Industry Europe – Issue 26.5

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VOLUME 26/5 – 2016

The world of European manufacturing

SECO WARWICK – 25 YEARS OF FURNACE TECHNOLOGY SITI B&T DELIVERS ADVANCED SOLUTIONS FOR THE CERAMICS INDUSTRY NEW INVESTMENT EXPANDS TMK ARTROM’S TUBE CAPABILITIES

GREENER POWER FOR MATERIAL HANDLING



OPINION

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PETERMERCER

The history man The remainers have a new champion.

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ust when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, it’s here again! No, not another great white shark chomping on swimmers off Amity Island. What has sent shock waves through the good folk taking their ease on the green benches of Westminster is the terrible news that Blair is back. Yes, Tony has come down from the mountain, where he keeps his gold in a vast cave, because he sees that his people have turned away from the true faith (by voting for Brexit) and that only he can lead them back up to the fields of light. Blair has told the New Statesman that he is planning a comeback, a ‘re-engagement’ with British politics. He knows he is not universally popular – more like reviled really, especially in his own party – but he believes he must try to ‘build a platform’ for ideas that may ‘revive the progressive centre’. Because ‘in Britain today, you’ve got millions of politically homeless people’. Cathy, you see, can never come home so long as Jeremy is renting out her room to a bunch of Momentum groupies. And what are people going to talk about on this new platform? How Brexit can be stopped, of course. If the British people can be shown what it actually will mean, that ‘the pain-gain cost-benefit analysis doesn’t stack up’, they’ll think again. Not as snappy a line as ‘Take back control’ but no doubt his PR people will work on it. The idea is that either the UK will remain more or less in the single market, having to accept EU rules on free movement of citizens, budget payments and so on, in which case people may say, ‘Hang on, why are we leaving then?’ and in the end it won’t actually happen. Or we’ll be on the way out of the single market and it will be clear that ‘the economic pain will be very great’. People will realise they’ve been mis-

led by a bunch of ideologues and conclude they’d rather stay in the EU after all. All Blair is asking is that ‘we keep our options open’ so that when we see what the consequences of leaving really are, it’s not too late to repent. In this endeavour, of course, Mr Blair will not be alone. Far from being a voice crying in the wilderness, he will join the bands of the great and the good who are trying, in the same sort of reasonable way, to ensure that Brexit never happens. There will be room on the sofa, no doubt, for Open Britain, More United, In Facts, Common Ground, Vote Leave Watch and Save the Single Market – for anyone, in fact, who can help to explain to the people that they didn’t really understand what they voted for. But Tony will be adding his own bit of glamour to the cause, with brilliant celebs like Richard Branson, Nick Clegg and, of course, Bob Geldof pitching in.

It’s in or out All of these people believe that the UK absolutely must have access to the single market – the alternative is a ‘hard Brexit’, which sounds awfully uncomfortable. But in fact this is a meaningless position. All the world’s exporters have access to the single market; if the UK were outside it would trade with the EU on the same terms as the USA, Japan and all the rest. The only real question is whether Britain can secure for itself a more favourable deal with the EU, one which might allow tariff free trade in, say, motor vehicles and aerospace products. Or maybe tariff free trade in all goods. What the UK can’t really do is leave the EU but stay in the single market. That would mean abandoning any hope of controlling immigration – until, of course, the day comes when the EU itself acknowl-

edges that its commitment to open borders cannot be maintained. And it would also kiss goodbye to any hope of making its own trade deals with non-EU countries around the world. In those circumstances there really would be little point in leaving the EU at all. But despite all the talk of endless complex negotiations (with 30,000 more civil servants) the fundamental options for the UK are fairly simple. It could declare that it would levy zero tariffs on imports from all the world’s countries (including the EU states) – unilateral free trade. Obviously if the EU maintained its common external tariff, exporting to it would be more difficult but it would not be the end of the world. Or it could offer to continue to give EU imports tariff-free access to the UK as long as it did not impose WTO tariffs on the UK. Since the EU states export some £90 billion more to the UK than they buy from it, the advantage to the EU in maintaining the status quo is obvious. It is certainly obvious to German and French car makers, for a start. Within the second option there are endless possible variations and concessions that could be agreed – on services, on privileged access for EU citizens to the UK labour market, on financial passporting etc. So there is no need to fear that Brexit can’t be made to work for both the UK and the EU. In fact, what Tony and his friends actually fear is that it will work. They talk piously about their obligation – as our betters – to present us with the ‘facts’ that we have foolishly ignored yet their position is, in fact, entirely ideological. They all believe that the EU is the manifest destiny of us all – it’s a matter of faith. And who better to lead the faithful than St Tony, a man who has always felt the hand of n history on his shoulder. 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

News

Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Massimo Ragazzo Anna Dudek Stephen Moore Eniko Kovacs Pavlina Kutlakova Jesse Roberts Kevin Gambrill Clayton Green Dominic Kurkowski Marc Lewis Colin Osbaldstone

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

Comment 1 5

Opinion The history man Bill Jamieson Moment of change

Material Handling Industry 6 9

12 14 16 17 18 19

HyLIFT-EUROPE: Powering the future Hydrogen fuel cell technology gathers pace Material handling news The latest from the industry

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 20 21

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

Automation & Tooling 22

Smarter machine tool technology LNS Group

Aerospace & Defence 26 30

Industry Europe Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 779850 Email: photos@industryeurope.net adcopy@industryeurope.net Web: www.industryeurope.net

© 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

Onwards and upwards Jihlavan Flying high GE Aviation

Automotive 33 38 42

Driving ahead BENET Automotive Air-apparent Wolf Anlagen-Technik Delivering end-to-end automotive solutions Caparo

Ceramics & Refractories 45 48

Global focus P-D Refractories A single supplier for end-to-end ceramic production SITI B&T

Chemicals 53 56

Finishing first Atotech Young company, global ambitions Archroma

Construction & Building Products 59 64 67

Building a greener future Skanska Inspired by nature NorDan Driving the circular economy forward Tarkett

Consumer Goods 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: corporate@USIToday.com. Web site: USIToday.com

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72 82 86

Global leaders in sustainability and innovation Procter & Gamble

Take your pick PICK Szeged Improving the quality of life worldwide Hindustan Unilever


VOL 26/5

Above: LNS Group p22

90 95 98

Stronger than ever Tesco Highest quality dairy products Milkpol Sparkling success Bambi

Energy & Power 101 105 106 109 116

Above: BENET Automotive p33 Below: NorDan p64

Experts in industrial engineering INTROL Group The story that inspires ZPUE Driving composite technology forward Hexagon Raufoss

Smooth flowing technology TMK-ARTROM Master of heat processing SECO/WARWICK Group

Glass Production 123 Clear inspiration Press Glass 126 Mirror success Amirro

Above: Brabantia p130 Below: Rovese Group p138

Household & Furnishings 130 134 138 142 145

Better living by design Brabantia Naturally perfect porcelain LUBIANA Finish your bathroom in style Rovese Group For a good night’s sleep Relaks Creating your home JITONA

Material Handling 148 Driving intralogistics to new heights Jungheinrich

Metals & Metalworking 152 156 159

Quality and diversity in steel Tazzari Group One group – many possibilities

Belma Accessories Systems

Metal Technology Group

Sheet metal for every occasion

Above: Tazzari Group p152 Below: H.Cegielski p182

Plastics 162 Unique extrusion solutions Vishva Exim 163 Pipeline solutions Wavin Ekoplastik

Above: INTROL Group p101 Below: SECO/WARWICK GROUP p116

Transport & Logistics 166 Driving in front Scania 170 Pioneering new horizons APL

Also in this issue… 174 178 182 186 190 194

Progressive innovator Bioveta Transformation in publishing – future of print European Rotogravure Association

170 years of rail know-how H. Cegielski European leader in PCBs Tecnomaster Group Leading in leather for 80 years Wollsdorf Getting through tough times Agrikon Kam Industry Europe 3


COMMENT

BILLJAMIESON

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Executive Editor of The Scotsman

Moment of change Now it’s Europe’s turn for convulsion.

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tand by for 2017. If 2016 proved a momentous year for America and Britain, the next 12 months look set to bring a defining sea-change across continental Europe. It is not only a compelling shift towards populism that threatens to disrupt politics on the continent. It is also that for economic policy a compelling moment of change has arrived. The prevailing view is that in Italy, France, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, political events will prove a catalyst. But that is to overlook the underlying dynamics: that even without such a catalyst, or series of them, the economies of Europe cannot long continue in their current state. Even if the political establishments prevail over rising voter support for radical parties of the Right and Left, the cumulative effects of slow growth, near stagnation, high levels of unemployment, poor business investment and a continuing lack of competitiveness make it virtually impossible for the old order simply to settle back and continue as before. So apprehensive has the mood become across the commentariat and political class that a break-up of the euro, if not the European Union itself, is now considered as a possibility. Now it could be said that predictions of a euro break-up have long been made while EU ‘crises’ have come and gone, leaving the machinery of Brussels and the European Commission broadly unscathed in composition and direction. The institutions of the EU have proved more resilient than many assessments have allowed. But the period of lacklustre economic performance has endured for so long, and levels of unemployment are so persistently high, that the social fabric in many countries has worn dangerously thin, while the task of absorbing millions of migrants from the Middle East has placed a colossal strain on economies already barely able to cope. 4 Industry Europe

Since the UK voted to leave the EU, much concern has been expressed over the adverse impact this would have on UK exporters. But even assuming the most favourable outcome of Brexit negotiations – the much vaunted ‘have cake and eat it’ scenario – the greater underlying problem persists: a continuing lack of dynamism in continental economies and with it depressed demand for UK exports of goods and services.

On the edge A broader look at the performance of the continent’s economies highlights the extent to which economic policy across Europe has come to a cliff edge.

So apprehensive has the mood become across the commentariat and political class that a break-up of the euro, if not the European Union itself, is now considered as a possibility. Since the start of 1999 – the founding year of the European single currency that was supposed to accelerate trade and growth among member countries – the UK economy has grown by almost 40 per cent. But in Germany and France performance has been much weaker at around 25 per cent. As for Italy, its economy has grown by less than six per cent over this period. Hand in hand with this stagnation has been a disastrous record on employment. Accord-

ing to Eurostat this now stands at 16.2 million across the eurozone or 10 per cent of the workforce – more than twice the comparable rate in the UK (4.9 per cent). In Italy the unemployment rate is 11 per cent, in Spain 19.3 per cent and Greece 23. 2 per cent. It is salutary to recall that back in 1999 the UK was being exhorted to join the euro, with alarming metaphors of ‘missing the fast train’ and ‘left standing at the station’. The fact is that, for a number of reasons, not least so-called employment protection laws and high levels of government spending, the euro has failed to provide any uplift in the region’s deeply flawed economic models. Italy is the worst performing of the region’s biggest economies. Its banking system is on the edge and the country struggling under a debt-to-GDP ratio of 133 per cent. The economy is forecast to grow by just 0.8 per cent this year with no improvement expected next. To achieve any meaningful recovery it needs to see a much lower exchange rate in the order of 20 to 30 per cent – an outcome only possible by leaving the single currency zone. Economic performance in France has also been woeful – and a key contributor to the collapse in popularity of President Francois Hollande. Unemployment in September stood at 10.2 per cent, the 1.5 per cent GDP growth target for 2016 has been abandoned (1.3 per cent is now the hope) and scope for big reflation limited with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 95.8 per cent. In Germany, so often held up as a model, the economy slowed more than expected in the third quarter, with growth down from 0.4 per cent to 0.2 per cent. The slowdown is attributed to a negative net trade contribution, while investment remained a soft spot. This is the dry tinder on which political sparks are set to land – and make 2017 a year as turbulent for Europe as 2016 has n proved for Britain and America.


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HYLIFT-EUROPE: POWERING THE FUTURE

The HyLIFT-EUROPE project represents the largest European trial of hydrogen fuel cell material handling vehicles to date. Its principal aim is the deployment of more than 200 fuel cell material handling vehicles and associated refuelling infrastructure throughout the continent. Victoria Hattersley talks to Hubert Landinger, senior project manager, to find out how this project is moving towards its ultimate goal of wide-scale commercialisation.

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yLIFT-EUROPE began in January 2013 and is co-funded by the European Joint Undertaking for Fuel Cells and Hydrogen. Set to be completed in 2017, the results of the project will be disseminated throughout Europe, focusing on European airports and large industrial users of material handling vehicles, as well as key policy and industry stakeholders and the general public.

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But what makes hydrogen fuel cell technology so important for powering the vehicles of the future? In a word: sustainability. Projects such as HyLIFT-EUROPE are not only interesting from a technological point of view, but are also vital if we are to meet EU emissions targets – not to mention the ambitious aims set by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.


A fuel cell, like a battery, converts chemical potential energy into electrical energy. However, while batteries only hold a closed store of energy and must either be discarded or recharged once this is depleted, a fuel cell uses an external supply of chemical energy. It can therefore enable a material handling vehicle to run indefinitely as long as it continues to be supplied with a source of both hydrogen and oxygen. Mr Landinger explains: “Fuel cell technology is a quiet and, at least locally, zero emissions means of powering vehicles which can be easily refuelled – such as gasoline or diesel vehicles. In the current phase fuel cells replace batteries in material handling vehicles in order to profit from the time saving of fast refuelling compared to more timeconsuming battery swaps or recharging. In the long run fuel cells can also replace diesel or LPG internal combustion engines in material handling vehicles, enabling significant emissions reduction gains.” However, there are other benefits for industrial users aside from the obvious sustainability

gains. From a productivity point of view, the range extension from fuel cells can enable multi-shift operation with quick refueling, without the need for recharging. They also offer constant power, enabling drivers to move more goods in a certain period of time. This reduces lost productivity time and, hence, this technology is also showing promising signs of being more economically rewarding than traditional battery-powered vehicles. Furthermore, while fuel cell material handling vehicles are as yet too expensive for wide-scale commercial uptake, there will be significant cost reductions for customers when higher volume production – one of the main aims of the HyLIFT-EUROPE project – is achieved.

Global ambitions HyLIFT-EUROPE involves 10 partners, covering the entire value chain and all the disciplines and technologies required for providing fully working hydrogen powered fuel cell material handling solutions. This includes both large and SME companies, collaborat-

ing with the aim of establishing a strong European presence in the hydrogen fuel cell material handling vehicle market. “For instance,” says Mr Landinger, “for warehouse trucks and forklifts STILL is the respective partner in HyLIFT-EUROPE. But all large material handling vehicle manufacturers are exploring the options of fuel cells in material handling vehicles through participating in demonstration and deployment activities.” In addition to STILL, these include major players such as Crown, Jungheinrich, Linde Material Handling and Toyota Material Handling Europe. Boosting Europe’s position in fuel cell technology on a global level is also key: one of the aims of the project is to initiate large-scale deployment of fuel cell material handling vehicles in Europe in order to catch up with the US, where 10,000 such vehicles are already in operation. “It has to be said that the US is clearly in the lead when it comes to fuel cell material handling vehicle deployments, although there has been some cross-collaboration in the form of applying US fuel cell technology in the vehicles

Industry Europe 7


of European OEMs, for example. However, it also has to be mentioned that in the US nearly all fuel cell systems have been supplied by only one manufacturer, so real competition does not exist yet. That opens up opportunities for European stakeholders to catch up and establish series production capabilities. In other important world regions such as Japan or China, fuel cell activities are still in premature prototype and small-scale stage but should not be underestimated.”

The project so far: ongoing deployments The project phase of HyLIFT-EUROPE encompassed both the demonstration of 200 fuel cell material handling vehicles at various sites across Europe, and the demonstration of state-of-the-art supporting hydrogen refuelling infrastructure at 10–20 vehicle-user demonstration sites throughout Europe. To date, one of the biggest successes for the project so far has been the deployment of 46 fuel cell materials handling vehicles at Prelocentre, France, which are ‘performing well’, according to Mr Landinger. Also noteworthy is the signing of a contract with a large French retailer for the deployment of a large fleet (>35 units) as well as plans and ongoing discussion to enlarge its fleet to more than 150 units. But of course projects such as HyLIFTEUROPE will naturally have a certain amount of fluidity, with discoveries being made along the way as technology progresses or new challenges arise. As such, outcomes can never be predicted with total accuracy. Mr Landinger tells us: “We learned a lot inside the project phase of HyLIFT-EUROPE, 8 Industry Europe

so we do understand better the influence of different parameters for the successful application from an economical point of view. We identified several topics and difficulties with regard to consulting and permission for hydrogen infrastructure. Furthermore, we know more about other technologies in competition with fuel cells in material handling vehicles – such as Li-Ion batteries.” Besides the deployments within HyLIFTEUROPE itself, there are a number of fuel cell material handling vehicle demonstrations going on throughout Europe. One example Mr Landinger mentions is the HAWL project, taking place in France and coordinated by Air Liquide Advanced Business. This project aims to demonstrate the competitiveness and technical maturity of hydrogen fuel cell forklift truck fleets in a European logistics warehouse environment. Elsewhere in Europe, the Belgian retailer Colruyt Group recently announced it will be receiving 200 drop-in PEM fuel cells for installation in its Class 3 pallet jacks for low-order picking and double-length forks at its Dassenveld distribution centre at Halle near Brussels.

What next? While there have been many successes, there are still plenty of challenges to be faced when it comes to meeting the commercial targets set by HyLIFT-EUROPE. But Mr Landinger is confident that any such issues can be addressed and believes that, when the project concludes in 2017, it will be judged positively. He summarises the expected outcomes and main challenges to be faced in this way:

“If all activities of HyLIFT-EUROPE materialise as planned, the project will be a success. Within the above-mentioned deployments it is not yet possible to meet commercial targets without financial support, therefore adequate financial support mechanisms will have to be developed and provided until the technology is commercially fully self-sustaining. But they (the deployments) are of significant importance to establish customer confidence in hydrogen and fuel cell technology, to generate a better understanding with regard to value proposition and to establish a strong and reliable supply chain.” It is also true that this technology will not be commercially viable until it has achieved a greater degree of flexibility. “The technology has to be made available for smaller fleet sizes and also for more complex integration scenarios such as the replacement of international combustion engines.” There is still much work to be done then, but the signs are promising as more key industry players jump on board. In November 2016, for example, Kalmar, part of the Cargotec Corporation, announced that it will be starting cooperation with SSAB in Sweden to develop a hydrogen-powered medium-range forklift truck. The project will last for around two years and will include the development, demonstration and testing of the forklift truck. WIth this and other projects in the pipeline – not to mention its application in other areas such as unmanned aerial systems – it is clear that we can expect to hear much more about this promising low-emission technology in the n coming months and years.


NEWS

New developments in the Material Handling industry

INDUSTRYNEWS

Baumann UK appoints Conveyor belt tracker technology improves performance & service life new distributors

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aumann, the world’s largest sideloader manufacturer, has appointed Hannaman Material Handling as official distributors for North Wales. The appointment takes the total number of UK distributors to six. Whilst the size of the UK sideloader market remains relatively modest, the ability of sideloader equipment to carry long loads over greater distances has led to resurgence in popularity, particularly amongst ports operators, timber, metals and extrusions businesses. The Italian manufacturer established a new UK business in August 2015, led by managing director, Jason Reynolds. He said: “We value long-term partnerships and believe our customers are best served by committed distributors that understand the products and mechanics well. We believe we have found that in Hannaman, who have a great track record and an excellent customer base.” Hannaman managing director, Steve Downey, says Baumann is a perfect fit for their complete range of high quality products on offer. “We are delighted to be working with Baumann to offer a complete solution for our customers. As a market leader in the sideloader business, Baumann is allowing our customers handling timber, scaffolding or metalwork to have access to the best equipment for the job.” Visit: www.baumann-online.it

New Hyster Tugger Train System supports manufacturing applications

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help support just-in-time manufacturing applications, Hyster has launched a flexible, modular Tugger Train System. Towed by the tough Hyster LO5.0T & LO7.0T Tow Tractors, this enables loads to be transported efficiently to and from the manufacturing line using a choice of different trollies.

uilding upon the standard crowned roller, the Martin® Roller Tracker™ from Martin Engineering uses a unique ribbed lagging made of durable polyurethane to increase performance and wear life. The roller does not come in contact with the belt edge, which means no fraying and excellent tracking for single-direction or reversing belts. The result is more centered cargo loading, less spillage and increased safety from the hazards of belt wander.

“Crowned tracking rollers have been around for a while, but we saw design issues that prevented them from reaching their full potential,” said Rudolf Beer, Engineering and Development Manager at Martin Engineering. “After creating a working prototype of the new design and testing it at our Centre for Innovation, we discovered that we had truly improved upon the technology and engineered the best tracker of its kind on the market.” Engineered with heavy-duty, permanently-lubricated sealed bearings, the Roller Tracker’s internal mechanism features an additional hydraulic seal to prevent dust and spillage from contaminating the inner works. The washer seal and nylon casing protect internal components from dust buildup and abrasion that cause some roller designs to seize and create a potential fire hazard. Visit: www.martin-eng.com

First Konecranes BOXPORTER RMG sold to Luka Koper in Slovenia

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onecranes has signed a deal with the Port of Koper in Slovenia for delivery of the first BOXPORTER RMG unit. It will be delivered in 2017. BOXPORTER is a new RMG with an advanced operating system that gives the crane operator an exceedingly clear view over every container move. The operating system incorporates innovations that have been field-proven by Konecranes in the remote operation of its automated stacking cranes. “Konecranes is always working towards the future. They have again showed how we can use the latest crane technology, this time to improve the crane driving experience while respecting our environment and terminal characteristics. With the BOXPORTER RMG our crane operators will get better visibility and ergonomics, and thus a better overall driving experience,” said Marko Babič, director, Luka Koper Container Terminal.

“Luka Koper is a forward-looking container port, and I’m very happy to receive their enthusiastic response to our innovative BOXPORTER RMG. I’m sure they will be very satisfied by the performance and reliability of this crane,” says Antti Halonen, sales manager, Konecranes, Port Cranes. Visit: www.konecranes.com

To meet the different needs of specific applications, the Hyster Tugger Train System offers the flexibility of a choice of different trolley types. This ensures that the most suitable trolley can be chosen based on what will be handled on the manufacturing line, the weight of the load, and the type of container the load needs to be transported in.

“The new Tugger Train System is suited to a broad range of line feed applications, as well as mail distribution services, transport, healthcare, wholesale and automotive assembly,” says Tracy Brooks, industry manager, Warehouse Solutions for Hyster. “Regardless of the industry, the system provides an intelligent solution for smarter, more efficient operations.” Visit: www.hyster.com Industry Europe 9


NEWS

New developments in the Material Handling industry

Kalmar and SSAB to New vacuum lifting device from Schmalz Schmalz GmbH has expanded its range of Schmalz’s lifting aids also come with intelligent develop fuel cell forklift J.vacuum lifting devices for windows, glass equipment: A 7-inch touch panel connected to an

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almar, part of Cargotec, has announced that it will start cooperation with SSAB in Sweden to develop a hydrogen-powered medium-range forklift truck. The aim is to find a more sustainable solution for SSAB and help them reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The forklift truck to be developed will have a lift capacity of 9–18 tonnes and it will use hydrogen gas as fuel. As the exhaust will be only water, the machine will provide a more environmentally sound solution for material handling. The project will last for approximately two years and it will include the development, demonstration and testing of the forklift truck. The equipment will be produced by Kalmar to be used at the SSAB production facility in Oxelösund, Sweden. Jacob Sandberg, vice-president Production & Product Development at SSAB, says: “This is a very good project for SSAB in Oxelösund, where we can now really study the possibilities to reduce our fossil dependence. In addition to completely changing the fuel, we also get a better machine.” Visit: www.kalmarglobal.com

Stemilt partners with Swisslog to automate its packing and distribution

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temilt Growers LLC, leading grower and distributor of apples, pears, cherries and summer fruits, is partnering with Swisslog to automate its intralogistics processes with a PowerStore Pallet Shuttle. In addition to the PowerStore System, the solution for Stemilt will include SupplyCar-

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sheets and other glass components by adding a new version with a lift capacity of up to 500kg. The VacuMaster Window 500 Comfort+ allows for the safe and ergonomic handling of workpieces. An integrated system for recording operating data allows the operator to perform predictive maintenance and reduce maintenance costs. The vacuum lifter’s modular design allows the operator to configure a range of movements, for example rotating by 180 degrees, swivelling by 90 degrees and – for the first time ever – a combination of rotating and swivelling. This allows the device to be used in applications where windows are glazed or windows with multiple panes are handled. Schmalz also offers devices for handling windows with roller shutter casings.

electronic control system displays important information about the system status. Leakages in the lifting device can be detected and reported, and companies can carry out predictive maintenance and thereby reduce costly downtimes. Visit: www.schmalz.com

Unique calotte bearing from Federal-Mogul Powertrain DEVA

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ederal-Mogul Powertrain, a division of FederalMogul Holdings Corporation, has supplied its biggest-ever spherical calotte bearing, at 1.25m in diameter. The bearing will be used in the largest moving machine in the world, a conveyor bridge produced by the TAKRAF group for surface mining. The maintenance-free bearing is lined with deva.bm®, one of a range of self-lubricating

bearing materials developed by Federal-Mogul DEVA. It will support the central structure of the conveyor bridge, carrying a vertical load up to 35,000 kN (more than 3500 tonnes) and accommodating structural deflections and terrain irregularities as the bridge moves. “Federal-Mogul Powertrain is one of the leading companies in the world with the ability to make metal-matrix self-lubricating bearing materials for spherical applications up to 1.25m in diameter, this is the largest calotte bearing we have ever produced,” commented Gian Maria Olivetti, Chief Technology Officer, Federal-Mogul Powertrain. “DEVA’s experience in engineering unique applications is well-proven and it is relatively routine for us to satisfy even such an extreme requirement; in fact, our processes are easily capable of developing even larger bearings if customers demand them.” Visit: www.federalmogul.com

rier, ProMove Conveyor and warehouse management software and controls. The pallet shuttle storage and retrieval system will meet Stemilt’s requirements for high throughput while delivering high density storage and low energy consumption. Additionally, the specialty software will optimise functionality and performance, integrating with the company’s existing ERP system.

“Swisslog is proud that Stemilt has selected us for this critical greenfield project. We look forward to partnering with Stemilt to implement a solution that is uniquely tailored to their operational requirements with proven, innovative technologies like PowerStore,” said Michael Felbinger, vice-president PowerStore Systems. Visit: www.swisslog.com


INDUSTRYNEWS New automated guided cart from Toyota Material Handling

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TGW automates autoparts giant Mekonomen

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ajor Nordics autoparts supplier Mekonomen has appointed systems integrator TGW to design, install, commission and maintain an automated materials handling solution as part of the expansion programme at its central logistics centre in Strängnäs, Sweden. The TGW system for small, toted parts is based on the TGW FlashPick® concept. Order cartons are created at the PickCenter workstations and then consolidated with the TGW Stingray shuttle system, which entails 100 shuttles roaming in 53 levels across four aisles and 108,000 locations, sourcing up to 4500 totes per hour. Order cartons are released from the Stingray system in despatch time order. Order lines from the manual pick operation for large, bulky products are picked concurrently with the FlashPick® system, with all orders consolidated at despatch. “TGW are thrilled to be working with Mekonomen on this project and supporting them in achieving their growth strategy. The success of this project will also continue to promote TGW as a systems integrator and help increase our presence in the Nordics region,” says Joakim Waern, head of Sales at TGW Scandinavia Visit: www.tgw-group.com

utomation of activities not only improves processes but also increases productivity and cost-efficiency. The new Autopilot TAE050 from Toyota Material Handling Europe, launched at the IMHX fair in the UK, simplifies, standardises and optimises customer operations. This low-cost solution can be installed easily and be up and running in no time. It will enhance the site’s internal flow, reduce labour and damage cost, all in an accurate and safe way. Operations are simplified and optimised especially in manufacturing sites, e-commerce businesses or healthcare facilities. Because safety is key, this fork-free solution works with a very high degree of accuracy and stops when detecting an obstacle or person close by to avoid accidents and damage. Moreover, the TAE050 follows fixed routes and is not subject to driver errors. “This simple automation system supports our lean philosophy. The vehicle helps to optimise our customers’ processes, truck fleets and staff efficiency, with higher productivity and lower cost as a result,” says Jakob Arvidson Klint, TAE050 product manager at Toyota Material Handling Europe. Visit: www.toyota-forklifts.eu

Vanderlande secures Terminal 2 contract at Moscow Domodedovo Airport

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anderlande has been awarded a prestigious baggage handling contract by Domodedovo International Airport. Terminal 2 is being constructed to facilitate the increasing numbers of passengers at the airport (30 million in 2015) and will extend Vanderlande’s involvement following the installation of the baggage handling system in Terminal 1. The new system will be handed over in time for the FIFA World Cup, which is being staged in Russia in 2018.

Terminal 2 will feature a full range of Vanderlande’s innovative technology, including TUBTRAX 2.0 (an individual carrier system) and BAGSTORE (with over 1000 storage positions). In addition, an advanced hold baggage screening system compliant with ECAC 3 will be integrated, as well as check-in positions and carousels. The capacity is expected to be around 5400 bags per hour.

The new Linde Roadster: A clearer perspective on safety

replacing the metal overhead guard roof with a high strength safety glass panel for increased visibility when you’re stacking loads. Overhead tilt cylinders absorb the forces acting on the mast during operation and direct them backwards via the overhead guard frame. A curved steel tube behind the steering column and dashboard serves as a boarding aid and allows for the mounting of optional equip-

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inde Material Handling has launched the new Linde Roadster, a range of trucks designed to maximise field of view and safety to operators. The Roadster is an alternative configuration which applies to models E20 to E50R to increase visibility by removing the A-pillar and

The new terminal will be linked to the airport’s existing Terminal 1. It has been designed to minimise the service time per passenger, and will be built in accordance with a multi-level concept. The deadline for handing over the baggage system is 1 March 2018. This was an essential condition owing to Russia’s staging of the FIFA World Cup the same year. Visit: www.vanderlande.com ment such as a terminal, display for the Linde Safety Pilot assistance system or clipboard. David Bowen, product manager at Linde UK, said: “Whether operators are stacking loads at height or moving loads around a site, the increased visibility of the roadster through the mast and upwards through the glass roof enhances safety and productivity.” Visit: www.linde-mh.co.uk Industry Europe 11


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New contracts and orders in industry

Tesmec preferred bidder to supply maintenance vehicles to RFI

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ergamo-based Tesmec has won a contract to supply up to 88 multi-functional maintenance vehicles to infrastructure manager RFI.

With a nominal value of €92 million, the contract for which Tesmec has been named preferred bidder is divided into three lots; two cover 62 self-powered maintenance vehicles with bogies, while the third covers 26 twin-axle cars. The vehicles are intended for various maintenance tasks on RFI’s conventional and high-speed lines. They are designed to meet the relevant European and domestic safety standards and will be equipped with RFI’s SCMT/SSC-BL3 train control system. The vehicles will be able to operate remotely within a train formation with other vehicles; a cen-

tral traction monitoring unit would assign a pre-set maximum speed and adjust the drive system of each vehicle accordingly. They are equipped with cranes, work platforms and baskets integrated into a single chassis, in order to operate at height for overhead line maintenance and installation. Tesmec has developed a diagnostic remote management tool to supervise the performance of the fleet, reduce fuel costs and emissions, and optimise maintenance. Data transfer to and from the vehicles is undertaken using GSM/ HSPA+ and CDMA communications protocols. Visit: www.tesmec.com

Ferus Smit to supply four coastal tankers to Eric Thun AB

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hun Tankers has ordered four coastal tankers from Scheepswerf Ferus Smit B.V. in the Netherlands, with whom Erik Thun Group has a longstanding relationship. The vessels will be built to a similar size as the 16 tankers that Thun Tankers currently operates. The intention is to gradually replace some of the existing tankers with the ordered new-buildings. Focus on sustainability, new regulations, environmental care and customers’ needs has been key when developing the new vessels that will be

built to the absolute latest design. The intention is to offer sister-ships where the use of LNG as a fuel is a possibility. “We at Erik Thun have always had a high focus on resource efficiency that translates into modern environmental care. We are convinced that these vessels will contribute to provide the best logistical and most environmentally friendly transport solution to our customers,” says Anders Källsson, CEO, Erik Thun AB. Visit: www.ferus-smit.nl

Sif and Smulders win Rentel foundations construction contract

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if Holding NV has won a contract for the production of all 42 monopiles and, in a joint venture with Smulders, the transition pieces for the 309MW Rentel offshore wind farm in the Belgian North Sea.

Major new order for ProfilGruppen

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rofilGruppen continues to expand with the signing of a new major contract. The agreement regards the supply of interior details based on customised aluminum profiles pre-packed for the end customer. The new contract runs over six years, starting in 2017, with an estimated turnover of 350 million SEK in total. The

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The monopiles will be produced by Sif, and the transition pieces will be produced by Sif in joint venture with Smulders, whereby Sif will produce the primary steel and Smulders will be responsible for the outfitting of the transition pieces. The total volume of the project for the monopiles will amount to approximately 46.9 ktons and for the transition pieces to approximately 10.1 ktons. The production is scheduled in the first three quarters of 2017.

The contract has been awarded by GeoSea, a DEME Group subsidiary specialised in offshore marine engineering projects, which will be responsible for the Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation contract (EPCI) for the Rentel wind farm. Rentel NV, a consortium of eight Belgian shareholders, including Otary Offshore Energy and DEME Group, is the developer of the wind farm. Visit: www.sif-group.com

contract has been signed through the majority-owned subsidiary PG&WIP AB. Following the agreement an investment of about 50 million SEK in an automated production line will be made. The investment will be made at PG&WIP’s current production facilities in Åseda. ProfilGruppen will produce long-length aluminum profiles, which will be processed to a finished product at PG&WIP AB.

“The success of the industrialisation project that we communicated in April 2015 has created trust and therefore given us opportunities to expand further. Our unique production concept, created in cooperation between ProfilGruppen and Wip Consulting, gives a highly competitive offer,” says Per Thorsell, president and CEO of ProfilGruppen. Visit: www.profilgruppen.se


WINNINGBUSINESS

Boway orders its Jenoptik to supply equipment third Danieli chain for Polish military land vehicles track drawing line J

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ingbo Powerway Alloy Material Co. Ltd, known as Boway, once again chose Danieli to supply a new complete chain track drawing line (CTDM), to be in full production before the end of 2017. Boway is one of China’s top producers of hightech brass and non-ferrous alloys, with advanced capabilities for R&D, oriented towards developing innovative materials for applications embracing aerospace, electronics, telecoms, automotive, precision and engineering manufacturing industries. Two similar lines supplied to Boway and in operation since 2012 have demonstrated the efficiency and reliability of the Danieli CTDM technology in achieving very high operating speeds combined with low operational costs. The new, 300mpm line will process copperalloy drawn bars starting from extruded and pickled material. The supply will also include the auxiliary equipment needed to produce round, hexagon, square and flat bars into commercial lengths, chamfered and net-faced to both sides, directly stocked in wooden sealed boxes in order to protect them during shipping. Over 60 Danieli Centro Maskin drawing lines are production ferrous and non-ferrous materials worldwide. Visit: www.danieli.com

Fluenta signs agreement with Kuwait Oil Company

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luenta, a global leader in ultrasonic measurement and management technology, has announced a contract to supply flare gas meters to Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). Fluenta will supply KOC with flare gas meters to be used at multipoint smokeless high-pressure flare sites at 14 south and

enoptik is to supply 126 electric turret and weapon stabilisation systems to the Polish company ZM Bumar Labedy SA as part of a modernisation program for the Leopard 2 tank. The complete order amounts to €22 million and will be handled together with Polish subsuppliers. Delivery will be made between 2017 and 2020. Jenoptik is the first large subcontractor after Rheinmetall Defence within the Polish project. The contract was signed at the Polish International Defense Industry Exhibition, MSPO, in Kielce. The all-electric stabilisation systems replace the hydraulic systems used to date. They are mostly maintenance free and generate less heat inside the tank. Basically these systems adjust and stabilise the turret and weapon while the tank is in motion.

“We are pleased that as a premier provider of advanced technologies we are involved to the modernisation projects,” says Michael Mertin, president and CEO of the Jenoptik Group. The order also makes a significant contribution to the further growth of this division. Visit: www.jenoptik.com

AD Plastik secures €2.5m deal with Volkswagen

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roatian plastics processor AD Plastik d.d. has obtained a contract worth around €2.5m to supply car parts to Volkswagen’s German and Mexican production facilities. The parts will be made for four of the group’s car models. “We will be making handles for the Golf Variant, the Golf Sportsvan, the Touran and the Tiguan,” the Croatian manufacturer said in a statement. Under the plan, AD Plastik is to launch production of the components in 2017. The components will be produced at its factory in Solin, in south-west Croatia. AD Plastik makes various interior and exterior parts with the use of plastics. These include EPDM, TPE and PUR components. Furthermore, the Croatian firm makes plastic packaging from

east Kuwait gathering centres.The project supports Fluenta’s continued expansion into the Middle East energy market. Fluenta’s flare gas meters were sold directly through Warba Group, representatives of Fluenta to Musref KOC’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) group. Sigurd Aase, CEO of Fluenta, comments: “Test results demonstrated to Kuwait Oil

PET, seats for sports facilities with the use of PP, and various other products made of PVC. Established in 1992 and based in Solin, AD Plastik was set up as an entity separated from the state-run plastics processor Jugoplastika. The company was privatised in 2001. In addition to its Croatian operations, AD Plastik owns subsidiaries located in Slovenia, Serbia, Romania and Russia, as well as a joint venture in France. Visit: www.adplastik.hr

Company that Fluenta ultrasonic flare gas meters are the most accurate and reliable flow measurement devices available.” Fluenta is the global leader in the measurement, monitoring and management of flow. The company leads in ultrasonic technology – by far the most accurate means by which to measure the flow of liquid or gas. Visit: www.fluenta.com Industry Europe 13


NEWS

Combining strengths

Bayer and Monsanto to create a global leader in agriculture

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ayer and Monsanto have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Bayer will acquire Monsanto for USD 128 per share in an all-cash transaction. “We are pleased to announce the combination of our two great organisations. This represents a major step forward for our Crop Science business and reinforces Bayer’s leadership position as a global innovation driven Life Science company with leadership positions in its core segments, delivering substantial value to shareholders, our customers, employees and society at large,” said Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG. This transaction brings together two different, but highly complementary businesses. The combined business will benefit from Monsanto’s leadership in Seeds & Traits and Climate Corporation platform along with Bayer’s broad Crop Protection

product line across a comprehensive range of indications and crops in all key geographies. As a result, growers will benefit from a broad set of solutions to meet their current and future needs, including enhanced solutions in seeds and traits, digital agriculture, and crop protection. Visit: www.bayer.com

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NOXERIOR looking forward to new chapter

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OXERIOR has announced that the French company NOVAIR recently became its new 100% owner, which has united two well-known manufacturers in the international industrial gas market with different, but very complementary, activities. For nearly 40 years, NOVAIR has been active in the field of designing and manufacturing non-cryogenic on-site gas systems, including medical and industrial PSA oxygen & nitrogen generators, air and vacuum units, cylinder filling

Samskip completes Silver Green acquisition

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ilver Green AS, owned 50% by Samskip, is changing its name to Silver Sea AS to mark the finalisation of a series of ownership changes. The new name reflects a consolidation by Samskip of its position in the reefer vessel segment, including the strengthening of its ownership in the company and direct

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Saab acquires Nordic Defence Industries

systems, air & gas boosters and compressors, as well as the design and installation of distribution pipeline systems for compressed gases. Over the same period, NOXERIOR has specialised in on-site oxygen and nitrogen generators, with focus on the hollow-fibre membrane and the modular PSA technologies, as well as a strong competency in complex engineering projects for EPC customers. “With the acquisition of NOXERIOR and its 14 international patents and patent applications regarding modular PSA gas separation plants, NOVAIR not only has realised an important technology injection, but has also acquired knowledge and experience with many industrial applications for the on-site generation of nitrogen and oxygen,” comments Oscar de Groen, former owner of NOXERIOR. Visit: www.noxerior.com investment in reefer vessels. Silver Green AS, based in Bergen, Norway, operates a fleet of 14 reefer vessels. The company is a market leader within its segment, with its primary trading being in the North Atlantic, Baltic, North Sea and Black Sea. Samskip Logistics now owns five reefer vessels. Silver Green AS was established in 2010 as a joint venture between Silver Sea AS

efence and security company Saab has acquired the Danish naval company Nordic Defence Industries (NDI). NDI designs and manufactures mine disposal charge systems for the naval defence industry. The acquisition of NDI develops Saab’s market leadership in the unmanned underwater domain when it comes to regional reach, technology and innovative solutions. This means customers can come to Saab for an end-to-end solution to meet their Mine Counter Measures (MCM) needs to detect, classify, identify and dispose maritime mines. “With the acquisition we are strengthening our position in the Mine Counter Measures market, building a foundation for continued profitable growth. Our regional footprint will be strengthened as well as our role as a global supplier of Mine Counter Measure solutions,” says Görgen Johansson, head of business area Dynamics. “With the high tech solutions for mine disposal provided by NDI we will have a product portfolio that covers the total need among our Mine Counter Measure customers.” Visit: www.saabgroup.com and Green Shipping II AS. Samskip has held a 50% stake in Silver Sea AS since 2002, which it recently sold. Samskip Logistics subsequently finalised acquisition of 50% of shares in Silver Green AS, thereby becoming a 50% shareholder in Silver Green together with Silver Invest (owned by Mr Tormod Fossmark). Visit: www.samskip.com


LINKINGUP Moelven acquires DLH’s Swedish operations

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he acquisition of DLH’s Swedish operations will bring strong growth for Moelven Wood in Sweden. Specifically, it provides a local presence in Skåne and the southern parts of Sweden. Mikael Axelsson, CEO of Moelven Wood AB, says that the acquisition also provides a strong platform for the further expansion of a cost effective distribution arrangement both for the building materials trade and industrial customers. “We get the possibility to take over the customer and supplier relationships along with their associated revenue as well as acquiring access to a large and very efficient warehouse that is centrally located in the middle of Skåne,” says Axelsson. Axelsson says that Moelven’s geographical presence in southern Sweden will now be strengthened considerably. “We will, of course, firstly ensure that we preserve and develop the current values of the existing customer relationships in southern Sweden. But we are already planning to broaden our product range, both in terms of self-produced products and products from external suppliers. In the longer term, we will also be able to offer our customers in southern Sweden a unique package of woodbased construction materials and interior fitting materials from the same supplier,” he says. Visit: www.moelven.com

Mikael Axelsson

Knorr-Bremse to purchase brake friction material specialist ICER Rail

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norr-Bremse plans to acquire the joint venture ICER Rail in its entirety. Through this move, Knorr-Bremse is extending its position in the field of friction materials – an important, technically demanding part of the braking system. ICER Rail was founded in 2010 as a joint

MacArtney takes over ASME A/S M

acArtney Underwater Technology Group has acquired the majority holding in Denmark based ASME A/S. ASME A/S designs and manufactures complete systems for the marine offshore, ocean science and renewable energy markets. ASME specialises in PLC and PC based active heave compensated solutions, launch and recovery systems, automated electric and hydrau-

lic turntables and tensioners, electronic control systems and many more specialised systems. ASME Hydra A/S, a subsidiary company of ASME A/S, designs and manufactures high quality hydraulic cylinders for the offshore market as well as other segments which require high quality materials and welding as well as traceability and documentation. This strategic acquisition will enable MacArtney to expand its offerings in existing segments as well as new segments through its worldwide operations. MacArtney Underwater Technology is a privately owned corporation with group headquarters in Esbjerg on the west coast of Denmark. The company has supplied products and engineering solutions for almost four decades. Visit: www.macartney.com

AQ Group acquires Gerdins Industrial System

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Group AB has signed an agreement with Gerdins Holding AB to acquire 100% of the shares of Gerdins Industrial System AB with the subsidiaries Gerdins Components Västerås AB, Elektroprim AB, Plåxan AB, Gerdins Components AB, Gerdins Cable Systems AB, Gerdins Cable Systems Sp. z.o.o and Gerdins Nordkomponent AB. Gerdins Cutting Technology AB with operations in Mjällom is not part of Gerdins Industrial System AB, thus not part of the deal. Gerdins Industrial System AB is a prominent supplier of components and systems for demanding industrial customers. The company has net sales of about SEK 430 million and employs about 450 people. It has operations in Mjällom, Västerås and Sollefteå in Sweden and in Starogard/Gdanski in Poland. “The purpose of the acquisition is to extend AQ’s customer base, to broaden our offering in venture between the Spanish Berkelium Group and Knorr-Bremse. Today, it is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of friction materials for rail vehicles. In Pamplona, Spain, the company develops and produces innovative friction materials for almost all railway applications. “The complete acquisition of ICER Rail is the next logical step for Knorr-Bremse in our

sheet metal processing and to obtain reinforcement in manufacturing of wiring systems. Gerdins has a long history with long-term industrial owners and the company fits well in AQ,” says Claes Mellgren, CEO of AQ Group. Visit: www.aqg.se

rail friction materials strategy,” said Klaus Deller, chairman of the executive board of Knorr- Bremse AG. “Being able to develop braking systems and friction materials from start to finish helps us to further improve the braking effect, cut life cycle costs and reduce noise, benefiting our customers and the environment.” Visit: www.knorr-bremse.com Industry Europe 15


NEWS

MOVINGON

Relocations and expansions across Europe

SCA logistics terminal New PP pilot plant enables inaugurated at Kiel’s Ostuferhafen SABIC to meet key industry needs

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he new SCA terminal was officially inaugurated during a reception on November 11th at the Port of Kiel’s Ostuferhafen. The Swedish concerns SCA (Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget) and Iggesund Paperboard AB (Holmen Group) will use the new forest products and logistics centre to handle and store 850,000 tonnes of their high-value paper products a year, which will be distributed throughout central and western European markets. Dr Dirk Claus, managing director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) said: “A port takes such an important step perhaps only once every ten years. The paper products business adds a further pillar of support to Kiel’s port activity. Along with the conspicuous investment made in the terminal facilities, the extension of our company’s logistic competence has been of decisive importance.” Visit: www.portofkiel.com

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ABIC will have a new pilot plant for the development of next-generation polypropylenes on-stream in Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands, by the end of March 2017. The plant, which will use gas-phase polymerisation technology, will support the production at nearby full-scale plants of superior materials that meet the needs of different industries such as automotive, pipe, appliances and advanced packaging. The pilot plant is the latest in a series of investments being made by SABIC at the Brightlands Chemelot R&D and manufacturing campus in SittardGeleen. The company opened a new research facility there in May. Lina Prada, global PP technology director, says the pilot plant is a further demonstration of SABIC’s commitment to invest in innovation. “When it starts up next year, we will have considerably more capacity to develop new PP materials for commercialisation in our current European assets in Geleen and in Gelsenkirchen, Germany,” says Prada. Visit: www.sabic.com

MMK starts new sinter plant project

Solvay starts production of highly dispersible silica for energy saving tires in South Korea

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olvay has launched the production of highly dispersible silica (HDS) at its new state-of-the-art plant in Gunsan, South Korea, meeting strong and growing regional demand for energy saving tires. The plant has an annual capacity of more than 80,000 tonnes for producing Solvay’s most advanced grades of HDS. This Solvay invention reinforces the rubber in tires and reduces a vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 7%. Moreover, HDS brands like Zeosil® PREMIUM and Efficium® help tire makers to raise performance levels for both car and truck tire compounds. “Solvay’s new site, with its latest technology standards, further strengthens our supply security to our customers and our contribution to cleaner mobility,” said An Nuyttens, president of Solvay’s Silica Global Business Unit. Visit: www.solvay.com

ODU opens new production site in Mexico

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DU has opened a new production site near Tijuana, Mexico. This move was prompted by ODU’s increasing success in project-related business involving application- and customer-specific products. As in Europe, ODU is aiming to strengthen its business in North America around fully

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JSC Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (‘MMK’) has signed a contract with Sinosteel Equipment & Engineering Co., Ltd (China) regarding the supply of equipment for MMK’s new sinter plant No.5. The contract value of the equipment is RUB 6.7 bln. Overall MMK will invest around RUB 22 bln into the sinter plant, including building and installation works. The new facility is scheduled for commissioning by the end of 2019. The sinter plant will have annual capacity of 5.5 mln tonnes, allowing MMK to decommission outdated equipment at sinter plant No.4 (4.2 mln tons per year capacity). The new plant will help MMK process sinter more efficiently, reduce the production costs of pig iron by ensuring output of suitable materials, and fully unlocking the potential of MMK’s blast furnaces. Visit: www.mmk.ru

assembled products. The new production plant in Mexico offers the ideal conditions for meeting this objective: With 3000 square metres of production space and 50 staff members, the Mexican site will be running at full steam by early 2017. Its focus is on cable assembly, yet production can be extended to all other ODU areas as well.

“ODU has been active in the North American region for more than 30 years and generates almost a quarter of its overall annual turnover there. Thanks to the dynamic development of the market, we still see enormous potential for growth – in Central and South America, too,” explains Dr Kurt Woelfl, managing director at ODU. Visit: www.odu-connectors.com


NEWS

INDUSTRYPEOPLE Rolls-Royce appoints Andreas Schell as CEO

WINDSOR appoints new managing director

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olls-Royce has announced that Andreas Schell has been appointed CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems (RRPS). Andreas will take up his new position from 1 January 2017, succeeding Dr Ulrich Dohle who is retiring. Andreas has a wealth of international leadership expertise, running large complex organisations involved in high-technology engineering across a number of sectors including aerospace and automotive in Germany, the UK and US. He has experience in operational transformation programmes, strategy and the development of new business models, products and markets. He joins Rolls-Royce from UTC Aerospace Systems and will work alongside Dr Dohle until the end of the year to ensure an effective transition. Andreas Schell said: “I am very proud to be joining one of the world’s great engineering companies at an exciting time in its development.”

INDSOR KUNSTSTOFFTECHNOLOGIE GMBH has appointed Peter Kochs (49) as its managing director. WINDSOR is the Europe-wide representative for hydraulic and servo-hydraulic injection moulding machines for the Taiwanese manufacturer FCS (Fu Chun Shin Group). In addition, WINDSOR is the representative for Germany of JSW Ltd. (The Japan Steel Works, Tokyo). Peter Kochs has been with WINDSOR since 2008, more recently as COO Sales and authorised signatory. Dean Francis, president and chairman of WINDSOR Group, Mason, OH, USA, said: “Peter’s commitment to the WINDSOR customer support philosophy, his profound knowledge of the plastics industry and practical injection moulding technology experience make him the ideal choice for this responsible position in a demanding market environment.”

New CEO for Maersk Supply Service Christian Scherer appointed CEO of ATR

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aersk Supply Service has appointed Steen S. Karstensen as a chief executive officer effective October 24, 2016. He previously held the position of chief procurement officer, and takes over the role from Jørn Madsen, who was recently appointed CEO of Maersk Drilling. Steen S. Karstensen joined the Group in 1986 and has had a 30-year career with the company. “Steen Karstensen is a widely respected leader who has built a strong global procurement organisation serving all of Maersk’s business units, generating significant savings,” said group vice-CEO Claus V. Hemmingsen. Steen Karstensen’s previous role in procurement included overseeing Maersk Maritime Technology, Maersk Oil Trading and Maersk Management Consulting.

New CEO for Air Products Iberian subsidiaries

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ndustrial gas giant Air Products has appointed a new leader to spearhead its Spanish and Portugese subsidiaries. Ahmed Hababou has been named as the CEO of both Carburos Metálicos and Air Products Gasin in Portugal. Additionally, Hababou has assumed the role of

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TR’s shareholders Airbus Group and Leonardo-Finmeccanica have appointed Christian Scherer (54), as CEO of ATR. ATR’s shareholders confirmed that Christian Scherer will run the company for a four-year term in order to ensure stability and continuity as the company continues its growth. Christian Scherer was previously executive vice-president and head of Airbus Group International. Prior to this, he was head of Marketing & Sales at Airbus Defence and Space. He also served as a member of the Airbus Defence and Space executive committee and as managing director of Airbus Defence and Space GmbH. Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group, said: “Christian Scherer demonstrates a tremendous amount of commercial expertise, strategic vision and management skills. Christian’s appointment for four years underscores the commitment of Airbus Group to the success of our joint venture with Leonardo.”

vice-president for South Subregion Air Products Europe. Hababou joined the Tier One company in 2002 and held the position of general manager in the Middle East from 2005–2008. He then headed up the Packaged Gases supply chain at Carburos Metálicos until 2013 before becoming European Speciality Gases and Helium operations manager for the business.

Following his appointment, he said, “It is with great enthusiasm and respect that I face this new position. Leading an historic company like Carburos Metálicos, which will celebrate its 120th anniversary next year, and Gasin, which is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary in Portugal, is a great honour and a major professional challenge.” Industry Europe 17


NEWS

TECHNOLOGYSPOTLIGHT Corvus Energy and BAE Systems chosen for Tall Ship hybrid propulsion system

Advances in technology across industry

Wirth Research develops worlds first long-endurance hydrogen-powered terrain mapping drones

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irth Research has been contracted to develop and deliver a unique and bespoke prototype fleet of advanced terrain mapping drones for DERYL Research K.K. – a subsidiary of DERYL Group K.K., based in Japan. The all-new Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) will be capable of deploying a sophisticated terrain-mapping suite of sensors and on-board data processing capabilities on longendurance flights over large areas of terrain. To allow the highest possible endurance, and allow the UAS to have zero in-flight emissions, the drone will be powered by an advanced hybrid power system, featuring a hydrogen fuel cell as its primary energy source. Wirth Research founder and CEO, Nick Wirth, said: “I am delighted to be leading the team on this project. The field of UAS design and development is something we have been working on for some time, and delivering a low-cost, hybrid hydrogen powered terrain mapping drone in a short timescale is exactly the type of challenging project that Wirth Research is able to deliver. Low-cost, high-resolution terrain mapping is something that the world needs right now for many reasons – making this a truly worthy project for us.” He added: “We have developed and validated some unique aerodynamic technology and flown some amazing UAS systems already. We look forward to the challenge of delivering this fleet in a few months, and to embarking on the next project in this fascinating field.” Visit: www.wirthresearch.com

Wärtsilä researches autonomous shipping

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he San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit, Educational Tall Ship Programme has ordered a 100kWh energy storage system (ESS) from Corvus Energy as a part of a hybrid electric propulsion system on board its new, 132-foot Brigantine tall ship, the Matthew Turner, which is currently under construction in Sausalito. The Corvus Energy ESS will be combined with an electric propulsion system designed and installed by BAE Systems. When not under sail, the ship will be propelled by electric motors directly connected to the propeller shafts and drawing energy from the Corvus ESS, instead of diesel engines. When the ship is under sail, the energy of the passing water will cause the propellers to rotate, which, in turn, will cause the electric motors to become generators that re-charge the Corvus ESS. The ship will also be charged from the grid and solar panels when at the dock. “Corvus and BAE Systems have been collaborating together on developing power and propulsion systems that are more fuel efficient, providing ship owners with a lower cost of ownership, and reducing the impact on the environment,” says Allan Grant, vice-president of Business Development at Corvus Energy. Visit: www.corvusenergy.com 18 Industry Europe

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ärtsilä’s strong commitment to developing the technologies, the system reliability, and the essential designs to enable the viability of autonomous shipping is again emphasised through its participation in an important research programme. Together with other leading marine sector and information & communication technology (ICT) companies, Wärtsilä is supporting a project aimed at creating the world’s first autonomous marine transport system. The initial focus will be on developing a fully autonomous system for the Baltic Sea by the year 2025. The programme is being largely financed by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for innovation and the ecosystem platform is being handled by DIMECC, a leading breakthrough oriented co-

creation ecosystem provider. The main corporate investors in the programme, apart from Wärtsilä, are Rolls-Royce, Cargotec, Ericsson, Meyer Turku, and Tieto. Wärtsilä believes that artificial intelligence, robotics, and remote connections will play an important role in the shipping industry’s future as a means towards increasing efficiency and lowering operating costs. The company is committed to developing a strong digital offering and has recently acquired Eniram, a leading provider of energy management and vessel performance systems, as well as launching its updated Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum platform of navigation, automation, and control systems. Visit: www.wartsila.com


NEWS

NOTICEBOARD Kemppi’s X8 MIG Welder redefines industrial multi-process welding Design and technology

give life to ‘Mutant’

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emppi has launched the X8 MIG Welder, a multi-process welding solution for future-proof industrial welding. The solution is enabled by the newest IoT based technologies and connectivity. With new technology, Kemppi redefines performance, usability and welding management in demanding industrial MIG/MAG welding. The X8 MIG Welder becomes available for customers in 2017. “The X8 MIG Welder is the ultimate choice for demanding welding,” said Dr Petteri Jernström, Kemppi’s director of Product Management and Technology Services. “With its focused and intense arc, groundbreaking user experience, upgradeable power source, Digital WPS feature, and full integration with the WeldEye welding management software, the X8 MIG Welder lets you perform, control and manage welding production in a way that was not possible before.” The X8 MIG Welder is designed to grow with the changing needs of manufacturers. It can be easily upgraded with software to work with new materials, applications and welding management demands. Even the welding power is upgradeable. The X8 MIG Welders are made in Finland. Visit: www.kemppi.com

MetGen wins John Sime Award for biotechnology

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innish enzyme producer MetGen won the John Sime Award for Most Innovative New Technology at the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy (EFIB). MetGen produces customised industrial enzymes particularly for the the pulp and paper industry. “Small companies like us in the biotechnology sector do accept even great challenges and, thereby, risks, in their quest to change the world. We are also taking the industrial sector in a more sustainable direction and pointing the way for large-scale operators,” says MetGen’s chief technology officer Matti Heikkilä. The enzymes tailored by MetGen speed up processes in the pulp and paper industry, generating considerable savings in energy and raw materials. According to Heikkilä, the company is now aiming at strong international growth. “We have just launched sales in our main market and will now aim to scale this into larger growth. Finland possesses a vast amount of first-rate biotechnology know-how, but no-one is going to come over here and carry us away. Rather, we have to be bold, enter the international arena together and make ourselves known.” Visit: www.metgen.com

he 2016 edition of the Tecnargilla Design Award, focused on the theme ‘Light and shadows’, awarded the project ‘Mutant’, developed by System Ceramics in collaboration with Tosilab, for its ability to respond in the best way possible to the five requisites set by the judging panel: aesthetics, versatility, marketability, originality and technological content. So what was the idea behind ‘Mutant’, the work with an oriental touch, featuring flakes that chase one another in an infinitely changing sequence? In oriental design philosophy, the forms of objects are ever-changing, limited to small moments, ready to mutate as if part of a continuous flow. This is in contrast to western culture where form, ‘morphé’, is what determines an object once and for all. ‘Mutant’ is made up of a base element with five sides which is multiplied infinitely when overlapped, likened to the scales of fish or reptiles, creating a precise web of scales that rapidly move in a single flow. The web in turn twists the reference system, folding over itself; colour is then added to this dynamic framework, positioned on each bend, amplifying the threedimensional design of the relief structure. Visit: www.system-group.it

Xylem wins 2016 IBEX Innovation Award X

ylem Inc., a leading global water technology company focused on addressing the world’s most challenging water issues, was recently recognised as the winner of the 2016 Innovation Awards – Mechanical Systems announced at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) for its Rule brand next generation bilge pumps. “This award comes as a result of our commitment to ‘best in class’ products, and represents

a testament to Xylem’s capability of meeting the ever-evolving needs of our customers,” said Steve Tilders, global director of marine sales at Xylem. Rule’s small submersible bilge pumps provide ultimate pumping performance, helping to keep bilge clear of nuisance water. The next generation of Rule’s bilge pumps offers higher flow and backflow prevention that prevents water from re-entering the bilge, and features a built-in

thermal cut-off (TCO) that provides added protection for pump and vessel. Installation is easy in different configurations, due to the threaded discharge that allows for different port sizes. Rule bilge pumps are tested to the highest standard, including meeting performance testing at 12V vs. 13.6V, resulting in higher flow for the toughest applications. Visit: www.marine.xylem.com Industry Europe 19


EURO-REPORT

FOCUS ON...

Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on a bitter family feud.

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ermany often revels in the misfortune of others and even has a word for the pleasure derived from their discomfort – schadenfreude. It comes as no surprise then, in a time of spiking fears over terrorism and worries about economic growth next year, that a bitter war being waged within the ranks of the super-rich Aldi discount dynasty is being avidly followed in the pages of the nation’s newspapers. The owners of the supermarket chain have revealed a tragic secret over the death of one of the heirs four years ago. On November 21, 2012, Berthold Albrecht – son of Aldi co-founder Theo Albrecht – died at the age of 58. No-one knew what killed him until court documents surfaced recently relating to the power struggle which reveal he passed away from chronic alcoholism. Berthold’s widow Babette, 64, wrote in a document to judges: “Cause of death was a multiple organ failure brought on by alcoholism.” Babette went on to say that he had cirrhosis of the liver and that alcohol had “permanently altered his personality.” The secret of her billionaire husband’s death came as it was disclosed that she is fighting for more influence for her children in the boardroom of the colossus of retailing which had sales of more than 20 billion euros last year. Berthold was a member of the ruling board of Aldi Nord: the company is split between north and south in Germany. Theo Sr, who went to his grave in July 2010 aged 88, founded the retailing giant with his brother Karl on the foundations of their mother’s tiny grocery store she opened in 1913 in Essen. Together they built up Europe’s biggest no-frills grocery chain. Aldi – which is derived from ‘Albrecht Discount’ – is a regular on the Forbes rich list. ‘The best quality at the lowest price’ was the business motto 20 Industry Europe

and it made Theo alone a fortune in excess of €12 billion which passed on to Berthold. Now Babette is taking on Theo Albrecht Jr, her brother-in-law, in charge at Aldi Nord. He and his manager largely control three company foundations with the names Luke, Mark and James which manage company assets and make important decisions about future sales and strategies. The widow Babette and her five children are arguing for a bigger say in the running of the company through the foundations. The children, four daughters and a son, say the structure of the foundations – agreed by their father – are incorrect due to the fact that he was ‘not competent’ when he agreed to them.

It comes as no surprise then... that a bitter war being waged within the ranks of the super-rich Aldi discount dynasty is being avidly followed in the pages of the nation’s newspapers. Berthold agreed to the changes in the foundations which cut his children out of decision making in December 2010. In January this year Babette wrote to a judge who has yet to decide whether she has a case. In the letter Babette wrote: “At this time my husband could hardly sleep because of his illness. He took high dosages of alcohol and sedatives to try to go to sleep.” Babette’s camp is pushing for more control to get Aldi Nord, which also runs the US chain Trader Joe’s, to more quickly spruce

up stores and products, according to insiders. Affidavits from senior managers of Aldi are currently being examined by the higher administrative court in Schleswig. The former head of Aldi Nord, Hartmuth Wiesemann, wrote in his statement that Berthold knew what he was doing because he thought professional managers were better able to steer the company than his children.

Entrenched positions “Now the fronts are hardening,” said the popular Bild newspaper. According to the newspaper, Theo Jr “tried to placate the Berthold clan with offers of millions in cash but they refused, insisting on more influence in the group.” In a 2014 letter to Babette, Theo Jr wrote that she was “a burden on our company” by refusing to “subordinate your private lifestyle to the interest of our group.” Theo Jr and his mother, Caecilie, also said the €25 million Babette and her children receive from the trust annually is excessive. Theo recently wrote to them: “Please make up your minds for a peaceful alternative. Further disputes are no use to anyone. But on the other hand, we are not afraid and will keep fighting before the courts to enforce the implementations of the arrangements as agreed by your father.” Aldi has invested over €1.8 billion in Britain and has more than 300 outlets, opening its first UK store in 1989, but plans to have 1500 in a decade or so. Berthold, with his brother, pioneered the company’s entry to the lucrative US market. But both brothers delegated more and more in recent years, bringing in outside business talent to run the concern. Where this family feud will end up is anyone’s guess. But it is a safe bet to say that until a final decision is reached, the news pages of the German media will not n go hungry.


EURO-REPORT

FOCUS ON...

France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on bad news from France’s vineyards.

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rance has suffered the worst grape harvest in more than 30 years – with some of the country’s most famous vineyards seeing their crops almost totally wiped out by freak weather, figures from the Ministry of Agriculture have revealed. For thousands of winemakers, grapes have been destroyed by late frosts last April, heavy summer rain and ‘hailstones as big as ping pong balls’ in central and eastern France, and mildew and drought near the Mediterranean. Across the country, national production plummeted by 12 per cent, but key wine regions like Champagne, Burgundy and the Loire Valley lost around 50 per cent of their crops to bad weather, and winemakers in famous chateaux around the towns of Chablis and Chiroubles lost almost their entire harvests. Only Bordeaux in south-west France was spared the blight, which could send French wine prices soaring next year. Winemaker Jean-Jacques Robert, who owns the Domaine Robert-Denogent in Fuisse, Burgundy, said: “It wasn’t so much a harvest this year, as a hunt for grapes. “I had around three-quarters of my crop wiped out in a single hailstorm in April. It’s a catastrophe, the worst harvest for 30 or 40 years, and we have lost more than 300,000 euros. Our insurance will hopefully cover 100,000 euros of that but the rest we have to absorb.” Also among the most severely hit were organic winemakers and those from France’s growing ‘vin nature’ movement, which campaigns for a return to more natural wines. Unable to spray damaged crops, they had to watch as mildew ripped through their vines. And for a few staring ruin in the face, that meant ‘going against our principles’ and using chemicals. Winemaker Vincent Dureuil-Janthial, from Rully in Burgundy, resorted to spraying his vines, knowing he would lose the organic certification he had held for a decade.

He said: “It was the most difficult decision I have ever taken. It felt like a personal failure. But with six employees to pay, I had to take a decision as a business owner to save what little of the crop was left to save.” Such dilemmas prompted more than 130 restaurateurs and wine shops to launch a donations drive to save organic winemakers from going to the wall.

harvest in 2015 due to hot weather. Unfortunately, if you have a miserable year in terms of quantity you cannot just pass that on.” Louis-Fabrice Latour, of the Burgundy wine producers group BIVB, said he had already sensed a slowdown in the market which would only get worse because of Britain’s exit from the EU and uncertainty over the US presidential elections.

For thousands of winemakers, grapes have been destroyed by late frosts last April, heavy summer rain and ‘hailstones as big as ping pong balls’ in central and eastern France, and mildew and drought near the Mediterranean.

Faking it

Laurie Lacroix, spokeswoman for the Vendanges Solidaires group, said: “Many winemakers who could not afford insurance are now in a very bad situation. And for those just starting out in the winemaking business, it has been disastrous. There is no state support or compensation, so grape growing is a real high-wire act. And with climate change too, we may be seeing a far more capricious environment for winemakers.” One saving grace is that the grapes that have been harvested are of very good quality. Thibault Liger-Belair, whose vines in the Domaine de Roches Roses, in Moulina-Vent, southern France, were also ravaged by bad weather, said: “They are of very good quality even if we will have only 20 per cent of the wine we would normally produce. “The worrying thing for many winemakers is that this comes after a below average

The record low harvest has also driven some unscrupulous winemakers to pass off low-grade plonk as top vintages, in order to recoup some of their lost profits. French wine customs inspectors said they are ‘noticeably busier’ this year due to the poor crop. Their work involves tracking the wine produced by France’s tens of thousands of vineyards to ensure drinkers are getting what they are paying for. Officials launch unannounced spot checks on vineyards to inspect vats, barrels, pallets, bottles and vines. Bordeaux regional customs chief Bertrand Bernard said: “The vast majority of winemakers are honest, but there is an increasing number of people out there who try to bend the rules to a greater or lesser extent. “The most common trick is to blend high quality wine with a cheaper wine, which basically amounts to defrauding the consumer, and culprits can be fined up to a million euros.” The biggest scandals in recent years were in 2010, when 12 French winemakers and dealers were convicted of selling millions of bottles of fake Pinot Noir to the US firm E&J Gallo. Before that, in 2006 legendary Beaujolais winemaker Georges Duboeuf was fined more than 30,000 euros for blending grapes from different vineyards to disguise the poor quality of certain prized vintages. Mr Bernard added: “We hope the latest low harvest won’t drive anyone to frauds on n that scale this year.” Industry Europe 21


SMARTER MACHINE TOOL TECHNOLOGY The LNS Group is a global leader in the design and manufacture of machine tool peripherals. The company has seen consistent growth throughout its long history. Philip Yorke reports on a privately held company that continues to innovate and set the standards for the machine tool industry worldwide.

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NS was founded in Switzerland in the Jura region in 1973 by three skilled engineers, who decided to design bar feeders that improved the speed and efficiency of fixed and sliding headstock lathes. Their success has been recognised worldwide and their culture of innovation remains at the heart of all LNS Group operations today. A major milestone in the company’s history occurred when in 1975 a young and ingenious precision-machining technician named Mr Philippe Scheurer was developing a unique machine tool concept. Following the contractual acquisition of Mr Scheurer’s patents, LNS invented the world’s first hydraulic bar feeder. This is better known as the Hydrobar®. This system guides a rotating bar into a bath of oil, covering it in a fine film of oil. This reduces friction, noise and vibration while allowing the lathe to increase the spindle speed and ultimately increases significantly the efficiency of the machines. The invention proved such a resounding success that not only did LNS increase its turnover dramatically but the Hydrobar® brand has also become a generic term that is still used throughout the machine tool industry. Today LNS is the clear global leader in the field of machine tool automation with around 1000 employees worldwide. The engineering

group operates ten state-of-the-art production facilities, which are located in North America, the UK, China, Turkey, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and, more recently, Germany. To date more than 120,000 bar feeders have been produced and delivered by LNS and over 250,000 chip conveyers installed worldwide.

Innovation on display at EMO The LNS Group recently displayed an array of new, innovative products at the EMO international trade show this year. One of its latest products was designed by the Swiss company’s R&D team and is known as the high-end Express 220 S2bar feeder. This versatile product replaces the successful Express 220 model and offers greater stability, ergonomics and autonomy. Furthermore, compared to its predecessor, the Express220S weighs 40 per cent more. This is due to the fact that LNS used a steel beam, CNC components and installed big, very stable stands. This combination results in less vibrations and a better surface finish. Another newcomer to LNS’s portfolio is the Sprint 565 S2, which is an automatic bar feeder for fixed headstock lathes and is designed for bars ranging in diameter from 5mm to 65mm. In the brand new S2 version, the bar feeder has been upgraded with

Industry Europe 23


Sumitomo Drive Technologies

SM-Cyclo UK, based in Hull, is the British subsidiary of Sumitomo Cyclo Drive Germany and serves the markets in Great Britain, parts of Africa and Middle East/Arabia. SM-Cyclo UK, Ltd Unit 29, Bergen Way, Sutton Fields Industrial Estate, Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire, HU7 0YQ, United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0)1482 790340 | www.sumitomodrive.com

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With over a hundred years experience in the field, Sumitomo Drive Technologies are consistent world leaders in the design and manufacture of speed reducers and geared motors for industrial applications. In today’s economic environment, innovation and strategic development are essential in order to reduce production costs, exceed targets and increase profit margins. We offer bespoke, customer specific solutions for an everchanging industry, tailored to ensure your machinery operates at optimum speed, with sustained durability and precision. Our teams are dedicated to continuous innovation, safeguarding the strength and advancement of your business objectives within fierce market competition. Commitment to our customers is paramount, and with a dependable, international service network spanning 50 countries, you can count on our support to help you adapt, update and evolve. We are proud to announce our current partnership with the LNS Turbo Group, and would like to extend our best wishes for all future collaborations.


bigger stands, a chain loader with capacity for 52mm or 65mm bars and a high-end HMI touch screen. The new Sprint offers customers more choice in the high range product sector. The extended capacity and improved rigidity are the main plus factors here. The same innovations have been applied to the new 545 bar feeder for fixed and sliding headstock lathes, which are tailored to bars ranging from 5mm to 45mm with an outstanding autonomy up to 18 bars. The company also featured an all-new WS 2 series air filtration system at the EMO Trade Fair. Like its predecessor the WS series, the WS 2 is highly effective with efficient elimination of oil mist and offers small and compact dimensions as well as easy handling and integration. In addition, the pre-filter drainage and design has been significantly improved. Side inlets instead of vertical or horizontal inlets help to improve the flexibility of the new WS2 product.

the Fox WM series is designed for the simultaneous collection of multiple machine tools and very large machine tools where considerable airflow is needed. n For further details of LNS Group’s innovative products and services visit: www.lns-europe.com

Focus on air filtration Air filtration solutions are helping LNS to double their sales every second year and are becoming increasingly important as part of the LNS Group’s product portfolio. The LNS Group achieved strong growth with its Fox air filtration line in all major markets last year. “We double sales in this product segment every second year. Demand is still high, and we aim to keep up this pace of growth in the medium term,” said Laurent Pham, marketing manager of the LNS Group. Air filtration systems, chip conveyers and coolant management systems are all of increasing importance to the product portfolio of LNS. “For over 40 years, the LNS Group has developed innovative products in machine tool equipment and made a name for itself as the leading bar feeding and chip management system specialist worldwide. In the past decade, we successfully transformed into a true one-stop shop for the machine tool industry, offering a whole new range of machine tool peripherals,” explained Pham. Different models of the Fox filtration systems have also been developed by LNS’s engineering team to meet a variety of industrial requirements and solve a broad range of pollution problems in the facilities of its customers. The company’s mist collector series Fox WS2 is compact, can be perfectly integrated into the machine tool and offers the ideal solution for metal cutting applications, whereas

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FLYING HIGH

Jihlavan is a traditional supplier of hydraulic components and precision parts for the aviation industry, mobile technology and medical applications. The company has undergone major changes in the past five years and now stands as a modern industrial enterprise, ready to seize new opportunities in the growing aviation sector. Romana Moares spoke to the company’s managing director, Mr Milan Daněk, about its plans for the future.

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ounded in 1952, Jihlavan has developed into one of the major players in the Czech aviation industry with an increasing presence abroad. Over 10,000 aircraft have been equipped with Jihlavan’s hydraulics so far. Over the years, the company has built a reputation as a stable partner in the development, production and servicing of hydraulic power systems in aviation and civil engineering applications. Jihlavan is a joint-stock company owned by a financially strong majority shareholder. It owns extensive technical facilities that allow it to pursue the development of new individual products as well as whole systems. Jihlavan’s development engineers took part in several major projects, such as the development of L-29, L-39, and L-159 military aircraft, and L 410, L 610, and Ae270 civil aircraft. More recent projects have included its participation in the EV-55 and CESAR programmes. “The company has undergone significant changes in the past five years,” says the managing director. “We have completed an extensive facility modernisation to accommodate demanding avia-

tion contracts from around the world. The product portfolio has also changed – the volume of aviation production has increased from 25 per cent to the current 75 per cent of total output.” And, last but not least, the company’s ownership structure was revised in 2015, the consequence of which has been an even stronger emphasis on the aviation business.

Core competence In the aviation sector, Jihlavan is a traditional supplier of hydraulic components for flight controls, hydraulic power and landing gear systems for Czech aircraft, such as the Turbolet L 410, for which it is the leading supplier of over 20 components. Furthermore, in the Czech Republic, Jihlavan participates in the certification process for EV 55 aircraft by supplying and testing instrumentation. More recently, the company has engaged in the activities of the European supply chain, delivering hydraulic components according to customers’ documentation (BTP / BTO production) to the civil

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aviation industry. “We signed important contracts with two major companies, which in 2016 will account for about 25 per cent of total sales,” says Mr Daněk. In the non-aviation (decreasing) business Jihlavan continues to develop and make components for hydraulic circuits for mobile applications such as trucks, tractors, medical technology and others. “An important part of our portfolio is also the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) business. Our main competence in this area is the instrumentation refurbishment for the L39 and L410 programmes and repairs and testing of hydraulic components for the B737 Classic and, more recently, for B737 NG,” he explains.

Modern facility Jihlavan’s production technologies include modern numerically controlled lathes, machining centres, grinding and boring machines and other technology required for the production of precision parts for the aviation industry. The company’s premises include a thermal treatment facility, metallographic laboratory, coating shop and galvanic treatment processes. “The vast majority of special processes have been certified according to Nadcap (internationally recognised certificate for the aviation industry), which only a handful of Czech companies operating in this sector acquired,” points out Mr Daněk. Jihlavan is also equipped with a modern facility for aviation instrumentation assembly as well as special components testing stations required for the Airbus, CASA and Boeing programmes. Investment in technology has been an integral part of the company’s growth; the latest machine acquisitions have included multi-functional 28 Industry Europe


CNC machining centres, CNC grinding and boring machines, a five-axis machining centre for aluminium materials and special equipment for galvanic treatment, coating and thermal processing. In the near future, the company intends to continue with the process of technology modernisation. Planned purchases include a special machining centre for the new production of Airbus A 350 actuators and a measuring microscope to accelerate inter-operation inspection as well as to reduce overall lead times.

Facing the future

French customer so we can further develop our reputation as a top quality producer of hydraulic components. In 2017, we want to continue these efforts with the launch of new actuator production for the A 350 programme.” He concludes by stating that by 2020 the company is aiming to double EBITA and increase total turnover by 75 per cent. These ambitious plans are set to further cement this traditional Czech manufacturer’s position as an indispensable player in the European aviation sector. n

Mr Daněk confirms that the aviation sector is growing, with a lot of Czech companies trying to capitalise on this trend. “Jihlavan started to prepare for this development five years ago and this has helped us to stay ahead. As sales from newly introduced aviation programmes are starting to increase, we are now able to reap the first fruit of our past efforts.” Jihlavan’s exports currently account for about 55 per cent of total sales and are increasing, particularly as a result of recently signed contracts with Spanish and French business partners. “We have customers all over the world but our main territories are France and Spain, where we deliver precision parts for aircraft engines and door mechanisms within the Airbus and CASA programmes,” says Mr Daněk. He confirms that Jihlavan will continue to forge its market position as a trusted and stable business partner. “We want to maintain the excellent level of on-time deliveries for our Spanish partner and, by the end of 2016, achieve the same status for the Industry Europe 29


The majority parts of GE H Series engine are manufactured in GE Aviation’s Prague plant

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FLYING HIGH The GE turboprop engines powering aircraft L 410

GE Aviation ranks as one of the largest aircraft engine manufacturers in the world. To put this into perspective: right now, there more than 2200 airplanes carrying over 300,000 people in the air thanks to GE’s engines. Romana Moares spoke to Zdenek Soukal, commercial director of the group’s Czech plant, about further investments into the Czech base. If you look under the airframe of the GE H Series powered aircraft, this is what you find

IN

2008, GE Aviation entered the fast-growing segment of small turboprop engines manufacturing. It acquired an engine business from Walter, a Czech company with over 90 years of aviation heritage, to form GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. The company specialises in the design, production and servicing of turboprop engines at its integrated research and development and manufacturing facility in Letnany, Prague. GE Aviation successfully launched the H Series turboprop family, incorporating GE’s 3-D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials to create a powerful, fuel-efficient, durable engine with no recurrent fuel nozzle inspections and no hot section inspection for a multitude of uses: agricultural, business turboprops, commuter and utility aircraft. “GE infused its technology into the Walter M601 engine: the new turboprop H Series engine offered a 13 per cent better performance, 8 per cent higher efficiency in term of fuel consumption, and 15 per cent lower maintenance costs,” says the sales director. The GE H80 was the first in the H Series, followed by the H75 and H85, all of which come with more shaft horsepower and improved fuel efficiency. For pilots and customers, the H Series engines (in the 750 to 850 shaft horsepower range) enable longer flights, combined with significantly enhanced hot-day take-off performance and highaltitude cruise speeds.

If you look inside the the GE H Series engine there are no fuel nozzles but an innovative centrifugal fuel slinger system and 3D aero blade design. The EEPC system enables it to control power and propeller by a single lever

Around the globe Today GE designs, manufactures, sells and services GE turboprop engines to power over 30 different types of aircraft, carrying passengers and cargo across six continents. Built for durability and efficiency to withstand a wide range of climate conditions, GE turboprops can cover thousands of flight hours with minimal maintenance. GE turboprop engines enable aircraft to handle anything from unpaved landing strips in Africa and Latin America to permafrost in Siberia. Today, more than 1200 L410 aircraft have been delivered throughout the world. The GE H Series engines have received nine certifications and are in operation on six continents, with 13 announced applications. To date, 20 million flight hours make the GE Turboprops a well-tested and truly reliable turboprop engine. Examples of this wide range of applications include the commuter multi-purpose airplane L410 (of original Czech design), agricultural plane Thrush 510G (crop duster), or the business plane Nextant G90XT – the re-designed King Air C90 plane. “Today, GE Aviation Czech has two core businesses: the M601 product line (repairs only), and the H line, in production and further development,” explains the sales director.

Turboprop business headquarters in the Czech Republic “The latest addition to GE’s portfolio is a brand new engine for a single engine plane, Cessna Denali, manufactured by Textron Aviation,” says Industry Europe 31


Since the utmost precision is key when building a GE H Series engine, some parts demand a final human touch

Zdenek Soukal

Mr Soukal. “The 1300SHP-rated Advanced Turboprop (ATP) is the first entry in GE’s new family of turboprop engines aimed at Business and General Aviation aircraft in the 1000–1600 SHP range,” he explains. The ATP features an industry-best 16:1 overall pressure ratio (OPR), enabling the engine to achieve up to 20 per cent lower fuel burn and 10 per cent higher cruise power compared to competitors’ offerings in the same size class with 4000–6000 hour maintenance time between overhauls (MTBO) and class-leading performance retention. “Our Prague turboprop business is unique in its sector thanks to the fact that all departments, such as the product development, production, major overhauls, repairs and maintenance as well as the manufacturing competence, related to the H and M601 turbo engines, are located in a single site. However, we have direct access to GE Aviation’s worldwide network and resources. Today, we employ 450 people and their numbers increase each year,” says Mr Soukal. At the beginning of 2016, GE Aviation announced plans to spend over one billion USD on its ATP programme and to build its new turboprop

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business headquarters in the Czech Republic, creating more than 500 new jobs to join the existing manufacturing facility in Letnany. The headquarters are expected to open in several years in order to manufacture GE’s advanced turboprop engine (ATP) powering Cessna Denali – Textron Aviation Inc.’s new single-engine turboprop (SETP) aircraft.

Steady growth GE Aviation Czech exports about 85 per cent of its output around the globe, mainly to regions with steady demand for reliable, low maintenance engines to be used in harsh conditions. Typical markets include those of Russia, South and Central America, Africa and China. “The L 410 plane equipped with our engine can land on the landing strip in Lukla, Himalaya, which is considered to be the most dangerous airport in the world,” says the company director. He adds that in terms of the H Series engines, GE is about to launch the first delivery of the industry’s first Electronic Engine Propeller Control (EEPC) system with full auto-start capability. The EEPC is designed to significantly reduce pilot workload, utilising a single-lever control to integrate engine and propeller operation, eliminating overtemping and overtorquing to improve engine life and ease of maintenance. “Each year our objective is to increase the number of engines sold as well as their number of applications,” says the director. “And we are succeeding. In the past two months alone, the company announced two new applications of the H Series engines: Wingglider Ltd, Europe’s largest skydiving company, selected GE Aviation’s H75 turboprop to retrofit its M601-D2-powered Dornier Do 28 fleet utilised for parachuting and skydiving excursions; the other project is the development of a brandnew H Series-powered high-performance aircraft featuring the EEPC unit for Blackshape, the designer and producer of carbon fibre aircraft.” Every two seconds a GE engine-powered plane takes off somewhere in the world – and each two seconds, a GE engine/powered aircraft safely lands. “The safety of our engines and the satisfaction of our customers have always been our priority, and will continue to be in the n future,” concludes Mr Soukal.


DRIVING AHEAD BENET Automotive is a dynamic group of companies with years of experience in supplying the automotive industry, systematically pushing for growth and expansion. Romana Moares spoke to the company’s sales director, Aleš Kopal, about the group’s operation in the Czech Republic and its plans for the future.

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he BENET Automotive group is a supplier of various high quality parts, such as exterior and interior parts of composite materials, plastic moulded parts, vacuum formed parts, roof rail systems and window frames. Having been established in the early 2000s, BENET Automotive is a relatively young business. It was transformed from a trading company into a component manufacturer with its own product development in 2002 after selling a stake to a new strategic partner, which enabled the company to become a supplier to ŠKODA Auto, both for the latter’s mass production as well as production of accessories. As a result of growing demand from ŠKODA Auto, the company increased production capacity in 2005 with a new warehouse and production hall, followed by a manual coating shop. A new production plant was then commissioned in 2009 under the company’s current name BENET Automotive, enhancing its position and cementing its strong footing. The former hall was reconstructed to house production of carbon parts using the most modern technologies. This was not the end of the company’s growth: to extend its product portfolio, a joint venture was established to make injection moulded parts (VISCUMA PLASTIC), followed by an engineering and design entity (BENET ENGINEERING) and a new tooling shop. In 2013, the group acquired AAS, a producer of roof systems and accessories, extending its portfolio even further. In 2013, a new

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Design and Development Centre was opened in Mladá Boleslav, the hometown of ŠKODA Auto. With about 360 employees across its production facilities, the company is set to generate a turnover of nearly €32 million in 2016, which represents a year-on-year increase of about 20 per cent.

Under one roof The company has extensive production capability which includes injection technologies PUR RIM (Reaction Injection Moulding), slow injection of polyurethane, injection moulding of thermoplastics (PP, ABS, PA, etc.) and, last but not least, vacuum forming, automated and manual coating as well as gluing onto the completed car body. Another speciality is the production of composite components (fibreglass, carbon) using PREPREG technology. Covering the complete production process from product design and development to after sales support under one roof has been one of the company’s key competitive advantages. “From the very beginning, it has been the objective of BENET Automotive to provide customers with a top quality comprehensive service,” says Mr Kopal. “Using our design studio, prototype workshop, tooling, manufacturing plants, coating shop and assembly we can cover the whole process to fully meet the customers’ needs,” he explains.


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The group’s core capability is the production of plastic parts for special vehicle models and accessories using the PUR/RIM technologies, as well as of top quality carbon components for the premium sector customers.

Moving forward The company currently operates five production locations: as described earlier, Tthe Milotice plants make parts using the RIM and RTM technologies, followed by surface treatment as required by customers; the Čejetičky factory houses production of optical carbon components; the sister company AAS specialises in finalising special aluminium profiles to be used for roof systems; finally, VISCUMA PLASTIC focuses on the production of complex plastic moulded parts for various components used in passenger vehicles and trucks.

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“Investment has been an integral part of the company’s development throughout its short history, in line with the owners’ strategy to push for growth and stay ahead of competitors,” says the sales director. “Each new challenge is thus supported by new investment in technologies, subsequently generating new needs and demands. The driving force behind this constant move forward is the famous Czech slogan ‘Pause for a while, and be left behind for good’,” says the sales director.

More than just parts Competition in the automotive sector is famously tough, and customers’ requirements for quality, lead times and pressure for continuous cost reduction are merciless. “To survive in this environment, it is absolutely vital to continuously optimise all product development as well as production processes and seek alternatives to materials


and technologies currently used, in order to provide customers with final products that would bring them technical as well as financial advantages. Companies that are unable or unwilling to continuously invest in their development cannot succeed in the European and global marketplace in the long run,” says Mr Kopal. He further explains that, given the limited size of the Czech market, further growth will be secured by increased sales abroad. “With regard to our top quality product and focus on the higher end of the market, we have been successful with companies such as BMW, AUDI, Mercedes Benz and OPEL, to name just a few. But we also intend to win other types of customers with perhaps simpler, but highly innovative solutions – i.e. customers from other sectors outside the passenger vehicle segment.” He stresses that the company is exporting not only parts for further assembly but, in particular, a wide range of services from product design to tailor-made, complete car delivery.

New projects And what are the management’s plans for the future? “We are facing a challenging year in 2017. We plan to launch several important and – in terms of financial benefits – key projects, in a very short timescale,” says Mr Kopal. “In this year, we have significantly boosted the capacity of our press shop, while for next year we are planning another major investment into a fully automated coating shop and a major capacity extension in the carbon components factory. These investment projects will be implemented towards the end of 2016 and in the course of 2017.” In the long term, BENET Automotive aims at increasing its customer base. “We will continue to demonstrate to our existing customers that we are a dynamic and innovative company whose main objective is to fully meet their requirements and wishes,” he adds. Judging by the speed of growth in the course of its short history, it seems that n BENET Automotive is well on track to meeting this objective. Industry Europe 37


AIR APPARENT Leading European plant engineering company Wolf Anlagen-Technik GmbH & Co KG has gradually expanded to become the valued automotive partner it is today, using the considerably varied capabilities of air to deliver solutions across the industry. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to director Siegfied Vogl-Wolf to find out more.

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ounded as a small handicraft business in Geisenfeld, Germany by Anton Wolf in 1950, Wolf Anlagen-Technik initially focused on the development and construction of hops kilns, as it was based in the world’s largest hop-growing region. The connection between hops and the automotive industry may not seem immediately obvious, but it was with the expertise gained from developing innovative automated hops picking and drying machines that the Wolf family identified other potentially lucrative applications for its pioneering air technology. Director Siegfried Vogl-Wolf told Industry Europe, “That is why we use the motto ‘Spirit of Air’; all our solutions use air in different ways, from hop picking machines to air conditioning units and paint booths. We know how to utilise the incredible capabilities of air, from blowing, extracting, filtering and moistening to everything in between.” Still a proudly family-owned and managed business, Wolf Anlagen-Technik today is run by Mr Vogl-Wolf alongside fellow director Erich G. Deml and Viktor Richtsfeld. Mr Vogl-Wolf added, “Since the company was started in 1950 we have always been dedicated to market-orientated development and been totally forward-looking. It’s

a strategy that has certainly proved successful as we have consistently been able to deliver a complete solution to our customers from one hand; research and development, planning, design, manufacturing, installation, customer service...we have carefully grown from a small handicraft business to a profitable medium-sized enterprise.”

A big family With nearly 300 employees, primarily from the local region, Wolf Anlagen-Technik maintains its team spirit by offering excellent training and personal development opportunities. Mr Vogl-Wolf noted, “The interplay of innovative ideas, continuous product development, advanced manufacturing and production technology and, not least, the long-term commitment and loyalty of our employees has ensured our success to date.” The hard work and experience of its team is well supported by Wolf Anlagen-Technik’s extensive production facilities. Operating the most modern CNC manufacturing and processing machinery in conjunction with a CAD-bending cell, the company’s 25,000m2 production site sits on a total area of 93,000m2. Industry Europe 39


The production capabilities of Wolf Anlagen-Technik are all centred on the technical possibilities of air, so its industries and services are quite varied. Mr Vogl-Wolf said, “We have been continually investing in new technology, so over the years we’ve incorporated groundbreaking new features such as automatic evaporating systems and highly effective heat recovery systems which have paved the way for our well-known user-friendly and energy-saving work. Our portfolio includes modern painting and drying technology, the production of air heaters and hot air generators for industrial use, almost fullymechanical hop harvesting and industrial equipment for heating and ventilation of large areas.” 40 Industry Europe

Latest project In terms of its automotive activities, Wolf Anlagen-Technik works with a number of high profile clients, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and VW. Its products here include spray paint booths for cars, commercial vehicles and machinery, universal working bays and complete industrial painting plants with robotic technology. One of Wolf Anlagen-Technik’s latest projects has seen it chosen as the partner for car dealership Berolina who, with eight sites, is one of VW’s biggest dealers. Wolf Anlagen-Technik has recieved an extensive order including two large spray booths, 12 preparation bays and eight car lifts, as well as ventilation equipment and installation for a paint mixing room.


The phrase ‘fully automatic yet individual’ is employed by Wolf Anlagen-Technik on its website to illustrate its ability to deliver solutions that maximise its experience while being tailored to each customer’s needs. Mr Vogl-Wolf explained: “Utilising our automation capabilities intelligently is one of the fundamental ingredients for the success of Wolf. We work closely with our customers to understand their specific requirements and goals for the product and only then do we work with our portfolio to create a custom solution.” Innovation is very much at the heart of Wolf Anlagen-Technik, with the company’s three divisions – Surface Engineering, HEVAC and Agricultural Engineering – all making the most of the focus on and investment in future-focused technology. Mr Vogl-Wolf noted, “Wolf stands for innovation, top quality, intelligent technology and reliable service. We are setting new trends and developing visions for a more comfortable life for people both at work and in their free time. Since 1994 we have been ISO 9001 accredited and we are very strict with all our internal processes. Our ongoing aim is to deliver quality-optimised production across our operation and I’m pleased to say we n consistently achieve this.”

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DELIVERING END-TO-END AUTOMOTIVE SOLUTIONS Caparo is one of the major manufacturers of automotive systems, assembly modules and components for the top automotive OEMs and the world’s engineering majors. Philip Yorke talked to Hon Ambar Paul, Chairman, and Mr Rajesh Soni, COO, about its latest innovative products and move into new markets.

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aparo was founded in the UK in 1968 by Indian born, British industrialist Lord Paul of Marylebone, London. The fast growing UK based group has a €1 billion turnover with business interests in the manufacturing of steel, aluminium and general engineering products for the global automotive industry. Today the Caparo Group is an international entity with over 40 companies operating from more than 40 countries worldwide. The company’s Indian business arm was founded in 1994, as a joint venture with India’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. Today, through its multiple strategic business interests, the group offers end-to-end automotive solutions in the design, development and manufacture of components for the world’s biggest automotive OEMs including Volvo, Tata Motors, Mitsubishi, Daimler, Jaguar, Range Rover, Honda, JCB and many others. Caparo India leverages its considerable capabilities in metal stamping, fastening, tubing, forging, aluminium die casting and fabrication to improve the efficiency and profitability of the companies it serves. This expertise is coupled with its state-of-the-art tool room and comprehensive R&D Centre. Currently Caparo employs more than 6000 people directly and indirectly across its 23 worldclass manufacturing facilities.

A leading solutions provider Caparo India is now focusing on the manufacture of more highvalue automotive components, in addition to enhancing its growing product portfolio with existing customers. So far Caparo India has been investing consistently in new plants and technology and plans to increase its investment programme by a further 10 per cent this year alone. Recently Caparo India created a central ‘validation unit’ which has since become the single business development window to serve its automotive customers. The company also established a customer relationship management cell, which has further helped Caparo India to transform itself into a complete business solutions provider instead of just a pure components supplier. This strategy has enabled Caparo India to evolve from a low-volume, low margin business into a high volume business with better margins. Ambar Paul said, “We are continuing to diversify and while still driving our growing automotive components and fasteners business, we are also seeing strong growth in our latest, innovative new businesses which include the design and manufacture of modern E-Rickshaws and metal components for a variety of two wheel vehicles. We are riding on the back of our automotive business division and investing in completely new business sectors such as the production of small power plants. This we are doing in close cooperation with Wartsila of Finland.”

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He continued: “This power plant business was started five years ago for the Indian market and has seen strong growth from the outset. We are also one of the most successful stamping suppliers in India and set the standards when it comes to quality. We continue to invest in new strategic sites that are located close to our automotive customers and partners. We work closely with our OEM clients on the development of new models and we are looking at other areas for expansion. Therefore we continue to look at all the options open to us, including the possibility of new joint ventures and acquisitions. We expect to see growth approaching 20 per cent over the next few years which will significantly increase our turnover, currently running at over €300 million.” In a further diversification, Caparo India is now working with Germany’s auto major Daimler to supply components for its manufacture of commercial vehicles in India. Daimler has introduced light-weight trucks from the Mitsubishi Fuso stable into the Indian marketplace.

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Gas-fired success The joint venture with Wartsila of Finland to establish a natural gas plant in India has been a major success. The joint venture firm, in which Caparo owns a controlling stake of over 50 per cent, will set up a 26MW gas-based environmentally friendly power plant at Bawal at Haryana in India. Natural gas, being the cleanest of all fossil fuels, will help the company to reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere, especially when compared to traditional coal-fired power plants. The new plant will cater to the captive energy requirements of the group’s joint venture with Maruti Udyog and vendors such as Asahi India, Talbros, Sankei India and others located in the region. Following its successful installation, the capacity will be increased to 50MW. Wartsila managing director Rakesh Sarin said that the project n also offers excellent prospects for scalability. For further details of Caparo India’s innovative products and services visit: www.caparo.co.in


GLOBAL FOCUS P-D Refractories CZ a.s. is a leading producer and supplier of refractory products and raw materials. Despite severe competition in the sector, the company maintains its strong position in global markets. Romana Moares spoke to managing director Tomáš Kožoušek about the latest developments and plans for the future.

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he Czech company P-D Refractories CZ, headquartered in Velké Opatovice, is a member of the German P-D (Preiss-Daimler) Group, a global player in various sectors employing over 4000 staff worldwide. Its core business is the production and delivery of materials for complete or partial lining of thermal aggregates, especially coke ovens, glass furnaces, electrolytic cells for the primary production of alumina and others.

Solid tradition The company currently operates four refractory material production units in: Velké Opatovice (Old and New Fireclay Plant), Svitavy (‘Dinaska’ Silica Plant), Březina (‘Anna’ Sintering Plant) and Březinka (Mining). There are also two more units with different production programmes, namely the Service Division and the Landfill Division. The Service Division is a general contractor supplying moulds for the factories within the P-D Group. The history of the Velké Opatovice plant goes back over 100 years. Current annual production capacity is 100,000 tonnes and includes a wide range of high quality products, such as refractory mastics, castables and magnetite bricks for night-storage heaters. The Svitavy plant, the most modern of the four (comissioned in 1985), makes silica and chimney pipes and has anannual capacity of 30,000 tonnes. The Březina mine is located about 10km from Velké Opatovice and its history goes back to the middle of the 19th century. Mining was discontinued here but shaft furnaces are still in operation. Over 50 per cent of the mining capacity for raw and fired clays is used directly in the Velké Opatovice plants. The fourth unit is a clay deposit site in Březinka.

Meeting customer demands P-D Refractories’ product range is varied and includes fireclay bricks, high-alumina bricks, silica bricks, insulating bricks, refrac46 Industry Europe

tory clays and grog, magnetite bricks for night-storage heaters, ceramic chimney pipes, refractory mortars, mastics and castables. The company is equipped with modern production technology and testing equipment, which guarantees the consistent high quality of its output. Customers include such renowned names as Arcelor Mittal, Nippon Steel, US Steel, Voestalpine, Stiebel Eltron, Asahi Glass, AGC, Saint Gobain, Vetropack, Alcoa, Paul Wurth, Zapel and so on. Almost 80 per cent of the annual output is exported. Traditionally, the largest territory in terms of sales is Germany, where P-D Refractories CZ has its own customers or participates as a sub-contractor in projects with Preiss-Daimler’s sister companies. However, its products have a much further reach: other important markets include Poland, France, Italy and many other EU countries. Individual deliveries have also been made to the United States, Japan and China. In this sense, P-D Refractories CZ is a true global player.

Prestigious contracts Two years ago P-D Refractories significantly increased capacity, as well as staff numbers, as a result of two new contracts: the first one, for two coke batteries delivered to the Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel and worth over half a billion CZK, was historically the largest ever corporate contract concluded by the company; the second, for a coke battery worth 100 million CZK, was signed for a domestic steelmaker. “This demand necessitated exceptional measures. It was necessary to gradually increase the number of employees – by more than a hundred workers and four design engineers – as well as building a new workshop for mould production including all technology installation. The contract also accelerated the long desired expansion of storage areas, including their roofing,” says the managing director.


The two contracts resulted in a record-breaking production of nearly 86,000 tonnes of fireclay, silica, and magnetite blocks and chimney pipes, representing an annual increase of 126 per cent. Finished and semi-finished product stock also increased significantly. The Japanese contract has just been completed, with the last delivery shipped in April, but capacity will not be under-utilised as the company has just signed another contract for a coke battery to be delivered to Poland.

Looking ahead

which very few competitors have. The wide product portfolio is a sound base to cover any potential fluctuations in sectoral demand. Mr Kožoušek reveals that in the near future there may be a new system for distributing tasks within the group, to increase effectiveness and productivity. The way forward, though, is based on innovation and the development of new materials. “We want to introduce new refractory materials which would fully meet customers’ requirements. Anyone can invent the perfect material, but to do so at an affordable price is an entirely different matter. Innovative materials for n a good price – that’s the way we want to go,” he concludes.

Investments reached CZK 140 million last year; the highest ever in the company’s history. A new furnace was purchased and installed in the Svitavy plant, and the eight-year renewal of press technology was completed. The company also managed to implement technologies for processing fine, waste clays into briquettes for further use in various applications. “The waste clay used to be deposited in heaps, now it is processed into a useful product. For this, we installed a new processing line worth over CZK 50 million,” says the managing director. Despite a relative stagnation in the steel and aluminium industry, he has no reason to worry about the future. The core competitive advantage of P-D Refractories CZ, aside from an impressive list of satisfied customers, is the fact that it has its own raw materials, which it also supplies to sister companies within the group. Furthermore, the company produces all required moulds – a competence

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A SINGLE SUPPLIER FOR ENDTO-END CERAMIC PRODUCTION With its new patented technology Supera®, SITI B&T Group is among the world leaders in the production of turnkey plants for the ceramic industry, focusing on innovation, quality, flexibility and energy efficiency. Daniele Garavaglia reports.

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leading global player in the production of full-fledged systems for the ceramic industry, from clay preparation to the final product, with a presence in all markets, SITI B&T Group, a company from Sassuolo – the heart of the world’s ceramic district – is a leading player at every stage of the production process. It offers technological excellence and innovative service solutions, with a focus on energy efficiency and reduced manufacturing costs. The Italian group introduced the segment of large ceramic sheets through innovative Supera® technology, designed with the most progressive techniques in the sector, through advanced and intelligent automation and patented systems. “Supera® is a technology devoid of moulds and foundations, and it does not require special transport. It allows for the creation of large sheets with a wide variety of thicknesses (5–30mm) and size,” Cinzia Gervasi, marketing manager, explains. It has a production capacity of up to 13,000 sq. m/day (44,000 tonnes), considering a raw thickness of 10mm. The possibility of making raw or fired cuts of the sheets in different sub-formats allows high manufacturing and material storage flexibility. “Basically, we reproduced the typical benefits of traditional pressing on a

discontinuous tape press. The innovative movable plate system for dust containment can overcome the scraps constraints. The system consists of mobile partitions-forming device, hydraulically fed during the ‘pressing’, while the breathable system of the press enables the correct de-aeration through a semi-porous membrane. The result is higher production efficiency.” Supera® is characterised by a significant aesthetic versatility: you can have up to 10 surface structures simultaneously. It is also possible to quickly change the structure in less than 15 minutes, thanks to a fast buffer / format release system. Research and development of the new Supera® line has resulted in the evolution of the new Start-Stop system: launched in 2014 for the Evo 3.0 presses, it features an engine system equipped with inverter pumps, capable of powering the press on demand, “a device that reduces the energy requirement of the forming system by about 30 per cent.”

Comprehensive services Today SITI B&T Group is the sole supplier able to offer integrated and innovative technology solutions for the entire production line of large ceramic sheets, from the preparation and characterisation of

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mixtures (made by the advanced technology centre in Formigine) to pressing, drying, glazing, firing, handling and storage; all managed by a single integrated supervision, which ensures remote control of all stages, systems and manufacturing process benchmarks. “In our technology centre, we provide many services to customers starting from the study of raw material, testing, implementation and prototyping of new products, thanks to the possibility of implementing laboratory tests and harnessing the entire Supera® full line technology,” adds Cinzia Gervasi. For clay preparation, SITI B&T can provide integrated solutions for both wet and dry grinding. The Dryfast® mills range for the dry grinding of ceramic mixtures, available in different sizes, has many interesting features: a series of rollers treated to resist wear-and-tear; high efficiency classifiers; differentiated treatments according to clay abrasiveness and output granulometry constancy. The granulating machine Grainmix is an extremely versatile solution: depending on requirements, it allows for the creation of moistened or granulated powders. The production process is completed by Evo 3.0, the new generation of presses featuring cutting-edge technology for better pressing and with a reduction in tile casting defects; and by Titanium®, the innovative kilns for the firing of ceramic sheets that, thanks to exclusive burners, is placed at the absolute top of energy efficiency, reducing fuel consumption by over 30 per cent. Digital decoration is guaranteed by the partner Projecta Engineering, in association with Digital Design, which offers a combination of different technical work, extremely flexible for perfect synchronisation between digital graphics, structure and dry (or wet) application of substances. The new generation of modular printer G5, compen-

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dium of the main winning features of Evolve range, is a paradigm of total flexibility. The end of the line is guaranteed by Ancora finishing technology, ensuring maximum efficiency, productivity and quality: like Dry Squaring, a saw intended for dry working for all types of ceramics, including porcelain tile, with unheard of production n efficiency in terms of energy savings and cost reduction.


FINISHING FIRST

Atotech is a global leader in the field of speciality chemicals for electronics and surface finishing. With an increased focus on semiconductor technology and electronics materials, the company continues to enhance its reputation as one of the world’s most innovative and successful chemical companies. Philip Yorke looks at the latest developments at Atotech and its strategy for future growth.

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totech is one of the world’s leading suppliers of speciality chemicals, equipment, service and solutions for printed circuit board manufacturing and advanced electronics packaging. This is in addition to its expertise in both decorative and functional surface finishing. As well as its core business units, which include electronics and general metal finishing, other business units such as semiconductor technology and electronics materials are playing an increasingly important role in the future growth of the company. Atotech was founded in 1993, when the Elf Atochem Group merged its M&T Halshaw operations with the Scheering electroplating division, which had a long history of electroplating dating back to 1901. Today Atotech is a direct subsidiary of Total, the world’s fifth largest oil and gas company, which was created from the merger of Total Fina and Elf Aquitaine in 2000.

Innovation driving sales Atotech provides its customers with leading innovative technologies, which result from its intensive research and development programmes. In order to stay one step ahead of its competitors Atotech places R&D at the top of its list of priorities and sees it as an essential tool in all of its strategic business activities. This focus on innovative technologies has helped drive sales at Atotech since it was founded. Being at the forefront of the next generation of technology means it is essential for the company to invest heavily in scientific support studies of product and process development. It also means that Atotech needs to consistently upgrade and expand its already extensive R&D facilities in Berlin. Alongside the world’s leading manufacturers and OEMs, the company operates a unique global R&D network, which co-develops new production concepts to further drive innovation. Atotech’s global R&D teams seek out new paths and set the benchmarks for the development of sustainable plating processes. The success of these commitments can be measured not only by the increase in sales, but also the increasing number of Atotech patents. The company maintains close partnerships with its OEM customers as well as its tier one and two manufacturers in addition to institutes, universities and other notable research bodies. 54 Industry Europe

Leading in sustainable technology Atotech told Industry Europe that sustainability means combining environmental protection and social responsibility with economic success. Atotech supplies its customers with high quality services and products and constantly strives to offer the best solution for the specific requirements of its customers. The primary goal of Atotech is to protect the environment, as well as end users, its staff and production workers in the industries that the company serves. To achieve these goals the company works intensively on developing green alternatives to the conventional processes and systems used in today’s advanced plating industries. Atotech’s target is not only to comply with today’s strict chemical regulations, but to raise the standards even higher with its selfimposed commitment in order to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from its product portfolio.

New processes New challenges in the industry and new technical requirements, as well as cost and environmental regulations, require a constant search for alternative manufacturing solutions for the printed circuit board industry. Today Atotech is at the forefront of technologies that minimise waste and reduce the environmental impact of its manufacturing processes and materials. Atotechs answer to these challenges is a new direct Paladium surface finish process called PallaBond, with an optional gold layer. The PallaBond process allows the direct deposition of Palladium on copper, without the need to use nickel. Therefore PallaBond is ideal for key press, high-frequency, flexible PCB gold, aluminium and copper wire bonding applications. This patented process provides superior solder-joint strength for leadfree and eutectic soldering and is compatible with many new-based materials and solder-mark types owing to its short deposit time and low temperature requirements. In addition, the PallaBond process operates at a thickness of less than 300 nanometres, which is ideal for very fine lines and spaces. However most importantly the latest PallaBond process is free of toxic or hazardous materials such as thiourea, lead and Nickel.


Pallabond is an environmentally friendly process, which has demonstrated outstanding technical advantages. It operates at higher yields and is enabling manufacturers to drastically reduce their operating costs compared top standard processes.

Future-proof processes Atotech has an enviable reputation for its innovation-driven culture, which is designed to ‘future-proof’ the company with over 2000 worldwide patents currently in force. These have been developed at its 12 R&D centres worldwide, as the company continues to commit over 10 per cent of its annual sales to research and development.

|This is to ensure that it will always have the most advanced, sustainable products and processes in its field. The regional headquarters of Atotech are located in Rock Hill (USA) and Yokohama (Japan) and are supported by over 40 regional service centres of which 18 are specialised technical centres that provide advanced analytical and technical support. With 14 production plants for chemistry and two for equipment, Atotech can be relied on to provide n fast, on-time delivery worldwide. For further details of Atotech’s innovative products and services visit: www.atotech.com

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Earthcolors

YOUNG COMPANY,

GLOBAL AMBITIONS Archroma is a Basel-based global colour, dyes and speciality chemicals company that emerged in October 2013 when New York based, private investment firm SK Capital Partners acquired Basel-based Clariant’s textile, paper and emulsions businesses.

D

espite its 120 years of heritage in the local economic and social tissue of the Basel region, Archroma nonetheless is a new name for its inhabitants. “Most do not realise that they are surrounded with our products,” says Archroma’s CEO Alexander Wessels. Indeed, Archroma supplies industries that manufacture a large number of everyday products. The company provides the textile supply chain with chemicals for pre-treatment, dyeing, printing and finishing of textiles. Similarly, it serves the paper market with its expertise in the management of whiteness, colouration, special coatings and strength for all kind of papers. Archroma also supplies emulsions products used in paints, adhesives, construction, as well as in the textile, leather and paper industries. “This means,” Wessels points out, “that your T-shirt stays fresh thanks to anti-UV agents from Archroma, your swimming suit’s bright colours could be made with our high-performance dyes, your raincoat may be treated with our water repellent agents, your curtains with our 56 Industry Europe

flame retardants, and your sofa with our anti-stain finishes. You may even find Archroma’s emulsions in the paint you use to refresh your living room.” When Archroma launched just under three years ago, its declared ambition was to become a leading global speciality chemicals player. The company is founded on operations that two significant chemical companies divested in a drive to improve their bottom lines and strategic focus. Following the launch, it immediately went on the growth path, through a strategy of operational improvements that takes in organic expansion and acquisitions.

Conquering the world Just consider: in 2012, the businesses as divested from Clariant generated an estimated CHF 1.2 billion in sales – and Archroma says it is on a strong growth curve three years later. “We have also strongly improved profitability,” adds Wessels, “and this year we see our


Earthcolors

Earthcolors

The sustainable effluent treatment (SET) facility of Archroma in Jamshoro, Pakistan

Before and after - The sustainable effluent treatment (SET) facility of Archroma in Jamshoro, Pakistan

EBITDA reaching much healthier mid-teen double-digit levels, while we are rapidly expanding innovation expenditure.” Such performance has allowed Archroma to make two significant strategic moves: it has acquired 49 per cent of M. Dohmen, an international group specialising in the production of textile dyes and chemicals for the automotive, carpet and apparel sectors; and in July 2015 it added the global textile chemicals business of BASF. The BASF acquisition has provided an ideal complement to Archroma’s original textile dyes and chemicals portfolio and geographical presence, allowing the company to reinforce its Textile Specialties team with a global specialist team that has an especially strong presence in Asia and other high growth markets. Archroma claims to be favourably positioned in multi-billion-dollar end markets, from fibres and fabrics to paper, packaging, coatings, adhesives and construction. The company has three business units, covering textile specialties, paper solutions, and emulsion products, and is a recognised market leader in developing colour and performance materials that aim to serve its customers’ needs.

Cutting the ribbon SET facility. Right to left Mr. Alexander Wessels, Klaus Huemke, Mujtaba Rahim, Ali Gul, Thomas Winkler, His Excellency Marc George (Deputy head of mission – Switzerland

Wessels insists. “We put a lot of time and engagement into developing chemical solutions that help our customers use less water, energy and raw materials. Archroma is widely recognised as a leader in this field, as it is not a marketing story but its true purpose.” Wessels explains that working with customers plays a major role: “We work in close collaboration to continually improve products, reduce impact and develop more sustainable processes all the way through their own products’ life-cycles. “We have products that improve protection in leisure clothing against the elements,” says Wessels, “and we have all sorts of products for workwear that range from fire retardants for firefighters’ clothing, through oil repellents for operatives in vehicle repair shops, to blood repellents for doctors’ apparel. The dyes and chemicals we produce for clothing obviously need to be reliable, fast, durable, safe and sustainable.”

Saving precious resources The textile industry may have moved to Asia for cost reasons, but that hasn’t stopped Archroma’s determination to lead the way towards more sustainability in the markets in which it operates. In late 2013, Archroma opened its first sustainable effluent treatment (SET) facility for a textile operational site in Jamshoro, Pakistan. The Jamshoro site is one of the biggest textile chemical sites within Archroma. It produces dyes, chemicals, emulsions and pigment dispersions for the textile, leather, paper and coatings industries. With an investment of 371 million PKR (around $35 million), the facility not only supports the substantial recovery, purification and re-use of all water but also allows effluent treatment based on zero liquid discharge – the first operation of this kind that re-uses its water and has zero liquid emissions. “At Archroma, we take water scarcity very seriously and therefore are constantly exploring new and environmentally compatible solutions,”

Smartrepel Hydro by Archroma, a new generation of non-fluorine chemistry that meets criteria for PFC-free finishes and clothing

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Earthcolors

Another sign of the company’s commitment to sustainability was the announcement last October that it was supporting, among other leaders, Switzerland’s bluesign technologies – a new so-called blueXpert resource tool that launched this year to enable manufacturers to save water, energy and chemicals during the production process. This tool followed the launch in 2012 of Archroma’s predecessor sustainability service, ONE WAY, introduced to demonstrate it is possible to bring together the dual objectives of ecology and economy. The tool has been a sustainability powerhouse for fashion brands and textile manufacturers, providing a fast, measurable and reliable approach to selecting chemical product and resource-saving process solutions.

Denim: A case study in sustainability A typical example of the company’s efforts to improve sustainability in the textiles industry is its work in dyeing systems for denim – one of the world’s most popular textiles with a global market of well over $60 billion, but with a poor history in terms of the environmental friendliness of the total production process. Patagonia, one of the most forward thinking of the major clothes brands, was the first last year to announce a new dyeing and manufacturing process, developed by Archroma under the brand ‘Advanced Denim’, which uses dyestuffs that bond more easily to cotton, minimising the resource usage of traditional dying of denim. Greatly reducing the environmental impact of the denim supply chain, Patagonia is using 84 per cent less water, 30 per cent less energy and emitting 25 per cent less CO2 than conventional synthetic indigo denim dyeing processes. “According to most sources, it is estimated to take about 4000– 10,000 litres of water to make a pair of jeans,” says Wessels, “and there are two billion pairs produced every year! That would imply that, if 100 per cent of jeans were made using our Advanced Denim dyeing technology, we would save the water usage equivalent of a number of large European cities.”

Innovation driving future growth Archroma says innovation is the driver behind its strategy towards fostering the sustainability agenda in its markets. In 2014, it launched a new range of ‘biosynthetic’ dyes for cotton and cellulose-based fabrics named ‘EarthColors’, designed to provide rich red, brown 58 Industry Europe

and green colours to denim and casualwear. In this patent-pending process, Archroma makes use of almond shells, saw palmetto, rosemary leaves and other natural non-edible waste products that would otherwise be sent to landfill. “The new dyes were four years in the making,” comments Wessels. “This new development is a step-change in dyes manufacturing and colouration technology using agricultural waste to make natural dyestuff.” In March 2015, Archroma introduced a new water repellency agent for outdoor clothing: its ‘Smartrepel® Hydro’ range. This new technology, used to help keep clothes dry under the rain or difficult weather, is not based on Fluor, supporting the increasing adoption of eco-advanced materials and production processes by textile producers and brand owners adhering to industry initiatives such as the Joint Roadmap towards Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC), and eco-label standards such as bluesign® and Oeko-Tex. “It is a misconception that innovation and sustainability need to come at a premium,” concludes Wessels. “Eventually for any solution or product to find acceptance in the mainstream of business it cannot command a high premium. There is value to be absorbed and derived in every part of the supply chain. Technologies and innovation eventually need to be created in a manner that it is made affordable n to everyone.” Earthcolors


BUILDING A GREENER FUTURE Skanska is a global project development group based in Sweden that leads the world in the construction of environmentally friendly buildings and infrastructure. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to set the standards for the construction industry with its innovative and sustainable building processes.

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kanska was founded in Sweden in1887 and has grown to be one of the world’s biggest and most respected construction companies. Skanska is a complex and highly decentralised company. Being a global project-based group, the organisation is constantly changing shape as its teams of employees and subcontractors disband and regroup over the lifetime of a project. Today Skanska operates four distinct business divisions: construction, residential development, commercial property development and infrastructure. Construction is the group’s largest business stream both in terms of revenue and the number of employees. Close collaboration with its

other business units and the company’s collective financial resources, make it possible for Skanska to undertake very large and complex global projects. For example, the Skanska won the prestige contract for building the distribution centre for the renewal of the New York Trade Centre. In such vast projects, few can match Skanska’s expertise and breadth of know-how. However, today the largest business opportunity for the company is in the field of sustainable development. Skanska wants to help build a ‘Deep Green’ society, which is a place where all projects have near-zero environmental impact. Industry Europe 59


Putting the environment first

Deep Green Projects

Today Skanska’s environmental agenda embraces energy, carbon, materials, water and other local environmental considerations. The implementation of change and its environmental agenda is the responsibility of the company’s line managers, who are supported by corporate professionals and individuals with the appropriate competences for each business unit. In pioneering sustainable initiatives, Skanska is also a pro-active participant in a number of international sustainability initiatives, which include many significant global organisations. Skanska also supports green building initiatives and green councils throughout Europe, the USA and Scandinavia.

Global ‘Deep Green’ projects, such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Centre in Virginia, USA, have achieved near-zero environmental impacts during construction and operation. Today Skanska is ranked high in the ‘Climate A List’, which is an international organisation that highlights the important role of companies in achieving the society’s goals for protection of the environment. The coveted ‘A List’ is based on corporate performance in four key areas: disclosure, awareness, management and leadership. “We are extremely proud of this recognition, which validates our progress in measuring and starting our reduction programme to reduce carbon emissions as part of our ‘Care for Life’ values,” says Anna Akes-

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son, Skanska AB’s senior environmental manager. “This is an important milestone on our journey to be the leading green project developer and contractor, and to become a leading low-carbon organisation.” Reducing carbon has been a Skanska goal since 2009, when the company launched the ‘Skanska Colour Palette’™. This is a tool to measure and strategically guide its green activities towards what the company calls, its Deep Green™ operations. These are projects with near-zero environmental impacts both during construction and in the day-to-day operation of the building or infrastructure. Buildings and infrastructure are major producers of carbon emissions. The severity of the carbon levels depends upon how they are constructed. For example, research shows that buildings

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currently use approximately 40 per cent of all energy globally, and they generate around one third of global greenhouse gas emissions. This provides Skanska with a significant opportunity to use its green expertise and technology to help society worldwide by dramatically reducing carbon emission levels.

Setting new world standards Throughout the world Skanska is working to protect the environment and nowhere more so than in the USA, which is the world’s number one contributor to greenhouse gases. In the USA it is common to have buildings certified to a green ratings system such as LEED. But with civil infrastructure like highways, transit lines and power plants, there has not


been a widely used green infrastructure rating system like CEEQUAL from the UK, and today Skanska is playing a leading role with ‘Envision’ in filling that gap and guiding the system’s development. An example of this new system in action is the Los Angeles’ Expo-Line, a light rail extension where a Skanska-led joint venture has designed and built the first transit project to be certified under ‘Envision’ – a green infrastructure rating system, which is fast gaining in popularity in the US. The ten-kilometre rail extension was certified at Envision’s Platinum level, which is the highest rating possible. “We believe that co-certification helps drive innovation and efficiency, which is positive for everyone involved, including our customers, local communities and the environment, as well as our business,” says Greg Chant-Hall, head of sustainability for Skanska Infrastructure Development. Administered by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI), Envision consists of a broad range of criteria that address a project’s impact on the surrounding community and the environment. In many key ways, Envision aligns closely with how Skanska defines sustainability. Today Skanska sees significant potential for improving green infrastructure n projects in the US as well as in other countries worldwide. For further details of Skanska’s global projects and environmental management systems visit: www.skanska.com

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INSPIRED BY NATURE NorDan is a global market leader in the design and manufacture of low energy windows and frames. The company is focused on using only sustainably produced raw products, reducing its energy requirements and minimising waste. It continues to gain market share and to create innovative and energy-efficient windows and doors. Philip Yorke reports.

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orDan was founded in 1926 by a creative master carpenter named Johannes Rasmussen, who began by making staircases, windows and doors. His enterprise and innovative designs soon meant he had to invest in larger premises and at this stage he also decided to focus exclusively on the manufacture of windows and frames. Rasmussen put his innovative talents to work and set about designing a window that was versatile but completely secure against the elements. The result was the advent of the world’s first ‘tilt and turn’ window, which became an instant success. The company remains privately owned by the third generation descendants of the founder. Today NorDan is one of the world’s most successful and progressive window manufacturers with state-of-the-art factories located in Otta, Egersund and Arneberg in Norway and Varnamo, Kvillsfors and Tanumshede in Sweden. In addition, NorDan has a major facility in Wolsztyn in Poland. The company employs more than 1500 people and in 2015 recorded sales of more than NOK 2 billion. 64 Industry Europe

Putting safety first NorDan believes that secure windows make for a safer home and all its products are manufactured from robust materials to safeguard a home against possible intruders. When a NorDan door is locked it offers the resident optimal security and the company takes pride in ensuring that each individual window and door leaving its factories lives up to the strict requirements it sets for itself and to the high standards its customers have come to expect. By constantly reviewing the market and how its products can be improved, NorDan develops ever safer and more efficient windows and doors. Features that come as standard include the Swan safety mark, burglar resistance, aluminium-clad windows and doors, prefinished surface treatments, pre-glazed windows and doors and passive windows with an insulated frame and sash. From the selection of raw materials to the development of machines and tools, NorDan is in full control of its quality, which


gives it complete flexibility to target the latest market trends. With its extensive knowledge of timber and glass, it is the supplier of choice for the construction industry. At NorDan product development is a continuous process with the environment, comfort and safety in clear focus.

Energy saving, green solutions It is clearly more efficient to have better insulation than to use more energy for heating, therefore windows and doors developed by NorDan feature the company’s acclaimed N-Tech system as standard and are the best-in-class when it comes to insulating properties. This affords a more consistent internal climate and as a result provides significant cost savings for heating. At the core of NorDan windows is wood, which is sourced from certified producers, guaranteeing sustainable forest management based upon the latest industry standards. The company was the Industry Europe 65


first to be awarded the coveted ‘Swan’ Nordic Eco label and its environmental approach extends from selecting the right materials to production and the transportation of its finished products.

Innovation driving sales At NorDan, innovation is a natural part of its business and traditions. The company was the first to produce ready-glazed windows and doors that come with valves, aluminium cladding and burglary protection. NorDan believes that good design is about much more than aesthetics: good design must be functional and solve the problems that present themselves. The windows and doors that form the basis of the NorDan portfolio are designed not only to suit the architecture and colour scheme, but also to add something new and exciting. Form and function should work together to optimise the efficiency and beauty of the product. Innovation continues to drive sales at NorDan and to keep it one step ahead of its competitors. 66 Industry Europe

High performance production With eight factories in the Nordic region and products available in markets across the world, there are great demands for an efficient production line at NorDan. Its production processes ensure that its products maintain the high quality expected of it and its advanced production systems also ensure that unnecessary tasks and processes are removed. The company’s production systems guarantee that its quality products keep waste and the use of energy at an absolute minimum. “The key to good conversion is continuous improvement,” NorDan told Industry Europe magazine. All its factories employ the company’s tried and tested management system, where clear goals are set and regularly checked to ensure that the company remains on the right track. The result is efficient and environmentally friendly production facilities that ensure the highest possible quality across its extensive n range of windows and doors. For further details of NorDan’s range of innovative products and services, visit: www.nordan.com


DRIVING THE CIRCULAR

ECONOMY FORWARD Tarkett is a global leader in the development and manufacture of sustainable flooring for domestic, commercial and sports surface solutions. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to dominate the world stage and to drive the Circular Economy forward in its sector.

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arkett has been providing unique flooring and sports surface solutions for more than 130 years in homes, offices, hospitals, retail stores, hotels and in venues wherever sports are played. The company’s drive for leadership through sustainable, profitable growth is based upon a range of key success strategies that create value for all its stakeholders. Tarkett was founded in France in 1880 by two young entrepreneurs, whose early success set the stage for the future growth of the company. Tarkett’s new headquarters are located in the prestigious ‘La Defence’ area of Paris, and are the hub for its global operations which span over 100 countries and employ more than 1200 people worldwide. In 2015, the Tarkett Group recorded sales of over €2.6 billion. Every year the group sells more than 1.3 million square metres of flooring each day, and these are manufactured in-house by its 34 production sites spread across four continents.

Sustainability, a positive strategy for growth Tarkett sees sustainability as the cornerstone of its strategy for future growth. In the European theatre this is spearheaded by Remco Teulings, the company’s president of its EMEA division and who is also a member of the Executive Management Committee and reports directly to Michel Giannuzzi, Tarkett’s CEO. A good example of the direction that the company is heading today is its launch in the EMEA region is a unique, modular vinyl solution known as ‘iD Click’ flooring, which offers the perfect solution for commercial working spaces. Thanks to its unique fold-down click system, the installation becomes a much faster process than those relying simply on glue-down products.

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In addition, the company has entered into a unique strategic partnership with Veolia, in order to help accelerate its ReStart® programme, which is an activity set up in 2010 for the collection and recovery of used flooring products. As part of this programme, Veolia will collect and sort post – installation flooring off-cuts from Tarkett’s customers in the construction industry. The flooring collected and sorted is then recycled at Tarkett’s European production sites. This special strategic partnership covers the whole of France and has the potential to extend this special recycling programme into other areas and materials. “For several years, Tarkett has been committed to a transition to a circular economy by applying cradle to cradle® principles across all its activities. The ReStart® collection and recycling programme is one of the cornerstones of our commitment to closing the material loop. This partnership with Veolia enables us to offer our clients a better collection and recycling service, whilst increasing volumes and quality of recycled input in our flooring. It also illustrates the capacity of the private sector to offer solutions that support sustainable economic growth,” explained Teulings. Tarkett and Veolia are both members of the World Economic Forum and Circular Economy 100 Network, where the two companies engage in new projects and discussions to stimulate the acceleration of the Circular Economy on an international scale.

Acquisitions and innovation driving sales In tandem with the company’s strategy for sustainability and eco-friendly operations, it has acquired many companies over the last decade that share its commitment to the Circular Economy and sustainability. Significant acquisitions in recent years have included many of the world’s brand leaders, such as Marley Floors, Field Turf, Johnsonite and Tandus


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BASF At BASF, we create chemistry – and have been doing so for more than 150 years. With the development of Hexamoll® DINCH®, BASF has actively triggered a new generation of plasticizers in the market. High safety standards and extensive testing make Hexamoll® DINCH® the ideal solution for homogeneous and heterogeneous flooring products as well as luxury vinyl tiles. With its unique performance, an excellent toxicological profile and a low migration rate, this non-phthalate plasticizer sets high standards with regard to sustainability. This complements Tarkett’s ambitious sustainability strategy to minimize the environmental impact of products. Working together on achieving these challenging targets strengthens the successful, long-term partnership between Tarkett and BASF.

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– the last of which is the leading commercial carpet company in the US. However, the most recent acquisition of Desso, Italy, is the jewel in the company’s crown and this company is a global leader in carpets and sports field solutions. It also produces a range of innovative carpet flooring for commercial applications. Furthermore, it serves the sports market with high-quality artificial turf and a unique, reinforced natural grass system known as ‘Grass Master’. The company also recently strengthened its commercial and industrial activities in China through a number of strategic transactions. In addition, Tarkett has also acquired the assets of a vinyl flooring facility located near Beijing, which is now fully operational and producing a wide range of Tarkett sustainable flooring products. These strategic acquisitions, transactions and business partnerships are driving the sales of Tarkett products worldwide to new levels. As part of Tarkett’s on-going commitment to greater sustainability and eco-innovation, the company has launched a new range of phthalatefree and 100 per cent recyclable products that contribute to everyone’s well-being, as well as providing optimal indoor air quality with their very

low TVOC emissions. Today Tarkett remains fully committed to sustainable development and the circular economy, with an active and acknowledged eco-innovation strategy. n For further details of Tarkett’s innovative sustainable flooring, and sports flooring solutions visit, www.tarkett.com

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GLOBAL LEADERS IN SUSTAINABILITY

AND INNOVATION The global consumer products giant Procter & Gamble is one of the world’s best known and revered companies with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality leadership brands. Philip Yorke reports on the latest developments in a company that sets the trends and benchmarks for the industry. With a clear focus on innovation and sustainability it is leading the field in its ambitious programme of bio-based product labels and environmental leadership.

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rocter & Gamble (P&G) was founded in 1837 and has grown to become a truly global phenomenon, with operations in more than 70 countries and serving over 5 billion people around the world. It has one of the strongest portfolios of leading consumer brands including Ariel, Always, Braun, Gillette, Lenor, Olay and Pantene to name but a few. P&G’s unique organisational structure is one of the key reasons behind its ability to continually grow and achieve new targets. It is able to combine the benefits that come from being a global $80 billion company with a dedicated local focus. This is vital as it enables the company to tailor its products and operations to meet the differing needs of its customers anywhere in the world. The company’s four main business units are: Global Beauty, Global Baby, Feminine and Family Care, Global fabric and home care and Global Health and Grooming. P&G’s products include many of its most recognisable brands in the areas of beauty and personal care, feminine hygiene and health and grooming. These include Gillette, Head& Shoulders and Gucci fragrances. One of the most recent product launches in its beauty sub-division is its new Herbal Essences Naked Collection.

Integrated sustainability In a recent sustainability report the company said “sustainability is integrated into every aspect of the way we do business, however there is much more that needs to be done.” Martin Riant, P&G’s group president, and executive sponsor for sustainability, said, “We have been dedicated to driving change within our own company by partnering with others to deliver standards and practices that make a

difference. We have a long track record of doing the right thing, from pioneering breakthroughs such as compaction, integrating recycled content into packaging and supply-chain innovation. We are focused on our usage of energy, including our need to help drive consumer behaviour change with initiatives such as our Cold Water washing campaign, reduced packaging, reduced water usage and increased recycled content in our packaging. “Our focus is also to bring more renewable energy into our plants to find substitutes for petroleum derived raw materials and to ensure responsible and sustainable sourcing for renewable materials, including Palm Oil (PO), wood pulp and paper packaging. We know that protecting the earth and giving back to those in need is a responsibility and a business opportunity. We plan to accelerate our delivery of these objectives by ensuring the full integration of our sustainability initiatives within the strategies and plans of our 10 core businesses.” Since 2010 P&G has been guided by its vision to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy use and 100 per cent renewable or recyclable materials for all its products and packaging, with zero consumer and manufacturing waste going to land fill sites. Its recent announcement has seen the addition of new goals for 2020, with an emphasis on water conservation and product packaging.

Expanding biomass renewable energy P&G has invested in a new biomass plant that will be operational in 2017 and will significantly increase the company’s use of renewable energy, thus moving it closer to its goal of obtaining 30 per cent of

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its total energy from renewable sources by 2020 and 100 per cent one day in the future. Currently P&G obtains 8 per cent of its energy from renewable sources including wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. The new project will get the company almost half way to its 2020 goal. “As this project enables us to operate one of our largest global plants with a renewable energy source, it will reduce the environmental footprint of two leading brands, Bounty and Charmin. We see this as a win for our business, consumers, partners and the environment,” said Riant. The project has been in the works for almost two years and has involved more than a dozen partners. The $200 million plant will be built, owned and operated Constellation, a leading Retail supplier of power, natural gas and energy products and services, and is a subsidiary of the Exelon Corporation. In addition to producing steam for P&G, the plant

will also create electricity that Constellation will sell to local utility, Georgia Power, who will then share it with residents across the state. Len Sauers, vice-president, Global Sustainability added, “The environmental focus on this year’s report is on impacting on climate change. We’ve made meaningful progress, but there is still much more to do. P&G recognises the scientific consensus linking greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change. As a global citizen, we are concerned about the negative consequences of climate change, and we believe prudent and cost-effective action by governments, industry and consumers to reduce emissions to the atmosphere is necessary. “We’ve made important progress in our efforts to address climate change. We have reviewed our initial reforestation plans from our palm suppliers and are working together to ensure robust, time-bound policies and systems are in place to meet our requireIndustry Europe 77


ments. We are also partnering with industry experts to develop new approaches to help the many thousands of smallholders in our supply chain comply with our no-deforestation objectives.”

Pioneering bio-based products For more than a decade, Tide® has been committed to developing detergents that provide environmental benefits like energy and water saving. P&G’s latest innovation in the company’s commitment to sustainability is Tide Purclean™, the world’s first bio-based detergent with the acknowledged cleaning power of Tide. With a 65 per cent bio-based formula, Tide Purclean™ delivers the same cleaning power, stain removal and colour care found in Tide Original Liquid Laundry Detergent. With every step in the product lifecycle, from sourcing to manufacturing to use and disposal, Tide is committed to making a difference. The detergent is produced at a zero manufac-

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turing waste to landfill facility using 100 per cent renewable wind power electricity and the bottle is also 100 per cent recyclable. It is formulated to perform in cold water conditions to help save energy, but can be used at any water temperature. “We know we cannot positively impact on the planet with a laundry detergent if people will not use it,” said Sundar Raman, vice-president, North America Fabric Care. “Many people have yet to embrace laundry detergents with bio-based ingredients because they feel there is a trade-off when it comes to cleaning performance, so we designed our bio-based formula to provide more of the environmental benefits people increasingly seek, without compromising the trusted cleaning power of Tide. This is our first step with bio-based ingredients and while we know we have much to learn, we hope that Tide Purclean will set a new standard for eco-friendly detergents,”

Genius unveiled Recently at the GSMA World Congress in Barcelona, P&G unveiled its latest innovation in oral care: the Oral-B Genius, the first of its kind and Oral-B’s most intelligent brushing system to date. P&G’s Oral B Genius has set a new standard in the industry and is claimed to be the next big thing after the introduction of the electric toothbrush, as it helps to eliminate the wrong behaviours in brushing. The new Oral-B Genius features ground-breaking Position Detection Technology that combines cutting-edge motion sensor technology located in the brush, and video recognition using the smartphone’s camera to track areas being brushed so that no zone is missed. These features combined with the Oral-B OscillatingRotating-Pulsating technology and unique round brush head helps users improve their oral health. Oral-B Genius includes best-in-class product features, making it the most intelligent brushing system available that helps consumers smarten their daily brushing routines. n For further information about P&G’s latest innovative products and sustainability programmes visit: www.pg.com

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TAKE YOUR PICK The Hungarian meat processing company PICK Szeged Zrt stands head and shoulders above its domestic rivals and even among competitors in Central Europe. Its long traditions, innovative thinking and commitment to providing premium quality products guarantee strong prospects for future expansion. Edina Beale reports.

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part of the Bonafarm Group, PICK Szeged Zrt is the largest Hungarian meat processing company, operating production units in four locations and a sales centre in Budapest while providing stable employment for nearly 2800 people. The company cuts and processes more than 580,000 pigs in one year which secures production of 41,800 tonnes of processed products and 33,385 tonnes of fresh meat sales. Its best known PICK brand is available worldwide, and while its biggest European market is Germany, it is present from the USA to Japan. In Hungary the company holds a leading market share with around 23.3 per cent of the market.

Aiming for the finest Throughout its 147-year history PICK Szeged Zrt has always been committed to high quality standards. Being part of the Bonafarm Group, PICK has the advantage of being able to ensure the highest care is taken to maintain the best quality at all stages from the field to the consumer table. The company’s integrated quality system complies with the highest standards to produce safe, nutritious and unique products that are loved by consumers. Its extensive premium product selection includes salamis and dry sausages, cold cuts, liver pates and frankfurt82 Industry Europe

ers made of pork. Its flagship product is the world famous PICK Original Wintersalami. Wintersalamis made under the PICK and HERZ brands have gained the Hungarikum title, which is given only to selected products seen as best representing Hungary’s tradition of high quality local production to the outside world. PICK is also the largest Mangalica meat producer in the world and is famous for manufacturing products from the unique Mangalica pork with unrivalled taste. PICK Szeged Zrt puts a great deal of emphasis on meeting customer demands and changes in taste through continuous innovation. Among many of its exciting new developments is its PICKSTICK Snack sausage, which achieved the most success when the product was launched with an international packaging design in the domestic and foreign markets


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in September 2015. PICKSTICK products were developed in mild and spicy flavours and their modern premium packaging provides an attractive and practical solution for customers to consume tasty, high protein meat products as a snack. So far the product is already performing better than had been expected.

Brand building focus Recently, PICK has strengthened its positions on both the domestic and export markets, increasing its sales and market shares to perform better than ever. This is mostly due to vigorous brand building. The company set its marketing strategy based on the results of extensive customer research which focused on its three main brands: the original PICK brand which offers a broad portfolio to meet the need of parents preparing family meals; the revamped HERZ brand targeting young adults who want high quality products with a unique flavour and image; and the FAMÍLIA brand that provides top quality for price sensitive consumers. Together these three main brands cover customer demands better than any other company in Hungary. The company is currently building its strongest and most traditional PICK brand on the international market. Another key to PICK’s successful operation is its continuous effort to improve efficiency. The company is constantly on the lookout for efficiency improvements and results gained are invested back into the business to improve production and technologies that will lead to better quality, safety and performance in the long run. Preparing for export growth

Pick expects the Hungarian market to remain stagnant in the next couple of years and therefore plans to continue to strengthen its position through brand building, intensive trading activities and the developments of new products. At the same time, the company aims to grow in its export markets; in addition to entering new fields in developing markets it aims to strengthen its position in Germany, where a subsidiary is already in place. A major step for PICK in the near future will be the start of the production of the brand new state-of-the-art slaughtering plant in the Hungarian town of Mohacs. As a result of a strategic partnership agreement, the new plant will provide slaughtering, cutting and deboning for PICK at higher efficiency and quality than any other company in Hungary. In the longer term PICK intends to further strengthen its market position by construction of a new production plant in Szeged by the end of 2019, where it will implement the most modern and efficient food processing technologies meeting the highest food safety and hygiene requirements at significantly increased production capacity. Today PICK Szeged Zrt has a very successful product assortment which has conquered various global markets in the past 147 years, however there are still many areas that are waiting to be exploited by the Hungarian firm. Consumer habits are constantly changing, but if the business sticks with its company values and stays focused on constant innovation while maintaining the highest quality standards, n there is no doubt it will continue to reap the rewards.

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IMPROVING THE QUALITY

OF LIFE WORLDWIDE Hindustan Unilever in India is the country’s largest FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) company with a track record extending back more than 80 years. Philip Yorke reports on the mega-trends shaping the FMCG market and reports on a company that continues to expand and set world class standards for quality and environmental protection. 86 Industry Europe


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industan Unilever (HUL) works to create a better future for the world’s population every day and helps people to feel good and get more out of life with brands and services that enhance the lives of consumers. With over 35 brands spanning 20 distinct product categories such as soaps, detergents, shampoos, skin care, toothpastes and tea and coffee, as well as many others, the company has become an integral part of the everyday life of millions of consumers across India. Its product portfolio includes leading brands such as Lux, Lifebuoy, Surf, Ponds, Dove, Sunsilk, Brooke Bond, Walls and Purit. Unilever has over 18,000 employees in India alone. HUL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever, one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong local roots in more than 100 countries worldwide. With more than 400 brands focused on health and wellbeing, no other company touches so many people’s lives in so many different ways. In 2015 the Indian company recorded sales of more than €50 billion.

These changes pose new challenges for the company as commodity prices fluctuate, markets become unstable and raw materials are more difficult to source. Unilever believes that business must be a part of the solution, but in doing so it must be able to change. The company told Industry Europe that it believes that it cannot continue to be ‘business as usual’, and that sustainable, equitable growth is the only acceptable business model moving forward. Its strategic vision is to double the size of its business while reducing its environmental footprint, and increasing its positive social impact. In 2010 the company launched its living plan for the future, the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which is a blueprint for creating sustainable business. Unilever will achieve its vision through this plan which is currently helping to decouple its growth from its environmental impact, while increasing its positive social impact and driving further profitable growth for its brands.

Advancing sustainable living

Mr Harish Manwani is the chairman of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) and recently addressed the company’s 83rd Annual General Meeting held in Mumbai, India. Manwani spoke about three ‘megatrends’ – digitalisation, the imperative for sustainability and a changing world economic order – and how these trends have a profound impact on shaping the world we live in. In a speech entitled ‘Building

From the very beginning, Unilever has been a purpose-driven company and today its goal is clear: to make sustainable living commonplace. In a world where temperatures are rising, where water shortages are more frequent and where food supplies are increasingly scarce, the gap between the rich and the poor is growing.

Defining moment

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Leading HUL Supply Chain Partner With Over 20 years of industry acknowledged credibility, Varuna Group is one of the leading service providers in the Logistics & Supply Chain (SC) Industry with its group companies Varuna Integrated Logistics – Specializing in transport & distribution, Athena Supply Chain Lab – focused on developing customised SC solutions and Contract Logistics Pvt ltd – specializing in the Warehousing domains respectively! Varuna Integrated Logistics association with HUL dates back to 2004. HUL values and appreciates VIL’s Commitment and investment in this partnership to optimally address HUL business requirements proactively viz. developing effective distribution solutions, customising its fleet, improved transit times etc thereby contributing to enhancing HUL’s Transportation/ Distribution network efficiencies. HUL acknowledged the partnership by awarding VIL the much coveted `Partner to Win` award for Capacity & Capability Creation, South East Asia in the Year 2012. The Varuna group companies continue to be intrinsically engaged with HUL in most of its trendsetting projects in India contributing to further strengthening of the long standing association.

a Global Enterprise’, Manwani said that India stands at a defining moment in its journey to take its rightful place in the world economic order. According to him, this new world order presents a momentous opportunity for Indian businesses to expand their footprint globally and to build truly world-class enterprises. He explained, “A close examination of the characteristics that help global organisations such as Unilever and others to thrive, presents important learnings on how to build global enterprises which are both successful and relevant.” He spoke about how Indian businesses have built a formidable presence domestically and urged them to now strengthen their footprint globally in order to build world-class enterprises that are capable of competing with the very best. Manwani also spoke about the paradox that defines this age of global connectedness: “While trends are gaining global scale and significance, consumers are becoming more rooted in their local cultures and identities,” he said.

New facility planned for Assam Hindustan Unilever Limited has proposed to make an investment of more than Rs. 1000 crores into the establishment of a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the vicinity of its existing factory premises in Assam. This significant investment is subject to the receipt of the usual requisite approvals and clearances. It is envisaged that the new plant will be commissioned in 2017 and will significantly increase the production capacity of personal care products for HUL. The new facility is also designed to encourage suppliers to establish new units for packaging and material supplies and it is expected that the new facility will lead to the creation of ancillary logistics and warehousing opportunities in the region. 88 Industry Europe

This proposal is consistent with HUL’s commitment to the ‘Make in India’ programme, and is a reflection of its priority to invest in sustainable growth, Given the attractive outlook that the company sees in the personal care sector, the additional capacity will support the company’s ambitious growth strategy will enable it to better serve its consumers. Unilever has a wide manufacturing footprint in India with more than 30 modern factories located strategically across the n Indian sub-continent. For further details of Hindustan Unilever’s latest products and progress on sustainable growth visit: www.hul.co.in


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STRONGER THAN EVER Throughout its 20-year operations in Hungary Tesco has come to play a significant role in the Hungarian economy. Edina Beale finds out how the 2015 restructuring of the European Tesco units has kept the retail giant stronger than ever and made its operations far simpler and smoother.

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esco first appeared in Hungary in 1994, when the retail group acquired the S-Market food chain operator, Global Rt, in Győr, north-west Hungary. Following its two-year success, in 1996 Tesco opened the first hypermarket in Budapest. With 208 stores across Hungary, today Tesco serves fresh food to three million customers every week on average. Owing to new governmental laws, retailers in Hungary have gone through challenging times in the past few years. In 2013 the Hungarian government introduced a state monopoly on the retail sale of tobacco, and then in March 2015 new regulations banned shops from opening on Sundays. Although the unpopular ban on Sunday trading was scrapped in April this year, retailers had to deal with serious impacts on shopping habits throughout this one year. Despite these difficulties, Tesco has continued its development in Hungary and throughout central Europe.

Tesco Europe In 2015 Tesco made the strategic decision to fuse its operations in central Europe under one unit. In order to improve competitiveness and ensure sustainable operations, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia are now managed by one team, which operates as a separate business unit under the name of Tesco Europe. Thanks to this change, operations are now much simpler, which makes Tesco more competitive and agile whilst providing opportunities to react to customer needs far more quickly. By amalgamating its expertise into one business unit, the company has eliminated parallel processes and released extra resources which can be used to improve customer service and satisfaction. “Our ultimate goal is to gain profitability. Tesco Europe unites our professional knowledge across four countries and should ensure an even more successful, more sustainable future for the region,” confirmed David Morris, chief executive of Tesco Europe.

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Growing online business Tesco Online Shopping is one of the supermarket chain’s most dynamically developing services. The company established a new centre in Székesfehérvár in April 2016 in order to widen its home delivery offering to the nearby locations, and a pick up point was opened in Siófok to collect pre-prepared orders. “Tesco began to offer online shopping service in 2013 and since then we have been continuously developing and improving this service based on customer feedback. In the past few years, our colleagues have delivered 61 million products with more than 100 vehicles and achieved a 98 per cent customer satisfaction ratio.

This service provides jobs for more than 700 people in the country, and our aim is to increase this number through continuous expansion,” said Péter Sebestyén, e-trade manager of Tesco. The recent development of the new centre in Székesfehérvár created 20 new jobs for people in the city and provided opportunities to make the shopping experience far more convenient for those who live in the nearby villages including Velence, Gárdony, Sárszentmihály, Úrhida, Szabadbattyán, Sukoró and Pákozd és Kápolnásnyék. During the summer season, between 30 May to 31 August, the Siófok centre delivers twice to Siófok to serve holidaymakers’ needs in Lake Balaton. Industry Europe 93


Supporting local businesses Tesco is one of the largest employers in the country, providing jobs for over 20,000 people. The company contributes 1 per cent of Hungary’s and puts great emphasis on connecting with local businesses in order to put their products on its shelves, not only in Hungary but in its shops abroad. At present, half of its 3200 own label food products are produced in Hungary and 80 per cent of the suppliers are Hungarian firms. The company currently has business relationships with 1200 Hungarian suppliers and is making continuous efforts to expand its list of small and medium size businesses manufacturing good quality local products. This commitment was evidenced in the supply of the summer season’s most favourite fruit – Tesco’s watermelon supply in Hun-

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gary came from only local fields. Besides the 8 million kilograms of watermelons sold in Hungary, the retail chain is expected to export the same amount to the Czech, Slovak and Polish markets. Last year Tesco sold 7 million kilograms of the tasty Hungarian fruit, and this year sales are expected to increase. Following the corporate pattern of Britain’s biggest greengrocer, Tesco Hungary has been taking social responsibility very seriously from the very start. In 2015/16 the company introduced a new social responsibility strategy which pushes the firm to create value for people from its available resources. The strategy concentrates on three main areas: encouraging a healthy lifestyle, reducing food waste and n helping youngsters in their development.


Aleksandra Świerczyńska

HIGHEST QUALITY DAIRY PRODUCTS Established in 1990 by two private investors, Milkpol SA is one of the largest private dairy manufacturers in Poland and a medium-sized producer within the entire Polish dairy industry, including cooperatives. It focuses on purchasing and processing milk. The company’s flagship product is curd cheese, of different varieties, in which it has specialised for over two decades. It also produces a range of other products, including offerings fortified with Omega 3 acids. Piotr Sadowski talks to Aleksandra Świerczyńska, president of the board, to find out more.

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ilk production is one of the most important branches of Poland’s agricultural industry, with around 12 billion litres of milk being produced in the country every year. Milkpol was established in 1990 by two private investors and began by purchasing 4000 litres of milk per day. Today, this figure has risen to an impressive level of 35,000 litres of milk purchased daily, which means around one million litres on a monthly basis. “Initially the company was manufacturing pasteurised milk and cream and in 1992 added curd cheese, which today is the absolute flagship product of Milkpol,” explains Aleksandra Świerczyńska.

“As the production increased and the business started growing, we started to expand the size and capacity of our production halls in Czarnocin, where our headquarters are also located.”

Robust operations Another key milestone for Milkpol occurred in 2008, when the company began trading on the alternative stock market, NewConnect, operated by the main Warsaw Stock Exchange. Eight years on, Milkpol is one of the largest dairy producers in the country and its products range from curd cheese, curd-based soft cheeses in different flavours, to sour Industry Europe 95


creams, dairy fermented drinks such as kefir and other offerings manufactured from the highest quality sourced milk. “We currently employ 74 permanent staff, across Czarnocin and our sales and accounts office in Łódź,” says Ms Świerczyńska. “Since last year we have reached the widest ever range of client groups, both in the traditional distribution channels, local retail chains, wholesalers as well as large-scale retail sales. In addition, the newest addition in our distribution channel is a chain of our own branded stores – four are already open and operating very successfully.” Milkpol’s annual turnover currently stands at PLN 24 million and it should be pointed out that the company has achieved significant improvements following the crisis in the dairy industry and has significantly recovered from the losses of 2014. “This year will be crucial in terms of the economic result for Milkpol, “adds the president of the board. “We have a very positive outlook on the 2016 result and our performance based on a number of factors – one of them certainly

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being the quality of the curd cheese we manufacture. We have a full controlling system in place: the curd is not processed as a mass product but is a fresh offering dedicated to consumers who are aware of what they eat. Because it is a fresh product, it cannot be exported due to its shelf-life and for that reason we concentrate on robust distribution on the domestic market. Of course, while curd is our flagship product, we dedicate equally high standards of processing and production to all of our other products, including those fortified with Omega 3 acids, which in turn guarantees that the Milkpol brand is synonymous with the most excellent, natural, dairy products.”

Cooperation with local farmers Milkpol has benefited in recent years from European Union co-financing: for example, in 2005 it accessed funds for investment in rural regions, which helped to increase the number of production lines. It is currently applying for another round of EU co-financing to further


expand its growth. In addition, the company’s plan for the next five years is to further expand its factory, increase its range of products and extend its distribution reach across the whole of Poland. However, all types of investment would be futile if Milkpol did not have access to the highest quality fresh milk sourced from local farmers. Its cooperation with providers of this raw product, operating in environmentally clean, unpolluted areas, ensures that the milk and the eventual products retain all their natural health-giving characteristics. Every supplier is audited on an annual basis. In addition, in each sourcing area, Milkpol cooperates with two suppliers to ensure there are no impediments to the provision of the raw product. The cooperation is clear, transparent and mutually beneficial. What the company also makes very clear in its message to consumers is that they, by purchasing Milkpol products, are supporting local dairy farmers, which n is such an important part of Polish agriculture.

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SPARKLING SUCCESS Bambi is the clear brand leader in eastern Europe when it comes to confectionery, and Banat is the country’s brand leader in the soft drinks sector. Bambi Banat/Knjaz Milos’ success has attracted the attention of the international venture capital company, Mid European Partners (MEP), which plans to grow the business with a €10 million investment in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Serbia. Philip Yorke reports.

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ambi was founded in 1894 by Samual Svarc who opened a confectionery factory called ‘Canditen Fabric’. The company saw consistent growth over the years and today produces more than 250,000 tonnes of confectionery products annually. Bambi Banat was founded in 2007 in Belgrade as a result of a merger with one of the oldest chocolate and candy factories in Serbia, Banat Vrsac. The company now operates as part of the Danube Foods Group, which also owns the five largest dairies, led by Imlek, as well as owning the largest producer of mineral water in Serbia, Knjaz Milos. Last year another milestone was reached in the company’s history when the Mid Europe Partners private equity group acquired the Danube Foods Group (DFG). The deal valued the DFG at more than €630 million and the company had revenues in 2015 of over €400 million. Bambi Banat’s business philosophy is based upon a commitment towards consumers, innovation, uniqueness and a broad portfolio of leading brands that enjoy the trust of consumers. In addition, the company subscribes to the highest quality standards and environmental protection measures. As part of the Danube foods group, Knjaz Milos can build on its centuries of tradition manufacturing natural, healthy water as well as non-alcoholic beverages, which offer consumers refreshment and

revitalisation throughout the day. The Knjaz products are created on 10 state-of-the-art, fully automated production lines which create between 17,000 and 24,000 bottles per hour. This amounts to a daily output of more than one million litres per day, resulting in an annual capacity of over 500 million litres. Today the company is one of the leading European mineral water manufacturers and is acknowledged as the most successful brand in Serbia. The planned €10 million investment in new plant will significantly enhance this output.

Sparkling results Knjaz Milos is one of the few mineral waters in the world that has a very specific composition. The water is characterised by an ideal calcium to magnesium ratio (2:1), which allows for optimal absorption in the human body. It is also one of the oldest Serbian brands and is often one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about Serbia. A two-century long tradition underscores the purity and the quality of Knjaz Milos’s water and the quality is further enhanced by the fact that all of the natural springs are located within the undamaged ecosystem of the famous Arandelovac Spa. Aqua Viva is another extremely successful Knjaz Milo brand, taken from the crystalline waters of Bukulja. Thanks to the natural character-

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istics of the spring, Aqua Viva is protected from all outside influences. Only Aqua Viva contains the optimineral complex, which represents an optimal balance between minerals, salts and oligoeliments.

Successful brands The company’s Golf Juices are natural juices which do not contain artificial colours, aromas or preservatives. Golf Juices are renowned for their individual glass bottle packaging and practical twist-off cap, which follows HoReCa marketing and design trends. Knjaz Milos has a broad portfolio of successful brands and for decades has been the symbol of quality mineral water in Serbia. It is loved by its countless consumers for its sharp taste and perfect balance between calcium and magnesium. The company has recently responded to its consumers’ preferences by launching a new, mild, sparkling Knjaz Milos mineral water, which is distinguished by an identical mineral composition, but with milder carbonation characteristics. Aqua Viva is another leading non-sparkling bottled water and is the first functional water on the Serbian market. By recognising changing consumer needs, the company created a specialised product called Aqua Viva Sport, which consists of a hydro-active ingredient. There is also its ‘Recharge’ and ‘Slim’ variants for those in need of faster rehydration. For the younger generation the company has developed a new line pf beverages called Aqua Viva Junior, which has an added vitamin B complex. Finally, the company has recently introduced a new n ‘Mojito’ flavour to its best-selling energy drink, Guarana. For further details of Knjaz Milo’s innovative health drinks and mineral water and Bambi Banat’s unique confectionary ranges visit: www.knjaz.co.rs 100 Industry Europe


EXPERTS IN INDUSTRIAL

ENGINEERING INTROL Group, headquartered in Katowice, Poland, is an engineering holding company providing advanced solutions for the general and commercial power, environmental protection, construction, mining and automotive industries. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.

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he INTROL Group was established in 1990 and over the years it has transformed from a component supplier and sub-contractor to a general contractor of investments. “The acquisition of the Polon company in 1993 was the first breakthrough in our history,” recalls Jozef Bodziony, president of the board and strategy and investment director of the group. “Polon’s main field of activity was related to industrial measurements and process control in the mining and steel industries. The company specialised in level measurement, detection systems and isotopic equipment. For us, it was the entrance to a new business area. The other important point was our decision to invest in with the acquisition of Limatherm, a manufacturer of components for measuring apparatus in explosionproof versions and pressure die-castings made from aluminium alloys. Establishing the cooperation with Rockwell Automation, the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information solutions, was another important step in the development of the group, which helped us to run the distribution branch more efficiently.” Since 2007, INTROL has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Its business is concentrated broadly in three main areas: service, production and distribution. Its revenues are generated on the basis of these three strategic foundations and amount to, respectively: services – 50–60 per cent; production – 20–25 per cent; and distribution – 1–25 per cent. For years the group has shown very stable, linear growth. Its annual income in 2015 is estimated at 414 million PLN (approx. €100 million). Exports account for over 20 per cent of total sales, of which the majority goes to EU companies (60 per cent to Germany). The group employs 1600 people, including 600 engineers. “Such a high share of engineers among our employees clearly shows that we are a highly specialised company focused on industrial engineering,” adds Mr Bodziony.

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Taking on difficult tasks Today, INTROL is a group of 14 engineering companies, offering a unique combination of expertise in mechanical and electrical engineering, installation, instrumentation and computer software. The group provides comprehensive engineering services, implementing investments in the field of system projects, modernisation of power units, cogeneration systems, process automation, industrial measurements, telecom systems in smart buildings, air-conditioning and ventilation systems, environmental protection systems and production of advanced automation equipment. The group operates in many industrial branches but focuses particularly on the power industry, environmental protection, industrial sector (projects in the field of industrial automation, mechanical engineering and measurements) and building industry (equipping industrial and public use buildings with advanced technological systems). The group is able to implement even the most complex projects, from the design stage up to measurement, production, assembly, warranty and postwarranty services. For each of the projects the group works on across the many sectors it serves, the implementation process may include design, preparation of documentation and obtaining the necessary permits, selection of equipment, construction work, completion and delivery and then installation and start-up of finished systems or facilities. “Strong project management competence allows INTROL to undertake difficult tasks. We provide comprehensive services, from initial design, technical design and cost estimate, to production, delivery completion, installation and start-up to general contractorship of the investment. Our excellently diversified business in Poland and abroad is a guarantee of the stable and safe development of the whole business, ensuring high immunity to economic downturns,” points out Mr Bodziony.


FANUC FANUC is the world leader in CNC technology and robotics. Since 1956 the company has produced reliable CNC controls, industrial robots and high-performance machine tools: ROBODRILL, ROBOCUT and ROBOSHOT, offered worldwide. The FANUC high expenditures on research and development make its machines unrivaled in terms of the operation’s speed, precision and efficiency, unparalleled in the industry. Our customers use more than 17,5mln FANUC’s different products. In FANUC’s Japanese factories operates more than 3,000 robots developed in-house. Thanks to this, the company meets the growing needs of the customers by producing high-quality machines in quantities that exceed the industry standards - 60,000 robots, 300,000 CNC systems and 60,000 machine tools annually. As a supplier of the best technology in the industrial automation field, FANUC remains open to a close cooperation with customers and most creative companies in the industry. A partnership with PRO-ZAP Sp. o.o., a part of the INTROL Group, is a good example of such fruitful cooperation on the Poland’s market, which brings a growing number of international successes.

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One particularly promising market segment for the INTROL Group is the so-called cogeneration sector – i.e. development of systems for the simultaneous generation of electrical and thermal power. Such a solution is employed by, among others, local authorities modernising local power and heating systems; wastewater treatment plants, other industrial establishments, etc. Demand for such equipment is expected to remain high thanks to Poland’s need to adapt its manufacturing processes to the strict EU standards.

Control system for CERN One of the most spectacular foreign contracts recently completed by INTROL was for CERN, one of the most respected scientific research centres. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions. The Large Hadron Collider, located 100m under the ground, mainly consists of a 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets with a number of accelerating structures to boost the energy of the particles along the way. INTROL developed, designed and delivered the temperature control n system for the accelerator’s CMS detector.

Solar Polska Sp. z o.o. Solar Group is a leading European sourcing and services company, operating primarily within the electrical, heating and plumbing, and ventilation technology sectors. Our core business centres on product sourcing, value-adding services and optimization of our customers’ businesses. We always strive to understand our customers’ unique and genuine needs in order to provide relevant, personal and valueadding services, turning our customers into winners. Being a sourcing and services company, we focus on each individual customer. We work closely with them to offer tailored services that underpin their efforts to optimize daily processes, develop their skills and run more profitable businesses. Our quick and accurate delivery increases our customers’ productivity. We deliver the right products on time, exactly where the customers need them and the way they need them. Increase your earnings with easy, time saving services that eliminate unnecessary and expensive work processes along with ordering mistakes.

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THE STORY THAT INSPIRES ZPUE SA - Polish company from the energy sector wins global markets “MiTraL” distribution system made by ZPUE, supplies the new laboratory building in Technical University Delft.

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PUE S.A. was founded in 1988. During the last twentyeight years it has developed from a small factory located in southern Poland to the company, which successfully competes against power industry global giants. It is Poland’s leading manufacturer of the container transformer stations and medium and low voltage switchgears. The company is a founder of many innovative solutions for the power sector. In Poland, it is well known and appreciated for its dynamism, efficiency and flexible approach to its customers, while in Europe, it is more and more recognized and perceived as a reliable and trustworthy partner. The ZPUE potential is reflected by its key participation in the European projects.

The world’s largest particle accelerator is powered by Polish switchgears One of the examples showing the ZPUE capabilities applies to the construction and installation of twenty medium-voltage switchgears for CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. ZPUE won the international tender for the supply of medium voltage switchgears, announced by CERN and the exchange of currently existing solutions prepared by a well-known, global concern. Today, the ZPUE SA switchgears power the magnets used to disperse particles in the world’s largest particle accelerator called “the Large Hadron Collider”. They are equipped with special safeguards to prevent interruption of the circuit, which is of extreme importance for the scientific experiments run in the centre.

400 switchgears made by ZPUE supply the main trade gate in Europe Among the examples that define the company’s technological and logistic capabilities there is a project that consists in the ZPUE participation in one of the most ambitious maritime investments in the Netherlands history – development of the APM Terminal’s Maasvlakte port in Rotterdam. ZPUE delivered to and installed on that artificial North Sea peninsula, more than 400 units with a total value of EUR 3.75 million, which supply one of the largest container ports in the world.

Unusual orders develop the company Working on the order placed by the Dutch company Batenburg, responsible for the development of the TU Delft, one of the world’s largest technical universities, is another interesting project carried out by the ZPUE engineers. Due to the need for installation of the power supply equipment in the vicinity of special SEM - scanning electron microscope, it had to be designed so as to minimize the magnetic field and the emission of vibrations, to which the microscope is very sensitive. The ZPUE designers focused on the development opportunities kept the maximum discipline and met very high requirements of the investor. Their project has won the competitive projects. Two massive sets of equipment, called MITRAL (a single set has a length of 17 meters), and several single medium and low voltage switchgears, n made by ZPUE, supply the University’s new building. Visit: www.zpue.com Industry Europe 105


DRIVING COMPOSITE TECHNOLOGY FORWARD Hexagon Raufoss is a listed group of companies with its head office in Alesund, Norway. The group employs more than 500 people and in 2015 generated sales of more than NOK 1.5 million. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at an ambitious, high-tech company that is changing the face of composite technology.

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he Hexagon Group’s technology and acknowledged expertise is increasingly in demand worldwide. Much of this is due to the increased awareness of the difference between the world’s oil prices and international gas prices. A stable, high price differential is contributing to a major market transfer to natural gas both in the western world and in the developing countries. In addition to this, the increased environmental regulatory requirements are an important market driver. New technology for the extraction of shale gas in the US also means there will most likely be a continuation of this considerable difference in the price between oil and gas for several decades to come. The strong focus in Europe on the use of cleaner energy sources will increase the use of gas-powered vehicles and in particular of buses. The company’s composite solutions today assist in making the transition to natural gas more cost-effective than ever before.

Innovation driving sales The Hexagon Group has an extensive in-house research and development department in Norway that keeps the company one step ahead of its competitors. Currently the group’s technology and gas cylinder experts are very much in demand. Again, much of this is due to the market’s increased awareness of the need to reduce harmful emissions and the big price differential with oil.

It is well known that energy gases are much cleaner than liquid fuels, and therefore innovative products are being developed in cooperation with the main market players who will sell the products themselves, or who use them in their own products – for example in cars, buses, heavy day vehicles and wind turbines. This further strengthens the company’s expertise and its increasing development of innovative new products. In parallel with these advances, the company has consciously built up its expertise and capacity with a view to optimising the most cost-effective production of cylinders at its highly automated facilities. The company told Industry Europe, “Our strategy is to build shareholder value and achieve growth as well as increased profitability within all our various business units. The company will continue to be the market leader in many of its selected niche markets in the composites industry. The Hexagon Group will continue to increase its market share by developing innovative and cost-effective composite solutions that are competitive in both price and functionality. “Our highly automated production, optimised design and high capacity utilisation shall give us the best competitive advantage in the marketplace. Furthermore, we work closely with our customers to achieve the best outcomes and solutions. Innovation, ambition and expertise are important factors for success in our industry. At

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Hexagon Composites we believe that innovation is best achieved when people with different approaches and experience are able to work together to create an exceptional outcome.”

Middle East, Russia, South East Asia and Australia. Other regions including South Africa and the Far East are on the company’s agenda for further development.

Expanding global presence

A lightweight revolution

Hexagon Raufoss, in association with Hexagon Lincoln, is the clear market leader within the sector of complete composite storage and transportation systems. This business unit includes fuel cylinders for passenger vehicles, buses and heavy vehicles, as well as distributing transportation and storage cylinders that include natural gas and hydrogen products. The company is operating the world’s most advanced facilities designed for developing, testing and manufacturing complete composite type 4 pressure vessels and complete systems. It has broadened its product portfolio and services recently to include such products as natural gas and hydrogen vehicle fuel tanks, bulk transportation modules, fuel tanks and fuel storage systems and accumulators. Hexagon is constantly expanding its global presence and already has significant commercial interests in the Americas, Europe, the

Hexagon produces the world’s biggest composite cylinders and these are unmatched by any other cylinder manufacturer. The challenge is that traditional bulk hauling for the transport of compressed gases employs extremely heavy-duty steel cylinders or tubes. The increased demand for gas and the growing focus on reducing energy costs and efficiency means that this can only be achieved by substantially reducing the weight of storage vessels. Also corrosion issues play a significant role in the modern safety concept for gas distribution. The composite solution to the current weight problem of cylinder weight and corrosion means that for every 1kg of natural gas being transported, steel trailers must add 6–7kg of steel cylinder weight. However with Hexagon’s ‘Titan’ every 1kg of gas can be transported with only 1.3kg of composite cylinder weight. The polymer liner and carbon composite structure of ‘Titan’ performs without the corrosion and fatigue risks that are associated with traditional steel cylinders. Therefore hydraulic re-testing of cylinders is not required over the entire lifetime of use with Hexagon’s ‘Titan’ n composite cylinders. For further details of Hexagon Raufoss’s latest innovative products and services, visit wwwhexagonraufoss.com

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SMOOTH FLOWING

TECHNOLOGY

TMK-ARTROM is a leading Romanian pipes and tubes manufacturer with a significant share of the European market for industrial seamless tubes. The company is part of the global TMK Group, which is a leader in the design and manufacture of tubular products for the oil and gas industry. The company continues to expand and invest in new technology as it leads the field in new product development. Philip Yorke reports.

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MK is one of the world’s leading producers of tubular products for the oil and gas industry. Since 2009 it has ranked first in the world by volume of pipes delivered. The company’s pipe shipments in 2015 totalled almost four million tonnes. TMK-ARTROM is a public company listed on Bucharest StockExchange and TMK Group holds the majority of the shares. TMK-ARTROM is located in the south of Romania in Slatina City. It specialises in the production of industrial seamless steel pipes which are mainly for industrial applications, from carbon, low alloy and alloy steel, to hot rolling, cold drawn pipes for mechanical applications. The company makes pipes for the automotive industry, for high temperature boilers and pipes for the oil industry. In addition, TMKARTROM produces pipes for water and gas installations, as well as grinding pipes and roller burnished pipes for cylinder production. TMK-ARTROM products are fully certified to all relevant ISO and EN quality standards. TMK-ARTROM is also the operational and management headquarters for the TMK European Division, to which has recently been added the management of the TMK Group’s industrial pipes business throughout the Americas.

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New technology adding value TMK-ARTROM has consistently invested in new technology and recently commissioned a new state-of-the-art production unit, which is able to offer customers inside-skived and roller-burnished pipes for the production of hydraulic cylinders and outside grinding pipes for the manufacture of piston rods. This is in addition to offering precision-cut pipes at fixed lengths. The high quality tubular products produced on the company’s new line can be utilised in the automotive industry and also to manufacture hydraulic cylinders used in hoisting machinery. This is in addition to sophisticated industrial equipment for the automotive and avionics industries. Currently the company is implementing other projects aimed at improving quality and increasing the added value of its products by means of advanced heat treatments and other specialist manufacturing operations on its site. The new production line has a high level of automation and integration in the company’s ERP software and will be able to provide a much wider range of Q&T pipes. This is an ultra-modern and flexible heat treatment line for heavy wall pipes that includes on-line hot straightening, which is able to perform all types of heat treatment required for the production of high-tech industrial pipes.


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Neptun SA The specific operating conditions of metallurgical equipment, such as high power, variable load, big static and dynamic forces, ask for properly designed mechanical transmissions. That is why, besides our standard production we have always stayed beside TMK and offered them special and custom-made gears, gearboxes and technical solutions to fully comply with their specific needs both for the production process and auxiliary equipment like traveling cranes and so on. We are proud to count TMK among our customers, end users or OEM’s from all over the world, activating in the metallurgical industry and we are focused on developing our partnership more and more.

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Increased productivity The company has a total production capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year and during the past few years it has upgraded its technological flow. This has been done to enable it to produce a wider range of seamless steel pipes with outside diameters ranging from15.88mm up to 250mm, and with wall thicknesses ranging from 1.5mm to 60mm. The raw materials for these products is produced as continuously casted round billets at the steel company TMK-RESITA,TMK’s wholly-owned plant in Romania where a wide variety of high-grade steels are produced. At this plant the products can be vacuum degassed and impurities eliminated. In addition, nitrogen and hydrogen can also be greatly reduced to ensure the products meet the most stringent demands of the world’s automotive industries. The plant produces billets for tubes and heavy round profiles. A few years ago, TMK-RESITA launched a new continuous casting line for blanks with a capacity of 450,000 tonnes per year, and the company followed this with a new EAF (Electric Arc Furnace) with a capacity of 110 tonnes. The production flow today consists of an electric arc furnace, ladle furnace, vacuum system and a continuous casting machine. TMK-RESITA and TMK-ARTROM have implemented and certified an efficient integrated quality management system that is planned according to ISO 9001, integrated with its environmental manage-

ment system according to ISO 14001 and work safety ISO 18001. The unique, integrated management system for both facilities is continuously planned, maintained and developed through a process of ongoing improvement and is periodically independently audited and evaluated. Both companies operate in a fully integrated manner, creating a sole industrial complex for TMK in Romania.

Leading the field For many years TMK has enjoyed strong market positions in the seamless pipes sector with its sales representing around 10 per cent of the worldwide market for this product. TMK’s clients include leading gas companies, such as Shell, ENI, Total, Exxon Mobile, Occidental Petroleum, Gazprom, Saudi Aramco and Lukoil among many others. The company’s major presence in world markets is secured by its extensive sales network that covers virtually all main global oil and gas producing regions in the US, Canada, Russia and the CIS, the Middle East, North and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It operates more than 30 manufacturing n sites in the US, Canada, Romania, Oman and Kazakhstan. For further details of TMK-ARTROM’s high-tech seamless tubes and pipes visit: www.tmk-artrom.eu

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MASTER OF HEAT

PROCESSING

SECO/WARWICK GROUP, headquartered in Swiebodzin, Poland, is a leading global manufacturer of heat processing furnaces and equipment. This year the company celebrates its 25th anniversary. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.

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ECO/WARWICK belongs to the ‘Big Five’ global companies, which supply around 50 per cent of the world’s heat processing furnaces. It focuses on the most sophisticated technologies and its range covers five main product groups: vacuum heat treatment; atmosphere heat treatment; controlled atmosphere brazing of aluminum heat exchangers; melting, holding, and thermal processing of aluminum; and vacuum metallurgy. Currently the group consists of seven manufacturing companies, with SECO/WARWICK SA, in Swiebodzin, Poland operating as its head company. The other main companies within the group are: SECO/WARWICK Corporation (US), SECO/WARWICK Europe SA (Poland,), Retech Systems LLC (US), SECO/WARWICK Retech Thermal Equipment Manufacturing Tianjin Co., Ltd (China), SECO/ WARWICK GmbH (Germany), SECO/WARWICK Allied Pvt. Ltd (India), SECO/WARWICK do Brasil Ind. de Fornos Ltda. (Brazil), SECO/WARWICK Service (Poland), SECO/WARWICK France SAS (France) and SECO/WARWICK RUS (Russia). “The group provides standard or customised state-of-the-art heat processing equipment to forward-thinking companies in various industries including automotive, aerospace, powder metallurgy, electronics, energy, machinery, tooling, medical, steel, titanium, general industrial as well as aluminum and aluminum recycling. We have customers in nearly 70 countries. Among them are such industrial giants as Bosch, Siemens, Valeo, General Electric, Honeywell, Ford, Volkswagen and Rolls-Royce,” says Mr Pawel Wyrzykowski, chief executive officer of SECO/WARWICK Group. The company employs around 1000 people worldwide. Half of them are engineers, 25 per cent are workers and the remaining 25 per cent is administration. The group’s annual sales are estimated at PLN 500 million (around €113 million). The first quarter 2016 net revenues from sales of products, goods and materials amounted to almost PLN 136 million (around €31 million). 116 Industry Europe

Where science meets business In the field of heat treatment SECO/WARWICK has a reputation for its innovative approach. “Innovation along with the group’s global position in the world are the two main factors that define our strategy of operation. Thanks to a state-of-the-art R&D division equipped with a metallography laboratory, and cooperation with the leading academic centres in Poland and abroad, we can provide the kind of innovative solutions that other companies are unable to offer,” says Mr Wyrzykowski. SECO/WARWICK cooperates closely with technical universities, research centres and research institutes around the world. It is actively pursuing cooperation programmes with the technical universities in Lodz and Poznan, with the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology in Warsaw, Institut für Metallformung TU Bergakademie in Freiberg, Germany, Technical University in Warsaw, Central South University in China and the National Research Saratov State University in Russia. This intensive cooperation brings new technologies and solutions used in the heat treatment processes around the world. These innovations include the entire production process, advanced control systems and machines that ensure the continuity of maintenance, reliability and the ability to change the configuration depending on the needs and expectations of a user.

Ecotitanium and graphene SECO/WARWICK’s high standard of innovation and its ability to transfer scientific theories into industrial production processes enable it to work on projects to the highest level of technical sophistication. Recently SECO/WARWICK Europe, together with RETECH Systems (USA) signed a contract for the delivery of a comprehensive melt shop equipment package to the first European aviation-grade titanium recycling plant, Ecotitanium, Saint-Georges-de-Mons in France. The full scope of delivery will comprise three metallurgical units: one plasma arc melting furnace (PAM), two vacuum arc remelting furnaces (VAR) and accompanying equipment. This project will provide the aerospace indus-


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ASTOR Sp. z o.o. ASTOR od niemal 30 lat wspiera podnoszenie efektywności procesów w przemyśle, produkcji oraz infrastrukturze, dostarczając nowoczesne technologie w obszarach automatyki przemysłowej i robotyki, systemów IT oraz wiedzę biznesową i techniczną w formie szkoleń (Akademia ASTOR) i konsultacji (ASTOR Consulting). Zadowoleni klienci 4000+

Specjaliści ASTOR 100+

Partnerzy 1000+

W portfolio ASTOR znajdują się systemy sterowania GE Automation & Controls i Horner APG, oprogramowanie przemysłowe Wonderware, roboty przemysłowe Kawasaki i Epson, produkty do bezprzewodowej transmisji danych SATEL Oy oraz falowniki, panele HMI i urządzenia sieciowe własnej marki Astraada. Firma posiada 7 oddziałów w całej Polsce. Wszystkim działaniom, które prowadzi firma przyświeca wizja, aby polska myśl inżynierska i menedżerska była szanowana w Polsce i na świecie. Dlatego też ASTOR wspiera polską edukację, inicjuje programy dydaktyczne, badawcze, organizuje cykle szkoleń. W głównej siedzibie firmy – ASTOR Technology Park, funkcjonuje pierwsza w Europie interaktywna, dostępna dla kontrahentów, studentów, przedstawicieli świata naukowego i turystów, wystawa robotyki i technologii IT – ASTOR Innovation Room, w której odbywają się testy, pokazy i szkolenia. ASTOR jest wieloletnim członkiem Business Centre Club oraz zdobywcą wielu nagród zarówno polskich, jak i międzynarodowych, m.in. prestiżowego tytułu „Ten, który zmienia polski przemysł”, Medalu Europejskiego czy tytułu Innovatora Małopolski 2014.

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Kaczmarek Electric SA Firma Kaczmarek Electric SA to ogólnopolska sieć hurtowni elektrotechnicznych - jeden z krajowych liderów rynkowych z ponad 70 oddziałami, hurtowniami oraz elektromarketami w całym kraju. Oferujemy specjalistyczne artykuły dla elektroinstalatorów, służb utrzymania ruchu, klientów z sektora przemysłowego, energetycznego i budowlanego. Oferta produktów i rozwiązań dla branży przemysłowej już od lat jest jedną z naszych najmocniejszych stron ze względu na dostępność asortymentu oraz wsparcie techniczne, którego udzielamy. Służymy fachową pomocą w doborze produktów z zakresu automatyki, a także wsparciem w przygotowaniu rozwiązań aplikacyjnych, przy wykorzystaniu dostępnych w naszej ofercie produktów i narzędzi światowych liderów w segmencie automatyki przemysłowej.

Metal Work Pneumatic Metal Work is an Italian company specialised in the production of pneumatic components for automation systems. Established in 1967 , has gradually extended its structure and production range to become a market leader. We currently market five separate product ranges: actuators, valves, FRL units, fittings and handling/robotic components, all of which appear in our 1000-page catalogue. The main production plant is located in north Italy, Concesio near Brescia, and the group now has a total workforce of over 1000 . Metal Work obtained ISO 9001 quality certification in 1992, followed by ISO 14001 in 2000 and OHSAS 18001 since 2007 . Almost all Group.s Companies worked in one integrated ERP by SAP. Product distribution and technical assistance are handled by over 40 branches in Italy and abroad that are in direct daily contact with the market and provide a capillary service. Product quality and an efficient sales organisation are the corner stones on which Metal Work firmly rests ones which enable it to meet the diverse needs of pneumatic automation.

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Parker Hannifin Parker Hannifin is a leading global manufacturer of innovative motion and control technologies for a wide variety of possible industrial applications and applied media. The range includes components and systems of technologically advanced hydraulics, pneumatics, electromechanical drives, filtration, fluid connectors and seals. Our cooperation with SECO / WARWICK is mainly focused on hydraulic drives used in metallurgical production lines. The range of Parker’s products can successfully expand the application possibilities. We provide a ready-made solution, after a very thorough consultation with the SECO / WARWICK design offices. Noteworthy are the drives with precise positioning systems for lifting, moving, and rotating of highly inert objects. Parker is also a manufacturer of proven technical solutions, which provide basic media used by the SECO / WARWICK advanced technological lines. Parker Hiross is a recognized supplier of equipment for water cooling - industrial chillers used in closed and open water systems. The Parker’s range includes nitrogen gas generators, which are devices that make nitrogen from compressed air on the premises of the factory. Nitrogen is commonly used to displace the oxygen in heat treatment furnaces. Parker can provide systems for the production of nitrogen from compressed air, which replace the expensive installation of tanks for liquid nitrogen in a number of heat treatment processes. An extremely wide Parker’s range allows to perform innovative projects for the industry.

Parker Hannifin Sales Poland Sp. z o.o. ul. Równoległa 8, 02-235 Warszawa tel. +48 22 573 24 00 e-mail: warszawa@parker.com www.parker.com/pl

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try with a new supply channel, independent of American and Russian sources, giving it better control over its sourcing of titanium, a strategic raw material for the sector. The company is also involved in a project for the industrial production of graphene, a unique material some refer to as a ‘gateway to the future’. Graphene is an allotrope of carbon in the form of a two-dimensional, atomic-scale, honeycomb lattice, in which one atom forms each vertex. Graphene has many exceptional properties: It is about 100 times stronger than the strongest steel, conducts heat and electricity efficiently and is nearly transparent. The Institute of Electronic Materials Technology (ITME) in Warsaw, Poland has started to produce a high quality, large format graphene on a reactor designed and manufactured by SECO/WARWICK in cooperation with ITME. The construction of the equipment was co-financed by The National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR) under the ‘Grafmet’ project. “The graphene obtained by using SECO/WARWICK’s SuperCarb® solution is a product with a wide range of applications. We have also developed a manufacturing technology for the functional nanocomposite GRAPH ROLL, based on polycrystalline graphene and intended for reversible hydrogen storage. It can revolutionise the automotive industry, since GRAPH ROLL allows for the possibility of safe storage of large quantities of hydrogen, which is used to propel the experimental cars of the future. Although the industrial use of graphene is rather a question for the future, SECO/WARWICK is already involved in this most exciting and technologically advanced project. This is because we see our business activity from a long-term perspective,” concludes Mr Wyrzykowski. n www.secowarwick.com

Paweł Wyrzykowski - Chief Executive Officer (SECO/WARWICK Group) Paweł Wyrzykowski joined SECO/WARWICK Group in 2011 as CEO. In his current role, Mr. Wyrzykowski is managing all global activities, creating and implementing the strategy and coordinating all SECO/WARWICK Group business units. He completed graduate work in the School of Foreign Trade at the Warsaw School of Economics. In 1992-1998, he worked for the Creditanstalt group in Vienna and Warsaw. In 1998, he was employed by the Pfleiderer AG group, a leading manufacturer of engineered wood panels. In 1998-2001, Mr. Wyrzykowski was the Chief Financial Officer and a member of the management board of Pfleiderer Grajewo S.A., becoming president of the company’s management board in 2003. He served as member of the management board of Pfleiderer AG of Neumarkt in Germany, where he, among others, served as the Chairman of some subsidiaries, such as Grajewo and PERGO (2009-2011).

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CLEAR INSPIRATION Press Glass SA is a European market leader in the manufacture of insulated glass units for a broad range of industries. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to see strong growth and to increase its market share throughout Europe.

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ress Glass SA began its operations in Poland in 1991 and within ten years had established itself as the number one producer of insulated glass units in the country. In 2001 it embarked on an export sales drive and invested in the building of new state-ofthe-art production plants in Poland. At the same time Press Glass expanded its product portfolio in order to move into new market sectors. After 20 years of operation the company’s production capability has reached over four million square metres of insulated glass units per year. In 2015 Press Glass SA recorded sales of more than €130 million.

Advanced technological processes The company’s high-tech plants are equipped with 17 production lines, where insulated glass units are made utilising six tempering furnaces. Every day Press Glass produce over 20,000 square metres of insulated glass units. In its warehouses there are over 400 stands designed for its jumbo-sized glass panels. In order to guarantee the top quality of its products, only the most advanced equipment is used and is made by the most reputable manufacturers. Particularly advanced technological processes are carried out on its Benteller production lines for its laminated glass

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products and the company uses Scholz autoclaves and Burkle, Tesoma and Diptech for the manufacture of printed enamelled glass. Press Glass works in close partnership with its suppliers to help define the on-going development and optimisation of its processes. The company participates in the testing and implementation of new equipment and technologies. On the basis of these new innovative

technologies, the company constantly upgrades and modernises its machinery park. As an independent company Press Glass is able to offer products from the world’s foremost suppliers, including Saint-Gobain Glass, Pilkington, Euroglass, Rolltech, Technoform and Fenzi, among many others.

Maximising glazed frames Press Glass recently made major investments in new technology in order to increase the maximum size of its glazed panels available to its customers. This was to enable the construction of even larger glazed frames without the traditional divisions. All single glass and insulated glass units are now available in the new dimension of 7000mm X 3200mm. Glass in such large dimensions can be used in the most modern construction projects where the designs require a large glazed space without the usual divisions. Each type of production process at the company’s facility in Radomsko, Poland had been upgraded to offer the new range of sizes. These new glass products are available in annealed, heat treated, annealed laminate and heat treated laminated constructions on clear or digitally printed variants. Until now Press Glass had offered glazed units in the range of 6000mm X 2800mm, making the new glass panels 25 per cent larger. Even more impressive increases have been recorded with glass for digital printing, where the previous maximum dimensions were 3700mm X 2600mm respectively.

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TECHNOFORM GLASS INSULATION Is the specialist for thermal optimized hybrid spacers for insulating glass made of polypropylene and stainless steel as the basis for optimum U-values for the warm edge. Founded in 1998 in Kassel (Germany) and member of the German Technoform Group, founded in 1969, Technoform Glass Insulation innovates, develops and manufactures durable thermal improved edge bond solutions and special components for its customers and markets. The company’s significant growth and the increased market share of warm edge has enabled Technoform Glass Insulation to be a strong partner to customers all over Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Unique response Press Glass operates four modern manufacturing facilities in Poland which in total cover more than 64,000 square metres of productive floor space. Their location, capacity, range of certifications and product range enables Press Glass to offer a unique response to the changing needs of the marketplace. Each plant specialises in the production of a different range of products and meets different spec-

TES Technika Emalia Szkło TES Technika Emalia Szkło was established in 2000. From the beginning our production is based on products of Johnson Matthey Advanced Glass Technology, which is the leader among companies producing materials for glass decoration. We are experienced professionals with profound and detailed theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of technical service. We produce high quality glass enamels in pastes. Many colours according to RAL System, Pantone and NCS are available. Moreover, TES also specializes in matching colours with colour patterns from particular customers.Our rich offer satisfies our customers and meets the needs of the market.

ifications and demands that creates an unrivalled range of options for customers. All Press Glass plants operate under the production management system ISO9001 and the environmental management n system ISO 14001. For further details of Press Glass’s innovative range of products and services visit: www.pressglass.eu

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Amirro specialises in float glass shaping and mirror production. The company is the largest producer of interior mirrors in the Czech Republic and has a strong footing in the EU markets. The management is now seeking to capitalise on new opportunities in the markets of western Europe and secure further growth. Romana Moares reports.

MIRROR SUCCESS

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he Czech company Amirro, founded in its current form in 1992, is the successor to a glass making business that had been in family hands for four generations. In recent years, in the face of cheaper Asian competitors, the management has substantially invested in increased productivity and put a stronger focus on superb quality and flexibility. This resulted in both gaining new, and winning back former, customers and securing a sound position in today’s severely competitive markets in Europe. Seventy per cent of the company’s output is sold in the export markets, primarily in Germany, Austria, Denmark, England, the Netherlands and Russia.

Focus on quality Amirro’s products are suitable for business interiors, homes, bathrooms and decorative purposes. “We are able to meet any customer’s specific and individual requirements ranging from pocket

mirrors to 19 mm thick glass table panel with polished edges,” says Lucie Hronova, the company’s managing director. “We supply primarily large volume simple mirrors and glasses for furniture manufacturers but we are also able to satisfy even the most demanding of technical requirements, such as those from jewellery or luxury glass lighting manufacturers.” She further explains that the company also makes small glass parts and small glass files and has an in-house developed product range of interior mirrors supplied to retail chains throughout Europe. “New technology development is an integral part of our production process – we seek to find more economical procedures and to provide tailor-made solutions, for which no production technology has been available so far. I believe it is precisely the creativity of our technologists as well as the willingness and ability to travel unchartered grounds that distinguish us from our competitors,” Ms Hronova remarks.

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New technologies Amirro has two production plants: the larger one, housing also the company headquarters, is located in Čelákovice near Prague; the smaller of the two, specialising in small parts machining, is located in Uhlířské Janovice. Interestingly, most of the work force are women, and this applies to the company management as well. For raw materials the company uses high quality float glass and glass panels, which meet the highest quality and technology requirements. Amirro technologies include shape cutting and edge shaping by CNC engraving machines, both straight and shaped bevelling, cutting and polishing of edges in various profiles, drilling, hole milling, sand-blasting, screen printing (seriography) and fitting of metal furniture parts with the UV glue. “We have recently invested in new technologies and in the near future plan to invest primarily in staff training including enhancing people’s loyalty to the company – our production involves a high percentage of manual labour and it is our workers who greatly contribute to the company’s good name and excellent reputation,” says Ms Hronova. She emphasises that just as the company’s success depends on its labour force, a reliable haulier is just as important for delivering the brittle goods in a timely and reliable manner to customers throughout Europe. “We have found such reliable partner in Gebrüder Weiss,” she says.

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Seizing new opportunities The managing director further explains that sector development has been good for the company: most of the output is sold to Germany, where demand for mirrors and float glass has been rising sharply in recent years. At the same time, several German glass processors closed down their operations, leaving a gap in the market waiting to be filled. Amirro is not going to miss this opportunity. “We want to sustain the company growth and development. At the same time, we aim at creating a staff friendly company, where people know each other by name – a company that would provide a good living for its employees and of which we can all be proud,” says Ms Hronova. “I would like to make sure that the company is in a sound condition for my children to take over when the time comes, so that the glass making tradition continues for further generations.” n Amirro is well on its way towards this objective.

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BETTER LIVING BY DESIGN Brabantia is a European market leader in the design and manufacture of a wide range of stylish houseware products. Philip Yorke talked to Christa Alders, the company’s sales director and head of sales for BELUX, about its new corporate style and latest collection of designer products.

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rabantia is a privately owned Dutch company that was established under the name Van Elderen & Co. and is an iconic household brand throughout Europe. It was founded in Aalst in the Netherlands in 1919 and initially the company specialised in sheet metal fabrication. The name Brabantia is derived from the province of North Brabant and was an early Van Elderen trading name. Brabantia offers a wide range of more than 500 homeware products in 4 distinct categories: waste storage, food enjoyment (food preparation & storage), laundry care (ironing & drying) and bathroom accessories. Today the company has four production units employing over 1000 people across 90 countries and has an annual turnover of more than €100 million.

Inspired design This year Brabantia announced the global launch of its ‘Designed for living’ programme in order to achieve its transformation into an inspiring interior design brand. Since its foundation the company has been committed to producing elegant and stylish houseware products but now it has decided to build upon this reputation with the introduction of the next generation of innovative designer products. Supporting this evolution into a major interior design brand, consumers can expect an entirely new look and feel with a fresh, redesigned logo, attractive lifestyle photography, contemporary colour-palettes and carefully considered detail. Christa Alders, Brabantia’s sales director, said, “We appointed Tijn Van Elderen as our new CEO in 2014 and so a new strategy was born to re-invent the company to be more interior-design led and to partner with some of the biggest names in the interior design business. We therefore

embarked on the design of a new logo, new products and new packaging. The re-launch also helped to market our brand as an impulse buy that offered not only tasteful design but also durability and sustainability. “We have four distinct product categories and have stepped away from some products, such as letterboxes, which are now produced by third parties. Our fastest growing segment is laundry care where we see strong demand for our new rotary dryers. We are also planting a tree for every rotary dryer purchased to enhance our sustainability programme. Furthermore, we are helping our consumers with their waste solutions and have some exciting new products that were launched at the Ambiente Frankfurt Trade Show in February this year (2016).” Alders added, “We operate four main production facilities, two of which are based here in Belgium with another in China, located close to Hong Kong, and another in Latvia, where our rotary dryers and ironing boards are manufactured. Our main markets remain western Europe; however, as a global player we have an international network of exclusive distributors, which means that there is only one approved distributor in each country. We are increasing our presence in the US as well as in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. “We are constantly designing unique, innovative products; we communicate with our end users and are a very consumer driven company. We also offer our retailers a constant stream of value- added promotions and in-store display and merchandising material which is delivered and installed by our sales teams and fully trained distributors. As a family-owned company, we tend to see our customers as part of our extended family, which in turn means that we always do our best to look after their interests and their profitability.”

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CEO Van Elderen commented, “Our aim is to enrich the quality of life for our customers with beautiful interior-designed products that make daily chores a pleasure. Our transformation to a global interior design brand was the next logical step for us, helping us to inspire and delight our customers. ‘Designed for living’ is an amazing opportunity to really make a difference.”

Retro-inspired As part of its commitment to bringing trend setting interior designs to its consumers, Brabantia has partnered with the ‘Queen of Prints’, the famous Irish Designer Orla Kiely. Well known for her retro-inspired lifestyle collections, which includes everything from ready-to-wear clothes to furniture, Kiely has teamed up with Brabantia to design a print for its latest designer waste bin. As a result, her world-famous stem design has now taken root on Brabantia’s iconic retro bin. The

spring and leaf motif is available in cream on charcoal with an orange lid, and charcoal on cream with a yellow lid. Orla said, “Brabantia is a company that I have admired for many years. Their products are of a high quality and very functional. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with them. We have added some fun to an object that we use every day. I would be very happy to have one of the bins in my own kitchen at home.” The retro bin is much more than a pretty design: it is smart both inside and out. Open the lid with a light tap on the pedal and watch it close smoothly and silently. It’s quiet and easy to use and you don’t need to touch the lid to open the bin. It also comes with a n 10-year guarantee. For further information about Brabantia’s innovative interior design products and services visit: www.brabantia.com

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NATURALLY PERFECT PORCELAIN LUBIANA SA is Poland’s leading porcelain factory. It is also the main part of the PORCELAIN GROUP, which is the largest group of that kind in Europe. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.

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UBIANA was founded in 1969 in the small town of Lubiana. In 1992 it was transformed into a joint-stock company with the State Treasury as a single shareholder. Three years later, under the General Privatisation Programme, the company’s shares were located by the State Treasury in the National Investment Funds. In 2002 the majority shareholding (90.7 per cent) was sold to WISTIL SA, a silk company from Kalisz. The next year, LUBIANA started to build its own group. It took over the 99.41 per cent share previously owned by Porcelana Chodziez SA, then in 2012 it completed the acquisition of the Z.P. Cmielow Limited Liability Company. Both Cmielow and Chodziez have a long tradition in the manufacturing of high quality porcelain (Cmielow was founded in 1790 and Chodziez in 1852). The group also consists of the following companies: Limko, a manufacturer of decal; Lubiana-Hurt, which is the china, glass and cutlery wholesaler; and Lubeko, a sewage specialist. LUBIANA also owns a carton producer.

Porcelain for every taste “LUBIANA is a well-organised, modern organisation with more than 1460 employees. We have achieved a very high quality and wide range of products, with more than 2000 assortments for catering and domestic use. We offer around 80 styles, both in regular (round) and irregular shapes. Annually, we introduce 150 new products. Our range of decorations includes about 3000 proposals for different designs prepared by domestic and foreign designers. We have been closely cooperating with designers from Italy and Germany. We are capable of carrying out short-term orders, both for small batches of goods and for large projects placed with us by such big networks. We also accept orders for products with individual decorative designs and logos (for instance, for the HORECA sector),” says Zbigniew Andrzejewski, LUBIANA president. The group’s annual production capacity reaches 20,000 tonnes and it makes 4 million pieces of porcelain a month. With exports accounting for almost 70 per cent of Lubiana’s total sales, its products have been

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delivered to 42 countries around the world. The largest foreign markets are Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, the USA, Canada, Brazil, Dominican Republic and Mexico. LUBIANA Porcelain is also appreciated by global VIPs: “Recently, we delivered 200 sets of porcelain to the aircraft fleet of the King of Spain. The Air Force Two, the aircraft carrying the US vice-president, has also been equipped with porcelain sets from LUBIANA,” points out Mr Andrzejewski.

Modern technology, experienced people LUBIANA manufactures white hard porcelain. It applies two kinds of high-temperature burning: the first, so-called biscuit burning, at 1000º C; the second, so-called sharp burning, at 1400º C. Such production process ensures high thermal strength, resistance to

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mechanical damage and high glaze hardness. There are also two methods used for the decoration process: the first involves embedding the decoration in enamel at 1250–1270ºC, so burnt decorations have a very long life; the second is known as ‘on-enamel decoration’, in which the burning process is performed at 780–820º C. This method is applied mainly to decorations with gold and platinum. Production is carried out using the world’s most advanced machines, such as isostatic presses, pressure die casting and mechanical glazing devices, the energy saving Riedhammer and Grün kilns and the in-glaze decoration burning kilns. The in-glaze kilns (1260°C) allow for the manufacture of products suitable for microwave ovens and dishwashers. LUBIANA uses standardised imported raw materials: kaolin from the UK, Germany, and the Czech Republic; feldspars from Nor-


way and the Czech Republic; quartz from Norway and Germany; and plasticisers and fluxing agents from Germany. “Our partners and collaborators are reliable companies that can provide us with adequate raw materials and spare parts, as well as good logistics and services. It is worth saying, however, that the highly specialised tools we use in the production process are made by us. We have set up the ‘Implementation Centre’ specialising in the design and production of tools for isostatic pressing, pressure die casting and other forming technologies. The Centre is equipped with computer-aided design systems linked with numerically controlled machine tools. On average, we introduce a new product to the production line every three days,” says Mr Andrzejewski.

Porcelain in irregular shapes is in high demand and forces the company to invest in specialised presses and brush machines. “Generally, customers all over the world expect products with novel shapes and high quality at the same time. Such an effect can only be achieved by using the advanced technology. First and foremost, we offer our customers products of the highest quality, which are also friendly and safe to use. For us it is both: a mission and a continuous challenge. We put a lot of knowledge, technology, and a lot of heart into our products. The LUBIANA porcelain has been produced in a very modern way, but it is n also the work of many people,” concludes Mr Andrzejewski. http://www.lubiana.com.pl/

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FINISH YOUR BATHROOM IN STYLE

The Polish Rovese Group is a leading manufacturer and distributor of products for finishing and equipping bathrooms, including: sanitary ceramic products, ceramic tiles, shower cubicles, acrylic bathtubs and shower trays, bathroom furniture and accessories. Piotr Sadowski reports.

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ovese Group was established in 1998, when it became the owner of the Cersanit brand and its factory in Krasnystaw in Poland. Over the next few years the business was intensively developed, with the opening of subsequent production factories both in Poland (including in Starachowice and Wałbrzych), as well as abroad. In 2007 Rovese Capital Group became the owner of the Opoczno brand, which in turn strengthened its position among ceramic tile manufacturers not only on the Polish market, but worldwide too. It is also important to note that since 1998 Rovese SA has been trading on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Currently, sales are separated into five geographic regions, working with three DIY distribution channels.

Strong market position Today, the Rovese Capital Group is the leading manufacturer of bathroom equipment and accessories in Europe. It owns 11 modern factories and production facilities located in Poland, Russia, Romania, Germany and Ukraine. In terms of its manufacturing capacity and output, it is the sixth largest producer of ceramic tiles in the world and the tenth in the area of bathroom ceramics. In 2015 its turnover was PLN 1.9 billion. “We are very proud of our scale of operations, which has grown from a Polish enterprise to a European one – confirmed by the fact that 70 per cent of sales are generated outside of the country,” says Dariusz Bogoń, sales director for the Central region: Poland and the Baltic States. “What certainly differentiates the offer of Rovese

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Capital Group is its complexity – a very wide portfolio which allows us to offer clients and consumers a complete range of products for equipping bathrooms, as well as ceramic tiles in the most attractive formats and diverse applications.” Another important advantage of the company’s offer is its complete series of bathroom fittings, which are stylistically coherent and respond to the very specific needs of consumers in terms of design, functionality and hygiene in a bathroom. These include, for example,

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the Pure, Easy series in the Cersanit brand, or the new ceramic-furniture series designed in the urban style under the Opoczno brand. “The group is also continuously developing new technologies and translating them into innovative products, with the best examples being the rim-free CleanOn bowls, introduced to the market in 2015,” adds Mr Bogoń. “I should also point out that our range of products destined for export is identical to the assortment produced in our factories.”


All Rovese’s products are highly valued by both clients and consumers. Nevertheless, it is true that the most popular products within both of the brands, Cersanit and Opoczno, are ceramic tiles, and make up over 60 per cent of the overall sales. Recently, there has also been a growing demand for large ceramic tiles, up to 25x75 cm.

Growth strategies When assessing the company’s growth and development, it is obvious that the great business successes of Rovese Capital

Group are in part the result of very effective and robust cooperation with trustworthy and reliable business partners and suppliers. “However, it would be very difficult to mention all of our very important trading partners, as all of our sales channels are equally important to us and we want to continue our cooperation with everyone,” stresses Mr Bogoń. In the near future Rovese Capital Group will be primarily concentrating its attention on Eastern markets. In terms of the product offer, the group plans to develop new, larger formats of ceramic tiles and technologies; an example of this can already be seen in the 2-centimetre Solid 2.0 porcelain tiles. The company is continuously developing and expanding its portfolio and entering new product categories: for example, last year the offer was increased to include bathroom fittings, which in turn enriched the Cersanit brand on the Central market. Over the coming years Rovese will be introducing this new category to other markets. At the same time, the Opoczno brand is being developed and expanded, focusing mainly on products from high-end market segments. “We aim to enter higher-end market segments with our products,” adds Mr Bogoń. “In Poland we are developing the central storage facility, which in turn will strengthen the availability of our products for all of our trading partners. In new products we want to mainly shift attention towards larger formats in modern design and expand the ceramics portfolio. The emerging aesthetic and colour trends, and new technologies, are a continuous inspiration n for ongoing development.”

Zakład Tworzyw Sztucznych “ArtGos” S.A. “ArtGos” Joint Stock Company is a leading manufacturer of plastic products: toilet seats and various household goods, as well as garden, construction, furniture and kids’ accessories. The company places a great emphasis on modern technological processes and innovation, which are demonstrated by the products that distinguish themselves from the competition as originally and modernly designed. This is possible thanks to the team of passionate people focused on the permanent progress. The company continues to invest in further development of the machine park: in modern injection molding machines and the equipment, which enables to take specialized tooling services. The company’s great advantage is well expanded product development department involved in the design of products and molds. The company successfully executes the B2B orders. High levels of both manufactured products and other actions taken by the company is guaranteed by the certified quality management system according to ISO 9001: 2008. The company focuses on continuous technological progress and achieves the success by offering products and services in line with the customers’ needs and expectations. Visit: www.artgos.pl

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FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP The Polish company Relaks has been supplying customers with the highest quality mattresses, boxsprings and upholstered beds in Poland and throughout Europe for 18 years. It is part of the international capital group Fey & Co, which was founded in 1926. Piotr Sadowski reports.

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he opening of its first factory in Śliwice in 1998 launched Relaks’s production in Poland. Only two years later the decision was made to expand its manufacturing space and in 2002 the Relaks Mattresses Factory was opened in the town of Topole near Chojnice. This location, in an area of outstanding natural beauty, obliges the company to respect strict ecological and environmental protection norms. In 2007 the production space was expanded further while the breakthrough moment came when Relaks launched the production of continental and upholstered beds. Since then the company has been recording continuous dynamic growth. Today, Relaks operates from three locations in Poland and employs around 400 people. The main headquarters are located in Topole, where the final product is completed. Apart from upholstery and mattress production, this factory is fitted with a storage facility for raw materials and finished products, along with a logistical centre. In Chojnice and Śliwice the company has sewing departments, which sew covers for mattresses and beds.

Strong focus on exports Relaks is a truly European enterprise. While its core operations – management, logistics, production – are carried out from Poland, exports are also extremely important for the company. Overseas sales reach over PLN 100 million per annum, which makes up over 80 per cent of the overall turnover. Exports are predominantly to Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, where both mattresses and beds are offered to customers. Relaks is also involved in various EU co-financing programmes related to

cooperation with job centres to employ people up to the age of 30 and over 50 years. In addition, EU financing is used for work experience placements, intervention works, and retrofitting and fitting of work stations – the latter enabling the company to purchase specialist machinery. Apart from its strong exports, there are also a number of other factors which differentiate Relaks from its competitors, the most important of which are: professional customer service, short turnaround times on completing orders and a high percentage of fully satisfied clients. Add to this its many years of experience, very precise workmanship and the use of the best, carefully selected materials and it’s easy to see why the products manufactured by Relaks have become a renowned for their comfort and quality.

Keeping up with market trends There is strong demand on the Polish market for upholstered beds and mattresses. The majority of clients focus on the traditional sleeping system, which is made up from a bed, rack and mattress. There has been a noticeable shift in this market in that clients have been moving away from popular pocket mattresses towards solutions which offer higher utility parameters, such as highly-elastic and thermo-elastic foams. In particular, its thermo-sensitive products are rapidly becoming the company’s biggest-selling line in Poland. The situation looks very different in western Europe, where clients mainly purchase continental beds which are already fitted with a mattress. These beds are higher, built from several elastic layers and are, therefore, more comfortable than upholstered beds.

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Strong cooperation and future development Relaks is a dynamic and modern company. For many years it has been offering its products in the largest furniture chain stores in Poland and Europe, jointly creating the trends on the furniture market. It also offers special products for hotels and guesthouses, or products such as mattresses for maritime passenger ferries. However, at the same time, the company does not neglect its retail clients and smaller stores. The company has a large portfolio of business partners both in Poland and abroad. By cooperating with many suppliers it is able to reduce the risk of delays and is therefore well-known on the market for its reliable

delivery service. It is continuously looking for new solutions and markets from which it will be able to source the highest quality products. This year Relaks began work on a new extension of to its production and storage area, as well as offices, in Topole. When completed, the area should be extended by almost 4500m2. With this enhanced production capacity, Relaks is hoping to conquer new markets in countries where it has not previously operated (such as France, the Middle East and Asian countries); to this end, in May this year the company participated in a furniture trade convention in Dubai. Another important driver of growth for Relaks for the near future will n be the vertical consolidation of production.

AGRO International GmbH & Co. KG Relaks and AGRO have been business partners for more than 13 years. AGRO is considered to be a reliable supplier for both Bonnell and pocket innerspring systems. Referring to its core values, AGRO strongly focuses on high quality and durability of its products, as well as customer-oriented service and future-oriented sustainability. Furthermore, within the business relationship with Relaks – a company that follows trends of specific markets in a highly purposeful way – AGRO proves to be a supplier offering a high range of different comfort levels and satisfying exactly the particular market requirements.

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CREATING YOUR HOME JITONA is the largest Czech producer and exporter of furniture. Its history goes back nearly a hundred years but its current strong position in the European marketplace is the result of superb quality and original design which enhances the beauty of wood in all of its forms and shapes. Romana Moares reports.

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F

ounded in 1920, JITONA is a successor of renowned furniture producers Tusculum Rousínov and UP Brno. The latter became the largest company of its kind in Europe in the pre-war period. Having gone through a number of organisational and ownership structures over the years, today’s JITONA, employing 600 people in two large production facilities (in Třebíč and Klatovy), is a modern, effective Czech company, supplying demanding customers in many countries. A significant milestone in the recent company history came in the late 1990s when JITONA entered into a strategic partnership with IKEA. Currently JITONA is one of the five largest suppliers of veneered furniture for IKEA in Europe and is even the sole manufacturer of some of the product ranges worldwide. Exports account for 95 per cent of turnover. Key markets for direct sale include Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark and Austria, but various furniture units made in the Czech Republic may be found throughout the world as part of the IKEA offering.

Two plants Each factory has its own production focus. The Klatovy plant houses the mass production of the ready-to-assemble veneered lines, with transparent UV varnish and stained shades, supplied to IKEA. “The furniture is made according to IKEA’s designs. Total output increased last year and we expect a similar development in 2016,” says Vojtěch Hejduk, the Strategic Purchasing Manager.

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“Last year, sales increased by 15 per cent and we expect a similar, or greater, increase in 2016.” The expected increase has been supported by investment in technology upgrades. The factory in Třebíč makes solid-wood and partially solid-wood bedroom, living room and dining room furniture according to JITONA’s own design or as required by individual customers. Most of these products are exported to the EU markets (Germany, Denmark, the UK), directly to furniture retailer chains. At the beginning of 2016, a new coating line was installed in the Třebíč plant to support increased demand. “Recently we launched production of a new product, slightly outside our traditional range – plywood speaker boxes for Bosch – and this product line seems very promising,” says Mr Hejduk, adding that production volumes are expected to increase. Production for Bosch is concentrated in a new specialised hall, which the company built specifically for this customer.

Meeting customer preferences Each year JITONA launches several new products and continuously improves its services which is, in this segment riddled with severe competition, a must. The key to success is, according to the Strategic Purchasing Manager, a detailed monitoring of market development and design trends, as well as following the changes in customers’ requirements and preferences. The range of products is extensive, from various plywood items to high quality solid wood pieces for the upmarket customers. “We


have a number of renowned customers, such as the Huelsta Group in Germany, or Argos and B&Q in the UK,” says Mr Hejduk. He explains that market develoments have a significant impact on the company’s focus. “JITONA traditionally made mostly solid wood furniture for the high segment of the market, which is now extremely competitive. Our second business line, veneered furniture, has been affected by falling demand as a result of the rise in laminated furniture. Luckily, we have such a wide range of production technologies that we can cope very well with these changes,” he says.

Facing the future One of the factors contributing to JITONA’s success is its flexibility and readiness to accomodate changes, both in terms of technologies and customer preferences. “We can design and manufacture precisely what the customer wants,” confirms Mr Hejduk.

In the future, the management will seek to further strengthen the company’s position and increase its market share in its important territories, such as Germany and the UK. “Generally speaking, we will seek to widen our product range and increase customer numbers so that we are well prepared for potential fluctuations in demand for different products. The future seems positive – I believe that quality products will always find their ways to n customers,” concludes Mr Hejduk.

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Jungheinrich is a global leader in the provision of intralogistics products and services. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that continues to expand its global footprint, develop ground-breaking solutions, and set the quality standards for the industry.

DRIVING INTRALOGISTICS

TO NEW HEIGHTS T

he Jungheinrich Group was founded in 1953 during the ‘Golden era’ of German resurgence as the world’s leading engineering powerhouse. Today it ranks among the world’s largest and most respected intralogistics services providers. The company’s portfolio is extensive and includes a comprehensive range of forklift trucks, logistics systems and related services. The group is a one-stop shop for intralogistics solutions, is headquartered in Hamburg and represented worldwide through its own direct sales subsidiaries in 36 countries, as well as through its partner companies in a further 70. Jungheinrich employs almost 15,000 people worldwide, with sales exceeding €2.75 billion in 2015. The group’s shares are traded on the MDAX stock exchange. 148 Industry Europe

New regional facility Jungheinrich recently opened a new regional facility in Shanghai, designed to speed up its spare parts availability in the strategic Asian growth market. The extensive new Shanghai spare parts warehouse houses over 8000 original Jungheinrich spare parts. Customers in China are to be the main recipients initially, however the state-of-theart warehouse will be serving customers in the APAC region in 2017, including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia. Warehouse storage space is planned to be expanded from its current 1500 square metres to over 2000 square metres by the year 2018. “In Europe Jungheinrich has the best parts availability in the industry, offering its customers outstanding services in connec-


tion with its own expansive after-sales service,” explained Tim Strasser, Shanghai project manager for Jungheinrich. “By opening the APAC regional warehouse we have significantly reduced the time-to-market, and this successful European model can now be transferred to the Asian strategic growth market.” The goal he said was to guarantee the supply of spare parts to the APAC region, both in terms of parts sourced in Europe and the spare parts sourced in China. Globally, Jungheinrich has a spare parts availability rate of 98 per cent. The new regional warehouse in Shanghai facilitates faster spare parts availability in the Asia Pacific region and, as a result, faster after-sales service overall.

Innovation showcased at CeMAT At the world’s leading trade fair for intralogistics and supply chain management, CeMAT 2016, Jungheinrich showcased its visionary trends as well as numerous innovations, developments and product advances in the material handling equipment, warehousing and material-flow engineering sectors. The world’s shortest universal stacker, the EMD 115i with Liion technology, was unveiled at CeMat this year. These compact vehicles use the company’s in-house developed lithium-ion batteries, which can be recharged in just 30 minutes to last a complete shift. This newly released series of vehicles are fitted with this latest visionary technology. Then new high-lift truck is designed for use in

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stores and warehouses and is characterised by an extremely compact design and a very small turning circle, whilst being capable of handling loads of up to 1500 kilograms. In addition, Jungheinrich showcased its new narrow-isle truck featuring new motor technology and a vibration damping system. Also on display was its new VNA truck and the IFOY Award Winner: the EKX 5. This combi truck lifts loads up to 1600 kilograms and reaches a height of 17.5 metres. With its optional power module ‘Floor Pro’ with vibration damping for improved performance and enhanced safety on uneven floors, it allows operators to drive 30 per cent faster than with existing models.

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Award-winning innovation In addition to winning the coveted MX award for ‘Product Innovations’, Jungheinrich was also privileged to receive the top award of ‘Best Logistics Brand 2016’. Dr Lars Brzoska, member of Jungheinrick AG’s board of management (Marketing & Sales) accepted the trophy during a ceremony at the ‘Bertelsmasnn Reprasentanz’ Under der Linden 1 in Berlin. “We want to thank all of those who have voted for Jungheinrich. This award is going to motivate me and everybody in the company to keep moving on our successful path as the leading provider of intralogistics solutions and the innovation leader of our industry,” said Dr Brzoska.


It was Jungheinrich’s plant in Landsberg, Germany that was honoured recently for its innovativeness, when it received the MX Award for product innovation. Dr Mare Ehrmann, top manager at the Jungheinrich Landsberg plant, said: “This award is a confirmation of our excellent development work and of the innovative environment at Jungheinrich.”

ing quality and excellent performance award’; SIM Gdynia Holding (Chwaszczyno, Polen) – winner of ‘Outstanding quality and excellent performance award’; and KORDEL Antriebstechnik GmbH (Dülmen) – winner of ‘Outstanding quality and excellent performance award’.

In recognition of excellence

The Jungheinrich Group posted its best results ever in 2015, however these are likely to be eclipsed by the company’s performance in 2016 if the recent positive trend continues. From January 2016 to September orders were up 15 per cent in value and 14 per cent in terms of units, with net sales up by more than 11 per cent. Growth continued to accelerate in the third quarter, which is attributed to increasing demand for material handling equipment in Europe. Dr Volker Hues, CFO of Jungheinrich AG, said: “Jungheinrich’s successful business trend and growth course are continuing on track. We outperformed the market and the competition yet again.” Another positive development for the Jungheinrich Group has been the construction of its new corporate headquarters in Hamburg. The modern five-storey building has a total floor space of more than 18,000 square metres and has been built to the exacting standards of the DGNB Silver Certificate, issued by the German Sustainable Building Council – thus satisfying the most stringent environmental and sustainability requirements. The prestige premises n have also been designed to allow for further future expansion. For more details of Jungheinrich’s innovative intralogistics products and services visit: www.jungheinrich.com

At the Jungheinrich Production Supplier Award 2015 ceremony, held near Moosbgurg, Bavaria, the company sponsored a forum on the future aspects and objectives of its cooperation within the scope of the first Production Supplier Award held in April 2016. This involved workshops and talks about Jungheinrich’s strategy, current developments and projects. The highlight was the supplier award ceremony. A company spokesman said, “As a strong company, we need strong suppliers. Especially quality and reliability are significant parameters for the evaluation of our partner’s performance. The prize was awarded in different categories derived from our main product groups and we congratulate the following winners of the Jungheinrich Production Supplier Award 2015.” For Electronics and Synthetics – Dataschalt (Group Award) Norderstedter Werkstatten; ror Steel Construction – Junior Kuhlkorper, Johann Schleibinger; for Hydraulics and E-drives – ABM-Greifenberger, Voss Fluid; and for Standard Parts – Blickle Rader und Rollen. Winners in previous years include: Möllering Gummi- und Kunststofftechnik GmbH (Norderstedt) – winner of the prestigious Group Award; Wilhelm Böllhoff GmbH & Co. KG (Bielefeld) – winner of ‘Outstand-

Positive developments

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QUALITY AND DIVERSITY IN STEEL Automotive and much more: product diversification is the strategic driver of the Tazzari Group. With a halfcentury of expertise in the world of aluminium casting, the company utilises cutting-edge technological systems. Daniele Garavaglia reports.

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rom Imola, the centre of the Italian motor sports and automotive district and home to top brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati, the Tazzari Group is expanding its global business. The company employs 250 people across six production plants (amounting to a covered area of over 35,000m2), with a consolidated turnover amounting to €44 million. The group comprises two major divisions. The first is Fonderie Alluminio Tazzari SpA, which consists of three companies specialising in: green sand and resin sand aluminium alloys (Fomet); the production of aluminium alloy gravity castings (Shell Casting); and the development of models and prototypes intended for the foundry itself (Modelleria Imolese). The second division, integrated into the company Tecno Meccanica Imola SpA, consists of three enterprises dealing with: mechanical engineering, assembly machines, systems and components for third parties (Tazzari GL); lightweight structural metal and sheet metal working (Tecno-

Lam); and systems for concrete pumping and distribution (Concrete Systems). It also offers innovative production of vehicles and city cars for electrical mobility, marketed under the Zero EM1 brand.

Staying strong “In 2009, when the entire manufacturing world was in the throes of financial crisis, our turnover dropped by more than 50 per cent, plunging below €10 million,” says sales manager Fabio Cardelli. “In 2015, following a deep reorganisation and substantial investments in new technological processes and market strategies, revenues reached and exceeded €27 million.” Not bad for a family business now into its third generation, with 50 years of experience in the aluminium casting industry. “Even in the most difficult times, we have never given up our vision: the manufacture of high-quality products. Our design approach is characterised by a constant focus on the critical aspects of development,

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with the aim of optimising productivity, reliability and quality. We manage the entire project in-house, from prototyping up to mass production. The automation of the melting process, covering both sand and gravity castings in any size, is one of our strongest assets. We can proudly state that we guarantee cutting-edge technical standards in this industry.”

Diverse applications The company’s product range primarily focuses on the needs of its most important target market: automotive. As for its products made from gravity-cast aluminium alloys – such as compressor housings, water pump covers, motorcycle swingarms – nearly 80 per cent are for vehicle applications, including agricultural machinery. The production of sand castings, on the other hand, is far more diversified with application in sectors such as energy distribution, shipbuilding, machine-tool production, automotive and so on.

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Diversification is key to understanding the continued successful expansion of the Imola-based Group, as Cardelli says: “We have always tried to propose customised solutions adapted to the different industrial fields we work with. Even within the automotive world we have so many different end users and, while yesterday our target market was Germany, today we are expanding in Italy too. As far as our products are concerned, we are always focused and specialised in compressors, but we have also developed solutions and useful components for other vehicle parts. Then, a couple of years ago, we started working successfully in the field of agricultural machines – a thriving market especially in emerging countries which require a completely different approach.” The end users of Tazzari’s products include international groups such as Daimler, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and ABB, leading Italian companies such as Ansaldo Energia and Riello, as well as numerous small and mediumsized suppliers of automobile manufacturers and multinationals. The development strategy is well-defined: maintain a high quality production standard, with forward-looking technology and equipment, and maintain ISO 9001 and ISO/TS 16949 certifications in order to ensure the standards and performance demanded by the medium/high-end market. n

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ONE GROUP - MANY

POSSIBILITIES

Metal Technology Group (MTG) is a corporate group consolidating three Bulgarian foundries, specialising in the production of different types of castings. Each member company has its own specific knowledge and production technology. Prior to its establishment in 1997, the three foundries had their own separate and independent activities. However, when Bulgaria’s metallurgical sector was privatised they became part of the holding group. Piotr Sadowski reports.

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TG was founded by Krasimir Dachev, a lawyer who used to work at a state-owned space exploration agency during the Communist years and from 1990 to 1997 headed the corporate finance department at the local International Bank for Trade and Development. “Next year, we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of our activities, which will be an important moment to reflect on the achievements as well as look forward to further development in the coming decades,” says Rossana Dacheva, daughter of Krasimir and executive director and member of the board of directors. “Today, the three companies which form part of MTG – Alucom, Centromet and Ossam – employ around 560 staff and we have more than 4000 products in our portfolio.”

Dynamic exporter MTG’s activities expand over different continents, with customers in more than 20 countries. This is not surprising as MTG is a truly exportorientated company. “We currently export more than 70 per cent of our products, mainly across Europe, but also to more far-flung destinations, such as Mexico or even New Zealand,” explains Ms Dacheva. “In previous years, in fact, the figure was as high as 95 per cent; however, since there is currently a lot of demand from the military industry in Bulgaria,

we are supplying more in that sector on the domestic market.” The competition comes, however, mainly across export markets, although MTG is able to successfully fend off its rivals through its ability to offer its customers sustainable high quality, strict adherence to agreed deadlines and an entire product development lifecycle. The group supplies a number of important industry sectors. Within the energy sector, MTG supplies some of the biggest operators in the world, including renowned names such as ABB, Arvos Group and Siemens. In the water and gas industry, it delivers mainly iron castings with customers including Hawle Group as well as GE. MTG also supplies the railway and automotive industry (in the area of off-highway), as well as the ceramics, food and shipbuilding industries, with products from a range of cast iron materials and centrifugal steel castings for the chemical industry.

Combined strength The three foundries which form part of MTG work through joint collaborations between their own production teams and the customers’ teams. Alucom was established in 1973 and until 1990 supplied aluminium castings for the military, engine trucks and machinebuilding industries in Bulgaria and the countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. Centromet was established in 1977 as

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a scientific-production enterprise and specialises in the production of metal castings created by the method of centrifugal casting. The production range includes parts for the chemical, metallurgical, mining, machine building and other industries. Cylinder liners, furnace rolls, double-layered roller shells and bimetallic items are only part of the wide-ranging product offer from Centromet. Retaining its original activities, the company was privatised in 1999 and joined MTG. Last but certainly not least, Ossam is a sand casting foundry for grey cast iron castings, ductile cast iron castings and austempered ductile iron (ADI) castings. The company is able to manufacture both blank castings and fully-machined parts. Originally, the foundry was created for the casting of malleable cast iron – a material with complex technology that consumed high levels of power in production. From 1985 onwards, Ossam has become the biggest plant for the production of ductile cast iron castings on the Balkan Peninsula. It joined MTG in 1997. “Another important recent achievement in the foundry was a more than €2 million investment, which made Ossam more efficient.” says Ms Dacheva. “The upgraded production began in February this year

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and we are currently in the maintenance and preparation process, which is typical for the scale of such an investment.” It is important to note that in May 2016 Ossam was elected as the ‘Investor of the Year’ for 2015 in the Lovech region of Bulgaria.

Expanding in the future As part of its growth strategy, MTG is developing subcontracting operations with Bulgaria’s neighbouring countries, as opposed to buying up plants. This has proven to be a much more efficient and effective avenue for expansion. “In addition to developing the subcontracting chain, our primary focus is on attracting quality people to our businesses, investing in education and looking for collaborators in this field across different sectors,” concludes Ms Dacheva. “We are also investing in energy efficient technologies and reconstructing production buildings originally created in the 1970s – and thus combining production in one, rather than several, building spaces. We are expanding the range of our key clients and looking forward n to many more successes in the future.”


Robotized laser welding site

SHEET METAL FOR

EVERY OCCASION Belma AS, a company based in Bydgoszcz, Poland, is a specialist in comprehensive sheet metal working. It is the industry leader in central and eastern Europe, and has also built a recognisable brand in the markets of western Europe. This year, the company celebrates its 15th anniversary. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.

The BAS bird’s eye view

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Fully automatic robotic bending

B

elma Accessories Systems is a manufacturer of sheet products of various complexities ranging from simple electrical cabinets, through to telecommunications cabinets, technologically advanced energy enclosures for wind power plants and solar power stations. All the products delivered by this contract manufacturer are customer specific, meeting the individual dimensional and technical requirements of the customer. “The company is located in Poland, one of the world’s most rapidly developing markets. Our products are delivered to the following industries: telecommunications, renewable energy, medical, heating and ventilation, food industry, electromechanical industry, household articles and railway. We already assist our customers in the design stage by providing both technical and design solutions. We develop reference standards and then create the first production batches or complex designs for various industries; all is made according to the requirements of our customers – leading companies who value reliability and high product quality. Our products and details comply with all relevant standards so they work flawlessly in various and often very tough conditions. Our offer is targeted mainly towards big companies that are looking for a reliable partner for comprehensive services in the design and delivery of metal structures with sheets and profiles. Our long experience provides us with strong position both on the Polish and global markets,” says Piotr Sluzynski, president of the board at Belma AS. The company carries out CNC laser and combi laser cutting, coil sheet cutting and bending. Its facilities are equipped with robotised welding stations, production and powder coating lines. It also offers a wide range of sheet metal improvement services and has experience of executing both short production batches and high volume orders. All projects are carried out using Pro/ENGINEER software. 160 Industry Europe

15 years of success Belma AS was founded in 2001, formed from one of the departments of Bydgoskie Zaklady Elektromechaniczne Belma SA (Electromechanical Works in Bydgoszcz). In just a few years the company had earned its reputation as an innovative and strong player on the European market, characterised by dynamic development, implementation of new technologies and exemplary management. As a result, Belma AS has quickly become one of Europe’s leaders in sheet metal working and is known as a reliable partner to its many clients. “We started our business with 120 employees, a few old machines and approximately 7000m2 of production and office space. The first financial year closed with total sales worth €4.7 million. We were hungry for success, committed to the company and heavily involved in its development. A significant number of the people with whom we started to build Belma AS still work with us today. This only proves that commitment and shared passion are the concrete foundations of success,” adds Mr Sluzynski. Today, after 15 years of operation in the market, Belma AS is a completely different company. It employs approximately 750 people, including 35 qualified engineers in the R&D department; it has 25,000m² of surface production and office space; it owns more than 170 modern machines and equipment, mostly robotic or automated; and it has been granted numerous certifications (ISO 9001, ISO 14001, EN ISO 3834-2, EN 15085-2, EN 1090-1 and EN 1090-3). Over the past 15 years Belma AS has invested more than €26 million in modern technologies and the development of its production and storage spaces. Some of this was supported by EU funding. In 2015 the company processed more than 11,000 tonnes of sheet metal (aluminium, stainless steel and steel). Its annual sales in


The automated fiber laser cutting machine

2015 were estimated at more than €50 million (11 times more than in the first year). Approximately 90 per cent of its total sales were exported to the European Union countries. “Our current product portfolio reaches more than 12,000 products that we produce and deliver to our customers in Europe. Our business partners operating on the global markets, such as Siemens AG, SMA AG and Danfoss AS, equip the housings supplied by us in complex and advanced electronics and send them to the whole world: the USA, South America, Japan and countries in Africa,” points out Mr Sluzynski.

Piotr Ślużyński The President of Belma Accessories Systems Sp.z o.o.

Reliable partner No success comes alone: In addition to the company’s own resources, structures and processes it always needs strategic partners. For Belma AS, this includes clients such as Siemens, SMA, Danfoss and many others who demand the highest quality; on the other hand, there are such technology leaders such as Prima-Power, Bystronic, Trumpf or Panasonic, and suppliers of materials such as RBB Stal SA, Nowa Trading SA or RST Roztocze, who support the company in meeting the challenges posed by its customers. Belma AS, of course, is never a company to rest on its laurels. “We are building a new two-tiered production hall and office area of 7200m2, which should be ready to operate in early 2017. Moreover, our investment plan for the next three years is focused on improving the efficiency of processes through their robotisation and machines upgrade to the new generation of higher labour productivity and n lower energy consumption,” concludes Mr Sluzynski. http://www.bas.pol.pl/

The punching process technological line

The “outdoor” multiple access cabinet for broadband Internet

The PU gasketing robot

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Vishva Exim recently participated in the international K-Show Trade Fair, where it showcased its ‘New Age’ Blown Film Extruder: the ABA.

UNIQUE EXTRUSION

SOLUTIONS T

he unique VeloBlow ABA extruder from Vishva Exim 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 60 per cent without degrading either the film quality or its strength. The VeloBlow extruder is known for its energy efficiency claim: ‘More kilos for fewer kilowatts’. At its booth, Vishva was running 60 per cent filler film of 325mm + 75mm + 75mm gussets at 65 KG/HR. The company had many visitors from Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, from whom it received an ‘overwhelming response.’ According to the company: “We achieved excellent exposure through the show; many agents and customers were impressed 162 Industry Europe

with the machine they saw – its output, the strength of the film and versatility of the extruder.” During the show it also introduced an entry-level 3-layer extruder – a high-spec machine for those customers who can’t afford to buy a high-output 3-layer model. This machine offers an output of 110–130 KG/HR on a width of 1.2m. It is capable of producing all kinds of films which the big players can make on their 3-layer extruder. “With this machine,” says Vishva Exim, “the small processers are now able to compete with the big guys.” n

For further details of Vishva Exim’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.vishvaexim.com


Wavin Ekoplastik is a member of the Wavin Group, a major global supplier of plastic piping systems for residential, non-residential and development projects. The company is the largest player in the plastic system sector in the Czech Republic. Romana Moares spoke to Krzysztof Bocek, the company’s executive director, about his plans for further growth.

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avin Ekoplastik s.r.o. is the largest producer of polypropylene (PPR) pipe-work systems for pressurised liquid distribution in the Czech Republic. The most typical areas for the use of the Ekoplastik PPR system are distribution networks for drinking and hot water, and hot water heating. Nevertheless, the system is also suitable for many other uses, including the distribution of coolants, compressed air, gases and liquids; it is also used in agriculture and horticulture. The company has been successfully operating as a plastic system supplier for over 60 years. In 2003, it was acquired by the Wavin Group, which enabled its expansion into further European and global markets. In 2012, Wavin became a member of the Mexichem Group, a global leader in the plastic pipe system sector, employing about 20,000 people worldwide and achieving turnovers of roughly €5.6 billion. The Czech company’s turnover was CZK 1.6 billion in 2015.

“Wavin Ekoplastik is the biggest supplier of plastic systems in the Czech Republic,” says Mr Bocek. “Most of the sales are generated by our own Ekoplastik water and heating distribution systems, manufactured in two locations near Prague. In addition to our own production, we also sell the group’s other products, including those for the distribution of drinking water, rainwater management, wastewater treatment systems, heating and cooling of buildings and similar. Our company has a reputation not only as a supplier of top quality products but also as a provider of excellent technical support and service,” he claims.

Drive for innovation The Wavin Group offers solutions for basic everyday needs, such as the safe distribution of drinking water, sustainable rainwater and wastewater control, as well as for the heating and cooling of buildings. It has a strong track record in innovation, from the world’s first

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PVC pressure pipe in 1955 to the 2013 launch of the world’s first high performance PPr system for Hot & Cold Water supply. “Innovation is our top priority. We introduce truly revolutionary products to the market,” claims Mr Bocek. “I would highlight, for example, the unique multi-layer plastic piping system with reinforced whinstone fibre. The system is very durable and resistant and offers a long service life. We are the only producer and supplier of this system worldwide. Another example of a successful innovative product is the PPR-CT piping system, which now defines a new standard in our sector and brings better parameters including a higher pressure resistance,” he explains. The number of innovative products does not stop here. In early 2016, Wavin introduced a brand new low-noise discharge system – Wavin SiTech+. It is a mineral reinforced polypropylene (PP) water discharge system that is easy to install and reduces the noise of discharge water flow mainly due to its heavier fittings. It is recommended for buildings where reduced acoustics of water flow are required, such as hotels, hospitals, office buildings or residential premises. “In a world where sustainable development and environmental protection play an increasingly important role, manufacturers cannot operate without investing in environmentally friendly technologies and reflecting this aspect into their strategies,” says Mr Bocek, explaining that Wavin Ekoplastik’s complete product range is fully recyclable, with no harmful substances being produced during manufacturing and in subsequent applications. In this context, rainwater and its management has become a hot topic in the piping system sector – the climate is changing, periods of heavy rains alternate with periods of draughts and societies must learn to manage rainwater in a more economical manner. Wavin Ekoplastik is monitoring the trends closely and has come up with an in-house solution for rainwater management: the systems collect, transport and treat water as required. The company also includes retention systems and discharge control systems in its portfolio. 164 Industry Europe

Ahead of competitors Wavin Ekoplastik has become a market leader, and feels the responsibility to set the right example in terms of both quality and technical solutions. “We believe that innovative and high quality solutions are substantially more beneficial for investors than cheap products imported from abroad,” says Mr Bocek. Mr Bocek goes on to say that the Czech market offers only limited opportunities for growth and is suffers from volatile demand and lack of vision in the contraction sector. In 2016, the size of the engineering network sector fell sharply owing to the lack of projects for tender. “Strategically, growth can only be secured by increasing our export market share. Currently, over 50 per cent of total sales are generated in the export markets, capitalising on the fact the Ekoplastik is a globally recognised brand. We have a very strong position in Russia and Ukraine but our products are sold to about 40 countries. At the moment, the fastest growing market for us is China, where we enjoy increasing thanks to the high quality of our products and the preference for European goods.” In the future, innovation will continue to be Wavin Ekoplastik biggest strength. The company is now working on several new products and services to expand its current focus. “We have launched a new website for professionals – Wavinacademy.cz – with a unique zone for developers and project managers to whom we offer, free of charge, a range of software tools specifically developed for ZTI designing. Together with the new pioneering products we have launched, as well as those in the pipeline, this service should help us stay ahead of competitors and secure further growth, both in the domestic and the export markets,” says Mr Bocek. This will be fully in line with the company’s mission to generate continuous value for employees, customers, partners and shareholders, and to be the supplier of choice with a complete, competitive, innovative and n sustainable portfolio.


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DRIVING IN FRONT Scania is a global company, offering sales and services in more than 100 countries. It also offers financial services in many markets, with production units located in Europe, South America and Asia.

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cania is introducing a new truck range, the result of 10 years of development work and investments in the region of $3.1 billion Australian dollars (SEK 20 billion). With the new range, Scania is extending its offering and can now, thanks to its unique modular system, supply more performance stages, connectivity and a comprehensive palette of productivityenhancing services as well as sustainable transportation solutions that are precisely customised for each type of client in the highly competitive transportation industry. The promise is that Scania’s customers will always be able to carry out their work in the most sustainable and profitable way, regardless of industry and area of application. “It is undoubtedly the biggest investment in Scania’s 125-year history,” declares Henrik Henriksson, president and CEO of Scania. “It is with hearts bursting with pride that my colleagues and I are now presenting the products and services that will bring Scania to new levels regarding market shares and carry us far into the next decade. “We are not just launching a new truck range but also a unique, ingenious toolbox of sustainable solutions in the form of products and services that Scania is first in the industry to be able to deliver and I feel I can claim this with confidence. “We are focusing firmly on our main task: to give our customers the necessary tools for achieving profitability in the one business that really means something to them, namely their own.”

New launches

“Our goal is for our customers to be able to achieve sustainable profitability, regardless of assignment type or the conditions in which they work. Our customers’ vehicles always constitute a link within the bigger picture; Scania embraces this through quality, accessibility and a range of physical or connected services. Our new range of products and services redefines the term ‘premium’ within the truck industry.” Scania is launching its new range in phases, with a clear focus on various customer segments and according to a carefully planned schedule. The introductions will continue after the first unveiling in Europe, with more customer options, before the entire process concludes with simultaneous launches on markets outside Europe. Among the improvements Scania is introducing, one that is particularly noticeable is a 5 per cent reduction in diesel fuel consumption, thanks to factors such as improved powertrains and better aerodynamics. The express goal is for at least 40,000 customers and prospective customers to have test driven the new vehicles themselves in connection with the launches, and to have been introduced to Scania’s entire range, covering everything from sustainability optimisation to financing, insurance and maintenance.

The New King Scania has introduced a new top model to its range of truck cabs, in the form of the S-series. Featuring a completely flat floor and maximised interior space, the S-series is the clear choice for those custom-

Production of the new trucks starts immediately at Scania’s final assembly plant in Södertälje. Initially the focus will be on vehicles and services for long-haul transportation, but additional options will be introduced as more Scania plants readjust and additional options emerge. “There is a tremendous amount of development work by our engineers behind this introduction,” emphasises Henrik Henriksson, Scania’s President and CEO. “The most noticeable features are of course the new cabs, but the real innovation is that we are now introducing new technologies, services and insights that will help our customers gain an overview of both their costs and their revenues. Industry Europe 167


ers and drivers with the highest demands for space, ergonomics and comfort. Regardless of which cab Scania customers choose under the new truck range, they’ll receive a more generous allowance of interior space than before. This is partly due to more efficient packing of components and the fact that the interior of the cabs has become a little over 65mm longer, but also because ceiling heights in general have been increased in the new generation. ”The ceiling of the new normal roof height ceiling is 10 centimetres higher than previously,” says Kristofer Hansén, Head of Scania’s Styling and Industrial Design division. “And the higher roof variants are even more spacious, with a difference in ceiling height of 16cm. This, of course, will be especially appreciated by those who both live and work in their vehicles.”

Totally flat floor Sitting at the top of the new truck generation is the new S-cab, which both internally and externally feels like The Biggest. The visibility is amazing, thanks to a larger ¬surface area of glass and a new design of the A-pillars. With its totally flat floor and maximised interior space, the truck is the obvious choice for the most demanding customers and drivers. “We’ve observed how perspectives are constantly changing and how our customers’ demands are increasing,” says Göran Hammarberg, Head of Cab Development at Scania. “Our new S-cab, without a doubt, puts everything that we have previously done in the shade in terms of factors such as comfort, storage, spaciousness, ergonomics and field of vision.” Hammarberg continues, “A user-friendly and ergonomically shaped set of four boarding steps leads up to a workplace that we believe will be loved by every driver who gets the chance to try it.”

Best conditions for sleeping The storage facilities have been expanded with a particular focus on volume and accessibility. The cabin space has been thought through, down to the smallest detail. A wide variety of flexible options regarding storage boxes, shelves, hooks and nets can be chosen, depending on the type of cab, bed choice and other specific needs. The options for choosing a bed are particularly extensive. Both the under and optional upper mattress can be specified in different configurations and performance steps according to individual needs 168 Industry Europe

and comfort requirements. In the S-cab, two 80cm beds can be specified, the lower of which can be extended to 100cm. All beds are equipped with Scania’s most advanced mattresses, and in two-driver operation comfortable and wide beds are available for both drivers. The spacious S-cab is also equipped with extra insulation, and right down to the smallest detail offers extremely well thought-out, comfortable solutions that create the best possible conditions for a good night’s sleep. The flat floor in the S-cab, meanwhile, makes it easy to move about in the cab.

Messaging system As part of the new truck generation, Scania has expanded its investment in connected vehicles, with services that make life simpler for both drivers and transport companies. A messaging ¬system connects the truck directly with fleet management at the fleet operator’s office. Drivers receive assignments, routing information, and pickup and drop-off addresses via a 7-inch touch screen, which also provides infotainment and camera support. The ability to use voice commands to operate the system means that drivers need not take their eyes off the road. “The truck range that we’re now presenting is the result of the work of thousands of people and a very large investment over a number of years,” says Hammarberg. ”We are extremely proud over the results and just dying to tell you in detail about all the new solutions and services for prospective customers.” n


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PIONEERING NEW HORIZONS APL is a leading global ocean shipping carrier that was established in Sweden more than 160 years ago. Today it offers a broad range of modern vessels and dedicated shipping facilities and services. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to expand and develop new technology that not only improves customer services and efficiency, but is also committed to environmental protection. 170 Industry Europe


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PL is one of the world’s most respected and long-established ocean going carriers and provides more than 90 weekly services to call ports in over 50 countries worldwide. APL provides container transportation through its extensive international shipping network, which combines high quality intermodal operations with advanced technology, equipment and e-commerce. Since its first American steamer voyage from New York to the US West Coast during the Californian gold rush, APL has been at the forefront of the global shipping industry. Today APL is part of the CMA COM Group, a leading global shipping Group founded in 1978 by Jacques R. Saade, which has an extensive global presence and a comprehensive ocean going fleet. With more than 160 years’ experience, APL has the knowledge and expertise to help its customers grow their businesses and are also able to negotiate on their behalf in an increasingly complex and everchanging marketplace.

management and protection throughout the voyage. These additional important features distinguish APL’s ground-breaking Smart Temp® technology from all others, and was first launched in 2010. Ng Kar Loke, APL’s head of Special Cargo, said, “As a leading and trusted reefer expert that shippers have counted on for decades to carry their exports across the globe, APL deploys only the best reefer solutions that protect cargo integrity during every APL voyage. We

Pioneering smarter satellite tracking Efficiency and innovation have gone hand-in-hand with APL since its foundation. The company’s latest innovative contribution to shipping was announced earlier this month in Singapore. Taking live monitoring of reefer cargoes beyond temperature and humidity tracking, the company is introducing real-time oxygen and carbon dioxide monitoring capabilities to its pioneering satellite tracking systems. Smart Temp® is designed to offer customers a more well-rounded visibility for precise cargo Industry Europe 171


will continuously innovate through our broad range of Smart reefer technologies in order to deliver increased customer value. The current enhancements of APL’s ‘Smart Temp’ technology clearly demonstrate our commitment to go the extra mile by empowering our customers with real-time cargo data, which they can rely on for optimal supply chain management efficiency.” The live monitoring of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels comes in most useful for cargoes filled with delicate items. A popular application for several premium food shipments, this atmospheric control solution manipulates oxygen and carbon dioxide levels within the reefer containers to preserve the qualities and prolong the postharvest life of these high-value cargoes.

Expanding Trans-Atlantic coverage On 16 September this year, APL announced its launch of the Atlantic Gulf Express service (AGX). This is a new direct Trans-Atlantic service which connects the key markets of Northern Europe, with the US South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. “Directly connecting the port of Le Havre and Miami, the new AGX service will serve as a unique and market-leading Trans-Atlantic

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service that enables shipments across the US East Coast, Northern Europe and Mexican markets. It promises industry-leading transit times between Europe and major South Atlantic ports, and offers fast connections between the US South Atlantic ports, as well as fast connections between the South Atlantic, US Gulf and Mexican markets that serve the needs of customers,” said Eric Eng, APL’s head of Transatlantic Trade. The all-new AGX service will call at the ports of Le Havre, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Charleston, Savaanah, Miami, Veracruz, Altamira, Houston and New Orleans. The first sailing commences on 2 October 2016.

Boosting communication accuracy APL’s Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a unique computer-tocomputer information exchange system that offers time savings and significantly increases communication accuracy and efficiency. EDI is an electronic means for companies to exchange business documents such as bookings, Shipment Instructions (SI) and invoices, which eliminates the need to send paper documents by traditional means. The company’s EDI programme can easily be integrated into any personal system in order to provide a highly efficient interface with


APL’s existing systems, thus removing the need to rekey data and at the same time improving its customer’s overall communications and data accuracy. The company’s EDI solutions are designed to support APL’s advanced shipping terminals and container yards, all of which have access to the company’s global shipping systems.

Advanced terminal and container yards APL offers its customers an extensive network of dependable connections for their global transportation programme. With its modern dedicated shipping terminals and sophisticated management systems, APL

enables full supply-chain control to speed up the delivery of a client’s shipments and to maximise customer visibility and service efficiency. In addition, APL has the equipment technology and expertise to protect and preserve cargo value all along the supply chain. The company has made substantial investments to build one of the world’s most flexible, eco-friendly and technologically advanced container fleets. These range from standard dry cargo containers, to refrigerated and highly n specialised containers. For further details of APL’s innovative products and services visit: www.apl.com Industry Europe 173


PROGRESSIVE INNOVATOR Bioveta, a Czech producer of biological and pharmaceutical medicinal products, is a recognised innovator in its sector and strives to maintain its reputation as such. In the near future, the company plans to launch several ground-breaking products for both veterinary and human treatment applications. Romana Moares reports.

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he joint stock company Bioveta, based in Ivanovice na Hané, has a tradition of veterinary biological products and pharmaceuticals research & development reaching back nearly 100 years. Today, its innovative products can be found throughout the world. In recent years, sales have been continuously increasing: in 2015 they reached CZK 1.37 billion and the management expects a further increase of 11 per cent in 2016. “We will strive to sustain this positive trend,” confirms Mr Vladimir Vrzal, a member of the board of directors. The company consists of four divisions: veterinary, human, laboratory animal breeding and preparation testing.

Core business The product portfolio currently includes about 150 products for diagnostics and treatment of the medical conditions of farm and domestic animals. In addition to the development and production of its own brands, Bioveta makes medicinal products for global brands on a sub-contract basis. Bioveta has its own biological and pharmaceutical product development facility, which currently deals with a total of 18 new pharmaceutical preparations and 33 new biological products. Another 35 preparations are listed as ‘waiting to be included in the research and development plan’. These figures demonstrate a substantial research and innovation potential which enables the company to successfully launch six to eight new products onto the European market each year. “I believe our research covers more or less all areas of farm and domestic animal breeding and will continue to do so in the future,” claims Libor Bittner, managing director and the chairman of the board. Given the impressive track record in its traditional field, the company’s management decided to utilise its extensive experience and know-how in the field of human medicine. At the moment, an innovative candida and bacterial medicinal product (Candivac) for

the prevention of reoccurrence of candida-based vulvovaginitis is in the process of being registered with the drug authorities. “The registration process has been going very well and we are now in the stage of clinical trials. But Candivac will not be the only medicinal product we will register for human treatment. We have several other very interesting and highly socially beneficial preparations in the pipeline,” says Mr Bittner.

Investing in growth Bioveta a.s. works continually to improve the standard of proper manufacturing, laboratory and distribution work. In 2014 it commissioned a new bio-technological hall housing two new filling lines and new lyophilisation equipment, increasing the production capacity of lyophilised vaccines by 200 per cent. The new biotechnological hall, worth more than €12 million, uses the very latest production facilities and technology and has introduced considerable innovations in the production of anti-bacterial and anti-virus vaccines in liquid and freeze-dried form, making production many times more efficient. The investment has allowed Bioveta a.s. to meet the ever-increasing demand for veterinary vaccines from customers from Europe and elsewhere. In order to cope with the increasing demand for its products and services, Bioveta is currently investing another €15 million into new manufacturing and research premises within its Ivanovice na Hané headquarters. The new premises should enable Bioveta to increase its production capacity for vaccines, as well as to extend space to accommodate more research projects focused on vaccines for third parties. The new multi-purpose hall, entitled ‘The Research and Development Centre for Virus Vaccines’, will house, among other things, several auxiliary work stations, such as nutrient cultivators, working glass washing and so on to support production. Investment, Industry Europe 175


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however, does not stop there. “Later, in 2016, we plan to build a single modern adjustment centre,” reveals the managing director. “This project will start in the autumn of 2016 and be completed in the course of 2017. The construction alone will cost about CZK 60 million,” he explains.

Facing the future Bioveta is a strongly export-oriented company, shipping its products to over 85 countries around the globe. Over 85 per cent of total output is sold in the export markets and the figure is steadily increasing. Key exported products are a rabies vaccine for the oral immunisation of foxes and other types of vaccines for a range of farm and companion animals. “We plan to widen our export territories to include, for example, the regions of south-west Asia, New Zealand and Latin America,”

says Mr Vrzal. “We will also strive to boost sales of our products in western Europe and the United States. The plan is to open branches in a number of countries so that we are as close to our customers as possible. This is extremely important for gaining good knowledge of what our customers want and need and to be able to respond in a most flexible and timely manner. This is, in a nutshell, our medium and long-term strategy,” he explains. Both Mr Bittner and Mr Vrzal further confirm that the development and production of registered human pharmaceuticals will remain in the focus. “As I said before, we are now entering the stage of clinical trials for Candivac and we have several other human medicinal products, all of which will bring important social benefits, ready to be tested. For competitive reasons I cannot reveal more details but the markets, and first of all the general public, will be pleasantly n surprised,” concludes Mr Bittner.

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TRANSFORMATION IN

PUBLISHING – FUTURE OF PRINT The gravure industry met in Dusseldorf for ERA’s Annual Conference. Winners of the European Publication Gravure Award 2016 were presented.

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elegates from publication printers from Europe and overseas, as well as their suppliers of equipment and materials and customers, accepted the European Rotogravure Association’s invitation to its Annual Conference in Dusseldorf on 26–27 September. The delegates witnessed presentations from industry experts reflecting the theme of the conference, ‘transformation in publishing – future of print’. The conference programme also included a visit to the publication gravure printing plant in of TSB in Moenchengladbach, where the largest printing facility of the TSB Group with up to 3.68 metre-wide gravure presses and a gravure capacity of 170,000 tonnes were shown. The conference discussed the situation of publication gravure in Europe. Currently the work load of the publication gravure printers is at a satisfactory level, and due to the insolvency of a large publication printer the capacity has further decreased by 250,000 tonnes to an overall capacity in Europe of some three million tonnes. Good news for the gravure industry came from the European Chemical Agency (ECHA), which has proposed that the EU Commission give the gravure industry the authorisation for further use of chromium trioxide for a review period of seven years. The formal approval by the EU Commission is expected in spring 2017.

Challenges to face In his keynote address Prof. Stephan Weichert of Hamburg Media School discussed the media consumption of the millennials which includes the generation born after 1990. He explained that their primary news source is social media instead of classic print media. For them, ‘mobile is king’ and they use apps and platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp and SnapChat, which is the latest and fastest growing among these digital platforms. Instead of mere news consumption the millennials prefer interaction and create their own content. This requires the publishers to change their traditional business model, as well as calling for a different type of journalism. The problem for the publishers remains the monetisation of their content, and Prof Weichert’s advice to the publishers is to transform their brands into the digital world of the millennials.

Key trends ‘Developments and trends in publication printing’ was the theme developed by Christoph Mueller of KBA. He responded to Prof Weichert’s thesis by mentioning the weekly newspaper ‘Die Zeit’, which has an increasing circulation and many young people among its readers. Altogether print generates a higher turnover than the automo-

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tive industry. However the market for traditional publication and news presses has shrunk since the financial crisis, although it has now stabilised on a lower level. The market for packaging presses has growth potential, as well as the market for digital presses where KBA is collaborating with HP to develop a press for corrugated topliner. Also, books are increasingly printed on demand with digital presses as the overall costs are lower than with traditional offset printing. Encouraging for print is that it has more effectiveness, particularly in advertising. Gravure printed school books in India and Brazil also show an interesting and growing market for print. A highly interesting niche for print was demonstrated by Dr Giancarlo Cerutti, who reported on the latest application for Cerutti’s gravure presses. The newly issued five pound note is the latest currency printed on a clear plastic substrate (BOPP) which is preprinted with security features by a Cerutti gravure press. Another example of print’s effectiveness and its opportunities for growth was shown by Martin Kunz, editor-in-chief of ADAC Motorwelt. The monthly magazine of the German motorists’ association has one of the longest print runs worldwide with almost 14 million copies. It was started in 1925 and its role is ‘to solve mobility problems of members’. Contrary to the trends in the industry the magazine has a constant reach, and though there is an iPad version, 94 per cent of its readers want the printed version delivered too. The magazine consumes more than 20,000 tonnes of paper per year and is printed in gravure divided among the large German gravure printers. The view of a paper manufacturer was presented by Tommy Wiksand of the over 400- year-old Swedish company Holmen. Since the market for printing paper is heavily challenged by digital media the paper industry is in transition and “print has to be high definition.” The most important factor still is “the feel of the paper.” Whereas average magazines are declining, those for the young generation are growing. Print remains a strong channel for advertising: customers act on print to a higher extent than on digital adverts. Holmen has adapted its structure by reducing capacity, but is still a leading supplier with one million tonnes in operation. Dr Michael Zenke of Sun Chemicals added the ink manufacturers’ perspective. The trends are that during the last decade the packaging market has overhauled publication, and publication suffered from heat-set and cold-set. Black ink has increased in use relative to coloured inks (CMY) due to improvements of colour separation software without an impact on print quality. This ink optimisation has

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resulted in cost savings for the printer, however the impact of the paper grade on ink consumption is significant. The conference presentations were rounded off by Mr Josef Aumiller of Manroland, who reported on the status of web offset in commercial printing. The global market for heat-set presses is almost at the same level as six years ago, whereas the market for newspaper presses has fallen to less than a third of its level then. A significant share of the orders is for high volume presses of up to 96 pages. Hybrid solutions are another trend, with ink jet printing added to a conventional press. He concluded that “print is alive,” and that modern print production requires “automation, output and flexibility.” Apart from market and technical issues, the ERA Annual Conference traditionally features a political or socio-economic issue of current importance. This year Dr Christoph von Marschall, chief diplomatic correspondent of the Berlin daily newspaper ‘Tagesspiegel’, discussed the ongoing presidential election campaign in the USA. Against the background of the election campaign he described the cultural differences between the USA and Europe, and explained the unforeseen success of Donald Trump. His personal feeling is that it will be a close run on 8 November, and his advice is “not to bet more than you can afford to lose.” During the conference the winners of the European Publication Gravure Award 2016 were presented. The competition, which is organised every two years by the ERA in cooperation with the Eurographic Press, awarded prizes this time in market-related categories: inserts/flyers, catalogues and magazines. Trophies were won by Burda Druck France for ‘Cora’, Eurogravure for ‘Maty’ and n Imprimerie Hélio Charleroi for ‘Hello’.


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170 YEARS OF RAIL KNOW-HOW H. Cegielski – Factory of Railway Vehicles Ltd is one of the oldest companies manufacturing railway stock in Poland. Piotr Sadowski reports on the company’s successes to date and its plans for the future.

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he company has a rich experience in the area of constructing and producing railway vehicles, which results from the long history of the business, closely connected to the history of the country and the city of Poznań. Established in 1846, the company’s 170-year history can be divided into stages. The first ‘Cegielski’ railway coaches were produced in 1921. In 1926 steam locomotives were introduced, and from 1931 until the Second World War motor and tram railway cars were also being produced. As a result of the organisational transformations which took place over the decades, in 1997, H. Cegielski – Factory or Railway Vehicles Ltd finally emerged as an independent company belonging to the HCP Group. On 26 March 2010, 100 per cent of the company’s shares were taken over by the Industry Development Agency in Poland, thus making it the sole owner of the business. The company underwent a difficult period of restructuring in its functional, organisational and production areas. Today it is still working to continuously improve its processes on every level, including a new organisational structure, improvement of existing processes, investments in infrastructure and machines, as well as expansion of the product portfolio to include new, innovative offerings and services.

Key areas of operation For many years H. Cegielski has been specialising in manufacturing passenger railway cars – both producing new ones, as well as carrying out renovations and thorough modernisations of used cars. It

is the only national manufacturer of new passenger railway coaches which can be used for international transport at speeds up to 200 km/h. It produces all types of modern passenger railway cars, which can be set up in different configurations. The products and services offered by the company are characterised by a number of factors. Firstly, it produces railway coaches with and without compartments, restaurant, bar, sleepers, business class and others, which can travel at speeds of 160 km/h and 200 km/h. Secondly, it manufactures complete bogies from the 25AN family designated for use at speeds of up to 200 km/h. In 2012 the company bought copy and production rights to manufacture railway car bogies from the 25Ana family. Thirdly, the company fixes, renovates, modernises and transforms railway vehicles – including cars, railway buses and electric multiple units. It specialises in carrying out both periodic renovations (at maintenance levels from P4 to P5), as well as the modernisation of railway vehicles. Last but not least, H. Cegielski offers a range of other services, which include: welded constructions – from carbon to stainless steel and aluminium; production of complete car, railway bus and tram boxes; brake crossbars for fast coupled trains, frames and rocking beams, chassis of cargo cars and other specialist welded constructions; painting and lacquering of railway vehicles and metal constructions; pressure measurement of wheel sets and the weighing of railway vehicles. Furthermore, the company is continuously developing and expanding its range of services for operations with different clients in Poland and abroad.

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Fanina SA For more than 57 years Fanina SA has manufactured the electromechanical equipment and components, including the rolling stock’s electrical equipment - mainly electric heating couplings that are compliant with UIC-552 standard, coils and solenoids, pantograph contact shoes, electro-pneumatic valves. Our products are sold in eight countries from the European Union and three countries from Eastern Europe. We also provide full recovery services of the Scharfenberg couplings as well as we upgrade front couplings by replacing the coupling electrical part by the new one, with the male-female connectors, and the internet connection. We also modernize inter-car couplings by replacing the spring kit by the elastomeric filler and equipping a coupling with the protection against breakage. We are also able to carry out professionally other products or services for a rolling stock, all in accordance with the needs of our customers. We are looking forward to doing business with you.

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Strong competitor H. Cegielski holds a well-established leadership position in the production of modern passenger railway cars. It is characterised by many years of experience resulting from implementing contracts across many, demanding international markets. For example, over the last few years the company has delivered new sleeper cars for Belarussian Railways for international transportation, which can be used on the two different railway systems (rail track widths of 1435 mm / 1520 mm). There are many factors which make H. Cegielski stand out from its competitors, including: high quality of manufactured products, confirmed by numerous awards; its own team of designers and technologists; constructional solutions, documentation and knowledge, gained over many years of existence on the market; competitive prices in relation to foreign railway car manufacturers (identical technical parameters at lower cost); innovative solutions based on modern technologies; modern production, the highest quality fittings and highly reliable products. Modern passenger railway cars are by far the most popular products currently offered by H. Cegielski. The cars are characterised by the use of the latest manufacturing technologies, the highest quality of fittings and excellent reliability. The manufacturing solutions used ensure a very smooth ride to guarantee passenger comfort. The cars manufactured by the company have modern interior arrangements, fitted with comfortable, ergonomic chairs, diode lighting and full information for passengers displayed on internal monitors, as well as an electronic seat reservation system. The use of inter-carriage, ‘pressure-sealed’ gangways improves travelling comfort, reduces the noise level in the vehicle and improves

comfort when moving between cars. The use of pressure-sealed gangways gives characteristics similar to coupled trains. In addition, the full diagnostics of all vehicle appliances is available on the on-board computer, which is a fully Polish design, available for the first time on the Polish market.

Continuing to lead the way Determined to be the Polish market leader, the company is introducing vehicles which fully meet the TSI requirements. Its stock of cars can be further expanded to include a steering car, which makes it possible to use train stock in the push-pull set-up. Furthermore, H. Cegielski is currently expanding its product portfolio by implementing a new project: the modernisation of the EN57 electric multiple units – the largest ever such project in the market. The next step, which is aimed at entering the market in the area of electrified vehicles, is the production of this type of vehicle created on the basis of a common platform (that is, traction units with electric drives, combustion drives and mixed electric-combustion drives – the so-called ‘bi-traction’ drive). In the near future H. Cegielski is also planning to return to the trams market. Projects carried out over the course of previous decades have equipped it with the necessary expertise in the field of design, construction and production technologies relating to trams (including manufacturing new trams, both high- and low-floor ones), designated for use in Poland and Germany. Last but not least, this will be followed by new ventures to ensure that in the future H. Cegielski Factory of Railway Vehicles will continue to, repeatedly, surprise its competitors. n

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EUROPEAN LEADER IN PCBS The Tecnomaster Group is a European holding born from the integration of Tecnomaster SpA, SOS Electronic Engineering, LPP GmbH and Tecnomaster International. Today it is one of the major players in the manufacture of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) both in Italy and Europe. Eugenia Fiusco reports.

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T

he Tecnomaster Group has quickly established itself as a major European player with three production plants located in the heart of the continent. The group offers its clients consulting and co-design services in order to develop customised products: From feasibility studies to engineering, up to after-sales service, the group offers the highest standards of reliability, quality and efficiency. The Tecnomaster Group is the only group of its kind in Europe and has consolidated its position over the years thanks to an efficient network of agents and the strategic location of its three production plants: Tecnomaster SpA, located in northern Italy, in Pavia di Udine; SOS Electronic located in France, in Cormeilles-en-Vexin; and LPP GmbH based in Pfullingen, Germany. Tecnomaster SpA designs and manufactures hitech PCBs for a wide range of industries, including industrial automation, avionics, lighting, medical, telecommunication, consumer electronics, defence and so on. The strength of the Italian company is to quickly produce not only prototypes but also medium volumes. SOS EE provides prototyping and small series PCBs for the French market as well as the manufacturing of flex and rigid-flex printed circuit boards. Finally, LLP designs and manufactures hi-tech PCBs and laser drilling services. “Tecnomaster Group employs some of the most advanced technologies available, such as laser drilling, inkjet screen printing, LDI and automated systems to support the 24-hour production cycle and reduce delivery times in order to complete 70 per cent of production runs within ten working days,” explained Mr Arduino Pattaro, CEO of Tecnomaster. “We have a diversified turnover derived mainly from national and European clients, at 40 per cent and 50 per cent respectively, and the remaining 10 per cent from international clients.”

Products and technology From prototypes to small series with a turnaround time of 72 hours and up to industrial series and special ‘non-standard’ circuits to be delivered in three to four weeks, Tecnomaster Group offers a wide and customised

range of products. This range includes double-sided and multilayered up to 38-layer circuits, with blind and buried holes (SBU–HDI technology) and laser drilling, multilayer circuits with controlled impedance or backpanels up to 8mm and measuring 1200x610mm. The circuit boards can be finished with chemical and electrolytic gold finishes, Hot Air Levelling, OSP finishes, electrolytic silver finishes and chemical tin finishes. The printing process, which takes place in white rooms, is carried out using modern LDI (laser) systems with robotic automatic loading that allows for 24-hour production. Modern automatic Orbotech inspection (AOI) systems monitor the quality of engravings, while the electrical test mobile probes ensure 100 per cent diagnostic coverage. The metal deposition in the holes is checked with Fisherscope. The manufacturing sites are equipped with chemical and physical laboratories that can perform dimensional checks with automatic optical systems and weldability testing. A certificate of conformity, which displays details of the contract, testing, product traceability, finish and administrative data, accompanies each production batch. Moreover, all products come with a guarantee and after-sales assistance in compliance with the highest European standards.

Onwards and upwards Mr Pattaro commented on the group’s strategy for the future. “We are not thinking about further expansion in terms of plants. The recent acquisitions in France and Germany have increased our production capacity considerably. These three companies alone supply 80 per cent of the European market.” The group currently has a production capacity of 100,000 square metres per year, with production spread over an area of 19,000 square metres across the three sites. Up to 50 new products per day can be processed. All Tecnomaster Group companies ensure high quality standards when it comes to materials and the constant search for process Industry Europe 187


improvement. Every year it reinvests about 10 per cent of its turnover in R&D and machinery. “We are always investing to improve our technology and cut costs through process automation,” said Mr Arduino Pattaro, adding: “We are always looking at the market and invest accordingly in order to consolidate our position and grow.” Mr Pattaro explained that the key elements for the future development and growth of Tecnomaster Group are the provision of high quality products through the constant improvement of technology and processes, quick turnaround and on-going client support from product design to after-sales. “Our suppliers are a vital element in process improvement. Thanks to them we are always up to date with the latest technology available.” Tecnomaster’s major suppliers include Index, Elga Europe, Kemmer, Pluriservice and Orbotech. The group also cooperates in several research programs with leading companies n and institutions to research on new applications.

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Industry Europe 189


Wollsdorf Leather is the global market leader in premium leather products for a wide range of applications. Philip Yorke looks back at the history of a blue-chip company that sets the standards for the industry and continues to expand its product portfolio and increase its presence worldwide.

LEADING IN LEATHER

FOR 80 YEARS T

he Schmidt family has been producing leather in Austria for at least five generations, beginning with its founder Alexander Schmidt in 1936. Today the company is the number one manufacturer of premium leather products in the world. Wollsdorf remained a privately-owned family run company and, following a consistent period of growth, it constructed Europe’s most modern leather factory at Wollsdorf in 1970. Since then the company has seen strong global expansion with additional facilities being established in the USA, Australia, Croatia, Hong Kong and China. All leather produced at Wollsdorf is processed in the high-tech cutting and sewing facilities the company operates in Varazadin, Croatia and Fuzhou, China. Today Wollsdorf manufactures premium leather products for a wide range of applications in the automotive, upholstery, avionics, marine and railway sectors, as well as producing leather for broad range of special applications.

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Growing global demand With the growing global demand for high quality leather products, particularly in the automotive industry, Wollsdorf maintains an extensive stock of leather in order to meet peaks in demand and market fluctuations. The company has enough premium leather in reserve to cover approximately ten weeks’ manufacturing, which means it can always guarantee availability to its customers. Wollsdorf’s main automotive leather product is its leather steering wheel, and over 140,000 leather steering wheel sets are supplied to its clients every week, making Wollsdorf the clear market leader in this sector. However, steering wheel leather is only one

of a range of automotive leather products the company offers for seats, head-rests, arm rests and door trims. The sale of automotive leathers accounts for over 70 per cent of turnover. A further 20 per cent is generated from sales of its leather to the furniture industry. Here Wollsdorf targets premium furniture brands in Europe and the US. Another fast growing global market is the aviation industry. This is partly due to the quality and luxury feel of the product but also increasingly, because leather seats last more than twice as long as fabrics or imitation leather seats. Therefore the higher initial costs are easily offset by the longer lifespan of leather.

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Unique leather solutions Wollsdorf’s unparalelled experience and reputation for creating unique solutions in leather are as diverse as its customers. As a globally recognised tier-one supplier of high-quality leather for the aviation industry, it is able to meet the latest technical and legislative requirements of the industry. Many complex challenges are resolved by working in close partnership with its clients to provide the optimal outcome. The company operates a fully integrated tannery, from selecting the raw hide to producing high quality finished leather products. Wollsdorf also has its own in-house laboratories and R&D departments that are able to develop new products for the automotive and aviation industries, as well as for furniture companies and special applications. Thanks to its comprehensive new product development facilities, Wollsdorf recently created a lightweight leather for aircraft seats called Amba Eco. These leather seats are manufactured using an environ-

192 Industry Europe


mentally friendly tanning process that does not require the use of chromium. This lightweight leather was used recently to cover 35,000 economy class aircraft seats of a leading global airline. Another key feature of Amba Eco is its SPS finish, which prevents leather from soiling, thereby significantly extending seat-cleaning intervals.

Focus on the environment Wollsdorf has a strong commitment to protecting the environment and supports the many environmental regulations that are in place today. Over the last few years the company has reduced its water consumption used in its hide processing plants by over 30 per cent, and it also continues to improve the efficiency of its waste water treatment plants. Furthermore, Wollsdorf recently introduced a production plant that will convert animal fat into biodiesel. Every year the company needs to deal with about 10,000 tonnes of animal fat and until now

it has been disposing of it as a waste product. However, today the company extracts over 1000 tonnes of clean fat, which its new plant can convert into a quantity of biodiesel which is equivalent to half its own annual energy requirements. Wollsdorf is also helping to protect the environment through the development of its own environmentally friendly products. The company’s latest lightweight leather seats have been designed specifically for aircraft seating in partnership with its long-term business associate Schauenburg. This new product offers weight savings of more than 40 per cent over traditional leather aviation seating. The new ‘Styrian’ lightweight leather from Wollsdorf offers weight savings of around 3kg n per seat, which means big fuel savings in a 250 seat plane. For further details of Wollsdorf’s innovative premium leather products and services visit: www.wollsdorf.com

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GETTING THROUGH

TOUGH TIMES

Despite unfavourable market conditions, Hungarian driver’s cab producer Agrikon Kam Ltd has managed to maintain its strong market position owing to its excellent quality products and high reputation. The firm has heavily invested in the latest technologies in all areas of production and is now ready to meet all needs while aiming to utilise its significant capacities. Edina Beale reports.

A

grikon Kam Ltd has been the exclusive supplier of drivers’ cabs to the leading combine harvester manufacturer, Claas, since 1976. As part of its strategic direction the factory successfully diversified its product range in 2011 and began to target the construction industry. Today the company provides jobs for over 300 people in Kiskunmajsa, south of Hungary, and supplies prominent firms including Kramer, Liebherr and JLG while continuously extending its portfolio. In addition to delivering drivers’ cabs for harvesting machines, Agrikon manufactures cabs for Claas tractors, supplies cabs for Hako and Terex and exports welded components and driver’s cabs for Liebherr. 194 Industry Europe

Challenging times Recently agricultural machine producers have experienced a significant fall in demand for their products and the unfavourable market conditions are set to continue next year. Mr Pál Velkey, managing director of Agrikon Kam Ltd, explains the possible reasons for the 30 per cent drop in agricultural machine production. “The uncertainty about getting EU support for purchasing machines, the Russian embargo and low crop prices all effect the demand for agricultural machines. In addition, the introduction of the new emission laws for agricultural machines increased their manufacturing costs, and this


is very hard for the market to take. These factors make farmers put their investment plans on hold. On top of that, agricultural machines available today are much higher-performance. As a result, farmers are able to cultivate farms with fewer machines and this brings down the demand for our products, the driver’s cabs, too.” Sadly, in recent times the Hungarian firm has had to face challenges in its other important segment – supplying construction machine manufacturers: “Instead of the projected growth we now see this market stagnating or even declining. The number of drivers’ cabs ordered for construction machines have fallen in recent times,” admits Mr Velkey. “In this unstable environment the development of new machines and new projects has postponed by our partners.”

Diverse technology At Agrikon, cabins are manufactured from steel sheets and other steel base materials and the factory uses a number of cutting-edge technologies throughout the production process. For component production five modern laser cutting facilities are implemented to cut the steel sheets in 2D and 3D to the required size. These laser cutting technologies are now also used to cut all other steel base materials (tubes and profiles), which enables the firm to improve on quality and efficiency. Its state-of-the-art bending machines are

implemented with an active angle control which helps to identify and correct the different mechanical attributes of the sheets during the bending process. The company’s welding machines are regularly replaced and upgraded to the latest technological solutions. Smoke ventilation is available in all areas of welding now. The separate welding hall is installed with 14 welding robots and has been extended with another production hall where 70–80 pieces of manual welding equipment are used. The KTL facility has recently been completely re-fitted and now meets the highest customer demands. From surface coating to powder coating, Agrikon is able to meet specific requirements. The firm’s measuring technology has also gone through significant modernisation recently, with portable wireless 3D measuring machines capable of measuring the whole cabin size with a high degree of accuracy and efficiency. In order to increase energy efficiency, the firm made investments in reconstructing its existing buildings and implementing new lighting technologies. “The technology behind the driver’s cab production is very compact,” adds Mr Velkey. “In the past three years we have invested nearly €10 million to replace outdated technology with the latest available. If we compare this to our €25 million turnover, it is very high-value, which demonstrates the trust and commitment of the owners towards Agrikon.”

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Quality leader Around 95 per cent of Agrikon’s production is exported to Europe, where the main markets include Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Belgium and France. In 2015 the company moved beyond the continent and today supplies driver’s cabs to the USA. “Besides the usual cost reasons, the reliable quality of our products convinced our partners in the US that we are the best choice of available suppliers despite the great distance,” says Mr Velkey. In the past five years Agrikon has continuously extended its customer base and its product range has diversified accordingly. Mr Velkey believes the best feedback is when a new customer makes a request for a second project and that is followed by many more. The

company is first and foremost about quality, and this has given the firm an excellent reputation. “In the past few years Agrikon has become one of the most significant driver’s cabin manufacturers in Europe. This is a good starting point to build on our position,” says Mr Velkey. “This year Agrikon will manufacture around 26,000 products, most of which are drivers’ cabs. Our capacities in buildings and machines are sufficient to manufacture 45,000 products in a year, so our aim is to better utilise our existing capacities. In this current market, only new projects would lead to opportunities. This is what we are working on at the moment and we look forward to receiving any enquiries from new n potential customers.”

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ADVERTISERSINDEX

A affival AGRO International Ahlstrom AKE Skalica AkzoNobel Alföldi Tej Arkay Packaging ArTec Service ArtGos Astor Athena Supply Chain Autofit

G 112 144 71 32 66 93 79 51 141 118 89 37

B BASF B.C.R. Bimex-92 BI Technology Bondár Attila Botta Forni Industriali Bridgestone Europe Bucher Unipektin

69 51 158 50 93 155 169 193

C CAAC Pioneer Logistics Camo Chanaka Trade & Logistics CMA Robotics CMR Group Colorobbia Contargo Csele Trade CSI Palletising Culinar Polska

Inside front 29 47 51 50 141 172 84 75 97

D Danese Daniels Fans D Cloostermans Demo97 Dynea

193 121 80 196 70

E EBES Eltra EMKA Polska ES Fibervisions

51 50 161 77

F FAE Fanina Faiveley Fanuc Polska FDK Corporation FMP FST Drytec

Gallicoop Gar-Fond Gebrüder Weiss Greenbau Technologie Grundfos Gyulahus

H Harangpack HOPF Kunststoffstechnik

84 196

I ID Label Ing Stefan Madaj Itoss

132 147 36

J Jiffy JUNG-Leuchten

Outside back 41

K Kaczmarek Electric Kovolak Kuhnhachl

120 28 137

L Lankwitzer Lanxess Germany Limko LindCare Lubexpert

184 70 137 176 111

M Mac Dermid Enthone Maxim Metal Work Pneumatic Mizsepack Nyomdaipari M Profood MTC Mineral Trading Company

188 114 120 84 84 114

Nedcon Neptun Nestlé Hungaria Neuman NKMZ

74 112 92 108 114

O 114

P Parker Plastrance Polcast PPG Industrial Coatings

Preem Press Hammer Promat Prosoft

63 35 119 112

R RHI Rub Ketten Rieger

113 5

S Saia Burgess Controls Sampo Saueressig S.C. SFERAGRUP Servind SGD Pharma SIM Gdynia Holding Skanem SKM Group SM-Cyclo UK Ltd Solar Polska Sp. z o.o. Stem

24 84 181 113 35 176 151 78 44 24 104 158

T Taylor Made Glass Technimark Technoform Glass Insulation TES Technika Emalia Szkło Tradex 2002 Trim NW

197 76 125 125 84 Inside back

V VC999 Packaging Systems Vesuvius BK VFI Voelpker Spezialprodukte Volvo Construction

85 113 100 192 61

W Wipotec

81

Y

N

Oteluri Pentru Scule 184 184 103 78 164 55

92 189 129 113 121 92

121 197 122 196

Yabok Yamada Electric

36 74

Z Zakład Produkcji Doświadczalnej Automatyki Spółka z o.o. ZPUE

103 103