Industry Europe – Issue 26.4

Page 1

VOLUME 26/4 – 2016

The world of European manufacturing






Free to trade Britain was the first global trading nation. After Brexit can it be a world player again?


ree at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty we are free at last.’ Well, OK, maybe the emotions of the Brexiteers on that June morning didn’t quite match the euphoria of those gathered at the Lincoln Memorial more than 50 years ago. But they did see the hope at last that Britain could shake off the ever-increasing regulatory burden of the EU and return to the country’s historic role as the originator and promoter of global free trade. It was, of course, the success of Cobden and Bright’s Anti-Corn Law campaign in the 1840s that made the doctrine of free trade practically an article of faith in the country for the next century. Indeed the movement was as much a moral crusade as it was an expression of the ambitions of the new manufacturing and business classes; it condemned trade barriers as entrenching aristocratic privileges and spreading poverty and war as well as keeping food prices artificially high and promised that free trade would bring freedom, prosperity and peace to all. The campaign even enlisted the passions and the rhetoric of the recently successful anti-slavery movement – ‘immediate abolition’ of the Corn Laws was the rallying cry. By the time of the Great Exhibition of 1851 the conviction that England had entered into – indeed had brought about – a new world of progress in commerce, technology and political freedom was almost universal. As a Manchester cotton merchant noted in his diary at the time, ‘Our country is in a most happy and prosperous state. Free trade, peace, freedom. Oh happy England!’ Of course not even the most ardent of the Brexiteers thought that a return to such past glories was possible, but they did see a new chance to put Britain in the vanguard of a drive for genuinely global free

trade once again. After all, what was the European Common Agricultural Policy, to which Britain had acceded in 1973, but a new version of the Corn Laws which kept food prices in the EU high, farmers happy and ate up the greater part of the entire EU budget? Was not the way now clear to join battle again in the old war between protectionism and free trade, liberated from the bureaucratic grip of an EU that could not even agree on a free trade deal with the USA and had shown very little enthusiasm even for opening up its market to the British services industry.

The end of globalisation? Well maybe not that clear. There have been encouraging noises so far from Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and even from countries beyond the Anglosphere such as Brazil, Mexico and Israel. But unfortunately Britain’s ambition to usher in a new era of global free trade comes at a moment when history seems to be running in the opposite direction. The epoch defining globalisation of the last 30 years, with its unprecedented movement of capital, industrial investment and goods across continents, seems to be faltering; everywhere there are growing pressures to protect indigenous industries from foreign competition and to encourage import substitution. Britain showed the world that international trade makes nations richer but there are now too many people in too many countries who think it’s the masters of the global universe who are getting hugely richer while they get slowly poorer and less employable. The ability to buy the latest iPhone at a cost made possible only by Chinese wage rates no longer seems enough to compensate. Not everyone yet wants to build a wall to keep the world out – the US has too much to lose to want an end to globalisation,

whatever the current presidential contenders say – but protectionism is back on the agenda in many parts of the world, from Russia and India to Latin America and Africa. It is not just tariffs that exporters have to deal with it but also local regulations and standards that are designed to deter them. India, for example, adds a new order of complexity all of its own with trade barriers between its own constituent states. And even when you do get a trade deal with a major country it may not deliver all you hope, as the Swiss discovered when even after their FTA with China they found that tariffs were still being charged on their luxury watches. We don’t know what the current position is on cuckoo clocks. In fact, for these and other reasons global trade in many sectors has today slowed to an extent unprecedented for decades. So all those British diplomats and trade negotiators have a hard road to travel, even after they have re-learned all the skills they have lost since all this FTA stuff was taken over by the EU. Still the UK is the world’s fifth largest importer of goods and is second only to the US in the export of services so there should be plenty of deals to be done even in today’s conditions. Politicians in Germany and France, for example, are now saying that the EU/US trade negotiations (TTIP) are going nowhere but the US Trade Representative recently told Spiegel that, in fact, agreement had already been reached to eliminate 97 per cent of tariffs and that progress was being made on regulations and common standards. So future US negotiations with the UK, which would not have to take in German environmental concerns or French anxieties about labour, culture and cheese, should proceed much more smoothly. n That would be the big one. Industry Europe 1

CONTENTS Editor Peter Mercer

IT Support Syed Hassan

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 Clayton Green Dominic Kurkowski Marc Lewis Alexander Dickerson Colin Osbaldstone

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

Comment 1 4

Opinion Free to trade Bill Jamieson UK braves the Brexit storm

Electronics Industry 6 9 12

European pharma gets connected Healthcare and the IoT

Electronics news The latest from the industry Vehicles of the future Europe powers ahead in driverless technology

News 16 18 20 21 22 23

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

Reports 24 25

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

K 2016 Industry Europe Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 779850 Email: Web:

26 36 38 41 42 44 47 50

Cautious optimism K 2016 overview Mirror-image vision Helmee Imaging Driving IMM technology forward Jon Wai Pioneering machine technology from India Vishva Exim Quality in blown film Tecom In-line for success Union Officine Meccaniche Maximising quality and performance Agr International Engineering optimal outcomes Rajhans India

Filtech © 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

A Square Root Company

53 59 62 64 66

Major filtration event in Cologne Highlights of the show Masterclass in woven wire Haver and Boecker Full of fibre FiberVisions Innovative in filtration technology TWE Group Smarter functional fibres CFF

Automation & Tooling 69 70

Pioneering smarter operational practices 4A.Works

Trusted partner for machine tools TOS VARNSDORF

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

2 Industry Europe

76 80

Tyre technology Herbert Maschinenbau Passion for uniqueness Recticel

Chemicals 84

Outstanding Polish cleaning products LAKMA

VOL 26/4


Construction & Engineering 88 93 96

Curtain wall architecture Focchi Group For safer rolling stock DAKO-CZ The full service Gemmo

Electrical Components 100 A strong tradition MAGNETON 103 Embracing the internet of things LOVATO Electric

Energy & Power Generation Above: Recticel p80 Below: MAGNETON p100

108 112 117

New horizons for LNG Golar LNG Driving fuel injection technology further Bosch India European headquarters, global presence

Above: Secop p145 Below: Hitachi Rail Europe p160

Lloyd Dynamowerke

Furniture Production 120 The aesthetics of wood AGT 123 Adding style to comfort Lyra Group

HVAC & R 128 132 136 145

Driving cool technology Janka Radiating success RAAL Vestfrost solutions: Keeping cool Vestfrost Solutions

Intelligent compressor solutions Secop

Metals & Metalworking 150 The latest in cutting technology Salico Group 154 Universal success ZMM Bulgaria 158 Metal to the core Sonoco Alcore

Above: Harol p180 Below: Nizzi Group p188

Rail 160 On track for high-speed success Hitachi Rail Europe 164 Clear road ahead AŽD Praha

Textiles & Nonwovens Above: Bosch India p112 Below: Lyra Group p123

167 Leading innovators in nonwovens ALBIS International 170 Value, versatility and trust Trim NW

Also in this issue… 173 176 180 184 188 192 196

Sustainable caring Unilever Innovative glass melting and thermal conditioning technology Fives Stein Pioneering solar protection solutions Harol A true visionary LINET Advanced transportation Nizzi Group 25 years of steady growth TESCAN Filtration innovation MP Filtri Industry Europe 3




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

UK braves the Brexit storm But there are choppy waters ahead for the EU itself.


fter the doom-laden predictions for the UK ahead of the EU referendum in June, we should by now be performing the last rites for the economy and preparing for the mother of all recessions. But in recent weeks both Purchasing Managers Index surveys and official data have pointed to a marked rebound in August after the initial shock reaction to the ‘Leave’ result. Construction output defied dire predictions of a fall in July and instead held steady. Across UK manufacturing the latest PMI showed an encouragingly strong bounce in August on the July figure. The manufacturing PMI surged back up to a 10-month high of 53.3 after nosediving to a 41-month low of 48.3 in July. New orders strengthened markedly. Consumer confidence across the UK saw some recovery in August after its July nosedive. And in the dominant services sector, UK figures showed a strong recovery in August after slumping to a seven-year low in July. We’re by no means out of the woods. But it now looks likely, not just that the UK will avoid that much-feared post BREXIT recession, but also that the third quarter will show growth, albeit modest. For the time being, it is not so much the UK economy we have to worry about – but the eurozone. Looking at latest figures, growth across the continent’s biggest economies is sluggish at best. The 0.3 per cent estimate for growth in the second quarter was hailed on the Eurostat website as progress but is a slowdown on the 0.5 per cent recorded for the first three months of the year – and is the slowest pace recorded for two years. The European Commission’s latest forecast is for 1.6 per cent growth this year, so what’s not to like? Just this: it came with a warning that “the lift from cheap oil is set to gradually wane while the lagged boost from the euro’s depreciation will soon have run its course.” 4 Industry Europe

In August the Commission’s Economic Sentiment Indicator fell back due to “weakened confidence in all business sectors” while “the marked decrease in industry confidence was caused by the sharpest deterioration in managers’ assessments of the current level of order books since February 2009.” Meanwhile the PMI Composite Output Index for the euro area reached a 19-month low in August while retail trade confidence plummeted by 2.7 per cent “due to managers’ more negative views on the present and expected business situation.”

For the time being, it is not so much the UK economy we have to worry about – but the eurozone. Its country by country analysis points out that France’s economy ground to a halt as strikes and disputes hampered production. Italy’s economy also stagnated, amplifying concerns over the country’s fragile banking sector. A stark contraction in fixed investment dragged on Germany’s growth and renewed apprehension about the pace of investment in the region’s largest economy, although the GDP result still managed to overshoot expectations. On a sunnier note, Spain continued to be one of the region’s top performers thanks to an improving labour market and booming tourism sector.

Uncertain times Now all this might not matter a jot or a tittle to businesses here and across Europe. Small and medium sized firms in particular don’t spend much time huddled over European Commission economic sentiment indicators or the Composite Output Index. They just get on with it. But the problem here is that the lacklustre outlook for the eurozone could add to appre-

hension over political events and developments across the area, with several critical elections pending. Support for the status quo is waning across a number of countries and the eurozone’s two largest economies, France and Germany, face key elections next year. Political stability is also at risk in Italy, and Spain remains in political limbo after two rounds of inconclusive elections. And beyond elections, heightened security concerns are threatening the region’s tourism sector, while the migrant crisis has provoked tensions between countries. It is natural for politicians to look to improving economic growth to bear down on unemployment and lift household confidence. But the latest forecasts offer little comfort. The FocusEconomics consensus forecast panel has kept its growth forecast for this year unchanged at 1.5 per cent, slowing to 1.4 per cent next. Unemployment across the eurozone is stuck at 10 per cent. France is not the only country facing a challenge from the Rise of the Far Right. It is also strong in Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark – countries enjoying full employment or close to it. And there are Far Right challenges in Spain and Portugal. Economist Nicolas Bouzou points out that all developed countries have, over the past decade, been experiencing an immense economic and social transformation connected to globalisation and innovation. Deep changes in the Internet, robotics, genetics, artificial intelligence are triggering a huge wave of ‘creative destruction’ – a new economy is replacing a former one – creating winners, but also many losers. Short term worries about Brexit – here and across the eurozone – pale before the greater disruption this change portends. And against this the EU has no magic bullet to fire. In this wider scheme of things, even modest growth of 1.5 per cent could come n to look a solid achievement.

Industry Europe 5


GETS CONNECTED The number of connected devices is expected to increase dramatically over the next decade. Big players within the European healthcare industry are taking this on board and embracing the latest IoT technologies, as Industry Europe discovers.


he IoT – the ever-expanding network of objects embedded with sensors, electronics chips, software and connected to the Internet – enables everyday objects to be monitored and controlled remotely. And with patients becoming more and more used to smart phone technologies in their daily lives, the healthcare sector – which currently consumes about 10 per cent of Europe’s GDP – has recognised the need to adopt these technologies more widely to increase efficiency and combat diseases. Achieving the kind of industry opportunities offered by the IoT in Europe requires the connection of some 25 billion objects in the EU28 6 Industry Europe

alone. This, according to the global management consultancy firm A.T. Kearney in its report, ‘The Internet of Things: A New Path to European Prosperity’ (2016), would represent an annual opportunity worth €80 billion for the entire gamut of IoT solutions providers, including Components and Module Makers (such as Telit and Gemalto); Object Manufacturers (such as Siemens or Philips); Connectivity Providers (such as Google or IBM) and more besides.

Promising areas for development There are a few key areas in which we can expect to see significant efficiency gains from IoT technologies in the coming years. It has

the capacity to improve monitoring of chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, multiple sclerosis and heart disease, and support better patient compliance with medication regimes. This could translate to huge savings: nonmedication compliance, for example, currently costs €66 billion and IMS Health-France has estimated that this could be reduced by up to €53 billion through the use of devices such as ingested sensor connected pillboxes. But it is not just about monitoring alreadydiagnosed diseases – the continuous monitoring of vital signs, motions and so on should also greatly improve the early detection of diseases and hence, the possibilities for disease

management. Remote hospitalisation through the use of connected medial devices may also become the norm in the future, freeing up space in hospitals for more critical cases and cutting the costs of rehabilitation by enabling patients to manage their care at home. Finally, there is the power of ‘Big Data’ – an overriding theme in almost every sector today. The opening up of IoT-derived medical data to pharmaceutical research companies could help them to understand disease progression and therefore speed up the development of more individualised therapies.

Ongoing challenges With Europe home to major players such as Philips and Siemens – both of which have a strong presence in the medical device

market – we might have expected IoT to have had a more transformative effect on the market already. This is particularly true considering that price pressures have forced companies to become more innovative in order to survive in an increasingly competitive market. And yet, so far the industry has been relatively slow to adopt IoT on a larger scale as opposed to, say, the automotive or domestic appliances sectors. There may be several reasons for this: for instance, rather than employing an open market each country uses its own system of diseases and treatments and there is a general embargo on healthcare data. There is also the danger that some of the established European companies may be under threat from outside players, such as

Apple with its well-publicised health kit. Moreover, innovation in the European pharmaceutical industry has slowed to a certain extent thanks to the increasing consolidation of ‘Big Pharma’ multinational companies through mergers and acquisitions, as well as competition from generic and biosimiliar producers. Because of this, it could be argued that in recent years there has been more emphasis on differentiation as opposed to pure innovation. These are all issues that need to be addressed.

Major partnerships However, change may be on the horizon for 2016 and beyond. One encouraging sign is the increasing number of new partnerships between the big pharmaceutical players and technology companies. UK-based phar-

Industry Europe 7

maceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is one example: in partnership with Alphabet subsidiary Verily Life Sciences (formerly Google Life Sciences) it is forming a bioelectronics research, development and commercialisation firm. To be called Galvani Bioelectronics, it will focus on miniaturised, implantable devices that can modify electrical signals passing along nerves in the body. Also partnering with Verily is Sanofi: the two companies announced in August 2015 that they would be collaborating on the development of technologies to improve the management of diabetes. The venture combines Sanofi’s expertise in diabetes and Verily’s

expertise in data analysis and miniaturised lowenergy electronic chips. The goal is to provide continuous real-time monitoring of a patients’ health status. Another collaboration in the field of diabetes, between Novo Norsdisk and IBM Watson Health, will see the two companies work together to create diabetes solutions built on the Watson Health Cloud. Elsewhere, earlier this year Switzerlandbased Novartis announced a collaboration with Qualcomm Incorporated, through its subsidiary Qualcomm Life Inc. (a provider of wireless solutions for chronic disease), to introduce a digital update of its Breezhaler inhaler device to treat Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Under this collaboration, Qualcomm Life will provide the technology for the connectivity of the next generation of the Breezhaler. This will give patients access to their own data on the use of their inhaler in near real time.

The future All the above is promising, but when it comes to IoT and healthcare there is still work to be done to ensure society is ready to embrace the new technologies avail8 Industry Europe

able. It may well be that some patients are apprehensive about the implications of IoT-enabled data collection for their personal privacy. Therefore, before lifting the abovementioned embargo on data governments across Europe must put in place legislation to ensure this data is not misused. And there are signs this is indeed starting to happen: at the start of February this year, the EC announced it will be developing guidelines for mobile health apps. It will be looking to apps to provide higher-quality health data using current best practices to ensure the information collected is protected. Another potential catalyst for change has come from the UK: the NHS in England has announced it will be partnering with tech companies, including giants such as IBM and Philips, to carry out seven trials to improve healthcare by using IoT. While this is more of a regional development, it had been argued that a national health provider taking such a step could be groundbreaking for every country within the EU. Now, of course, it remains to be seen how the UK’s decision to leave the EU will impact on cross-border knowledge and n information sharing.



New developments in the Electronics industry

ATR users enthusiastic about new Thales functions


ollowing delivery of Red Label 1, which includes about half of the Thales Standard 3 avionics functions for the ATR-600, the planemaker’s teams have been flight testing these functions, and their feedback has been very positive. Red Label 1 included four major functions: the Synthetic Vision System (SVS), which overlays synthetic terrain data on the Primary Flight Display (PFD); the temporary flight plan, which is displayed alongside the current flight plan;

an Inertial Reference System (IRS); and various functional improvements to the automatic pilot, such as Enhanced LOC Capture. The SVS function uses terrain databases generated by Thales to improve pilots’ awareness of the environment outside the aircraft. When flying under IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions), the 3D representation of the terrain displayed behind the flight control information provides the crew with additional information about the external environment, such as landscape, runway, obstacles, rivers, etc. Enhanced LOC Capture makes it easier for the pilot to align the aircraft with the runway axis even at near-maximum airspeeds and intercept angles. Other improvements have been made to the automatic pilot system. Visit:

Schoeller-Electronics becomes Schoeller Electronics Systems T he American investor AIAC has confirmed it will be acquiring Schoeller-Electronics. The business activities of the PCB manufacturer will continue and the company will – in the future – go under the name Schoeller Electronics Systems GmbH. It is the declared intention of the new investor to continue working with the existing team of employees and management. “This means that we have now found – and after months of uncertainty – a strong, technology-driven investor with AIAC. This enables Schoeller Electronics Systems to provide reliable future planning to our business partners,” said Michael Keuthen, general manager at SchoellerElectronics. “The transaction is still subject to approval by the German authorities.”

Dassault Systèmes agrees CST acquisition


assault Systèmes, the design software arm of the French aerospace group, has agreed to acquire Computer Simulation Technology (CST), the German electronic simulation specialist, for €220m CST’s simulation software tools are used in transport, aerospace and defence, and

Schoeller-Electronics Systems GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers of printed circuit boards in Europe. It is already leader in the technology for rigid-flexible and high-frequency PCBs, and is also one of the leading suppliers in the high-tech segment of multilayers – a position which the company is constantly strengthening. Visit:

energy industries to evaluate electromagnetic effects during every stage of electronic system design processes. “Electromagnetism is an essential part of a multiphysics simulation strategy for the development of smart and connected products, and IoT devices – from their complex design, to ensuring the performance, reliability and safety of their interactions with their sur-

ABB’s flexible power link solution to support UK ‘smart network’


BB has been awarded a contract by Western Power Distribution (WPD) to deploy an innovative flexible power link in Devon, south-west England, which will enable an increase in capacity without the need for infrastructure reinforcement. Flexible power links are a key part of WPD’s Network Equilibrium project, which is supported through the UK’s Low Carbon Networks Fund (LCNF). The project is designed to balance voltages and power flows across the electricity distribution system, potentially unlocking an additional 344 megawatts (MW) of power capacity locally. It is estimated that deploying such flexible power links across the UK could release 1.5 gigawatts of capacity by 2050. “This innovative flexible power link application helps pave the way for the deployment of more intelligent and dynamic networks in the future,” said Oleg Aleinikov, managing director of ABB’s Grid Integration business, a part of the company’s Power Grids division. “The entire power value chain is seeing radical changes on the supply and demand side, calling for a more flexible and smarter grid, and ABB is enabling this through innovative technologies, as part of our Next Level strategy.” Visit: rounding environment,” said Bernard Charlès, vice-chairman and CEO, Dassault Systèmes. Dassault Systèmes will add CST’s software with its own tools for simulating structural mechanics, multi-body systems, heat transfer and fluids. These are used in the design of autonomous cars, connected homes, medical equipment and other smart objects. Visit: Industry Europe 9


New developments in the Electronics industry

TDK subsidiary EPCOS Stadium Group integrates power business Group, a leading supplier of wireless solutions, power supplies and electronics assemblies, to acquire Tronics Stadium has integrated its global power business, comprising the Stadium Power and Stontronics brands.


DK Corporation and Tronics Microsystems SA have announced that TDK’s whollyowned subsidiary EPCOS AG, a leading manufacturer of electronic components, modules and systems based in Munich, Germany, and Tronics have signed a tender offer agreement pursuant to which EPCOS will launch a public tender offer for all publicly-held shares of Tronics. Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Crolles, with wafer fabs in Europe and the USA and a representation in Asia, Tronics provides local support to customers on three continents and offers one of the broadest technology portfolios in the industry. Tronics’ services range from MEMS design to highvolume MEMS manufacturing. Thanks to the ongoing miniaturisation trend, MEMS technologies have become increasingly important in the sensor market. Tronics will support this trend and open up entirely new possibilities for miniaturised sensor solutions. The company’s current portfolio includes several MEMS technologies that enable inertial sensor solutions featuring multiple sensor functions in one device. In addition to inertial sensors, Tronics’ portfolio of technologies also includes components for gas sensors, infrared sensors, micro-mirrors, micro-optics and micro-actuators as well as forward-looking BioMEMS and microfluidic devices for in-vitro diagnostic and DNA analysis. Visit:

Pöyry launches cyber security services for Industrial Control Systems


successful cyber attack on a plant’s Industrial Control Systems (ICS) can be catastrophic. A compromised ICS can impact a plant’s physical operations, causing significant financial and reputational risk, and potentially even threatening lives. As an international engineering and consult10 Industry Europe

Stadium Group, a leading supplier of wireless solutions, power supplies and electronics assemblies, has integrated its global power business, comprising the Stadium Power and Stontronics brands. The single trading entity Stadium Stontronics will give customers access to a wider product range in standard, custom and semi-custom power supplies with an enhanced portfolio up to 10kW, dedicated sales and service provided from the Regional Fulfilment Centres (RFCs) in Reading, UK and Hong Kong, and engineering expertise provided through the Regional Design Centres (RDCs) in Norwich and Shanghai. Enhanced services including kitting, labelling, PCB assembly and turnkey manufacturing will be provided from the Stadium Group sites in the UK and Asia. Products from the integrated business are now available through the former Stontronics distribution network, which includes Electrocomponents (RS, Allied), Element 14 (Farnell, Newark, CPC) and Rapid Electronics. Martin Brabham, managing director for Stadium’s global power business, commented: “The integration of the power business completes the next stage in our growth plan and supports the wider integrated technology model of the group where benefits are already being realised.” Visit:

TE introduces Hartman K200 series contactors


E Connectivity Ltd, a world leader in connectivity and sensors, is releasing its K200 series contactors, a small, lightweight, and efficient 200-Amp 28 VDC power switching solution for stringent 28 VDC aerospace and defense applications. The single pole, single throw, normally open contactors are designed for use in DC power distribution systems in commercial and military aircraft and ground vehicles.

Aerospace power distribution system engineers continually search for the smallest and lightest solutions in power handling and switching devices. The K200 contactors by TE offer a compact solution to save weight and space. The contactors feature a reliable switching mechanism to keep power consumption and heat low and maximise performance. The K200 series is also equipped to handle high inrush loads. “Our K200 contactor product series addresses the market demand for increased power to weight ratio,” said Dan Smith, product manager, Global Aerospace, Defense & Marine, TE Connectivity. The contactors are available in bus bar or chassis mounts to support power panel or standalone positions. The series was also designed and tested by TE to comply with Mil-PRF-6106 requirements. Visit:

ing company, with cyber security centres of excellence in Finland and Switzerland, Pöyry is drawing on a deep knowledge of Industrial Plant Automation, Process Engineering and IT Security to advise businesses on the most resilient cyber security programmes. With The Internet of Things driving greater connection between hardware and software, plants are becoming more

vulnerable to the type of cyber attacks that quickly overcome all aspects of operations. Jonni Talsi, chief engineer Cyber Security at Pöyry said: “We provide a range of ICS cyber security services, each customised for a specific plant’s unique requirements, based on the latest international cyber security standards and best practice.” Visit:


ZF and Ibeo to develop new lidar technology


has acquired a 40% stake in Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH. The Hamburg-based company is a market leader in lidar technology and in developing environmental recognition software with a particular focus on applications for autonomous driving. “Lidar gives us access to a core technology for environmental and object recognition,” claims Dr Stefan Sommer, ZF’s chief executive officer, while explaining ZF’s investment in Ibeo. “Lidar expands our current sensor portfolio of radar and camera technologies; moreover, Ibeo’s fusion of these three sensor technologies provides outstanding results in environmental awareness and forms the basis for autonomous driving.” Lidar, an acronym for ‘light detection and ranging’, denotes a procedure in which a light pulse is emitted to determine a distance based on runtime and speed of light. Lidar is an optical method for measuring distance and speed that is very similar to radar, except that laser pulses are used instead of radio waves.

Together with ZF, Ibeo will make the next technological leap and a significant step for vehicle applications: The lidar generation developed in cooperation with ZF will reproduce a three-dimensional image of the environment without the rotating mirrors contained in current lidar systems. Visit:

SMIC enters into global automotive electronics market


GSK and Verily to establish Galvani Bioelectronics


SK has announced an agreement with Verily Life Sciences LLC (formerly Google Life Sciences), an Alphabet company, to form Galvani Bioelectronics to enable the research, development and commercialisation of bioelectronic medicines. GSK will hold a 55% equity interest in the new jointly owned company and Verily will hold 45%. The agreement to establish Galvani Bioelectronics represents an important next step in GSK’s bioelectronics research. The new company will bring together GSK’s world class drug discovery and development expertise and deep understanding of disease biology with Verily’s world leading technical expertise in the miniaturisation of low power electronics, device development, data analytics and software development for clinical applications. Initial work will centre on establishing clinical proofs of principle in inflammatory, metabolic and endocrine disorders, including type 2 diabetes; and developing associated miniaturised, precision devices. Galvani Bioelectronics will be headquartered within GSK’s global R&D centre at Stevenage in the UK, with a second research hub at Verily’s facilities in South San Francisco. It will initially employ around 30 expert scientists, engineers and clinicians, and will fund and integrate a broad range of collaborations with both parent companies, academia and other R&D companies. Visit:

e2v and Adeneo to create world’s smallest multicore computer for aerospace applications


2v has partnered with French electronic design specialists, Adeneo, to develop an innovative, powerful and pocket-sized avionics computer weighing less than 300g. The new computer from e2v and Adeneo achieves its ultra-compact size by combin-

ing e2v’s processing expertise and Adeneo’s state-of-the-art design and manufacturing capabilities. Adeneo has developed a three-layer custom printed circuit board design that integrates e2v’s QT10A powerful processing solution to create a rugged, ultra-compact avionics computer. The new COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) avionics computer measures just 70 x 50 x

emiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), one of the leading semiconductor foundries in the world and the largest and most advanced foundry in mainland China, jointly announces with LFoundry Europe GmbH (LFE) and Marsica Innovation SpA (MI), the signing of an agreement to purchase a 70% stake of LFoundry for a consideration of €49 million. LFoundry is an integrated circuit wafer foundry headquartered in Italy, which is owned by LFE and MI. This acquisition benefits both SMIC and LFoundry, through increased combined scale, strengthened overall technology portfolios, and expanded market opportunities for both parties to gain a footing in new market sectors. Furthermore, through this acquisition, SMIC has formally entered into the global automotive electronics market. SMIC has a diversified technology portfolio, including applications such as radio frequency, connectivity, power management ICs, CMOS image sensors, embedded memory, MEMS, and others – mainly for the communications and consumer markets. Complementarily, LFoundry’s key focus is primarily in automotive, security, and industrial related applications including CIS, smart power, touch display driver ICs, embedded memory, and others. Such consolidation of technologies will enlarge the areas of future development for both SMIC and LFoundry. Visit:

40mm, which offers both size and weight reductions in aerospace systems. Peripheral communications pass through avionic standard connectors that can be used in many aerospace applications, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and will be flight ready in 2018. The QT10A, the heart of the computer, is the first product of e2v’s Qormino™ family. Visit: Industry Europe 11

Electric shuttles developed by EasyMile and RoboSoft as part of the Citymobil2 programme

VEHICLES OF THE FUTURE With almost every major automotive company joining the race to bring the first driverless car to market, and autonomous public transport solutions being tested throughout the world, governing bodies are working to put legislation in place to meet the challenges of this transport revolution. Industry Europe looks at some of the most recent developments in this sector.


here is no stopping the rise of autonomous driving technology: it is only a matter of time before the technological infrastructure is in place to ensure driverless vehicles can navigate our road networks safely. European players such as BMW, Volvo and Daimler are all working on their own projects, not to mention global producers such as Nissan and Ford. We are also seeing collaborations between vehicle manufacturers and software companies, such as that between Uber and Swedenbased Volvo, involving a pilot project for self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, US, as part of the world’s first automated taxi service. But it is not just the automotive companies that are jumping on board – Google has famously been working on its own autonomous vehicle since 2009. 12 Industry Europe

And there are certainly plenty of incentives to push forward driverless vehicles. It has been estimated that around 94 per cent of crashes are due to human error; eliminate this, so the theory goes, and you greatly reduce fatalities. Furthermore, the UK’s Department for Transport believes driverless cars will allow people to be more mobile and productive on their commutes, as well as cutting emissions and reducing traffic congestion.

Legislative challenges But on the flip side of the coin, there are still many challenges to be addressed. The need for targeted Europe-wide – and indeed global – legislation is one of the biggest hurdles to be faced before we see autonomous vehicles on our roads. For example, negotiations on a UN regulation that keeps

driverless cars from going faster than 10km per hour won’t be concluded until the second half of 2017. Moreover, all the new European vehicles in development – whether it is Finland’s Easymile EZ-10 bus or BMW’s iVision Future Interaction concept car – will rely on advanced connectivity. How cars exchange data with manufacturers, traffic controllers, emergency services and other road users is just as important as the functioning of the vehicle itself: a car may be autonomous, but it cannot function in isolation. Another issue is that driverless transit will require higher, steadier Internet speeds than are currently available within the EU. According to Ismail Ertug, a member of the European Parliament from the Socialist and Democrats Group: “In order to keep pace in

Volvo and Uber collaborate on driverless cars

view of these rapid developments and to stay competitive vis à vis other regions around the world, the European Commission will have to swiftly respond.” The EU is currently aiming for speeds of around 100 mbps by 2025. Countries with slower data connections will need to be brought up to the same level, as cars driving from country to country will rely on a steady Internet connection to transfer information with sensors on the road and other cars. This in itself poses a significant challenge. Citymobil2, a programme established in 2012, partly funded by the EU and recently concluded, has over the past four years conducted pilot programmes of its driverless electric shuttles to see how they can safely implement a public transit system. If rolled out, the electric shuttles, created by mobile app developer Robosoft and driverless vehicle company EasyMile, would rely on the placing of sensors in roads ands smart traffic

light systems designed to better prevent collisions. Most recently, versions of this vehicle have been roaming suburban Helsinki this summer as part of a month-long trial. But while Citymobil2 has focused on ‘smart streets’ to make its vision a reality, other projects are taking different approaches. Chinese Internet company Baidu is using mapping technology and last year tested its autonomous driverless car on an 18.6 mile route, the technology of which will be used to create driverless public transportation in the next three years. Elsewhere, Audi, Daimler and BMW acquired Here, the former mapping division of Nokia, to make real-time maps to aid their driverless car efforts. Google is also mapping routes.

Safety and security A further question that has been raised is how secure software embedded into cars

can really be. A widely publicised episode at BMW in 2015 shed light on this: the company was forced to patch the 2.2. million cars that connect to its ConnectedDrive platform after hackers were able to unlock cars using their smartphones. How much more vulnerable, then, would car owners be with driverless cars that require even greater integration between the vehicle and software platforms? When software is interacting with other software, data can easily be corrupted or changed and decisions made that are beyond human control. One incorrect piece of data could be the difference between ‘stop’ or ‘go’ – and it’s easy to see how this could spell disaster for a transport network. Volvo claims that by 2020 its models will be advanced enough to rule out death or serious injury with a driver at the wheel. Add-ons like sensors to detect upcoming

Industry Europe 13

The BMW i8 Concept Spyder

slippery roads or warning signals to indicate if a nearby car has its hazard lights on have all been mooted, but of course these will also rely on reliable Internet connectivity. Land Rover says it’s researching a new connected car technology that will allow a vehicle to identify the location and severity of potholes, broken drains and manhole covers, and then share this data in real time via the cloud with other vehicles and road authorities to help them prioritise repairs. In January this year, BMW made a big splash with the world premiere of the i Vision Future Interaction Car based on the BMW i8 Concept Spyder. According to the company, this represents an important milestone on the road to Vision Zero – the idea of accident-free individual mobility. Among other things, this Concept Car demonstrated what the user interface of the future might look like, including support from high-resolution vehicle displays where the content responds to the situation. In order to make the interaction of the passengers with the vehicle as intuitive as possible, all functions are controlled using touch-sensitive surfaces, gestures and voices.

Meanwhile, the AdaptIVe consortium, led by Volkswagen with 29 other partners, has focused more on how the different stage of autonomous driving interact – from assisted driving (using parking sensors and so on) right the way up to fully automated –and how the driver can move safely from the former to the latter. But until customers can truly be reassured that their safety and privacy is not compromised, they will be reluctant to put their faith in driverless technology. So this is a marketing issue for automakers as well as a technological one.

Connecting public transport As touched upon above with the EasyMile concept, development is not focused solely on vehicles created for the consumer market. A recent announcement from Deutsche Bahn is a good illustration of how self driving technology can be utilised to increase the efficiency of public transport networks. According to a report in ‘Fortune’ Magazine, the company plans to operate fleets of autonomous vehicles that could be ordered via an app, similar to Uber. They would collect people from their homes and drop them at public transit systems. Not only this, but its trains are also set to make use of automated driving technology. The company has outlined plans to develop was for trains to be managed from a control centre, rather than by a driver.

The global perspective It remains to be seen who will win the race to bring the first driverless car to market. In Europe, despite the various legislative issues touched upon above, it is at least encourag14 Industry Europe

ing that the EC is working to address the legality of driverless cars through initiatives such as CityMobil2. Meanwhile, in the US, there is no federal framework for implementing self-driving cars to the public. This falls to the individual states and most have not addressed the problem. But while law may stand in the way, the US is marginally ahead of Europe when it comes to innovation. Google has of course been working on driverless cars for several years, giving it a huge head start on its rivals. Meanwhile Uber launched its ‘Advanced Technologies Center’ in February 2015 in Pittsburgh, and struck a deal with Arizona last September to test its driverless cars in public, making it another contender in the field. Elon Musk’s electric car firm Tesla also plans to launch driverless cars, starting with software updates to its existing Model S vehicles. In Asia, Nissan and Toyota have been piloting driverless vehicles on public roads since 2013, and prototype cars already have licence plates. Singapore launched driverless car trials in October 2015. If legislation, as opposed to the speed of technology, really is the main stumbling block, it may well be that Asia gets there first. But with the lack of a general consensus on a realistic time frame – the EU parliament pitches fully automated self-drive at more than 20 years away while German Daimler wants to see mostly self-driving cars on American and western roads in about five years – there is still some way to go before we can expect self-driving cars to become the norm on our n motorways and city streets.

Industry Europe 15


New contracts and orders in industry

German navy research institute purchases MacArtney FOCUS 2 ROTV system


eveloping new underwater technologies for the German navy is of prime concern to WehrTechnische Dienststelle, WTD 71. Therefore, they have decided on a MacArtney FOCUS 2 ROTV system representing a highly stable and flexible instrumentation platform as the basic tool for their development efforts. As a direct result of the demo, a set of requirements for integration of various sensor configurations was defined by WTD 71. In consequence, the FOCUS 2 has been supplied with a number of

standard off-the-shelf products: MacArtney LUXUS compact low light cameras; ORE Trackpoint 3 USBL transponder; Valeport MiniSVS sound velocity sensor; and the Imaginex FL forward looking sonar. Additionally, the FOCUS system has been prepared for installation of: Raytheon ProSAS synthetic aperture sonar; Reson multibeam sonar; and Kearfott INS Finally, a special interface has been developed for integration of a range of WTD 71 developed sensors. Visit:

UPM equips Tims Dairy for expansion


PM Conveyors have worked closely with family run company Tims Dairy to deliver the necessary expansion required to meet commercial demand. To cater for this expansion it was necessary to investigate methods of improving efficiencies and UPM Conveyors were consulted to provide solutions to the end of line yogurt pot tray packing and stacking into stillages to ensure a smooth transition of product ready for dispatch. Together they designed a carousel with work stations that incorporated a central packed

tray conveyor to allow operators to pack 150 pots per minute into trays which can then be transferred to a stillage via the central conveyor but the complete system needed to comply with severe hygiene standards including full pressure wash down so all construction was stainless steel with electrical controls to IP67. The system was completed and personnel from Tims Dairy visited UPM for pre-delivery inspection allowing the complete unit to be supplied on site ready for immediate operation into production. Visit:

Jenoptik wins Patriot orders worth €11 million


enoptik’s Defense & Civil Systems division will supply components for the Patriot missile defense system within the scope of several contracts.

 The overall order consists of several partial orders, which the Jenoptik division received between June and August this year. Jenoptik will provide the power supply, the converter, the aluminium chassis as well as the spare part packages for the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) systems. The power generators will supply the radar and the

Vossloh Locomotives wins major locomotive contract


ossloh Locomotives in Kiel, a subsidiary of Vossloh AG, has signed a contract for the delivery of 44 DE 18 diesel-electric locomotives with French company Akiem S.A.S. Akiem is one of the leading leasing firms for rail vehicles in Europe. The volume of the order amounts to about €140 million. The locomo16 Industry Europe

carrier system of the missile defense system with electrical power. The components will be produced at the Altenstadt location in Germany. 

 Jenoptik is currently testing a hybrid power supply system which allows for reductions in previous fuel consumption of up to 50%.
Patriot is a ground-based, medium-range, air defense missile system used for defense against aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. Visit: tives for Akiem will be produced at the new Vossloh Locomotives location in Kiel Suchsdorf and shipped from 2018 onwards. In addition to the relocation of the production site, the order supports the improvement in the revenue and earnings power of Vossloh Locomotives. Dr.h.c. Hans M. Schabert, chairman of the executive board of Vossloh AG: “The order is a great sales success for Vossloh Locomotives

and provides our new location in Kiel Suchsdorf with a very good basic capacity utilisation for several years.” Thomas Schwichtenberg, managing director at Vossloh Locomotives adds: “We are very pleased with the confidence Akiem has shown in us and with this major order, which proves that our locomotives are top performers.” Visit:

WINNINGBUSINESS IVU awarded contract from BLS for planning system Blue Water Shipping the largest independent private railway environment. The integrated IVU solution provides a awarded another major BLS,company in Switzerland, has ordered the IVU uniform workflow for all operational areas. Sophistirail integrated planning system from Berlin-based cated automation and optimisation functions ensure contract in Kazakhstan IVU Traffic Technologies AG so as to deploy all its that rolling stock, ships and personnel are deployed


lue Water Shipping has in a consortium secured another contract with TCO in Kazakhstan to supply transport and logistics services. The track record of Blue Water Shipping for handling projects to the Caspian Region has been vital for securing the contract. The consortium, led by Blue Water Shipping in partnership with Kazmortransflot (KMTF), will be responsible for transporting 75 modules and cargo weighing up to 1600 tonnes on the Caspian Sea from Kuryk to the port of Prorva close to the Tengiz oil field in Kazakhstan. Blue Water Shipping will, in the consortium, be responsible for transportation and project management, while KMTF will supply and operate three specially designed MCVs (Module Carrying Vessels). The new vessels have a length of 113 metres and a width of 21 metres and are to be built by Vard at its yard in Romania. “Executing transport and logistical projects like this requires comprehensive expertise. During the past 20 years, Blue Water has developed a strong set-up when it comes to complex logistics in the Caspian Sea region,” states Kurt Skov, CEO and founder of Blue Water Shipping. Visit:

IKM Subsea wins Statoil contract


KM Subsea has received a contract from Statoil to provide ROV and subsea services for Visund and Snorre B. The contract has a duration of 10 years and an option for a further 15. For first time, Statoil and IKM will introduce the so-called concept of Residential ROV (RROV). RROV represents a permanently subsea-installed ROV system

railway and shipping resources and its stationary personnel as effectively as possible. BLS operates the standard gauge section of Bern’s S-Bahn (commuter railway), the western section of the Lucerne S-Bahn, as well as multiple regional transport lines in seven cantons. The company is also active in rail freight transport, operates an extensive bus network and navigation on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. In future, BLS will be using the IVU standard solution to plan, optimise and dispatch a total of more than 550 railway vehicles, coaches and ships, as well as roughly 2000 mobile and stationary employees. BLS is replacing several legacy systems and developing a centralised, homogeneous system

efficiently. BLS will also use IVU.control to perform evaluations and invoicing services. Visit:

Quantum leap within the offshore & heavy lift industry


OS International Group BV has signed a fixed contract for the engineering and construction of two new build Semi-Submersible Crane Vessels (SSCV) with China Merchant Industry Holdings (a fully owned subsidiary of the China Merchant Group). OOS will equip its two new SSCVs named OOS Serooskerke & OOS Wal-

operated from a dedicated operational base positioned onshore. The contract will combine the use of existing Merlin ROV technology in combination with RROV technology to be developed throughout this contract. IKM Subsea managing director, Ben Pollard, said: “This major achievement is an important milestone for IKM Subsea. We expect this contract and the subse-

cheren with two heavy lift cranes, with a total dual lifting capacity of 4400T per vessel. The heavy lifting and service cranes will be provided by Huisman Equipment BV, which can be utilised for the (de) commissioning of subsea structures, foundations, moorings, floating and heavy lift platforms for offshore wind structures in deep water. A total of 600T can be heave compensated installed or removed at 3000 meters water depth. The two SSCVs offer a new turnkey solution for the Oil & Gas/Wind market having both Hotel and Heavy Lift capability simultaneously. In between projects they will have a transit speed up to 12 Knots. These unique technical and commercial benefits have been efficiently proven with the first SSCV unit named OOS Gretha, presently working for Petrobras, in Brazil. Visit: quent new technology thereof to produce a game-changer to the ROV market segment. IKM Subsea is the company chosen for this development. Our dedication and drive to present alternative technology leading to operational cost reductions secures our market position and future revenues as well as safe jobs for our employees.” Visit: Industry Europe 17


Combining strengths

US acquisition to strengthen Gränges’ position

Coesia continues to invest in Italy


ränges is to acquire Noranda Aluminum Holding’s downstream aluminium rolling business in the United States. When completed, the transaction will double Gränges’ sales volume and strengthen its position in North America. Furthermore, Gränges will add a number of strategic and attractive market segments in rolled aluminium. “This is a strategically important transaction for us, meaning a new chapter in the history of Gränges is written. Together we will become a global player in our chosen key areas and significantly strengthen our market offering. At the same time, we acquire the platform we have been seeking to expand Gränges in North America,” says Gränges’ CEO Johan Menckel. Noranda’s downstream aluminium rolling business manufactures aluminium products for customers in North America, including manufacturers of stationery air conditioners, transformers, food packaging and other adjacent market segments. The acquisition delivers on Gränges’ goal to be a global supplier with a more balanced footprint by firmly establishing the company in North America and as a US market leader in the strategic HVAC&R market. In addition, the acquisition expands Gränges’s offering into attractive adjacent aluminium rolled product areas. Visit:

Polish company takes over Qingdao Meteor Rubber & Plastics


olish manufacturer Sanok Rubber Company has signed a deal to become the sole shareholder of China’s Qingdao Meteor Rubber & Plastics. The shares were acquired from the US-Chinese SIDA Corporation. The Polish manufacturer specialises in making a wide range of rubber and

18 Industry Europe


oesia announces the acquisition of G.F SpA, the Parma based company specialised in supplying quality control systems and automated liquid filling machinery for the pharmaceutical sector. With revenues of €15 million in 2015, about 90 employees and headquarters in Solignano (Parma, Italy), G.F has consolidated its position as market leader in recent years by specialising in tailor-made solutions for its customers. “The acquisition of G.F is a further step in strengthening our presence in the automated machinery segment,” says Angelos Papadimitriou,

CEO of Coesia, “allowing us to propose innovative, high-end solutions in the pharmaceutical market and to complete our product offering of New Generation Products (NGP) for the tobacco segment. We are confident that Coesia’s global network and consolidated engineering capabilities will provide G.F with an excellent growth platform.” This acquisition is part of Coesia’s development strategy to enter into value-added sectors such as that of automated machinery for the pharmaceutical sector, in which G.F is present. Visit:

Trelleborg acquires leading anti-vibration supplier


relleborg has, through its business area Trelleborg Industrial Solutions, signed an agreement to acquire Schwab Vibration Control, a German and Swiss technology leading supplier of industrial anti-vibration components and systems mainly for the rail market, owned by the Freudenberg Group. Schwab Vibration Control is headquartered and has its production site in Velten, Germany. It also has engineering and sales offices in Adliswil, Switzerland and Laudenbach, Germany. Sales amounted to approximately SEK 575 M in 2015. “The acquired business offers a broad and complementary product portfolio to Trelleborg, mainly within anti-vibration for rail original equipment manufacturers and rail authorities, off-highway vehicles and dedicated industrial segments, primarily in Europe. Our application expertise within antivibration will be further enhanced; Schwab offers world-class cutting-edge engineering and solutions. In addition to increased sales and engineering resources in Europe, our combined offering will also be extended in markets such as North America, China, South East Asia and India,” says Mikael Fryklund, Business Area President for Trelleborg Industrial Solutions. Visit: plastic parts, including rubber/TPE sealing systems. Qingdao Meteor Rubber & Plastics is based in Jiaozhou City, in eastern China, where it also operates a production facility. The company was set up as a joint venture between SIDA Corporation and Germany’s Meteor Gummiwerke. The German manufacturer makes various sealing systems and components from PP, EPDM and rubber, and

supplies its output to a number of major car producers. These include Volkswagen Group, BMW, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar Land Rover, Renault-Nissan and others. Prior to the deal, Sanok Rubber Company held a 20% stake in the Chinese producer through its German-based subsidiary Draftex Automotive GmbH. Visit:


Gerken Group acquired by Wabtec W

abtec Corporation has acquired Gerken Group SA, a leading manufacturer of speciality carbon and graphite products for rail and other industrial applications. The company has annual sales of about $40 million Raymond T. Betler, Wabtec’s president and chief executive officer, said: “Gerken’s range of speciality products expands our capabilities with existing customers and in new markets. The company will also be a good strategic fit with other Wabtec divisions, including Fandstan and Fulmer, and with our friction businesses.” Founded more than 80 years ago, Gerken manufactures a variety of carbon brushes and strips, graphite and related products used in railway traction, power generation and other industrial markets. The company’s sales are primarily in the aftermarket and outside of North America. Wabtec Corporation is a global provider of value-added, technology-based products and services for rail and other industrial markets.

Through its subsidiaries, the company manufactures a range of products for locomotives, freight cars and passenger transit vehicles. The company also builds new switcher and commuter locomotives, and provides aftermarket services. The company has facilities located throughout the world. Visit:

Vattenfall buys project development company for ‘Global Tech II’ project


attenfall has acquired Northern Energy GlobalTech II GmbH from Erste Nordsee-Offshore-Holding GmbH, a joint subsidiary of Austrian STRABAG SE and indirectly Etanax GmbH. Northern Energy GlobalTech II is the owner of the offshore wind project ‘Global Tech II’. Global Tech II is located in the German North Sea 85km north of the island of Borkum. The project is currently under development with a number of up to 79 wind turbines in an area of 47 square kilometres. Gunnar Groebler, senior vice-president and head of business area Wind at Vattenfall, comments: “The acquisition of Global Tech II underlines, once more, that our growth ambitions in wind are under full steam. With Global Tech II we also send a signal that we strongly believe in the German market under the framework of the new renewable energy law (EEG).”


ams acquires sensing specialist MAZeT a

ms AG, a leading provider of high performance sensors and analogue ICs, has closed the transaction to acquire 100% of the shares in the colour and spectral sensing systems specialist MAZeT GmbH for an undisclosed amount in cash. The strategic acquisition extends ams’ market leadership in advanced optical sensors and strengthens its position in emerging optical sensing applications. Focused on industrial and medical applications, MAZeT offers very strong system and application know-how in advanced colour and spectral sensing and outstanding optical engineering expertise. MAZeT’s capabilities include IC and filter design as well as hardware and software system development with its JENCOLOR® sensors being used currently in applications including airplane interior lighting, agricultural sensors, and medical skin lesion analysis. Dr Fred Grunert, CEO of MAZeT GmbH, comments on the transaction: “MAZeT has been a pioneer in optical colour and spectral sensor development and we are very pleased to join ams. Combining complementary products and the sensor expertise of both companies will create an even stronger leadership position with a leading portfolio of optical sensors targeting the automotive, industrial, medical and smart lighting end markets.” Visit: Visit:

Yara purchases Tata Chemicals’ urea business in India


ara International ASA has entered into an agreement to acquire the Tata Chemicals Ltd (TCL) Babrala urea plant and distribution business in Uttar Pradesh for USD 400 million. “This acquisition represents another significant step in our growth strategy, creating an integrated position in the world’s

second-largest fertiliser market. India has strong population growth and increasing living standards, and significant potential to improve agricultural productivity,” said Svein Tore Holsether, president and chief executive officer of Yara. The plant has an annual production of 0.7 million tonnes ammonia and 1.2 million tonnes urea, and generated revenues and

Fred Grunert

EBITDA of respectively USD 350 million and USD 35 million in the financial year ended 31 March 2016. The plant was commissioned in 1994, and is the most energy efficient in India, on a par with Yara’s best plants. Yara has operated in India since the 1990s, focusing in recent years on premium product sales in the west and south of the country. Visit: Industry Europe 19



Relocations and expansions across Europe

Tsubakimoto to build Solvay starts up a new factory in Czech Republic hydrogen peroxide plant in China



rive chain maker Tsubakimoto is to set up its second plant in Europe. Located in the Czech Republic, Tsubaki Automotive Czech Republic s.r.o. will manufacture and assemble timing chain drive systems and associated products for leading car manufacturers across Europe. Building works are already in hand at a site in the Central Bohemian town of Kolin about 55km (35 miles) east of the capital city Prague. Tsubakimoto has planned for the construction project to proceed in stages, the first being a 5000m2 building to be completed by November 2017 and to house 40 personnel. The whole site should be fully operational by 2020, when it will have a total built area of over 40,000m2 and employ 80 people in manufacturing, commercial and engineering roles. Visit:

Peikko to invest in a new factory in Kaunas, Lithuania


eikko Group has made an investment decision to build a new DELTABEAM® factory in Kaunas, Lithuania. The new factory will be built next to Peikko’s existing Kaunas factory. The investment exceeds €9 million and it comprises the new factory building as well as new production lines and machinery. The size of the factory will be 6000m2 with new planned production capacity of 250 beams per week. “The new factory in Lithuania will bring us the needed capacity increase long-term. Peikko already has a well-functioning production unit in Kaunas, so building the new factory there was an easy decision. Lithuania is logistically ideally located to effectively serve our current DELTABEAM® main markets; the areas around the Baltic Sea,” states Topi Paananen, CEO of Peikko Group Corporation. Visit:

Gestamp to build new state-of-theart stamping plant in the UK


estamp, the international group dedicated to the design, development and manufacture of metal automotive components, plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Four Ashes near Wolverhampton (West Midlands). The new plant will upgrade the company’s industrial capabilities in the

20 Industry Europe

olvay has started hydrogen peroxide production at its new plant in Zhenjiang, China. This plant has a capacity of 60,000 tonnes per year and will meet the growing local customer demand for high quality products in addition to supplying demand from Solvay’s own businesses in the semiconductor and flavour industries. Solvay’s Peroxides Global Business Unit (GBU) built the plant in Solvay’s chemical manufacturing platform located within Zhenjiang Green Chemical & New Material Industry Park. The platform already hosts two other Solvay GBUs, allowing all businesses at the site to benefit from shared infrastructure, logistics and services. The plant is the first in China to use Solvay Peroxide’s innovative, world leading technology with improved efficiency, while further promoting sustainability in operations by significantly reducing effluents and energy usage. Visit:

AWS Electronics announces £1M investment in Slovakia manufacturing centre


WS Electronics Group, one of Europe’s leading specialist electronics manufacturing services providers, has announced a further significant expansion at its low cost manufacturing centre in N·mestovo, Slovakia. The £1M investment – AWS’ third phase of development at the site – almost doubles the available production space enabling a second automotive line to be located at the facility. Revenue growth at the Slovakia plant is now growing at around 25% year on year, and while the automotive sector is one of the main contributors to growth and a major driver for the expansion, other sectors such as lighting, scientific instrumentation, medical and general industrial are also showing healthy growth. Comments AWS Electronics’ CEO Paul Deehan: “Our strategy of continually investing and expanding our Slovakian facility in a region which is physically close to significant existing and potential new customers is working very well.” Visit:

region and will entail an investment of over £70 million. The new West Midlands plant expects to host state-of-the-art stamping equipment in its 50,000 square metres and is designed to safeguard the 800 jobs at Gestamp’s current Cannock plant by progressively moving production to the new facility.

“We have been working on this project for a long time. The UK is one of Gestamp’s top five global markets since the beginning of our operations here in 2011,” said Ian Middleton, Gestamp Country Manager in the UK. “Our company is committed to helping our customers in key aspects such as quality, safety and lightweight innovations.” Visit:


INDUSTRYPEOPLE GE appoints new president Outokumpu appoints head of Operations Europe has appointed Maciej Gwozdz as head of Operations Europe and CEO for Power Conversion Outokumpu and member of the Outokumpu Leadership Team as of 1 January


zeez Mohammed has been appointed president & CEO of GE Energy Connections’ Power Conversion business, effective 11 July 2016. Azeez comes to Power Conversion from his most recent role as president and CEO, of GE’s Power Services business for Middle East and Africa. He was instrumental in leading GE’s digital transformation, helping to position the organisation as the world’s foremost digital-industrial company by launching innovative customer solutions in the power and LNG sectors. Responsible for continuing to build the Power Conversion business, which drives the electric transformation of the world’s energy infrastructure across multiple industries, Azeez will notably strengthen the capacity of Power Conversion’s service network in emerging markets. Visit:

New director Group Communications at Boliden


las Nilsson has been appointed new director Group Communications for the Boliden Group, and will take up his position on 1 October 2016 Klas Nilsson will be responsible for Boliden’s overall communications work and will handle the group’s press contacts. Klas replaces Marcela Sylvander, who earlier this year took up the position of director Communication and Public Affairs with the Swedish Armed Forces. Klas Nilsson has a degree from Umeå University and his most recent position was as head of Strategic Communications at Swedavia. He has been working at Swedavia since 2011, prior to which he was a communications consultant at the Springtime and Grayling companies. Visit:

Schmitz Cargobull appoints managing director for UK and Ireland


unt (50) joins Schmitz Cargobull after 16 years with Finning CAT where he held a variety of roles. In his new role, Hunt will focus on maintaining and growing Schmitz Cargobull’s substantial presence in the UK and Irish markets and brings considerable engineering expertise from his previous positions.

2017 at the latest. Maciej Gwozdz joins Outokumpu from ZF Group/TRW, one of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide, where he has held the position of senior vice-president Steering Europe since 2016. Says Roeland Baan, Outokumpu CEO: “I am extremely pleased to welcome Mac to the team, and excited about the insights and expertise he brings to Outokumpu. His extensive experience in lean manufacturing practices fits perfectly with our strategic drive towards manufacturing excellence, and his insights from customer industries will serve well our dedication to becoming the most customer-oriented company in the industry.” Visit:

Hiab appoints vice-president New Business Solutions


iab, part of Cargotec, has appointed Jan-Erik Lindfors (M Sc Econ) as vice-president, New Business Solutions and a member of Hiab Leadership Team as of 1 September 2016. Jan-Erik Lindfors joins Hiab from HiQ Finland where he has been vice-president, Strategy & Business Development since November 2013 with a focus on digital strategy and digital transformation. He has an extensive working experience in information technology, telecom and international manufacturing industry. “Digitalisation will be a key enabler of Hiab’s strategy to become number one in intelligent load handling. I am delighted to have Jan-Erik to join the Hiab team to drive our digitalisation efforts and lead this important area in order to develop new solutions that unlock the full potential of load handling,” says Roland Sundén, president of Hiab. Visit:

He says: “I’ve been hugely impressed at what a positive and forward looking company Schmitz Cargobull is. In the UK alone, this is a £75 million business and my goal is to grow our presence further as the European market leader – building on an already strong order intake. Visit:

Industry Europe 21



Advances in technology across industry

E.ON to build one of the first commercial battery systems for the UK grid


.ON has been awarded a contract with the British transmission system operator National Grid to support the power grid’s stability with an innovative battery solution. With the strong growth of weather-dependent renewable sources such as wind and solar, the amount of power fed into the grid is becoming increasingly volatile. National Grid had therefore launched a tender for a new service to deal with volatile fluctuations. As one of the first

of its kind in Great Britain, E.ON’s battery system will help balance demand and supply in real time ensuring that the power supply and quality is maintained. The solution makes it even possible to increase the share of renewable energy in the grid. The 10 megawatt (MW) lithium-ion battery with a size of four shipping containers has an equivalent power of roughly 100 family cars. E.ON will build the 10 MW battery at E.ON’s Blackburn Meadows Biomass CHP

and District Heating site near Sheffield. The system is planned to be operational by the start of 2018. Visit:

Power from body heat


Beam me up to the video conference


hen science fiction heroes communicate, they don‘t use landlines or cell phones. The caller simply appears in virtual form in the middle of the room; full sized and three dimensional. For researchers at Fraunhofer, this vision is already within reach. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI in Berlin have developed a method by which the realistic image of a person can be transmitted in a virtual world; and just like in science fiction movies, the image appears full sized and three dimensional. The image can be viewed from different directions and the viewer can even walk around it. To produce this three-dimensional impression the researchers have developed a stereo camera system that records the person with two lenses. However, recording a person in detail from all directions takes more than one camera. “We are currently using more than 20 stereo cameras to map a human,” says Oliver Schreer, head of the research group ‘Immersive Media & Communication’ at HHI. Each camera only captures a part of the person. The challenge is to merge the individual camera images together so that a realistic overall picture is produced. To do this the researchers have developed algorithms that can quickly extract depth information from the stereoscopic camera images. This is necessary in order to calculate the 3D form of a captured person. The computer calculates a virtual model of the human, which is then transferred into the virtual scene. The cameras perceive the surface shape with many details. In this way even small wrinkles, e.g. on the clothes of the person, can be shown. Visit: 22 Industry Europe

lectronics integrated into textiles are gaining in popularity: Systems like smartphone displays in a sleeve or sensors to detect physical performance in athletic wear have already been produced. The main problem with these systems tends to be the lack of a comfortable, wearable source of power. Chinese scientists are now aiming to obtain the necessary energy from body heat. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, they have introduced a flexible, wearable thermocell based on two different gel electrolytes. Our muscle activity and metabolism cause our bodies to produce constant heat, some of which is released through the skin into the environment. Because of the relatively small temperature difference between skin (approximately 32°C) and our surroundings, it is not so easy to make use of body heat. Previous thermoelectric generators produce too little energy, are costly, or are too brittle for use in wearable systems. Thermocells with electrolyte solutions are difficult to integrate into extensive wearable systems. A team led by Jun Zhou at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Wuhan, China) has now found a solution to this problem: thermocells with gel-based electrolytes. The researchers are making use of the thermogalvanic effect: if two electrodes in contact with an electrolyte solution – or an electrolyte gel – are kept at different temperatures, a potential difference is generated. The ions of a redox pair in the electrolyte can rapidly switch between two different charge states, accepting or releasing electrons at electrodes with different temperature. In order to use this to produce a current, the scientists combined two types of cells containing two different redox pairs. Each cell consists of two tiny metal plates that act as electrodes, with an electrolyte gel in between. Because of the choice of these redox pairs, in cell type 1, the cold end gives a negative potential, while in type 2, the cold end gives a positive potential. Visit:


NOTICEBOARD Timing is critical for logistics giant Rhenus Additive manufacturing


nvolved in the fields of contract logistics, freight logistics, port logistics and public transport, the Rhenus Group operates more than 460 sites, in more than 40 countries worldwide. The company developed its own Shared Services Centre (SSC) to support its complex supply chain processes: Rhenus Assets & Services. This unit processes a vast number of documents for 80 sites in the Rhenus Group’s global network, including purchase invoices, clearing documents, delivery notes, loading records and order-picking notes. Using ABBYY FlexiCapture, Rhenus Assets & Services has been able to implement a new component for automated data capture. This tool processes documents as efficiently as possible and centrally by means of the corporate IT solution. In replacing the previous solution, ABBYY was selected for its high quality data capture, its flexible and transparent architecture, scalability and fast implementation options. This means

that established processes, including existing automation, could be retained in their entirety. 150 employees are currently working at 130 verification stations. Every month they process up to 150,000 documents – up to 1000 documents per day. The recognition rate for captured information is up to 95 per cent. The 1.4 million invoices and documents received on average each year can thus be effortlessly managed. Visit:

LTD pumps ensure energy saving and accuracy


a leading distributor of dosing pumps, LDT Dosiertechnik GmbH of Hamburg offers its customers over 25 years of experience. Part of its extensive product range includes a specialised metering pump from Dosatron that works on hydro power and requires no electrical supply. The pumps are installed directly into the water supply line and are operated by a hydraulic motor, which only needs the flow and pressure of water to operate. The innovative LDT Dosatron pump design has been used for several years in industries such as environmental, hygiene, water treatment, car wash, metal processing, printing, horticulture and animal health. The introduction of ATEX certified models for use in explosive environments extends the use of this highly energy efficient unit to other industries such as mining, chemical, pharmaceutical and petrochemical. The latest LDT Dosatron ATEX Industry Line pumps can be installed in ATEX zones 0, 1 and 2. They provide accurate, repeatable results to ±3% according to API 675. This level of accuracy reduces the amount of chemicals needed in a design that completely prevents any overdosing or underdosing; saving operators significant costs and helping to protect the environment. Visit:

technique extends life of sensors


additive manufacturing technique called DMD (Direct Metal Deposition) developed by O.R. Lasertechnologie enables reliable protection of sensor elements by means of a hard alloy. It makes it possible to significantly extend their lifetimes, for example in oil and gas pipelines. Thanks to an innovative powder nozzle developed by the O.R. Lasertechnologie GmbH, the DMD technique can be used to greatly prolong the life expectancy of these sensors. The compact EVO Mobile laser welding system is excellently suited for applying wear-resistant coatings and carrying out repairs or modifications. The team from the R&D department of O.R. Laser collaborated with the Fraunhofer Institute to develop a highly efficient, easy-to-install powder nozzle that works with high repeatability and is suitable for automated processes. “We’re proud of having found a way to increase the durability of these sensors with our additive laser technique,” says Markus Wolf, head of the R&D department at O.R. Laser. The system is completely manufactured in Germany, and the nozzle is the first of its kind to enable a combination of wire- and powderbased laser cladding. Visit:

ETW Energietechnik develops gas blending technology for CHPs


TW Energietechnik GmbH has developed a new solution that blends two gas streams of different qualities to fuel CHPs. This equipment precisely blends the two gases to a homogeneous fuel mixture and is indicated for landfills that struggle with shrinking heating values and volumes of biogas throughout their lifetime. This shrinking heating value can be compensated for by gradually enriching biogas with natural gas (NG). The blending is completely automated and designed to consume the lowest possible amounts of NG. Almost any CHP can be easily upgraded. There are several advantages for the operator. At startups the CHP receives the perfectly balanced fuel, preventing startup problems caused by low CH4 concentration. That enables the operation of CHPs even with CH4 concentration lower than 30%, increasing its lifetime and availability, and thus its economic feasibility. The CHP can be operated independently from the land-fill gas supply. Visit: Industry Europe 23



Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on on the pressures on the Chancellor to change course.


erman elections are usually decided on economic issues – the health of the export market, the level of old-age pensions, employment levels and interest rates. But not anymore, not in Germany at least. Chancellor Angela Merkel has seen the political spectrum shrink in a few short months to one issue and one issue only – immigrants. Now she is being urged to change course drastically on refugees or risk destroying her party. An election in her home state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in September saw her party chased into third place by the antiimmgrant Alternative for Deutschland (AfD). The fear of refugees forever altering the character of Germany, coupled with the fear of terrorists who may lurk within their numbers, have served to plunge Mrs Merkel and her business-friendly CDU party into crisis. “Is the end of the Merkel era nigh?” asked the respected news magazine Der Spiegel after the vote debacle. The question remains open as to whether she will actually stand for a fourth term in power when the general election is held in the autumn of 2017. Rarely has one master politician like her seized on a single issue with such enthusiasm and failed to carry the electorate along with her. Now she is under renewed pressure to U-turn on her controversial ‘open door’ refugee policy – but whether she can ever bring herself to do this remains in doubt. The result in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania led the daily newspaper Die Welt to comment: “Germany now has what has never existed since the end of the war: an extreme-right party.” Her own key allies are now demanding changes, fearful of being decimated at the ballot box next year. One in two voters in the state usually referred to as ‘Mec-Pom’ said they were casting their ballot because of the migrant issue and nothing else. After her defeat the 24 Industry Europe

AfD lead candidate Leif-Erik Holm called it a “proud result for a young party. “The icing on the cake is that we have left Merkel’s CDU behind us... maybe that is the beginning of the end of Merkel’s time as chancellor.” The result placed the AfD in nine out of 16 state parliaments in Germany with eyes on an even greater prize – seats in the national legislature next year. Its success all stems from a decision to open up Germany to unregulated immigration of refugees by Mrs Merkel.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has seen the political spectrum shrink in a few short months to one issue and one issue only – immigrants. Now she is being urged to change course drastically on refugees or risk destroying her party. The pressure Mrs Merkel is feeling most of all comes from the CSU, sister party to her CDU in the southern state of Bavaria – the place where most refugees entered Germany. Andreas Scheuer, CSU secretary general, described the Mec-Pom poll result as “devastating,” adding: “The CSU is pointing in the right direction. We need a cap on refugee numbers, expedited repatriation processes, an expansion of the list of nations deemed to be safe countries of origin, and better integration measures. “The AfD had seized the opportunity to exploit Merkel’s dwindling support. We can’t

simply give in and watch how a party built on attracting protest voters profits from the failures of the federal government in Berlin.”

Controlling the borders The AfD was founded in 2013 and has enjoyed a meteoric rise thanks to the refugee crisis. Its leader Frauke Petry called earlier this year for border police to have the right to shoot illegal immigrants on Germany’s border – remarks which did little to diminish the party’s standing. High level sources say that CSU chief Horst Seehofer wants a guarantee of no more than 200,000 migrants a year – a third less than Germany is expecting in 2016 – and demands that Germany takes full control of its borders to turn away illegals. He also wants pledges that deportations of failed asylum seekers are speeded up: currently 215,367 people rejected for asylum continue to live in Germany. This is what he wants in return for continued CSU support for Merkel at the general election next year. But will she change? Many think she has little choice if she wants to continue to inhabit the chancellery in Berlin. Observers think that ‘Mutti’ Merkel has been too willing of late to lecture the people rather than listen to them. One of them is Hans-Herman Tiedje, a former policy adviser to legendary German chancellor Helmut Kohl, who said: “The German people has not been asked once if it wants this demographic restructuring of our country. “The good people of this world will maybe give her the Nobel Peace Prize, but domestically her politics are devastating. As to the poll – the AfD is indeed definitely not intellectual enrichment for our country, but it binds to itself voters who despair at Merkel’s policy.” As well as being – for now – the world’s most powerful woman, she will also find herself the most watched one in the months n to come.



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on efforts to revive France’s tourist industry.


rance is to plough €10 million into boosting its tourism industry after a succession of terrorist attacks, strikes and floods saw visitor numbers plummet by 7 per cent this year. Paris has lost about €750 million in income since January due to the fall in tourists, while the number of nights booked in hotels is down 11.4 per cent, industry officials said. Luxury hotels in the capital were hit the hardest by the revenue crisis, reporting a decline of between 30–40 per cent in wealthy guests. The number of Japanese visitors almost halved in the first half of the year, compared to the previous year, according to tourist board figures. Russian numbers were down by more than a third, Italians by a quarter and Chinese visitors by almost a fifth. Visitors to the Arc de Triomphe fell by more than a third in the first half of 2016 from the same period a year earlier, the tourist board said. The Grand Palais museum reported a 43.9 per cent slump and the Palace of Versailles just short of 20 per cent. Frederic Valletoux, head of the Paris regional tourist board, described the losses as an ‘industrial disaster’ and said the city was now in need of massive new investment and a rescue package. Visitor numbers first started dropping following the terror attack in Paris last November, when 130 people were killed. Officials had hoped the trend would reverse following the Euro 2016 football championships. But just days after the competition ended, a man believed to be acting for Islamic State drove a lorry into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing 86 people. Christian Navet, head of the Paris-Ilede-France hotel federation, said: “The Nice attack derailed our hopes of a recovery. It’s a dramatic situation and there will be job cuts in the sector if things do not get better by the end of the year.” And Georges Panayotis, head of hotel research firm MKG group, added: “Hotels

are already laying off staff though they’re not saying it. This industry is on its knees and it needs relief measures now. Hoteliers need the weapons to fight back.” The French government has now unveiled a €10 million plan to restore its image and bring tourists back, by launching a series of publicity campaigns promoting France around the world. The project aims to woo visitors back to France’s museums, cafes, beaches, and cultural attractions, after many people cancelled their trips or opted for other destinations. Tourism is a €170 billion industry in France, with 90 billion of that accounting for cafes, restaurants and hotels alone. With 2 million people working in the tourism services sector, a decrease in tourism arrivals can have a ripple effect throughout the entire economy. Foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said: “Although we have identified problems, the hope is to have a positive message to promote France as a tourist destination.” But according to Steve Born, head of marketing for the US-based tour group Globus, the return of visitors may already be on its way. While Globus saw a dip in bookings to France in the months following the November 2015 attacks, the bookings for 2017 are already back on par and competing with other European destinations. He said: “France has it all. For those that are looking to visit Europe, it’s such an iconic experience and must-see destination.”

Anti-gloom message Outside the tourism sector meanwhile, optimism is returning to the French economy, with the number of unemployed dipping below ten per cent to 9.6 per cent in the first two quarters of the year – the first drop since President Francois Hollande was elected in 2012. This is a major boost for the deeply unpopular Socialist leader, who had vowed not to run for re-election next year if unemployment does not come down.

Experts are also predicting that after four years of near-stagnation, the eurozone’s second-largest economy is expected to grow at more than 1.5 per cent in 2016. Record-low interest rates, a cheaper euro and looser fiscal policies in France and in the eurozone have also boosted business and consumer confidence. Measures such as 40 billion euros in tax breaks awarded to companies by Mr Hollande in 2014 have improved profit margins, giving much-needed financial breathing room. French companies have stepped up investments by 2.4 per cent in the first quarter. Households are buying more goods and homes. This feelgood factor was demonstrated this month when 700 French executives and business chiefs rode in convoy down Paris’s Champs Elysees on battered blue mopeds in a bid to combat a climate of economic gloom. Decked out in matching blue capes and pink helmets, the bosses rode down the boulevard on their Motobecane mopeds, much beloved in France during the 1970s. Organisers said the event was an ‘apolitical’ attempt to increase confidence in the French economy and show solidarity with employees. Organiser Dominique Ravon said: “It’s an anti-crisis, anti-gloom message. The goal is for entrepreneurs and their employees to come and show that everything is alright.” Remi Peraud, a bank manager with the Banque Populaire who took part in the twowheeled demo, said he wanted to show that ‘bosses know how to have fun’. The event was also designed to allow business chiefs to discuss new potential collaborations. Paris-based Merrill Lynch economist Gilles Moec said: “It is time to stop beating ourselves up. This cyclical recovery has legs – provided the disruptions brought about by the strikes and ensuing political uncertainty do not last for n too long.” Industry Europe 25

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM Despite a host of issues to tackle that range from marine waste to multiple forces majeures at materials suppliers, the European plastics industry approaches K 2016 in a good state of health and with cautious optimism. It could even be that something good could come out of the ongoing migrant crisis, as thousands of well-qualified people arrive in Europe in search of new lives and new jobs. But there are still many hills to climb.


he plastics industry consultancy Applied Market Information (AMI) said recently that the European plastics industry “finds itself in another period of upheaval and change as it struggles to pull out of the stagnation caused first by the Great Recession in 2008-2009 and the subsequent Eurozone crisis in 2012-2013.” The volume of polymers consumed in 2014 was still some 10 per cent below that used in 2007. Growth is coming back, albeit slowly. AMI reckons that, given the cautious outlook for most European economies, polymer demand over the longer term is expected to average a rate of just over 1 per cent per year up to 2019. As has been the trend for several years, recent demand has been stronger in central and eastern Europe compared with western Europe. Most of the countries in the East now have a polymer demand well ahead of where they were in 2007, AMI noted. “The countries of Central and Eastern Europe continue to offer the best prospects for growth in the European plastics industry, although the smaller economies remain vulnerable to external shocks,” it said. 26 Industry Europe

Supply side is content Overall, polymer producers in Europe appear to be upbeat. At Borealis, for example, which made record profits last year, CEO Mark Garrett says integrated polyolefin industry margins were at historic highs. “Despite lower feedstock costs, polyolefin prices did not retreat to the same extent driven by a tight market as a result of solid demand combined with a supply shortfall, in particular resulting from unplanned production stops,” he says. “In addition, imports of polyolefins into Europe have been uncompetitive following the weakening of the Euro. We expect this situation to ease in 2016, but we believe the integrated polyolefin industry margin will be solid.” At BASF, senior VP for Performance Materials Europe Melanie Maas-Brunner says: “Overall, we look positively at the current state of the European plastics industry. We have seen pleasing business growth in all our segments in 2015 and we are optimistic that those who have the right technologies, people and facilities globally will stay successful. We expect more demand from industries such as medical, transportation as well as from consumer

Industry Europe 27

industries such as footwear, sports and leisure. The main trends driving those needs are resource efficiency, lightweighting, comfort and energy efficiency.”

Processors are busier Prospects for the plastics processing industry across Europe appear to be improving, with trade associations in several countries reporting growth. In Germany, for example, the sector posted a moderate growth last year, on the back of a record 2014. Even in Italy, where consumption has been flat at best for some time, equipment association Assocomaplast reports a strong upward trend in orders. German plastics processing sector association GKV says sales rose by 1.3 per cent to just below € 60 billion. Packaging and technical products fared best, building & construction less so. Manufacturers were helped in particular by the good state of the German automobile industry, and also of some European auto sectors returning to growth. Presenting sectorial results in March, GKV president Dirk Westerheide took some swipes at material suppliers, however. Some major hiccups in supply and very volatile price development of raw materials, particularly polyethylene and polypropylene, affected business development, Westerheide said.

Too much force majeure Plastics processors across the continent last year found difficulties in obtaining raw materials. Major polyolefin plants in Europe stood still for extended periods. Across Europe, there were over 40 declarations of force majeure during a period of just four months at one stage of 2015, putting significant strains on relationships between suppliers and processors. Some processors had to shut down production lines. Global economic and trade framework conditions made it difficult for plastics processors to obtain materials on international markets. These factors included the relative weak euro against the US dollar, and continued strong demand for plastics in Asia and the US. 28 Industry Europe

The GKV has for some time been calling for an abolition of customs duties on imported raw materials, to provide its members with improved sourcing choices. And the European Plastics Converters (EuPC) trade association has said that it will conduct a search for more material to be imported from outside the EU (where more modern production sites exist) “as well as the potential setting up of group purchasing platforms (in compliance with EU competition law).” Plastics packaging industry associations in Germany, France and the UK were also strong in their criticism of suppliers, hinting that some shutdowns may have been due less to production problems and more to polymer producers’ desire to improve their margins. Indications are that price volatility should be lower this year, however. The situation last year led to EuPC establishing the Alliance for Polymers for Europe in order, as EuPC president Michael Kundel put it, to “bring all forces together to fight this unjustified situation.” The aim of the Alliance for Polymers for Europe is to “provide detailed information on the current polymer market and help assist raw material users through

Industry Europe 29

its network of national plastics associations, as well as assist companies in requesting suspension of certain EU import duties to relieve shortages on polymer markets.” The alliance is also initiating a study on the aging of polymer sites in Europe, together with industry and independent experts, “so as to provide more transparency on the future development of the polymer production sites in Europe.” In February, The Polymers for Europe Alliance launched its online Europe­wide customers’ satisfaction survey to award the best polymer producers for Europe. “We decided to start the Best Polymer Producers Awards for Europe in order to re-establish a good communication between users of polymers and their suppliers, which has obviously suffered lately. We simply want to award those producers who support their European customer base,” says Ron Marsh, chairman of the Polymers for Europe Alliance. “Therefore, we chose what we believe are the five most important criteria for users of polymers when it comes to their suppliers: polymer quality, regulatory compliance, material delivery, performance, communication and innovation.” Energy costs are also very important for the whole of the plastics industry, and especially in Germany: electricity costs there are among the highest in Europe, due in part to levies designed to support the development of energy from renewable resources. The GKV says continuing increases in surcharges on electricity bills place an unacceptable burden on medium and smaller sized companies. It has called for measures to reduce the burden, noting that under current conditions, many products may not continue to be made competitively in Germany. Companies across German industry have been particularly vocal in their complaints about high energy prices, and the German chemical industry is also concerned about its falling competitiveness on the international stage, especially versus North American companies 30 Industry Europe

who have the advantage of shale oil and gas. This advantage is not as great as it was, with oil prices currently as low as they are, but there is a general consensus that oil prices will creep back up again in the coming years.

Could European shale gas provide a solution? Many eyes are now on Ineos, whose activities stretch all the way from oil & gas exploration through feedstocks to numerous plastics and chemicals. The company recently chartered eight ships to bring ethane from the Marcellus shale field of western Pennsylvania across the Atlantic. The first delivery landed in Norway in late March, and shipments to the company’s refinery at Grangemouth, Scotland, are scheduled to start later this year. Europe’s first shale-based polyethylene should come onto the market very soon after. Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe says that shale gas economics revitalised US manufacturing “and for the first time ever Europe can access this essential energy and raw material source too.” He says the US shale will complement the dwindling supplies of gas from the North Sea. The move to import shale gas is intended to be a stop-gap measure while Ineos sets about tapping reserves under the UK, whose government is among the most pro-fracking in the region. It is set to drill numerous test cores this year alone, although it does not plan any fracking in 2016.

The circular economy On top of concerns about materials and energy supply, there is also growing awareness in Europe that more needs to be done about use, re-use, and preservation of precious plastics. Late last year, the European Commission adopted what it says is an ambitious new “Circular Economy Package” (CEP) to boost competitiveness, create jobs and generate sustainable growth. Implications for the European plastics industry are significant.

Industry Europe 31

The Commission says the CEP will “contribute to closing the loop of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use, and bring benefits for both the environment and the economy.” Key actions adopted today or to be carried out under the current Commission’s mandate include a strategy on plastics in the circular economy, addressing issues of recyclability, biodegradability, the presence of hazardous substances in plastics, and the Sustainable Development Goals target for significantly reducing marine litter. The Commission has also proposed revisions to legislation on waste. Key elements include a common EU target for recycling 75 per cent of packaging waste by 2030 and a ban on landfilling of separately collected waste. “The efficiency of recycling is lagging [growth in consumption] – less than 25 per cent of plastic waste collected is recycled, and about 50 per cent goes to landfill,” says the Commission. The PlasticsEurope trade association for plastics manufacturers has welcomed the CEP “as a step closer to resource efficiency,” but it has expressed concerns. “The European plastics industry has been calling for a legally binding landfill restriction on all recyclable as well as other recoverable post-consumer waste by 2025,” it says. “Although a 10 per cent target constitutes a step in the right direction, it remains a timid attempt to put an end to the landfilling of all waste which can be used a resource.”

PlasticsEurope considers the new 2025 recycling and preparation for re-use target of 55 per cent for plastic packaging waste as “an extremely ambitious objective;” the average plastics packaging recycling rate in Europe was under 40 per cent in 2014. It says the optimum level for plastic packaging recycling lies between 35 per cent and 50 per cent, depending on the country’s collection, sorting and recycling capacities. European Bioplastics (EUBP), the trade association for suppliers of bio-based plastics, says that “forward looking sectors with strong environmental credentials and growth potential, such as bioplastics, need to be promoted. Materials used for industrial and commercial purposes should safely enter re-use, mechanical or biological recycling systems by design or intention.” Europe is home to many innovations in biopolymers, most famous of which is probably Novamont’s Mater-Bi, now used for the vast majority of carrier bags in Italy (and for a growing number of other applications in packaging, agriculture, and the food service industry). “With the right framework conditions in place, the European bioplastics industry could realise its immense employment growth potential while helping to lower the impact on the environment within the EU,” says EUBP. It predicts that by 2025 production capacities of bioplastics within the EU will have grown twentyfold to 5.7 million tonnes, equivalent to around 10 per cent of general plastics production. Up to 160,000 high skilled jobs will have been created in the process.

Swimming in plastics Meanwhile, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the UK-based charity set up in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to a circular economy, has paired with the World Economic Forum to launch the report “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics.” The report “provides for the first time a vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste,” and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systemic shift needed. According to the report, with most plastics packaging beings used only once, 95 per cent of its value is lost to the economy. It also predicts that, “given projected growth in consumption, in a business-as-usual 32 Industry Europe

Industry Europe 33

34 Industry Europe

scenario, by 2050 oceans are expected to contain more plastics than fish (by weight), and the entire plastics industry will consume 20 per cent of total oil production, and 15 per cent of the annual carbon budget. PlasticsEurope is not ducking the issue. In March, its annual PolyTalk conference in Brussels was entitled “Zero Plastics Waste to the Oceans.” In focusing on the problem of marine litter, the industry has taken the initiative in finding new ideas and solutions to preventing all plastics from entering the ocean, PlasticsEurope president Patrick Thomas (also CEO of Covestro, previously Bayer MaterialScience) says, noting that the association will provide leadership in preventing marine litter and share best practices.

Machinery makers move on A report on the European plastics industry would be incomplete without at least some reference to the state of the processing equipment sector, which remains a global powerhouse despite strong competition from China. In 2014 (2015 data are not yet available), Euromap members accounted for € 13 billion of the global total of € 32.5 billion in plastics and rubber core machinery; that is 40 per cent. In 2013 the percentage was 41.5. China meanwhile moved up from 30 per cent to 33.5 per cent. As far as exports are concerned, Euromap members continue to export around four times as much core equipment as Chinese companies, in value terms. Deliveries to Europe and the US have both been rising, while those to BRIC countries have been slowing down. Euromap members account for 40 per cent of core machinery production and half of exports (of which almost half are from Germany, over 18 per cent from Italy, and almost 15 per cent from Austria). Around 43 per cent of Euromap member exports are within Europe.

A new industrial revolution? Many European machinery companies are likely to have the number 4.0 highly visible on their stands at K 2016, as they push their solutions for “smart” factories that operate within the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The 4.0 refers to Industry 4.0, a term invented in Germany back in 2011 in reference to what was perceived as the

fourth industrial revolution – and the German government’s plan to make sure German industry is at its forefront. Proponents of Industry 4.0 say it represents a paradigm shift from centralized to decentralized production – made possible by technological advances which constitute a reversal of conventional production process logic. This means that industrial production machinery no longer simply “processes” the product, but that the product communicates with the machinery to tell it exactly what to do. Some observers may wonder whatever happened to the third industrial revolution— which signalled the rise in the use of digital electronics and IT to further automate production, and which appears to have begun around the same time as the fourth, depending on who you listen to. It will be the job of future historians to delineate the various epochs; maybe they will decide that in fact we are living in an age of permanent revolution (which would be ironic, since the term was coined by Marx and Engels). “Industry 4.0 is above all one thing: a tremendous opportunity that we want to take advantage of together with our customers,” says Dr Stefan Engleder, CTO of injection technology specialist Engel, which has adopted the term “inject 4.0” to describe its approach to meeting the challenges of productivity, quality and flexibility. Despite this, Engleder says he does not consider the word “revolution” to be very appropriate. “The changes that we are currently experiencing are more like an evolution,” he says. “For us, Industry 4.0 is not a new idea, but is already long-established daily practice in many areas.” Others in the sector will doubtless agree, but if the slogan helps drive the plastics industry forward towards increased efficiency and sustainability, it will have done its job. “For plastics processors too, new digital technologies offer new perspectives that are of interest, increasingly also in the corporate sector,” says the GKV’s Westerheide. A GKV survey recently showed that only eight per cent of responding plastics processors were putting significant effort into Industry 4.0, with the vast majority following the trend from the sidelines. Westerheide concludes: “K 2016 will provide an excellent opportunity to explore the advantages offered n by the digitization of our industry.” Industry Europe 35

MIRROR-IMAGE VISION Helmee Imaging is a high-tech machine-vision company that leads the field in the 3D quality control of glossy and chromium plated products. Philip Yorke talked to Matti Saarinen, the company’s CEO, about its revolutionary 3D robotic inspection systems and the extensive global market opportunities for the company’s unrivalled technology.


elmee Imaging Ltd is a high tech machine vision company based in Finland that provides automated quality control systems for manufacturers of highly-polished surface products. The independent company is a spin-off from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Helmee’s revolutionary machine vision systems are based on its unique CSD™ patented technology, which enables the accurate 3D imaging of glossy, mirror-like objects for the first time. Conventional systems fail in the quality control of glossy products due to uncontrolled reflections interfering with the results. Helmee’s machine vision systems are the first in the market to enable 3D shape measurement and the detection of surface defects on high-curvature and mirror-like glossy surfaces. These advanced systems are able to accurately calculate an object’s shape and surface properties made of a variety of materials including plastics, glass, paint and ceramics. 36 Industry Europe

Quality control of complex products Helmee’s breakthrough quality control system enables the quality control of complex products such as bathroom mixer taps, automotive fittings, bearings and even artificial joints. Although machine vision technology is widely used for the quality control of industrial processes, up until now it has only been possible to inspect complex glossy surfaces manually. Manual inspection work is expensive and the quality level can vary for a variety of reasons. Helmee Imaging offers revolutionary systems for accurate quality control with benefits that include increased control capacity, lower inspection costs and more accurate, more consistent quality. With the aid of the company’s unique machine vision systems, it is possible to image every kind of glossy, high curvature, angular object and components. This remarkable system is capable of the simultaneous measurement of an object’s surface and 3D shape.

Unique image-processing software Most conventional stereo imaging systems use two identical cameras that are horizontally displaced in order that the image captured by the two cameras overlaps. If a correspondence between the two images can be found then a triangulation can be used to determine the depth of the object. The biggest disadvantage to this traditional stereo system is occlusion, which occurs when some parts of the object cannot be seen by one, or both, of the cameras. However, no matter what imaging method is adopted, it is virtually impossible to acquire images from objects with highly polished, mirror-like surfaces. This task is made even more difficult if the glossy object involves high curvature or an angular surface. For this reason, many highly reflective items such as ceramic plates, faucets and chromium-plated, painted of polished objects are still inspected manually after they are manufactured. Helmee has resolved this age-old problem with its unique imaging technique known as, Covered Stereo Deflectometry (CSD™). The company’s CSD™ inspection station consists of a machine vision system that includes cameras, a special illumination system, a PCbased image processing unit, a mechanical frame with dust-proof covers and an operator interface with monitor and HMI.

Revolutionary system

products. The automotive industry and domestic appliance industry are both markets that could benefit significantly from the new Helmee imaging systems. For example there is huge potential for us from the manufacturers of chromium-plated car door handles, with more than 300 million being produced every year. “As a relatively new company we are working closely with JMI in Hong Kong, which is one of the world’s biggest chromium plating companies, and Sarrel in France, a manufacturer of components for the automotive industry. Here at Helmee we design, develop and manufacture the vision system light-sources and software. We subcontract the manufacture of our special robotic systems before we assemble them and deliver them to our customers. “Our unique, patented machine vision systems can scan and sort over 14,000 product parts or components a day, so for a run of 300,000 parts, 20 vision systems would need to be employed. Just one of our robotic cells is capable of replacing up to nine manual inspectors and offer far greater accuracy than the human eye. It has been proved that our imaging system is 100 times more accurate n than relying on human examination.” For further details of Helmee’s revolutionary machine vision imaging systems and services visit,

Saarinen said, “Helmee was founded as a result of research carried out at Finland’s VTT research centre in Espoo Finland into the quality control of mirror-like finished objects, which until now has been impossible due to the highly reflective nature of the objects involved. We have a long history in the development of sophisticated machine vision systems and now the technology has been tested and proven, we have been contracted to commercialise the exciting new technology. “Although there has been no official launch of the new system yet, we will be showcasing our new, revolutionary technology at the forthcoming K Trade Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany later this year. We can be located in Hall 11 on booth C46 where visitors will be able to see a live demo of the new imaging system in operation. Our advanced vision system will demonstrate how chrome-plated items can be imaged and even the tiniest defects can be reliably detected.” Saarinen added, “Today manufacturers demand flawless chromium plated and plastic parts that can be guaranteed to be perfect, without scratches, pits or pimples on the mirror-like surfaces of their Industry Europe 37

DRIVING IMM TECHNOLOGY FORWARD Jon Wai is one of Taiwan’s longest established and most successful manufacturers of injection moulding machines for the plastics industry. Philip Yorke talked to Martina Hsu, the company’s marketing director, about its latest innovative products and move into new markets.

38 Industry Europe


on Wai Machinery Works Co. Ltd has been at the forefront of plastics technology since it was founded in 1971. Its two state of-the-art factories are located in Tainan, Taiwan and Kunshan in China. These modern plants boast over 400,000 square feet of manufacturing floor space and are capable of producing over 1500 sets of plastic injection moulding machines every year. Today the company sets the standards for others and remains an independent operating company with a global sales and service network that covers more than 50 countries worldwide.

material products, thin-walled products, TV cover sets and auto parts. The company has five multinational OEM customers located in Europe, Japan and the USA.

Innovation driving sales

High-end solutions

Innovation has been at the heart of the Jon Wai business culture since its foundation. The company is the IMM technology leader and for more than 40 years has been contributing to the improved efficiency, performance and energy-saving properties of IMMs (Injection Moulding Machines). In addition to offering a faster cycle time the machines also provide self-control systems and other labour-saving devices. The company operates an on-going investment programme and has its own in-house R&D department that is committed to keeping Jon Wai one step ahead of its competitors. Jon Wai is also Taiwan’s top exporter of Injection Moulding Machines and its diverse product portfolio includes two-colour/

Jon Wai has been broadening its product portfolio and customer appeal recently by providing higher-end product solutions. Some of the latest developments include ventures into what could be the first injectioncompression system and advances in multi-part moulding. Jon Wai’s new machines offer higher speeds, tighter precision and new capabilities that are designed to help moulders break into new markets. Hsu said, “We have further improved our SE series to provide wider platens with bigger mould space than before. This year we have significantly reduced the machine sizes and cut the clamping force by more than 100 tonnes, whilst providing greater efficiency and energy saving parameters for our customers. We are the most

Industry Europe 39

innovative IMM manufacturer and we also do the programming ourselves, even providing programming services for our customers who want to have different or special machine sequences. Furthermore, we make no charge for changing a programme or upgrading one: all it takes is an e-mail request to us and we can send the programme by e-mail ready for use!”

K-Show firsts Hsu continued, “Since 1995 we have been represented at the K show and this year we will be showcasing our latest SLIM machine range with its advanced toggle system which makes our dry cycle time faster, and this product is a big star for us. It is very, very fast and the low power consumption is remarkable at only 0.25Kw per Kilo for PP & PE. This power consumption is very competitive to allelectric machines and yet with lower cost and low maintenance.” Hsu added, “As far as the future is concerned we are providing more and more of our machines with robotics and are now able to offer a one-stop shop service. The trends in the marketplaces are different, for example in the USA IMM machine sales are driven by the quality of the engineering, whereas in Asia it is very much a case of sales being driven by price constraints. Our customers’ focus is very much on service and reliability and we recognise the impor-

40 Industry Europe

tance of after-sales services, which is why we keep considerable stocks of spare parts with our agents across the world, in order to guarantee fast delivery. “Currently our biggest markets are China, Asia and the US; however we see Brazil, Mexico and eastern Europe as important growth markets for us and are now taking steps to increase our presence in other interesting emerging markets such as Peru, Chile and South Africa. We are winning market share wherever we go thanks to being better, faster and greener!”

Tandem moulding Jon Wai has been upgrading its tandem moulding technology and is producing 32-inch ABS television covers in a 1+1 tool on a 1200tonne JW-1200TP press. Jon Wai has managed to trim the weight of the back cover to 900g and expects to further shorten the overall cycle. The company says that having parts with up to 30 per cent difference in weight can be moulded using a tandem or family mould approach while reducing overall costs by as much as 40 per cent. Jon Wai has also produced a range of two colour (TC) injection presses with wider platens. A new 250-tonne, two colour 250TCW press features a platen that measures 1205 X 760mm which is significantly wider than the standard TC models. The new unit will produce n 10-inch H-P tablet covers from ABS and TPU on a 1+1 mould. For further details of Jon Wai’s latest innovative products and services visit:

PIONEERING MACHINE TECHNOLOGY FROM INDIA Vishva Exim is a global leader in the design and manufactureof advanced cutting and sealing machines for the plastics industry. Philip York reports on a remarkable company that continues to set new standards in the production of innovative blown-extrusion and cutting-sealing machinery.

Vist us at K 2016: Hall 3, Booth G44


ishva Exim was founded over a decade ago in Ahmedabad, India and is one of the INDIA’s leading manufacturers and exporters of plastic processing machines. These include blown film extruders, mono-layer and multi-layer Extruders. They specialize in BLOWN film Extruder, Bag maker and Pouch makers. Vishva Exim’s comprehensive product portfolio covers the complete requirements of the packaging industry, from machinery and materials to manpower. The company provides ‘total turn-key solutions’ with highly qualified staff that offer state-of-the-art front-line technical consultancy and customer services.

Unique technology on display at K show The in-house R&D team at Vishva is acknowledged for its innovative solutions that improve efficiency, reduce energy consumption and increase production capabilities. With over 200 major installations completed in more than 30 countries, the company has gained an enviable track record for developing innovative solutions for its clients. Vishva is participating in the forthcoming international K-Show Trade Fair and can be located in Hall 3, booth G44 where it will will be showcasing its ‘New Age’ Blown Film Extruder: the ABA. The unique VeloBlow ABA extruder benefits from ground-breaking technology that offers customers a major advantage over conventional mono-layer blown-film plants. This is down to the fact that customers can Increase the amount of filler required in the film by as much as 50 per cent without degrading either the film quality or

its strength. VELOBLOW extruder are know for it engery efficiency “MORE KILOS FOR LESS KILOWATT”. In addition, Vishva is showcasing its multi-purpose side-seal machine. This Veloss 800S is extremely versatile and can handle a wide variety of bag-making operations. This is an all-round piece of equipment that has unrivalled capabilities. VISHVA has a range of Bag makers like – Patch handle side seal, Low microns side seal, Multi-purpose, Courier bag, Flying knife bottom seal, T-shirt bag, Double decker. Vishva carters wide range of machinery to serve a wide range of manufacturing Plastics bags.

Expanding global reach Vishva has been building consistently on its traditionally strong markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. However, it is attending this year’s K Show in order to increase its presence in the European theatre, as well as in many of the major South American markets. The company is also hoping that its unique offering of high quality, innovation and cost-effectiveness will open doors in these growing markets. In addition, the company is hoping to achieve the same levels of interest and approval as it receives in its existing markets from its growing and diverse customer base. Vishva continues to invest in its modern production facilities and the latest production technology in order to stay one step ahead of its competitors and to meet its self-imposed commitment to an n uninterrupted programme of improvement. For further details of Vishva Exim’s latest innovative products and services visit: Industry Europe 41

The power of quality

42 Industry Europe

QUALITY IN BLOWN FILM For the past 50 years, Italy-based Tecom Costruzioni Meccaniche Srl has been a key player in the production of blown film extrusion machines to meet diverse production and market needs. At K 2016, the company will exhibit some of its latest hi-tech products, as Daniele Garavaglia reports.


ecom specialises in the manufacture of extrusion lines for plastic blown films, meeting all production and market needs. The range of equipment produced by the company covers film production widths from 25 to 8000mm; Tecom systems are also specialised in the conversion of all types of polyolefin and degradable polymers, compostable with starches or PLA. Furthermore, it focuses on ‘extrusion heads for blown films’, both single- and multilayers, and major investments are earmarked for continuous research and development. This technology has had positive feedback from the transforming industry, as it brings a significant increase in the mechanical and optical quality of the extruded product, in addition to incremental production and energy savings.

Customised solutions Tecom’s product range is currently made up of multilayer co-extrusion systems up to three layers, with chains from 50 to 600mm in diameter; and single-layer extrusion plants with chains from 30 to 1000mm. All systems can be personalised and customised using hi-tech solutions to meet the specific needs of end users. Established in 1963 to build machines and accessories for the textiles industry, Tecom quickly shifted its focus to the construction and assembly of systems for plastic converting. The early 1970s marked the company’s move into the design and construction of complete systems for the production of polyolefin blown films. In the 1990s, owing to economic pressures and increasing environmental

consciousness, Tecom intensified its research efforts to reduce the energy required for its production processes. Today Tecom exclusively produces basic parts for film extrusion systems, following detailed procedures and using European accredited suppliers. This business strategy has been consolidated over time and in the 53 years since its establishment over 2000 systems have been built and distributed throughout the world.

Showcasing innovation Today, after an internal reorganisation with a natural generational change, Tecom has been strengthening its technical and commercial structure significantly and is now setting up a new R&D facility which is near completion. The operating centre, covering an area of 5000 square metres, is located in the industrial area of Olgiate Olona (Varese), which is an optimal logistical position for the distribution of its products throughout Italy and abroad. The company’s long-standing philosophy can be summarised by a few key points: customer service and personalisation with the highest quality; availability of a team of well prepared designers and technicians; advanced computer systems; constant innovation and high quality standards, in line with European standards; and efficient after sales service. At the K 2016 exhibition, from 19–26 October 2016, Tecom will exhibit (at booth D71, Hall 16), a new very hi-tech multi-layer extrusion head, fed by a single extruder. The company’s technicians will n be available to illustrate its characteristics to visitors. Industry Europe 43

IN-LINE FOR SUCCESS Union Officine Meccaniche is a European market leader in the development and manufacture of extruders and extrusion lines for sheets, foils, profiles and hollow sheets. Philip Yorke spoke to Mattia Valtorta, the company’s general manager, about its latest innovative in-line extruders that lead the field in eco-friendly efficiency and reliability.

44 Industry Europe


nion was founded in 1950 at San Vittore Olona near Milano and has seen consistent demand for its complete extrusion lines for rigid and foam plastic materials. The company’s on-going application of innovative technology and the constant research towards high quality standards has resulted in Union becoming a leader in its field. The extrusion lines are custom made and engineered for flexibility and ease of operation, as well as offering quality control systems that guarantee high production performances. The company’s products offer a warranted non-stop productivity capability and after-sales technical assistance and service worldwide. All the extruders are completely designed and manufactured by Union with a production capacity of between 100 to 5000Kg/h in relation to the materials being processed. The company’s latest PET lines are composed of gravimetric dosing systems, with multi-components that are able to convey recycled flakes, granules, additives and masterbatch, according to the customer’s requirements.

Broad portfolio Union produces single and twin screw extruders as well as complete turnkey extrusion lines for sheets, foils, profiles, hollow sheets at two or more walls. The company also produces special production lines for composite panels of plastics and metal. This is in addition to complete lines for undulated and greca sheets of PMMA, PC and PET. Union also manufactures advanced equipment for XPE, XPS, XPP and XPET foam boards, sheets and profiles. Valtora said, “As a private company we are both flexible and customer oriented and prefer to stay a medium-sized company Industry Europe 45

in order to maintain our high standards of innovation and service. From the outset we produced high quality extruders and later extended our range of products to include complete extrusion lines for the production of rigid films or rolls of rigid films utilising flat die extrusion technology. “Despite the years of economic recession we are in very good financial health with a positive balance sheet. A milestone was reached in 2008 when the ownership of Union changed hands to Mr Ferdinando Passoni who acquired the company from the founder’s sons, and as a result, new lines were added for polypropylene and ABS etc. for expanded materials. Another milestone was reached in 2012 when we introduced our first double PT extruders for bottles, which is the fastest growing market and far greener than PE as it is a recyclable plastic.”

Ground-breaking innovation Valtora added, “We installed our first recycling systems in 2014 and further to this there was an ecological innovation that is the first in the world: We introduced a fourth degassing unit to remove gasses that contain contaminates. The Union extruder is still the only one in the world with this concept, which significantly reduces the moisture of the material during the extrusion process. We have already installed 15 extruders like this worldwide for PT. In fact, over the past 65 years we have installed over 1000 production lines in 54 different countries worldwide. We are a relatively small company by choice and our competitors are much bigger than us, but they are unable to offer the dedicated services and flexibility that we can offer. No chal-

46 Industry Europe

lenge is too much for us and we always work closely with our clients to achieve the best outcomes for them. “Furthermore, we manufacture all our lines in-house with some selected suppliers delivering parts when we are oversubscribed. All our lines are tested with our customers before being dismantled and delivered; we also provide a start-up service and offer thorough training for the operators. We see our growth continuing organically but mainly via mergers and joint-ventures. We recently bought a 65 per cent share in one of our suppliers so that we now own all the software for our equipment. We have an ‘atomic’ business structure of which we are the central hub. We are planning to acquire a new company producing compounds, which is a side business of our industry. We will be producing extruders for the compounding market using specially designed Union technology. “We provide an unrivalled customer service which is operational 365 days per year and have exclusive agents in 132 countries worldwide. Our main markets are Italy, Spain, Mexico, Turkey, Israel, Ukraine and in China, where we have a permanent office staffed by our own employees. We are also looking at increasing our presence in South East Asia as well as in Latin America.” With its range of highly specialised business units, Union has evolved into a formidable technological force in its chosen disciplines. Industry Europe believes that the future for the company looks very positive n based upon its successful track record to date. For further information about Union and its latest innovative products, visit:


AND PERFORMANCE With slim margins in the PET bottle industry, it is often difficult to produce a quality product while maintaining meaningful profit margins. The Process Pilot® system, from Agr International, offers PET bottle manufacturers a means to reduce PET bottle production costs while at the same time improving overall bottle quality and performance.

Industry Europe 47


nstalled in a reheat stretch blow-moulder, the Agr Process Pilot system makes it possible to operate with a tighter process control than possible with traditional ‘hands-on’ blow-moulder management. With that comes a myriad of benefits, some of which have significant cost saving implications.

operator adjustments, the Process Pilot system can adjust one or all of the blow-moulder controls simultaneously to achieve the best possible material distribution. By monitoring the material distribution of the blown container, the Process Pilot is able to account for subtle changes in the process that would normally go undetected by the operator. This prevents the process from drifting out of control before the operator’s next quality sample and averts the loss of precious little processing margin. In the course of bottle production, an untold amount of variables in the production cycle can affect the processing and quality of lightweight bottles. The Process Pilot system can accommodate many types of environmental changes in and around the blow-moulder as well as preform preparation and storage conditions that can occur. Compensation can be made for temperature, moisture content, and minor Intrinsic Viscosity (IV) changes to the preform to maintain a consistent process, within the smallest process window.

Measure, control, optimize Consistent and properly distributed material is the key to the production of high performance PET bottles. The precision of material distribution becomes increasingly critical with bottles when lightweighting programmes are in play. With a multitude of variables affecting the blowing process, producing bottles that have accurate material distribution on a consistent basis is a daily challenge. Agr’s Process Pilot® blow-moulder management system addresses this challenge with a simple solution. Installed within the blow-moulder, the Process Pilot system incorporates a three-pronged approach: 1) measure material distribution on every bottle with high precision; 2) control the blow-moulder based on bottle measurement to maintain desired material distribution; and 3) optimise the material orientation to maximise bottle performance. Unlike operator adjustments, the Process Pilot system can adjust one or all of the blow-moulder controls simultaneously to achieve the best possible material distribution and bottle performance.

Managing crystallinity for optimal performance A recent expansion of the Process Pilot system includes the management and optimisation of crystallinity with the CrystalView™ option. Maintaining appropriate material distribution, and at the same time optimising material orientation, requires great skills, and is difficult to achieve with conventional blow-moulder management techniques. With the CrystalView option, the Process Pilot system has the capability to manage material distribution and material orientation simultaneously, making it possible to produce the highest quality bottles, with consistent material distribution and optimal material properties. CrystalView manages the process to the point where material orientation is ‘just right’, while avoiding the creation of pearlescence. With CrystalView, it is possible to reduce the preform processing temperature to the ideal processing point (as much as 10 deg. C) for a given bottle design. By

How Process Pilot works Agr’s Process Pilot system works in conjunction with the reheat stretch blow-moulder to proactively manage and maintain container material distribution at a specified thickness to within ~0.01mm. This is accomplished by continuously monitoring every bottle for material distribution, analysing minute changes and adjusting the blowmoulder controls to maintain pre-defined distribution levels. Unlike

Process Pilot®





Traditional Measurment and control









Perform Stretching Temperature 48 Industry Europe




doing so, material orientation is optimised over the entire bottle. Plus, by running colder, excess material can be pulled is moved from the base of the bottle to other areas, reducing the amorphous material and the residual stress that can lead to base failures associated with the transition region.

Simple operation The Process Pilot system operates very similarly to the auto-pilot in an aircraft. The process engineer sets up the optimised process for a given bottle, then a one-time control characterisation is performed (learn mode) to finalise the recipe and establish a baseline. Once set to the defined recipe, Process Pilot manages the blow-moulder as if on auto-pilot, continually adjusting control parameters to maintain precise thickness distribution as the process changes. Since the Process Pilot system can oversee blow-moulder operation on a 24/7 basis, it provides a continuity in bottle production that is not possible with other methods.

Facilitating light-weighting Light-weighting has been an important tactic in the cost reduction efforts of PET bottle manufacturers. However, as manufacturers continue to remove material, bottle processing becomes increasingly difficult. The process window becomes smaller as weights are reduced. Consequently, on a light-weight bottle, minor changes in the process can have major effects on material distribution. Tight control over the process is therefore imperative and the need to control the location and the thickness of the remaining material is critical for proper bottle performance. Often bottle producers limit light-weighting to a point where bottles can be processed with minimal problems, leaving extra material in place to provide ‘comfortable’ processing safety margins. With the Process Pilot system’s ability to tightly control the process, lighter bottles with ‘just enough material’ to meet performance requirements can be processed with a very high level of confidence. Material distribution is managed precisely throughout the production process, paving the way for maximum material reduction. Additionally, material optimisation through the CrystalView product brings further lightweight opportunities. The ability to produce lightweight CSD and water bottles where the material is fully optimised makes it possible to realise the maximum bottle performance with minimal weight from a given design. Bottles are stronger with better performance and as a result provide greater stability and an increased ability to confidently process without incidence in filling, labelling and capping operations.

Raw material flexibility Another area where Process Pilot can offer cost saving opportunities is in the type and quality of raw material. Lower grade material and/or preforms can have a variability and inconsistency that can translate into processing, quality and performance issues. With the Process Pilot system, blow-molder adjustment to accommodate minor variations in material quality (high AA or variations in IV) is performed on a continuous basis. When material-related process variations are detected, the Process Pilot system pro-actively adjusts the blow-moulder to account for these variations and maintain optimal material distribution. Because the Process Pilot system tightly controls the processing window of the blow-molder, it is possible to increase the percentage of off-spec (wide-spec) material and/or PCR content safely. This capability provides bottle manufacturers with additional opportunities for savings without compromising quality.

Other benefits The Process Pilot system offers a number of benefits in addition to improved light weighting and materials savings. These include the elimination of the need for section weights, reduced scrap, energy savings, improved overall bottle performance and quality, and lower incidences of downtime in the filling, capping and labeling operations.

Summary Agr’s Process Pilot® blow-moulder management system offers manufacturers a means to take the variability out of the bottle blowing process, especially when light-weighting programmes are in place. It also provides the additional process feedback that makes it possible to go the extra step and take light-weighting to the limits with full confidence. Where material is limited and safety margins are very tight, the Process Pilot system can provide the detailed, in-process feedback to manage and maintain bottle material distribution to a very high level of precision, resulting in the production of consistent, quality bottles, even at the fastest production speeds. In the end, with productivity improvements, energy savings, reduced downtime, improved quality and downstream performance, Process Pilot has been shown to have an ROI of less than two years. With an active light-weighting program, ROI can be reduced to a matter of months. Agr’s Process Pilot automated blow-moulder control system has been on the market for several years and has amassed a significant global install base of major bottle converters and self-manufacturing brand owners. The Process Pilot product has proven to be a vital tool in the production of light-weight bottles, while improving overall n bottle performance and quality. Visit: Industry Europe 49



Rajhans India is a technology leader in the design and manufacture of Screen Changers, Melt-pump systems, Die Face Cutters and Breaker Plate Cleaners. Philip Yorke talked to Hardit Parikh, the company’s marketing director about its latest innovative products ad move into new markets.

50 Industry Europe


ounded in 1995, Rajhans India was the first company in its region to introduce the concept of screen changers and is today the country’s biggest exporter of the technology. The company operates a state-of-the-art facility that ensures high-precision engineering processes. Rajhans combines its complex engineering expertise withinnovative R&D to create products that add value to its clients manufacturing processes. Rajhans takes a very focused and lean approach to ensuring a perfect filtration process, without reducing the quality of the plastic melt. Its considerable expertise guarantees that the best solutions are delivered to meet the individual needs of its customers.

Putting clients and quality first Rajhans believes that ‘Quality is the foundation for building a customer’s trust’. That is why the company takes the utmost care in every single production process and meeting the highest quality standards. Best in class processes are applied to maintain the superior finish and optimal strength of its products. The company is committed to providing total customer care and satisfaction, not only

in terms of quality products and quality service, but also with respect to fast delivery and cost-effective pricing. Rajhans is also committed to delivering the highest quality machines both reliably and consistently. Therefore every step is taken to optimise the manufacturing process that is built into every machine that leaves the Rajhans factory. All of its screen changers and melt pumps are tested thoroughly several times at high temperatures with dry cycle movement of pistons, plungers etc. to confirm the dimensions of various vital parts. During the final inspection, all structural parts are checked against their respective specifications and for their functionality. Only then are the screen changers dispatched to clients. All Rajhans products are certified to TUV and SUD European quality standards and they also have the CE mark for quality, which equates to the highest German standards. “We are renowned for manufacturing precision, high quality screen changers for plastic process extrusion machines,” observed Hardit Parikh. “We offer melt-on systems for consistent material quality and for the die. We also produce die-cutters for plastic processes

Industry Europe 51

to make samples and use the recycling process to manufacture the final product. In addition, we manufacture die parts for a wide range of applications.” Mr Parikh added: “More than 20 per cent of our sales are going to export markets and we are now looking at new export regions such as South America, Brazil and South Africa and in the Far East countries we are targeting Vietnam and in the Middle East, Kuwait.”

Better by design Rajhans believes that innovation and design is critical to the success of its engineered products and has invested heavily in its own design and R&D department. In addition to offering superior quality and design, all machine parts are easily interchangeable. The company also has a highly qualified design team that is equipped with the latest design software and a state-of-the-art studio to put their skills into practice. This keeps Rajhans one step ahead of its competitors

52 Industry Europe

– a quality it intends to underline as it showcases its latest products at K 2106 in October. The Rajhans product portfolio includes screen changers, melt pumps, breaker plate cleaners and die face cutters. Its vertical machining unit is equipped with advanced technologies for handling critical machining parts, breaker plates and dies. In addition, the company also has a horizontal machining centre, as well as a computerised turning centre, radial drilling machines and other high precision equipment. The company’s melt pump products are designed for a wide range of applications from woven sack plants, masterbatch plants, sheet plants, film plants and tape plants, as well as for cable coating plants, recycling n plants and tubes and profiles plants, among many others. For further details of Rajhans latest innovative products and services visit:

FILTECH 2016: MAJOR FILTRATION EVENT IN COLOGNE FILTECH is the largest and most important filtration event worldwide. This exhibition is a must for all those concerned with designing, improving, purchasing, selling or researching filtration and separation equipment and services. FILTECH is the international platform and solution provider for all industries covering every market segment. The event will take place from October 11 to 13, 2016 and will once again be held at the new venue Koelnmesse in Cologne. Cologne is one of the most important centres for economy, trade and science. At the show, more than 350 exhibitors will feature targeted solutions for filtration tasks of all industries.

Industry Europe 53


he show is set to be another success. In 2015, FILTECH attracted over 12,000 participants over three days. At FILTECH 2015 67.9 per cent of all foreign guests came from Europe. A substantial increase was also registered in the number of trade visitors from Turkey, Poland, Italy, USA, France, Israel, Japan and India. At FILTECH 2015 more than 54 per cent of the trade visitors came from outside Germany, from 76 nations and all continents – they even travelled to Cologne from Kazastan, Jordan, Kenya and Quatar. Companies reported an overwhelming number of contacts, a marked willingness amongst trade visitors to invest, promising new business contacts from all over the world, quite specific contract negotiations and concrete business deals.

FILTECH offers a unique opportunity to meet and do business with top-level decision makers, with 36 per cent of attendees being top executives.

Satisfied exhibitors Exhibitors are pleased with what the show offers them. Peter Reich, Manager Filtration Products Division, Sandler GmbH, said about last year’s event: “In recent years, the number of visitors has increased along with the scale of the trade fair. Being a nonwovens manufacturer, the FILTECH brings together exactly the audience we are looking to address. Therefore, the FILTECH 2015 again was a great success for Sandler.” Frank Steegmanns, Key Account Manager Adhesives, Stockmeier Urethanes GmbH & Co. KG was also pleased with the event: “This was our third time at FILTECH and each time we exhibit we see huge growth. We have grown with FILTECH to become a world leading supplier of bonding and sealing solutions for filtration. FILTECH 2015 once again proved to be the perfect place to meet our current clients, introduce ourselves to new ones and discuss new ideas and applications. FILTECH brings together all parts of the industry, from across the globe, to share experiences and information. We are looking forward attending FILTECH 2016.”

FILTECH 2016 conference Accompanying the exhibition, a conference is organised. The FILTECH 2016 conference will once again feature the latest advances and techniques in liquid/solid and gas/particle separation (dust, gas & air 54 Industry Europe

Industry Europe 55

56 Industry Europe

Industry Europe 57

filtration) in three days of in depth exposure. Topics covered include solid-liquid separation, solid-gas separation, membrane processes, filter media, testing, instrumentation and control, product related processes, simulation and modelling as well as special topics. The conference features close to 200 technical papers, a plenary lecture and six keynote lectures presented by leading experts. Delegates profit from high-level knowledge transfer and learn about future trends and perspectives. Technology and know-how transfer is a main target. The FILTECH Conference is a must for everybody concerned with designing, improving, using, purchasing, selling or researching filtration and separation equipment – no matter from what industry, learn and network with an international audience. Conference participation includes proceedings featuring all papers in an Abstract Book plus full papers on USB Stick, welcome reception on 11 October 2016, lunches & refreshments during breaks, a Cologne public transport ticket valid 11–13 October 2016 as well as admission to the FILTECH 2016 exhibition and the catalogue.

Learning about filtration Also at FILTECH, there will be short courses available on October 10, 2016. Registration after July 28 costs €560. The first course covers solid/liquid separation. This one day course is of interest to engineers, scientists, managers and other technical personnel involved in solid-liquid separation in the process and other industries. You will find this course informative, regardless of whether you design, purchase, research or use F&S equipment. Plant engineers, technicians and operators will find the material directly applicable. Research students will value the expert introduction to the technologies. It is a comprehensive review of the processes involved in the separation of solids from liquids. 58 Industry Europe

The second course is all about fine dust separation, also lasts one day and is of interest to engineers, technicians, scientists, managers, and other personnel involved in gas-solid separation in the process and other industries. This course of interest, regardless of whether you design, purchase, research, or use dust separation equipment for product recovery, emission control, air cleaning or process gas cleaning. This course is a comprehensive review of the processes involved n in the separation of solid or liquid particles from gases.

FILTECH: The Filtration Event 2016 October 11 – 13 | Cologne, Germany More info:

MASTERCLASS IN WOVEN WIRE Haver and Boecker is a privately-owned family company that is a global leader in the design and manufacture of metal woven wire cloth for a wide range of filtration applications. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that continues to broaden its product portfolio and create new, innovative, and eco-friendly products.

Industry Europe 59


aver and Boecker began by producing wire cloth in Hohenlimburg, Germany in 1887. Today it is one of the world’s leading wire weaving companies with a global network of branches and manufacturing facilities. The headquarters of the family-owned and managed company is in Oelde, Westphalia, Germany. With more than 50 subsidiaries located across all five continents, the Haver and Boecker Group operates worldwide with over 3,000 employees and 150 representatives. In 2015 the company recorded sales of more than €450 million. The Haver and Boecker Wire Weaving Division conceptualises, designs and produces metal-woven wire cloth made of steel, stainless steel alloys and special materials such as titanium, Hastelloy, silver and many non-ferrous metals. The company processes and fabricates the woven structure into precision engineered products. These are used for screening and filtration applications by the chemical, plastics, automotive aviation and electronics industries. This is in addition many to other industries including the aviation, aerospace, electronics, foodstuffs and animal feed industries.

New, unique filtration media Haver and Boecker are planning to showcase an entirely new and unique filtration media at FILTECH this year that offers unsurpassed performance characteristics. The company will display its latest woven wire cloth products for filtration, cleaning, homogenising, protecting, securing and optimising, as well as its design and simulation capabilities. The company’s focus is centred on its newly developed three dimensional high performance metal filter cloth: Minimesh® RPD HIFLO-S.

60 Industry Europe

Haver and Boecker’s competitive advantage lies in its unique experience and continuous programme of research, which keeps it one step ahead of its competitors. This combination of tradition and innovation allows it to meet and usually exceed the high expectations of its customers. Furthermore, the exacting control of its production processes begins with its own design and manufacture of the machines that it uses and extends right through to its tightly controlled production processes. This in-depth knowledge not only guarantees its high quality products, but allows it to develop special types of weave to meet diverse and challenging customer specifications. The company’s high production capacities work in tandem with its large range of products held in stock, which offers a clear guarantee of supply for its worldwide customers.

Focus on optimisation Energy-efficiency optimisation is the foremost trend in the filtration industry today. Using less energy to produce more product in the same amount of time is a never-ending requirement in view of the growing demand for sustainable utilisation of resources. The company’s new Minimesh® RPD HIFLO-S family of products clearly meet these growing industry requirements. The main unique properties of this ground-breaking system include achieving twice the throughput volumes compared with conventional Dutch weave systems in the low micron pore size range. The product can also be supplied with corrosion and heat-resisting alloys unlike any other woven media in the low pore size range. This is in addition to as offering an extremely sharp cut-point, thanks to the Haver and Boecker precision pore technology (verified and certified by Whitehouse Scientific glass-bead challenge testing). Other major product benefits include excellent dirt-holding capacities and cleaning performance along with a high degree of mechanical stability thanks to its robust three-dimensional design. Finally the RPD HIFLO-S offers significantly longer service life for increased production runs and reliability.

New dimensions in filtration Where conventional filter cloths have reached their limits, the newly developed RPD HIFLO-S opens up new dimensions for filtration. Using an entirely new weaving technology developed by Haver and Boecker, a three dimensional pore geometry is created that makes industrial filtration processes more efficient, faster and more economical than ever before. The open surface over an area is significantly increased due to the unique new weaving structure. The medium’s flow-through rate can be doubled when compared to conventional filter cloths having the same pore size. In addition, the flow conditions are optimised and turbulence around the filter cloth is effectively avoided. This new filter cloth can be manufactured from standard diameter wires. This has a positive effect on cost. Moreover, it is now possible to weave special materials such as Avesta, Hastelloy, Inconel or titanium in the small pore range, which previously had not been possible. Thus for the very first time the Minmesh RPD HIFLO-S offers a corrosion and temperature resistant filter cloth with pore sizes below n 40um and a host of new product benefits. For further details of Haver and Boecker’s latest innovative products and services visit:

Industry Europe 61


A global leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing polyolefin stable fibres for non-woven applications, FiberVisions is a passionate promoter of more sustainable solutions. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to George Joncas, business director for the Americas, to learn how it is putting its visions into practice.


orldwide manufacturing company FiberVisions is the leader in polyolefin stable fibres for non-woven applications, as well as being the world’s leading supplier of bi-component fibres thanks to its joint venture ES FiberVisions. Dedicated to using the most technologically advanced manufacturing facilities, the company provides innovative products to industries including personal hygiene, textiles, automotive and construction. First established as Hercules Incorporated in the US in the early 1960, today FiberVisions is a globally active company that is owned by Indorama Ventures PLC. George Joncas, FiberVisions’ business director for the Americas, told Industry Europe how this setup supports the business mission and its customers’ needs. Mr Joncas observed: “Following our acquisition by Indorama in 2012 we have been able to enjoy an even stronger capability to develop fibre innovations that enable customers to successfully meet the ever-changing and increasing market demands and helps ensure that FiberVisions will remain the world leader in supplying bi-component and performance polyolefin fibres.” With a focus on delivering solutions, FiberVisions is known for innovation, high quality products and superior customer service. Its ongoing vision is to continue its more than 50 year success story as the undisputed world leader in its field through utilising proprietary technology and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to create and supply high performance products to its customers. “We have 62 Industry Europe

a four-point strategy to achieve this, with every element focused on customer satisfaction and building on the skills of our people,” Mr Joncas continued. “Firstly, we promise to develop and supply high quality products and a superior service to customers worldwide. Secondly, we will continue to invest in our R&D so we keep developing innovative solutions that meet today’s market challenges. Thirdly, we expect to expand our global capacity to meet the rising demand and, lastly, we shall continue to pursue strategic mergers and acquisitions that reinforce our innovation capabilities and expand our ability to serve customers.”

Extensive portfolio FiberVisions proudly provides the broadest product portfolio of any polyolefin stable fibre company in the world, and operates technologically advanced manufacturing sites in such diverse locations as Georgia (USA), Varde (Denmark) and Suzhou (China). Furthermore, it has a number of bi-component fibre sites across Asia, in China, Thailand and Japan. Mr Joncas noted, “We are well-positioned to meet customer supply needs wherever they are in the world.” The extensive product portfolio from FiberVisions is the perfect showcase for its services and core technologies. Its fibres are used in non-woven applications made by carding, wet lay, air lay and air laid web formation processes and consolidated by different technologies

such as thermal bonding, air through bonding, needle punching and spunlacing. Mr Joncas continued, “We have extensive capabilities throughout our entire product portfolio, all of which is focused on providing complete customer satisfaction with products and services that perfectly address their needs. Our capabilities include PP and PE monocomponent fibres, PP or PET core, hydrophilic, hydrophobic and other functional finishes and a range of fibre lengths. We also offer a range of fibre designs, with different shapes and cross sections available, as well as additives for enhanced performance. FiberVisions also manufactures a range of proprietary fibres for our customers.”

Ready for FILTECH The upcoming FILTECH exhibition is a great opportunity for FiberVisions to showcase its capabilities and meet with new and potential customers. The company plans to present a number of its bi-component and PP monocomponent fiber types under the Intercept™ brand to show solutions to a variety of filtration needs, such as improved filtration efficiency, improved dust holding capacity, increased filter media stiffness and reduced pressure drop. Mr Joncas explained, “Our strategy at the FILTECH exhibition is to identify and meet new potential filter media clients. We will promote our filtration technology

platforms for air and liquid filter media applications. We also hope to inform and educate European filtration customers of potential performance gains and add value to opportunities that may be achieved with our technology offerings.” Mr Joncas noted that the current challenges faced by the filtration industry are very much at the heart of FiberVisions’ new product development. “The need for better health, cleaner air and cleaner water supplies has been an impetus for improved water purification for drinking water and air treatment in the HVAC and transportation industries,” he said. “We have aligned our filtration developments on these industry trends and on specific customer needs so that we continue to be the proven partner in our field.” As the company looks forward to its next chapter, FiberVisions expects to continue its success with further global growth and an everincreased focused on innovation. Mr Joncas concluded: “We remain open to investment in the areas of capability, capacity and quality and we are excited to maintain our impressive reputation for meeting growing n market demands on both a local and a global level.” For more information please visit: or

Industry Europe 63

The TWE Group is one of the global leaders in the development and manufacture of nonwoven products and solutions. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that continues to expand and lead the nonwoven technology sector in its drive for sustainable products.


he TWE Group is one of the world’s biggest and most successful companies in its field. It was founded in 1912 in Emsdetten, Germany. The company operates 13 state-of-the-art production facilities across Europe, China and the United States. The TWE Group produces nonwovens for a diverse range of markets and a wide variety of applications. These range from filtration, automotive, living, building, cleaning, healthcare and hygiene. TWE started life as a jute weaving company and today specialises in the production of nonwoven products for a broad range of industries. With more than €350 million euros in revenue and over 1,500 employees worldwide, the TWE Group is one of the industry’s biggest and most respected players.

Innovative sustainability One of the company’s many strengths is its exceptionally broad range of products and services in filtration as well as air and liquid filtration. The company’s filter media for HVAC, spray-booths, liquid filtration, process air and vacuum cleaner bags is at the forefront of market technology in terms of both performance and innovation. It has subsequently become the manufacturer of choice for many companies and sets the high quality industry standards that others endeavour to achieve. TWE’s versatile range of air filter media contains roll goods, media for cut pieces, pocket filter and pleated elements, as well as speciali64 Industry Europe

ties such as flame retardant and media containing micro-fibres. For liquid filtration the company’s hydroentangled, needled and chemical bonded nonwoven media sets new standards in its sector. Its solid know-how and modern labs offer the company’s customers considerable added value and its international R&D and sales teams work in close partnership with its clients with a future-orientated focus designed to create ever more innovative nonwoven solutions. Dr. Elke Schmalz, R&D Leader, said, “We produce nonwovens for almost every conceivable application and this certainly gives us a major advantage; because of this we use synergies and can be very flexible as our wide range of technologies is globally comparable. This is also true of our dual and triple-layer nonwovens, which in turn allows us to design modular sandwich products e.g. made by hydroentangling. This is a possibility to include in sandwich products fine fibre layers, such as meltblown layers. Other media designs as well as high loft storage layers with a fine fibre layer, stiff supporting nonwoven with coarse fiber storage layer or nonwovens with incorporated functional particles can be manufactured by needling, thermal or mechanical bonding. Simon Hueweler, Marketing Services, added, “Globally the trend is towards more sustainable and effective filter media regarding fine particle separation. We have realised and embraced this trend by developing filtration textiles that ensure the needs of our customers concerning their customised processes, and more environmentally friendly products, are met in full. We see big opportunities in the market especially for thin nonwoven products and innovative material combinations and have developed advanced energy-saving and ecological filter media too.”

Simon commented, “The most important products to be showcased at Filtech will be our nonwovens for HVAC and other pre-filter media, in particular those for coarse and medium dust filters. In addition, our wide range of liquid filtration products will also be on display. These products are excellent for filtration of emulsions and oils. We have also created belt filter media from which we expect to generate a high attention at the show. Our new synthetic engine air media portfolio will also be showcased at the Filtech trade fair.” The company told Industry Europe that it plans to understand more about new market trends regarding filtration products. This is in addition to what the products of tomorrow will look like and how the company can help drive the new technology forward and create more value-added services and options for its customers. As far as the world markets are concerned, TWE has won a number of major contracts in the Middle East, India and the USA and it is these markets that are its main drivers for global growth. n For further details of the TWE Group’s innovative products and services visit:

New products showcased At the forthcoming Filtech International trade fair, TWE will be showcasing many of its existing products alongside the company’s latest environmentally friendly range of advanced filtration products. Industry Europe 65



CFF is a global technology leader in the development and manufacture of organic cellulose fibres for a broad range of industries. Philip Yorke talked to Markus Dreher, the company’s product manager for the filtration division, about its latest products that minimise waste and optimise the purity of liquids in precoat filtration.

66 Industry Europe

Unique sustainable innovation


eadquartered in Thuringia, Germany, CFF is a privately-owned company that was founded in 1977 and manufactures customised natural cellulose fibres. These are produced exclusively from organic and renewable raw materials. They are used in a wide variety of industries including filtration, road construction, cosmetics, animal feed, pharmaceuticals, building chemicals, industrial applications and the food industry. The company has a global network of sales and service agents that support its international customer base. The diversity and naturalness of its products have contributed largely to CFF’s success. Innovative technologies combine with the power of nature to create a wide variety of sustainable products. The company’s well-known brands include TECHNOCEL®, TOPCEL®, SANACEL®, DIACEL® and SENSOCEL®.

Over the years CFF has developed countless products based upon the use of natural raw materials and despite being passed through an intensive manufacturing process, they remain integrated into the natural cycle: ‘from nature and back to nature’. CFF is fully certified to ISO 50001, which ensures that it is committed to an efficient and sustainable use of energy and to the long-term reduction in its energy consumption. Dreher said, “Our programme of developing truly sustainable natural fibre products is very special and we provide tailor-made solutions for our customers worldwide. The market for natural cellulose fibre applications is growing every year and we are already active in more than 80 countries on five continents. Another unique aspect of our manufacturing processes is that it is impossible to buy machinery from stock to manufacture products like ours. And so the equipment we use has been developed or modified in-house. We are one of just a handful of companies that specialise in the manufacture of natural cellulose fibres and we are one of the market leaders in our chosen discipline. “We provide sustainable materials to a broad range of industries, the biggest sector is the road construction industry and we also supply products for a diverse range of industrial applications with different raw materials designed to offer different grades of purity. This is especially true of recycled materials where we are able to offer grades of the highest purity that are outstanding.” Industry Europe 67

Dreher added, “We work in close partnership with universities and institutions and are constantly trying to improve our product portfolio and the sourcing of high quality raw materials. At the forthcoming FILTECH Trade Fair we are showcasing products developed for a range of manufacturing industries, which includes products required for liquid filtration using organic natural fibres. Thus we are offering a clear green alternative to the use of mineral filter aids like diatomaceous earth and perlite and thanks to our optimisation process we are able to lower consumption rates with far less waste. “There are many differentiators between us and our competitors. For example, we are at the cutting edge of niche and new markets, as well as those of mature markets such as food, roadbuilding and precoat filtration, where the trend is very much towards the use of alternative natural, organic products. As a result, we expect to see strong organic growth in the future thanks to our new and smarter organic fibre products.” CFF actively practices its ecological responsibility towards society as a whole and one of its most important objectives is its continuous improvement of the environmental protection practiced by the company and its partners. “We are committed to observing the laws of environmental protection in our company in all areas and for the long term protection of our planet,” commented Dreher.

Natural efficiency In the area of filtration CFF leads the field with its DIACEL® product range. These high-tech products are used as filter aids in a wide range of filtration applications and in direct contrast to the mineral filtration agents diatomaceous earth and perlite, are made of organic,

68 Industry Europe

Mr Dreher

regenerating raw materials. DIACEL® can be used as precoat as well as in the ‘bodyfeed’. These sophisticated filter aids are not only suitable for manufacturing industries in the non-food area but can also be used in the food and pharmaceutical industry. The production standards at CFF set the benchmark for others and its customers trust our production standards according to FCC and GMP. For food filtration DIACEL® is the product of choice for the filtration of sugar, beer, wine, fruit juice and kitchen oils. Pharmaceutical applications include antibiotics, proteins, blood plasma, vitamins, and cell disruptions. DIACEL® offer many unique product benefits including low consumption volumes, material protection of the filtration system, extension of filter service lives and medical compatibility, which is complimented by environmental compatibility and sustainability. n For further details of CFF’s latest innovative organic fibre products visit:

PIONEERING SMARTER OPERATIONAL PRACTICES 4A.Works is a unique, multi-level platform that offers automated solutions in the manufacturing industry to improve interaction between buyers and producers worldwide. The marketplace expedites searches of better price offerings, eliminates language barriers, converts technical standards that vary from country to country, assists with the conclusion of contracts, oversees the production process, controls quality, manages payment transactions, and secures on-time delivery of the order. Philip Yorke found all of this out from Volodymyr Berezhniy, the ‘4A.Works’ co-founder and Business Development Director.


2015, a group of highly experienced manufacturers and marketers based in the Ukraine, realized that there was a huge industrial trade gap within nearby markets over the last few years. This group decided to utilise the opportunity and take advantage of the country’s low labour costs and operating overheads by establishing a company that offered a range of bespoke services to European manufacturing industries. As a result, 4A.Works was born. 4A.Works has already signed up a number of contracts secured with a broad range of small and medium-size companies in various industries, including one of Europe’s biggest oil & gas equipment producers.

Scientific approach The Company sees huge potential in the European marketplace for a unique package of technological automation and turnkey services that it develops. The platform connects European small and medium size enterprises, adding value by finding significantly cheaper (as much as 30-50 per cent) production solutions of metalwork elements, while securing the same or better quality and guaranteeing on-time delivery in various markets. Such markets include automotive, agricultural, transportation, finishing with heavy equipment, and oil and gas. Ukraine’s current labour force is around 10-12 times cheaper with similar or higher expertise and service quality than in Europe. Currently, 4A has aligned around 50 top-quality manufacturers in Eastern Europe. The process is very simple: (1) go to the web-site and upload CAD and other specifications with a price offer; (2) 4A will come back, clarify details, and will work promptly to find better offers from the most reliable and trustworthy manufacturers sourced. 4A focuses on the machine tool industry, where it has the experience and tools to control each production stage, as well as an extensive database that helps it to find a manufacturing solution in a prompt manner, therefore connecting Europe and the rest of the world. Berezhniy said: “Currently, we are focused on metal-work related products. Our services and equipment include welding, cutting, assembly, stamping, etc. For example, we performed a big order for an Italian client that includes CNC lathes, milling and laser cutting, water jet-cutting CNC punch shock cutting, and EDM (electrical discharge machining). In the long-term, we are looking to work not just with steel, but also with other materials like timber, and plastics. We have already aligned manufacturers for these sectors...”

“Globally, the size of the machine tool market is worth over $70 billion and we are already connecting with India, the UAE, South America and the USA, however, we are open to doing business with customers from anywhere in the world. Our web-site is available in 11 languages including most European languages as well as Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese. At the present time our key markets are Germany, Italy, Spain, France and the UK. We offer a lot of potential savings to our customers between demand and supply where we can build automated solutions and streamlined international logistical systems.”

Trust through Communication and Control Connecting the industrial markets has never been easy. This is due to a number of different factors including language barriers, mentality, different technological standards, etc. It is challenging, but the law of supply and demand will drive the lowest-value-added part of the supply chain to where wages are lowest. European markets are very fragmented, but manufacturing goes digital and it connects the world; this means that a third great shift is now taking place. It will push products to be made in a more economic manner and in smaller numbers, with more flexibly and with a much lower input of labour force. This is primarily due to new materials that are used as well as brand new processes, such as 3D printers, easy-to-use robots and new sharing automized manufacturing solutions that are available online. Ukraine has everything in place: a great location, experienced and trained engineers, advanced equipment and smart software developers. How do we establish trust and reliability, and automate processes? That’s what 4A is building: “Even though we work only with the most reliable manufacturers, but still, when we have tight deadlines, we usually sit on production line nights through, with engineers, to make sure timing and quality are in place: we keep our promises!”, says Petro Berezhnyi, co-founder and CEO of 4A.

Investing in the future With the projected growth the Company has forecasted, 4A is looking to hire experienced engineers from Europe in order to obtain maximum control of the supply chain between the manufacturer and its customers. It is also planning to establish a concierge service with professional engineers to help take care of its customers’ production requirements, 24/7. By the end of 2016, the company is looking to raise $1.5 million for market expansion and software automation developments. “Imagine you’re connected to the production lines of the numerous manufacturers in Europe: you know exactly who will perform your order, you know exactly what equipment he will use, and you are confident that he is reliable, 100 per cent, whilst you still save 30 per cent of your costs for production… we’re aligning the manufacturing world”, re-affirms Vasyl n Berezhniy, the third founder and father of Petro and Volodymyr. For further details of 4A’s revolutionary platform visit:

Industry Europe 69


TOS VARNSDORF is a global producer of machine tools and a wide range of associated accessories. The company has its own design team to develop the machines and a strong manufacturing base to produce them. Romana Moares spoke to Jan Rýdl, the company’s managing director, about recent developments and its plans for the future.


OS VARNSDORF offers horizontal milling and boring machines, floor type horizontal boring mills, machining centres, and special machines, as well as accessories, such as milling heads, milling attachment, facing heads, add-on tables, clamping equipment, cooling equipment and standard accessories. The company serves the power, transport, mining and machine construction sectors as well as general engineering industries. In addition to supplying the domestic market (Czech Republic), TOS Varnsdorf sells its products in Germany, Finland, Poland and the Russian Federation. The company was founded in 1903 and is based in Varnsdorf, Czech Republic with an international network of offices. Its tradition goes back over 100 years but its modern history began in 1995 when the former state owned enterprise was privatised by means of direct

70 Industry Europe

sale to a group of Czech investors, led by the current managing director’s father. The company was fully transformed into a modern business, which today ranks among the major producers of machine tools worldwide. In 2004, a joint venture was established in China – TOS Kunming Machine Tool Co. – significantly boosting the company’s activities on global markets. In 2012 another joint venture, GRS Ural, was formed in Russia. In 2015, TOS achieved a total unconsolidated turnover of CZK 1.7 billion (€64 million).

Comprehensive offering “Our company offers comprehensive technological solutions supplemented by auxiliary services for metal parts machining of over 1m3 dimensions requiring 0.01mm machining accuracy,” says the managing

director. “In other words, our offer includes medium to large horizontal machine tools and machining centres and a wide range of accessories which not only increase the universal use of our machines but, most importantly, the productivity,” he claims. He further explains that the products may be generally divided into three groups. The first covers floor type machines for machining medium to heavy parts. Typical customers include companies from the engineering, automotive and transport sectors. The second group contains floor type machines for heavy and large parts made particularly for the shipping, power and mining sectors. The third product group covers machining centres with a high degree of machining automation and diagnostics. “Historically, our best-seller has been, without a doubt, the WHN13CNC machine, which was introduced in 1968 and has since

been delivered to almost 3000 customers. Obviously, it has been modified and upgraded many times but its original design still remains the same,” says Mr Rýdl. For TOS VARNSDORF, comprehensive customer care includes offering a number or pre- and after sales services, such as the development of technological and machining time studies, 3D simulations, selection of the most suitable tools, fixture design, after sales support, spare part sale and many others.

Modern production base Production is concentrated in the company’s parent site in Varnsdorf (near the German border) where all the main components – such as machine frames, special accessories and spindles – are made, using first

Industry Europe 71

class technologies. The site also houses the research and development centre. “As was mentioned earlier, we have two more production plants in China and Russia making machines according to our documentation to suit the needs of those two markets. We also operate a separate foundry in the Czech Republic, located in Rumburk, covering about 50 per cent of our needs for castings used for our machines,” says the managing director. He adds that current capacity is sufficient but, if required, the company is ready to invest in its extension. “Each year, we invest about €5 million into new technology. Recent investments have included a machining-milling centre for spindle and other rotary parts precision machining, a large portal centre and a new ion nitride furnace for component surface treatment. We also invest in the installation of machines that we make ourselves, such as the recent WRD DUO and WHtec130 machines in the heavy mechanics section,” says Mr Rýdl. He reveals that the biggest investment in 2016 will be the 72 Industry Europe

Industry Europe 73

purchase of a Japanese machining centre worth over €1 million to be installed in the light mechanics shop, in order to make precise parts for the bodies of milling heads and other similar parts.

Staying focused TOS VARNSDORF’s export markets include the EU, followed by Russia, China, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Egypt and South Africa. In the past 20 years, its machines have been shipped to over 40 countries worldwide. “As over 80 per cent of total output is exported, we have been striving to provide the best possible care to customers even in far-away markets such as North America, Asia and South Africa, just as we do in the domestic market. This task represents a considerable challenge for a company of our size, and was one of the reasons we decided, recently, to establish the joint ventures abroad to help us meet the needs of these distant markets.” Mr Rýdl stresses that the ability to keep pace with global competitors is the driving factor behind the company’s product development. Each year, TOS VARNSDORF comes up with a major improvement of its machines’ technical parameters or completely new machine designs to reflect customers’ requirements. In 2015 the company introduced two new machines and three new types of milling heads. In 2016, a brand new machine for the WHT110 product line (horizontal boring machine and centre) and two more types of milling heads will be introduced to the market.

74 Industry Europe

“Market conditions are tough and competition severe but there is no point in complaining about external conditions. We need to stay fully focused on meeting customers’ demands and finding solutions to their needs that would maximise the value added, by applying our technological solutions while maintaining the required profitability,” concludes n Mr Rýdl.

Industry Europe 75


Herbert Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG is a German manufacturer of tyre equipment and machinery, and develops tyre technology solutions in close partnership with tyre manufacturers the world over.

76 Industry Europe


erbert Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG is a family owned business headed by managing director Matthias Walter who, during the interview, was accompanied by his wife Sabine Walter. As we shall see, this structure brings benefits for both customers and employees. Matthias Walter begins: “An obvious advantage of being a family business is the hassle-free decision making process – short communication lines between us and the customers make it possible to shorten the complete production cycle. An advantage for our employees is that they know the management and us, the owners, on a personal level, which creates a bond that turns into enthusiasm at the workplace. We have our own football team, brass band, and we give our employees private health insurance.” Herbert was founded in 1905 by Leonhard Herbert in Frankfurt am Main and began by manufacturing tyre moulds. Later on it transitioned to the manufacture of machines for the vulcanisation of tyres and tubes. Herbert expanded its product portfolio with the production of tyre confectioning machines. Matthias Walter: “Today, an important part of our business model is based on development partnerships with tyre manufacturers: they

have their own machines, but nobody likes to keep working isolated in their own backyard – they come to us to see what the world of tyre manufacturing has to offer. Since we work for most of the world’s tyre manufacturers, Herbert is a meeting place for ideas, new concepts and production methods.”

Turnover The company employs 450 people worldwide, of which some 300 work at the company headquarters in Hünfeld, in central Germany, between Frankfurt and Kassel. Thanks to the efforts of all its treasured employees, the company has been able to maintain a stable turnover growth of between 5–8 per cent annually. Matthias Walter: “When I bought the company back from National Standard in 1991, we knew that the advantages of a family owned business could boost our relationships with customers: shorter decision cycles – less time spent on making calls back and forth – means getting down to business quicker. Our turnover for 2015 is €60 million, of which 20 per cent was generated in Europe, and 80 per cent in the rest of the world.”

Industry Europe 77

Tyre moulds Of the €60 million turnover, the tyre moulds department took responsibility for €30 million in sales. Herbert is one of the very few in the tyre industry that has moulds with a 6.5-metre diameter – especially developed for earthmover tyres. Matthias Walter: “Normally we invest between three and four million euros in new equipment per year. Last year it was eight million, in part for tyre moulds with a 6.5-metre diameter – which is quite rare in the tyre industry. As a matter of fact, customers from other industry sectors such as mining, wind energy and shipping have shown interest in our know-how and production capabilities. Of the

€30 million sales generated by our tyre moulds department, between eight and 10 million euros are generated by sales of tyre moulds for the truck and earthmover sector.”

Herbert’s global investments Tyre manufacturers the world over work with Herbert, which is reflected in its employees working outside of Germany: the company employs 60 people in the USA, 20 in Russia, and its Czech partner company employs another 300. Matthias Walter: “Everybody has heard the good news about Iran being welcomed again as a trading partner, and for us as well this is

Eaton Germany GmbH For nearly 20 years, Eaton Hydraulics is supplying HERBERT MASCHINENBAU with hydraulic systems for tire vulcanizing presses. The reliable Eaton Vane pumps, and industrial valves have provided long and stable service life for this demanding application. Eaton delivers also smart frequency controlled solutions that increase energy efficiency , improve productivity, extend component life and minimize heat production. Our solutions offer technical expertise and a solution-oriented approach to help our customers achieve the best possible results. The complete hydraulic power portfolio includes hydraulic pumps, valves, cylinders, motors, fluid conveyance, and electric components such as a frequency converter avoid interface problems.

78 Industry Europe

WEMAG WEMAG–Your partner since 1936: Machining, clamping technology, metrology, hand tools, power tools, welding, pneumatic, special chemicals, plant equipment, fixing systems and safety at work. Our aim is to offer a satisfying management of everyday trading and a sufficient after sales service as well as individual solutions for specific customer’s problems. Quality has been our most important asset for the last 80 years. We cooperate exceptionally with suppliers that meet the high demands on material, manufacture, safety and high supply chain security of our industrial and professional craft customers. The WEMAG logistic network provides more than 90.000 products within a short span of time to every place in Germany. Deliveries abroad are not a problem, too. We have gained great experience in exporting goods to other EU and third-party countries. Together with our longtime forwarders we provide goods directly from our stock as well as from the stock of the Premium Werkzeughandel group. The expertise of our sales representatives is a huge asset, counseling on customers’ site our daily business. In addition to that we are constantly enhancing our Online shop (www. in order to make ordering as simple and efficient as possible for our customers.

good news. We started doing business with Iran 20 years ago, and got hurt by the sanctions imposed some 13 to 15 years ago. Getting back to business means we can make up for the decline in business we have felt on the Russian market, mainly caused by a weak ruble. The opposite is true for the dollar, which compared to the euro makes imports for Americans attractive. We have invested between three and four million dollars in new equipment in Akron, Ohio, the tyre city of America, to locally serve the major American tyre manufacturers.”

Matthias Walter concludes: “Of course we are very proud of having won this quality award. All of the major tyre manufacturers in the world trust us and like to work with us. We are in India, in the USA, in Finland, of course, in Indonesia and in Pakistan. They will all be glad to hear that we have just finished developing a new laser guided moulding process, and that in the course of 2016 we will be n introducing a water guided laser cutting process.”

Strategic partner quality award Since 2011, a major tyre manufacturer has presented a range of supplier awards to outstanding providers of goods and services. The ceremony was held in September 2015 in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and out of 30,000 suppliers, of which 400 are recognised as being ‘strategic partners’, only three received a quality award in recognition of their exceptional contribution to the group’s high standards. Herbert was one of the three suppliers, and came first in the ‘manufacturing purchases’ category.

Industry Europe 79


80 Industry Europe

Recticel Interiors CZ, together with Recticel Most, are important production plants within the Belgian Recticel Group, a manufacturer of polyurethane products. The Czech plants are part of the group’s Automotive Division, and thanks to increased demand from leading carmakers both are expected to achieve significant growth in the coming years. Romana Moares reports.


ecticel, a Belgian Group headquartered in Brussels, operates predominantly throughout Europe but it is active also in the United States and Asia. The group has 98 units in 27 countries employing 7600 people worldwide. Its history goes back to the mid-18 century, although the activities of today’s company are focused on polyurethane processing and are divided into four core divisions: Automotive, Bedding, Flexible Foam and Insulation. The Automotive sector is very important for the group – it develops, produces and commercialises interior solutions (dashboard skins, door panels and other interior parts) on the basis of its unique, certified Colo-Sense® Lite spray technology. Under the motto ‘Passion for comfort’ Recticel strives to make an essential difference in driver comfort. The Automotive lines operate 10 production plants: one in the States, two in Germany, two in the Czech Republic and five in China (some of which are currently under construction).

Czech operations The group has two factories in the Czech Republic: one in Mlada Boleslav, the other in Most. “The two Czech plants are the largest and their importance is growing,” says Pavel Vokurka, plant manager of Recticel Interiors CZ in Mlada Boleslav, the larger of the two facilities. “Our plant generates almost 30 per cent of the division’s turnover, with the total output of both plants making up about 45 per cent.” Recticel Interiors CZ was established as a green field development to support the group’s growing activities. In 2001, it started as a small factory employing 50 people, and series production for its first project – dashboard polyurethane skin for Mercedes Vito and Viano – was launched in 2003. Other contracts followed for BMW, Opel, Škoda-Auto, Volvo, VW, Scania and others. Over the years it has grown into a large operation covering 15,000 square metres and employing almost 500 people. Industry Europe 81

In 2007, Recticel won a production contract for the Mercedes E-class and it was assigned to the Czech operation. To this end, the second subsidiary, RAI MOST, was established in 2007. Series production for the E-class was launched in 2010, which was followed in 2011 by production for the Peugeot 408. The facility’s core production today consists of dashboard skins, door panels, passenger boxes and other components for car manufacturers.

Skin as required “Basically, our core ‘spraying’ technology involves the spraying of polyurethane mixtures into heated moulds or polyurethane mass into special closeable forms. This technology quickly gained the attention of the leading players in the automotive industry. The second most important technology for us involves foaming the actual sprayed parts

82 Industry Europe

together with solid bearers,” says Mr Vokurka. “The desired outcome is a perfect harmony of surfaces throughout the entire interior, which is becoming more and more important for our demanding customers. This is one of Recticel’s key competitive advantages.” The company’s production portfolio is regularly expanded, to reflect current trends for reduced weight and emissions and also to introduce new products to win additional contracts from both current and new customers. While Recticel started as a typical Tier 2 supplier, its products are now sold to Tier 1 manufacturers or even OEMs. The focus is, as Mr Vokurka explains, on increasing the added value and thus boosting sales. But the Czech plants are by no means only focused on manufacturing processes. Some 3–4 years ago, applied research and development was transferred to RAI MOST where a specific department

was established to focus on the development and production of technological assemblies as well as new materials and applications. Recticel’s customers include renowned and traditional carmakers such as Grupo Antolin, IAC, Faurecia, PVT, Visteon, Decoma and many others. “We supply directly to VW, cover the almost entire range of current Volvo lines and very recently, for the first time in the company’s history, we signed contract with Audi with production and delivery planned to take place two years from now,” says Mr Vokurka.

Future growth Recticel’s development in the Czech Republic has been a history of ongoing investment. Mr Vokurka explains that the group generally invests around €10 million in technology upgrades each year, of which a substantial proportion is spent on the Czech factories. As a result of continuous capacity extension, Recticel Interiors CZ has recently built a new storage facility, while the former store was turned into a production hall to support growing demand. In 2016 further investment in production technologies is planned in order to meet new project demands. Similarly, RAI MOST is also in the process of

increasing production capacity. According to Mr Vokurka, the Czech plants expect to increase their turnover by around 25 per cent in the next 2–3 years. The group’s largest investments will, however, be made in China. Mr Vokurka stresses that in the next few years the focus will be on the successful startup of projects in this market. “The Czech plants provide full support to our Chinese colleagues so that the startup is as smooth as possible. This is currently the most important goal,” he says. In the future, the company wants to continue to develop and employ new, more environmentally friendly materials. There will also be a focus on the development of new materials of the Compo-Lite® type (bearers of various elements in car interiors), where Recticel has achieved very low weights. The general strategy is to continue to provide first class products to existing clients, as well as winning new ones. “In this context, I would like to thank our employees without whom no success would be possible. We have been though some turbulent years and they have carried the company through. I hope that they will keep their enthusiasm and commitment in the next challenging years n so we can grow further,” concludes Mr Vokurka.

Industry Europe 83

OUTSTANDING POLISH CLEANING PRODUCTS LAKMA Group comprises a number of companies which together form one of the largest Polish manufacturers of building and household chemical products. LAKMA Strefa Ltd specialises in the production of leading household cleaning products, which include renowned brands such as SIDOLUX, SOLLUX organic cleaning products and a range of Perła laundry hybrid capsules. Piotr Sadowski reports.

84 Industry Europe

Mr Maciej Paluch Vice-president of the Board.


he leading company in the group, LAKMA, was founded in 1988 and has since become one of the leaders on the Polish and European market for household and professional detergents, as well as other products, including construction chemicals. The company’s focus is to continuously develop new technologies and products, while at the same time caring for the environment and consumers. With 28 years of experience, LAKMA has developed many innovative and renowned product lines, including the famous SIDOLUX range of household detergents, organic cleaning products under the SOLLUX brand, and Perlux, a hybrid laundry product combining washing powder and gel in a single dissolvable capsule. Maciej Paluch, vice-president and chairman of the board of LAKMA, gives a short overview of the history of the company, including the key milestone of the introduction of the SIDOLUX brand in the 1990s. “This marked the important step away from construction chemicals towards household detergents,” says Mr Paluch. “In 1999 we built a brand new factory in the Katowice Special Economic Zone and a year later LAKMA Strefa was focusing only on the production of household cleaning products and detergents. The new owner of the company put a strong emphasis on ensuring its products were based on safe ingredients and water, thus minimising any negative impact on the environment and the health and safety of users.”

Thus, SIDOLUX turned out to be the most successful invention for cleaning, including renovation of floors, in both Poland and subsequently in many markets abroad. Then in 2010 the company introduced a brand new eco-friendly line of products called Green Vision, which uses biodegradable ingredients and is certified with the EU ‘ECO-LABEL’ mark.

Developing Perlux and SOLLUX LAKMA continued to research the market in order to develop ever-more innovative domestic cleaning solutions. One finding of this research, which was not just limited to Poland but can be seen in dozens of other markets, were that by far the most widely used domestic cleaning product is washing powder. “However, washing powder on its own has inherent faults, not least in the fact that it is very often overdosed: consumers think that the more powder they use, the better the washing result will be, which is completely untrue – not to mention the increased negative impact on the environment and actual damage to clothing,” explains Mr Paluch. “The answer to this problem came in 2013 in the form of hybrid washing powder and gel capsules, contained in a water-dissolvable film, which we called Perlux. This was the first such product in the world, followed in 2015 by a competitive solution from Germany.

Industry Europe 85

However, various tests have proven that Perlux Compact White and other capsules in the range are still the best and most effective for cleaning all types of stains on all kinds of clothing.” Every Perlux capsule contains two pouches, one with 6.5g of gel and the second with 17g of powder. This is it: there are no other additives and one capsule is sufficient to wash 4kg of medium dirty fabrics in medium hard water, at 40°C. Prior to the development of Perlux capsules, in order to achieve the same washing result a consumer would need to use 130g of washing powder. In the case of heavier stains, the temperature can be raised to 60°C and two capsules are used – still significantly less than when using ordinary powder.

86 Industry Europe

The focus on reducing the environmental impact of products as well as making them as safe as possible for users, including those suffering from allergies, has also led the company to further develop its Green Vision range. With the introduction of SOLLUX Organic Clean, LAKMA has created a range of domestic cleaning products based solely on natural organic ingredients, mostly derived from plants and completely free of synthetic ingredients. The products are non-toxic and fully biodegradable, and, importantly harmless to water-living organisms. Within the SOLLUX Organic Clean brand, consumers can choose from products for dishwashing, cleaning of floors and surfaces, kitchens, bathrooms, as well as for washing fruit and vegetables, and disinfecting baby feeding bottles and dummies.

Strong in Poland and abroad The largest percentage of LAKMA’s products are still sold on the Polish market. Nonetheless, for its Perlux line, LAKMA is opening offices in Germany, Russia, Belarus, Czech Republic and Slovakia. In addition, for other product ranges such as, for example, SIDOLUX, the company works with local distributors across eastern markets and also increasingly in the west, including Austria, France, Spain and the UK. “The most important focus for development is the further expansion of sales both in Poland and across export markets,” adds Mr Paluch. “We are present in both the traditional and modern distribution market in Poland as well as abroad. We cooperate with leading suppliers who are regularly checked and audited for quality, thus ensuring the highest standards for our products. We are also in the process of securing the BRC certificate which is crucial for export distribution.” Furthermore, it is important to note that LAKMA works together with leading research institutes that independently check the quality and safety of its products. In terms of future growth, the focus is very much on continued organic growth and on exports, particularly on developing cooperation with trading across the globe when it comes to the Perlux line. “We are also looking to invest in improving our technological back-up, further increasing efficiency and safety and improving the working conditions for our employees, which, needless to say, are already some of the most staff-friendly amongst our competitors,” n concludes Mr Paluch.

Industry Europe 87


For over a century, the Focchi Group has been providing innovative solutions for building envelopes, using different materials and technology for high profile projects handled by real estate investors and international architectural firms. Daniele Garavaglia reports on the reasons behind this Italian company’s remarkable success.


he Focchi Group’s calling card is the tallest skyscraper in the new Milan skyline: the Allianz Tower, designed by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, who chose, for its façade systems, the group’s unique, slightly curved structural units with triple cold bent triple glazing and ventilated glazed coatings. “We deal with the design, construction and installation of curtain walls for large buildings. They are mainly made of aluminium and glass, but today the concept has expanded to become, more generally, the exterior of a building. Many other materials, including ceramic tiles, metal sheets of various kinds, natural and reconstructed stones and terracotta are used,” explains commercial director Massimo Corsini.

Major projects Established in 1914, the family-run Focchi Group is headquartered in Rimini and has its own branch in London, employing 150 people overall with a turnover of €50 million. It is a leader in the design, 88 Industry Europe

production and installation of complete building envelopes and it has worked on some landmark projects, including: the construction of the first buildings in Italy with structural silicone technology, Ircaer in Bologna and Lingotto in Turin, followed by the Haas Haus in Vienna. It was also the first company to adopt aluminium and glass technology on large surfaces in the naval sector, with the construction of 23 large cruise ships. Other projects include: the design and construction of innovative ‘bomb-blast’ façades, used in the Marks & Spencer building in Manchester; the new headquarters of the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square; and the realisation of the largest suspended bolted curtain walling system in Italy, for the Pirelli Headquarters in Milan.

A tailored approach The company’s strength lies in its ability to work closely with architects on an individual basis, to create dedicated and customised

Industry Europe 89

Sika Services

systems. “For this reason, we have no product catalogue. All our works are unique, created in association with the most important architects world-wide, such as Libeskind, Foster, Gregotti, Botta, Boeri and Fuksas,” Corsini says. The group works with a select team of material and component suppliers who are able to make very high quality products and meet delivery schedules. The quality department is constantly involved in the verification processes, starting right from the factories of the sub-suppliers. Production and assembly are developed in the

90 Industry Europe

Rimini plant, where a new external 14,000m2 logistics area has been created and an expansion of the manufacturing space is in the pipeline. “Working on orders for large buildings, we follow the evolution of the civil construction market, where our local partners are investors and developers of real estate projects, architects and general contractors,” adds Corsini. This explains the ongoing expansion of commercial activities: “In our long history, we have worked and delivered projects for many different geographical areas.”

Industry Europe 91

He continues: “However, the evolution in operating procedures has meant that today it is not possible to optimally pursue a sales policy by project: instead it is necessary to focus on markets, choosing them by targets according to their general characteristics (opportunities, profitability, risks, barriers, etc.), and then trying to seize the opportunities lying within.” Under this new strategy, the Focchi group has focused its operations on the Italian and the British market, looking to the UK as a springboard into North America.

Future outlook The group has a sharp vision of the future: “Our Business Plan envisages moderate, progressive growth. This target can be achieved

92 Industry Europe

not only by enhancing our ability in seizing and managing opportunities, but also by looking for the more relevant market segments. We want to be associated more and more with ambitious and complex projects. This is attainable only through constant endeavour in the training of our employees, especially young people.” And there will be benefits for future generations, thanks to the sustainability policy pursued by Focchi: “The CO2 emissions from buildings during their life cycle can be significantly reduced through the adoption of sustainable technologies and awareness of architectural choices. Focchi translates research, experience and ethics into energy-efficient solutions and active proposals for new renovations n aimed at energy saving. Sustainability is a matter of choice.”


ROLLING STOCK DAKO-CZ is a leading manufacturer of pneumatic, electro mechanic and hydraulic brakes for rail vehicles with a proven track record going back two centuries. The company is now looking at new business opportunities in the Far East. Romana Moares reports.


AKO-CZ supplies brake systems and components for cargo and passenger rail vehicles, urban rail transport units, engines, underground transport vehicles and trams. Rail vehicles equipped with DAKO brakes can be seen not only in Europe but also in Algeria, Malaysia, Indonesia or China, where the company cooperates with leading rail vehicle manufacturers and operators of mass rail transport. The company has its own research and development centre, a proprietary testing laboratory and a design centre. This year, DAKO celebrates a major anniversary – it commemorates 200 years since its establishment.

200 years in the market The company’s unique know-how is based on a strong tradition: its history goes back to 1816, when a casting and mechanical engineering factory was founded in Třemošnice. After 1920, the company’s core Industry Europe 93

business was expanded to include products for the railway industry. “In terms of our current production, the true milestone came in 1926, when the then factory included brakes into its production portfolio,” says managing director Ladislav Cheben. In the 1950s DAKO started to manufacture and assemble brake systems of its own design. But progress did not stop there. International success was achieved with CV1 and CV2 distributors for international railway and in 1995 the first brake systems for trams were designed and made. Currently DAKO-CZ manufactures its innovative products in a refurbished factory in Třemošnice, with a proprietary design centre, research workshop and testing benches. “With our own research, development and design capacity, we are able to fully satisfy customers’ requirements for tailor-made products,” says the managing director. The reliability of DAKO-CZ’s brake design has been confirmed by a number of patents and licences. The products comply with all applicable UIC and TSI standards and regulations. On-going training and development of its 500 people is one of the management’s priorities. “It is thanks to our quality designers, technicians and other employees, as well as continuous investment in research and development, that DAKO-CZ regularly introduces new products to the market,” says the managing director.

Recent success “An important point to boost sales was the agreement with a Swiss car maker, STADLER, for whom we became the supplier of the brake sys-

94 Industry Europe

tems for the new generation of FLIRT 3 carriages,” says the managing director. Other important contracts were signed with railway companies in Serbia and Poland. “We also continue our partnership with Siemens. After projects for underground carriages in Oslo, Warsaw and Munich, we signed a contract for the delivery of brake systems for the underground project in Kuala Lumpur, involving a total of 232 carriages. Recently, another contract was signed for delivery of similar systems to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where 236 carriages are planned to be deployed. It is worthwhile mentioning that all underground carriages made by Siemens since 2005 have been equipped with DAKO brake system,” says Mr Cheben. He further explains that as a result of the cooperation with Siemens, DAKO was able to enter the high-speed train market. The ICx high-speed trains which Siemens is to deliver to German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) will all be equipped with DAKO’s N8.1 anti-skid valves. For DAKO, this means a delivery of over 5000 units.

Investing in new capacity

DAKO-CZ has recently been granted financial support from the EU Operational Programme as well as the state budget for the ‘Enlargement of the Rolling Stock Brake System Research and Development Centre’. This project has now been completed – the capacity of the research centre was increased and new testing equipment was purchased. Production capacity has also been increased recently: a new assembly hall and dispatching station, adjacent to the existing assembly hall, has been built to establish a modern, state-of-the-art facility, offering

sufficient capacity to meet customers’ demands. The hall will be used for assembling brake panels as well as for product packaging and dispatching. Thus the dispatching activities will be extended and integrated in a single area. “The reason for this investment was the need for increasing production capacity to accommodate new projects, such as the new contract for Siemens to supply our systems to Saudi Arabia, or the contract for STADLER for the brake systems to be employed in FLIRT railway carriages. The new hall will enable us to optimise production processes throughout assembly, packaging and dispatching,” says Mr Cheben.

Rising exports Currently about 70 per cent of DAKO’s output is sold in export markets. The managing director stresses that increasing sales are the result not only of new projects, but also of penetrating new markets. “We have been trying to win new customers in India, where our wheel units and anti-skid systems have been tested for two years now. We believe that the certification will be completed in 2016. The Indian market is, however, very specific and one of the condition of success is to have a local production facility. Approval of our products is thus not the final step into this new market,” explains Mr Cheben. China is another new market which seems very promising – the Czech company Skoda Transportation sold licence for production of a total of 400 15T tramways. These are all equipped with DAKO brakes, therefore there is a big chance that the company will participate in this major project in the near future. However, like India, China requires a local production facility to become an approved foreign supplier. But DAKO-CZ is also looking closer to home – for example to Russia and many neighbouring countries where large investments into cargo and passenger transport are planned, one of the largest projects being the delivery of 1500 carriages for Moscow underground. “We will certainly try to capitalise on all these opportunities with a view to further develop and grow out company and strengthen its position in global n markets,” concludes Mr Cheben.

Industry Europe 95

The entrance door window featuring the company’s official logo


Italian company Gemmo SpA is a major player in the field of large infrastructure and services, installing technological plants, public lighting and management facilities for clients throughout Europe and beyond. In a conversation with innovation development manager Massimo Nossan, Victoria Hattersley finds out about its recent high profile projects and plans for continued expansion.


or Gemmo, its full project engineering services are what sets it apart from its competitors. Established in 1919, the Vicenzabased company continues to refine its offer, moving increasingly into the areas of sustainable production and control and monitoring systems. Gemmo specialises in large turnkey infrastructure projects, offering a wide range of services encompassing electrical systems and mechanics, from engineering to commissioning. The majority of its work is concerned with contracting and carried out on its customers’ sites; however, its headquarters in Vicenza also house a small production site for the manufacturing of electric panel boards, mainly for use in its own projects.

96 Industry Europe

Fully integrated Gemmo’s services are focused on four main sectors: hospitals, airports, large civic infrastructure projects such as tunnels, and public lighting. Its clients are mainly government bodies, healthcare providers and large financial institutions. For each of these markets it carries out the full installation, engineering and maintenance from start to finish. System integration is very important for the company. In recent years it has diversified its activities through integrating its production and technological services such as maintenance and overall management. This ‘two-step’ approach has allowed it to win major clients: it doesn’t just build, but is also present long after its systems are up and running.

The largest and most important Italian airport features a fully operational Gemmo’s office for maintenance and operations

“For example,” says Mr Nossan, “with public lighting we not only install the lights themselves but also work with clients on a long-term basis to supply the power and maintain the systems. Public lighting is a very good area for development as many of the existing technologies in place are obsolete and need to be replaced by more sustainable technologies such as LED. This is in line with one of our key goals to provide our clients with a more sustainable infrastructure.” In order to streamline its business to fit this model, last year (2014) Gemmo completed the sale of its Railway Systems division to the PSC Group SpA. Mr Nossan explains: “The other areas of our business are all interrelated in some way and allowed for the two-step service we want to provide moving forward. The Rail division didn’t really fit this business model anymore so this was the right decision for us at the right time.”

Major projects and investments Over the years Gemmo has been able to build strong relationships with some high-profile clients. For example, it has a long-term contract in place with the European Institute of Oncology to manage

Gemmo workers at one of the company sites

and maintain its offices, buildings and green spaces. This includes everything from providing energy for heating and hot water to power supply and the redevelopment of the central thermal cooling system. The company has also won a contract with Fiumicino-ADR Aeorporti di Roma for the management and control of electric utilities flight assistance and the movement of aircraft. This project involves the re-vamping of the medium-voltage distribution systems at the airport (including 150,000 metres of ne electric cables, 29 transformers and two new substations) and is expected to be completed by 2016. A series of investments – some small, some ongoing – have enabled Gemmo to maintain its leading edge. Mr Nossan tells us that: “Most investments over the past 10 years have been into our so-called ‘project financing’ initiatives. We set up companies in order to build and operate each individual project, such as the European Institute of Oncology project already mentioned.” But Gemmo is also aware of the need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technological development. For example, it recently invested in a remote control system for public lighting,

Gemmo SpA main building in the outskirts of Vicenza, Northeast Italy

Industry Europe 97

which has enabled it to make inroads into the rapidly growing field of monitoring devices. “After all, our lighting systems are now present in more than 100 municipalities in Italy so we need to be able to use the latest hardware and software to monitor and control these. Our remote control system is currently the largest of its kind in Italy.” With such a range of projects, each with its own specifications and requirements, Gemmo understands the importance of maintaining good relationships with its suppliers. As Mr Nossan puts it, “Our business is to engineer and put together components built by others

98 Industry Europe

so they need to be of the highest quality or our own reputation will suffer. We therefore have a number of suppliers we work with, because each project requires slightly different things. These include well-known names such as Siemens, ABB and Schneider Electric.”

Market expansion While the largest percentage of Gemmo’s work is carried out in Italy, the company does have an expanding global footprint. In Europe alone, it works in Belgium, Lithuania and Romania to name just a few. It recently

Near Turin, the royal palace’s systems are fully operated by Gemmo SpA

won a contract in Lithuania for the installation of a major civic building which will be constructed according to the internationally recognised BREEAM standard for sustainability. Outside Europe, Mr Nossan informs us that Gemmo is working on expanding in Africa. In South America, meanwhile, it is present in Argentina and has also set up a local subsidiary in Brazil from which it expects to see some exciting projects emerge in the coming years. In conclusion, Mr Nossan is keen to sum up Gemmo’s main priorities for the future: “Our focus for the next few years will be on two major areas: firstly, we will be doing our best to work more internationally; secondly, we intend to develop more in the field of energy saving and sustainability.” And indeed, if the company’s recent projects are anything to go on it is already making strong n headway with these aims.

One of the 100 tunnels fully operated and 24/7 monitored by Gemmo SpA

Industry Europe 99

A STRONG TRADITION The Czech joint stock company MAGNETON, based in Kroměříž, is a traditional manufacturer of electrical components supplied primarily to the automotive and agricultural vehicles sectors. Over 90 per cent of its output is sold to major producers in 50 counties worldwide. Romana Moares reports.

100 Industry Europe


AGNETON boasts a long tradition and its core business – starter motors and alternators – has remained more or less unchanged throughout the years under various political regimes and different owners. Apart from these two major product groups, the current production programme includes surface treatment services, such as metal galvanising, alloy galvanising, tinning, copper and nickel plating and anodising. “Our products are used in the engines of passenger cars and trucks, buses, agricultural and construction machines as well as in a number of other special applications,” says Cesar Baron, the company’s managing director. MAGNETON is divided into several divisions, the two most important being electrical components and surface treatment, both located within the Kroměříž facility. The company also offers services such as precision machining, powder coating, thermal plastic processing, calibration and testing. All operations meet the ISO 9001 and QS 9000 standards as well as all current environmental requirements.

Solid history This year (2016), MAGNETON commemorates the 90th anniversary of its establishment in 1926. The company’s history is rich and

varied: over the years it has been incorporated into various industrial groups and achieved numerous important milestones. For example, in 1960 it manufactured the first ring-free watertight alternators with a semi-conductor regulator, designed for special vehicles, and in 1970 was the first manufacturer worldwide to launch the production of contactless electronic ignition (designed for Tatra 613 cars). The joint stock company MAGNETON was founded in 1994 when the mass production of speed reducer starter motors, a brand new concept in the area of starter motors, was launched. However, the key milestone of the company’s recent history came in 2010, when it was acquired by the Czech Rovina Group, incorporating a number of companies from the construction, manufacturing and other sectors. “The new owner invested heavily in the modernisation of the product development centre and, in 2016, in production technology to support the growing production of starter motors and alternators. The surface treatment plant has also been undergoing an extensive upgrade of all production lines and a new, additional line is currently being built,” says the managing director. In 2015, MAGNETON achieved a turnover of about CZK 0.5 billion. “It was first necessary to stabilise the business and optimise

Industry Europe 101

the existing portfolio, therefore a more rapid increase in sales has not yet been achieved,” explains Mr Baron, but adds that in the coming years the management expects total sales to increase by about 40 per cent – primarily as a result of new projects to be launched in 2016.

Top quality, superb suppliers According to Mr Baron, the key products today are starter motors for agricultural machines and alternators for stationary machines. Within both groups there are new products in the pipeline, to be supplied to the passenger car and construction machinery sectors. MAGNETON’s clients include renowned companies from around the globe – 93 per cent of the total output is exported, with the most important markets being the United States and the Russian Federation, followed by Ireland, Puerto Rico, Poland, Ukraine and Germany. Quality is key in today’s severely competitive environment, which is why MAGNETON takes great care to select the highest quality raw materials and suppliers. “Our suppliers are an integral part of our success in global markets and we greatly value our cooperation. To name just a few, Panalfa, Hokami, SKF and Bosch are trusted longterm partners to our Electrical Components Division, while Enthone, Brenntag and Atotech are key suppliers to the Surface Treatment Division. However, all of our suppliers provide an excellent service and we appreciate their performance,” says Mr Baron. The Quality Department works closely with the Testing Centre, which carries out random and comprehensive testing of all products. The Product Development Department helps MAGNETON to not only meet the specific requirements of individual customers but also to come up with new and unconventional solutions.

New products, new future “As I said before, MAGNETON has invested and will continue to invest in the modernisation of its production technologies. To be more specific, we have recently built a new Testing Station for starter motors and alternators. Extensive investment in the Surface Treatment Division has been made to build a completely new surface 102 Industry Europe

treatment (metal plating) line for the products called ‘Common Rails’. We are also investing heavily in upgrading technologies for starter motors production,” says Mr Baron. Thanks to its top quality products and comprehensive services, the company has been successful in maintaining its market share and winning new business opportunities. Nevertheless, MAGNETON has also felt the growing pressure for continuous cost reduction and further quality enhancement. Negative market developments in Russia and countries to the east, where about half of the company’s products are sold, have also been a factor. Despite some worrying trends, the company is determined to fulfill its medium and longer term objectives, says the managing director. “Our strategy for the future is clear – we want to maintain our current markets and penetrate new territories, optimise our product portfolio and expand and further develop our distribution network. The Surface Treatment Division will seek to intensify partnerships with n customers from the automotive sector,” concludes Mr Baron.


For the past 94 years, LOVATO Electric SpA has been a key player in the production of electrical components for the control and protection of machinery and automation systems; the next step is digitalisation, as Daniele Garavaglia reports.

Industry Europe 103


OVATO Electric is a mid-sized multinational enterprise with a global outlook. Its history in the production of low voltage electrical components for industrial applications reaches back more than a century. Based in Gorle, Italy, it employs 420 people internationally and has an annual turnover of around €80 million, thanks to the sales generated by 13 foreign subsidiaries and a network of 90 importers/distributors, contributing to an established presence in over 100 countries worldwide. “Since 1922, our family has guided the industrial development of the company. This continuity, together with a constant mission of change and innovation, has fostered our growing position as a leader in a number of highly competitive industries, in particular the production of electrical components for machinery and equipment, automation and energy. We always operate with the aim of ensuring reliability, quality and efficiency to our customers,” says Massimiliano Cacciavillani, CEO and representative of the fourth generation of the Bergamo-based group. LOVATO Electric started off as an electromechanical firm, including in its production range technical products such as contactors, motorprotection circuit breakers, push-buttons and switch disconnectors. These are all components related to ‘motor control and protection’. Cacciavillani explains: “Thirty years ago, we developed the production of electronic components, going from reference products such as timers and level control relays to an advanced electronic offer, including soft starters, network analysers, power factor controllers and gen set controllers. Then we came to the third strand; 104 Industry Europe

information technology as a logical response to market need, the increasing automation of machines and systems and the consequent need for control and support software, even remotely.”

Customers and markets LOVATO Electric’s main customers are machinery manufacturers, including: woodworking, processing plastics, packaging and food & beverage machines: “All Italian manufacturers have always exported and we chose to stay with them even in foreign markets. We have adopted a strategy of keeping after-sales services and spare parts close to each other, to ensure immediate availability.” In addition to machinery industries, some 15 years ago LOVATO Electric launched a new area of business, introducing a range of products dedicated to energy management and targeted at companies that want

Industry Europe 105

106 Industry Europe

to achieve greater energy efficiency: “For the purpose of energy efficiency, oversight of the energy systems and data processing is essential,” adds Cacciavillani. Production is carried out in-house, from the design and construction of moulds to the casting of plastic. “The parts and other small technical components (screws, springs) are designed by our technical department and produced by trusted suppliers. We have identified suppliers in Italy and in other countries such as Spain, Germany, Slovenia and China, and we now have a globally integrated purchasing department. The world offers great opportunities and globalisation is a factor in improving the supply chain.” From a commercial viewpoint, the domestic market is still very important for LOVATO Electric but exports are starting to overtake it, owing in part to the rising demand, in developing countries, for machinery and automation. “Our best performing areas are eastern Europe, where a large part of the European manufacturing industry has moved, and North America, now recovering well and oriented towards high-end industrial products, where ‘Made in Italy’ has a certain value.”

especially in the electronics and software segments. Smarter and more intuitive products will achieve great success in the coming years. Today people are talking about the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0: digitalisation in industry means the deployment of communication technologies and products. We are developing more and more skills to be ready for the arrival of this new integration between digital and manufacturing.” LOVATO Electric, then, is a company that has change embedded in its DNA, always striving for improvement and investing in n advanced technologies and new processes.

The latest technologies Decades of production experience will continue to be an asset for the company, as Cacciavillani points out: “Our manufacturing focus leads us to devote time and resources to product development,

Industry Europe 107

NEW HORIZONS FOR LNG Golar LNG is at the forefront of the world’s liquefied natural gas shipping industry and developed the world’s first floating storage and regasification unit. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a privately owned company that continues to optimise its potential in a fast growing marketplace.


olar LNG was founded in 2001 from its predecessor, Osprey Maritime. Today the company is engaged in the acquisition, ownership, operation and chartering of LNG carriers and FSRUs (Floating storage and regasification units) through its many subsidiaries. Golar’s business was originally founded in 1946 as Gotaas-Laarsen Shipping Corporation. This company entered the LNG shipping business in 1970 when it ordered the LNG carrier ‘Hilli’, which is still a part of the Golar LNG fleet today. 108 Industry Europe

Innovative solutions Golar LNG is actively pursuing new Floating Liquifaction Natural Gas (FLNG) projects, which fit in with its financial objectives and best capture its unrivalled technical capabilities. The company’s strategy focuses on the development of low capital cost, rapid deployment of floating facilities utilising the conversion of high quality existing LNG carriers, floating technologies for the liquefaction of pipeline quality gas, or associated gas, that requires minimal processing and other innova-

tive LNG solutions. This strategy complements Golar’s industry leadership position in floating LNG regasification facilities development. In a further move by Golar LNG Partners LP, Glolar announced recently that it has entered into a purchase agreement to sell the ‘Golar Tundra’, a modern floating storage and regasification unit, to Golar Partners for a sale price of $330 million. The sale of the GolarTundra will enhance Golar’s liquidity by approximately $130 million. The sale has been arranged in accordance with the Omnibus Agreement, which regulates Golar’s obligation to offer any vessel on charter for more than five years to the partnership.

New joint ventures Golar GenPower Brasil SA and ExxonMobile Titan LNG have signed a framework agreement for the supply of LNG. The new joint venture between LNG Power Ltd UK, a standalone non-recourse subsidiary of Golar LNG and GenPower Participacoes SA, was signed for the supply of LNG to the natural gas fired power generation project it

is developing in the Brazilian state of Sergipe. The two companies have agreed terms covering the supply of LNG to the 1500MW Porto de Sergipe project. This framework agreement is a significant step towards a positive final investment decision on the Porto de Sergipe project, which Golar GenPower hopes will be the first of several Brazilian opportunities jointly delivered in years to come. Another important joint venture was also announced recently by Golar LNG. This was the 50/50 joint venture with the investment vehicles affiliated with private equity firm, Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners. The new venture will offer integrated LNG based downstream solutions through the ownership and operation of floating storage and regasification units and associated terminal and power generation infrastructure. Stonepeak shares Golar’s ambition to aggressively grow in the FSRU and LNG fuelled power market and is committing $290 million in new equity to develop Golar Power. A Golar spokesman commented, “By establishing this downstream entity with a strong

Industry Europe 109

financial partner that has extensive experience in the energy business, Golar is to accelerate the realisation of its downstream ambitions and exploit the unprecedented number of opportunities in the current market.” LNG prices are at a significant discount compared to oil prices and Golar Power sees a range of potential LNG Importers who would benefit from a rapid switch to gas. The first converted vessel is expected to be available within 16 months. There are only three unfixed FSRU newbuildings presently under construction and delivering within the next 30 months. Golar Power sees well in excess of three employment projects that could be met within this window. The conversion model allows Golar Power to cost-effectively address projects with bespoke requirements at a price that remains competitive with the all-in delivered cost of a newbuild equivalent. As the only company to have successfully converted LNG carriers to FSRUs, Golar expects that this partnership with Stonepeak will once again position it to aggressively exploit this competitive advantage.

First quarter financial highlights In the first quarter of 2016 Golar LNG reported a loss of $21.7 million compared to a 4Q loss of $12.0 million. Agreed terms regarding the sale of GolarTundra added $30 million to Golar’s 1Q liquidity and a further $100 million in 2Q. The company also entered into a MoU with Schlumberger to cooperate globally on the development of greenfield, brownfield and stranded gas reserves using GoFLNG vessels. The executed framework with ExxonMobil for supply of LNG to Brazilion power projects is now under development by Golar GenPower. Refinanced first newbuild LNG carrier Golar Seal 110 Industry Europe

released $48.7 million to 1Q liquidity. The GoFLNG ‘Hilli’ conversion is progressing according to schedule and remains on budget. The dividend is maintained at $0.05 per share for the quarter. The company told Industry Europe that its strategy is to grow its fleet on a profitable basis and to build upon its industry leading position as a n ‘midstream’ solutions provider. For further details of Golar LNG’s latest activities and shipping services visit:

Industry Europe 111


TECHNOLOGY FURTHER The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services for a broad range of industries. Bosch India is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group, which continues to dominate the domestic marketplace with its advanced technologies in the automotive and energy sectors. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that continues to drive technology forward in Asia and throughout the world.


osch is one of the world’s best known brands in the technology sector and in 2015 the group employed over 375,000 people and generated sales of more than €70 billion. Its operations are divided into four distinct business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods and Energy and Building Technology. Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers more than 150 countries worldwide. The company bases its future growth on its innovative strength and high-tech manufacturing facilities. To help achieve its objectives, it employs almost 60,000 people in research and development in 118 locations across the Globe. Bosch established its first plant in India in 1953 and recently the company’s state-of-the-art diesel systems manufacturing facility at Bidadi, Bengaluru in India was inaugurated. The Bidadi plant is the 14th manufacturing facility the company has established in India. The total investment in the new plant is approaching €50 million since the project was begun in 2013. The second construction stage is due to be completed by 2018. The new plant will produce diesel products that were previously manufactured at its Adagodi plant, which is also located in the south of India and will employ over 2600 people when

112 Industry Europe

it is fully commissioned. Bidadi will now become the lead plant for the production of single cylinder common rail diesel pumps, as well as for conventional fuel injection plants.

Smarter parking Today Bosch is tapping into a whole new market by offering a range of parking technologies and services to the growing automotive industry. In doing so, Bosch takes a standardised approach by simplifying the search for parking spaces and automating the entire parking process. Potential customers for Bosch parking solutions include vehicle manufacturers and car park operators, as well as cities and communities around the globe. The company has already made major progress in this area, especially with its systems for automated parking and driving and this in turn is leading Bosch towards an important milestone this year. “In 2016, our sales in driver assistance technology will exceed one billion euros,” said Dr Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of man-

agement at Robert Bosch GmbH. Worldwide almost 2500 Bosch engineers are working to further develop driver assistance systems and automated driving technology. Over the next few years as part of its move towards fully automated parking, Bosch plans to launch a host of new parking assistance systems. These revolutionary systems help drivers to park accident free, or even guide them into a space at the touch of a button. (“Parking as we know it won’t exist in the future,” Hoheisel commented.) Even before the end of this decade, cars will drive themselves to a space in a parking garage, thanks to Bosch technology. Drivers will simply leave their car in a handover zone outside a parking garage and instruct it to park by smartphone.

Investing in the future Bosch sees a lot of growth potential in India and has been investing in new facilities and technology every year since its first venture into the Asian market. The developing industrial area in Bidadi provides

Industry Europe 113

114 Industry Europe

Industry Europe 115

great potential for increasing capacity and has better infrastructure. Growth in the area is interwoven with the close relationship that the company enjoys with the Indian state of Karnataka. Bosch recently completed a state-of-the-art gasoline systems plant there, which is dedicated to the production of gasoline fuel injection systems. Opened in 2015, the new plant is the sixth manufacturing facility established by Bosch India and is already playing an important role in its strategy to enter the highly competitive two-wheeler market in India with its electronic fuel injection systems. Today the impressive new plant is producing power train sensors, fuel delivery modules and air management components for both automotive and two-wheeler applications. In the Indian market Bosch is a leading supplier of technology and services in the area of mobility solutions, industrial technology, consumer goods and energy, as well as building technology. The company operates in India through a total of nine companies and since its manufacturing operations began in the country in 1953, they have grown to include 14 manufacturing sites and seven development and application 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 over 12,000 research and development specialists there. Last year Bosch’s diesel systems division achieved growth of close to 10 per cent and the gasoline systems

116 Industry Europe

division also registered strong double-digit growth. The company told Industry Europe that it was its approach to localisation that had been a key factor in achieving this impressive growth. In the past year Bosch has expanded its market presence in the automotive aftermarket segment by adding around 300 new distributors to its sales network. n For further details of Bosch India’s innovative products and services visit:



Lloyd Dynamowerke GmbH, a mid-sized German manufacturer of electrical machines based in Bremen, has celebrated a century of success of its plant and is looking with confidence to new markets in the Far East as part of the Hyosung Corporation.


loyd Dynamowerke (LDW) was founded in 1915 with the support of Norddeutscher Lloyd. The aim was the professional development and manufacturing of electrical machines and services. In 1934, AEG took over all LDW business areas and LDW became an important part of the AEG Group, responsible for electrical motors and generators with an output range of up to 60 MW. In 1999, after a short period as part of Daimler-Benz AG, LDW became an independent company again. “Since January 2015 our company has been part of the SouthKorean Hyosung Corporation,” says Jens Kastens, responsible for sales with LDW in Bremen, Germany. “This is a win-win-situation, as there is no overlapping between Hyosung’s and our products: Hyosung offers standard products while LDW is focused on customised solutions.” Furthermore, Hyosung uses LDW’s know-how to improve its products, while LDW profits from Hyosung’s worldwide channels of distribution to reach new markets. LDW’s new corporate design, copper coloured like the winding, the most important part of the machines, is to emphasise the ‘fresh wind’ blowing through the organisation since its takeover by the Hyosung Group. “Progress and continual improvement are our drivers,” continues Jens Kastens. “We are constantly redeveloping our machines and optimising existing ranges of machines and manufacturing methods, relying on scientific support to do so. We work closely with a network of external partners, such as the Institute for Electrical Drives at the University of

Bremen, the University of Hanover and the Fraunhofer Institute. In this way we are constantly investigating new technologies for our machinery and our system is technically always up to date,” he added.

Reliable technology, innovative products LDW´s core areas are divided in medium, large size machines and services. The company offers a broad range of products, both standard as well as adapted to customer specifications. The custom-made products include asynchronous machines (from 1000 to 35,000 kW), compact asynchronous motors (from 150 to 2500 kW), synchronous machines (from 4000 to 60,000 kVA) and DC machines (from 10 to 8000 kW). The customer-specific contract manufacturing means products can be optimised in terms of weight, vibration and electrical parameters compared to standard machines. LDW develops new machines that are more compact, with high efficiency and generate less vibration than standard machines – with the same or higher level of performance. The company’s high-quality product is certified according to the DIN EN ISO 9001 and DIN EN ISO 14001 standards. In addition to its customised products, LDW offers various services, most notably ‘refurbishing technology’, i.e. the renewal and modernisation of older machines, as well as maintenance services for all kind of machines. Finally, the company works together with other technology suppliers on generators for power plants as well as hydroelectric power

Industry Europe 117

stations and on motors for special applications i.e. in steel and crane industries. LDW also has the approval to build machinery of the highest standards for the nuclear industry (KTA 1401 – certified supplier for nuclear power plants), as well as for explosive environments such as the chemicals, mining and the oil & gas industries (ATEX/IEC EX – apparatus for explosive atmospheres).

Union and Russia, business there has been declining. “However,” Kastens added, “we are very confident regarding the new business possibilities with Iran and the Hyosung Group has opened not only the Korean market for our products, but also the Japanese one, which was difficult to approach. Here we can use Hyosung’s sales channels in order to enhance our business.”

Medium-sized manufacturer, global player

Environment and future outlook

As a medium-size enterprise with a single plant, the services offered by LDW put it ahead of its competitors. As it is flexible and can adapt to its customers’ needs, it is able to manufacture products that are compatible with other brands. Typically most of the orders come from European customers but the end-users of the machines are located all over the world. Owing to the current economic restrictions between the European

Kastens continues: “Lloyd Dynamowerke not only outlasts technical and commercial changes, but uses them to develop the enthusiasm, flexibility and readiness to change and perform which is still evident today. The way we work at LDW is both environmentally sustainable and resource friendly. Furthermore, we are committed to ecological responsibility and strive to work with renewable energies, including wind and hydro power and geothermal energy.” Consequently, LDW ensures it is fully compliant with the environmental management certification DIN EN ISO 14001 at all times, since it limits the proportion of hazardous materials used in its products as far as possible. By doing so, LDW’s customers can rely on the quality of the materials it uses. As both a specialised niche business and a subsidiary of a global player, LDW is very confident about the future. Kastens concluded: “We develop new machines that are customised in order to provide the best individual solution for each customer. With our high level of technological competence, personal dedication and open-mindedness, today thousands of machines and systems with LDW motors and generators are in n use all over the world.”

118 Industry Europe

Industry Europe 119

THE AESTHETICS OF WOOD In the context of the volatile global economy, Turkey’s AGT (Advanced Technology in Wood Industry) has still managed to record an impressive 45 per cent growth rate in 2015 with a turnover of half a billion Turkish Lira. AGT’s sales and marketing group chairman, Sirzat Subasi, spoke to Industry Europe about the company’s successful origins in a small workshop and its steady 30-year rise to become one of Turkey’s top 500 industrial enterprises.

120 Industry Europe


ith its vision of becoming ‘a worldwide brand known for shaping wood with passion and high technology’, AGT is becoming widely recognised all around the world for its processed wood products. The company currently exports its products to 60 countries in five continents, serving the construction sector in particular. It produces flooring, doors, wall panels, power gloss and baseboard. It also supplies furniture and home improvement manufacturers with products like MDF, MDF-LAM Panels and Profiles.

A family affair AGT was established in 1984 by Ahmet Soylemez and his two sons, Mustafa Hulusi Soylemez and Mehmet Semih Soylemez, in a small workshop in Turkey’s most famous holiday destination, Antalya. Today AGT employs over 1000 people and operates from state-ofthe-art facilities in the Antalya Organised Industrial Zone, to which it moved in 1994. Subasi explains that “We produce any wooden product you might use in a living space in our facilities.” From its beginnings as a family business, AGT has harnessed a strong work ethic and great enthusiasm for high quality and strong aesthetics to grow into one of the leaders in its field.

Aesthetics meet technology Subasi explains that one of the secrets to AGT’s success has been a constant refusal to compromise on quality or let go of its principles. The company aims to maintain a strong reputation as an innovative and leading brand all around the world. It guarantees that its products and customer services are of the highest quality by using the

Industry Europe 121

latest production technologies and a vast network of reliable dealerships. The company has 1000 sales points around the world and stands by all its customers and external stakeholders by providing business partners with sales services based on convenience, and technical support that offers complete peace of mind. Subasi says: “We try to make our customers’, dealerships’ and workers’ lives more beautiful by giving absolute priority to occupational health and environmental sensitivity during every stage of production.” AGT’s processes are compatible with ISO 9000:2008 quality management standards, and the company ensures that all of its products adhere to E1 standards: “Sensitivity for the health of our employees and those who choose our products is still our top priority,” Subasi says. He also stresses that the company is proud of the way it adds colour and elegance to the living spaces of millions of people around the world, while ensuring it does so in a sustainable and ethical manner.

Exports to 60 countries AGT first became an exporter in 2000 and Subasi is keen to underline the importance of its engagement in foreign markets since that time, making the point that in 2015 around 40 per cent of its turnover was achieved through exports. In addition to offering blanket coverage of Turkey, AGT now has sales points all around the world and exports to more than 60 countries. Its biggest markets at present are in eastern Europe, the Balkans and Iran. Although the company’s executives are on the lookout for opportunities all around the world, it is also planning to boost sales in a number of strategic markets in 2016.

New products In the second half of 2015 AGT launched a new product, AGT Flooring, and so far “its rich colours have been very well received,” according to Mr Subasi. This year the company added a new line of wall panels, AGT Soft Touch, which he says will transform any indoor space. He expects that the company will meet its sales targets for both products in 2016 and will also dramatically inncrease sales of AGT Power Gloss panels ,which are available in 24 different colours.

122 Industry Europe

Continuous investment In 2014 AGT opened an integrated MDF construction facility occupying 500,000 square metres, followed in 2015 with a new production line for flooring. Executives are already planning further capacity increases based on their sales targets, and there are particularly strong plans to invest in the furniture wing of the business since there is major potential for this in its domestic market. AGT has also continued to focus on environmental and community projects through a number of social responsibility initiatives. It has been working with the Turkish Consumer and Environment Education Foundation since 2013, and has worked alongside the Ministry of the Environment and Urbanisation to increase the recycling of factory materials. AGT has also worked extensively with universities and sponsored various social awareness campaigns and n local engagement projects in Antalya and across Turkey.

ADDING STYLE TO COMFORT The Lyra Group is a leading European manufacturer of Scandinavian style upholstered furniture. Philip Yorke talked to Renata Silinskiene, the company’s sales director, about its dramatic growth in recent years and move into new markets.

Industry Europe 123


he Lyra Group was founded in Lithuania in 1992 following the country’s independence from the Soviet Union. These were difficult years for the fledgling furniture company; however, careful restructuring and product programming helped it to develop a solid business model and establish a reputation for high quality and stylish furniture design. The first sofas and chairs designed by Lyra were produced for their domestic market and from the outset demand was strong for its products. When the company first started it had 35 employees and today it employs more than 400 people at its extensive facilities in Lithuania. It was not until 2007 that Lyra moved into export markets, with the first countries being Norway and Denmark. The company’s lean production and management system was developed by a Danish production efficiency specialist and its production processes have been upgraded and enhanced on a continuous basis. “The demand for Lyra products in Norway and Denmark was so strong that the company offered its products to the other Scandinavian markets and became available at the largest department stores throughout the Nordic countries. Silinskiene said, “Our success was so great because we offered our customers such strong value for a very high quality product. During the past five years we discovered that Scandinavian style furniture was becoming popular in western Europe. Today customers appear to like simplicity, minimalism and functionality, so we then turned to the most important European markets including Germany, Great Britain, France and the Benelux.

124 Industry Europe

“The key to our on-going success and growth is continuous development and the ability to meet the expectations of our customers and their needs.”

Diverse product portfolio The Lyra Group’s most famous furniture brand is ‘Soft Nord’, which is a clear Scandinavian line although most of the company’s products have been created to suit the main target market which is Scandinavia. The company offers a diverse range of products including sofas, corner groups, sleeping sofas, easy chairs and sofa accessories. Its range, however, is actually infinite as the company makes it possible for customers to choose from hundreds of different models and fabrics. The challenge this poses for the company in terms of production efficiency is to make every sofa different and at the same time be able to customise it to suit each individual customer. The target is to move into new product models such as recliners or modular systems with adjustable mechanisms. Every Year Lyra adds around 10 to 15 new collections to its extensive portfolio. The company believes that new product development is important as each market has its own characteristics and style preferences. Silinskiene added, “In order to meet the needs of our very different customer base we did a special project with Danish furniture designers in 2013–2014, which we sold very successfully into the UK market the following year. “In 2015 we developed an entirely new range with a leading Dutch designer called Mike Jaski to create a modern Benelux-style collection.

Industry Europe 125

Last year we showcased our latest collections at the Birmingham and Brussels trade fairs. Our Soft Nord line is our flagship range and our most commercial and offers extremely good value for money.”

On-going investment The Lyra Group’s manufacturing facility is located in the north of Lithuania and close to Latvia’s capital Riga. The state-of-the-art factory employs more than 400 people and covers an area of over 14,000 square metres. Every year the company invests in new technology and this year alone it has invested around one million euros in the latest CNC machinery for fabrics and wood, as well as for new fibrefilling equipment. This year will also see an investment to extend its current facilities by a further 2000 square metres. All these improvements not only add to the efficiency and quality of the company, but also help to ensure it can make fast deliveries with only two weeks’ lead time required.

126 Industry Europe

With the ever-increasing volumes demanded by its retail stores, Lyra has also invested in the construction of a new warehouse to further enhance its fast delivery process. The company also provides value-added services such as integrated procurement programmes for more efficient ordering and logistics. Its strategy is to work in close partnership with its customers and to provide world-class workmanship throughout its manufacturing processes, while offering a full and dedicated customer support service. Lyra supplies some of the biggest department stores in Scandinavia and Europe, including Mio in Sweden with 67 stores, the

Skeidar Living Group with over 40 stores and Masku in Finland with 44 stores. In addition to these, in the Netherlands its products are available in all the Profijt stores and in Switzerland they can be found in Top Tip, which has over 30 stores. Finally, in the UK, Anderson of Inverurie and Ice Interiors are available in more than 150 stores. With an unrivalled track record for growth and a commitment to designing award-winning furniture, the future for the Lyra Group n looks very positive. For further details of its innovative and stylish furniture visit:

Industry Europe 127

DRIVING COOL TECHNOLOGY Janka is a European market leader in the design and manufacturing of industrial ventilation and air-conditioning systems and equipment. Based in Prague, it is one of the oldest ventilation companies in the world. Today it forms part of the Lloyd Electric & Engineering Group of India. This recent acquisition has enhanced and extended its product portfolio and provided it with new impetus for growth, especially in the rail industry, as Philip Yorke reports.

128 Industry Europe

Robert Inneman sales director


he company’s roots date back to 1872 when Mr. Jan Janka established his original tinsmith business in Prague. As the business thrived and expanded, the original workshop located in the city centre could not match the needs of the growing business so it moved out to a suburban area in Prague, Radotín, in 1907. Subsequently, the company expanded into the field of air conditioning and other related products. For many years Janka was part of the multinational group Lennox, and today Janka Engineering forms part of the Lloyd Electric & Engineering Group of India and manufactures industrial fans, ventilation systems and coolers, as well as air conditioning systems for railway applications. Janka Engineering has over 200 employees at its headquarters in Prague where it manufactures products for all five of the company’s engineering divisions. The modern manufacturing plant is strategically

located near the Prague ring road, which is just 20 minutes by car from the airport. Janka works in partnership with its sister company, Lloyd Coils Europe, which is based at the same address. Janka Engineering operates five production divisions and can offer a wide range of comprehensive solutions for air-handling, cooling, ventilation and the supply of industrial refrigeration as a whole. The company provides its customers with a complete turnkey package, full service and post service warranty.

Total flexibility Thanks to its five autonomous divisions, Janka is able to offer an unrivalled and totally flexible combination of engineering services. This includes the production of air-conditioning units for civil construction and industrial applications. The company also supplies special air-handling units for power generation, including air con-

Industry Europe 129

ditioning for nuclear plants resistant to seismic activity. The scope of Janka’s operations is very wide as it is mainly focused on the manufacturing of custom-made systems to meet its key customers’ individual requirements. The company also produces radial fans for the chemical industry in a separate ICL division. Its special position within the manufacturing divisions includes the production of heat exchangers, coolers and special equipment for industrial cooling and power. This division is very progressive and also highly flexible in its manner of operation, thanks to recent acquisitions.

New generation products HVAC is another autonomous division, which provides customers with a complete range of rooftop chillers, condensing units and other equipment. It works in close cooperation with another Janka division, AHU, in the manufacture of air handling units. The youngest and most ambitious HVAC division, ICL, specialises in the design and manufacturing of air conditioners for trams, trains and other transportation vehicles. As the company’s sales director Robert Innman says: “We are completing the development of a new generation of air handling units with a high proportion of measurement and control, as well as higher coefficient of efficiency of heat recovery. Our ICL division solves new technologies and uses new materials and processes in the manufacture of heat exchangers and coolers. We are currently planning to finish the development of the new control system for railway applications and this year a new prototype for these special railway units should be prepared. We have been working for two years mainly on changing technologies and techniques for the individual components that we supply. We are now preparing for IRIS certification, which is important for the further development of air- handling supplies for the railway industry.” 130 Industry Europe

Expanding exports Janka’s traditional markets have been countries belonging to the former Soviet Union and throughout post-communist eastern Europe. Other important export destinations are German speaking countries and Scandinavia. The company is also present on the Asian and Middle Eastern markets, considered its next major export opportunities. However, Janka told Industry Europe that its greatest export potential is for products manufactured by the ICL division, especially in the case of special projects for the energy sector and in particular for the nuclear energy industry. Other major growth opportunities can be found in its HVAC products for air conditioning units for railway applications with its partners in India.

Diverse product portfolio The company’s product portfolio continues to grow and includes air handling units for a wide range of applications, heat exchangers, industrial coolers, ventilation equipment, air conditioning systems and many more. Janka is the largest manufacturer of different types of heat exchangers in the industrial coolers market segment. Many different types of machines and specialist equipment have been produced for over 25 years by Janka, including radiators, coolers for locomotives, diesel engines, transformers and turbo generators. The company’s portfolio of air-handling units includes three basic models and these have been designed to fit both low and high-pressure ventilation systems and can be operated within temperatures ranging from -30C to +40C. Apart from that, Janka works in close cooperation with leading European manufacturers to produce a wide variety of HVAC products for applications in schools, hospitals, hotels, shopping centres and municipal buildings. Janka also offers a range of water chillers constructed from high quality components and provides superior technical service and customer support as standard across its entire product range. n For further details of Janka’s range of air cooling products and services visit:

Industry Europe 131


RAAL is a European market leader in the design and manufacture of cooling systems for agricultural, construction and automotive industry applications. Since it was founded in 1990, the company has seen consistent growth thanks to its commitment to innovation and high quality engineering, as Philip Yorke reports. 132 Industry Europe


oday RAAL is a leading manufacturer of complete cooling systems. Its high-tech heat exchangers are made of aluminium alloys and stainless steel in an automated brazed construction process for radiators, oil coolers, air coolers, condensers and evaporators. The company’s manufacture of heat exchangers began in Romania in 1978 in the shop of a state-owned company. Immediately following the political events of 1989 RAAL separated from the old state-owned business and became an independent entity. The company was privatised in 1995 when its employees bought out the shares in the company. This proved to be the beginning of a new era and RAAL was soon acknowledged as a truly innovative company that quickly became a major player in the global market for cooling systems. Today RAAL is a key exporter of cooling systems for a broad range of industries, of which more than 99 per cent of its products are destined for export markets. Among its biggest markets today are Germany, the UK, Austria, Italy and France. For its commercial activities, the company has subsidiaries in Italy, Germany, Holland, Russia and the USA.

and Prundu Birgaului in Romania. The company’s marketing director, Mr Clement Ivanescu, told Industry Europe: “RAAL is a fully integrated company with its main activities being executed in-house. The design, research and testing, as well as production and logistics, are all provided by RAAL personnel, which allows us to be a very flexible company. We offer customised solutions, which we develop in close partnership with our customers and are able to manufacture orders from a single unit to a series of thousands of coolers. Every month we produce more than 300 different sizes of coolers, of which over 10 per cent are new products. “The strength of RAAL lies in its extensive R&D department where product development and testing is carried out in an exclusively designated area of more than 1800 square metres. Consistent investment in new technology and equipment has enabled us to deliver, together with our heat exchangers, a variety of complex metal structures that offer outstanding performance in terms of corrosion resistance and reliability. Our market leading technology is helping us to drive our sales throughout the EU.

Innovation driving sales

Expanding production capabilities

Research and product development has always been a priority at RAAL and today it employs more than 150 highly qualified engineers and scientists at its state-of-the-art laboratories and testing centres at Bistrita

Part of the company’s success can be attributed to its continuous programme of reinvestment in new plant and technology. The opening of a new, purpose-built factory in 2007 offered state-of-the-art equip-

Industry Europe 133

ment for the manufacture of complete cooling systems. The major investment in new brazing, pressing and fin manufacturing lines was augmented by the introduction of machinery for the design tools and manufacturing shop. In addition, new production lines were installed for large series production of cooling systems for cars, tractors and air-dryer manufacturers. A further major investment in 2015 in another state-of-theart hall facility includes a new line for KTL coatings and dyeing machines as well as Bystronic laser cutting with fully integrated ANTIL automatic systems. These are capable of processing both

134 Industry Europe

steel and aluminium, and manufacturing can be achieved in a single continuous production cycle while utilising the latest welding robotics and Amada punching machines with automatic loading and unloading systems built-in. In 1995 RAAL was operating from premises with an area of 4800 square metres; today its plant covers over 48,000 square metres and from 180 employees at the outset, RAAL now employs over 1700 people. “The latest investment of 2015 gives RAAL the possibility to be able to deliver heat exchangers along with metal structures hav-

ing increased performances regarding the resitance to corosion and a high degree of complexity. The production in the new facility is focused on stainless steel frames which are minted on the heat exchangers but RAAL can also execute other metal structures for its customers. Besides, the KTL painting of the heat exchangers made of aluminum give a very high resistance to corosion.” The company has also invested in new production capabilities for the the production of special heat exchangers designed for the world’s hybrid cars of the future. The entry into service of the new dedicated plant is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2016.

senior managers for over 20 years and they offer unrivalled experience in their field, which in turn ensures continuous prosperity and n customer satisfaction. For further details of RAAL’s range of innovative, high quality heat exchangers and cooling systems visit:

New horizons RAAL’s main financial objective for the next five years is to increase operating profit by 100 per cent. To achieve this goal the company is relying on its greater efficiency and new technology, as well as optimising the growing strength of the market and favourable trading conditions. The company is committed to providing stability as part of its operational principles in order to meet the present and future needs of its customers. RAAL has been run by the same team of

Industry Europe 135


KEEPING COOL 136 Industry Europe

Vestfrost Solutions is a global developer and manufacturer of innovative freezers and refrigerators for the professional market. Philip Yorke talked to Thomas Jorgensen, the company’s sales director, about its latest energy-efficient products.


estfrost was founded in Esbjerg, Denmark in 1963 with the vision to create the world’s best refrigerators and freezers for the professional market. Today with sales exceeding 15 million units the company has gained worldwide recognition for its innovative business-specific products. In recent years the company has evolved to become Vestfrost Solutions, where all its business activities are based upon serving three specific business sectors: Biomedical, Merchandising and Wine& Food. At the heart of Vestfrost Solutions is a commitment to create customer-driven solutions by utilising its own in-house team of cooling technology experts and market specialists. This special in-house research capability enables the company to create entirely new and innovative products that not only offer unrivalled functionality but also provide significant commercial advantages. The products also take into account considerations relating to the individual needs of the end user, sustainability and the environment. Today Vestfrost strives to offer the best value for money by providing optimal solutions with the lowest running costs for each customer. The company operates two state-of-the-art facilities in Denmark and another in Hungary. In 2015 the company employed over 400 people and recorded sales of more than €80 million.

Pioneering energy-efficient performance One of the fastest growing business sectors for Vestfrost is the biomedical market. The company’s biomedical user-friendly refrigerators and freezers are specifically designed for hospitals, health clinics, universities, laboratories and pharmacies. Vestfrost products serve the requirements of the entire health sector, from small health clinics in villages without electricity, to high-tech hospitals in metropolitan areas. The company offers products that cover temperatures that range from +20C to -86C, via energy efficient solutions that also offer low running costs. Accurate and safe storage of vaccines and medicines is vital and the company has gained vast experience in this area over its 50 years of operation. Through this experience it has learned that customers Industry Europe 137

138 Industry Europe

Industry Europe 139

140 140 Industry Industry Europe Europe

rarely have the same expectations when it comes to performance and standards. At its high-tech test facilities in Denmark, Vestfrost can test products according to local or international standards. Jorgensen said, “We specialise in designing and manufacturing high-quality, innovative solutions for our selected markets and in many cases are bringing pioneering new technology to our customers. For example in the biomedical field we are involved in three sectors. These are research and laboratory use, where we offer freezers that store materials at up to -86C, we also provide refrigerators for blood banks and for pharmacies that must meet exacting standards in terms of accuracy and reliability. We are also accredited to ISO 134085 for our biomedical products. “However it is the merchandising sector that is our biggest market where our refrigerators are used as promotional units for marketing soft drink products as well as alcoholic beverages. Our glass door merchandisers provide optimised and customised solutions. For these applications the product must be highly visible and maintain very low noise levels. We enter into long-term agreements with our customers who help to drive the market for products such as energy drinks and juices, which can be displayed in a wide variety of retail outlets. “We outperform our competitors in a number of ways as we have the capability to operate globally as well as locally, in fact we are active in more than 100 countries worldwide and more than 95 per cent of our products are exported. We also test all our products in-house and provide on-going testing throughout the manufacturing process. Unit-wise our products may not be the cheapest but when low energy consumption and minimal maintenance are taken into account, we offer the most cost-effective option. We can also offer logistics support, after sales services and individual product warranties”.

Delivering unique solutions Vestfrost’s wine and food solutions set new standards for preserving the quality of wines and foods by providing optimum storage conditions hygienic configurations. With their wide range of applications, Industry Europe 141

142 Industry Europe

these specially designed refrigerators and freezers are a perfect match for hotels, restaurants, bakeries and shops. They offer low energy consumption, precise temperature control and a long product lifetime. When it comes to providing merchandising solutions, Vestfrost leads the field with its product solutions. These offer innovative and exciting refrigeration and freezing equipment designed for unique brand presentation of beverages such as soft drinks, energy drinks, juices and beers. To date Vestfrost has created countless custom-made solutions for some of the world’s biggest beverage

Industry Europe 143

brands and by working in close cooperation with its customers has been able to solve challenging customer needs for optimum brand presentation and sales maximisation.

Preferred partner High environmental standards have always been the cornerstone of Vestfrost Solutions, which is one of many reasons why it can claim to be a customer’s “preferred partner”. The company employ numerous initiatives to reduce the cost of product usage and to minimise its environmental impact. Vestfrost Solutions strives to set new standards within optimised solutions for the professional market. The company’s continuous focus to improve their products has resulted in a range of more efficient and quieter products that benefit from low noise cooling systems, fans and compressors. In addition, the company can adapt its monitoring equipment to suit any individual cabinet format and can offer an energy programme to suit a customer’s own specific needs. Vestfrost Solution’s innovative M series glass door cabinets is the perfect product display presenter. A built-in ECO function together with an optimised cooling system and hydrocarbon refrigerants save energy and significantly reduces its carbon footprint. In addition the integrated LED light in the door frame offers full exposure to the stored contents while still maintaining a low operational cost. Furthermore, the flexible and robust steel shelves can easily be adjusted n to fit any product range’s requirements. For further details of Vestfrost’s innovative, energy-efficient refrigerators and freezers visit: 144 Industry Europe




Secop is a leading global manufacturer of Hermetic Compressors for refrigerator applications. Philip Yorke looks at a company that continues to lead the field with its on-going investments in new technology and implementation of natural refrigerants and variable speed, energy-efficient products.

Industry Europe 145


ith more than 50 years’ experience in cutting-edge compressor technology the company’s focus is to develop and produce advanced, energy efficient products for manufacturing businesses around the world. Secop’s headquarters, which houses its R&D and sales divisions, is situated in Fensburg, Germany. The company’s three state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities are located in Austria, Slovakia and China. Inn 2010 the leading German Investment Group, Aurelius AG, acquired Danfoss Household Compressors of Denmark and under its new ownership re-named the company Secop GmbH. The company has since gone from strength to strength with the introduction of the advanced XV compressor which opened a new chapter in refrigeration technology and the acquisition of ACC Furstenfeld of Austria. The Secop Group is active in the sectors of household, light commercial and mobile systems refrigeration and has developed a range of compressors which operate with the use of R600a, isobutene and R290, propane.

Unique solutions The demand for more powerful, more flexible and more environmentally-friendly solutions continues to grow. The increased demand can be seen in the global light-commercial market in particular for freezers, beverage displays, water coolers and ice cream cabinets. In a highly competitive market it is innovation and efficiency optimisation that remain the keys to Secop’s success.

146 Industry Europe

Secop has delivered advanced compressor solutions for over fifty years and with the introduction of the variable speed DLV propane compressors sets a new benchmark in energy efficiency. With its latest, variable speed compressor, Secop also sets a new standard within the light commercial market. The new series of compressors not only offers 40 per cent energy savings and exceptional, sustainable cooling efficiency, but it also provides a unique solution that is suitable for both LBP and MBP applications. With this new family of DLV compressors, customers get more flexibility and they no longer need to worry about application restraints. Instead of the traditional sole focus on LBP, the new compressor also includes all MBP applications simultaneously. These latest compressors from Secop come with the new CCD® controller. Its common interface enables caser controllers from all major suppliers and uses speed control through ‘Adaptive Energy Optimisation’ (AEO). The controller also provides a high starting torque and can start against differential pressures. The main sectors where Secop’s products are implemented are the Household refrigerator market, which represents around 35 per cent of sales, light commercial appliances at approximately 50 per cent and direct current appliances which account for around 15 per cent of global sales. The company told Industry Europe that in the household market the focus is on technology leadership through the development of its XV platform offering a unique combination of high efficiency and

Industry Europe 147

148 Industry Europe

compact design. In the light commercial market Secop is focused on the development and introduction of natural refrigerant solutions and variable speed driven compressor solutions for its customers, in order for them to meet the new regulations. In the direct current market segment the company continues to develop its platform in order to maintain its global market leadership position.

Global breakthrough Solar powered vaccine coolers are one of the fastest growing technologies within the cooling market. A joint venture between the Danish Technological Institute, Secop and Vestfrost solutions, have resulted in a global technological breakthrough in terms of the storage of vaccines in areas without a regular power supply. The project concept was to develop vaccine coolers where sun panels directly supply cooling compressors with energy. Until now, solar-powered vaccine coolers were equipped with batteries of lead in order to ignite the compressors to maintain coolers at all times. This solution was problematic because battery life was very short due to the immense discharge required. Added to this were the issues of environmental damage from spent batteries.

Component consolidation In its drive to increase productivity and global efficiency Secop plans to consolidate its European component production this year. This will involve the relocation of component production from Austria to Slovakia. In parallel with this strategic move, Secop will further optimise different functional areas and by doing so will utilise the synergies throughout its European footprint. In the future, the Austrian facility will focus on three main areas. The Global technology area is headquartered in Furstenfeld where it is responsible for the development of new technologies for the entire Secop Group. Particular emphasis will be placed on the consistent development of energy efficient variable speed compressors for the household, light commercial and DC powered segments. With these highly innovative technologies, Secop addresses both megatrends efficiency and low noise level. The management decided to establish a ‘Manufacturing Engineering Excellence & Competence Centre’ in Austria, which will utilise the existing process know-how to further improve n the Secop production facilities in Europe and China. For further information about Secop’s innovative, energy-saving compressors and services visit:

Industry Europe 149

THE LATEST IN CUTTING TECHNOLOGY The Salico Group consists of eight companies united by a single goal: to become the leading group in the production of process lines and finishing lines for steel, aluminium and copper. It hopes to achieve this goal through a series of acquisitions and technological innovations, as Daniele Garavaglia reports.

150 Industry Europe


he core business of the Salico Group is technologies, complete production lines and advanced machines for cutting and finishing steel and aluminium strip. Salico SpA was founded in 1978 by Giordano Colombo and Carlo Salvioni in Lecco, near Milan, as a small manufacturing facility. Today it has grown into a group that brings together eight companies in four countries: in Italy there are Salico SpA, Salico Automation, Salico Foil and Giuseppe Fumagalli Srl; Salico Hispania SA and Salmec Automation are in Spain; KCS Herr Voss UK Ltd is in the United Kingdom; and finally SES Salico Finishing and Processing LLC is in the United States. The acquisition of this last company has enabled the Salico Group to incorporate new technical and operational skills and increase penetration in the American market.

Advanced technological solutions “Ever since the early days both the philosophy and the strategy of our company were well established and mainly focused on the development of highly advanced technological solutions, responding to many of the technical challenges with regard to finishing lines at the time,” explains engineer sales manager Antonio Perego. “Since the first equipment was delivered, a very high degree of technical innovation was present in every Salico line entering production and this feature remains unchanged after 35 years: indeed it has become our trademark. Today, after more than 800 completed projects, we can proudly say that the Salico name stands for quality equipment and continuous innovation.”

Better cutting performances How does one describe Salico-branded technological innovation, which covers lengthwise and cross cutting systems in the widest range of widths, thicknesses and line capacity? What is the distinctive element that allows this company to supply plants for producers

of aluminium / steel coils throughout the world? Perego explains: “From the beginning, the structure of the companies was composed of an engineering office supported by a production unit. We were, we are and we will always be able to develop a number of innovative solutions. We introduced a unique patented cutting system with rotary shears on the cross-cutting machines. We sold hundreds of these machines around the world, because it can make both cross and trapezoidal cuts. Compared to other competitors, our solution provides better cutting performance and responds to widespread demand in the automotive industry: it optimises the cutting of the sheets and reduces scrap, generating pieces ready for pressing. These incremental innovation projects have resolved serious production problems for our customers and differentiated us from our competitors. We aim to ensure a strong middle ground between the quality of the cut and the efficiency of the system maintenance.”

Strong supplier relationships For this reason, cutting machines, crosswise and lengthwise cutting have become Salico’s forte, together with other finishing machines such as tension levellers, cleaning, blanking lines and packaging. To ensure quality and reliability, Salico has, over time, consolidated its relationship with reliable partners for the supply of components and technical accessories. These include, to name just a few: Officine Meccaniche Montorfano (machining), C.R. Rollers (rollers for levelling), Durlast (Special coatings for rollers), Ceba Ingranaggi (gogs and sprockets), Unimec (jacks) and the German TKM (blades for slitter and shears).

Salico’s strategy However, it has been Salico’s acquisition strategy that has enabled it to innovate through the acquisition of know-how in complementary areas. The acquisition of the Fumagalli company has enabled the

Industry Europe 151

152 Industry Europe

C.R. C.R. is an Italian company manufacturing special bearings for industrial applications and material handling plants and equipment. It was founded in 1984 by three owner-associates and has achieved continuous worldwide growth since that time. C.R. manufactures both customised special bearings, according to the specific needs of clients, and perfectly interchangeable spare parts, produced according to customers’ drawings or samples. It also manufactures bearings for several production fields and different applications. The main focus for C.R. is the design of very special bearings, in order to meet the requirements of plant manufacturers and sophisticated machine builders, with a high standard of performance. The technical and structural

group to enter the field of special applications as well as revamping existing machines, a service increasingly demanded by customers. The entrance of the company KCS HERR VOSS UK Ltd includes a strong team of engineers responsible for the engineering and design of cleaning lines for ferrous and non ferrous metals, coating lines and different process systems and applications. Furthermore, a merger with the Spanish Mecesa has allowed Salico to maximise its offer of engineering solutions for process automation. The recent establishment of Salico Foil has opened up the aluminium market, with a series of machines dedicated to the processing of thin materials (from 10 to 60 microns in thickness). Salico’s owners – belonging to the Salvioni, Colombo, Molteni and Gerbolés families – have a similar outlook when it comes to the future development of the group: “We aim at consolidation in the markets and an enlargement of the company base. This is a useful strategy, especially if the aggregation involves the opening up of new markets n or acquisition of new technologies,” concludes Mr Perego.

features of C.R. bearings undergo constant and thorough analysis and testing, regarding both quality and technical performance. The company’s bearings for tension leveler machines are considered as back-ups. Compared to those used in the flattening machines, these back-up bearings must have a very high speed. Manufactured with radial and axial cages in a lot of typologies and executions, C.R. guarantees these bearings are perfectly interchangeable with the originals, although in many cases design and performance will be significantly improved.

Industry Europe 153


ZMM Bulgaria is one of the largest manufacturers of universal and CNC lathes in Europe and is part of the IHB group, one of Europe’s big industrial conglomerates. Philip Yorke spoke to Emilian Abadjiev, the company’s CEO and executive director of IHB, about its continuous investment in new technology and the growing export markets for its state-of-the-art lathes.


MM Bulgaria was founded in 2001 as a subsidiary of Industrial Holding Bulgaria, which is one of the largest industrial groups in Bulgaria. ZMM Bulgaria was established to preserve and build upon development and manufacture of universal and CNC lathes. Since its formation, the company has successfully strengthened its international position and is at the forefront of machine lathe technology. To date ZMM Bulgaria has manufactured more than 115,000 lathes and over 500,000 electric motors, in addition to more than 210 hydro generators. The ZMM Bulgaria group of engineering companies includes ZMM Sliven AD, which was founded in 1971 and produces all the machines featured in the company’s extensive product portfolio. IHB Metal Castings is the company owned foundry which is casting the beds for the

154 Industry Europe

lathes, gearboxes and other components. It works as well for third party customers in Bulgaria, Italy, Germany and other European countries. ZMM Zagora AD is a sister company that was founded in 1970 and specialises in the design and manufacture of assemblies and parts for metal cutting and general machinery products (gears, shafts and others). The other key company in the group is IHB AD Electric, which was founded in 1950 and designs, manufactures and installs all types of electrical equipment, including high-voltage motors and vertical hydro generators.

Diverse range ZMM Bulgaria’s company’s dedication to innovation, product development and investment in new technology are all oriented to providing its customers with the optimal performance and robust reliability for which the company has become famous. As a major European player ZMM sells its products in more than 80 countries worldwide and its machines are customised to meet the requirements and standards that exist in its diverse global markets. As a result, the company’s product portfolio includes a wide range of universal lathes, oil country lathes and CNC lathes with diameters of treatment of up to 1410mm and distance between the centres of up to 10 metres (this means that the machine is longer than 13 metres). These lathes offer the optimal combination of quality, reliability and value-for-money. The technical advantages of ZMM’s universal lathes are well-known and all include a heavy, monolithic, highly ribbed and rigid bed casting made of strong grey cast iron which reduces vibrations during use. It also offers wide, double prismatic, induction hardened and precisely

ground guide-ways, with a built-in gap bridge which can be removed for processing during the handling of large work pieces. Abadjiev said, “We operate four key plants with our main Sliven plant delivering our final lathe products. This modern plant was created in 1971 as a facility to supply mainly the Russian market, however after the break-up of the Soviet Union many machine manufacturers went out of business and so we became the only company that continued to produce lathes at that time. “Today we make a vast range of lathes with over 50 models to choose from. These include universal and manual lathes with variable speed controls, as well as high-tech CNC lathes, of which we produce four major types. We currently manufacture more than 600 lathes a year. We also customise our lathes to meet the many diverse specifications of our customers; in fact virtually all of our lathes are customised to suit our individual client’s needs.” He added, “Exports now represent over 95 per cent of our sales and in the past our key markets were Russia and the USA. However, following the collapse of the oil prices our main markets today are western and eastern Europe, the Balkans, North Africa, Egypt,

South Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. What differentiates us from our competitors is a combination of flexibility, advanced technology, customer orientation and robust, reliable machines that stand the test of time. This is evident as we are still providing spare parts for lathes that we manufactured in the 1970s. “We also continue to invest heavily in new plant and technology and recently invested €1.2 million in new equipment and plant facilities including new spindle machines and gear grinding machines, as well the latest cutting machines and machining centres. So we are constantly improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of our products. We do not sell to end users but to distributors who are able to provide installation, as well as quality customer service and maintenance, and are all trained to a very high standard by our own engineers.”

Extensive partner network ZMM Bulgaria has an enviable and extensive partner network which has been formed over many years. The company’s partners are global brands that enhance both the company’s products and its reputation. These include SKF, which is a leading global technology provider

Industry Europe 155

whose main strength lies in the continuous development of new technologies for manufacturing industries. Another is the Schaeffler Group, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of rolling and plain bearings and linear systems engineering, particularly for the aerospace industry. The Japanese NSK is the third supplier of bearings for lathes. The electronic commands are bought according the needs of the customer from the three leading companies of the world – Siemens, Fagor and Fanuc. The digital read outs (DROs) are supplied by Newall (subsidiary of SENSATA) or again Fagor. The world leader in the manufacture of advanced technological tools is Bison, which is a Polish company that has been a global leader in its field for many years. Other key partners include Mazak, which is a leading global manufacturer of CNC machine tools and yet another is

156 Industry Europe

Elprom Harmanli, a Bulgarian company that produces high quality asynchronous electric motors. One of ZMM’s own companies also supplies metal castings from its modern foundry in Bulgaria to ZMM.

Constant aspiration for innovation Led by the understanding that the guarantee of quality and innovation requires constant investment, ZMM Bulgaria Holding is step by step renewing its factory equipment. Two years ago the biggest machining centre on the Balkans was acquired from Mazak. The same year, ZMM bought a new gear grinding machine from the Czech company Holmonta. As of January 2015 ZMM Nova Zagora has been operating a powerful gear grinding machine from Kapp Niles. The Foundry IHB Metal castings exchanged its furnace five years ago and in 2015

introduced new mixers from Omega, the British leader in this area. This years new 5-axis machining centres were acquired from DMG Mori, as well as new bending machines from the Turkish Durma. And the process is still ongoing. Concerning the re-equipment, ZMM Sliven also relies on its own capacity. It developed and built a spindle boring machine, which will shorten the boring time of a 909mm-deep spindle with a 72mm diameter by almost eight times!

Marketing – getting closer to the customer ZMM Bulgaria holding puts a lot of focus on customer communication – whether this is direct contact or using a wide variety of marketing tools. The company is present at the worldwide platform Direct Industry since a year and its machine catalogue is constantly renewed to make it more customer friendly. Its presence at international trade fairs is a constant practice: This is done mainly through its respective partners, but in some countries the holding presents its products directly. To mention just a few of the recent trade fairs: September 2014 in Chicago at the stand of Summit corporation;, February 2015 – Huston; April 2015 – Lyon; September 2015 – EMO – Milano; October 2015 – Hanoi / Vietnam; and in 2016 – Dusseldorf, Utrecht, Budapest, Birmingham and Bilbao. In September ZMM’s German partner Blumenbecker will present three of its machines, including a CNC machine, at the most important European event, AMB, in Stuttgar. In October, together with its Italian partner Rimex, it will participate in BIMU Milano. A company spokesperson tells us: “And of course we paying a lot of attention to our web page. It is constantly renewed, and there you can

find a full electronic catalogue of the production with the opportunity to download the photo and the specification of each machine separately. In the downloads section you can see a short three-minute film about the full process of production – from the CAD of the machines to the casting of the bed and the other details as well as the production of the gearboxes and the other components up to the packaging and the dispatch n of the machines.” But it may be better to let our readers to convince themselves alone: For further information about ZMM Bulgaria’s state-of-the-art lathes and services visit:

Industry Europe 157

METAL TO THE CORE Global tube and core solutions provider Sonoco Alcore has a dedicated metal division that delivers a broad range of innovative products and services. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to commercial segment leader Jordi Casas and technology leader Marko Ilomaki to learn more.


stablished in 1899, global consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and supply chain services giant Sonoco today employs over 21,000 people, has annual sales of $5 billion and over 330 operations in 34 countries. Well-known for serving some of the world’s leading brands in over 85 countries, Sonoco is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. Sonoco Alcore is Sonoco’s tube and core solutions division, with its focus on delivering products and solutions to customers in the paper, film, man-made fibre yarn, metal and construction industries. Packaging Europe spoke to decision makers in the metal segment of Sonoco Alcore, who are dedicated to the metal capabilities of the division. Commercial segment leader Jordi Casas introduced the interview by giving us an overview of the division and how it fits into the global Sonoco family. Mr Casas said, “Sonoco is well-known globally for being an innovator and a technical leader, so we are no exception to that. Where I feel Sonoco really excels is in taking a different approach, focusing on

158 Industry Europe

different segments in order to actively serve customers in best ways and offering not just packaging but total Supply Chain Solutions. So for us here at Sonoco Alcore’s metal division, this means that we can be fresh-thinking and innovative while still having the multi-national strength of the Sonoco family behind us. It’s a great position to be in and one that benefits both us as a company and our customers.”

Hello Metallan The Sonoco Alcore metal division – called Metallan – is a rather lately formed segment, even though many of the team have worked for the company for many years. With a smart marriage of long-established Sonoco employees and highly driven new employees, the division manages to be the most forward-thinking yet proven. Mr Casas explained, “We identified lots of opportunities for a dedicated metal team within Sonoco Alcore and realised that we could better serve our customers’ needs and find them the best possible solution. With

Commercial segment leader Jordi Casas

myself and Marko at the helm, we have highly specific metal core experience that is reliably and effectively transferred to our customers with every interaction. As with all Sonoco Alcore division, the Metallan Segment offers a sales and technology team that is entirely focused on this specific market, with the knowledge to identify and solve our customers’ issues in a performance-focused manner.” This focus on metal sees Sonoco Alcore’s Metallan division launched officially in Q3 2016 with Q1 2017 and beyond clearly labelled as an exciting time for rapid growth. Mr Ilomaki explained, “It’s important for us to say that Sonoco Alcore’s dedicated metal solutions division is here, ready to share our long-established knowledge in this sector with existing and potential customers. We are not a new business but we are a new division, focused solely on metallan cores and solutions. It’s a huge sector with huge opportunities, so it makes sense for a global innovator and technology leader in the core sector to offer a customised, totally dedicated team. We are ready to find optimal core solutions to our customers!”

Aligned to the market As befits a member of the Sonoco family, the Metallan division is fully committed to ‘always improving’. Excited by the potential to grow this newly-defined division, Mr Casas noted that the importance of understanding exactly how metal cores behave underpins its day to day activities. He said, “Part of our thinking is that very high value coils needs to be precisely aligned to the needs of the market. We have identified that a large number of potential customers are using cores that don’t necessarily have the ability to support their winding actions, with perhaps unsuitable engineering being used. We know how important it is to have the right cores for the job, especially when winding high value metal rolls, you don’t want to make a mistake! So that is where our expertise is most valuable. In addition, we are developing specific solutions with the intention to launch this innovation with a distinctive brand concept to the market. It will focus on steel and aluminium, producing the correctly engineered carrier solution for each metal application, optimising its value and increasing the safety of metal coils up to the final converter.” As a packaging leader across Sonoco’s active markets, the Metallan division is keen to connect with customers and potential customers that are possibly using their current cores without the right performance properties. Mr Ilomaki concluded, “We use a scientific approach to specify a core that meets our customers’ needs for optimum core performance at a suitable cost. We’re continually testing and developing our solutions to ensure we have the largest possible palette from which to draw answers – all totally focused on metal-industry cores. Our engineered carriers may also be part of a machine element, an important component in the winding process from the cold rolling mill to the final user, so this means our ability to design and create a precise solution is not just desirable n but critical.” Contacts: or Industry Europe 159


Hitachi Rail Europe is a leading total railway system supplier that manufactures rolling stock, traction equipment, signalling and traffic management systems. Philip Yorke talked to Daren Cumner, the company’s plant manager, about its new state-of-the-art facility at Newton Aycliff, Durham, and the delivery of the country’s first high-speed, Class 395 trains. 160 Industry Europe


itachi Rail Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Europe, headquartered in London, UK. Hitachi draws on many years of experience as a leading global supplier of high-speed trains such as the Shinkansen (bullet train) for the Japanese and international markets. In Europe Hitachi Rail Europe’s first rolling stock contract was to deliver a fleet of 29 class 395 trains, which are the UK’s first high-speed trains. As part of the British Department of Transport’s Intercity Express Programme, the company will replace the country’s ageing fleet of Intercity trains and it has established an £82 million facility in Durham UK for this purpose. The trains will be maintained and serviced at a number of new maintenance depots built by Hitachi along the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line.

Global technology leaders In 2013 the British government launched a rail industry supply chain forum in order to support small and medium sized UK businesses. Hitachi’s decision to relocate its global train business headquarters to London increased hopes that this heralded the start of a new era in rail efficiency and reliability in the UK. The 460,000 square ft

plant at Newton Aycliff, Durham, is the Japanese company’s first European train facility and was given the go-ahead after the British Government awarded Hitachi Rail Europe the coveted Intercity Express Programme in 2012. Hitachi leads the world in train systems technology and has built a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to produce its advanced trains and rail systems. This involves the design and manufacture of the next generation of trains for the East Coast and Great Western main line systems. The contract, which is worth almost £6 billion, includes a maintenance programme that runs for 27 years. In total Hitachi is set to build 122 trains comprising 866 carriages. Hitachi has also been named by Abellio, part of the Dutch State Operator, as the preferred bidder to build 70 trains for ScotRail. Cumner said, “Our 31-acre site at Newton Aycliffe sets new standards in plant design and efficiency and took 665 days to build from the day it was launched in May 2012. The plant will eventually support over 7000 jobs and more than 95 per cent of the workforce will be sourced from the north-east of England. We manufacture full train sets in a modern flow process that compares to those in Japan which, like us, have low volume, premium products that offer optimal Industry Europe 161

162 Industry Europe

efficiency and exceptional reliability. Our new class 395 series of trains are based upon the famous bullet trains of Japan and, despite the restrictions imposed by the infrastructure in the UK, they will be capable of travelling up to 140mph. However, this will be dwarfed by the speeds possible on the new HS2 system, which will be capable of speeds up to 225mph. In addition to intercity and commuter trains we will also be producing new electric Metro trains, which have aluminium bodies that are much lighter than traditional trains and offer greater efficiency and significantly lower track wear. Cumner added, “As part of our contract we will be building depots up and down the country to service the new trains and rolling stock, so we are not just delivering the assets but making sure the trains go into service every day. We benefit greatly from being a part of Hitachi of Japan and having access to their world-beating technologies. The company as a whole employs more than 330,000 people worldwide and has significant resources both financially and technically. “We have not only focused on building a state-of-the-art facility but also on the quality of our employees as we firmly believe that good people make good products. We have started a major apprenticeship and graduate programme and have sponsored the building of a new university technical college, which will be the first of its kind in the UK. As a result, more than 600 students will be able to learn engineering disciplines that will enable them to become part of the Hitachi family of companies in due course.”

Chain reaction The start-up of a project as big as the contract won by Hitachi Rail Europe, (worth almost £5 billion), requires exceptional expertise in a number of key areas. Supply chain management is possibly one of the most important as it touches on every aspect of the operations concerning the success of such a major project. To manage the procurement of essential equipment, components and suppliers, the company launched ‘Project Springboard’ to deal with the IEP (Intercity Express Programme), which involves replacing the entire fleet of intercity trains running on the East Coast Main Line and the Great

Western Main Line. As a result over 70 per cent of all parts, systems and operations for the news trains have been purchased from UK-based businesses. This includes windows from Durham-based Romag, on-board servers from Nomad Digital located in Newcastle and passenger counting systems from Gateshead-based Petard. Following the placing of contracts with its suppliers, Hitachi Rail hosted a major event at the transport trade fair InnoTrans in Berlin to celebrate its key suppliers to the IEP. Jamie Foster, Procurement director, Hitachi Rail Europe, said, “The Hitachi Rail procurement team spent a long time looking for the best suppliers to provide high quality products, exceptional reliability and real value for money over the lifetime of our trains. With the companies we have recognised here today, we have found the right fit for us. We are proud that we have been able to find companies in the UK and Europe to fulfil our requirements.”

Great expectations On 30 June, the UK’s Great Western Railway unveiled its first of a fleet of new Hitachi trains as part of a ceremony celebrating 175 years to the day since the very first train ran on the line between Bristol and London. The new Hitachi fleet is being introduced as part of the biggest investment on this railway since Brunel, including the electrification of the Great Western Main Line. All these trains will be manufactured at the Newton Aycliffe plant and will offer more seating, greater legroom, free Wi-Fi and power sockets on each seat. In addition there will be LCD reservation indicators and increased space in overhead luggage racks. The fleet will be introduced into regular service in the summer of 2017. Andy Rogers, projects director at Hitachi Rail Europe said, “This is a momentous day for GWR, as it celebrates 175 years of the Great Western Main Line service and looks forward to an exciting future for fare-paying passengers. The brand new fleet of Hitachi trains that enter into service next year will transform passenger’s experience to and from the South West and bring significant benefits to people n and communities along the UK’s most important railway lines.” Industry Europe 163

CLEAR ROAD AHEAD AŽD Praha is a major Czech producer of signalling, telecommunication, information and automation technologies supplied predominantly to the rail and road transport sectors. Romana Moares spoke to the company’s CEO, Mr Zdeněk Chrdle, under whose management the company has experienced the best period in its 60-year history.

164 Industry Europe


ailway signalling technologies made and supplied by AŽD Praha are currently installed in almost 20 countries around the world. As a result of recent product development and cutting edge technologies introduced to the market, the company has become one of the leading players in its sector. “I must emphasise that AŽD Praha is a company with Czechonly capital. I would like to define AŽD Praha as an European company with Czech technologies developed by Czechs, or with the aid of Czech secondary and higher education,” stresses the CEO at the beginning of the interview. He further explains that the company focuses on supplying its products to predominantly eastern European markets, even though it has also won customers further afield, for example in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Malaysia and many other countries.

Rapid development The technologies that AŽD Praha makes and supplies are fully comparable, in terms of their technical parameters and performance, to those of major competitors. “Czech signalling technologies have undergone an unbelievable evolution. A few years ago I would have never imagined AŽD Praha to have its own integrated automated train control system ETCS,” says Mr Chrdle.

“We thought we would become a sub-contractor of some global company and offer our free production capacity, for example for assembly of parts. However, the competitors turned their back on us and we had to quickly decide what to do next. After all, the fixed part of ETCS had been developed by our company; the automated train control system ETCS had already been installed and commissioned in Slovakia and Czech Republic,” he reflects, adding that the company is currently developing the mobile part of ETCS.

Impressive references The state-of-the-art technology soon raised interest beyond the borders of the domestic market. When asked about the most important customers, the CEO says: “The ongoing contracts in Bosnia and Herzegovina have definitely been extremely important to us. We consider Bosnia and Herzegovina to be a highly promising market, and at the moment this market is our priority. We have supplied our products for two railway lines there – Sarajevo-Bradina and Doboj-Banja Luka.” The company has a list of impressive references in many other countries, for example in Belarus, Serbia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia or Azerbaijan, to which AŽD Praha supplied in-house developed and produced road telematics systems.

Industry Europe 165

“If I am to evaluate our export markets activities from the reputation point of view, I would definitely highlight Slovakia. Not only the installation of ETCS mentioned earlier, but the whole European system of railway transport control – ERTMS – has been completed

there recently. And this within a single year, which is an extraordinary tight deadline,” claims Mr Chrdle. The company has recently entered a tender to purchase two regional lines which are of no more use to the Czech Railway Infrastructure Administration. The plan is to turn them into testing polygons, where the latest products developed by AŽD Praha would be tested. “These will be purely Czech signalling technologies making use of satellite systems or progressive level crossing systems, which can prolong or reduce warning time according to the speed of coming trains or wireless control technologies,” explains Mr Chrdle.

Determined to succeed How does he see the company competing in the increasingly demanding export markets moving forward? “One of our strengths is that we do not only install and commission our products but have developed a system of continuous customer care and support including consultancy. We want our systems to be user-friendly for our customers,” says Mr Chrdle. He further explains that the company’s experts are able to even connect AŽD Praha’s technologies to the existing, very often obsolete national technologies. “Our key competitive advantage is that we know how to modify and adapt signalling technologies upon request. When a customer knows what he wants, he will get it from us, including the required language version. The attendants thus do not have to work with English but can use their native tongue, which is a very important aspect for the railway safety,” he points out. Currently, exports account for about 25 per cent of total output, but the CEO makes no secret of the fact that that management would like to increase this figure to 30 or 35 per cent. “We want to develop our activities not only in Turkey, as I have already mentioned, but also in the Balkan region, in countries such as Serbia, Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina. We would also like to continue our success in the Baltic countries. And there is another big challenge for us – Poland – where the situation is very complicated and local companies watch the region very closely. We are not going to give up, though, and we will keep fighting. I believe we have a lot to offer n to this market,” concludes Mr Chrdle. 166 Industry Europe



The Italian company ALBIS International Srl is a leading developer of nonwoven technologies for cleaning and sanitary products. Industry Europe looks at its continued dedication to innovation and plans for future growth.

Industry Europe 167


LBIS was founded by Mr Gianni Boscolo in 1995, at which time it relied upon a single production technology. Since then the company has constantly developed its production processes in the areas of nonwovens and fibre spinning. Its dedication to investing in the latest technologies has led to the introduction of many innovative solutions over the years. Business manager Massimo Cassani begins: “Our goal is to identify potential problems and suggest solutions to solve them. We are focused on the supply of nonwovens to the hygiene and personal care markets, ranging from nappies to cosmetic wipes for make-up removal. “We are able to provide our customers with an even broader range of manufacturing technologies and production flexibility,” adds Alberto Guardia, another of the company’s business managers. “This means we

168 Industry Europe

can satisfy customer demands efficiently. Now we can serve many business areas, including medical, agriculture, household, packaging and filtration.”

Acquisition Distribution Layer ALBIS offers a wide range of carded nonwovens made from different types of PET fibres. They mainly serve as Acquisition-Distribution Layers (ADL) for all types of baby and adult incontinence pads as well as in sanitary napkins. Generally, superabsorbent polymers need to have two different functions: the ability to absorb an abundance of liquid (higher absorption capacity); and the ability to retain absorbed liquid under load (higher absorption capacity). In 1995 the company started its long-term partnership with P&G. With its two different web bonding processes, namely Resinbonded and Airthrough bonded, ALBIS has developed

two main classes of products: Curadis RB and Curadis ATB. The carded hydrophilic nonwoven Curadis ATB is made from a blend of regular and of bicomponent fibres that are bonded using the airthrough bonded process (ATB). This nonwoven is available in regular pancake or in spooled rolls. The Curadis RB is a carded resin bonded hydrophilic non-

woven made of PES fibres, bonded with an emulsion of SBR resins. It also offers excellent capillarity performance.

Innovation department In the nonwovens industry, innovation and technology are the key factors. Consumers always need additional comfort and safety and now more than ever are asking for increased levels of sustainability in nonwoven products – especially when it comes to disposable products like wipes. Sustainability today is very much like flushability was several years ago. Indeed, the ALBIS internal R&D department is working on developing a new range of solutions to be added to the more than 10 innovative products it has already patented. The last of these represents a first for the nonwovens market: the Curacell®.

Nonwovens without water? Curacell® is a nonwoven manufactured using a patented technology. What makes the production process peculiar is that

no water is used. The unique structure of Curacell® (which is made from a mixture of PP spunbond filaments, pulp and other polymers) ensures a totally lint-free surface. The result is a multi-layer absorbent web, ideal not only for all kinds of wipes – both wet and dry – but even for any type of substrate in which the absorption of liquids is required: in consequence, the traditional cleaning market has also found a solution for household or industrial applications. Thanks to its dry process, Curacell® eliminates the risk of contamination from mould, fungi and bacteria. This solution doesn’t require the use of chemicals, either for the cleaning of process water or to keep the plant safe and clean. Consequently, it doesn’t generate any ‘special waste’ to be disposed of. Of course, such an innovative solution doesn’t affect the performance characteristics of the product, but it certainly helps to reduce the environmental impact. When compared to standard products, Curacell® uses fewer raw materials from non-renewable sources. In the future Albis will optimise

this product still further with the result that the spunbond will be made entirely from PLA. All wipes in this range will then be 100 per cent compostable.

Specialties Albis has also developed a class of spunbond materials to meet the growing demand for nonwovens with special performance characteristics: a super-soft and structured permanent hydrophilic spunbond nonwoven. The fine denier of the PP filaments, together with the special embossing process used, gives the material a pleasant ‘silky’ touch.

Looking ahead “We fully believe in the revolution of Curacell®, which represents the future in this area,” conclude Cassani and Guardia. “Over the past few years we have reinforced our commitment to R&D and we will continue to focus our efforts on developing innovative solutions. Albis has a well-established presence in Italy, Europe, and North Africa too. Our goal for next few years is n to expand into the US market.”

Industry Europe 169

Finished products


Ricardo Fernandes, Rui Lopes, Rui Santos and Carlos Azevedo (left to right)


AND TRUST Active across Europe, Trim NW is a Portugal-based manufacturer of industrial nonwovens and moulded parts for the mobility market. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to sales manager Ricardo Fernandes to learn more about how the business is bringing its customer-focused approach to an ever-wider audience.

170 Industry Europe

Presses to make moulded parts


roudly versatile and resolutely customer-focused, Portugalbased nonwovens manufacturer Trim NW has absorbed more than five decades of experience thanks to its acquisition of the well-known Ipetex business. A manufacturer of industrial nonwovens and moulded parts for the mobility market, Trim NW has specialised know-how and a fresh approach which, coupled with the vast experience of the Ipetex acquisition, is a powerful force. Sales manager Ricardo Fernandes told Industry Europe, “Perhaps the most important point to highlight is that Trim NW is totally customer focused – always has been, always will be. Everything we do is about total flexibility for the benefit of our customers, from our production capability to our sales service. We are dedicated to our customers’ satisfaction and I believe that is what has helped us to grow quickly and cleverly. We cherish our customers and the long term commercial relationships we have are very important to us. We do as much as we can to keep our customers happy.” This clear dedication to customer happiness is reflected in every aspect of Trim NW’s operation. For example, in the ‘Quality Policy’ department, the teams are continually looking at ways to ensure the product portfolio is as forward-thinking as possible. Mr Fernandes

explained, “We work on the basis of continual improvement. Our goal of always satisfying our customers’ needs and expectations is met through complying with all the legal requirements connected to our products’ activity, constant evaluation of our quality management system and always promoting an effective environmental policy through non-polluting practices.”

Continual improvement The continual improvement from Trim NW is also evident in its clear communication with customers. By promising to always keep open and honest, the company ensures its customers know exactly what stage its projects are at and is kept in the loop regarding cost/benefit conditions for any developments. Mr Fernandes noted, “Our customers appreciate the clear communication we always deliver. They know exactly where they stand with us and can be assured that we do precisely what we say we’re going to do, when we say we’re going to do it – and for how much.” For the industrial nonwovens offer, Trim NW delivers lightweight (between 17g/m2 and 75g/m2) products for a range of functions and applications, most specifically across the automotive sector. Its

General view of the nonwoven production line

Industry Europe 171

General outside view of our plant

Termoline products have high performance protective barriers and demoulding properties, but also a strong visual aspect. The Termoline range also provides excellent properties such as flame retardants, repellence, adhesive and resilience, thanks to the different types of finish and composition available. The Termoline range has been created to achieve a number of advantages for its automotive applications, with customers returning to Trim NW time and time again. In terms of mobility market, the Trim NW portfolio of moulded parts includes many solutions, such as headliners, mat floors, pillars, parcel shelves, insulators and so on, that add value to both the comfort and design of the product. Mr Fernandes said, “We are a recognised partner for many European automotive brands, providing interior moulded components for development and production and various adaptable parts, all of which come with our famous versatility as standard. But Trim NW’s moulding know-how goes way beyond the automotive industry. Its technology allows it to develop and produce moulded parts for other markets, such as furniture and filtration. In fact, one of the strategies of Trim NW is to expand its presence in these markets.

Significant market share As the leading European supplier of moulded components for small cars, Trim NW sees its products distributed practically everywhere in Europe. Mr Fernandes added, “We have significant market share across Europe and this is growing. We have been focusing on developing new products, not only for the moulded parts but also for nonwovens. Besides our major participation with Termoline in cotton felt and glass fibre insulators, we’ve developed a new range of lightweight thermalbonded products for the foam insulation parts.” With plans to further expand into Europe, with the Czech Republic and Turkey already seeing a fresh Trim NW presence, the company expects to see its excellent results grow ever more impressive. Mr Fernandes concluded, “We have a very clear strategy for where we are heading. We will stay strong in markets where we are already strong and we will continue to grow in new markets – both in product sectors and geographically. The new facilities are soon to see expanded production, which will allow Trim NW to expand the range of products with heavier materials, and open new markets as well. It’s n a very exciting time to be a Trim NW partner.”

General view of the nonwoven production line

172 Industry Europe

SUSTAINABLE CARING Unilever is a leading global FMCG company with more than two billion consumers using its products every day. With over four hundred brands in its product portfolio the company recorded sales of over €50 billion in 2015. Today innovation and sustainability play a major role in the company’s strategy for future growth, as Philip Yorke reports.


a truly global player, Unilever operates dedicated R&D centres throughout the world with key research facilities based in the UK, India, China, North America and the Netherlands. These sites employ more than 6000 scientists, chefs and technicians in Unilever’s quest for more advanced and sustainable solutions to meet the needs of today’s consumers. The company’s products are divided into three key business sectors: Home Care, Personal Care and Food & Drink. Instantly recognisable brands such as Dove, Knorr, Hellmans, Domestos and Lipton represent just a few of its global success stories.

Innovative sustainability The latest annual report from Unilever highlights its continuing commitment to innovation and sustainability, which features groundbreaking innovations and sustainability milestones. In addition to driving growth through core brands such as Dove and Axe, Personal Care expanded its new prestige business through acquisitions such as Dermalogica, Murad, Kate Somerville and REN. In the food sector the company also saw strong growth in savoury dressings and in its fast-food solutions business which services professional hotel, restaurant and catering customers. Home Care Industry Europe 173

Products added to profitability through its scaled-up household cleaning business. In its refreshment sector, ice-cream delivered strong growth and strengthened its retail operations across both ice cream and tea. Ground-breaking innovations were realised with the range of dry deodorants across its Dove, Rexona and Axe ranges, satisfying the need in North America for a deodorant that goes on drier and cleaner. In addition, the consumer reception of Comfort Intense, which is a superconcentrated fabric conditioner, far exceeded expectations. Unilever also took some key steps towards its ‘Sustainable Living Plan’ targets during 2015. For example, it reached the landmark of having all tea in its Lipton teabags sourced from Rainforest Alliance certified estates following an eight-year investment programme. In March the company also announced that all palm oil bought for its European and Australian food businesses is now from traceable and certified plantations. Unilever also became the first company to produce a detailed, stand-alone human rights report. In the report’s CEO review, when asked what he saw as the biggest opportunity ahead, Paul Polman says it lies in the pace of change: “To show that we can continue to develop a portfolio of brands with the right blend of global and local presence, supported by organisational structure that is resilient enough to respond to rapidly emerging market trends.” 174 Industry Europe

Sustainable Algal Oil In March this year Unilever announced that it had extended its supply agreement with TerraVia, the world’s largest producer of Algal Oils. This agreement follows the initial agreement for soap bars using sustainable Algal Oils, which was signed in 2014, for the production of 10,000 metric tons of renewable Algal Oil for use in its Lux soap bars, which are made and sold in Brazil. In the new five-year deal, TerraVia will supply Unilever with Algal Oil for use in its personal care products. These special oils are produced using a unique fermentation process that is designed to ensure the highest levels of purity, and deliver improved consumer benefits such as enhanced lathering, rinsing and a better fragrance experience. The decision to use algal oils is also aligned with Unilever’s ambition to grow the business while reducing its overall environmental footprint, and its commitment to using only sustainably sourced agricultural raw materials by 2020. Algal oils offer an additional source of fully traceable sustainably sourced high-yield oil and have a lower greenhouse gas footprint than the current industry average of equivalent oils. TerraVia’s algal oils are derived from oil-producing microalgae that are cultivated sustainably and responsibly.

Suppliers recognised Unilever recognises that it would not be able to maintain its global operations across almost 200 countries without the valuable contribution of its network of 16,000 suppliers. The company said, “Our suppliers materials and services are an integral part of our commer-

cial operations, ensuring our sites and factories in more than 100 countries are capable of manufacturing, marketing and continually improving the thousands of unique items we produce today.”

Cutting edge innovation For a major global player such as Unilever, a significant part of its growth is always going to come from its development of cuttingedge innovation and bottle technology. For example, by using gas-injection to create gas bubbles in the middle layer of the bottle wall, it reduces the density of the bottle and the amount of plastic required. All packaging will remain 100 per cent recyclable and bottles will contain a minimum of 15 per cent less plastic. This advanced technology has been deployed first in Europe across Dove Body Wash range. Vaseline is another brand that really needs no introduction since the products in this range and their benefits to consumers are recognised in over 70 countries worldwide. In addition to the standard lip balms, petroleum jelly, lotions and cleansers, the latest product under the Vaseline umbrella is its new line of Spray & Go moisturisers. These moisturise deeply and absorb in seconds, allowing the user to get dressed and leave the house immediately after applying. In this way it is different from traditional spray products, since it dispenses lotion quickly and evenly and n enables all-over body coverage. For further details of Unilever’s latest innovative and sustainable products visit:

Industry Europe 175


Fives Stein is a global leader in the design and manufacture of machinery and process equipment for the glass making industry. Philip Yorke talked to Stephen Sherlock, the company’s sales director, about the launch of its new innovative products and recent rebranding programme.


a global industrial engineering group Fives designs and supplies process equipment for the world’s largest leading industrials. Located in 30 countries and with over 8000 employees, the Fives Group is known for its technological expertise and competence in executing international projects. Today the Fives Group has an annual turnover of more than $2 billion. Fives Stein Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fives Group and is based in the UK. It specialises in the design and supply of high quality glass melting, conditioning and furnace boosting systems for all types of glass products. Fives Stein Ltd (formerly BH-F Engineering Ltd) was

176 Industry Europe

founded in the UK in 1993. In 2008 the company merged with Peneletro Ltd, thereby combining two of Britain’s most experienced companies in the glass making industry.

Delivering unique solutions Since 2014 the Fives Group’s different divisions have been rebranded and trade internationally, simply as ‘Fives’. Its tagline ‘Ultimate machines, ultimate factory’ captures its expertise in high quality machines and key process equipment. Fives Stein Ltd, together with Fives Stein SA, France and Fives Stein Shanghai, form the glass group division within the Fives

Group. As part of Fives, with all the benefits of being a member of a large industrial consortium, the glass group is able to develop, optimise and integrate unique glass production solutions according to the customer’s requirements and meet the toughest environmental standards. The glass group has rebranded its innovative glass equipment technologies under the registered trademark of Prium®. Mr Sherlock said, “Fives has introduced a new oxy-combustion furnace crown design for an efficient flue gas Heat Recovery Area (H.R.A). The innovative design causes the hot exhaust gas to sweep over the batch blanket, thereby pre-heating the raw materials coming into the furnace and reducing the amount of energy and fuel required to melt the batch. “For thermal conditioning of molten glass in the glass making process for such articles as containers, tableware, perfumery bottles and other lines using Forehearth systems, we have introduced the Prium® Planar Tek Combustion nozzle Mix System for the ultimate glass temperature homogeneity. In a fresh innovative approach for Working Ends of Forehearths, the Fives Prium® system is designed to suit the customers’ production requirements and, combined with our patented Flat Flame burner block, enhances glass conditioning performance of the range of Prium Forehearth systems with reduced gas consumption. The Prium Planar Tek combustion can be readily

integrated with a new state-of-the-art, bespoke heat recovery system to further augment energy and operational efficiency, as well as profit and environmental considerations.”

Expanding markets Following the recent rebranding of Fives Stein, large float glass projects continue to be handled by Fives Stein SA. There is a state-of-the-art testing facility in Bar-Le-Duc in the east of France, where the glass group can conduct tests such as combustion and thermal effects at the early prototype stage. Fives Stein Ltd continues to spearhead the group’s expansion into the container, tableware and special glass markets. The company’s design, engineering and procurement facility at Didcot, UK, has a test rig for small the scale testing of glass melting and conditioning equipment. Larger scale CFD modelling of complete systems can be conducted by the glass group or through third party specialist companies. For annealing lehrs for float glass, the glass group has a manufacturing facility based in Shanghai, China, in order to compete with Chinese suppliers on price while offering European know-how. Mr Sherlock added, “Here at Fives Stein Ltd in the UK we deal with all glass production methods for rolled flat glass, containers, tableware and fibreglass etc. We offer a total design service and facility to design and supply melting systems for well-known and new innovative types of

Industry Europe 177

glass, such as the Alumina Borosilicate glass required for touch-screen devices. We are well established in Europe, Asia and the Pacific region and are now focused on increasing our presence in the USA. We have also appointed a new business development manager to promote the whole Fives Group Worldwide.”

Innovation driving sales Innovation has always been a priority at Fives Stein and this continues to drive its sales. Recently, one of the world’s leading producers of pharmaceutical containers contracted Fives for the design, engineering, installation and commissioning of two new hot ends for its new glass plant in France. In addition, Fives successfully commis-

178 Industry Europe

sioned one all-electric furnace structure with a capacity of 70 tonnes per day in August 2015 and one oxy-gas furnace processing 55 tonnes per day in November last year. The all-electric furnace incorporates Fives’ latest design features that offer a specifically engineered furnace structure in order to improve glass melting and refining performances and reduce refractory wear rates. The oxy-gas furnace is equipped with Fives exclusive new design called HRA technology (Heat Recovery Area), which reduces the temperature of oxy fuel waste gasses and improves energy consumption by n up to 10 per cent. For further details of Fives Stein’s innovative products and services visit



Prium® PlanarTek Burner Block

PRIUM® PLANARTEK COMBUSTION FOR THE ULTIMATE GLASS TEMPERATURE HOMOGENEITY A new innovative approach for Working Ends and Forehearths. The Fives Prium® PlanarTek combustion system is designed to suit the customers’ production requirements and combined with our patented Flat Flame burner block enhances glass conditioning performance with reduced gas consumption. The Prium® PlanarTek combustion can be readily integrated with a bespoke heat recovery system to further augment energy and operational efficiencies. With over 60 years of experience in the Glass Industry, Fives designs, engineers, manufactures, installs, tests and commissions glass equipment in a wide range of Glass processes and applications all over the world. Trust Fives professionals to enhance your plant’s performance and competitiveness and to optimise your investment. Email: Telephone: +44 (0) 1235 811 111 Website:

Industry Europe 179

180 Industry Europe

PIONEERING SOLAR PROTECTION SOLUTIONS Harol is a market leader in the design and manufacture of sun protection systems, roller shutters, garage doors and outdoor living solutions. Philip Yorke talked to Marc Van den Berg, the company’s commercial director, about its recent investment programme and focus on new export markets.


arol was founded in Belgium in 1946 and remains a privately owned, family run business. This year the company celebrates 70 years of trading and continues to invest in new technology and digital systems, and recently implemented an entirely new ERP system. Today Harol employs more than 250 people and in 2015 recorded sales of over €35 million.

Innovation driving sales Harol has always placed a high priority on innovation and its highquality manufacturing processes; as a result it sets the standards for many others in the marketplace. A good example of this is the SC900 sun screen, which represents a major step forward towards combining solar shading with high-value insulation.

This screen combines modern styling with unrivalled acoustic and thermal insulation. This high-tech product represents a new generation of screens that unobtrusively and effectively meet the full requirements of the European EPB standard. This is a ‘built-on’ screen that effectively blocks over 90 per cent of the solar radiation before it reaches the glass. This in turn makes it an affordable and attractive solution for achieving maximum comfort levels in both summer and winter. The unique benefits of the SC900 make it a revolutionary design that offers a wind resistance class 3 rating and high acoustic insulation, and a thermal insulation figure of only 1.3W/m2K. The screen is equipped with an electric drive as standard and is available in a broad range of colours.

Industry Europe 181

Kingspan Door Components Kingspan Door Components based in Belgium, is part of the Kingspan Group, a global leader in high performance insulation building fabric, and solar integrated building envelopes. Kingspan Door Components leads the way with innovative insulated sectional door panels and hardware solutions for residential and industrial buildings. The continuous work within the R&D facility ensures that Kingspan Door Components has the best thermal performance in the market, and has exceptional fire performance. Technical and customer service excellence within the business is key, ensuring the customers’ needs are met as quickly as possible. Contact: Kingspan Door Components S.A. Zone Industrielle de l’Europe 1A 7900 Leuze-en-Hainaut, Belgium Tel: +32 (0)69 86 82 22 - Fax: +32 (0)69 86 82 20

Van den Berg said, “We like to see ourselves as a specialist in solar management, it is the smart management of solar energy and daylight that will form an integral part of the buildings of the future. It improves the comfort, health and productivity of residents and users. Our innovative solar management solutions also prevent overheating in our increasingly well-insulated houses and buildings. “At Harol we have one of the largest product ranges for vertical solar solutions, we not only offer a complete range of screens and roller shutters, but also outdoor venetian blinds and pivot-arm

182 Industry Europe

awnings. For the project market we also offer a huge range of solar architectural products such as fixed and adjustable sun blinds, horizontal and vertical fixed and adjustable slats, sliding panels and folding shutters.” Van den Berg added, “Another innovation which we introduced earlier this year is our new sun protection concept which offers a solution for every conceivable situation. Our new VZ080-zip is a multifunctional sun protection system for conservatories, sky-lights and roof-lights. It can be fitted sideways, top-down, bottom-up, surface

mounted or built-in. It has an integrated zip system, is a beautiful design and offers smart solutions for easy maintenance and after sales service.” The next phase in this concept will be the big conservatory awning, extended as a standing terrace solution. The last phase will be an all-weather terrace awning with built-in LED lighting, integrated screens and water drainage.

Expanding global reach Traditionally the company has focused on its domestic market and the other Benelux countries. However, Belgium still remains its biggest European market, followed by France, the Netherlands, the UK and Germany. In addition to its new focus on its domestic ‘project’ market, the company has defined three clear regions of interest for future development, these are Scandinavia, the German speaking countries otherwise known as the ‘Dach countries’, Austria, Germany and Switzerland, as well as the UK. Harol already has a sales office in Sweden to cover the Scandinavian market and is currently recruiting staff for its expansion programme in the Nordic region. Van den Berg commented, “We will focus on specific countries for development as we see our future growth coming from export sales and now is the time to concentrate on developing our international strength. We will develop it organically, but of course you can’t exclude mergers if the right opportunity presents itself.”

Valued partners As a family owned business the company values its customers and sees them as partners and part of the extended Harol family. The company also tries to be as flexible as possible in order to support its clients in the most effective ways possible. This means not only supporting them with sales and marketing campaigns but also helping them to set up a production facility for specific products. As far as export markets are concerned, Harol not only sells finished products, but also components to assemblers and other manufactur-

ers. In some cases a client may wish to launch a new product range and then the company will assist them with their extensive know how and technical expertise. “Our main customer base is made up of specialist installers of sun protection products, roller shutters and garage n doors for consumer use,” said Van den Berg. For further details of Harol Consyst’s innovative solar protection products and systems visit:

Industry Europe 183

A TRUE VISIONARY LINET spol. s.r.o. is a major European manufacturer of hospital and nursing beds. The company’s portfolio includes solutions designed for intensive care, products for regular in-bed treatment and also special beds for old people’s homes and long-term care facilities. Having achieved worldwide success, the company’s position is now stronger than ever before. Romana Moares reports.

184 Industry Europe


INET is maintaining its position out in front of its competitors in the field of hospital bed manufacture. The firm regularly introduces products and services with innovative features and functions that reduce physical demands on staff, enhance the efficacy of care provided and increase patient comfort. It works intensively on developing such products in collaboration with healthcare professionals and respected experts in various scientific fields, enabling it to keep abreast of new trends in the area of medical care. LINET’s headquarters, as well as its production plant, continue to be based in Želevčice u Slaného, where it has been located since its establishment in 1990. The plant manufactures around 40,000 hospital beds per year, the vast majority of which are intended for export to more than one hundred countries worldwide. The product range also includes a wide range of accessories such as anti-pressure ulcer mattresses, mobile equipment, healthcare furniture and so on. “Since 2011, LINET s.r.o. has been a member of the multinational holding organisation LINET Group SE, headquartered in the Netherlands, which came into existence after a merger with the German Wissner-Bosserhoff,” says Tomáš Kolář, the company’s marketing director.

“The holding currently employs around 1400 people and these numbers will soon increase: We are in the process of building a new factory near the old plant, which will create about 150 new jobs.”

Steady growth The company was established in 1990 in Želevčice u Slaného, where it still operates a production plant. “Success in the complex and demanding medical equipment market has been achieved by focusing on two key elements – technological innovation and design,” says Mr Kolář. “Investment made in first class technology started to bear first fruit in the late 1990s when we introduced technical features which propelled us far ahead of our competitors.” A turning point came in 2000 when the Eleganza and Multicare beds were introduced and proved highly popular thanks to their innovative design. Today, the work of leading designers is reflected in practically every LINET product: it is the unique synergy of functionality and appealing design that has differentiated the company from its competitors and created a distinctive brand. Last year, LINET Group achieved sales of €230 million. Its management plans to double this figure within five years.

Industry Europe 185

Flagship product “Our company’s mission is to be instrumental in improving the standard of healthcare and nursing services. Through our products and services, we represent the highest standard of quality in the production of hospital and nursing beds,” says Tomáš Kolář. The company’s flagship product is its Multicare bed, which is ideal for the demanding environment of the intensive and emergency care units. Its portfolio is supplemented by nursing care beds and antidecubitus mattresses (which play an important role in the prevention and treatment of pressure sores). “New or improved products are introduced on an on-going basis,” says the marketing director. “This year we will be launching several

186 Industry Europe

new products from both the bed and the mattress portfolios. Continuous development includes the Safety Monitor technological concept which will be enriched with new models. This is an intelligent system which improves overall patient safety, enabling the constant monitoring not only the patient’s condition but also of the status of the bed,” he explains. An overwhelming majority of LINET’s output is sold in export markets, to over 100 countries worldwide. The biggest sales are now achieved in the United States, where the company started to export only six years ago. “Up to 70 per cent of total sales are generated in the United States and western Europe,” says Mr Kolář, adding that exports cover the whole portfolio, although in some cases products need to be modified to suit local market specifications.

competence – i.e. providing top quality equipment for patient rooms and intensive care units. We see great potential in the area of care for the elderly and in providing special services such as antidecubitus mattress on-line renting.” Mr Kolář confirms that the company’s plans for growth include not just increasing sales and capacities but also acquisitions in Europe n and possibly the US.

Stronger still Last year, production at the company’s Želevčice site increased by 50 per cent, meaning that capacity was no longer sufficient. Therefore, a new factory covering about 10,000m2 is now being built, a short distance from the old premises. The new plant will house the complete production process including a coating shop, material cutting shop, welding robots, laser technology and assembly line, as well as logistics facilities. “The new plant is designed for annual production of up to 40,000 beds and will thus represent a significant increase in terms of capacity,” claims the managing director. “By 2020 we want to double our turnover,” he adds. “By continuing to invest in research and development we will further improve our main

Industry Europe 187



Over half a century, a small shipping agency has become one of the leading logistics companies for the distribution of industrial goods throughout Europe: Daniele Garavaglia reports on the growth and success of the Nizzi Group.


e have been working for the manufacturing industry, especially the steelwork sector, for 50 years, and Europe is where our daily bread comes from. We render the flow of industrial goods between European companies more efficient, fast and secure, contributing to the overall quality of the logistics through the best transport solutions,” begins Filippo Arcidiacono, the president of the board of directors of Nizzi Group. Founded in Terni in 1964 by Pier Luigi Nizzi, today the group, with its three companies Nizzi, Nitras and Sicet, has a turnover of €24 million and about 70 employees. Every year Nizzi branded vehicles cover five million kilometres, carrying a million tonnes of goods, often through an intermodal system which integrates road transport with rail and ship, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 30 per cent. The variety of vehicles and specialised drivers allows Nizzi to meet different customer needs, providing a complete and flexible service which can adapt to different rhythms and production cycles and can integrate with the varied logistics systems. “What we offer to our clients, which include major companies such as AST, ThyssenKrupp, Arcelor Mittal, Arvedi and Marcegaglia, is a complex organisational service that goes far beyond truck transportation,” emphasises Arcidiacono.

Road transport Nizzi Group’s success is in part down to the attention it pays to customers and a 360° ‘market orientation’: “We have a fleet of about 50 vehicles – tarpaulin covered trucks, tipper trucks, tank trucks, 188 Industry Europe

special vehicle units for intermodal transport – each with a ‘track and trace’ connection and satellite location system.” Regarding road transport, the competitive and flexible ‘full load’ service meets all possible requirements related to volume, frequency and the complexity of the delivery, even with ‘just-in-time’ options and ‘urgent transit time’. The group’s specific services include the transport of waste (alongside registration with the national environmental managers), of dangerous goods (with ADR license), and of bulk products (mainly ferroalloys, building products and aggregates). Nizzi also operates in the ‘exceptional’ transport sector in terms of

Industry Europe 189

190 Industry Europe

weight and size. Its wide range of latest generation vehicles, including those equipped with coil frame for the transport of steelwork products, along with its highly trained and skilled personnel, guarantee maximum versatility and safety.

Intermodal logistics Nizzi Group has also been active in the intermodal sector for over 20 years: it offers customers the most competitive services and savings, while respecting the environment. Using the maximum capacity of the railway loading unit allows for the reduction of costs and the quick handling of large quantities of goods through-

out Europe. Its ‘short sea’ service guarantees frequent, costeffective and fast short-range routes in the Mediterranean. The speed and reliability of such services is guaranteed by ‘non-stop’ goods movement, 24/7, regardless of prohibitions or uncertainties related to road traffic. Its 180 fully owned containers, all equipped with coil frame, allow for the loading of steelwork materials and industrial products of all kinds. To manage the entire logistics process, Nizzi has dedicated services and deposits (7000 square metres of warehouses available 24 hours a day in the Terni and Florence branches) and activities such as: collection from suppliers, automated management of goods stored in the collection centres, planning on the basis of incoming goods to production facilities, sorting centre management with picking and packaging, widespread distribution, VAT depot and customs warehouse. As Arcidiacono added, “Our long-term experience ensures total efficiency in supply chain management, in order to improve the company’s organisation and its cost rationalisation. We can also provide a logistics consulting service, aimed at companies wishing to optimise their processes. In addition to the steelwork sector, our know-how is applicable to industries such as food and beverage, automotive, ferroalloys, electronics and photovoltaics components.” Nizzi’s strategic target is to strengthen the domestic market and develop the European one: “Today 45 per cent of our business is generated in several European markets. We want to increase this share, to be the ‘Made in Europe’ ideal industry partner for transport n and logistics,” he concludes. Industry Europe 191

25 YEARS OF STEADY GROWTH TESCAN is one of the leading global suppliers of scientific instruments, having built its reputation and brand name on designing and manufacturing electron scanning microscopes and system solutions for various applications. In its 25 years of existence TESCAN has grown from a tiny company into a multinational corporation with over 400 employees around the globe. Romana Moares reports.


ESCAN, headquartered in Brno, Czech Republic, currently occupies a strong position among the top five most prominent worldwide manufacturers of electron microscopes. Evidence of its steady growth includes its ever-expanding range of products, which currently includes eight different types of electron microscopes.

192 Industry Europe

In order to satisfy growing customer demands, the company continuously develops not only its own scientific research activity and related manufacturing operations, but also synergic collaboration with leading scientific institutions and universities both within the Czech Republic and abroad.

Czech roots In its 25 years of existence, TESCAN has installed over 2000 microscopes in more than 80 countries. Currently the group has two facilities in the Czech Republic and one in France, eight subsidiaries around the world (Czech Republic, UK, France, China, USA, Brazil and Benelux) and an extensive sales and service network operating worldwide. About 90–95 per cent of its microscopes are sold in exports markets, mostly in the EU, USA and the countries in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC). “The success of a company is not measured by a single milestone or award, but rather by its refusal to stagnate and its willingness to grow,” claims the company CEO and co-founder, Mr Jaroslav Klíma. This is the path TESCAN has taken since its inception: from rented offices for its five founders, the company has grown into a multinational corporation with more than 400 employees around the world. “We take pride in our roots in the Czech Republic, specifically Brno, which could be dubbed the Silicon Valley of electron microscopy. We have been headquartered here since the very beginning – all strategic and operational decisions are linked to this place, and we do not intend to change it,” says Mr Klíma.

Tailor-made to customers’ needs TESCAN offers tailor made systems specifically designed for the needs arising from all fields of science and technology such as material science, life sciences, forensic sciences, and semiconductor industry. TESCAN’s portfolio includes thermion emission systems, field emission SEM systems, FIB-SEM systems, RAMAN confocal microscopy and, most recently, an advanced light microscope for QPI imaging. The company also develops special tools and detectors for diverse analytical purposes in a wide range of disciplines. “We have always focused on the needs of the market and the customer, who is our number one priority. We are aware of the fact that the customer knows best what results they would like to achieve. We take advantage of our knowledge and specialisation so that we can provide

the customer with an instrument or solution that opens the door to learning and achieving research objectives,” says Jaroslav Klíma. “We are able to offer stability and support not only to current partners, but future partners as well. We do not recognise the customary sales model in the form of an anonymous sales relationship between two parties; with us, everyone always deals with one specific individual. Our customers are also our partners.” He stresses that the management is well aware that no success would be possible without the hard work of its employees. “Our people are the foundation of the company and of its future growth. We care about their development, offer a wide range of benefits and opportunities, take pride in our friendly atmosphere, and work on creating a pleasant work environment overall,” he says.

Cutting edge technology Continuous development, expanding technological boundaries, and the related growing demands of existing as well as new customers have resulted in the introduction of a new technology on the occasion of this year’s 25th anniversary. “For this year’s anniversary celebration, we are preparing yet another milestone in the history of TESCAN. During the M&M exhibition in Columbus in the United States, we will introduce a new, cutting edge technology, enhancing the field emission microscopes,” says the CEO. The new technology is next generation of TESCAN’s ultra-high resolution electron column. The new column achieves superb ultra-high resolution, providing scientists and technologists with ultimate surface sensitivity and outstanding contrast at low beam energies to resolve nano-sized features of beam high-sensitive or non-conductive samples. The column excels in the whole range of accelerating voltage; however, its highlight is the ultimate resolution at low beam energies which makes this new column ideal for imaging beam sensitive materials such as low-k dielectric materials, photoresists, non-conductive materials and uncoated biological specimens.

Industry Europe 193

194 Industry Europe

Moving forward As one of the world’s top five players in the field of electron microscopy, TESCAN is strengthening its position and expanding its portfolio with optical microscopes and other technologies in the area of chargedparticle optics. A speciality of the company comprises systems modified precisely according to customers’ requirements in order to fully meet their needs in research and industry. TESCAN is continuously increasing its market share as a result of its own development as well as through partnerships with prestigious institutions and academic organisations. Examples of such successful partnerships include the awarding of the Cooperation of the Year 2013 prize to TESCAN and Brno University of Technology for their development of

a revolutionary holographic microscope, and the 2015 Photonics Prism Award for the company’s unique correlative electron microscope. With TESCAN’s continuing commitment to delivering the newest technologies to the market, its existing and potential new customers may look forward to hearing about a number of new projects to be n announced soon. Visit:

Industry Europe 195

196 Industry Europe

FILTRATION INNOVATION For 50 years, MP Filtri has been a paradigm of excellence, high technology and global service capability, producing filters for the hydraulic fluids sector with continuous investments in research & development and capacity expansion. Daniele Garavaglia reports.


ifty years of entrepreneurial history, a widespread presence in over 100 markets worldwide, more than 350 employees across three factories (with a fourth to be launched in 2017) and a turnover of €50 million: these are just some of the reasons why Italian company MP Filtri is a leader in the field of industrial filtration. Founded in 1964 by Bruno Pasotto, with headquarters in Pessano con Bornago (Milan) and a production unit in England, MP Filtri was one of the first companies in the world to specialise in the production of filters for the hydraulics fluid sector. “High quality, professionalism, innovation, excellence in the production processes, respect and regard for the customer are the key priorities that have made our filters unique throughout the world,” says Claudio Pastori, Technical and Marketing Director.

An international outlook The industrial plant in Milan is supported by an aluminium foundry for castings, and by a mechanical workshop for the treatment and processing of semi-finished products. Its wide product range is directed towards an international market, suitable for all industrial sectors where hydraulic controls are used. Production includes filters (suction filters, in line filters, pressure filters, stainless steel filters, spin-on filters and return filters) and structural components (pump-motor bell housings, motor drive power transmission coupling, elastic inserts, damping rings, mounting feet, aluminium tanks, inspection doors and so on). All of this is supported by intensive research and development and a large automated warehouse, developed in collaboration with Jungheinrich.

Industry Europe 197

“To manage a very heterogeneous demand, originating from diverse markets, from the very start MP Filtri has had to develop its international dimension, opening sales offices, assistance and support to the client base, beyond the national borders. An in-country presence allows us to provide better logistics services to our clients, a product which is consistent with the environment in which the client company is located and higher confidence in facing local competition,” explains Pastori. The group currently has eight sales and operating offices in Germany, France, Great Britain, the US, Canada, Russia, India and China, and a network of resellers and distributors active in over 100 countries. 35 per cent of goods are sold in Italy with the remaining 65 per cent sold abroad. “Thanks to our presence in the most coveted geographies and sectors, we are able to provide balance to our business, which is exposed to some healthy segments and others in difficulty. As such, a slowdown in the oil & gas sector results in a strong growth in demand for filters for agricultural and earth-moving machines, over and above a restart of industrial investments, for example the construction of machines for the working of plastic and rubber.” Today the production of cars and of vehicles with hydraulic fluid systems is carried out on a global level: “As we have a network of branches and distributors all over the world, we can follow and assist our clients wherever they have operating and production sites.”

Innovation is key Attention to the client’s needs is still the springboard of innovation. For MP Filtri, innovation means being able to guarantee maximum customisation against a standardised product. The newly upgraded range of return filters, which provide the option of more independent attachments on the head of the filter – from two to five connections – is one example of this. “This functional option was based on a serial product and resolves the issue of multiple connections, which cause problems with the working of the filters and render the management of the filtering less efficient,” adds Pastori. The Milan-based group is studying innovative solutions also with respect to materials, in particular in the field of polymers and filtering elements, with the aim of improving the 198 Industry Europe

performance of the cartridges. As of last year, MP Filtri has a cuttingedge research and development centre, which is situated next to the headquarters on a site of 1000m2, for internal staff and researchers from the Milan Polytechnic. Thanks to the use of new generation instruments, the laboratory allows the design office to conduct research and tests on products, which were previously unimaginable, to develop the products of the future. This future also involves the British office, where the particle counters are produced: “It is a technical line which is allowing us to reach new markets, as these are in high demand where continuous and in-line measurement or measurement directly on the machine is required,” concludes Pastori, indicating the direction of the group’s growth: new products, increase of production and a greater market n share. A leader’s business plan.

ADVERTISERSINDEX A AB Timber Aditya Auto Components AGR International AJ Technology ALFATEX ITALIA Alfons Koster Amcor Amsagomma Antonini ART ALLUMINIO AŽD Praha

126 114 34 195 125 73 149 148 5 90 166

Balambiga Metal Berne Borsi Boyteks

115 148 143 126

H Harting Peter Bush Communications Haver & Boecker Helmee Imaging

162 57 31

ICS Praha Ind Carb IS Maintenance Izzo Trasporti

130 116 178 190


C Inside front 57 144 75 106 75 174 152 175

D Dana Metal Danfoss Cooling Dierre Durlast

Eaton ECS Elektrokarbon ELPA KUPECEK Embraco

78 99 102 72 142

F Fanuc FiberVisions Fitwel Tools and Forgings PVT LTD Fives group FMC Technologies

Jafo Johnson Security Jon Wai Machinery Works

Kelvion Kienle+Spiess Kingspan Door Components

157 56 114 179 111

G 131

S Schneeberger Shenzen Everest Sika Services SK Technik Solvay Sonoco Alcore Speed Plastics Limited Stapi Stea Sunflag Steel

TECOM TENTE Thermasys Tubing Transsped TWE Group



114 105 87 162 148 106 83 183

O 106

P Peter Kohl Phytron Prima Zanetti Proman Provita Medical Przedsiebiorstwo Nan

Rajhans 33 Ricambi Autocarri di Ughetti Leo & C. Snc 190 Rtech Engineering 31



O.M.R Srl



118 118 182


M+Acer Automotive Systems Private Ltd Magneti Permanenti Industriali MCH Masterchem Mechan MGM Mi Me Minuterie Metalliche Meles Mitel Mvitra

P&V Elektronic

194 139 90 71 135 15 187 75 99 114

T 157 162 29


Lankwitzer Premium Coating 138 142 190 152



162 98 157 73 74 143 135



CAAC CFF C.K. Producktion A/S Consenta CONSORZIO DRAS/GLS Coroll Coveris C.R. s.r.l. CSI Machinery

Getzner Werkstoffe GI Industrial Gopet Trans Graessner Graessner GTB Group Gutmann Aluminium

126 194 147 82 187 87

UAB Stansefabrikken Union Officine Meccaniche

Ventos Verniciatura Industriale Veneta VISHVA EXIM PVT LTD

33 186 135 190 56

138 27

75 91 29

W Wemag Wentworth Engineering

79 178

X XL Serigrafi


Articles inside

Filtration innovation MP Filtri article cover image

Filtration innovation MP Filtri

pages 198-204
25 years of steady growth TESCAN article cover image

25 years of steady growth TESCAN

pages 194-197
Advanced transportation Nizzi Group article cover image

Advanced transportation Nizzi Group

pages 190-193
Pioneering solar protection solutions Harol article cover image

Pioneering solar protection solutions Harol

pages 182-185
A true visionary LINET article cover image

A true visionary LINET

pages 186-189
Innovative glass melting and thermal conditioning technology Fives Stein article cover image

Innovative glass melting and thermal conditioning technology Fives Stein

pages 178-181
Value, versatility and trust Trim NW article cover image

Value, versatility and trust Trim NW

pages 172-174
Leading innovators in nonwovens article cover image

Leading innovators in nonwovens

pages 169-171
Sustainable caring Unilever article cover image

Sustainable caring Unilever

pages 175-177
On track for high-speed success Hitachi Rail Europe article cover image

On track for high-speed success Hitachi Rail Europe

pages 162-165
Clear road ahead AŽD Praha article cover image

Clear road ahead AŽD Praha

pages 166-168
The latest in cutting technology Salico Group article cover image

The latest in cutting technology Salico Group

pages 152-155
Universal success ZMM Bulgaria article cover image

Universal success ZMM Bulgaria

pages 156-159
Metal to the core Sonoco Alcore article cover image

Metal to the core Sonoco Alcore

pages 160-161
Intelligent compressor solutions Secop article cover image

Intelligent compressor solutions Secop

pages 147-151
Vestfrost solutions: Keeping cool article cover image

Vestfrost solutions: Keeping cool

pages 138-146
Radiating success RAAL article cover image

Radiating success RAAL

pages 134-137
Adding style to comfort Lyra Group article cover image

Adding style to comfort Lyra Group

pages 125-129
Driving cool technology Janka article cover image

Driving cool technology Janka

pages 130-133
The aesthetics of wood AGT article cover image

The aesthetics of wood AGT

pages 122-124
European headquarters, global presence article cover image

European headquarters, global presence

pages 119-121
Driving fuel injection technology further Bosch India article cover image

Driving fuel injection technology further Bosch India

pages 114-118
New horizons for LNG Golar LNG article cover image

New horizons for LNG Golar LNG

pages 110-113
A strong tradition MAGNETON article cover image

A strong tradition MAGNETON

pages 102-104
For safer rolling stock DAKO-CZ article cover image

For safer rolling stock DAKO-CZ

pages 95-97
Embracing the internet of things LOVATO Electric article cover image

Embracing the internet of things LOVATO Electric

pages 105-109
The full service Gemmo article cover image

The full service Gemmo

pages 98-101
Outstanding Polish cleaning products LAKMA article cover image

Outstanding Polish cleaning products LAKMA

pages 86-89
Curtain wall architecture Focchi Group article cover image

Curtain wall architecture Focchi Group

pages 90-94
Passion for uniqueness Recticel article cover image

Passion for uniqueness Recticel

pages 82-85
Trusted partner for machine tools TOS VARNSDORF article cover image

Trusted partner for machine tools TOS VARNSDORF

pages 72-77
Tyre technology Herbert Maschinenbau article cover image

Tyre technology Herbert Maschinenbau

pages 78-81
Pioneering smarter operational practices article cover image

Pioneering smarter operational practices

page 71
Innovative in filtration technology TWE Group article cover image

Innovative in filtration technology TWE Group

pages 66-67
Full of fibre FiberVisions article cover image

Full of fibre FiberVisions

pages 64-65
Smarter functional fibres CFF article cover image

Smarter functional fibres CFF

pages 68-70
Masterclass in woven wire Haver and Boecker article cover image

Masterclass in woven wire Haver and Boecker

pages 61-63
Major filtration event in Cologne Highlights of the show article cover image

Major filtration event in Cologne Highlights of the show

pages 55-60
In-line for success Union Officine Meccaniche article cover image

In-line for success Union Officine Meccaniche

pages 46-48
Engineering optimal outcomes Rajhans India article cover image

Engineering optimal outcomes Rajhans India

pages 52-54
Pioneering machine technology from India Vishva Exim article cover image

Pioneering machine technology from India Vishva Exim

page 43
Maximising quality and performance Agr International article cover image

Maximising quality and performance Agr International

pages 49-51
Mirror-image vision Helmee Imaging article cover image

Mirror-image vision Helmee Imaging

pages 38-39
Cautious optimism K 2016 overview article cover image

Cautious optimism K 2016 overview

pages 28-37
Driving IMM technology forward Jon Wai article cover image

Driving IMM technology forward Jon Wai

pages 40-42
Quality in blown film Tecom article cover image

Quality in blown film Tecom

pages 44-45
Winning business New orders and contracts article cover image

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 18-19
Moving on Relocations and expansions article cover image

Moving on Relocations and expansions

page 22
Technology spotlight Advances in technology article cover image

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

page 24
European pharma gets connected article cover image

European pharma gets connected

pages 8-10
Bill Jamieson UK braves the Brexit storm article cover image

Bill Jamieson UK braves the Brexit storm

pages 6-7
Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris article cover image

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

page 27
Vehicles of the future article cover image

Vehicles of the future

pages 14-17
Linking up Combining strengths article cover image

Linking up Combining strengths

pages 20-21
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.