Industry Europe – Issue 26.1

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VOLUME 26/1 – 2016

The world of European manufacturing






Food for thought The British have often been criticised for wanting to dine a la carte in Europe. But now they are being asked if a three course lunch at White’s wasn’t always really more to their taste.


he thin gruel has been further watered down.” That was the verdict of Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP for North East Somerset, on the mess of pottage that David Cameron had brought back from Brussels. Rees-Mogg, who won undying fame when he took his nanny with him to canvass the safe Labour seat of Central Fife in the 1997 election (he protested that allegations he had wafted around the constituency streets in a Bentley were quite absurd – it had been a Mercedes) presumably has enough experience of unappealing suppers at his prep school and at Eton to know a dismal dish when he smells one. ‘Pretty thin gruel’ was what he had called Cameron’s announced ‘demands’ before the Brussels summit and what he had come back with was no better. He was not alone. Many Tories were not at all convinced that the PM’s package actually changed anything significant at all. It was quite clear that far from being ‘reformed’, the EU remained just the same and who could have expected otherwise? It had been committed to less red tape and more open markets for years but it still hadn’t been able to agree a free trade deal even with the USA. It has agreed that national parliaments can in future block new EU laws but only if 55 per cent of them can unite to do so. And to allay UK fears that the euro bloc could impose legislation on non-euro countries, the ‘outs’ will be allowed access as observers to eurozone meetings (perhaps they could raffle tickets). And, of course, the principle of the free movement of people within the EU remains sacrosanct, even if Britain can delay paying benefits for a few years. That’s not going to stop anyone coming to where they know they can find a job. And just in case sceptics like Mr ReesMogg were minded to observe that most

of these promises weren’t worth the paper they were written on, it became clear that actually they were not written on any paper at all. What Mr Cameron has is a promise that these ‘legally binding and irreversible’ changes will be incorporated into future EU treaties. Or not.

So what’s new? But then there were plenty of others who pointed out that while the PM had obviously failed to secure the ‘fundamental, far-reaching reform’, never mind the ‘full-on Treaty change’, that he promised in his Bloomberg speech three years ago, it didn’t really matter much because Britain’s position in the EU was already semi-detached. It was not a member of the eurozone, nor was ever likely to be; it was not a party to the Schengen agreement that abolished the EU’s internal borders, so, with a bit of help too from the Channel, it was relatively isolated from the migrant crisis engulfing the continent. While the commitment to ‘ever-closer union’ has been an article of faith for Europe since the 1957 Treaty of Rome, the political reality of today’s Union made it clear that there was still an awfully long way to go to the promised land, and no-one seriously thought that Britain would be anything but a doubtful pilgrim on that journey. Indeed Mrs Merkel is said to have joked at the Brussels summit that instead of worrying about the UK’s exemption from the ‘ever-closer’ pieties, Belgium’s prime minister would be better off trying to bring about an ‘ever-closer Belgium’. So, we are told, the UK already has the best of both worlds so what’s the point of what the PM now calls a ‘leap in the dark’. Leaving the EU is a risk we would be foolish to take because we can’t be sure that any new accommodation with it would be better for us – it might be worse. Any day

now you expect Cameron to roll out Donald Rumsfeld’s rhetoric of uncertainty – all that stuff about the known knowns, the known unknowns and the dark matter of the unknown unknowns. However, it’s also possible to argue that the UK’s future in the EU is not at all secure or risk-free, not least because the Union itself is in what may be a terminal crisis. The euro has already brought mass unemployment to most of its poorest members and feeble growth, at best, to its richest (even Finland is in deep trouble). The seemingly unstoppable flow of migrants is threatening to turn open borders into razor wire fences and stoking the fires of populism and extremism that were already smouldering under the indignities of enforced austerity. And there are specific fears that the reassurances that non-euro countries will not suffer from financial rules dictated by the eurozone majority may not be worth much at all. It is accepted that the 19 eurozone members need to further integrate in areas such as common financial rules and bank regulations if they are to have a chance of making a monetary union into a fiscal union, but many in the City are pointing out that, in fact, they are legally only able to do that by regulating for all 28 EU members. So will London be bound by the ‘single rule book’ or not? The French are likely to have views on that. So there are known unknowns everywhere. Not the least of which is why Cameron thought it necessary to put the question to a referendum this year, when no-one except UKIP was asking for one. And why, having got not much from his ‘renegotiation’, he didn’t just put it off for now. When he became leader he said he wanted to stop the Tories banging on about Europe; now he’s ensured that they are banging on about little else. n Industry Europe 1

CONTENTS Editor Peter Mercer

IT Support James D’More

Deputy Editor Victoria Hattersley

Production Manager Tania Balderson

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

Administration Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey Advertising Manager Andrew Briggs Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Massimo Ragazzo Helen Leisi Anna Dudek Stephen Moore Eniko Kovacs Pavlina Kutlakova Jesse Roberts Kevin Gambrill Mauro Berini Clayton Green Dominic Kurkowski

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

Comment 1 4

Opinion Food for thought Bill Jamieson Brexit, Frexit, Grexit, take your exit pick…

Energy Industry 6 9 12

Power from Europe The role of interconnectors in energy security

Energy news The latest from the industry Energy from the stars Construction continues on ITER

News 14 Winning business New orders and contracts 16 Linking up Combining strengths 18 Moving on Relocations and expansions 19 Industry people Appointments 20 Technology spotlight Advances in technology 21 Notice board New products and processes 24 Events PaintExpo and INDEX 2016

Reports 26 27

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

Automotive 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 2016 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

28 32 36 40 44 47 52 56 58 62 66

Made in India ALP Nishikawa Company Looking to the future EvoBus Old brand with a new outlook HAJDU Pure snowmanship Kassbohrer Gelandefahrzeug Raising standards KLEIN Automotive A global engine giant Deutz Lighting up Europe Koito Czech An instinct for change Linde&Wiemann Built to go further Niesmann+Bischoff Eco-friendly automotive soloutions Pierburg Advanced technology for local needs Bosch Group

Chemicals 76 80

To the top CHEMOPROJECT NITROGEN Global leader in high-pressure vessels Schoeller-Bleckmann Nitec

Construction 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

84 89 98 102

Shining a light ES-SYSTEM Group Experts in transport infrastructure ZUE Building a sustainable future Skanska Swastik Tiles – Scaling new summits Swastik Tiles

Consumer Goods 106 Innovative communications GN Netcom 109 Sustainable success Beiersdorf

VOL 26/1

Above: ES-SYSTEM Group p84

Food & Drink 116 A long brewing tradition Heineken 120 World-class bakery Rina Europe 124 Spreading good health Vandemoortele

HVAC & R Above: EvoBus p32 Below: Bosch Group p66

129 Breaking barriers Alfa-Plam 132 Innovators, not imitators IARP 142 Bringing warmth into your home THORMA

Above: Rina Europe p120 Below: PFS p158

Measurement & Control 146 Delivering system-tailored sensors Sensata Technologies

Metals & Metalworking 150 154 158 162 166

A high degree of precision Gervasoni Cutting it Officine Vica Springing into the future PFS Complex fabrication solutions Uwira Magnetic attraction Mahindra

Plastics 169 Top-level precision Simon Plastic 172 Solid prospects

KUNPLAST-KARSAI Műszaki Műanyagipari

Power Generation 176 180 184 188

Above: ZUE p89 Below: Heineken p116

Powering success Andritz Hydro Power to the people Honda Power Powerful engine Kirloskar Oil Engines HBL: An intelligent choice HBL Power Systems

Above: Andritz Hydro p176 Below: Scott Glass p214

Rail 191 Global leaders in insulators Aditya Birla 194 A powerful combination GHH-BONATRANS Group 200 On a roll Astra Rail

Textiles 208 Success at the core Sonoco-Alcore

Also in this issue… 210 214 217 220

Redefining screening technology Virto Group Innovative visionaries Schott Glass Heavy vehicle components Bobruisk Innovative technologies AIUT Industry Europe 3




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

Brexit, Frexit, Grexit, take your exit pick… The real danger of Brexit may be for the EU itself.


iving in a shared building has compensations, but building security is not always one of them. Years ago I lived in a basement flat with the responsibilities and costs of maintenance and repair communally shared. All went well… until it didn’t. An outbreak of dry rot two floors up and a hefty estimate for treatment soon had the flat owners at each other’s throats. Legal wrangling dragged on for months. One day the council building inspectors called. I knew something was wrong when they donned hard hats the moment they walked in. “The problem here,” said one, looking up at the external wall, “is that the only thing holding up your house is the lateral tension of the brickwork. Once that goes the whole lot collapses.” Until then I never knew lateral tension could hold up anything. But from that moment on I couldn’t walk into the lounge without a hard hat. And as soon as the lengthy work was done I couldn’t wait to move out. ‘Lateral tension’ is not confined to buildings. It is present in most political institutions – and certainly in the European Union. When pressure builds and the brickwork starts to loosen it all becomes unsafe. So far, debate in Britain over the EU referendum has focused on the economic implications for the UK, with a contingent risk of a UK break-up were voters in England and Wales to vote ‘Leave’ while Scottish voters opted for ‘Remain’. We might fairly dismiss the risk here as small. But might the UK’s referendum exercise accelerate a loosening of the brickwork that holds the entire EU together? A ‘Brexit’ is not a UK-only specific risk. To the outside world the relevance of the UK referendum is the potential impact on the cohesiveness of the EU as a whole. While the UK is not in the single currency area, 4 Industry Europe

a UK exit from the EU would be viewed as more damaging than that of a Greek exit (or ‘Grexit’) which so dominated markets a year or so ago. Richard Batley, economist at Lombard Street Research, cites two reasons why this might be so. One is size: the UK is the second largest EU economy after Germany (or third after France, depending who’s measuring). And second, he writes, Brexit would be a voluntary decision “and, once loose, the ‘exit genie’ could not be put away.” Before too long, searching questions would be raised over the prospect of a growing Spanish/Catalan division over independence from the EU (‘Spexit’), while euro-sceptic forces are gaining ground in France (‘Frexit’) and other EU countries.

To the outside world the relevance of the UK referendum is the potential impact on the cohesiveness of the EU as a whole. What is particularly worrying for the pro-EU elites is the fusion of two potent political grievances – anti-austerity and antiimmigration – into calls for a reclamation of sovereignty and pressure for a UK-style referendum vote on EU membership. Fanciful? A few years ago it was unthinkable that France would chaff at the ties that bind her to the EU project. But opinion polls show that the Front National (FN), the only ‘mainstream’ party advocating a referendum on EU membership, has made big gains. The polls currently show its leader, Marine Le Pen, narrowly winning the first round of the presidential election and then narrowly losing the second round if facing a PS (left of centre) rival, such as the incumbent Presi-

dent Hollande, or more decisively losing against a UMP (right of centre) candidate, possibly Alain Juppé or Nicolas Sarkozy. However, the UMP/FN gap is narrowing, and it is worth remembering that the UK referendum is the result of a moderate, right-of-centre ‘party of government’ (the Conservative Party) adopting the policy of an insurgent party (UKIP) in order to stem its advance; a relationship mirrored with the UMP and FN in France. As Batley argues, “The risk is that, at the time of the next euro area economic crisis, whenever it occurs, European populist politicians seeking to protect their electorates from further deflationary pain, will see euro exit as a more ‘reasonable’ policy option than during the last crisis. The Brexit referendum, perhaps irrespective of its actual outturn, is simply an early manifestation of this dawning reality.”

A weak pound bad news? Meanwhile, the recent weakness in sterling – the pound falling at one point in late February to its lowest point since March 2009 – has been blamed on the strength of the Conservative Party rebellion over Europe and the campaign for Britain to leave the EU. But is the pound’s fall all really about ‘Brexit’? Currency traders keep a close eye on bookies’ odds as a guide to the vote outcome. And in the week that the pound fell sharply, the bookies are giving ‘Remain’ a 69 per cent probability against ‘Leave’s 31 per cent. Just as relevant a factor here surely is that the US dollar has been strong against most currencies. So, in considering the pound’s drop, US dollar strength should also be factored in. Note also that there has been nothing like as strong a sterling sell-off against the euro. And is a lower pound such bad news? For many struggling UK exporters, they will view it as just the fillip they have long needed. n

POWER FROM EUROPE Renewable energy and energy security are in the pipeline, reports Robert Williams.


hat is the most effective way of increasing the UK’s energy security and use of renewable power? Building new capacity, and new nuclear power stations or wind farms is a slow process. The answer may be to import it, by using interconnectors. And the role of interconnectors in improving security of electricity supply is also becoming increasingly important across Europe. Interconnectors have been a long-established and successful technology in continental Europe. In the UK, by contrast, there is a relatively low level of interconnection. Building more interconnectors could bring real benefits to British electricity consumers. Analysis undertaken by National Grid suggests that each one GW of new intercon6 Industry Europe

nector capacity could help to reduce the UK’s wholesale power prices by up to 1-2 per cent. Constructing 4-5 GW of new interconnector links with mainland Europe could unlock up to £1 billion of benefits to energy consumers. As well as providing access to cheaper power, interconnection will also help us secure our energy supply. Consumers throughout Europe use electricity in various ways at different times of the day, and interconnection allows electricity to be moved to where it is needed. This is particularly important at times of ‘system stress’, such as a when there is cold weather and power stations are closed for maintenance or even shut down unexpectedly. There are further benefits from interconnection that can reduce our impact on the

environment. Renewable energy sources such as wind and wave are an increasingly important part of the energy mix. Increasing interconnection allows us to import energy from renewable sources. Britain’s interconnector capacity is set to double in the next decade as a number of significant projects come on stream. Our links with Europe may be uncertain, but the European Commission is seeking a more ‘joined up’ approach that links transmission networks beyond borders from which the UK will benefit.

Enhancing sustainability Interconnectors are connections between the electricity transmission systems of two different countries allowing electricity to flow in and out.

For the UK the links are via subsea cables, in others it can be through overhead lines. Interconnectors already play an important role in giving the UK secure supplies of energy and this influence is increasing. Secondly, greater use of interconnectors can certainly make a key contribution to ensure that energy is more affordable and sustainable now and in the future. Interconnectors could reduce the cost of reducing carbon emissions and make it easier for the UK to meet binding EU renewables targets. Large amounts of low carbon electricity could, for instance, be imported into the UK from hydropower in Norway, wind power in Ireland and Denmark, nuclear in France and hydropower and geothermal energy in Iceland.

Interconnectors could also deliver security of supply benefits, by providing back-up capacity to cover the UK renewables projects that provide intermittent power. Most notably, National Grid envisages interconnectors to Norway and Iceland that would provide access to pumped hydro power plants that would allow for renewable power from the UK’s offshore wind farms to be stored. UK interconnector capacity currently stands at 4GW, with 2GW to France, 1GW to the Netherlands and 1GW to Ireland, representing about 5 per cent of the country’s total electricity generation capacity. In its recent Future Energy Scenarios report, the National Grid suggested that UK interconnector capacity could more than double to reach 10.8GW by 2020 and triple to reach 17.7GW by 2030.

Current and planned connections The UK currently has four operational interconnectors. The first is Interconnexion France-Angleterre (IFA): a 2GW high voltage direct current interconnector running between Folkestone and Calais. It is the largest of our existing interconnectors, and it has been operational for more than 25 years. BritNed is a 1GW, 260km interconnector running from the Isle of Grain in Kent to Maasvlakte near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Moyle: a 0.5GW link between the GB and Northern Ireland transmission systems that began operation in 2001 runs between Auchencrosh in South Ayrshire and Ballycronan More in County Antrim, and is operated by Mutual Energy. Finally, the 0.5GW EastWest interconnector entered service in 2012 Industry Europe 7

and connects the British and Irish electricity markets. It runs between Deeside in North Wales and Woodland, County Meath in the Republic of Ireland. These interconnectors provide 4GW of capacity. In recent months National Grid have taken final investment decisions that gave the green light to two ambitious interconnector projects. The NSN project will see the construction of the world’s longest subsea interconnector, a 1.4GW link stretching some 730km under the North Sea. The project is a joint venture between National Grid and Statnett, Norway’s national electricity system operator. The project has been in development for more than ten years. Construction will start in 2017 and the interconnector will be operational in 2021. There will be some important benefits to both countries, with increased sharing of renewable energy and more efficient trading of electricity. Britain will be able to tap into excess hydroelectric power generated in Norway that can be used when appropriate to improve our own supply position. The Nemo Link that is being developed with Elia, the Belgium Transmission System Operator, will give both countries improved reliability and access to electricity, as well as more sustainable generation via a 140km subsea connection between Richborough in Kent and 8 Industry Europe

Zeebrugge. It will deliver the 1000MW subsea link between the two countries, enough electricity to power half a million homes. These projects are indicative of the growing investment in interconnectors across Europe as governments wrestle with how to manage the increasing proportion of generation coming from renewable energy and how to strengthen security of supply. The European Commission wants countries to achieve 10 per cent of installed capacity available through interconnection by 2020 – a figure rising to 15 per cent by 2030. To put that into context, here in the UK we currently stand at about 5 per cent of installed capacity or roughly 4GW of generation, so there’s a long way to go. Together with our partner in Denmark, Energinet, we are in the feasibility stage of a project called the Viking Link that would involve the construction of a 600–700km subsea cable to carry a high voltage direct current of between 1GW and 1.4GW. The interconnector is targeted to reach first power by the end of 2020 and the exact route is still to be determined. Finally, there is a second connection planned between the UK and France in the shape of the IFA2 interconnector that will link Hampshire with Normandy. The high voltage direct current (HVDC) project would be the

second interconnector to France and would be capable of transferring 1000MW of electricity between Britain and France, enough to power a million homes, according to the National Grid. More than 120 miles (200km) of undersea cables would be laid between the two countries as part of the project. Altogether, the onshore and offshore cable route will be about 240km long. Looking even further ahead, National Grid is also examining a potential interconnector link between the UK and Iceland, to tap into Iceland’s geothermal power. With £1 billion in energy cost savings and access to more affordable clean energy the potential prize, business leaders and environmental groups alike will be hoping that those building blocks end up providing the foundations for a new wave of clean energy n infrastructure investment.



New developments in the Energy industry

Iberdrola inaugurates Pier II wind farm in Mexico


ier II has an installed capacity of 66 megawatts (MW) and is Iberdrola’s fifth wind farm in Mexico, having already commissioned La Ventosa (102 MW), La Venta III (102 MW), Bii Nee Stipa (26 MW) and Dos Arbolitos (70 MW). This new facility brings Iberdrola’s wind operating capacity in Mexico to 366 MW. Pier II wind farm is located in the municipality of Esperanza, in the state of Puebla in the south of the country, one of the regions in Mexico with the best wind resource. The facility consists of 33 Gamesa G97 wind turbines, each with 2MW unit capacity and 78 metres hub height. The new infrastructure, which required the investment of some US$ 130 million, is already supplying renewable energy to 25,000 Mexican

households and is responsible for a 55,000t reduction in annual CO2 emissions. The turbines are connected to a substation with a reactive capacity of 70 megavolt amps (MVA) built next to the site. Visit:

Rosneft, Oil India and Indian Oil Corporation to cooperate onshore in the Russian Federation

First gas flows from Shell’s Corrib gas field in Ireland


osneft, Oil India Limited and Indian Oil Corporation Limited have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation for geologic survey, exploration and production of hydrocarbons onshore the Russian Federation. The document was signed in the presence of the president of Russia Vladimir Putin and the prime minister of India Narendra Modi by Rosneft chairman of the management board Igor Sechin, Oil India Limited chairman & managing director U P Singh and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd chairman B Ashok. The document lays a foundation for a longterm partnership between Rosneft, Oil India and Indian Oil Corporation. As a first step the parties have agreed to examine the possibility of cooperation within the Taas-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha LLC asset. Visit:

Cuadrilla to lead shale gas exploration in Yorkshire as well as Lancshire


uadrilla has announced it has been offered a further 16 exploration licences, as part of the second release of the UK Government’s 14th Round. These onshore oil and gas exploration licences stretch across the Cleveland Basin in East Yorkshire and Gainsborough Trough


atural gas has started to flow from Ireland’s Corrib gas field, marking an important milestone for the country and Shell’s upstream operations. Located 83 kilometres off Ireland’s northwest coast in water depths of almost 350 metres, the Corrib gas field lies approximately 3000 metres below the seabed. At peak annual production, the Corrib gas field is expected to produce around 260 MMscf/d of gas, which is 45,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Six wells have been drilled at the Corrib field with gas transported to the Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal in north-west Mayo through a 20-inch pipeline. The Corrib project is a joint venture between Shell E&P Ireland Limited (45%), Statoil Exploration Ireland Limited (36.5%) and Vermilion Energy Ireland Limited (18.5%). Shell E&P Ireland Limited is the project’s operator. Visit: in South Yorkshire. The licences are in addition to two licences, one in the South Cleveland Basin and another in the Gainsborough Trough, which were announced in August this year. All the licences total approximately 1274km2 in area. Cuadrilla has been jointly offered seven licence blocks in total in the Cleveland Basin with partner, GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd (part

E.ON and Samsung SDI to cooperate in energy storage business


.ON has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Samsung SDI Co. Ltd, on cooperation in the energy storage business. The cooperation includes the development of profitable energy storage solutions and, to this end, to assess and develop a potential business model for targeting applications for lithium-ion batteries in selected regions and markets. The agreement focuses on solutions for grid stabilisation, industrial customers and appropriate energy systems. “The expansion of renewables, together with customers’ demands for decentralised solutions, are driving the need for flexibility across the entire energy system. Lithium-Ion batteries are well suited to provide part of this flexibility due to their modular size, efficiency, simplicity and scalability,” said Bernhard Reutersberg, chief markets officer E.ON SE. “To grow in this area, we are convinced Samsung is the right partner for us to develop a potential business model. The company is a market leader with a strong know-how and track record,” he added. “As one of global leaders of supplying lithium-ion battery-related products, Samsung SDI serves the ESS markets with new innovative products that our capability and experience fabricate,” said Sewoong Park, vice-president of Samsung SDI ESS Business Team. “With the developing battery technology, Samsung SDI strengthens the product line-up and platforms for diverse ESS applications, and will continue to be a trustworthy partner to E.ON.” Visit:

of the ENGIE Group) (70% Cuadrilla, 30% GDF SUEZ) and is the sole licensee on all remaining licences. Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said:“The award of these licences gives Cuadrilla a leading position in each of the three most prospective shale gas exploration areas in Northern England.” Visit: Industry Europe 9


New developments in the Energy industry

Gazprom and CNPC sign agreement on Power of Siberia cross-border pipeline


lexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom management committee and Wang Yilin, chairman of the board of directors of CNPC, have signed an agreement to design and construct the cross-border section of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, including its submerged crossing under the Amur River. The three-year Memorandum of Understanding in the oil sector stipulates the joint actions

The EDF Group reaches a gigawatt of installed wind power in France


DF has acquired two wind farms through its subsidiary EDF Energies Nouvelles. The wind farms, located in the departments of Meuse (Trois-Sources) and Doubs (Lomont), have a total capacity of 44 MW, and have been in operation since 2007 and 20081. Internationally, onshore wind is the main focus of the group’s development in new renewables, with a presence in 15 different countries and an installed capacity of 6.8 GW as of 30 June 2015. Antoine Cahuzac, group executive director in charge of the Renewable Energy division and chief executive officer of EDF Energies Nouvelles, said, “As part of EDF’s CAP 2030 strategy, we have set ourselves the target of doubling our global installed

capacity for renewable energy. To reach the milestone of one gigawatt of onshore wind power in France testifies to this commitment and represents an important step towards strengthening our position in France.” Visit:

Total starts up deep offshore project in Congo


otal has brought on stream the Moho Phase 1b project, located 75km off the coast of PointeNoire in the Republic of the Congo. The project is operated by Total and has a production capacity of 40,000 barrels oil equivalent per day (boe/d). “The start-up of this project, in line with the original schedule, constitutes a further success for Total’s growth strategy in deep offshore, particularly in West Africa. It follows the start-up of Dalia Phase 1A on Angola’s Block 17 in July this year and more recently, the Lianzi field

ABB to power the world’s most energy-efficient pulp mill


BB is to supply the complete power and process electrical systems for Metsä Group’s new bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, opening in 2017. The mill will produce 1.3 million tonnes of pulp per year and bioproducts such as tall oil, turpentine, lignin products, bioelectricity and bark-based solid fuel. 10 Industry Europe

which straddles the deep offshore of Congo and Angola,” commented Arnaud Breuillac, president Exploration & Production. Moho Phase 1b, located in water depths ranging from 750 to 1200 metres, involves the drilling of 11 new subsea wells and the installation of the two most powerful subsea multiphase pumps in the world. It is tied back to the existing Floating Production Unit (FPU) of the Moho Bilondo field, producing since 2008. Visit: ABB’s pioneering technology solutions will support the mill to maximise its bioenergy production and thus, increase the share of renewable energy in Finland by more than two percent. Using over 1000 of the most advanced energy efficient motors and state-of-the-art power systems the mill will produce 2.4 times more electricity than it consumes. The mill is designed to produce

in exploration and production of oil reserves in Russia (including the Arctic shelf), China and third countries, as well as refining and sales of oil and its final products. The Memorandum envisages the cooperation in procurement of equipment and technologies for exploration, production and processing of hydrocarbon feedstock as well as joint fundraising campaigns for the future partnership. Visit:

New Glen Lyon FPSO sets sail for west of Shetland


, on behalf of the Schiehallion co-venturers Shell and OMV, has announced that the new Glen Lyon floating production storage and offload (FPSO) vessel has started sea trials as it begins its journey towards the west of Shetland where it will serve as the hub for the 450 million barrel Quad204 development in the North Sea. The new FPSO is a key element of the multibillion pound Quad204 project, which is re-developing the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, extending production out to 2035 and possibly beyond. “This important milestone is consistent with BP’s strategy to sustain a competitive, high quality business in the North Sea region,” said Trevor Garlick, regional president for BP’s North Sea business. “The Schiehallion and Loyal oil fields are established assets with a strong future and through this investment, we and our co-venturers Shell and OMV are taking some significant steps to maximise the greater potential we now see in these fields.” Visit:

1.8 terawatt hours of electricity annually, representing 2.5 percent of the electricity produced in Finland today. “We are extremely happy that we can participate in the largest investment in history of the Finnish forest sector with our expertise and products,” said Tauno Heinola, managing director ABB Finland. Visit:


Fortum starts a 35 MW wind farm project in Russia F

ortum is starting a wind farm project in Ulyanovsk, Russia with a total capacity of 35 MW. The value of the investment is approximately €65 million. The wind farm is expected to start production in 2017, serving the city of Ulyanovsk, which is located 680km south-east of Moscow. The wind farm is included in the Renewable Projects Competitive Selection, administered by the Russian power market regulator. The goal of the government programme is to increase renewable power generation in Russia by using Capacity Supply Agreement (CSA) mechanism. The generation capacity under CSA receives guaranteed payments for 15 years in order to ensure sufficient return on investment. “Low-emission production has been a key part of Fortum’s strategy for a long time. One of our key targets globally is to increase investments in renewables, above all, hydro, solar and wind power,” says Alexander Chuvaev, executive vice-president for Fortum’s Russia segment. Visit:

First foundation for Nordsee One offshore wind farm successfully installed


he first steel foundation, or monopile, for the 332MW Nordsee One offshore wind project has been successfully installed ahead of schedule. The wind farm, located in German territorial waters in the North Sea, will consist of 54 Senvion turbines and is owned by Northland Power Inc. (85%) and RWE Innogy GmbH (15%). Nordsee One has contracted installation of the monopiles from GeoSea, an international specialist in offshore marine engineering with experience on more than 30 offshore wind projects. The monopiles were produced by Ambau, an experienced manufacturer of towers and foundation structures for the offshore and onshore wind energy sector. Nordsee One is located 40 kilometres north of Juist Island, in an area with shallow water and high wind speeds – ideal conditions for an offshore wind farm. It is expected to be operational in 2017, and to generate over 1300 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to meet the needs of 400,000 German households. Visit:

First machine components reach ITER


December 2015 the first 12 segments of the massive ITER cryostat were delivered to the ITER site in France. The cryostat, the vacuum-tight container that will surround the main plasma chamber and superconducting magnets, is under the procurement responsibility of the ITER-India Domestic Agency ( and manufactured by the Indian industrial giant Larsen & Toubro Ltd. The arrival of the cryostat segments represents a double milestone for the ITER Project – the arrival of the

first elements that will be integrated into the ITER machine, and the ahead-of-schedule achievement of the first project milestone validated by the ITER Council in November for the years 2016–2017. The ITER cryostat will be shipped from India in 54 separate segments, to be assembled and welded in the on-site Cryostat Workshop. The first 12 segments that reached ITER in December include six 50-tonne 60° segments, and six 19-tonne main shell segments. Together these

Vattenfall looks back on a successful 2015 at Pen y Cymoedd

entering the final phase, with all turbine foundations and onsite access tracks complete. The grid connection works being managed by ABB (and their subcontractors BBUSL and Dawnus) are also progressing very well, with both of the new substations entering the commissioning phase. Will Wason, Vattenfall’s project director for the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project,


attenfall, the European energy company, and their contractors building Wales’ largest onshore wind farm have announced that the last of the scheme’s 76 wind turbine foundations have been completed. Civil engineering works by the Jones Bros Balfour Beatty joint venture are

segments, which will form Tier 1 of the cryostat base section, represent only 1/8th of the total mass of the 3850-tonne cryostat – the largest, most complex steel vacuum chamber ever The ITER cryostat will act as a ‘thermos’ to maintain the ultra-cold temperature of the superconducting magnets and will provide structural support as well as access to the vacuum vessel and magnet systems. Visit: said: “We have been constructing the onsite civil and electrical infrastructure at Pen y Cymoedd for almost two years now. It has been a superhuman effort by all of our contractors, and as the last of the foundations are poured, and we start commissioning our substations, we look forward to 2016 with the erection of the first wind turbines.” Visit: Industry Europe 11

On top of the first circle of bioshield, work is now underway on the skirts and plates of the next level. A mockup has been created on site to validate the procedures of this second-step pour.

ENERGY FROM THE STARS ITER is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today. Construction is advancing at the ITER site at Saint-Paul-lès-Durance in the Bouches-du-Rhône department of France.


southern France, 35 nations are collaborating to build the world’s largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device that has been designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars. The experimental campaign that will be carried out at ITER is crucial to advancing fusion science and preparing the way for the fusion power plants of tomorrow. ITER will be the first fusion device to produce net energy. ITER will be the first fusion device to maintain fusion for long periods of time. And ITER will be the first fusion device to test the integrated technologies, materials, and physics regimes necessary for the commercial production of fusion-based electricity. Thousands of engineers and scientists have contributed to the design of ITER since the idea for an international joint experiment in fusion was first launched in 1985. The ITER Members – China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States – are now engaged in a 12 Industry Europe

35-year collaboration to build and operate the ITER experimental device, and together bring fusion to the point where a demonstration fusion reactor can be designed.

The tokamak Inside a tokamak, the energy produced through the fusion of atoms is absorbed as heat in the walls of the vessel. Just like a conventional power plant, a fusion power plant will use this heat to produce steam and then electricity by way of turbines and generators. The heart of a tokamak is its doughnut-shaped vacuum chamber. Inside, under the influence of extreme heat and pressure, gaseous hydrogen fuel becomes a plasma – a hot, electrically charged gas. In a star as in a fusion device, plasmas provide the environment in which light elements can fuse and yield energy. The charged particles of the plasma can be shaped and controlled by the massive magnetic coils placed around the vessel; physicists use this important property to confine the hot plasma away from the vessel

walls. The term ‘tokamak’ comes to us from a Russian acronym that stands for ‘toroidal chamber with magnetic coils’. To start the process, air and impurities are first evacuated from the vacuum chamber. Next, the magnet systems that will help to confine and control the plasma are charged up and the gaseous fuel is introduced. As a powerful electrical current is run through the vessel, the gas breaks down electrically, becomes ionised (electrons are stripped from the nuclei) and forms a plasma. As the plasma particles become energised and collide they also begin to heat up. Auxiliary heating methods help to bring the plasma to fusion temperatures (between 150 and 300 million °C). Particles ‘energised’ to such a degree can overcome their natural electromagnetic repulsion on collision to fuse, releasing huge amounts of energy.

The ring magnets ITER’s ring-like poloidal field coils are among the largest and heaviest components of the ITER machine. Ranging from 8 to 24 metres

Eighteen ‘D’-shaped toroidal field magnets will surround the torus-shaped vacuum vessel to confine the plasma particles. Measuring 17 metres in height, 9 metres in width, and weighing in at 310 tons each, these coils rank among the largest components of the ITER machine.

in diameter, and from 193 to 396 tonnes, six coils will encircle the ITER vacuum chamber like so many parallels of latitude to influence the shape of the plasma and contribute to its stability by ‘pinching’ it away from the walls. If the top and bottom coils are small enough to be produced off site and transported to ITER, the size of the four others precludes any transport by public waterway or road. For these massive machine components the European Domestic Agency has built the on-site Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility, a 257-metre building with 12,000 metres of surface area and a circular spreader beam overhead for handling the components during the assembly process. On the southern end of the building, contractors are currently installing specialized tooling – reels, de-spoolers, a winding table, impregnation moulds. When taken together they reflect the monumental scale of the undertaking and the complexity of the procedures. The multistage fabrication process begins with cable-in-conduit conductor (CICC)

that will be delivered on large spools from manufacturing facilities in Europe, China and Russia. In this type of conductor, hundreds of superconducting strands are grouped, twisted and bundled together to form a cable that is inserted into a thick stainless steel jacket. Liquid helium circulates at -269 °C in the centre of the conductor to cool the magnets to superconducting temperatures. One metre of poloidal field conductor will weigh more than 25 kilograms; 65 kilometres of material will be necessary to wind the six coils (47 kilometres for the four coils to be produced on site). As they come off the spools, the lengths of poloidal field conductor will be straightened, cleaned, insulated with glass-fibre tape, and finally wound into spirals called double pancakes. Weighing 16 to 35 tonnes, these double pancakes are transferred to another station for vacuum pressure impregnation (VPI) with epoxy resin in order to harden into rigid assemblies. In a third area, six to nine double pancakes will be stacked and joined to form the final coils. A second VPI procedure is performed to

harden the stacked assembly and additional components added such as clamps, protection covers, and pipes are added. The coils will undergo approximately three months of electric and cryogenic testing before transport to the Assembly Hall – the last stop before integration into the tokamak arena. As tokamak assembly advances, the poloidal field magnets will be positioned one by one in the tokamak pit beginning with #6 (produced by China under contract with Europe), followed by poloidal field coils 5, 4, 3 and 2 (fabricated by Europe), and finally coil #1, manufactured and delivered by Russia. n

Tooling and testing activities are underway to prepare for the fabrication of ITER poloidal field coil number 6 (PF6) at the ASIPP facility in China. Industry Europe 13


New contracts and orders in industry

Bestobell Marine secures second Gotland vessel


arker Bestobell Marine, a world leading supplier of cryogenic globe and check valves for ships, has secured a second order to supply its globe and check valves that will be used in the LNG fuel gas system on the second ferry being built for Swedish owner Rederi AB Gotland. This contract follows Parker Bestobell Marine securing the order to supply valves to the first Gotland Ferry, earlier this year. When completed, the ferries will sail between the Swedish mainland and the island of Gotland. By using LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) as its primary fuel source, the ferries will make significant reductions in their emissions of NOx, SOx, CO2 and particulates, allowing them to comply with the latest IMO Tier III regulations. Duncan Gaskin, sales director for Parker Bestobell Marine, said: “China is where we are focusing a lot of effort with our local partner Healthlead Ltd, to ensure we are seen as the number one supplier for marine grade cryogenic globe valves, both for LNGC cargo valves and LNG fuel system valves.” Visit:

Valmet Automotive receives contract for Mercedes-Benz GLC


almet Automotive and Mercedes-Benz have announced that Valmet Automotive will start manufacturing additional units of the MercedesBenz GLC SUV at the Uusikaupunki, Finland plant. The main production site of the GLC is the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen, Germany, which already runs at full capacity. The manufacturing of the GLC will commence in Finland during the first quarter of 2017. The planned production volume in Uusikaupunki is comparable to the A-Class contract.

“Valmet Automotive is a proven and reliable partner, who stands for cutting-edge technology. Since 2013, the A-Class is produced at their site in Finland. We want to continue this success story with the GLC,” says Mr Klaus Zehender, divisional board member Procurement and Supplier Quality Mercedes-Benz Cars. 

 The project involves considerable restructuring at the Uusikaupunki plant, including a new body shop for the GLC model. Visit:

Kier Group awarded University of Wales contract U niversity of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has appointed Kier Group Plc to deliver the initial phase of its new £300 million Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter in the city’s SA1 area. The £26 million contract to oversee the design and build of the first phase of UWTSD’s new waterfront development should also see the creation of 25 local jobs and 250 apprenticeships as Kier has collaborated with the University in its mission to ensure the community benefits from the scheme. Kier will be responsible for managing the detailed and technical design of the University’s new buildings as well as handling the entire construction process. Phase One of the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter will comprise the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering as well as a new Library building, with an approximate area of 12,200m2 together with external public spaces. Kier will work closely with the University to begin construction on Phase One in Autumn 2016 to ensure the site is operational for the start of the academic year in 2018. Visit:

Technip awarded contract by Air Products


echnip has been awarded a contract by Air Products to provide technology, engineering and procurement services for a grassroots hydrogen plant in Baytown, Texas, USA. The 3.5 million standard cubic metres per day plant will produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide (CO) to be supplied to customers from

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Air Products’ established Gulf Coast Hydrogen and CO Pipeline Networks The plant will be built through the global hydrogen alliance between Air Products and Technip. It will feature Technip’s proprietary high efficiency steam methane reforming (SMR) technology to produce high purity hydrogen, carbon monoxide and export steam.

Stan Knez, president, Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology, commented: “We are proud that our SMR technology is helping customers meet the world’s growing energy needs in a reliable, efficient and sustainable manner. We look forward to executing this new project under our global alliance with Air Products.” Visit:


Scania wins record truck order in Great Britain S cania has won its largest ever order in Europe. British transport operator Eddie Stobart Limited and its associated companies, including A.W. Jenkinson Forestry Products, have ordered more than 2000 trucks. Due for delivery over a two-year period commencing March 2016, the deal will involve many Scania UK dealers, both in terms of vehicle supply and repair and maintenance operations. “We are naturally delighted that the longestablished relationship between our organisa-

tions has not only flourished but continues to grow. We are now very much looking forward to fulfilling this latest order,” says Claes Jacobsson, MD of Scania (Great Britain) Limited. The majority of vehicles in the order will be supplied on 36-month contract hire agreements, including road fund licence and all repair and maintenance. The model mix includes Scania G-Series and R-Series, all with Scania Highline cabs and with 410 or 450 hp engines. Visit:

Hiab supplies Australian Rock Logistics with 30 HIAB cranes


iab, part of Cargotec, has received an order for 30 HIAB loader cranes from an Australian national logistics company Rock Logistics Pty Ltd. The order consists of HIAB X-HiDuo 099, HIAB X-HiDuo 122 and HIAB X-HiDuo 144 loader cranes, and has been booked into Cargotec’s Q3 order intake Rock Logistics has been Hiab’s customer for almost ten years. The company is based in Melbourne, and has transport contracts in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.

“Our director Chas Kelly and customers place the highest level of importance on OH&S requirements and we consistently found Hiab the best provider to meet these needs,” said Jason Sams, business manager at Rock Logistics. The HIAB loader cranes offer Rock Logistics exceptional combination of power and precision, as well as advanced HiDuo control systems. Rock Logistics will be using the HIAB loader cranes in steel transport. Visit:

Bulten awarded new FSP contract in China B

ulten has been awarded a new FSP (Full Service Provider) contract for supply of fasteners to a Chinese automotive manufacturer. The total order value is of approximately SEK 60 million over two years initially. The deliveries will start and ramp up during 2017 and are expected to reach full volumes in 2018. “An important part of our strategy for organic growth is to expand on growth markets. The fact that we have signed a contract with a new customer in China is very pleasing and means that we are advancing our position on the Chinese market,” says Tommy Andersson, president and CEO of Bulten. The technical competences within Bulten, along with many years of experience of successfully supplying complex and critical fasteners to the automotive industry, were the main contributors in winning this contract. Visit:

Breedon JV wins surfacing project in Aberdeen


reedon Aggregates and Whitemountain have been jointly awarded a contract valued at up to £55 million to supply and lay asphalt on the £745 million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie–Tipperty project (AWPR/B-T). The 50/50 joint venture will supply and lay more than 500,000 tonnes

of asphalt material for the works, which are being constructed by AWPR Construction Joint Venture on behalf of Aberdeen Roads Limited. The AWPR/B-T is the longest roads construction project currently under construction in the UK, extending from Stonehaven in the south to Tipperty in the north and comprising 55 kilometres of dual carriageway, 22 kilometres of slip roads and 39 kilometres of

side roads and accesses. Breedon and Whitemountain will each erect a mobile asphalt plant on site to service the project, utilising aggregates sourced from the locality. They will also supply any offsite aggregate and sand requirements for the asphalt products and high PSV aggregates for the surface course of the main carriageway. Visit: Industry Europe 15


Combining strengths

Atlas Copco to acquire Italian pump manufacturer Trelleborg acquires marine docking and mooring solutions company



tlas Copco, a leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions, has agreed to acquire Varisco, an Italian pump manufacturer with a global sales network. Varisco is based in Padua near Venice, Italy, and had revenues in 2014 of €30 million. It employs about 135 people. Founded in 1932, Varisco is known around the world for the design and manufacture of high-quality pumps used by a wide range of customers. The pumps are typically used to remove unwanted water or other liquids in the construction, mining, and oil and gas industries; they are also used in industrial process plants and for emergency services in case of floods. “The pump business is a focused growth segment for us,” said Andrew Walker, president of Atlas Copco’s Construction Technique business area. “Varisco’s outstanding products and customer base make this an attractive acquisition.” Varisco will become part of the Portable Energy division in the Construction Technique business area. Visit:

Lifco acquires Redoma Recycling AB’s operations


ifco has signed an agreement to acquire Redoma Recycling AB’s operations. Redoma Recycling is a Swedish based company, specialised in designing and manufacturing small and mid-size cable recycling lines. In 2015, Redoma Recycling’s sales amounted to approximately SEK 25 million. The operations will be consolidated in the division Environmental Technology within the business area Systems Solutions. The acquisition will not have any significant effect on Lifco’s earn-

ASSA ABLOY acquires CEDES in Switzerland


SSA ABLOY has signed an agreement to acquire the Swiss company CEDES, a leading company in sensor technology to the door and elevator industry. “It is with satisfaction that I welcome CEDES into the ASSA ABLOY Group. CEDES represents an important step in the strategy of adding 16 Industry Europe

ings or financial position in the current financial year. Redoma Recycling AB was established in 1984 and has its headquarters in Malmö, Sweden. The company has eight employees. Lifco acquires and develops market-leading niche operations with the potential to deliver sustainable profit growth and strong cash flows. The group has three business areas: Dental, Demolition & Tools and Systems Solutions. Visit: more intelligence within entrance automation. Our entrance automation business has grown from SEK 3 billion in 2008 to more than SEK 18 billion proforma in 2015,” says Johan Molin, president and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. “CEDES’s competence, experience and product offering in the sensor field is a strong addition to our current product portfolio and will lead to highly innovative

relleborg has, through its business area Trelleborg Offshore & Construction, signed an agreement to acquire Marimatech AS, a market-leading company in marine positioning and piloting systems, primarily specialising in the development of software used for docking or mooring ships offshore or in ports. The acquisition will broaden and supplement Trelleborg’s product portfolio within berthing, docking and mooring solutions for ports and vessels. The acquired company has its head office and production site in Aarhus, Denmark. The company’s global sales totaled approximately SEK 50 million in 2014. This bolt-on acquisition is part of Trelleborg’s strategy to strengthen its positions in attractive market segments. “The acquired company has a successful navigation and ship positioning product line using the latest ‘smart’ technology, which can be used on other marine applications and integrated with our existing range of products. This transaction will enable us to strengthen our offering as an attractive turnkey supplier of marine docking and mooring solutions for owners and managers of ports and vessels,” says Fredrik Meuller, president of the Trelleborg Offshore & Construction business area. Visit:

and integrated solutions combining different technologies that will create new customer benefits,” says Juan Vargues, executive vice-president of ASSA ABLOY and head of Division Entrance Systems. CEDES was established in 1986 and has some 340 employees. The company is headquartered in Landquart, Switzerland. Visit:


DeltaLangh Ltd bought by Langh Tech


angh Tech has bought Deltamarin Ltd’s share of the previously jointly owned DeltaLangh Ltd, which manufactures scrubbers and water treatment systems. “The cooperation with Deltamarin continues and Deltamarin Floating Construction can still provide turnkey scrubber installations,” states Langh Group managing director Laura Langh-Lagerlöf. The method developed by Langh is based on an environmentally friendly closed-loop scrubber

SSAB and Aspo ESL Shipping sign long-term agreement


SAB and Aspo Group’s ESL Shipping Ltd have signed a long-term frame agreement covering sea freight for SSAB’s inbound raw material sea transport within the Baltic Sea and from the North Sea. The purpose of the agreement is to secure deliveries of raw materials, enable mutual, long-term gains in efficiency and to reduce overall logistics costs. This will simultaneously make raw material logistics as sustainable and environmentally aware as possible. The estimated transport volume is 6–7 million tonnes annually. The new combined sea freight agreement will result in a reduction of more than 50% in CO2 emissions per tonne of cargo transported compared to present vessels. Besides these environmental benefits, the cost savings provided by new technology will also allow better profitability. “We are extremely pleased to continue our long-established sea transport partnership with SSAB. Together we will make shipping more sustainable and environmentally aware than ever before,” says Aki Ojanen, chairman of the board of ESL Shipping and CEO of Aspo Group. Visit:

Minesto enters technology partnership with Schottel Hydro


inesto has entered into a technology partnership with German tidal turbine manufacturer Schottel Hydro. The objective is to supply Minesto with hydrokinetic turbine components in 2016 and 2017. According to the newly signed agreement, Schottel Hydro will deliver a custom-

that can also be used in open-loop mode. “The hands-on experience has been excellent. We can see that the closed-loop water treatment system can, as it is a reliably functioning and an affordable solution, offer a very good opportunity for updating also other manufacturer’s scrubbers in order to meet the tightened regulations.” From 1 January 2016 the scrubbers and the water treatment units will carry the trademark Langh Tech. Sauli Vahtokari from Langh Group’s production sees the change very positively. “I believe that through the change in ownership we are able to react faster to the customers’ needs and to develop new solutions for the tightening environmental demands. Product development has always been a central part of the Langh companies’ activities.” Visit:

Unique Group acquires GSE Rentals


nique Group has acquired GSE Rentals (Geophysical Survey Equipment) a rental specialist of high quality geophysical, hydrographic and oceanographic marine survey equipment. GSE Rentals is now wholly owned by Unique Group and the company’s workforce will be retained. Former owner, Stan Moroney, will continue as business advisor and consultant to Unique Group. Unique Group has more than 20 years of survey rental experience globally. By acquiring GSE Rentals, it can strengthen its presence in non-oil and gas markets, with a focus on offshore renewable energy projects, submarine cables, dredging, ports and harbours and civil projects. Andy Doggett, director of Unique Group’s survey equipment division, said: “GSE Rentals is a well respected company that offers a high level of technical support and knowledge

ised turbine solution which will optimally fit the requirements of Deep Green, Minesto’s underwater kite construction that is expected to be deployed in 2017 at the Holyhead Deep site off the coast of Anglesey, Wales. The lightweight nacelle power-take-off system includes a turbine, drive train, power electrics and auxiliary devices. All components will be tailor-made

to its global customers. The advantage to GSE Rentals’ customers is that it will now be able to provide enhanced global support through Unique Group’s bases in the Middle East, South Africa, India, the Netherlands, Singapore and the USA. “We are well aware of the high-quality service provided by GSE Rentals and by committing additional capital to increase its fleet, we will enhance its place as the preferred marine survey rental company in Europe.” Visit:

to fit the system of the ‘underwater kite’ perfectly. During the coming three years, 19 more Deep Green-devices will follow and eventually form an array with an overall capacity of 10 MW, supplying electricity to the equivalent of 8000 households and create local jobs in both construction and operational phases. Visit: Industry Europe 17



Relocations and expansions across Europe

Stena Bulk invests in more IMOIIMAX tankers

S Saint Gobain opens Indonesian facility


ollowing successful certification for automotive manufacturing quality from International Automotive Task Force (IATF), Saint-Gobain, producers of NORGLIDE® Bearings, has announced that its new Bekashi Plant in Jakarta, Indonesia, has moved into full production. The plant represents a great advancement for Saint-Gobain in the country and is the company’s first composite bearing production facility in Indonesia, which produces sliding bearings with a self-lubricating liner of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This facility brings Saint-Gobain’s state-of-the-art technology, manufacturing processes and expertise, which has established NORGLIDE® bearings as a market leader in bearing performance, closer to customers in the expanding Indonesian market. “This is a momentous time for us at Saint-Gobain and for our customers,” said Stuart Kelly, marketing manager Asia. “Achieving automotive quality certification is a great step forward for us and a testament to the hard work of our talented team on the ground in Jakarta. The significant strategic investment in this new facility demonstrates our commitment to our Tier 1 and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) partners in Indonesia.” Visit:

Vygon Group opens subsidiary in Finland


ygon, the Paris headquartered specialist single-use medical devices group, has announced the opening of a subsidiary in Finland. Vygon has already been present in Finland for more than 30 years via a network of distributors. “The new subsidiary will increase sales and offer a wider range of quality medical devices. Inline with Vygon’s ethos, value life; we aim to improve the standard of care in Finland by partnering with clinicians,” said John Yates, vicepresident for central, northern and eastern Europe. Finland has seen health expenditure increase steadily over recent years, reaching 9% of GDP in 2014. “After creating Vygon Sweden in 1999, Vygon Denmark in 2005 and Vygon Norway in 2012, the opening of a Finnish subsidiary as we enter 2016 will further strengthen Vygon’s Nordic presence,” said Stéphane Regnault, chairman of the Vygon managing board. Visit:

thyssenkrupp Elevator invests in advanced manufacturing


he inauguration ceremony for the multifunctional facility marks the completion of the development of the thyssenkrupp Elevator presence in Neuhausen, from only manufacturing into a state-of-the-art technology park. In addition to the modernisation of the production lines and process

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tena Bulk has placed an order for three 50,000 dwt IMOIIMAX MR tankers with the Chinese shipyard CSSC Offshore & Marine Engineering (CSSC OME) in Guangzhou. It has also taken out an option on a further two vessels. The total value of the order is USD 200 million. The first delivery is planned for the end of 2017 after which the vessels will be delivered at 3-monthly intervals. The vessels now ordered are of the same type as the ten chemical and product tankers ordered by Stena Bulk in 2012 from the same shipyard, the first four of which were delivered earlier this year. All the IMOIIMAX tankers will be deployed in Stena Weco’s global logistic system, which currently employs more than 60 vessels. Visit:

Unique Group expands into Saudi Arabia


AE headquarted Unique Group, the leading integrated subsea and offshore solution provider, is making its first move into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the opening of two new facilities in Riyadh and Dammam. With the opening of the two new sites, Unique Group is signalling its commitment to growth in the Kingdom, as well as the wider Middle East. The move is being made in response to customer demand for products and support services to be provided locally. Ten skilled engineering roles will be created throughout 2016, some of which will be filled by local people, in line with the Kingdom’s aspirations to increase opportunities for its indigenous workforce. The teams will be led by sales manager Egon Oltmans, who brings a wealth of experience gained in similar roles with companies such as Nortek SeaDarQ and Nortek Oceanografische Instrumentation in the Netherlands, and Trio DataCom in Melbourne. Visit:

optimisation, the project also includes the construction of an advanced sales and customer centre. More than €80 million in total was invested in the upgrade and modernisation of the technology park. “The modernised technology park is a key element in the implementation of our growth strategy,” says Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator. “In the last three

years the elevator plant has been upgraded and expanded into one of the most advanced and best production facilities of its kind. The most innovative elevators for the world’s tallest buildings will be produced here in the future. At the same time the modernisation ensures a safe, attractive and motivating environment for our employees.” Visit:


INDUSTRYPEOPLE New Electrolux president and CEO


he Electrolux board of directors has appointed Jonas Samuelson as the company’s new president and CEO as of 1 February, 2016. Mr Samuelson is currently head of the business area Electrolux Major Appliances Europe, Middle East and Africa. He has previously been the head of Electrolux Global Operations and prior also held the role as Group chief financial officer. Jonas Samuelson joined Electrolux in 2008. Ronnie Leten, chairman of the board of directors of Electrolux, says: “The board is pleased that Jonas Samuelson will take on the role as president and CEO for the group. His focus will be to continue executing the Electrolux strategy of becoming a truly consumer driven company leveraging our global scale. With his background and proven results, I am certain he is the right next leader for Electrolux.” Visit:

ATR appoints new senior vice-president Engineering



EA Europe has appointed Christophe Tytgat as the organisation’s new secretary general. Mr Tytgat holds degrees in Law, International Relations and East-European Studies from the University of Leuven as well as a degree in International and European Law from the University of Brussels.


ernd Holz, managing director of Ammann Verdichtung GmbH and Ammann sales director Europe (North) has taken up the CECE presidency on behalf of the Czech association SVSS as of 1 January 2016. Holz succeeds Eric Lepine (Caterpillar, Agoria), who served as president in 2014 and 2015. The new CECE leadership team is completed with Giampiero Biglia (CNH Industrial, Unacea) who moves from second to first vice-president, and Lars-Göran Andersson (SACE, Volvo) who was recently elected CECE second vice-president. “The CECE priorities for the next term include the completion of the new engine exhaust emissions legislation in all its technical detail, as well as activities in the fields of outdoor noise regulation and machine safety standards, including the drafting of a new standard for machine visibility,” said Holz. Visit:

Leoni appoints new head of Wiring Systems

lessandro Amendola has been appointed as new senior vice-president Engineering of ATR. He will be responsible for all the engineering activities related to the fields of certification and airworthiness, customisation, systems and propulsion, structures, flight tests, flight technologies, support, and quality, processes and methods. He will also closely work with the Programmes directorate, providing engineering support and solutions in the definition of new aircraft developments. He will report to ATR’s chief executive officer Patrick de Castelbajac, and will sit on the executive committee. Alessandro started his career in Magnaghi Aeronautica in 1980, responsible for after-sales assistance and maintenance. His last position before joining ATR was chief of Engineering for Next Generation Turboprop (NGTP). He graduated as an aeronautical engineer from the Federico II University of Naples (Italy). Visit:

Christophe Tytgat new secretary general of SEA Europe

Bernd Holz takes up CECE Presidency


he supervisory board of Leoni AG has assigned responsibility for its Wiring Systems division to Dr Frank Hiller (49) during its meeting today. A member of the management board since April 2014 and hitherto in charge of the Wire & Cable Solutions division, Dr Hiller will assume his new position effective 1 January 2016. Dr Werner Rupp, chairman of Leoni AG’s supervisory board, said: “Today’s decision is a sign of our confidence in Frank Hiller. The supervisory board is convinced that, with his many years of experience in the automotive industry, he is an ideal appointment to lead the Wiring Systems division back to its targeted course of profit-oriented growth.” Dr Hiller said: “Our Wiring Systems Division is Europe’s No.1 provider of cable harnesses and wiring systems.” Visit:

He started his career in 1999 as a civil servant in the Belgian federal administration. First, he worked as adviser for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and then, he was legal advisor for the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (Maritime Department). Since June 2001, Mr Tytgat has worked for the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), and for the past three

years he has been ECSA’s senior director responsible for competition, legal and taxation matters, as well as social affairs. Mr Tytgat has also been an active member in the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Maritime Transport. Visit:

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Intelligent power grids


or two years now, the longest superconducting cable in the world has been operated successfully in the city center of Essen. It has transmitted about 35 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, corresponding to the energy needed by 10,000 households. The AmpaCity project thus demonstrates how power grids can be made fit for the future. “For the transformation of the energy system, we need intelligent and efficient power grids. Only then will we succeed in optimally and sustainably integrating renewable energies into our energy system,” the President of KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) , Professor Holger Hanselka, says. “For this reason, KIT conducts research into promising superconductor technologies and combines energy research with information technology. The German Award for Innovations Relating to the Climate and Environment that has now been granted to AmpaCity with KIT being the research partner encourages us in our determination to proceed on this way.” “High-temperature superconductivity, i.e. zero-resistance electricity transport at -200°C instead of -270°C goes back to research conducted by Alex Müller and Johannes Georg Bednorz. For their work, they were granted the Physics Nobel Prize in 1987. Thanks to the properties of the superconducting material, a special ceramic, and its cooling to -200°C, the cable is turned into an ideal electric conductor. Compared to conventional cables, the modern superconducting cable can transmit five times the amount of electricity per cross section. In Essen, the 10,000 volt superconducting cable replaces a conventional 110,000 volt line on a length of one kilometer. Since its commissioning on April 30, 2014, the cable has transmitted about 35 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, which corresponds to the energy needed by 10,000 households. Visit:

Smart windows clean themselves


revolutionary new type of smart window could cut window-cleaning costs in tall buildings while reducing heating bills and boosting worker productivity. Developed by UCL (University College London) with support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), prototype samples confirm that the glass can deliver three key benefits: Self-cleaning: The window is ultra-resistant to water, so rain hitting the outside forms spherical droplets that roll easily over the surface ñ picking up dirt, dust and other contaminants and carrying them away. This is due to the pencil-like, conical design of nanostructures engraved onto the glass, trapping air and ensuring only a tiny amount of water comes into contact with the surface. Energy-saving: The glass is coated with a very thin (5-10 nanometre) film of vanadium 20 Industry Europe

dioxide which during cold periods stops thermal radiation escaping and so prevents heat loss; during hot periods it prevents infrared radiation from the sun entering the building. Anti-glare: The design of the nanostructures also gives the windows the same anti-reflective properties found in the eyes of moths and other creatures that have evolved to hide from predators. It cuts the amount of light reflected internally in a room to less than 5 per cent – compared with the 20-30 per cent achieved by other prototype vanadium dioxide coated, energy-saving windows. “This is the first time that a nanostructure has been combined with a thermochromic coating. The bio-inspired nanostructure amplifies the thermochromics properties of the coating and the net result is a self-cleaning, highly performing smart window,” said Dr Ioannis Papakonstantinou of UCL. Visit:

Advances in technology across industry

Transport vehicles of the future


missions from the transport sector can be drastically reduced with more streamlined trucks. Researchers at Linköping University have calculated. Erik Alfredsson, owner of Alfredssons Transport AB in Norrköping, today has 55 both light and heavy vehicles in his fleet; they’ve been running free of fossil fuels for two months. The vehicles run on HVO 100, a synthetic biodiesel that is produced from such things as offal. For a few years now, he’s also been working intensely with Professor Matts Karlsson and his doctoral student Petter Ekman from the Division for of Applied Thermodynamics & Fluid Mechanics in at the Department of Management and Engineering. The goal is to bring down fuel consumption through reducing air resistance. Using advanced computer calculations at Linköping University’s National Super Computer Centre, they have produced a body profile for a light truck in which air resistance is substantially reduced without decreasing its carrying capacity. Mr Alfredsson has had the vehicle built. The base is a traditional Mercedes light truck that has been given self-supporting floors and new, lighter material in parts of the body. The forms box has been rounded off; all sharp corners and edges are gone, the wheels have been partially enclosed and the roof has a slight, gentle slope backwards like a wing. Over the 90,000 kilometers the truck has travelled so far, its fuel consumption has decreased by at least 12 percent compared to the same vehicle with a traditional body. There are certainly vast amounts of fuel to save by reducing air resistance as much as possible. Now Professor Karlsson and Mr Ekman are looking at applying their solution to heavy trucks. Visit:


NOTICEBOARD Kalmar introduces industry Kistler launches new KiRoad Performance new KiRoad Performance on-board elecautomatically detecting the input to which each first fast charging solution Thetronics is a compact, mobile control unit that sensor is connected, ensuring that all sensors


almar, part of Cargotec, has announced it will be introducing the industry first fast charging solution for electric powered shuttle and straddle carriers. The Kalmar FastCharge(TM) solution is locally emission free and can be applied to both automated and manual operation. The Kalmar FastCharge solution is based on the same opportunity charging technology used in electric buses. The charging station with a pantograph direct current charging system is located flexibly on the working route of the machines in the terminal. The machine has modern Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries which enable fast charging to be used. Charging happens during the idle time in the machine working cycle when it has stopped to wait for the container. Typical charging time in operation is 30 to 180 seconds, and with the maximum charging power of 600 kW, full charge can be achieved in a few minutes. “Customers have been asking for electric powered shuttle operation for a while already,” says Dr Tero Kokko, vice-president, Horizontal Transportation at Kalmar. “This technology makes the charging process smooth, as there is no need to take the machine out of operation for battery swapping.” Visit:

enables users to configure Kistler RoaDyn® wheel force transducers quickly and reliably. As well as ensuring that measurement data is processed reliably, this unit also supports intuitive wireless operation of wheel force measurement systems on the vehicle and, in future, on the test bench. For over 25 years, Kistler’s wheel force transducers have been setting standards when it comes to measuring vehicle dynamics or durability and tire testing. Now, Kistler is launching the KiRoad Performance: a user-friendly control unit featuring smart configurations and operations that meet today’s and future requirements for a flexible wheel force measurement solution. During system start-up, the KiRoad Performance reads the individual characteristic data for each Kistler RoaDyn® wheel force transducer,

are identified and easily parameterised. Visit:

Arkema introduces new Rilsan® fine powders grade


he Rilsan® fine powders product line has expanded its range of bio-based polyamide coating powders for the outdoor furniture market. Along with Rilsan® T Grey 9102 MAC and Rilsan® ES 9132 MAC, Arkema now offers two grey-coloured (RAL 7021) grades designed for fluidised bed dipping and electrostatic spraying. These two grades were formulated to offer outstanding UV-resistance, while keeping core properties brought by Rilsan® fine powders PA11 coatings. These properties include: long-term resistance to extreme maritime and industrial environments; anti-graffiti properties; fire resistance; electrical insulation; and chemical resistance. Outstanding mechanical properties are also inherited, which include impact resistance, flexibility, abrasion resistance, a unique grip, and warm-to-the-touch feel. As a thermoplastic powder for coatings, Rilsan® fine powders offer an exceptional choice in processing methods, which allows coating complex parts with various geometries. Rilsan® fine powders are derived from castor oil, a 100% vegetable, non-toxic, and renewable resource. Here, Arkema offers a great way to combine eco-responsibility with outstanding performance. Visit:

RocTool launches new Performance Cooling units R ocTool, the technology and manufacturing solutions provider, has extended its range with new RocTool Performance Cooling (RPC) units. They are used to complement its induction heating process for plastic injection and composites processes. “RocTool Systems & Engineering teams have developed a wide range of new performance cooling units to meet the manufacturers’ growing demand in our Heat & Cool technologies in production globally,” says Jean-François Martinez, RocTool’s manager for Systems and Peripherals. One of the main objectives for RocTool teams working on RPC units is to optimise cycle times to increase equipment productivity. “It is a great cycle time improvement and an extra cooling control capability. It’s a real technological breakthrough that enables our users to have better control over the temperature changes and save valuable production time,” explains Jean-Francois Martinez. Visit:

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ver since its founding in 2006, PaintExpo has been continuously growing form one event to the next. The leading international trade fair for industrial coating technologies, which will take place at the exhibition centre in Karlsruhe from the 19–22 April 2016, will continue its ongoing success. Mid-December, the exhibitor list already included roughly 430 companies. Renewed growth is also reflected by occupied net exhibition floor space. With more than 12,700 square metres (135,000 square feet), it already exceeds all of the floor space booked in 2014. “But the figures are just one side of the coin. This is complemented by the fact that many of the exhibiting companies will present innovations and further developments at PaintExpo. This makes it possible for us to present visitors with the world’s most up-to-date and comprehensive offerings for industrial coating technology, and thus for dealing with the challenges they’re faced with,” reports Jürgen Haußmann, managing director of event promoters FairFair GmbH. Solutions showcased by PaintExpo exhibitors cover the entire process sequences for liquid painting, powder coating and coil coating. Amongst other products, single-component, fluoride-free iron phosphating for the pre-treatment of metallic substrates in spray and immersion applications will be presented, as well as inexpensive, low-maintenance substitution processes for zinc phosphatising which achieve equally good adhesion and corrosion protection characteristics. Innovations will also await the visitors with regard to nano-ceramic systems with multi-metal compatibility. New and further developments are in focus for paints which fulfil decorative as well as functional requirements, with high levels of material efficiency and environmental compatibility. These include, for example, innovative powder coating and liquid painting systems by means of which metallic and plastic substrates can be furnished with high-quality chrome finishes without the need for chrome (VI)containing products. In the field of powder coating, low-temperature, thin-film and so-called ‘two coat one bake’ powdered enamel systems are promoting reduced consumption of energy and materials, as well as increased productivity. In the field of UV technology, newly developed paints and curing systems are making it possible to coat more and more complex metal and plastic workpieces. Visit:



NDEX, taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 23–26 May 2016 is the biggest sourcing platform for interiors and design products in the Middle East. Home to over 30,000m2 of global brands and suppliers for hospitality, residential and retail projects This year’s event will include exhibitors from six key product sectors: Art & Décor, Furniture, Furnishings, Kitchen & Bathroom, Lighting and Textiles - INDEX has it all. INDEX welcomes up to 30,000 architecture, design and interiors professionals across the four day event, offering exceptional B2B opportunities to make new connections, network with industry leaders, boost brand visibility and expanded exporting channels. As always, INDEX 2016 will feature a number of activities to engage and inspire the design community, these include the ‘Design Talks’ seminar series – a comprehensive range of panel discussions, presentations and workshops focusing on business, design and trends. Exciting additions to this year’s programme is a presentation hosted by award winning designer Karim Rashid, who will share his thoughts on ‘Sensual Minimalism’ and the Design Innovation Forum, a thought-provoking look at the challenges and opportunities of innovative design. During the show, the Middle East Interior Design & Architecture Awards will recognise and reward outstanding interior design and architecture projects across the Middle East and North Africa. These

awards will be open to all interior designers, interior architects and architects for design projects located in the MENA region. Meanwhile, the prestigious Product Design Awards will honour excellence and innovation in product design for the residential and commercial sectors – open exclusively to INDEX exhibitors. Visit:

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Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the benefits and problems of the migrant influx into Germany.


ermans have finally found something to smile about in the midst of the refugee avalanche into the country – government figures shows the economy has spiked as a result. Third quarter growth in 2015 was lifted by strong consumer spending coupled with government expenditure on the migrants. “The German economy has finally become what many international critics had been demanding for a long while: a domestically-driven economy, at least in the third quarter,” said ING economist Carsten Brzeski. And Armin Laschet, a leading member of the ruling conservative Christian Democrats, called it “the biggest pro-growth programme in years.” The figures for July to September showed GDP expanding 0.3 per cent with household consumption in the third quarter up 0.6 per cent from the previous three months. Government spending went up 1.3 per cent, prompting US rating agency Standard and Poor’s to say European consumers were finally beginning to spend their way out of recession. Government expenditure will amount to close to nine billion euros for 2015 and 2016, said economy minister Sigmar Gabriel. Economist Stefan Kipar at Bayern LB bank said: “This extra spending is like a small and unexpected stimulus programme.” The International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and eurozone partners had long hoped Germany would pour its large trade surpluses into investments benefitting the wider continent. Analysts hailed the news as a welcome shift for a country that has often preached fiscal rectitude at the expense of stimulating the 19-country eurozone. It was not the first time that the German economy, traditionally reliant on exports, looked more to its own shoppers to buoy growth. Last year saw a similar trend, propelled by a robust labour market. 26 Industry Europe

Not welcome everywhere But while the refugees are good news for most people, the fact remains they are a target of hatred and mistrust from the far right in society. Neo-Nazis have taken great pleasure in spreading biased and unsubstantiated stories on social media sites about their propensity to criminality when in fact they are mostly the victims. German police are reporting a spike in threats and attacks against them requiring more and more security measures. Security zones have been implemented in some towns around accommodation centres while in others police overtime rocketed due to the number of incidents of threats, intimidation and assaults against migrants.

“The German economy has finally become ... a domestically-driven economy.” In Bad Oeynhausen, for example, in the west of the country, the police were called out to 428 incidents involving refugees in October 2015 – and 407 of them were to protect the newcomers. Police spokesman Ralf Steinmeyer, spokesman for the Minden-Lübbecke district police, said that there were ‘hair raising’ stories of refugee crime on the Internet, ranging from burglary to rape. “We have not a single case that corresponds to these rumours,” he said. “People should not believe rumours or things they see posted on Internet social sites.” He added: “Even refugees commit crimes. But there are no abnormalities in the crime situation in Bad Oeynhausen or in the district. The majority of the call-outs we get are to protect migrants. Our patrol is present at the emergency shelter in Bad Oeynhausen several times a day.” In September police had to set up a security zone around a hostel in the eastern German

state of Saxony to protect refugees from rightwing protestors in a hostel in Bischofswerda. In total the 16 states of Germany have recorded 500 instances of attacks against accommodation areas and individual migrants in the first eight months of 2015. In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous, a third of all 151 asylum centres have a virtual permanent police presence outside. In August in the state 3948 police manpower hours were consumed in protecting the refugees from outsiders – and, more worryingly, from one another. For violence amongst refugees in the reception centres is a massive and growing problem. There have been outbreaks at hostels in Suhl in Thuringia, Bramsche in Lower Saxony, Trier in Rhineland-Palatinate, Heidenau in Saxony, as well as in Dresden and Leipzig. “Indeed, an explosive mood is developing in many of the refugee camps across Germany, most of which have become overcrowded. Police situation reports from across the country describe a growing propensity to violence in the hostels,” according to the news magazine Der Spiegel. But ordinary Germans, those who broadly support the influx, believe that recent measures designed to alleviate the overcrowding in camps which is blamed for creating much of the tensions leading to violence, will lead to more peaceful times in 2016. Klaus Henkel, a volunteer with a refugee centre in Berlin, where by December 2015 migrants made up nearly two per cent of the city’s population, said: “Despite all the dire warnings, despite attacks on them, despite violence among them, the figures speak for themselves: refugees are good for the economy and good for Germany. “In 50 years’ time we will reap the true benefits of taking in these people with integrated, hardworking and respectable citizens contributing to the wealth of a more broadminded, n welcoming Germany.”



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris about the struggles of French farmers.


armers in France are committing suicide at a rate of almost 12 a week due to the economic downturn, excessive red tape and social isolation, campaigners in the agricultural industry have warned. Around 600 farmers kill themselves every year – with the mortality rate highest among cattle farmers aged between 45 and 64 years-old – making it the third most common cause of death for agricultural workers after cancer and heart disease. But despite the soaring suicide rate, which has doubled in the past eight years and is now 20 per cent higher than across France as a whole, little is being done to tackle the difficulties facing the industry, it was claimed this week. The highly sensitive issue sheds light on the vulnerability of those working in the beleaguered French farming sector, which frequently herds livestock through central Paris in protest at rising costs and plunging profits. There are multiple reasons behind the current escalating crisis hitting farmers, not just in France, but across Europe. The beef, pork and milk sectors have seen prices collapse because of both declining sales to China and the Russian embargo on most Western food imports in retaliation for sanctions over the Ukraine crisis. Grain and vegetable producers are also being hit hard as world prices nosedive. In addition, wholesalers, which have been engaged in a price war for several years, are demanding ever deeper cuts from suppliers, who are in turn squeezing farmers. Meanwhile, a mild winter has meant many growers are bringing produce to the market before they can find buyers. Pathogens heaped further woe on livestock farmers, with bluetongue disease ravaging cows and an outbreak of bird flu leading to several countries banning imports of foie gras. A recent report by France’s INVS health institute said they were in ‘no doubt’ that French farmer’s struggle to survive financially was the chief cause of the high suicide rate.

France’s Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said three years ago that he was ‘aware that farmers’ financial difficulties can cause stress’ and he promised new measures aimed at boosting farmers’ incomes. But since then, suicide rates have climbed by 20 per cent.

Speaking out Earlier this month, farmers in Charroux, western France, staged a symbolic march which concluded in a minute’s silence and flowers being left in memory of the dead farmers. More general protests have been rumbling on for months across the country. In February, angry farmers heckled President Francois Hollande before tearing down a government stand at France’s annual agricultural fair against the backdrop of what they insist is the ‘worst crisis ever’ facing the agricultural industry. Livestock farmers from the FNSEA union booed and whistled as Hollande and agriculture minister Mr Le Foll made their way through the event site in a vast hall in southern Paris. Mr Hollande acknowledged that the crisis facing farmers is “exceptionally hard, exceptionally long, exceptionally generalised.” He added: “To come and exhibit in the context of so much difficulty and pain is a lovely act of patriotism. It is not compliments that farmers want but lasting policies.” Laurent Pinatel, spokesman of the national small farmers group Confederation Paysanne, told news agency AFP: “Agriculture is experiencing its worst crisis ever. There is a lot of worry on the farms, a lot of people are quitting because they feel there is no future,” Pinatel said that 5000 farmers are leaving the sector each year. Now those affected are increasingly starting to speak out about their experiences to break the taboo about suicide. Dairy farmer Louis Ganay, 35, who has personal experience of suicidal depression, told the BFM TV

news channel: “Getting up early every day, knowing that in a month you’ll only be able to make 200 or 300 euros with 80 hours of work each week, is a real torture.” When 15 of his 50 cows died in 2014, Ganay was traumatised and suffered financial hardship which pushed him into depression, he said. He added: “With the physical fatigue, the psychological pressure, the bank that wants to give up on you, the death of the cows, I had no reason to live anymore.” Ganay was able to reach an agreement with his bank to spread out his debt repayment, and he also wrote about his problems on the Internet, receiving numerous letters of support, and he is now on the path to recovery. And Francis Le Ferrand, whose farmer husband killed himself, told France 2 television: “It’s inhumane to work without pay. When you work 70 hours per week and there’s no pay at the end, believe me, it is very difficult to live.” Jacques Jeffredo, a former farmer who studies the phenomenon of farmer suicide, is trying to raise awareness of the problem. He argues that the official estimates, which put the number of annual suicides at around 200, are a vast underestimate and the real figure is around 600 – partly due to the reluctance of relatives to speak about the tragic phenomenon. He told BFM TV: “As long as we see it as an illness, there is a sense of shame and as a result we don’t talk about it.” Last October, Jeffredo set up 600 white crosses, similar to those used in military cemeteries, in front of Basilica Saint-Anne d’Auray in Brittany – the region with the highest suicide rate. He added: “For me, this image was important. Numerous anonymous people have died giving their lives for others, to feed us, to feed the population. They died for that. “Now we need urgent action, not just words of sympathy, not just to save the farming industry, but farmers’ lives themselves.” n Industry Europe 27

MADE IN INDIA ALP Nishikawa Company is a part of India-based ALP Group, a pioneer in the development of EPDM technology for the country’s automotive market. Mr Iqbal Singh Anand, Chairman, discloses to Victoria Hattersley how the company has grown in recent years and how it has benefited from the ‘Make in India’ programme.

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art of the globally renowned ALP Group, ALP Nishikawa Company (ANCO) is a 50:50 joint venture between the India-based Anand Group and Nishikawa Rubber Co., Japan. Established in 1996, it is currently India’s leading manufacturer of EPDM rubber sealing system for cars. It is an OEM supplier to all major car manufacturers in India. 25 per cent of the ALP Group’s output is exported to areas such as the US, Africa and Europe. To facilitate this it has a strong network of dealers and distributors with sales offices in New York, South Africa and Spain. The Group has manufacturing plants in Lalru (Punjab), Gurgaon (Haryana), Rudrapur (Uttrakhand) and NOIDA (Uttar Pradesh) as well as a plant in South Africa, at each of which it develops and produces complete sealing solutions for cars and commercial vehicles. Continuous capacity expansion is an important part of ALP’s strategy and it invests around USD 3–5 million annually for this purpose. In addition to its impressive production capacity, ANCO also has a state-of-the-art design centre in Gurgaon with CATIA and UG design software, and a product testing & validation lab in Lalru.

The ALP Group Before we go on to look in more detail about ANCO’s operations it would be helpful, in order to get some context, to look briefly at the structure of the ALP Group itself. Founded by Mr Iqbal Singh Anand

over three decades ago, it consists of four separate companies: ALP Nishikawa Company Private Ltd; ALP Overseas Private Ltd; ALP Plastics Private Ltd; and ALP Aeroflex India Private Ltd. Its total annual turnover is around INR 450 Crore. ANCO, the subject of this article, is also the flagship company of the group and was the first in India to introduce EPDM Weatherstrips to the automotive industry. ALP Overseas Private Ltd provides worldclass sealing systems to clients all over the world, including Canada, the US, Europe, Russia and Sri Lanka, and it also has a manufacturing facility in South Africa. ALP Plastics Private Ltd is the ALP Group’s Plastic and Injection Moulded Parts production unit, responsible for the manufacture of PVC/TPO/TPR extrusions. Finally, ALP Aeroflex India Pvt. Ltd is a joint venture of ALP Overseas and Eastern Polymer Industries of Thailand for the manufacturing of EPDM/nitrile insulation sheets, tubes and accessories for HVAC applications.

Products and technologies ALP’s production facilities are equipped with a number of state-of-theart technologies, including three mixing lines with an output capacity of 40 MT per day. It also has 14 continuous curing extrusion lines and for its finishing operations it has 350 moulding presses (both hydraulic and pneumatic) as well as special purpose machines for drilling,

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punching, notching, cutting and various other operations. The group has four TPO/TPE/PVC Lines and is installing a new line for TPE glass runs, besides having five injection moulding machines. ALP is able to offer an impressively wide range of products for the automotive, non-automotive and HVAC&R industries. According to Mr Anand these can broadly be divided into two main categories: EPDM sealing systems and Nitrile/EPDM elastomeric insulations. In the area of sealing systems, ALP produces windshield seals, encompassing cowl seals, roof line seals, sunroof seals, hood to cowl, hood to radiator, rear window seals, trunk/tail gate seals, injection moulded quarter lights, inner belt line seals, corner moulds and glass run channels. Its offering also includes seals for window gaskets, rear windshields, wheels arch rubbers, door seals, diggy seals and emergency door rubbers. Its Plastics division manufactures foot mats for OEs and other plastic injection moulded parts. In the area of Nitrile/EPDM elastomeric insulations ALP offers tubes and sheets with acoustic insulation and related insulation accessories. It is important for ALP that all the above products are manufactured according to the highest quality standards. In recognition of this, it has been accredited with several quality certifications, including TS-16949, ISO-9001, ISOS-14001 and ISO/TS 16949.

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But a strong product range is not the only factor that helps the company to stand out in this competitive marketplace: it also offers a consistently high level of service. Mr Anand sums up ALP’s strengths in this way: “Quality, timely deliveries and customer support help us to stand out in a competitive market. We are able to deliver a complete package of sealing systems for automotive customers.”

Strong customer and supplier bonds ALP has long-standing relationships with many high profile clients throughout the world, in confirmation of which it has received several trophies and certificates. For example, Maruti Suzuki awarded it with a Gold Trophy for ‘Overall Performance’ as well as certificates for superior performance in the areas of ‘Incoming Quality Improvement’, ‘Best Performing Vendor for Technology Group Rubber Components’, ‘Design Capability’, ‘Design & Development’, ‘Kaizen & MPS’ and, finally, ‘Safety’. Furthermore, it also received a certificate from its client Honda Cars for participation in its Kaizen Competition, while Renault Nissan awarded it with a Certificate of Appreciation as an acknowledgement of its continued dedicated support. From Tata Motors it has received certificates in recognition of the two companies’ long mutual asso-

ciation along with a special Citation of Distinction. Finally, it has been awarded a certificate from Toyota Kirloskar for achieving targets in the ‘Delivery & Cost’ category. ALP is aware that its ability to offer this consistently high level of service to its customers is down in no small part to the long-term relationships it has built with its key suppliers. These include, but are not limited to, such well-known names as Lanxess, Mitsui & Co. (Thailand) Ltd, Lurdes Bosch Spain, Exxon Mobil Singapore, Sheree Pollard UK, Mitsui Chemicals India Pvt. Ltd, Apar Industries Ltd India, 3M India Ltd, Gurgaon and Continental Carbon Ltd, Gaziabad.

Mr Anand concludes: “We plan to grow organically at a 15–20 per cent rate each year, besides acquiring competitor companies abroad and collaborating with international trading partners to grow sales. Our focus will continue to be the rubber-plastics business and we expect to touch sales of USD 150 million by 2018/19.” And with its award-winning customer service, coupled with its dynamic sales network throughout the world, this strategy is likely to pay dividends n in the years to come.

Investments and growth prospects ALP has benefited greatly from the widely publicised ‘Make in India’ programme and planned development of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. These projects will continue to fuel its development, as well as that of many other companies throughout the country, as Mr Anand explains: “The ‘Make in India’ and Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project is a state-sponsored Industrial Development Project of the Government of India. It is aimed at developing industrial zones spanning six states in India which would spur economic development in the region and develop industries. The backbone of the project would be a dedicated Freight Corridor that would cut the logistical costs of manufactured goods to make them the lowest in the world.” The group has acquired 30 acres of land on this corridor near Delhi and is in the advanced stages of negotiating JV projects in Water Proofing – Sound Insulation with a Japanese company and plastic moulded accessories with a Thai company. Aside from the above, it is expected that ALP Group’s future growth will be achieved through a mixture of organic expansion and acquisitions. It recently invested USD 5 million into the company, with further investments of USD 2 million into its Indian operations and USD 2 million into its South African operations planned for 2016. Industry Europe 31

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LOOKING TO THE FUTURE EvoBus GmbH is the largest European subsidiary of Daimler AG. With the brands Mercedes-Benz, Setra, OMNI plus and BusStore the company today is both a leading full-line supplier in the European bus and coach market as well as a growing global player. Evobus provides sustainable solutions for the mobility problems of the future. Romana Moares reports on the group’s activities in the Czech Republic, which are on the rise.


aimler Buses is the world leader in the segment above 8t, with its brands Mercedes-Benz and Setra representing a long tradition and employing the latest manufacturing processes and technologies. Setra as a premium brand focuses on comfort, individuality and the highest standards in technology. Mercedes-Benz is considered a synonymum for safety, quality and innovative technology. The whole range provides attractive total cost of ownership and the highest environmental requirements. The group’s numerous production sites and service centres today employ more than 8000 people in Europe. As part of Daimler Buses, EvoBus GmbH is embedded in the global bus activities of the Daimler Group. EvoBus GmbH is the largest European subsidiary of Daimler AG and responsible for the European bus activities of the Daimler Group. The merger of Setra and Mercedes-Benz in 1995 paved the way for the success of EvoBus GmbH. Mercedes-Benz and Setra are among the pioneers of bus and coach production.

Increased production facility EvoBus Česká republika s.r.o. is responsible for the sales and service of Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses in the Czech Republic, as well as the production of body shell segments and bus components for all bus types of the Mercedes-Benz and Setra range in its production facility in Holýšov near Plzeň. The business employs around 400 people. In 2012 Evobus opened a new modern production hall in Holysov, which expanded the production area by approximately 6000m2. The total production area now covers about 40,000m2. The additional space is used for the new generation of coaches and further production. “The Holýšov factory produces segments of body shell and components for urban low-floor buses, intercity buses of the MercedesBenz brand and all Setra buses and coaches. Currently we also produce body segments for Unimog trucks and commercial vehicles,” says Bülent Acicbe, the Czech plant manager. He further confirms Industry Europe 33

that in recent years the Czech company has been experiencing positive growth in sales as a consequence of growing bus markets. The plant increased the number of segments and components manufactured in 2014, approaching almost 7000 sets of body segments.

Continuous development Daimler invests continuously in technological development. One of the biggest changes in the past few years has been the introduction of the Euro 6 engines, which has impacted all product lines from the city buses to coaches. The new buses meet the highest requirements for efficiency and safety. They are equipped with a range of active and passive safety device such as the Active Brake

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Assist 3rd generation (ABA 3), which can recognise an obstacle in the path of the bus and secure safe stopping, Lane Assist, Attention Assist and other innovative features. The body shell complies with European directive ECE R66 / 01, which defines the survival space in the rollover. “We introduced a completely new bus concept – the Setra LE business – thus responding to rising market demand, which is also significant in the Czech Republic. Another new model will reflect the need for alternative fuel: the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro NGT will be driven by the new M 936 G engine for compressed natural gas (CNG). The new city bus will be presented at the international exhibition Busworld 2015 in October,” says Mr Acicbe.

New trends The manufacturing plant in Holýšov is part of the European EvoBus production network and delivers its components to the plant in Mannheim, Germany. The final products are delivered throughout the world, as far away as Singapore or the USA, although the main market remains Europe. “High quality in terms of raw materials and services is key for us, therefore we choose our suppliers very carefully. For the production of our buses we use only approved materials and technology which meet the highest quality standards set by Daimler, therefore our supplier relationships are very important to us. For our customers, we want to be a reliable partner for their business so we take care to offer top quality products and services at all times, such as our 24H Service,” says the plant manager. He further explains that for the Czech plant, the strategy is to employ state-of-the-art technologies in order to meet all quality and efficiency requirements, to invest in improving the qualifications of current employees to reflect developing technologies and to increase the added value in Holysov for the European Production Network and Daimler overall. “We have a wide Euro 6 engine range, to which we will soon add a NGT engine. The trend is to develop low-emission hybrid and alternative drive systems and that is the way forward n for us also,” he concludes.

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HAJDU today is a renowned name all across Europe. The award winning brand belongs to Hungary’s most well known manufacturer of household goods and is now used by the company’s diversified divisions, which are undergoing dynamic development. Edina Beale reports.


or many decades HAJDU has maintained a Hungarian market leading position in its traditional line of household products. However, since 2006 HAJDU Hajdúsági Ipari Zrt has begun to shift towards the renewable energy sector and has experienced continuous growth in this field. In 2014 HAJDU won the MagyarBrands and the Business Superbrands awards. Its water tank with heat pump, which is suitable for heating passive houses and producing hot water, won the innovation award. The same water tank family range also received the Hungarian Grand Prize award. In response to new environmental laws focusing on the ecological requirements of household goods, HAJDU has redeveloped and produced many new products in recent years. This includes improving the insulation for their heater tanks and launching the basic SMART water tank family range and new water tanks with heat pump. In order to meet the changing market needs HAJDU has turned its focus to new designs and is currently developing heat restoring air handling equipment and an angular hot water tank.

Automotive supply In addition, recent investments have extended the capabilities of HAJDU Autotechnika Ipari Zrt, the diversified manufacturing operation of the HAJDU group. The firm offers full services to its partners, including prominent car manufacturers and leading automotive suppliers, in order to meet the stringent quality requirements of the automotive industry. Based on the 2D and 3D models provided by partners, the company

designs the necessary tools whilst optimising them with stimulation software. The tools are then manufactured on site. An investment of nearly one million euros has enabled HAJDU Autotechnika to implement new technologies, including 3D laser cutting and vacuum welding, CNC grinding, heat treatment workshop and modern cutting equipment. Thanks to a new HSC CNC milling machine, the company is now able to manufacture electrodes on its own. In addition to technological investments, the infrastructure of the factory has also been developed. The company’s most important awards include the Bisnode AAA grade and Diamond diploma and the ‘supplier of the year’ by HIPA and KÜKÜM. The firm also won the IIASA-Shiba Award for excellent quality and the Recognized to Excellence award by EFQM.

Large investments To secure its future HAJDU Hajdúsági Ipari Zrt currently aims to develop its products and services and build capacities. As part of this, the company is investing €1,300,000 alone on increasing its products’ energy efficiency. Focus will be on the technologies and capacities which are required to manufacture new innovative technical solutions and product ranges. In the past ten years HAJDU Autotechnika Ipari Zrt has continuously developed its technological capabilities. The company’s sheet processing capacity is fully utilised, operating seven days a week in three shifts so the firm is in a need of capacity extension and broader

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choice of technologies. “The investment plan, which is worth €13 million, will seriously increase our competences and improve our technologies which enable us to satisfy our customers’ requirements on the highest level,” says vice-president, Mrs Dede Novotni. She continues: “The backbone of the investment is three press machines with varying pressing forces. We will need to get rid of the oil on the pressed parts, so a washing facility which is suitable to carry out this activity will also be purchased. We are no longer able to fit these new machines in the current production hall so we need to build a new production hall with cranes. The whole product flow, from the storage of basic material to the delivery of the finished product, will be carried out in this production hall. The third part of the investment is the development of the tool making factory. We need to extend our capacities to make tools for the new pressing machines, but these tools come in extremely large sizes and therefore require special table size tool making machines.”

Superior infrastructure The group’s third division, HAJDU Infrastruktúra Szolgáltató Zrt, operates the HAJDU Industrial Park, where in addition to the company’s own manufacturing sites several other businesses are located. The infrastructure of the industrial park has been continuously developed. In recent times its condensed air system was renewed and it was connected to the SCADA system, that allows for the use of a new electronic meter system for condensed air users. The site’s drinking water system has been fully reconstructed and a new gravel filter equipment was implemented, whilst the full control of the chemical meter system and the drinking water system was integrated with the SCADA supervisory control system. In addition to this the reconstruction of the ’Big Boiler District’, which started in 2014, was completed this year. The district heating system of this area was replaced with modern insulated tubes.

Good results The infrastructural development of the Industrial Park is being continued in the future. The aim is to keep the total energy consumption for unit of revenue below 7GJ/million, which would mean that the firm halves the total energy consumption per unit of revenue measured in 2010.

HAJDU’s revenue in 2014 increased by 16 per cent compared to the previous year. Both domestic sales and exports have increased. HAJDU achieved excellent 35 per cent growth results in the renewable energy sector, while sales in Russia increased by more than 50 per cent. These successes could not only be owing to the famous HAJDU brand. The company’s innovative product developments, its focus on the changing market needs and its large investments plans demonstrates that HAJDU is ready to meet n challenges head on. Industry Europe 39

PURE SNOWMANSHIP Kassbohrer Gelandefahrzeug AG is a global leader in the design and manufacture of speciality vehicles for snow and cross-country track grooming. The company continues to expand and strengthen its position as the global leader in the supply of all-terrain vehicles for recreational markets, as Philip Yorke reports.


he Kassbohrer all-terrain company was founded in 1893 by Karl Kassbohrer and began by producing buses and vehicle transporters. By 1969 it was Germany’s biggest coach and truck-trailer manufacturer. However, in 1994 the Snow-Groomer vehicles division was spun-off and now leads the field in its sector, setting the industry standards worldwide. Headquartered in Laupheim, Germany since 2002, today’s company produces premium ski slope and cross-country grooming vehicles. This is in addition to Beach-Tech vehicles for beach cleaning and grooming and other speciality vehicles for naturerelated applications.

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Today the company employs over 500 people worldwide and has a global network of distributors and agents in over 100 countries as well as in the Antarctic region. Kassbohrer also has more than 130 customer service centres worldwide and in 2014 recorded sales of more than €215 million.

Unrivalled innovative technology By far the most recognisable brand in the snow and cross country grooming market is ‘PistenBully’, which has been dominating ski slopes and ski domes worldwide for more than 45 years. PistenBully

is the global market and technology leader in snow grooming equipment. The brand represents quality, innovation, reliability and customer satisfaction. From the smallest track-setter; the PistenBully Paana, to the most powerful model; the PistenBully 600W SCR, which packs 510 hp, all models offer the highest standards of reliability and costeffectiveness, as well as achieving very low environmental impact. The new diesel-electric ‘eco’ PistenBully 600E+ represents a milestone in snow vehicle development. Environmental considerations remain a key focus for the company and last winter, for example, the company was the first snow-groomer manufacturer to introduce the new Tier4 final exhaust standard for significantly reduced emissions.

As a leader in recreational vehicle innovation, the company continues to develop market-specific vehicles. The PistenBully 400ParkPro for example is a highly specialised vehicle designed exclusively for the world’s fun parks. Today many ski resorts are relying on adventure trails, funslopes and family parks to boost their appeal to skiers and snowboarders and the latest vehicles from PistenBully meet these challenges and increase customer satisfaction. Another first from PistenBully is its market-leading Snowsat fleet management system with its snow-depth measurement control and satellite-guided positioning. This is an integrated system for the guiding and real-time monitoring of snow-groomers and snowmo-

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biles. The system uses GPS data to produce cartographical images of slopes, including cable-car poles and snow guns, as well as any potential danger spots. The position of vehicles is conveyed to the company headquarters in real-time. Furthermore, the company is also expanding its strong position in North American commercial vehicle market for extremely robust equipment racks to handle payloads ranging from 3 to 15 tonnes. These can be relied upon under even the toughest and most haz-

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ardous conditions. These are used for particularly remote or sensitive work, such as pipeline building or soil surveys, and can be customised to suit precisely an individual customer’s needs. This integrated solution supports the driver’s work, optimises quality control of operations and improves safety for people during work operations. Snow-sat offers improved productivity through its time savings thanks to its easy positioning and independence from weather and visibility conditions. Other advantages include prompt communication,

with data conveyed during work via an interactive menu and efficient management, achieved through a comprehensive analysis of the data and the simplification of workload using computer-aided planning.

First in beach cleaning Alongside the latest PistonBully technology is the company’s BeachTech division, which has also become the number one brand on world markets. Today the company’s BeachTech beach cleaning vehicles are utilised in over 80 countries worldwide and they can be found wherever perfectly cleaned beaches are required. The impressive technology at the heart of each machine sets today’s global standards in this growing niche market. Beach Tech equipment is also the first choice for oil disaster clean-up operations. The best evidence of their capabilities is their performance in the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A fleet of 30 BeachTech beach cleaners were able to remove the vast majority of the oil clumps from the affected beaches in a very short time.

Global support It is well known that if a snow-groomer vehicle breaks down, the situation can become problematic very quickly, which is a big concern for any ski-resort. To minimise the risks, the company has been investing for decades in a fast-response, globally available service network, which guarantees the availability of engineers and original spare parts within 24 hours. The company’s 130 service stations provide fast advice, support and spare part shipments around the clock. Customer service is at the heart of the company’s business. From the development of new innovative solutions, to services and spare parts, all employees follow the same clear goal, which is to consistently exceed customer expectations. All the company’s customers can be sure that that they can rely on motivated staff who are intensively trained in the latest technologies. n For more details of Pistenbully’s innovative products and services visit:

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RAISING STANDARDS KLEIN automotive, based in North Moravia near the Polish border, has supplied metal parts to the automotive industry for over 40 years. In the past decade, the company has become a strategic partner of Skoda Auto, and in 2015 it won the Volkswagen Group Award Certificate granted to the best suppliers. Romana Moares spoke to managing director Radek Hansmann about the company’s latest achievements and its plans for the future.


LEIN automotive, a successor to a traditional metal component manufacturer, specialises in the production of pressed, welded, machined and assembled parts for the automotive industry. Currently the company offers over 800 products plus a further 200 as spare parts. The automotive sector consumes 95 per cent of its output, while the rest is sold to the electrical sector, which is now declining. About 25 per cent of production is sold to export markets.

Automotive now and always Klein’s products can be found in the vehicles of most major carmakers, such as Skoda, Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, BMW, Mercedes, Ford, Citroen, Peugeot and Opel. To these leading companies, as 44 Industry Europe

well as their suppliers, Klein offers not only reliable manufacturing performance, but also qualified partnership in product and process design and development, quality planning and after sales service and logistics. Last year, the company changed its name from Klein&Blazek to KLEIN Automotive. “Today’s Klein Group consists of several different companies but the word ‘automotive’ is a clear statement of our business direction as well as our history. Supplying the automotive industry has been our long-term priority, and all internal processes have been set to match the standards required by this very demanding sector. This will remain so well into the future – we do not plan any major diversification into other industries,” says Mr Hansmann.

As mentioned before, although the company’s key customer is Skoda Auto, Klein’s products are supplied to numerous other industry leaders. Among these are: EDSCHA Kamenice nad Lipou, a supplier of door, bonnet and booth hinges for all major European car producers; ThyssenKrupp Bilstein, which uses Klein’s machined parts for its active undercarriage shock absorbers; and KEIHIN Thermal Technology Czech, a major global producer of air conditioning condensers.

Investing in modernisation The company currently operates two manufacturing plants, both of which have been substantially modernised and equipped with the latest technologies. “The investment was necessary for further

company growth. For example, we have purchased a new 1000tonne capacity press to satisfy new projects for Skoda Auto, and have built a new dispatch hall to increase storage capacity as well as to improve internal logistics,” says Mr Hansmann. Currently there are several parallel improvement projects running to increase production efficiency. Elements of 5S, SMED and the other building blocks of lean manufacturing have been implemented in all workstations and workshops, supported by the recently established Industrial Engineering department. “For a company such as ours – i.e. a supplier that does not develop the final products – efforts should be directed towards technology and process innovation. We must continuously monitor new trends in production technologies and make use of the latest appli-

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cations. This means, to put it simply, purchase modern machines, appropriately train operators and continously seek reserves as well as limit wasteage in internal processes,” Mr Hansmann says. He further explains that in the next few years the focus, in terms of investment, will be on the welding capability. “We plan to build a new hall for this activity. Current premises have now reached their limits and their layout no longer meets our needs,” he admits.

Among the best Like any manufacturer, Klein’s biggest concern at the moment is the lack of human resources to support increased capacity. Its management has therefore decided to take a proactive approach to address this issue – within its ‘Partnership’ Project, it contributes to supporting technical education as early as primary school. “We want to show children, in an easy and fun manner, that technical subjects may be interesting, varied and highly promising in terms of their future, while offering them the prospect of stable employment. Together with secondary technical schools and apprenticeship colleges we organise technical work placements, summer jobs etc. We also prepare seminars and workshops for teachers and educators to make them aware of modern technology trends,” explains Mr Hansmann. These should, of course, continue to support the company’s reputation as a highly reliable and promising business in line with its strategy to further strengthen its position in the global automotive sector. The fact that Klein is well on its way towards this goal was proven in 2015 when the company won a prestigous VW Group Award, the highest possible award for all VW suppliers. “We were the only company nominated from the Czech Republic and we succeeded in getting the award. In this context, I would like to thank all our employes, without whom this success would not be possible,” n concludes Mr Hansmann. 46 Industry Europe

A GLOBAL ENGINE GIANT Deutz was the first engine maker in the world. Industry Europe reports on the German company’s plans to remain first by supplying its customers not only with engines but with complete systems solutions and comprehensive services.


he world-famous engine manufacturer Deutz claims to offer ‘the most successful engine systems in the world’. But, in fact, the company is also the oldest engine manufacturer in the world, with a history going back to 1864, when Nicolaus August Otto set up an engine factory in a small workshop in the old city of Cologne. Here he developed the first combustion engine to be produced in significant numbers – the atmospheric gas engine – and followed this innovation in 1876 with the first fully-functioning and developable four-stroke engine. Today Deutz AG is one of the world’s largest independent manufacturers of diesel engines, with a complete product range from 25 to 560 kW for a wide variety of applications including construction machinery, generating sets, agricultural machines, mobile machinery, marine and automotive. It employs some 5,500 people, has produc-

tion plants in Germany, Spain, China and Argentina and is represented in 130 countries across every continent. Deutz engine production is divided into two segments: Compact Engines – liquid-cooled engines up to four litres and engines from four to eight litres; and Customised Solutions – air-cooled engines and large liquid-cooled engines with capacities of more than eight litres. The company is involved in the development, design, production, sales and servicing of diesel engines cooled by water, oil and air.

Production network Deutz’s headquarters in Cologne-Porz is also the site of a state-of-theart engine factory that is the central research and development facility for the company’s compact engines and which produces between 150,000 and 180,000 liquid-cooled engines up to four litres (up to 250 Industry Europe 47

Modine With a high expertise in the development and manufacturing of heat exchangers Modine has been supplying cooling components and systems to Deutz for almost 17 years. Manufacturers like Deutz increasingly face new regulations that create challenges on a high technological basis. Modine therefore invests heavily in the development of newest thermal management solutions to provide innovative technologies to vehicle and engine manufacturers when they need it. They gain importance as further improved combustion processes, leading to increased heat loads, require an improved cooling capacity. At the same time, optimizing the aerodynamics lead to tougher packaging requirements, which in particular, result in the need of higher heat transfer rates, also. With the additional target to reduce the weight of the heat exchangers, and improve fuel consumption new and more efficient heat exchangers using lighter materials must be developed.

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Doesburg Components For more than 30 years Doesburg Components in the Netherlands has been a supplier to DEUTZ AG of high quality cast iron components e.g. Flywheel Housings, Brackets, Oil sumps and Exhaust Manifolds. Due to early supplier involvement in the casting design and machining process through the presence of resident engineers within DEUTZ the optimum casting is always being created. Due to this approached Doesburg Components achieves the highest quality casting, lowest PPM rate and the best price from prototype through to (fully robotized) serial production.

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kW) per year. In fact, a new Deutz engines leaves this plant every 90 seconds, to be used in mobile machinery or stationary applications, in agricultural machinery, automotive or marine applications. Crank cases, crank shafts and cam shafts for the compact engines are produced at a factory in the Deutz suburb of Cologne that is actually the site of a Deutz works that was opened in 1869. The components are delivered directly to the assembly lines at the Porz plant. Deutz’s Customised Solutions large engines (mostly air-cooled and over eight litres) are designed and manufactured at a plant in Ulm, in south-western Germany. Here between 15,000 and 18,000 engines are produced each year for use in construction equipment, fire fighting vehicles, drilling machines, power generating sets and in railway locomotives. Both the Cologne and Ulm assembly plants are supplied with engine assemblies by a further plant in Herschbach, southeast of Cologne, and by the Deutz factory in Zafra in south-western Spain, which specialises in con-rods, cylinder heads and gears.

Replacement engines The remanufacturing of old or damaged engines also makes up a significant part of Deutz’s business. In fact, the company has been engaged in rebuilding its diesel engines since 1948, when it set up its first remanufacturing plant at a former BMW aircraft engine repair factory at Ubersee, in Upper Bavaria. Today some 170 employees at Ubersee produce around 4,000 Xchange engines annually as well as replacement parts. “Xchange engines provide a very fast and effective solution when an engine that is out of production needs replacing – around half of all orders fall into this category – or when, for example, an engine that is in 24 hour a day use needs a similar unit to be supplied quickly,” explains Michael Wellenzohn, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. “We can deliver a replacement motor in two to eight days whereas for a new engine the time between order and delivery is more like four to eight weeks. And all our replacement engines come with the same kinds of guarantees as our new units.” Xchange engines are also produced at Deutz’s 50,000 sq ft facility in Atlanta, Georgia, in the USA. This plant, which serves as the administration hub for Deutz Xchange engines, parts and service

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throughout the Americas, focuses on production of the company’s 1011/2011 and 912/913 engines, the highest volume units sold in North America, as well as of its 2012 and 2013 models. Deliveries of spare parts for Deutz engines in Europe are mostly handled by the company’s ultra-modern logistics centre in Cologne-Kalk. Opened in 2001, this facility holds some 80,000 parts, from precision crankshafts to the smallest washers, and fulfils an average of nearly 700 orders every day – that’s equivalent to 4000 automated picks from the storage racks daily. From this centre Deutz supplies customers and dealers all over the world with spare parts and within Europe itself it can guarantee next day delivery. The parts supply operation in Cologne is supplemented, of course, by parts warehouses in the USA as well as in China and Singapore and through stocks at dealerships throughout the world.

Expanding in China Deutz has two joint ventures in China. Since 2007 it has been producing 3 to 8 litre diesel engines, mainly for the Chinese market, in a JV (Deutz (Dalian) Engine Co Ltd)with the First Automotive Works Group (FAW) in Dalian; these units are widely used in commercial trucks, off-highway vehicles and for stationary applications. The JV also acts as a supporting manufacturer for crankcases, cylinder heads and camshafts for the Cologne assembly plant. At the beginning of 2012 Deutz extended its operations in China by setting up a further JV with Shandong Changlin Machinery Group – a Chinese manufacturer of agricultural machinery and construction equipment. Deutz (Shandong) Engine Company now manufactures the million-selling 2011 engine series.

Limiting emissions One of the greatest challenges facing diesel engine manufacturers today is making their products compliant with current and future exhaust emission regulations. This means reducing the concentration of pollutants such as NOx (nitric oxide), CO (carbon monoxide), HC (hydrocarbons), particle emissions and CO2 (carbon dioxide).

“This is undoubtedly a great challenge to engine manufacturers and will require the addition of further technology modules to our engines. It’s really like having to construct a small chemical plant around each engine to treat the exhaust gases. To reduce CO and HCs, for example, you need a Diesel Oxidisation Catalyst system, to remove particulates you need a Diesel Particulate Filter and to remove NOx you have to have a Selective Catalytic Reduction system. The last of these injects urea into the exhaust but that creates ammonia so you need another filter to take that out. “Of course the simplest way to reduce pollutants is to improve engine performance and efficiency and reduce fuel consumption with established technology such as fuel injection, turbo-charging and electronic engine management systems and we have been doing that for years. But the continuing demands of regulation are very costly for the industry and make it ever harder to get a payback so it’s essential that we continue to develop ever-smarter solutions.”

training our distributors and service partners throughout the world to ensure that the end customer gets the service at the distributors and in the field that keeps his equipment running. When we provide this complete service it brings us closer to our end customers who are then more likely to ask their equipment suppliers – our direct customers – to specify our engines. Effectively we are then approaching the market from two sides – getting OEMs to use our engines and encouraging end-users to ask the OEMs to use our engines. What’s certain is that if you don’t deliver a comprehensive and efficient service package, you don’t sell engines in today’s market. Deutz will never make that mistake n – we are, after all, ‘The Engine Company’.

Worldwide service Extending its sales in the agricultural sector is not the only strategy that Deutz is pursuing to support its future growth. The company is also focused on continuing to take market share from its competitors in the construction and stationary applications areas worldwide and on adding value to its engines by providing complete power packs, including control units, frames and systems interfaces. But perhaps most important of all for the future is the expansion of Deutz’s global service business. “The complexity of our engines has increased considerably over the last ten years, most obviously through the addition of all the different exhaust treatment systems, so whereas in the past an end user such as a construction company could service its own machines, today it is essential for servicing to be carried out by trained specialists,” says Mr Wellenzohn. “That means that we have to put a lot of work into Industry Europe 51


Koito Czech, a subsidiary of the Japanese Koito Manufacturing Co. Ltd, is not only a proud follower of the group’s hundred-year tradition in lighting technology but also an important contributor to its expansion in Europe. Romana Moares reports.


he Czech production plant of the Japanese Group has been developing rapidly since its establishment and its financial growth has strengthened Koito’s position in the European automotive sector in terms of the production of all relevant types of vehicle lighting technology. Moreover, in 2016 Koito Czech will commemorate 15 years of operation in the Czech Republic and confirm its position as the largest and most stable employer in the Usti region. The production lines at the Zatec plant make headlamps for Toyota (UK, FR, CZ), Nissan, Suzuki, Renault, Daimler, Bentley, Volvo, Land Rover, Porsche and Audi. Headlamps are Koito’s core business. These integrated high-functional products are designed to match the contours of the vehicle body shape and contain high-quality lenses as well as high-precision reflectors in the headlamp section, with built-in signal lamps and other function lamps.

Hundred years in the lighting sector Japanese Koito Manufacturing Co. Ltd was founded in 1915 to manufacture lenses for signal railway lamps. Currently the group controls one fifth of the global automotive headlamp market and is 52 Industry Europe

the number one in this sector. “Overall, Koito Manufacturing serves 20 per cent of the automotive market, thus we can say that every fifth car is equipped with our safe and comfortable products,” says Kamil Duba, managing director of Koito Czech. The group operates production plants and offices in Asia, America and Europe. Competition in the automotive headlight sector is severe not just on a global scale but also in the Czech Republic, which, given its population, is one of the biggest automotive manufacturers in the world. The production of headlights has become one of the key segments of the Czech automotive industry.

Innovation is the key One of the major factors behind the group’s success is its innovative approach and research and development capability. One example of this is the introduction of plastic lenses and the first commercial employment of LED technology in vehicle headlights, or compact LED headlamps integrating the full beam and contour lights in a single reflector. “Of course, the requirements for lighting parameters differ in terms of technologies used and modifications for different continents and different markets,” says the managing director.

The product development teams working in Koito’s European plants draw on intensive support from the R&D department at the Koito Manufacturing headquarters in Japan. “Generally speaking, all our efforts reflect customer requirements. These are not just the new carmakers’ projects but also face-lifts of model lines. The current trend stresses the safety aspects, which puts an even greater emphasis on the importance of headlamps as a key car safety feature,” explains Mr Duba. The continuous introduction of new elements and the kaizen process to match the group’s standards have also been implemented, naturally, in the Czech plant. In this context, the interaction between Japanese and Czech workers is important. “Innovation does not relate merely to production but to the whole supplier-customer rela-

tion process. For example, in 2015 we participated in creating a new type of headlamp packaging which won a prestigious award at the Packaging of the Year Award,” adds Mr Druba.

Increasing capacity Koito Czech’s production facility matches the standards set by the Toyota production system (TPS) and the annual development in lighting technology production volume. “In 2002, the plant started with a single production line and 88 people. By 2015 production capacity, as well as staff numbers, increased about ten times. As a result of the current as well as planned production volume growth we are now looking again at a further increase in production capacity, namely building another new production hall within our premises

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here in Zatec,” says the managing director, illustrating the company’s progressive development. “The implementation of this will, however, depend on numerous factors including the availability of human resources availability in the region,” he adds. In the first half of 2014 the average daily production of lights in Koito Czech was roughly 7300 units. In the third quarter production grew to 8000 units and in the last three months of 2014 the figure increased to 9400. Overall, as a result of improved productivity and winning new projects, the annual production was increased to 1,763,198 units, which represents a growth by 84 per cent compared to 2013 (960,322 units).

New blood Mr Duba points out that the company is continuously looking for new people. In 2014 it started to cooperate with several technical schools in the region, offering internships and career support. A similar programme has been initiated for students and new university graduates. “For 2016, we have prepared several interesting topics which we plan to offer as a potential thesis to university students,” adds Mr Duba. The company is also very active in sponsoring young people within various projects focused on sports, art and, last but not least, education, primarily related to the Usti region. “Although complete financial data for 2015 is not available yet I can reveal that we have, again, achieved further substantial production increases. Koito Czech was also awarded a special acknowledgement, received from the group’s president, for optimised production and increased profit. This we could achieve not only as a result of advantageous development in European markets but, first and foremost, as a result of improved cooperation and the full commitment of people across all levels and positions within the Zatec plant,” he n stresses in conclusion. Industry Europe 55

AN INSTINCT FOR CHANGE Linde&Wiemann, an owner-managed, medium-sized company with several locations in the Czech Republic, has supplied the automotive sector with structural components and assemblies for over 70 years. Romana Moares spoke to the assistant vice-president for eastern Europe, Mr Xabier Ezkurra, about what makes the company unique, and why the brand is today considered a synonym for quality, reliability and safety.


inde&Wiemann can boast a long tradition and today is well known for its unconventional thinking and know-how, gained through many years of experience finding the right solutions that are tailor-made to suit the most demanding of customers. It is a well-established and renowned specialist in comprehensive component groups. With its components, designed as intelligent profiles and pressed parts in sophisticated sub-assemblies, Linde&Wiemann has achieved worldwide success. Product development and prototyping as well as mass production are contained in-house. The company has approximately 1700 people in 15 production facilities throughout Europe and operates sales offices worldwide. Its production capacities are globally supported by its automotive alliance partners in America and Asia. Over the years, Linde&Wiemann has established a reputation synonymous with quality and trust. Consistent quality to the highest specifications and concentration on the essentials are always the priority. Maximum effort is spent on developing new products that contribute towards improving vehicle safety while, at the same time, reducing their weight. 56 Industry Europe

Mr Xabier Ezkurra confirms this focus: “Our products are those parts of a vehicle which improve its safety and reduce weight. These include, to be more specific, side members, A and B pillars, front ends, instrumental panels, seats and suspensions.”

Global reach As mentioned before, the company supplies its products exclusively to the automotive sector, which is currently growing. The management therefore expects further capacity increases and a stronger market position. This year, major investment is planned into new technologies and new projects. Linde&Wiemann has three locations in the Czech Republic: Benatky nad Jizerou, Lysa nad Labem and Breclav. “Altogether, the company operates 15 plants worldwide: five in Germany, three in Spain, three in the Czech Republic, two in South Africa, two in China and one in Turkey – the last three being joint ventures with local partners. In the coming months we are planning to expand our capacity in the Czech Republic with a new factory and to establish our first

footprint in Mexico and USA with two new factories, one in each country,” says Mr Ezkurra, describing the latest expansion plans. The company’s main market is Europe but the group’s management plans to develop and increase its presence in new markets further afield, such as Latin America and the USA. “Our key customers in those markets expect significant growth and are willing to count on us to support them,” confirms Xabier Ezkurra.

Green business Product development is carried out exclusively in-house with the help of state-of-the-art CAE systems. This enables the company’s experts to cooperate closely with customers’ product development departments, in order to live up to its claim of being ‘best in its class’ in terms of performance, costs and weight. Further development will continue to be focused on these three critical attributes: lower weight, greater safety and reduced cost. “Optimised safety standards, comfort and ecological awareness, statutory changes and new regulations regarding crash behaviour demand greater knowledge from engineers and a high level of quality when it comes to development. That’s why we employ top-class experts in this area,” says Mr Ezkurra. Linde&Wiemann meets the strict requirements of the European EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) every year and has been awarded the EMAS logo. This commits the company to systematically improving ecological activities. For this purpose, the latest technologies and innovative operations are employed.

our growth will come through organic expansion but we would always keep the doors open to interesting potential acquisitions,” he stresses. “I am convinced that the company will be doing better than the market average and certainly better than over the past few years. We feel very confident with the customer/product portfolio, which is a solid basis for future development. And, last but not least, we have excellent employees, without whom any progress and growth would be impossible. We are very much aware of and appreciate their contribution to our company’s success,” Xabier Ezkurra points out. He concludes by stressing that in the future Linde&Wiemann will continue to develop its core competences – flexibility, optimum customer solutions and an innovative approach, fully in line with the company n slogan ‘Respect for the future means awareness of change’.

Going up Given the combination of strengths and favourable market conditions, Mr Ezkurra is optimistic about the company’s future. “I expect Industry Europe 57

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BUILT TO GO FURTHER Niesmann+Bischoff are market leaders in the design and manufacture of luxury motorhomes. The company continues to see strong growth due to its innovative, award-winning models and a buoyant market. Philip Yorke reports.


rom the outset, Niesmann+Bischoff was different in its approach to manufacturing and clearly more innovative than its competitors. Founded in Polch, Rhineland Germany in 1981 and in contrast to most manufacturers who generate their sales through mass production and a low number of premium models, Niesmann+ Bischoff began with a very large and luxurious model it called ‘Clou’. This took the market by storm and, with a weight of around 10 tonnes and based on a MAN chassis, it was one of the largest and most luxurious motorhomes on the market at the time. It was not until 1994 that ‘lighter’ and more affordable models were introduced by the company, by which time its reputation for luxury and high-quality engineering had been well established. Since the launch of the new generation of motorhomes in 2013, which combined an automotive exterior design with a unique living concept, Niesmann+Bischoff has doubled its sales.

In 1996 Niesmann+Bischoff became part of Europe’s largest motorhome manufacturers, the Erwin Hymer Group, and the company currently employs more than 200 people.

Award-winning designs From its early beginnings, Niesmann+Bischoff captured the imagination of the motorhome press and as a result has been awarded countless honours. More recently, both its Arto and Flair motorhome models have won the ‘Red Dot Award’ for well executed design and in 2015 in the United Kingdom the company’s Flair 920LF model was awarded the coveted ‘Motorhome of the Year’ by the UK’s largest circulation motorhome magazine: ‘Motorcaravan & Motorhome Monthly’. In addition, last month, Niesmann+Bischoff was also honoured with a special mention at the German Design Awards, which is an independent institution dedicated to design excellence in all fields of manufacturing.

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“To celebrate our 35th anniversary we will launch a completely new range of products, which will be very innovative and unique in the motorhome industry. We have clear ambitions and we don’t subscribe to normal standards when it comes to developing new motorhomes. Niesmann+Bischoff are always looking for something special which makes us stand out from our competitors: this is the legacy of our first large luxury model, the ‘Clou’. However, this project remains top secret and the first pictures and detailed information will not be published until the summer of 2016,” said Hubert Brandl, Niesmann+ Bischoff’s managing director.

Integrated luxury Niesmann+Bischoff is the only motorhome manufacturer in Europe that is focused on fully-integrated luxury designs. The flagship model and its best-selling motorhome is the ‘Arto’ range, which is built on a Fiat chassis with a weight of between 3.5 and 5.5 tonnes. This compares to the company’s top of the range ‘Flair’ models based on an IVECO chassis, which can weigh as much as 7.49 tonnes. At recent trade fairs in Dusseldorf, Paris, Utrecht and Birmingham, under the banner, ‘Built to go further’, more than 200,000 visitors had the opportunity to see the latest Niesmann+Bischoff models with their unique interiors and stylish automotive exterior designs. Brandl added, “In 2012 we started offering a unique and most innovative concept which continues to be very successful to this day. The concept offers the freedom for customers to choose from hundreds of possibilities to customise and personalise their own motorhome models. This can include a wide range of options from the colour and shape of the couches and the finishing of ceiling cupboards, to the design of surfaces out of real stone material or ambi-

ance lighting with genuine blades of grass. Other features include central locking, warm water underfloor heating and heated screens. In addition to first-class workmanship, comfort and innovative technology, our models offer excellent road-holding and engineering, which enables us to stand out from the competition.”

Increased production capacity In order to maintain its high quality specifications and to meet the increasing demands of the motorhome market, Niesmann+Bischoff moved into new, state-of-the-art facilities in 1993 located close to Koblenz. This new facility was designed with the provision for additional capacity to meet the growing demand for its products. Production has been steadily increasing by 10 per cent per year and, according to the company, the entire production of 2016 models is already sold out. It is therefore planning a further expansion for 2016–2017. Niesmann+Bischoff’s main market is Germany, which represents approximately 50 per cent of its volume sales. This is followed by the French market, the United Kingdom and the Scandinavian countries, which highlights the importance that the company attaches to offering a high level of insulation and unrivalled heating efficiency. Brandl commented, “Our dealer network and service partners are focusing on central Europe and although we have enquiries from different countries outside the EU, our production capacity would not cover this additional volume of sales. We grow step-by-step and have set limits to ensure that we are able to maintain our high levels of engineering and quality finishing.” n For further details of Niesmann+Bischoff’s luxury motorhomes visit:

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ECO-FRIENDLY AUTOMOTIVE SOLUTIONS Pierburg s.r.o. is a specialist in emission control modules, air supply modules, throttle valves and solenoid valves. The company offers high-technology solutions, including exhaust gas recirculation systems, electrical exhaust gas flaps, as well as the many different versions of drive modules. Marco Siebel spoke with Pierburg’s vice-president Sascha Guenther to find out more.

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ascha Guenther begins: “Our company philosophy is to manufacture where the clients are. In our case the main market is clearly Europe, where our clients account for 90 per cent of our turnover – particularly those from France, Germany, the Czech Republic and the UK. We are also working on increasing profitability through further vertical integration.” Pierburg s.r.o. was founded in 2004 in the Czech city of Usti nad Labem, between Prague and Dresden. The company is a member of the Kolbenschmidt Pierburg group (KSPG). KSPG is one of two divisions within the Rheinmetall group, a €4.6 billion world leading first-tier automotive supplier of engine components and systems. Sascha Guenther continues: “Here in Usti nad Labem we have been fortunate to see the business grow remarkably fast. In 2007 I

From the left to the right: Richard Moulié, Supplier Development Manager, Pascal Gignoux, Supplier Development Executive Director of Powertrain and Chassis, Dr. Andreas Mueller, President Pierburg s.r.o and Rémi Robin, Sales Director Pierburg France

3rd place for the czech award for being among the top 3 fastest growing companies in the region. Mrs. Monika Satna (HR manager) as representant for Pierburg

joined Pierburg s.r.o. in the Czech Republic as CFO, after my stay in China, where I worked for four years. Today I’m also responsible for Operations, Finance and HR. “While in 2010 we were 120 people generating €86 million, five years later we are 450, and for 2015 we expect our turnover to reach €270 million. Thanks to our continuing strong growth, I expect to see some 100 new faces to join us during the next couple of years. To this end, because it can be quite difficult to find qualified and highly motivated people nowadays in the Czech Republic, we will be launching advertising campaigns to attract people.” Pierburg s.r.o. in Usti nad Labem is one out of 18 Pierburg Group Global production sites, with most of the actual product develop-

ment carried out in the Neuss, Germany where the Pierburg Group headquarters are located. There, the Pierburg design engineers create various automotive applications in order to reduce car and commercial diesel emissions. However, there is also a team of design engineers at the Usti nad Labem site that works on developing solenoid valve modules. Changes in diesel engine design have contributed to something like a 10-fold decrease in emissions in the period from the late 1980s to early 2000s. The most important of these engine technologies are advanced fuel injection systems, air intake improvements, combustion chamber modifications and electronic engine control. In addition, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) was introduced

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on both light- and heavy-duty diesel engines to control NOx emissions. Low emission engine design – combined with better exhaust gas after-treatment – will continue to play an important role in future diesel engines. Research for engine improvements is driven by both popular and legislative demands for emission reduction. Cleaner engines have become a strong selling point for carmakers, and as we have seen with the recent Volkswagen scandal, the topic influences the way the

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public perceives a brand. Pierburg develops and manufactures the emission and air-flow restriction hardware: exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems, electrical exhaust control valves (E-ECV), actuators & throttle bodies, secondary air systems (SLP) and solenoid valve modules (SV Modules).

Solenoid valve modules Solenoid valve modules control actuate pressure or vacuum for devices such as variable geometry turbochargers, and turbocharger wastegates. They are also used for any other device that is operated by pressurised air, such as pneumatic SLP valves and EGR bypass valves. Solenoid valve modules optimise the deceleration of the vehicle and ensure the fuel supply and drain the engine when switched off. Solenoid valve modules are available in both on/off types and with pulse wide modulation for smooth regulation of control pressure. Other applications for closed-loop pneumatic control circuits include activated carbon filter shut-off valves for onboard diagnosis, shut-off valves for direct-fuel injection on gasoline engines and electric switchover valves for such jobs as flap control and secondary air systems. Sascha Guenther: “Until recently we were mainly manufacturing and selling electro motor driven EGR modules. During that period we further developed our electrical exhaust control valves, further streamlined production processes and increased overall efficiency to make our products even more attractive for the highly demanding automobile industry where margins are tight. We are now ready for a production series that will run until 2023, and the electrical exhaust control valves currently make up over 50 per cent of our total sales.”

Electrical exhaust control valves Electrical exhaust control valves are used to control the exhaust gas mass flow that leaves a turbo outlet. An electrical exhaust control valve is used on the engine during periods of low crank-shaftload or speed to increase the pressure after the turbo outlet, thereby increasing the temperature of the exhaust stream, warming the DPF and oxidation catalysts. It can also be used to assist the engine brake and for shift assist, particularly in commercial and off-highway applica-

tions. Exhaust flow is controlled through an actuator operating on a butterfly valve, which will meter flow as commanded by the ECU. Sascha Guenther concludes: “Renault and Volkswagen recently placed orders for the production and delivery of the next generation electrical exhaust control valves. These contracts will generate approximately €100 million per year until 2023. In 2016 we are planning to build a 4000m2 extension to our existing production site of 11,000m2, and we are looking to hire some 100 people during the next couple of years.” n

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A new diesel systems plant in India is just the latest stage in the growth of the Bosch Group’s commitment to sustained growth in the country, where it has been active in manufacturing for over 60 years.


August 2015 Bosch, the global supplier of innovative technology to the automotive, industrial, consumer, construction and energy industries, officially inaugurated a new state-of-the-art diesel systems manufacturing facility at Bidadi, Bengaluru, in India. The Bidadi plant is the 14th manufacturing facility that Bosch has established in India since it set up its first production operation in the country in 1953. Total investment in the new plant has been around €45 million since the project was begun in September 2013 and the second phase of construction is due to be completed by 2018. 66 Industry Europe

The new factory is, in fact, the fifth production unit that Bosch has opened in the state of Karnataka in southern India. It will produce diesel products that were previously manufactured at the Adugodi plant, which is also located in Bengaluru, and will employ more than 2600 people. Bidadi will now be the lead plant for the production of single cylinder common rail diesel pumps as well as conventional fuel injection pumps. In phase one of the development Bosch will start production of the common rail fuel injection pumps at Bidadi and expects to be producing the newer version of the pumps by 2016–17.

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“The developing industrial area in Bidadi will offer more space and better infrastructure support for our future expansion,” said Dr Steffen Berns, president of Bosch in India and managing director of Bosch Limited, the flagship business of Bosch in India, which has its headquarters in Bengaluru. “We see a lot of growth potential in India and are striving to bring more projects, products and manufacturing to the country. Our growth here is interwoven with the close relationship we have with the State of Karnataka and we look forward to further enriching this partnership.”

New gasoline systems plant The start-up of the Bidadi Diesel Systems plant came only seven months after the inauguration of a new Bosch manufacturing facility dedicated to production of gasoline fuel injection systems. Opened in January 2015, the plant at Gangaikondan, Tamil Nadu, in south east India, was Bosch’s sixth manufacturing plant in the country and is already playing a crucial role in Bosch’s strategy to enter the highly competitive two-wheeler market in India with electronic fuel injection systems. The new plant is producing power train sensors, fuel delivery modules and air management components for both automotive and two-wheeler applications.

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Before the opening of this new plant the Gasoline Systems division shared the Bosch Naganathapura facility, in the state of Karnataka, for local production of its fuel injection systems. Naganathapura is part of Bosch’s Automotive Electronics business in India and produces spark plugs, starter motors, alternators and generators. Moving gasoline injection systems production to the new Gangaikondan facility has enabled Bosch’s Gasoline Systems business to further localise manufacturing and increase cost competitiveness. Commenting on the significance of the investment last January, Dr Steffen Berns said, “It is important for our Gasoline Systems business division to have a strong manufacturing footprint in an important and growing market such as India. The expanded local production capabilities in this state-of-the-art location will help Gasoline Systems to further grow its market share with a highly competitive product portfolio.”

Bosch in India In the Indian market Bosch is a leading supplier of technology and services in the areas of Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods and Energy and Building Technology. The company operates in India through a total of nine companies – Bosch Ltd, Bosch Chassis

Systems India, Bosch Rexroth India, Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions, Bosch Automotive Electronics India, Bosch Electrical Drives India, BSH Home Appliances, ETAS Automotive India and Robert Bosch Automotive Steering India. Since its manufacturing operations began in the country in 1953 they have grown to include 14 manufacturing sites and seven development and applications centres employing a total of more than 29,000 people. India is also home to the largest Bosch development centre outside Germany and the company employs some 12,000 research and development specialists. Bosch Limited, the largest of the company’s businesses in India with a workforce of some 12,000, produces a wide range of products, including diesel and gasoline fuel injection systems, automotive aftermarket products, auto electricals, packaging machines, electric power tools and security systems. It operates manufacturing facili-

ties in Bengaluru, Nashik, Naganathapura, Jaipur and Goa and in the last year opened three new plants – the diesel systems plant at Bidadi, the gasoline systems plant at Gangaikondan and a power tools factory at Chennai. In 2014–15 Bosch’s Diesel Systems division achieved growth of close to 10 per cent and the Gasoline Systems division also registered strong double digit growth. Dr Berns commented that the company’s localisation approach to the Indian market had been a key factor in achieving this growth. “In the past year we further expanded our market presence in the automotive aftermarket segment by adding around 300 new distributors to our sales network,” he added. In spite of the current challenging market conditions in its major sectors, Bosch sees continuing prospects for significant growth in its Indian businesses. “We are making pro-active investments for infrastructure Industry Europe 69

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Godrej Tooling – a new link in Bosch SCM Godrej Tooling, India, has been serving automotive multinationals for the past 20 years. An important opportunity to serve the German OEM came in the form of a major assignment from world-renowned producer Bosch. The challenge was this: Bosch’s existing suppliers in India had been struggling to meet the basic production and quality requirements owing to a high rejection rate of 30 per cent. It entrusted Godrej with the task of finding a solution to this problem. Working in close collaboration with Bosch’s experienced team, Godrej was able to design brand new Dies with innovative Slider in Slider concept to address the near-impossible squeezing action at the center profile. An extensive network of jet cooling and spiral cooling arrangements with intermittent cooling cycle were used to address the critical problem of porosity. The result? At the first trial itself the parts were observed to be 95 per cent acceptable. In mass production this was improved further with less than 3 per cent rejection. Yield was improved by up to 58 per cent. Godrej Tooling is proud to be associated with Bosch and hopes to continue working with such challenging assignments and growing alongside them.

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and technology including efficiency improvements on our products with regard to new emission regulations and CO2 reduction measures,” said Dr Berns. “The market performance in the coming quarters will be determined by factors such as fuel prices, interest rates and the speed of execution of government reforms, as well as by the monsoon season. We expect moderate growth in the Indian automotive industry this year and are cautiously optimistic.”

Connected production A key driver in this expected growth will be the Indian government’s success in improving the business environment in the country to ensure continuing growth in the economy. Bosch expects to see positive developments in the country over the medium and long term; indeed India’s economy is expected to grow by some six per cent this year. “The new Indian government is systematically addressing key issues such as infrastructure, education and reducing bureaucracy,” said Dr Berns. “Especially in the areas of mobility, infrastructure, industry, energy, security, packaging and health care there are many opportunities for our products and solutions.” In particular, the new ‘Make in India’ initiative, which aims to advance industrialisation in the country and to modernise production, opens up exciting possibilities for Bosch in the field of ‘connected production’. “We believe that the use of intelligent and connected solutions in manufacturing will play an increasing role in India and Bosch is very well positioned to assist in this,” said Dr Berns. The company already offers a wide range of relevant technologies and services such as drives, automation

solutions, sensors, software and predictive maintenance and it is already cooperating closely with partners in Germany and in India to develop connected solutions. It is working, for example, with the IT companies Cisco (in the USA) and Tech Mahindra (in India) to drive forward connectivity in industrial tools as part of the Industrial Internet Consortium. Bosch’s new research and development centre in Bangalore is taking a lead in these programmes, focusing on areas such as connected technology for the internet of things. Its engineers have, for example, developed software which links all the machinery in a manufacturing faci9lity and enables the collection and analysis of data in real time. This enables production status to be constantly monitored and a material shortages as well as machine failures to be resolved quickly. The development centre has also recently been focusing on big data analysis. A software model that it has developed for manufacturing performs statistical analysis on the basis of algorithms, enabling specific predictions to be made and changes to be detected. It can be employed in factories to reduce throughput times, enable predictive maintenance and optimise resource use as well as to improve the management of capacity, inventory and logistics. Bosch itself uses this kind of manufacturing data at its plants in Bangalore and Jaipur, for example, to shorten throughput times in the testing and calibration of diesel injection pumps. Connected technology is also at work throughout Bosch’s logistics procedures worldwide. In its diesel plant in Nashik, for example, RFID radio tags monitor the progress of workpieces through the factory by identifying the position of transport crates. These tags enable precise details to be known about the process steps that each piece undergoes and when the injectors will be ready so that precise schedules can be drawn up for packing, shipping and installation. In emerging markets such as India Bosch also focuses on locally developed solutions that are specifically tailored to the requirements of the local market. These have included an electronic hitch control for Indian tractor manufacturers and a common rail system for small engines as well as an affordable and robust engine management system for specially designed for the booming Indian two-wheeler market.

Technology for eye care Bosch India’s Bangalore development centre is not only focused on innovation for the mobility solutions sector. A recent non-mobility project, for example, has been the in the field of eye care. Engineers at the centre have developed a compact retinal camera with special software that can detect conditions such as cataracts at an early stage. 72 Industry Europe

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Founded in 1937 as a Transport Operator, LGB was the first Indian company to supply timing chains to OEMs in India and is the largest exporter to the US. LGB is now the No.1 OEM supplier of drive chains with a 70% market share (of which 50% is for the replacement market). Relying on its refined engineering expertise, LGB has formed technical alliances with various companies in order to offer better quality services to clients in India. In 1990 LGB expanded its offering with the introduction of forged products. Today the company makes hot, warm and cold forgings for all Tier 2 OEMs in both India and abroad. In the mid-1980s LGB invested in fine blanking technology for the manufacturing of chain plates. In the 1990s its blanking division was separated and further expanded in order to cater to the increased demand from OEMs for fine blanked components. LGB is now a leading fine blanking manufacturer, with around 25 presses currently in operation.

L.G.Balakrishnan & Bros. Ltd. - Krisnarayapuram Road, Ganapathy, Coimbatore - 641 006. - Tel: 0091 422 253 2325 - Fax: 0091 422 253 2333 - E-mail:

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The Bosch Eye Care camera operates on a rechargeable battery so it is lightweight and portable and its findings can be shared over tele-medicine using Bosch’s MediBilder software. The automated detection algorithm can detect and mark conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma enabling comprehensive eye screening to be carried out at a primary level, Bosch is working with India’s Aravind Eye Care System to create ‘vision centres of the future’; a programme is already in place to equip around 50 Aravind Eye Care centres with the camera systems.

Energy solutions Another important and growing business in the Bosch non-mobility sector is Bosch Energy and Building Solutions (BEBS) which has been delivering solar energy projects in India since it was set up in

2014. In August this year BEBS commissioned a 12 MW solar project for Cochin International Airport (CIAL); covering some 50 acres, this is the largest single solar project that has been constructed at any airport in India and will generate around 50,000 units of electricity each day, making the airport completely ‘grid power neutral’. “Based on installed capacity, CIAL is the largest project that has been executed by the Bosch Energy and Building team in India to date,” said Dr Steffen Berns. “We draw strength from our broad-based technical know-how and experience, our pan-India presence and understanding of the different regions of the country, as well as strong local competence to deliver customised design and engineering projects. India has the potential to achieve the government’s ambitious target of 100 GW of solar power generation in the country by 2022 and Bosch is committed n to being a significant part of this success story.”

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CHEMOPROJECT NITROGEN a.s. provides planning, engineering and construction services as well as production unit commissioning and investment implementation management of nitrogen-based industrial technologies. Last year a majority stake in the company was taken by Swiss company Casale Holding, catapulting CHEMOPROJECT NITROGEN into a leading position in its field. What does this mean in real terms for the Czech facility? We asked sales director Petr Miler.

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ver the past 20 years CHEMOPROJECT NITROGEN’s activities have focused on engineering work and deliveries, particularly in manufacturing technology for nitrogenous fertilisers and related technologies, specifically nitric acid, ammonium nitrate, liquid and granulated urea and aniline. This experience and tradition have paid off in its project solutions, which minimise the space requirements of buildings, including the length of pipework and cable routes in line with optimum construction designs for layout and the deployment of technology. All of this contributes to solutions acceptable to the investor, where there is a need to seek a compromise between the value of investment on the one hand, and requirements for capacity and operability of production units as well as quality on the other. The current company’s predecessor, Chemoprojekt, was established in 1950. In 1992 it became a joint-stock company, which was purchased by Safina in 2002. CHEMOPROJECT NITROGEN was established in 2010, the culmination of a long-term growth trend.

Strategic link-up 2014 marked a significant milestone for the new company’s development, when the Swiss group Casale Holding purchased 60 per cent of its shares. Casale Holding is the owner of Casale SA, a global leader in the development and sales of technologies for ammonia, methanol, urea, melamine and synthetic gas processes. In the words of the company’s management, the agreement with Casale Holding represents a synergy between research, process licence provision, basic engineering and implementation of Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) projects. For CHEMOPROJECT NITROGEN this connection opens up a route to new markets, further strengthening its global standing.

“This is a link-up with a company which has patents and licences and, in addition to this, develops its own proprietary equipment that is supplied under licence. Casale is a company with a long tradition in engineering and developing its technologies and proprietary equipment for the fertiliser and methanol industries. It sought a solid partner with whom it could provide larger-scale projects in the areas of EP and EPC, and it has found such a partner in CHEMOPROJECT NITROGEN,” Petr Miller explains. He adds that in 2014 Casale succeeded in buying from the Austrian company Borealis the technologies for making and converting nitrates and phosphates, a significant step in terms of further development. “This puts us in the unique position of being able to supply the entire range of manufacturing plant technologies for any kind of fertiliser, including ammonia, nitric acid, urea, nitrates, phosphate and complex fertiliser, as well as plant technologies for methanol and melamine. We are the only group that has this kind of scope, which of course significantly strengthens our position on global markets,” he emphasises. He adds that this link-up has not had any negative impact on the organisation’s structure or on employee numbers.

International success Over the past five years the core activity of CHEMOPROJECT NITROGEN has been the construction of nitric acid production units. This is not just for new plants, but also for upgrades to existing production facilities and new investment in improved efficiency and productivity. The company’s successes in the international field are illustrated by recently signed contracts – in 2013, for example, it signed a CZK 450 million contract to modernise a urea manufacturing plant for the

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Slovak company Duslo Šaľa, part of the Agrofert Group. Another important order is for the modernisation of the urea plant owned by Azomures, the largest manufacturer of fertilisers in Romania, at a cost of two billion crowns. Similarly, as the only sub-contractor to the Italian Maire Tecnimont Group, CHEMOPROJECT NITROGEN provides the OSBL engineering design of two ammonia production plants in Russia. The plant is in the city of Kingisepp, located 137km to the west of St Petersburg, whilst another is based in Nevinnomyssk in south-west Russia.

A favourable outlook As the EP Contractor to Russian Eurochem, CHEMOPROJECT NITROGEN is currently participating in the installation of an 1800 t/d ammo-

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nium nitrate production unit and 600 t/d granulated urea+ammonium sulphate unit for NAK Azot, Novomoskovsk. It is also involved in the engineering and supply of a 1500 t/d granulated urea production unit for FosAgro, Cerepovec. The total value of these projects will exceed CZK 3 billion. The latest success for the company was at the beginning of this year, when it won another major contract with a Norwegian customer to build a nitric acid plant in Köping in Sweden. This prestigious contract was won in the face of strong international competition. This is now the tenth nitric acid plant to be built by CHEMOPROJECT NITROGEN over the past ten years. The client for the order is the Norwegian concern Yara, the world’s largest producer of nitrogenous fertilisers and ammonia.

The company’s long-term relationships with its suppliers and partners have played a major role in enabling it to maintain its strong market position throughout the world. These include Oschatz GmbH, Arvos GmbH, MAN-Turbo Diesel, Hitachi, ROTEX, Yokogawa, Emerson, ZVU Stojirny, Sulzer, Armatury Group, Renetra and many others besides. “At the moment our most important markets are those in central Europe, including Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Romania, as well as the Russian Federation. As a result of the link-up with Casale our activities will expand significantly to all countries which have fertiliser manufacturing capabilities. Principally, this means Turkey, India, Indonesia, USA, Middle East and Australia. The demand for fertiliser production continues to grow, so I take a relatively optimistic view of n our future,” Petr Miler concludes.

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GLOBAL LEADER IN HIGH-PRESSURE VESSELS Austrian Schoeller-Bleckmann Nitec GmbH designs and builds high-pressure vessels for the chemical and petrochemical industries. It is one of the global market leaders in industrial apparatus engineering for the fertiliser industry. Marco Siebel spoke with CEO Hermann Kernberger to find out more.


choeller-Bleckmann Nitec employs 150 people whose efforts generated a turnover of €50 million in 2014. The company has four production sites, of which two are in Ternitz, a town south of Vienna. The history of the company goes back to 1862, when Alexander Schoeller acquired the iron and steel works in Ternitz. In 1935 Schoeller-Bleckmann began the manufacturing of vessels for the chemical, food and drink industries. In the past 30 years the company has positioned itself as a producer of industrial vessels for the fertiliser industry. Schoeller-Bleckmann Nitec GmbH has been part of the group J. Christof Apparatebau Beteiligungs GmbH since 2008. 80 Industry Europe

Vessels for the fertiliser industry Schoeller-Bleckmann Nitec (SBN) produces high-pressure heat exchangers and high-pressure reactors for urea and ammonia production to be used in the fertiliser industry. The reactors are cladded in highly corrosion-resistant materials, and have built-in liquid distribution systems. The materials used for these products include heat-resistant chrome-nickel steels and nickel-based alloys, as well as pressurised hydrogen resistant steels. The welding is computercontrolled using software developed by Schoeller-Bleckmann Nitec’s own team of engineers and programmers.

Hermann Kernberger says: “We have some customers in Europe, but most of our vessels are exported to countries in North America, Asia and the Middle-East. Iran is buying a lot, simply because they have the raw material – natural gas – in huge quantities. In China they convert coal to synthetic natural gas. All these SBN customers manufacture the fertilisers that they then export to the agricultural industries abroad.”

Vessels for chemicals and petrochemicals SBN supplies high-pressure vessels and components for the chemical and petrochemical industries, whether it’s processing crude oil and gas, or processing intermediates and finished products. The company is renowned for its heat exchangers, reactors, separators and columns. Materials used include carbon steels, low-alloyed steels for hydrogen service under elevated temperatures and pressures, austenitic chrome-nickel steels, nickel-based alloys as well as pure nickel or titanium.

Monowall or multilayer-wall SBN’s vessels are built either in monowall or multilayer-wall construction. SBN offers high-pressure reactors in classic monowall designs with wall thicknesses of up to 300mm. The high-pressure shell sections are either manufactured from hot rolled and longitudinally-welded plates or from seamless forged shell parts. SBN’s multilayer design is used where high pressures are combined with large-dimensioned high-pressure vessels and shell lengths, for example in urea reactors, pool condensers and pool reactors or ammonia converters. Hermann Kernberger continues: “To ensure that the high-pressure equipment we manufacture for the fertiliser industry is state-of-theIndustry Europe 81

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art, we have long maintained close working relationships with licensors and material producers. SBN was a pioneer in the extensive use of Safurex – a super duplex grade developed by Swedish steel producer Sandvik AB and the Dutch process licensor Stamicarbon BV. Our engineers developed the necessary welding technologies in conjunction with Sandvik. We are now working on the next generation of pool condensers and pool reactors, according to Stamicarbon’s Urea 2000 process, which significantly increases productivity in urea plants.”

Advantages of SBN’s multilayer design Manufacturing the shell from elements with low thicknesses produces better metallurgical characteristics, such as higher yield strength and higher stability. Significantly greater safety reserves are achieved to prevent the spread of damage through the entire vessel wall. Hermann Kernberger adds: “For processes involving high corrosion attack, either the core shell is produced from corrosion-resistant material or an appropriate loose lining is installed. The higher the operating pressures and diameters or lengths of the pressure vessel are, the more advantageous is the weight ratio between multilayer and monowall design.” Production in Ternitz is concentrated in two buildings with a total floor space of more than 5000m2. All prefabrication stages are carried out in a new 3000m2 pressure vessel shop with CNC vertical lathe and BTA deep hole drilling machines, manipulators with capacities of up to 100 tonnes, and six cranes with lifting capacities of up to a maximum of 240 tonnes. SBN has the entire range of the necessary welding equipment, including TIG, MIG and MAG and coated rod welding, submerged arc wire and strip overlay welding,

and computerised tube-to-tubesheet welding (conventional and innerbore). There are also a large number of vessel rotators with capacities of up to 500 tonnes. Hermann Kernberger concludes: “The increasingly larger dimensions and weights of the equipment forced us to invent new ways of manufacturing: our welding processes have changed, along with the knowledge level of our employees. Because of size and weight restrictions on road and rail transport, we have started to scout out new production sites close to the sea. We already have a production site in Linz on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, and are now looking for a fifth production site near the sea, either in the Netherlands, n Belgium, northern Germany, or Poland.”

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POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw

System Cyberia 84 Industry Europe



Kashubian Philharmonic Hall in Wejherowo

Museum of Fire in Żory

European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk

SHINING A LIGHT ES-SYSTEM Group, headquartered in Krakow, Poland, is one of the leading European producers of professional lighting technology with strong focus on LED solutions for different sectors of the construction industry. This year it celebrates its 25th anniversary, as Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.


he company’s history goes back as far as 1990. The idea behind its establishment was based upon the energy saving effect in each lighting solution, achieved by the application of modern technologies. This concept is reflected in the company’s name, as ‘ES’ refers to its Energy Saving motto. ES-SYSTEM SA is the dominant company within a capital group, which consists of two production plants in which ES-SYSTEM SA has a 100 per cent share (ES-SYSTEM Wilkasy and ES-SYSTEM NT in Dobczyce), and the group’s foreign subsidiary ES-SYSTEM Scandinavia AB with its seat in Sweden (75 per cent share). The ES-SYSTEM NT plant in Dobczyce is the group’s latest and most technologically advanced company, opened in 2010. ES-SYSTEM NT (the NT acronym stands for New Technology) has a production plant with a total area of 6400m2, in which there are three manufacturing bays, a high bay warehouse and electronics warehouse. Until 2014 the group owned another production plant in Rzeszow; however last year the plant was wholly overtaken by ES-SYSTEM Wilkasy.

Thousands of solutions The estimated value of the professional lighting sector in Poland amounts to approximately €44 million. ES-SYSTEM has an almost 11 per cent share in the sector of professional lighting for public, architectural and industrial facilities, open areas and illumination of architectural objects as well as for private housing and specialist lighting. “We offer 55,000 varied lighting solutions grouped in 127 systems. Each year we introduce about 3000 new products including updates to existing products and up to 20 new lighting systems developed by our design team and the R&D department. We have many years

of experience in cooperating with leading domestic and international architectural studios and design offices. Our excellent knowledge of the market allows us to shape new trends in the field of lighting and luminaire production, as well as to pave the way for new directions of development in the industry,” says Rafal Gawrylak, the group’s president of the management board. The group employs more than 700 people. Its annual sales in 2014 reached more than PLN 169 million (approximately €41 million) and it achieved a profit of PLN 6.8 million (more than €1.6 million). Meanwhile its sales in the first quarter of 2015 was estimated at PLN 37.4 million (more than €9 million) and increased by 10 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2014. Exports made up 18 per cent of the overall sales in the first quarter of 2015. “ES-SYSTEM’s products are sold worldwide to more than 50 markets. Such EU countries as Sweden, Austria, France, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and the Netherlands are the group’s main foreign markets. Our lighting systems are also present in Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Bosnia, Iceland and even in Greenland. We cooperate with top investors worldwide. Our lighting systems are present in such prestigious projects as Aarhus Harbour in Denmark , Aeroflot skyscraper in Moscow, Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, Halfmoon Bay Marina in Auckland, New Zeleand; Jakomäki Library in Helsinki” specifies Mr Gawrylak. Some of the most prestigious projects in Poland realised by ESSYSTEM in the last few years include: the National Stadium in Warsaw, Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, Chopin Airport Terminal II Okecie in Warsaw, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, European Solidarity Centre building in Gdańsk and Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre. Industry Europe 85

TELZAM The company TELZAM manufactures inductive components based on ferrite cores, that is, transformers, including impulse transformers, telecommunication transformers, inductors, chokes, DCF antennas and a whole range of air coils. Impulse transformers are used also in lighting equipment. Our products are characterised by a very high reliability and stability of parameters over time. Therefore, the use of our components ensures very high reliability of the equipment over their long-term use. This in turn translates into significant savings when operating equipment. Achieving this level of reliability was possible after the introduction of innovative technological solutions and their implementation into the production processes.

HELVAR HELVAR are specialists in energy efficient lighting solutions. Our extensive range of products, including intelligent lighting controls, LED drivers, modules and ballasts, can be used as single components or combined into lighting systems to achieve smart solutions. These solutions allow our customers to deliver not only vastly improved energy efficiency but enhanced human comfort, mood and productivity with human centric lighting.

Electro Terminal provides BETTER CONNECTIONS With more than 50 years of experience and exceptional knowhow, we will continue to provide perfect connections for luminaires and installations. MICROCON SMD – PCB connector with push-in terminal, SMD ■ SDKF – Universal wire connector ■

Electro Terminal GmbH & Co KG Archenweg 58, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria T +43 512 3321 ■

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Wamtechnik Sp. z o.o. Wamtechnik Sp. z o.o. was founded in 1992 as a Polish-German joint venture company. We began by assembling battery packs for Polish producers of emergency lighting and metering equipment. Today Wamtechnik is a well-known producer of power supply systems and battery packs, designed and produced in-house by our specialists. Our product is used worldwide in devices that demand portable sources of energy, mainly power tools, medical and measuring equipment, electric vehicles and battery backup. We design and produce power supply systems based on the latest technology. Our production plant covering around 2000 sq. metres (the biggest of its kind in Poland), provides employment for over 100 people. Our offer consists of: - Battery pack assembly - Distribution of batteries and cells: nickel-cadmium Ni-Cd, nickel- hydride Ni-Mh, lithium-ion Li-Ion and NMC, Lithiumpolymer Li-Poly, lithium-manganic Li-Mn2O4, lithium-ironphosphate Li-FePO4, alkaline cells, 3,0V and 3,6V lithium cells - Distribution of: maintenance free lead-acid batteries in AGM and gel technologies; fixture; cables and connectors - Photovoltaic systems: modules, inverters and controllers; PV power stations; ready-to-use photovoltaic sets; photovoltaic and hybrid lamps; and components for PV systems.

- a global supplier of power sources. The main activity: • Battery packs design • Production and assembling • Supplier of cells and batteries (nickel-cadmium Ni-Cd, nickel-hydride Ni-Mh, lithium-ion Li-Ion and NMC, lithium-polymer Li-Poly, lithium-manganic Li-Mn2O4, lithium-iron-phosphate Li-FePO4, alkaline cells, 3,0V and 3,6V lithium cells, maintenance free lead-acid batteries in AGM and gel technologies) • Authorized supplier for armed forces and NATO • Integrator and contractor of photovoltaic systems

WAMTECHNIK Sp. z o.o. | 24, Zawodzie STR | 02-981 Warszawa | Poland Tel: +48 22 701 26 00 | Fax: +48 22 701 26 01 | E-mail:

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Shakespeare Theater in Gdańsk

LED revolution ES-SYSTEM is Poland’s leading producer of professional LED lighting technology, which has been a part of the company’s significant offer since 2004. “LED technology is a modern and energy efficient lighting solution for a wide range of applications. LED gives freedom of design, it means the sky is the limit and that combined with its ecology advantages makes the market demand for this technology continue to grow. According to the European Union the share of LED lighting in the European countries will grow in leaps and bounds from 19 per cent in 2013 up to 54 per cent in 2017. At the moment, the LED solutions share in our export sales is 50 per cent, while on the domestic market the figure is 41 per cent. Such top LED systems as Office Flower, Cosmo or Cyberia enjoy great popularity among our customers both in Poland and in foreign markets,” says Mr Gawrylak.

Reliability and honesty Mr Gawrylak believes the group’s competitive advantage lies in its practical know-how, ability to meet its customers’ needs, portfolio of prestigious international projects completed up-to date and the high

speed of order execution. “Our customers are confident with our quality, not least because we use only the best components from global suppliers. We’re not going to cut corners by using cheap but unreliable electronics manufactured in the countries of the Far East.” ES-SYSTEM owns a laboratory which is authorised to carry out professional photo-biological examination. This is particularly important since the LED-based products must meet strict photo-biological safety standards to provide quality and avoid any hazards to the skin and eyes. ES-SYSTEM’s clients also appreciate its business honesty, which is manifested, among other things, by the group’s agreement on intellectual property rights signed with Philips, the globally-renowned Dutch technology company. “Philips owns most patents relating to lighting technology. Some producers use its technology illegally but we do not go this route: we do not cheat anybody and we do not counterfeit other companies’ products. We are only one of quite a few Polish companies that have the agreement with Philips, which enables us to n use its technology legally,” points out Mr Gawrylak.

European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk

Museum of Fire in Żory

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ZUE Capital Group from Krakow is one of the Poland’s leading players in the construction industry, focused on public transport infrastructure. In 2016 it will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.

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he company operates as a general contractor. Its main scope of activity is designing and delivering comprehensive railway constructions. It also executes the entire accompanying infrastructure including earth works, railway beds and drainage systems and station building. ZUE CG provides complete services in terms of the construction and modernisation of powering systems for tram line infrastructure, as well as the construction and modernisation of the tram and train catenary network. The company’s areas of interest include the provision of services for the current maintenance of city infrastructure systems (tracks, catenary, powering systems, lighting). In addition, ZUE CG delivers construction services for complete electric networks at a low, medium and high voltage level. “Next year, ZUE SA will celebrate its 25th anniversary. A quarter of a century on the market can attest to our position. I must

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admit that for me, a founder of the company, this is an important moment. When I decided to open my own business I had a vision of its development, but this is the market that always verifies each vision. The strong position that ZUE maintains in the tram and railway infrastructure market, and in the energy infrastructure market, allows me to look back at the company’s history with satisfaction,” says Mr Wieslaw Nowak, the company’s chairman of the board and general director.

25 years of development ZUE was founded by Mr Nowak in 1991. Initially, the company operated in the electronics and radio communication industry in the Krakow area. The extension of its activities into the field of power electronics, energy and traction works took place in 1994. Two years later, ZUE established a cooperation with SIEMENS AG, based in

LafargeHolcim Group As the global leader in construction materials industry, LafargeHolcim Group focuses first and foremost on relations with business partners, technological innovations and the best possible solutions in the area of sustainable construction. When completing contracts within the railway industry, it is most important that the cooperation is based on partnership. We recognise ZUE Capital Group for its professionalism and the highest quality standards. Together, throughout the years, we have completed numerous important projects in the field of railway track engineering across the territory of Poland. We believe that on the basis of experiences gained so far we are able to build long-term business relations with ZUE Capital Group, delivering solutions of the highest quality, tailored to the needs of our key client. LafargeHolcim delivers the highest quality solutions dedicated to railway engineering. Our offer allows us to use a wide range of products and solutions tailored to the needs of our clients. LafargeHolcim offers: • Technologies for improving ground base, using Gruntar hydraulic binders; • Aggregates for protective and upper layer of trackways, which is produced in one of our many mines; • Cement and aggregates dedicated to prefabrication of elements of railway infrastructure; • Construction concretes and special concretes, which are successfully used in engineering facilities, stations, platforms; • Architectural concretes from the Artevia range, which are an ideal solution in urban and station infrastructure, where aesthetics plays a very important role. All products have certificates which allow for their use in railway construction sector.

ECO-BAZA Company Stanisław Łukasiewicz ECO-BAZA Stanislaw Lukasiewicz, a multi-sector company is a Polish railway company, engaged in the construction and modernization of the railway infrastructure and maintaining the railroads’ surfaces since 2008. The company’s success has been built by its employees. That’s why ECO-BAZA means primarily the employees, people who are open to knowledge, well experienced and perfectly qualified. We provide our employees with the suitable professional development conditions. The company employs approximately 200 track employees along with the technical staff and the necessary equipment. We are specialists in providing comprehensive services of high performance heavy machinery for track construction. We modernize both: route and station tracks, as well as switches. We also deal with: 1) Auxiliary handling of heavy machinery: Truck Renewal Machine, Cleaner, Tamping 2) The Truck Renewal Machine accompanying works: • Unloading rails with the settings in track and fishplating • Untwisting the track before TRM • Screwing the track • Adjusting the tension with welding • Unloading the sleepers from railway carriages • Untwisting the sleepers along with segregation • Forging the sleepers • Dismantling works on storage yards for materials from demolition. 3) Modernization of railroads: • Dismantling tracks with segregation (rails, small scrap, sleepers) • Rubble withdrawal and renewing • Track installation (sleepers, rails, fastenings) • Replacement of switches 4) The railroad surface maintenance: • Replacement of sleepers, rails, switch sleepers, whole sections of the route tracks and railway station tracks • Cutting down bushes and grasses • Any other works performed manually or by using small equipment 5) Removal of mining damages in railway infrastructure Our partners: • ZUE Kraków, Zakłady Linii Kolejowych, STRABAG, LHS Zamość, PORR Polska, Swietelsky Rail Polska Sp. z o.o., OHL Polska, SKANSKA Polska. The most important moments in the history of our Company include, with no doubt, the redevelopment of the Grodzisk Mazowiecki station, which was carried out together with ZUE Kraków and the assembly of the first in Poland switch with a radius of 2500 meters– it’s an icon! Taking advantage from the experience gained so far, ECO-BAZA performs works related to the modernization of railway infrastructure throughout Poland and Central Europe.

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P.I.R.K. TOR-KRAK SP. Z.O.O. Przedsiębiorstwo Inżynieryjnych Robót Kolejowych TOR-KRAK Spółka z o.o (TOR-Krak the Railway Engineering Works Ltd.) was founded in Krakow in 1989 and since then it has specialized in the construction and modernization of the tram and train infrastructure, together with full accompanying infrastructure. The company uses modern technologies and design solutions; it has the special equipment for trackworks, well-educated engineering staff that have appropriate permissions, and an experienced crew. Main products and services: • Construction, reconstruction and repair of tram and rail tracks and turnouts in ballast and slab technologies (including Reda City, ERS, CDM and others) • Construction, reconstruction and repair of tram traction networks with accompanying infrastructure, ie. the construction of pillars, foundations, power and return cables, and the switches’ control and heating systems • Complex construction of earthworks, drainage and beddings • Thermite and electrical welding of 60r2, 49E1, S49 rails and junctions • Pouring of rail gaps in ‘hot’ technology with use of Super Shot 125DC CRAFCO device • The investments’ comprehensive geodetic and lab services • Mechanical flooding of rail in the floating rail technology, with use of own production devices. In the course of doing business we obtained the following certificates and awards: • Management System Certificate in accordance with ISO 9001: 2008 • “Business Gazelle” for 2010, 2011, 2012 • “Fair Play” Gold Certificate for the years 2012, 2013, 2014 • Malopolska Economic Award received in 2013 • The “Forbes Diamonds” for 2014

SIKA Poland Sp. z o.o. SIKA Poland offers effective and complete system solutions for three sectors of transportation: trams, metro and railway. The solutions offered by SIKA Poland include elastic fixing of rails, vibration-isolating elements manufactured by the company Getzner Werkstoffe and the non-ballasted Low Vibration Track system supplied by the company Vigier Rail AG. We also offer materials for complete securing of steel and concrete road constructions and railway engineering facilities.

Przedsiębiorstwo Inżynieryjnych Robót Kolejowych TOR-KRAK Spółka z o.o . We provide the highest possible level of service when it comes to the construction and modernisation of tram and train infrastructure, as well as the entire accompanying infrastructure. 92 Industry Europe

P.I.R.K. TOR-KRAK SP. Z.O.O. ul. ISEP 2E • 31-588 Kraków • POLAND tel. +48 (12) 266 04 92

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KRAKOWSKIE ZAKŁADY AUTOMATYKI S.A. Krakowskie Zakłady Automatyki S.A. is a company, which does the projects related to the railway infrastructure, to the modernization of railway lines and to the installation of traffic control devices. Safety of passengers is the guiding principle of the KZA S.A. work. During the entire process of the project implementation the company takes the utmost care to guarantee the maximum comfort of the execution of contracts for its business partners and safety for passengers during their trips. The quality of services provided by Krakowskie Zakłady Automatyki S.A. is confirmed by, among others, ISO 9001: 2008 and IRIS (International Railway Industry Standard) certificates as well as by numerous business awards and commendations won in the recent years. The best showcase of the company and the confirmation of the high quality of its services, however, are its completed investments, as well as numerous references and recommendations from the company’s business partners. The company also continues to work on solutions designed to improve the safety of the road users at unguarded level crossings and pedestrian crossings. The result of this work is the Dynamic Warning System on Level Crossing and Pedestrian Crossing (DySOnaPP) - a unique, innovative solution designed and implemented by KZA S.A. Krakowskie Zakłady Automatyki S.A. has been for 7 years the initiator and patron of the press magazine “KZA Express” (the magazine is also available electronically on: For more information about Krakowskie Zakłady Automatyki S.A. visit:

Pražská strojírna a.s. The long tradition of the Pražská strojírna a.s. company started at the beginning of the 1830s. Its history was related to Prague’s public transportation. On April 1, 1994 the joint stock company “Pražská strojírna a.s.” was established.

...all for the modern tramway track

Development and manufacture of rail structures and setting devices for tramway transportation form the fundamental line of business. Comprehensive servicing of setting devices is extended to other components, such as tramway turnouts with flexible replaceable blades in various modifications based on customer demands, turnout heating, track drainage and other engineering products. Pražská strojírna a.s. delivers the above-mentioned products not only to the Czech Republic and surrounding countries like Poland, Germany, Austria and Slovakia, but also to Sweden, Italy, Russia, Estonia and even overseas North Africa, US, Australia.

Pražská Strojirna a.s. Tel.: +420 284 810 852 E-mail:

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In recent years company is strengthening its machining capacities, acquiring CNC milling centres and machines. The service portfolio was also widened by acquisition of reliable company experienced in the area of after purchase services – surfacing and grinding.

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Fabryka Przewodów Energetycznych S.A. Fabryka Przewodów Energetycznych SA is a Polish manufacturer of high quality power cables, and its operations have been developing successfully since 1928. Many years of experience, tradition and sophisticated technology combined with modern machinery have allowed the company to achieve a leading position in the domestic market for the production of bare cables used for medium, high and extra-high voltage application. All products are made using the highest quality copper (CuETP and CuOFE) and aluminium raw materials. The main strengths of FPE SA are its human capital, efficient management and responsible attitude to business. The factory exports to several countries in Europe and around the word, and its portfolio of clients has increased to 150 companies from the energy, rail and automotive sectors. The company’s range includes the following products: • Aluminum conductors: ACSR, ACSR/TW, AAC,ACSS, • Traction conductors – profiled and rounded contact wires (Cu and CuAg 0.1%), copper and copper alloy CuBZ II conductors, • Commutator profiles in Cu and CuAg (CuAg 0.04%, CuAg 0.1%) • Copper bus bars and profiles. The products are manufactured in accordance with the highest technical standards, which has been confirmed by numerous certificates including the Railway Institute and Institute of Energy and the Certificate of Clean Production.

KZA KATOWICE S.A. Many years of experience and established market position of the Railway Automation Factory Katowice S.A. resulted in setting up cooperation with ZUE S.A. Group in 2009. As a company operating in the branch of railway, tele-technology and electro-energetics industries, we have been cooperating, amongst others, in the completion of the following contracts: • •

2009-2012: completion of construction works in modernising line 8 on the line Warszawa Zachodnia – Warszawa Okęcie, and the construction of the interlink Warszawa Służewiec – Okęcie Airport (consortium) 2013-2015: improvement of the quality of transportation services through increasing the quality of the technical state of railways number 1, 133, 160.186, on the line Zawiercie – Dąbrowa Górnicza Ząbkowice – Jaworzno Szczakowa

We are currently implementing the following contracts: • Since 2014, revitalisation of lines number 134, 137 and 138 on the line Gliwice Łabędy – Katowice – Sosnowiec Jęzor • Since 2014, improvement of safety and removal of usage risks on selected railway crossings – stage I POliŚ 7.1-59 • Since 2015, revitalisation of track number 2 on line number 131 on the line Tarnowskie Góry – Kalety, reconstruction of the Boronów Station and reconstruction of 18 crossovers at the Tarnowskie Góry station • Since 2015, building of SSP appliances on railway crossings on line number 61 Kielce – Fosowskie The experience gained in joint completion of the above contracts allows for a continuous and systematic development of our company in the field of infrastructure.

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ELPAR Cables Factory ELPAR Cables Factory is an established and solid partner, with 25 years of experience and two factories in Poland. The manufactured assortment meets the strictest European and national standards, confirmed through the following: • Certificates: Q&R Poland (ISO 9001:2008), CNBOP, BBJ-SEP, EVPU Slovakia, EMAG, Institute of Railways • Attestations: EMAG, Technical Opinions • Technical Opinion: EMAG • Admission: Principal Institute of Mining (WUG) Range of products includes: • Electro-energetic cables and wires • Steering, signalling and special cables • Safety and halogen-free cables • Railway cables and wires • Mining cables and wires ELPAR stands for high quality of production, timely completion of deliveries and satisfaction from undertaken cooperation. More on:

Vienna. As a result, new technologies (such as modern WS90E tram driver switches) have been introduced into the Polish market. In 1997, ZUE saw its first major success with the design and construction of a catenary section made entirely using Western technology. ZUE was the first company in Poland to accomplish such a task. Following this, the company built Poland’s first underground power supply substation for tramways and received a five-year contract to operate the tram traction power supply system in Krakow. In 2000–2001, Mr Nowak acquired shares in a track and road maintenance company. In 2014 the company entered a new business segment: the design and construction of power transmission lines. Together with its Croatian partner, ZUE carried out the construction of a 400 kV line with a total contract value of PLN 469 million (more than €100 million). In the same year, ZUE and its Slovakian partner acquired a contract in Kosice, Slovakia, worth more than €33 million. Today, ZUE CG consists of four companies: ZUE SA, the parent company; Biuro Projektow Komunikacyjnych (Communication Design Office) in Poznan; Railway Technology International Germany GmbH, and Railway gft Polska. Mr Nowak owns 62.53 per cent of ZUE’s shares, with the remaining 37.47 per cent being held by stock market investors. In 2014 the ZUE Group’s revenues exceeded PLN 644.1 million (€157 million). Currently, the group employs more than 900 people and carries out orders throughout the entire country. “For many years, ZUE has provided top-notch services, taking care of the safety of employees and customers as well as reducing the environmental impact of its activities to the greatest possible extent. This has been confirmed by the obtaining of relevant certificates: ISO 9001 in 1999, ISO 18001 in 2003, ISO 14001 in 2006 and OHSAS 18001:2007,” points out Mr Nowak.

New visual identification “Owing to the fact that the group has recently opened a new chapter in its operations, we have decided to refresh our brand. In December 2013 we combined two largest entities within ZUE – PRK Krakow SA and ZUE SA – thus consolidating our infrastructure execution capabilities. In May 2015, a similar process has taken place in our design offices. By acquiring a majority stake in Railway gft Poland we have expanded the scope of our services in the rail manufacturing sector. We own a company in Germany and are currently establishing another one in Africa. As a group we have therefore entered a period of dynamic growth; but for our employees and customers it should be clear that we remain the same, reliable business partner. “The new logo, common to all companies within ZUE CG, aims to support the process of integration that has occurred between them. The quality of our company’s services should be reflected in the visual identification of the group. We also would like to send a strong message to our partners and contractors that ZUE is developing. Based on the synergy potential we will continue to strengthen our position in the market, and actively strive towards reaching new n areas,” says Mr Nowak. Visit:

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Skanska is a major construction and project development group which is based in Sweden and serves the Nordic countries, as well as Europe and North America. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that excels in its chosen disciplines and sets the standards for others in its commitment to sustainability and the environment.


kanska was founded in Sweden in 1887 and has grown to become one of Scandinavia’s largest construction companies with major operations in building and civil engineering. Skanska is a complex and highly decentralised company. In any one year around 60,000 employees and four times as many subcontractors execute over 10,000 contracts for customers in its home markets alone. Being project based, the organisation is constantly changing shape as its teams of employees and subcontractors form, disband and reform over the lifetime of a project. Skanska operates four distinct business streams: Construction, Residential development, Commercial Property Development and Infrastructure Development. Construction is the company’s largest business stream in terms of revenue and number of employees. Close collaboration with the group’s other business units and the company’s collective financial resources enable Skanska to take on large, complex projects where few competitors can match its expertise and breadth of know-how.

Building a ‘Deep Green Society’ Today the primary environmental challenges for Skanska are sustainability, safety and social responsibility. The largest business opportunity for the company in the field of sustainable development, is ‘Green Business’. With Green Business, Skanska wants to help build a ‘Deep Green Society’, which is a place where projects have a near-zero environmental impact. Therefore today the company is on a journey to communicate and measure its progress in this area of

activity. Skanska’s environmental agenda embraces energy, carbon, materials, water and local impacts. At Skanska they see sustainability as just another aspect of good business practice. With its decentralised organisation and its ongoing implementation of change, its commitment to contribute to a more sustainable world is resolute. Implementation of its Sustainability Agenda is the responsibility of the company’s line management, supported by corporate professionals and individuals or teams with the appropriate competence in each business unit, that is unless there is a very strong reason for the formation of a specialist team. For example, Skanska’s ethics are championed by a cross-functional Ethics Committee in its home markets and all areas of the company’s Sustainability Agenda have been mapped in this way so that each sector has an appropriate champion.

Pioneering sustainable initiatives Skanska is an active participant in a number of international sustainability initiatives, which include many significant organisations. Among them is the ‘World Business Council for Sustainable Development’ with whom it has been a member since 1995. The company is also affiliated to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the World Green Building Council, of which it is a European Regional Network Partner. In addition, it is the only Nordic company involved in ‘The Price of Wales EU Corporate Leaders Group’, an initiative which supports EU policy-makers in the field of climate change. Skanska also supports green building councils throughout Europe, the USA and Scandinavia.

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Recently Sweden’s longest railway tunnel was opened and today provides a key link for Sweden’s west coast railway traffic and it also represents a fine example of Skanska’s contribution to advances in sustainability. Through the twin tunnels, neither of which have sharp curves or inclines, a freight train’s load can be doubled, and the frequency of running multiplied. Therefore instead of carrying four trains per hour, it can now carry 24 trains per hour, with the trains able to accelerate from 80kmph to 200kmph. Skanska worked closely with both Swedish and international environmental experts for over 20 years on the project, They started by adopting an environmental policy and then began training programmes, during which time the entire Group was certified to the environmental quality certification: ISO 14001. That was in the year 2000 and Skanska was the first global construction company to be environmentally certified. Today Skanska is one of the world’s leading construction and development companies in terms of sustainability and green construction initiatives.

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Skanska’s director of soil and rock mechanics, Dr Robert Sturk commented on the complex project for which he was directly involved. “Firstly, it is possible to build tunnels that are watertight and that meet the strict environmental standards, even in very complex and difficult ground conditions. These are lessons that the entire tunnel world can learn from. Secondly, there is no doubt that managing complex projects such as this demands dedication and collaboration from all third parties involved. “Many different roles need to interact and our collaboration with the Swedish Transport Administration and other authorities has been excellent throughout the project. Naturally it is also a question of selecting the right method based upon the different conditions, such as the difficult geology in this case. The Swedish company Vinci supplied valuable experience in terms of the drilling and construction of linings with its n specialised tunnel boring machines.” For further details of Skanska’s sustainability programme and its environmental initiatives visit:

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SWASTIK TILES – SCALING NEW SUMMITS Swastik Tiles is a market leader in the manufacturing of wall and floor tiles for the commercial and residential segments. Philip Yorke talked to Aditya Vyas, the company’s marketing director, about its latest investments in advanced manufacturing technology and move into new markets.

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wastik Tiles was founded as a privately held company in Ahmedabad near Gujarat, West India in 1995. The company operates five modern manufacturing facilities all within the Gujarat region and each with its own specialised production facilities. Its diverse range of ceramic and vitrified tiles include digital double-fastfired glazed wall tiles, glazed and unglazed vitrified tiles and white body floor tiles as well as porcelain and customised speciality tiles. The strength of the Swastik Group’s remarkable success lies in its commitment to investing in the latest technology and brand-building, hence the group leads the field by constantly innovating and upgrading its portfolio. In its bid to become a truly global player in the ceramics market, the company has clearly focused on innovation and reliable high quality products. With carefully selected raw materials and precisely controlled production processes the company is setting new standards in the ceramics industry.

Vibrant collection Swastik Tiles offer a uniquely vivid and vibrant collection of patterns, colours and textured tiles. Together these create an infinite choice for both interiors and exteriors and offer stylish solutions for diverse

architectural needs such as wall coverings for residential and commercial areas, flooring for outdoor settings and large-scale architectural projects and urban designs. Helping to achieve this design and product diversity, the company works closely with its international partners such as Sacmi, CretaPrint, Durst-Phototechnik, Torrecid, Vidres and Itaca-Esmalglass. Mr Vyas remarked: “With our five state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities located around Gujarat, we are able to produce a huge range of tiles of various sizes and thicknesses. From one plant we produce small porcelain tiles in 30X30cm and from another two plants we produce multicharge & also inkjet glazed porcelain tiles measuring up to 80X120 cm. Our largest sales are in these segments but besides these we also produce wall tiles, from 30X30cm to 30X90cm, and white body floor tiles. The business has distribution agents in many countries, particularly serving its export markets of eastern Europe and Latin America. However, Swastik is looking to build upon its European presence and has already established a sales network in the UK. It is also active in Australia, where it recognises exciting growth opportunities, although the great long term objective is to break into the North American market.

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Mr Vyas added: “We are incorporating the latest technology in every aspect of our production processes which means that we are in a position to cover any specification from any company anywhere in the world. We are continually expanding our plants to meet the increasing global demand and will be ramping up production by 40–50 per cent in the next two years. I would say that our main advantages over our competitors are our unrivalled quality, design diversity, high-tech manufacturing and reliable delivery systems. We currently employ more than 2200 people and last year recorded sales of about €80 million. This year revenue from operations will be close to €90 million.”

Where style meets technology Since the company was founded it has been dedicated to bringing fresh and innovative ideas to its customers. In order to achieve this Swastik has embarked upon a continuous programme of investment in the latest manufacturing technology. The company’s chairman Girish Patel commented: “At Swastik we are working with this philosophy of innovation combined with technology and through every practice we are able to add new accomplishments for our customers. It is our dream to beautify every space with elegance, perfection and quality products, and our core strategy has been to not only keep up with the n latest technological advances, but also to help create them.” For further information about Swastik Tiles’ innovative products and services, please visit:

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INNOVATIVE COMMUNICATIONS The world of communication technology is in a constant state of evolution, and Danish company GN Netcom is out in front. Industry Europe looks at the latest innovative communication solutions from the company.


Netcom supplies a range of headsets and other equipment solely under the Jabra brand. Based in Ballerup, about 20km from Copenhagen, its history goes back to 1869, when the Great Northern Telegraph Company was founded. The company does not have its own manufacturing facilities, but works with a number of subcontractors in China, with which it has a very close relationship. Its biggest markets have traditionally been North America and western Europe, but new markets are emerging and growing rapidly, including China and Russia.

Customised sporting solutions In June this year (2015) GN Netcom launched Jabra Sport Coach Wireless – the world’s first wireless headset with cross training coach106 Industry Europe

ing and music, thus extending the Sports Audio segment. The headset has been developed specifically for fitness offering both a built-in motion sensor and a simultaneous personalised audio cross training coach through its Jabra Sport Life app. Jabra Sport Coach Wireless represents a cutting-edge headset developed to satisfy the previously unmet need of fitness fans of being able to listen to premium quality music while at the same time receiving customised real-time audio cross training coaching. Through these features, Jabra Sport Coach Wireless creates the best conditions for staying motived during workouts. “For sports, we are committed to delivering innovative audio solutions designed to enhance the training experience for fitness enthusiasts,” said Jabra CEO René Svendsen-Tune says. “We started by

specifically targeting runners, and now we are taking the next step by delivering a solution optimised for cross trainers. We see clear possibilities for in-ear audio solutions combined with biometrics.”

Unified communications Last year, GN Netcom launched its Jabra Evolve line. This series of five headset models offers a variety of features and benefits – but the significance of this launch was far greater than one or two new features. The Evolve range has been designed and built for the burgeoning Unified Communications sector, which GN Netcom has identified as a key focus area. “The Evolve product is interesting in many ways but first of all it is really a solution to address the needs of the ‘knowledge worker’, so we can help people working in the office environment to boost their productivity, and drive the adoption of headsets in these areas,” says GN Netcom’s chief technology officer, Leo Larsen. “A couple of years ago we started investigating various markets. The trend towards Unified Communications is a major trend and a

big opportunity for a company like ours. UC says you leave behind the old phone system – the days where you had a piece of covered wire going from A to B are definitely gone. And UC isn’t only covering voice, but also messaging. It’s about integrating it all on one platform, one network. You move from terminal to PC-based phone – and then you need some tools for your phone system which is, hopefully, in most cases a headset or hands-free device.”

Identifying priorities GN Netcom did a major study worldwide, asking some of its biggest customers what they needed for their ‘knowledge workers’ who were often working in open plan offices and sometimes at home. Jabra Evolve was developed as a direct result of the research and is sold through Jabra Business Solutions partners. A key feature is advanced noise-cancellation technologies, designed to enhance productivity by offering a unique personal ‘concentration zone’ which effectively minimises disturbances in an open office. This, GN Netcom found, significantly improves concentration and productivity in

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noisy work environments – 69 per cent of those questioned said that disturbances in the office had a negative effect on their performance. Jabra Evolve is also designed to meet the increasing demand for music headsets in offices, by featuring Bluetooth or jack connections to deliver plug-and-play options for PCs or mobile devices, while still providing top quality for phone conversations. That also provides the option for users to tune into a training video, content on YouTube or promotion material while also taking phone calls. In essence, the range is designed for the way we work today – flexibly, often in noisy open plan offices, maybe at home, and often doing more than one thing at a time. As well as the noise cancellation ear cushions, there is a ‘busy light’ built into the headphones, signalling whether the user is available to colleagues or not. And the range has been designed with mobility in mind – the Evolve headset can be hooked up to cell phone or PC, or disconnected and hooked another portable device as required. Among other recent developments has been the Jabra Pulse, a Bluetooth headset with integrated pulse monitor – so the user can, for example, run, listen to music and measure their pulse at the same time. The pulse monitor can also work with the user’s smart phone via a special App.

Constant evolution All of this adds up to constant challenges for GN Netcom’s development team. “Communication these days involves a lot of different technologies,” says Mr Larsen. “Where in the past you would have expected to call your hardware company to discuss a problem or solution, now we also call the software company. And products are typically a solution combining hardware and software. Software is definitely taking up more and more of our resources – that is where our 108 Industry Europe

investments are increasingly focused, as we have to support different platforms and develop Apps to support our products. This is a major shift in emphasis and expertise.” The company has a ‘fairly aggressive’ growth strategy for the next few years, says Mr Larsen. “It is definitely our plan to grow; we do see substantial growth coming from these UC products but we also expect growth from other new products. We have done some investment in the music market and moving forward you will see further developments along the lines of the Jabra Pulse range. Our development team never stops; we are constantly adding new features and doing things better – driven, of course, by what is demanded by the market and what some n rapidly developing technologies can offer us.”

SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS Beiersdorf is a global leader in the development and manufacture of personal care products. The company builds sustainability into every aspect of its operations and is responsible for some of the world’s most recognisable brands, which include Nivea, Eucerin and Elstoplast. Philip Yorke reports on a company that sets the benchmarks for innovative, consumer-driven skin care products.

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eiersdorf was founded in Hamburg in 1880 by Paul C Beiersdorf, who started by taking over a chemist shop before building a laboratory a year later to develop and manufacture medical plasters. In 1892 a leading pharmacist, Dr Oscar Troplowitz, acquired the laboratory and quickly expanded it to become a leading branded goods company. International success soon followed with a contract with the US trading company Lehn & Fink. The most significant company achievement at that time was the creation of brands that are still famous today. Namely Labello in 1909 and Nivea in 1911. Today Beiersdorf is a true global brand leader and is organised in two separate business units: Consumer business and Tesa selfadhesive products. The company is quoted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and employs more than 17,000 people worldwide. In 2014 Beiersdorf recorded sales of €6285 million.

Innovative technologies One of the key factors driving Beiersdorf’s global success is its ability to innovate. New product research and development activities have always played a major role within the Beiersdorf organisation. To strengthen yet further the unwavering consumer trust in Beiersdorf products, the company is continuing to invest substantial funds in dermatological research and new, innovative technologies. Beiersdorf’s global brands unite international trends

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with regional consumer needs because no two markets are the same and consumer skin care requirements differ considerably from one continent to another. Innovation continues to drive Beiersdorf’s sales and the company has been setting the gold standard for skin care products for decades, initially with the introduction of the first sun screen protection factor, followed by the first skin care regime especially for men. In addition it has developed countless numbers of active ingredients such as the co-enzyme Q10 in the field of anti-aging and Hydra IQ technology in moisturising products. These products stand out from the crowd due to their exceptional, gentle action and outstanding quality. The company’s basis for progress and innovation is its continual search for new biological opportunities in order to target specific skin-related needs of different skin types and age groups.

Strategic sustainability During the last three years Beiersdorf has reduced its CO2 emissions per product sold by 48 per cent and has already exceeded its environmental commitment for 2020 by 18 points. In other areas, the search for more sustainable solutions has led to some surprising results. An analysis relating to the Nivea facecare range revealed that plastic jars appear to be more environmentally friendly

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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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than the previously used glass jars. Today over 12 per cent of annual sales are achieved by products with significantly reduced environmental impact, and by 2020 Beiersdorf plans to raise that percentage share to 50 per cent. Another important aspect of Beiersdorf’s sustainability strategy is its social and brand commitment. By maintaining transparent communication and encouraging active consumer involvement, the company’s products not only create social value, but also strengthen the brand’s positioning, resulting in a ‘win-win’ situation for both society and the company’s business objectives. When it comes to packaging the company believes that every stage of its packaging life-cycle can offer potential savings that can make a substantial contribution to environmental protection. The development of retail pouches is just one example of Beiersdorf’s commitment to reducing packaging waste and environmental impact. Thanks to its refillable containers and the possibility of using product packages like soap dispensers for an extended period, waste volumes can be reduced significantly. The refill pouches used in the Nivea Crème Shower Gel result in 75 per cent less waste. Today almost 100 per cent of Beiersdorf’s packaging materials are

recyclable. The company works closely with accredited regional and national recycling organisations to improve the quality of recycling to consumers and to increase its recycling rate. Worldwide the reclaiming and recycling of used packages is dealt with by different disposal companies that also observe country-specific requirements. Since 2009, sustainability has been strategically anchored in the company’s packaging development processes. Wherever possible, it applies the sustainability criteria of ‘avoid, reduce and recycle’ to all its innovations.

Positive performance Beiersdorf continued on its profitable growth path in 2014 despite a more difficult market environment. The company recorded organic growth of 4.7 per cent in the past financial year. Innovation and new product development were largely responsible for the company’s on-going success. “Beiersdorf was successful in 2014. Once again we increased sales and earnings. We also gained market share in our relevant markets and became even more innovative and more competitive,” said Stefan H Heindreich, CEO of Beiersdorf AG. “This positive per-

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formance is based upon our clear and systematically implemented business strategy. We have achieved a level of stability that leads us to expect further growth in even more difficult political and economic conditions. This makes us cautiously optimistic for 2025.” A recent innovative and significant breakthrough was announced recently in the company’s goal to stimulate the skin’s natural defences against free radicals. Scientists from Beiersdorf’s ‘Front End Innovation’ team, in cooperation with Eucerin, have now discovered a way to enhance the skin’s protective capacity. Licochalcone A, an active ingredient derived from licorice root extract, directly activates cellular safeguard mechanisms and helps the skin to naturally defend itself. The current publication in the peer-reviewed scientific journal ‘Experimental Dermatology’ initiated a press release by the journal which has resulted in a very positive reception from the scientific community.

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“We did not expect such a response,” says Beiersdorf researcher Dr Jochen Kuhnl, head of the company’s Experimental Technology Lab. Jochen Kuhnl has been working intensively on making skin cells more robust against stress. He explains, “When it gets chilly outside, cold showers help to boost our immune system which protects us from colds. We asked ourselves if this analogy is transferable to the UV protective mechanisms in skin and whether

we could make it cosmetically useful.” The new active ingredient, Licochaclone, developed by Beiersdorf, helps the skin in two ways against UV stress: it activates the skin’s own protection and is an n antioxident itself. For further details of Beiersdorf’s latest innovative products and services visit:

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BREWING TRADITION Heineken, the third largest beer company in the world, has been present on the Hungarian market since 2004 under the name Hungária Sörgyárak Zrt. Industry Europe looks at its current position on the Hungarian market.

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he company Soproni Sörgyár was established in 1985 but was taken over by Heineken in 2004 to become Heineken Hungária Sörgyárak Zrt. Hungary’s most popular beer, Soproni, is produced in the company’s two breweries, situated in Sopron and Martfű. They also, of course, produce Heineken – the world’s most internationally recognised beer – as well as the Gösser and Aranyfácán brands. Moreover, the portfolio of local produce also includes the Strongbow brand, which is one of the most widely-consumed ciders in Hungary. Heineken has invested more than 17 billion HUF in Hungary since 2008: the Hungarian subsidiary currently employs 520 people, 200 of which are based in Sopron. In fact, owing to the company’s extensive list of suppliers and its role in the domestic hotel trade, Heineken contributes to the subsistence of 6000 people in Hungary whilst being a prominent partner to the Hungarian agriculture sector. In recent years Heineken has been using domestic suppliers to

provide product packaging and therefore the group’s import demand is now significantly reduced, whilst the presence of Hungarian products in both domestic and foreign markets has increased.

Innovation and quality Many people, when drinking beer, would not consider the level of skill and know-how that goes into making it. However, beer production is an art with a long tradition, and Heineken Hungária has implemented and kept this tradition alive in its Hungárian breweries. The company provides an extremely high standard of service and offers quality products that are made from natural ingredients. Since 1998 Soproni has won at least one award each year from the most reputable international quality labelling institute, the Monde Selection. Hungarian breweries have always placed a great deal of emphasis on innovation so Heineken is usually among the first to launch pioneering products and implement state-of-the-art technologies.

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Apart from being distributed in Hungary, the Heineken beer manufactured in Sopron is exported to six countries including markets with long-standing beer cultures such as Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria.

‘Brewing a better future’ As a member of the Heineken group, Heineken Hungária is committed to achieving sustainable growth. The group has developed a long-term plan to put its corporate values into business practice. The ‘Brewing a better future’ sustainability programme determines the everyday operations of the Hungarian subsidiary with the aim of making Heineken the greenest brewery in the world by 2020. With this programme, the company is determined to radically reduce its ecological footprint while meeting the stringent industry standards with regard to health & safety and environmental protection. Heineken Hungária reports on the progress of this programme in its annual Sustainability Report. In recent years Heineken has managed to significantly reduce the specific water consumption used for production in all its breweries worldwide. Heineken Hungária is continuously focusing on the most modern production methods to protect the environment. For example, the Martfű plant was the first in Hungary to be equipped with a wastewater treatment unit, with pollution values well under the strict value limits of the Tisza river. In Martfű, the sludge from the water treatment unit is then composted and reused in agriculture. The Sopron brewery uses the latest anaerobic technology for water treatment; this enables the brewery to utilise the biogas which is generated during the water treatment process.

Social responsibility As a beer producer, Heineken Hungária considers its main task to be raising awareness of responsible alcohol consumption, whilst at 118 Industry Europe

the same time promoting beer culture as an important component of social life and gastronomy. The company supports numerous musical, sporting, artistic and social events to provide opportunities for people to meet and have a good time. It is especially important for Heineken Hungária to support the local communities of the two cities in which its breweries are based, therefore since 2008 the company has supported two major civil initiatives each in Martfű and Sopron. Under the patronage of the city mayors, the residents of the cities are all given their vote on which events should win support from the brewery. In 2015 Heineken organised a second meeting to discuss the economic, cultural and community building benefits of festivals. Participants included professionals for the tourism industry, civic leaders, festival n organisers and representatives of leading brands. Industry Europe 119

WORLD-CLASS BAKERY Czech-based Rina Europe offers a wide range of high-quality bakery products. The key to its success is a return to original recipes and a 100 per cent focus on customer requirements. As a result of its location in the very heart of Europe, Rina can logistically cover not only the local market but can also serve global customers as well. Romana Moares spoke to the Czech company’s managing director Mr Svatopluk Choc about the plant’s development and plans for the future.

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ina Europe s.r.o. is one of three subsidiary companies of the Belgian Eurobakers Group (including Le Pain Quotidien, the worldwide luxury bakery network; Bellona Patis, the Belgian bakery plant; and Rina Europe s.r.o. in the Czech Republic). The group’s strategy is to provide the highest quality in the bakery sector. This strategy of ‘Making and selling top quality products with added value’, proven by a continuously rising number of customers, has been followed by all three subsidiaries, including the Czech plant. An important milestone in the company’s history came in 2014, when it became a member of the Swiss Aryzta Group. In April 2009, a new production plant in Myslince u Nýřan was commissioned. The Rina Europe production line was built specifically for the production of viennoisserie, i.e. products made from layered dough. The objective has been to achieve at least the same quality level as is currently maintained by the Belgian sister company, Bellona Patis. Customers include the famous Le Pain Quotidien which uses purely organic raw materials for its products.

Unique in its sector “We can offer organic products to other customers also, for whom we guarantee compliance with all standards defined for organic production as well as all hygienic measures. The new, modern production line enables us to rise and bake products during a single production process as well as to perform final product treatments (manually, if necessary) to meet specific customer requirements,” explains Svatopluk Choc.

“Our company is unique in the frozen bakery product sector because we are able to produce high-end luxury products. Our key competitive strengths are flexibility and fast customer response,” he says when asked how the company has managed to stay ahead of its competitors in the infamously difficult and demanding bakery sectors, where pressure on price is enormous. The new production hall provides a high-standard working environment for the staff and, at the same time, the possibility of increasing production capacity and extending the portfolio. Rina Europe is a symbol of top quality, maximum commitment, passion and excellent know-how. The combination of these attributes will continue to help it win new customers both in domestic and export markets.

Alternative approach The name Rina embodies the company’s vision: ‘R’ for Renovation (return to original recipes, the basis of exceptional flavour); ‘I’ for Innovation (focus on getting the best ingredients for the products and continuous production process and technology improvement); ‘N’ for Nature (fresh ingredients, environmental production processes and organic products); and ‘A’ for Alternative (alternative solutions to meet comprehensive customer requirements). So what does the Czech plant make specifically? “Our product range consists of laminated bakery products divided into three technology-based groups: non-leavened, leavened and fully baked products. Our core product is a 70g butter croissant made for our

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German customer,” explains Mr Choc, adding that the company is currently developing several new products in partnership with M&S UK, Tesco UK and McDonalds CZ. Top quality production requires, naturally, top quality, reliable suppliers. In this context the managing director mentions a close partnership with Rademaker, one of the largest suppliers of production lines and their components, as well as with an important supplier of raw materials, Puratos.

Success in sophisticated markets The Czech factory’s production line consists of three parts – Rondo Doge, Rademaker and Gouet. The management is currently considering several projects to extend production capacities, such as the automation of processing in the finished products packaging section. “Over the past two years, we have invested considerable amounts in the modernisation of all our technology and equipment, in all sections of the production process,” stresses the managing director. He adds that the deep-frozen bakery product sector has been stable in recent years and the company has been trying to find new opportunities in new markets in southern Europe (Italy) as well as to stabilise and expand its operations in western Europe. “About 98 per cent of the output is sold in export markets. Our core butter croissant product is exported to Aldi in Germany.” The further strengthening of its position in key markets will remain the main task for the near future, as Svatopluk Choc confirms: “Within the next two years we would like to put down permanent roots in our 122 Industry Europe

currents markets in western Europe and, as I said before, find new customers in southern and eastern Europe.” Judging by the company’s growth over the past decade and its unquestionable success n with customers, this objective seems more than realistic.

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GOOD HEALTH Vandemoortele is a household name in Europe. Its margarines, oils, dressings, pastry and patisserie products grace tables throughout the EU. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to gain market share with its healthy recipes and innovative new products.

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andemoortele is a family controlled food group with Belgian roots and a European perspective. The company occupies a leading position in its two core business activities; bakery products and lipids. In 2014 Vandemoortele recorded revenues of more than €1.3 billion with over 5000 employees working in 35 production facilities and 17 commercial sites across 12 European countries. Vandemoortele is a premier household name across Europe with its margarines, oils, dressings, breads, donuts, pastry and patisserie products finding their way into the lives of millions of people every day. However, some people may not have associated the Vandemoortele brand with some of these product categories, because many of its products are not marketed to consumers under its own brand name but to private-label retail food producers. Vandemoortele manufactures and markets high-quality food products focused on two main activities: frozen bakery products and margarines and fats (lipids). In the bakery products sector, the company offers a wide range of frozen bread products, pastry, American products and patisserie for professional users in bakery and food service channels. This is in addition to food retailers, who rely on the high quality and convenience of Vandemoortele’s products. In Lipids, Vandemoortele targets European professional users with a broad portfolio of products that combine processability, with taste

and flavour. The company also appeals to European retailers with private label margarines and frying fats. In addition, the company has a number of strong consumer brands of its own in the Benelux such as Vandemoortele, Vitelma, Diamant, Reddy and Gouda Glorie.

Palm oil promise As a leading European food group, Vandemoortele is fully aware of its important role in the procurement of its raw materials such as palm oil. In 2009 the company became a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and thus committed to source 100 per cent sustainable palm oil by 2105. The company is also committed to using only traceable, non deforestation and non exploitation palm oils in its supply chain. Vandemoortele’s margarines, fats and frozen bakery products are sold by leading retailers and restaurants across the EU and as a privately owned business the company considers its values, including trust and integrity, as central to the way that it operates. Since becoming part of the RSPO in 2009 the company has used only certified RSPO palm oil for its own retail brands and many of its production sites have been certified using RSPO ‘Mass Balance and Segregated’ certified sustainable palm oil. In 2013, Vandemoortele, recognising the importance of traceability in helping to bring transformation in the palm oil industry, also

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became a member of the French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil, and is an active participant in many other initiatives to promote the uptake of sustainable palm oil internationally.

Strategic acquisition In line with its strategy to grow its business through strategic acquisitions in Europe, Vandemoortele recently announced its purchase of Italy’s leading frozen focaccia and bread manufacturer, LAG (Lanterna-Agritech). With this key acquisition, Vandemoortele strengthens its bakery products business in Italy and extends its product range with typical Italian products such as focaccia and ciabatta. “We are impressed by the passion for the product and by the strong performance of LAG in the Italian market. We see clear opportunities for further growth,” said Jules Noten, CEO of Vandemoortele.

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Currently LAG employs around 300 people with production operations in Genoa Ravenna and Padua with an annual turnover in 2013 of more than €87 million. Currently Vandemoortele employs 30 people in its Milan office in Italy and a further 4700 across the group. Jean Vandemoortele, chairman of Vandemoortele commented, “This acquisition is fully in line with the growth strategy of Vandemoortele, and comes on top of our investments in Lyon and our future plans for Poland as previously announced.”

Adding value Vandemoortele has announced a brand new value-added communications platform for its Lipids industry Channel called: Baker’s Margarines®. The company’s specialised experience in both margarines and bakery products gives it the perfect insight into the products and the markets of tomorrow for the benefit of its bakery clien-

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telle. Therefore as a part of the new branding and communication strategy, Vandemoortele has presented four new innovative ranges, especially for bakers and inspired by the latest consumer trends. These are, ‘Bakers Taste’, which gives products an additional tasty boost, and ‘Baker’s E-Free’, which is a recipe for natural products. In addition, ‘Bakers Low Sat’, makes a significant contribution to consumers’ health, and ‘Baker’s Low Fat’, reduces the intake of fat in consumer products. Interested parties can find out more about these latest developments at the Baker’s brand new website: www. n For further details of Vandemoortele’s high quality consumer products and value-added services visit:

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BREAKING BARRIERS Serbian company Alfa-Plam, one of the five largest manufacturers of heating devices in Europe, combines German quality with Italian design in its products. General manager Goran Kostić talks to Vanja Švačko about the company’s business strategy.

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lfa-Plam is located in southern Serbia (Vranje). From a simple workshop, Metalac, founded in 1948 with 15 employees working on the production of pots, water buckets, pans and furnaces, the company has become one of the most promising Serbian enterprises. Its long expertise in the production of solid fuel stoves has positioned the company as a leading manufacturer in south-eastern Europe. In 2008 Alfa-Plam introduced a pellet programme which helped expand its client base to overseas markets such as Chile. Advanced technological processes, new and fresh products and expansion of its production capacities have enabled the company to grow its business globally. In just half a century the brand Alfa-Plam has become well-known and recognised throughout Serbia, the Balkans and Europe.

Making business global Today, Alfa-Plam covers an area of more than 55,000m² and employs about 800 people. Its annual output is 160,000 units, primarily aimed at households and a wide range of consumer groups.

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Its entire product portfolio can be divided into six different categories: solid fuel furnaces and stoves; fireplaces; stoves, furnaces and fireplaces for floor heating; pellet stoves, cookers and boilers; gas furnaces; electric and combined cookers. Although solid fuel stoves comprise 65 per cent of the production and sales, the company is constantly improving its portfolio. “We are working as hard on improving the existing products as on including new ones. Our assortment is constantly expanding to meet the market needs. The new technologies we implement improve the quality of what we have to offer to our clients. All our products comply with the most stringent international requirements and are ready to be placed on the EU market,” explains Mr Kostić. Alfa-Plam holds the ISO 9001/2008, 18001/2005 and OHSAS ISO 14001/2005 certificates. The company also constantly encourages cooperation between young professionals and existing experienced engineers. “In addition to product quality and a long manufacturing tradition, our employees are the driving force and the biggest asset to Alfa-Plam,” claims Mr Kostić.

Despite the global economic crisis, in 2014 the company recorded an annual growth in sales of 9 per cent in quantity and 15 per cent in value compared to the previous year. About 65 per cent of heating units have been sold to the international markets (former Yugoslavia, Germany, Italy, Austria, Poland and so on). Alfa-Plam has a successful partnership with leading European companies such as the Italian Royal and Palazzetti, Austrian Lowberger and German Wamsler. Its long-term suppliers of materials are ISD Dunaferr Co. Ltd., Ferro, ETA, Smederevo Steel Works, Weilburger Lackfabrik and many others. The German company Schott is the preferred supplier of fire viewing panels to Alfa-Plam. Machines such as Trumpf lasers, Amada benders or IMV presses contribute to the company’s high production standards. Alfa-Plam is one of the few manufacturers to offer four types of surface protection (enamelling, powder application, varnishing and painting) that increase the life span of the product.

The turning point in business Alfa-Plam’s business took a highly positive turn in 2008 when it introduced the pellet programme. “The aim of such a move was to provide our customers with complete comfort,” says Mr Kostić. “As a heating fuel, pellet ensures a high level of utilisation during the combustion, less storage space and the temperature control in premises is completely automated. Furthermore, by developing a product range that operates by using renewable energy sources as pellet, Alfa-Plam wants to be a trendsetter when it comes to environmental protection.” As a result of significant technological development and large investments, Alfa-Plam is today the best-known regional producer of pellet boilers and stoves. Among the best-selling pellet products are

boilers for floor heating such as COMMO 21, COMMO 15, COMMO COMPACT and GRANDE, as well as the pellet stove LUCA, sales of which are constantly increasing.

Overcoming challenges Alfa-Plam promotes its products at large international fairs such as TIF in Thessaloniki, ISH in Frankfurt, Flame Expo, Progetto Fuoco in Verona and others. However, although it is an example of entrepreneurial success not only at the local level but beyond, the company is constantly battling with misconceptions about the quality of products made in Serbia. “There is an established misconception coming from the large markets that the products coming from Serbia are far lower in quality than those from French or German manufacturers. Because of that we invest additional efforts into winning over customers. Practice has shown that monitoring market trends, observance of quality standards and hard work help in overcoming those stereotypes,” states Mr Kostić. “Perseverance, honest relationships with our customers and good teamwork lead to excellent results.” As for the future of the company, Mr Kostić is optimistic. Significant investments are regularly made in new assembly halls for heating units on solid fuel, production facilities for the pellet programme, and new production plants for the manufacture of boilers, machines and equipment. “These investments enable us to offer something new every year. In 2015 we bought CALUX, one of the leading and most innovative Italian brands. Our long-term goal is to become one of the world’s top three manufacturers of heating units. With this strategy we hope our plans will n be sustainable,” concludes Mr Kostić. Visit:

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INNOVATORS, NOT IMITATORS Focused on supplying commercial refrigeration solutions for food and beverage to multinationals, IARP is also increasingly providing its refrigeration products to the retail sector. Emanuela Di Costa, Marketing Manager, and Stefania Bernardini, Unilever Key Account Manager, talk to Barbara Rossi about the keys to the company’s success.

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ARP was established 1983 in Casale Monferrato, north-western Italy. At the time the company, which is still based in the same location, specialised in the production of customised plug-in refrigerated cabinets for the ice-cream sector. Over the years its activity has evolved and grown. In 1998 IARP France – a new commercial, logistics and service facility – was created. This was followed by Thailand-based IARP Asia, which was set up in 2009 and includes a production facility. Finally, in 2013, IARP became part of the EPTA Group. Today IARP serves a range of large clients, including many multinationals, providing refrigeration solutions for a range of food and beverage products including, but no longer restricted to, the ice-cream sector. Amongst its many prestigious clients are Unilever and Red Bull. The current range on offer features chest and upright freezers for ice-cream and frozen food (including display cabinets), upright coolers for drinks, cold rooms, vending machines, food service equipment, scooping and supermarket refrigeration solutions. Alongside this, the company offers installation, maintenance and other services. A niche activity is IARPElectro, which commercialises freezers and coolers for domestic use.

“Customisation is a very important factor in our success. There are two ways in which we can achieve this: We can either tailor one of our standard models or we can customise from scratch, manufacturing the refrigeration solution according to customer’s specifications,” Ms Bernardini and Ms Di Costa explain.

A special relationship Having acquired Unilever as a customer has been a major factor in the company’s growth and expansion. Today IARP has a true partnership with Unilever, which it mainly supplies with products for the ice-cream segment. In fact, an important development of recent years has been its inclusion in Unilever’s Partner to Win programme. Ms Bernardini adds, “Unilever, which we have been supplying for a number of years, especially for ice-cream refrigeration solutions, decided to include us in their Partner to Win programme in 2011. This means that, instead of having a traditional supplier-customer relationship, we now have a peer-to-peer relationship, discussing together strategic objectives for the Refreshment sector. A barrier has come down and we now work as a team, being able to put forward suggestions and providing an

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MOVIN means to address every handling and automation problem towards the right solution. MOVIN can provide plants, in the turnkey formula, for material handling and the storage of goods inside a productive process, looking at the efficiency and the reduction of costs. Features considered fundamental by Movin are modularity and flexibility, as well as the ability to give the most qualified solution to every type of problem and however, the versatility assuring a future reconfiguration of the plant following always the evolution of the products. From the first design plans to the feasibility studies, up to testing of the systems on site, MOVIN is committed to establish partnership relations with the customer characterized by a kind and efficient co-operation.

MOVIN produces customized handling systems, laser driven carts, assembly and service lines, robot cells. Movin projects are implemented with our handling system provided of our standard components like roller, chain, slat and belt conveyors, depending on the features of the product to deliver. Overhead conveyors (e.g. P&F conveyors and monorail conveyors) enslave to finishing plants and perform connecting buffers. Inside our assembly lines, special machines are developed, where is needed, to perform particular processes or automatic operations in continuous cycle, in absence of operators.

The final result is a corporate philosophy aiming at the concept of total quality, which becomes the constant in our customer service and the essential condition for high technological content industrial systems.

MOVIN S.p.A. • Via Maniago, 43/a, 33080 S.Quirino (PN) Italia • Tel. +39.0434.91550 • Fax. +39.0434.917782 • E-mail:

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added value. Obviously we still need to be competitive on price and fulfil all the other requirements that Unilever has.” In 2013 IARP received the Unilever Partner to Win Special Contribution Award. This category recognises overall contribution to Unilever, demonstrating a long-term commitment to Unilever’s overall business and significant results in three or more of the five core areas (Capacity, Innovation, Sustainability, World Class Service, Value). “We respond to their demand for significant growth whilst reducing the environmental impact of our solutions and we intend to continue doing so.” As a group EPTA achieved a €680 million turnover and in the past five years more than €50 million was invested in R&D. “We invest in R&D on a continuous basis. Our R&D work is carried out at product and process level. Our focus is continuously improving our environ-

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mental sustainability and always being at the cutting edge in terms of production machinery, in order to maintain a competitive advantage. Unlike some other market players we are true innovators, rather than imitators,” Ms Bernardini says. In particular, the company has recently implemented digital printing, which it can now employ alongside screen printing for product customisation. “Recent significant investments have also been carried out in terms of human resources and marketing,” says Ms Di Costa.

The keys to success Professionalism, innovation, design and quality are central to IARP’s success. This is one of the reasons why the ISO:9001-certified company, which is also equipped with an Intertek listed laboratory, has been implementing vertical production for a number of years, carrying out

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many in-house operations that competitors tend to outsource. “This allows us to have control over the majority of our processes.” This trend has further increased since IARP has become part of the EPTA Group. With regard to market segments, IARP traditionally supplies food and beverage manufacturers, mainly multinationals. Since joining the EPTA Group the company has also developed the retail segment, supplying supermarket chains. “Our mission is to continue serving our traditional multinational clients, but alongside this we are also going to continue growing in the retail channel, thanks to the experience and contacts that the EPTA Group has in this sector.” Geographically speaking, today Europe (including Italy) is the main market for IARP, followed by Asia (partly thanks to its Thai

facility). Australasia is another significant market served by the company. While IARP already supplies the American market (North and South) it aims to further expand there, by setting up a production facility (possibly thanks to an acquisition in Latin America). Emanuela Di Costa further explains, “Producing here would allow us to avoid the hefty custom duties which are in place in these markets. The American continent offers very interesting growth potential. Africa is another interesting market, which we intend to explore soon. “Our strategy for future development will also focus on product and organisational innovation, as well as on all those aspects which n can differentiate us from the competition.”

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BRINGING WARMTH INTO YOUR HOME Slovak THORMA, a major producer of stoves and log burners, is seeking to widen its product portfolio and penetrate new sectors. Romana Moares spoke to managing director Jan Sykora about the company’s plans for the future.

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HORMA was established in its present form in 1998 but the company has inherited the more than 100-year tradition and knowhow of the former manufacturing company Kovosmalt Fiľakovo. The company’s key products include stoves, log burners, fireplace inlays and solid fuel cookers as well as boiler sets and water heaters. In addition to its own products, THORMA also designs and manufactures bespoke heating devices under its customers’ own brands. Its product range is continuously modified to meet market requirements using the in-house product development and design department, construction department and test shop. The second, albeit much smaller, pillar of the company’s operations is the production of metal parts for the automotive and agriculture machine sectors, including surface treatment services such as enamelling, painting and galvanic coating according to customer requirements. Over 75 per cent of its output is exported, primarily to Germany, Denmark and the Czech Republic. THORMA’s continuing success is based on the high quality of its products as well as its ability to fully meet the stringent EU requirements (including those for environmental management). However, these are not the only reasons for the company’s growth: “In the past five years we have significantly enhanced our product range and have succeeded in penetrating new markets, such as Australia, the UK and Russia, for which we have developed new products. It is also worth mentioning that we continue to meet EU standards

in all of our product lines,” says Mr Sykora. In 2000 the company implemented the EN ISO 9002 quality management system, which was adapted two years later to comply with the EN ISO 9001:2000 requirements. In 2002 the environmental management system EN ISO 14001 was introduced. High priority is given to meeting the strictest combustion parameters to ensure minimum levels of fossil particle emissions. Company processes are fully in line with REACH requirements.

Attractive and efficient THORMA’s product portfolio currently includes about 100 types of log burners and stoves, reflecting varied customer demands. This ranges from the simplest of models to the most sophisticated, luxurious products. Great attention is paid to the quality of the warranty and post-warranty service which the company provides using its own experts as well as a wide network of external partners. A key strength is its in-house product development department, which enables it to continuously update its product range and meet individual customer requirements to the maximum extent. The company’s log burners and stoves represent an efficient and attractive addition to any interior. Their doors are fitted with temperature-resistant ceramic glass. Customers appreciate, in particular, the Airwash system (THORMA’s own design), which cleans the glass using air: inside the device, air currents are guided in a particular Industry Europe 143

way to ensure that glass is permanently clean. Models with a water boiler may be connected to heating systems currently installed in the house. Another attractive feature is that THORMA products achieve (or exceed) a combustion efficiency of 82 per cent. The most suitable fuels for its stoves and burners are hardwoods, such as oak and beech, or brown coal briquettes. The current focus is on developing products that accumulate heat and then radiate it throughout a wider area. THORMA’s high-end products also boast highly attractive designs, using Italian and Scandinavian stone with a beautiful structure resembling marble. Its more affordable models are made of fireclay plates boasting the same accumulation properties.

Modern facility At its only production facility in Filakovo THORMA currently employs 350 people. The plant covers all the specific processes needed for this particular type of production: laser cutting, chamfering, sand

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blasting, dipping (using an automated line for the pre-treatment, de-greasing and cleaning of metal parts), galvanic coating (zinc or nickel) and enamelling (powder or enamel spray coating in a highvoltage electrostatic field, manual enamelling, dipping and coating). Over the years, the company has invested heavily in modern technology and equipment and continues to do so. “The latest addition to our facility is a new ERP and Sagiacomo pressing machine, which replaced the older model, commissioned in 2013,” says the managing director, adding that last year the company completed the implementation of a new information system.

Two directions In most European countries, the log burners and stoves segment has been stagnating or declining as a result of the drop in energy prices and continuing inadequate growth of the construction sector. In addition, sales have been negatively influenced by warm winters in recent years – which has resulted in excessive stock – as well as by

a number of aggressive competitors recently established in Europe. For these reasons, the company has started to look further afield: after considerable success in Australia, it is, according to the managing director, New Zealand next, while North America also offers interesting prospects. “Future trends are clear – as customers are willing to invest more in thermal house insulation to reduce energy costs, this must be reflected in the offer of new types of stoves and burners with lower consumption, using heat via TUV heating. In line with this trend we will soon introduce new products with better efficiency and a new design,” he claims. However, THORMA also wants to develop its second pillar – subcontracting for other manufacturers – which today accounts for a mere 10 per cent of total output. “This line of development has been supported by our recent technology investment and in the future we want to provide sheet metal processing not just for the automotive and agricultural but for other sectors too,” says Mr Sykora. “Enamelling, our traditional capability which has been developed in Filakovo over a century, is something which most of our competitors lack. We are now seeking new opportunities in this n direction too,” he adds.

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DELIVERING SYSTEMTAILORED SENSORS Sensata Technologies is one of the world’s leading suppliers of sensing, electrical protection, control and power management products. Philip Yorke looks at a company that is proactive in its offering of systemtailored solutions for both diesel and petrol engines. Sensata’s latest temperature and pressure sensor, known as TMAP, is seeing strong growth owing to the increased use of turbochargers as a result of the downsizing of petrol engines.

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ounded in 1916 in the US, Sensata Technologies is a world leader in mission-critical sensors and controls. On average Sensata manufactures 17,000 different products and ships more than 1.3 billion units a year under the familiar brand names of Klixon®, Airpax®, Qinex® and Sensor-NITE®. The company’s devices are used in sectors such as automotive, appliances, aircraft, industrial, marine and data communications. Today the company is divided into two major business divisions: Sensing Solutions, where it is a major player in the electrical power protection industries; and Performance Sensing, where it is a market leader in automotive, heating, ventilation and air conditioning markets. Sensata operates business centres and manufacturing facilities in 15 countries, as well as a network of sales and marketing offices

worldwide. In 2014 the company employed over 17,000 people and recorded revenues of more than €2.4 billion. Sensata’s European head office is located in Almelo in the Netherlands and the company has business centres and manufacturing sites in Belgium, the Netherlands, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, the Dominican Republic, Japan and in Korea. In addition, it has facilities in Malaysia, Mexico and the United States.

Diverse portfolio Sensata is the number one globally when it comes to pressure sensing for automotive applications and a broad range of other industrial markets. The company makes pressure sensors with ceramic capacitive and hermetic technologies for a full range of automotive systems, from

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improving performance to helping the environment by significantly reducing vehicle emissions and improving overall efficiency. Sensata Technologies is well known for its extensive sensor portfolio for diesel and petrol engines and for its innovative, systemtailored solutions for designers and manufacturers. The industry is

constantly challenged by new emission regulations, as well as the need for greater engine fuel economy and improved product reliability in order to support extended service intervals. The latest example of Sensata’s pro-active sensor development is related to the engine air-intake manifold pressure and temperature sensor known as the TMAP. This high-tech sensor measures the pressure and temperature of the air intake for optimised engine performance. The next generation of engines will continue to make more use of advanced exhaust gas recirculation known as EGR, to support engine efficiency and ensure compliance with emission regulations. In this respect, the air provided to the engine intake manifold uses up to 30 per cent recirculated exhaust gas. Sensata also uses its latest sensor technology to improve temperature response time combined with analogue or digital SENT output. For heavy on-off road vehicles such as trucks, wheeled loaders and agricultural tractors, Sensata’s ‘Heavy Vehicle Off-Road’ business offers a robust version of the same sensor that can cope with specific demands like vibration and extended lifetime requirements.

Global expansion Sensata Technologies continues to see strong global growth across its two key business sectors. This has recently been enhanced by the company’s acquisition of a major US sensor technology company: Custom Sensors and Technologies (CST). This strategic acquisition will significantly increase Senata’s footprint in the US and 148 Industry Europe

extend its current portfolio of products. The acquisition includes major brands such as the Kavlico, BEI, Crydom and Newall product lines. This is in addition to its key manufacturing sites in the US, the UK, Germany, France, China and Mexico. “The acquisition of CST’s sensing portfolio is in line with Sensata’s strategy to ‘Win in Sensing’. This acquisition further extends our sensing content beyond automotive markets and builds scale in pressure sensing,” said Martha Sullivan, Sensata Technologies president and CEO. “These are long-standing Sensing brands that are well respected by leading OEMs. We are excited to welcome this talented team into Sensata’s global organisation.” Paul Vasington, Sensata Technologies CFO added, “On a standalone basis, this is a profitable and highly cash generative business

with margins of approximately 26 per cent and Sensata brings significant, value-creating synergies. Including interest and integration expenses, we expect this acquisition to break even to adjusted net income in the first full year and to be up to 0.26 accretive to adjusted net income per diluted share in the third year.” In July this year Sensata made another major acquisition with the purchase of Schrader International, the leading global manufacturer of sensing and valve solutions. The company continues to redefine tyre pressure monitoring systems by announcing an innovative enhancement to its award-winning EZ-sensor. For the first time, aftermarket distributors and service professionals have access to a single ‘SKU’ fully programmable, OE replacement TPMS sensor that covers n the vast majority of TPMS-fitted vehicles in North America.

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OF PRECISION High precision machining employing specialised technology is what distinguishes Gervasoni SpA from its competitors. Barbara Rossi talks to sales manager Mr Fenucci and quality assurance manager Ms Locatelli to find out more about the company and its activities.

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ervasoni SpA was set up by Bono Gervasoni in 1961 in the Bergamo area of northern Italy. This area is world renowned for its precision machining and high volume production of high-quality components, in which today Gervasoni is a market leader. The company offers a comprehensive range of high-precision mechanical components, often customised and co-designed with customers. Gervasoni serves the automotive (as a Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier), hydraulic and pneumatic sectors, as well as supplying its components for other applications. Products for the hydraulic sector include solenoid valves, spools and hydraulic cartridges. Spools and cartridges can also be assembled and offered as a single component. The core products for the pneumatic segment are stems, but the range also includes other items. As a Tier 1 automotive supplier Gervasoni manufactures transmission shafts, gearbox and clutch components; while among the products supplied as Tier 2 there are precision components for fuel pumps. The hydraulic range generates 40 per cent of turnover, automotive 25 per cent and pneumatic 25 per cent, while the remainder (10 per cent) is achieved thanks to components for other applications. In terms of technology, the processes offered, as well as turning, include secondary operations and transfer machines, grinding and honing, and heat treatment and plating. Heat and surface treatment are optional processes which Gervasoni can provide, if requested by customers, using high-quality sub-suppliers. Suppliers of raw materials are also very important for the company’s success as it requires pre-processed and special steels for some of its products.

The group Today the company is actually the head of a group comprising two subsidiaries: Euromagneti Srl and Stratus. In fact, over the years Gervasoni has evolved and grown. After starting to export its products to Europe in the early 1970s, it established Euromagneti Srl in Lodi, near Milan, in 1991. The following year Gervasoni entered the automotive sector and introduced SPC process controls. In 1993 the company received its first ‘Q1 Quality Award’ from the Ford Automotive Group, while in 1994 it set up its second subsidiary, Stratus Ltd, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Moreover, the UNI EN ISO 9001 quality certification was achieved in 2000, Industry Europe 151

whilst the environmental UNI EN ISO 14001 was obtained in 2004. Gervasoni was also one of the first companies to be awarded the ISO/TS16949 certification, which it obtained in 2005. “ISO TS16949 is a requirement to operate in the automotive industry, but achieving ISO 14001 was totally voluntary, although it truly distinguishes us from an environmental point of view and proves our commitment to sustainability. Alongside these, we are also certified for quality (ISO 9001) and hold the Ford Q1 accreditation for quality and deliveries,” Ms Locatelli explained. Overall the group employs 350 people, 180 of whom are based in Brembilla. Euromagneti Srl designs and manufactures custom electromagnets (solenoid coils) for control and on-off applications. It also serves as the group’s testing laboratory for the evaluation of performance, function, durability and other features of finished parts and/or assemblies, according to customer-specified criteria. Stratus, on the other hand, provides Gervasoni with full support for the production of high precision mechanical components offering guaranteed quality.

Market leaders Mr Fenucci added, “The high precision of our products is what differentiates us from our competitors and it is why we have so many prestigious customers. We re-invest 10 per cent of our turnover in our company on an annual basis. We invest in high technology machinery, plus control devices and systems, because for us quality 152 Industry Europe

is a must and we employ a zero defects policy. In terms of R&D, as our products are customised our focus is on production processes and the use of alternative materials. “Segment-wise we expect significant growth both in the automotive and hydraulic sectors. Their volumes will expand and so will their share of turnover.” Geographically the domestic market generates 15 per cent of turnover, with the remaining 85 per cent mainly deriving from Europe, followed by the US and then China (which is currently a niche market). However, Gervasoni is also present in India, Brazil, Vietnam and many other countries. “Currently, with regard to automotive we are particularly strong in Europe, but we also, for example, serve Ford in Mexico. We really serve our automotive customers wherever they have delocalised their production. We intend to expand our presence in China, where we currently serve automotive clients only. We would also like to start supplying the pneumatic and hydraulic industries there. “We are going to grow organically, thanks to projects we have in the pipeline with existing clients. Our customers are mainly multinationals, which manufacture all over the world and offer great growth opportunities. For instance, we can boast of being automotive Tier 1 suppliers for Volkswagen, Audi and Ford; whilst in the Tier 2 segment one of our prestigious customers is Magneti Marelli. With regard to hydraulic applications, Hydra Force and Bucher are amongst our clients and, in terms of the pneumatic sector, we also n serve IMI and Amisco.” Industry Europe 153

CUTTING IT Precise and flexible metal cutting expert Officine Vica Spa has continually expanded and developed since it was founded in 1936. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to business and product development director Fabio Meggiolaro to find out how this is being achieved.

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ounded in Italy in 1936, Officine Vica SpA was initially established to create machine components for the aeronautical industry. Continuing to develop its roster of products within the precision and performance applications, the company gradually added the automotive and trucks industries to its growing customer base. With agricultural applications and appliances joining in the 70s and 80s, its reputation as a high quality creator of metal cutting processes was more than secure. Business and product development manager Fabio Meggiolaro spoke to Industry Europe to explain how the company’s solid and steady development has helped to cement its reputation for excellence. He said, “Our continual development and ongoing investment in our people and our facilities has played an important role in our success. Officine Vica has kept expanding in line with our customers’ needs and the market requirements. By 1990 we were a leading company in the supply of mechanical components for automotive applications and in 2000 we built a brand new, state-of-the-art plant, with the very latest production processes all available under one roof. It is developments like these that have characterised our positive growth and our ability to stay at the forefront of our industry.”

Consistent growth With Officine Vica establishing a new management structure in 2010 and acquiring a plant in Poland in 2011, its long-term promise of offering a ‘high performance, low cost, best service, close to the customer’ provision is assured. Mr Meggiolaro continued, “Our growth has been consistent thanks to our strategic assessment of everything we do – from what we make to who we make it for to where we sell it. Our annual turnover now stands at €135 million, with an annual investment in progress of at least seven per cent to keep us at the top of our game.” This 2014 turnover figure was achieved through a mix of agricultural (43 per cent), truck (42 per cent) and automotive (13 per cent) sales, with other customers making up the remaining two per cent. In terms of geography, 48 per cent was achieved through domestic Italian customers, 38 per cent across the rest of Europe and 14 per cent from America. Mr Meggiolaro added, “It is clear that our Italian customers are very important to us and the ongoing success of our business but we are also focused on growing throughout Europe and maximising the opportunities available in the US.”

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Officine Vica employs nearly 450 people and invests heavily in their skills and training. It offers a broad range of design, product development and prototyping services, including black box development, extensive CAD, process development, rapid prototyping management and excellent time-to-market compression. Mr Meggiolaro noted, “We strive to be the supplier of choice for OEM and systems suppliers in the development and production of innovative mechanical components with a high technological component. Our mission is to ensure that our customers and potential customers know that working with Officine Vica is a smooth, reliable process that meets all their precision metal cutting needs.” The production processes at Officine Vica are very much at the heart of the company’s strong results. Mr Meggiolaro explained, “Our plants are homogenous for production processes in order to optimise logistics and process flow. This also promotes the development of our very robust company philosophy that is founded on quality and productivity in everything we do. Throughout our plant

we perform all the main metal cutting processes as well as other technical processes in order to operate with the utmost flexibility and to maintain control throughout the whole production process. We know that our customers appreciate this control as we are able to guarantee every step of the process, starting with the differential carrier machining to the CNC machining to the tooling set-up right through to the pressure testing and the electro chemical deburring. It all happens in-house to the very highest European and global standards.”

The highest standards The Officine Vica product portfolio for cars, trucks and agricultural applications includes engines, transmissions, driveline suspension and body parts, available in both standard and tailor-made solutions. Continuous improvement also comes as standard across the range, n with the ISO 9001 and ISO TS 16949 certifications in place.

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SPRINGING INTO THE FUTURE PFS is the largest producer of springs and wire forms in Slovakia. The company was founded 20 years ago and has been growing ever since. Romana Moares reports.

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ur company continues a 50-year tradition of spring manufacturing but the true milestone in its recent history was the transformation into a new business in 1995,” says sales director Bohuslav Plačko. He further explains that in the five years after the recession, a great deal of focus was placed on stabilising the company in terms of its organisation and supplier management.

For global manufacturers The Slovak company offers a wide range of springs and associated products in many varieties, including compression, extension, torsion and double-torsion springs, wire forms and steel band flat springs, pressed parts, spring washers, split pins, plasterboard ceiling system hangers and many more. “We produce compression, extension and torsion springs in virtually all possible shapes and sizes, for which we use a wide range of wire forming and coiling machines. Similarly, our technology enables us to produce nearly any shape of wire form and steel band flat springs.

Depending on volume we use either general-purpose bending machines with no need for special tools, or bending and press machines with the tool specifically designed for the product – which requires initial investment in the tooling, but the production itself is then quicker and cheaper, therefore suitable for large volumes. For all our springs we also offer various types of surface treatment,” says the sales director. The springs from Brezova pod Bradlom in western Slovakia are being used in many car components, from lighting systems to clutches. In today’s globalised world, where component manufacturers supply their often unified products to cars of different makes and models, PFS’s springs operate literally on all continents. “Similar principles are applied in other sectors also, from white goods and electrical appliances to agriculture. This naturally increases requirements for top-quality supplied parts and we put maximum effort into ensuring that such quality is ingrained into all of our components,” claims the sales director. In addition to springs and wire forms, the Slovak company also produces plasterboard ceiling system hangers and for all of its prod-

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ucts offers the Delta-MKS surface treatment under a Dörken MKS licence, as well as other galvanising services. “We are the only company in Slovakia operating under the Dörken MKS licence, which is required mainly by suppliers to the automotive and construction sectors. The licenced processes ensure increased corrosion resistance and prevent the occurrence of hydrogen embrittlement,” explains Mr Plačko. New and innovative products are being developed on an ongoing basis to reflect customers’ new projects. Today, 70 per cent of total output is being sold to export markets.

First-class technology base The sales director explains that material suppliers are carefully selected with regard to strict quality requirements. In addition to standard spring materials, special composition materials or special mechanical properties are also used if required by customers.

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The company boasts first-class technology ranging from simple, single-purpose machines to the latest CNC winding, shaping and moulding automats. Final-stage operations include grinding, heat treatment, surface treatment, measuring and testing. Surface treatment is provided to match any specific customer’s requirements for increased corrosion resistance and improved visual properties and may include blackening, phosphate or zinc treatment. If required by customers (again mostly from the automotive sector) modern treatments such as Delta MKS (protective surfaces of the Delta-MKS system are free of heavy metals and the substances used have no carcinogenic and mutagenic effects) may be provided. “Investing in technology modernisation is an integral part of our business strategy. Older machines are systematically replaced by new ones so that we are able to keep pace with technology development in our sector,” says Mr Plačko.

Challenging future Following the financially record-breaking years of 2006 to 2008, the company was forced to adopt tight crisis measures to keep the business running. The situation was stabilised two years later and gradual growth has been achieved over the past few years. However, market pressures are greater than ever – while PFS exports its products to many countries and competes with producers of similar products on a global scale, companies from western Europe, offering similar products, have now built plants in Slovakia, making trading in the local market harder. However, this has not threatened PFS’s position significantly. “We have secured a stable level of orders for the automotive, white goods and construction sectors,” says Mr Plačko. “In fact, our major problem at the moment is not lack of work but shortage of qualified technicians. But that applies to any engineering business, I believe,” he adds. According to the sales director, the company’s plans for the future are clear: to continue striving to fully meet customer requirements and to maintain a good mix of price, quality and delivery terms. “The quality of our products has been proven by the ISO 9001:2008 and ISO/TS 16949:2009 certificates. Further quality improvements will be supported by more investment in modern technologies in the near n future,” he concludes.

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The Finnish company Uwira supplies welded products and components – mainly pressure vessels and prefabricated piping – for clients throughout the world. In recent years, as Victoria Hattersley found out in a conversation with CEO Samuli Kuusisto, the company has been focusing increasingly on specialist component assembly for a number of high profile projects. 162 Industry Europe

ounded in Vaasa in 1993, the biggest milestone for Uwira occurred in 2005 when it was taken over by the Leinolat Group, a corporation consisting of seven companies offering a variety of services in the field of metals. Today the group employs 240 people and achieved a turnover of €31 million in 2014. Uwira serves mainly the Oil & Gas, Marine & Power and Industrial Projects markets. Its activities are perfectly complemented by those of its subsidiary company, Kilkanen, which specialises in flywheels and machined parts. The two companies have grown together from metal works into hi-tech manufacturers working on a range of specialist international projects with globally renowned clients such as ABB and Stena Line. Mr Kuusisto says of the strong synergies between the two companies: “We have been developing our operations persistently for years jointly with our subsidiary Kilkanen Oy. We have implemented many LNG (liquefied natural gas) projects in recent years and are observing the actively growing LNG market.”

Products and industries Uwira’s products include standard piping, double walled pipes, welded components and pressure vessels. But Mr Kuusisto is keen to stress that the company’s production focus has seen a shift in recent years. Rather than simply focusing on subcontracted basic welding projects it has adopted a far more project-oriented approach, covering everything from planning and machining to assembly and documentation.

“Today we are much more geared towards special projects with large clients, making more specialist components which are prefabricated at our site and then completed closer to out clients’ sites. This enables us to reduce lead times considerably.” At the heart of Uwira’s business philosophy are three basic principles: safety, traceability and continuous improvement. The first of these is particularly important when there are such high regulatory standards involved, as Mr Kuusisto explains: “Traceability is a big challenge for us and it’s something we have to focus on at every stage of production. Our complete project management capabilities help us here: for example, for our recent Stena Line project (mentioned below) we had to deal with over 1500 pages of documentation.” Uwira and its daughter company Kilkanen have been working to ensure pipelines operate faultlessly and safely under all conditions with tanker ships, terminals and offshore vessels in down to 300 meter-deep subsea production equipment. Every process has there-

fore to be documented and quality assured to ensure production is traceable and customer requirements are met. When it comes to continuous improvement, Uwira regularly invests in new technologies to ensure its products are of the highest standard. It recently invested in a new flanging machine in order to manufacture flanged products without welding, thus improving stability. Kilkanen, meanwhile, recently installed a Mazak multipurpose lathe at its site. The Mazak INTEGREX 300 IV ST x 1500 enables the company to perform a wide range of processes, from milling and turning to finishing, using a single machine tool.

High profile conversion projects But what exactly are these specialist projects with high profile clients on which Uwira has been working? There are two in particular which stand out thanks to their scale and unique nature. The first of these, completed in 2011, involved the world’s first LNG conversion for Swedish company

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Tarbit Shipping. During this project, the fuel system of the Bit Viking vessel was adapted to make it suitable for use with liquid natural gas rather than the traditionally used heavy fuel oil. Everything was delivered to Tarbit on a turnkey basis and installed on-site. In the future, ships will be required to use low-emission fuels such as methanol and gas to meet stricter emission requirements, so Uwira is expecting increased demand for its expertise from some of the largest ship owners. The second major project discussed involved the conversion of Sweden-based ferry company Stena Line’s M/S Stena Germanica to use methanol as its primary fuel. The use of methanol as a marine fuel is one of the latest more environmentally friendly options for shipping. It is sulphur-free and offers significant reductions in emissions of nitrogen, particles and carbon dioxide. For this project, Uwira worked in collaboration with the Vistal Stocznia Remontowa dock in Poland. During the project, two kilometres of double walled piping manufactured from special material were installed. As methanol has an extremely low flash point, special attention had to be paid to the pipelines through which the fuel moves between the pump room and the engine room. This kind of project puts huge demands on a company’s capabilities, since each welding seam must be able to withstand high pressure when the pipe is in use. According to Mr Kuusisto: “We are working more and more with increased technology requirements and our R&D department develops ever-safer solutions for these. For example, solutions that have to be double walled for safety reasons – always a priority for us – are becoming more and more in-demand.”

Global growth and future development The growing renewables market will continue to be an important focus for Uwira as it continues to reach new global markets. Mr Kuusisto tells us: “Kilkanen is currently in the process of setting up a joint venture company in India where we are seeing particularly strong growth in renewables. Many of our clients are dispersed worldwide, with increasing numbers in China and the US. China especially is a huge market so it is possible we will be looking to establish new business partnerships here in the coming years.” He concludes: “Moving forward we will be continuing to increase the level of turnkey support offered in our projects but also the complexity. We will be working more closely with customers on special n projects in the near future.” 164 Industry Europe

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MAGNETIC ATTRACTION India’s largest and pioneering magnetic materials manufacturer has been enjoying a number of strategic developments since its last Industry Europe interview in 2009. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to chief operating officer Mr Arvind Nene to find out more.

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ounded in India over half a century ago, erstwhile Mahindra Hinoday Industries Ltd (now Mahindra CIE Automotive Ltd) has steadily grown to become the country’s largest and most pioneering magnetic materials manufacturer. Able to provide everything its customers need for magnets, ferrite cores, magnetic induction lamps and other related magnetic products, the company’s extensive knowledge of magnetics is unrivalled. As the largest ferrite company in India, MCIE’s current production is about 6000 tonnes per annum. Mr Arvind Nene spoke to Industry Europe to explain how this specialist knowledge has played a key role in the company’s success and will continue to influence its future. Mr Arvind said, “There are huge opportunities in India. With our magnetic knowledge it is a great platform. For example, MCIE already has an enviable market share of Automotive applications for magnets, but as the demand for super efficient domestic appliances such as induction hot plates, ceiling fans and air conditioners grows, so too does the demand for magnetics. The Indian domestic appliance market looks set to be as big as its automotive market and it is a very interesting and exciting time for us.”

Feeling positive Another reason Mahindra CIE is feeling positive at the moment is because of its recent strategic changes. Mr Arvind explained how five of the company’s component technology divisions, including its magnetic division, have now become part of a new company, Mahindra CIE. He said, “We transitioned in December 2014 and it is a time of great change for us. We have a new website at www. and we have updated and upgraded all our available information. Mahindra CIE is formed by an alliance between the renowned CIE Group from Spain and the Mahindra Group. It is a great opportunity for us to extend our global reach into Europe.” The recently-formed Mahindra CIE is a multi-technology automotive components supplier and is listed on the Mumbai Stock Exchange. Offering a broad portfolio including forgings, stampings, gears, casting, magnetic products and composites, the company has a unique product mix. Mr Arvind added, “We also continue to be India’s leading producer of magnets for automotive applications. Now that we are part of the respected CIE Group of Spain, we are part of an even bigger automotive network.” Industry Europe 167

It is this extended automotive network and the new joint venture that Mr Arvind believes is the key to Magnetic Products’ future success. He explained, “Everybody is talking about India being the next big thing: Mahindra is already big in India. We have a terrific market share here and a very respected reputation thanks to our strong orientation towards quality & customer focus. So we are already well-positioned to maximise opportunities in the growing Indian market and the new joint venture will mean that we can grow in Europe and beyond. The global automotive market is predicted to expand by seven to eight per cent in the next five years, so the demand for our automotive magnetic components will grow too. The Indian two-wheeler industry, the world’s second largest, is a big market for magnets and it’s growing rapidly.

Keen to expand Mahindra CIE is also keen to expand the potential applications of its magnetic products beyond automotive. Mr Arvind noted, “We have been in the magnetics business for a very long time, over 50 years, and we are constantly looking at new ways in which our hard-earned knowledge can be used. We are excited by our vertical business growth, developing interesting ways for magnetics to be used in

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energy-efficiency applications. So our first such venture is in energyefficient Magnetic Induction Lighting for industries, street lighting, flood lighting and so on. Using magnetics, the lighting becomes at least 40 per cent more energy efficient. Domestic induction cooking becomes 50 per cent more efficient. These are just two examples of how magnetics is an ecologically responsible option. We have teams of people working on new ideas for our products to keep us as market leaders. Our added growth direction will be exploring Applications in ‘Energy Efficient Products’.” With a new joint venture, new website, new communication tools and new applications, Mahindra CIE is entering a very positive phase. Mr Arvind understands that the company’s potential in the coming years may even outstrip its previous achievements. He concluded, “We are in the perfect position to achieve great things. We have the network, the product portfolio and the opportunities for organic and vertical growth and we look forward to really making the most of these opportunities. We expect growth in non-automotive applications for our magnetic materials as well as our automotive activities. Our reputation has been earned over many years of product development and hard work, so we know that the next stage in our history will be the ideal platform to n showcase our knowledge and our value.”

TOP-LEVEL PRECISION Simon Plastic Processing is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The Hungarian plastic manufacturing firm started as a one-man operation in 1985. Thanks to a consistent business strategy and its skilled workforce, Simon Plastic has become one of the region’s most significant plastic components manufacturers predominantly targeting the automotive sector. Edina Beale reports.


he founder of Simon Plastic, Mr István Simon, took his first steps towards building his empire from the garage of his parents’ house where he manufactured metal products as a selfemployed worker. His product portfolio began to expand steadily with thermoplastic products and with the production of tools. The company’s rapid development began in 1996 when the first production hall was built in Szabadbattyán, 6km away from the industrial city of Székesfehérvár. The company then became the official Hungarian supplier of General Electric, still one of its key clients. In 2001 the purchase of a new CNC injection moulding facility and the achievement of receiving its first ISO certificate enabled the company to become a supplier for new multinational and domestic

corporations. In 2004 Simon Plastic received the Best of the Region award in the category of small and medium sized companies for being the most dynamically developing firm. In 2008 the Hungarian firm selected Kőszárhegy to establish another production site, meanwhile it refurbished its existing production hall where it implemented modern injection moulding technologies. At the same time a new 1500m2 warehouse facility was also built. In 2010 the company again invested in the development of a nearly 4500m2 factory and extended its technological capacities with the most modern injection moulding and tool making facilities. In March 2014, a ribbon cutting ceremony was organised to open the company’s new 4000m2 assembly hall and warehouse facility. Industry Europe 169

Step ahead of customer’s needs Today Simon Plastic operates in three facilities covering an area of nearly 10,000m2. Its company’s core products are automotive electronic connectors and sound systems, as well as components for the medical, food, electronics and energy industries. Nearly 30 million pieces of components are being produced every month, most of which are used by prominent European car manufacturers including Mercedes, Audi and BMW. Connectors up to 100 pins and 0.4mm wall thickness require state-of-the-art machines, devices, instruments and technologies. Simon Plastic is continuously updating its quality assurance system and has recently received the ISO/ TS 16949 certificate issued by the German TÜV SÜD. At present the company provides work for nearly 500 people and in 2014 its turnover reached 6.4 billion forint. “We built a large Hungarian enterprise which keeps ahead of changing customers’ needs,” said Mr István Simon. Ranging from 25 tonnes to 350 tonnes in clamp force, there are 90 different plastic injection moulding machines operating across its production sites. Besides

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the traditional technology, the company offers liquid silicon and co- injection moulding applications and manufactures some of the products using vertical technology. According to Mr Simon the key policy for development is consistency – the firm aims to become one of the most significant producers in the region operating with 100 machines and using the most modern technology.

Skilled workforce It is also an important task for the firm to actively support and train industry professionals and engineers. The company’s initiation of a programme to take on students as trainee employees began last September, and now there are five young students being employed by the firm. The company works closely with colleges and provides practical training courses for students. Simon has also invested in a student workshop room to demonstrate its strong belief in the Hungarian government’s principle: the country and the economy is in need of skilled labourers and engineers,

therefore businesses should aim to boost training opportunities. Simon Plastic signed cooperation contracts with some prominent colleges in Hungary, moreover it regularly invites students from primary schools for factory visits.

New research and development centre In order to maintain the company’s steady development, Simon Plastic is now developing a new research and development centre. “Besides capacity increasing, to secure our future we need to make investments in research and development, focus on efficient managing and working methods and employ a skilled workforce to produce goods with the most added value,” says Mr Simon. The brand new 1500m2 centre will provide jobs for 5–10 R&D specialists and will employ skilled workers. Their task will be to work closely with customers and develop products that are being produced by the company from design through implementation and mass production. All this will be paired with the traditional tool making and the production of new tools, too. From December last year the management of Simon Plastic was taken over by Mr Simon’s son and daughter: Peter Simon has become the managing executive of the factory, whilst Zulejka Simon is responsible for managing the financial and HR areas. They said: “We are working on a new strategy and making special efforts to create new business opportunities and to extend our product profile.” The company’s next new project demonstrates the firm’s positive future outlook: “There are plans to enlarge the production and assembly facilities by another 15,000m2, which will enable Simon n Plastic to perform well for the next 30 years.”

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KUNPLAST-KARSAI Műszaki Műanyagipari Zrt is one of the leading plastic processing companies in Hungary and a major employer in the town of Kiskunfélegyháza where it is located. Thanks to its modern technologies and skilled labour force, the previously state-owned Hungarian firm today meets the highest quality requirements set by European car manufacturers. Edina Beale reports.


stablished in 1961, the predecessor of KUNPLAST-KARSAI Műszaki Műanyagipari Zrt had been a significant plastic and rubber processing company in its local region for many decades. Two years after its privatisation in 1992, its employees purchased 85.5 per cent of the company. In 26 February 2000 capital funds were raised to 61 per cent and shares became the property of Karsai Holding Rt from Székesfehérvár, hence the company’s adoption of its current name and ownership structure. Operating on a modern industrial site in Kiskunfélegyháza and providing jobs for 250 staff, today KUNPLAST-KARSAI Műszaki Műanyagipari Zrt has a strong position in the Hungarian and international markets and achieves an annual turnover of €10–12 million.

Direct automotive supplier The company began to test the automotive market in 1988 and has made significant investments to meet the strict quality requirements needed for this sector. Today Kunplast is a reliable supplier of numerous prominent car manufacturing companies including Suzuki and Volkswagen. Besides these, the company supplies high quality component parts indirectly to BMW, Ford, Mazda, Volvo and Volkswagen. At present 47 per cent of production serves the automotive sector. As a high volume automotive product supplier, the company has to meet the basic requirement of 100 per cent faultless products. This is only achievable via the implementation and maintenance of reliable quality assurance systems. Among others,

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the company has implemented the ISO 9001:2000 and the ISO/ TS 16949:2002 assurance system, and has also been operating according to the environmental ISO 14001 system since 2002.

Components for electrical and other sectors Besides its automotive products, the company produces heavy and light current electrical technological plastic components for the Swiss, German and UK markets, whilst supplying many different plastic articles for personal use such as sanitary products to Switzerland. Moreover, plastic floor tiles, storage compartments and products for composting are being manufactured by the factory predominantly to serve the domestic market. 174 Industry Europe

In addition to its core activities of plastic processing, Kunplast is also a mass producer of brake components and sandwich structured aluminium covered heat protection panels for car manufacturers including BMW, Audi and VW.

Plastic processing tool making Plastic processing tool production now also plays an important role in the company’s business strategy. In 2007 its capacities in the area of large size and precision tool manufacturing were extended. The company implemented a modern CNC machining centre and milling machine whilst investing in the high end Unigraphics NX CAD CAM software package for design as well

as purchasing a new NC machining centre. “Our aim is to create a European standard production capacity for Hungary’s medium and large size tool making needs in Kiskunfélegyháza,” says Mrs Klára Alter, managing director of KUNPLAST-KARSAI Műszaki Műanyagipari Zrt. In addition to producing tools, the company’s new tool manufacturing facility enables Kunplast to maintain and repair its partners’ tools. This allows it to meet the required quality standards and therefore to increase customer satisfaction.

Diverse technologies In order to offer diverse services for its partners, Kunplast has invested in two methods of plastic processing and has implemented several other type of technologies. The company operates 19 press machines in its thermoset production hall where it mostly manufactures electrical assembly boxes, known as the Rose product range. This range is manufactured by compression moulding using SMC glass fibre reinforced polyester wax. Products for the automotive and electrical industries predominantly require the use of thermoplastic technologies. The factory has 28 injection moulding machines from 25t to 2200t to process a significant amount of products made from technical compounds including ABS, PA, PC, PS and POM. For products that have lower quality requirements components are produced from PP and PE. Among many other technologies, Kunplast also offers steel forming, laser engraving, ultrasonic and vibration welding.

A successful history reaching back several decades, high customer satisfaction and effective cooperation with its suppliers are the results of the company’s professional skill, determination and competitive workforce. It puts special emphasis on training and employing skilled workers, and cooperates in many different ways with local authorities and colleges to continuously renew its workforce. Managing director Klara Alter is confident about the company’s future growth: “European car manufacturers see us as a reliable supplier from central Europe, predominantly serving the electrical and automotive sectors. Our long term plan is to double our turnover by 2025 whilst modernising our technologies and putting emphasis on innovation so that the efficiency of human n labour will also be doubled.”

Positive outlook In the near future Kunplast is planning to invest in a laser marking and reading system as well as in new production machines as it expects an increase in demand for thermoset products, particularly in the electrical and automotive markets.

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POWERING SUCCESS Andritz Hydro is a global supplier of electromechanical systems and services for hydropower plants and a leader in the market of hydraulic power generation. In recent years Andritz Kft, the Hungarian subsidiary of Andritz AG, has turned its focus to new products and joined the Andritz Hydro group to improve efficiencies. Edina Beale reports.

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ased in Tiszakécske, Hungary, Andritz Kft is a significant producer of energy components in central Europe. The company specialises in the production of components for the energy industry and for water power stations and manufactures high quality heavy weight machines for the paper industry. The firm is able to carry out the entire production process from processing the basic material through welding, heat treatment and milling to surface treatment and assembly for product structures up to 150 tonnes. The factory is therefore capable of producing and delivering complete, fully assembled, insulated components ready for connection to other completed units at construction sites.

Focus on Hydro business Since May 2015 Andritz Kft has been integrated into the Hydro business unit of the parent company, Andritz AG. This strategic change was based on the short- and long-term market data which showed that 80 per cent of the products being produced in Hungary were

required for the Hydro sector. However, the company still continues with the machine making for the paper industry and other component production for all the other Andritz sectors. “We will have to strengthen the supply chain within Andritz, which will improve our capacity use in the long term. Currently there are many initiatives which aim to create opportunities for us to produce new products within the Hydro group; for example, gate closing structures for water power stations in Norway,” says Ms Katalin Balla, sales group leader of Andritz Kft. The paper industry is still a significant target market, with the most important product being the Yankee dryer cylinder. The steel version of this product is pioneering in its field and was developed jointly by the parent company and the professional team of the Hungarian subsidiary. By replacing cast iron with steel, Andritz created a high-precision drying cylinder that ensures excellent drying rates at low specific costs. The product allows for highly efficient drying by using special material alloys and has the ability to increase the length Industry Europe 177

and diameter of the drying cylinder so that larger sized paper can be produced. Lamellas and evaporators are also important products for this sector. In addition, the company produces hydrogen and aircooling generator housings for the parent company.

Large investments Today Andritz Kft employs 429 people and uses over 60 subcontractors for large projects. Its annual turnover is expected to reach €26.5 million in 2015. Since the takeover in 2007, Andritz has invested a total of €24 million in Hungary; nearly €3 million of which was sourced through government funds. As a result, a new manufacturing hall was developed

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on the company’s 15,000m2 production site whilst extensions were made to existing production facilities. In order to improve the production process further, new technologies were implemented. The most significant of these included the PAMA drilling and milling machine, valued at €3 million, with dimensions of 24 x 6 m and a round table weighing 100 tonnes: this is unique in Hungary and demonstrates the company’s determination to continue meeting its customers’ high expectations. A 6.5m diameter WALDRICH vertical turning lathe, and a 12m diameter SCHIESS vertical turning lathe have also opened up new opportunities for the company in the field of machining. Production efficiency was supported with a new rolling machine and in 2008 opportunities were created to carry out the coating activ-

ity in the 10–15m-long closed cabins. In 2015 the company invested again in this area and adjusted its capacities to meet the increased volume, as well as developing suitable storage facilities and implementing technologies for washing products before coating.

Increased demand

“Currently our prime objective is to meet the expectations of the Hydro segment. To support this agenda a new member, Erich Köstenbauer, has joined to our management team. Mr Köstenbauer used to be the global product manager of the Hydro sector. Our company is a major employer in this region, and we wish to maintain and strengthen n the position of our firm.”

The demand for lamella production has doubled this year: instead of 100,000m2 Andritz is required to produce above 200,000m2 in 2015, and is expected to deliver more than 300,000m2 of lamella in 2016. In order to cope with the increased demand the company has already been obliged to significantly reorganise its capacities and has purchased a third laser welding machine.

Future targets Andritz Kft’s main competitors are mostly in eastern Europe, particularly in Slovakia and Poland, but it is also seeing strong competition from China and India too. “We can only compete with these countries if we win the satisfaction of our customers by providing excellent quality products and adhering to the strict deadlines whilst offering competitive prices. This is only achievable if our planning and production process are working well and if we employ a skilled labour force,” explains Ms Balla. Industry Europe 179

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POWER TO THE PEOPLE Global automotive brand Honda’s Power Equipment division offers a huge range of engine-fuelled products to its customers worldwide. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to PR and communications manager Lucy Carter to learn more about how the division is growing and investing.


apanese multinational corporation Honda is primarily known for its manufacture of cars and motorbikes, but its creation and supply of power equipment started way back in 1953 when it began manufacturing small engines specifically for this purpose, using its extensive knowledge of motors. Initially focused on the US market, Honda Power Equipment today has manufactured more than 100 million power products worldwide thanks to its network of state-of-the-art production sites and many thousands of dealers across the world. Honda Power Equipment’s portfolio is focused on the six core product families of generators, lawn mowers, pumps, snow blowers, tillers and trimmers. Indeed, the division is the world leader in the development of low-emission, fuel-efficient, environmentally-friendly four-stroke engines for use in many power equipment applications such as generators, water pumps and outboard motors.

A global family Headquartered in Georgia, USA, where it has more than 40 million satisfied customers, Honda Power Equipment is also particularly active across Europe. Its main European manufacturing site is located in Orleans, France, under the name Honda France Manufacturing, and it is here that its products are developed and created for the European market. PR and communications manager Lucy Carter spoke to Industry Europe about Honda Power Equipment in Europe. She said, “The key product groups that we offer from our European site in Orleans include lawn mowers, marine outboards and inflatable boats and industrial and agricultural engines. We have been continually investing in new technologies to ensure that we are able to keep expanding our market share and this is proving to be a successful strategy.”

Honda Power Equipment in Europe’s portfolio provides lawn mowers, ride-on mowers, robotic mowers and hand-held mowers for the Lawn & Garden sector, outboards and inflatable boats for the Marine sectors, tillers and snow throwers for the Agricultural sector and generators, water pumps and power carriers for the Industrial sector. Ms Carter continued, “We are well known for our high quality power generation products and in order to maintain and promote this reputation for excellence our investment in new technologies has already seen a number of innovative products introduced. For example, our Miimo robotic lawnmower uses unique Honda technology and our innovative Snow Thrower is the only hybrid machine available on the market. Our EU70 generator is also the only fuel injection generator on the market and our BF250 Marine engine is the only product of its sort that uses our unique air-intake system.” Ms Carter is clear that Honda Power Equipment’s focus on development and innovation thanks to heavy investment and a strategic utilisation of its extensive experience is highly necessary in a challenging market. She said, “Given the increasing competition from emerging markets we are well aware that active, dynamic R&D is more important than ever. We are finding that aggressive Chinese copies are increasing so having USPs backed up by an Authorised Dealer Network is essential. Customers know they can trust the Honda brand and it is imperative that we look after that reputation by creating and manufacturing power engine products that excel on quality and performance.”

Good for growth Annual growth and expansion of market share across Europe is very much the mission of Honda Power Equipment. Already successful in this regard, the company expects to continue this through its focus on innovation and the reliability of its dealer network. Ms Industry Europe 181

Carter added, “Recent innovative developments such as our Miimo robotic lawnmower have played an important role in our continuing European growth, with our R&D teams working hard to develop robotic technology that truly adds value to our customers in terms of product performance. On-going investment is very much at the heart of this success too so in order to keep growing year on year we will continue to invest in new technologies.” In terms of European sales, Honda Power Equipment’s main markets are France, Germany and the UK for its Lawn & Garden products, Italy for its Marine products and Norway, Sweden and Switzerland for its snow throwers. Ms Carter explained that

customer demand and priorities vary according to geographical regions and, as such, the company’s business development plans reflect changing requirements. She added, “Lawn mowers continue to be our key product in terms of sales as they contribute the most to our turnover, but we are dedicated to providing local products that suit the needs and requirements of our customers across European markets.” With continued R&D and investment assured, Honda Power Equipment is positive its growth will remain strong year on year. The company expects to venture into new markets as well as growing in n its current markets, with mainly organic growth predicted.

Edel Tamp Edel Tamp has been part of Honda‘s product development for the last 20 years. Our aim has been to acquire a perfect understanding of Honda’s requirements in terms of product development, offering the right solutions, based on precise results of tests and calculations in our studies and not on extrapolation. Edel Tamp’s ultimate objective is to provide a complete and flawless product and service. Our expertise encompasses every area, from understanding of the product, through validation, development and implementation. On time and within budget. Edel Tamp’s approach to Honda’s projects has been global. Our experience in managing skills and keeping up to date with the latest technologies enables us to respond to Honda’s distinct needs at every stage: development, production and logistics. Our key area of involvement has been Plastics Engineering but we have the possibility of combining this area with Precision Turning, Stamping, Welding, Paintwork-decorating, Assembly, Polyurethane foaming, electronics, aluminum casting. In Honda’s product development, our polymer specification laboratory has offered Honda the possibility to acquire the relevant polymer mix specifically developed for Honda’s products in accordance with product specification. Our laboratory is equipped with Impact test, Tensil stress test, Polymers characterization, Melt flow index test. Expertise and Control: These are two pillars of our engineering consultancy and laboratory, enabling us to maintain a high level of independence and objectivity when studying Honda’s needs in terms of materials characterization at any temperature. All the results of these studies are then integrated into our rheology and structure simulation models. They provide Honda’s designers and product controllers with materials that places Honda’s products amongst the highest ranked in terms of quality and precision. Edel Tamp’s commitment to Honda is constant and we strive to maintain a total quality approach to solutions in all future Honda development and production.

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POWERFUL ENGINE Key strategic changes over the past two years have seen Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd further boost its customer-focused products and services. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to vice-president and business head Sanjeev Nimkar to learn more.

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art of the Indian engineering products giant Kirloskar Group, Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd (KOEL) was founded in 1946 in India. A flagship company of the group, KOEL has four state-of-the-art manufacturing units in India that have been carefully developed and maintained to offer world-class products and services. KOEL operates offices in Dubai, South Africa and Kenya, with sales representatives throughout the Middle East and Africa. As the acknowledged Indian market leader in the manufacture of diesel engines for industry, agricultural engines and power generating sets, KOEL offers a broad range of products to a number of active markets. Vice-president and business head Sanjeev Nimkar spoke to Industry Europe to give an overview of the company and explain its goals for the future: “We specialise in the manufacture of both air-cooled and liquid-cooled diesel engines and power generating sets across a wide range of power outputs. All our power solutions are customised to suit a wide range of applications in both standby and prime power requirements. KOEL generating sets are

available in both open and sound-proof environmentally-friendly canopies and these sets adhere to highest emission norms required in the US & Europe as well ”

Ideal choice The major markets served by KOEL include service industries such as telecoms and IT/ES, shopping malls and hospitals, and infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and high-rise buildings. KOEL products are well established in industries such as engineering, FMCG and the automotive sector as well as defence requirements in the air force, the army and the navy. Mr Nimkar added, “Kirloskar products are famous for being very robust and cost competitive, making them the ideal choice for a huge variety of projects and applications, particularly those that require long-term durability and reliability. The fact that our engines are made to withstand a great deal of Indian situations like rugged terrains and high temperature fluctuations makes them a valued choice.”

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Well known for its durability, the KOEL product range is also famously good value for money. Mr Nimkar continued, “Kirloskar is appreciated for offering very robust products at a good price point. It’s a desirable blend of high value for money with highly reliable performance.” It is this desirable blend, coupled with the high tolerance in extreme operating conditions, that is part of KOEL’s growth strategy for the future. Already active across the Middle East and Africa, KOEL plans to aggressively grow more in these regions as well as Europe and the US. Mr Nimkar said, “Our strategy is to be aggressive in India and beyond; we currently enjoy around 15 per cent of our activities outside India but we expect to grow to by at least 25 per cent within the next five to seven years. The strategic changes in our management and our operations over the past two years have focused on the new vision: by 2025 Kirloskar oil engines will touch the world. Our strategic approach has resulted in a very positive, ambitious theme across the company and our outlook is far more global now; we are developing rapidly across Africa, where we are already strong, and are developing our target markets in Europe and the US.” Another improvement at Kirloskar has seen it blast its previous delivery times from four to six weeks to just seven days. Having realigned its whole supply chain, KOEL is now promising its customers that delivery of its high performance, high quality, affordable engines

will be in just one week, dramatically improving its customer service right from the first contact with KOEL through to the delivery and after sales of 24 X 7.

Top standards Innovation and development are integral to KOEL’s ongoing success. Mr Nimkar explained, “We are determined to maintain our position as the market leader in power generation, industrial engines and agricultural engines. We are further augmenting our in-house R&D and engineering facilities to ensure that we stay at the top of our game by only developing and producing engines that meet the world’s highest quality standards. All our facilities are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, as well as meeting the ISO standards for IT and OHSAS. All our products are perfectly suited to the European and US markets as they are competitive and meet tight emissions norms.” Environmental responsibility and understanding is very important for Kirloskar’s expected growth, both in its domestic and nearby markets and across Europe and the US. Mr Nimkar added, “The evaluating agency in the Netherlands has awarded us an A+ rating for green initiatives and top class reporting on sustainability, and we have also been given a GreenCo Gold award from the Confederation n of Indian Industries (CII) in 2015.”

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HBL: AN INTELLIGENT CHOICE HBL Power Systems Ltd has its head offices in Hyderabad, the 5th largest city in India. While the company is well known for its wide range of batteries for different industry sectors, it also makes several engineering intensive products and now seeks to collaborate with European based sellers of such products. Marco Siebel spoke to Dr A.J. Prasad, chairman and managing director of the company, to find out more.


he bulk of HBL Power Systems’ sales consist of batteries for industrial standby power. The company designs and manufactures the widest range of batteries available from a single manufacturer today. The applications covered by the batteries are wide, from passenger aircraft, submarines and missiles to locomotives, cell phone towers, data centres and diesel engines. HBL’s engineering products include Electronic Rail Signaling, Industrial Power electronics including inverters for solar, and BLDC Motors. It has vertically integrated factories for the necessary enclosures, magnetics and assembly. HBL Power Systems Ltd was founded in 1977, and is a research based manufacturing company listed on the Indian stock exchanges. Current annual sales are in the region of 200 million dollars, generated by the company’s 2400 white collar and 2600 blue collar workers.

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HBL serves several key industry sectors including utilities, oil and gas, electric power, railways, defence and telecoms. It has customers in India and in export markets, with about 20 per cent of products being exported to the EU, USA, GCC and ASEAN markets. It has sales offices in the USA, Germany and Dubai and there are agents/distributors in over 30 countries, from Brazil to Australia. Dr A.J. Prasad begins: “India is now recognised as a significant market, but several global firms also see it as a necessary node in their network for product development. However, most mid-sized companies in the advanced countries find it challenging to do business in India directly as the environment is complex. HBL can help them as an investment partner, whether through distribution, licensing or manufacturing.” HBL has received approval from EASA and FAA for the use of its batteries on the most common Airbus and Boeing passenger

aircraft. Siemens is an important customer for applications ranging from on-board rail battery systems to power plants. In the oil and gas sector HBL has various certifications and has supplied ARAMCO, PDO Oman and the Kuwait Oil Company, amongst others. Dr Prasad adds: “The point that mid-sized companies often miss is that to enter India with an engineering intensive product, they don’t need to invest in the capital assets which increase their risk. HBL has the infrastructure to manufacture for them under license, without their having to make an investment of any significance. HBL can also help them in marketing and management.”

The Make in India programme In 2013 the Indian government launched a programme designed to stimulate Indian industrial production. The Make in India programme promotes import substitution without any restrictions on imports because India is a WTO signatory. The size of the Indian market should attract firms facing slow growth elsewhere, but incomes in

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the country are low and the bulk of the market is very price conscious. To make a profit in such a context, foreign firms need to do as much value addition as they can. This is possible, without giving away their core intellectual property, if they carry out all engineering intensive activities in India. Dr Prasad continues: “In Europe the availability of manufacturing engineers will decline, because young people today find more profitable opportunities in other occupations. They will want to go into finance, marketing, IT – so many other options are there. Fifty years ago, manufacturing was an attractive occupation in Europe but now this is not the case. Furthermore, the senior engineers in many companies are beginning to retire, so even engineering intensive companies that are well established will find it hard to grow. This is where we come in and say: ‘Look, we’ll make it for you and you sell it wherever in the world you want’, including India.” Large global, industrial brands will be able to enter India themselves – indeed many are already present in the Indian market. Mid-sized companies will be more hesitant and will probably prefer to find a development partner, but selecting the wrong partner can be costly. HBL’s strategy is to reduce the risk of market entry for companies that have engineering intensive products and services. Dr Prasad concludes: “Companies have realised that once you produce a quality product, you can sell it from any market to any other market – after all, that is the meaning of a brand, isn’t it? If you put a Mercedes logo on a car, that means Mercedes is certifying it as a high quality product, so how does it matter where it is made? But this takes a change in mindset and some people will change sooner than others.” Smart, India-minded companies in developed markets are beginning to seek a partner like HBL that has proven engineering and manufacturing capabilities. It is against this backdrop that HBL looks forward to n cooperating with like-minded firms in Europe. 190 Industry Europe

1200kV Solidcore and Hollow insulators


IN INSULATORS Aditya Birla Insulators, part of the €38 billion multinational Aditya Birla Group, is headquartered in the state of Gujarat, in western India. Industry Europe spoke with Vikas Khosla, president of Aditya Birla Insulators, a unit of Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd and a leading company within the group.


lobally, Aditya Birla Insulators is the fourth-largest manufacturer of high voltage porcelain insulators. The company was founded in 1967 in Rishra near Kolkata (West Bengal) in the eastern part of India. Subsequently, a second production facility was put in place in 1982 at Halol (Gujarat) near Vadodara in the western part of India. A third facility for composite insulators was also established at Halol in 2009. The company’s product range includes hollow & solid core insulators for the substation segment and disc, pin & post insulators in the transmission segment. Additionally, the company manufactures composite long rod insulators for special application requirements. Insulators manufactured by Aditya Birla Insulators have been installed successfully in over 58 countries worldwide. Both plants are ISO 9001, 14001 and OHSAS 18001 accredited. The Rishra plant is also certified for SA 8000.

High voltage porcelain insulators The company specialises in the production of high strength porcelain insulators for use in circuit breakers, instrument transformers, condenser bushings, disconnector switches & railway traction systems as well as transmission line insulators for voltage applications up to 1200 kV. Vikas Khosla: “The current combined production capacity of both facilities is in excess of 62,000 MT p.a. for the porcelain segment, of which only 45,000 MT is currently under utilisation owing to significant imports from China. The Indian government has launched a programme called ‘Make in India’ to bolster the domestic industry and make our country a global manufacturing hub in the years to come. This will boost demand and we are waiting for the programme to kick in. The current Chinese imports have impacted the domestic industry significantly with domestic capacity utilisation hovering at around 60–80 per cent. The Industry Europe 191

Application of insulators (substation)

prices of Chinese products are artificially pegged and I am convinced these are not sustainable in the long run. Additionally, the quality of Indian products is good and, when it comes to the life cycle cost, we have an advantage. We do believe that finally the quest for quality with economic product value will prevail.” Each stage in the manufacturing of porcelain insulators, from the wet grinding of raw materials to vacuum extrusion to provide plastic clay right through to the final assembly of the insulators requires rigorous testing, both mechanical and electrical. The production cycle is supported by a comprehensive system of process and quality control. These control systems are fully documented, being a vital part of production at both the units. Vikas Khosla continues: “We are the only insulator manufacturer in the world using barcode for product traceability during the production process. This is a very important quality aspect: it shows how much we trust our products, and how much we value our customers. These barcodes enable every product to be tracked in the entire manufacturing cycle. We can even track specific machines and the supervisor responsible for the production shift. This helps us to continuously ensure high standards.” Aditya Birla Insulators employs 3600 blue-collar workers and 400 white-collar managerial staff. These 4000 employees generated a

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turnover of €84 million in the last fiscal year, up 8 per cent from the previous year. It looks as though the turnover for the current fiscal year will be between 94 and 95 million euros. The company expects to achieve a turnover of 140 to 150 million euros by 2020 by expanding its global reach. “As a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Nuvo which is part of Aditya Birla Group, a global conglomerate, we benefit in many ways. We share the same values, and since the commercial activities of the group and its different subsidiaries are highly diversified, we all share the best business practices of the group. By keeping a close eye on what each unit of the group does to improve business performance, customer satisfaction & employee happiness, we continue to learn and to raise the bar.”

Economic developments Aditya Birla Insulators has customers all over the world including Siemens, Alstom, ABB, Crompton Greaves and EPCs like KEC International, Larsen & Toubro, Tata Projects, Kalpatru and so on. In addition to being the dominant player in the Indian market, Europe and the US are important overseas markets for the company. The current government’s focus on ‘Power for all’ by 2019 will stimulate demand. The ‘Make in India’ campaign aims to promote national buying and counter the tendency towards buying cheaper goods from China.

Transmission and Distribution insulators

Vikas Khosla adds: “The Ministry of Power (Government of India) contacted the domestic industry in 2006 with the request that we increase our manufacturing capacity. To accommodate the country’s future demand, we increased our investment budget in the following years and up-scaled our capacities in line with their projections, but as of today the domestic industry is operating at sub-economic production levels. This means that we can supply the overseas markets rapidly as our production infrastructure and capacity is readily available. Customers won’t have to wait for the construction of a new production site – they can be serviced for their requirements now. We believe India could be a major supply hub for insulators to global customers in the next three to four years.”

Pollution resistant insulation With the continuing global trend towards urban development resulting in the necessity of inter-regional transmission and system strengthening, Aditya Birla Insulators’ competitive positioning looks good with strong potential for network expansion. In addition to this, its commitment and continuous efforts to act upon customers’ changing needs means the company has the strength to grow and deliver. Vikas Khosla concludes: “Our company is focusing on R&D activities in line with ever-changing customer needs. The engineers at our R&D department are in regular collaboration with renowned power & technical institutes such as CPRI, and are currently focusing on the development of high pollution resistant insulators that can take up to 160kg particles per cubic metre. The pollution handling capacity of insulators manufactured today is up to 56kg of particles per cubic metre for the ceramic insulators.

Composite insulators

CNC shaping machine

“We have also teamed up with a global market leader in RTV coating solutions to provide Si coated solutions for ceramic insulators which will combine the positive attributes of both porcelain & composite insulators. “Furthermore, our company collaborates with customers on various initiatives relating to product development and design & cost optimisation. This helps to enhance the customers’ competitiveness and provides them with products in line with their own customers’ requirement and expectations. As an organization, we are aligned to create sustainable value for our customers and that n builds brand ‘ABI’.”

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A POWERFUL COMBINATION The GHH-BONATRANS Group combines two of the global leaders in their fields to form a company that can now offer the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of wheelsets, wheels, axles and tyres for every variety of railway vehicle. In a conversation with CEO Dr Raimund Abele, Victoria Hattersley finds out what makes the group unique, as well as discussing its latest achievements in R&D and plans for continued global expansion.

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he GHH-BONATRANS Group was established in its present form on 1 January 2014 when the Czech based BONATRANS GROUP a.s. acquired the German company GHH-Radsatz GmbH. Both companies have distinguished manufacturing traditions stretching back many decades and are leaders in their individual sectors: BONATRANS is strong in high volume heavy rail solutions, whereas GHH is the leader in light rail applications. Dr Abele begins: “The acquisition of GHH means that the biggest suppliers in Europe in the field of rolling stock wheelsets have been joined under one umbrella and paved the way for even greater global expansion. Today the GHH-BONATRANS Group achieves a turnover of €300 million and we employ 2,000 people across our German, Czech and Indian sites.”

concentrating on the high-end market here as we are seeing rapidly increased demand from this segment. The strategic reason for entering this market is the need for safer and more efficient mobility in India to transport people and goods, thanks to the twin drivers of a growing economy and expanding population. We recognised that to operate successfully on this market you need to have a local presence and we have now achieved this.” Indeed, it could be said that the group’s success in India is practically assured since, besides Indian rolling stock manufacturers and railways, a number of its long-term clients are already present in this market including global OEMs such as Alstom, Bombardier, Siemens, GE and Hyundai Rotem.

Rolling into India

In addition to the European and Indian markets, GHH-BONATRANS is looking to expand even further afield and as such is currently involved in several light rail projects in China. As the biggest rail market in the world with incredible growth particularly in high speed, it makes perfect sense for the group to make this move. It is currently in the process of establishing a distribution office for South East Asia as the first step in this long-term plan. However, Dr Abele does point out that establishing a firm foothold on the Chinese market is by no means a simple process. “China is not a typical market as investments there are largely government-driven and there is no longer a ministry of railways as such. This means we have to adjust our way of doing business. As with India, we feel that localisa-

While the above is impressive enough, it could be said that GHHBONATRANS’s facilities in Europe merely represent the beginning of its journey. At the time of writing, it is in the final stages of establishing a brand-new manufacturing site on the booming Indian market. The group is already starting to recruit people here and trial production has been put in train, with the site expected to become fully operational in the first quarter of 2016. At full capacity, Dr Abele informs us that it will be capable of manufacturing 20,000 wheels and 6,000 axles per year, and assembling around 5,000 wheelsets. Discussing the importance of this move for the group, he says: “India represents the first step in our global expansion and we will be

Moving further east

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tion will be very important in the long-term. In the future we may well be setting up production too, as we are already seeing appreciation from Chinese customers for our quality and engineering know-how. We will differentiate ourselves through technology and quality rather than capacity and cost.”

Products for every need As mentioned above, GHH-BONATRANS is able to offer a complete range of wheelsets, axles and tyres for all kinds of railway vehicles. Its long-term experience in delivering wheelsets and parts for the most demanding applications to over 80 countries worldwide has given it all the knowledge it needs to provide customers with products that have been optimised to meet their exact requirements. Its wealth of experience has also given the group the ability to be flexible when it comes to product development – a key attribute in this sector, particularly when it comes to smaller volume orders. To give some indication of the range of possibilities open to customers, it manufactures over 1,000 wheels and over 300 axle types.

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When it comes to the group’s product and service offering, Dr Abele is keen to highlight its unique selling position. “Our customers can rely on us as a one-stop supplier and they expect us to have the latest technologies. We offer every kind of support system for locomotives – low floor designs, a complete product range for any bogie designs from regional to intercity and freight. The list is extensive.”

Innovation and key trends GHH-BONATRANS works continuously to improve its technologies, driven by the need to lower material consumption, increase productivity and wear resistance, and – above all – ensure the highest safety standards. For example, while not being a steel producer itself it works with steel suppliers to create enhanced steel grades specifically for the locomotive, passenger as well as freight segments. A good example of this would be BONASTAR, which has proven to be very successful with clients. One particularly significant product currently in development is a new induction-hardened axle that will bring, amongst other things,

significantly higher fatigue characteristics, and so a longer lifetime and increased safety margins. “This product is in the first field test phase,” says Dr Abele, “and we will then need to widen its range of application so it can be used from freight to high-speed. This will be a long journey with a lot of testing needed along the way but we are very confident in its ultimate success.” The group has also been involved in the ICE 4 consortium which is a follow-up to the previous ICE (Intercity Express) programmes for Deutsche Bahn (DB). ICE 4 will be DB’s platform for high-speed intercity connections for decades to come and GHH-Bonatrans is a major supplier of both wheels and axles for both motor and trailer bogies for this project. Another concern that has come to the forefront in this industry in recent years is the need for noise reduction. As Dr Abele explains, “This is down to the increase of railway infrastructure resulting in higher traffic density. Whilst this topic is not exactly new, the industry is only just starting to get to grips with finding ways to implement noise reduction on a wider scale in a way that is economically

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achievable. As always, GHH-BONATRANS will be at the forefront of technological advances in this field.” And when it comes to innovation, GHH-BONATRANS recognises the importance of collaboration. It works closely with partners in the development of new solutions and has the biggest team of designers and engineers in this industry. Its collaborators include railway institutions, universities, EC-funded projects as well as, of course, the clients themselves.

Continued global leadership GHH-BONATRANS regularly attends industry trade shows, both large and small, in order to confirm its industry leading position and showcase its latest innovations. For example, at the next edition of Innotrans in September 2016 it will be demonstrating its inductionhardened axles as well as its new low-floor designs.

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When it comes to maintaining its pattern of growth in the future, Dr Abele fills us in on the group’s five-year business plan which involves the doubling of its business in both Europe and the international markets. He feels there is still plenty of scope for growth in Europe even though GHH-BONATRANS is already the market leader here. In addition, following its expansion in India and the Far East, the Americas will be the next step in the coming years. When asked what makes the group stand out from its competitors on the market, he tells us: “Our philosophy is that people count more than anything else and this has contributed to our success. All the people in our group have the right attitude and are dedicated to the market and know they can only be successful if we all work together. The most important thing is that we continue to be driven by the goals of safety, reliability and timely deliveries.” He goes on: “We have competitors who can excel in certain areas but to be the leader in this market you have to have the full complement of products and services. There is simply no room for weakness in any single area, which means not just keeping costs as low as possible but also combining this with the highest standard of quality. As a final point, certification is very important for our clients and we have

the biggest testing capabilities in the world. This gives us the advantage of being able to quickly come up with new products and prove that they work. In short, customers can rely on us for all their needs n and can continue to do so for many years to come.”

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ON A ROLL Optimising Europe’s rolling stock is the sole focus of Astra Rail Industries, which is a leading developer and producer of modern freight wagons, bogies and rail cars. Philip Yorke spoke to John Brown, the company’s sales and marketing director, about its continuing investment in new technology and move into new markets.


stra Rail Industries was founded in Romania in 1882 and has since produced over one million freight wagons. The company operates three modern manufacturing facilities in Romania, in Arad, Turnu-Severin and Caracal. Operated and driven by a German management team with unrivalled experience since 2012, the company subscribes to the highest standards of European freight wagon engineering. Astra Rail Industries SRL has the largest freight wagon manufacturing capacity in Europe, with covered working areas exceeding 350,000 square metres. This enables Astra Rail to produce more than 5000 freight wagons per year in a wide variety of designs and with many innovative tailor-made features. In addition to freight wagon production, Astra also provides servicing, maintenance and repair facilities, as well as offering special services for the development and inspection of railcars. Today the company is able to draw upon the expertise of two of its subsidiaries for special projects: ICPV, with its prestigious engineering offices

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Automated grease lubrication by FAIVELEY TRANSPORT SCHWAB:

“The absolute freedom from maintenance” Functional Principle of the greasing device

borehole in buffer plate

lubricant conduct

lubricant dispenser

The new self-greasing buffer+ lubricates its own head for as long as 15 months. Manual re-lubrication during this period of time is not needed. This also contributes towards reducing friction and preventing the formation of riffs. Life service of the Buffer+ is greatly increased thanks to the reduction of wear and an improved gliding behaviour. The lubricant dispenser can be filled up with different types of lubricant. FT Schwab AG is able to check the different types of grease according to a reliable functioning of the lubricant dispenser. Faiveley Transport Schwab on track for success thanks to innovative strength, flexibility and proximity to customer.

Faiveley Transport Schwab has been manufacturing railway products for car builders and OEMs worldwide at its plant in Schaffhausen since 1912. Research and Development is strongly focused, making up over 25 per cent of the workforce including nine development engineers. Well above 10 000 buffers and over 250 coupler units leave our warehouse every year. Faiveley Transport Schwab supplies the majority of the Swiss railway network, including mountain railways. The buffers+ with automated grease lubrication and the automatic tow coupler for the revamping old vehicles were some of the product innovations launched in 2013.

FAIVELEY TRANSPORT SCHWAB AG Ebnatstrasse 150A, 8207 Schaffhausen, Schweiz / Switzerland Phone: +41 (0)525602760 202 Industry Europe

AIL NNOVATION Compact Brake IBB10 Lightest brake application on the railway market designed for UIC freight wagon Allows easy assembly and disassembly of the Compact Brake and all single components Maintenance and overhauling by ECM workshops

Wabtec Europe GmbH Austria Tel: +43 1 890 49 87-0

Wabtec Corporation (Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies) is a global provider of value-added, technology-based products and services for railways, transit, freight and other industrial markets. The company has facilities located throughout the world.

Reliable. Sustainable. Secure.

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in Arad; and Astra Project, a company based in Proprad in Slovakia. Today the management of Astra is clearly focused on promoting the sustainable and long-term development of the Astra Rail Group, in its evolution into a strong financial entity and a clear market leader in its sector. At Astra Rail, therefore, long-term thinking takes precedence over short-term, profit-driven considerations.

Innovation and service driving sales Today Astra’s key sales markets are mainly the countries of the European Union. However, since 2012 the company has been extending its geographic reach and now exports its products to Russia and the Middle East. Brown said, “As a privately owned company based

Connecting what belongs together

Certified to DIN ISO 9001:2008 · DIN EN ISO 3834-2:2006 DIN EN 1090-1/-2 Level EXC3 DIN EN 15085-2:2008-01 Level CL1 Cutting technology • Laser technology Working range 5,200 x 31,000 mm Material thickness up to t = 20/25 mm • Fine plasma cutting technology Working range 6,000 x 27,000 mm Material thickness up to t = 40 mm

Research, development and innovation – a triad that is both maxim and aspiration for Ferro Umformtechnik.

Bending technology Work length up to 28,500 mm Press power up to 4,400 t Laser welding technology Working range for sheet metals 6,000 x 25,500 mm Working range for profiles 13,000 mm Welding technology • Component and assembly manufacturing Construction

Laser-welded side wall Length 18 m Ferro Umformtechnik

GmbH & Co. KG 48703 Stadtlohn, Germany

Phone: +49 2563 - 93 37 - 0 Fax: +49 2563 - 93 37 - 999

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in the Netherlands, we are well placed to offer the highest quality, reliability and flexibility. In addition to our three modern factories we also manage a network of maintenance shops throughout Europe and are able to conduct all our testing programmes in-house. Our customer base is comprised of leading rail operating companies and we have more than 60 highly qualified and dedicated design engineers serving them, as well as our own state-of-the-art testing facility located in-house. “We are a very lean, efficient and reliable company and pride ourselves on the service we offer our customers, as well as in the

high standards of our products. We are getting more and more involved in the design and manufacture of highly complex special projects and introducing new technologies in the development of multi-functional freight wagons. Our main European markets are Germany, France, England, Switzerland and France. However, we’re seeing consistent growth in new markets such as the United Arab Emirates, Russia and the USA. “We continue to invest heavily in new technology and now have the latest laser-cutting machines and employ robotics for many stages of our manufacturing processes. We always like to look at things in the Industry Europe 205

MSV Metal Studénka, a.s. R. Tomáška 859 742 13 Studénka Czech Republic

+420 556 472 202

MSV Metal Studénka, a.s. is a leading modern forging shop and the largest European supplier of forgings and rolling stock subassemblies for railways, which annually exports 80% of its production to roughly 22 countries across Europe, Africa and Asia. After two years of heavy investment we recognized a significant improvement in our production process, thanks to which we maintain our leading position in the production of buffers, screw couplers, draw hooks, draw gears and most of the spare parts for railway wagons and bogies. We deliver the forgings and stampings heat-treated, painted and we are increasingly focusing on their machining. Customer interest is growing mainly for the supply of an innovative mass-produced buffer and draw gear. We are continuously expanding our product portfolio with the objective to provide comprehensive supplies to all sectors – key manufacturers as well as railway wagon repair shops. Over the last two years we have invested EUR 5.2 million in new technologies, which has enabled us to reduce the energy demands of production, increase the productivity of the workplaces and raise the quality of our products. We are going to continue our investments in future – our investment plan for the next two years shall reach the amount of EUR 4.6 million. All of our key products undergo a series of qualitative and supplier audits each year, and some of these products have been upgraded this year by obtaining the certification by Notified Body, which moves us another step ahead of our competition.

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long-term and develop mutually beneficial relations with our clients. In fact, many of our rail operator customers have been with us for many, many years.”

Increasing demand for special freight wagons The demand for individual high-spec rail cars and freight wagons has kept the company’s two specialist subsidiaries very busy. ICPV and Astra Rail Project operate as Astra’s construction and development teams as well as operating its in-house, independent testing laboratories. These two engineering offices develop railcars and bogies for in-house production and are commissioned by external companies to carry out advanced development contracts. The whole value chain is encompassed by their services, from technical analysis, consultancy and execution, through to technical acceptance that includes final testing and approval. A good example of recent developments in special contracts can be seen in the company’s latest ‘Super Self Discharging Train’. This vehicle is 600 metres long and consists of permanently coupled rakes, each with either six or four wagons, with an incorporated conveyer discharging system. This train is suitable

for the effective transportation of gravel, ballast, sand and mixed materials. In addition, each rake consists of a power unit fitted with a diesel engine, which powers the hydraulic, electric and pneumatic systems.

Continuously enhancing quality One of Astra Rail’s most important strategic goals is to continuously enhance the quality of its products and services. The company aims to satisfy and exceed the high expectations of its international customers on a long-term basis and to maintain its position as one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of advanced rail cars and wagons. To this end, more than 50 employees are dedicated exclusively to providing quality assurance services at all levels. The Astra Rail management system has been certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2008, EN 14025, EN ISO 3834-2 and EN15085. This is a field where Astra Rail works together with TUV (German Technical Inspectorate) and Astra Rail has also been certified under the Deutsche Bahn’s HPQ and VPI. n For further details of Astra Rail’s latest innovative rolling stock products and services visit:

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Apostolos Anastasiadis, Global Textiles Sales and Segment Director

SUCCESS AT THE CORE Sonoco-Alcore, a part of the globally recognised Sonoco Group, supplies tube and core products and related services to clients across a number of markets. This article focuses in on one of its biggest end use sectors, Textiles, an area in which is has seen impressive growth thanks to its unique and innovative solutions. Victoria Hattersley talks to Apostolos Anastasiadis, Global Textiles Sales and Segment Director, to find out more about the activities of this division.


elgium-headquartered Sonoco-Alcore is part of the Sonoco Group, a global provider of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and supply chain services. SonocoAlcore itself serves many sectors, including paper, film, man-made fibres and construction. Its annual sales total some $4.9 billion with approximately 19,900 employees working in 335 operations across 33 countries. Mr Anastasiadis begins by explaining how the Textiles arm of Sonoco-Alcore, the subject of this article, fits into the overall group structure: “The textiles business makes up a major part of SonocoAlcore’s activities. Altogether, Sonoco-Alcore operates 25 tube and core plants and five paperboard mills throughout Europe. Most of these plants will produce a mixture of different cores for our various end use sectors so there is not a single dedicated location for textiles, as such. Having said that, in Belgium there is a 90 per cent dedicated line for the Carpet yarn market but this is more the exception than the norm. I myself am based in Dueren, Germany, where one of SonocoAlcore’s largest textiles capabilities are located.”

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This division produces core solutions mainly for man-made fibre production. It offers a variety of cores to manufacturers of polyester yarn, polyamide yarn, aramid yarn, carbon yarn and viscose yarn. Its clients include some of the most well-known names in this field, includes the major Global players in man made fibre production.

Three unique products Sonoco-Alcore is well known as a pioneer in new product development for man-made fibre manufacturers, offering solutions to help them maximise productivity and increase flexibility – all on a just-intime basis. According to Mr Anastasiadis, “We want to be the acknowledged leader in high-quality, innovative, value-creating packaging solutions that “Satisfy the Customer” He goes on to explain that the Textiles division offers three particularly innovative product lines in which it has been investing continuously. The first of these is PrinTex, a production process that has been designed to increase manufacturing flexibility and meet the growing demand for just-in-time delivery.

He tells us that PrinTex is “a revolutionary, innovative product used to print on the core. Clients can install this printing solution in their own facilities, which gives them flexibility and helps reduce inventory costs. Other benefits include reduction of working capital as, with PrinTex installed on their premises, they only need to store white cores as opposed to coloured cores. They can then print on them as needed, which allows them to operate on a just-in-time basis. As an example, with one of our clients, we were able to cut their lead times down from four days to just eight hours.” The second product Mr Anastasiadis wishes to draw attention to is the Hi-Radius core. This was developed by Sonoco-Alcore in collaboration with clients in order to solve one of the biggest issues in today’s polyamide and polyester yarn manufacturing process: machine downtime caused by yarn breakage during unwinding. This core is much more rounded in shape than the usual straight cut paper core used during the unwinding process, thus enabling it to significantly reduce yarn breaks and maximise yarn production. Finally, the Delta Core paper cop provides a revolutionary alternative to the more expensive metal cops traditionally used for polyamide yarn production. One of the key advantages of this product is that it is 100 per cent recyclable, and therefore saves a significant amount of the recovery costs associated with reclaiming and refurbishing metal cops. It also reduces the high initial investment costs necessary for the use of metal cops, not to mention the capital saved owing to the fact that no plastic sleeves are required in production.

Geographical expansion In addition to investing in the development of its key product lines, building its markets beyond Europe is also of high strategic importance to Sonoco-Alcore. And as Mr Anastasiadis tells us, “Whatever products we

develop in Europe will also be leveraged in our markets in Asia and North and South America.” The company is putting significant resources into expansion in promising new markets such as Russia and the Middle East. Mr Anastasiadis explains the reasoning behind this: “In terms of sales the most important markets for us used to be the UK and western Europe. Twenty years ago we had 10 plants in the UK but as our clients began to move into Europe and further afield we were obliged to follow suit. Germany is still a major market, as is Italy, but in the past five years or so Turkey, Russia, Israel and Middle East have also become significant. As we are 100 per cent owned by the Sonoco Group, we are optimistic about our prospects in our target markets because we can take advantage of its global network of textile customers.”

Future priorities Looking ahead, Mr Anastasiadis is keen to point out that his division’s approach will be geared towards working closely with customers to solve their specific problems. “As such,” he says, “we want to be seen as a one-stop shop concept. An example where we have already put this strategy into action would be with the Hi-Radius core. Our customers explained to us that they needed a solution to reduce breakage. They supplied us with all the necessary information – angles and so on – in order for us to go away and develop a solution that was precisely tailored to their needs. We carried out a range of tests and shared our results with the clients until we had perfected the Hi-Radius.” Aside from organic growth, Sonoco-Alcore is not ruling out possible future acquisitions in order to further expand its Textiles capacity. Trade shows are also an important part of its annual calendar. It recently showed the Hi-Radius concept at ITMA 2015 and it will be present at other events throughout the year, including a nonwovens show in the n Middle East as part of its strategy of increasing its business there.

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REDEFINING SCREENING TECHNOLOGY The Virto Group is a global leader in the design and manufacture of screening and separation equipment. During the past few years the company has begun to revolutionise the industry with its patented multifrequency vibrating sieve technology called ‘ScreenX’. Philip Yorke talked to Mark Peatey, the company’s CEO, about its unique screening products and its move into new markets.

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he Virto Group traces its origins back to 1946 when the Cuccolini screen maker was founded near Bologna in Italy. By 2008, when the Virto Group acquired the business, Cuccolini had become one of the biggest manufacturers of vibrating sieves in the world. By acquiring the Cuccolini product range and combining it with its patented and revolutionary multi-frequency vibrating (MFV) ‘ScreenX’ line, the Virto Group is rapidly becoming one of the most successful and diversified screening equipment businesses in the world. Today the Virto Group is a global leader in the design and manufacture of screening solutions with a unique manufacturing heritage in the production of screening equipment that goes back almost 70 years. It has provided advanced vibrating sieves and separation tools for thousands of customers operating across more than 50 different industries worldwide. These range from fine food powders to heavy aggregate and mining materials. With its extensive production facilities located near Bologna in Italy, its R&D labs in multiple locations and worldwide network of agents, Virto is a truly global operation. Its diverse range of screeners are FDA and ATEX compliant and are presented across its two distinct product lines: Cuccolini and ScreenX.

Revolutionary technology Virto’s diverse product portfolio of screeners offers highly efficient and large capacity screening solutions for diverse particle separation requirements, in particular for difficult-to-sieve materials that may be wet, sticky, agglomerative or aggressive. Whilst the company’s Cuccolino brand is well known for its high quality, cost-effective and traditional industrial sieves, Virto’s ScreenX brand is unique and utilises the company’s patented and cutting edge ‘MFV’ technology. This is a revolutionary process that is unrivalled in its ability to not only significantly increase capacity, but also to process problematic materials that are abrasive, sticky or very fine. The company’s ScreenX line of vibrating sieves utilises its patent protected multifrequency technology to convert single-frequency oscillations into multi-frequency movement. As a result, the acceleration transmitted to the screen mesh reaches 500G as opposed to just 5G delivered by traditional screening equipment. This new screening technology has been developed over a 20-year period by Virto through a robust, in-house R&D programme. These cutting-edge industrial sieves consistently outperform other screening brands in terms of their throughput for the classification,

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screening and de-dusting of coarse materials but also with highly efficient fine particle separation going down to 6 micron. It is able to do this because it overcomes mesh blinding and material agglomeration due to the power of the 500G of acceleration imparted in to the screening mesh which is transferred in to the material that requires particle size separation. Peatey said, “As a privately owned company we are able to offer not only our unique cutting-edge technology but also a more flexible and dedicated service to our customers. During the last five years we have revolutionised screening processes for many industries and made what was previously impossible, possible. Our multi-frequency industrial sieves can cover an infinite range of materials with a particle size ranging from 20 mm to 6 micron. Today around 80 - 85 per cent of traditional separation needs can be met with traditional screeners such as Virto’s Cuccolini line. However, the remaining 15 - 20 per cent is a very different market because that material is typically “unscreenable” for standard technology because it is wet, sticky, agglomerative or too fine. This is where ScreenX comes into its own. For example, until now many types of metal powders could not be “economically” separated below 30 micron but now they can to as small as 6 microns. Our laboratories are also our shop windows and a place where we can demonstrate and test any screening challenge that a customer might have. “In fact, we recently created the ‘Virto Challenge’ where we invite prospective customers to send us difficult samples for free testing and we ask them for the toughest that they have, in order to prove that we have a screening solution for what was not previously possible.”

Peatey added, “We are extending our global reach and have recently established a new facility in Latrobe near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and will shortly be opening another in South Africa. In addition we have an extensive network of agents, distributors and re-sellers (ADRs) that we are looking to continuously grow. We offer equipment that ranges from standard, cost-effective and highly reliable to cutting edge, high quality and tailored machines specifically designed to meet the exacting standards of our clients, including the de-dusting and control screening for the packaging industry. We serve many of the biggest names in foods, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, metallurgy and mining and petroleum.”

New technology driving sales The Virto Group continues to see strong growth and has set itself the target of becoming the world’s number one screening and separation technology company in the world. It is already one of the world’s largest manufacturers of screening equipment producing more than 2500 machines a year sold in more than 75 countries. With its patented MFV technology that allows Virto equipment to achieve previously unobtainable particle size separation results for difficult materials across multiple industries, it is well placed to n achieve its objective. For further details of the Virto Group’s revolutionary screening products visit:

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INNOVATIVE VISIONARIES Schott Glass is a global leader in the development and manufacture of glass solutions for a broad range of consumer and industrial products. Philip Yorke looks at a world-class company that continues to set new standards in both functionality and innovative solutions.


he Schott Group is based in Mainz, Germany and has more than 130 years of expertise in the development of glass products and ceramic materials technology, offering a broad portfolio of high-quality products and intelligent solutions. The company has unrivalled experience in the design and manufacture of speciality glass and advanced ceramic-glass technology. The Schott Group maintains close proximity to its customers with manufacturing facilities and sales units in over 40 countries worldwide. It is very much a global business with 16 production facilities located in 12 countries across five continents. Recently the company established two new state-of-the-art facilities in eastern Europe and has also expanded its operations in China and Brazil. However, Europe and North America remain Schott’s biggest markets, but it is Asia and China that is driving the company’s global growth. In 2014 the Group’s workforce of around 16,000 employees generated sales of more than €1.7 billion.

Strong, sustainable foundations The Schott Group is an innovative enabler for many global industries, including home appliances, pharmaceuticals, electronics, optics, automotive and the aviation industries. The group strives to play an important part in everyone’s life and is committed to innovation and sustainable growth and success. Schott’s parent company, Schott AG, is solely owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. As a Foundation company, Schott assumes special responsibility for its employees, society and the environment. The Schott Group accepts the challenges involved in protecting the environment and actively contributes to solving the problems this poses. It aspires to be a model of environmental protection and sustainability and practices an open information policy towards its staff, its market partners, the official authorities and the general public. All products manufactured by Schott are designed to be safe, harmless to the user and able to be recycled or disposed of without placing

Industry Europe 215

undue strain on the natural environment. The success of the company’s environmental management system is reviewed constantly and any deviations from targets are addressed.

Broad-based innovation Functionality and innovation can be seen at the heart of every Schott project and in every one of its products. In the development of smart fibre optics for use in modern radiology, the company has expanded its product range in the area of medical technology to include new monolithic faceplates. The new RFG92 fibre optic faceplates fully meet the ‘Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) standards’ because they are manufactured without using the traditional lead additives. Areas of application include digital x-ray sensors that employ complementary metaloxide-semiconductors (CMOS) technology. In the pharmaceutical industry Schott Glass is a brand leader and it continues to set new standards in functionality and sustainability. Recently Schott developed an entirely new system for ready-to-use pharmaceutical vials in close cooperation with filling line manufacturers to meet the process requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. Schott ‘AdaptQ™’ consists of a nest and tub configuration that allows as many as 100 vials to be securely fixed inside a holder, or nest, and delivered to the pharmaceutical company packaged in a sterile container. The patented nest design allows for direct filling, freeze-drying, weighing and closing inside the nest. At the same time, the glass containers are protected so that they do not come into contact with each other or the machine components. In the area of ceramics, Schott has developed a unique, new class of dielectric materials for use in high-voltage capacitors called ‘Poweramic ™’. These advanced glass ceramics offer extremely high energy storage density and excellent dielectric properties even at high temperatures. The storage density is exceeding that of current capacitor solutions by a factor of up to ten. They allow for smaller and lighter capacitors with higher power density in high voltage applications. These types of components are used in excimer lasers for industrial and medical applications, for medical x-ray equipment, industrial high voltage supply systems and power grids for renewable energy.

Energy saving systems The latest door systems from Schott Flat Glass make chilled products more appealing and according to the company save up to 60 per cent energy. Its new ‘Termofrost®’ glass door systems meet the needs of food retailers by enabling products to be displayed in an attractive manner inside the coolers and this significantly reduces electricity costs. The new ‘eco’ door-systems were launched at the Euroshop trade exhibition in Dusseldorf. The Schott ‘Termofrost® 216 Industry Europe

AGD3 offers a perfect view of food products thanks to its slim design and new technology. The company also launched its latest sliding door system: the ‘Termofrost® SDS2. Both of these new systems can save up to 60 per cent energy compared with the standard open refrigeration cabinets currently in use. With its self-closing condensation-free door systems, Schott helps the retail food industry to present foods in a more appealing way. The new door and frame systems from Schott consist of single, double or triple insulating glass and are ideally suited for refrigerated products n up to +2C and for deep freeze products down to –25C. For further details of Schott Glass’s innovative products and services visit:

HEAVY VEHICLE COMPONENTS This year the Belarus-based company Bobruisk, one of the most recognised regional manufacturers of tractor parts and units, marks seven decades of activities. Vanja Švačko spoke to Mr Vasil Tsaryk, deputy director of marketing and sales, about the big steps forward the company is taking to conquer foreign markets.

Industry Europe 217


he Bobruisk Plant of Tractor Parts and Units (BZTDA) is a large agricultural enterprise which started as a small workshop for tractor repairs at the end of World War II. Taking advantage of modern technologies opened the opportunity for the company to reorient towards new lines and to expand its portfolio. Today the company is part of the Group Minsk Tractor Works (MTZ) and manufactures spare parts for different tractors under the brand MTZ. Additionally, since 2007 Bobruisk has been offering its own compact tractors Belarus-320 and utility vehicles based on that model. The company’s portfolio consists of tractors, equipment and spare parts for tractors. The main model Belarus-320, together with its eleven modifications (in basic cabin design, engine power, usage of attached equipment etc.), has a wide range of applications and is used mostly in agricultural and construction industries. It has high fuel efficiency and performs to the highest standards under diverse conditions. The company produced 2700 units in the last year alone. The number of spare parts manufactured, such as wheels for agricultural machinery, is increasing steadily over the years (around 1500

218 Industry Europe

original parts for Belarus tractors) and has mainly been produced on its own premises. Mr Tsaryk explained, “Half of our products end up within the MTZ Group. From the remaining half of our portfolio, 60 per cent covers spare parts and 40 per cent tractors.” The company has over 3000 employees and is present in around 50 countries. It has a large international network of dealers considering the fact that its products are in a high demand all over the world.

Growing output In order to respond to ever increasing market changes, Bobruisk identifies and prioritises strategic objectives that cover the expansion of production capacities and modernisation of its export-oriented portfolio. In the last two years the company made huge steps forward, especially in production and sales of wheels, entering more intensively Russian and Ukrainian markets, as well as strengthening its domestic presence. “When it comes to wheel production,” stressed Mr Tsaryk, “we are currently introducing new equipment for colouring wheels that is going to be implemented at the end of 2015. Although very expensive, this

change is in line with our strategy of increasing manufacture to up to 50,000 wheels per year, which will further reinforce our exports.” The year 2016 is expected to begin with the implementation of two generator transistors, as well as a new robotic line for welding steel wheels, which will mark the end of a lucrative five-year investment plan to modernise the plant.

Market expansion prospects Although Bobruisk is continuing its steady export to neighbouring markets (CIS, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, France, Serbia etc.), the last couple of years has seen the company actively researching and cooperating with new markets in east Asia and Latin America. Countries to which the company sold its products in 2013 doubled in number from 23 to almost 50. As a result of developing new models of tractors and sending pilot batches to potential clients, the company has initiated successful partnerships with Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Peru and Mexico. Mr Tsaryk stated, “We are also strongly present in Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Laos and some other countries with our new products. In fact, new model modifications are part of the projects that comply with our clients’ demands. We are customising them according to their preferences. For example, Belarus-321 was developed particularly for Vietnam, while offering Belarus-421 to Cambodian agrarians resulted in a contract for the supply of 250 new units. The next big step for us is working with Maghreb and other African markets for which we intend to modernise some of our models.”

Just recently Bobruisk took part in ‘Sahara-2015’, the international agricultural exhibition for Africa and Middle East, in Egypt. On that occasion the company exhibited a new model of universal compact tractor, Belarus-350, especially made for the African, Asian and Latin American markets. This year the company sent its first tractors to Australia, marking the beginning of an important collaboration with its first Australian partner Diverse Engineering (WA) Pvt. Ltd.

Staying afloat The best way to stay current and to make its products more recognisable among potential clients is to take part in international exhibitions. In October this year alone Bobruisk has four major exhibitions on its agenda (in Belarus, Russia, Romania and Kazakhstan). The company is planning to introduce the tractor models Belarus-422, -622 and -320. “Exhibitions give us a great platform for finding new partners and exploring different market segments in which we could get involved. Each and every exhibition contributed to an increase in our exports. For example, as a result of our presence in ‘Sahara-2015’ the interest of our partners in Africa, especially its southern part, has rapidly grown. We are interested to supply not only to countries where our products can find the most applications, but also to those in which our products can be fully utilised for the development of agriculture,” n concluded Mr Tsaryk. Visit:

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INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AIUT of Poland is a dynamic company which over a short period of time has moved from operating as a small enterprise, focusing mostly on automation designs, to being a large and important market player in a range of cutting edge business areas. Piotr Sadowski reports.

220 Industry Europe


IUT, with its headquarters in Gliwice and offices in other locations in Poland as well as in the US and China, is a very different company to the one it was two decade ago. Its operations now span a number of innovative areas, including its original core activities in designing complete solutions and engineering services within the scope of automation and electrical engineering, process control and production management for various industries. “We also offer complete solutions and engineering services for robotised stations and production lines, as well as products and solutions in the management and distribution of liquid and gaseous fuels,” explains Brunon Gabryś, president of the board at AIUT. “In addition, our offer includes innovative products and solutions for intelligent media meters and, last but not least, the newest addition: complete IT solutions for enterprise asset management.”

Ongoing expansion The development potential of AIUT is underpinned by a dedicated and reliable team of over 200 engineers – fully qualified and experienced professionals who comprise specialists in the areas of automation, electronics, mechanics and robotics, IT and electricity. Since 2008 the company has been operating from its headquarters in Gliwice, located within the Katowice Special Economic Zone. “Over the years we have secured numerous references from a wide range of clients – amongst them leading brand names such as ABB or Siemens, BMW, Fiat and Opel – which helps us to continue expanding our business operations,” says Mr Gabryś. “We offer our solutions to a wide range of industries, ranging from energy to cement, automotive and gas. We work both as a direct partner as well as subcontractor and in whichever role we are engaged, we always strive to deliver beyond our clients’ expectations.” After the company completed the construction of its new base in Gliwice in 2008, its growth accelerated significantly, particularly in relation to the development of new business areas such as, for example, solutions for a liquid fuels distribution management system. Thanks to winning new contracts and delivering excellent work, AIUT has

been able to accumulate capital essential for further development. This includes its current work on increasing its operational space: at present this stands at 4000 square metres, but in 2016, when the expansion project is completed, AIUT will have an operational space of a huge 13,500 square metres.

Important role of exports As the company has grown over the past two decades, so too have its export activities developed. A particularly dynamic expansion in export activities has taken place over the last two years, with the result that today export sales have surpassed the income from domestic sales. The breakdown is currently approximately 60 per cent for exports and 40 per cent for the domestic market. One of the reasons for this noticeable increase in exports is the growing popularity of AIUT’s cutting-edge telemetric solutions for measuring the flow of various media. “We have been engaged in over 300 major projects, mostly across Europe but also in more far-flung locations in countries such as Kazakhstan or India,” explains Mr Gabryś. “We gain new clients

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through excellent references from our portfolio of existing customers, as well as through participating in trade conferences and events. It is also worth noting that, as part of the expansion of our export operations and our development of new products, we have been using European Union funding predominantly through regional and innovation programmes.”

Focusing on further growth Having achieved such a strong and dynamic momentum in its development, AIUT is certainly not going to rest on its laurels. The expanded office and production facilities at its headquarters in Gliwice will certainly provide an excellent and efficient base for significantly developing its innovative solutions across its five different areas of operations. “We plan to increase our activities across all the different areas, with ongoing growth in automation solutions,” says Mr Gabryś. Mr Gabryś summarises the future growth strategies for the company in two words: ‘innovation’ and ‘investments’. AIUT also plans to actively increase the share of its own projects, where it is the lead project deliverer, rather than a subcontractor. “As we continue to grow, we will also focus on expanding the network of our own offices, adding to the locations we are already operating from both in Poland and abroad,” concludes Mr Gabryś. “In the coming years we foresee entering new markets and will also engage in developing our European and global network of business partners, including through further expansion in areas such as telemetry as well as other sectors to which we can deliver cutting-edge, innovative solutions.” n

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ADVERTISERSINDEX A ABB Aditya Auto Components AHC Italy Aktivit AL.FER Almeco Group ALS Alteo Group AML Systems ArcelorMittal Ashok Iron Group

223 70 152 65 134 86 122 118 54 198 186

B Balambiga Metal Finishers 73 Banco 186 Bauschutz 82 BLM Group 35 BMP Steel 206 Büchler 171

C CAAC Inside front Carpenteria Moro 212 CCL Label 119 CHR. Bock & Sohn 128 COLOROBBIA 104 Cubigel Compressors 138 Culimeta Textilglas 145

D Digicont Digimax Digimax Disa Technology Doesburg Components Dow

39 22 140 183 49 60

38 23 198 204 223 70

Lanxess Leinolat Group LGB Lindal Group Lucta Luhn & Pulvermacher

156 138


G Girardini Group GMH Prüftechnik Godrej Tooling Goodway Plastic GTM

136 199 71 108 140

H Helvar 86 Henkel 38 Her-Bud 93 Huayi Compressor Barcelona 138 Hurtik 145

I IFF GmbH IMOS Brno a.s. Ind Carb Ing. Petr Gross Initial Inlab Chemicals INOX

113 198 75 54 122 168 179

JB Controls JMT Castings Jokey Plastik

178 91 183 86 97 153 104 57 206 145

F Fabryka Przewodów 96 Energetycznych SA Fabryka Urządzeń Kolejowych 95 Faiveley Transport Schwab AG 202

Karnataka Automats Pvt Karnataka Turned Components Pvt Ltd Kinex Klinger Knorr-Bremse Koller Maschinenbau Kovis d.o.o. Kovis d.o.o. Krisam Automation KZA Katowice KZA Kraków

Maini Precision Products 67 Manentimacchine Srl 161 Mecc 2000 212 MERMEC 197 Metalfirma Srl 182 Modine Europe GmbH 48 Mondi Outside back Mondo Logistic 203 MOVIN S.p.A. 134 MSV Metal Studénka 206 M.Ward Manufacturing 55

N Nash India Nichia NIPRO

74 54 Inside back

135 111 79 156


TCI srl TEAM Automation GmbH Telzam Sp. z o.o. Total Lubricants TRIES Hydraulic TSE spol. s.r.o. TS Motory spol. s.r.o. Tubacex Turbo Energy Turck

Vaber Industriale VDGLASS VERCA Volvo Construction Equipment


196 82 204 82 199 203 70 96 94


91 55 60 139

Recalcati RONDO Burgdorf ROTEX RPC Bramlage GmbH


S Samag Group SAS Beaumont Schott AG Schmittenberg Metallwerke Schweisstechnik Lambach SCM Fonderie Sereva SE Tylose GmbH & Co. KG

34 38 131 46 83 156 135 112


138 118 128 101

Wabtec Europe GmbH 203 Wamtechnik Sp. z o.o. 87 Wertec 153 Wug Heater Equipment Factory 38

X 114


136 123 78 114

87 65 86 38 42 54 219 82 186 222


Q Qualchem



74 71

149 193 128

92 178 65 190 206 5 190 149



O Officine Rami Oryx Green Oschatz GmbH Özgüven Döküm

Sika Sika Simont Sinoma SKF Sonoco Alcore Sorfin Yoshimura Sunlead Victon Technology Electronic (Guangzhou) Ltd Synthesis Chimica


L LAFARGE Lagus Lamilux Lampre

31 165 74 112 127 43

P.I.R.K. TOR-KRAK SP. Z O.O. 92 Pražská Strojirna a.s. 94 Preem 100 Prince 216 Profi Trans Kft 175 Promec 156



E EBT Kft ECO-BAZA Company Stanisław Łukasiewicz Edel Tamp Electro Terminal GmbH & Co. KG Elpar EMMEVI Technologies Esmal Glass Essa Czech ETS GmbH Eury Pack System

Famű Kft Far East Land Bridge Ltd Fermat Group Ferro Umformtechnik FESTO Fitwel Tools and Forgings PVT Ltd Foundry Trade Frigomec


Articles inside

Innovative technologies AIUT

pages 222-228

Heavy vehicle components Bobruisk

pages 219-221

Innovative visionaries Schott Glass

pages 216-218

Redefining screening technology Virto Group

pages 212-215

On a roll Astra Rail

pages 202-209

Global leaders in insulators Aditya Birla

pages 193-195

Success at the core Sonoco-Alcore

pages 210-211

A powerful combination GHH-BONATRANS Group

pages 196-201

HBL: An intelligent choice HBL Power Systems

pages 190-192

Powerful engine Kirloskar Oil Engines

pages 186-189

Power to the people Honda Power

pages 182-185

Powering success Andritz Hydro

pages 178-181

Top-level precision Simon Plastic

pages 171-173

Magnetic attraction Mahindra

pages 168-170

Complex fabrication solutions Uwira

pages 164-167

Solid prospects

pages 174-177

Springing into the future PFS

pages 160-163

Cutting it Officine Vica

pages 156-159

Delivering system-tailored sensors

pages 148-151

A high degree of precision Gervasoni

pages 152-155

Innovators, not imitators IARP

pages 134-143

Bringing warmth into your home THORMA

pages 144-147

Breaking barriers Alfa-Plam

pages 131-133

Spreading good health Vandemoortele

pages 126-130

A long brewing tradition Heineken

pages 118-121

World-class bakery Rina Europe

pages 122-125

Sustainable success Beiersdorf

pages 111-117

Innovative communications GN Netcom

pages 108-110

Building a sustainable future Skanska

pages 100-103

Swastik Tiles – Scaling new summits

pages 104-107

Experts in transport infrastructure ZUE

pages 91-99

Shining a light ES-SYSTEM Group

pages 86-90

Global leader in high-pressure vessels

pages 82-85


pages 78-81

Advanced technology for local needs Bosch Group

pages 68-77

Eco-friendly automotive soloutions Pierburg

pages 64-67

Built to go further Niesmann+Bischoff

pages 60-63

An instinct for change Linde&Wiemann

pages 58-59

A global engine giant Deutz

pages 49-53

Lighting up Europe Koito Czech

pages 54-57

Pure snowmanship Kassbohrer Gelandefahrzeug

pages 42-45

Raising standards KLEIN Automotive

pages 46-48

Looking to the future EvoBus

pages 34-37

Old brand with a new outlook HAJDU

pages 38-41

Made in India ALP Nishikawa Company

pages 30-33

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

page 29

Notice board New products and processes

pages 23-25

Linking up Combining strengths

pages 18-19

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

page 22

Energy from the stars Construction continues on ITER

pages 14-15

Events PaintExpo and INDEX 2016

pages 26-27

Bill Jamieson Brexit, Frexit, Grexit, take your exit pick

pages 6-7

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 16-17

Power from Europe

pages 8-10
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