit:


The Polish company Sonel SA is one of the leading producers of testing appliances for the EEC and telecoms industries. The company has achieved this position through a combination of state-of-theart production lines, strategic investments and attention to quality. Industry Europe looks at some of the company’s latest and most popular products, many of which will be showcased at this year’s Hannover Messe show (located at H12 F79). devices, there is no development without extensive cooperation with foreign contractors. It’s simply a necessity.”

Products and innovation


stablished 20 years ago in 1994, Sonel has grown from a small company to one of the foremost European producers of testing appliances. Currently the largest manufacturer of measuring instruments for the electrical and telecommunication industry in central-eastern Europe, it focuses particularly on the production of instruments that improve safety and quality of life. Today Sonel sells its products all over the world, to the European, American and Asian markets; in the coming years it will be expanding its export markets still further. As such, it has developed a strong network of strategic partnerships with foreign contractors and suppliers. According to Krzysztof Wieczorkowski, president of the board, “Export is one of the key elements, owing to which our company constantly develops and continues to improve the quality of products offered… Nowadays, especially in a precisely profiled branch such as the production of measuring

Since 2008, Sonel has been operating from state-of-the-art production facilities (including the latest SMT assembly line), built within the premises of the Świdnica sub-zone of WSSE. Sonel’s testers have a number of key applications, including resistance and short-circuit loop impedance, insulation resistance, ground resistance and soil resistivity, residual current protection, temperature and electrical appliance safety. Aside from testers, the company’s range of products also covers: multifunction meters, thermo-vision cameras, low resistance meters, phase sequence testers, cable route localisers, power quality analysers, clamp meters, multimeters, pyrometers, luxmeters and laboratory appliances. In fact, in the years since its establishment Sonel has created somewhere in the region of 80 different appliances. To give just a few examples of some of its best-selling products: the MPI-530 multifunction testers are still at the forefront of

the market since the MPI range was first introduced and the MRU-200 GPS ground resistance testers are the only product of their kind in the world to feature all known testing methods for ground resistance testing. Other leading products include the UV-260 UV camera as well as a number of PAT range digital meters. Continuous innovation is a top priority for the company – something which has been highlighted by vice-president Jan Walulik. “Growing competition forces us to construct devices that are more and more complex, with better parameters and functions, and which are, at the same time, cheaper. This sets the goals high for our constructors.” When it comes to new product developments and future launches, Mr Walulik was not able to be specific but did point to some key focus areas: “I can only say that Sonel is exiting the area of measurements for low voltage installations and devices and plans to enter deeper into the professional energy sector, i.e. into the area of higher voltages. In parallel, we will be developing other types of measurements which we have not performed before, i.e. using signal refraction in the time domain n (the so-called reflectometer).” Industry Europe 49



Italian company VMC has radically changed the world of air compressors by implementing several innovations and 13 patents. It exports to 40 countries worldwide and has branches in the US and China. Daniele Garavaglia reports.

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he history of VMC, now a leading company in the compressed air industry, goes back to the 1970s when its founder and current managing director, Virgilio Mietto, established it in Creazzo, near Vicenza. “Our company designs and manufactures valves and air-ends for compressors based on the patented principle of component integration,” he explains. “During a period of over 35 years, VMC has achieved 13 patents – cementing our reputation for cutting-edge know-how and ensuring our continued international growth.” During this time, VMC has designed and manufactured solutions that have transformed traditional air compressors into efficient, flexible, low-cost and compact tools, ensuring high performance and lower environmental impact.

A strong business partner VMC has always offered its customers a comprehensive range of products. Today, it specialises in the manufacture of air ends, minimum pressure valves, intake valves, multiblocks and thermostatic valves. According to Mr Mietto, “VMC wishes to be a true business partner to its customers. Our flagship product is Pack Smart, a solution that has radically changed the world of air compressors, even in its gear-driven version.” Pack Smart is a highly sophisticated integrated system engineered by VMC to ensure high performance with extremely reduced overall dimensions, combined with diminished assembly time and maintenance, greatest user-friendliness and optimised logistics with a range from 2.2 to 75KW (3 to 100 HP).

“Our research and development team is the key to our business,” Mr Mietto continues. “Meanwhile our production spaces have been optimised to guarantee quality, efficiency and productivity. Only a few machines have been outsourced, and in these cases VMC has a trusted network of certified sub-suppliers. These are located within a few kilometres of our plants so as to foster a steady dialogue and control between customers and VMC.”

Focus on R&D VMC’s R&D department complies with fixed procedures, from project analysis and technical specifications, assessment of development and engineering costs to benchmarking activities and prototyping. To support this, the company uses the most sophisticated software, Industry Europe 51

Tecno Turning S.r.l is specialised in precision mechanical processing of customised components. The company is focussed on small and medium-scale production and is easily able to fulfil the requests of various market segments. It is able to take care of the whole process, from sample production to the manufacturing of the finished product, with surface treatment carried out by selected suppliers. Thanks to our modern technology and highly skilled staff, and in order to be able to offer a high level of flexibility, we can process any type of bar or casting material. Since 1995 we have supplied components for the dental, air compressor, refrigeration/air-conditioning, and automotive sectors; as well as for industrial automation in general. Tecno Turning S.r.l. Via dell’Artigianato, 12 • Fossona di Cervarese Santa Croce • 35030 – PD - Italy Tel: 049-9915818 • Fax: 049-9915947 • Email:

ODE Since 1960 ODE has designed and manufactured a complete range of solenoid valves for machinery and equipment manufacturers including specialty air compressors, providing customised solutions according to our founding principles based on high quality, adaptability, product reliability and excellent after sales service. The experience gained in 50 years of manufacturing has helped us to reach new goals and

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has led us to develop new products that will meet the majority of industry sectors. ODE is present in all major countries worldwide. Today we are able to provide customised products according to the needs of our customers. The recent partnership with Defond has allowed ODE to invest in specialist human resources and technology to continue to manufacture our products in Italy.

operating systems and cutting-edge engineering in order to meet every customer’s production needs and reduce production times. Environmental protection and employee safety are also top priorities for VMC: “Our growth has been characterised by sustainability. In compliance with ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards, the company has adopted procedures to manage eco-friendly production activities and guarantee the safest workplace to its collaborators.”

Rapid international growth Leveraging its proven technical know-how and expertise, the company soon started growing internationally and opened offices and branches in several important markets. “Besides our headquarters in Veneto, we now have establishments in China and the USA, as well as agents and distributors in Turkey, Russia and South Korea. Products are entirely designed in Italy (by VMC Engineering, a

recently established company within the VMC Group), where production and sales operations are also located. Our Chinese premises already host production and marketing activities, whilst our US office takes care of logistics and commercial functions.” From the above, it is clear that VMC today has a strongly-rooted and widespread commercial network. “Of our 2014 turnover, Europe accounts for 55 per cent, the Middle East for 15 per cent, the Far East for 12 per cent, North America for 7.5 per cent, and Russia and South America for 5 per cent each.” To support its international growth, the group regularly takes part in some of the world’s most important trade fairs – such as the upcoming Hannover Messe. As Mr Mietto tell us: “We aim to both make new contacts and allow those who already know us to discover our new products. Hannover Fair is therefore a great opportunity to enter into new business relationships and strengthen existing

ones. Parallel to introducing our flagship products, we plan to demonstrate the quality of the services we are offering: our worldwide reputation is established for precision, flexibility and, particularly, reliability. Moreover, VMC Engineering ensures valuable design skills and machine system knowledge. Come and visit us at Hannover Messe (Hall 26/D54): we’ll show you Pack Smart and many other solutions.”

Niche markets Mr Mietto is optimistic about the group’s business progress: “We are about defining our future expansion plans, and it’s the US market we are mainly interested in. We consider the years 2015-2016 as the turning point in terms of VMC’s acquisitions and further development and but we are eager to seize any profitable opportunities in line with the company’s policy. I think VMC’s future growth will take place in niche markets, since we are already playing a leading role in more developed countries.” n

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ELECTRON BEAM WELDING Celsia will be present at Hannover Messe 2015 (Hall 12, stand D 35), together with its ANIE (National federation of electro-technical and electronic companies) co-members. The Italian company, which is part of the OMCD Group, is particularly proud of its use of electron beam welding (EBW) technology. Barbara Rossi reports.


elsia is based near Lake Maggiore, in the Verbania area of northern Italy, situated between Milan and the Swiss border (specifically in Anzola d’Ossola). Established in 1963 by by Silvio Tedeschi and Antonio Bionda, the company started out as a manufacturer of low-voltage electrical contacts, aided by the know-how and the technology of its associated company, F.I.L.M.S, which had been active in the sin54 Industry Europe

ters sector since 1955. Towards the end of the 1960s, Celsia began producing composite materials made through infiltration (silver/ tungsten and copper/tungsten), both for the electrical and electro-mechanic sectors. Today, the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified company has a range of tungsten-based sinters, brazing alloys and electrical contacts for medium and high voltage applications. Celsia products can be used in a wide variety

of fields, namely mechanics, electro-mechanics and high precision mechanics. The company supplies some very high-profile clients, including ABB, Schneider, Siemens, Luxottica, Gerdau and Toshiba, amongst others. It has a modern and efficient R&D laboratory to support both production quality control and new product development. It is also equipped with innovative machinery, such as that for electron beam welding.

In terms of sintered parts, the company manufactures electrodes for the production of electro-welded wire mesh, electrodes for diamond tools sharpening, and electrodes for EDM die-sinking machines. With regard to electrical contacts, the Celsia range includes electrical contacts for medium and high voltage switches and electrical contacts for medium and high voltage disconnecting devices. Finally, for brazing alloys, the products on offer supply the goldsmith, glasses-making, clock-making and precision mechanics industries.

Europe and South America, employs almost 250 people and has been led by the Tedeschi family for two generations. Celsia is a trustworthy partner focused on the needs of its clients. It operates on the Italian and foreign markets, either directly or indirectly, through its subsidiaries in Brazil and Bulgaria. It is very strong on scrap metal recycling, through which 25 per cent of the sourcing needs of the group are met. This offers clear

advantages in terms of freedom from production policies and the possible monopoly of the Chinese and sector multinationals.

EBW As mentioned above, Celsia is particularly proud of the technologies it employs. As well as galvanisation, a process through which items or components are coated with a thin metallic layer, it employs electron beam welding. EBW is a fusion welding technology in

Globally leading companies Celsia and F.I.L.M.S. are two companies merged into one to offer the highest level of efficiency, competitiveness and reliability. Both belong to the OMCD group, which started its activity in 1967 and comprises several companies working in the field of hard metal sintering. Today the group, also based in Anzola d’Ossola, has six plants in

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which an electron beam hits at high speed the surface of the welding pieces and penetrates into their material. The kinetic energy of electrons is transformed into thermal energy, which can be used for materials processing. The electrons are emitted by a heated gun. A vacuum must be produced and maintained in the entire beam generator area and in the working chamber in order to avoid too strong a divergence of the electron beam caused by the collision of the electrons with the air molecules. The high energy concentration in the focal point of the electron beam results in a very high power density (the power density is

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100 to 1000 times higher than in arc welding methods) and means it is possible to weld different materials with each other. Furthermore, the electron beam is, by means of the electromagnetic fields, deflected almost without inertia, which leads to the generation of extremely high-frequency oscillation movements entailing different welding advantages. This means virtually distortionfree joining of finished products can be achieved, as through the high power density of the electron beam the energy input into the part is relatively low. In addition to this, automated welding in a vacuum with electri-

cally controllable welding parameters means extremely consistent weld quality. Moreover, the high welding speeds and the favourable total efficiency allow for high productivity with a relatively low energy consumption. The CVE Model CW60.15 recently purchased by Celsia has some outstanding features, including a 60 kV electron gun with a turbo-molecular pumping system, a filament alignment jig for accurate and repeatable filament change, a 15 kW switch mode power supply and beam deflection. Furtheremore, it also boasts a focus & function generator, a 450mm cube chamber with hinged door opening to the left and chamber extension, and an enhanced fully automatic pumping system for operating in the 10-4 mbar range. In addition to this, it is equipped with an external rotary manipulator, an external pneumatic tailstock and a PC based operator interface with colour monitor, keyboard, mouse and data logging. The machine has two separate pumping systems for the work chamber and the electron gun. The chamber can operate in either high vacuum (10-4 mbar range) or low vacuum (10-2 mbar range). Another feature is that an isolating valve is incorporated in the gun column so that the gun is maintained at high vacuum when the chamber is vented. This model enables the welding of materials with a thickness of up to 40mm. Moreover, the distance between the welding gun and the work-piece (the stand-off n distance) can reach 70cm.

GEARING UP Neptun SA is a market leader in the design and manufacture of advanced mechanical transmission systems. At the Hannover Messe they will be presenting just a part of their broad range of cylindrical and spiral bevel gears and couplings. These cover a wide range of applications for a number of key industries, such as open-pit mining, cement, metallurgy and transportation. Philip Yorke reports on a company that is going from strength to strength and entering new global markets.


eptun Gears was founded in Romania in 1911 with the establishment of a private workshop for the manual casting of products for the oil and farming industries. Today Neptun is a progressive and high-tech company that is a major exporter of cylindrical and spiral bevel gears, as well as helical and bevel-helical gearboxes that are mainly custom-made to order. In addition, Neptun produces gearmotors and manual actuators for industrial valves, gear couplings and flexible couplings. Since 1992 the company has also been producing few of the main components of the equipment for oil extraction using Progressive Cavity Pumps (PCP), such as: the Surface Drive Units, Torque Anchors, Centralizers, Blow-up Preventers. Today Neptun is inviting interested parties to visit them at the Hannover Messe on Booth A06, in Hall 025 at the International Motion, Drive and Automation Exhibition between 13th and 17th April later this year. Currently the company employs more than 250 people and in 2014 recorded sales of over €13 million.

goal to achieve is to expand the exports sales to the 80-90 per cent of the total turnover. Unless its products for the oil industry, Neptun also offers a package of products for many other manufacturing industries. These range from cement producers to mining, and from agriculture to the automotive industries. These export products include custom-made cylindrical and spiral bevel gears ground, small and medium power special gear units and gear-motors custom-made or from its current range, manual actuators for valves, gear couplings and flexible couplings. Following the improving economic climate in the European economy and Neptun’s on-going investments in plant and technology, today the n company’s exports continue to go from strength to strength. For further details of Neptun Gears’ quality products and services visit:

Quality and value and driving sales As part of its commitment to manufacturing state-of-the-art products, the company continues to invest in new machine tools, software and technology in order to optimise its production lines. Neptun is a very flexible operator and is able to provide standard products as well as special custom-made products to its customer’s own specifications. “Our prices are significantly lower than those of our European competitors for the same high quality of materials and machining”. “Our payment terms are also more flexible and can be arranged in collaboration with each individual customer. We are always available to discuss specific enquiries and provide prototype sample orders if that is what our client prefers. We are therefore able to offer the best win-win partnership on a long-term basis,” said a Neptun company spokesman. Production quality at Neptun also relies on the use of high quality raw materials, which are sourced from the top suppliers of alloy and high alloy steels and cast parts. Forja Neptun is a sister company of Neptun Gears and provides it with optimised, rolled and forged steel parts for a wide range of products.

Growth in oil extraction products In the global oil industry there is a growing demand for highly specialised products from Neptun, which is able to offer them the full equipment of oil extracting equipment on-shore depths down to 2400 metres. Neptun equipment in this sector includes several types of Surface Drive Units, Torque Anchors, Centralisers whilst the Power Switch Boxes, Rods and Downhole P.C. Pumps are outsourced and fill in the full equipment at the oil extraction wells. Whilst Romania is still the company’s biggest single market, most European countries as well as Africa and the Middle East are all major importers of Neptun gears and gearboxes. The next 2-3 years Industry Europe 57

LEADING POWDER METAL INNOVATION: GKN SINTER METALS The world continues to change and GKN Sinter Metals is at the forefront of this change, with intelligent product solutions. Felicity Landon reports on the latest innovations from this global brand.

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KN Sinter Metals is the world’s largest producer of precision powder metal products. Its range of expertise, technologies, products, services and applications is immense. So is its global footprint – GKN Sinter Metals employs an experienced team of around 6500 people at more than 30 locations in 14 countries across five continents. It has production sites in Germany, Italy, South Africa, India, China, Brazil, Canada and the United States. Among the company’s core competences are the manufacturing of highly complex sintered components by classical powder pressing and metal injection moulding, as well as powder forging and the production of sintered filters and bearings. To open up new areas of industrial and automotive applications for powder metal (PM) components, GKN has focused its research and development activities on the manufacturing and processing of soft magnetic powders and sintered materials. This focus has delivered significant success, with GKN gradually optimising the magnetic, electrical and mechanical properties of its products so that it can manufacture even more energy-efficient components in the future. At the Hannover Messe exhibition, the GKN Singer Metals stand will focus strongly on a collection of processes and intelligent product solutions – effectively a slice of expertise of a company whose history goes back to the 1930s. Leading the pack will be Soft Magnetic Composites for E-Motors, followed by Metal Injection Moulding Components, Design for Power Metallurgy, Sintered Bearings and Porous Metal Filters.

Soft Magnetic Composites (SMC) for e-motors Unconventional designs of high performance parts and assemblies usually require a great degree of magnetic properties in conjunction with optimum material utilisation. However, generally these designs cannot be implemented because of the prohibitive production restriction involved in conventional manufacturing processes. “Since the use of powder metallurgical soft magnetic materials is still relatively unknown, the implementation of new components designs using this technology has been limited,” says Nils Bornemann, Global Business Development Manager. “By using PM technology, the previous limits can be redefined, thanks to an increased freedom of part design and a significant reduction of manufacturing costs. The implementation of net shape and high density sintered components creates valueadded benefits, both from a commercial and a technological perspective, to which end customers in multiple industries can profit in cooperation with us.”

Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) components GKN Sinter Metals plant in Bad Langensalza, Germany, is the only site in the group that produces Metal Injection Moulded (MIM) parts. It is among Europe’s top three MIM parts manufacturers. There is a heavy emphasis on automotive applications in this field, reflecting the original focus of the plant – MIM products manufactured include numerous parts such as

turbocharger components, lock caps, parts of the fuel injection system, sensor housings and valve train systems. The materials used are typically low alloy steels and the parts are case hardened. “GKN is seeing a trend towards more complex part design in the automotive industry, integrating more functions into a component, and these complex parts can best be produced in large volumes by Metal Injection Moulding,” says Bad Langensalza plant manager Daniel Bader. “Our technology also excels over Investment Casting, thanks to higher strength and better dimensional accuracy.” Non-automotive applications account for roughly 10 per cent of MIM production, including bicycle transmissions and an increasing presence in the medical sector – for example, the parts in a prosthetic knee joint. Non-automotive applications have been identified as a promising market for Metal Injection Moulding. As an experienced automotive supplier GKN Sinter Metals will utilise its capabilities for the benefit of industrial customers.

Design for Powder Metallurgy (DPM) DPM is the process of a creating a tailored component design that presents the best solution for a given application. It is initiated by a customer or by GKN, and delivers the required performance, geometric, dimensional, size or weight objectives and can economically be produced best by PM technology. The process starts with optimizing of engineered metal powders, moving through multi-part substitution, extreme forming, 3D

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undercutting, unique joining and inventive processes – to creative designs. DPM delivers innovative solutions for all automotive and industrial applications, e.g. ranging from sensor fixtures or seat adjustments to external gear pumps and even for orthopedic components for artificial limbs.

Sintered Bearings Sintered bearings have been successful for decades in numerous applications, thanks to their high precision and cost efficiency. Their properties are characterised by selflubrication and freedom from maintenance – even over very long service periods. Powder metallurgy allows the production of a variety of geometries with excellent precision, which is reflected by the extremely smooth and quiet running performance in the electric motor. In conventional applications, porous bearings are impregnated with a liquid lubricant so that a hydrodynamic lubricating film is established during operation. Friction is minimised by the build-up of hydrodynamic pressure and abrasive wear is thereby prevented. Wolfgang Pahl, head of GKN Sinter Metals Global Development Centre for Bearings, says: “Such hydrodynamic sintered bearings have been used for many years in the auto60 Industry Europe

motive industry, in audio and video equipment, office machinery, in the toy industry, in computer peripherals and apparatus engineering, in domestic appliances, and in power tools. According to estimates of the PM industry, these self-lubricating bearings are used in small motors annually in the tens of billions.” Despite all competing technologies and materials the market share for sintered bearings is growing steadily – supported by new developments in solid lubrication, material and lubricant development. GKN supplies global and local markets with sintered bearings. Its global development centre is located at Brunico, in South Tyrol, Italy. Here, new materials for a variety of applications are developed in line with market requirements. These developments are supported by cooperation with the University of Trento and AC²T, the Austrian Centre of Excellence in Tribology.

Porous Metal Filters As the leading manufacturer of porous sinter metal products, GKN Sinter Metals offers a variety of solutions to meet customers’ requirements. Its products are applied in gas and liquid filtration, dampening, sparging, sensor protection, bulk handling and many

more, and it offers solutions for high temperature and corrosive environments. Sintered filter elements made of stainless steels, bronze, nickel based alloys, titanium and several special alloys can be manufactured seamless up to 1600mm in length. Larger elements are assembled by the inhouse welding shop. The range of possible filter grades is from 0.1 µm to 200 µm. At Hannover, GKN Sinter Metals will be displaying a variety of discs, plates, cups, cylinders plates and silencers made of stainless steel and sintered bronze. These products are characterised by their high permeability and mechanical stability. Typically they are applied as filtration elements in pneumatic and hydraulic application. Furthermore, they are in common use as flame arrestors, sensor n protectors and flow control elements.


is four years since Hellenic Cables acquired the Corinth factory of a former competitor, Fulgor – a move that opened a whole new chapter for this internationally important company. Having added the factory to its portfolio, Hellenic Cables embarked on a more than €60m programme of innovation, installing the latest high-technology equipment and machines and totally overhauling this important facility. The result: a 220,000 square metre manufacturing plant just 70km south of Athens, with access to its own private dock, enabling High Voltage submarine cables to be fed direct, in long continuous lengths, from the production floor on to drums onboard visiting ships including cable laying vessels. From there, the cables are shipped direct to installation sites all over the world. The capacity of this factory is now 50,000 tonnes of cable a year, as well as 120,000 tonnes of wire rope. “The power and optical fibre submarine cables market is very specialist,” says Menelaos Tsagkarakis, electrical and computer

engineer in Hellenic Cables’ technical sales department. “There are very few companies and factories that can provide this cable. The market is generally utilities and the oil & gas sector – and our customers are from all over the world. Recently we had an installation in Canada; the ship went to Canada for installation of the cable direct from our factory.”

Geographic coverage There is increasing demand for high voltage (up to 150kV) and extra-high voltage (200-400kV) cables, as energy infrastructure is installed and upgraded all over the world. Submarine cables are additionally much in demand from countries with a lot of islands. “For example, we shipped a quantity of submarine cable to the Bahamas, for power supplies to the islands,” says Mr Tsagkarakis. North of Athens, Hellenic Cable has another very large factory, producing up to 60,000 tonnes a year of medium, high and extra-high voltage cables for underground applications. Here the customers are gener-

Hellenic Cables is reaping the benefits of a submarine cable plant major acquisition and a more than €60m investment programme – and reporting particularly strong demand for its specialist high-voltage and extra-high voltage underground and submarine cables. Felicity Landon reports.

ally utility companies, factories in industrial zones and energy production plants. “We are supplying this underground cable everywhere in the world. The main market is Europe followed by the Gulf and North America.” Africa is an important target too, he says, as many countries seek to develop their infrastructure. “We are working on this market – we have already implemented two big projects there(extra-high-voltage and submarine) in Algeria and Egypt, and we want to do more.” Hellenic Cables’ history goes back to 1950, when it started out as a cable production plant of Viohalco. It wasn’t until 1973 that the company was established as an independent subsidiary under the Hellenic Cables name. It has two other factories in Greece – one producing plastic compounds for cable sheathing (an important in-house advantage) and the other producing enamelled wires for transformers. It also has a factory in Bucharest, Romania, producing up to 50,000 tonnes a year

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of low-voltage cables, telecommunication and data transmission cables, plastic and elastomer compounds), and another in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, producing the wooden drums for the transportation of cables.

Focused on innovation Today, as one of the largest cable industries in Greece, Hellenic Cables produces submarine cables under the Fulgor name and sells its wide product range under the Cablel trademark, including PCV, EPR and ELPE insulated power cables rated up to 500kV, marine and low-smoke halogen-free cables, fire-resistant cables, telecoms, signal and data cables with copper conductors or optical fibres, and also enamelled wires. All of its products are supplied to a very wide variety of international standards. It’s hardly surprising that Hellenic Cables has a strong focus on R&D, with a team of at least 30 specialists based in Corinthos, working on new and improved products and on topics such as productivity and production efficiency. At the Hannover Messe exhibition, Hellenic Cables will be focusing specifically on its

capabilities and expertise in high voltage and extra-high voltage cables, and on its particular strengths in the submarine cable market.

Major contracts It has secured a number of major contracts in this area in recent months. Last year, the independent power transmission operator ADMIE commissioned Hellenic Cables to supply underground and submarine cable links of 150kV for the second sub-project of the Cyclades Islands Interconnection Tender. This €93m project is providing links from Syros to Tinos, Mykonos and Paros, and a 150kV cable terminal in Tinos. Hellenic Cables is responsible for the supply of cables, the cable laying, the protection of cables in coastal areas, and the necessary connections with the existing ADMIE network. The high voltage submarine cables are being produced at the Fulgor facility in Corinth. The interconnection of the Cyclades Islands to the Greek power grid will be instrumental in the development of the Cyclades – ensuring the best environmental and economic conditions for

local communities, while reducing the cost burden of supplying this power. In January this year (2015), Fulgor was awarded a €36.4m contract by Terna Energy for the cable interconnection of the 73.2mW St George Wind Park, on the island of St George, south of Cape Sounio. Fulgor is supplying 37.4km of 150kV high voltage submarine cable, and as also responsible for laying the cable in depths of up to 230 metres, cable protection on the sea bed along the whole route, and implementation of the necessary terminations and connections to the existing high voltage grid in Lavrio. The project is due to be completed later this year. The St George Wind Park will provide the electricity needs of more than 40,000 households, while saving more than 60,000 tonnes of oil and eliminating 180,000 tonnes of emissions per year. This high-profile project underlines the growing influence of the Hellenic Cables Group, as one of the few global high voltage submarine cable suppliers that are capable of bidding for such high-standard international projects. n

YOUR RELIABLE ALUMINIUM PARTNER FOR CABLE INDUSTRY. CARCANO, member of the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) is at the top worldwide level in producing thin aluminium foil. Fully integrated from the foundry to the finished product. Among the different applications, CABLES INDUSTRY is one of the most important. i.e.: aluminium foil, backed one side or two sides to copolymer, polyester, and other plastic films, for optical fiber, telephonic and special cables. CARCANO ANTONIO S.p.A. Via Carcano 10 • 23826 - Mandello del Lario (LC) Italy Tel: +39.0341.738211 • Fax: +39.0341.701150

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YASKAWA Electric is one of the world’s leading manufacturers in the fields of drive technology, industrial automation and robotics. Julia Snow reports on the group’s innovative products and dynamic developments.

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ounded in 1915, YASKAWA is a pioneer in its chosen field, always striving to optimise productivity and efficiency of the products and systems offered. For almost 100 years now, YASKAWA technology has supported industrial automation processes in the mining, mechanical engineering and toolmaking sectors, as well as the automotive, packaging, wood processing, lift, textile and semiconductor industries. With a total of 14,600 employees and over 60 subsidiaries worldwide the group realises an annual sales volume of more than 3.1 billion Yen. The wide range of YASKAWA’s business activities covers drives, motion control, robotics, systems engineering and information technology – with this wide range the company is one of the few global players able to supply components and solutions for almost all industries from a single source.

YASKAWA Europe GmbH Based in Eschborn, Germany, YASKAWA Europe GmbH is within close reach of the surrounding markets’ requirements for mechatronics and robotics solutions. With 7 production sites, 30 subsidiaries and over 1250 employees, the company services the markets of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the region of the former Soviet Union. Late in 2012, VIPA became part of the YASKAWA family, when it joined Drives & Motion and Robotics as a third division. The company is based in Herzogenaurach, Ger-

many, and develops and produces PLCs, I/O systems and advanced industrial HMIs. While the broad range of MOTOMAN industrial robots from YASKAWA is ideal for many applications, industries and ready-to-use solutions, VIPA has been driving innovation in the fields of PLCs and HMIs. This means that VIPA rounds out the YASKAWA portfolio of central controller products and allows customers to purchase powerful integrated systems from a single source.

A stream of innovations Extensive investments in research and development have yielded numerous inventions, patents and innovations, always improving the technical compatibility and ease of use. In order to integrate robots even better YASKAWA developed the MOTOMANSync interface, a ‘Total System Solutions’ concept that was launched in Autumn 2013. A range of modular products and software in the areas of Drives&Motion, Robotics and VIPA work together as a holistic solution, – resulting in an offering that is unique in its width: from visualisation through to controlling, drive technology and robotics. In April 2014, YASKAWA followed this with an impressive innovation for the life sciences sector at Analytica: in a live demonstration cell, the CSDA10F dual arm robot with a human-like stature and two hands performed the complex preparation of samples and operated analytical instruments in pharmaceutical research. Robots have

made their way into the field of life sciences, where they automatically carry out synthesis and analytical tasks in research and development – in areas where conventional automation was previously too inflexible and too expensive. The robot itself is almost maintenance free and easy to operate. Many typical motions (pipetting, opening/ closing Eppendorf tubes, handling a microtiter plate, opening/closing an incubator, opening/closing screw caps of bottles) have been standardised and stored as modules in a motion library. The DX200 controller for Motoman robots from Yaskawa celebrated its European premiere at the Automatica in June 2014. This new high-end controller is an extension of the highly successful DX100 model with a range of additional options, such as safety features, and offers more than 120 application-specific functions. This particularly benefits system integrators and industrial end customers who use Motoman robots for welding and handling tasks. Yaskawa has drawn on the many years of experience of its engineers for the new

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DX200, building on the service-proven quality of the DX100. Numerous new functions and function packages have been added, further simplifying the application-specific solution and programming of robotic tasks. Other new features include the standard and safety-oriented bus systems and the integrated safety controller. The DX200 is designed for the simplified integration of peripheral devices by means of corresponding bus interfaces. Windows CE programming is carried out using a compact colour touch panel weighing just 990 grams.

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Strenthening the energy capacity In July 2014, YASKAWA announced the purchase of The Switch Engineering Oy, a Finnish manufacturer of wind turbine components. The takeover is in line with the long term company strategy ‘Vision 2015’, which sets out the strengthening of the business field of energy and environment. In 2013 both companies had already formed a partnership working approach, with synergies that included the cross-selling of generators and inverters through both distribu-

tion networks. After the acquisition, The Switch was integrated into the business unit Environment and Energy, and a close cooperation with the YASKAWA European Research and Development Centre is planned. The combined technological strengths in the field of drive and performance electronics provide a promising platform for both companies to develop more leading products and solutions for customers in the wind- and tidal energy segment as well as other maritime and industrial applications. n

LASER-SHARP INNOVATION Trumpf is a multi-faceted global technology group that leads the field with its innovative, cutting-edge products. The company produces advanced machine tools, lasers and electronics for a diverse range of industrial applications. Last year the Trumpf Group had its most successful year since its foundation and saw major global expansion. Philip Yorke looks at what is driving the company’s strong growth.

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rumpf was founded in 1923 as a mechanical workshop, since which time it has made the creation of innovative, quality products its hallmark. The company remains privately owned by descendents of the same founding family and through a policy of continuous change and improvement has become a global market and technology leader. With over 60 subsidiaries, the group is represented in almost every European country as well as having a major presence in North and South America and in Asia. Trumpf’s key production facilities are located in Germany, Austria, China, the Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Japan. Mexico, Poland, Switzerland and the

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USA. In the fiscal year 2013–2014 the company generated sales of more than €2.59 billion, and currently employs over 11,000 people worldwide.

Reaching new heights Trumpf has always been a company in the process of continuous change and its performance reached new heights in the last fiscal year, which proved to be its best ever. The purchase of the Chinese machine tool manufacturer JFY was the largest in the company’s history and is just one of many acquisitions it undertook in 2014. At Trumpf, behind every acquisition there is a clear strategic objective. Whether it is the

entry into a key new market segment as with JFY, the extension to an existing product portfolio, or the takeover of the Italian panel-bending specialist, Codatto International, the focus on portfolio enhancement and growth is clear. In addition, during the same fiscal period, Trumpf also secured important future technologies, as with the take-over of Igeneric GmbH and the Italian laser producer Sisma SpA, both of which have added significantly to the company’s technological competences. “By means of acquisitions, changes to our internal structures, further improvement of our processes and, most importantly, innovative products, we at Trumpf have


AIRTEC’s valve block is mounted under the cover.

AIRTEC Pneumatic GmbH | Westerbachstraße 7, D-61476 Kronberg, Germany | Tel.: +49 (0)6173 / 9562-0 | E-Mail:

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Innovative, versatile and efficient They need to be versatile, have a fair amount of organisational talent and know what is currently happening in the market. We are talking about systems suppliers. These are companies which supply customised products, stand out because of their excellent in-house development skills and offer design, drafting and engineering services. LQ Mechatronik-Systeme GmbH is just such a specialist. The experts from Besigheim, who operate according to the principle “complete functions instead of lots of individual parts”, develop and design complete systems for electromechanical equipment for use in the mechanical and plant process engineering sector. The systems suppliers focus on their core competencies, thus allowing the customer to concentrate on their main field of business. The LQ GROUP is one of the first companies to apply this system to the field of the machine tool industry. From the development of prototypes to series production – as a systems supplier LQ develops and designs components for manufacturers in the mechanical and plant process engineering sector. Apart from engineering, the company’s range of services also includes design and assembly of equipment as well as logistics and service.

Complete functions instead of many individual parts The LQ GROUP consolidates components into functional units for both controls and machine installations and these are then supplied to the customers ready to assemble and with the functional checks already carried out. This allows the mechatronics experts to offer companies significant competitive advantages and to simplify process structures. Apart from reducing the number of parts involved and the assembly throughput time, this also significantly reduces the outlay for procurement and cuts warehousing costs dramatically. Around 280 employees on three continents make sure that customers receive individual solutions that are tailored to their requirements. Apart from the company’s head office in Besigheim, the LQ Group operates three other sites: Branford (USA), Grüsch (Switzerland) and Taicang (China). LQ MECHATRONIK-SYSTEME GMBH Carl-Benz-Straße 6 _D-74354 Besigheim T+49.7143.9683-0 _F+49.7143.9683-99

LQ Mechatronik-Systeme GmbH LQ Mechatronik-Systeme GmbH, a medium-sized company from Besigheim, is a successful systems and product supplier of comprehensive electromechanical solutions for control and installation applications. Whether for modular control cabinets or cable drag chains – mechatronic experts focus on the reduction of complexity. LQ takes a modular principle with standardised interfaces as a basis for combining individual

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components to form compact functional units or installationready systems, thus supplying mechanical and plant process engineering companies with complete electromechanical units. The company employs 280 employees on three continents. Apart from its headquarters in Germany, the LQ GROUP has branches in Switzerland, the USA and China.

created a good basis for seizing global opportunities in key markets. We will continue to focus on that in the new fiscal year 2014–15,” Said Dr phil. Nicola LeibingerKamm Uller, president and chairwoman of the managing board of directors.

New light-based technologies The United Nations has proclaimed 2015 to be the ‘International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies’. Trumpf is at the vanguard of product innovation in this sector with an unrivalled variety of beam sources for every conceivable industrial laser application. These range from the laser welding of thick steel panels for cruise ships and the cutting of high-tech sheet metal components, to the drilling of multi-layered printed circuit boards (PCBs). For its customers, Trumpf delivers new light-based technologies that offer unique potential and open up new design possibilities for countless industrial manufacturing sectors. When it comes to medical applications, advanced laser technology is setting the pace. Today Trumpf is at the forefront of these exciting developments. Owing to its versatility and special abilities, the laser is the optimal choice as a production tool for cutting, welding and the production of complex medical technology products. “The laser is a pioneer of miniaturisation and with minimal focus diameters, with around 25 micrometres for marking and 10 micrometres for removal structuring, it makes

entirely new product designs possible,” explains Dr Alexander Knitsch, the head of the medical technology division at Trumpf. In the automotive sector Trumpf technology is also making a difference. In addition to increasing processing speeds, which are up to ten times faster than competitive products, the designers and production specialists particularly value the greater flexibility in body construction that Trumpf offers. Welding patterns are possible in any shape. For example, as a circle or a staple, in an S-shape or as an interrupted seam. The new laser technology means that welding patterns are precisely adapted to the load with much smaller flanges used than those required for spot welding. The finished automotive components are therefore smaller, lighter and more cost-effective.

Smart functions

specially developed ‘smart functions’ ensure that every process runs reliably and is trouble-free. This in turn translates this additional power into higher throughput and increased productivity. In line with its commitment to innovation and performance, Trumpf recently announced the launch of its new ‘TruTool’, the DD1010, a high performance, hand-held power tool. This unique battery-powered drill-driver is distinguished from all others by its ergonomically correct design and superb operating performance. It draws its power from an advanced 10.8 volt Li-ion battery with two ampere-hours of capacity, which ensures a long-duty cycle and is also used n in other Trumpf power tools. For further details of Trumpf’s innovative, hightechnology products visit:

In other industrial fields, Trumpf is also leading the way with its cutting-edge innovation, whether in the development of lightweight batteries or powerful punching machines such as the company’s latest ‘TruPunch 5000’. This, the world’s fastest punching machine, now offers even higher speeds and greater efficiency. The newly developed hydraulic drives increase axis accelerations and rotation speeds resulting in a significant boost in productivity. With its high-power hydraulic drive, the new model punches at up to 1600 strokes a minute and marks at 3000 strokes per minute. In addition, Industry Europe 71

THE NEW ERA OF VISUAL MANAGEMENT FOR LEAN iObeya is a unique Enterprise Visual Management platform, named after the Japanese word Oobeya, meaning ‘big room’, that forms part of a ‘Lean’ transformation strategy. The solution was developed by KAP IT, a French IT Services company and has seen impressive growth since its launch three years ago, as Philip Yorke reports.


Obeya was created in 2011 as a digital solution that significantly enhances Visual Management practices as part of a Lean transformation strategy. This unique, innovative software was born out of close collaboration between KAP IT, a French IT Services company, and the IT management team at PSA Peugeot Citroën in France. Just three years after its commercial launch in 2012, iObeya is accompanying the ‘Lean’ journeys of some of the world’s most prestigious companies, including Volvo, Renault, Plastic Omnium, SKF, Hutchinson, ABB, Airbus, Alstom, Siemens and GSK. Many more leading multinationals have adopted iObeya to meet their strategic 72 Industry IndustryEurope Europe

collaboration needs. Today there are more than 30,000 users who meet daily in 3,500 virtual Oobeyas across 40 countries worldwide. The company has told Industry Europe that it predicts continuous growth of more than 50 per cent year-on-year for the next three years.

Multi-site Visual Management becomes a reality “We were invited to see one of PSA’s Visual Management meeting rooms where the walls were covered in sticky notes representing key visual indicators used to track each project’s status. As for many large companies, this information is of great strategic importance, but impos-

sible to share with staff who cannot physically be present in the same room”, explained Cyril Daloz, CEO of KAP IT and founder of iObeya. iObeya is an innovative enterprise platform which offers secure, virtual meeting rooms. Regardless of their location, teams can now meet and collaborate in these rooms that are available 24/7. This new digital solution enables team members worldwide to participate efficiently in their meetings, interacting in real time on visual boards, creating, moving and modifying sticky notes and other visual elements. Participants experience the meeting just as if they were gathered together in a stand-up meeting in their project room.

Scalable, secure and accessible anytime and anywhere One of the key principles of corporate Visual Management is to dedicate one Oobeya meeting room to a specific project, department or program. However, it is often impractical and expensive to provide sufficient wall space for such activities, as well as to travel daily or weekly to participate in such meetings. By virtualising meeting rooms, iObeya solves these space-constraint and cost-effectiveness issues directly. In addition, the platform is totally secure and easy to access from any device, including computers, tablets and large format interactive Industry IndustryEurope Europe 73

displays (LFIDs). Being a web-based solution also means users have no software to install, and IT departments have no clients or applications to maintain on individual devices. They simply need access to a web browser, a user name and a password to enter their virtual meeting rooms, regardless of location or the device being used. The introduction of the iObeya Enterprise Visual Management platform by KAP IT represents a quantum leap in Visual Management for Lean and other Agile Management practices, as testified by Frederic Durka, PSA Peugeot Citroën’s IT project manager. “PSA Peugeot Citroën needed to solve security issues, as some meetings involve confidential company topics and a physical room can easily be photographed. Moreover, the lack of available wall space and meeting rooms meant we were limited in the number of projects we could manage using Visual Management.”

Seamless transition from traditional to Digital Visual Management iObeya offers a unique, lifelike and immersive user experience for a seamless transition to Digital Visual Management. It is the first enterprise application designed for LFIDs. When associated with these big interactive surfaces, iObeya offers a realistic ‘stand-up sticky note meeting’ user experience, leading to immediate user adoption without disruption to the daily routines and rituals of teams. For each virtual board, the meeting leader chooses the same recognisable tools needed, whether they be sticky notes, pens, rolls, stickers, graphs and more. The preparation and animation of 74 Industry IndustryEurope Europe

meetings becomes much more efficient. It is much simpler to move, change the colour, stack or filter sticky notes with iObeya, than with traditional paper-based visual indicators on physical boards. Moreover, there is no need to create and distribute additional reports, as teams only need to share boards with their respective managers, to provide the latest up-to-date status on their projects. Overall, meeting time is reduced drastically, sometimes by more than 50 per cent, thanks to the new iObeya solution. Customers have also realised great benefits in the use of iObeya for other types of sticky note meeting, for example in brainstorming sessions. It enables the gathering, consolidation, priorisation and sharing of new ideas in real time and with participants across the globe.

Exponential international growth During the last 12 months, the use of iObeya has seen exponential growth worldwide, with sales more than doubling. Today, more than 100 large companies have adopted iObeya, with more than 60 per cent of them being located beyond the French home territory. The company is now considering the evangelization and development of a sales network abroad: “we are very proud of the fact that the solution has received a very warm welcome in Japan, the homeland of Oobeya and Lean (c.f. Toyota Production System). Our sights are also firmly set on conquering n the North American market in 2015” concludes Cyril Daloz. For further details of the unique iObeya Enterprise Visual Management platform visit:

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PIONEERS OF INNOVATIVE LOCKING SYSTEMS Huf Espana is a European technology leader in the manufacture of lockset and tailgate systems. As part of the international Huf Group it leads the field in a number of high technology disciplines. Philip Yorke looks at the company’s products and the strategies that set it apart from its competitors.

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uf Espana was founded in 1983 and is the oldest subsidiary in the Huf Group. In a production area of over 18,000 square metres, Huf Espana produces locksets, power tailgate systems, and especially mechanical locking systems. The Huf Group is headquartered in Velbert, Germany and consists of 19 subsidiaries in Europe, the Americas and Asia. All Huf companies operate according to the group’s central corporate strategy and whilst Huf Espana represents around 7 per cent of the group’s turnover, its parent company Huf Hulsbeck & Furst contributes over 40 per cent. Although Huf companies work closely together, nevertheless they all operate independently. They buy and sell a large proportion of their products to other companies in the group. For example, painted parts from some of the paint shops or electronic parts from others are purchased from the specialised suppliers within the group. Also, Huf buys moulds from Huf Tools and there is a strong collaboration between Huf Espana and Huf Portuguesa. Worldwide the Huf Group employs over 7000 people and in 2013 recorded sales of more than €1.1 billion. Statistically more

than 13 million new cars every year are supplied with products made by the Huf Group.

Excellence as standard In order to maintain its unrivalled worldclass standards, Huf Espana made some significant investments recently when it completed new facilities for its lock-set production lines. Today the Spanish company operates in the die casting and plastic moulding areas as well as in assembling and supplying products to a number of leading car manufacturers in Europe and overseas. Huf is the supplier of choice to the international automotive industry worldwide as well as to the automotive aftermarket tyre and repair shops. To underscore its reputation for quality at Huf Espana, the company was awarded the ‘Ford Silver World Excellence Award 2013’ for supplying automotive door handles of exceptional quality. The team at Huf Espana is especially pleased with this award as the company has already received the ‘Ford World Excellence Award’ the year before. “Receiving the prize two years in a row makes us especially proud. It shows that we

are supplying products continuously of the highest quality,” said Jose Former, general manager of Huf Espana. Based upon the growing global demand for its products, Huf Espana is planning to develop its capabilities further in line with the overall group strategy. As its customers are very closely linked, Huf relies on its global strategy to enable companies to break it down to serve its local level activities.

Fully integrated systems Huf was the first company in the world to develop components for fully integrated immobilisation systems known as ‘Passive Entry’ and ‘Keyless Go’. Today door handle systems contribute to the overall styling of the car. Therefore car designers put emphasis not only on the safety and comfort requirements but also on the look and feel of the handle itself. Huf specialises in designing and producing door handles in black grained plastics, as well as producing painted handles and those with special chrome embellishments. For premium car manufacturers, Huf also develops light concepts, which are integrated into the door handle. Huf was also the first to develop Industry Europe 77

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and produce a concept for retractable door handles. As a result of these advances, world demand continues to grow and every day the company manufactures more than 145,000 high-tech door handles for the automotive industry. In order to meet this growing global demand for its automotive door handle products, a new paint plant with a capacity of around 12.5 million handles was recently commissioned in North America. With its five existing painting locations in Europe and China, Huf has become one of the most significant providers of painted

door handles in the world. In fact in China every fourth vehicle manufactured there relies upon Huf door handles. With the new plant now in operation the Huf Group has the capacity to produce over 72 million door handles per year worldwide for its customers in the automotive industry. Huf Espana also produces advanced ‘Power Tailgate Systems’. These comprise all the mechatronic components required to open and lock the tailgate and feature specially designed electric latches, tailgate component carriers and emblem closures.

Furthermore, Huf can incorporate reversing cameras, which can be fitted either into the emblem or in the carrier for additional security. The company also recently developed a kick-sensor for the comfortable opening of the boot of cars that incorporate the Huf Passive Entry System. An innovative mechanical lockset system designed to increase anti-theft protection was also n launched recently by Huf. For further details of the Huf Group’s latest innovative products and services visit:

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ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology and it attributes much of its success to the innovative and dedicated support of its suppliers. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at these outstanding companies, their individual contributions and the latest ZF joint ventures and acquisitions that will shape the future of the company, which in 2015 will celebrate its centenary.


ounded in 1915 in Germany, ZF began by producing transmissions for airships and land vehicles. Today the group’s product range includes transmissions and steering systems, as well as chassis components and complete axle systems and modules. In 2013 the group employed over 72,000 people worldwide and recorded sales of more than €416.8 billion. About 5 per cent of its revenues are invested each year in research and development, amounting to around €1 billion, in order to further strengthen and expand ZF’s leading global position.

100 years of leadership In 2015 ZF will celebrate 100 years of development in the production of driveline and chassis technology. CEO Dr Stefan Som-

mer explains the significance of this event: “Throughout the entire year, all employees should sense that we have achieved something extraordinary, something that very few companies achieve. During the anniversary year, we will fittingly acknowledge the past in various ways. Ultimately, we have already achieved a great deal. However, we also wish to use the anniversary year to look forward and to prepare ourselves for the challenges that we will face in the future.” Matthias Lenz, executive vice-president, adds: “All ZF employees should celebrate this special event. We wish to make use of this to address the employees of the locations that have become a part of our group during the course of our 100-year history as members of the large ZF family. Consequently, this birthday

can also positively contribute towards an even stronger integration within the ZF Group.” The event will be marked by a ceremonial gala on September 9 at the Rothaus Hall at Messe Friedrichshafen. This date corresponds to the entry of ‘Zahnradfabrik GmbH’ into the Commercial Register at the Tettnang local district court exactly 100 years before. Approximately 1500 guests from politics, commerce and society will be invited. Furthermore, on July 26, all interested parties wil be invited to a special ‘open house’ event where they will be given the exclusive opportunity to visit the production and assembly halls in Plant 2 as well as the R&D centre. The company will also take this opportunity to present the ZF Training Centre which provides young people from the region, Industry Europe 81

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as well as other visitors, with information regarding the various job opportunites at ZF and paths to successful applications. The company’s specially-selected inhouse organisational team has been working on a number of other ways to commemorate this important event. These will include an online anniversay portal, anniversary pub-

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lication for employees, anniversary calendar, the publication of a company history as well as a technological presentation.

Top notch success This year six companies have been selected to receive ZF’s coveted ‘Supplier of the year’ award. The latest presentation took place

at the ‘Materials Management Symposium’ in Friedrichshafen, Germany in November 2014 and was the seventh such event that the company has hosted. This year’s award for the most innovative supplier went to Elring Klinger AG. The company, which is headquartered in Dettingen, Germany, supplies ZF with speciality gaskets, plastic modules, thermal shielding parts and control plates for automatic transmission systems. In the jury’s view, an innovative sandwich intermediate plate, which allows additional inserts and functions to be integrated, was of particular merit. This is the second time that Elring Klinger has received the coveted award, which was last presented to them in 2007. In the specialised area of production materials, the ZF supplier award goes to three companies: In the iron-casting category, ZF honoured M.Busch GmbH as an outstanding supplier, in terms of both delivery and cost. The Sauerland-based company was a strategic partner for ZF’s latest variable ‘Cpower’ transmission system, which delivers fuel savings of up to 25 per cent. In the area of electronics, Hirschmann Automotive from Austria was rewarded for its top quality products and innovative strength, whilst Metaldyne GmbH & Co. KG is also recognised for its networked support

for ZF around the globe and as a technology leader in forged automotive parts. Another award winner was Kuka Systems – one of ZF’s leading providers of automatic production and assembly solutions and an importatnt partner for the industrial assembly of ZF’s 8HP and 9HP automatic transmissions. Finally, the prestigious ‘Global Award’ went to a long-standing partner of ZF: Siemens AG. In addition, the Dax Group supplies ZF with a range of goods that include electronic components and plant and equipment solutions. Wilhelm Rehm, who is responsible for the company’s Corporate Materials Management and Industrial Technology on the ZF board of management, said: “Any company like ZF that is looking to shape a global value chain needs innovative and, at the same time, reliable partners. The winners of this year’s Supplier Awards meet these requirements in an outstanding fashion.”

Asia Pacific expansion ZF was one of the first international corporations to invest in the emerging Asian markets, which has paid major dividends.

In 2013 it generated sales of more than €3 billion in the Asia Pacific region, with over 7500 employees in 37 locations and in 14 countries. This was an increase of 15 per cent compared with the previous year. ZF has been active in the Chinese market since 1980 and has been manufacturing locally since 1994. Today its extensive R&D centre in Shanghai, which was established in 2005, is one of the technology company’s eight main development locations worldwide. To further enhance its presence and influence in the region, ZF has entered into a joint venture with the Chinese automotive manufacturer, BAIC. The new joint venture in which ZF holds a 51 per cent share will be located in the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area (BDA) to the south-east of China’s capital. Starting in 2015, engineers and plant planners will begin development work and prepare the installation of production equipment for the launch of the next generation of chassis modules. The new state-of-the-art plant will have an initial capacity of 200,000 units for ‘just-insequence’ delivery. The customers will be the various car brands of the BAIC Group. The

two partners are investing more than €10 million each in the new facility, which will cover an area of more than 16,000 square metres.

Combining new technologies In a separate move, this time much closer to home, ZF announced the acquisition of TRW Automotive of Germany, thus forming a combined company with sales of more than €30 billion and 138,000 employees. Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF said, “The acquisition of TRW fits perfectly into our long-term strategy. The transaction combines two highly successful companies that have remarkable track records of innovation and growth and solid financial positions. We are strengthening our future prospects by enlarging our product portfolio with acknowledged technologies in the most attractive segments.” Today ZF is recognised as an important player in driveline and chassis technologies, whereas TRW is a significant supplier of active and passive safety technologies, including n advanced driver-assistance systems. For further details of ZF’s latest innovative products and news items, visit: Industry Europe 85


Wollsdorf is the world’s leading manufacturer of the finest quality leather for car steering wheels. Industry Europe looks at the latest from the company.

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ollsdorf is one of the leading leather producers in Europe. Its global reputation was further confirmed in September 2014 when it was announced the winner of the fourth global Tannery of the Year in Shanghai, China. This, the most prestigious award in the global tanning industry, is presented each year by the ‘World Leather’ magazine. Wollsdorf CEO Andreas Kindermann said of the award: “This proves that our path, to produce high quality leather with character instead of a cheap product, is the right one. Our customers understand and appreciate that. We are very proud to be honoured with this award and will continue our path.”

Production facilities From its production sites in Wollsdorf and Weisz in the East Styria region of Austria, and Varazdin in Croatia, Wollsdorf produces the finest quality products for the global automotive, furniture, aircraft, marine and garment industries. Its core business is in producing premium leather for car steering wheels, an application which is the most demanding of all the uses of leather in car interiors. In fact the company is the world’s leading manufacturer of steering wheel leather; over 60 per cent of its entire production is dedicated to this application and it has about 60 per cent of the premium European market, supplying top range marques such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Wollsdorf also has a plant in China which produces steering wheel leather sets for the rapidly growing Chinese auto industry as well as leather covers for aircraft seats. Furthermore, in 2014 it opened is own development centre for parts and sewn seat covers. In 2014, realising that the stamping factory in Weisz had exhausted its capacity for growth, the company made the decision to open a new stamping facility in the Croatian town of Varazdin. This town location was chosen for its strategically important location between the Wollsdorf site and some major customers in Romania. Production started

here in September 2014, whilst production at the Weisz plant will be gradually ‘phased out’ up to June 2015. The new plant has an area of 9500m2 and has enabled the company to increase its volume of leather steering wheel covers from 130,000 units per week to 150,000.

The highest standards Wollsdorf has been developing top-class quality products for the automotive industry for decades and now approximately 20,000 cars are sold each day upholstered in the company’s leather. It attributes its success in maintaining such a leading position to a unique combination of passion, technology, flexibility and innovation. According to Andreas Kindermann, the company is very careful to maintain the high quality standards for which it is known. “Fundamentally it comes down to how well we utilise our resources,” he says, “and that includes the raw materials that we process, the craftsmanship and expertise of our staff and our care for the environment, which is, after all, another resource. We think that we do something special in all three of these areas. “To start with, we are very careful in our selection of hides, which are all sourced from Limousin bulls in southern Germany and north-

ern Italy. To produce the finest quality hides these cattle have to be bred and fed correctly, they have to be kept very clean to avoid skin diseases and they have to be kept in the right conditions – within cattle-friendly fences, for example, to avoid tears and abrasions. Then, in every stage of the production process, we operate rigorous inspection and sorting procedures so that we can remove imperfect hides and end up with a product that has an above average content of full-grain leather.” Full grain leather is the product of hides that have not been buffed or sanded to remove imperfections. Mr Kindermann explains that leather producers often hide scars, insect bites and so on by embossing or working the surface structure to hide these defects. This is a perfectly acceptable practice but for its premium steering wheel leather Wollsdorf uses as much full-grain leather as possible.

A responsible producer Wollsdorf also puts a lot of work into the education and welfare of its employees. It identifies strongly with the East Styria region of Austria but its workforce is multinational. There are people from more than 40 nations, from all over Europe and from the Americas and Asia, working under its factory roof, says Mr Kindermann. Industry Europe 87

“We are committed to providing our staff with the maximum opportunities for training and advancement,” says Andreas Kindermann. “We have set up the Wollsdorf Academy and implemented a training policy that starts with the shop floor workers and goes on up through shift leaders and department managers. We want everyone, even if they have no high-school education, to realise that they can move up through the company. We have a profit share scheme and a company newsletter and I myself meet with everyone we employ in small groups each quarter to make sure they are all fully informed about the company’s progress.” Wollsdorf is equally imaginative in developing programmes to protect the environment. In the last two years it has reduced its use of water in hide processing by 30 per cent and continues to improve the efficiency of its waste water treatment plant. This year the company has also introduced a plant that will convert animal fat into biodiesel. “We have to deal with around 10,000 tonnes of fat a year, and up to now we have just had to dispose of it as waste,” explains Mr Kindermann, “but we can now extract from this total some 1000 tonnes of clean fat which our new plant can convert into a quantity of biodiesel equivalent to half our own annual thermal energy requirements, although, in fact, we don’t use the fuel ourselves.” 88 Industry Europe

Lightweight solution But Wollsdorf is also helping the environment through the development of its own products. These include a unique ‘lightweight’ leather specifically for aircraft seats. Developed together with its long-term partner Schauenburg for seats that are made by Recaro, this new product offers weight savings of some 40 per cent over traditional aircraft leather and is manufactured using an environmentally-friendly tanning process that does not require the use of chromium. The most recent order for this highly sought-after product came last year courtesy of Japan Airlines, which has been upgrading all seats on its domestic fleet – more than 50 aircraft – with lightweight leather made by Wollsdorf. “The airline industry is very enthusiastic about our lightweight leather,” says Mr Kindermann, “which is not surprising since a weight saving of around 3kg per seat means big fuel savings in a 200 seat plane. And, of course, if the engines use less fuel they also emit less CO2. A further gain is that the lightweight construction of the seats increases the capacity per aircraft by, on average, one row of seats.” Wollsdorf’s commitment to the highest quality secures its leading position in the market for premium leather for steering wheels but it also sees great opportunities for growth beyond the premium sector. “We supply standard leather

for OEMs such as Ford and GM, particularly in North America, and although we have a smaller market share in this sector it is a very large market and we see plenty of opportunities for expansion there,” says Andreas Kindermann. “We have also entered the market for split leather – leather that is made from the inner layers of the hide – which is often used for steering wheels on popular smaller cars from VW, Opel, Fiat, PSA etc. This is a fastgrowing market right across the world and, especially, of course, in China. “In China and across Asia the airline industry is also growing at a remarkable rate, with record numbers of new aircraft being ordered every year. So we see excellent prospects for our aircraft seat leather business around the world and our plant in China is ready to serve both the automotive and the aviation industries there as they continue their spectacular expansion.” n

QUALITY INTERIORS How important is the interior of your car? And your car seat covers? Marco Cavallaro - CEO of Apollo SpA - explains to Barbara Rossi the high level of quality and safety demanded by the automotive sector with regard to its components, including the vehicle interior textiles supplied by Apollo.


pollo SpA was set up in 1969 as a manufacturer of upholstery for home furnishings. An important change of direction came in 1985, when it switched to the production of textiles for industrial use, specifically for the car interiors industry. Gradually this business evolved into the manufacturing of textiles for the whole automotive interiors sector. Today the company has grown into a group which designs and manufactures textiles for the rail, aviation and marine sectors as well as for the

automotive core business (which includes textiles for bus interiors). As well as supplying the actual textiles, the group is also able to supply seat covers, a service requested by many of its customers. “Because of the type of applications for which they are used, our products have to feature characteristics such as durability, fire resistance and smoke resistance,” Mr Cavallaro explains. Apollo SpA is now a group with three subsidiaries: Botto RO, Apollo Industria Filati and European Interior Srl. The group is head-

quartered in Capalle, near Florence; both Botto RO and Apollo Industria Filati are also situated between Florence and the nearby town of Prato, while European Interior Srl is located in Romania. As well as leading the group, which employs 450 people overall, Apollo SpA designs and manufactures textiles for car interiors, while Botto RO carries out a parallel activity but for trains, planes, buses and ships. Apollo Industria Filati provides technical support, carrying out some of the produc-

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tion processes of these two companies. European Interior is engaged in producing seat covers, an activity which requires fairly complex co-design processes. “Even when we supply customers with textiles that they then transform or have transformed into seat covers, an element of co-design is involved in the process. “We have at our disposal all the technologies which are currently in use in our client sectors. We have an internal R&D department and laboratories equipped so as to carry out all the tests necessary to guarantee the safety and quality of our products. We hold all relevant certifications, including ISO 9001, ISO/TS16949 and ISO 14001. We 90 Industry Europe

have always been committed to minimising our environmental impact and we were the first European automotive textile company to have Ecolabel certified products.” The R&D department employs 15 members of staff, including designers working on patterns (as a high fashion element is key to this sector) and technicians working on new materials offering improved performance and features. 3 per cent of turnover is invested in R&D on an annual basis. The R&D office is based in the Florence-Prato area. Its location in one of the world’s fashion capitals enables Apollo’s R&D department to profit from proximity to the latest fashion trends and utilise the region’s world-class expertise in textile technology.

High quality for automotive Products for the automotive sector generate about 80 per cent of turnover, while those for the rail, plane, bus and ship industries produce the remainder. The company expected significant growth at the end of 2014 or at the beginning of the 2015, which will require additional machinery. “In terms of the clients that we serve, we really deal with OEMs, so we are Tier 1 suppliers in the sense that orders come from them. However we act as Tier 2s in terms of product deliveries to Tier 1 system suppliers who, in turn, serve the OEMs. It sounds complicated, but really we are Tier 1s, as OEMs are the ones who select us

and decide what to order from us. We have direct contact with them with regard to this. The Tier 1 systems suppliers just have to follow the specifications of the OEMs and have no say in our selection. With regard to products for industries other than the automotive sector, we have different procedures and do not usually deal with OEMs.” Geographically the group’s main market is Europe in its broadest sense (including Turkey). Apollo is also active on other continents, thanks to a joint-venture with a US company that is number one in that country for seat covers. Apollo contributes with its know-how and high level of technology. Production for non-European markets takes place in the countries where customers

make their vehicles. “Thanks to this organisation we can supply our products in North and South America, as well as China. “We always keep an eye on new markets and new opportunities, especially outside Europe. Europe is a mature market, where competition is based on quality. In terms of textile-related industry segments the automotive sector is by far the most competitive (at the global, not just European level). The level of performance and quality required is much greater than that of other industries (not even the most prestigious fashion brands have such high expectations). One just has to think of the number of components required in a vehicle and that there has to be a high level of production process control for all of

these in order to produce a high-quality and reliable vehicle. In fact, the automotive market is so mature that the winning players are the manufacturers of premium cars.” Scope for volume growth will mainly be at the non-European level, where acquisitions could be considered. Because of its high degree of maturity, changes in the European market will be limited, although Mr Cavallaro expects possible growth of demand from the rail industry. The Apollo group has long-term relationships with its specialised yarn suppliers, namely Sinterama and Noyfil. They and the materials supplied are very important for the group, especially because there is collaboration with regard to co-design of raw materials. n

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CONCRETE SOLUTIONS Expansion into neighbouring countries as well as ongoing technological improvements are the growth drivers for Hungarian construction company ASA Kft Épitoipari Kft, part of the CONSOLIS Group. Julia Snow reports.

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ver three decades now ASA Kft has been the Hungarian pioneer in innovative construction solutions. Its core competencies remain design, production and assembly of precast reinforced concrete structures, industrial flooring and general contracting. ASA Kft was among the first Hungarian companies to work under private ownership in 1990, and today has its headquarters in Budapest and a 36,000m2 production plant in Hódmezővásárhely. The product offer is segmented into three groups: Building construction elements such as foundations, columns, beams, slabs, wall panels, concrete toppings or floors; traffic construction elements in the shape of buffer walls or safety barriers systems, and finally infrastructure elements, which

could be sheet piles, bridge beam systems, stairways, chutes or seepage elements. ASA Kft’s business activities take place in Hungary and in neighbouring countries through other CONSOLIS subsidiaries: ASA CONS in Romania, CONSOLIS Balkan in Serbia and 3-Betony in Ukraine. The partnerships work well due to complementary expertise and similar technological and social environments.

A key regional partner in the CONSOLIS Group “Perhaps the biggest change in the development of ASA Kft was joining the CONSOLIS Group in 2008,” explains managing director Bogdan Bulgaria. Present in 30 countries with over 10,000 employees worldwide,

CONSOLIS has more than 100 years of construction experience. The group’s activities include rail infrastructure, residential and non-residential construction, civil works, water network infrastructures as well as urban planning and design. “ASA Kft had some turbulent periods in the past,” according to Mr Bulgaria, “but we managed to tackle each storm, mainly by being open to trends in the Western construction industry and thanks to endless commitment to our basic product: concrete. With the production of our plant in the south-eastern part of Hungary, in Hódmezővásárhely, the excellent technical team, unique technical solutions and innovations, and last, but not least at all, with the support of CONSOLIS, we managed to

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keep our position at the top of the precast reinforced concrete building industry in Hungary.” With a turnover of €18 Million ASA Kft makes a modest contribution to the CONSOLIS Group turnover of €1.3 billion. “Nevertheless, we are confident that with the know-how and firm support of the group we can increase our contribution ” says Mr Bulgaria.

Local expertise ASA Kft already enjoys a strong reputation for innovation, commitment to quality and integrity, but joining CONSOLIS is described as “an absolute ace in our cards, difficult to top. “We see the CONSOLIS brand entering into the local market as a win-win.” ASA Kft’s local roots are valuable in large tendering projects, he explains: “Being best aware of local conditions and possibilities ASA Kft is always considered for tendering and project execution. As an independent company we can act swiftly and flexibly, but we also benefit from the overall corporate strategy. CONSOLIS’ support, know-how, experience, technological and financial possibilities is something that very few local players can match.”

Extended offer So what makes ASA Kft stand out from the crowd? “Our core activity is still reinforced concrete frame structures. However,

we have introduced other solutions for increased customer satisfaction. We offer premium category industrial flooring, as well as the entire range of services connected to reinforced and prestressed concrete structures from bottom to top, i.e. design, manufacture, assembly and even general contracting with incorporation of other subcontracted trades. “Through continuous technology investments we entered the infrastructure and traffic construction market – complete solutions for bridge constructions including different bridge beam systems, public road safety barriers, buffer walls, bridge stairways, chutes, seepages and sheet piles. And we also offer complete concepts for economical and time-saving construction such as concrete tanks, XPREStank® and concrete offices or warehouses Bashallen®.”

Showcase projects ASA Kft can show exceptional references such as the UEFA Category football Stadium in Debrecen for 20,020 spectators, the industrial flooring of the AUDI Logistics facility in Győr (60 000m2), and the general contracting project of gas-storage extension for E-On in Zsana. A particular highlight is a production facility with a size of 19,500m2. for RichterGedeon in Budapest, which involved all core competencies from a precast concrete

structure through to industrial flooring, as well as general contracting services and R&D activities for precast cantilevers, pocketed cantilevers and unique nodes. “We managed to obtain the trust of the investors in the tender phase by presenting a unique, convincing and feasible technical solution.” reports Mr Bulgaria. The work on the site started in September 2014 and is expected to be finished in March 2015.

Future outlook As ASA Kft’s business in Hungary and the surrounding countries is growing, the production capacities have to keep pace: “Our last significant investment was the extension of our production area with a modern hall for the production of slab elements with slipformer technology and prestressed reinforced concrete elements, e.g. bridge beams.” Ongoing growth is the goal, he adds: “Although concrete is an enduring material and the construction methods fairly static, we are not leaning back contemplating our achievements. Instead we strive to do more and to do it better. Offering even more added value to our present products, providing customers innovative alternatives and incorporating new product types and highend solutions developed at group level are perhaps our biggest strengths to underpin our growth potential on the market.” n

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Doco-International is a market leader in the manufacture and distribution of high quality door fittings and accessories. Industry Europe looks at the company’s activities.

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oco International was founded by George de Schwartz in the Netherlands in 1982 in order to supply high quality components and solutions exclusively to the industrial and residential door industry. Today the company has its headquarters in Sittard in the Netherlands and has multiple distribution centres and sales offices across Europe. The company’s major sales and distribution centres are located in the UK, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Spain. Offering a comprehensive and diverse range of prod-

ucts and accessories, Doco International also provides a range of customer support services, as well as research and development facilities for its clients. The company has a reputation for quality and reliability and is represented in more than 40 countries, spread across four continents.

Products and solutions The company has an impressive catalogue of products that ranges from bearings, brackets, safety devices and fasteners, to cable drums, hinges, locks and door handles. Doco

International supplies both the industrial and consumer markets and is in competition with some big Pan-European players. In order to grow its market share, the company has had to look at niche market opportunities and provide innovative solutions. A company spokesperson said, “We have been looking at ways to lead the market and increase our turnover and value-added offerings to our customers. One area that we have targeted is the ‘renovation market’. This has already proved to be a growth market for us particularly in the manufacture

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of sectional doors. In response to our market research and customer requirements, a few years ago we developed a sectional, Renovation Door System for garages. These doors are better insulated and are much easier to hang than conventional garage doors, thus saving the installer and the end user a great deal of time and money.” The biggest markets for the company’s products and many of its other more innovative products today are Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and eastern European countries such as Romania and the Czech Republic. Doco International covers all of eastern Europe with its dedicated sales teams and well established sales offices.

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The company has also been developing its sales offices in South America, especially in Chile and Brazil where its sectional garage doors are probably the brand leader in the consumer sector. Over the past few years it has also been establishing a sales force in the USA and Canada. Closer to home, the company’s offices in England deliver a wide range of products to India and the Middle East, which are the traditional markets for UK manufacturers.

Innovation is key Looking through its myriad of products in the professional range, the company’s Docomatic 1200 automatic garage door

equipment sets a good example of how flexible and cost-effective the Doco range really is. This particular product offers a one-man, fast-mounting system, extra assured sensor technology, integrated lighting and emergency release. The high-tech control unit includes a range of features that provides a force monitoring system with automatic travel path setting, as well as a load-stable soft-start and soft-stop feature. In addition, there is a wide range of accessories on offer, such as a 4-channel transmitter and radio-code lock, as well as security elements such as FE Photo Cells and warning lights. There is also an optional high-grade chain version available with rail

extension kits of up to 6.0 metres and additional mechanical locking devices. At the end of last year (2014) Doco introduced its new adjustable coupling for 1-inch shafts. This product is comparable to its earlier adjustable coupling but weighs much less at 0.7kg instead of 1.33kg (in line with the need for lightweighting across all industry sectors).

claims that its ‘Track&Trace’ system is the best available today. The spokesperson added, “Our customers don’t want to have stock that takes up valuable space and time to sort out; what they want is reliable, just-in-time deliveries and products that are of a high standard at competitive prices. We are not the cheapest on the

market but we won’t spare ourselves on either our quality or our customer service. For instance, our aluminium casting products are manufactured in China and we employ very strict quality controls there. Every manufacturing step is monitored so that the customer is guaranteed the best n possible quality.”

Just-in-time delivery Doco International believes that it has one of the most efficient and reliable delivery systems on the market. Delivery anywhere in Europe is guaranteed to be within 48 hours. This can be achieved because of the company’s strategically placed distribution centres in Spain, the Czech Republic, the UK and the Netherlands. Three dedicated transport companies provide the just-in-time deliveries and electronic systems guarantee that orders can be tracked from the moment they are placed. For example, an e-mail is automatically sent to the customer once the order has been loaded and is on its way. Using a special bar code system, the company

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A CUT ABOVE THE REST Gaspari Menotti SpA is a leader in the manufacturing of machinery for the processing of marble and granite, including gang saws and slab and tile processing lines. Barbara Rossi spoke to Stefano Roberti, the company’s marketing and commercial manager, to find out what’s behind its continued success.


aspari Menotti SpA started its work in 1956 in Carrara, northern Tuscany, having been established by Mr Gaspari Menotti himself. Its location was not casual, as the town and its surrounding area are famous for their white marble and Gaspari Menotti started as a manufacturer of smaller machinery for the processing of marble slabs (cutters and small cutting centres). Its activity soon evolved to include marble and granite gang saws, which launched the brand as one of the world leaders for this type of machinery. A later development was the offer of complete systems (including polishing/resin spraying machinery) which evolved into today’s com100 Industry Europe

prehensive range. This includes many solutions with regard to cutting lines, and polishing and resin-spraying systems. Nowadays the company is a world leader in the production of diamond wire machines for transforming blocks into slabs, specifically single- and multi-wire machines and block-cutters/shapers. It has 80 employees, a conspicuous network of agents all over the world and a turnover close to €30 million. Its core products are the previously mentioned multi-wire machines for the transformation of granite into slabs, marble gang saws, marble and granite polishing machines, and resin lines.

“In terms of new products we are focusing on customised intelligent cutting centres, called Smartcut, to obtain cut-to-size slabs. Another focus is our Multi-wire GMW Series for transforming granite blocks into slabs, with models available in different measurements and varying in terms of their cutting size capacity. Our GMW range is very significant in terms of revenues.” The company operates from a single site in Carrara, which could easily accommodate a production volume increase. This hi-tech facility currently occupies a 65,000m2 area (20,000m2 of which are covered) and houses both production and the head office.

There is also an internal department dedicated to R&D (technical, mechanical and electronics) which employs 10 engineers. All new product design is carried out in-house, on a continuous basis. “We have several on-going projects both for the improvement of existing models and for the development of brand new solutions, using innovative technologies.”

Being smart “The Smartcut machines, which transform the slabs into the ideal format for the client, are totally customised so as to fulfil clients’ needs with regard to cutting requirements and space availability in their factory. Individual machines,

such as cutters and polishers, are usually standard, but once they are incorporated into a ‘turn-key’ system an element of customisation comes into play, as we determine which machines and models are to be included according to customer requirements.” The company’s clientele is mainly composed of marble and granite product manufacturers serving the construction sector. Geographically Gaspari Menotti serves countries all over the world and 95 per cent of its turnover derives from exports (mainly to non-EU countries). Its core markets include Brazil, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, India, Italy, North Africa, other African countries, the USA and Argentina.

“In the future we will increase our business in fast developing countries such as those on the African continent. Of particular interest will be countries such as Namibia, Angola, Mali, Togo, Kenya and Nigeria. Also, we will keep a watchful eye on South East Asia, for instance Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh. “Multi-wire machines will remain our core business, as they have replaced the previously used granite gang saws for transforming this material from blocks into slabs. I believe that they will hold their ground for a number of years. Smartcut machines, which replace traditional cutters, are also going to be important Industry Europe 101

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for future development. Demand for these is likely to increase as they feature a very high level of automation and require just one operator, thus bringing labour cost savings at a time when this is a real issue. Turkey has shown a lot of interest in our Smartcut machines, but I have to say that the response seems to be positive in other markets as well.”

Acquisitions and collaborations As well as growing organically, the company could be open to acquisitions and other collaborations. In fact, it has already established a joint venture with Bulma, a Spanish company

with expertise in the development of radio-frequency heating system ovens. The two companies have worked together on the development of a special machine for epoxy resin hardening. The result of this collaboration is the MIR 2200, which replaces old ovens with a superior technology and offers the possibility for just-in-time production. In fact, when slabs were in need of repair through the use of resin, traditional technology required a 24 to 48 hours’ stocking time after the initial treatment of the slab, so that the resin could harden and become part of the actual slab material before this could be polished. With MIR 2200,

which also takes up much less space than older ovens, the hardening process only takes seven minutes and can be carried out on line with the polishing machine. “Our growth will be based on our innovative products, including MIR 2200, multi-wire machines and Smartcut, but as mentioned we are always open to external collaborations if these can expand our volumes and further establish us on the market. I don’t expect many changes at organisational level, as we have reached a stability of production which allows us to face the future n quite confidently.”

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SOLUTIONS Laura Gasparini, export manager of Palazzani Industrie SpA, talked to Barbara Rossi about the two company divisions, an upcoming anniversary and the outstanding rate of growth experienced by the Palift aerial platforms worldwide.

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alazzani is going to celebrate its eightieth birthday this year, having being founded in 1935 as a small workshop manufacturing agricultural equipment. In the 1950s it started making the first earthmoving machines and in the 1980s acquired joint-stock status, as well as commencing production of aerial platforms alongside its earth-moving range. Since then the company has had two manufacturing divisions: Paload (earth-moving range) and Palift (aerial platform range). These two divisions operate in very different sectors, with different markets, but are very much part of the same company. Today, the second and third generations of the founding family are actively involved in its management (the company is led

by Davide Palazzani) and the company is headquartered in the Brescia area of northern Italy (Paderno Franciacorta) to which it moved in the 1980s. Alongside this main site – housing offices, production facilities and a warehouse – Palazzani also has a smaller plant in nearby Pompiano which functions as a second warehouse and hosts production of smaller models. Palazzani designs all of its products but manufacturing is outsourced (assembly is carried out in-house.) Paload offers wheeled loaders (with weights ranging from 4 to 11 tonnes) telescopic loaders (2 models of 8 and 9 tons) backhoe loaders (with weights from 3 to 9 tonnes) and a very wide range of attachments. “The fact that all of our machines

are equipped with hydrostatic transmission makes them extremely versatile and means that they are not limited to earth-moving tasks. In fact, they are also marketed as multi-functional machines, which can be used for road cleaning, green space maintenance, snow ploughing and road milling. Also other features, such as articulated chassis, engine below the cabin, make our machines very functional,” Ms Gasparini explained. “Being a small company allows us to have a high degree of flexibility. We treat each machine as a unique piece, customising our products according to the specific needs of each of our customers or those of sector-specific applications. In this way, our clients know that we can find a solution for their needs or have a ‘ready-made’ product

already specifically designed for the needs of a particular application. We apply this philosophy to both our divisions.” Until a few years ago the volume of work was equally split between Paload and Palift, but the recession of the last few years has particularly affected the earth-moving division, which is strongly linked to the construction and industrial markets. Aerial platforms, on the other hand, enjoy increasing success in both traditional and emerging markets.

Reaching anywhere “We are particularly proud of having invented the ‘Ragno’ access platforms (Ragno is the Italian for spider) which, thanks to their stowed dimensions and lightness, can be used inside buildings or in areas where

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traditional access platforms are too large or heavy. We have specialised in high platforms (with heights ranging from 17m to 52m) and I can say that we rank at the top of the sector at global level. Few companies in the world specialised in this niche segment and we have the widest range and the tallest platforms. Our range offers both models for external and internal use, powered by electric or diesel motors. In fact we offer an

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‘eco’ version powered by electric motors and batteries, a ‘bi-energy’ option equipped with both a diesel and an electric motor and a hybrid version with diesel and battery,” Versatility is also offered through the choice of crawled or wheeled models. New products developed in recent years for Palift include XTJ43 (which has been launched this year), XTJ52 (which entered the market last year) and TSJ25; while

recently Paload saw the introduction of two new telescopic loaders PT 182 and PT 192. Further to these new products, now all platforms range models from 25 to 52 meters of max w/h can be equipped with an hydraulic winch with 500 kg lifting capacity, an interesting application transforming them into spider cranes. “We continuously update our offer, both in terms of range and technology, thanks to the work of our dedicated R&D department. For instance, recently all our Palift machines were equipped with software able to highlight any possible issues.” Palazzani distributes its products through a network of authorised dealers (each of whom is usually specialised in either range). The Paload products are used in the agricultural, construction, ecology and industrial sectors; while the Palift range is employed in the maintenance, rental, landscaping and restoration industries. “Building maintenance will always be a requirement and this is the strength of Palift. Our platforms are particularly necessary for skyscrapers and buildings with difficult-toaccess areas. Export markets have become increasingly important over the last ten years and currently generate 70 per cent of our turnover. Europe (including Russia) is an important outlet for both of our divisions, while our geographical presence in other continents varies

according to the division. As well as Europe, Paload exports to Australia, Latin America and North Africa; whilst, in addition to Europe, Palift serves Asia (especially the Middle and Far East) and Australia (where we are having excellent results for both divisions). “Our target for Paload is that of consolidating our presence in Europe and restoring our pre-recession sales volumes, while possibly expanding in Latin America and North Africa. As for Palift, we expect further growth worldwide and intend to enter the American market, defined as North and South America, where we have a very limited presence at the moment. We are open to any growth path, including possible acquisitions or joint-ventures. “For us safety is absolutely paramount. As well as being ISO 9001 certified for quality and having the CE marking, we have each of our products externally and independently certified. This is a requirement for our Palift range,

which we have also voluntarily extended to all the Paload products, so as to ensure the highest possible level of safety for users. “Being a small company, investing in our image and communication is extremely

important. For this reason we have done a lot of work on developing our website and social websites and have created a monthly newsletter, as well as a magazine which is n published twice a year.”

Simex was established in 1991 in San Giovanni in Persiceto, near Bologna. The company quickly stood out as a producer of hydraulic a achments for earth moving machines. Early products included planers for backhoe loaders, followed by planers for skid steer loaders. Simex then expanded on interna onal markets, thanks to the produc on of wheel excavators, wheel compactors and asphalt pavers, gaining excellence in road maintenance a achments, a field in which the company remains an undisputed leader. Design and produc on of new equipment, such as double drum cu er heads, crusher buckets and screening buckets with adjustable output for excavator moun ng are examples of Simex’s ongoing dedica on to designing efficient solu ons. Tel: +39-051-6810609 | Fax: +39-051-6810628 E-mail: | |

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LEADER IN CONSTRUCTION CERAMICS 108 Industry IndustryEurope Europe

Röben Polska, part of the international Röben company, is one the most dynamic manufacturers of construction ceramics – roof tiles and bricks – in Poland.


ith more than 150 years of experience in high quality ceramics production, Roben Polska is a leading global player in construction ceramics with several manufacturing facilities across Europe and the US, three of which are located in Poland. Its offer currently includes over 1500 products, including ceramic tiles, bricks and clinker, ceramic flooring, clinker brick paving, stair systems and other items. There have been a number of key developments at Roben Polska over the past decade or so which have further strengthened its position on the construction ceramics market in Poland. In 2008 in modernised its tile-manufacturing unit, opened three years earlier, a process which focused mainly on adding a computer-operated quality control feature into the production line. It allows for every single tile to be photographed and then analysed in detail, picking up on the most minute defects. The computerised quality control system is carried out through different manufacturing stages, thereby ensuring that the end product meets all required standards. Any inferior tile is eliminated and therefore only the best products are made available for sale. The success of the system in the production of tiles convinced the company to also introduce it in 2009 in the clinker-manufacturing facility. In the same year Röben Polska also automated the production line for the unloading and loading of clinker and in 2010 the company introduced four new products – three new types of bricks (red-brown, brown and anthracite), and a new colour variant of the MONZAplus roof tile. The expansion of the product offer is a direct response to the increasing aesthetic demands of customers who are looking for ever-more differentiated colours.

Strong operations The company continues to grow and achieves excellent sales yearon-year. In Röben’s Polish offer tiles are the most important product group. In fact, three out 10 ceramic tiles bought by construction companies in the country are Röben brands. The Polish enterprise is the daughter company of the familyowned German Röben company, which has production facilities across Germany, the US and Poland. The Polish factory, located in Środa Śląska, occupies a very important position in the parent company’s structure, partly because of the profits it generates but also because it produces shapes and colours of products which are not available in Germany.

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WESOŁEK” Ltd Materiały Budowlane AW Wesołek (AW Wesołek Building Materials) is a company with 30 years of experience in distribution of construction materials, fuels, fertilizers and transport provisions. It was founded in 1986 by Mr. Waldemar Wesołek, who is the company’s president up to date. Our transport base is regularly renewed and adapted to the needs of our customers, so we are able to bring any goods to any recipient in any place. The company owns 9 construction warehouses in Wielkopolska region, Poland. The company has also two more warehouses, which are franchised. Ceramic tiles produced by Röben Poland are one of our flagship products. Our cooperation with this company has been constantly expanding. Thanks to the high quality of its ceramic tiles, ROBEN is a precursor of modern solutions in the field of ceramic roofing. The Roben’s products are aimed at both: private and professional investors. Our further cooperation with Röben Poland definitely will satisfy the needs of the market on tiles to even greater extent.

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Bongioanni After the presentation of the Bongioanni roof tile press type CRONO334 at Ceramitec 2012, it has been started recently the third installation working (April 2013; August 2013; August 2014) The press CRONO334 manufactured by Bongioanni is a 4 moulds version of the widely tested CRONO333, which is installed and is working in several installation since many years. In the two-year-period 2013-2014 two presses manufactured by Germans have been replaced in one of the most important French groups that manufacture covering materials. Nevertheless its weight of more than 42.000 kg, the replacement has been done in 3 working days only and after eight days the presses have started again the pressing project rhythm, considering that at the same time it’s been installed a new electric board, realized according to Bongioanni’s standard and patents. Distinctiveness of the new version is the possibility to assemble 4 big moulds, both laying them alternate or side by side on the dryer’s frame. The trimmer head group can be fix or mobile with mechanical cams, depending on the laying needs. The press is equipped only with one motor with alternate current and all the synchronization of the press is obtained mechanically.

High quality at reasonable prices The company strives to maintain the highest standards in the quality of its products, as well as realistic prices. The focus on ecology is also of utmost importance – not only in environmental protection, but also in supplying builders with completely natural materials: all of Röben’s products are manufactured from clay and the way they gain their colour is also achieved through natural processes. The needs of customers and investors in the construction ceramics industrial segment are always changing, a tendency linked directly to the increasing eco-friendly and energy-saving awareness amongst consumers.

Thanks to an inverter the software allows to change the pressing rhythm with system VVP (Change of the Pressing Speed) or VEPCM (Change of the Mechanical Cam Profile), patented by Bongioanni. By these systems it is possible to customize pressing cycles according to the material to manufacture, that can be modified at any time to satisfy new exigencies. Thanks to this, a rhythm of 22 strokes/min can be reached, with resin moulds, without compromising the quality of the shaped product. The compression cam is made of alloy vacuum packed cast-steel, completely integral and it is put through a special massive thermal treatment. Final grinding defines the special profile, result of the decennial experience of Bongioanni. The machine can be equipped with any type of mould, plaster, steel or resin with rubber sheet and it is possible to use the electrophoresis system. The basement of the press has been designed to allow the replacement of those presses built by other manufacturers, just doing some small and simple changes to the foundation’s frame. In the applications carried out the principle of load and the laying and tiles transport line have never required any modification. Visit our web site for full range of Bongioanni products.

Householders are also increasingly focusing on the level of comfort in the spaces they live in, which is why there is an ever-growing interest in materials which have good acoustic isolation factors. Solutions offered by Röben Polska that meet such needs include relatively heavy, and therefore sound-proof, roof tiles, as well as bricks. Using sound-isolating roof tiles is particularly important when adapting attic spaces to normal living conditions – something of a trend in its own right amongst home owners. Another important tendency which positively impacts on the popularity of construction ceramics is the fact that architects are increasingly looking into using bricks when creating designs for public buildings. All in all, the trends in the market and the needs and expectations of customers are the most important factors for Röben Polska: they directly impact on the changes in the product offer.

Strong product offering Röben Polska regularly exhibits its products at international trade shows. For example, it recently took part in BUDMA 2015, where particular attention was paid to its latest flat tile – Bergamo. This product, which can be used for a wide range of ceramic roofing, stands out owing to its simple form which creates a uniform roof surface and elegant, minimalist appearance. This tile will be widely available on the market from late spring 2015. Other novelties presented at the event included a rustic clinker with an irregular surface, but the company did not neglect its more wellknown ceramic products either. Visitors to its booth could learn about the popular Piedmont roofing system, MONZAplus and Bornholm, as well as its block Thermoziegel with integrated thermal insulation. n Industry Europe 111

OTIS MOVES THE WORLD Otis is the world’s biggest manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products, including lifts, escalators and moving walkways. Founded more than 160 years ago by the inventor of the safety elevator, Otis operates a production plant in the Czech Republic in Břeclav.


he Břeclav production plant manufactures new escalators, moving walkways and solutions for the modernisation of elevators, escalators and moving walkways. “Currently, the most dynamic development can be seen in the escalator division, especially in the area of sales of escalators designed for heavy-duty operation – such as metros, airports, train stations, etc., with much of the demand coming from Europe,” says Ladislav Zeman, the general manager of the plant. “The year 2014 was successful for our facility. The growth of sales volume of escalators and moving walkways designed for infrastructure projects implemented in western Europe has played an important role. Our business activities in the area of Middle East also have been developing in a very promising manner.”

Innovations are a must Development and innovation of products parts of everyday life at Otis. Several years ago, for example, the company successfully launched a new generation of lifts – a flat112 Industry Europe

belt, compact and environmentally sustainable lift known as the Gen2TM. “We have been continuously enhancing and extending the usage of this successful system. Gen2TM Mod Hydro is the latest series, which enables the modernisation or replacement of older, less efficient hydraulic lifts with our flat-belt technology. Such a solution offers the possibility to keep the original functional parts of the lift, which is a very interesting feature for our clients from the budgetary point of view,” explains the general manager. Otis has been developing new solutions is in the field of escalators as well. The brand strives for safe, energy-efficient and environmentally responsible solutions. In order to achieve such goals, the company relies on engineering capacities, including those from UTC Building & Industrial Systems, the world’s largest provider of building technologies, of which Otis is a part. “Otis draws on the expertise across UTC Building & Industrial Systems for the creation of better solutions for its customers. It does not matter if the customer needs a

complex system for the highest buildings in the world or a simple lift or escalator for a two-floor house; we provide the safest and most reliable solution,” Zeman says. A delivery of escalators for new Prague metro stations is the latest example of a highly sophisticated solution. Within this important contract, the Otis a.s. production plant delivered its longest escalator to date (for the Petřiny station) with a vertical rise of 38 metres, which corresponds to a total length exceeding 84 metres, and its height may be compared to approximately 15 floors.

Strong brand with a long tradition Due to its experience gained during more than 160 years of development, Otis became the leader in its industrial segment. The Otis brand itself is a great asset – it refers to lots of experience, know-how and references, technical expertise, engineering services, research capacities, quality of products and complete services. “Another strong point of the brand is its ability to fulfil non-standard requirements,” says the

general manager. “Lifts, escalators and moving walkways by Otis have been implemented in thousands of buildings used by people all over the world every day. We are proud of the fact that Otis products have been assembled in eight out of the last 10 buildings to hold the record of the world’s tallest, and that our company was selected as a partner by the most demanding customers – such as the Transport for London project – delivery of special heavy escalators for the London underground; a project for the Prague metro (extension of the A line), as well as metros in Stockholm, Paris, Munich, Düsseldorf and so on.”

Prerequisite of Growth Zeman emphasises that in order to ensure significant growth, Otis has to recruit the right talent. “A sufficient number of qualified labourers with technical backgrounds must be employed. We have importantly strengthened the number of our engineers, development technicians, process engineers and technologists, specialists and quality inspectors,” he said. “We recruit workers, foremen and also production managers. At the beginning of 2014, we tripled the number of assembly operators and pre-production operators in the area of the final assembly of escalators. We also

cooperate with the Edvard Beneš Secondary Technical School, the Secondary Vocational School in Břeclav, and the Brno University of Technology.” Finally, he adds: “The mission of Otis is the design and provision of complete solutions to our customers; quality and sophisticated solutions with a high added value including individual tailor-made modifications for the customer. We wish to be a renowned leader in the provision of first-class services among all the companies all over the world, and the company wishes to be a reliable partner for its employees. We want to keep n moving the world.”

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Tarkett is a global leader in the development and manufacture of sustainable flooring and sports surface products. Today the company’s focus is very much on the manufacture of sustainable flooring that is designed to enhance every customer’s quality of life. Philip Yorke looks at a company that dominates the world stage in its sector and continues to grow through its inspired products and strategic acquisitions.

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arkett was founded in 1880 in by two young entrepreneurs, Joseph Allibert and Francois Sommer, whose early success set the stage for the future growth of the company. Today the same entrepreneurial spirit flourishes at Tarkett’s new headquarters in La Defence, Paris. A combination of continuous improvement and innovation has been largely responsible for its remarkable, on-going success. Today the company serves customers in over 100 countries and employs around 12,000 people worldwide. In 2014 Tarkett recorded sales of over €2.4 billion. The Tarkett Group sells more than 1.4 million square metres of flooring every single day, manufactured in-house by its 34 production sites spread across four continents. Tarkett’s extensive range of products can be found in schools, hospitals, hotels, offices, retail stores and sports fields in wood

and laminate, carpet and rubber as well as in synthetic turf and athletics track. For over a decade, Tarkett has been listed on the Euronext Stock Exchange in Paris.

Expanding global reach Tarkett has one of the broadest global reaches of any company in its field and also has unparalleled experience of local cultures, trends, technical requirements and building regulations. Strategic acquisitions have played a major role in the company’s global expansion programme, with 14 companies being integrated into the Tarkett group in the last five years alone. Today Tarkett operates modern manufacturing plants in Canada, USA, Brazil, Russia and the Ukraine, as well as owning 14 production facilities throughout the EU. The company’s global operations are divided into three regions: North America, EMEA and eastern Europe.

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Significant acquisitions over the past decade include many of the world’s brand leaders including FieldTurf, Marley Floors, Johnsonite and Tandus, the leading US commercial carpet company. However, the company’s most recent ‘jewel in its crown’ is Desso, a global leader in carpets and sports field solutions. Desso is a well-established global brand that produces high-end and innovative carpet flooring mainly for commercial applications and also serves the sports market with artificial turf and a unique, reinforced natural grass system known as ‘GrassMaster®’. “Through the acquisition of Desso, we have strengthened our product portfolio, adding high-end carpets and carpet tiles for our European clients. The operation enables us to reinforce our geographical presence in EMEA and allows Tarkett to provide commercial carpet solutions to all customers worldwide, leveraging on the successful acquisition of Tandus in North America in 2012. Desso is a recognised brand for high quality and innovative products and is strongly committed to sustainability. We are very pleased that as of today, Desso is part of Tarkett, and we warmly welcome all employees joining our group,” said Michael Gianuzzi, CEO of Tarkett.

Gaining ground in Asia The Tarkett Group has been operating in China for many years selling its vinyl flooring solutions, as well as being responsible for the production and sales of its Tandus carpet tiles. However, the company recently further strengthened its commercial and industrial activities in China through a number of strategic transactions. These included the acquisition of a 30 per cent minority interest in Tarkett’s subsidiary, currently dedicated to the distribution of Tarket products in China, which has now become a fully-owned subsidiary. In addition, the company acquired the assets for vinyl flooring production, located near Beijing, which is now fully operational and producing a wide range of Tarkett flooring products. This acquisition will enable Tarkett to capitalise on the fast growing demand in China for high-performance vinyl flooring solutions, in particular in the commercial segments of health and education. 118 Industry Europe

“By strengthening its flooring industrial and commercial footprint in China, Tarkett improves its positions in this fast growing region. These investments in China will allow us to deliver improved service and valueadded flooring solutions for our local customers. It will also enhance our balanced and global footprint,” commented Giannuzzi.

Focus on sustainability Tarkett sees sustainability as ‘the backbone’ of its strategy for growth and believes that driving forward on a daily basis for greater sustainability is the best way to assure long-term growth and ecorespect for the planet. A good example of the direction that the company is heading, in terms of sustainability is its launch in the EMEA region of a unique, modular vinyl solution known as ‘iD Click’. Made in Germany the LVT iD Click is a high-quality modular vinyl flooring Industry Europe 119

TWE Group TWE Group with its twelve international production sites in Europe, USA and Asia is one of the top ten players in the glo­bal nonwoven market and for more than 10 years a reliable partner of Tarkett. We develop, manufacture and sell high quality raw materials and advanced production technologies extensive innovative nonwoven solutions for almost any application. Total revenue currently stands at over 360 million euro. Well-known customers are in the areas of hygiene, medical, automotive, filtration, household cleaning, clothing and building materials.

that offers an ideal solution for commercial working spaces. Thanks to its unique fold-down click system, the installation becomes much faster than those with traditional glue-down products. As part of Tarkett’s commitment to greater sustainability and ecoinnovation, this new range of phthalate-free, 100 per cent recyclable products contributes to people’s well-being, as well as providing n optimal indoor air quality with very low TVOC emissions. For further information about Tarkett’s innovative, sustainable flooring products visit:

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DOORS, WINDOWS AND FAÇADES Alumil, the largest privately owned European aluminum extrusion group, provides complete state-of-the-art solutions for modern buildings. Marketing director Nick Salpingidis shares his insights with Julia Snow.

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lumil SA is among the top designers and producers of branded aluminium systems for architectural use. The company was founded in 1988 and was listed on the Athens stock exchange in 1998 – but the shape of the business today is the result of rapid expansion over the past 20 years. Currently Alumil employs more than 1800 people and the group’s turnover is estimated to reach €200 million for 2014. With almost 30 years of experience, Alumil is one of the most advanced aluminium extrusion companies globally. It has 11 stateof-the art production sites in Greece and the Balkans and 24 subsidiaries. “The individual production sites are operating independently in day-to-day business, but the overall direction comes from our headquarters in Greece, where human resources, marketing and overall organisation are coordinated.” The sales network already covers 45 markets in Europe, the USA, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The plan is to expand sales throughout Europe, the USA, India and Africa by promoting advanced architectural systems.

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profiles. Its main customers are aluminium frame producers in the architectural and building sector as well as industrial profile producers in the automotive, railway, shipbuilding and general construction industry. The group also produces composite panels, polycarbonate sheets and automated systems such as those for automatic doors in lifts, internal doors, solar protection products and a range of complementary products like railings or pergolas. Alumil is responding to a range of key market needs: the first of these is the increased demand for energy saving and energy production – this is covered by high thermal insulated aluminium systems, solar protection, controlled ventilation system and the integration of photovoltaic systems into building cells. The second of these is the need for security – aluminium offers the highest level of protection from burglaries, vandalism, fire, smoke, earthquakes and so on. Thirdly, Alumil architectural systems can offer supreme protection from extreme weather conditions as they are certified by the most renowned institutes worldwide in terms of water proofing & resistance to wind load. Finally, Alumil can meet the highest requirements in terms of aesthetic standards combined with architectural trends such as minimalist design.

Product development But how does the company keep its finger on the market pulse? “Our marketing department cooperates with our sales network, architects and consultants and develops products in accordance with contemporary trends and market needs,” explains Mr Salpingidis. Innovative systems are designed and developed in the group’s research & development department and then tested and certified by internationally accredited certification institutes and laboratories, such as Ift Rosenheim (Germany), A.A.M.A (USA), Instituto Jordano (Italy) and EKANAL (Greece). The research & development department has a team of more than 20 technicians and mechanical engineers in Greece, supported by more engineers and R&D staff at its locations in the Balkans. Apart from the constant focus on improving quality and functionality, the R&D team creates two or three new products every 12 to 18 months.

High-profile references Alumil is well known for its involvement in large-scale projects worldwide. “We have been chosen for the renovation of the Google offices in New York,” said Mr Salpingidis. “The Google offices are at 111 8th Avenue in New York, with a total area of 270,000m2.

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For this project, Alumil’s R&D department designed one of the most sophisticated, hi-tech aluminum hinged systems with a very low U value (Uw = 1,2 W / m2K). Google’s system was designed according to the US standards for window walls with an emphasis on particularly robust constructions and high levels of waterproofing and air permeability. This system includes external shading with specially shaped louvers for holding ice. This project confirms once more the superiority of Alumil systems and the know-how of the company regarding the design of advanced aluminum systems.” But this is not the only high profile project Alumil is currently working on in New York: “We were also selected for an impressive project that will be realised in the heart of the city, at 60 Water Street, Brooklyn. This is a groundbreaking glass building, the surface of which has a unique shine generated by the reflection of light through the glass sur-

faces and glass ‘fins’ that are perpendicular to the sides of the building. Alumil used a structural system designed specifically for this project, which was developed by the technical office of Alumil North America.”

International expansion “We participate in the largest trade shows worldwide and an important upcoming event for us is BAU FAIR in Munich, Germany. This is the world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems which will take place from 19–24 January,” says Mr Salpingidis. “We look forward to presenting our brand new innovative systems and products: options for smart and energy efficient products with a modern design. We will exhibit new sliding and hinged thermal insulated systems, new high-end entrance and interior doors and also important projects with impressively innovative aluminium systems specially designed according to individual customer needs.”

Alumil is expanding its network over all continents. Having focused on Greece and the Balkans during the 1990s, the company has set up subsidiaries in central and eastern Europe, the Gulf, the USA and recently in India and Africa. “Our company wants to grow through organic expansion, based on important investments in recent decades,” concludes Mr Salpingidis. “Our strategic target is to maintain our leadership in the Balkans and Greece, while creating new products in order to increase sales in western Europe. In terms of international markets, the target is to reinforce our presence in new markets such as India and Africa and to increase our market share in the USA and the Gulf.” n

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REVOLUTIONISING THE CRUSHER MB SpA, also known as MB Crusher, is the inventor of the crusher bucket and the world leader in the field of equipment for crushing, demolition and recycling. It is currently running an international web competition, giving its customers the chance of winning the MB crusher bucket-C50, suitable for miniexcavators, as Barbara Rossi learnt from the company’s marketing manager, Giulia Riboni.


Crusher was set up in 2001 by the Azzolin brothers as MB Srl, where MB stood for Meccanica Breganzese. It started with the invention and patenting of the very first jaw bucket crusher (applicable to excavators and thus able to replace traditional crushers in most applications) specifically the BF90 model for medium diggers, which together with its BF120 counterpart is still the company’s top seller. The experience of the Azzolin family in the crushing and earth moving sector reaches further back, as the father of the founders (who is still involved in the company) started working in this field in the 1950s in the Vicenza area of north eastern Italy, where MB Crusher is still based today (the exact location is Fara Vicentino). The company’s core business is still very much the crushers with which it has revolutionised the market and for which it is renowned all over the world, now including bucket crushers for excavators, skid loaders and backhoes of all sizes. In addition to these, the current range also offers screening buckets, grapple rotary movement

equipment and accessories, namely iron separators and dust suppression kits. It also offers universal quick couplings to connect any type of equipment to the diggers. The wide range of crushers offered by the company includes the MB-C50 (specifically designed for mini-excavators) and the BF150.10. These two models are at the two ends of the dimensional range, as they are respectively the smallest and the largest in the world. “I would also like to highlight our MB-L models, which are specifically for skid loaders, loaders and backhoe loaders; as well as the previously mentioned BF90 model for 20-tonne excavators, our very first product and still our absolute top seller” Ms Riboni explained. “We can supply a bucket for any type of earth moving machine and our R&D department continuously works on developing new solutions and optimising our existing products. We offer products of extremely high quality, entirely ‘Made-in-Italy’. In fact, we take care of the whole process, from product design to post-sales assistance, including production, here at our Italian

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premises, although I have to say that we have six foreign subsidiaries which help us with stocking, distribution and post-sales assistance in other countries.” MB Crusher holds a series of certifications, including UNI EN ISO 9001:2008, CE, TUV, GOST and RINA (the latter is for welding processes) and it employs Hardoxcertified materials to give customers the best possible products. Recently it has made significant investments in the construction of its new headquarters, where it has now moved all Italian-based activities, including the production and commercial departments. New facilities have already been built at this site after the initial construction, so as to accommodate a production increase, and there is scope for further expansion of the plant. “In recent years we have also invested in the opening of our new foreign subsidiaries and in the strengthening of our existing ones, in terms of commercial staff and customer service. Our foreign subsidiaries - based in India, China, Japan, the US, Germany and France - are located in our main geographical markets, in order to have fully stocked warehouses in these areas and offer the best possible service to our customers based there.”

Innovative and ready for a challenge The company distributes its products through a network of carefully selected qualified commercial partners all over the world

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(currently exports go to over 150 countries). Various market segments are served, mainly demolition, recycling, road works, piping, industrial and urban regeneration, quarrying and mining, but also glass bottle crushing. The importance of the various segments served varies according to geographical markets. Although the company has good results in Italy, exports generate most of its turnover and, as well as in Europe, it has excellent sales in America, Asia and North Africa. “Our plans include strengthening our presence in all the geographical areas where we have our foreign subsidiaries and in the Middle East, alongside participating in all the trade fairs of strategic importance. “I think that we will grow organically through a partnership with local dealers in our various geographical markets. Bucket crushers will remain our core business, alongside which we will offer complementary products, such as accessories. Furthermore, we will carry on focusing on our customer service, offering assistance and spare parts, which we already do on a 24/7 basis in several languages, because there are countries where construction sites work 24 hours a day. “We are a company which, as well as investing a lot in production, also channels significant resources into marketing. We participate in all strategic trade fairs either directly or through our partner dealers and put a lot of work in our website. We are currently running an international competi-

tion allowing one of our customers to win a bucket crusher. We are a young company, totally ready to face new challenges, continuously engaged in innovation to obtain new solutions and improve current models and completely customer-focused.” MB Crusher’s focus on innovation is proven by the number of awards that the company has won over the years, including the 1o Grand Prix at the 2007 International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, something which no Italian company had achieved for more than 20 years, and the Gaia award at the Big 5 show in n 2010 in Dubai.

A LASTING LEGACY Since the Alutech Group was first introduced to Industry Europe readers a few years ago, the company has maintained its position as the eastern European market leader in roller shutters, aluminium profile systems and sectional doors. Vanja Švačko reports.


focus on new key brands, advanced technologies and improving quality have been the distinguishing characteristics of the Alutech Group in recent years. In only two decades it has managed to grow from a small business handled by six people to a holding with six manufacturing enterprises and almost 30 sales representatives and local warehouses all over Europe (including Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Germany and Austria).

Shared responsibilities Alutech has three production sites in Belarus, two in Russia and Ukraine and one in Germany. Its diverse portfolio consists

of coated aluminium/steel lath roll-formed profiles, components and accessories for roller shutters, manufactured at its 25,000m2 production site in Minsk. A new production plant, Alutech Door Systems, was launched in 2013 as a result of more than $75 million of heavy investment deals with a wide range of doors (garage and industrial sectional doors, entry groups, sandwich-panels for sectional doors, steel guide channels etc.) and an annual capacity of 250,000 door units. Alumin Techno boasts the largest production of extruded aluminium profiles, powder coating and anodic treatment in eastern Europe. It is equipped with an up-to-date

foundry shop, six high-tech extrusion lines, two vertical powder coating lines and the largest anodising complex in the region. The other enterprises within the group are in charge of roller shutters and door production. The experienced German producer Günther-Tore GmbH, specialised in garage and industrial sectional doors, roller doors and grids etc., was purchased by Alutech in 2013. The group’s production is organised so that every single stage of the process can be controlled and supervised. All its equipment is purchased from manufacturers who are global leaders in their respective fields, and the entire management and produc-

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tion system is certified according to the ISO 9001 standard. The success of the group’s trade is in combining high quality raw materials with the implementation of the most advanced technologies. Although the main market for Alutech is Europe, its products are sold with an equal success in Asia, Africa and North America (for example, products such as aluminium profile systems for façades, as well as interior systems, are in increasing demand, especially for high-rise buildings).

Apart from its own products, Alutech also distributes electric motors and automatic control systems for roller shutters produced by other manufacturers.

Market potential Alutech Group regularly takes part in specialist trade fairs all over the world. In 2013 the company exhibited at GlassBuildAmerica in Atlanta, the largest US fair for the glass, window and door industries. Mr Vladimir Rybakov, Deputy General Director

of Alutech Group, remembers how successful this proved to be. “It was the first time we had showcased our product that far from Belarus. The US market is a very specific territory with its legendary customer care and exceptional requirements when it comes to product quality. I think we have done a good job, because visitors voted our booth as the most Innovative Product Booth of the show. “Our patented engineered solutions for easy connections for architectural system

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components and integration between different systems attracted a lot of attention.” Alutech’s products are available in more than 200 colours, both anodised and powder coated. Its systems are compatible with remotely controlled automatic hardware which is an excellent security option. “In fact, our products became very popular in the USA,” continues Mr Rybakov, “because we care about quality and service. We supplied our curtain wall systems and window components for remarkable projects on the East Coast, including New York City, and received positive feedback from our customers.” Alutech recently took part in the R+T Stuttgart exhibition, the leading fair for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun protection systems, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. As one of the key exhibitors, Alutech Group launched new sectional doors, insulated roller garage doors and commercial roller shutters. Some of the innovations included a new type of anti-hurricane shutter, rollers with integrated anti-mosquito systems, 132 Industry Europe

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new anti-intrusion solutions, new fillings for panoramic gates and a wider colour palette for garage doors.

An effective collaboration Alutech takes pride in its long-standing partnership with one of the leading global players: the year 2014 marked five years of collaboration with BASF Coatings GmbH. They began working together on coil coatings and a cutting production complex for aluminium and steel coil, and continued with both companies working on new technologies for lacquer coating quality assessment. The two companies were pioneers in applying the crockmeter test for this assessment. The new technology, which includes an electronic device for the simulation of constant movement (opening and closing of the roller shutter curtain), enabled Alutech to significantly improve the abrasion resistance of the coating (more than twice) and to prolong the life cycle of n its products. Visit: Industry Europe 135


IN CONSTRUCTION MOLEWSKI from Wloclawek is one of Poland’s leading construction companies with many years of experience and an established position in the domestic market. Now the company is about to extend its influence in foreign markets, as Dariusz Balcerzyk discovers.

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OLEWSKI was founded in 1978 by Mr Waldemar Molewski. When he passed away in 2004 the management of the company was taken over by its current president, Mr Marcin Molewski, Mr Waldemar’s son. Owing to the dynamic development of the company, especially in recent years, MOLEWSKI has had to improve its organisational structure and operating procedures in order to ensure the optimisation of its production processes. The company’s new structure was established in 2013. Now, MOLEWSKI’s core business is based on four main departments: general construction, environmental engineering, road and bridge construction, and trenchless technologies. Other departments provide support for these four divisions. “For years we had realised the investments of national scale that made MOLEWSKI a recognisable and respected brand, which holds an important position in the market as a business partner for contracting parties, consortia members and subcontractors,” says Krzysztof Glebowski, the company’s vice-president. “Our longterm experience in running the contracts in the ‘build’ and ‘design and build’ formulas

executed on the basis of the FIDIC contract conditions allows us to offer a full range of even the most complex investments based on the latest technologies and the highest standards of quality. Our approach has enabled us to build mutual trust and satisfaction in our relationships with investors, business partners and end users of our work. As a result, we are ready and open to winning new contracts in both the public procurement process and commercial terms, as well as the PPP and the Design-BuildFinance formula.”

Environmental engineering MOLEWSKI has for many years been carrying out projects that significantly contribute to environmental protection. Sewage treatment plants, sanitary and rain collectors, water supply, construction of alternative energy sources (biogas), hydraulic structures or landfill sites, are all investments which have significantly improved the company’s exploitation of natural resources. “Our mission – improved environmental performance – offers real benefits for the whole of society. We have been focused on environmental preservation for nearly 35 years, being a significant beneficiary of the funds allotted

for this purpose. We have made a number of investments, which have allowed us to gain the experience necessary to solve even the most complex problems. We employ the best professionals at each organisational level. Their knowledge, enthusiasm and skills combined with excellent organisation ensure the timely implementation of the investments, at agreed costs and to the highest quality standards,” says Mr Glebowski.

General construction MOLEWSKI has been carrying out projects for the commercial and public sectors. The company spearheads the projects as a general contractor in cooperation with other companies. “We use our specialised workforces, as well as the services of our reliable subcontractors. General contracting is our specialty and our staff can effectively manage and coordinate all kinds of work. We are experienced in building non-standard facilities and we are able to prepare solutions for specific projects,” says Mr Glebowski.

Road and bridge construction MOLEWSKI has all the modern machinery and hardware necessary to perform comprehensive road and construction works.

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Its machinery meets the requirements of environmental protection and guarantees efficient project execution. Its broad range of road and bridge construction works include: building, alterations, repairs of roads together with infrastructure, construction of bridges, overpasses, walkways, tunnels, manoeuvre roads and yards, cycling paths, pavements and land levelling.

do not require any road works,” explains Mr Glebowski. The trenchless technologies offered by MOLEWSKI include: micro-tunnels, telemetric directional drills, horizontal directional drills, pipe jacking, rehabilitation of ducts, CIPP sleeves, relining, burstlining, well and tube renovation.

Trenchless technologies

MOLEWSKI is still a family business. It employs 230 people, including 90 engineers. The company’s annual sales in 2013 were

These days, investors are increasingly opting for less invasive methods to carry out their project. For this reason, trenchless technologies are very popular. “Most of the techniques employed require only the early and final trenches, whilst some of them, for example those used in the renewal of sewers, do not require any trenches and

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Satisfaction guaranteed

estimated at PLN 230 million (€57.5 million). The sales forecast for 2014 is to reach PLN 250 million (€62.5 million). At the moment 100 per cent of sales are being carried out in Poland; however, the company’s business strategy involves the active development of exports, mainly to the EU countries as well as to Poland’s eastern neighbours and Africa. Public sector (water and sewerage companies, sewage treatment plants), energy, private construction investors and real estate developers are MOLEWSKI’s key customers. n

THE PIPE IS RIGHT As one of the world’s leading suppliers of plastic pipe systems, Austrian company Pipelife is present in 27 countries. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Pipelife Norway’s export manager Trygve Blomster to learn more about how this solutions-focused operation is enjoying a strong performance across global markets.

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ipelife manufactures and markets a wide range of high quality pipe systems with its products used in a great variety of industrial applications. A privately owned company, Pipelife’s headquarters are located in Vienna, Austria and it employs nearly 3000 people across its 27 sites worldwide. It also operates subsidiaries in 26 countries, giving it an unrivalled global footprint and a fantastic foundation of experience and local knowledge. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, Pipelife was founded in 1989 and steadily and strategically grew through expansion into new markets and acquisitions. Initially focusing on the European market, includ-

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ing eastern Europe, the company made its first step into the US market in 2000, with various acquisitions including companies in Russia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic soon following. Pipelife Norway’s export manager Trygve Blomster told Industry Europe, “We have always identified acquisitions that will truly enhance our existing setup by making sure the locations, the people and the capabilities are is a good match. By finding companies whose skills and experience are complementary to Pipelife, we can grow in a way that adds value for our customers. This has been our strategy since we started in 1989 and it continues to yield excellent results for us and our customers.”

People and pipes Mr Blomster is clear that one of the most important and consistent aspects of the company’s ongoing success is its people. He said, “Our success is mainly determined by the qualifications and motivation of our employees. We are dedicated to the principle of investing in the quality of people first, which truly underlines the importance we place on our workforce. To achieve this, we work on the four leadership principles of Inspire, Commit, Empower and Deliver – together, these create an atmosphere of optimism and enthusiasm and ensures the development of efficient processes that are delivered on time and on budget.”

He continued, “We always go the extra mile for our customers, with our products and our services. By investing in our people, we know that we are always delivering the best possible result to our customers and, as a private company with no real hierarchy, we listen to everyone’s ideas and can act quickly. It’s a potent mix as it means that we can react quicker than our competitors and provide an excellent service across all our markets.” Quickly satisfying the needs of customers is what drives Pipelife forward. With its centralised R&D department located in the Netherlands working closely with a network of local application teams in all its markets, Pipelife has the resources required to quickly turn a customer request into a reality. The company regularly launches new products to suit local requirements, as well as offering products across markets to suit globalised

businesses. Mr Blomster continued, “We are currently working on an exciting new product development for expanded diameter pipes. This is in the evaluation stage at the moment but we predict that our range will increase to a three metre diameter pipe. It’s our main topic of development right now and it is likely to be included in our range in 2015.”

Positive projects Offering a wide range of plastic pipes for applications including wastewater, irrigation and drainage, soil, cable protection and gas, Pipelife’s core industry sectors are construction, utilities and civil engineering. The company also works extensively with large-scale industrial applications for its long length, large diameter pipes and it provides a broad range of technology and materials for extrusion, injection moulding, roto-moulding and assembly.

Pipelife has recently been awarded two major projects, in Algeria and Uruguay, with a collective value of half a billion Norwegian Krona. With both projects harnessing the company’s extensive knowledge of delivering pipes for the water cooling of power plants, this particular area of application is set to be a key ingredient in Pipelife’s ongoing success. Mr Blomster concluded, “Working with large international power plants has been an important part of our business for some years and, as we continually add to our portfolio with larger diameter pipes, we know that we can continue to add value to these exciting projects in the coming years. We also see the increased importance of the role of multiple pipelines across various industry sectors and, as we understand the market so clearly, we know that we can work with our customers to provide sophisticated solutions.” n Industry Europe 141

A NEW IDENTITY Since January 1, 2015, Leybold Optics GmbH is operating as Bühler Alzenau GmbH. The company, which has been a business area of the Bühler Group since May 2012, is thus concluding its successful integration into the Swiss Group. The Alzenau-based specialist in vacuum coating technologies has benefited in many ways from the incorporation into the multinational Bühler Group. This allowed for significant business growth in the current fiscal year and a record number of orders received in 2014 in market segments such as Optics, Automotive, Web and Glass.


ollowing the change of name, the name Leybold Optics will still be employed for the purposes of corporate communications. “The legal unit is renamed,” explains Antonio Requena, who has 25 years of experience at Leybold Optics and has been its managing director since 2013, “but the tradition-rich name continues to be used in the names of our well known machines and in our business area within the Bühler Group.” After the consolidation of the busi-

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ness in Alzenau and the integration of the subsidiaries into the Bühler Group, the strategy of the business area will be retained, Antonio Requena emphasizes. However, Bühler is striving to strengthen the ties within the ‘Advanced Materials’ corporate area to fully exploit synergies. He continues: “As part of Bühler, we are stronger than ever before. Even more important than the name are our values – satisfied customers, sustainability, moti-

vated employees, profitability and growth – which remain the same and that we can continue to drive forward with Bühler.”

Perfect complement to Bühler The Swiss Bühler Group bought Leybold Optics in May 2012. The strategic acquisition was a key step towards expanding its capabilities to include the production of functional coatings. “These display highly attractive potential for growth – thanks to

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Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum GmbH For 165 years, Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum is one of the global leading vacuum technology companies, with ample knowledge and experience in all applications and manufacturing processes needing vacuum equipment. As part of Oerlikon, the global industrial corporation based in Switzerland, Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum is positioned as a world leader in the vacuum industry; and rightly so – its technological leadership is based on a company culture which highly values both sustainable developments and close partnerships with its customers. Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum offers a broad range of advanced vacuum solutions for use in coating, process manufacturing, photovoltaics, and analytical processes, as well as for research purposes. The company’s core capabilities center on the development of application- and customer-specific systems for the creation of vacuums and extraction of processing gases. Our product range is built on a real-world experience and on our competence in re-shaping and combining proven technology with future market demands and state-of-the art manufacturing precision. Ambitious vacuum applications necessitate a variety of highly reliable and maintenance friendly vacuum components and systems, such as turbomolecular pumps, rotary vane pumps, screw technology pumps, scroll-, diffusion- and cryo pumps, as well as pressure measurement accessories and leak detectors. Best-in-class application engineering and the ability to simplify our customers’ service processes helps our customers to reach their goals at any time. They can count on us for robust vacuum solutions that set standards for best performance and return on investment. Additionally, the world’s largest vacuum technology service network with a variety of after-sale services ensures process stability.

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Pfeiffer Vacuum and Bühler Alzenau a trustful and reliable partnership Pfeiffer Vacuum – a name that stands for innovative solutions, technologically advanced and dependable products, along with first-class service. Without vacuum, many things that are used in our daily lives could not be produced. The coatings within flat screen manufacturing, optical coatings and the coatings on solar cells or architectural glazing are produced in vacuum chambers. Bühler Alzenau, formerly Leybold Optics, the leading company of advanced glass and optical coatings sets a high standard of quality. Pfeiffer Vacuum was chosen as the key supplier for vacuum pumps because both companies were committed to the same quality standard throughout their entire supply chain. Over the years, a trustful and reliable partnership has grown between the two companies. Pfeiffer Vacuum pumps are used in the glass coating machines as well as in the optical coating tools of Bühler Alzenau. In the beginning, the HiPace series, hybrid levitated turbopumps were provided. Later, as magnetically levitated turbopumps became the state of the art in the glass coating market, Pfeiffer Vacuum remained the key supplier due to it’s continuous improvements and advancements in the vacuum pump product line. When Bühler Alzenau required maintenance free and an increase in safety processing, Pfeiffer Vacuum provided the high performance and reliable ATH–M series turbopumps. Furthermore, Pfeiffer Vacuum has an extensive line of solutions, products and services ranging from vacuum pumps, measurement and analysis equipment to complex vacuum systems. With 125 years of vacuum know-how and expertise, the company strives to be the world wide leader of vacuum solutions. The partnership between Pfeiffer Vacuum and Bühler Alzenau stands out due to the mutual trust and close and constructive collaboration. This partnership, which started in Germany, is now expanding globally. In China, a mutually beneficial partnership was started between Bühler Beijing and Pfeiffer Vacuum Shanghai. The company values and appreciates the partnership with Bühler Alzenau and hopes to deepen this relationship in the future worldwide.

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Small vacuum coater STAR with sputter technology

global trends, for which Leybold Optics provides tailored solutions, for example in the areas of architectural glass, flexible electronics, food packaging, precision optics, ophthalmic optics, and the automotive industry,” Antonio Requena explains. The acquisition of Leybold Optics was an ideal complement to Bühler’s overall portfolio when it comes to both technology and market access. For example, Bühler is the market leader in light metal die-casting solutions for the automotive industry. Furthermore, with its bead mills it is also the leader in the field of paint and coating manufacture for the automobile industry.

Reinforcing competitiveness But it is not only the parent company that has benefitted from the acquisition – Leybold Optics has too and will continue to do so in the future. “With Bühler, we have a parent company that allows us to fully develop our strengths,” Antonio Requena explains. For the traditional Alzenau-based company, being a part of Bühler will enable it to take an active part in the growth of the group and, in the process, make use of the advantages of the global Bühler platform, for example in the area of sales. “We now have access to many Bühler specialists throughout the world with the expertise 146 Industry Europe

and experience to help improve processes and generate new application areas,” Mr Requena continues. “This will help our company to remain competitive globally.”

Belonging to Bühler Its membership of Bühler means the outlook is good for the Leybold Optics business area. Thanks to the synergies, it has achieved, more resources have been freed up to enable it to remain competitive in a future-proof manner. “We reinvest a significant amount each year in research and development,” explains Antonio Requena. “Among other things, we are driving forward developments initiated over the past few years to target the fast-growing markets of emerging industrial countries.” “When it comes to service, investments are being made in the global Bühler network, above all.” Many sales and service stations have already been integrated. In China and the US, the sites there continue to be independently responsible for the Leybold Optics business fields. “Thanks to our heightened presence as part of the Bühler network, we will be able to improve the quality of our customer service even further, in particular when it comes to retrofits and upgrades,” he concludes. “With our new products and a significantly improved service, custom-

ers receive real added value, which they can successfully make use of in their own company. We are proud to be part of this success story at Leybold Optics and we are ready for a new era under Bühler n Alzenau GmbH.”

ASKING MORE FROM CHEMICALS Created in 1863, Solvay is a global company driven by proud and committed chemists. With its historical anchorage in Europe, its products serve diversified markets worldwide, from consumer goods to energy, with one aim – to improve quality of life and customer performance. In Poland, Solvay Group has been present for 11 years and today employs over 280 staff in three production and administrative centres. Piotr Sadowski reports.

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olvay today is an international chemical group committed to sustainable development with a clear focus on innovation and operational excellence. The group offers a broad range of products that contribute to improving the quality of life and the performance of its customers in a wide range of markets. It is listed on the NYSE Euronext in Brussels and Paris. As a group of companies, Solvay delivers innovative, sustainable and competitive solutions with a high added value, tailored to the needs and requirements of individual clients. By responding to the challenges of increasingly scarce resources, Solvay creates unique products for industries including aviation and motor; agriculture and food; construction; consumer goods and healthcare; electricity and electronics; energy and electronics; and many other industrial applications.

Strong in Poland Solvay operates from three locations in Poland: In Gorzów Wielkopolski, where it produces mainly construction plastics based on polyamides PA6, PA66 and PA10; in Włocławek, manufacturing highly dispersible silica, where now a major new investment in a silica manufacturing facility is underway

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and due to be finished in the autumn of 2015; and a sales office in Warsaw, which handles the sales of the entire range of Solvay products, not only those manufactured in Poland.

Major investment On 13 February 2013, Solvay announced it would invest €75 million to build a new, 85,000 ton per year Highly Dispersible Silica (HDS) plant in Włocławek. Combined with a further capacity expansion at its site in Qingdao in China, these two investments were aimed at increasing Solvay’s global HDS production capacity by an additional 30 per cent. Located in central Poland, close to key energy distribution and the new WarsawGdańsk highway, the new plant, due to be completed by October 2015 at the latest, will offer logistical benefits to customers in eastern Europe and Russia. The site is a designated Special Economic Zone (SEZ) integrated within the industrial site of Anwil, a subsidiary of the Polish refining and energy company PKN Orlen. “We are committed to supporting our customers’ growth in eastern Europe, Russia and around the world. This new site will offer our most innovative products from a very reliable and competitive platform. We are committed to

remaining ahead of the curve in terms of industry development in order to preserve our technological and market leadership,” said Tom Benner, president of Solvay Silica at the time of announcing the investment in February 2013. Among other HDS products, the new plant will produce Zeosil® Premium, the latest generation of highly dispersible silica, used by tire manufacturers in the production of energy-saving tires. Zeosil® Premium is a uniquely engineered patented HDS which decreases fuel consumption by up to 7 per cent, while enhancing other tire performance properties. Solvay has been seeing a strong demand for further Silica innovation to improve tire performance. Tire labelling regulation has led to a four-fold increase in Zeosil® Premium adoption and, expecting this strong growth trend to continue, the group was particularly interested in expanding the production capacity in Włocławek. Alongside the investment in Poland, Solvay also added production capacity to its Qingdao plant, which started up in 2010, elevating the capacity of the site to 112,000 tons per year. The Polish and Chinese investments followed volume expansions in France (2012), the US (2011), and a new plant in Qingdao, China (2010). Once the plant in Włocławek is com-

pleted and starts up in the autumn this year, Solvay’s worldwide highly dispersible annual silica production capacity will stand close to 500,000 tons, doubling from pre-2010 levels.

Ongoing production of polyamides The Włocławek HDS plant is strategically very important for the group’s entire operations. In Poland, as previously indicated, Solvay also focuses on the production of specialist plastics – construction compounds – based on polyamides PA6, PA66 and PA10 for the needs of the global motor, electric and electronic industries, as well

as for the production of consumer goods. Solvay Engineering Plastics Poland Ltd in Gorzów Wielkopolski is involved in the manufacturing of products for sales across Poland, central and eastern Europe, as well as the Middle East and Africa.

Strategy for progress As a global Group, Solvay is driven by its mission to find answers and respond to the challenges of increasingly scarce resources, a growing population, climate change, and sustaining health and well-being. Its vision is to lead the way in reshaping the global

chemical industry and developing a model of chemistry that will address these crucial issues whilst continuing to drive value creation and profitable growth. Over the coming years, through its operations in all markets, including the all-important Polish market, this Solvay vision will be realised by: imagining and producing increasingly innovative solutions; committed employees and multinational talents; simplifying and decentralising management structure; combining operational excellence and continuous improvement; expanding to fast-growing markets and clearly defining priorities. n

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START WITH SIKA More than 50 per cent of the vehicles produced worldwide each year use SIKA technology – and still there are new markets to be conquered. Julia Snow spoke to marketing director Kai Paschkowski to learn about plans for product and market development.


ika is a speciality chemicals company with a global leading position in the development and production of systems and products for bonding, sealing, damping, reinforcing and protection in the building sector, the industry and the automotive. Sika has subsidiaries in 90 countries around the world and over 160 production facilities. Its nearly 17,000 employees generated annual sales of CHF 5.57 billion in 2014. Sika’s organizational structure is decentralize, with the management teams in the regions and national subsidiaries playing a pivotal role. Of seven target markets, six are located in the building chemicals and building industry. 150 Industry Europe

SIKA Automotive The seventh target market, Industry, is home to the global business unit SIKA Automotive, which supplies the global community in the automotive sector with industry leading solutions for sealing, bonding, damping and reinforcing. The production facilities, sales, technical and customer services as well as R&D supporting teams of this unit are connected in a close network. “We are organised in the regions of North and South America, Asia Pacific and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)” says Mr Paschkowski, who is located in Germany and is responsible for the global product management OES. “We share information within the unit:

each location conducts R&D for example, but everything is then brought together centrally by the group. We can therefore really live the motto: Global approach – local presence. On a local level we can act flexibly and quickly but we always do this with the full resources and strategic advantages of the group.”

Advanced products The SIKA Automotive product range contains the following key groups: bodyshop adhesives, assembly line adhesives, adhesives for interior and exterior applications, bodyshop structural inserts, acoustic systems and

paint shop sealants. The production facilities are equipped to work in all these areas, says Mr Paschkowski: “We have four production locations in the US, six in Europe, three in Asia and one in Brazil. We are continually investing in extending and modernizing these production facilities with new machines for example, and only recently we opened a new factory in the US, and one of the Chinese locations will be extended next year. Almost all locations are capable of manufacturing all our products; it is the local sales and services that operate with a regional perspective. “The products and technologies we are best known for are structural and crash-resistant adhesives (we recently presented the Industry Europe 151

innovative MBX-technology for mix bonding applications), direct glazing and assembly adhesives (we have a nomination for this year’s PACE award for our newest technology Ultra-High-Modulus technology) and the so-called high strength bonding reinforcers for high performance crash applications.”

Feeding the car production lines SIKA operates very closely to the actual manufacturing process, says Mr Paschkowski: “We are supplying material to many OES customers, but the lion’s share of our business is directly with the car manufacturers themselves. The majority of our products go straight into the production lines of all major name automotive producers worldwide.” The customers appreciate the service and know-how that come from the SIKA experts, he adds: “What makes up our USP is that we provide a very intensive service, with a strong network of sales and technical support. Instead of just selling products we give our customers access to our expertise in system engineering – this gives us a unique offering in the markets.”

Cutting-edge technologies In today’s complex and fast-changing automotive world, the drive to build lighter, stronger, safer, quieter and greener vehicles starts with strategic suppliers that work together to push the boundaries of what’s possible. “In fact our products assist to address each of the megatrends I just mentioned. Our customers’ key priorities are lighter materials, increased efficiency in the production process, sustainability and Health and Safety for the people employed on the assembly lines,” says Mr Paschkowski. “Automotive customers are very forward thinking in terms of their technological knowledge and are very clear about their future orientation and goals.” 152 Industry Europe

“Our own R&D efforts are driven by the search for more sustainability in products and in application processes. This is what customers want us to do, as it does not just have environmental benefits, but also helps to make products safer and more cost effective – one key word here would be our lightweight bonding technology.” “Although SIKA does not buy parts but only raw materials, the right suppliers are very important. Sika takes a partnership view in establishing our business relationships, not just with our customers but also throughout the value chain on behalf of our customers, and this includes suppliers.”

Further developments In 2014 the SIKA group reached record sales levels in all regions and all relevant growth targets were exceeded. And the momentum is not about to slow down, according to Mr Paschkowski: “In terms of growth we expect to continue at the same pace, especially in the emerging markets. We will continue to follow our customers wherever our products and services are needed. The SIKA group provides us with the financial support to go for growth wherever there is an opportunity. In the past we have seen very strong organic growth, but if in the future we see potential through acquisitions we are more than ready for that as well.” n

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CLEAN AND GREEN It’s easy to use the word ‘innovation’, but for Bart Van Malderen at Drylock Technologies, innovation is a way of life. As the founder of a company that is a true pioneer in hygiene products, Mr Van Malderen spoke to Emma-Jane Batey to explain how his passion for clean, green, effective products is seeing great results.

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ounded by Bart Van Malderen in 2011, Drylock Technologies has over 100 years of management and production experience in developing high quality, high performance hygiene products. With a proven track record in the personal hygiene industry, Mr Van Malderen launched the company after seeing a fantastic opportunity that was not being maximised. He said, “As previous owner of Ontex I have been involved basically all my life in hygiene disposables and then sold to concentrate on other areas of my life. But I became aware of an exciting opportunity for a fluff-free product and felt that other companies in the industry were not making the most

of the potential innovation. So I gathered together a group of my old colleagues and we launched Drylock in order to bring something really fresh to the hygiene products market.” With a dedication to creating and manufacturing hygiene products that are ecologically responsible and performance focused, Drylock has developed a portfolio of feminine care products, baby products and incontinence products that are all made with the consumer – and the environment – in mind. Mr Van Malderen continued, “Right from the start our vision has been to provide hygiene products of the future, today. We achieve this by combining our strong

customer focus with product innovation and manufacturing excellence which allows us to reliably provide truly revolutionary products.”

Dry goods The Drylock product portfolio's flagship range is the 'original fluff-less technology' baby nappy (or diaper). The ultra-absorbing, ultra-thin nappy is comfortable and reliable, with the technology adaptable to feminine hygiene products and incontinence products. Mr Van Malderen explained, “The Drylock revolutionary technology makes for the thinnest, best performance diaper on the market. It offers an integrated fluid manage-

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CJSC ‘Regent Nonwoven Materials’ is one of the biggest producers of spunmelt nonwoven materials made from 100% polypropylene in the Russian and CIS territories. Equipped with two advanced German Reicofil lines, the company produces a broad range of multilayer spunbond (SS, SSS) as well as SMS specifications designed for the hygiene sector and other industries, under the trademark ‘NEOTEX’. Owing to its outstanding quality and convenient location (south of Moscow, on the crossroads of key highways) the company has good access to different markets in Russia and abroad. Since 2008, when its first production line was put into operation, Regent Nonwoven Materials has grown into a reliable and trustworthy partner with a continuously expanding customer base. Both leading Russian producers and global multinational companies choose Regent Nonwoven Materials as their main supplier of spunbond materials. Thanks to its state-of-the-art machines, professional and experienced team and modern laboratory equipment, the company is able to successfully supply material to some of the most demanding customers in Russia and abroad.

Processfilter For Drylock we supplied a FCF-filter unit as we know that the operating cost of this specific filter type is very low. Maintenance costs are, compared to other solutions, almost zero and emission level in this specific case was far below 1 mg/Nm3 of air. This makes sure that Drylock can have full production all the time - FCF filter units can be trusted to give less down time in the production due to filter problems.

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Material specifications can be customised according to clients’ individual requirements, including the possibility to provide higher barrier properties, improved tensile/elongation parameters, and in some cases to develop materials that match customers’ existing equipment. For the hygiene segment, Regent NM has developed a specific type of material with improved tactile properties, including ‘soft-touch’, ‘silk-touch’ and ‘soft special touch’. Since 2014 Regent Nonwoven Materials has been one of the main suppliers of spunbond material and a strategic partner to Drylock’s Russian plant in Nizny Novgorod. There are strong prospects for the future of this cooperation as it is supported by stability and constant technological development from Regent NM’s side, and steady enhancement and product improvement from Drylock’ side.

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ment system and has continually gained high scores across a number of comparison tests with various US and European brands.” The Drylock fluff-less nappy offers a number of benefits including a total reduction of cellulose – because there is zero per cent cellulose in the nappy – saving millions of trees each year compared with standard nappies. Its glue-less core also saves tons of chemicals as well as providing a safer, cleaner environment for consumers. In addition to this, it is very compact, making it a very comfortable product for the baby and a more intuitive product for the parent. Mr Van Malderen added, “On a practical level, the compactness also saves a fortune on transport costs – both for fuel and in ecological terms – as well as saving on packaging material required and associated warehousing requirements.” Drylock specializes in the production of retail brands for most of Europe’s leading large scale retailers, but also has a full assortment of babydiapers under its own brands ‘Magics’

as well as inco products under the ‘Dailee’ brand in its assortment. With a long-term focus on fluff-free and fluff-less products, Drylock is perfectly in tune with the emerging trends of the hygiene product sectors, with its sustainable, high-performance balance being met across the range. Mr Van Malderen said, “Drylock Technologies is well-known across Europe and Asia as the pioneering fluff-less diaper company. As we grow and develop into the feminine products and incontinence products sectors, we can integrate this advanced knowledge of absorbency, comfort and sustainability into an ever-increasing portfolio.”

Small is big With its headquarters in Zele in Belgium and two further production sites in Hradek nad Nisou in the Czech Republic and Nizhny Novgorod in Russia, Drylock Technologies is well-positioned to continue its upward trajectory in the coming years. Each site is sustainably built and operated and is packed with

state-of-the-art technology and the capacity for expansion, allowing for its potential in branded goods and private label goods to be reached smoothly. Mr Van Malderen concluded, “2015 is certainly going to be a big year for us. We have everything in place to be able to continue to succeed – the technology, the customers and the experience. We are now offering three full product lines with feminine products, incontinence products and our famous diapers. We have a powerful strategy in place for growth and we do not exclude acquisitions. We already work with many of the biggest retailers across 28 countries in the EU, as well as Russia and China, and we expect to grow stronger in the US this year too. Our products are perfect for supporting retailers' sustainability programmes too, and with each of our three core product areas performing solidly and reliably, we know that Drylock Technologies is in a very strong position for excellent results in n 2015 and beyond.”

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A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR P&G The global consumer products giant Procter & Gamble has this year expanded its sustainability goals across its entire operations. In the future it will continue to focus on creating value whilst conserving valuable resources. Industry Europe looks at what this renewed focus on environmental protection will involve, as well as casting an eye over some of the group’s most exciting product launches over the past year or so.


ounded in 1837, today Procter & Gamble is a truly global phenomenon, with operations in more than 70 countries and serving more than 4.8 billion people around the world. It has one of the strongest portfolios of quality leadership brands, including Always, Ariel, Braun, Gillette, Lenor, Olay and Pantene to name just a few. This year, the group announced its plans to sell off its Duracell battery business as part of a long-term plan to give it a sharper focus. This brand was acquired as part of Gillette in 2005 and has healthy annual sales of $2 billion. 160 Industry Europe

Sustainability is key In addition to continued brand development, the future for P&G will see an increased focus on sustainability issues. To this end, in October this year (2014) it announced the expansion of its sustainability goals to continue creating value with consumer-preferred brands and products whilst conserving resources, protecting the environment and improving social conditions for those who need it most. Since 2010 P&G has been guided by its vision to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy use, 100 per cent renewable or recyclable materials for all products and

packaging, and zero consumer and manufacturing waste going to landfills. Its recent announcement has seen the addition of new goals for 2020, with an emphasis on water conservation and product packaging. For the first of these, it is looking to reduce the water used at its manufacturing facilities by an additional 20 per cent per unit of production, as well as providing one billion people with access to water efficient products. In terms of packaging sustainability, it will be looking to double the use of recycled resin in its plastic packaging and ensuring that 90 per cent of its product

packaging is recyclable or that programs are in place to create the ability to recycle it. In addition to these two expanded goals, P&G is working across its supply chain to develop the capability, by 2020, to replace top petroleum-derived raw materials as far as cost and scale permit.

Unique organisation P&G’s unique organisational structure is one of the key reasons behind its continued ability to grow and achieve new targets. It combines the benefits that come from being a global $79 billion company with a local focus. This latter point is vital: all of its operations and products can be tailored to meet the needs of its customers wherever they are in the world. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Its four main Global Business Units are: Global Beauty; Global Baby, Feminine and Family Care; Global Fabric and Home Care; and Global Health and Grooming. P&G’s products include many of its most recognised brands in the areas of beauty and personal care, feminine hygiene, health and grooming. It would be impossible to name every single product that sits under the P&G umbrella, so vast is its sphere of influence, but some of the many highlights include: Aussie haircare products; Dolce&Gabbana, Dunhill and Gucci Fragrances; Gillette; Head & Shoulders; Herbal Essences; Max Factor cosmetics; Olay; Old Spice; Tampax; Pantene and Wella. One of the more recent product launches in its beauty subdivision is the new Herbal Essences Naked Collection. This range of haircare products is free from heavy residues and provides a custom premium fragrance blend infused with fresh mint. It comes in three varieties: Naked Moisture; Naked Shine and Naked Volume. Also in the area of haircare, the new Head & Shoulders range with Fresh Scent

Technology is a breakthrough anti-dandruff shampoo that provides scalp relief and flake-free hair along with an appealing scent. Head & Shoulders has been a wellknown leader in the anti-dandruff category for over 50 years, developing an innovative approach that combines proprietary scalp technology and proven hair benefits with a water-activated fragrance boost. P&G also owns one of the world’s biggest feminine care brands, the abovementioned Always. The company regularly updates its product offering and August 2014 saw the launch of the new Always Discreet for sensitive bladders. This is a revolutionary way for women to manage sensitive bladder issues using innovative liners and pads specifically designed to absorb leaks and odours in seconds. The pads are up to 40 per cent thinner than the leading brand.

ELIF; Éltex Ltd; Encapsys; FDK Corporation; Fibria Celulose; FIRMENICH; FLUOR Industrial Services; FOBOHA GmbH; Givaudan Fragrances; Gulsan; Havpak Inc.; Hitachi Metals Ltd; HPV Engineering s.r.o.; JLL; Kang Na Hsiung Enterprise Co. Ltd; Lingaro; Model Kramp; Mondi; NIPPON SHOKUBAI Co. Ltd; Novozymes; One Asia Network; PwC; QPSI / RockTenn; Quality Associates, Inc.; Rialto Enterprises Pvt. Ltd; Saatchi & Saatchi X; Sasol Performance Chemicals; SCHNEIDER NATIONAL CARRIERS, Inc.; SelectNY; Shandong Tianli Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd; Starcom UK TV &

Honouring key suppliers Each year, P&G recognises the importance of its suppliers with its prestitious Partner of the Year awards. The most recent event took place in January 2015 and saw seven companies honoured with the coveted External Business Partner of the Year award. These were: EY; Monosol, Kuraray WS Film Division; PEGAS NONWOVENS; Rising Display Products (Zhongshan Co. Ltd); RONCHI MARIO SpA; SUPERPAC Inc.; and Yamada Electric. In addition to the above winners, 51 companies received Excellence Awards for consistently high performance. There were: Albany International Corp.; AMPACET CORPORATION; Arkay Packaging; Bilfinger Industrial Services Inc.; Breakthrough Fuel; Carat NA Planning; Cartus; Cellfire Inc.; Chase Design Group; CHEP; Citizen Relations; D.Cloostermans-Huwaert NV; DAWSON Integrated Marketing Communications Co. Ltd; Diamond Packaging; Diversified Supply Inc.; ECS European Containers NV; Industry Europe 161

Digital Activation Team; Technimark LLC; THE SHIBUSAWA WAREHOUSE Co. Ltd; Van Genechten Packaging and WEYERHAEUSER COMPANY. Two of these companies, CHEP and FLUOR Industrial Services, were specifically reocgnised for their efforts and results in the area of Supplier Diversity.

Leading grooming brands Some of the world’s biggest grooming brands are also part of the P&G family, including, of course, Braun and Gillette. Headquartered in Germany, Braun’s small electrical appliances have long been famous for their successful combination of superior engineering with elegant design. The Braun technical centre at Kronberg is also the group’s Global Centre of Excellence for Devices and cooperates on product development with Gillette. A significant new product launch in the area of men’s grooming products is the new Gillette Fusion ProGlide featuring FlexBall technology. Gillette has pioneered shaving innovation for more than 100 years. With this new razor, whilst the blades will remain straight, thin and sharp, the handle itself moves and adjusts to fit the contours of a man’s face. According to P&G it will “change the face of shaving by allowing each cartridge to ride the facial contours for more constant contact.” This FlexBall technology builds on an innovation that Gillette first brought to shaving in 1977 with the first ever razor pivot.

Greener household products As with the beauty and personal care products, Procter & Gamble’s fabric care, family care and household prod-

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ucts include some of the most instantly recognisable global brands. From Ambi Pur, Ariel, Bounce, Downy, Daz, Fairy and Lenor to Pampers, Pepto-Bismol and Vicks, these brands reflect the diversity at play within the group’s portfolio. But what all the P&G brands have in common, whatever their sector or target audience, is their focus on meeting and indeed exceeding sustainability standards when it comes to both manufacturing and the development of new products. Perhaps nowhere is this best exemplified than in its leading European Ariel brand portfolio, which has long been recognised for its dedication to water saving, sustainable production and social responsibility. Its Research & Development departments have created a global sustainability team to continually explore ways of delivering sustainability benefits through its products without compromising on cleaning results. Ariel is a strong proponent of the principle that washing at low temperatures is the single most important thing we can do to lower our CO2 emissions while doing our laundry.

Its cold-water washing campaigns such as ‘Turn to 30°C’ have helped reduce around 58,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions by educating consumers on how to save energy. Furthermore, the launch of Ariel Excel Gel has helped the company to significantly reduce the overall environmental impact of its products. The basic principle behind this is that a more concentrated product, such as a gel, can reduce packaging per wash and also clean better at lower temperatures. One of Ariel’s most recent product launches is its 3 in 1 pods. The Ariel POD is the first compartment laundry liquid tab product. Thanks to the POD’s super-imposed pouch, ingredients can be kept stable and separate until they reach the wash. It is a unique predosed super compacted liquid detergent that combines 3 actions in 1 product: cleaning, lifting stains and brightening.

Sweet dreams Meanwhile, in the US market, P&G has been demonstrating its dedication to social responsibility with the launch of its newest fabric care regimen, the Sweet Dreams

Collection, to support the US National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Awareness Week 2014. The line of products is formulated with ingredients to clean, soften and freshen bedtime fabrics, from bed linens to nightwear, helping to create a relaxing sleeping environment. The regimen, all of which are official products of the National Sleep Foundation, includes Tide plus A touch of Downy Sweet Dreams, Downy UNSTOPABLES Dreams, Downy Infusions Sweet Dreams and Bounce and Sweet Dreams. This initiative is in line with the findings of a survey conducted by Healthcare Research and Analytics (HRA), in which 100 per cent of doctors agreed that an appropriate sleeping environment is critical to aiding a person’s ability to relax so they can fall asleep.

Revolutions in cognitive science for fabric care Indeed, innovative fabric care products will continue to be a major focus for development at P&G, as was demonstrated at its recent Future Fabrics forum held in Berlin. This was

primarily to showcase the latest advances from its Ariel and Lenor/Downy fabric care brands and brought together a number of fashion, fabric and human psychology experts to talk about how our unconscious decisions affect our perceptions of clothing. John Turner, P&G’s Research & Development director, explained that the company’s fibre scientists are introducing new advances in the Ariel 3-step FibreSCIENCE approach – to Clean, Protect and Enhance – with a focus on prolonging and improving the multi-sensorial fabric properties (the look, the feel and the smell) that influence how people perceive their clothes. He said: “Our closets are full of clothes, yet we only wear 20 per cent of them 80 per cent of the time, so why aren’t we wearing the rest? P&G is looking at Fabric Care from a new angle to find out the answer. We’re breaking new ground by applying the latest research in the cognitive science of human perception to understand WHY we reject a garment and how or relationship with clothes changes over time. By applying this

knowledge to our FibreSCIENCE expertise we are redefining what Fabric Care means for consumers and their clothes.”

Leaders in baby care But of course, P&G’s Household Products division doesn’t only cover cleaning products. It is also one of the world’s leaders in babycare products, with its Pampers brand being one of the most obvious examples. This brand continues to lead the field and develop new and innovative solutions. November 2014 saw the introduction of the new Pampers Premium Care Pants with allround elastic that can be pulled on like underwear. The soft belt fits the baby no matter how much he or she moves during the night and its stretchy, ultra-soft materials provide an all-round softness that is gentle on the skin. Its 1,000,000 breathable Micropores allow humid air to escape and let the skin breathe, which helps keep the skin dry and comfortable. These pants have been designed using the company’s proprietary technology, which includes the unique extra dry layer.

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Global reputation for development With such a vast array of brands, Global Innovation is a constant focus for Procter & Gamble. This dedication to delivering a strong innovation portfolio means that each year the companies in its stable are responsible for some of the world’s most talkedabout product launches. The success of this approach was proven yet again this year when the group became the biggest winners of the 2013 New Product Pacesetters list, launching seven of the top 10 most successful non-food products of the year. P&G innovations that made the list were Tide Pods (# 1), ZzzGuil (#3), Vidal Sassoon Pro Series (#4); Downy Infusions (#6), Always/Tampax Radiant (#8), Secret Outlast (#9) and Puffs Basic (#10). In fact, P&G was able to capture 73 per cent of the total sales of the top 10 Pacesetters in non-food categories. The year 2013 thus marked its best performance on the list in the 19 years it has been

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published. In this time, P&G has had 155 products make the top 25 Pacesetters list in non-food categories – more than its six largest competitors combined.

Innovations in beauty products Whether it is for its beauty, grooming or household care divisions, the group’s Global Innovation activities result in a steady stream of new and exciting product launches. For example, the new Max Factor Masterpiece Transform Mascara has been designed to capture and volumise each lash, making them appear instantly fuller and thicker. It reverses the ‘bigger the mascara brush, the bigger the lashes’ concept with a small mascara wand which is easier to control than the bulkier designs to create more precise make-up. Furthermore, the shorter bristles of the unique Masterpiece Transform brush allow the lashes to get into direct contact with the mascara formula, coating them on the first

stroke. Meanwhile rows of rotating bristles ensure that, as the lashes are brushed through, every one is captured and coated. Originally available in Germany, Russia and Sweden, this product will be sold in other markets from 2015. Another new product making headlines in the beauty press is the COVERGIRL + Olay FaceLift Effect Firming Makeup, currently targeted at the US market. This breakthrough makeup was developed specifically for the ‘Boomer’ population, which is expected to grow by 35 per cent over the next 10 years. It combines flawless coverage with the hydrating effects of a night cream. The result, according to Olay, is ‘firmer-looking skin for an instant facelift effect’. This new collaboration between COVERGIRL and Olay combines the latest and most innovative technologies to create products to meet women’s specific needs. Because it doesn’t contain a powder sys-

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tem, FaceLift Effect has a lightweight feel to provide natural coverage and improve tone without feeling heavy. The exclusive Olay FaceFirm technology is infused with a concentrated vitamin complex for all-day hydration to plump and lift the skin. The principle is that, as the foundation hydrates over time, the skin becomes more elastic or firm and lifted. Another product introduced by Olay last year was the new Pro-X Mircodermabrasion and Advanced Cleansing System. This is meant to offer professional skin care results at home for a fraction of the price. It has been designed to help reduce the effects of UV exposure, pollution and other factors of daily life that contribute to dull, dry skin. This device comes with three speeds: the first two allow for daily gentle cleansing

or daily deep cleansing. The rotating tool’s new third speed, Microdermabrasion Foam Head and Thermal Crystal Polisher exfoliate to remove discolouration and even up the skin tone. This system has been available wherever Olay products are sold since August 2013.

Advances in clothing care In the area of fabric care, a recent product introduced for the US market is the revolutionary new SWASH clothing care system which reduces wrinkles, refreshes fabric, restores the fit lost after wear and preserves clothing with just the push of a button. This system was developed through a collaboration between P&G and Whirlpool Corporation. SWASH uses an integrated tension system to gently hold clothes in place, while

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an advanced spray technology applies a unique designed solution to the clothing from the SWASH PODS cup. Following this, a rapid thermal drying function combines an express heat system with airflow recirculation to dry clothes quickly. It is highly convenient as it can be plugged directly into a standard wall outlet and requires no water, plumbing, pipes, vents or professional installation. It is also energy efficient, using 1300 watts which is less than most hairdryers. With all of the above product launches and more, it is easy to see why Procter & Gamble remains one of the world’s consumer goods superpowers. Its product development teams are always ready to respond to the latest consumer demands as well as meeting n global sustainability criteria.

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FOR SUSTAINABILITY Unilever hardly needs an introduction from us: it is recognised throughout the world as a consumer goods giant with such well-known brands as Lipton, Knorr, Dove and Hellmann’s. Industry Europe looks at some of the highlights from its three key brand sectors, with a focus on its continued dedication to sustainable development and the crucial importance of its supply chain. 166 Industry Europe


o-headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and London, UK, Unilever is renowned as one of the world’s leading FMCG companies. It is estimated that more than 2 billion consumers worldwide use Unilever products each day. With some 400 brands making up its entire portfolio, the group achieved a turnover for 2014 of €48.4 billion. Unilever’s range of brands is, it says, ‘as diverse as our worldwide consumer base.’ With its products divided into three key sectors – Home Care, Personal Care and Food

& Drink – some of the instantly recognisable names in its brand stable include Hellmanns, Dove, Knorr, Domestos and Lipton. Obviously, in order to maintain its position at the forefront of the consumer goods industry, continuous product innovation is imperative. To this end, Unilever has several dedicated R&D centres in strategic locations throughout the world (India, the UK, China, North America and the Netherlands). At these sites, it employs more than 6000 scientists, chefs and technicians in its quest for ever-more advanced and sustain-

able solutions to meet the needs of today’s consumers. Indeed, such is the group’s size and continued dedication to R&D we could not possibly mention all of its latest product innovations in this article. Below are just some of the highlights from its three main business areas.

Home Care products In the home care segment, Unilever’s products fall into two main categories: laundry and cleaning products. In the first of these are OMO, Surf and Comfort. Also sold as Persil,

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Worlée NaturProdukte GmbH Worlée NaturProdukte GmbH has provided its customers with exotic fruit blends, fine mushroom combinations and the best of the world of dried raw materials for many years. From spices and fruits to vegetables, along with herbs, mushrooms, tea and pet food, the Hamburg company features an extensive product portfolio. In 1999, Worlée founded an organic division, which over the years has expanded to include as many as 450 products. The long-standing partnerships that the company established with producers throughout the world guarantee unvarying high quality and maintain the primary organic concept: sustainable agriculture and fair working conditions.

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K+S KALI GmbH K+S KALI GmbH produces high-purity salts for a multitude of applications in the fields of health care and nutrition. In the food segment, the products are used internationally, as dietary salts and in the food-processing industry. They are also used to enrich foodstuffs – so-called “Food Fortification”. What distinguishes K+S KALI’s high-purity salts? The products are of natural origin, and are certified in accordance with internationally recognized standards. They are manufactured exclusively in Germany. Quality and safety of the products have maximum priority. This does not only include complete traceability, but also exceptional supply security and service orientation. Compliance with all applicable laws is a matter of course. KaliSel – best quality for a balanced nutrition Although sodium chloride is a vital nutrient which is needed for many bodily functions, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers the average daily salt intake in the Western world far too high. In addition the WHO recommends an increase in the supply of potassium through daily ingestion. KaliSel – which is already widely used by the foodstuffs industry – is an appropriate way of reducing the sodium content of foodstuffs, while at the same time increasing their potassium content.

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Skip, Breeze, Ala, Wisk, Surf and Rinso in various parts of the world, OMO products include washing powders, tablets and capsules. The focus for this brand is on the development of products that are affordable for consumers in both high- and low-income regions. Sustainability is also key, perhaps best epitomized in the Persil ‘Small & Mighty’ liquid bottles which require 40 per cent less packaging than a standard bottle of detergent and thus create significant CO2 savings.

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The Surf brand has a history reaching all the way back to the 1890s and the creation of the Sunlight soap bar, Unilever’s first product. (Indeed, in the African market Surf is still known as Sunlight today.) The brand was launched in 1959 and today it is well-known throughout Europe, Latin America, Asia, Asia Pacific and Africa with a comprehensive range including bars, powders, liquids and capsules. As with the Persil ‘Small & Mighty’ bottle, the concentrated Surf bottle uses 40

per cent less packaging than a standard bottle of washing liquid, thus reducing packaging waste and allowing more bottles to be loaded onto delivery trucks. Unilever works on building its brand image across many platforms to reach as wide an audience as possible. An example of this strategy in action is its recent partnership with the Facebook game Bubble Saga. In this, Surf’s brand new mascot ‘Surfy’ stands in for the Bubble Saga princess.

Established in 1961, IMA is world leader in the design and manufacture of automatic machines for the processing and packaging of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, tea and coffee. A leadership gained through significant investments in research and development, constant and constructive dialogue with end users in the various sectors, and the Group’s ability to internationalise and conquer new markets. Experience and reliability, an extensive presence in the global market and a high capacity to respond to the requests of end users: these are values that the Group has built up over 50 years in the business; values that allow it to act as partner, rather than a supplier, able to propose innovative solutions and not just high quality products. Innovation, honesty, transparency and social and environmental responsibility are IMA’s core values, derived from a cultural identity in which the Group identifies itself. This awareness, which has developed into a genuine entrepreneurial style, has over time become one of the Company’s fundamental resources. In planning its strategies, the IMA Group takes account of the economic, social and environmental impact of its operations, adhering to the principles of sustainable growth and of corporate social responsibility recognized internationally since 1987 with the Bruntland Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) and in the EU’s Europe 2020 strategy. Focus on the Tea & Herbs Division of IMA S.p.A.

The C24-E can be equipped for the production of naked bags, crimped or heatsealed outer envelopes. The C24-E is particularly suitable for the packaging of sophisticated and organic products thanks to the natural and ecological characteristics of the tea bag and to the machines sophisticated product dosing and feeding systems. To complete the whole production cycle, the C24-E is equipped with an automatic cartoning attachment from flat blanks, available in two different versions, that permits the packaging of filter bags in different final carton styles according to such criteria as product integrity, personalization, style and cost saving. As well the standard tuck-in closure cartons, further options are also available: Tear Strip, Kurzlaschen and Caddy Closure carton. IMA offers also a simplified, cost-effective solution for the NON HEAT SEALABLE double chamber knotted double chamber teabags – the C24-T – evolved from the original C24 equipment whilst maintaining the same high efficiency level as that achieved by the above mentioned more sophisticated C24-E model. Highly reliable and speed-oriented, with a production speed of 400 bags per minute, the C24-T deals solely with knotted naked bags and fits perfectly into existing packaging lines where black tea or freeflowing products are being handled. Optimum efficiency and precision, together with a compact footprint make the C24-T the ideal choice to guarantee excellent productivity while limiting costs to what is strictly essential. For more info, visit

From the time IMA designed and manufactured the first teabag machine, back in 1966, IMA has produced more than 2700 teabag machines of which almost 2000 are still in production in 77 countries worldwide. IMA places great emphasis on research and development to create cutting edge new generation equipment to increase customer satisfaction levels. In 2014 IMA launched the new C24-E, the latest generation of tea bag machines for knot technology, a unique machine able to produce NON HEAT SEALABLE double chamber knotted teabags at a production speed of up to 400 bags per minute ensuring the highest efficiency rates. No metal staple or additional packaging materials are required to fix the bag to the tag and the cotton thread. Fixing is achieved by two simple knots resulting in a worthwhile saving in packaging material.


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Daniel Kerry, Surf Global Brand Manager, said at the time of launch: “We’re glad to have found Bubble Saga as a partner for the launch of our new brand character Surfy, being a good fit with our consumers… Surf is a global brand in 47 countries with a constantly expanding presence.” The third major Unilever laundry brand is Comfort – a fabric conditioner that ‘delivers long-lasting freshness and everyday softness to keep your laundry beautifully conditioned’. As with the group’s other brands, social and environmental responsibility also play a key role in R&D. The Comfort One Rinse product, for example, is targeted specifically at developing countries and is designed to wash clothes using just one bucket of water rather than three to save time, effort and water. Moving on to the cleaning products segment, one of the biggest and most wellknown brands is Cif – a range of creams and sprays to keep kitchens, bathrooms, dishes, floors and surfaces clean. Around the globe it is marketed under other names, including Jif, Viss and Handy Andy but Cif is still its most widely-used handle. Another well-known brand is Domestos, whose tag line ‘kills all known germs dead’ we are probably all familiar with to some

extent. This range of cleaning products is available in 35 countries as Domestos, Domex, Glorix, Vim, Promax and Klinex. One of the latest innovations in this range is the Domestos Turbo Fresh – the first ever rim block that rotates, keeping the toilet clean and fresh for longer.

Leading Personal Care brands Unilever’s range of recognised global personal care products is even more comprehensive. Just some of the leading names include Dove, Vaseline, Simple, Radox and Timotei – although there are many others besides. Established in 1957 in the US, the Dove brand of body washes, hair products and lotions is particularly well-known for its celebration of ‘real women’. Indeed, its Social Mission is to empower young girls to build a positive selfimage in relation to their bodies. It is also from the Dove brand that an example of Unilever’s overriding commitment to sustainable packaging can be drawn. The new Dove Body Wash bottles have been created using the MuCell Technology for Extrusion Blow Moulding (EBM) developed by Unilever in close collaboration with two of its packaging suppliers – ALPLA and MuCell Extrusion. It represents a breakthrough in Industry Europe 179

LINDAL Group The accelerating launch of compressed deodorants and antiperspirants throughout the world marks the further use of exciting aerosol technology developed and patented by LINDAL Group. A worldwide leader in aerosol packaging technology, LINDAL Group anticipates comprehensive global acceptance of the new compressed deodorant and antiperspirant format. Watch for new compressed format aerosol solutions in cosmetics and body care, sun protection, hair care and styling, household and technical products. The Hamburg, Germany-based company has more than 50 years of experience with aerosol solutions for the cosmetics, household, pharmaceuticals, food and technical industries. The LINDAL Group is represented by subsidiaries and licensees in more than 15 countries throughout Europe, Asia and The Americas. The company is renowned for its innovative designs, which deliver optimal functionality and return on investment. As a result, LINDAL packaging solutions are the choice of the world’s most prestigious and trusted brands.

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bottle technology: by using gas-injection to create gas bubbles in the middle layer of the bottle wall, it reduces the density of the bottle and the amount of plastic required. All packaging will remain 100 per cent recyclable and the bottles will contain a minimum of 15 per cent less plastic. This technology has been deployed first in Europe across the Dove Body Wash range. Vaseline is another brand that really needs no introduction since the products in this range and their benefits to consumers are recognised in 70 countries. In addition to the standard petroleum jelly, lip balms, lotions and cleansers, the latest product under the Vaseline umbrella is its line of Spray & Go moisturisers. These moisturise deeply and absorb in seconds, allowing the user to get dressed and leave the house immediately after applying. In this way it is different from traditional spray products, since it dispenses lotion quickly and evenly, and enables allover body coverage. Radox, meanwhile, is a leading bath and shower collection known for its relaxation properties. Established over a century ago, its products mix minerals and herbs to create a wide range of soothing blends. Yet another famous

Personal Care brand, Simple, is a range of skincare products (soaps, cleaners, toners and moisturisers) that contains to perfume, colour or harsh chemicals and is therefore ideal for sensitive skin types.

Food & Drink This, Unilever’s third core product sector, also encompasses a number of world-leading products. In fact, it is highly likely that most of us already have some of these brands in our cupboards at home – Lipton, Ben&Jerrys, Knorr, Flora and Hellmanns’s are just some that immediately spring to mind. Lipton offers a range of tea-based drinks from leaf tea to tea bags, Lipton Ice Tea soft drinks, zero calorie infusions and green teas. Some of its key innovations over the years include the Lipton Pyramid tea bag which allows tea leaves more room to infuse; and its Lipton Cold Brew tea bags which make instant ice tea much easier. A more recent introduction to Lipton’s range was its singleserve tea packs for use in Keurig and Vue coffee machines to brew fresh cups of hot or iced tea at the push of a button. Unilever also owns the well-known Hellmann’s brand of dressings. products

run from its famous mayonnaise to ketchup, mustard, salad dressings and table sauces. As the world’s number one mayonnaise brand, Hellmann’s believes it needs to set a responsible example – hence the fact that 100 per cent of the eggs used in its products are sourced from free-range or barn hens. Yet another highlight from the Unilever Food & Drink brand stable is the Knorr range of soups, bouillon cubes, stock pots, seasonings and snacks. This Germany-based company has a prestigious history reaching back to 1838. Today it is still known as one of the leading producers in its field and is continuously developing new techniques and recipes to guarantee quality, flavour and freshness. In addition to this, it is, in common with all Unilever brands, committed to a sustainable future through the responsible sourcing of agricultural ingredients and the building of sustainable practices. For example, as part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, Knorr has committed to sourcing 100 per cent of its agricultural ingredients sustainably by 2020.

Recognising the importance of suppliers Of course, Unilever would not be able to maintain its global operations across 190 countries without the help of its network of around 16,000 suppliers. The company states this explicitly on its website: “Our suppliers’ materials and services are an integral part of our commercial operations, ensuring our sites and factories in more than 100 countries are capable of manufacturing, marketing and continually improving the thousands of unique items we produce today.” For a major global player such as Unilever, a significant part of its growth is always going to come from cutting-edge innovation. And

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We at H&R pride ourselves in supplying consistently superior quality products to our customers. Our technical team comprises of product experts to ensure that H&R can offer unparalleled technical support and expertise. Our Quality Management Systems combined with our ISO 9001 accreditation aligns us to supply grades that meet stringent customer requirements, while looking after our environment to ensure sustainable supply of high quality and environmentally friendly products to the markets we service. Our PIONIER range of petroleum jelly is one of the most important raw materials for the pharmaceutical, personal care and cosmetic applications. For these industries H&R offers both white and yellow product variations. The PIONIER range also contains mineral oil-free jellies and petroleum jelly produced from natural raw materials. H&R’s range of petroleum jellies, mineral oils and paraffin waxes are complex mixtures of saturated, mainly straight-chain, hydrocarbons. The high quality of our products is achieved through special hydrogenation processes and thus most suitable for pharmaceutical, personal care and cosmetic purposes.

PIONIER range of products leading technology, leading quality Petroleum jellies White oils Waxes Hydrogenated polydecene Bases for cold processes Highly transparent oleogels Natural jellies

Our strengths Customer specific service and support Cleanroom standards Innovative products ISO approved quality management systems Products meet relevant FDA / pharmacopoeia standards

Our values Customer orientated quality and reliability Innovation Responsibility

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it estimates that around 70 per cent of its innovations are linked the its close partnerships with strategic suppliers. “That’s why we invest in mutually-beneficial relationships with our key suppliers – so we can share capabilities and co-innovate for shared growth.” In recognition of the above, in February 2011 Unilever launched ‘Partner to Win’ – an award-winning strategic programme focused

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on building relationships with selected key suppliers in order to foster mutual growth. Joint Business Development Plans (JBDPs) are a key element of the programme, covering all areas of procurement including packaging, chemicals, commodities and services. Each year, Unilever also holds its prestigious Partner to Win Awards to celebrate those suppliers who, over the past year, have made

a significant contribution to growing both businesses in a mutually beneficial way. The awards are in the categories of Innovation, Sustainability, Joint Value Creation, Capacity and Capability Building, and World Class Service & Quality. The big winners in the Innovation category were: Novozymes, who worked closely with Unilever to deliver enhanced

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Envases Once more Envases is very pleased to participate in this celebration of Unilever, who Envases has been supplying for over 35 years. During this long period of time Envases has been given numerous opportunities to collaborate in many different challenging packaging projects. Envases is very appreciative for this opportunity. Envases is a family owned company, fully dedicated to aluminium aerosol manufacturing out of two state of the art plants in Europe. Envases concentrates on offering it’s customer base “Unique Proposals”.

National Label Company National Label Company is your packaging printing partner with global reach. Family owned and operated, our longstanding manufacturing of quality products dates back to 1914. The combination printing machines are extremely flexible and configure flexographic, offset, silkscreen, gravure, and foiling in a custom sequence. The presses have platform technology with lightweight sleeves allowing quick changeover, reduced tooling and plate costs. Presses and slitters have vision system scanning ensuring the finest quality. We are currently distributing to large manufacturers in personal care, pharmaceutical, and consumer battery industries. National Label is proud to be one of Unilever’s Partner to Win suppliers.

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Alkim is the largest producer of sodium sulphate in Turkey, Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe. The Company owns mining concessions with more than 300 million tons of proven reserves and cost efficient plants manufacturing sodium sulphate, a key ingredient in various products. Sodium chloride (from natural raw salt until highest

quality table salt), organically certified leonite fertilizer, magnesium chloride are also produced in our modern plants. Chromite mineral ore is mined at our Eskisehir mine. And another essential product of Alkim is paper. The Company owns majority shares of the largest printing and offset papermill company in Turkey & Middle East, North Africa area.

Alkim Alkali Kimya Anonim Șirketi İnönü Caddesi No:13 34437 Taksim - İSTANBUL Phone: +90 212 292 22 66 • Fax: +90 212 252 76 60

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liquid laundry solutions; Givaudan, for developing a new encapsulation technology for fragrances; and Galaxy for delivering a breakthrough manufacturing innovation. In the Sustainability category, the three winners were Symrise, DHL and ALPLA / MuCell. The first of these, Symrise, won for its innovative and leading edge Public Private Partnership which will benefit 24,000 people in total. DHL was rewarded for its global support of the continual environmental improvement of its supply chain services conducted on behalf of Unilever, whilst ALPLA / McCell received a joint award for developing breakthrough packaging technology that uses 15 per cent less plastic (mentioned above in connection with the new Dove Body Wash bottle). The Joint Value Creation category also had three winners. Clariant was awarded for its collaboration with Unilever, resulting in standardisation of its global packaging platform. Wilmar, meanwhile, was recognised for the fact that is has been working in collaboration with Unilever to produce natural fatty alcohols and other oleo-based sufactants to

help improve the value proposition for several key High Performance Chemicals. Finally, the award given to National Label acknowledged its significant investment and effort to expand its operations to supply Unilever. In the category of Winning Capacity & Capability Building, Solvay received an award for its purchasing of natural soda ash, which supports Unilever’s aim to reduce its overall CO2 emissions. Ball won for investing in global facilities to support Unilever’s growing needs, whilst Manuchar was awarded for working closely with Unilever to invest in creating capacity in several developing and emerging markets to cater to the growth of the group’s Household Care business. The three winners in the category Winning World Class Service Through Operational Excellence were Sodexo, Smollan and Southern Graphic Systems International. Sodexo won for taking a leading role in the facility management industry – with Unilever, it has created a strategic partnership making a transformational change in the delivery of services. Smollan won for launching dedicated field

sales teams across the world, whilst Southern Graphic Systems International was awarded for delivering continuously improving service levels while solving technical challenges. A final, single award – the coveted Partner to Win Visionary Award – was given to Cargill for being the first company to sign up to Unilever’s Partner to Win programme. Unilever paid tribute to the manner in which Cargill has delivered substantial results on every on of the programme’s key priorities: driving innovation, responsible and sustainable living, quality and service, value and capacity and capability. To conclude, Dhaval Buch, chief procurement officer for Unilever, had this to say about the importance of the awards: “I congratulate all of the companies that won. It is our mission to maintain these fantastic relationships with our Supplier Partners and create mutually beneficial business opportunities. Partner to Win plays a vital role in helping us achieve Unilever’s vision for sustainable growth and this can only be n delivered through partnerships.”

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LEADING ENERGY PLAYER Gas Natural Fenosa of Spain is one of Spain’s leading energy players, pioneering gas and electricity integration and also looking at the development of nuclear energy. Its operations span more than 25 countries worldwide, covering Europe, North Africa, the Americas and Australia. Piotr Sadowski reports.


fter the acquisition of the electricity company Unión Fenosa, the third largest in the Spanish market, the group has successfully integrated the country’s gas and electricity businesses into a single entity. With its extensive experience in the energy sector, Gas Natural Fenosa is able to operate successfully across many different global markets. “We offer services to over 20 million customers on five continents, delivering 15.4 GW of installed power and a diversified mix of electricity generation,” says José Antonio Herrera, Nuclear Director at Gas Natural Fenosa

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Engineering. “The group is continuously expanding and is currently aiming at its largest international acquisition ever, and the biggest ever in Latin America. The goal is the purchase of CGE SA, the biggest distributor of electricity and gas in Chile, which serves 2.5 million customers and distributes 40 per cent of electricity in the Chilean market including serving part of the capital, Santiago de Chile.”

Strong presence in Spain and Europe Gas Natural Fenosa serves both the domestic and industrial markets for the distribution of electricity and gas, both in Spain and

across international markets. It is the third biggest distributor of gas and electricity on the Iberian market, with close to 9 million connection points. In the gas distribution sector, the group operates through companies operating in ten autonomous communities. Its Spanish electricity business, on the other hand, includes electricity generation through nuclear power stations, hydro plants, coalfired, fuel-gas and combined cycle plants – operating under the so-called ‘ordinary regime’. It also generates electricity under the ‘special regime’, including wind farms, mini hydroelectric and cogeneration plants.

In addition to Spain, Gas Natural Fenosa currently operates in eight other European countries: Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Moldova and Portugal. “We are also very attentive to what is happening in other European markets, including the UK, in terms of potential new projects,” adds Mr Herrera. “While not committing to any specific new acquisitions, we are at the same time not closing any avenues for further expansion in the European and global markets. Our goal is to operate as an efficient and modern group, with a vision of being the leading energy

service company, with projects renowned for their excellent credentials right from the very start. We will take into consideration the fact that the global energy market is moving towards a much reduced risk, so all our current and future projects will be carried out with minimum risk but maximum security and sustainability.”

The importance of the Americas America are naturally very crucial market for Gas Natural Fenosa, where the group is already very well-established and is developing new projects, as the example of the

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purchase of CGE SA in Chile shows. In Brazil, the group has been operating since 1997 through the companies CEG, CEG RIO and Gas Natural SPS, which distribute gas in the state of Rio de Janeiro and Southern Sao Paolo. In Colombia, it operates through Gas Natural SA ESP and Electricaribe SA ESP, which work in the distribution and sales of natural gas and electricity. “Costa Rica is another very key market for us, where we generate electricity through a hydroelectric plant and are also executing a new major construction project,” says the sales director. “Mexico, then, is where we are the main gas distributor in the country and we are also important in the electricity generation sector, including through combined cycle generation plants. We also

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supply natural gas in Argentina and Perú, generate and distribute electricity in Panamá and the Dominican Republic [two thermal power plants], and operate in Puerto Rico through the company Ecoeléctrica, which has a 540MW combined cycle plant and a regasification plant.”

Continuing to develop global presence and strength Gas Natural Fenosa is also a very active player in Africa, Asia and Oceania – markets which will help it to further establish itself as one of the most important worldwide players in gas and electricity generation and distribution to millions of customers. Angola, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco (mainly gas operations), and Kenya and South Africa

(mainly electricity-related activities), are currently the six African markets where Gas Natural Fenosa is working through commercial operations, shareholder agreements and ownership of stakes in local companies. “We are also present in Oman, where we hold a stake in the Qalhat liquefaction plant, as well as in Australia, where we operate through Unión Fenosa Wind Australia Ltd, which has wind energy projects in the states of Victoria and New South Wales,” says Mr Herrera. “In fact, UFWA is the fourth largest development company in Australia, based on the size of its project portfolio. More than a third of the projects are at an advanced stage in the permit granting process and they are excellently located with regards to n wind and connectivity resources.”


PRAWN PRODUCTION The Findus Group is one of Europe’s largest frozen food and seafood companies. It is an iconic brand that was founded in Sweden in 1905. In keeping with its tradition of providing healthy, natural frozen foods the company is pioneering ‘climate-grown’ tiger shrimps and prawns in its plant at Bjuv in Sweden, as Philip Yorke reports.

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he Findus Group is a premium Nordic brand that brings together a leading frozen food business in Scandinavia, a major frozen and chilled seafood company in the UK and a fast-growing frozen food business in France. In the Nordics Findus is a revered brand that delivers premium frozen food across all major categories of fish, vegetables, meals and bakery products. In the UK, Young’s Seafood Ltd is a clear brand leader and supplies most of the UK’s major retailers with private label, chilled seafood. In southern Europe, Findus is also a market leader in frozen foods and in France and Spain it leads in sales of frozen vegetables. The company is proud of its record for responsible fish sourcing and vegetable growing, as well as for its care for the environment and promotion of a healthy diet. Today the Findus Group employs more than 6000 people and in 2013 recorded sales of over €1.5 billion.

Fresh-frozen products Findus Sverige AB is a key part of the global Findus Group and along with other strategic Findus locations in Norway, France and

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Thailand, the Swedish operation is carefully developed to deliver a healthy range of frozen foods that include ready meals, vegetables and fish, as well as groceries, soup, pasta and mayonnaise. The healthy aspect of Findus’s frozen food products forms a major ingredient in its sales and marketing strategy, as fresh-frozen products can contain considerably more nutrients than poorly-kept fresh products, particularly vegetables. All Findus fish is frozen on the boat the moment it is caught, thus keeping it in prime condition until it is cooked by the consumer. In addition, the Findus Group has a company-wide programme called ‘Vision Zero’, which highlights its passion for no preservatives in its foods. The company says that freezing is such a natural way to preserve food there is no need to add anything at all to its products.

Climate-grown Climate-grown tiger shrimps and prawns may soon become a reality at the Findus plant in Bjuv, Sweden. Recently Findus and Vega Fish of Sweden signed an agreement for a long-term cooperation. This joint-venture and

the establishment of a new plant will make it the first of its kind in the world. The global supply of environmentally-friendly farmed tiger prawns and scampi is currently very limited, thus making this a very exciting project for the companies involved and consumers alike. “At last consumers can get a really good environmentally-friendly option,” said Henrik Nyberg, director of business development at Findus. At the Bjuv facility in Sweden, Findus will be responsible for the freezing, sales and marketing of the products under the brand name Findus. As the producer, Vegan Fish is currently starting a pilot plant for shrimp farming in Uppsala, Sweden where initially prawns will be cultivated. In the latter part of 2015, tiger prawns will be introduced and cultivated. What makes the planned shrimp farming project special is that the prawns are climate-grown and based on a closed, land-based system that uses waste heat for heating and prawns fed with sustainably produced feed with no chemicals or antibiotics involved. “To cultivate in this way here in Sweden combines the best of both worlds. We use the most proven and sustainable systems,

Your Partner for Frozen, Ready Cooked Beef, Poultry and Seafood. Valio is a direct subsidiary of the family-owned company, Hans Hartge GmbH & Co. KG, founded in 1928. Our expertise is based on decades of product development experience in close co-operation with the international food industry. The individual requirements of our clients from the world of industry and mass consumption set the standards to which we work. Valio’s flexibility and innovation go hand-in-hand with excellent value and established quality control procedures at all production sites. Valio Hamburg, Georgsplatz 6, 20099 Hamburg, Germany T: +49 40 33305920 | F: +49 40 330418 E: |

under strictly controlled conditions. Meanwhile we utilise waste heat and nutrients that would otherwise be lost,” said Matilde Osborne, CEO of Vega Fish. Furthermore, Findus Sverige AB says that its unique cultivation process offers many other advantages, including minimal emissions and no risk of contamination from the surrounding environment.

Improving market During the economic turndown Findus Sverige AB, along with many others, experienced challenging market conditions for its fish and vegetable sales at home and abroad. However, since the beginning of 2013 the company has seen a steady rise in its sales as it continues to highlight the nutrition and cost benefits of its frozen food products. Its

on-going introduction of more one-portion meals and additional lighter frozen food selections has also made a difference. Findus is optimistic about its continued organic growth thanks in part to maintaining its unrivalled n ‘pure good food’ promise. For further details of Findus fresh-frozen products and services visit:

Ingredients for a healthy life Creative solutions based on the egg Since its foundation in 1945 Källbergs has grown to become the largest Nordic producer of egg-based ingredients for many different applications. We supply dried ingredients and readymade mixes to customers all over the world. By focusing on development and high-tech expertise we have steadily become an increasingly important partner to customers who require high standards of support and innovation from their suppliers. By providing custom solutions we contribute to the development, profitability and competitiveness of our customers.


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POULTRY PERFECTION Her-Csi-Hús Kft was the first poultry processing company in Hungary to recognise that consumers want to be sure that all animals being raised for food are treated humanely. Since healthy top-quality animals are needed for food, proper treatment is not only an ethical obligation but also makes good business sense. Carefully formulated feed, adequate room to grow and proper handling are all import factors in the production of high quality poultry products. Edina Beale talks to managing director István Oláh to find out more.

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er-Csi-Hús Kft is the third largest poultry processing company in Hungary, currently holding a 10 per cent share of the domestic broiler chicken market. The company, which processes 13 million broiler chickens and produce 5000 tonnes of processed poultry products each year, is the number one supplier to the Spar and Metro group and to numerous Hungarian and international supermarket chains. In 2008 Her-Csi-Hús recognised the importance of animal welfare when it comes to poultry production and started its broiler chicken production to fill the gap in the market. Broilers are raised indoors on litter such as wood shavings, peanut shells and rice hulls until they reach slaughter weight at

seven to eight weeks of age. In this system chicken feed consists primarily of corn (60 per cent) with the addition of essential vitamins and minerals, and no hormones or steroids are permitted. Once all the necessary facilities and technological requirements were implemented to meet these needs, Her-Csi-Hús developed its Happy Chicken family range, which in 2012 won the prestigious Hungarian Quality Product Award. This award is recognised throughout Europe and is only awarded to those companies that are demonstrably committed to quality issues in their production activities. More recently, Her-Csi-Hús has developed a new range of fresh precooled products under its Happy Chicken brand. These

new products include sliced meat products and a new poultry hot dog sausage with a sheep intestine skin, due for launch later this year. As with most things timing is everything and the new hot dog will be launched at the end of December this year, since hot dogs are a traditional New Year’s Eve food item in Hungary.

Increasing exports Her-Csi-Hús has great ambitions to significantly increase its share of the broiler chicken market over the next five years. In recent years it has refined its domestic market, enabling it to explore the possibilities of the export markets. These efforts have resulted in an increase of exports from

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10 to 22 per cent. The main markets include Germany, Switzerland, Romania and Slovenia. In the near future the company aims to strengthen its presence in Austria, Croatia and Serbia. Her-Csi-Hús is a medium-sized company that employs nearly 250 people. István Oláh is proud of its low staff turnover and the skills and experience of its employees. “We believe that our competences are flexibility and our professional team of staff. In the short term we wish to stabilise our position in Hungary and the EU market with a production structure that maximises our profits. Our long-term objective is to become a dominant market player in the chicken processing business within our geographical region.” As part of its continuing efforts to ensure the highest quality of staff, the company is committed to ensuring that all employees are appropriately trained and qualified. New

initiatives on the horizon include projects to work in cooperation with high schools, giving pupils the opportunity to have an insight into the business. It is hoped that these projects will benefit the company in the long term, as the schools will be providing potential candidates for employment.

Investing in the future The company is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment at its poultry breading sites. This has required considerable investment but will result in much greater capacity and quality control. Currently the company has a hatchery that produces 13 million chicks, but once the work is completed this number will be almost doubled to 24 million chicks. The work on these projects is due for completion in January 2015. To meet the increasing opportunities from new business at home and abroad, next year

the company is planning to modernise its cutting and packaging technology at its processing facility. This new venture will provide greater capacity to allow for further development of the business. In addition to cutting and packaging, the company is exploring the possibilities of introducing dry product manufacturing in its processing units. The constant demand for quality poultry products places a number of requirements on the supplier. Food safety, product quality and environmental protection are the three key components. Having the ability to monitor and ensure that the highest standards are met at all times means offering a full farm-to-table service. Her-Csi-Hús has demonstrated repeatedly that it maintains the highest technological standards, producing the highest quality products whilst focusing on animal welfare and therefore placing the n company at the top of its field.

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Browary Regionalne Jakubiak (Jakubiak Regional Breweries) is a Polish business group and the owner of five local breweries. After years of rivalry with Brobdingnagian beer moguls, it has proved that in business size does not always matter. The company is also responsible for the ‘beer wake up’ phenomenon observed in Poland. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports. 200 Industry Europe


akubiak Regional Breweries hold a unique position in the Polish beer market. It is a family business that has built up several successful brand names. The man behind the group’s success is Mr Marek Jakubiak, who runs the business with members of his family. “The group’s development strategy is to cultivate endangered brewing traditions through the resurrection of Polish historical breweries, rescuing their dignity and promoting the extraordinary history of these historic sites. We are focused on resuscitating the old breweries that still have their souls. We walk in the footsteps of our ancestors, because beer has always been popular in Poland. I am a happy man, because my business is based on my passion,” says Mr Jakubiak, the group owner and president.

Beers with historical background Beer has always been present in Poland. It was even behind a particular Polish king’s refusal of the pope’s request to join the Crusades in Palestine. When asked why he could not go on the journey he explained that, owing to the particular nature of his body’s ailments, beer was the only beverage he could drink but it was unfortunately unavailable in Palestine. At more or less the same time the first brewery was founded in the town of Ciechanow. In the 19th century a new brewery was established on the same site. It had been in operation until 2001 when it was shut down by the then owner, the Austrian company Brau Union. A year later, it was purchased by Mr Jakubiak. He began to focus on the production of ‘Ciechan Wyborny’ unpasteurised beer, setting it up in opposition to the beers

offered by bigger companies in Poland. This re-awakened Poland’s enthusiasm for fresh beers and started a return to the tradition of local brewing. In time, alongside the classic bottom-fermented beers, brands such as ‘Ciechan Miodowe’ (‘honey beer’) appeared, which was the first of this kind in Poland. It turned out to be a big commercial success and spawned many imitators. “There are currently about 28 different honey beers being produced in Poland,” says Mr Jakubiak. “Unlike the competition, however, we have developed a very complicated process of making honey beer. We use 70 tonnes of honey each year, which we obtain from our permanent partner – the Mazurskie Miody company.” In 2009 Mr Jakubiak took over the bankrupt Lwowek Slaski 1209 Brewery. “This

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brewery is located near the borders of three countries: Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. It has a diverse brewing tradition that has been preserved by us; however, we have added new varieties of beer. Furthermore, our traditional lagers Lwowek Beers: Ratuszowy, Ksiazecy, Wiedenski, Wroclawskie, modern Jankes (American pale

ale style) and Porter. Product range have been enriched with new flavours: Lwowek Belg (Belgian pale ale style) and Lwowek Malinowy (Raspberry),” adds Mr Jakubiak. Bojanowo Brewery, which has a tradition stretching back to 1881, was taken over by the group in 2012. This brewery is also dedicated to preserving time-honoured traditions

with well-known brands including Wielkopolskie, Toporek (Axe), Strazackie (Firemen’s). Its range has recently been expanded to include new products: Bojan Black IPA, Maorys and Coconut beer. The two most recent acquisitions are Tenczynek Brewery and Biskupiec Brewery. The history of the former dates back to the mid-

Domestic and International Transport Shipping Artus Spedycja Jaworski, Hinc Spółka Jawna ul. Podlaska 30, 77-200 Miastko Tel: +48 598570211 • E-mail:

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17th century, whilst the latter was founded in 1885. In fact, Biskupiec was the first brewery in Poland to introduce beer in keg barrels, allowing it to store the product at low temperatures for long periods of time. “These two breweries still require retrofitting. We aim to begin this process in Tenczynek in May 2015, with Biskupiec following soon after.”

Hectolitres of beer The success of Jakubiak Regional Breweries is in part down to its wholly owned distribution company Piwa Regionów (Beers of Regions). The development of this distribution network was a necessity owing

to the short shelf-life of natural beers. The company consists of a fleet of 40 trucks and 100 employees. The group’s annual capacity is around 100,000 hectolitres of beer and its annual sales are estimated at PLN 45 million (€10 million). In addition to the Polish market its brands swill soon be available in the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

On the wings of success The group invests heavily in modern technology. But alongside this it is careful to protect its heritage, and hence a significant proportion of investment in museums associated with

the breweries. For example, 11,000 people have so far visited the brewery museum in Lwowek Slaski. Another museum, linked to the Ciechan Brewery, will soon be opened. Mr Jakubiak is not limiting the development of his company to the beer industry (although he is open to the purchase of breweries outside Poland). Tens of thousands of litres of Scotch whiskey distillate have been aging in oak barrels in the Ciechan brewery. The company is also attempting to make Okowita (a traditional Polish vodka made from barley) and Porterowka (a Polish vodka produced from n porter with vanilla).

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Wyborowa Pernod Ricard is a distribution company involved in marketing brands from the Pernod Ricard Group’s portfolio in Poland and production of the Group’s Polish vodka brands. Its product portfolio in Poland includes 33 premium and super premium alcohol brands.


yborowa Pernod Ricard’s strategy is to aim for an expansion of the premium spirits segment on the Polish market, which is in line with the global strategy of the Pernod Ricard Group. “The company wishes to play a leading role in the alcohol industry in the Polish market by offering world class products,” says Andrzej Szumowski, vice-president of Wyborowa Pernod Ricard. Pernod Ricard Polska was formed in the late 1990s. Its main task was the distribution of products imported by the Pernod Ricard Group. The breakthrough year turned out to be 1999, when Pernod Ricard SA purchased a majority share in Agros Holding SA and became the exporter of Wyborowa vodka. More years passed, and as a result of the privatisation of Poznan’s Polmos SA spirit industry plants, the Pernod Ricard Group obtained exclusive rights to produce and distribute Wyborowa vodka, the most recognisable Polish vodka in world markets. At the same time, vital business decisions were also being taken within the Group, which doubled its size. In 2005, with the purchase of the Allied Domecq Group, its portfolio was enhanced by brands such as Ballantine’s whisky, Malibu liqueur, and Perrier-Jouët and G.H.Mumm champagnes. In 2008, the privatisation of Vin&Spirit, owner of the ABSOLUT

brand, made Pernod Ricard one of the top two companies in the global drinks industry. The Pernod Ricard Group’s portfolio was also joined by Polish vodka brands - Luksusowa, Pan Tadeusz, Siwucha and Polska.

50m litres of vodka Currently, the Pernod Ricard Group is one of the leaders on the wine and spirit market in Poland and in the world. The Wyborowa Pernod Ricard production plants in Zielona Gora and Poznan produce such vodkas as Wyborowa, Luksusowa, Pan Tadeusz and Premium, which meet the criteria defined to protect the brand identity of ‘Polish Vodka’. This means that they have been produced in Poland from spirit obtained exclusively from rye, wheat, triticale, oats, barley or potatoes grown only in Poland. Wyborowa Pernod Ricard’s production plants are some of the most modern in this part of Europe, enabling production at a rate of 50m litres of vodka per year. Exports of the Wyborowa Pernod Ricard vodkas play a major role in the Group’s strategy. Wyborowa is currently available on nearly 80 world markets. It has recently returned to the American market after an absence of several years. Luksusowa is equally popular there.

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Strategy of premiumisation “Our unchanging goal is to increase our share of the drinks market in the segments which interest us, and to make use of the trends which appear to increase sales. The basis of the Pernod Ricard Group’s product strategy is premiumisation, which means the Group’s offer focuses on alcohol products of the highest quality,” explains Mr Szumowski. “The rising demand from consumers for luxury goods is reflected in the development plans for leading brands in practically every category. For five years now the whisky category has seen double digit growth, and the Polish market is receptive to new varieties by well-known and

liked brands. One example of this is Ballantine’s Brasil, launched last Spring; this is a drink which matures in barrels where lime peels are macerated. Consumers are also showing increasing interest in single malt whiskies. Besides whisky, another exceptionally significant area of the company’s business is vodka. The promotion and further increases in sales of pure vodkas which meet the definition of ‘Polish Vodka’, namely Wyborowa, Luksusowa, Pan Tadeusz and Premium, are of key importance. We are also closely observing the growing champagne market. In 2014 we will launch new varieties of G.H. Mumm champagne in Poland.”

Drinking responsibly Pernod Ricard is actively involved in promoting responsible alcohol consumption. It is one of the leading companies in the drinks industry to make an undertaking to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to take action in five areas connected with responsible alcohol consumption. For several years the ‘I’ve been drinking I’m not driving’ project has been implemented as part of a larger set of corporate social responsibility activities. This year, the actions have also been aimed at cyclists. Wyborowa Pernod Ricard is regularly involved in a wide range of educational programmes carried out by the Union of Employers of the Polish Spirits Industry, the largest organisation in the industry in Poland. The company additionally supports the campaign organised by the Polish Vodka Association aimed at discouraging swimming after drinking.

Significant investments Along with the strategy of strengthening its position on the Polish market, Wyborowa Pernod Ricard is making significant investments in its production plants, and reacting to consumers’ needs as they arise. In October three new Jacob’s Creek wines were launched – the semi-dry red Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Grenache, semi-sweet red Jacob’s Creek Merlot Shiraz and the semi-dry white Jacob’s Creek Sauvignon Blanc. These items are not available on other markets and have been specially created 206 Industry Europe

with the tastes of Polish consumers in mind. An expansion is also being planned of the range of older whiskies within the portfolio on offer. Investments and actions are constantly being undertaken to consolidate the position of vodkas on the domestic and foreign markets. Flavoured alcoholic drinks are also popular in Poland. Wyborowa Flavours of the World is number 1 in the Premium segment. A new flavour, Coffee&Caramel, was premièred recently, with more new products planned for this category. This year sees the introduction of the G.H. Mumm N1champagne range mentioned previously, which will consist of three products with semi-sweet and semi-dry versions. n

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FROM FIELD TO TABLE As the largest privately owned company in Croatia, Agrokor Group has almost 60,000 employees and reported consolidated revenues reaching HRK 54 billion. With its business model linking agriculture and production, Agrokor ensures its customers enjoy a wide range of fresh domestic products. Through its strong distribution chain supplying a network of modern retail stores buyers are provided with an excellent service and budget-friendly grocery shopping.

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he Agrokor Group’s core businesses are the production and distribution of food and beverages and retail. Corporate members include: Jamnica d.d., Croatia’s largest producer of mineral water; Ledo d.d., Croatia’s leading ice cream company; Zvijezda d.d., the biggest domestic producer of oil, margarine and mayonnaise; PIK Vrbovec d.d., Croatia’s leading agricultural and industrial company; and leading retail chains Konzum d.d. and Poslovni sistemi Mercator d.d. The leading positions of Agrokor’s companies are reflected in their dominant market shares. Ledo dominates Croatia’s ice cream market. Zvijezda enjoys the biggest share of the margarine and edible oils market, while Jamnica fronts Croatia’s bottled water market. Konzum is Croatia’s biggest retail chain and PIK Vrbovec is the leading meat company in the region.

Corporate values across the group

Management systems and certificates

The Agrokor Group’s vision is to be an internationally recognised company setting new standards of excellence in all its areas of activity. These goals will be achieved by focusing on sustainable development to drive growth and staying committed to its key corporate values. Agrokor is dedicated to vertical integration from agriculture to the manufacture of end products. It offers customers an extensive range of fresh and healthy domestic products. Furthermore, it is proud to offer a professional and friendly service, a pleasant shopping atmosphere and reasonable prices in its network of modern retail stores. The success of the group’s corporate members is closely linked to fruitful partnerships with suppliers and customers, who share the common goal of increasing added value in a sustainable manner.

Agrokor has implemented a Quality Management System in accordance with multiple ISO standards and requirements, as well as internal control systems based on HACCP, guaranteeing its customers safety and traceability according to the Field-toTable concept. For agricultural companies, the emphasis is on switching towards raw material monitoring and control through the Global G.A.P. standard that prescribes good agricultural practices and represents the key element in managing agricultural processes and processing. An increasing demand for Halal and Kosher certificates incited a majority of Agrokor companies to expand certification to those segments. Now Belje, Dijamant, Ledo Čitluk and PIK Vrbovec are Halal certified and Jamnica, Ledo, PIK Vinkovci,

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Solana, Sojara, Zvijezda, Belje, Irida and PIK Vrbovec are certified Kosher. Agrokor’s Food Business Group is responsible for ensuring that all quality and health requirements are met, in order to guarantee a high level of consumer health safety. Continuous improvements are confirmed by successful recertification processes and audits showing that suitable corrective and significant preventive measures are being implemented. Educational processes in the field of food quality and safety have been continued on all business and operational levels, focusing on control, development and new technologies and active involvement in cooperation with Campden Association from England.

Integrated management A systematic approach to quality planning, assessment and management is adopted across the Agrokor Group. In 2012 the following systems were certified: VUPIK – the successful certification of a first QMS in 2012 according to Global Good Agricultural Practice standard in vegetable growing; Nova Sloga, Trstenik – a HACCP certificate awarded to the Mivela production line for the production of natural mineral water rich in magnesium; PIK Vinkovci – the construction of a new refrigeration facility for onion storage in accordance with European standards; the first successful certification of GG in cattle farming; Konzum BiH – initiated certification process according to the HACCP system (basic HACCP system requirements for 48 facilities of varied use); and Jamnica – continued cooperation with NATO through re-certification according to their standard.

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Environmental management system Agrokor focuses on the implementation and maintenance of integrated management systems, in accordance with international standards and requirements (ISO 9001:2008, HACCP, ISO 22000:2005, OHSAS 18001:2007, Global GAP, etc.) including the EMS (environmental management systems) ISO 14001:2004. In 2012 the requirements of ISO 14001 were met by two new companies within Agrokor Group: Konzum d.o.o. in Bosnia and Herzegovina and IDEA d.o.o. in Serbia. With that certification, in addition to Croatia’s Konzum d.d., the two retail companies have become the only EMS-certified retail chains in their respective countries. When investing in new technologies, Agrokor is particularly dedicated to product quality and safety, as well as the reduction of its environmental impact. There are currently 20 EMS Lead Auditors and about 220 EMS Internal Auditors in The Agrokor Group. Furthermore, EMS not only ensures a safe, sustainable and clean working environment for all employees, but also extends to consumers, business partners, suppliers and the entire social community. All group companies continually optimise their technological processes, with the aim of optimising the use of natural resources and to achieve the rational use of raw materials. Recent examples of Agrokor’s work in the area of environmental management are the projects carried out by Ledo in Čitluk and Zvijezda. Systematic waste management has been upgraded at all locations. Overall, the volume of municipal solid waste has been reduced through the improved col-

lection of particular types of waste. Numerous new disposal units and containers have been put into service and new sites for more efficient and selective waste collection have been arranged. Following the initial launch of Eco Corner (Eko-kutak) in Jamnica, Sarajevski kiseljak also formed its own Eco Corner as a special facility for the selective disposal of all kinds of waste. In PIK Vinkovci a special eco warehouse for hazardous waste was built at Lipovac. Projects for the improvement of technological wastewater quality are currently under way. At Agrolaguna’s Sirana site a new system for the purification of industrial wastewater was implemented. At Irida the reconstruction, expansion and equipping of a wastewater treatment plant has been put in train. Agrokor-energija has worked intensively on activities related to the use and application of renewables. Gradec, located near Vrbovec, was the company’s first biogas plant; this represents the most eco-friendly method of transforming waste to energy and organic feedstock is transformed into three products: organic fertiliser, heat energy and electricity. Gradec was just the first in a line of biogas plant investment projects sched-

uled for implementation. In addition, after the success of the solar electricity system installed on the roof of the Konzum maxi shop in Sopot, six new PV Solar Systems are planned for installation.

Innovation and R&D Innovation is very important for all companies within the Agrokor Group. It continually strengthens its R&D activities by developing new products or improving on existing processes. Focusing on innovation as an important part of business strategy brings a comparative advantage to the group’s companies in an increasingly demanding, highly competitive marketplace. R&D activities within the Agrokor Group are organised through research and development centres within individual companies, according to specialised fields. This allows for the development of expertise within specific teams and allows them to stay abreast of consumer trends and new technology developments. New product development strategies are based on recognising customer priorities. They are focused on improving ingredients and flavours, their health and functionality, as well as improving packaging for the pur-

pose of extending product freshness, shelf life and convenience. In early 2013 Agrokor signed a cooperation agreement with the company NineSigma, one of the pioneers in the open innovation concept. Through this agreement, Agrokor Group gained access to the largest worldwide network of innovators and a knowledge base spanning many different industries and technical disciplines. With this investment came the adoption of a new innovation strategy – open innovation – which will be continuously strengthened and applied across all business processes. Its aim is to strengthen R&D capacity to integrate new knowledge, expand the product portfolio and implement innovative solutions to successfully meet the challenges n of the future.

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Biogel® gloves set the standard in protection

Mepilex® Border Post-Op is an all-inone dressing that absorbs and retains blood and surgical exudates



Swedish-based Mölnlycke Health Care is a world leader in the supply of single-use surgical and wound care products. As Victoria Hattersley finds out from Eric De Kesel, executive vice-president, Operations, the company continues to grow and to enhance its globally-renowned product offering for customers, healthcare institutions and patients alike.

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An operator at the Mölnlycke Health Care plant in Waremme, Belgium

ProcedurePak is a full-service solution that combines procedurespecific surgical supplies

A supervisor inspects packaging at the Mölnlycke Health Care plant in Waremme, Belgium


he roots of Mölnlycke Health Care go back to 1849, when it was established in Gothenburg, Sweden as a textile producer. Today it is present in 33 countries all over the world and active in more than 100. Its operations cover every continent, with 14 production plants – two in the US, 6 in Asia (across Malaysia and Thailand) and the remainder throughout Europe (Belgium, the Czech Republic, Poland, Finland, France and the UK). The company’s history has been one of steady growth, boosted by regular investments and acquisitions. A significant milestone came about in 2005 when it was acquired by Apax Partners and merged with Regent Medical and Medlock Medical (also specialists in single-use

surgical products). This followed Mölnlycke’s own acquisition of Johnson & Johnson’s single-use surgical product line. Investor AB, founded by the Wallenberg family, took over Apax in 2007 and has since owned Mölnlycke Health Care. Both of these developments have enabled the company to establish a firm presence in this highly competitive segment of the healthcare industry. Investment in organic expansion is also key. For example, the company has been steadily increasing its influence in the US market over the past few years. In 2011 it began the construction of a new manufacturing facility at Brunswick Landing (Maine), on the site of the former Naval Air Station Brunswick. In 2014

Mölnlycke announced its plans to expand its other US production site in Wiscasset, Maine. But the company has not been neglecting its European roots in this drive for global expansion – after all, this remains its core market. Indeed, as Mr De Kesel tells us: “Recently we announced that we will be opening a new site in the Czech Republic in 2017 for our ProcedurePak® product as this is going to play a key role in our activities moving forward. Most of the business for this product is in the European market.” Aside from investment and acquisition, the company has recently issued bonds for 500 million euros and made its first capital distribution to Investor – amounting to EUR 130 million.

The new Mepilex® XT reduces the risk of maceration and pain.

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Scan Global Logistics With an extensive and reliable network, dedicated people, top management commitment and an agile

Flextrus is a leader in barrier flexible packaging with

business philosophy, Scan Global Logistics has played a

base in Northern Europe. We supply a comprehensive

significant role in shaping and developing the Mölnlycke

range of innovative and environmentally responsible

Healthcare´s supply chain.

materials intended for the healthcare industry, including thermoformable base webs, printed and coated medical

As a proof of this, the partnership has grown extensively

papers, tailor-made film laminates and high barrier

where Scan Global Logistics is now the sole provider of

materials. We hold quality, flexibility and delivery as

all sea and airfreight services globally.

cornerstones of our solutions. To deliver excellent service along the process has been Flextrus is a proud supplier to Mölnlycke Health Care.

key for Scan Global Logistics since this partnership was formed in 2007.

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WHERE DO YOU WANT TO SEND YOUR GOODS? FOR EVERY NEED WE HAVE A SOLUTION By choosing Scan Global Logistics as your partner in transports and logistics, you always have a personal contact at hand. We support you all the way; from booking until the goods have arrived at the final destination. Do you have a more complex demand? We have flexible systems and reliable processes to support you; and with our personal service approach, nothing is ever too complicated. We offer a strong platform in the Nordic region and have extensive experience in Asia and the USA. Our global network covers most countries worldwide. We handle small and large consignments, by sea, land or air; we also have a project department that handles your project shipments. SCAN GLOBAL LOGISTICS With more than 30 years of experience, we can offer services built on long-term relationships all over the world. We have the capacity to meet the most demanding schedules and we can handle most local rules and regulations in the global markets we serve.

We are a global logistics organisation with Nordic origins and we believe in building strong partnership together with you. We have personal, dedicated and competent forwarders. Visit us at -

WHAT DO OUR CUSTOMERS SAY ABOUT US? Our relationship with Scan Global Logistics can be described as a partnership, which continues to thrive in line with our mutual goals to provide exceptional customer service. Nick Prior, Logistics Manager at Toyota Gibraltar Thanks to Scan Global’s hard work, dedication and extensive knowledge, we could deliver our Gas Turbines to our customer on time. Erik Lundgren, Procurement Manager, Siemens AB

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Specialty films promote rapid healing Today’s wound management focuses on the patient’s well-being, promoting fast healing and pain relief. Bayer MaterialScience supports this development with Platilon® brand films for premium wound dressings that protect wounds against environmental influences and promote the healing process by maintaining a moist wound microclimate and high breathability. These wound dressings are highly flexible and feel like a second skin. In addition, the matt surface gives them good haptic properties and they can even be printed. In close cooperation with Mölnlycke Health Care we developed film specialties for different wound care products. Resulting from this partnership we tailored our production technology and improved out facility management according to the requirements of the medical product market. About Bayer MaterialScience: With 2014 sales of EUR 11.7 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries. Bayer MaterialScience has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 14,200 people at the end of 2014. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

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Mölnlycke Health Care’s surgical drapes are manufactured to the highest standards

A healthcare products pioneer It was in the 1940s that Mölnlycke first entered the field for which it is now so highly regarded throughout the world – that of wound care products. In fact, since it entered this field the company has been a pioneer, introducing a number of revolutionary products. In 1949 it introduced Mesorb, a new wound dressing principle; this was followed in the 1960s by OP-Plast – a surgical drape material that increased hospital efficiency and protected against surgical infections. In 1985 Mölnlycke began work on Safetac®, a soft silicone based wound dressing adhesive. This was a particularly important product for the company and the industry as a whole, since it led the way in what Mr De Kesel refers to as ‘gentle’ dressing. “Since that time,” he tells us, “the patent has run out and many other companies are trying to make their own versions, which is testament to the effectiveness of our solution.” The year 1999 saw the introduction of ProcedurePak. This is a hospital efficiency concept, comprising of customised procedure trays which are assembled to contain all the single-use components required for a particular surgicalintervention. Developed in order to replace the large number of individually packed items, ProcedurePak trays can generate significant savings for hospitals – both in terms of time and money. It has been estimated that, using this solution, preparation time for surgical procedures can 218 Industry Europe

be cut by more than half compared to traditional operation room preparation times. ProcedurePak remains a key focus for the company’s growth plans, but its portfolio also encompasses a wide range of other highly regarded products. The range falls broadly into ‘wound dressings’ and ‘surgical solutions’, but within these are several subcategories such as advanced wound care products, surgical gloves, patient warming products, scar treatment products, surgical staff clothing and drapes. To name just one other highlight from Mölnlycke’s product portfolio: Exufiber® is a sterile, nonwoven fibre dressing designed to be used on a wide range of highly exuding wounds, including leg and foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, surgical wounds and so on. When this product comes into contact with the wound it transforms into a gel which in turns helps to create a moist healing environment and facilitates ease of removal during dressing changes. It is also worth noting that the company’s products can often be used in combination with each other, and this is no exception. If required, Exufiber can be employed alongside products such as Mepilex Border® and Safetac, to further improve the healing process.

Continuous innovation Mölnlycke Health Care has never rested on its laurels: its R&D team is continuously working on new solutions to ensure the company maintains its position at the forefront of surgi-

cal product development. A particular focus for the future will be on the ‘gentle’ end of the wound-dressing spectrum. To this end, Mr De Kesel is keen to mention some newer additions to the product portfolio, such as Mepilex XT – a soft, comfortable foam dressing design to treat a wide range of exuding acute and chronic wounds in all healing stages, including leg and foot ulcers, pressure ulcers and traumatic wounds. With its use of unique, integrated exudate channels, Mepilex is re-defining the possibilities for foams. These integrated channels can absorb both low and high viscosity exudate, drawing it away from the wound bed and spreading it away from the absorbent foam pad whilst the above-mentioned Mölnlycke Safetac technology seals the wound edge, preventing leakage and maceration. He adds: “In the future we will also be focusing increasingly on the growing area of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT). Here, for example, we produce systems under our Avance® brand name.” This system includes a gentle adhesive film which incorporates Safetac and is designed to minimise stress and pain for the patient. It is lightweight, easy to understand and operate, and can be used for grafts, burns and wounds of varying severity. “When it comes to surgical solutions we are still focused primarily on ways to increase efficiency. For example, in the US the ObamaCare act means there is greater pressure on hospitals to carry out surgical procedures in

Mepilex® Heel is a shaped foam dressing, that minimises pain and wound or skin damage at dressing change

Sontara® For over 35 years, Mölnlycke AB and Sontara® have collaborated in a strong partnership to support better and safer surgical procedures through conversion to single-use surgical gowns. Our Sontara® spunlace is a unique nonwoven blend made from pulp and polyester fibers. Combining with Mölnlycke’ s customer-oriented product development led to a Sontara® leadership position for “The Comfort in Single Use.” Sontara® offers the ideal balance between comfort and protection for surgeons, bringing a superior soft and breathable spunlace fabric suitable for all surgical procedures.

HibiScrub being used to provide protection against surgical site infections

a way that optimises the healing process and reduces the need for further treatments. Many hospitals simply cannot afford re-admissions, so products such as ours are essential when it comes to their bottom line.” For Mölnlycke, nurturing long-term supplier relationships is essential if it is to maintain its reputation for industry-leading innovation and quality. “We like to develop close relationships with our key suppliers over a long period of time. We don’t cherry pick as some companies do – playing the game of switching suppliers each year according to which offer the best prices. We have to work together with them when it comes to product development, and we can only do this if we know and trust them thoroughly. After all, we are essentially a converter so we rely, for one thing, on the raw material producers.”

A company that cares For Mölnlycke, it is not enough simply to be successful in an economic sense: the company also takes great pride in the recognition it has achieved for the clear stance it adopts on environmental and social issues. In terms of its environmental obligations, it is certified according to ISO 14001. Its sustainability strategy, according to Mr De Kesel, is focused on three key areas: CO2 reduction (which it has cut by an impressive 17 per cent since 2012); material recycling (currently at 95 per cent); and finally the cutting of overall water consumption.

BARRIER® Classic models produced with Sontara® fabric meet the EN 13795 and AAMI PB 70 Level 3 norms, allowing for surgical interventions with superior softness and increased comfort.

Mr De Kesel adds: “sustainable business is not created overnight. That’s why we adopt a long-term approach; combining our successful business practices with responsible behaviour. Our code of conduct provides a good foundation for our business ethics – ethics that we also expect our suppliers to adhere to.” “We are proud of our strong Swedish heritage. But we are equally proud of our organisation’s diversity and ability to invest in and develop local employees when we enter new markets or regions.” When it comes to it social issues, Mölnlycke is fully aware of its obligations as a leading global player. To give just one example of its work in this field: for more than 10 years the company has been involved with Operation Smile, the charity which provides free surgery to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children around the world. Just last year, it donated 50 per cent of the funding to support a mission in Fortaleza, Brazil, during which 84 patients received life-changing cleft palate and cleft lip surgery. But there is something else that Mr De Kesel is keen to emphasise: “We are very proud of the way we treat our employees and how they respond to this, and carry out regular surveys on workplace satisfaction. Last year we found that: 91 per cent of our employees said that they were proud to work with us; 80 per cent said they felt motivated at work; and 87 per cent said they felt respected

by their manager. We intend to maintain, and indeed improve upon, these impressive figures in the years to come.”

Future strategy Looking ahead, Mr De Kesel says there are no major investments planned following the expansions already implemented in the US and the Czech Republic. Instead, growth will be more organic with a series of smaller investments. “For example, we are opening offices in Brazil and have also expanded our regional presence in the US and Singapore. He concludes: “In terms of acquisitions, there is nothing planned but we certainly won’t rule it out if a suitable opportunity arises. What I can say is that we have ambitious growth targets and anything that can help to fuel this n will be considered carefully.”

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Sonia Goual, Crouzet Switches Sales Manager for Northern Europe

INVESTING TO MEET DEMAND Crouzet Switches, a brand of Custom Sensors & Technologies, is a specialist in snap-action electrical switching, with more than 60 years’ experience in markets where security and reliability are key requirements. The brand looks set to maintain its position as one of the world’s top three producers of microswitches.

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ince 2006, Crouzet Switches has been part of the CST Company, a Californiabased specialist in designing and manufacturing sensing, control and motion products. Through its brands, BEI Kimco, BEI Sensors, BEI PSSC, Crouzet, Crydom, Kavlico, Newall and Systron Donner Inertial, CST offers customisable components for missioncritical systems in the Aerospace & Defence, Transportation, Energy & Infrastructure, Medical, Food and Beverage and Building Equipment markets. Focused on offering a premium

value service and committed to the highest standards of excellence, CST, with 4400 employees worldwide and sales of $590 million in 2014, is a dependable and flexible partner for even the most demanding customers. One of the key areas of specialisation for Crouzet Switches is the nuclear industry, where it has been active since the 1980s. Sonia Goual is Crouzet Switches’ sales manager for northern Europe: “We offer a range of nuclear certified limit switches, particularly designed for harsh environ-

ments,” she comments. “Our limit switches comprise a hermetically-sealed microswitch which combines a snap-action mechanism, and a high degree of resistance to shocks, vibration and temperature. The microswitch is filled with an inert gas that protects the contacts and allows flow from low level circuits to higher currents.” The brand’s high quality products have been recognised with the RCCE certification for K1, K2 and K3, and as a leader in its field it is also a member of major

CST Factories in Valence, France

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SP4863, SP4813 and SP 4522 limit switches.

nuclear associations including the PFCE (Partenariat France Chine Electricité) and GIIN (Groupe Intersyndical de l’Industrie Nucléaire). “Our products are mainly located in the reactor core and around the plant in K1, K2 and K3 nuclear plant areas such as in the Atex environment. The care taken in the manufacture of these cells in terms of assembly processes, cleanliness of components as well as inspection procedures results in a product which is ideal for operation in severe environments where a high level of reliability is essential. The Crouzet Switches hermetically-sealed cell is particularly well suited to sectors such as Aerospace, Marine and Nuclear.” Crouzet Switches has production facilities in Morocco and China (producing for the local market in Asia). Its newest facility, opened two years ago, is in Bangalore, India, while its main production unit for the nuclear industry remains in Valence, France. More than 80 per cent of the brand’s products are bespoke items, and “The overseas facilities, which specialise in adapting the brand’s standard products to clients’ specific requirements, tend to be opened to respond to the needs of particular customers and are often 222 Industry Europe

driven by the brand’s specialist knowledge of harsh environments,” says Sonia Goual. “For instance, we have expanded in India and China, primarily because Crouzet Switches’ products are specifically designed to operate in high-temperature and high-humidity environments. While Chinese companies are of course able to produce their own similar products, they don’t have the expertise that Crouzet Switches can provide.”

New machinery meets growing demand Crouzet Switches regularly injects 6–7 per cent of its turnover into R&D. Two years ago it refurbished its nuclear production line, and it has now installed a new machine at its Valence plant in order to automate switch production. In 2014 it also installed a new compacting machine. The brand says the investments are designed to increase capability, and to meet growing demand from its customers. In the nuclear sector, Crouzet Switches has established a strong reputation through more than 30 years of industrial component production. With its products meeting both RCCE and IEEE K1 standards, it has been able to win international customers including

the likes of Emerson Process Management, EDF, the French company Velan and China’s SUFA. Primary geographic markets are France, China (following the growth in the local nuclear industry in recent years), and Scandinavia (with important customers in Finland and Sweden, for instance). Attending events such as the recent World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris and Valve World in Düsseldorf has also helped the brand to raise its profile in other parts of the world – particularly with Russian and US manufacturers. Looking ahead, Crouzet Switches aims to build on its strengths and penetrate new markets. According to Sonia Goual: “We want to reinforce our strong position in our existing markets, as a leader in harsh environments, and also to increase our activity in the oil and gas industry. We have a strong company behind us, and CST is keen to expand through further mergers and acquisitions. With new shareholders recently having come on board, demonstrating a belief in the company’s potential; a focus on quality products rather than lower-cost options; and the nuclear industry’s continuing requirement for high-quality maintenance products, Crouzet Switches is n well-positioned for continued growth.”



The Italian Beltrame Group has been operating in the steel industry for over a century, producing rolled sections used in construction, shipyards and excavators. Laura Travierso talks to CEO Riccardo Garrè to find out more.

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eltrame’s production facilities, which have a capacity of approximately 3.2 million tonnes, include four electric furnaces and 10 rolling mills. These are scattered in seven plants located in Italy, France, Switzerland and Romania. Their geographical distribution is very advantageous, taking into account the areas where the products are sold and where raw materials are purchased.
The group has a commercial presence in all European markets as well as in the Mediterranean region through JVs, shares in local companies, agents or its internal sales force. All employees, amounting to approximately 2300 people, are strongly committed and motivated to satisfy its customers’ needs through constant improvements in production, organisation and level of service. “The company has been caught, as have all of its competitors, in the middle of the European crisis which has produced particu-

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larly negative effects on a sector plagued by a material excess of capacity,” said CEO Riccardo Garrè. “The management’s answer has been twofold. On one hand, the company has opted for enhancing the commercial proposition, by focusing its supply efforts on the most sophisticated side of industry. By leveraging its know-how and its knowledge of the industry, the company has been able to offer a more value added, hi-tech range of products. Also, Beltrame has decided to increase its supply of complementary services to its customer base in order to meet their growing needs and to preserve the strength of its commercial relationships. “On the other hand, in order to strengthen its competitive profile, the company has rationalised its production structure and its cost base. This was achieved through cutting staff costs and through the adoption of more energy efficient means of production.” Also, with the aim of optimising raw material

efficiency, the company is supplying its factories with 100 per cent cheap iron scrap. The group has become number one in its sector in Italy and a leader in the European market thanks to continuous innovation and the centuries-old culture of productivity and quality. These characteristics have brought the group to make strategic choices aimed at constantly achieving key objectives: high-quality products, environmental sustainability, the safety of its workforce and energy savings.

The green steel In line with the principle of sustainable development, the Vicenza plant has a system for the production of inert industrial aggregate made from slag resulting from the melting process in the electric arc furnace (EAF). The controlled production of slag, from the moment of its generation in the EAF to the processes that it undergoes in subsequent

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phases, aims to obtain an industrial aggregate with physical, chemical and geotechnical properties equivalent to those of the best natural aggregates such as quarry basalt. The BELTRECO aggregate is used in infrastructure construction and civil engineering, and more specifically in the foundations and embankments for roads and railways. The use of this product yields the double benefit of reducing the exploitation of finite natural resources, as well as lowering the amount of waste.
The inert BELTRECO aggregate (available in 0/40 and 0/90 ratios) is produced according to the technical specification EN 13242:2002, and is compliant with the 2+ certification system envisioned by EU Directive 89/106/EEC. The 2+

certification system requires the analysis of initial type tests (ITTs), the implementation of a production control system, and the presence of a Notified Certification Body. The latter is responsible for an initial visit to the plant and yearly monitoring, as well as the verification and certification of the production management system.

Protecting the future In order to support the principles laid out in its Quality, Health and Safety, and the Environment (QHSE) policy, all production plants have adopted an Integrated Management System. The management system has the goal of simplifying the process of identifying, tracking and evaluating results related

to QHSE in order to guide the continuous improvement process. “In the most recent past,” explained Mr Garrè, “the company has been able to once again increase its range of products dedicated to its customer base. This is a less standardised, more tailor-made offer thanks to a renewed stream of investments which have allowed us to offer a most sophisticated mix of solutions. The new strategy has allowed the Beltrame group to maintain its leading position.” In 2014 Beltrame Group obtained the Environmental Product Declaration, EPD®, related to the hot-rolled steel profiles and merchant bars manufactured in Vicenza (Italy) and Trith n Saint Lèger (France).

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A STRONG PARTNERSHIP The Feralpi Group, one of the leading iron and steel producers in Europe, has recently widened its commercial offer thanks to the acquisition of the Caleotto rolling mill in partnership with Duferco. Barbara Rossi reports.


he main business of the group – which is headquartered in Lonato del Garda, on the south-west shore of lake Garda in northern Italy – is the production of construction steel, mainly reinforced steel in bars and wire rod as well as electro-welded mesh. It is also active in cold work steel, metal carpentry, environment and fishing, as well as financial activities and investment management. This diversified organisation operates on an international scale and employs over 1300 permanent staff across Italy, Europe and Algeria. It has been present in Germany since 1992 and today also operates in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, where other production facilities are located, as well as in the previously mentioned Algeria. Here the group has been active since 2013, thanks to the acquisition of Feralpi Algerie, which was incorporated in order to better oversee the fast-growing market in steel consumption, both in Algeria and, more generally, throughout North Africa. The Feralpi Group’s steel output is in the region of two million tonnes per year. Steel is produced at the steelworks located in Italy (in Lonato del Garda and Calvisano, in the Brescia area) and Germany (in Riesa, Saxony). The group’s mission is to produce the best steel for the construction industry in the most sustainable way possible; in 228 Industry Europe

other words, reducing fuel consumption and emissions by the use of the best available technology, or by patenting new technologies thanks to an intense internal process of innovation and research. Feralpi uses scrap iron melted in electricarc furnaces to make steel billets, the intermediate product used by the group mainly for the production of steel for construction purposes. Since 2014, its production has also included special steels. The product range is extensive and includes lattice girders, spacer bars and shaped elements.

Group structure The main company within the group is Feralpi Siderurgica, but two other important Italian-based operations are Acciaierie di Calvisano and Nuova DE.F.IM. Acciaierie di Calvisano mainly produces common, quality and special steel billets. Nuova DE.F.IM specialises in making electro-welded mesh for buildings, and fencing and gates for professional, industrial and private use. As mentioned above, since the 1990s the group has been undergoing a process of internationalisation and investing in areas with a strong steel-making tradition. This has led to the establishment of the Feralpi Stahl brand, which today comprises the European leaders ESF Elbe–Stahlwerke Feralpi GmbH

and EDF Elbe-Drahtwerke Feralpi GmbH in Germany, Feralpi Praha sro in the Czech Republic, and Feralpi Hungaria KFT in Hungary; plus the trading company Feralpi Stahlhandel GmbH and the shipping company Feralpi Logistik GmbH. Moreover, Feralpi also includes S.C. Beta SA, which is located 110 kilometres north-east of Bucharest, Romania and whose core activity is the production of machines and equipment for the chemical and petrochemical industries, refineries, cement works and metal working factories. Recently the Feralpi Group has drafted a partnership agreement with Duferco for the acquisition of the Caleotto rolling mill, formerly part of the Lucchini group, and situated near Lecco, northern Italy. Caleotto and Duferco already work in partnership in the MediaSteel company, which commercialises iron scrap. Now the two companies also have a production partnership. Thanks to this enterprise, Duferco and Feralpi intend to develop other possible synergies for some products, both for improving the internal production cycle and for implementing other possible future acquisitions. At the Caleotto plant the two companies will roll steel billets manufactured by the two groups in the San Zeno Naviglio and Calvisano steel plants respectively. These two facilities are both based in the Brescia area. Thanks to

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ACQUATEC,, strengthened by its staff professionalism, is able to offer its clients a complete and tailored service for water cycle integral management, from drilling and lifting to treatment and distribution, as well as offering advice on customised system design together with a punctual and efficient maintenance service, which has undergone all the ISO 9001 Quality System verification processes. In terms of supply of new applications we offer a consultancy and analysis service, research and system configuration and construction. With regard to existing systems we are able to renovate them guaranteeing, during the replacement of the various components, a perfect interchangeability with the obsolete parts and, in this service, we also include the rebuilding of the existing low and medium voltage transformer rooms according to legislation. 25039 - Travagliato (Brescia) Via Averolda, 25/27 Tel. (030) 662261-2 Fax (030) 662263

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this acquisition, Duferco and Feralpi have been able to widen their commercial offer to include special steels. Another important piece of news is that Feralpi has acquired a 48 per cent share in Presider SpA and Metallurgica Piemontese Lavorazioni, both part of the Turin-based Ferrero Group. Both companies supply and install steel scaffolding for reinforced concrete and all

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related civil construction products. MPL is also active in steel construction. Geographically speaking, the two companies serve the Italian, French and Swiss markets.

Innovative, safe and responsible Responsibility, safety and innovation are the three essential elements of the Feralpi Group’s philosophy and success. In line with the motto

of the group’s founder, Carlo Pasini – ‘Working and growing through respect for man and his environment’ – each decision is based on the principles of the Feralpi Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility code. Performance is not only measured in financial terms, but also takes into account the contribution that the group makes to the environment and the communities in which

its businesses operate and of which they are a part. For this reason, for the past 10 years Feralpi has published a bi-annual sustainability report, creating complete transparency and an open dialogue with its numerous stakeholders. Relationships with stakeholders, both internal and external, are regulated by a code of ethics that represents the main reference tool for the development, deployment and management of work, and business ethics within the group. Feralpi is a member of the SOLIDAS foundation and has participated in the CSR and Social Innovation fair. As discussed, innovation is also extremely important for the group and Feralpi is involved in the area of applied research. Numerous projects have been launched in recent years and all the group companies focus on optimising their production processes. Safety, the environment and energy efficiency are crucial for Feralpi and a focus

for the group’s research activities. They are fully integrated with technology, quality and production improvement targets. As human resources are also central to the success of the group, Feralpi invests a significant amount in general and technical training at all of its sites, with a special emphasis on prevention and safety. The decision to promote in-house rather than external professional development is the result of a precise management policy aimed at staff retention. In terms of certifications, the group exceeds legal requirements and holds the UNI ED ISO 9001 and UNI EN 14001 standards, alongside the CARES certification for its Quality Management System and the ICM Q ECO Gold 0024 and the OHSAS 18001 certifications. Moreover, its standing is further enhanced by the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and

the SustSteel certification (Sustainability for Steel Construction Products Mark). In addition to all of this, it has been awarded the Ecogold quality mark, as a recognition of its achievements with regard to quality, occupational health, safety at work and n respect for the environment.

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INNOVATION THAT MOBILISES THE WORLD The Schaeffler Group is a globally integrated industrial supplier of high precision roller bearings, components and systems. These are principally manufactured for the automotive, avionics and global manufacturing industries. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at one of the world’s largest privately owned companies, its innovative products and strategy for future growth.


ince its foundation more than 120 years ago, Schaeffler has relied upon its pioneering spirit and high quality innovative products for its on-going success. Over the years, the company has been responsible for the invention of the ball-grinding machine, the development of the cage-guided needle roller bearing and the diaphragm-spring dual clutch for tractors. The group’s global brands include INA, LuK and FAG. Today the company is a major player in the roller bearing industry and a significant partner for virtually all of the world’s automotive manufacturers. Schaeffler is one of Europe’s largest technology companies to remain in family ownership. It has a worldwide network of ‘state-of-the-art’ manufacturing facilities, as well as research and development facilities in over 170 locations across 50 countries worldwide. 236 Industry Europe

In 2014 the Schaeffler Group generated sales of around €12 billion and employed more than 80,000 people. Today the company has over 27,000 international patents in force.

Strong global brands The Schaeffler Group has three well-recognised global brands – INA, Luk and FAG – and operates two key business divisions: Automotive and Industrial. The group’s main customer is the automotive industry to which it offers expertise and products for the entire drive train, including engines, chassis, transmissions and accessory units for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. In the industrial sector, the group’s INA and FAG brands produce over 40,000 high-volume products and cover over 60 sectors of the world’s

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manufacturing industries. The renowned Aerospace business unit of the industrial division also produces high-precision bearings for aircraft, helicopters and rocket engines, which are employed in the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Unrivalled global presence Today the Schaeffler Group enjoys an unrivalled global presence with 45 manufacturing locations in Europe alone. This is in addition to 12 in North America, two in South America and 15 in the Asia Pacific region. All the company’s facilities operate under the same high quality and environmental standards and are certified in accordance with established international guidelines. Last year, in the light of its growing international importance, the company reorganised and realigned its many operational regions. Following this decision, China was designated as a separate region and re-named ‘Greater China’. In addition, Korea, Japan and the countries in South East Asia were combined to form a new region: ‘Asia/ Pacific’. India also became part of the newly created region ‘Europe’,

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which includes not only Germany, but also the Middle East, Africa and Russia. Finally, the original geographic regions of North and South America have been combined into one region, the ‘Americas’. By 2014 the Schaeffler Group had generated around 23 per cent of its total global sales in the Asia/Pacific region. Given the future growth dynamics of the area the company expects to increase its share of the region’s sales to over 25 per cent this year.

Expanding distribution network Schaeffler AG recently announced that it is investing over €200 million in a new European distribution network with four key locations, which will include the construction of a new European Distribution Centre (EDC Mitte) in Kitingen, Germany. This new site is expected to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2016 and the new facility will employ over 250 people. In addition to the Kitzingen site, the European distribution network will also include a facility for northern Europe located in Sweden and another establishment in southern Europe in Italy. A further location

in western Europe is also planned. The construction of the European distribution centre is one of 20 such initiatives that make up the ‘ONE Schaeffer’ programme. The aim of this investment project is to modernise the Schaeffler Group’s European logistics activities. Rosenfeld said, “The expansion and modernisation of our European distribution network is of strategic importance for the Schaeffler Group. By approving this decision today, we are reaching a further milestone in the implementation of our ‘ONE Schaeffler’ programme. The excellent and constructive cooperation with our employee committees is a significant factor for success here.”

New technologies on display at Hannover Schaeffler roller bearings are at the heart of new technologies to be showcased at the Hannover Messe this year. These will demonstrate their increased performance, efficiency and intelligence. In addition to the perennial themes of economy and energy efficiency, the focus will also be on sensors, actuators and networking, as well as continuous condition monitoring. These are all key areas in the company’s new product development strategy. “The drive components with integrated sensor technology and smart actuators that we are presenting in Hannover are a prerequisite for networking machinery and plant, as well as for the control of autonomous processes in our customer’s value-added chain,” said Robert Schullan, member of the executive board at Schaeffler AG and president of Schaeffler Industrial. One of many new technologies featured at Hannover by Schaeffler is its new magneto-elastic FAG Torque measuring unit. This unique mechatronic solution from Schaeffler provides significantly more accurate monitoring and control of applications and processes. By offering solutions for bearings and subsystems Schaeffler is able to provide this unit as a special, ready-to-fit solution. Schaeffler is also presenting its innovative ‘screw-drives’ for electromagnetic linear actuators. This new PWG planetry screw-drive is paving the way towards ‘Smart actuators’, which are high efficiency linear actuators with minimum space requirements. This latest range of products is already being used in the automotive industry as clutch actuators. In another ground-breaking development, Schaeffler is presenting a new bearing design on its stand in Hall 22, Booth A12. This is the ‘toroidal’ roller bearing FAG-TORB in X-life quality. It is a roller bearing with angular adjustment in X-life quality, and combines the angular adjustment capabilities of the spherical roller bearing with the axial displacement of a cylindrical or needle roller bearing. TORB bearings allow the operational

reliability and cost-effectiveness of locating/non-locating bearing supports to be significantly increased. Possibly one of the most interesting developments from Schaeffler to be seen at Hannover is its comprehensive range of new roller bearing solutions. These new innovative products increase resistance to ‘white etching cracks’ in bearings and prevent premature bearing failure. White etching cracks are structural changes in the material that form below the surface of the bearing under the influence of extreme external loads.

Excellence rewarded From its suppliers, Schaeffler expects excellent quality, reliability, competitive cost structures, service innovation and a global presence. Recently the company’s top-performing suppliers were rewarded with a special presentation at the bi-annual Schaeffler Supplier Award ceremony at its headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. Today Schaeffler has 73 manufacturing sites worldwide and more than 1300 suppliers. Eighty suppliers from 22 countries were selected to attend the ceremony, of which, 14 were chosen in a preliminary selection process. Oliver Jung, CEO, Michael Hartig, executive VP corporate purchasing and Andreas Knoll, senior VP Corporate purchasing direct material, thanked the companies for their excellent work and presented awards to the following companies: AKS Amatsuji Steel Ball MFGCo Ltd,. Japan, American MSC. Inc. USA, BASF SE – Germany, CALVI SpA, Italy, Dongkuk Industries Co Ltd. Korea, Erdich Umformtechnik GmbH, Germany, Kamax Automotive GmbH Germanty, KSL Ljubno d.o.o. Slovenia, KOBE STEEL Ltd. Japan & Shinsho Corporation, Japan, Quzhou JW Machinery Co. Ltd. China,Reinhold Mendritzki Ka;twalzwerk GmbH, Germany, Salzgitter Mmannesmann Stahlservice GmbH, Germany, Zhangjiagang Hongyang Metaqlwork Manufacturing Co, Ltd, China, and Zhejiang Conntinents Xinchun Group Co Ltd. China. In his presentation at the award ceremony, Mr Jung discussed the expectations and opportunities for collaboration with suppliers. “Our strategic suppliers play an important role in the Schaeffler production system and support Schaeffler in achieving its high targets in terms of quality, costs and delivery reliability. With this aim, Schaeffler and its best suppliers will dovetail more closely in future in order to reduce inventories n and throughput times along the entire supply chain.” For further details of the Schaeffler Group’s innovative products and services visit: Industry Europe 239

NICHE MARKET LEADER Valbruna Stainless Steel is a leader in the steel industry as both a supplier and producer of stainless steel and special metal alloys. The company’s goal is to satisfy even the most sophisticated requests from the market place. The company is known internationally for its exceptional quality products which include stainless steels, tool steels, high nickel and titanium alloys.


albruna Stainless Steel was founded in 1925 by Ernesto Gresele in Vicenza, Italy. The company originally specialised in forgings, but by 1939 it had moved into the stainless steel products sector. From the beginning, Valbruna had a strategy of serving the niche markets and providing high quality products and services to its clients. It is a strategy that has served this successful industry leader well over the years. The company now supplies stainless steel to a variety of industries including energy, aerospace, pharmaceutical and petrochemical. Today, Valbruna, which is still privately owned, produces over 170,000 tonnes of high quality special steel and is one of the largest stainless steel bar producers in Europe. Its main production sites are still located in Italy – in Vicenza and Bolzano; however, it has grown substantially over its 80-plus year history and now sells more than 65 per cent of its product

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to clients outside of Italy. The company has over 1500 employees, 19 branches throughout Europe and 15 affiliates worldwide. Valbruna specialises in the production of the following items: hot and cold finished bars; hot rolled, annealed and pickled wire rod for redrawp; and cold drawn wire in coils. Special application products, such as solenoid quality steels, boat shaft quality round bars, welding wire rod and stainless steel reinforced bars, are also available. In addition to Valbruna’s stainless steel production, the steel industry leader also has over 50 years of experience with laminated and forged bar production.

Drastic changes ahead In view of the threat coming from the Far East, the company believes that in order to succeed in today’s economy it is essential to be able to serve the market very quickly and supply the

quality requirement that the customer asks for. According to Massimo Amenduni, managing director of Italy-based steel specialists Valbruna, stainless has now become a commodity and has to be treated as such. Because of the increasing number of customers going to South East Asia, China in particular, production is gradually disappearing in Europe and it is very likely that “we will probably ultimately end up with an economy based on trading and nothing else.” At the moment, Valbruna is not planning to open an operation in the Far East as the quality level is far too low. In addition, the cost of a joint venture is still very unclear to the group in terms of who would be doing what.

Investing in technology and the future Since its beginning in 1925, Valbruna has always employed the philosophy that quality is the most important feature of its products,

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even when competing against quantity. As such, the company has always invested in technology and advancements in its systems and processes to keep its production ahead of the competition. As an example, in 1976 Valbruna was the first company in Italy to commission a new four-strand continuous caster for use in the stainless steel sector. In addition, in 1997 it introduced ESR (Electro Slag Remelting) which complements the continuous casting and ingot pouring methods. At the time, the Valbruna facility was the first fully automated plant in the world operating in a protective atmosphere. Furthermore, Valbruna has doubled its cold drawn wire heat treatment capacity by installing a new line, commissioned a new

coils pickling line and started operations with a new four-line continuous casting system. The company has also invested in RMDS (Radioactive Material Detection Systems) and Portal Monitors to guarantee the safety of its workforce and customers against radioactive contamination.

A changing industry Due to the increasingly fast changes taking place globally, the company firmly believes that there will always be a need for steel but the question is where. Also, price and logistics will be the most important factors, because, although service to the customers will still play a crucial role, price is becoming the single major factor. According to Mr Amenduni:

“There will inevitably be more consolidation within the industry, which is the only way for the future.”

Safety and quality guaranteed Valbruna guarantees that all its raw materials come from established supply routes, and the company is stringent in demanding SAE/EHS official environmental statements from its suppliers to confirm the safety of the raw materials used. In addition, all of Valbruna’s production facilities are audited and approved to the latest ISO 9000, AS9100, D.N.V, Cares, Ontario, D.I.B.T, Augusta Westland approvals and TUV standards, which allows it to guarantee that all of its final products will meet the client’s expectations and suit their unique needs. n

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Alteams Group has just opened a new factory in Poland that will be the key to driving its European business to new levels. Peter Mercer reports.

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June of this year Alteams, the specialist in cast aluminium components for the communications networks and mechatronics sectors, officially opened its new manufacturing plant in Poland. Work on the 10,000m2 plant, at Lebork, in the Pomeranian region, began in 2013 and the first customer delivery was made earlier this year. All the essential processes for aluminium castings production are in place, including high-pressure die-casting, CNC, surface treatment, assembly and supply change management. Currently there are 80 employees at the plant and by the end of 2014 there will be over 100. Alteams plans to build sales from the plant to some €30m with 300 employees and expand the working area to 10,000m2. “The strategy behind our decision to build a factory in Poland was to improve our competitiveness in cost, flexibility and time to market as a local supplier of pressure die cast components to the European market,” explains Alteams Poland’s President Matti Huttunen. “Since 2002 Alteams has had manufacturing operations in China and since 2007 in India to serve our global customers but since those customers are indeed global in their operations, many are also major players in the European market. In the telecoms sector there is a fast growing demand for components for the next generation of net-

work infrastructure and in mechatronics the pressure to deliver much better energy efficiency is also driving growth. The amount of all wireless applications globally is forecasted to reach 50 billion by 2020. “Our Lębork factory will therefore play a key role in our growth strategy for our European business. It will be smaller than our Chinese plant but applies the same advanced technologies, more automation and will have a complete set of services. Poland is close to many of our key customers’ operations in central and eastern Europe and we can serve them from Lębork within 48 hours. The plant has good logistic connections, including also the seaport of Gdynia and the international airport at Gdansk. Poland was also an attractive investment choice because of its stable political and economic environment and the rapid growth of its economy. “Initially the plant will supply key customers in Europe in the communications networks sector and go on to supply mechatronics customers in the course of next year.”

Two business sectors Alteams Oy was established in Finland in 2002 through the merger of Laihian Metalli and Jyskan Metalli and the group later acquired the Swedish Stilexo, but the experience of its predecessor companies in casting goes all the

way back to the 1940s. Today the company is one of the biggest light metal foundries in Europe with some 1500 employees and a turnover of around €100 million. Its core business is the manufacturing of cast aluminium components for communications networks and mechatronics as well as related services such as design of castings and tooling and further processing of castings into assemblyready components. Globally, Alteams is the largest supplier of cast light metal components to the international telecom sector. Key applications for Alteams’ castings in communications networks include microwave radios, receivers and transmission units, high performance RF units, antenna mounted integrated units and power supplies. In the mechatronics sector applications cover frequency converters, electrical motors, inverters, hybrid converters, control units, human/machine interface, HV switch gears and professional LED lighting. The company’s mechatronics customers are leading international players in power electronics, renewable energy, energy transmission and distribution, drive technology, industry automation, marine engine and power generation, e-mobility and clean technology. The continued success of Alteams’ manufacturing operations is of course supported by the long-term relationships it has Industry Europe 245

built up with its key suppliers. Among these are such internationally recognised names as Bühler Group, suppliers of die-casting machines; Yamazaki Mazak which supplies CNC machinery; Fanuc for industrial robots and Arrow Engineering Oy which specialises in production monitoring systems.

Operations in Asia With the start-up of its Polish plant Alteams now has a total of six manufacturing sites, including three in Finland and one each in China and India. The Chinese factory, at Suzhou, is by far the biggest facility in the group and is the largest volume supplier in China of high-pressure die-castings for the communications networks sector. The Chinese operation was originally established in 2001 by Stilexo of Sweden and Tecknit of the USA and became part of the Alteams group in 2002 when Stilexo Industri AB and Stilexo-Tecknit (China) merged with Alteams Oy. The company built a new factory on the Suzhou site in 2005 which was further expanded in 2008. “Our Chinese plant also has a remarkable role to play in our future growth. Global

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telecoms companies have to be in China so Alteams has to be there too since components for networks are still the largest part of our business,” says Matti Huttunen. “But demand from the mechatronics sector is also growing fast and we see very significant potential there, particularly in industrial control systems, drives and energy saving applications. In fact, there is an increasingly wide range of industrial segments in which mechatronics are playing an ever more important role and that provides us with excellent future opportunities.” All the Alteams factories are supported by the company’s own mould manufacturing facility which is also located at Suzhou. Designers and manufacturing staff at Alteams Hi-Tech Tools work closely with production experts at all the company’s foundries to ensure that they have the benefits of the highest quality tools. Having this in-house mould-manufacturing facility enables the company’s foundries to meet short and reliable lead times and facilitates the confidential exchange of information on designs and IP rights. Alteams’ Indian operation Ashley Alteams was established as a joint venture with

Ashok Leyland in 2007 to manufacture cast advanced components for communication networks and commercial vehicle engines initially for Askok Leyland’s own consumption. Ashok Leyland is, in fact, an operation focused on producing commercial vehicles. Ashley Alteams moved into a new factory and started production there in 2009. An inhouse surface treatment facility was added the following year.

Complete package Alteams’ logistics centres are located in Finland and in Tallinn, Estonia, from where 24/7 support is delivered to customers in Europe and Asia. The company delivers to any part of the world in any mode required, from one-off packages to large consignments in shipping containers. Its delivery timetables are continuously updated through constant communication between its foundries, logistics centres, sub-suppliers and customers. If required Alteams can coordinate directly with customers’ sub-contractors. “We now have manufacturing plants in all our key markets and we are confident that we are excellently positioned to grow along with our global customers in both telecoms and mechatronics,” says Alteams Group management team member Mr Huttunen. “We are not just another sub-supplier bidding for one contract after another. We are focused on being the first-choice partner to our customers, helping them in long-term relationships with design, development and so on and not just manufacturing. We have such relationships with many of our customers in China and now our new plant in Poland will be central to our drive to offer customers in Europe the same combination of advanced technology, manufacturing efficiency, competitive n costs and effective logistics.”

Alcomet AD, a leading Bulgarian manufacturer of rolled and extruded aluminium products, is leveraging its competitive advantages in an attempt to extend its footprint from the Balkans to the rest of the Europe. Vanja Švačko took the opportunity to speak with Mrs Neli Toncheva, Alcomet’s sales director, about the company’s main areas of investment and approach to portfolio management.


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lthough the project to build up an aluminium processing plant was initiated much earlier, Alcomet was inaugurated in 1981. Since that time the company has been producing foils (household, technical, container foil), profiles (anodised and powder coated profiles), sheets and strips that cover cast, rolled, extruded and packaging products with an annual capacity of 65,000 tonnes at the present moment. The company’s production site covers an area of 370,000m2 in the city of Shumen and has 890 employees. More than half of Alcomet’s products are exported to Germany, Poland, Italy and North Africa. Over the past decade Alcomet has invested €75 million in production facilities that today consist of casting, rolling and extrusion shops. For its compliance with the highest quality management and environmental standards the company has been certified according to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and EN 15088:2005.

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A sustained investment cycle Alcomet’s history is that of ongoing investments combined with portfolio expansion and a growing market presence. Mrs Toncheva explains, “The consumption of rolled aluminium products in Bulgaria is insufficient in comparison to how much we can offer. With only 8 per cent of production remaining here and 90 per cent sold to our European customer base, our investments and product development are designed to pursue value growth to meet the quality standards of markets worldwide.” In 2012 Alcomet bought a new rolling mill from an Italian manufacturer, that has enabled it to increase its rolling capacity up to 30 per cent. Mrs Toncheva continues. Alcomet already has a strong presence on the foil market and we achieved 22 per cent of the European household foil market”. The new mill has given us an excellent opportunity to develop other products and to extend them to foil for heat exchangers (finstock), foil for

the automotive industry, flexible pipes, yoghurt lids and other packaging materials used in the food industry such as foils for lamination, printing, extrusion etc.” The next big investment, in 2014, was in a new 600-tonne press that has encouraged the company to look into a new market niche. Using this machine, it is now extruding small aluminium profiles weighing between 50 and 100 grammes per metre, where surface quality and surface treatment are of the utmost importance. The opening of new market segments has allowed Alcomet to upgrade its portfolio because the new extrusion press, along with an automatic cutting line and CNC machine, has allowed it to focus intensely on complex value-added extruded products. “We have invested in machines that can carry out additional processes, such as cutting, drilling, and so on,” says Mrs Toncheva. “We have also improved our anodising line,

SIAD SIAD is a leading Italian chemical group and supplies a full range of industrial, specialty, food and medical gases. SIAD is present in twelve European countries, with sales branches and production plants. SIAD Bulgaria is a proud supplier of Alcomet AD of a wide range of gases used in the whole production process. Gaseous nitrogen is used as a protective atmosphere for the annealing of Aluminum coils, while liquid nitrogen is injected directly into the Aluminum extrusion presses to improve product quality and extrusion speed. Argon is injected in the molten Aluminum bath for enhancing final cast quality, acetylene is used as a lubricant in different processes and CO2 is an important fire extinguishing agent. A whole number of compressed and packaged gases are also employed for different activities, from ordinary maintenance to extrusion dies nitriding.​

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for which the finishing operations and surface treatments are performed on the profiles for interior design. Special investment efforts in a powder coating line and anodising line will enable us to stand out from our competitors in the market and to move forward.”

Pursuing green solutions Aware of the increased demand for aluminium foil in areas such as the packaging and heat exchanger markets, Alcomet is intensifying its presence in the food, automotive and construction industries. Indeed, that is one of the future goals for the company – more value-added and finished products for these sectors, as well as the distribution of profiles in larger volumes than ever before.

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In addition, it should be remembered that the production of aluminium, a ‘green metal’, goes hand-in-hand with eco-awareness. Using aluminium helps companies to meet very strict environmental criteria and offer eco-responsible solutions. In addition to improvements in waste management, recycling, the reuse of aluminium scrap (melting furnaces) and the utilisation of by-products, several investments have recently been made in the installation of modern purification facilities and upgrading the waste water purifying station in the extrusion shop. “Creating a sustainable built environment is extremely important to us,” states Mrs Toncheva, “because of the direction we are

trying to take in introducing ourselves as a viable partner abroad. It is not all about consumption and profit; it is also about offering eco friendly products that can be energy and cost efficient.” Parallel to a successful business strategy, the company has implemented steps to ensure a sustainable social and economic environment. The company’s continuous initiatives are designed to support the educational, economic and cultural growth of Bulgarian society. Its ability to capitalise on its three decades of in-house expertise and growing market demands suggests that Alcomet is poised for significant growth in the years to come. n Visit:

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FROM SHAPE TO SOLUTION The Italian Calvi Group is a leader in the metallurgical and mechanical sectors. At this year’s Hannover Messe show it will be presenting some of its innovative processes for the manufacturing of customised steel profiles. Daniele Garavaglia reports.


he Calvi Holding is a group formed by 10 Italian and foreign companies, accounting for a total of 765 years of experience in the metallurgical and mechanical fields, with an aggregated turnover of €313 million (+8 per cent over last year), an estimated a gross operating margin of €27.2 million (€18.7 million in 2013) and 1400 employees. It was established in 2004 “to create value based on a network model, which develops synergies to provide its clients with products and solutions 252 Industry Europe

that are increasingly innovative and competitive,” explains Mr Riccardo Chini, president of this ‘pocket-sized multinational’ supplier. From its headquarters in Agrate, near Milan, Calvi Holding leads two different networks: Calvi Network Special Steel Profiles (including Calvi, Falci, Fiav, Siderval, Sipa, Cefival, Hoesch Schwerter Profile, and Rathbone Precision Metals), and undisputed global leader in the design and manufacture of special steel profiles based on customer

specifications; and Calvi Network for Material Handling (Lift-Tek Elecar and Lift Technologies), for the design, engineering and manufacturing of lifting units for forklifts.

The networking model wins again “Our subsidiaries located in Italy and abroad are the key to our entrepreneurial networkingbased model. This strategy enables each company to work independently but values their action and service, and allows for the sharing

of know-how and networking processes, technology and solutions. Instead of a hierarchical decision-making structure, our network model offers authoritative strategic coordination whilst leaving each company with the autonomy and independency to reach its own targets.” According to Mr Chini, “The world manufacturing industry is experiencing a growing demand for the deformation of long steel products and other special materials in order to bestow precise mechanical characteristics upon them, whilst maintaining their stability and reducing dimensional tolerance.” This is exactly the direction Calvi Group has taken through the different stages of its development: from the merging of Calvi and Siderval, two small group of companies that engineer and manufacture long steel products, to create an established specialist on the European market, through to

the incorporation of Hoesch Schwerter Profile, to widen the range of hot extruded products and acquire hot rolling capacity for large size profiles. Another important milestone was the strengthening of the group’s position in North America with the acquisition of Rathbone and the establishment of local production capacity, as well as the supply of vertical integrated solutions, from single profile to masts and complete front-end units for forklift trucks through the acquisition of Lift-Tek group.

Manufacturing plants in four countries The Calvi Group currently has manufacturing facilities in four countries (Italy, Germany, France and the USA), with marketing trends that depend on different process technologies (cold drawing, hot extrusion, hot rolling) and on the industries supplied. In Mr Chini’s words: “In

2014 cold drawing companies increased their activities by leveraging on recovered investments in sectors such as automation, special tooling machinery and systems for the automotive industry.” In these sectors, dimensional accuracy and close tolerances, smooth and scale-free surfaces, complex geometries and sharp edges, enhanced mechanical properties and metallurgical structure are important properties when it comes to choosing a profile. In fact, Calvi’s manufacturing capabilities and quality are based on the absolute reliability of its processing plants: a range of machinery that is perfectly calibrated in relation to the most complex manufacturing requirements.

Oil, gas & logistics driving growth “Companies manufacturing hot extruded profiles have enhanced their process flexibility

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in order to meet irregular demand, generated mainly from retro-fitting projects for energy production plants and system building in the oil & gas industries,” Mr Chini continues. In this field, Calvi quality means guaranteeing complex seamless sections, solid or hollow, limited tooling and prototyping costs, flexibility on minimum volumes, and a wide range of materials for highly demanding applications. “Our hot rolling facility in Germany has achieved positive growth thanks to the increased demand from the logistics sector.

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The same happened for our mechanical branch manufacturing customised lifting units for forklifts starting from hot rolled profiles.” Besides logistics, the railroad, agricultural machinery and automotive industries also rely on Calvi profiles for the superior mechanical properties of their components when submitted to particular stresses. The optimum performance Calvi offers for the metallurgical industry goes hand-in-hand with the growth of its mechanical network, for which Lift-Tek designs and manufactures

masts and integrated solutions for material handling. Its range includes masts, carriages, integral sideshifters, fork positioners, reach carriages and related components. Masts can lift weights of up to 15 metres with capacities up to 52 tonnes. Lift-Tek is a preferred supplier of all the most renowned OEMs.

Internationalisation and process innovation Exploiting its consolidated know-how, the Calvi Group has always shown a strong tendency towards internationalisation. Its strategy relies on a wide international network including an in-house sales team of 50 people, about 90 agents in 25 markets, and 40 local agencies. This dedicated team of staff promotes the group presence during fairs and exhibitions, such as the upcoming Hannover Messe. “We consider this fair to be an unmissable event. It is not because of the new and many profiles that are being displayed, but for the appraisal of investments and process innovations that we keep introducing in our industrial system. All of the companies in our group are working in this direction. Among the most significant innovations, I’d like to mention specific plants for the stretching of titanium alloys and the start of hot-extruded bimetal tubes,” concludes n Mr Chini.

MAKING THE MOST OF WASTE METALS Kuusakoski is a global leader in the recycling and refining of waste metals and plastics. Industry Europe looks at the range of ‘green’ technologies on offer from the company.


ince it was founded in 1914, the Finnish company Kuusakoski has been committed to recycling natural raw materials. Recycling and refining waste metals in an environmentally friendly manner has also been a priority at Kuusakoski since it was first established. Therefore the company has a vast amount of experience in the recycling and refining of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, as well as stainless steel and more recently plastics. To meet the growing needs of today’s modern manufacturing industries, Kuusakoski continuously invests in new technologies to optimise the supply of its recycled raw products to the Far East, Europe, the USA and the Nordic countries. The extensive facilities at Kuusakoski enable it to produce recycled materials in both small and large quantities to the precise composition specified by its customers to suit their individual manufacturing requirements. Kuusakoski also provides its customers with advanced logistics systems and expertise to ensure that there are no interrupted material flows in production or in its worldwide delivery services. The company has more than 100 operational locations worldwide, of which 20 are in Finland, with others in Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, the UK and USA, China and Taiwan. Today Kuusakoski is a global market leader that is capable of offering more dedicated, tailor-made solutions for its clients than many of its competitors. Kuusakoski supplies secondary steel and aluminium ingots to foundries and steel mills worldwide, as well as exporting aluminium, non-ferrous and plastic scrap materials to international markets.

Recycling of electrical goods One of the most difficult and often most neglected areas of recycling is that concerning electrical goods. This involves more complex procedures than the recycling of many other products. At an early stage, Kuusakoski realised that this trend in demand was likely to continue and invested heavily in the design and manufacture of specialised, environmentally friendly technology to address the growing global demand. A company spokesperson said, “As an independent, family owned business we are able to be more flexible than many of our competitors and believe that we also have the edge when it comes to our advanced technology for processing ferrous and non ferrous metals. Today our main focus in geographical terms is the US market where we are now well established in Chicago and Philadelphia. We are looking at the big picture for recycling there and in particular we have invested heavily in new technology for the recycling of electrical goods, where we see a global increase in demand. This is an area where we have a clear technological advantage. We have also recently opened a sales office in China, but most of our recycling operations are carried out at our major plants in Sweden, Finland, Russia, Denmark, UK and the USA. “As we go forward we are aware that the market is becoming more and more crowded due to the fact that it is a financially attractive market to be in. This is mainly because it is likely to continue to see strong growth for the foreseeable future. However, growth in the mature markets has now stabilised and it is the emerging markets, where recycling is still in its infancy, that the main growth will come Industry IndustryEurope Europe 255

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from in the future. As a result, our strategy is to go where recycling is still a relatively new industry. This means China, Brazil and South East Asia. We are also constantly monitoring world markets. In many cases you need to be well established in a country in order to understand and comply with the domestic legislation and local trading requirements. In fact, recycling is becoming very much a legislation driven business”

Greener recycling processes

provide a dedicated service where they can rely on the purity and composition of the products that they require from us for their industry. What is important to remember is that our strategy is customer focused and market driven. “We have a very strong global R&D presence and we also have the power to develop unique process solutions and products. In fact we see legislation as a friend, rather than an enemy as we are very well placed to n encompass it in any of our diverse recycling operations.”

Kuusakoski has always placed a high priority on its care of the environment and production processes. Today the company’s advanced environmental care systems form an essential part of its overall environmental management strategy. This is designed to create the most environmentally friendly procedures during its many recycling processes. Kuusakoski works closely with government and local officials, as well as industry experts, to continuously develop and improve its recycling systems. As one would expect, the company is accredited to ISO 9001 management standard, as well as to ISO 14001, the international environmental certification. According to the company spokesperson, “When it comes to processing efficiency, we believe that our well developed ‘clean technology’ facilities put us ahead of the field. It is the nature of our business and so has always been a priority for us at Kuusakoski. We also attend and contribute to, many conferences and seminars throughout the world and work closely with our customers to

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INNOVATION FORWARD 258 Industry Europe

Quadrant is a global leader in the development and manufacture of high-performance thermoplastic materials. It is at the cutting edge in the global drive to deliver lightweight plastic composites for the automotive, building and construction industries. With strong growth in the emerging markets, the company is expanding its capacity to meet the new demands from leading OEMs for stronger, lightweight materials. Philip Yorke spoke to Karl Heinz Kalmbach to find out more.


uadrant Plastic Composites (QPC) is located in Lenzburg, Switzerland and was founded in 1996 by three innovative plastic- engineering pioneers. It has since become a leading player in the global plastics industry. Entering into a strategic global partnership with Mitsubishi Plastics in 2009 further strengthened its global leadership position. Subsequently, in 2013 Quad-

rant AG became a fully owned subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Plastics group of companies. Using glass fibres, polypropylene and additives as its raw materials, the company produces patented, high-performance composite materials to its own formulations. Quadrant is globally active with six strategic locations in Switzerland, Germany, the USA, Canada and Japan. The main purchaser of these high

performance composites is the automotive industry, however, these innovative materials are being increasingly employed in the construction and capital goods industries.

New concepts Quadrant Composite Plastics ranks as the world’s leading manufacturer of thermoplastics reinforced with glass mats (GMT

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and GMTex). In the automotive sector GMT materials have a long track record for use in semi structural components of virtually all the world’s big-brand vehicle makers. Today the company is developing entirely new component concepts for future vehicle generations. The company’s SymaLITE and MultiQ products are leading the drive for high performance lightweight composite materials for a multitude of industrial applications. Quadrant Plastic Composites develops innovative solutions tailored to the specific projects involved in close cooperation with its partners and clients. The extensive range of services on offer for all-round technical support extends from a broad choice of materials, prototyping and component testing, to the planning of high volume production of thermoplastic components. 260 Industry Europe

Kalmbach said, “We have the benefit of unrivalled in-house R&D facilities and are focused on the development on new innovative concepts for the automotive and construction industries. Whilst most of our production is centred on the automotive industry for ultra strong, lightweight materials, we also see major growth potential in the construction industry. “Today there is a lot of pressure from global OEMs to meet the new specifications for the next generation of passenger cars and our materials can be used to advantage in all types of cars and engines. These cutting edge composites offer complete solutions in relation to strength and safety and we are dominant in the development of new applications for these novel types of thermoplastic materials. In many cases

our lightweight composite products are used instead of aluminium or metal parts in automotive production. “We also benefit from having a broad global footprint that covers all dynamic markets including Asia, the US and Europe. We also have local suppliers in all our key areas of operation. For example we serve the North American market from our facility in Canada, located close to the US border. We try to locate our facilities as close as possible to those of our OEM customers in the US, Asia and Europe. We have also invested heavily to increase our production capacity especially in Slovakia and China. We also continue to invest heavily in the development of products for new applications that combine plastic materials with metals.

“This means that manufacturers can utilise these combination products in assembly processes where you subsequently only require one part. Our latest innovative products will be showcased at the forthcoming Composite Trade Show in Europe and at the International Plastic show in China in April this year. In addition, we will be attending the Lightweight Vehicle Summit in Shanghai.”

Advancing industry standards From the outset, Quadrant has been focused on developing innovative products that advance industry standards. Today the company is helping its big OEM partners to reach

the world’s strict emission targets more easily. Regarding lightweight automotive engineering, the advantages of lightweight construction are clear and results in significant reductions in fuel consumption and emissions. In hybrid construction too, they meet the demanding structural requirements. At the forefront of these new composites are Quadrant’s material combinations in GMTGMTex-SymaLITE and GMT-steel. Used appropriately, these hybrid constructions offer the possibility of major CO2 reductions. Quadrant Plastic Composites is also focused on composite constructions where different processes and fibres are used. For







example, significant low-weight ratio’s have been achieved with various combinations of organo sheets with injection moulding technology or LFT processes. Organo sheets meet structural strength requirements in continuous operation as well as in component crash scenarios. One example of a current series production utilising different fibre composites, is the front end of the Ford Explorer Bolder, which features an organo sheet reinforcement n section from QPC. For further details of Quadrant’s innovative thermoplastic composite products and services visit:

the connecting line! Sostmeier GmbH & Co. KG. Im Westerfield 10 D-49504 Lotte

Tel: +49-5404-959-110 Fax: +49-5404-959-100

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UNSTOPPABLE LOGISTICS In the past decade Waberer’s International Pte. Co has earned a reputation as the leading logistics service provider in Hungary and in the whole of central and eastern Europe. The group has been continuously extending and updating its large fleet of vehicles and has recently established its first UK subsidiary to better respond to the increasing market demands in the British Isles. Edina Beale reports.

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ungary’s market leading logistic company, the Waberer’s Group, provides the full range of supply chain management services, with a focus on international road transportation and, additionally, road freight forwarding as well as oversize and overweight project cargo forwarding. Likewise, the group provides less-than-truckload transportation, warehousing, distribution and freight management, plus customs clearance, and air and sea freight forwarding. In particular, Waberer’s targets the fastmoving consumer goods (FMCG), electronics and automotive sectors, which all account for approximately one third of its turnover. It is partnered with many prestigious household names in the market including Electrolux, Samsung, Volkswagen, Whirlpool, General Motors, SCA Packaging and Samsonite.

Sustaining growth Waberer’s mid-term plan is to double its sales revenues by organic growth and through acquisitions. The company aims to achieve organic growth by continuously improving efficiency and by enhancing the exploitation of all markets.

Waberer’s International Pte. Co. establishes local companies in Europe’s most important trade hubs, in the proximity of its customers, while increasing the number of its employees at Waberer’s Deutschland, Waberer’s Polska and Waberer’s Slovakia which are already in operation. The new sites will refine the service portfolio of Waberer’s in order to completely fulfil the country-specific needs of customers.

Fleet expansion Another priority for the company is to continue the expansion of its fleet capacities. Last year Waberer’s acquired 1000 new DAF CF and XF trucks to renew its fleet. As a result of this new order nearly half of Waberer’s fleet of 3300 units will consist of DAF trucks. In December last year the first quota of the fleet of 120 new Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks was delivered. “In addition to the vehicle’s sophisticated technology, reliability and premium quality, the primary reason for choosing the latest Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks is that they ensure a high level of comfort and safety for our drivers,” said company founder and CEO, Mr György Waberer, at the ceremony of the new fleet delivery. “Our com-

pany is Europe’s FTL specialist and focuses on long-haul freight transportation. Our truck trailers transport the goods of our customers to an average distance of 1500km. A trip that can take up to several days and the tight schedule of the route plan requires immense concentration and work discipline from our 4000 drivers to whom we provide the best working conditions in return. From now on these include the latest Mercedes Benz cabs which are safe and have the most spacious cab size on the market.”

Connecting the British Isles to the Continent Waberer’s has been serving the British Isles and continental Europe for decades, with an ever-increasing market share. Manufacturing and commercial enterprises, including Unilever, DS Smith and Cooper Tire operating in the UK, choose Waberer’s freight services more and more often. The freight transported from the UK to the continent is primarily cosmetics, rubber goods, paper industry products and commodities, as well as recycling and waste management or tobacco goods. Tires manufactured in Britain are also transported

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frequently by Waberer’s. The company carries various automotive, electronics and paper industry products from continental Europe to the UK, such as motor blocks, suspensions, windshields, refrigerators and televisions. In the past few years, the demand for the company’s services in the UK has shown double digit growth; in 2013 figures revealed a 15 per cent increase compared to the previous year. At present the UK is one of the largest markets for Waberer’s, with over 15 per cent of total revenue derived from this market.

Optimum solutions In order to satisfy the increasing demand for its services in the UK and to offer the best possible solutions for its customers, in October 2014 Waberer’s established a subsidiary in the UK’s largest container port, Felixstowe. Currently the company transports on average 700 FTLs weekly to and from the UK’s industrial and commercial centres – that is in excess of 35,000 loads

per year. At present 80 per cent of the loads are transported to England, 15 per cent goes to Wales, under 5 per cent is to Scotland and the rest to Northern Ireland. “Thanks to our new subsidiary in Suffolk, we move closer to our customers and will understand their needs for transportation and logistics services even better. This is essential so we can provide optimum services to all our British clients,” said Mr Ferenc Lajkó, deputy

CEO, at the opening ceremony. “We have appointed a local expert to lead Waberer’s UK Limited. Owing to the decades of experience Mr Dougles French has acquired in the management of the largest local logistics companies, customers will receive a personal guarantee for the quality of the services we can provide.” He added that he expects double growth figures in the medium term from n the new head in the UK.

Eurotunnel leads the way with additional capacity and security for hauliers Eurotunnel will deliver extra terminal capacity for hauliers from the summer of 2015, with c200 extra spaces in Folkestone and 370 secure spaces in Coquelles. The company has also ordered 3 new freight shuttles, enabling it to run up to 8 departures an hour from 2017. The first of the German built, 32 truck capacity shuttles will be delivered in late 2016. Any further information, please contact Eurotunnel freight Commercial teams on +44 (0) 1303 282 244 or visit

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Aspocomp is a global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced, HDI printed circuit boards. The company focuses on developing products for high-end applications such as mobile devices and telecommunication networks. Following investments in new technology, and a major restructuring programme, the company is now in a strong position to increase its market share and expand its global reach as Philip Yorke reports.



spocomp was formed as a result of a series of small acquisitions by an electronics arm of the multi-faceted business company: Aspo plc. After achieving significant growth in the late 1990s it became listed as a separate corporate identity. Technical milestones included the manufacture of the world’s first Teflon PCB and the first laser- produced PCB. Today the Aspocomp Group remains a leading producer of advanced PCBs in Europe. It offers extremely fast deliveries for all prototype, ramp-up and exceptional PCB needs. The

Aspocomp Group is a leading global player in the PCB market with over 3500 employees and a turnover of more than €21 million. Aspocomp has subsidiaries and affiliate companies in Finland, Sweden, Germany, India, China and Thailand. The company’s main manufacturing plants are located in Finland, China, India and Thailand. It leads the field in the production of high density interconnection (HDI) PCBs with multiple stacked build-up layers, as well as complex, high-frequency circuit boards and PCBs with component cooling features. From its

modern plant in Finland the company is able to offer first class technical capabilities with fast prototype and small series deliveries, backed by its comprehensive laminate material portfolio.

New lean strategy Recently Aspocomp announced strong sales in the first half of 2014 with deliveries slowing a little in the second half. As part of the company’s sharpened strategy to become more efficient and to improve customer services, it took the strategic deci-

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sion to centralise its R&D and manufacturing facilities at its Oulu plant in Finland. “Under this renewed strategy Aspocomp focuses on improved services and closer cooperation with customers. We strive to make every effort to facilitate and assist our customers with optimised technology solutions and printed circuit board supplies, by utilising cost-effective and competitive, high-volume production lines in Asia.

“High-speed design, short lead times, flexible production and customised products are characteristic features of our R&D series. These products will be mainly delivered from Finland, where we will continue to invest in, develop and maintain the latest and most demanding production technology. “Customer base expansion has been our main focus since 2014 and will reduce our dependence on individual customers and market segments. Acquisition of new customers will continue to play the key role in the future and our goal is to build a more diversified and demand-stable customer base over the next few years,” said Mikko Montonen, Aspocomp’s CEO.

grammes. The company’s main customer base includes businesses involved in the design and manufacture of telecom systems, industrial and automotive electronics and healthcare systems. Aspocomp’s PCB trading services include a selection process for identifying the most suitable high-volume manufacturer and the provision of technical specifications of the product, as well as a wide range of quality assurance and logistics services. This unique combination of value-added features enables Aspcomp’s customers to cost-effectively buy their PCBs from a single provider over the entire life-cycle of their product.

Value-added trading services

From its state-of-the-art facility in Oulu, Aspocomp maintains its position as a leading global player offering advanced, complex PCBs to some of the world’s biggest OEMs. These include Continental Automotive, Erricsson, Incap, Nokia, Siemens Networks, Teleste and Wabco. A continuing programme of R&D

Aspocomp markets and manufactures a range of advanced high-density interconnection HDI-PCBs and also offers a wide selection of design and logistics services. This is in addition to high-volume trading services and value-added customer pro268 Industry Europe

Innovative technology

investment has resulted in a new generation of innovative products in focus areas such as HDI with multiple stacked build-players, high layer count multi-layers, RF applications and metal-back heat sink PCBs. Further investments have also been made in the company’s laser imaging capabilities. In addition to its culture of quality and technological innovation, the company also excels when it comes to production speed and is probably the fastest producer of advanced PCBs in Europe. The scale and scope of the company’s facilities at Oulu, Finland also enable it to offer customers short lead times and faster turnaround.

Eco friendly production Aspocomp has always prided itself on its care for the environment and its eco-friendly manufacturing processes. The company is committed to continuously reducing any adverse environmental impacts by cutting emissions, conserving natural resources and using the best available and economically viable technologies. The environmental compliance of all the company’s plants is managed with an ISO 14001 certified system. Aspocomp can also supply its customers with detailed material reports that itemise the chemical elements and compounds used in each PCB. The company is also a pioneer in the processing of PCB materials suitable for lead-free soldering. In order to achieve and maintain these high environmental standards, the company trains its employees regularly and works in constant collaboration with its customers, the authorities and stakeholders. Aspocomp believes in ethical conduct throughout all of its operations and places great importance on creating manufacturing facilities that are n ecologically sound. For further details of Aspocomp’s advanced innovative products and services visit: Industry Europe 269


HAUSER is a turnkey supplier of refrigerated display cabinets and refrigeration systems, with its headquarters in Linz but sales success far beyond the Austrian borders. Julia Snow reports.


years of experience, a reputation for innovation, as well as high quality levels – this is what the brand HAUSER stands for in the market place. Reliability, sustainability and functionality are the key words in the philosophy of the company, which generated a turnover of €136.2 million last year and currently has approximately 615 employees. HAUSER’s export share stands at 69 per cent. Customers around the world are provided with a single-source service as well as innovative, energy-efficient refrigeration solutions.

Manufacturing and distribution capacities Supermarkets, cash and carry outlets and discount stores are Hauser’s biggest customers for deep-freezing cabinets, serve-over counters, as well as multi-deck and integral display cabinets. Hauser also sells refrigeration systems, insulating panels and cold room doors for industrial premises such as meat factories and delivery depots. A particular speciality lies in its attention to individual customer needs and a short delivery time owing to flexible production methods.

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Hauser’s independent sales offices in Austria, Germany and the UK deal with customers directly. The company also has a wide network of service engineers, and a Europe-wide special 24-hour hotline. There are two main production plants: The factory in Austria, at Sankt Martin im Mühlkreis, has an area of 13,500m2 for the production of refrigeration cabinets as well as being equipped with four test rooms for extensive product testing in-house. In addition, a factory in Kaplice, Czech Republic, was set up in 1990, which led to the company’s strong position in central and eastern European markets. The plant is located within a 40-minute drive from the head office, so it is closely integrated with the rest of the company.

LED lighting Customers expect a lot from the presentation of goods at the point of sale these days. One way to enhance the visual impact of refrigeration is through LED lighting, so Hauser has introduced LED lighting in units such as its Regius display cabinet for meat and dairy products. LED lighting is now also offered as standard on the serve-over cabinets. This kind of lighting has important advantages, as it consumes less electricity and brings less heat into the cabinet. The retail sector increasingly uses colours for displaying fruit and vegetables as a way to reiterate freshness. To ensure that it can meet the growing demand for the attractive presentation of food products in colourful refrigeration units, Hauser has installed a fully automated painting line.

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Cisaplast In order to offer Hauser’s customers the most advanced solutions, it’s important to have close partnerships with suppliers of strategic components, having a big impact on the overall performance of the whole cabinet. Cisaplast is definitely one of those. Based in Italy, having more than 50 years’ experience in producing glass doors, this company is giving an important contribution with Energy Saving products such as the actual Cisa90 and the upcoming Cisa100, a virtually ZERO ENERGY solution for Frozen cabinets. For Chilled cabinets, Cisa20 (sliding) and Cisa19 (hinged) systems are ensuring high insulation and savings without compromising the products visibility.

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Eco ES system HAUSER is also a strong partner when it comes to minimising the Total Cost of Ownership. Energy efficiency is a key driver, and HAUSER’s ingenious Eco ESsystem enables supermarkets to save energy by using the heat that is discharged by the refrigeration cabinets to heat the whole of the building: the heat that comes out of the refrigeration system is fed into a heat exchanger in the store. The company has the capacity to provide customers with turnkey solutions, including planning, delivery and installation. With the Eco ES system, all sorts of temperatures can be visualised on a PC monitor: there is even a module that picks up the weather forecast and synchronises the system with it.

The MERANIS IMM-XL deep-freezing cabinet Last year HAUSER set new standards in goods presentation with the MERANIS IMM-XL deep-freezing cabinet. Described as ‘So cool. So beautiful’, it combines energy-efficient technology with attractive design. Direct integration of the shop-around end in the long island ensures a visually coherent design and simplifies installation. Glass covers come in curved and flat versions, with push or slide openings. The new Clear Ice Push3 version (a three-part, curved glass cover that slides within itself and has no central support) makes access to products particularly easy. The new deep-freezing cabinet has already been installed at Burkl in Dachsbach, one of the first carbon-neutral supermarkets in Germany.

Innovations at EuroShop 2014 The company is poised to unveil numerous innovations at the EuroShop 2014 trade fair. These will include versatile new refrigerated serve-over counters from the Varius series, which adapt flexibly to specific customer needs. Highly efficient refrigerated multideck display cabinets from the Renima, Rebas, Regius and Regas series, which feature new designs and wide-ranging configurations, will also be shown. All HAUSER cabinets can be configured individually to accommodate many market sizes and applications. The Meranis, Museta and Mirengo deep-freezing cabinets also promise new functions, design elements and energy saving measures. In the field of systems engineering, HAUSER deploys modern technologies that include integrated systems to utilise waste heat from refrigeration systems and carbon dioxide as a n natural and environmentally sound refrigerant for the future.

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Ekamant AB is a market leader in the design and manufacture of advanced coated abrasives for the world’s wood industry. Philip Yorke looks at an innovative company that continues to set new standards and win market share in a highly competitive market. Industry IndustryEurope Europe 275


kamant is one of the world’s leading producers of coated abrasives for the wood industry. The company was founded in Markaryd, southern Sweden in 1928 and today its products are sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. Around 90 per cent of Ekamant’s sales come from global export sales. Today the company employs more than 500 people and has an unrivalled international network of dedicated local agents and distributors.

Diverse applications Ekamant’s coated abrasive products are sold directly to distributors as well as to a diverse range of manufacturers in the wood industry. These include furniture makers, boat-builders, producers of kitchen cabinets and wood flooring manufacturers. Ekamant products can be found in large industrial manufacturing plants, as well as in small woodworking businesses from China to the USA. The company’s product portfolio continues to expand to meet the changing needs of the market and it now produces abrasives for the preparation of car bodywork and for use with composite materials such as fibreglass. Ekamant’s products are designed to be used by the wood industry in the form of wide or narrow belts or discs. At its extensive manufacturing facility in southern Sweden, the company produces abrasives in ‘Jumbo’ reels, before sending them on to conversion plants throughout the world. Globally, Ekamant has subsidiaries in Indonesia, China, Poland, Estonia and South Africa as well as the USA. The company recently announced that it has established a new subsidiary in Moscow, Russia, which is a market destined to play an important role in Ekamant’s future sales.

Increasing global reach In addition to its existing distributors worldwide, Ekamant has appointed a new distributor in Morroco, which is a leading abrasives converter for the Morrocan market. Abraforme is based in Casablanca and will be the

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exclusive distributors of Eakamant products in the region. The company is a leading producer of abrasive belts, rolls and sectional belts that utilise a wide range of materials for use in the glass, wood, metal and stainless steel industries. Further a-field, Ekamant has entered into a new distribution agreement with S&G Abrasives of Aukland, New Zealand. This company was established in 1973 and has been appointed as Ekamant’s business partner in New Zealand. S&G has extensive expertise and experience concerning coated abrasives and has a major presence in the New Zealand market. Furthermore, Ekamant has also increased its presence in the Middle East with the appointment of a new distributor in Bahrain. Modern Abrasives will act as distributors for the markets of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The company’s production facilities will cover the full conversion of all Ekamant’s abrasive materials. One of the most important developments recently has been the merger between Ekament Production AB and Ekamant Scandinavien AB in 2014. This has already resulted in improved efficiency and therefore today Ekamant AB is the only legal entity.

Innovative new products Ekamant has always placed a high priority on its commitment to produce innovative products that meet the individual needs of its customers. With the on-going growth in demand for polished wooden flooring, the company has developed a high-performance abrasive with an aluminium oxide grain coating. This is designed for sanding floors made of hardwood species such as oak, cherry, walnut and beech. As these parquet floors become more popular, the company developed its ‘Clearcut’ range to meet the new demands for hardwood flooring in Europe. More recently, Ekamant launched its ‘EKA GOLD’ range, which is available in blocks, pads and super pads to meet a wide range of new industrial applications.

Investing in sustainability Ekamant takes its responsibilities concerning sustainability and the environment very seriously. The company has been working in close cooperation with E.ON Energy on new initiatives to reduce energy consumption and waste products at its main production facility in Markaryd, Sweden. The modernisation of its main plant is designed to increase efficiency and to significantly reduce energy consumption throughout its manufacturing processes. This new initiative will reduce Ekamant’s energy consumption at its primary production plant by 1000 Mwh/year. Furthermore, in another joint investment project with E.ON Energy, the company will harness the waste heat that leaves the company’s manufacturing processes and turn it into heating for local residents. Ekamant in cooperation with E.ON also plans to convert its whole heating system from oil to remote heating sources, which will reduce its energy requirements by a further 500 Mwh/year.

High quality materials Quality control is at the heart of Ekamant’s value chain and it is therefore most careful in its selection of raw materials. In order to produce the highest quality abrasives the company relies only on the highest quality materials. This applies to all its components, which are divided into three key groups. The first group involves backing materials, which consists of special paper fabrics. The second group of raw materials are binding agents, the most common of which are urea or phenolic resins. The third group relates to the abrasive grain, which is the working part of the abrasive material. This is usually made of aluminium oxide, silicon, carbide and also other special products such n as zircona.

Know- how & automation are both High quality criterias: major assets for the company • Raw cotton is chosen with greatest care FILATURES ET TISSAGES DE SAULXURES coming from Central Asia & US. SUR MOSELLOTTE group Incopar France. • Our internal lab carried out a large number of test continuously (regularity, FTS runs 1 spinning and 1 weaving unit resistance, metric counting…) with high technical performance for the • Our Label “Made in Vosges” is a production of industrial fabrics. Our Cloths guarantee of the highest standards. • Weight, resistance and thread count are find applications for abrasive coating closely analysed. supports, special textiles for cable lining, or any other industrial use. Our facilities include an 8000m² automated Textile group Incopar means: weaving unit specialising in Open End yarns of the textile group. The 3 spinning units • 3 Spinning produce around 1100 tonnes of yarn per • 4 Weaving month, amounting to 4 million lineas meters • 2 Manufacturing per month. Our strength & technical performance: • Production of individual tailored coating At a time when change is the only constant, FTS is looking forward to provide stable supports. business and innovative solutions.

For further details of Ekamant’s innovative abrasive products and services visit:

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GLOBAL AMBITIONS With a longlasting experience, the TWE Group is one of the world leaders in the development and production of nonwovens for a wide range of industry applications. Victoria Hattersley spoke to Hugo Christiaen, member of the management team of the TWE Group, to find out about the company’s production profile, a recent major acquisition and its plans for future global expansion.

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his year saw one of the most significant milestones in the TWE Group’s recent history, and a major step forward in its international expansion strategy, when it acquired the US company Vita Nonwovens (effective retrospectively from 1 January 2015). Vita Nonwovens LLC is a recognised manufacturer of nonwoven materials previously belonging to a private equity investor. It has sites in Fort Wayne (Indiana), High Point (North Carolina) and Schertz (Texas), with whose help it will expand the TWE Group’s expertise in the North American market. According to Mr Christiaen, “Vita Nonwovens LLC’s core competencies – the development and manufacture of functional nonwovens always tailored to our customers’ requirements and produced individually – and the geographical locations of the three sites make the company a perfect member of the TWE Group. This will allow us to meet

customer requirements even more efficiently in the future and set new standards for the quality of the TWE Group products. More than 1300 staff are now working hard together to make use of the development capacity and turn innovations into reality.”

Background and structure Before going on to look at the products and innovations TWE offers to its customers throughout the world, it’s worth pausing to take a look at its current structure. Originally established in 1912, it has seen its most significant growth since the late 1990s. After the acquisition of various companies in Germany in this decade, a production facility was set up in China in 2007. This was followed, in 2012, by the acquisition of the Belgium-based nonwovens producer Libeltex. Mr Christiaen tells us: “This was especially important because before

this point TWE was only really present in Germany, but after this it had a broader European presence. And now, with the acquisition of Vita Nonwovens, it has gone all the way from being a smaller German group to an international player.” Today, the group has a total of 12 plants across Germany, Belgium, France, Sweden the US and China. Its total revenue amounts to around €400 million and it employs more than1300 people (including the 200 recently added from the US acquisition).

Production technology The world of textile production is divided into both traditional textiles and nonwovens, the latter of which has only been in existence for around 30 years. Today TWE focuses solely on nonwovens and continues to lead the field when it comes to pioneering, innovative products and technologies.

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Over 30 years trusted partnership with Libeltex standing for: Consistent quality Flexible delivery times and service Reliable supplier and partner Ultramodern production base Excellent Craftsmanship Van Hollebeke Paul Etn NV | Oostnieuwkerkesteenweg 207, B-8800 Roeselare T: +32 51 22 95 95 | F: +32 51 24 14 22 | E:

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Industry Europe 281

The production of nonwovens takes place in three basic stages: web formation, web bonding and finishing treatments. Within these there are three different web formation methods – drylaid, spunmelt and wetlaid – although TWE only focuses on drylaid. There are many different bonding methods, including chemical, thermal and mechanical. According to Mr Christiaen: “We use all of these bonding methods at various points but not all of them are used at every one of our plants.”

The TWE Group’s nonwoven products fall into seven distinct application groups: Hygiene, Medical, Mobiltech, Filtration, Building & Construction, Wipes and Comfort. For the first of these, Hygiene, the company produces mainly unique three-layer ‘Slimcore’ ADL (Acquisition Distribution Layers) as well as top sheets and back sheets for baby, femcare and adult incontinence

products. Its products enable customers to produce considerably thinner diaper layers, reducing transportation costs and providing a competitive edge. For its Medical nonwovens, TWE focuses on three areas: OCP (Orthopaedic Cast Padding) bandages, wound care products and disposable gloves for hospital use. It is, for example, one of the European leaders in wash clothes, with highly advanced needlepunched nonwoven production facilities. When it comes to its Mobiltech division, TWE mainly serves the automotive industry where its products find hundreds of applications. As technical components its nonwovens (produced under brand names including Caliweb, QuietWeb and AeroFil) can soundproof, seal and filter. They can be placed in car boots, used for seat heating products and much, much more besides. The Filtration division has two main enduse areas: air filtration and liquid filtration.

TWE Group Management, Jörg Ortmeier (COO) and Ralf Berens (CCO)

Hugo Christiaen, member of the management team of the TWE Group

Production profile

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Products can provide secure filter action and durable performance in spray booths, vacuum cleaner bags and filters, kitchen hoods and so on. Meanwhile, in the Wipes division, TWE produces a wide variety of household cleaning wipes in many colours. The group is able to meet even the most stringent customer demands when it comes to anti-bacterial features, coating and refining processes. Building & Construction is playing an increasingly important role in the TWE Group’s overall production portfolio. When it comes to this, it would probably be quicker to list the areas of the home in which its nonwovens aren’t used, so many and varied are its applications. To put it as succinctly as possible, the group offers solutions for effective thermal and acoustic insulation in all areas of the house, both interior and exterior. To give just one example, Mr Christiaen tells us: “In swimming pools in France it is common not to use tiles but PVC. But in

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order to protect the PVC foil you have to put a protection layer in-between that and the ground. That is where we come in.” The final division is Comfort. Here TWE makes nonwovens for three separate application areas: furniture, bedding and apparel. Under its Isosoft label, the company offers a broad spectrum of durable and sustainable insulation with high performance when it comes to weight, coating, layer structure and fibre strength. As an example, it might make the layer that sits between the leather and foam cushion on a sofa. Within each of these units, Mr Christiaen tells us that “we can do both standard and customised products but more and more we are finding we have to customise them. R&D is therefore very important for us if we want to remain successful for years to come. We need to be inventive and come up with new solutions so we work very closely with both our customers and suppliers to come up with the right products.” All TWE’s production plants are certified according to the ISO 9001 standard. In addition, its German plants hold 50001 energy management certification and the group is working on rolling this out across all its global sites in the near future. The emphasis the company places on quality can be seen from the fact that it regularly receives prestigious awards: For example, in 2014 it won a coveted Ontex Award for ‘Excellence in Customer Service’.

The group regularly attends some of the world’s leading trade shows in order to showcase its products and solutions. For example, in March this year it was present at Filtech and also exhibited at the Bau building & construction show in Munich. Later this year it can be found at Techtextil in Frankfurt, where it will be concentrating mainly on its Mobiltech and Construction business areas. The week after they will exhibit at the Anex fair in Shanghai.

Continued leadership and quality As a leading global player, TWE is aware of the need to continue expanding its footprint in order to offer a better service to its clients. The above-mentioned US acquisition will allow it to do just that, by increasing the number of products it is able to offer this market. Mr Christiaen explains the reason for this: “For some of our products, logistics costs are an important factor. For example, when it comes to our Hygiene and Mobiltech prod-

ucts, which are very lightweight, we can supply anywhere in the world – even as far away as New Zealand. But for areas such as our Comfort products, the logistics costs are much higher which restricts us in terms of where we can sell them. Establishing production bases in strategic locations is the obvious solution. We want to strengthen our presence in Asia and the US and at the same time we will continue to streamline our operations and look for synergies. It’s a two-pronged approach.” He concludes by describing the current business ethos of the group: “In recent years we have moved firmly away from purchasing raw materials based on price alone and are now focusing only on higher added-value products. We’re not a ‘bread and butter’-type business, as innovation and meeting customer demands is more important to us than price. We build on strategic partnerships: that is how we will continue to survive and indeed thrive in n this environment.”

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A Abbey Masterbatch Accenture Acquatec Addcomp Holland Ahlstrom AHT Cooling Systems AIRTEC Pneumatic AkzoNobel Alkim AMA Service Amiantit Poland Antonioli Impianti Aquasystems International Arizona Chemical Artus Spedycja Assel ATEV Atotech AVK Gummi Axalta

E 149 175 232 261 116 188 69 168 188 25 138 230 31 152 202 45 198 269 34 124

B BASF BASF BASF BASF Bongioanni Bühler AG

88 117 131 283 110 246

C CAAC Pioneer Logistics 5 Carcano Antonio 63 CB Packaging 157 CEOCO 170 Cherubini 134 Cisaplast 272 Closure Systems International 167 Machinery (Germany) Consorzio Casalasco 172 del Pomodoro Constantia Flexibles International 168 Coveris 176

D Dallan DBC DB Schenker Delta Demi Capital Derma d.d. Domo Engineering Dongkuk Industries

135 222 249 158 225 211 43 237

Elettromeccanica Ghioni Elton Group Envases Epurex Films ERG System Eriwood Euro Tunnel Freight Evonik

J 43 124 176 217 203 119 264 63

F Far Eastern New Century Corporation FGinox FiberVisions Filatures & Tissages Firmenich First Quality Nonwovens Flextrus F.lli Facchinetti Flumec Fob-Decor Sp. z o.o. Foboha GmbH Fonderia Ghise e Acciai Speciali Fornaci Calce Gruppo Grigolin Frana Polifibre

281 37 280 277 181 214 216 123 52 206 165 242 234 285

G GAP Gervasoni GI-FE Srl GKN Sinter Metals GreenFiber International Gretsch-Unitas GmbH

231 44 44 60 280 123

H Henze 141 Hódtrans 94 H&R Group 183 Hubox S.C. 202 Hyundai Heavy Industries Inside front

I IARP 169 IMA 173 IMEB 233 Impianti Novopac 177 Impex-Barter 257 Index 24 Inovan 78 Inprojal Elektrosysteme 131 iObeya Outside back ITA.C.A. s.a.s. 102

Jacob Holm J. Schneider Elektrotechnik

R 216 144

K Källbergs 195 Kirchhoff & Lehr GmbH 99 KLH Kältetechnik GmbH 69 KLK Oleo 186 KLS Ljubno 238 Kostal Kontakt Systeme GmbH 82 Kraton Polymers 215 K+S Kali 171

L Lindal Group 180 Lohnpack 153 LQ Mechatronik-Systeme GmbH 70

M Magnesio & Metal 78 Mare 180 Matrices y Moldes JFM 78 Mawex GmbH 125 MB SpA 5 MB Wesolek 110 MEC-PLAST 44 Megadyne 102 Metalleghe SpA 227 Mito Polimeri 43 Mondi Inside back

N Nalco Italiana Srl National Label Company NCO SpA Neokem Neptun Gears Noyfil

234 185 124 57 91

52 145 284

P Pea&Promoplast PEI Srl Pfeiffer Praxair Primetals Processfilter Pulver

174 102 145 82 230 156 133

91 232 156 113 107

S Sanmount Scan Global Logistics Scherdel SIAD Group Silca SpA Silon Simex SOEX Group Sontara Sostmeier SP Berner Sun-Wa Technos Europe GmbH Sumida Synthomer

165 215 83 251 78 284 107 280 216 261 174 66 78 280

T Taplast SpA teamtechnik Group Tecnosider Refrattari Tecno Turning Tereos Syral TER HELL Tetra Pak Thiel & Hoche Tondini Torchiani Trioplast Tuby K. Jakubowski TWE Group

176 70 232 52 187 153 178 249 226 242 217 207 116

U Universal Oil

O ODE Srl Oerlikon Omnova

Radici Group Railfer Regent Neotex RLS Wacon Rozzi SpA


V Valio Hamburg GmbH & Co. KG Vallon Van Hollebeke Paul Etn NV Versilia Acciai Viappiani Printing

195 222 280 102 184

W Warmińska Worlée

217 168



Articles inside

Leader in refrigeration systems HAUSER

pages 272-276

Pioneers in abrasives technology Ekamant

pages 277-279

Adding value to high-tech PCBs Aspocomp

pages 268-271

Unstoppable logistics Waberer’s

pages 264-267

From shape to solution Calvi

pages 254-256

A strategic focus Alcomet

pages 249-253

Positioned for continued growth Alteams

pages 246-248

Making the most of waste metals Kuusakoski

pages 257-259

Driving thermoplastic innovation forward

pages 260-263

Niche market leader Valbruna Stainless Steel

pages 242-245

A strong partnership Feralpi Group

pages 230-237

Innovation that mobilises the world

pages 238-241

A long-term success story Beltrame Group

pages 225-229

Pioneers in healthcare solutions

pages 214-221

Investing to meet demand Crouzet Switches

pages 222-224

From field to table Agrokor

pages 210-213

Protecting local brewing tradition

pages 202-205

Focused on premium brands

pages 206-209

Poultry perfection Her-Csi-Hús

pages 198-201

New climate for prawn production Findus

pages 195-197

A sustainable future for P&G Procter & Gamble

pages 162-167

Unilever: Innovating for sustainability Unilever

pages 168-191

Clean and green Drylock Technologies

pages 156-161

Leading energy player Gas Natural Fenosa

pages 192-194

Asking more from chemicals Solvay

pages 149-151

Start with Sika Sika

pages 152-155

The pipe is right Pipelife

pages 141-143

A new identity Leybold Optics

pages 144-148

Reliable partner in construction MOLEWSKI

pages 138-140

Revolutionising the crusher MB Crusher

pages 128-130

A lasting legacy Alutech

pages 131-137

Doors, windows and façades Alumil

pages 123-127

Otis moves the world Otis

pages 114-115

Inspiring sustainable flooring solutions Tarkett

pages 116-122

Unique lifting solutions Palazzani

pages 106-109

Leader in construction ceramics Röben Polska

pages 110-113

A cut above the rest Gaspari Menotti

pages 102-105

Concrete solutions ASA

pages 94-97

Market leader in doors and fittings

pages 98-101

Quality interiors Apollo

pages 91-93

Global leader in automotive leather Wollsdorf

pages 88-90

Delivering outstanding performance ZF

pages 82-87

The new era of visual management for lean

pages 74-77

Subsea and underground challenges

pages 63-65

The first choice for automation YASKAWA

pages 66-68

Laser-sharp innovation Trumpf Group

pages 69-73

Pioneers of innovative locking systems HUF

pages 78-81

Leading powder metal innovation

pages 60-62

Gearing up Neptun Gears

page 59

Italian leaders in electron beam welding OMCD Celsia

pages 56-58

Compressed air specialists VMC

pages 52-55

Test of success Sonel

page 51

Integration, innovation and service. The keys for trustful partnerships DOMO

pages 48-50

An international outlook Amisco Group

pages 42-46

Hannover Messe – The wait is over Highlights of the

pages 40-41

Contract manufacturing masterclass Assel

page 47

Strong in stainless steel AWH

pages 34-36

Motivated for success Biomashin

pages 37-39

One for all – all in one Preview of the world’s leading food and beverage trade show

pages 28-29

Create value out of water & waste Nijhuis Industries

pages 30-33

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

page 25

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 16-17

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

page 22

Who’s driving your car? Autonomous driving: closer than you imagine

pages 8-10

Moving on Relocations and expansions

page 20

INDEX 2015 Visit the world-leading international design exhibition

page 26

SENSOR+TEST 2015 All the latest sensor, measuring and testing technologies in one place

page 27

Towards tomorrow’s automobile The Volkswagen

pages 14-15
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