Industry Europe – Issue 27.1

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VOLUME 27/1 – 2017

Est.

1989 The world of European manufacturing

KOMATSU ITALIA INVESTS IN ADVANCED PRODUCTION FACILITIES PREMIUM MEAT PRODUCTS FROM KOSTELECKE UZENINY TEREOS TTD LEADS IN THE CZECH MARKET FOR SUGAR-DERIVED PRODUCTS

COMMUNICATIONS AND IT – THE REVOLUTION CONTINUES



OPINION

PETERMERCER

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Shock tactics The new US president seems intent on shaking up America’s European allies.

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hock and awe’ was what the US military called its initial air assault on Baghdad in 2003 – the application of overwhelming force to demoralise the enemy and disrupt its defensive capability from the very outset. Much the same tactics seem to be favoured by the new US president, although in this case it seems to be both allies as well as enemies who are in the sights. A few favoured friends have felt the reassuring clasp of the Trump hand – notably the UK and Israel (‘I can be your long lost pal/ I can call you Bibi and you can call me Don’) – and, of course, Mr Putin is looking forward to a constructive conversation. But just about everyone else, from China and Australia to Mexico and Canada, is struggling to work out where they now stand. Although North Korea and Iran probably have a pretty good idea. And diplomatic nerves can hardly have been soothed by the appointment of James Mattis as Secretary of Defense. As commander of the 1st Marine Division in Iraq in 2003 Major General Mattis was famous for his hard-charging tactics. The European members of NATO in particular are unlikely to have forgotten that in the field his call sign was ‘Chaos’. But in fact when General Mattis visited the Brussels headquarters of NATO in February he insisted that the alliance remained the fundamental bedrock of US defence policy and was firmly supported by Mr Trump. He did however make clear that America expected its NATO allies to honour their pledges on military spending. Currently only five of the 28 members meet the target of spending at least 2 per cent of GDP of defence. Germany spends only 1.1 per cent and Spain 0.9 per cent. Mattis said that he wanted to see a plan to meet the targets in place by next year. European members had

to take on their fair share of the burden if they did not want ‘to see America moderate its commitment’ to the alliance. He did not spell out what was meant by ‘moderating’ but the warning was clear enough.

Trade wars But if the Defense Secretary was polite but steely the head of Mr Trump’s new National Trade Council, Peter Navarro, had feathers flying all over the place when he told the Financial Times that Germany was using ‘a grossly undervalued’ euro to ‘exploit’ both the US and its own EU partners. Mr Navarro evidently believes that you should not just carry a big stick, as Teddy Roosevelt advised, but that you should beat folk over the head with it at every opportunity and forget about speaking softly. Now it’s probably true that the euro is somewhat undervalued if you take the eurozone as a whole. Since 2014 it has lost around 20 per cent of its value against the US dollar. But for many of the weaker members the euro is still too strong; if it strengthened they would be in an even worse state. The problem is, of course, that for Germany, the economic powerhouse of Europe, the euro is certainly undervalued while for Italy, Spain and, of course, Greece, it’s damagingly overvalued. There’s no straightforward way of measuring how much a currency is under or overvalued but a recent IMF report estimated that for Germany the euro was undervalued by between 10 and 20 per cent, while for Spain it was overvalued by as much as 10 per cent and even for France it was overvalued by up to 9 per cent. Of course this is a good for Germany’s thriving export industries but for their US competitors it’s a problem. Nearly 10 per cent of Germany’s exports go to the US, making it the country’s biggest export market. And, even more to the point, Germany’s

manufactured goods compete with those from the US in every market in the world. And because Germany has an undervalued currency, says the White House, this competition is unfair. But while it may be true that if Germany still had the DMark its currency would trade at a much higher rate it’s not obvious what it can do about that; as a member of the eurozone it has ceded control of interest rates and currency policy to the European Central Bank. And although the ECB’s quantitative easing programme is one of the causes of the euro’s depreciation against the dollar, it is a vital element in the effort to revive Europe’s weaker economies. Indeed Germany’s large scale purchasing of assets from southern Europe is part of that same effort. Its aim, like that of the ECB itself, is not to manipulate the euro to Germany’s advantage but to try to avert the danger of the eurozone breaking up. Of course for the uncompetitive economies of Europe the problem is being in the euro in the first place. What they need is the ability to let their currencies fall in line with their inflation rates, productivity levels and so on. But they can’t – they don’t have their own currencies. So they are tied to a euro that is too high for them while at the same time too low for Germany. It may be that, in the end, Germany may have to accept fiscal transfers to southern European counties to keep them afloat, making the eurozone a real monetary union. But that may be politically unacceptable to the German people. In which case the euro may well break up – although it might be able to get on well enough if Germany itself were to leave. The signs are that the White House would shed few tears if the whole thing collapsed but where that would leave Europe n no-one knows. Industry Europe 1


CONTENTS Editor Peter Mercer

IT Support Syed Hassan

Deputy Editor Victoria Hattersley

Production Manager Tania Balderson

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

Administration Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey Advertising Manager Andrew Briggs Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Massimo Ragazzo 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

Above: Telecoms Industry p6

Comment 1 5

Opinion Shock tactics Bill Jamieson Two speed Europe

Telecoms Industry 6

9 12

Is software eating the world? The revolutionary advances in communication technology Telecoms news The latest from the industry Wavelength Mobility opens paths to efficiency Greater flexibility for network operators

News 14 16 18 19 20 21

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

Reports 22 23

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

Hannover Messe 24 30 32 33

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Hannover Messe has it all A preview of this year’s show Increasing sensor intelligence SICK Cool precision Sheng Kwei Smart connections Wirepas

Aerospace & Defence 34

© Industry Europe 2017 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.

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

Flying high Asco

Audio Equipment 39 44

World’s first fitness-tracking technology Jabra Resounding success GN ReSound

Automotive 48 52 57 62 66

The sound of progess ASK Industries Honouring excellence Bosch Rising success SOR Libchavy Smart range Frauenthal Automotive Fast flowing innovation Tristone Flowtech Group

Chemicals 70 74 78

Connecting chemistry Brenntag New beginnings Nitrogénművek Zrt Essence of pharmaceuticals FARMAK


VOL 27/1

Above: Jungheinrich p112

Construction & Engineering 81 86 90 94

Clear advantage Casa Noastra Supreme thermal efficiency Alumil Trusted partner IDO Hutný projekt Profile of sustainability Alphacan

Food & Drink

Above: Asco p34 Below: Bosch p52

97 102 106

Unique flavours with a solid tradition Kostelecké uzeniny

Taste of purity Stock Polska Two centuries of success Tereos TTD

Above: Komatsu p120 Below: Strojirny Poldi p136

Materials Handling 112 116 120

Driving intralogistics to new heights Jungheinrich

Transforming airport logistics efficiency Siemens SPPAL

Digging for success Komatsu Italia Manufacturing

Metalworking 126 128 132 136 140 142 146 149

Always close to customers Fontana Group Metal tube processing experts BLM Group Leader in industrial locking systems RST Roztocze Driving heavy-duty precision forward Strojimy Poldi

Sheet metal specialist ŠVEC A SPOL From strength to strength PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ Trusted partner ZPA Pecky A strong process Tata Group

Above: ZPA Pecky p146 Below: Johnson Controls p178

Paper, Packaging and Printing 152 A sustainable outlook Metsä Tissue 156 Innovation at its core Sonoco Alcore

Above: Casa Noastra p81 Below: IDO Hutný p90

Rail 158 On track for expansion Bonatrans 162 Fully on track České dráhy

Also in this issue… 167 Trusted partner SAM - SHIPBUILDING

AND MACHINERY

170 174 178 182

Pioneering new skin-care technology Beiersdorf Innovative eco-friendly refrigeration EPTA Group Intelligent, futuristic energy solutions Johnson Controls

Excellence in motion SPINEA Industry Europe 3


COMMENT

BILLJAMIESON

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Executive Editor of The Scotsman

Two speed Europe By rights the cheers should be hitting the rafters and the floorboards shaking: good economic news from the eurozone. But fundamental problems remain.

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lash’ estimates from Eurostat show that eurozone GDP growth improved to 0.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the final three months of 2016 – and this from upward revisions to previous quarters. This was helped by improved growth in France and resilient expansion in Spain. And there are also signs of a marked pick-up in German growth. Ahead of a more detailed breakdown, this growth advance is thought to be domesticdemand led, with consumer spending playing a key role. More good news for the eurozone came in the form of unemployment dipping by 121,000 in December, taking the unemployment rate down to 9.6 per cent – the lowest since May 2009. It’s enough, surely, to have European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker dancing down the aisles of the EU parliament. Is not all the talk of ‘Europe in crisis’ monstrously overblown and ‘euro currency in peril’ the product of ‘fake news’? All assessments about Europe’s economy are overshadowed by the potential for massive political disruption from elections this year. All told, some 40 per cent of EU citizens will be casting a vote in one form or another in 2016. The key ones are the Netherlands, France and Germany. Some fear that, after the UK Brexit vote and triumph of Donald Trump in the US, a domino effect could be at work which could dramatically reshape European politics. The Dutch general election is due on March 15 with recent opinion polls suggesting that the party of right-wing Euro-sceptic Geert Wilders will win 33 out of 150 parliamentary seats, more than any other party. The first round of the French presidential election is on April 23 and the second on May 7. National Front leader Marine Le Pen goes head-to-head with the Republicans’ 4 Industry Europe

candidate Francois Fillon who is expected to win in the run-off. But he has been dogged by searching questions over dubious payments to his wife for political work. And regardless of who wins, French politics is set for a swing to the right after decades of centrism. In Germany federal elections are due in September and Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing competition from the anti-EU Alternative for Germany (AfD). Ms Merkel has faced heavy criticism over her open-door migrant policy, and has seen AfD make gains in local elections.

All assessments about Europe’s economy are overshadowed by the potential for massive political disruption from elections this year. So while recent economic news points to improved growth, there are questions as to whether this momentum can be sustained given the political uncertainties ahead and their impact on consumer confidence and spending. Meanwhile inflation – already up to 1.8 per cent – is expected to eat into consumer purchasing power. Eurozone GDP growth this year could thus be no more than 1.6 per cent.

Persistent imbalances And beneath these immediate political worries are the deeper problems with the single currency and the huge imbalances between Germany and the rest of the single currency bloc. Germany posted a record €253 billion

(£215 billion) trade surplus in 2016, helped by a 1.2 per cent surge in exports to €1.2 trillion. And the country’s current account surplus has hit €266 billion, surpassing that of China last year and making it the world’s largest. This has added to the pain being suffered by other eurozone countries – Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal in particular. Germany benefits through the relative weakness of the euro: had the Deutsch mark been retained the currency would have risen, working to make exporting more expensive. A recent assessment by the IMF showed the euro exchange rate for Germany was anywhere between 10 per and 21 per cent undervalued – great for German exporters but a pain for exporters from other countries in the eurozone for whom the currency has been kept too high. So, Germany piles on the trade surplus while other countries suffer the consequences – having to control their spiralling deficit by tough fiscal squeezes and higher taxes. The Trump administration had accused Berlin of using a ‘grossly under-valued euro’ to ‘exploit’ the US and the rest of the EU. That may never have been part of Berlin’s intention but it has become a fact. Hence the warnings that the US may slap a hefty import tax on German manufacturers – cars especially – to help boost US domestic car production. And finally – oh dear – Greece. Just when we think the crisis has faded, up it pops again, this time with an excoriating analysis by the IMF that Greece has no chance of returning to debt sustainability unless there is debt relief (a policy that weary German voters are unlikely to support) and an easing of the austerity burden. When Greece is out of the headlines, we think it’s quietly getting better. In truth, it’s quietly getting worse – and it is these deep unresolved issues that dampen the cheer of n a eurozone economic ‘resurgence’.


Industry Europe 5


IS SOFTWARE EATING THE WORLD? Bob Emmerson looks at the revolutionary advances in information and communication technology.

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t’s been two years since my last article, so what’s happened in the meantime? Answer: a lot. Let’s start with advances in chip technology. Significant breakthroughs that boost performance and lower cost by an order of magnitude have been and continue to be realised. Computers will surpass the processing power of a single human brain by 2025 and a single computer may match the power of all human brains

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combined by 2050. However, there is an enormous gap between what technology can do and what it should do. We must look beyond profit and growth when considering technology that has the potential to alter human existence dramatically.

Advances in chip technology Chips continue to get smaller and operate faster, thereby enabling the development of amazing devices like smart phones. But their intrinsic functionality hasn’t changed: they process data at blinding speeds. Multi-functional chips are different. They are based on the heterogeneous integration of mechanical, chemical or optical functionality, which is enabling chips to function as wireless IoT platforms. These platforms are tightly linked to the application, i.e. they are not generic; instead they are created in response to a specific market need, e.g. compact, lightweight, hyperspectral cameras that are used on drones to make detailed inspections of agricultural fields. The combination of the on-going miniaturisation capability of chip technology and

embedded physical functionality is enabling the development of next-generation diagnostic devices such as compact DNA sequencers and cell sorting devices that detect tumour cells in the blood stream. In fact, the scaling capabilities enable the integration of a full laboratory on a single chip. This allows doctors to test patients in remote areas for diseases such as Ebola.

Technology versus Humanity I’ve been writing about technology for many, many years and along the way I’ve come to the conclusion that guru-type predictions tend to be pretentious and all too often they turn out to be wrong. Therefore when I bought ‘Technology vs. Humanity’, I was somewhat skeptical, but that subjective, ill-informed impression went in a matter of minutes. Had I been better informed, I would have realised that the author, Gerd Leonhard, was a highly respected futurist. This is a brilliant, 180-page book. It is beautifully written, so easy to read that I found it hard to put it down. The author emphasises


a somewhat scary fact: Technology knows no ethics, norms, or beliefs, but the effective functioning of every human and every society is entirely predicated upon them. So what happens when technology goes on expanding exponentially while humans progress linearly? Do we lose control? If that sounds far fetched consider the fact that we are already grappling with some rapidly escalating issues, such as the constant tracking of our digital lives, surveillance-by-default, diminishing privacy, the loss of anonymity, digital identity theft, data security, and much more. Ever since the Internet became a significant commercial force, we seem to have focused in the main on exploiting its economic and commercial promises. We have spent way too little time considering its impact on our values and ethics – and this is finally becoming apparent as we enter the age of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and human genome editing.

Back to the present LPWANs (Low Power Wide Area Networks) is a somewhat prosaic term, but LPWANs are one of the foundations that underpin the IoT and there are several alternative technologies that are competing with LTE (aka 4G). This is a significant development. LTE is a great technology. A brand-new network core and air interface technologies provide a groundbreaking combination of efficiency and flexibility. The efficient use of spectrum lowered costs and enabled a combination of high-speed, low-latency transmission with cost-effective, low bit rate services. However, the IoT has exploded and it became

clear that the lowest bit rate service of 50Mbps was over-engineered. Data rates measured in a couple of hundreds of kbps are more than adequate for most IoT applications. The alternative mature technologies include Nwave, Ingenu, SigFox, Weightless, and the LoRa Alliance. The response from the telecoms industry has been a series of developments that are designated as categories. Right now, Cat-1 is still the technology of choice for new IoT deployments, but a 10Mbps downlink isn’t needed. Cat-0, an IoT standard from 3GPP, was promoted for a while but now it’s dead, as is Cat-M1. That was just part of the cellular IoT alphabet soup. Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT), when it arrives, will offer low complexity, low power consumption and long range. However, it seems that low complexity, which is needed to bring down module / device costs, has been achieved via trade-offs. To put it bluntly, they had to be made: it wasn’t possible to simply scale down the overall performance. I’m a writer, not a communications expert, but it is clear that Cat-1 and NB-IoT are a retroactive response to a relatively new market requirement. The guys behind SigFox, LoRa and other LPWAN solutions saw it coming and designed brand new technologies from the bottom up. That said, there isn’t going to be a single killer technology and NB-IoT will play a significant role.

portation medium. Therefore we are seeing ‘things’ being increasingly replaced by ‘intelligent connected products’ as well as a lot of media coverage on the ability to deliver actionable management information on the environment in which they operate. This is the result of a combination of real-time analytics being employed at the local level, e.g. a shop floor, and centralised historical analytics based on information generated by the company’s business processes. Big benefits accrue when analytics is employed: when live data delivers insightful intelligence on which important business decisions can be made. This is an exciting, innovative concept. Moreover, it’s a logical development that addresses a generic issue: organisations lack real-time insight into the critical aspects of their business – aspects that are getting increasingly complex in today’s highly competitive, global marketplace. The concept of Big Data has been around for many years. Analysing the data that is generated by mainstream business processes has helped organisations identify new opportunities. Most organisations understand that if they capture all the data that streams into their businesses, they can apply analytics and leverage its value. The difference this time is the inclusion of data streams coming from the local level and, in some cases, from third-party IoT solutions.

Intelligent connected products and ‘Big Data’

Preventative and predictive maintenance

The IoT is another prosaic term. Manufacturers don’t make ‘things’, they make products, and the Internet is just a trans-

Important manufacturing insights are obtained by analysing the real-time data that is obtained by monitoring the performance of machinery and production processes. Industry Europe 7


When analysis is done at this level, near real-time, actionable-intelligence is generated. This facilitates the creation of preventative maintenance programs that boost productivity and allow informed decisions to be made at the local level. Predictive models exploit patterns found in historical and transactional data in order to identify risks and opportunities. These models reveal relationships between various contextual elements, which may not appear to be related. Applied to business, predictive models are used to analyse current data and historical facts in order to better understand customers, products and partners. Now companies can employ data analytics to obtain insightful real-time information that can be used to make immediate decisions. Companies can also unearth powerful insights by identifying patterns in thousands of readings from many products over time. For example, information from disparate individual sensors, such as a car’s engine temperature, throttle position, and fuel consumption, can reveal how performance compares to the car’s engineering specifications.

Software-defined Wireless LANs do IoT At the beginning of the decade the mobile enterprise was a hot topic. Mobilising applications and processes had and still have the proven ability to: boost productivity by capturing data at source; enable the delivery of enhanced services, thereby improving customer satisfaction; and improve the efficiency of the organisation, which in turn boosted margins and profits. The mobility paradigm was based on a seamless flow of 8 Industry Europe

information to and from the data centre to any device and vice versa enabled by Wireless LANs in office buildings. Today the IoT is generating massive amounts of business data, and as outlined earlier, it is processed into a combination of real-time and historic information. The resulting need to access this information has placed a strain on WLANs. Adding more access points and employing higher speed Wi-Fi technology were temporary Band-Aid fixes. There was an intrinsic issue: the LANs were not designed to deliver the capacity needs that enterprises face as a result of the explosive growth of the IoT. Aerohive Networks decided to start over and embrace the fact that ‘Software is eating the world’. The quote comes from Marc Andreessen. In this context it meant employing an architecture based on the principles of Software Defined Networking (SDN). SDN employs an open network system structure in which network control is decoupled from network forwarding, which enables the performance of the network to be programmed and managed via the cloud. The company is marketing Software Defined LAN (SD-LAN) solutions that build on the principles of SDN in the data centre and SD-WAN in order to enable flexible, programmable and cost-effective wireless and wired networking capabilities that are being applied to the expanding networks of IoT devices. It is worth noting that softwaredefined networking does more than change the rules of the network game; it throws them out the window. In future networks, functionality will be determined by users and managed by IT departments.

Looking ahead “We are heading into a future where literally everything around us is impacted by a tsunami of technological advances, yet the way we frame the world, the way we evaluate what is right or wrong, the way we decide whether to engage and use a certain technology or not is still based on past experiences, on old frameworks and, worst of all, on linear thinking. Our ethics – and many of our laws and regulations as well – are still based on a world that advances linearly and on ‘what used to work’. “Ever since the Internet became a significant commercial force, we seem to have focused in the main on exploiting its economic and commercial promises. We have spent way too little time considering its impact on our values and ethics – and this is finally becoming apparent as we enter the age of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and human genome editing.” I’m quoting from ‘Technology vs. Humanity’ by Gerd Leonhard. However, hundreds of AI and robotics researchers have converged to compile a list of 23 principles, priorities and precautions that should guide the development of artificial intelligence to ensure it’s safe, ethical and beneficial. Prominent members include Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk. The 23 points are grouped into three areas: Research Issues, Ethics and Values, and Longer-Term Issues. One question that is particularly interesting is ‘What set of values should AI be aligned with, and what legal and ethical status should it have?’ A world where robots are complex enough to have ‘rights’ might seem far off, but these n debates are beginning in the EU.


NEWS

INDUSTRYNEWS

New developments in the Telecoms industry

CETECOM becomes the exclusive laboratory for validation of new Qi test tools

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ETECOM has served as an official Qi Authorised Test Laboratory for the WPC for the certification testing of wireless power charging devices for mobile devices and transmitters for close to five years. Extending beyond this certification role, WPC selected CETECOM based on its vast experience in the validation business. CETECOM’s comprehensive service portfolio for wireless charging according to Qi global standards includes: mandatory certification testing for charging stations according to WPC Qi specifications; mandatory certification testing for receiver devices according to WPC Qi specifications; conformity assessment for the CE marking; tests according to FCC standards

for the US market; research and development tests in accordance with customer requirements; and over-the-air (OTA) Pre-Compliance Tests during development. Visit: www.cetecom.com

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Samsung streamlines mobile app solution for Portugal’s top football league L ast year, Samsung and Liga Portugal teamed up to introduce e-Liga, an innovative mobile app solution that digitised and streamlined the way referees in Portugal’s top football league report official match data. This year, the e-Liga partnership is outfitting referees with Gear S3 smartwatches optimised to add further efficiency to the game-reporting process. In the first stage of the e-Liga project, Samsung designed an app for the Galaxy Tab S and Tab S2 tablets that eliminated the need for paper when filing match reports. As of this writing, more than 2500 referees have utilised the app to streamline reports for some 419 matches. The e-Liga app for the Gear S3 allows referees to easily report a match’s pertinent data as it unfolds through an intuitive touch interface designed specifically for the project.

MTS and MGTS preparing for 5G

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obile TeleSystems PJSC, the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, and MGTS, one of the largest operators of local wire communications in Europe, have presented a new strategy of technological development for 2017–2020 in the Moscow region. MTS and MGTS will strengthen joint cooperation in the develop-

Telefónica selects Huawei to build large scale virtual EPC network in 13 countries

Once the final whistle blows, rather than spend upwards of an hour working on completing and faxing paperwork, referees may simply pair their Gear S3 with the Tab S2, transfer and review that match’s data, and wirelessly submit their official match report to Liga Portugal, all in a matter of seconds. Visit: www.samsung.com

ment of mobile and fixed internet access. MTS plans to increase the number of base stations connected to GPON from 25% to 40–45%. This decision will allow MTS to use the resources of mobile infrastructure to the maximum as well as improving the quality and stability of customer services. MGTS intends to launch mass adoption of XG-PON (10GPON) in its networks in 2017.

elefónica has announced its cooperation with Huawei in virtual enviroments. The two companies are building a large scale virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC), a framework for providing converged voice and data on 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks, in Latin America and Europe. This vEPC network will cover 11 countries in Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala; and two in Europe: Germany and Spain. Network evolution has to cope with traffic growth and Telefónica is facing the challenge using virtualisation technologies in order to gain flexibility to adapt to the changing environment while working on optimisation and achieving efficiencies. Huawei’s vEPC solution, named CloudEPC, enables it to build agile networks that quickly scale to match the performance demands of new services, reduce production costs, support faster service rollout, and dynamically allocate virtual resources while providing carrier-grade availability, security and reliability and enabling seamless integration with Telefónica’s legacy networks. As a result, vEPC allows serving diverse use cases that include traditional customer-centric services, IoT/M2M, MVNO, private LTE, and Mobile-Edge. Visit: www.telefonica.com

This will allow MGTS to become a digital platform for mobile operators at transition to 5G. The first 10GPON test zones will appear in 2017–2018 at the most loaded parts of the network. The 10GPON transition is planned to be completed by 2020. The companies will continue to cooperate in the testing of 5G standard. Visit: www.mtsgsm.com/blog/ Industry Europe 9


NEWS

New developments in the Telecoms industry

ACA Pacific Technology launches Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Solutions across Asia Pacific

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LE, operating under the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise brand, has announced that ACA Pacific Technology, a leading regional value added distributor of technology products and solutions, is now offering Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise based communications and networking products and services to businesses across five countries in Asia Pacific. ACA Pacific Technology will offer the entire suite of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise high end Data Networking, Wi-Fi, Enterprise Voice Communication and Collaboration products and services to help small, medium and large enterprises connect for greater efficiency, scalability and innovation. ACA will help streamline the go-tomarket of ALE, expanding the local and regional reach to support end customers and help accelerate focus towards verticals, cloud and services of ALE in the next few years. ACA will launch the ‘Mobility First’ bundle for SMB customers in January. This bundle targets businesses with 5–300 users and provides competitive pricing and additional cost savings via its mobility, BYOD and Guest Access features. Visit: www.alcatel-lucent.com

EE becomes first UK mobile operator to bring back all customer service calls to the UK and Ireland

EE

, the UK’s biggest mobile operator and part of BT Group, has announced that all of its EE Pay Monthly, Pay As You Go, Broadband and TV customer service calls are now being answered by customer service staff in the UK and Ireland. The move marks

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Accelerating the launch of 5G-ready networks

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BM and Ericsson have announced a research breakthrough that could accelerate the launch of 5G communications networks and support new mobile enterprise and user experiences enabled by very high data rates, including IoT, connected vehicles and immersive virtual reality. The companies have created a compact silicon-based millimeterWave (mmWave) phased array integrated circuit operating at 28GHz, that has been demonstrated in a phased array antenna module designed for use in future 5G base stations. 2017 has been described as a defining year for 5G. More countries and governments are opening up new frequency portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, including portions known as millimeter wave bands, which are more than 10 times higher than the frequencies currently used for current mobile devices, offering a new source of bandwidth for cellular networks that are being made available for 5G networks. Scientists at IBM Research and Ericsson reached their breakthrough as a result of a two-year collaboration that set out to develop phased array antenna designs for 5G. IBM’s expertise in highly integrated phased array mmWave IC and antenna-in-package solutions, together with Ericsson’s expertise in circuit and system design for mobile communications, helped the team reach several new technological milestones. Visit: www.ericsson.com

Virgin Media and BT agree new mobile deal V irgin Media and BT have announced a new five-year Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement. Under the new deal, EE, a BT Group company, will provide wholesale mobile network services to Virgin Media, a subsidiary of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company. This gives Virgin Media increased flexibility to grow its Virgin Mobile operation faster and provide new, innovative services to its customers. The full MVNO agreement, which covers voice and data services, replaces an existing MVNO wholesale agreement between the two companies and extends its exclusivity to 2021. Peter Kelly, managing director of Virgin Mobile, said: “This winning combination with EE will give Virgin Mobile even more control and

firepower to deliver innovative services to the UK mobile market. Virgin Mobile customers want fast speeds, flexibility and plans packed full of data – we’re going to continue to deliver.” Visit: www.btplc.com

the latest in a line of initiatives EE has introduced in its drive to become number one for service in the UK mobile industry. As part of the move, EE has created over 1000 new jobs in the UK and Ireland across its North Tyneside, Darlington, Plymouth and Merthyr Tydfil sites. EE CEO Marc Allera said: “Customer service is a top priority for us, and 2016 was a landmark year in the service that

we provided to our customers. We’ve delivered on the pledge we made last April to answer all EE customer service calls in the UK and Ireland, and are making strong progress towards our commitment to expand EE’s superfast 4G coverage to 95% of the UK landmass by 2020. We’re passionate about making our service the best in the industry.” Visit: www.ee.co.uk


INDUSTRYNEWS Bouygues Telecom and Cellnex sign agreement

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ouygues Telecom and Cellnex have announced the signature of an agreement relating to the operation of 3000 towers in France. There is increasing demand in France for towers due to telecom operators’ need for network densification and the growing development of private networks made possible by new technologies. Present in France since 2016, Cellnex enjoys strong marketing and management capacity and wants to take advantage of current low interest rates and Bouygues Telecom’s know-how to significantly expand its foothold in France. The agreement signed between Bouygues Telecom and Cellnex relates to 3000 towersBouygues Telecom is to gradually transfer an initial batch of 1800 existing towers to Cellnex over the next two years for a total amount of €500 million. Furthermore, Bouygues Telecom and Cellnex will build 1200 new towers together over the next five years for a total amount of €354 million. A 15-year hosting and services agreement signed with Cellnex will enable Bouygues Telecom to ensure the quality and scalability of its mobile offering over the long term. Visit: www.bouyguestelecom.fr

Ericsson, Orange and PSA Group to partner on 5G connected car

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icsson, Orange and PSA Group have signed a partnership agreement to conduct a 5G technology pilot for automotive applications. The ‘Towards 5G’ connected car partnership aims to leverage 4G to 5G technology evolution to address connected vehicle requirements such as intelligent

Nokia launches MIKA

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okia has created a customised ‘digital assistant’ that will improve telecom operators’ efficiency by providing engineers faster access to critical information. ‘MIKA’ – powered by the Nokia AVA cognitive services platform and underpinned by Nokia’s services expertise – will provide voice-dictated automated assistance to reduce time spent searching information resources, enabling operators to focus on key business tasks without being distracted by the complexities of multi-technology network environments. MIKA – or Multi-purpose Intuitive Knowledge Assistant – is the first digital assistant ‘trained’ specifically for the telecom industry, designed to provide automated assistance that saves time and frees highly skilled workers to focus on critical tasks. Nokia analysis of working methods within a Network Operations Centre has revealed that application of MIKA could ‘give back’ more than one hour of productive time every day to engineers by providing them with access to information and recommendations through the interactive user interface. Visit: www.nokia.com

Silicon Valley company Roambee joins forces with T-Systems

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eutsche Telekom’s corporate customer arm, T-Systems, and Silicon Valley-based IoT company, Roambee, have announced a global IoT partnership to offer a real-time visibility solution for goods and assets in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Together, employing an ‘on-demand’ pay-per-use business model, the two companies are delivering an end-to-end solution featuring real time visibility, tracking, and condition monitoring of shipments and assets in-transit and in-field. Roambee will provide pre-built Software-as-aService (SaaS) applications that include wireless portable sensor devices and cloud-based software,

transport system (ITS) to improve road safety, new automotive and in-car services. The partnership is technically focused on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicleto-everything (V2X) architecture and realtime performances for the deployment of ITS and connected services in vehicles. Initial tests use an end-to-end architecture system with LTE technology and will

robust reporting and predictive analytics. The solution will be provided on T-Systems’ highly scalable platform, and offers access to a global infrastructure of highly-secured data centres and cloud solutions from a wide partner ecosystem. “Roambee’s fast-to-deploy-and-to-scale solution adds a strong value to our IoT partner ecosystem globally. Combined with T-Systems’ infrastructure and system integration expertise, we will now jointly enable and transform industries worldwide with IoT applications,” said Anette Bronder, director of T-Systems’ Digital division. Visit: www.t-systems.com evolve to LTE-V and 5G technology. First use cases on Cooperative ITS have been defined and are currently tested on the field test track, such as ‘see through’ between two connected vehicles on a road and a connected emergency vehicle aimed at notification, in real-time, of the emergency vehicle’s approach. Visit: www.ericsson.com Industry Europe 11


WAVELENGTH MOBILITY OPENS PATHS TO EFFICIENCY TWDM-PON Wavelength Mobility technology gives network operators new flexibility to move users and services between wavelengths. It allows operators to create efficiency by supporting novel use cases for equipment protection, bandwidth rebalancing, reduced power usage, network maintenance, rogue optical network unit (ONU) mitigation and infrastructure sharing.

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he TWDM-PON standard calls for colourless ONUs that are completely tunable in the upstream and downstream directions. ONUs are typically slaves that follow wavelength tuning instructions from the optical line termination (OLT). If required, these ONUs can be re-tuned to different wavelengths during operations. Nokia has helped to define and advance the TWDM-PON Wavelength Mobility standard by providing approaches for managing mobility across different channel terminations. These approaches have enabled several key use cases.

Equipment protection If a failure affects specific wavelengths, the operator can minimise the service impact by redirecting traffic to other wavelengths, including wavelengths terminated on different line cards. This strategy is primarily used when an OLT port or the line card behind it fails. It can also be useful if power fails or a wavelength is lost – for example, if a channel attachment fibre is cut. To support the use case, the operator can statically assign a ‘protection’ channel next to the ‘operating’ channel for individual ONUs. The OLT uses Physical Layer Operations, Administration and Maintenance (PLOAM) messages to convey this assignment to each ONU. If a failure occurs, the ONU tunes to the alternative wavelength and negotiates with the new OLT port. 12 Industry Europe

Bandwidth rebalancing Operators can use bandwidth rebalancing to react to changing bandwidth demands or usage trends. When bandwidth thresholds are reached – for example, if bandwidth usage reaches 80 per cent of the threshold on a given channel – the operator can move some users to another channel.

Reduced power usage The operator can reduce power usage by temporarily redirecting subscribers to a specific set of wavelengths and turning some equipment off. For example, at the OLT, the operator can redirect all users to one designated wavelength and shut other OLT ports down during overnight or lowusage hours.

Rogue ONU mitigation A rogue ONU is an ONU that transmits on the PON when it is not supposed to. Traditional rogue ONU mitigation schemes involve shutting off the ONU’s timeslots in the hope that the ONU will listen and stop transmitting. The problem with this approach is that the rogue ONU may ignore those instructions and transmit outside of its assigned window. Wavelength Mobility offers the ability to tune the rogue ONU to a different, unused channel to determine and eventually mitigate its activity. Alternatively, ONUs disturbed by such behavior can also be re-tuned to non-affected channels.

Wavelength Mobility elements and approaches Three elements are required for Wavelength Mobility. The first is the physical aspect of tuning wavelengths on transceivers. The second is the PON protocol, which supports PLOAM interactions and state machines. The third is additional logic and higher-level decision making that can control wavelength and user assignments. Operators can choose from two different approaches to assign wavelengths to ONUs: • Non-calibrated optics on the ONU side: The OLT monitors the signal from the ONU and, based on the received signal, instructs the ONU to move up or down until it reaches the correct wavelength. Once it reaches the correct wavelength, the ONU is continuously fine-tuned through ongoing feedback from the OLT. This feedback ensures that the signal is arriving at a peak level. The ONU similarly tunes its receive side to the correct wavelength and then fine-tunes the filter setting to ensure that a peak signal is received. • Pre-calibrated lasers on the ONU side: The wavelength pairs are pre-calibrated in the ONU transceiver so that the ONU can tune directly to the wavelength pair indicated by the OLT. There is no need for fine-tuning. Because the devices are pre-calibrated in the factory, they can go to an exact wavelength without any feedback from the OLT. If an ONU receives a message on a specific downstream wavelength, it is assumed to be communicating in


the upstream direction using the associated wavelength in the pre-defined pair. Operators can use different mechanisms to reassign wavelengths to ONUs. In each case, the OLT sends instructions embedded in dedicated PLOAM messages defined by the standard. The ONU listens for, receives and processes messages on its current operating wavelength. The OLT allows the ONU to activate on one of four (or eight) wavelength pairs. The OLT is responsible for redirecting the ONU to the right channel and sending down the configuration to activate the service. This can be done in two ways: • Round-robin or uniform assignment: The first ONU is assigned to the first wavelength, the second ONU to the second wavelength and so on. This assignment cycle is repeated, with every fifth ONU assigned again to the first wavelength. • Bandwidth balancing-based assignment: New ONUs are assigned to the wavelength that currently has the lowest aggregate traffic. More advanced assignment and reassignment policies can be controlled by a mobility manager function that determines which channel the ONUs should use for operation.

Tuning strategies and considerations The development of tunable optics is one of the most significant challenges related to TWDM-PON. The most challenging requirements include:

• Reliably and predictably tuning the laser and receiver to a pre-determined wavelength • Mitigating wavelength drift induced by the rapidly changing heat effects of bursty upstream traffic • Enabling fast switching speed for both the laser and receiver • Transmitting at high output power levels with minimum crosstalk on neighboring channels and receiving the downstream signal with sufficient sensitivity and isolation from adjacent channels Several technologies have been considered to address these challenges, both on the transmit and receiver side. On the transmit side, the simplest approach is to use a thermally controlled distributed feedback (DFB) laser. With a DFB laser, the wavelength is set by a thermoelectric cooler that precisely controls the temperature. However, the DFB laser is directly modulated and the temperature can change when there are bursts of traffic. This causes the wavelength to drift outside the allowed wavelength window. The stabilization process involves careful temperature control techniques. Another effective approach is to use an externally modulated laser (EML). An EML consists of a DFB that is always on, followed by an electro-absorption modulator (EAM) that sits in front of the laser to pass light for zeros and block light for ones. As with a DFB, the wavelength is tuned by temperature but drift is reduced because the laser

is not turned on and off. However, the EAM adds extra loss, which makes achieving high power more challenging. On the receiver side, two basic approaches are considered. One is a thermally controlled etalon filter that selects the desired wavelength before passing it on to the receiver. This approach suffers from relatively high attenuation and slow switching time. The alternative is a selectable device (e.g. a MEMS) that tunes or selects the appropriate filter for the desired receive wavelength. Wavelength switches can be seamless for users. However, they happen at the speed at which the laser can tune the wavelength, which varies depending on the application and the service-level agreements that the operator has with customers. With slower lasers, tuning has a greater effect on users.

Looking ahead TWDM-PON is the telecommunications industry’s chosen solution for implementing NG-PON2 fibre access technology. Wavelength Mobility is helping TWDM-PON gain traction with operators. Nokia is helping to lead the development of the Wavelength Mobility standard. The company is also working to improve mobility techniques and help operators use mobility to boost operational efficiency and get maximum value from their n investments in TWDM-PON and fibre. The full report can be found on Nokia Insight: www.insight.nokia.com/ Industry Europe 13


NEWS

New contracts and orders in industry

Boeing selects CTT for 777X humidification systems IVECO secures heavy

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TT SYSTEMS AB has been selected by Boeing to provide the humidification systems for flight deck, crew rests and cabin zone A/B for the Boeing 777X aircraft. CTT will be tier-1 supplier to Boeing and the CTT products will be offered as supplier furnished equipment in the 777X catalogue. Selecting CTT enables Boeing to bring proven humidification capabilities and performance from the 787 to the 777X and migrate to premium passenger cabins (zone A and B). In total, the Boeing 777X aircraft can be equipped with five of our humidifiers. “This is a major win for CTT, building on our experiences on the 787,” said Torbjörn Johansson, CEO of CTT Systems. “The demand for

humidification is proven on the 787 with a flight deck humidifier fleet selection close to 80% and I am convinced that this extended offering will be well received by airlines.” The 777X will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world, with 12% lower fuel consumption and 10% lower operating costs than the competition. Visit: www.ctt.se

ABB Power Grids wins orders totalling $842 million

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BB’s Power Grids division has won a $27 million order in the Philippines, the latest in a series of 4 orders to deliver state-of-the-art power technology in 3 continents. The 4 orders, all booked in December 2016, are collectively

GARO to deliver chargers to Swedavia

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ollowing a procurement process for charging posts, Swedavia has chosen to contract Rexel Sverige AB to supply chargers for electric cars. Under the terms of the contract, Swedavia will invest in 500–600 chargers from GARO over the next three years. The LS4 chargers, which were recently launched in the market, will be able to communicate through

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worth $842 million and feature ABB’s highvoltage direct current (HVDC) technology. They will bring reliable electricity to more than 110 million people. The biggest order (worth $640 million) is a 1800km link that connects south India and central India and will bring electricity to 80 million people. The second order (worth $100 million) is for upgrading an existing HVDC link between Southern California and the Pacific Northwest. The third order (worth $75 million) is an order in Brazil that connects north Brazil to the southeast and provides electricity for more than 10 million people. HVDC is a technology pioneered by ABB more than 60 years ago. ABB has been awarded about 110 HVDC projects, which represents a total installed capacity of more than 120,000 MW and accounts for around half the global installed base. Visit: www.abb.com cloud services for payment solutions and operational monitoring.

Swedavia owns, operates and develops a network of ten Swedish airports, from Kiruna in the north to Malmö in the south. An important focus for the company is sustainable development, with a reduction in its own environmental footprint. GARO has a strong position in the area of vehicle charging and has a complete range for

truck order from John Pointon & Sons

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herwood Truck & Van is delivering a fleet of eight IVECO Stralis Hi-Way 6x2 tractor units into service with Staffordshire-based John Pointon & Sons, supplied on a three year lease via IVECO Capital. Prior to entering service, each of the Stralis AS440S46TX/Ps had been fitted with a tipper wet kit by Commercial Vehicle Hydraulics – ready to operate with a fleet of predominantly tri-axle tipper trailers. The vehicles will support the collection of more than half a million tonnes of animal by-products and food waste each year, providing an essential, reliable and sanitary service for UK industry. With fuel efficiency front-of-mind for the company, each truck features IVECO’s intelligent Eco-Roll function – an advanced system that constantly monitors the road angle, looking for opportunities to safely shift into neutral on downhill stretches, before re-engaging a gear at the end of a descent for normal operation. All eight tractors are powered by IVECO’s proven Cursor 11 engine which produces up to 460 hp between 1500 and 1900 rev/min, and up to 2150 Nm of torque between 925 and 1500 rev/min. Visit: www.iveco.com

quick charging, semi-fast charging and home charging, making GARO unique as a supplier. The build-out of charging infrastructure in Sweden is proceeding at an undiminished pace and is keeping up with the commercialisation of chargeable vehicles and the decisions that are accelerating their expansion toward a fossil fuel-free vehicle fleet. Visit: www.garo.se


WINNINGBUSINESS

Outotec to deliver two sulfuric acid plants to Iran Built to perform:

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utotec has agreed with National Iranian Copper Industries Company (NICICO) on the delivery of two sulfuric acid plants for the Sarcheshmeh and Khatoon Abad copper smelters in the Kerman province in Iran. The value of the orders, approximately €50 million, has been covered by a confirmed Letter of Credit and booked in Outotec’s Q4/2016 order intake. Outotec’s scope of delivery includes engineering, main process equipment and instrumentation for the acid plants as well as spare parts and supervisory services for installation and commissioning. Outotec’s deliveries will take place in mid-2018. “We are pleased to complement our earlier deliveries of Flash Smelting technology for NICICO’s two copper smelters with modern Outotec off-gas cleaning systems and sulfuric acid plants. With these investments, the smelters will have full compliance with the latest environmental standards,” says Kalle Härkki, head of Outotec’s Metals, Energy & Water business unit. Visit: www.outotec.com

Heavy lifting for GAP Hire Solutions

Pemamek to deliver PEMA thin plate panel line to Vard Shipyard

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emamek has signed an agreement to deliver a thin plate panel line to Vard Shipyard in Tulcea, Romania. The new delivered solution will ensure the high-quality production of demanding thin plate panels used in building vessels, such as special cruise ships. With Fincantieri SpA as a majority shareholder, Vard Group AS is specialised in designing and building complex vessels. Thanks to the company’s long traditions and thorough expertise, Vard is one of the major key players in the global shipbuilding industry. The delivery to Vard Tulcea Shipyard is an advanced 12m thin plate panel line with

several cutting-edge features. The panel line is equipped with, among others, a web mounting and welding solution as well as hydraulic onesided welding station, panel cutting, blasting and marking station. Additionally, an integrated stiffener mounting and welding system is included in the solution. To complete the comprehensive delivery, the panel line includes a robotised welding station specifically designed to weld pre-assembled T-beams, but also other secondary structures onto the panels. Visit: www.pemamek.com

Nocart to supply solar hybrid power plant to Zambia

The Nocart power plant will supply power to, among other things, a 30,000 hectare sugarcane plantation and a modern sugar processing factory which is expected to crush approximately 6,000,000 tonnes of sugar cane per year, producing about 800,000 metric tonnes of sugar. Cleantech Invest CEO Alexander Lidgren: “While the Zambian economy relies on 94%

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ocart Oy has signed a supply contract for the delivery of a 30–40 MW solar hybrid power plant to Zambia. The contract is for the first part of a 100MW solar hybrid power plant to supply power to a sugarcane plantation in Zambia’s Shang’ombo district.

ward winning lifting equipment manufacturer Penny Hydraulics has been selected to supply truck cranes to GAP Hire Solutions, the UK’s leading independent equipment hirer. With 8 divisions and over 130 locations across the UK, GAP offers an unrivalled range of equipment and tools for hire, from a half-inch drill to a mobile welfare unit. The PH270 hydraulic crane was the specified crane model for GAP’s 32 tonne trucks. Versatile and easy to operate, the crane is designed to be handled by a single operator and is used across various market sectors including highways, utilities, local authorities, distribution, delivery and hire companies, as well as the building and construction industry. The PH270 cranes are high strength and durable yet compact and lightweight. They are manufactured from the latest high quality steels helping to keep vehicle emissions low, maximise fuel economy and payload. They are electrohydraulically powered, run off the vehicle battery in 24V and are supplied with an integrated motor pump kit with an 11-litre oil tank. Visit: www.pennyhydraulics.com hydropower, the national electrification rate is currently only 25% and the water resources that the country relies on for hydropower are under immense pressure from drought. Through this supply contract Nocart is helping this sugar cane plantation grow production without increasing CO2 emissions or putting more stress on valuable water resources.” Visit: www.nocart.com Industry Europe 15


NEWS

Combining strengths

Avantium acquires Liquid Light Blue Water BREB: logistics specialist for the wind industry

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vantium, a leading chemical technology company and forerunner in renewable chemistry has acquired the assets of Liquid Light Inc., a renowned developer of electrochemical processes. Liquid Light has developed proprietary process technology to make major chemicals from low-cost, globally-abundant carbon dioxide (CO2). The acquisition combines the technologies of both Liquid Light and Avantium to develop a world leading electro-catalysis platform and to commercialise new process technologies using CO2 as feedstock to produce sustainable chemicals and materials. The technology and patent portfolio of Liquid Light will be integrated into Avantium’s Renewable Chemistry business unit and its existing R&D programme in electrochemistry. The combination of Liquid Light’s expertise in electrochemistry with Avantium’s expertise in catalysis and process engineering will be the basis of an unrivaled technology platform to develop novel production technologies for converting CO2 to chemicals and materials. Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium, said: “The acquisition of Liquid Light will extend our capabilities beyond catalytic conversion of biomass. This acquisition will enable the development of a powerful technology platform on the basis of carbon dioxide feedstock, meaning it turns waste into valuable products such as chemicals and plastics.” Visit: www.avantium.com

mutares completes the acquisition of Balcke-Dürr

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utares AG has completed the acquisition of the international equipment manufacturer Balcke-Dürr from SPX Corporation. Balcke-Dürr manufactures components for energy efficiency and the reduction of emissions in the chemical and power generating industry. The company is based in

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joint venture between the two well-established shipping and transport companies, Blue Water Shipping and BREB (Bremer Reederei E&B), has been founded with main focus on servicing the wind turbine industry in Germany. Since 2008, BREB ((Bremer Reederei E&B) has been active in the German offshore wind industry. Today the company has offices in Bremen, Cuxhaven, Sassnitz-Mukran and on Heligoland, and BREB is one of the leading German port agents for the wind industry. BREB has joined forces with the international, Danish-owned transport and logistics company Blue Water Shipping. For more than 20 years, Blue Water has been providing services to the wind industry both on- and offshore. The company is headquartered in Esbjerg, Denmark, with more the 60 offices worldwide.

“Blue Water BREB has a unique set-up, combining the knowledge and expertise of two strong companies – and with this joint venture, we can now offer all types of transport and logistical services at all key locations for the German offshore wind industry,” states Arne Ehlers, Managing Director and Partner of BREB. Visit: www.bws.dk

CERATIZIT Group acquires majority share of Best Carbide Cutting Tools

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he carbide specialist CERATIZIT SA has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary CERATIZIT USA, Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake of the Californian solid carbide round cutting tool manufacturer Best Carbide Cutting Tools, LLC.

Jacques Lanners, co-chairman of the CERATIZIT executive board: “Best Carbide Cutting Tools gives CERATIZIT an exceptional chance to strengthen our network in the USA and build on nationwide top distributors. Best Carbide is known for the quality of its tools, with a strong focus on high-end micro tools.” Mark Nunez, president of Best Carbide: “Through this partnership, Best Carbide will have access to CERATIZIT technologies and expertise that will help the company to improve its manufacturing process, technical capabilities and quality of tooling – with the goal of ultimately adding greater value for our customers. For the first time in its 37-year history, Best Carbide becomes part of a global cutting tool organisation.” Visit: www.ceratizit.com

Dusseldorf, Germany, and has further engineering and production sites in Germany, Italy, Poland, Hungary, China and India. In 2015, it generated revenues of €142 million with 650 employees. The future strategy for Balcke-Dürr is based on the development of its market position with the goal to access new international customers and industries.

Balcke-Dürr will be part of mutares’ engineering & technology segment in which mutares enjoys attractive market dynamics. Hence, mutares will further invest in this segment and is convinced that Balcke-Dürr will be an ideal platform investment, being a renowned brand in the industry. Visit: www.balcke-duerr.com


LINKINGUP Valmet Automotive and CATL partner in electric vehicle solutions

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almet Automotive and Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL), a leading global provider of battery and energy storage solutions, have entered into strategic partnership in electric automotive solutions. Simultaneously CATL has subscribed to new shares issued by Valmet Automotive for a 22% ownership in the company. CATL is a private Chinese company developing, manufacturing and providing after-sales services of lithium-ion battery solutions for electric vehicles and energy storage markets. It is among the three leading electric vehicle battery providers globally and the clear market leader in China with a large portfolio of world class customers. It has a strong aspiration to enlarge its footprint and further expand its business in the fast evolving European electric vehicle market. At the end of 2016, CATL employed over 10,000 employees worldwide. Competences and businesses of Valmet Automotive and CATL are strongly complementary. The companies will together build capabilities to support the leading European automotive manufacturers and their suppliers by engineering electric vehicle drive train solutions and supplying battery packs to them. The partnership also strengthens CATL’s position to enter the fast evolving European electric vehicle market. Visit: www.valmet-automotive.com

Lesjöfors acquires Spiralspecialisten

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eijer Alma’s subsidiary Lesjöfors has acquired Spiralspecialisten AB, a company that produces customised springs for the engineering industry in northern Europe and has its manufacturing operations in Stockholm. The company has long-standing customer relationships with well-known Swedish and European engineering companies.

Vattenfall to acquire ‘Atlantis I’ V attenfall has signed an agreement to acquire the project company PNE WIND Atlantis I GmbH from PNE WIND AG. PNE WIND Atlantis I GmbH is the owner of the offshore wind project ‘Atlantis I’, which is located in the German North Sea 84km north-west off the island of Borkum and the project site allows a potential for up to 73 wind turbines of multi megawatt class. PNE WIND AG will remain involved in the further development of project Atlantis I as a long-term service provider, contributing its expertise and knowledge about Atlantis I. “After our successful participation in the tender rounds in Denmark last year where we could reinforce our offshore wind portfolio with another 950 MW, we are now well on track in the German market as well. We can now apply our know-how

in terms of cost reduction for offshore wind in this country as well – for the benefit of the electricity customers and thus for the further acceptance of this effective way to produce green energy,” says Gunnar Groebler, senior vice-president and head of Business Area Wind at Vattenfall. Visit: www.vattenfall.com

Certex and Forankra expanding jointly in the UK

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ith the acquisition of cargo control specialists Pritchard Tyrite, Axel Johnson International’s business group AxLoad opens up for an important expansion within cargo securing and lifting equipment in the UK. Pritchard Tyrite will be managed by Certex UK but also establish the first UK base for Certex’s sister-company, cargo securing products and services supplier, Forankra.

“Through this acquisition, we have added another well-managed, profitable spring manufacturer to the group and further strengthened our market position in the Nordic region,” says Bertil Persson, president and CEO of Beijer Alma. Over the years, Lesjöfors has conducted a number of acquisitions and established strong platforms in the Nordic region, other

Pritchard Tyrite is one of the UK’s leading importers, manufacturers and distributors of cargo control equipment. Pritchard Tyrite’s focus on the transport sector neatly aligns with Certex’s wider focus on wire ropes and lifting gear in the offshore, ports, crane and other major markets. In addition, the deal includes also Pritchard Tyrite’s sister company TRS Motorsport Equipment, distributors and manufacturers of FIA approved motorsport safety harnesses, road harnesses, vehicle accessories and carbon fibre products. “With Certex UK we have the local management in place to take the lead in this process but also in supporting the establishment of our cargo securing specialist Forankra in the UK,” says Martin Malmvik, CEO and president of Axel Johnson International. Visit: www.certex.co.uk areas of Europe, North America and Asia. Including Spiralspecialisten, the company now has 25 production units in 12 countries. “Spiralspecialisten is now part of a global group of companies with the broadest combined offering of springs and flat strip components in the market,” says Kjell-Arne Lindbäck, president of Lesjöfors. Visit: www.beijeralma.se Industry Europe 17


NEWS

MOVINGON

Relocations and expansions across Europe

New direct train connection between Kiel and Trieste

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he port of Kiel is extending its services in combined traffic with a new direct train connection between Kiel and the Adriatic port of Trieste in Northern Italy. Dr Dirk Claus, managing director at Port of Kiel: “This is a milestone for Kiel as a logistics hub. The train is an ideal link for rapid freight transport between the Baltic and the Eastern Mediterranean Seas.” The destinations of the train – Kiel and Trieste – are equally points of departure for efficient ferry lines to Scandinavia and to Turkey. The direct train connection was initiated by the logistics company EKOL. Stena Line, who transports the goods from and to Sweden with its ships, has accompanied the project right from the start and contributed decisively to its realisation. Last year, there were more than 29,000 unit loads handled via Kiel in combined transport for the first time. At the moment, Kiel is connected via Hamburg-Billwerder to the whole national network by combi-shuttles operating five times a week. In addition, there are five direct train connections a week to Verona. Visit: www.portofkiel.com

Port of Swansea takes delivery of equipment set to boost efficiency

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he second of five highly efficient hydraulic cranes destined for Associated British Ports (ABP) facilities across the UK has arrived at ABP Swansea. Supplied and installed by the country’s largest independent provider of port equipment, Cooper Specialised Handling, the Mantsinen 120M crane is part of a £6 million deal between the two companies. A smaller version of the acclaimed equipment was recently installed at the port operator’s facility in Teignmouth, Devon and it is now unloading 2000T vessels two hours quicker, using less fuel, than the crane it replaced. Tony Rooney, managing director at Cooper Specialised Handling, commented: “We are delighted that the Teignmouth crane is already proving its worth and the equipment that has now arrived in South Wales shares the same HybriLift energy storage and recovery system so we expect similar savings at the Port of Swansea. Covering an area of 521 acres, ABP’s Port of Swansea annually handles over 500,000 tonnes of agribulks, coal, aggregates and project cargo. The port has the capacity to handle vessels of up to 30,000 dwt and the new equipment will be used to improve the efficiency of cargo handling. Visit: www.cooperhandling.com

Hitex International Group expands operations in North America

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itex International Group, a leading global provider of road safety markings and surfacing solutions, has launched Hitex North America. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, Hitex North America will provide customers throughout the USA and Canada with innovative, high quality products including

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Wärtsilä CSSC joint venture opens new engine factory in China

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SSC Wärtsilä Engine Co Ltd (CWEC), the joint venture company formed between Wärtsilä and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), has formally opened its new production facilities located at Lingang, Shanghai. The new 20,000m2 production plant is the first in China capable of locally producing large-bore, medium speed diesel and dual-fuel (DF) engines. The plant will also manufacture medium-bore, medium speed diesel and DF engines. Wärtsilä 26, Wärtsilä 32, Wärtsilä 34DF, Wärtsilä 46F and Wärtsilä 46DF engines will be produced at the factory, which has a planned production capacity of 180 engines per year. CWEC has already booked orders for more than 70 engines and is focused on the cruise, ferry, LNG carrier, offshore, special vessel, and large container ship markets, all of which are strategic growth markets for the Chinese shipbuilding sector. “We are extremely pleased to officially open this modern production facility, the first in China capable of producing DF engines, which will serve China’s shipbuilding industry with high quality, technologically advanced Wärtsilä marine engines. It is an honour to be sharing this day with our joint venture partners, CSSC, one of China’s most modern industrial corporations,” commented Wärtsilä’s president & CEO, Jaakko Eskola. Visit: www.wartsila.com

Unique Group brings expertise in hyperbaric oxygen treatment chambers to new healthcare markets

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nique Group, the leading integrated subsea and offshore solution provider, is investing almost €2 million in an innovative healthcare division to bring its 25 years of expertise in hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) chambers to new markets. Headquartered in Rotterdam, Unique Medical Technology will serve the healthcare market across Europe, Middle East and Asia and draw on the experience, knowledge and expertise of the wider Unique Group. Harry Gandhi, chief executive of Unique Group, comments: “There has long been a gap for a genuine hyperbaric specialist company in the medical sector and Unique Medical Technology will fill that space.” The new business will initially focus on the production of hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) chambers with integrated critical care monitoring equipment and will also provide specialist training in the use of the technology. Visit: www.uniquegroup.com

preformed markings, high friction surfacing materials, road crack and joint repair systems and decorative road surfacing materials. According to John Lloyd, managing director of Hitex Traffic Safety: “Hitex North America will provide customers across the USA and Canada with easy access to Hitex’s full product range. In addition, by offering the highest level of technical sup-

port, we aim to provide a real alternative to traditional suppliers in these key markets. “Hitex is committed to prioritising the safety and well-being of all highway users with ongoing programmes to develop innovative and cost effective road safety and surfacing solutions that deliver consistently high levels of quality and performance,” added Lloyd. Visit: www.hitexinternational.com


NEWS

INDUSTRYPEOPLE Lotta Lyrå appointed new CEO of Clas Ohlson

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otta Lyrå has been appointed new president and CEO of Clas Ohlson, effective as of 16 June

2017. Mrs Lyrå comes from a position as head of Development & Expansion at IKEA Group, where she is a member of the group management team. Before the role as head of Development & Expansion, Lotta Lyrå has held several leading positions within IKEA Group, for instance as CEO assistant and within strategy development and digital transformation. “In Lotta Lyrå, we have recruited a strong leader with many relevant experiences and personal qualities making her the right person to continue developing the company,” says Kenneth Bengtsson, chairman of the board at Clas Ohlson.

Björn Koorem new president of LKAB Berg & Betong

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jörn Koorem has been appointed president of LKAB Berg & Betong AB, a subsidiary group wholly owned by LKAB. “Björn has a solid and longstanding background in areas which are relevant for the LKAB Berg & Betong group and he has managed major projects. I look forward to welcoming him to the company. His experience will contribute to the development of operations within LKAB Berg & Betong,” says Åsa Sundqvist, Operational Support and Business Development, LKAB. Most recently, Björn Koorem has served as general manager of Boliden Aitik but, among other things, he has previously been responsible for construction work in LKAB’s underground mine in Malmberget and has also managed the Malmberget mine.

Matthias Zink takes over as CEO Scott Hall new head of Hiab’s Automotive at Schaeffler AG global Sales and Services M H iab, part of Cargotec, has appointed Scott Hall as senior vice-president, Sales & Services as of 24 January 2017. Scott Hall will lead Hiab’s global Sales & Services function and drive sales and services excellence across Hiab’s global network. He will report to Hiab’s President Roland Sundén and be a member of the Hiab Leadership Team. Scott Hall brings with him extensive experience from leading positions in international sales and business management at globally operating companies. Before joining Hiab in 2015, he worked more than ten years at Volvo Construction Equipment being responsible for global sales and marketing, his most recent position being president and CEO of Volvo Rents.

Dr Guido Bonati to take over as CEO at LIMO

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Guido Bonati has been appointed CEO of LIMO Lissotschenko Mikrooptik GmbH. Dr Paul Harten and Dr Chung-En Zah will also continue to serve as managing directors. Dr Bonati brings with him over 20 years of extensive experience in the laser industry.

atthias Zink (47) has assumed his position as a member of the executive board of Schaeffler AG as of January 1, 2017. He is as Co-CEO Automotive responsible for the business divisions Transmission Systems, Automotive Aftermarket and Research and Development for the Automotive division. Matthias Zink studied mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe. He has held various leadership positions before becoming responsible for the Clutch Systems business unit in 2006. After leading the business unit successfully for six years, he assumed the position as president of Schaeffler Automotive Asia/Pacific in China in 2012. In 2014, Matthias Zink transferred back to Germany to become president of the Transmission Technologies Business Unit. In July 2014, he was appointed President of the Transmission Systems Business Division.

After serving in a management capacity for many years as a managing director at several Jenoptik Group companies, he most recently held the position of director Business Development & Product Line Management and was a member of the executive board at Coherent GmbH in Göttingen, Germany – a subsidiary of the US laser manufacturer that goes by the same name.

Bonati has a doctorate in engineering and, in addition to over 16 years of management experience in the fields of product and corporate development, is also a recognised technology expert and proven authority on international markets for lasers and optics with a strong customer- and market-oriented focus.

Industry Europe 19


NEWS

TECHNOLOGYSPOTLIGHT

Advances in technology across industry

ATR and Sweden’s Gas imaging makes quantum BRA perform first leap with a single pixel ATR biofuel flight N

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ATR 72-600 of the Swedish carrier BRA (former Braathens Regional) took off from Stockholm-Bromma in February to Umeå fueled at 45% with fossil-free used cooking oil, marking the first biofuel-powered flight of an ATR aircraft. Thanks to its lighter structure, optimised speed and engines designed for short routes, ATR’s aircraft already demonstrates the best environmental performance in its segment. Nonetheless, ATR continues to invest in virtuous technologies and contributes to European research and development efforts to take advances in environmental performance even further. ATR encourages the use of alternative fuels and offers support to customers and local governments in developing a comprehensive business plan, from fuel selection to routing, certification and availability for seamless airline operations. Christian Clemens, chief executive officer of BRA, declared: “Sweden is currently debating a new tax on aviation. It will have a minimal impact on emissions, and will unfortunately slow down the pace in which we can continue to make aviation more sustainable. The ATR 72-600, especially if powered by biofuel, is the optimal transportation on many of our routes and features the highest standards of environmental care.” Christian Scherer, chief executive officer of ATR, declared: “Today’s challenge is to get a large-scale production of biofuels at affordable costs while avoiding a negative impact on the environment. Swedish airlines like BRA can take advantage of the massive expansion of its forests, along with the operation of fuel-efficient turboprops, to reach the ambitious goal of halving their CO2 emissions by 2025.” Visit: www.atr-aircraft.com 20 Industry Europe

ew technology which could offer the oil and gas industry a cheaper way to visualise methane gas is taking one step closer to becoming commercially available. In a paper published in the journal Optics Express, researchers from the University of Glasgow’s School of Physics and Astronomy and Scottish photonics company M Squared Lasers describe how they have used a technique called single-pixel imaging to create real-time video images of methane gas in a typical atmospheric setting. While gas imaging technology has been commercially available for some time, current systems are expensive, bulky and power-hungry. Single-pixel imaging uses just one light-sensitive pixel to build digital images instead of using conventional multi-pixel sensor arrays, which can be prohibitively expensive for infrared imaging. This allows the researchers to build a much smaller, cheaper gas detection system. The scene in front of the sensor is illuminated using a sequence of infrared patterns created using a laser tuned to 1.65μm, the absorption wavelength of methane, and display

technology commonly found in digital data projectors. Using sophisticated sampling techniques to correlate the projected patterns and the gas, the researchers can create a real-time, colour coded image of the gas overlaid on an image of the scene using a conventional colour camera. Dr Graham Gibson, lead author of the paper, said: “Working with M Squared Lasers, with the support of QuantIC, has been of immense benefit to the project. M Squared’s advanced laser systems allowed us to effectively ‘tune in’ to the wavelength of methane gas, and opens up the possibility of using the system to detect other types of gases in the future.” Visit: www.glasgow.ac.uk

Asia’s first hybrid electric ferry heralds cleaner sea travel

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he Taiwanese harbour city of Kaohsiung has launched a new hybrid electric ferry, which could revolutionise marine passenger transport across the region by curbing greenhouse and diesel emissions. Kaohsiung recently re-launched the popular Cijian Island passenger ferry, retrofitted with a Visedo electric propulsion system, replacing the original diesel engine. It heralds Asia’s first hybrid electric ferry and, if successful, the Kaohsiung City Government plans to retrofit the rest of its diesel fleet to help reduce pollution levels around Taiwan’s largest harbour. Visedo OY, a leading Finnish manufacturer of electric drivetrains for marine vessels, commercial vehicles and heavy duty applications, worked alongside Taiwan’s Ship and Ocean Industries R&D Center, also known as SOIC, to complete the retrofit. Visedo CEO Kimmo Rauma said: “Given the geography, ferries are a vital mode of public transport across East and Southeast Asia but they are also the most energy intensive per

kilometre travelled. Until now, diesel ferries have been a dirty but necessary part of life around harbours like Kaohsiung. In Hong Kong for example, passenger ferries make up the majority of licensed vessels in Victoria Harbour, where it’s estimated air pollution kills about 3200 people every year. “Visedo has developed a cost-effective and efficient alternative, so rather than waiting until a vessel’s service life ends, harbour cities can swap noisy, dirty and expensive diesel for silent electric powertrains that are more efficient, can halve fuel costs and emit no fumes or oil pollution.” Visit: www.visedo.com


NEWS

NOTICEBOARD

Magnesium is ready for take off

R Ansell introduces world’s thinnest chemical resistant disposable glove

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nsell, a global leader in protection solutions, announces the introduction of Microflex 93-260, the thinnest chemical resistant, single use glove available on the market today. This breakthrough solution offers tough protection against a broad range of chemicals, while still providing the dexterity and tactility of a thin, disposable glove. The new Microflex 93-260 is a thin, disposable glove designed to offer higher levels of protection against chemicals for longer periods of time than ordinary single use gloves. The glove achieves this through an innovative three-layer design that

resists a wide range of aggressive chemicals. Its exterior nitrile layer delivers maximum protection against several organic solvents, while the soft neoprene middle layer provides acid and base resistance. A final interior layer provides a continual dry feel, while also easing the donning and doffing, or putting on and removing, process. The glove is just 0.19mm thick, so it offers this superior protection while also providing enhanced tactility and dexterity for easy handling of small parts and tools. Visit: www.ansell.eu

LumaSense introduces MCL640 thermal imaging camera

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umaSense Technologies, Inc. has introduced the MCL640 thermal imaging camera, the next generation in LumaSense’s line of infrared thermal imagers designed specifically for industrial process control and monitoring. The MCL640 camera offers 640 x 480 resolution imaging for long wave infrared applications, producing superior images and temperature measurement (±2 °C). The MCL640 thermal imager resolution is four times greater than the camera it replaces and it offers expanded lens options. These new features combine to provide users with better and more accurate temperature measurement accuracy to improve process control. In addition to the new lenses, the MCL640 camera can be ordered with a number of environmental enclosures enabling accurate and safe operation in the harshest environments. The new Vortex Cooled (VC) enclosure is a heavy-duty housing that can be used in a wide range of industrial applications including steel and paper mills, refineries and automotive parts production. The enclosure accommodates an air purge for use in classified hazardous areas in petrochemical applications. Visit: www.lumasenseinc.com

esearchers at Birmingham City University are hoping to transform the fortunes of magnesium this year, by showcasing it as a viable alternative for luxury car makers and the aerospace industry. It came as the institution signed an exclusive partnership with the world’s largest producer of magnesium components, Meridian. The strategic alliance will see the two organisations work together in the education, research and development of magnesium use, which will place fuel efficiency through weight savings and sustainability at its core. At 1.8g/cm³, magnesium is the lightest of all structural materials, the eighth most abundant chemical element in the earth’s crust and is 100 per cent recyclable. As part of the new partnership with Meridian, academics from Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment and personnel from the company will be investigating new ways to offer more sustainable goods for low-volume manufacturers, whilst making production financially viable for Meridian and its potential clients. Visit: www.bcu.ac.uk

Rapid evacuations with audible alarm transmission from Securiton

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udible voice messages significantly increase the chances of survival in a fire emergency. A recent addition to the Securiton portfolio is a

professional voice alarm system from the Securiton affiliate g+m elektronik AG. These systems are connected directly to the SecuriFire 3000 fire alarm system via a standard-compliant interface and offer the very highest standard of alarm technology. Voice messages are transmitted in perfect quality via an integrated loudspeaker system. These messages can originate either directly from the integrated voice memory of the system, or they can be spoken live into the microphone as the situation demands. The intelligent connection of the voice alarm systems to the fire alarm systems offers unri-

valled advantages. There are no diversions to other systems or contacts, which subsequently reduces the time between fire detection and a targeted voice alarm. People in danger then gain valuable seconds in reaching safety. The integration of the developer and manufacturer g+m elektronik AG into the Securitas Group has resulted in unique synergies from which Securiton customers can benefit. They receive a combined system from a single source that leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to reliability, safety and user-friendliness. Visit: www.securiton.ch Industry Europe 21


EURO-REPORT

FOCUS ON...

Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on finding work for refugees and dealing with Brexit.

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ust 34,000 refugees out of 1.2 million who arrived in Germany over the past two years have managed to get a job. These numbers, along with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity polling figures, could start to crunch on the bad side of disastrous come general election time in the autumn when she seeks a fourth term in office. The government’s Institute for Labour Research (IAB) also said that of the employed, nearly a quarter are on temporary contracts. It has led to criticism that future economic benefits the government touted during the refugee crisis may never materialise. The numbers apply to refugees mostly from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea. “If we manage to get 50 per cent of them into work which pays for their lives in five years, that’d certainly be a success,” said Joachim Müller, director of the ISN. “But it would be an illusion to believe that we will manage to find jobs for a decent proportion of refugees in well-paid industry jobs like car manufacturing.” One bright side is that the crisis has created an estimated 60,000 jobs for Germans in social work, teaching and in security for the numerous asylum centres around the country. The Kiel Institute for the World Economy suggested that by the end of 2018, more refugees will be employed than out of work, but other economic experts are not so certain.

Fall out from Brexit As this year’s election is being fought on two fronts – refugees and the economy – there looks like being more trouble in store for Mrs Merkel due to the UK’s Brexit vote. German trade and industry leaders believe there will be no swift return to business as usual following the UK’s decision to quit the EU. Britain was the third largest export market for Germany with trade valued at €90 billion annually. Over 2500 companies from Germany have a branch in the United Kingdom. “A no to the EU means withdrawing Britain 22 Industry Europe

from the European internal market and this could directly affect jobs in Germany,” said Volker Treier, deputy chief executive at the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). “The reason; a possible devaluation of the British pound against the euro and higher inflation. That would increase the price of German goods in the United Kingdom and possibly reduce the sales.” According to a study of the credit insurer Euler Hermes, German exporters would suffer through a Brexit until 2019 losses in the order of €6.8 billion. Industrial giants Siemens and Bosch said it was too early to say what the fallout of Brexit might mean for trade. But experts say the German automobile industry would see a decline in exports of two billion euros, in the chemicals sector it would be 1.1 billion and for machine makers an estimated one billion. German carmakers like BMW rely heavily on exports to the UK, selling every fifth vehicle produced in Germany in Britain. BMW lost approximately more than nine per cent in value after the Brexit result. German media said its Mini plants and an engine factory in Britain will ‘feel the chill’ if free trade falls off. The group will not speculate on the production sites – Oxford, Hams Hall, Swindon and Goodwood, where BMW has invested around €2.2 billion. “Apart from the British themselves, Germany will probably be the biggest loser from Brexit,” said Clemens Fuest, the head of the Ifo Institute, an influential economic think tank.“The withdrawal will affect all German industry.” Holger Schmiedig, chief economist at Berenberg Bank, said: “It’s difficult to calculate just how great that risk is, because it remains entirely unclear which trade agreements would be eliminated and which would be replaced by new deals.” Only in the world of start-ups is there some optimism – but for Germany, not Britain.

The German Association of Start-Ups sees ‘Berlin as a winner, London as a loser’. “Britain is an exporting country for IT and telecommunications products and an important trade partner for Germany, for years one of the most important,” said Bernhard Rohleder of the digital association BITKOM. Brexit, he says, changes this. And Florian Noell, chairman of the Association of German Start-Ups added that a British retreat from the EU may well see Berlin supplant London as the main start-up centre in Europe. “The German start-up capital of Berlin is the winner of Brexit and London the loser. At the same time, it was not a victory we’ll celebrate. We haven’t seen ourselves as German or British entrepreneurs in a long time. We are European entrepreneurs. Our startups were founded for international markets.” The German Association of the Internet Industry, eco, also say they expect that Brexit will bring a boost to Berlin as London loses its appeal as a pioneer for Europe. Still, eco also sees Brexit as a setback for Europe in terms of global competition because plans to create a digital single market will now be on a smaller scale. “A fragmented market will lose every form of competitiveness compared with countries like the USA,” warned eco’s politics and law director Oliver Süme. “It will bring enormous insecurity in legal terms for companies in the Internet economy, and thus likely a drop in sales.” Bitkom’s Bernhard Rohleder also said he expected that the UK would distance itself from the principles of having a single market for the Internet. “We must now make sure that the consequences for the German and the European digital economy remain as small as possible. Companies in Germany will have to deal with different rules in the UK. That is almost impossible for mediumn sized companies and start-ups.”


EURO-REPORT

FOCUS ON...

France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on more woes for France’s winegrowers.

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rench wine producers are in uproar over a government plan to double the size of health warnings on bottles urging women not to drink alcohol when pregnant. The current warning shows a 5mm high sillouette of a pregnant woman holding a wine glass, with a diagonal ‘stop sign’ line through it. But the health ministry now plans to increase the size of the logo to 1cm high, in response to the latest figures from the National Institute for Health and Medical Research, which reveal that a quarter of French women continue to drink alcohol when pregnant. The warnings were first introduced ten years ago after several mothers of babies diagnosed with foetal alcohol syndrome sued the government for failing to alert them to the dangers. But Herve Grandeau, of the Bordeaux Wine Producers’ Federation, described the measure as ‘half-baked’ and accused the government of merely trying to ‘salve the conscience of the authorities’. He said: “There has been no study of alcohol consumption by pregnant women since the warning came in. We don’t know if it works. Today it’s a larger warning, tomorrow they’ll want more colours and soon wine labels will be drowned in health warnings.” And Bernard Farges, who represents another Bordeaux winegrowers’ association, added: “This leads us to fear that the government will eventually impose bottles similar to plain cigarette packets, which have been introduced in France to combat smoking.” But experts say around 8000 babies are born each year in France with mental or physical health problems caused by their mothers’ consumption of alcohol, and the medical community is increasingly concerned about the risks. Leading paediatrician Dr Denis Lamblin said: “You can’t just blame the mothers. It’s society as a whole and drinks manufacturers whose advertising increasingly targets woman of childbearing age.

“The current warning is not visible enough, and producers do everything to camouflage it. Why are there photos of malformed foetuses on cigarette packets when the consequences of smoking during pregnancy are less dramatic than those of alcohol? “There is one baby with alcohol-related problems born every hour in France. As well as causing miscarriages, alcohol has been linked with more than 400 medical disorders in children.” The new health warnings are the latest gripe of winemakers, who claim they are already suffering from the worst harvest in 30 years last year, and competition from ‘cheap’ foreign imports.

“Our tanks are full, prices are falling and wine merchants are asking us to lower prices.” Last month, producers staged a day of action in south west France, emptying at least one tanker of Spanish wine and blocking a depot used by the wine subsidiary of Carrefour supermarket. Sixty winegrowers also blocked the entrance to Prodis, the wine subsidiary of the Carrefour supermarket group, near a site in Nómes known to be used for producing bag-in-box wines. Other protesters went to the motorway toll of Gallargues-le-Monteux, 15 miles away, to find lorries containing Spanish wine. Anaôs Amalric, co-president of Jeunes Agriculteurs du Gard, said: “These Spanish imports prevent us from selling our French products. Our tanks are full, prices are falling and wine merchants are asking us to lower prices. This is unacceptable.” Last year, several wine industry leaders in Languedoc sounded the alarm over cheap Spanish imports. Some producers also hijacked lorries and attacked depots, but local unions officially condemned the violence.

Critics have said that French winemakers must accept competition from other EU member states. But some Languedoc winemakers claim that fewer taxes in Spain make competition unfair.

Tourism picks up Meanwhile, the French tourism industry is finally celebrating the return of visitors after two of the worst years in the industry’s history after a spate of terrorist attacks. During the last three months of 2016, the amount of overnight stays showed an increase of 3.9 per cent compared to the last quarter of 2015, after two consecutive quarters of decline, according to the Institute of Statistics. This strong rebound is more than offsetting the net decline of minus 1.8 per cent recorded a year earlier, and was directly attributed to terrorism. The rebound comes after the French government vowed to plough €10 million into boosting its tourism industry, in response to street protests by hoteliers and other hospitality industry owners at global losses of around €750 million over two years. The money is being spent on publicity campaigns promoting France around the world, boasting about the country’s museums, cafes, beaches and cultural attractions. Tourism is a €170 billion industry in France, with 90 billion of that accounting for cafes, restaurants and hotels alone. With 2 million people working in the tourism services sector, a decrease in tourism arrivals can have a ripple effect throughout the entire economy. Steve Born, head of marketing for the US-based tour group Globus, said: “We have seen that bookings for 2017 are now back on a par with the level before the 2015 attacks. France has it all. For those that are looking to visit Europe, it’s such an iconic experience n and must-see destination.” Industry Europe 23


HANNOVER MESSE

HAS IT ALL Encompassing seven international trade fairs under one roof, HANNOVER MESSE is the world’s leading industrial trade show covering a wider range of themes and exhibits than any other event. Furthermore, the show will highlight this year’s official Partner Country, Poland, and the many ways in which it stands out in terms of both innovation and growth.

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ast year’s HANNOVER MESSE attracted over 190,000 visitors and the 2017 edition of the event is shaping up to be just as successful. With a wide range of themes including R&D, industrial automation and IT, industrial supply, production engineering and services as well as energy and environmental technology, visitors and exhibitors can take advantage of the opportunity to win new sales leads in other sectors and gain unique access to new products and technologies from all over the world. The line-up for HANNOVER MESSE 2017 falls into seven separate events, each a leading event in its own right. They are: Industrial Automation; Motion, Drive & Automation; Digital Factory; Energy; ComVac; Industrial Supply and Research & Technology. 24 Industry Europe

Highlighting the benefits of ‘Industrie 4.0’ One of the key messages at HANNOVER MESSE 2016 was the increasingly mainstream importance of integrated industry and the show therefore featured over 400 application examples of fully digitalised processes for the manufacturing and energy industries. ‘Integrated Industry – Creating Value’ is the official lead theme for HANNOVER MESSE 2017. “Widespread uptake of digitalisation in the manufacturing and energy industries will only happen if integrated technology providers make a strong case for the associated benefits,” said Deutsche Messe managing board member Dr Jochen Köckler. “Manufacturers and energy companies need to fully understand the direct, long-term benefits they stand to gain from


digitalisation. They need to recognize that digitalisation adds value – and not just in terms of new and better machines. Value is also created by the ability that digitalisation gives companies to update or completely reinvent their business models and improve the working lives of individual employees.” HANNOVER MESSE 2017 will seek to demonstrate how even companies with limited resources can pinpoint and harness the power of digitalisation. The show will provide guidance to visitors from the manufacturing industries looking to leverage the benefits of digitalisation and transform their plants into Industrie 4.0 factories. According to Köckler: “Industrie 4.0 is not about replacing all manufacturing plant all at once; it is a gradual process. For example, companies can begin by fitting sophisticated sensors to existing plant to capture and evaluate data that will help them make improvements to their production processes or develop new business models.”

Digital Factory continues to grow Digital Factory, one of the seven main shows taking place at HANNOVER MESSE, incorporates many of the above themes. Since the initial edition in 2004, Digital Factory has grown continuously and is now one of the leading trade shows for integrated processes and IT solutions. 2016 was a record year for the show, with over 350 exhibitors and 86,500 trade visitors. Arno Reich, manager of Digital Factory, explains what he believes to be the reason behind this growing interest: “Incorporated into HANNOVER MESSE, and the only event that reflects the entire industrial value chain, Digital Factory is the perfect platform to present IT solutions and processes for the industrial sector.” Exhibits now range from traditional CAD systems to AI and cloud services. “The supporting forums and conferences, especially the Industrie 4.0 Forum in Hall 8, have become major events and increase the attractiveness of Digital Factory,” continues Reich. In 2016, the Industrie 4.0 Forum attracted over 8200 visitors. The layout for Digital Factory 2017 has more room for exhibitors and visitors: CAx and PLM can be found in Hall 6 – with major exhibitors like Dassault Systemes, EPLAN Software&Service, Siemens Software,

Autodesk and IGE-XAO. New to Hall 6 is the Additive Manufacturing cluster represented, among others, by Arburg, HP, Stratasys and EOS. Also new to Hall 6 this year are BITKOM and Accenture. The CAE Forum can be found once again in Hall 6 as well. “Overall 2017 will be even more international – and even better integrated with other exhibition areas,” states Arno Reich. As a part of HANNOVER MESSE, Digital Factory provides the IT sector with numerous intersections to other industries such as machine engineering, drive systems and components, and the energy sector. One example of this is its proximity to Industrial Supply, which can result in “major synergy potential in the area of lightweight construction.”

Motion, Drive & Automation MDA (Motion, Drive & Automation) is the number one trade show for the power transmission and control industry, staged as part of HANNOVER MESSE on alternate years. Among other things, this year’s edition will feature innovative, efficiency-enabling mechatronic and CPS systems. The strength of the show’s international reach can be seen from the fact that it draws about two thirds of its exhibitors from abroad. The big-name exhibitors at this year’s MDA include Aventics, Bosch Rexroth, Camozzi, Hansa-Flex, Hydac, KTR, Metal Work, NTN-SNR, Parker Hannifin, Schaeffler, Trelleborg, ZF Friedrichshafen, Desch and Argo-Hytos. “MDA is the most important trade fair for the power transmission and control industry. Exhibitors from this industry benefit enormously from MDA’s synergies with other trade shows at HANNOVER MESSE. They also benefit from dialogue with the high-level business and political leaders who are naturally drawn to HANNOVER MESSE as the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology,” commented Dr Jochen Köckler, a member of the managing board of HANNOVER MESSE organiser Deutsche Messe. As Industry 4.0 is about interconnectedness, this year’s MDA show will feature a special “Predictive Maintenance” display and adjoining forum in Hall 19, where visitors will be able learn about the latest technologies for pinpointing impending outages before they occur, speeding up overhaul processes and avoiding production outages. Industry Europe 25


26 Industry Europe


Industry Europe 27


Energy Efficiency First

New online guide at Industrial Supply

In the summer of 2016 the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) reactivated the debate regarding its energy efficiency policy’s long-term strategic direction with its Energy Efficiency Green Paper and circulated the motto ‘Energy Efficiency First’. In a study for the BMWi, the consulting institute adelphi, dena and other partners are identifying which innovations can make concrete contributions to increasing energy efficiency in industry. They are examining both the technical and economic potential of energy efficient innovations as well as the obstacles that have so far been hampering their penetration of the market. Those innovations can be found at HANNOVER MESSE 2017. The special display Digital Energy in Hall 12 is presenting intelligent solutions for energy management in the industrial sector. Exhibitors will include the energy technology provider Restore, which specialises in automated demand response solutions (load management). IngSoft is showcasing special software, especially its web-based application IngSoft InterWatt at Digital Energy. “Experience shows that 10 to 15 per cent of energy costs can be saved with no significant investment using systematic energy controlling,” the company claims. Various exhibitors at HANNOVER MESSE 2017 recently joined together in the ‘360° Energy Efficiency’ project, including Janitza electronics, a manufacturer of energy measuring devices; Glen Dimplex Deutschland, a specialist for cooling and heating technology; and Kaeser Kompressoren, a compressor system provider. At Industrial Automation Janitza electronics is presenting its new system for efficiently using power, measuring energy, and saving costs. At Energy in Hall 27 Glen Dimplex is presenting its highly efficient heat pumps and systems to combine heat, cooling, and heat recovery. Kaeser Kompressoren is also showcasing its customised energy efficient compressed air solutions for the first time in Hall 27.

Owing to the huge number of innovations showcased annually at HANNOVER MESSE, the Industrial Supply trade fair has come up with a novel idea for this year’s edition: Under the name of Hightlights@Industrial Supply, an online guide is now being produced to help introduce professional attendees to the most outstanding solutions in halls 4 through 6. How critical is the technological sophistication of a new innovation? And how economical will it be in industrial application? What about its eco-friendliness and social relevance? Those are the kind of issues the jury had to apply when adjudicating subcontractor entries. The entries with the best answers can be found in the online ‘Highlights@Industrial Supply’ guide, including product descriptions and the relevant hall and stand location per product. According to Olaf Daebler, manager of the Industrial Supply showcase at HANNOVER MESSE: “The entire industrial subcontracting field, which now also includes surface technology, has an incredibly diverse range of companies here in Hannover – giving our visitors the best possible opportunity to compare the various offerings. But this also requires us, as the organisers, to develop new formats, like this online guide, to ensure the best possible orientation for our visitors.”

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Poland: Partner Country for 2017 Each year, one country is put under the spotlight at HANNOVER MESSE as the official Partner Country, and this year the honour falls to Poland. Of all the countries that joined the Union at the start of the century, Poland has registered the strongest growth rates with a gross domestic product that rose 3.6 per cent over the previous year. Furthermore the EU Commission, World Bank and Polish National Bank estimate Poland’s economic growth at 3.5 to 4 per cent between now and 2018.


The country’s development plans centre on reindustrialisation, the promotion of innovative enterprises and expansion onto foreign markets. Poland will showcase its entire technological spectrum at Hannover, with a special emphasis on IT and energy. At Research & Technology 2017, Poland will demonstrate its continuing power of innovation and gain new R&D customers. For years, the country has been among the top five visitor nations at Research & Technology. This year’s HANNOVER MESSE Partner Country is planning to continue the success it enjoyed in 2016, when around 80 Polish companies presented innovative solutions in the industrial and research sectors. “Thanks to the excellent progress last year, we are looking forward to 2017. Not only because Germany is Poland’s largest trade partner but also because HANNOVER MESSE is so international,” says Embassy Counselor Danuta Dominiak-Wozniak. “It’s an honour for Poland to present itself as the Partner Country to such a diverse audience. We want to showcase our latest technologies, whereby IT and energy technology will surely be our main focus.”

Supporting programme Alongside the impressive main line-up is a strong supporting programme that includes, among other events, Global Business & Markets; Young Tech Enterprises; WoMenPower and Tec2You. Global Business & Markets is Europe’s leading forum for international trade, and this year over 5000 decision makers will be attending the event in Hall 3 to discuss new global market opportunities. The line-up includes high-level conferences, quality advice from expert advisors and a multidisciplinary Investment Lounge within a central networking area. The WoMenPower careers conference is Germany’s most successful event for women in the business world. At this event, core business themes will be addressed in the accompanying workshops:

work 4.0, career, leadership and stress prevention. Visitors will have the opportunity to engage in discussions on work and career issues, industry associations, networks, organisations and coaches in the adjacent exhibition area. Meanwhile HANNOVER MESSE’s dedicated showcase for startups, Young Tech Enterprises, is the ideal place for young entrepreneurs. The event aims to support budding young businesses that need the right supporters – whether that is investors, partners or accelerators – to move their company to the next level. For those young people interested in a career in the technical professions, the Tec2You initiative brings high school students in their final year and college students to the world’s largest trade show on organised excursions during which they will experience innovations first-hand and make contacts with employers in all the high-tech industries.

Awards and competitions Each year HANNOVER MESSE likes to recognise those have made the biggest contribution to the development of innovative solutions and concepts. This year there will be three main awards up for grabs to the most trailblazing, forward-thinking individuals: the Robotics Award; the Hermes Award and the Engineer Powerwoman Award. The Robotics Award recognises technological innovations that make a contribution towards robot-assisted solutions in the field of industrial automation or towards the development of mobile robots and autonomous systems. In order to qualify, entries for the award must be on show to the public for the first time at HANNOVER MESSE or otherwise constitute a significant further development of an already existing product or system. In addition, the expert jury wants to see solutions that are at least market-ready or, preferably, have been tested in an industrial environment. Another criterion is that the automation solutions must be seen as particularly progressive in both a technological and economic sense, and also should make an important contribution to fulfilling the needs of industry or society. The coveted Hermes Award will also be presented at Deutsche Messe for the 14th consecutive year. This international technology prize is awarded to outstanding products, innovations and solutions that are displayed for the first time at HANNOVER MESSE 2017. Finally, for the fifth time ever, an expert jury will be adjudicating the innovative work of women in technical professions during HANNOVER MESSE. The winner of the Engineer Powerwoman award will be the one to win over the jury on the basis of her technical prowess and commitment. The prerequisite for the female candidates is to have made an innovative mark in an engineering-related field at their companies. The winner will be announced on 28 April, within the n framework of the WoMenPower conference. To find out more about the event, visit: http://www.hannovermesse.de/ Industry Europe 29


INCREASING SENSOR INTELLIGENCE SICK AG is a global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced sensors and sensor solutions for industry. The company has been a pioneer in many of the manufacturing areas it serves, including factory automation, logistics and process automation. It continues to set the standards for the broad manufacturing industry and its latest innovative technologies will be on display at the forthcoming Hannover Messe Trade Fair, as Philip Yorke reports for Industry Europe.

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ICK AG was founded in 1946 by Erwin Sick who had received a license from a US local authority to operate his engineering company. His commitment to innovation paid off when he invented the accident-prevention curtain in 1952, which was launched at the Hanover Machine Tool Trade Fair the same year. Since then the company has pioneered many of the world’s major product advances in factory automation, logistics and process automation. Today it has a global presence with over 50 subsidiaries in addition to a global network of sales agencies. In 2015 it recorded sales of more than €1.3 billion. It currently employs over 7500 people worldwide.

Stepping forward SICK AG has a major presence at the forthcoming Hanover Trade Fair this year and will be presenting its next step towards ‘Industry 4.0’. Using an example of a value-added process, the company will demonstrate the sensor features that lead to greater flexibility for machine operators. As a result, visitors to the exhibition will be able to experience these significant enhancements first hand. The exhibition will also highlight the challenges relating to Industry 4.0 and the appropriate solutions engineered by SICK AG, from its unparalelled perspective. The latest products on display are actively enabled for communication, ensuring that they can establish links with the world of data. With the aid of a cloud provider, the data that is collected is compiled and then evaluated and visualised accordingly. The challenges involved in Industry 4.0 cannot be overcome without the large volumes of data captured and pre-evaluated by SICK AG sensors before they are sent out in the world of data. SICK sensors guarantee transparency at every stage of the value-added

process and they are also backwardly compatible. Industry 4.0 sensors can be used in existing automation architectures, but they can also communicate with higher level systems.

Delivering advanced ‘Sensor Intelligence’ When asked what SICK’s main aims were at Hanover this year, the company told Industry Europe: “We want to strengthen our ‘Sensor Intelligence’ brand by presenting ourselves as the global technological leaders and experts in the field of Industry 4.0, and by presenting SICK as a solution provider that not only offers components, but also a wide portfolio of products, systems and services for individual n requirements and applications.” For further details of SICK’s innovative products and services visit: www.sick.com

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COOL PRECISION

Sheng Kwei is a market leader in the design and manufacture of high-precision AC fans for industry. Philip Yorke talked to Ms Trista Tsao, the company’s marketing director, about its latest products and presence at the forthcoming Hannover Messe Trade Show.

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heng Kwei was founded in Taiwan in 1995, focusing on the design and manufacture of small, optimal quality and high output industrial fans. The company has seen consistent growth since its inception thanks to its tight quality control systems and uncompromising precision. Sheng Kwei Enterprise is a very customer orientated company and as a family-owned business is able to make quick decisions and provide individual bespoke services for its broad range of industrial and commercial clients. Since it was founded, Sheng Kwei Enterprises has placed a high priority on quality and innovation, subsequently creating a whole range of AC cooling fans, all of which have been certified by quality assurance institutes such as UL, CUL, TUV and CE.

Compact precision showcased Sheng Kwei has once again decided to showcase its latest AC fans at the forthcoming Hannover Messe trade show and to increase its global footprint. Tsao told Industry Europe, “This will be our third year at the Hannover Messe and we hope to attract more potential leads at the show. We are already well represented in Canada and North America but would like to expand in Europe by appointing some new distributors and agents. Our customer base is comprised mainly of automation systems manufacturers and data centres.” In 2014 the company attended IMTS in Chicago as well as the latest electronics show in Munich. Tsao explained how the company is able to stand out at such events: “When it comes to differentiating

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us from our competitors, then I would say that as a privately owned business we are able to offer a more dedicated service and a greater commitment to consistency, quality and reliability. Our products are far more reliable than those coming out of Asian countries as they are sturdier and more compact. The advantage results from the fact that we only use aluminium for the frame and specify lightweight but tough plastic components. We also offer special sizes, many of which are unique to Sheng Kwei.” The company has many OEM clients as well as those who require private label products and it has its own brand too. Its latest model, the SK170, is a 17cm AC fan which offers increased efficiency and up to 310 CFM airflow. Many of its end users are blue-chip companies and household brands such as Emerson and Rockwell.

Value-added services As a family business Sheng Kwei is able to be far more flexible than its big multinational competitors. The company has long-term relationships with its clients and is able to offer a one-stop shop service as well as lifetime after sales support. The company prefers to be involved at the design, concept stage when a new product is being considered in order that it can bring its innovative technologies to the table to optimise the n efficiency and quality of the final product. For further details of Sheng Kwei’s extensive product portfolio and range of accessories please visit: www.shengkwei.com.tw.


SMART CONNECTIONS The significance of connectivity in today’s world is growing faster than ever before – it is one of the key enablers for the Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine communications and Industrial Internet. Connectivity is the concept on which a small Finnish software company, Wirepas, based its business six years ago – and it has been growing ever since.

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he Finland-based Wirepas’ unique solution enables cost-efficient and reliable data collection from sensors. Founded in 2010 as a spin-off from Tampere University of Technology, Wirepas is focused on providing the most reliable, optimised, scalable and easy to use device connectivity for its customers. Wirepas Connectivity is a de-centralised radio communications protocol that can be used in any device, with any radio chip and on any radio band. With Wirepas Connectivity there is no need for traditional repeaters because every wireless device is a smart router of the network. Wirepas has its headquarters in Tampere, Finland and offices in France, Germany, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. “Hannover Messe is THE industrial trade fair and we really cannot afford not be here. We are going to showcase our very unique technology focused on providing the most reliable, optimised, scalable and simple-to-use device connectivity,” says Sebastian Linko, Wirepas’s Marketing and Communications Manager.

The ability to flexibly optimise the connectivity solution to the needs of the customer’s business case and application is crucial to the development and growth of IoT based business. “With Wirepas Connectivity we are able to flexibly optimise the connectivity solution for the application in terms of power, bandwidth, range and latency. Our technology is also hardware independent – our protocol runs on any radio chip,” stresses Sebastian Linko. IoT and Industrial Internet are relatively young business areas with different technologies emerging, many of them in young growth companies. However, end users prefer turnkey solutions and a limited number of partners to work with. This is the reason why Wirepas focuses on creating partner ecosystems. “We believe that successful business ecosystems can be extremely efficient in terms of flexibility, scaling and value creation. We need device manufacturers, radio hardware, connectivity protocols, database or cloud providers, IoT platforms, analytics and system integrators. And we need these competences to come together and unite for a joint goal – the end customer’s business need,” says Sebastian Linko. He explains that exploring new business partnerships is one of the key reasons why the company is attending Hannover Messe. “Our business model is based on licencing and market access is always going to be through partnerships. We have some bigger partnerships in the viewfinder and Hannover Messe is a good opportunity to explore these, in line with our strategy: to focus on our sophisticated technology and on building partner ecosystems which enable turnkey solutions for end users. This is what we do and this is what we wish to further develop in the future,” says n Sebastian Linko. Industry Europe 33


FLYING HIGH

Asco is a leading world-class designer and manufacturer of high-lift structures, complex mechanical assemblies and major structural components for the aerospace industry. Philip Yorke looks at a company that provides some of the world’s most innovative avionics solutions and continues to expand its product portfolio and technological capabilities.

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SCO Industries NV is a global leader in the development, manufacture, treatment and assembly of steel and titanium high-precision components for the aerospace industry. The company’s product portfolio includes wing-flap actuation systems, engine mounts and landing gear components. Asco Industries was founded in 1954 and is headquartered in Zaventum, Belgium Today the company operates from four key locations – Belgium, Canada, the USA and Germany – with over 1300 employees and a turnover exceeding €250 million. Asco also produces more than 34 Industry Europe

2500 assemblies each month and is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the design and manufacture of high lift devices for the aerospace industry.

A passion for precision Asco is constantly seeking new and innovative technological solutions in order to support its customers’ individual requirements. A continuous programme of research and development and long-term partnerships with clients and academia, as well as its own award


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winning products, have helped to secure Asco’s place as a major global player within the international aerospace community. Asco firmly believes that precision in the aerospace industry is all about a continuous focus on detail, while keeping the big picture in mind. This is why it places a high priority on driving its quality management systems and procedures to meet the highest levels of international standards and legislation. Asco’s engineers continuously enhance the excellence of their products, which are designed to meet cutting-edge applications for high lift devices and complex structural assemblies, while at the same time working towards achieving greater sustainability and an ever greener environment. As a result of over 60 years of engineering excellence, Asco is known throughout the aerospace industry as a world-class designer and manufacturer of high technology operating systems for the

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slats and flaps on aircraft wings, as well as for many other complex assemblies and structural components. The company’s passion for precision keeps it ahead of its competitors and can be found throughout its manufacturing processes.

Building on success Asco is always working to build upon its enviable market position as the global leader for ‘high-lift devices’. These include deployment mechanisms and support systems for a wing’s movable leadingedge slats and trailing edge flaps. The company works continuously to improve the aerodynamics of an aircraft, resulting in improved fuel economy and a reduced overall ecological footprint. This is why Asco is the industry’s preferred partner for the design and supply of enhanced lift and landing solutions for the majority of the world’s commercial aircraft fleets.


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Until recently Asco worked exclusively on commercial aircraft programmes. However, building on its commercial success, the company has become a primary supplier for the manufacture of several modern military aircraft programmes.

Strong partnerships Being a third generation family business, Asco understands the importance of its partnerships and close relationships with its customers. The company looks for professionals who prize a culture based upon close collaboration and new, innovative ideas while seeking personal challenges to help them fulfil their individual potential and goals. From the outset, Asco developed strong working partnerships and relationships, being aware that supplying the aircraft industry with even the smallest part was a business like no other so it needed to stay true to its motto, ‘Do it right from the start’. On one occasion it had only a weekend to draft its offer for the A310 slat track contract. It won the contract; however, even when it had acquired the latest machine tools from Germany, it still took nine months from receiving the raw materials to delivering the final product. Things are very different today. Asco can supply parts for an airbus A330 in just five days, and for a complete set for the massive Airbus A380, it must take into consideration that it requires a total of more than 2500 individual components. Since then Asco has been involved in all the various airbus programmes, including the A330, A340, A380, and now the A350. In fact since the mid 1990’s Asco has supplied key parts for every western aircraft model in the 50-seat plus range. Asco is also playing a major 38 Industry Europe

role in the current 787 Dreamliner programme, supplying slat tracks and the crown and lower frames of the fuselage section that supports the aircraft’s vertical fin. Through its close industry partnerships, Asco also supplies the regional aircraft market, with components for both Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer’s executive jets. In addition, from its state-of-the-art facility in Canada Asco also supplies the Boeing Everett assembly plant in Seattle, where it produces complex titanium and aluminium components for Lockheed n Martin’s F35 joint Strike fighter. For further details of Asco’s cutting edge, high-tech product solutions and services visit: www.asco.be


WORLD’S FIRST FITNESSTRACKING TECHNOLOGY Jabra is a global leader in the development and manufacture of wireless and corded headsets for mobile phone users, contact centres and office-based users. Philip Yorke reports on a company that through innovation and acquisition has strengthened its position on the world stage to be included in the top headset makers worldwide.

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abra Corporation is a subsidiary of GN Netcom and has its roots in the Norcom Electronics Corporation of America, which was founded in 1983 by entrepreneur Elwood Norris. In 2006 GN Netcom consolidated its contact centre and office headset division under the Jabra Brand and this was followed by a restructuring of the company in 2008. This strategic move resulted in a greater focus on business-to-business and consumer markets respectively. Today the company continues to focus on innovation and investment in new technology in order to extend its lead in the headset marketplace. Jabra’s head office is located in Copenhagen, Denmark from where it manages its diverse global operations.

Next generation sports headphones Recently Jabra announced the launch of its next generation of wireless sports headphones with a fitness tracking feature – a world first. The company unveiled its Jabra sports pulse and Jabra Sport Coach special editions with improvements in fit, sound, durability and a range of other smart new sports features. Just like the company’s existing line-up of Jabra sports headphones, the new editions offer quality calls, music for motivation and intelligent in-ear coaching to help enhance training effectiveness. In addition, these next generation versions deliver innovation in all areas, with passive noise cancellation, a broader choice of fitting options, improved durability and many unique, intelligent sports features. Max data generated by the Jabra Sports Pulse Special Edition allows the user to track their fitness development and to get the most from a work-out. It uses intelligent in-ear coaching to provide real-time feedback based upon the athlete’s heart rate and level of fitness. At the end of a run, the Jabra Sport Life app provides a range of information to help improve future fitness levels, including distance covered, pace, route, calories burned and training effect. In addition, the Jabra Sport Coach Special Edition models are the world’s first headphones to feature automatic repetition counting through the TrackFit® motion sensor. Along with the integrated in-ear coaching, they provide the freedom to plan, track and focus on the day’s workout. 40 Industry Europe


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Advanced sports earbuds Drawing on the heritage of the GN Group’s long-standing headset and hearing expertise, Jabra continues to pioneer unparalleled sound capabilities with the launch of its high-tech Elite product franchise. The first product to emerge from the new franchise is the Elite Sport range, which are the most technically advanced wireless earbuds on the market. Elite Sport is the ultimate training aid that, delivering freedom of movement on any terrain. The fully water- and sweat-proof Jabra Elite Sport models are packed with advanced features including ground-breaking in-ear fitness analysis, strong battery life and music for all. When it comes to phone calls, Jabra Elite Sport benefits from

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two integrated microphones in each earbud. One captures the user’s voice and the other focuses on external noise. Together the earbuds overlay the two feeds, identify the background noise and remove it. This allows the athlete to take calls without interruption, listen to music and receive in-ear training tips.

Innovation and acquisition driving growth In October 2016, GN Audio, the owner of Jabra, announced that it has acquired the VXi Corporation, the headset manufacturer of both the VXi and BlueParrott brands. “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with VXi. The acquisition further strengthens our position on the North American market, where we have shown strong


progress in recent years. We will build on VXi’s strong presence and reputation in the US and combine it with the international reach and professionalism of GN audio and the Jabra team,” said Paul Hamnet, president for GN Audio in North America. Jabra is a brand of the global GN Group, which stands out as a world leader in intelligent audio solutions that transform people’s lives through the power of sound. The GN Group is made up of GN Hearing, with the flagship hearing-aid brand ReSound; and GN Audio with its flagship brand Jabra, which now also includes the VXi and BlueParrot brands. The cutting-edge headsets and industry leading medical smart hearing aid technology makes the GN Group unique in the industry.

This mix enables the GN Group to be the only company that can transform deep insight from both the hearing aid and the headset customers into world-leading expertise in the human auditory system, sound processing and wireless technologies. The acquisition of VXi will further strengthen GN Audio’s presence and market share in the important North American market as well as enabling access to new and attractive market segments. It also gives GN Audio the opportunity to leverage VXi’s best-in-class n expertise within ‘High Noise’ communication environments. For further details of Jabra’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.jabra.com

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RESOUNDING SUCCESS GN ReSound is a global leader in the design and manufacture of intelligent audio hearing products and solutions. The company has reinvented traditional hearing-aid systems with its smart GHz- technology and advanced medical and consumer sound solutions. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to see strong growth through its innovative products and strategic acquisitions.

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ReSound is part of the global GN ReSound Group, one of the world’s largest providers of hearing instruments and diagnostic instrumentation products, which is in turn part of GN Store Nord. Wirth roots that reach all the way back to 1943, ReSound has been responsible for a number of hearing industry firsts, such as its WRDC (Wide dynamic Range Compression) which broke new ground for sound processing, and DFS (Digital Feedback Suppression). This was the first system to effectively eliminate howling and sound distortion. The world’s first open-standard digital chip set new standards for flexibility in programming and the introduction of ‘ReSound AIR’, signalled the creation of an entirely new type of hearing instrument. This provided more natural sound and eliminated the discomfort associated with plugging the ear canal. Headquartered in Ballerup, Denmark, GN ReSound is represented in more than 80 countries worldwide. The company draws on its considerable pool of resources at its technology centres around the globe, where its researchers work to apply technology to improve the quality of life

for millions of people. Today the GN Group has more than 5000 employees and its parent company, GN Store Nord, is listed on the Nasdaq Copenhagen stock exchange.

Transforming lives GN ReSound transforms people’s lives through the power of sound with smart hearing aids that enhance the lives of those with hearing loss. The company’s integrated headset and communications solutions assist professionals in all types of businesses to be more productive. GN’s innovative power has paved the way for a stream of break-throughs, such as the revolutionary 2.4GHz-technology for hearing aids, unified headsets with active noise cancellation and allin-one ear-worn training solutions with built-in heart rate monitor. In addition, GN ReSound was responsible for the world’s first ‘Made for iPhone’ hearing aid with direct stereo sound streaming. The lives of those with severe hearing disabilities has also been transformed with the launch of the world’s smartest ‘Super-Power’ hearing aid. Recently the company announced the global launch

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of its ReSound ENZO2™, which bring the renowned benefits of its LINX2™ system to people with severe-to-profound hearing loss that are in need of ‘Super-Power’ solutions. The company’s ENZO2™ is the only smart hearing aid for SuperPower users that offers an exceptional hearing experience with greater audibility, improved speech understanding and increased spatial awareness, enabling people to live their lives closer to normal than ever before.

Strategic acquisition In October 2016 the GN ReSound Group announced that it had made the strategic acquisition of the VXi Corporation of America. VXi is a leading US-based manufacturer of professional headset solutions. The company was founded in 1989 and has shown a strong and consistent track record. In 2015 VXi recorded revenues of USD 32 million. The company’s brands are marketed under the VXi and Blue Parrot brands. This strategic acquisition strengthens the GN Group’s Audio’s presence and market share in the all-important North American market as well as enabling access to new and attractive market segments.

Growth in sports audio sector The GN Group continues to innovate with special emphasis on the sports audio sector and now extends its range of wireless sports headphones with the launch of two new special editions: the Jabra Sport Coach and Jabra Sport Pulse. The company continues to innovate in this sector and now extends its range of wireless sports headphones with the launch of these two new additions. They are launched as ‘next generation’ versions, which deliver innovation across the board, including passive cancellation, a broader choice of fitting options, improved durability and world-first intelligent sports features for all fitness enthusiasts. 46 Industry Europe

Optimised for running, the Jabra Sport Pulse special edition is the world’s first headphone to feature automatic and continuous V02 Max fitness testing. And optimised for the gym, the Jabra Sport Coach Special edition is the world’s first sport headphone to feature automatic repetition counting through its ‘TrackFit’ motion sensor. Developed to help people make the most of their time at the gym, the Jabra Sport Coach Special Edition works in combination with the Jabra Sport Life app. The TrackFit motion sensor detects an individual’s movement and the app counts and logs repetitions and advises when to move on to the next exercise. From launch the app will be able to automatically count ten of the most commonly performed exercises from push-ups to lunges and burpees, with updates to the app increasing the number of new n exercises available over time. For further details of the GN ReSound Group’s innovative products and services visit: www.resound.com

Woodtai Enterprises Co. Ltd Woodtai Enterprises Co. Ltd, since its establishment in 1981, is committed to professional audio products and hearing aid accessories, development and manufacturing. The scale of the company continues to grow and also includes Xiamen Long Overseas Chinese Electronics Co., Ltd. Within the group. For 20 years, the company has always used a service and customer-oriented business philosophy, the company has passed the ISO9001: 2000 certification, with products of OEM and ODM capacity, innovation, development of the world’s leading level of various microphones, inductors and switches. There are more than 100 kinds of high-quality products. Hearing, speakers, chord speakers, headphones, Wan Huxian hands-free, hands-free lecturers, telephone receivers and hearing aids headphones, micro accessories. Our goal is to keep abreast of the market and keep up with the trends with excellent products and to continually improve our services with feedback from our customers around the world.


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THE SOUND OF PROGRESS ASK Industries SpA designs, develops and manufactures loudspeakers, subwoofer boxes, amplifiers, antennas and cables for the automotive industry. Barbara Rossi talks to Business Development manager, Alberto Bianchi, to find out more.

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2015, ASK achieved a turnover of €171 million, employing around 2300 people around the world. The group is headquartered in central Italy (Ancona) with five subsidiaries in Germany, China, Brazil, Poland and Tunisia. The audio products are designed and developed in Ancona (central Italy), the amplifiers in Niederwinkling (Germany) and the antennas in Reggio Emilia (northern Italy). Alberto Bianchi – ASK Business Development manager – explains: “Historically, ASK has focused its efforts on European car manufacturers. In fact, Peugeot, now part of the PSA Group, was ASK’s first OEM customer and trained us to meet car manufacturers’ expectations and high quality standards. As all the European OEM brands now have a global presence, over the years ASK’s focus has also become global. An example of this trend is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), at first a customer with a European scope and now a global customer that also

needs to be followed in North America and the Asia Pacific regions. The new markets in which ASK will concentrate its efforts are indeed the USA and the Asia Pacific region, including China and Japan.” The most remarkable event of the past few years for ASK has been its acquisition by JVC Kenwood Corporation in April 2015. The company will continue acting as an autonomous subsidiary of the JVC Kenwood Group (JKC) while at the same time benefitting from the group’s sales and technological synergies. Both ASK and JKC are confident that their joint know-how and product portfolios, together with their industrial synergies, will generate additional business and also strengthen their market position. In particular, thanks to JKC’s know-how in infotainment and ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) ASK plans to develop new business opportunities for its current customers. ASK is also offering Japanese car manufacturers its entire product portfolio.

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“Our company’s mission is to meet the expectations of all stakeholders, earn the public’s trust and contribute to society. These practices are a prerequisite for the company to thrive and contribute to society. To do so, we believe that one of the most important issues for us is to contribute to society through our business activities. This goes beyond merely guaranteeing effective compliance in all our activities, but also includes reinforcing corporate governance, implementing highly transparent management and enhancing activities to protect the environment for the next generation. As far as people management and internal governance are concerned, ASK

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has aligned its corporate governance policy to that of JKC with the aim of achieving sustainable growth and enhancing corporate value over the medium to long term.”

Innovative projects Over the past two years, ASK has been investing R&D resources in noise management. The most innovative projects are: the use of nanotechnology applied to the acoustic and antennas world; noise generation projects (motor modulated sound) also to be used on electric and hybrid vehicles to perceive the engine sound outside


(such as the PAS - Pedestrian Alert System); noise reduction, active intervention to ‘delete’ the noise generated by different sources such as engine vibration, tire rolls and friction (ANC Active Noise Cancellation, RNC Road Noise Cancellation etc.); multifunction antennas and speakers, equipped with digital systems; and technologies to manufacture extra-flat single use or boxed speakers. “We are planning a medium-term R&D project partly financed by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE). It’s an open innovation project that not only involves a network of universities and research centres, but also employs our own new in-house engineers and technicians to increase the company’s know-how. This project, called ANM (Active Noise Management) consists of a new platform that aims to manage all the noises and sounds inside and outside the vehicle’s passenger compartment, through support hardware/ software and interface for the vehicle Can network. “It consists of a series of sensors and microphones (with mixed nano and conventional technologies) that – when placed in crucial points on the bodywork, engine, suspensions and also inside the vehicle’s passenger compartment – are able to detect noises and vibrations, transforming them into electrical signals. These signals, sent to a dedicated head unit, will allow the system to react, deleting these noises and vibrations or modifying them to generate a ‘sound’ with a frequency spectrum suitable for the audiophile’s needs and engine demands. Furthermore, this platform also has the purpose of creating

the sensation of an internal combustion engine to compensate for the silence of a typical electric motor to signal the presence of the vehicle. The project will last for three years and at the end will produce a demo car able to evaluate all the previously described features. “Our growth will definitely derive from organic expansion, thanks to JKC. One of the main drivers to work on in the near future is the Kenwood brand and how to position it alongside the n ASK Sound Systems.”

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HONOURING EXCELLENCE Bosch is a global leader in the design and manufacture of engineering and electronics products and is the world’s largest supplier of automotive components. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to set the industry’s standards and at how it respects, rewards and values its dedicated suppliers.

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he Bosch Group was founded in 1886 in Stuttgart by Robert Bosch as the ‘Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electronic Engineering’. Today the Bosch Group is 92 per cent owned by Robert Bosch Stiftung and employs almost 400,000 ‘associates’ worldwide. In 2015 the company generated sales of approximately €50 billion. The group’s operations are divided into four distinct business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer goods and Energy and Building Technology. Bosch’s mission is to create solutions for a connected life by improving the quality of life worldwide with innovative products and services. The Bosch Group’s core products are automotive components, including brakes, controls, electrical drives, fuel systems and steering systems. The company’s broad range of industrial products includes packaging technology and consumer goods. Its range of building products includes household appliances, power tools, security systems and thermo-technology items.

Connected supply chains Further internationalisation of its supplier base has resulted in the Bosch Group’s purchasing volume rising to over €25 billion in 2014. Europe still accounts for the lion’s share, representing around 60 per cent of the total global purchasing volume. Outside Europe procurement is centred on China, the US and Japan. Procurement mainly involves production materials such as turned parts, electronic components, and pressed or drawn plastic elements. It also includes commodities, operating equipment, services and capital goods. In strong growth markets such as China, collaborating with local suppliers is key to assuring the continued growth of the Bosch Group. Today the Bosch Group has created more options thanks to its connected supply chains and strong, long-term partnerships with suppliers, which have formed the bedrock of its success in an ever more connected world.

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Top suppliers recognised The Bosch Group continues to recognise its top suppliers with the annual ‘Bosch Global Supplier Award’. By presenting this award the company recognises outstanding performance in the manufacture or supply of goods and services, notably in the areas of quality, costs, logistics and innovations. “The Bosch Supplier Awards honour our top suppliers, who play such a key role in Bosch’s success,” said Dr Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management. “Our suppliers are important partners in helping us to shape the connected world. We want to work with them to develop beneficial solutions for our customers.” Bosch continues to believe that long-term partnerships and the early involvement of suppliers are key to its continuing success.

Connected Solutions Long-term alliances are the drivers for connected solutions, with web-enabled products and services forming one of the cornerstones of Bosch’s future sales growth. Denner added, “Strong, long-term partnerships with suppliers are key drivers of networked solutions. In addition, trust, transparency, agility, quality, delivery capability and competitive prices are at the core of our collaboration with our suppliers.” Bosch works with more than 35,000 suppliers worldwide, and this year the company has chosen to honour the top 58 of these compa­nies for the company’s prestigious award. Three of the suppliers are winners for at least the 11th time, while seven of them have now won for at least the fifth time. Almost half of the companies hon­oured are headquartered outside Germany, and one quarter of those are located in Asia. Today 56 Industry Europe

Bosch wants to involve them even earlier in the product creation process and to work with them to develop solutions for the connected world. This connectivity is not exclusive to Bosch, but encompasses the entire value-added chain and for this reason the company has recognised particularly forward-looking projects with the supplier award in the ‘Innovations’ category.

Seamlessly connected mobility Today virtually all new cars sold in Germany are web-enabled. Real time traffic data, the eCall emergency call service and music streaming all require internet access. Bosch is making connected driving possible in two ways; firstly by integrating smart phones in a way that apps can be operated safely while at the wheel; and secondly, by installing communication boxes. As a result, drivers of connected vehicles can use their infotainment systems to stream both real-time data and entertainment content. However, connectivity extends far beyond the car’s hood: it is also gaining ground in public transportation and car-sharing services. Bosch is already offering a glimpse of the future of mobility as part of its ‘Stuttgart Services’ project. “Our mobility solutions go beyond automotive technology,” Denner said. Bosch plans to create a mobility assistant that makes it possible for drivers in the greater Stuttgart area to plan their route using different modes of transport, which includes switching from bikes to trains and buses. What makes this project special is that a single app is enough to plan, book and pay for travel involving different modes of transport. n For further details of the Bosch Supplier Awards, its products and services visit: www.bosch.com


RISING SUCCESS The Czech bus and coach producer SOR Libchavy has been going from strength to strength. In 2015 the company achieved record sales of nearly CZK four billion, representing a 40 per cent year-on-year increase. What lies behind the success of Czech buses in international markets? Romana Moares asked the company’s managing director, Mr Jaroslav Trnka.

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OR Libchavy is the second largest manufacturer of buses and coaches in the Czech Republic. The company has a long tradition of engineering production. Until 1990 its core business was the manufacturing of agricultural machines, but after the business was privatised in 1991 the focus shifted to transport and construction technology. The development and production of buses started in 1995, transforming SOR Libchavy into one of the current top players in its sector in the Czech Republic, with an increasing international presence. An important milestone came in 2008, when the company’s production focus shifted to urban low-entry buses and it won a tender for the Prague Municipal Transport company. In the past 15 years or so SOR has delivered over 500 buses for Prague’s municipal transport and has also sold its buses in Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital, and other Czech and Slovak cities. “In 2010, our attention was focused on alternative fuels used in public transport vehicles. We had produced CNG driven buses before but the alternative fuel vehicles portfolio was extended in 2010 to include trolleybuses, which we started to produce using the low-entry coach work, followed by electric buses,” says the managing director.

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The company has been a holder of the 9001 ISO Quality Certificate since 2001. The SOR buses are continuously upgraded in terms of function and design, reflecting not just customers’ requirements but also rising safety standards and improving passenger comfort.

Competitive edge Currently SOR Libchavy manufacture buses of 8.5m, 9.5m, 10.5m, 12m, 12.5m and 18m in length, designed for urban, intercity and long distance transport. They are equipped with engines meeting all EU environmental requirements. The customer may select the type of drive – either compressed natural gas (CNG) or electric. Both automatic and mechanical gearboxes are available, as well as independent axles, retarders, disk brakes, air-conditioning and other features. The key advantages of SOR buses include low unladen weight, low average fuel consumption (14.5 per cent lower than that of other vehicles on the market throughout the vehicle’s service life), higher specific output and effectively designed vehicle interior, including the driver’s cabin. All SOR buses are equipped with disk brakes on all axles. The lower part of the chassis structure is made from stainless steel profiles, and


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the body shell is made from plastic materials. Stainless steel materials are used for the bottom part of the bus at places most prone to corrosion (underneath the vehicle floor, step plates, area around wheels, etc.). Parts subject to external stress are supplied by manufacturers guaranteeing long service life, including in harsh conditions. SOR buses are equipped with FPT (137, 150, 184, 210, 213, 235 and 243 kW) engines meeting the EURO VI standards.

Record year In 2015 the company achieved record results – a total of 751 buses were sold. Sales increased by over 40 per cent to nearly CZK 4 billion. “Last year was one of the best years in the company’s history in terms of financial performance,” confirms the managing director. “Most financial indicators achieved the highest levels since the company’s establishment. “The overwhelming majority of buses (450 in total) were sold in the Czech Republic, 124 were exported to Slovakia, 79 to Poland,

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Vyva Plast

51 to Germany and 41 to Estonia. The remaining units were sold to Bulgaria and Switzerland. Low-entry articulated city buses accounted for the largest percentage of sales,” explains Mr Trnka. These buses utilise the maximum permitted length of 18.750m, which allows for an increase in the transport capacity of up to 161 passengers. Large contracts included deliveries of buses for the Arriva Group Czech and Slovak Republics, Municipal Transport Prague, ČSAD Invest Group, Municipal Transport Bratislava and the delivery of 96 chassis for Škoda Electric.

Expanding to pastures new About 42 per cent of the company’s total sales are generated in the export markets, particularly in Slovakia. Other key markets include

Poland, Estonia, Russia, Denmark and other European countries. SOR has several distribution and service subsidiaries in Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia. And it is in the export territories where the company’s management sees the greatest potential for further growth. According to Mr Trnka, SOR seeks to further strengthen its position in all of its current markets and gain more sales in Germany, where several SOR electric buses are already in operation. “The trend in western Europe is towards smaller buses, particularly in the peripheries, and this is where we will focus our efforts in the near future, so that we can fully utilise this new potential,” says Mr Trnka. “This will help us to achieve our strategic goal – to become a leading bus manufacturer in Europe, n renowned for quality, reliability and customer service.”

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SMART RANGE Frauenthal Automotive is Europe’s market leader in all of its product groups: leaf springs, u-bolts, air tanks and pressed and welded components. Several months ago the company achieved yet another milestone in its dynamic development – a five-year contract with Daimler, making a huge step towards fulfilling its long-time strategy. Romana Moares reports.

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rauenthal Automotive GmbH produces suspension and air-braking system components at ten production sites in seven European countries for all leading European commercial vehicle manufacturers. Headquartered in Vienna and employing over 1800 people, Frauenthal Automotive is one of two divisions of Frauenthal Holding AG.

High development expertise Today’s automotive world is faster-paced than ever before, applying new technologies and demanding intelligent solutions for the challenges faced on the road. Weight reduction, improved use of the chassis and total cost optimisation over the vehicle’s lifetime – those are the dictates of the hour. At Frauenthal Automotive, absolute customer orientation has topmost priority and the company is committed to long-standing and close customer relationships. Improving existing products is just as vital as customised solutions for new products. Success is ensured

through the use of excellent production processes, product design and materials, the intensive involvement of production plants and the close collaboration with customers, suppliers and partners.

Industry leader Frauenthal Automotive offers springs ranging from 7kg to 400kg, from parabolic springs to air suspension springs, from mono-leaf and multi-leaf springs to customised spring solutions. They can be used for the lightest LCV to the heaviest-load truck, with a maximum spring thickness up to 80mm and maximum length of 2400mm. Established in the 1890s, Frauenthal has been constantly building its expertise in spring production and development. Today the company is Europe’s market leader in terms of quantities of springs produced and collaborates with the leading European truck and trailer manufacturers. Since 1975 it has led the industry in supplying parabolic springs; since 1983, air suspension springs; since 1996,

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3D air suspension springs and since 1999 front mono-leaf springs for heavy trucks. In 2005 Frauenthal produced the first high-stress 7.5-tonne front-axle mono-leaf springs and today it is Europe’s industry leader in the supply of LCV, truck and trailer leaf springs.

Pioneering products Frauenthal Automotive air tanks have great potential to free up chassis space for the new parts, equipment and technologies driven by demanding emissions regulations. Whatever size or configuration customers need, the Frauenthal Automotive team of engineers provides the experience and technical know-how to create the steel or aluminium air tanks specified. They can rightly be called smart

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products, and their success is confirmed by the annual sales of more than 2,000,000 air tanks. U-bolts carry the weighty responsibility for safety in all trucks, buses and trailers. Frauenthal Automotive produces suspension U-bolts using the most advanced technologies available, especially in the key manufacturing processes of thread rolling, heat treatment, bending and anti-corrosion protection. The company delivers these products solely to Original Equipment Manufacturers, adhering to the ISO/TS 16949:2002, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 standards. It sells over 3,000,000 U-bolts each year. Frauenthal Automotive ranks among the leaders in the production of pressed and welded metal components and offers state-of-the-


art technologies, including automatic presses, laser cutting, press bending, welding and many other processes. The customers in this segment primarily hail from the automotive industry (passenger cars and utility vehicles) but also from other industries.

Daimler contract In 2016, the company achieved a major success, signing a fiveyear contract for air tanks with Daimler. This bulk order is huge, and means that Frauenthal Automotive will be supplying 85 per cent of the steel air tanks in the truck, bus and special vehicles sectors in Europe. The supply will be carried out from both air tanks sites in Elterlein (Germany) and Hustopeče (Czech Republic). “With this contract we have succeeded in making a big step towards our long-term strategy. We are proud that from now on we will be delivering to all LKW manufacturers in western Europe with this contract,” emphasises Mr Matthias Thalheim, CEO of Business n Unit Air Tanks.

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FAST FLOWING INNOVATION The Tristone Flowtech Group is a global leader in automotive engine, battery and turbocharger fluid cooling systems. Philip Yorke reports on a company that leads the field through innovation and continues to invest in new technology and state-of-the-art facilities worldwide.

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he Tristone Flowtech Group is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main and employs over 2500 people worldwide. In 2015 the group recorded sales of more than €228 million, which makes it one of the world’s leading suppliers of fluid application products in the area of automotive fluid cooling systems. The company operates manufacturing and R&D facilities in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Turkey, Spain, France, Italy and China. More recently Tristone invested heavily in a modern manufacturing plant in Mexico and in September 2016 it officially inaugurated its latest state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in India. The group was established on the spin-off of the former fluid automotive business unit of Trelleborg AB of Sweden in July 2010. Today it supplies leading automotive OEMs such as VW Group, BMW, Daimler, Suzuki, Renault, Nissan Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Volvo and General Motors, as well as many automotive tier one suppliers.

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Innovation driving growth The first six months of 2016 were the most successful the group had ever recorded and it continues to benefit from the development of new, hybrid and battery driven electric vehicles. This takes into account the fact that the company’s share of battery cooling systems increased by almost 20 per cent on total order intake. Tristone is highly specialised in the development of fluid applications for not only battery cooling, but also for complex air-charge and air-intake systems. A large proportion of global sales are dedicated to research and development into new and innovative fluid cooling systems, and it is these new technologies that are driving Tristone’s global sales. Today the group is benefiting from the trend towards a reduction of space and fuel consumption with the introduction of polyamide materi-


als, as well as the introduction of new powertrain concepts for both hybrid and electrical cars and the integration of fluid motor and battery cooling solutions.

Increasing global capacity In September 2016 the group’s new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility was inaugurated in Pune, India. The traditional Indian ceremony was attended by many of the company’s OEM customers, alongside suppliers, local authorities and members of the Indian/German chamber of commerce. The purpose-built plant in Pune will be the tenth production plant in the group and will provide production and logistical space of around 4200 square metres. Full production is scheduled to commence during the fourth quarter of 2017. The new plant will host the future surge-tank

production as well as engine cooling and air hose production for the Indian market. The group will invest approximately €2.5 million in hightech machinery and equipment over the next two years at the new plant. In a separate global setting, the ground-breaking ceremony of another all-new plant took place in Delicias, Chihua State, Mexico in March 2016. This plant will provide manufacturing and logistical space of 20,500 square metres and will be twice the size of the company’s existing plant. The Tristone Group will invest around €4 million within the next two years in the expansion of manufacturing capability at the new plant in Mexico.

Positive growth During the first nine months of 2016 the company reported positive on-going growth with sales growing by over 7 per cent in the first three quarters of the year, compared to growth in the same period in 2015,

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taking sales to almost €200 million. By the end of 2016 the company is projecting sales growth of 9 per cent, thereby taking revenues to more than €247 million. “With the newly opened production plant in Pune, the group is continuing its internationalisation path and entering a new, emerging passenger car market,” said Gunter Frolich, president and CEO of the Tristone Flowtech Group. “We are confident of the future growth of the Indian passenger car market, which is, as of today, already the sixth biggest car market in the world. And we are seeing very good market potential for our product portfolio with our plastic surge tanks as well

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as fluid applications for engine cooling, battery cooling and turbocharger systems. “Our global footprint, our technical competence in engine and battery cooling applications, as well as our high quality and delivery performance has been key to convincing customers that the Tristone Group is the right partner to supply this global platform with its high volume capabilities,” added Frolich. n For further details of the Tristone Flowtech Group’s innovative products and services visit: www.tristone.com


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CONNECTING CHEMISTRY From food to rubber, from detergent to lubricants: thousands of industries around the world every day rely on products and mixes produced by Brenntag, the largest logistics distribution platform for chemicals, operating in 74 countries. Daniele Garavaglia reports.

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e understand that ‘connecting chemistry’ is more than a slogan: with our activities, we are the link between the basic chemical industry and market users, defining an incredible number of industrial processes and products,” says Ignazio Vullo, chairman of Brenntag Italy. The parent company, the German group Brenntag, is a world leader in chemical distribution with a global network of over 530 offices in 74 countries. With a workforce of over 14,000 employees, in 2015 the group achieved a turnover of €10.3 billion, providing 180,000 customers with over 10,000 standard products and special mixtures. The Italian headquarters, which employs over 500 workers and has a turnover of €500 million – with an annual growth trend 70 Industry Europe

of 15–20 per cent in recent years – is one of the most important international centres, as Vullo explains: “Brenntag operates as a logistics platform to support the needs of a large variety of clients. We connect producers and users of chemicals to create a value-added partnership with distribution solutions, storage and packaging tailored for industrial and special chemicals.” Chemistry is a pervasive discipline: “Everything we use at home – from food products to hand cream, toilet paper and dishwasher detergent – contains substances or chemical mixtures on an ad hoc basis. In various industrial sectors, chemistry has a key role: just think about rubber or cleansing products, pharmaceuticals or cosmetics. We are the specialist hub that, in a focused and


continuous way, supplies customers with all the components and the mixes they need.” Each country is divided into three segments: Material Science, Life Sciences and Environmental. The three segments combine different sectors to meet specific needs and provide quick and easy access to the entire range of products and services.

Global presence Brenntag Italy has been operational since 1953 and, over the past 20 years, has grown rapidly thanks to a number of acquisitions in different sectors, including rubber, food and lubricants. However, the defining characteristics of the Italian company can be found in two areas, as Vullo explains. “The first is our proximity to the market: we have a presence throughout the national territory, from Piedmont to Sicily, with 12 factories equipped with laboratories and warehouses.” The second highlights the elevated level of specialisation achieved by the Italians in two fields: rubber and food. “The factory dedicated to rubber, which on behalf of Brenntag manages the global market for supplies to the major tire brands – including Michelin, Pirelli, Continental and Goodyear – is in Turin. In Padua, there is an international reference centre for the food and nutraceutical industry, where we process the mixture of ingredients used in Italy and in all Industry Europe 71


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foreign markets by companies such as Unilever, Ferrero, Invernizzi, Inalpi and Aia.” The majority of the remaining chemicals are sold to the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, home and professional cleaning sectors. Thanks to its focus on merchandise and commercial exclusivity, Brenntag Italy is gradually increasing its export share, which is slated to rise from the current 20 per cent to 50 per cent in the coming years. And what about its strategic direction? “We have three guidelines: innovation to provide customers with technical and logistical solutions that optimise their processes; continuous investment in the professional growth of our employees; and expansion of the product n range, continuing in our acquisition policy.”

Health, Occupational Safety and Environmental Protection at Brenntag Safety is a top priority at Brenntag. Brenntag and its subsidiaries have long been conscious of their responsibility for environmental protection needs and the health and safety of the employees. Decisions on all levels of the company – be it business management, sales or logistics – take full account of the requirements of health and environmental protection as well as chemical safety. And health, occupational safety and environmental protection also play a key role in the ‘everyday- jobs, like warehousing, order make-up, filling, transport and delivery of chemical products.

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NEW BEGINNINGS Hungary’s largest fertiliser producer, Nitrogénművek Zrt, celebrates its 85th birthday this year. The company is now in the finishing phase of a significant investment project that began in 2004 and will result in the complete transformation of its factory complex. Edina Beale reports.

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ince its establishment in 1931, Nitrogénművek Zrt has been Hungary’s largest fertiliser producer and the only nitrogenous fertiliser business that also has the capacity for ammonia and other fertiliser production. In the beginning of the year 2000, Nitrogénművek Zrt became a member of the Hungarian Bige Holding group, owned by Mr László Bige, which led to a brand new approach with regard to development and investment strategy.

Strong brand In 2003 the company established its Genezis brand, which covers the entire spectrum of its fertiliser products. The assortment includes nitrogen fertilisers, complex NPK fertilisers and irrigation and leaf fertilisers. The most important trademark of Nitrogénművek Zrt is Pétisó, which was patented in 1932. The main advantage of this fertiliser is that it can be used for any plants and it reduces the acidity of the soil while also being easy to transport, store and use. In 2014 Nitrogénművek Zrt extended its activities and began trading with seed products and plant protection chemicals. The firm also trades with chemical products and industrial gases produced during

the fertiliser manufacturing process. Within the company’s core activities the production and sales of nitrogen based fertiliser remain the most significant segments.

New phase Based on the company’s extensive experience acquired throughout the decades and the eastern European demand for fertilisers, domestic fertiliser production showed strong potential 15 years ago when the company began its new phase of development. This was the reason, in 2004, behind the start of its 140 million forint investment project that was set to totally transform its operations. At present the company is in the second phase of this major investment; so far the ammonium plant has been extended and a new granulating plant has been built, together with a brand new automated packaging hall. “The plants built in the 1970s will be replaced by modern and efficient units that also have larger capacities, and this will therefore be one of Europe’s most modern factories. We have now arrived at a milestone in this process, as the most important units of the second phase of this investment are now operating, and the whole investment process will be soon

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completed. As a result of this, Nitrogénművek Zrt will soon be able to produce 1,475,000 tonnes of Genezis fertiliser products,” said Mr Bige, president and chief executive of the company. The development is due to be completed by the summer of 2017, when a new nitric acid plant, dolomite crushing plant and a neutralising plant will be opened. The main factory building will be huge: nearly 50 metres high and covering an area of more than 1200m2. This will provide space for the latest and largest storage facility, a 19-metre dolomite powder tank, which is suitable for storing 300 tonnes of powder. The construction of the steel structure of this building requires two tower cranes that are working constantly for the next two months. Outside the factory a 40m3 capacity storage tank for raw materials will be erected. There is only one more plant which has similar capacity to this and that is currently being constructed in Turkey.

packaged fertilisers, seeds and leaf fertilizers too. These plants enable the firm to provide the highest customer service to its partners. While the main priority for Nitrogénművek is to satisfy Hungary’s demand for agricultural fertiliser on a long-term basis, the company puts great emphasis on increasing its presence in its export markets as well. Its strategy is to establish subsidiaries in targeted markets and set up sales centres to reach customers in surrounding countries. At present the company mainly exports to neighbouring markets including Slovenia, Austria and Italy, but also operates sales centres in n Slovakia, Serbia, Romania, Germany, Italy, Croatia and Bulgaria.

Increasing demand for export The new plant will meet market demand in Hungary and in the export markets. “According to the report issued by the Fertilisers Europe Forecast by 2024/25, the amount of fertilisers used will be increased by 7–8 per cent in Hungary, and in the region’s countries including Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Romania. Behind this significant market increase is the aim of more efficient production and the use of modern fertilising technologies,” said Mr Zoltán Rácz, deputy sales executive. At present the Bige Holding group operates ten production plants in Hungary. Storage facilities in these plants are suitable for storing

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ESSENCE OF

PHARMACEUTICALS FARMAK, a.s. is an exclusively Czech chemical and pharmaceutical company whose core business is the development, production and marketing of generic active pharmaceutical ingredients. During the past three years the company has gone through some turbulent changes to emerge as a lean, fully customer-oriented enterprise. Romana Moares reports.

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ARMAK, a.s., Czech Republic, a private, independent joint-stock company with a tradition going back to 1934, focuses on two main production lines: generic pharmaceutical ingredients and chemical specialities (including so-called intermediates). However its core business is the production of pharmaceutical ingredients, which currently account for over 95 per cent of turnover. Production capacity is concentrated within the company’s only site in Olomouc, Czech Republic and consists of two production halls, both containing several production lines for universal and specific product ranges. 78 Industry Europe

In a new shape In 2013, the company began the process of reorganising in order to increase effectiveness and improve overall performance. This difficult and complex process has now been completed – FARMAK is now even more flexible and better equipped to accommodate customers’ varied requirements, which should further strengthen its position in international markets. The development of an in-house pipeline product portfolio, gradually introduced in commercial production, has been another important factor boosting the company’s position. “The introduc-


tion of these new products has been an important step in terms of FARMAK’s long-term development and financial performance. Generally speaking, achieving profitability of such products is a long-term process. While the full financial benefits of the products we introduced to our portfolio in the last three years are expected to become apparent in 2017, 2018 and later, they are already starting to generate profit now. In the pharmaceuticals sector, this is an outstanding result and we are very proud of this achievement,” says Roman Grunt, FARMAK’s managing director. The recent re-organisation and re-direction has brought clear benefits for FARMAK: in 2015, its turnover increased by 13 per cent to over CZK 500 million (a 50 per cent increase compared to 2013) and the financial performance is expected to further improve.

The Essential is Inside FARMAK does not produce drugs as such: The company makes generic pharmaceutical substances, essential ingredients of medicinal products – hence its slogan ‘The Essential is Inside’. “The slogan reflects not just the quality of FARMAK’s products but also the skills and competence of our employees who are our most valuable asset,” says the managing director. Currently, the product portfolio contains about 25 commercially available products. They are contained in medicinal products to treat disorders such as glaucoma, high blood pressure, sleep disorders or prostate problems. Traditionally, FARMAK is also a renowned producer of antipsychotics. FARMAK’s research and development is focused primarily on chemical research, the priority being the development of chemical procedures which are subsequently used in the making of products sold not only on Czech markets, but more importantly abroad. “A company of our type must always have several new products in the pipeline,” says Mr Grunt. He explains that the success rate of new Industry Europe 79


generic products can only be estimated with a 10–20 per cent accuracy, meaning that out of 10, eight products are usually discontinued in due course. “Time is another extremely important aspect in our type of production. Product development, production, registration and marketing usually take a relatively long time. That means the substances we prepare now will enter the market sometime in 2020 or even later,” he points out.

Investing in the future The generic pharmaceutical ingredients sector is extremely competitive, with many companies competing with low price, low quality products. Mr Grunt stresses that this is not the company strategy. “FARMAK’s competitive advantage is high quality and this will never be compromised. Fortunately, the number of end product makers who prefer top quality, subsequent customer support and reasonable prices, is increasing,” he says. FARMAK’s customer portfolio includes over 120 customers from more than 40 countries. Over 90 per cent of its revenue is now generated in the export markets, primarily in Europe but also the United States and in several Asian countries. “In 2016 we managed to pen80 Industry Europe

etrate the extremely difficult Brazilian market and also reinforced our sales efforts in Japan, Korea and Taiwan,” says Mr Grunt. He further explains that the company is currently considering an investment in increased capacity to reflect growing sales. It is assessing various scenarios to enable it to achieve this, taking into account the simultaneous need for investment into research and development. “Each year we would like to extend our product portfolio with at least two new, interesting pharmaceutical substances, in line with our company strategy. The second most important objective for the near future is to introduce final dosage forms (FDF) – i.e. medicinal products based on our own pharmaceutical ingredients,” Mr Grunts stresses. “These new products would not be manufactured within our current premises, but in collaboration with trusted business partners who seek such joint projects and are equipped with the required technologies, know-how and capacities to ensure successful market introduction,” he adds. According to the managing director, this objective should be realistically achieved within the next five years. “We have already made the first steps towards this objective and received a positive response from our customers. This is a sound indicator that we are n going in the right direction,” he concludes.


CLEAR ADVANTAGE Casa Noastra is a leading European manufacturer of quality PVC insulated windows and doors. Philip Yorke reports on a dynamic company that is committed to producing ‘best-in-class’ products and to further global expansion.

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asa Noastra’s ‘QFORT’ brand is well known throughout Europe as a high quality range of insulated PVC windows and insulating glass. Established in 1994, the company began life as a distributor of PVC windows and doors manufactured in Romania. In 1995 the company took the strategic decision to start its own production of innovative products and systems for the manufacture of PVC windows, doors and insulating glass. Casa Noastra created its own quality brand, QFORT, in 2007 and followed this with a €30 million investment in the latest state-of-the-art production facilities, offices and logistics support. Today the company operates three modern production facilities that cover an area of more than 21,000 square metres, with additional logistics capacities of over 10,000 square metres and a fleet of more than 300 vehicles. Casa Noastra has numerous logistic centres and re-sellers throughout Europe and currently employs over 1000 people. In 2015 the company recorded sales of almost €50 million.

Innovation driving sales From the outset, Casa Noastra has adopted a policy of continuous investment in technology, research and development. During the last few years many new and innovative solutions have been launched by the company, including the introduction of a new type of roller shutter, versatile venetian blinds and highly efficient insect screens. Major investments have been directed into two channels: firstly towards building a new, purpose-built production hall and the pur-

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chase of cutting-edge equipment; and secondly, towards increasing capacity for the production of thermo-insulating glass, as well as increasing its manufacturing capabilities with regard to PVC frames. This strategic investment programme has resulted in some very positive results for the company’s bottom line. The latest new product developments at Casa Noastra include a brand new range of window profiles, called ‘7 Stars®’, in which each profile will have seven chambers and a depth of 85mm. This high-tech addition to the company’s range will be launched early in 2017. Furthermore, each product will come with a comprehensive five-year guarantee.

Putting quality first Thanks to Casa Noastra’s commitment to matching or exceeding the high standards already established in western Europe, its clients today benefit from the low labour costs and overheads prevalent in Romania, without sacrificing on product quality and reliability. The company uses the same high-quality raw materials as its competitors in France or Germany and, in addition, offers a far more costeffective pricing structure. Furthermore, in most cases Casa Noastra is able to offer a quicker and more reliable delivery service. Furthermore, the company prides itself on being more flexible when it comes to accepting products which contain non-standardised elements and individual specifications. It works closely with its suppliers and partners to achieve the best possible outcomes and to supply consumers with precisely what they are looking for.


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Winkhaus Founded in 1854, Winkhaus has grown into a leading provider of high-quality window and door technology, with five facilities in Germany and international subsidiaries in eight countries. Today it is owned by the fifth generation of the founding family and is known as a pioneer in hardware for industrial use, as well as for its innovative window and door concepts. Winkhaus’s activePilot tilt and turn hardware is one of the best new fittings on the market with features including easy handling, modern design and durability. Its AV 3 multipoint door lock, with independently acting hooks for claw action and elements for a dynamic contact pressure, is also a market leader and has performed exceptionally well since its launch. Winkhaus has become a main supplier to some of the largest window manufacturers in Europe, including, of course, Casa Noastra. Its activPilot hardware is applied in all Qfort tilt and turn windows, its door locks are used for Casa Noastra’s external door systems and its sliding hardware for the company’s patio doors. Winkhaus values its excellent relationship with Casa Noastra and hopes it will continue for many years to come.

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Expanding global footprint Recently, Casa Noastra has been focused on increasing its exports and global reach. Mr John Burada, the company’s Product Development Manager, said: “Over the next five years our goal is to achieve growth of a minimum 20 per cent, thus exceeding our €100m threshold. “This year we have increased our number of agents in both Italy and France, and have already achieved a 10 per cent market share in Italy which puts us in second place in that particular market. The aim for next year is the consolidation of our current markets and to reach a 15 per cent market share in Italy. This is in addition to securing new agents and distributors in other countries located outside the European Union.”

Extensive product portfolio Currently Casa Noastra’s QFORT offers an extensive range of products including PVC windows, which can be divided into three categories: 4Stars profiles with five air chambers and 70mm in depth; 5Stars profiles with five air chambers and 70mm in depth; and 6Stars profiles with five air chambers and 82mm in depth. In

addition, the company offers A-Class PVC entrance doors which are also divided into four categories. These are Classic, Modern, Future and Elite, all of which can be provided with insect screens according to their different openings. Exterior roller shutters are available with a PVS casing, which is installed above the window or with an aluminium casing installed directly onto the window. “We probably provide the widest range of products available on the market today, as well as offering a tailor-made service when required. The quality of our products is of utmost importance to us, especially with regard to their long life and sustainability. We also offer a five-year unconditional guarantee for our entire product range, unlike most of our competitors on the market,” said Mr Burada With its on-going programme of investments and its commitment to quality and sustainability, the company certainly has the competitive advantage and as a result its future looks bright. n For further details of Casa Noastra’s innovative range of products and services visit: www.qfort.ro. Industry Europe 85


SUPREME THERMAL

EFFICIENCY

Alumil SA is a global leader in the development and manufacture of aluminium window systems for industrial and commercial markets worldwide. The company continues to invest heavily in new product research and development as well in sustainable production methods. Philip Yorke looks at some of its latest cutting-edge products and its plans for future growth.

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lumil SA is among the world’s most successful producers of branded aluminium window systems for architectural use. The company was founded in Greece in 1988 and remains an independent family-owned business. Following ten years of consistent growth, Alumil SA was listed on the Athens stock exchange in 1998, however the company was to see even more substantial growth over the next two decades as it modernised its production lines and increased its export sales markets. Today Alumil employs around 2000 people and in 2016 recorded sales of more than €250 million. The company operates 11 state-ofthe-art production facilities in Greece and the Balkans with 25 subsidiaries located across the world. All Alumil’s individual production sites operate independently in their day-to-day business, however

overall control of the company is directed from its headquarters in Greece where human resources, marketing and global management of the Alumil Group coordinated. The Group’s sales network is also extensive and covers almost 50 markets throughout Europe, the USA, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Its strategy today is to focus on expanding its sales throughout Europe, the USA, India and Africa by promoting its advanced architectural window systems in these key markets.

Increasing demand for thermal efficiency There is an increasing global demand for energy-saving systems and energy-efficient production methods and Alumil’s answer to this is to continue to develop the optimal thermally insulated aluminium systems,

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solar protection systems, controlled ventilation systems and the integration of photovoltaic systems into unique building cells. Complimenting this market is the increasing global demand for greater security, and aluminium offers the highest level of protection from burglaries, vandalism, fire, smoke and damage from earthquakes. In addition, Alumil architectural systems offer supreme protection from extreme weather conditions, especially in terms of water-proofing and resistance to wind-load. Thanks to its expertise the company is also able to meet the highest standards of aesthetics and incorporate the latest architectural trends such as minimalistic design and innovative product development. All product development is carried out at the Alumil Group’s’s own extensive in-house R&D centre and products are subsequently tested and certified by internationally accredited quality control institutions. Every year the company’s R&D teams create many

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new products which are tested and certified to keep Alumil one step ahead of its competitors and to create the most sustainable and efficient systems for its customers.

‘Supreme’ solutions In its dedication to keeping up with the demanding requirements of the world’s ‘high-end’ markets for wide spans with minimal design, the company has enhanced its Supreme S650 series with one more advanced solution, in order to make it the perfect option for elegant constructions that feature high functionality and unrivalled all-round performance. The latest feature is its advanced water drainage system that provides less required depth for easier installation and increased functionality. These additional profiles can be implemented to


compliment all sliding typologies, thus making them the ideal choice, even for complex, multi-track sliding constructions. In addition, Alumil recently launched its advanced Supreme S91 series for heavy-duty, energy efficient casement windows that offer modern design with high levels of security. These have been specially designed to meet the new requirements of the ‘passive’ housing sector. This latest system has been fully certified by the renowned German Institute Rosenheim (IFT) at its testing laboratories for air permeability, water-tightness and resistance to wind load. Alumil continues to develop cutting-edge products that offer high specifications, which in turn help to make its customers more competitive and more profitable.

Expanding global presence Alumil participates in the world’s largest trade fairs, such as the Bau Fair held in Munich each year, which is the leading venue for architecture, materials and systems. This is where Alumil is able to reach an international audience and showcase its latest innovative products and systems. Today the Alumil Group is expanding its network across all continents and has established new subsidiaries in both central and eastern Europe, as well as in the Gulf, the USA and more recently in India and Africa. The company plans to maintain its strong, consistent growth through organic expansion based upon the many investments it has made in new technology and advances in its manufacturing capabilities.

Diverse product portfolio The Alumil Group is not only involved in the development and manufacture of advanced window systems for the architectural markets. It is also a manufacturer of industrial profile systems for the railway, automotive and shipbuilding industries. Furthermore, it produces composite panels, polycarbonate sheets and fully automated systems for automatic doors in lifts, internal doors and solar protection products, as well as a range of complimentary products such as n railings and pergolas. For further details of the Alumil Group’s latest innovative products, systems and services visit: www.alumil.com

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TRUSTED PARTNER IDO Hutný projekt, based in Bratislava, is a multi-discipline engineering company providing comprehensive project management services for various industry sectors. It has a strong customer base in central and eastern Europe and has been selected as one of the fastest growing companies in Slovakia. Romana Moares reports.

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DO Hutný projekt has a solid tradition of nearly 70 years of providing engineering project management services such as construction project design, procurement and specialist consultation. It is the oldest and largest project engineering company in Slovakia. With its annual engineering capacity of around 250,000 man-hours, the company has the capability to implement Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) projects of up to €40 million. Since 2015, IDO has been a member of the Switzerland-based Safichem Group, a leading industrial group of companies focused on a selected variety of uniquely interconnected, high added value business areas: complex engineering in the chemical and oil & gas industry, energy, water engineering and foodstuff industry, machinery equipment manufacturing, pharmaceutical industry, renewable sources and real estate. Altogether, the Safichem Group employs 1400 people and its companies have an international reach, which means it can easily support IDO Hutný projekt when required. This has significantly strengthened the company’s position in both local and export markets and extended its portfolio of services.

Comprehensive service IDO’s key construction engineering management services include obtaining all local permits, project design, FEED studies, construction management, project management and procurement, and

the company primarily focuses on the power, oil & gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, automotive and metallurgy sectors. “IDO Hutný projekt uses value engineering to drive innovation to solve the most complex engineering challenges. Our construction-driven executions ensure a smooth transition from study phases to construction and commissioning, using the most comprehensive, powerful and tightly integrated plant engineering and design solutions available,” says Ján Kukučka, the company’s commercial director. He further explains that by combining improved performance in design projects and new technologies to enable novel and more efficient project execution processes, significant time and cost savings may be achieved and potential causes of costly construction work eliminated. “This is a clear competitive advantage and one of the reasons for the company’s solid position in its existing markets,” he claims. The overall objective is to ensure, by integrating engineering, procurement and construction activities, a timely completion of projects within given budget, fully in line with customer requirements.

Key asset: People One of IDO Hutný projekt’s major competitive advantages is its highly qualified and experienced team of over 130 engineers. Its

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construction team is focused on HSE, quality and schedule performance. An HSE specialist is assigned to each project to ensure the health and safety of employees working on site. Meanwhile the presence of a quality specialist ensures the correct implementation of the quality programme. “Our company is focused on several aspects: on meeting and exceeding all occupational health and safety regulations (for which we are proud to have acquired the OHSAS 18001 Certificate); on meeting customer requirements and expectations (ISO 9001 Quality Management Certificate); on information safety, i.e. information confidentiality, integrity and availability (ISO 27001 Certificate); and, last but not least, on environmental protection and improvement (ISO 14001 Certificate). These are our four pillars which we will strive to further develop and sustain,” the commercial director explains. He further stresses that investing in people is an ongoing process at the company and its management is fully aware that it is the employees who have most contributed to IDO’s success in global markets. Another ongoing investment is being made into software upgrades and modernisation.

Worldwide operation The list of completed projects in various industry sectors would be too long to detail here in full. IDO’s customer base is spread across Europe, North and South America, Africa as well as Asia. However, the largest volume of projects has been implemented in the domestic market and neighbouring countries: the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. “Currently most of our engineers are fully occupied with another prestigious project – securing the engineering service permissions for the construction of the new Jaguar Land Rover V plant in Nitra, Slovakia,” says Mr Kukučka. “But of course we must make sure that we can also satisfy those clients with whom we have long-term partnerships. These include major players in their sectors such as Slovenské elektrárne a.s. (Mochovce nuclear power station), Duslo a.s., Slovnaft, a.s. and many others.” So will the company have sufficient capacity to expand into new markets? “The Slovak market is small. To grow, it is necessary to look beyond the borders. This is our strategy for further development – increasing our presence in existing markets, penetrating new markets and being more active in tendering for new projects n abroad,” Mr Kukučka concludes.

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PROFILE OF SUSTAINABILITY

Alphacan is a global leader in the development and manufacture of PVC profiles for windows, doors and shutters. The company continues to expand and leads the field in sustainable manufacturing and innovative profile design, as Philip Yorke reports.

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lphacan was founded by the Bonetti family in the early 1970s as a local manufacturer of profiles for windows. Having established the popular Profilia and Fersina brands, it then became a business division of the Alphacan Group. Today the Alphacan Group designs and produces a comprehensive range of PVC frame systems. These include profiles for windows, French windows, shutter systems, entry systems, sliding doors and special fittings. Alphacan prides itself on its leadership when it comes to the development of sustainable products and continuously increases the efficiency of external shell constructions that result in buildings with significantly reduced energy consumption. The Alphacan Group operates five modern plants in Europe, employs more than 800 people and is an integral part of the Kem One Innovative Vinyls division, which has two state-of-the-art R&D centres as well as a capacity of more than 85,000 tonnes of PVC profiles a year. Alphacan is the Italian division of the Group and manufactures and distributes its advanced profile systems all over the world.

High performance profiles Alphacan is a founding member of many of Europe’s leading institutions and trade associations and complies with all current environmental legislation concerning energy, quality and sustainability. It comes as no surprise therefore that Alphacan sets the industry standards for others. The quality of a product is often determined by the excellence of its raw materials, as a company spokesman explained: “We do believe that it is essential to make it well understood that Alphacan compounds are very carefully selected and finely mixed in order to create a unique and efficient formulation. “Technical performance of Alphacan PVC profiles is unparalelled with regard to thermal and sound insulation properties, as well as being impervious to water and wind, and its ability to maintain its strength and safety over long periods of time is undisputed. Following tests performed by our own in-house laboratory, product performance is then tested and 94 Industry Europe

certified by recognised independent, international certification agencies to ensure the highest possible quality. In addition, employing highly trained and dedicated staff along with a policy of continuous improvement are two of the cornerstones of Alphacan’s set of values.”

Inspired sustainability The company is committed to the protection of the environment and combines this with a dedicated sustainability perspective. Alphacan takes its inspiration from a quote by the writer Antoine de Saint-Exhupery, who in the ‘Little Prince’ states: “We do not inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children.” In Life Cycle Studies (LCA), PVC when compared to other materials returns excellent results with regard to environmental impact beginning with production, through the many manufacturing processes to the disposal and recycling of the product at the end of its life-cycle. It is well worth noting that all production waste and scrap is crushed and re-introduced into the on-going production processes. Today, after more than 70 years in production, PVC remains one of the most diffused and environmentally-friendly products on the market.

Increasing exports Although Alphacan is very much an Italian company and a national brand leader, it has been consistently increasing its export sales worldwide. This is particularly true in the Balkan regions and in Latin America and was the first company to introduce PVC profiles in South East Asia, which is an area characterised by a tropical climate with high humidity and extreme temperature fluctuations. Over the years Alphacan has developed and consolidated its business in its key target markets of southern Europe, further strengthening its export drive. Thanks to the company’s integrated operations, the potential of its export markets is considerable. The unequalled resistance, reliability andcdusrability over long periods of time has played a part in the company’s success in overseas markets.


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The company’s unique Prestigo systems for PVC windows and French windows represent the development of new PVC technology called biomimesis. Alphacan’s researchers have taken this approach, which is inspired by biological structures that are inherently thermally insulating and resistant to the power of the elements. The Prestigio and Alpha 70 product lines are insulated and reinforced with longitudinal fibreglass and the latest profiles have textured surfaces, with many innovative colours and shades available to choose from. Today Alphacan is at the cutting edge of PVC profile design and continues to develop new, sustainable models with increased overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Any composition or profile shape is possible today at Alphacan, thanks to the special machinery it employs to form complex profiles in sympathy with exotic and contemporary n architectural styles of all kinds. For further details of Alphacan’s innovative PVC profiles and services visit: www.alphacan.it

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UNIQUE FLAVOURS WITH

A SOLID TRADITION

Kostelecké uzeniny is the largest Czech meat producer, boasting a 100-year tradition. Its unique products, superb quality as well as the benefits of being a member of a strong group have cemented its prime position in the central European region. Romana Moares reports.

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he story of Kostelecké uzeniny began 100 years ago, in 1917. As one of the major players in the central European region, the company supplies fresh meat and a comprehensive range of meat products to the markets, with focus on high quality salamis. It is currently one of the leading producers of dry salami, especially cured salami with natural fine mould – the company’s flagship product – as well as frankfurters, soft salami, smoked meat and canned ham. “Our core business is animal slaughter, meat processing and the packaging and production of meat semi-finished and finished products and canned meat,” explains managing director Michal Jedlička, and points out that next year the company will celebrate an important anniversary – one hundred years of operation. In 2007, the Kostelec plant was acquired by Agrofert Holding, one of the largest agricultural and food processing groups in central Europe. Several mergers with other meat processors followed, making Kostelecké uzeniny the biggest meat processing company in the Czech Republic. In 2015 the company achieved a total turnover of nearly 5 billion CZK.

Premium quality Kostelec, in the middle of the Czech Republic, provides ideal conditions for making meat products of the highest quality: it has the clean environment of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, a modern

production base as well as a traditional approach to the butchery trade which has been passed on from generation to generation. “Our flagship product is the Premium range, including the cured salami with natural fine mould on the surface, sold under the names of Kostelecký uherák, Křemešník, Čeřínek and Hermín,” says the managing director. “Our product portfolio also includes fresh beef and pork of Czech origin, produced locally in our own slaughterhouses in Kostelec and Planá nad Lužnicí. About two years ago we enriched the product range with a new line of products with a minimum meat content of 90 per cent,” he adds. An example of a gourmet product with an exceptional ripening time is Reserva 1917. Salami 1917 Reserva has a unique flavour, underlined not only by the natural high-grade mould on the surface but also by the spices used. Recently a new, more practical size of 1.8kg was introduced. Another unique product is the round salami with cheese, made only from selected pork meat. It is completed with a blue cheese flavour, which makes it a culinary speciality. The round salami with cheese is also produced during the process of fermentation. This natural process, used for food production for over 2000 years, gives the product a fantastic flavour of salami and cheese in one. From this year onwards, the round salami with cheese is also available in a wooden box emphasising its uniqueness. Industry Europe 97


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Solid production base The company currently operates four specialised production plants – in Kostelec, there are two facilities, one focused on beef production (slaughtering, portioning, packaging, dispatching), the other focused on meat production (a complete product range of all meat products including canned meat). The third facility is located in Planá nad Lužnicí and its core business is pork production. This facility has the largest slaughterhouse in the country with a daily output of up to 2000 swines and a comprehensive production of pork including portioning, slicing, packaging and production of fresh ready-tocook products. The fourth, smaller plant is in Most and specialises in smaller batches and meat specialities, with a particular focus on natural casing sausages. “In 2015 we invested about 30 million CZK in increased production capacity for cured fine-mould salami. Another 100 million was invested in 2016, namely in modern production technologies for both fresh meat production and meat products,” says the managing director. The company plans to implement a further, major investment in the order of hundreds of millions in 2017 and 2018, again with the aim of further enhancing its production base.

Promising future The company’s customer base includes major retail chains such as Billa, Ahold, Makro, Tesco, Lidl as well as Procházka, a chain of its own butchers. About five per cent of total output is sold in export markets, mainly in the neighbouring countries. “The meat sector is heavily affected by competition from foreign retail chains, driving prices down,” says Mr Jedlička. “Another important factor, influencing in particular the fresh pork sector, has been the decline in swine numbers in the Czech Republic in the last ten years and the rise of meat imports. In this context, Kostelecké uzeniny benefits from the vertical synergy created by the Agrofert Holding of which our company is a member.”

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Mr Jedlička remains optimistic about the future. “In the next three years we plan to increase investment in automation and robotisation. For the years to come, we foresee further output growth as well as increased levels of export.” Given its strong position and progressive development in the past few decades, it looks like the tradition of Kostelecké uzeniny will n continue for many years to come.


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TASTE OF PURITY Stock Polska is Poland’s leading producer of clear vodka and vodka-based liqueurs. The company is an important part of the Stock Spirits Group, a leading spirits business in central and eastern Europe. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.

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tock Polska is proud of the fact that its products are a combination of its tradition reaching back to 1884, innovative ideas and cutting-edge manufacturing facilities. Retaining the harmony between tradition and innovation has resulted in the development of market leading spirit brands.

A company with a long tradition The roots of Polmos Lublin, (known today as Stock Polska), go back to the first half of the 20th century. At the time it was the famous manufacturer Emil Plage who was the heart of the company and who began the production of distilled spirits. Thanks to the dedication of his successors, the company survived both world wars and, as a result, resumed production in 1944. However, during the Communist 102 Industry Europe


regime the nationalisation of private manufacturers went ahead and the company was seized in 1951 by the National Alcohol Monopoly. Much later came political changes in Poland, resulting in a process of gradual change for the status of the company. It was first restructured as a joint-stock company with shareholding held by the State, before being privatised. Following these changes, the company survived and indeed thrived, becoming the leading manufacturer in the speciality vodka market and one of the most important players in the branded drinks market. Since 2007 Stock Polska has been a part of the Stock Spirits Group.

European player The history of the Stock Spirits Group dates back to 1884 and many of its products are made to long-established traditional recipes. The group’s principal geographic markets are Poland, the Czech Republic and Italy. Together, these three markets accounted for 88 per cent of the group’s net sales revenue in FY 2015. It has the largest market share for spirits in the Czech Republic and the second largest in Poland. The group has a portfolio of more than 40 brands across a broad range of products including vodka, vodka-based flavoured liqueurs, rum, brandy, bitters and limoncello. It operates from two main

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production and bottling sites in Lublin, Poland and in Plzen, Czech Republic. It also owns a small distillery in Prádlo, Czech Republic, and has an ethanol distillery plant in Rostock, Germany.

Clear and flavoured vodkas Stock Polska is well known for its vodka-based flavoured liqueurs, including Zoladkowa Gorzka and the Lubelska range, as well as for its wide portfolio of clear vodkas, such as: Zoladkowa de Luxe, Stock Prestige, Amundsen Expedition, Orkisz, Zubr and 1906. Zoladkowa Gorzka (which means ‘Stomach Bitter’) is manufactured according to a recipe which goes back to the 19th century and draws from the Polish tradition of infusions of herbs steeped in alcohol (so-called ‘nalewkas’). It stands out thanks to its distinctive amber colour, spicy aroma and complex flavour which, contrary to what the name may suggest, is surprisingly sweet with just a hint of bitterness and an original herbal note. Zoladkowa de Luxe was, according to AC Nielsen data for 2014, the best-selling clear vodka in Poland and the fastest growing vodka brand in the world in 2009. It has received many prestigious international awards for its flavour, with its most recent accolade being a silver award at the International Spirits Challenge 2015. Recently, Stock Polska extended its top premium product range with the Amundsen Expedition, created to honour one of the greatest expeditions of the 20th century that saw a team of explorers reaching the South Pole in 1911. Presented in a stylish, unique ice brick bottle design and served chilled at 0°Celsius, this top premium clear vodka offers a unique, delicate flavour created from a combination of special ingredients, crystal clear water and a slow rectification process. Stock Polska also introduced to the Polish market a new brand, Saska, with five flavours: two pure vodkas, including Oak Saska, and alcohol flavoured Black Elderberry, Wild Rose and Hungarian Plum.

Service tailored to customers Stock Polska’s net sales revenue in 2015 was estimated at €137.2 million. Its production plant located in Lublin is the most modern facility of its kind in this part of Europe, with daily production output

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estimated at 2.2 million bottles. The company’s products are sold in more than 40 markets, including the countries of central Europe, the Balkans, as well as Asia and the United States. Stock Polska recently carried out two large investments in Lublin. Last year it opened a new logistics centre covering an area of 33,500 square metres, which has revolutionised its supply chain. Based on the latest logistics processes for managing the flow of products from production to delivery, it represents another step in the realisation of

the company’s development vision. Interestingly, increasing storage capacity plays a secondary role in this vision: The main aim is the integration of the production planning and logistics processes, which in turn makes the company more flexible and efficient for its business partners, while maintaining the highest level of service tailored to the n needs of its customers. http://www.stockspirits.com/

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TWO CENTURIES

OF SUCCESS

Tereos TTD is the leading beet-processing group in the Czech Republic and one of the top 10 food producers in the country. Since 1992, the company has been an affiliate of Tereos, one of the world’s largest sugar, alcohol and starch producers. In 2016, three factories from within the group are commemorating significant anniversaries of their operations, going back to over a hundred years. Romana Moares reports.

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he joint stock company Tereos TTD has become the leading Czech producer of sugar and alcohol (fine, technical, bioethanol). In its five factories, the company makes about 300,000 mt of sugar (in its Dobrovice and České Meziříčí sugar factories) and 1,000,000 hl of alcohol from sugar beet each year (bioethanol in the Dobrovice distillery and fine and technical alcohol in the Chrudim and Kojetín distilleries). Its Mělník packaging unit processes up to 90,000 mt of sugar into retail packaging every year. The company history goes back to 1831 when sugar production first started in the Dobrovice sugar factory. Over the past few years, the Dobrovice sugar factory has been thoroughly modernised and is now one of the largest units of its kind in the CEE. Sugar beet – as raw material not only for food production (sugar) but lately also for renewable energy production (bioethanol) – has been supplied by roughly 500 growers, from a total acreage amounting to 37,000 ha. The Dobrovice bioethanol plant is the first industrial distillery in the Czech Republic to produce water-free fermentation alcohol (bioetha-

nol). Bioethanol production was launched in 2006. The raw material – sugar beet – is processed in the sugar factory into a raw juice that is subsequently used to make the final product.

Continuing tradition The Dobrovice sugar factory was founded 185 years ago by Count Thun-Taxis, and has survived a long line of owners as well as historical events. In 1992 it was acquired by French Union SDA. For the French stakeholders, this was the first foreign acquisition, and was in line with their strategy to expand into the central and eastern European markets. Today, 25 years later, it is safe to say that their investment has been returned many times over. In the course of these two decades, Union SDA changed its name to Tereos, but – most importantly – increased production 50-fold to become one of the largest producers of sugar, consumer alcohol, renewable resources and starch products not just in France but on a global scale. The group now

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NEVASTANE Petrolejářská a energetická společnost TOTAL dlouhodobě vyvíjí speciální maziva pro potravinářské stroje a zařízení, která i v případě jejich možného úniku zajišťují jejich bezpečnou výrobu potravin. Jedná se o netoxická maziva certifikovaná pro možný kontakt s potravinami dle mezinárodního systému NSF H1 (National Sanitation Foundation). Tato maziva řady NEVASTANE na bázi tzv. bílých olejů, tedy vícenásobně rafinovaných bílých olejů na ropné minerální a syntetické bázi, neobsahují nežádoucí cyklické polyaromatické uhlovodíky. Maziva svojí strukturou vyhovují rovněž systému HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point), tedy systému kritických bodů, jež se zpracovávají pro příslušnou technologii výroby potravin. Maziva NEVASTANE (mazací oleje a plastická maziva) jsou úspěšně aplikována ve strojích na výrobu cukru na základě dlouhodobé spolupráce společnosti TOTAL ČESKÁ REPUBLIKA s.r.o. a TEREOS TTD, a.s. Maziva NEVASTANE pro potravinářské stroje • • • •

Převodové oleje na ropné minerální bázi Převodové oleje na syntetické bázi Plastická maziva Víceúčelový adhezivní olej ve spreji

Vodě odolné plastické mazivo ve spreji

NEVASTANE EP NEVASTANE SH, XSH NEVASTANE XMF, XS NEVASTANE LUBE AEROSOL NEVASTANE GREASE AEROSOL

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operates 45 factories in 13 countries in Europe, South America and Asia. “The acquisition of the Dobrovice sugar plant was the very first step towards this worldwide growth,” points out Oldřich Reinberger, managing director of Tereos TTD. Today the Dobrovice factory is the largest and most modern plant in central and eastern Europe, competing with the best sugar processors in the most advanced sugar-making countries such as France and Germany. The current daily processing capacity amounts to up to 15,000 tonnes of sugar beet.

New investment In 2006, the Dobrovice premises were extended with the addition of another plant, housing the first water-free spirit production in the Czech Republic. “The idea to build a distillery was triggered by the restructuring of sugar processing in the EU, as a result of which there was a surplus of sugar beet in the Czech Republic. It was decided that the raw material would be used for the production of a renewable energy source – water-free fermentation alcohol,” explains Mr Reinberger. The distillery launched the production of a water-free spirit in 2006, and shortly after the plant started to supply bioethanol E85 to the Czech market. In 2015, this fuel was available in over 300 petrol stations in the country. The annual output of one million hectolitres makes this the largest industrial distillery in the Czech Republic and the most modern distillery in the central European region. However, the company’s development did not end with one sugar making plant and distillery. Since the French investors acquired the company, several other acquisitions of large sugar making groups have been completed, such as Pražská cukerní společnost (six factories), the České cukrovary holding (12 factories) and the Chrudim a Kojetín distilleries.

“Under the supervision of the parent company, we have become a leader in the sugar-making and distillery sectors in the Czech Republic and one of the major players in the region. Tereos TTD has become a trusted and stable partner for the sugar beet suppliers, customers, employees and well as for the general public,” says the managing director.

Leader in its sector Of all the acquired sugar factories, the only other sugar making facility is in České Meziříčí (other sugar factories in Mělník have been transformed into packaging centre for Tereos TTD Cukr Czech Republic). The sugar factory České Meziříčí, as well as the Chrudim distillery, are commemorating the 145th anniversary of their establishment this year. The Chrudim distillery has become, with its annual capacity of 200,000 hectolitres of high quality consumer spirit, a major distillery in the Czech Republic and a stable supplier to the most renowned producers of alcoholic drinks not only in the country but in the whole of Europe. “The long and rich history of Tereos TTD Cukr Czech Republic is, no doubt, remarkable. However, today, at a time of subsiding sugar market regulation and the onset of liberalisation, the focus needs to be on the future,” says the managing director. “We believe that we are well prepared for future challenges.” And so it seems. With its two state-of-the-art sugar factories, distilleries as well as the modern packaging centre in Mělník, the group has a firm footing. All of its operating facilities employ the latest technologies, not just in terms of manufacturing but also in terms of the quality and environmental aspects. Supplies of sugar beet have been secured by long-term contracts with a large number of growers. The customer base both in the Czech Republic, elsewhere in Europe as n well as further afield is continuously growing.

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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

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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.

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-the-art warehouse will be serving customers in the APAC region in 2017, including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and 112 Industry Europe

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 connection 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 Li-ion 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 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.

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.

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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.”

In recognition of excellence 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 ‘Outstanding 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’.

Positive developments 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 have also been designed to n allow for further future expansion. For more details of Jungheinrich’s innovative intralogistics products and services visit: www.jungheinrich.com 114 Industry Europe


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TRANSFORMING AIRPORT

LOGISTICS EFFICIENCY Since Siemens launched its Postal, Parcel and Airport Logistics subsidiary (SPPAL) in 2015, the new entity has transformed airport logistics efficiency. The strategic move has paid big dividends for Siemens in securing its position as the technology leader in airport handling and logistics. Philip Yorke reports on the remarkable achievements of the new Siemens division and its plans for the future. 116 Industry Europe


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an independent Siemens company, SPPAL is structured to operate faster and more efficiently in a highly competitive market. With the sound financial footing provided by its multinational parent company SPPAL has been able to acquire AXIT GmbH and, as a result, has significantly expanded its market position in IT cloud-based logistics. With its new global network, SPPAL has its own regional European companies, which are located in the UK, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) the company operates under the brand name SD (Middle East) LLC, thanks to its long-standing joint-venture with the Al Moosa Group Investment company in Dubai. The Asian market is covered by its own wholly-owned subsidiaries in Singapore, China and Hong Kong, while the Americas are serviced by its regional companies in the USA and Canada. The company also has its own local branch offices staffed by SPPAL employees in Turkey, Taiwan, Malaysia and South Korea. As a wholly owned subsidiary of the Siemens Group, SPPAL can also count on many other wellestablished sales channels in countess other countries.

Driving cloud-based logistics More flexibility and transparency has been achieved for supply chains by the Siemens cloud-based logistics platform, AX4, which

integrates all involved logistics partners. In order to manage a complex supply chain on a continuous basis, a lot of data must be exchanged, concerning items such as orders, delivery notes, loading lists and delivery dates, as well as racking and status information. This is in addition to details relating to weight, packaging, transit time and freight costs. The main problem is that each party is generally using its own in-house IT system, and there is no standard protocol and solution available. SPPAL and its subsidiary AXIT provided the answer with the cloud-based logistics platform AX4. This central IT platform integrates all logistics partners and provides each one with access to the information through the unique AX4 platform at all times. The new system is also able to split up and consolidate transmitted data, and can manage time-controlled data both for import and export operations.

Smarter airport trays Siemens’ unique tray solutions are in demand at large airports all over the world. SPPAL has recently won some major new contracts that feature its renowned advanced tray technology. Currently under construction is a new tray system for Terminal 2 at Incheon International Airport in South Korea. Siemens has become the partner of choice as its tray systems are very fast, and can reach speeds of up to 10

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metres per second with an average sorting speed of 2.5 metres per second, thus confirming SPPAL as the clear technology leader. During peak travelling times these new tray systems achieve the highest throughput rates ever achieved at up to 19,200 baggage items per hour recorded recently at Terminal 3 in Beijing. The belts located under the Siemens trays run over rollers to prevent any

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dynamic friction between the belts and conveyers, thereby significantly reducing energy consumption. Trays from Siemens are also very accurate, as all trays are fitted with radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices. This enables them to travel safely through the baggage handling system and to reach their intended destination with an accuracy very close to 100 per cent.


Today Siemens is the partner of choice for many of the world’s key hub airports worldwide from the Far East to the USA. Large international airports with a high number of transfer passengers increasingly favour the faster and more efficient SPPAL tray system technology.

Comprehensive range of services As passenger and cargo volumes continue to see strong growth, sorting capacities are stretched to the limit. In order to ensure high system availability, reliability and operational efficiency over the entire lifecycle, SPPAL offers a comprehensive service portfolio for airports and airlines. Operation and maintenance (O&M) services, as well as modernisations and upgrades are just two of the modules available from Siemens. A recent example of how SPPAL can significantly benefit airport operations and logistics can be seen at the San Diego International Airport in California. The Siemens company is responsible for O&M of the baggage handling system and for more than 50 passenger

boarding bridges. The service contract has a term of three years and was placed by the SANCO Consortium, which is an association of 12 airlines serving San Diego airport and handling over 18 million passengers per year. SANCO benefits in many ways as a result of Siemens O&M services. The customer benefits as SPPAL is providing all O&M services from a single source. This in turn means that SANCO no longer needs to work with multiple service providers. Siemens takes over the service of the baggage handling systems and passenger boarding bridges, including the corrective and preventative maintenance of all related technical equipment. The company also consolidated all San Diego airport’s control rooms to be at one location and to further improve overall maintenance process efficiency. The SANCO consortium and Siemens have already been working together successfully for a number of years. n For further details of SPPAL’s innovative O&M and logistics airport services visit: www.siemens.com/logistics

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DIGGING FOR SUCCESS As Italy’s second-largest producer of earth-moving machinery, Komatsu Italia Manufacturing SpA is expanding its range of products and geographical markets while always maintaining the highest quality, as Barbara Rossi finds out from managing director Enrico Prandini.

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omatsu Italia Manufacturing SpA is part of the Japanese-headquartered Komatsu Group. Specifically, it is part of the European division of the group, which comprises one company in the UK, two in Germany and one in Sweden. Recently the group has also acquired a specialist in quick coupler and attachment manufacturing – the German company Lehnhoff. At group level production is organised into three main categories: Utility, Construction and Mining. The Utility range features small and medium machines (ie. up to 12 tonnes), while the upper limit for the Constructions models is 50 tonnes and Mining offers machinery above this limit. Komatsu Italia Manufacturing employs almost 400 people and the 2016 turnover is expected to be close to €200 million. It operates from a sole plant in Este, near Padua, in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. This area also hosts its warehouse, which is located near Vicenza (Noventa Vicentina). The company’s facilities already have the potential to accommodate a doubling of production. Mr Prandini explains, “Komatsu Italia Manufacturing is specialised in machines from one to 12 tonnes, therefore we mainly (but not exclusively) manufacture for the Utility category. Our main range of products features mini excavators, midi excavators, backhoe loaders and skid steer loaders. However, in the last three years we have added two larger excavators belonging to the Construction category to our range: the hydraulic models PC170LC and PC138US. Another recently launched product is the PW98 midi-excavator, which will be followed by a similar, but larger, model. Many other models are also in the pipeline.

“Our qualitative standards are well above average, and this obviously puts an extra demand on our suppliers. Our relationship with them is very close. The fact that they are our partners is fundamental for a company with more than 130 suppliers, such as Komatsu Italia Manufacturing. Some of the products and components we purchase come from Japan and with regard to these quality checks and supplier selection are conducted at group level. We have to create and maintain similar quality and reliability standards for local purchases, in other words for European suppliers. With our strategic suppliers we have recently signed partnership agreements, which ensure mutual growth in terms of production volumes and quality. These agreements go beyond simple supply contracts and include the training of their staff at our premises and the presence of our staff at their premises to offer help and support.”

Increasing efficiency “There are two paths that can followed to improve performance: a production capacity increase or an improvement in production efficiency. We have really focused on improving efficiency and have invested several million euros in two main areas: a new painting plant and a new assembly line. Our new painting plant is one of the most advanced in Italy and it allows us to carry out in-house painting of all the components used in our machines. We paint the interior and exterior of our components prior to machine assembly. This means that even the hidden parts of our machines are properly protected, because they have been painted before assembly. Another advan-

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tage of this new painting plant, which we have built from scratch over a few thousand square metres at our Este site, is that we can decide what we want to paint, therefore maintaining a very high degree of painting flexibility. Thanks to this plant we take care of the whole production process, from raw materials or components to the final product. We start with components that we produce or are sup-

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plied to us, and then proceed to clean, process, dry, treat and paint them. Finally, this painting plant offers maximum levels of workplace safety and environmental friendliness. “The new assembly line is the most innovative in Europe. It is a continuous variable movement assembly line, which means that speed can be changed according to the products to be assembled.


Instead of using rollers, it employs a plastic support system, including for the belt conveyor. The belt conveyor is five metres wide and 75 metres long. Cranes move at the same speed as the belt, and so does the machine’s lubricant filling system. This is a real advantage in terms of preventing spillages. Moreover, this assembly line features a very low energy consumption level. I would say that this is close to that of a washing machine! In fact, some of the energy used is recuperated through one of the line’s engines.”

Market outreach

“Our mission is to focus on machines under 20 tonnes, because otherwise we would invade the markets of our Komatsu sister companies. We aim to return to our pre-recession production volumes and turnovers and we are on track to achieve this. At group level the Komatsu strategy is increasingly focused on developing smart machines, which can be used, even in complex jobs, by operators with limited experience. I am also very proud of the fact that for several years health and safety and human resources have been central to our philosophy. We consider our staff to be an irreplaceable asset n of our company and a key ingredient to our success.”

The company mainly serves the earth moving and residential construction sectors thanks to its utility products. It is increasingly offering tool carrier, multi-purpose machines, rather than simple excavators. Part of the quick couplers and attachments used in its tools carriers are supplied by Lehnhoff, the German quick coupler and attachment specialist recently acquired by the Komatsu group. Geographically Komatsu Italia Manufacturing’s domestic market is Europe. This is also its main market and will continue to be so in the future. This means that the mission of its European-based companies is mainly that of serving the European market. However, Komatsu Italia Manufacturing is increasingly supplying non-European markets through the existing Komatsu Group global distribution network. This mainly happens for backhoe loaders and steer skid loaders, of which it is the sole producer for the whole group. While Africa has always been an important market for the Italian-based company, Latin America and South East Asia are also rapidly expanding. Thanks to the new products it is launching, the company will also increase its market penetration in Europe. Industry Europe 125


ALWAYS CLOSE TO CUSTOMERS Being present for customers, wherever they are and at all times: This is the simple strategy behind the Fontana Group, world-leading multinational in the production of fasteners.

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ineteen production sites across four continents producing any sort of special fastener are not enough for the Fontana Group; not even 30 commercial and logistic sites across more than 30 countries that guarantee daily high added value commercial and logistics services to its customers are enough. The group is always looking to do better. “All this is not a landing place for Fontana Group, but rather a starting point,” says Giuseppe Fontana, vice-president and CEO of the group. He runs the company alongside his brothers Enio and Luigi while his father Loris, founder and soul of the company, is

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non-executive chairman. “The group is a simple and complex reality at the same time. Simple because the values that always drove its growth are clear and defined – quality, excellence, devotion to R&D, focus on nurturing true partnerships with customers; complex because the group’s deployment on a global scale of resources, structures and energies implies a multiplicity of situations and scenarios that have to be taken into consideration.” And it could not be otherwise for a brand that not only operates globally, but is also physically present with sites in Europe, North America, South America and Asia. Enio Fontana, Co-CEO and sales


director, says: “Internationalisation has been part of Fontana’s strategy since the 1960s, when we seized the opportunity to develop what was a simple factory like many others into a a centre of excellence. Since that time we have registered continuous progress, being aware that corporate development can happen only through a widespread commercial presence, always with the goal of providing our clients with complete support, wherever they are and whenever they need it.” This has happened throughout Europe, as well as in the United States, still one of Fontana Group’s main markets. “In June 2015 we completed the acquisition of Acument Global Technologies, a market leader in the American fasteners market.” The merger of Fontana and Acument generated much more than the sum of the two entities, because it allowed the organisation to double its dimensions as well as production and commercial capacities, representing a major step forward. This, however, happened in 2014. After less than a year and a half, the Fontana Group turned its attention to Asia. “In October 2015 we acquired BG Fastening, an interesting Indian entity operating in our field, with an excellent team, great organisation, a good structure and noteworthy machinery. With this stable presence in Aurangabad, Fontana Group marks its presence in the only BRICS country that, together with China, is still registering remarkable growth rates.”

Places and products If Fontana Group has achieved significant geographical growth since its establishment, it has also greatly expanded its range of products – an interesting example being the aerospace sector. According to Giuseppe Fontana: “Our internationalisation has never been a delocalisation of production, but rather the opposite. The group’s development has never coincided with a relocation, but with an increase of clients, of markets, and of revenues through plants and offices abroad.”

The group’s economic strategy comes from a ‘realpolitik’ that does not consider the world as a sum of countries, but rather conceives and observes it in its totality: “People keep moving, both as individuals and within great migratory flows. Economy is not any different: in some cases it anticipates and in other cases follows these trends, modifying what exists. And this is what Fontana has always done: being flexible in order to obtain the best result possible, albeit within the logics of a well drawn strategy; a strategy that is the outcome of detailed analysis and prudent considerations, and that is able to remain coherent even in front of ever changing scenarios. After all we have a defined goal, to which we remain loyal, scaling our presence wherever our customers are.” And the first beneficiary is the group’s vast clientele, operating in every production sector from industrial to shipbuilding, machinery to electrical appliances. “Moreover, the automotive sector, the greatest success story of the group, represents the best application of Made in Fontana products: in our corporate laboratories, it all starts with a concept, followed by planning and by the final development of the product, identifying the best answer to every need. With time, this product customisation capability led us to become suppliers of almost every car manufacturer,” concludes Enio Fontana.

Building networks The company’s identity, however, remains strongly Italian, characterised by that ability, versatility and entrepreneurial inspiration that throughout the world is associated with the ‘made in Italy’ brand. It is a strong identity, and yet open to the world, and it is this identity that has made it possible to build a solid enterprise that is constantly looking to the future. “We believe that all our strategies, efforts, energies and profuse intelligence has resulted in group that is ever-more attractive to talent and projects, not only for clients but also for all employees who contribute daily to n the success of Fontana Group,” concludes Giuseppe Fontana. Industry Europe 127


METAL TUBE PROCESSING EXPERTS The BLM Group is an undisputed leader in metal tube processing. Giovanni Zacco, market development manager, talks to Barbara Rossi about this fast growing group and its plans for the future.

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he BLM Group offers an extremely comprehensive range of products for metal tube processing, which include laser cutting (lasertube), sawing, bending and end forming solutions, as well as machines for sheet metal cutting. The only group in the world able to offer all the existing metal tube processing technologies and to integrate them into complex manufacturing systems, BLM is based in northern Italy, with facilities in Cantù (Como) and Levico Terme (Trento). All products are made in Italy. The 2015 turnover was €240 million and in the period 2013–2015 annual growth has been at 17 per cent. The group comprises three companies: BLM SpA, Adige SpA and Adige Sys SpA. BLM SpA operates from the Cantù site and is specialised in the production of tube bending machines, end forming machines and one particular lasertube model. The two Levico facilities (Adige SpA and Adige Sys) manufacture all the other cutters and laser systems for both tubes and metal sheets. “Some products we have developed in the past few years are LTFree, LC5 and LT8.10 for lasertube (laser cutting systems), 4-Runner for bending and E-Shape for end forming. LT-Free is a five-axis laser cutting system ideal for three-dimensional parts, bent, hydro-formed or

pre-assembled tubes, or flat and pressed sheets. It allows traditional cutting operations – usually carried out in sequencing – to be performed in a single cycle on the same machine. The system is equipped with a fibre laser capable of processing any type of metallic components at high speed with excellent quality. LC5 is a combined system for laser cutting sheet and tube and we are the only ones to manufacture it. The combination of two systems into one offers clear advantages in terms of cost effectiveness. The new LT8.10 offers processing flexibility and is the best performing laser tube cutting system for processing any metal, with a quality which has until now been unattainable. “4-Runner is particularly suited to processing small and medium size tubes, even in very complex shapes, which are typically used in automotive, air conditioning, heating or cooling system applications. Starting from a coil, it performs straightening, end-forming (up to six passes), facing, rolling, bending, cutting and controlled unloading of the finished part all in one. It can be configured and used with various modules for specific jobs or complete processes. E-Shape is the new all-electric tube forming machine for end forming and integrated stock removal (cutting and facing) jobs, employing VGP2D programming software.”

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Development through innovation “In order to keep up with our growth, in the past few years we have expanded our production facilities both in Cantù and in Levico. We have one facility in Cantù – which occupies a 15,000m2 covered area – and two in Levico Terme – respectively covering 25,000 m2 and 27,000m2. All our sites are ISO 9001 certified and obviously this expansion has required significant investments. Furthermore, we regularly invest in R&D. In fact, every year 7.2 per cent of our turnover is channelled into research, which we conduct both internally and in collaboration with Italian and international research institutes and universities, such as the Politecnico di Milano, Politecnico di Torino and the Fraunhofer Institute.” The company supplies its solutions to OEMs from various sectors – automotive, furniture, agricultural machinery, transport and construction – but also to contractors, therefore its products end up serving an extremely wide range of sectors and are used in a wide spectrum of applications. Automotive and furniture (indoor and urban) are the two main sectors served and will remain central to the group’s work in the future, but the construction sector might also offer significant growth opportunities. Laser cutting has enabled BLM to develop machines for tubes of large dimensions, such as those employed in construction. “Geographically we are truly global, as we serve all industrialised markets. As a geographical area the EU is our main market, while as a single country the US ranks at the top. About 85 per cent of our turnover derives from exports, although in the last couple of years the Italian market has been recovering quite well. We offer technical support services in all the geographical markets we supply. “In the next few years we expect strong growth in Mexico and further expansion in South East Asia and the Middle East (Iran in particular). Lasertube is widening its boundaries in terms of future 130 Industry Europe


potential applications and we always pay attention to the new horizons that open up in science and technology, particularly with regard to laser sources, so we might offer new solutions in the future. We really believe that development comes from innovation and that this is the path to follow to maintain our current growth trend. We are very interested in developing solutions for new applications close to our current field of expertise.” Suppliers are important to BLM’s success. “All our suppliers are highly selected and qualified. They all have to comply with a particular set of requirements that we set. We have a very close relationship with our critical suppliers, which I would define as being a partnership, especially with regard to mechanical processing where we collaborate closely with high quality Italian companies. We use all certified materials and our policy is that of purchasing production and non-production materials and products of the utmost quality. Among the suppliers that we work with are Rofins Sinar for laser n sources and Siemens for electronic equipment.”

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LEADER IN INDUSTRIAL LOCKING SYSTEMS RST Roztocze, a company from Tomaszow Lubelski in Poland, is a leading European manufacturer of industrial locking systems. This year it celebrates its 25th anniversary. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.

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the early 1990s we created a new branch of Polish industry, which did not exist before. Since then the world has changed enormously in terms of technology, and we have had to adapt to these dynamic changes. We have been growing together with our customers. Initially, we cooperated with small-scale customers, then

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we had bigger partners, and now we work for major, global companies from dozens of countries around the world. Our portfolio of customers consists of 1500 companies, including 300 foreign businesses,” says Roman Rak, the owner of RST Roztocze. The company’s success is also based on constant investments in the latest technologies. In the past eight years it has spent a total of €3 million annually on various investment projects. The company is a leading member of the business group owned by Mr Rak. There are two more companies in the group: WSK Tomaszow Lubelski is an experienced manufacturer of components for the aerospace industry; ZWG Lubaczow is a fancy metal goods producer with great traditions in galvanising. Mr Rak is the sole owner of RST Roztocze and WSK Tomaszow Lubelski, and a significant shareholder of ZWG Lubaczow. The group’s history goes back as far as 1991. “I started my own business in a small garage, with second-hand lathe and milling machines. For first two years I was my only employee,” laughs Mr


Rak. “However, the business soon developed beyond my imagination. Now the whole group employs more than 750 people, including 70 highly specialised engineers.”

Experts in locking systems RST Roztocze’s core competence is the production of locks, hinges, locking systems and V-Klema screw clamps for the energy, machine building, telecommunication and automotive industries. Its product range includes about 5000 items, from simple to very complex locks – for example electronic locks. It specialises in such technological processes as: ZAMAK die-casting on hot chamber machines, plastic material processing and machine cutting. Moreover, it has a tooling department with a technical office, which creates moulds for die casting, plastic materials and tools for metal pressing. Direct exports make up 35 per cent of the company’s total sales and its products are sold to more than 30 countries in Europe. But if the indirect foreign sales (via other companies operating in Poland)

are taken into consideration the export share grows to 90 per cent share. Between 2003 and 2014 the company’s production grew 10 times. In 2015 it amounted to +20 per cent. Among the buyers and users of locking systems manufactured by RST Roztocze are such big names as General Electric, Bombardier and PESA Bydgoszcz Holding SA, Solaris Bus & Coach and Grupa Apator.

Sky is the limit WSK Tomaszow Lubelski was founded in 1969 as an integral part of WSK-Swidnik, a well-known producer of helicopters and motorcycles (in 2010 it was acquired by Augusta/Westland and is now the biggest helicopter manufacturer in Poland). In 1992 the company was transformed into WSK Tomaszow Lubelski Ltd, and since then it has operated as an independent company. Mr Rak became its sole owner in 2009. Today, WSK TL is an approved and certified manufacturer of components for the aerospace and aviation industry, with a range of more Industry Europe 133


than 4500 parts. It specialises in the production of complex and precision fasteners such as nuts, bolts, elbows, tees, frames and so on. “I dare to say that WSK Tomaszow Lubelski Ltd is flourishing. It is a major supplier for the aeronautical industry in Europe. We cooperate with such companies as: PZL-ŚWIDNIK SA, WSK-RZESZÓW (a manufacturer of aircraft engines and transmissions, a part of Pratt & Whitney corporation) PZL MIELEC (an aircraft manufacturer, a member of the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation), and EADS PZL WARSZAWA OKĘCIE (an aircraft manufacturer). Aviation accounts for 75 per cent of WSK TL’s production. The remaining part of the business is focused on products for the machine, food and automotive industries. Exports make up 95 per cent of the company’s total sales,” says Mr Rak.

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Specialists in metal goods ZWG Lubaczow, the third member of the group, is focused on the production of various fancy metal goods, mainly for other companies within the group. It also makes metal zippers with different chain widths, fittings, wire products (frames, D-rings, hooks for hangers), metal buttons and minor pressure-cast zinc elements. The company provides such services as protective and decorative galvanic coating (nickel, copper, zinc and oxidative in a wide range of colours for steel and brass). It also offers tooling services and high n pressure casting on its machines. http://www.roztocze-rst.com.pl/


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DRIVING HEAVY-DUTY PRECISION FORWARD Strojirny Poldi is a European leader in the development and manufacture of high precision crankshafts, rolls and tools. Philip Yorke reports on a company with a long history of serving some of industry’s best known OEMs and one that continues to evolve and grow to become a significant player on the global stage.

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trojirny Poldi was founded near Prague in 1889 and is one of the oldest machining companies in the world. It is the sole manufacturer in the Czech Republic of crankshafts, rolls and tools and is headquartered in Kladno, near Prague. Over 80 per cent of the company’s products are exported worldwide to markets across four continents. Today Strojirny Poldi delivers crankshafts for the engines of leading global brands engaged in the manufacture of trucks, buses, tractors and agricultural and forestry equipment. This is in addition to companies involved in construction equipment, rail and aerospace transport, as well as pumps and compressors. The company’s crankshafts are made from pre-formed forgings and castings, which are machined and heat-treated with a clear


focus on unparalleled accuracy and production quality. Its large rolls for cold-rolling are produced from forgings supplied by globally recognised manufacturers to the most stringent specifications. Furthermore, the company’s tools are made from certified, corrosion-resistant tool steel grades machined to the highest possible standards for metallurgy, engineering, glass, food and the construction industry. In 2015 the company employed 300 people.

Expanding product portfolio As Strojirny Poldi continues to invest in the latest forging and machining technology, so it is able to meet new engineering challenges in a diverse range of industries. Since its founding in 1889, the company has designed and produced hundreds of different engineered products from crankshafts for heavy engines, to rolls for cold-rolling mills and a variety of other applications as well as for cutting tools for an infinite variety of special industrial applications. Marcus Pauels, the company’s CEO, said, “Currently we are establishing a new product group under the brand name ‘SPM’, which stands for ‘Strojirny Poldi Precision Machining’. With the exclusive know-how of our employees and the high-tech machinery we have invested in, we are also starting to produce CNC machined components for our existing customers and also for the

entire automotive and engine industry. In this respect we are talking about products such as hydraulic components, heavy engine parts, axle wheel hubs and complex shafts for a variety of manufacturing industries.”

Investing in the future In addition to some major investments in 2016 and 2017 for specialised testing equipment, Strojirny Poldi has recently invested heavily in a five-axis, fully automatic CNC machine which enables the company to complete high-quality machined components up to a length of 3000mm and a weight of more than 1000kg. Further investments are planned for 2017 to significantly expand its technological potential and to increase its capacities for even larger components. Pauels commented, “Currently, with our on-going investment programme, we are driving strong organic growth with our existing and new products in our multiple global markets. However, at the same time we are also looking carefully at all options to support this growth through a suitable acquisition outside of the Czech Republic. Strojirny Poldi will become one of the strongest players in the global market in the near future for crankshafts and engine components. This will be achieved through continuous investments in people, machinery and products. Industry Europe 137


Pauels added, “The majority of our current crankshaft customers come from a diverse range of industries including those in the manufacture of construction vehicles, farming vehicles, trucks and buses and aircraft, as well as naval engines, locomotives and generators. Today we are focused on gaining a greater presence in the United States and Canada, as well as in South America and the EMEA regions.”

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Quality and innovation driving sales Strojirny Poldi enjoys an enviable reputation as a leading manufacturer of crankshafts, in particular for heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks, buses and rail and aerospace transport. In addition, Strojirny Poldi has strict quality control protocols in place that include the testing of its products prior to delivery.


Semi-finished products for the mass production of crankshafts are purchased as die castings and forgings of the highest standard. For low volume production runs the company uses free-forgings. Product parameters are determined and verified

by its in-house independent control department inspectors and are audited by teams made up from customers and recognised certifying organisations. When it comes to forged rolls, the company has developed and perfected the technology for the manufacture of best-in-class products. For the manufacture of rolls, either steel from electric arc furnaces, from vacuum degasses, or possibly steel made in the ladle furnace by secondary refining can be used. For special applications, electro-slag re-melted steel or vacuum re-melted steel can also be used. In order to achieve the best possible properties for its rolls, the roll barrel is hardened in a medium frequency induction hardening machine. To meet high precision requirements, forged rolls are machine finished and ground to respond the customer’s most demanding requests in terms of n dimensions and surface quality finish. For further details of Strojirny Poldi’s innovative steel products and services visit: www.strojpoldi.eu.

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SHEET METAL SPECIALIST

Slovak ŠVEC A SPOL is a modern engineering company offering bespoke production of sheet metal parts and assemblies, diversified into several industry sectors. Romana Moares spoke to managing director Lubomír Švec about the company’s evolving core business and what makes it strong in this fiercely competitive market environment.

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he Slovak company ŠVEC A SPOL s.r.o. was established two decades ago in order to design and manufacture stamping tools for metal piece pressing. A turning point came in 1998 when it became a supplier to the automotive sector, and subsequently set up two more divisions for the manufacture of metal assemblies, and for steel, aluminium and stainless steel components. In the past few years the company has undergone another wave of rapid growth, resulting in the establishment of a new division for the manufacture of steel structures, based in Nitra, and the achievement of the ISO 14001 a ISO 3834_2 certificate for the welding of steel structures, protective rails and machine parts and equipment. “We have become a specialist in stainless steel and aluminium processing,” says Mr Švec. Total turnover for the group (including its sister companies) reached nearly €20 million in 2015 and its financial performance is further improving. “In the near future, we want to further extend our comprehensive services in the area of ultrasonic cleaning and stainless steel processing,” explains Mr Švec. He adds that the company’s core competitive advantage is its diverse portfolio and ability to offer customers not only part and sub-assembly deliveries, but also comprehensive product solutions. 140 Industry Europe

Trusted partner “Our key products are stamping tools and pressed pieces for the automotive industry, comprehensive assemblies for the food and construction sectors and ultrasonic cleaning devices for various industry applications,” explains Mr Švec. The development of stamping technology for metal parts is supported by PamStamp 2G simulation software. The stamping tools are designed in CATIA V5 R24, ProENGINEER, PowerSHAPE, Mechanical Desktop (3D) and AutoCAD (2D) software. The company is currently organised into five production divisions, located in Nitra and Vrable, each applying the principles of lean manufacturing. The divisions are equipped with first class machines including over 20 presses from 100 to 800 tonnes capacity and universal machines for sheet metal processing, including laser cutting, punching, bending and folding machines and robotic welding equipment. In the past two years the company has invested over €7.5 million in new technologies. The latest additions include Trumf Fiber, a high-performance automated laser, a Salvagnini CNC panel bender, a Trimill portal five-axis milling machine and the Arisa transfer press – a


modern standard for automotive suppliers. “We plan to further upgrade our production technologies and include the latest machines so we can further improve our productivity, quality and flexibility,” says Mr Švec.

For European car makers The engineering sector seems to be booming at the moment, but generally speaking only those companies that can offer timely deliveries to the desired level of quality at a highly competitive price can expect to really benefit from this boom. “The products from our tooling and pressing shops, which are delivered to Tier 1 suppliers, may be found in the vehicles of nearly all European brands,” says Mr Švec, adding that the automotive sector is not the only industry in which ŠVEC A SPOL has achieved success. “Our ultrasonic cleaning line will be installed in Thailand in early 2017 and our ‘ambassador’ on literally all continents has been our typewriter for the blind – a product design and developed entirely in-house which has cemented our reputation ever since it was first launched decades ago. And this year, we have used the Amazon sales channel to promote our (so far) small product range of in-house designed stainless steel products.”

new modern technologies can be utilised in the most effective manner. We will continue this process and have ambitious plans for the next few years: we want to purchase further new technologies, invest in product design and extend our prototype capacity so that we are in a position to meet even more comprehensive customer requirements in a fast and flexible manner.” In concluding, he stresses the company’s mission for years to come – to develop a modern, highly efficient business which offers its customers a comprehensive range of products and services using the latest technologies, while remaining a trusted partner and a good employer. n

Ambitious plans Mr Švec points out that one of the pillars of the company’s success is its partnerships with suppliers, highlighting in particular its technology suppliers Trumpf, Trimill, Hermle and Doosan, tool suppliers Semaco and Asinell and raw material suppliers Raven, Klimex and Ferona. “While in 2015 we invested massively in technologies, in 2016 investment was focused on staff training and development so our

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Cold-rolled coils of PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’

FROM STRENGTH

TO STRENGTH

General Director of PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ Rostyslav Shurma

PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ is one of the Ukraine’s leading steel producers and part of its largest mining and metallurgical conglomerate, Metinvest Group. Philip Yorke reports on a company that has gone from strength to strength as a result of its continuous investment in new technology and the manufacture of ‘high-end’ products with higher aluminium content and special steels. Cold-rolled coil of PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’

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Panorama of pickling line (Cold Rolling Shop No. 1)

Miebach laser welding machine, which operates in complex of modern Continuous Pickling Line of Cold Rolling Shop No.1

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JSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ is acknowledged as one of the most successful European iron and steel works despite the advent of low-cost steel flooding the market from China. The company exports much of its production to over 60 countries worldwide and in 2015 produced more than 3.8 million tonnes of pig iron, almost 4 million tonnes of steel and over 3 million tonnes of rolled steel products. The high quality of its products is endorsed by the growing demand from its customers worldwide. During the past five years, the company has invested more than $400 million. This has been achieved through a combination of constant improvement of its manufacturing technology, and its ability to respond quickly to market challenges and the diverse needs of its customers.

Competitive advantage PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ operates in a highly competitive environment, with all those involved in the steel industry maximising their potential and endeavouring to minimise costs. However, the company has

Steel coils pickling department in Cold Rolling Shop No.1

been able to maintain its leadership position by raising the level of its customer services, expanding its product range and improving quality throughout its supply chain. During the past 18 months, PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ has started the production of 22 new types of rolled products. In addition, it has the competitive advantage in terms of logistics, offering a unique delivery speed and guaranteeing the supply of metal to its partners in both Central and Eastern Europe. This has been enhanced by its growing reliance on river transport, which has reduced costs and delivery time to its customers. The company also constantly optimises its raw material supply chain. PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ is situated in close proximity to the suppliers of coke and fluxes. The lean management programme, which is combined with the on-going process of reducing production costs including those aimed at quality improvement, is implemented in the manufacturing process. Recent investments at PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ were aimed at the modernisation of the sintering plant and the installation of modern gas

PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ introduces innovative technologies. Picture of sintering plant control centre

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Panorama of Zaporozhye area river port with hot-rolled coils of PJSC “Zaporizhstal”

purification systems to all its sintering machines, conforming to the highest European standards. Besides this, the company has extensively modernised the blast furnace process using the most advanced technologies. In the near future, PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ plans to construct a new oxygen converter shop with continuous strip production department. This latest investment programme represents the largest modernisation project in the history of the Ukrainian mining and metallurgical group.

Broad product portfolio PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ offers both hot- and cold-rolled steel products in coils and in sheets. Hot-rolled products are manufactured in thicknesses between 1.8mm and 8mm, and cold-rolled products are manufactured in product mix between 0.5mm to 3mm. In addition, the wide product mix of the Works is represented by steel strip, black sheet and formed section products. The main consumers of these products include pipe producing companies, construction companies, transport companies, agricultural machinery and household appliances manufacturers. The company also manufactures tailor-made steel products taking into account the requirements of its partners. Rostyslav Shurma, the company’s General Director, told Industry Europe, “We work daily to reduce the production costs throughout our entire supply chain and we have achieved significant results in improving our energy efficiency and reducing the consumption of natural gas. For example, in December 2010, our natural gas consumption was more than 54 million cubic metres, whereas in 2016 we have reached

a historical low, by reducing monthly consumption of natural gas to 10 million cubic metres. We use pulverised coal injection technology in our blast furnaces and replace natural gas where possible with a mixture of secondary gases (coke and blast furnace gas mixture).”

Expanding markets As a part of the company’s strategy to develop initiatives to improve the quality of its products and expand its product mix to meet new and niche market sectors, the company is targeting markets in Southern Europe and beyond. The domestic market of PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ remains its preferred customer, however sales to the EU increased by over 16 per cent last year. The company also increased its sales to countries in Eastern and Southern Europe. PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ is also increasing sales to Turkey, and its share in the Works’ sales structure has increased to 16 per cent. Today the Works is drawing up plans for partnerships in countries and market segments where PJSC ‘Zaporizhstal’ is not represented yet. Mr Shurma added, “We are working at the world market, which has recently seen a considerable expansion of Chinese products. Chinese manufacturers do not hesitate to dump steel products prices in order to increase their market share. However, now customers pay more attention to quality, and therefore our task is to provide high quality and shortest delivery time of our products. In such circumstances, we must n use our numerous competitive advantages.” For further details of PJSC “Zaporizhstal” innovative products and services, please, visit: www.zaporizhstal.com

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TRUSTED PARTNER ZPA Pecky, a traditional Czech engineering company, has become a trusted partner for the power sector players on a global scale. Romana Moares spoke to the company’s managing director, Mr Jan Bulíček, about the key competitive advantages behind its success in export markets, as well as the emerging new opportunities it is ready to explore.

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he history of this Czech engineering company goes back to 1894, and for many decades ZPA reaped success as a traditional manufacturer of electric actuators. The company has a strong position in central Europe as well as in several Asian countries, and is a member of the ZPA Group, which combines several engineering companies with similar production profiles. Production is divided into three divisions, the first of which contains the company’s core business: production, assembly and testing of electric actuators, accompanied by bespoke CNC machining (40 per cent of overall output). The second division consists of sheet metal processing (20 per cent) and the third focuses on the production of blowers (40 per cent). ZPA’s actuators are made under the MODACT trademark and are used for controlling various types of valves (gate valves, butterfly valves or ball valves) even in the most demanding environments, such as places with combustible gases and vapours. They are employed in power plants, sugar refineries, water works, wastewater plants, heating plants and other facilities. The manufacturing programme includes single- or multiple-turn actuators for direct installation on the valve as well as lever, rod and special actuators. The MOA and MOA OC actuators, which operate under extreme conditions in nuclear power plants and hermetic zones, are a particular speciality. The modular concept of MODACT actuators, which enables installation of the company’s in-house gear-boxes, ensures long life, high reliability and a broad sphere of applications. The company’s product design and development department has introduced numerous

unique solutions, such as a planet gear enabling manual operation, locking of torque switches, low hysteresis and non-linearity of position transmitters, high precision setting of positional and torque switches, and more besides. The blowers were introduced to the portfolio in 2009. ZPA now makes several sizes of blowers, including vertical and horizontal Roots blowers with outputs from 40 to 120,000m3/h in special designs that can be used for nuclear engineering.

New horizons The past two years have been a time of considerable change and expansion. ZPA acquired valve producer Mostro and is now in the process of transferring the production to its current site. “The acquisition is closely related to our business focus. Now we will not only supply actuators to valve manufacturers but will also be able to offer a complete product – valves controlled by our own actuators. This will significantly widen our business scope and increase our market share,” says the managing director. He points out that the transfer as such would be relatively easy as space is available next to the company’s existing premises. The valves, provided with ZPA actuators, should be introduced into the market in a few months’ time, once the necessary certification process has been completed. Another event of similar significance has been the recent delivery, through a business partner, of 28 blowers and more than 60 special electric actuators for the primary circuit of Unit III and IV at the Tianwan nuclear power station in China. “This contract has been of key impor-

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tance for us, both in terms of its complexity and as an excellent reference for similar jobs. As a result of this delivery, we have already received several enquiries from other Asian entities,” says Mr Bulíček. He further explains that the Czech market, with most of power producers already modernised, has become too small and further growth may only be achieved abroad. Over 70 per cent of total output is now sold in the export markets, the most important of which remain the CIS countries, particularly Russia. This is particularly true for the actuators, which have been successfully installed in all types of reactors built by Russian Rosatom. The company’s other key product – blowers – is sold through business partners all over the world, including Indonesia, China, the US and most European countries.

Pushing ahead In response to growing demand for innovative products, the company’s product development department has played a key role in ZPA’s worldwide success. “Innovation is an integral part of our development,” confirms the managing director. “We constantly strive to increase the technical level of our products so that they meet today’s requirement for a sophisticated, faultless operation.” He further explain that as a result of the Chinese contract, the company will push for more work in the export markets and win a larger market share in the nuclear sector. “Within the recent acquisition, we have invested considerably in the development of actuators for the oil and gas sector and we will intensify our sales efforts in this area also.

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This is a new sector but one that offers exciting new opportunities for a manufacturer of our kind. Penetrating this particular market will take time and a lot of effort but I believe we will succeed.” ZPA Pecky is currently growing in all its product groups. Negotiations are now under way with two large customers for actuators, while sales of Roots blowers and bespoke sheet metal processing are increasing. The company is clearly well on its way to meeting its n challenging targets.


A STRONG PROCESS An integral part of the global Tata Group and India’s largest business house, Tata Steel Processing And Distribution Ltd is dedicated to providing a metal and Steel Service Centre across the Group in India. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the Vice-President of operations, Om Prakash, to learn more.

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lobal conglomerate Tata Group was founded in India nearly 150 years ago. Serving a very large industry sectors, the Group created a revenue of USD 109 billion in 2015 and employs over 600,000 people worldwide. With world-recognised wholly-owned subsidiaries including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consulting Services, Taj Hotels and Tata Power, the Group is comprised over 30 publicly-listed enterprises.

Tata Steel Processing and Distribution Ltd is part of Tata Steel, multi-national steel-making company. As the 5th largest steel producer in the world and the largest in India, Tata Steel has manufacturing sites in 26 countries and employs around 80,500 people. Tata Steel Processing & Distribution Ltd (TSPDL) is a wholly-owned division of Tata Steel and is focused on delivering an effective metal and steel service centre operation for its parent company.

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Following Tata Steel’s 2007 acquisition of Anglo-Dutch company Corus, which at the time was four times larger than Tata Steel in terms of steel production, it has enjoyed strong presence in the UK as part of its impressive global footprint. Prior to this acquisition Tata Steel was the world’s 11th largest steel producer.

Part of the family TSPDL’s Vice-President of operations Om Prakash spoke to Industry Europe to illustrate how the division’s dedication to service means that it consistently delivers a valuable part of the supply chain for the Tata Steel steel mill. Mr Prakash said, “The Tata Group is the leader across many industry sectors, with a huge number of products, services and functions that see the Tata name in the number one position worldwide. Tata Steel Processing & Distribution Ltd is known as TSPDL and we are the metal and steel service centre for the Tata Steel India operations.” Mr Prakash went on to explain how TSPDL’s current focus is perfectly in tune with the entire Group’s long-term drivers. He noted, “Our main focus is growth. But it is not growth at any cost. The whole

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Group takes growth very seriously within the framework of excellence and responsibility. The Tata Group is famous worldwide for our ‘leadership with trust’ promise, which means we have a transparency with our suppliers and our customers. We only work with people in this way and we believe this is why we have continued to grow in such a positive manner. Across the whole of the Tata Group, we always want to be a benchmark for excellence and a leader across our sectors.” Formed in April 1997 to support the Tata Steel operations in India, TSPDL is still considered ‘fairly young’ in the Group. Mr Prakash continued, “We have grown rapidly in these nearly twenty years as we add great value to the steel operations. Today we process and distribute steel material of around two million tonnes each year, with our primary sector being the automotive sector in India, at around 80 per cent, with the remaining 20 per cent coming from lifting and excavation appliances, general engineering and construction.” With such a high volume of its activities coming from the Indian automotive sector, Mr Prakash is clear that the strict quality demands of this industry is key to TSPDL’s successful growth. He said, “The automotive


industry requires a very high quality, Just-In-Time service. Customers do not want a high volume of steel stock or a block in working capital so we are here to effectively manage the supply chain of any steel user. We are also highly skilled at customising whatever our customers need in terms of JIT steel, such as manufacturing rectangle blanks or helping to reduce the weight of the vehicle.”

Quality and customisation This customisation is possible thanks to TSPDL staying closely connected to the latest trends in the steel industry. One area where this is clear is its ability to manufacture normal steel to a higher strength but with a lighter weight. Mr Prakash added, “As you can imagine, this material is in a great demand for the automotive industry. We have learned so much about our potential alongside the automotive industry; we stay close to our mill and can develop steel grades with the mill that are perfectly processed to the right weight and strength, which we then handle as required.” Mr Prakash explained how the automotive industry is very ‘surface sensitive’, meaning that any materials used in the automotive process, particularly those used on the outside of the vehicle, must be clear from any defects and very hard to scratch. He noted, “We have worked very hard with our steel mill to be able to supply material

with far fewer defects than our competitors. For example, for Toyota, we provide a parts-per-million (PPM) level of just 25 to 50 defects in every million parts – it’s a very high standard. Other mills may only deliver a 100 or even 200 PPM defect level.” TSPDL is also a key supplier of processed plates to the lifting and excavation sector in India, a sector growing very fast with infrastructure growth in India. Continued growth is both predicted and expected for Tata Steel Processing & Distribution Ltd, with exceptional growth in Asia, particularly India, on the cards. Mr Prakash concluded, “Our growth plan for the next five years will see us double our processing capacity. It’s an ambitious plan but it fits well with what we have achieved and how we see our markets developing. With Tata Steel generating over USD20billion in 2015 and TSPDL accounting for around USD 300million of that, we expect that to increase considerably. We already have a network of 15 sales offices across India and eight processing plants in India, so as the demands increase for the steel industry, so too do the requirements of our metal and steel service capabilities.” TSPDL takes pride in its corporate social activity for upliftment of the weaker section of the society and concern for the environment n by reducing carbon footprint of its operations.

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A SUSTAINABLE OUTLOOK Finnish tissue and baking & cooking paper products company Metsä Tissue has a ‘unique proposition’ for its customers worldwide thanks to the smart ownership of the company and its complete solutions. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to vice-president for product development for the Metsä Tissue Away From Home division, Markus Reivala, to learn more.

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ith ten paper mills across Europe and a number of widelyrecognised brands under its belt, Finnish paper products company Metsä Tissue is clearly a commercial success. What customers may not be aware of, however, is how much of a corporate social responsibility success Metsä Tissue is. Markus Reivala told Industry Europe how the company’s ‘unique proposition based on the ownership of the company’ maintains and supports its focus on responsibility. Mr Reivala said, “We are responsible in all ways – it’s not just something we say to tick a box for shareholders. We don’t have shareholders in the traditional sense as we are part of Metsä Group, which is owned by over 100,000 Finnish private forest owners. This unique ownership base and business structure gives us a competitive advantage and reinforces the long-term stability of our operations. So we do the right thing because it is the right thing

to do in order to have a long-term, sustainable business; sustainable for the planet and sustainable for our ongoing success.” Part of the Metsä Group, one of the world’s largest forest industry groups, Metsä Tissue is dedicated to making paper and pulp products from its network of mills. Metsä Tissue employs 2800 people and the company’s sales total €1 billion.

Part of life The Metsä Tissue product portfolio is primarily focused on the manufacture of tissue papers and baking and cooking papers, with its brands including Lambi, Serla, Mola, Tento, Katrin and SAGA. Mr Reivala continued, “Our business is part of our customers’ everyday lives. So whether they are a consumer or a professional buyer, we stand together with them to improve health, hygiene and wellbeing

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at home, work or leisure. As well as our own well-known brands, we also manufacture a number of supplier label products and various tailor-made customer label products for leading European retailers.” Manufacturing a total paper production of 640,000 tonnes per year, of which 600,000 tonnes is tissue paper, Metsä Tissue’s ten production plants in five countries are all certified to ISO 9000 for quality and ISO 14000 for environmental management. But these certifications are hardly enough to illustrate just how seriously Metsä Tissue takes its quality and environmental responsibility. Mr Reivala explained, “All our members take care of their own forests and have done so for many, many years. For each tree that is harvested an average of three trees are planted in its place. We have been working like this for long before it was fashionable. In fact, 20 or 30 years ago the paper industry was blamed for causing eco-issues, but now it’s totally the opposite – people know that smart forestry and sustainable industry are important elements in the long-term protection of our planet. “All in all, efficient supply chain management is one of the cornerstones of our business strategy. Our mills are located close to our raw materials, consumers and partners, thus minimising the need for transportation. We favour railways and waterways and work only with transport companies that are either ISO certified or at an advanced stage in the certification process. We have long-term expertise in sustainability, and Metsä Tissue is an industry forerunner in mitigating climate change and minimising its environmental footprint,” Mr Reivala explained.

Forest for all This transparency in its ownership and operations is one of the reasons Mr Reivala notes that Metsä Tissue is helping to ‘take care of the forests for future generations’. He said, “This is not a fast business. It doesn’t work to just think of the next quarter. We all have the forests at our heart and we totally respect and value the forest. Our unique business structure is not just socially and environmentally responsible, it also gives us a competitive advantage as we have a solid, long-term stability. So even though we essentially have over 100,000 owners, we’re like a family. A very big family!” As Metsä Tissue is ‘a very big family’ that operates in a smart, responsible manner, being part of the Metsä Group means it also 154 Industry Europe

has the advantage of being able to access an even bigger global network – an extended family of complementary skills. Mr Reivala said, “Within Metsä Group there is such a lot of expertise in areas that truly benefit our customers and the consumer. We have divisions that know everything there is to know about the production of pulp, the relevant chemicals, the raw materials...we have so many state-of-the-art production facilities and process capabilities in the group that whatever we need, we can usually find it. This offers our customers considerable commercial advantages as well as a speed that is unrivalled. All the way through the manufacture of our products we know every step of the production, which enhances our dedication to sustainability. All our products essentially lead back to nature in some way.”

Katrin Inclusive Dispensers – inspired by users Metsä Tissue has brought into the Away-from-Home market its new Katrin Inclusive Dispenser range. As the name suggests, this product range applies the concept of inclusive design, meaning that the dispensers are easy to use for everyone despite the age or physical abilities of the user. Katrin Inclusive Dispensers, being universally accessible and easy to use, are designed for everyone. They have a strong focus on functionality, thus helping not just the end user, but also making n assembly and maintenance work easy and convenient.


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INNOVATION AT ITS CORE

Dedicated to developing and manufacturing innovative paper cores for the packaging film industry, Sonoco Alcore is proudly leading the way with its latest offer. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the commercial and technical segment managers, Gary Morgan and David Van Hove, to learn more.

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onoco Alcore creates a broad range of tube and core solutions for its customers across the paper, film, man-made fibre yarn, metal and construction industries. It is part of the global Sonoco family, one of the world’s leading providers of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and supply chain services. Acknowledged as the leader in ‘high-quality, innovative, value-creating tubes and core solutions’, Sonoco Alcore’s production of tube and core solutions for such a wide variety of markets means it is divided into different product-focused segments. Packaging Europe spoke to commercial segment manager Gary Morgan and technical segment manager David Van Hove, the two driving forces behind the dedicated film segment of Sonoco Alcore, who have been integral in the division’s impressive growth in recent years. Gary Morgan began: “We are very excited about the continued potential of the film industry in terms of our expertise in paper core solutions, which is why David and I have been highly active in establishing ourselves as a dedicated division for Sonoco Alcore. Back in 2012, David and I realised that Sonoco Alcore did not have a team 156 Industry Europe

specifically focused on the plastic film sector and we saw great potential in the market. We therefore created a solid strategy to maximise the opportunities we identified across Europe and, by marrying Sonoco Alcore’s traditional strengths and expertise along with our innovative product development capabilities, we have successfully captured much of Europe’s growing film market.”

Positive strategy This positive strategy has proved successful for Sonoco Alcore’s film division in the four years it has been active. Mr Morgan also attributes this partly to the strong foundations he and Mr Van Hove had to build on. He continued, “Sonoco Alcore is very much the market’s technical leader in the production of tubes and cores for the various different segments we serve. We have a unique approach: our technical team works with our engineering, production, quality and sales teams. Working together like this ensures we create the best solution for our customers. Our position as the technical leader in our field is certainly what drives our constant innovation.”


This constant innovation is what has led to the development of Sonoco Alcore’s film division’s unique Radial Crush testing technology – one of the most essential tools to fully optimise many of the paper cores used in the film industry. David Van Hove explained, “Radial Crush Technology allows us to predict and measure the relevant strength properties of paper cores for applications where elastic materials are being wound on them (which is the case for many products from both the film and textile segments). This method, contrary to the historic flat crush measurement, is often much more important and allows us to optimise cores for cost/performance.” He went on: “It has far more relevant measurement parameters and it’s patented too, as it specifically replicates the kinds of forces and deformations a paper core is undergoing when the film is being wound onto the core. Sonoco in the US manufactures the testing equipment and sells it both internally and externally (worldwide).” With the patent of this particular core technology expiring a couple of years ago, Mr Van Hove noted that Sonoco now also supplies the measuring equipment to the market. He continued: “We don’t really want to share our design expertise; in fact this is something we maintain internally; however, we want to share this testing method, as it will benefit the industry by providing a much more relevant state-ofthe-art technology, which we hope will become the industry standard. “Testing is so integral to what we do. We regularly visit our customers so we know how they’re using our products and we conduct many tests on the strength properties of the core, both in the lab and in real life conditions. Historically, our industry used flat crush testing but the issue with that is it measures different kinds of deformations to those generally occurring in these applications (winding of elastic materials on paper cores). Our innovative Radial Crush technology helps us to further optimise our cores for our customers. “One of the biggest issues for the film industry is core crushing, which can cause machine downtime and add waste and cost for customers. Our dedicated film division provides innovative cores that use the latest testing technologies to deliver excellent core crushing resistance to meet the challenges of this issue.”

Impressive portfolio Radial Crush testing is part of Sonoco Alcore’s film division portfolio, alongside a number of film cores that have been specifically designed to manage the stresses and pressures experienced during

winding, handling, storage and unwinding of various film types. The film varieties addressed include polyethylene, polypropylene, bi-oriented polypropylene, polyester and polyvinyl chloride, giving the company a broad yet focused portfolio. Alongside the Radial Crush approach, Sonoco Alcore also offers the Dricore NG, a rain resistant paper core which has been extremely successful in the agricultural/silage film market where all of the main producers of these films have converted from plastic cores to the Dricore NG bringing them significant savings as a result; and the Intellicore RFID, which helps companies to optimise inventories thanks to its imbedded RFID technology. High performance cores are also offered for expensive and/or sensitive films as they demand very smooth surface, excellent straightness and superior dimensional stability; even though these cores are still paper, they are so completely smooth they look almost like plastic. Mr Morgan and Mr Van Hove’s clear dedication to providing a market-leading solution for core technology across the global film industry mean the outlook for the next few years looks just as positive for the film division. Mr Morgan concluded, “Our ongoing commitment to the plastic film industry is just as strong as when we were establishing our special division in 2012. We have a clear understanding of the needs of the market and are continually talking honestly to our customers to make sure we know exactly what they need and how we can utilise our experience and capabilities to n address their needs.” Should you wish to contact Mr Morgan directly to find out how Sonoco Alcore can help your film business to optimise its paper core needs please contact gary.morgan@sonoco.com Visit: www.sonocoalcore.com

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ON TRACK FOR EXPANSION

Bonatrans is a global leader in the design and manufacture of wheelsets, wheels, axles and tyres for every type of railway vehicle. Philip Yorke reports on a company that has gone from strength to strength following its acquisition of GHH-Radsatz GmbH of Germany. Today new product development and innovative solutions are helping to drive the expansion of the group still further.

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he GHH-Bonatrans Group was founded in its present form in January 2014, when the Czech based Bonatrans Group acquired the German company, GHH-Radsatz GmbH. Both companies have distinguished manufacturing traditions stretching back many decades and are leaders in their individual product sectors. Bonatrans is strong in high volume, heavy rail solutions, while GHH is the European leader in light rail applications. The group continues to invest heavily in new product development and the latest technology which is paving the way for further global expansion. The group employs over 20,000 people worldwide and in 2015 recorded sales of more than €350 million.

Indian investment driving growth Last year the GHH-Bonatrans Group completed the construction of a major manufacturing facility in India. This new state-of-the-art plant is already producing 20,000 wheels and 6000 axles per year, as well as assembling more than 5000 wheelsets per annum. The group is focussed on targeting the high-end markets in Asia, where there is fast-growing demand for more advanced products. The strategic goal for entering this market is the region’s need for safer and more efficient transportation of people and goods in the Indian sub-continent.

The GHH-Bonatrans Group’s success in these markets is assured thanks to the fact that in addition to the growing market in India for new rolling stock, many of its long-term customers are already active in this market including global OEM’s such as Alstrom, Bombardier, Siemens, GE and Hyundai Rotem. However, the group is also pushing for expansion yet further afield in places like China where it has secured a number of significant light-rail projects. The production lines at the company’s state-of-the-art facilities in Aurangabad, India are equipped with cutting edge axle and wheel machining and coating technologies. They are also fully integrated for the complete assembly of wheelsets. This is in addition to mounting other components such as brake discs, bearing systems and running gear. The annual production for the new plant is 20,000 wheels, 5000 axles and over 5000 wheelsets.

Leading through innovation Throughout its history, Bonatrans has always placed a high priority on R&D and innovation. The group today supplies a wide range of high-tech products and solutions, including resilient wheels, heavy rail wheelsets for high-speed locomotives, low floor solutions

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including noise absorbing systems and advanced speed sensor and ground contact systems for non-driven independent wheel axles. The advanced sensor technology and electric ground contact are mounted on the portal axle end. This construction, including its flange-mounted brake discs, uses far less space than other similar solutions. This extra space can be used for the installation of additional components such as hydraulic brake systems. Another important new development at GHH-Bonatrans has been the introduction of its new, super-resilient wheel, the GHH-ULTRA-S series. These special wheels are designed for vehicles with 12.5 ton axle loads and meet all the regulatory requirements for a resilient wheel transport with a tread diameter of 600mm, in addition to securing very low radial stiffness of 20–40 kN/mm. Bonatrans has also developed a unique family of dynamic noise absorbing systems called BONASILENCE. The latest example of these were recently supplied to the BVC company of Germany. The expected lifetime of this special damper system is over 15 years, and it can be designed to fit any wheel diameter. BonaStar® is another innovative and unique Bonatrans product which is comprised of a family of new wheel materials designed to enhance all types of passenger, locomotive and freight wheelsets. In comparison to wheels made with standard EN Grades,

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BonaStar® offers a 30 per cent greater lifespan in mileage by significantly increasing the fatigue limit in the wheel web and by providing greater hardness and strength to the wheel rim.

Broad environmental programme As a global exporter GHH-Bonatrans takes its responsibilities concerning the environment very seriously, not only with regard to environmental protection but also in relation to care for its local neighbourhood. Regular upgrades of production facilities and the implementation of new technologies has resulted in significant reduction of environmental impacts, prevention of potential accidents and emergency situations that affect both the environment and employee health. The company’s ecological prevention programmes involve employee educational programmes and training as well as the monitoring and reduction of environmental contamination. GHHBonatrans also observes strict rules on waste management protocols with special waste containers in the workplace and a comprehensive waste management system. n For further details of GHH-Bonatrans’ innovative products and services visit: www.ghh-bonatrans.com


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FULLY ON TRACK České dráhy, a.s. (Czech Railways), was established in 2003, integrating the activities related to passenger and goods transport and railway infrastructure management under a single umbrella, covering the operation of nation- and region-wide railway lines. Romana Moares spoke to Pavel Krtek, the chairman of the board, about the latest developments at this railway giant, and its plans for the future in light of market liberalisation.

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: Mr Chairman, in the past few years, České dráhy (CD) has invested billions in its vehicle park. These funds have significantly supported the development of the Czech railway sector, as most of the modernisation as well as deliveries of new vehicles have been completed by Czech companies. What is the short-term outlook?

PK: It is true that we are a key customer for a large number of Czech companies and as such contribute to employment in the Czech Republic. Of course we will continue to invest in our assets, albeit to a slightly smaller extent for the time being. However, as a contracting authority, we must follow the rules set in the Public Procurement Act defining equal conditions for both local and foreign suppliers. RM: Are you going to announce any new contracts soon? PK: At the moment we are focusing on the long-distance transport sector. For example, we are putting out to tender the purchase of electric and motor units as part of the Ministry of Transport tenders; we plan

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to buy 50 new carriages for the Prague-Budapest line and 12 small shunting engines. Furthermore, we have announced contracts for the modernisation of dining and sleeping cars and for providing wi-fi technology in carriages. There will be further contracts announced as and when required, depending on the progress of railway market liberalisation. RM: In this context, the Ministry of Transport is just introducing a new service – train rental. Why does CD object to this model? PK: We regard state-owned train rental as an attempt to ease the way for competitors into the subsidised transport system. In the event that the government buys vehicles and provides for their maintenance at public expense, tendering will be open to anyone who just hires a couple of train drivers and stewardesses. We perceive the ownership of vehicles and of facilities related to their operation and maintenance as a high entry barrier, which would be eliminated in the case of vehicle rentals. But the main reason is that so far no one has said clearly how the Ministry would define the character of these units and how they would secure their subsequent maintenance.


RM: So in your opinion the government is eliminating a key competitive barrier for small transport operators to enter the railway transport market? PK: Well, if a transport operator has no vehicles and no money to buy and maintain them, clearly they cannot provide such a service. We are not against competition, but it has to be fair. For us, as CD, to be able to compete in the open market and to improve customer service we had to incur debts. A renter-to-be private entity would not have to worry about money as the vehicles would be purchased for them by the state. I would go so far as to say that establishing a train rental service would devalue CD’s past investments in vehicles, service development as well as in the provision of safe, environmentally-friendly and efficient railway operation. RM: The government has already declared which long distance lines they will put out to train operator tender, and the list may get even longer. How is this approached abroad? PK: Most European countries discourage outside competitors from entering their internal passenger rail sectors to protect national transport operators and to sustain local market stability.

I believe the Czech Republic should adopt a similar approach because a premature market opening will result in our losing our competitive advantage. By opening up competition earlier than other countries we will provide opportunities for European competitors to penetrate the Czech market without us having the same chance abroad. However, a key point we keep on highlighting in this context is unrestrained market opening. Poorly prepared liberalisation may thus severely damage the interests of state-owned CD, devalue its investment and destabilise the whole passenger rail system in the Czech Republic. RM: So you believe the Czech government is too eager to welcome competitors? PK: I myself was really surprised at how difficult it is in neighbouring counties for outsiders to win a route on lines run by a national operator. The Czech government wants to open the market in an unplanned manner, despite the fact that this will be required by the EU only from 2034 onwards, without due preparations and without knowing what the target status will be. Up to now, no one has said if the government wants to have a national transport operator and what its role would be.

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RM: However, one may get the impression that you oppose the opening up of the market altogether.

RM: Improved quality is one of the factors contributing to increasing passenger numbers on this particular line. What are the recent figures?

PK: That is really not the case. But you can hardly expect us to clear the ground as soon as we are told to do so. We employ thousands of people and, as a business, we have commercial commitments towards the owner and those who put their trust in us; those who have lent us substantial funds to modernise the fleet, for which we, by the way, got the government’s blessing. It goes without saying that we want to keep our market share and intend to keep the ticket offices open, continue the services and sustain rail network operability throughout the country. That is the role of a national transport operator. I would also like to emphasise that it is only our company, CD, that, by law, ensures the operation of rail transport for the purposes of state defence.

PK: In the last nine months, 128.96 million passengers used our services – i.e. almost 2 million more that in the same period last year. So far, this confirms the trends of the last few years. The final number for 2016 is yet to be seen. In 2015 we transported about 170 million people. Transport performance is also on the increase, i.e. people not only travel by train more frequently, but also for longer distances.

RM: You cannot deny, though, that competition increases the quality of a service. This also applies to České dráhy. PK: For a long time, no investment was made in CD vehicles. Only when Europe started to talk about markets opening up did the government give us a green light to start behaving like a business entity – borrow money, invest and make profits. We have spent billions on new trains, significant service improvements, eShop development, the introduction of the acclaimed MyTrain application for smartphones, continuous improvement of services for the disabled and so on. All this has been achieved by our own employees: no outside private entity has contributed anything to this success. And in term of the Prague-Brno line, for example, what better quality can anyone else bring? The line is serviced, in our colours, by Railjet, the best of the EuroCity trains and the new InterPanthers.

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RM: You mentioned new vehicles – what about the new Series 380 engine? Will it be introduced any time soon? PK: The engine is being tested in Germany. However, this engine is planned to run on the Budapest, Vienna and Linz lines. For Germany, we plan to deploy engines acquired in upcoming tenders with all the required tests for Germany already completed. But the reason for wanting to rent further vehicles is that we have a shortage of suitable engines n for international connections. We simply need more machines.


TRUSTED PARTNER

The Slovak company SAM - SHIPBUILDING AND MACHINERY develops engineering technologies for the shipping, chemical and power sectors, as well as for several other industries. Most of its products, made in its three plants in Bratislava, Komárno and Liptovský Mikuláš, are shipped to the EU countries. Its management is now planning to penetrate new areas. Romana Moares reports.

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he engineering company SAM - SHIPBUILDING AND MACHINERY, earlier known as Stroje a Mechanizmy a.s., was founded in 1996. The plant today consists of two divisions and their product portfolios together include steel hulls for ships, welded and steel components for building and road machines, such as underframes, booms, transversal beams and pylons as well as components for recycling machines made for ecological waste treatment. The Bratislava plant has produced pressure vessels of all kinds since 1960. Its current core business is the production, repair and assembly of equipment for the chemical, energy, gas and food industries, and the repair and maintenance of high-capacity storage tanks. The company also makes and delivers ready-to-use steel structures.

“The Bratislava plant is an exclusive producer of chemical and petrochemical apparatus, such as heat exchangers, columns, reactors, pressure vessels, air coolers, filters and similar products. The plant also has an Investment Project division, providing turnkey projects including the erection, repairs and renovations of technological plants,” explains Mustafa Habirkou, the head of the company’s Commercial section. The third subsidiary, SAM - WET (Water and Environmental Technology) is located in Liptovský Mikuláš and provides engineering services for water and waste management technologies employed in industrial plants and public buildings. “All three facilities work in close partnership, making use of synergies, shared experience and know-how. All this makes the company stronger in the competitive marketplace,” says Mr Habirkou.

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Global references SAM - SHIPBUILDING AND MACHINERY supplies its products to the chemical, petrochemical, food and power sectors. Its customer base includes companies in Slovakia, Hungary, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Russia, Italy, England and several other countries. The company’s projects are many and their scope is wide. One of the most significant projects in recent years, completed for a Russian client, was the delivery of a unique prototype of a universal floating crane called EXPERT 1, produced in the Komárno plant. A few years ago, SAM - SHIPBUILDING AND MACHINERY was an observer in the EU TEN-T 18 LNG Masterplan Danube-MainRhine Project, aimed at increasing the use of low cost and environmentally friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG) in European ship transport. This involvement further enhanced the company’s reputation as a major player in its sector. Last but not least, it is important to mention that SAM - SHIPBUILDING AND MACHINERY provides an umbrella for large projects within

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the MOL Group, one of the largest oil and gas companies in Europe, the Middle East and the United States, which has recently completed two major projects: ‘Steam cracker reconstruction’ and ‘AVD 6’ in SLOVNAFT. The group also supplies machinery to Česká rafinérská in Litvínov and is now in the process of completing several more extensive projects for its partners in France and the Netherlands.

Superb performance In 2015, SAM - SHIPBUILDING AND MACHINERY achieved a total turnover of over €53 million. “We always closely monitor the market requirements and reflect those in our sales strategy. Proper market research to find local and export opportunities is key. As a result of our efforts, our production capacity is now, in mid-2016, fully utilised,” says Mr Habirkou, confirming that the current priority is to win new contracts to be completed by the end of 2016. He is convinced that the company is well on track to meet financial forecasts for this year.


To improve productivity and competitiveness, the company has just purchased some new technologies – a CNC machine, a horizontal boring machine and a high pressure cleaning aggregate for machine cleaning. “It is our objective to increase production output and further improve product and service quality by integrating modern technologies into the production process. We also want to extend our product portfolio to venture into industries outside our traditional scope, such as the gas, bio-refinery, renewable resources and ecological technologies sectors,” explains Mr Habirkou, adding that numerous business opportunities are emerging in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. The employees of SAM - SHIPBUILDING AND MACHINERY comply strictly with all requirements when it comes to work discipline,

work procedures and internal regulations, in line with the work and health safety principles. An individual approach to problem solving, responsible and accurate completion of tasks and professional relationships with business partners are some of the company’s most n valued attributes.

INDUSTRIAL SEALS AND SEALING MATERIALS PRODUCTION – SALE – EXPERT ADVICE

Colorspol, spol. s r.o., 029 55 Novoť 153 tel.: +421 433/5590129 e-mail: colorspol@colorspol.sk web: www.colorspol.sk

Spoločnosť Colorspol poskytuje služby v oblasti antikoróznej ochrany povrchov a s tým súvisiacich činností: • príprava povrchu – otryskávanie • čistenie vysokotlakovým vodným lúčom (do 2700bar) • žiarová metalizácia • nátery všetkými druhmi náterových hmôt • maľby • protipožiarne nátery • termoizolácie a hydroizolácie • stavba ľešenia

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PIONEERING NEW SKIN-

CARE TECHNOLOGY

Beiersdorf is a global leader in the development and manufacture of sustainable skin-care products. The company continues to expand thanks to its continuous programme of investment in R&D and new product innovation. Beiersdorf’s iconic global skin-care brand, Nivea, continues to gain market share worldwide as a result of the company’s dedication to finding solutions to a broad range of skin types and its commitment to protecting the environment. Philip Yorke reports.

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eiersdorf was founded in 1880 by Paul C Beiersdorf, who began by taking over a chemists shop before building a facility a year later to develop and manufacture medical plasters. The most significant milestone at that time was the company’s creation of brands that are still household names today. Namely Labello in 1909 and Nivea in 1911. Today Beiersdorf is a leading global brand that is divided into two distinct business units: Consumer Business and Tesa Self- Adhesive Products. The company is quoted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and employs more than 17,500 people worldwide. In 2015 Beiersdorf recorded sales of more than €700 million.

Formula for success A continuous commitment to R&D and a desire to create the most effective and sustainable skin care products, has helped Beiersdorf to maintain its position as a global leader in its field. During the last few years there have been many notable skin-care products launched by the company including ‘Nivea In-Shower’, which quickly became one of the most successful ‘innovation products’ in the company’s history with over four million units sold to date. It is now available in a number of variations including a body lotion with sea minerals, and body milk honey and milk, as well as a refreshing aftersun lotion. This success demonstrates how valuable it is to start with the exact data about the needs of the consumer, and to test the products with them. Because In-Shower products are based on an innovative formula technology and a completely different kind of application, they had to be explained to consumers in detail. That’s why Beiersdorf tested the new type of application as the next step in Italy. 170 Industry Europe

The success was so convincing the in-Shower gel was also introduced in Germany and in the meantime the product range has been expended to include Nivea In-Shower for a variety of skin types.

Rolling back the years The latest dermo-cosmetic anti-age care range from Beiersdorf, ‘Eucerin Elasticity+Filler’ also includes a special face oil. In mature people, wrinkles become part of their everyday appearance. However, visible signs of aging can be minimised and the aging process even effectively slowed down. The new anti-age care range from Beiersdorf, ‘Eucerin Elasticity+Filler’ offers an innovative combination of anti-aging and active ingredients especially developed by the company for mature and demanding skin types. The loss of elasticity combined with the appearance of deep wrinkles, is a primary concern for many women with mature skin. That is why Eucerin Elasticity+Filler products have been developed. The day and night care cream contain Beiersdorf’s exclusive active ingredient, Arctiin, which stimulates collagen production in skin cells. The two formulas also contain Silymarin, a powerful anti-oxidant, that protects collagen and elastin from degrading. These unique formulas also contain long and short-chain Hyaluronic acid to visibly pump up deep wrinkles. As a result the skin feels firm and looks fresh and radiant.

On-going sustainability programme Recently Beiersdorf published its Sustainability Review, which reports on the company’s progress with its ‘We care’ sustainability strategy. This strategy compliments the company’s business goals and ensures that it targets the areas where Beiersdorf’s brands have


Beiersdorf Research center in Hamburg

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the greatest possible impact. This year’s success in the area of ‘Products’ is an important step on the way to achieving its 2020 target, which is to generate 50 per cent of sales from products with a significantly reduced environmental impact. Beiersdorf also made good progress in the procurement of Palm Oil-based raw materials. For example, this year more than 25 per cent of the palm oil base in its new materials has come from certified sources, representing a key milestone in Beiersdorf’s on-going sustainability strategy. Inken Hollman-Peters, vice-president Corporate Communications & Sustainability, said, “With this result we again exceeded our ‘Planet’ commitment for 2020, which set out a target of 30 per cent. We are currently working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Germany on setting a new 2020 target. Last year we

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achieved our goal of ‘Zero waste to Landfill’ at all our European production centres, which is a further significant contribution to our ‘Planet’ action area.”

Focus on Packaging When it comes to Packaging, Beiersdorf believes that every stage of its packaging life cycle can offer potential savings that can make a substantial contribution to environmental protection and sustainability. The recent development of retail pouches is just one example of the company’s commitment to reducing packaging waste. For

example, the refill pouches used in the Nivea Crème Shower Gel result in 75 per cent less waste. Today almost 100 per cent of all Beiersdorf’s packaging materials are recyclable. Since 2009 sustainability has been strategically anchored in the company’s development processes. Wherever possible Beiersdorf applies the sustainability criteria of ‘Avoid, Reduce and Recycle’ to all its innovations. For further information about Beiersdorf’s innovative products and n sustainability programme visit: www.beiersdorf.com

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INNOVATIVE ECO-FRIENDLY

REFRIGERATION

The EPTA Group is a global leader in the development and manufacture of commercial refrigeration cabinets and systems. Philip Yorke reports on the latest developments at the company and its innovative approach to achieve more eco-friendly and sustainable custom-made products.

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he EPTA Group’s core business is the production of complete turnkey systems for commercial refrigeration. Through its integration of specific product lines offered by its brands, EPTA ensures that its infinite variety of solutions for the preservation and display of fresh and frozen food products, is designed specifically for retailers who prefer to rely on a single competent partner for the development of structured, turnkey systems on a global scale. Technological innovation is the hallmark of the company’s manufacturing processes, which are focused on ensuring energy conservation and significant environmental impact reduction through the use of F-Gas compliant natural refrigerants. In addition, the group offers the highest degree of customisation, so that each product stands out, wherever it is installed, in terms of style, modernity and functionality, whilst adapting each unit to suit the individual needs of each store. The company offers refrigeration units that range from traditional refrigerating cabinets, positive temperature vertical and semi-vertical counters, plug-in cases and medium and high-capacity systems and cold rooms. Recently EPTA presented a new innovative concept called, ‘Eptology’, which sums up its corporate calling for the promotion of sustainable development and leverages its four main business platforms: Experience, Efficiency, Excellence and Evolution. Based in Milan, Italy, the EPTA Group employs more than 4000 people worldwide who are supported by a highly qualified network of sales agents and dedicated distributors. In 2015 the company posted sales of over €700 million.

Clear vision The EPTA Group’s on-going commitment to investing in new technology and cost-effective production methods has resulted in another strategic goal being reached in Italy recently, with the opening of a new glass manufacturing facility. Costan is a wholly owned subsidiary of the EPTA Group which was founded in 1946 for the production of ice boxes and refrigerated cabinets in Turin. In keeping with EPTA’s policies, the company combines product excellence with low environmental impact growth. The most recent group investment has involved the creation of a glass production facility, which was started in 2014 and fully commissioned in October 2016 on the same day that the company celebrated the 70th anniversary of Costan. This strategic plan worth approximately €10 million has enabled the group to acquire the necessary technology and skills to produce up to 250,000 monolithic glass and insulated glass units every year and has created over 60 new jobs in the process. The glass production facility occupies an area of more than 4800 square metres bringing the total production area of the original site to over 70,000 square metres.

Prestigious award Innovation is at the heart of everything that the EPTA Group undertakes. It comes as no surprise therefore that the company continues to win prestigious awards for its innovative technology. At the country’s Innovation Day held in September 2016 EPTA was awarded the coveted ‘Imprese X Innovazioni – Andrea Pininfarina’.

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This most prestigious award is bestowed upon the 21 best Italian businesses that have demonstrated the ability to maintain and increase their competitive lead by investing in innovation across the board. The IXI Award is organised in conjunction with the Intesa Sanpaolo Bank and the technical support of International Quality Assurance Associations and has the distinction of being the first in Europe to have adopted the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) innovation parameters. Marco Nocivelli, chairman and managing director of EPTA SpA said, “We are proud to have won this important award. The award views innovation as a vital competitive lever, and is, in fact a key factor in the Group’s assets and one which should be preserved and enhanced. It is an acknowledgement of the dedication and successes of our whole team, whose passion, creativity and team spirit have allowed us to pursue on-going evolution, and to offer the market new products and services and optimise our internal processes, with an end to constantly improving the company as a whole.”

Focus on hygiene In addition to its commitment to the environment, the company’s R&D department is also focused on the all-important issue of food safety and hygiene. In order to enhance its manufacturing processes, EPTA also offers anti-bacterial treatment for the traditional refrigeration units that use silver ions. With this solution, the materials inside the unit are treated during the extrusion and coating process, whilst internal parts are coated with a special paint that exploits the properties of silver ions. In another move towards improved efficiency, the company has introduced a remote monitoring service, which allows its customers to guarantee ‘cold-chain efficiency’ in stores, which in turn ensures n significantly reduced energy consumption.

For further details of the EPTA Group’s innovative products and services visit: www.eptarefrigeration.com

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INTELLIGENT, FUTURISTIC

ENERGY SOLUTIONS Johnson Controls is a global multi-industrial leader serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries worldwide. The company and its 120,000 employees are focused on developing intelligent, efficient and sustainable energy solutions to improve the quality of life for generations to come. Philip Yorke reports on a remarkable company that continues to lead the way in innovative and sustainable technological solutions.

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ohnson Controls’ commitment to sustainability dates back to its establishment in 1885 when it invented the world’s first electric room thermostat. Today Johnson is committed to creating sustainable, efficient and cost-effective products that help customers to benefit from its innovative and ground-breaking high-tech solutions. Johnson Controls’ products are clearly focused on value creation and the development of sustainable products and processes. In 2016 it recorded sales of more than $30 billion and employed over 120,000 people worldwide.

Hybrid efficiency Johnson Controls announced in January this year that it had developed an ‘Industry-leading solution’ that reduces cooling tower water consumption by up to 80 per cent, when compared to traditional all-evaporative heat-rejection systems. This is just the latest of many technological breakthroughs announced recently by the company. This unique cooling tower solution, called the BlueStream® Hybrid Cooling System, is designed to help customers worldwide address water and energy challenges in cooling tower facilities, through a significant reduction in water consumption. It also maintains peak process output and energy efficiency even on the hottest summer days. This innovative development will be showcased at the forthcoming 2017 Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (AHR) Expo in Las Vegas, Booth C3124.

Used in conjunction with traditional cooling towers, the BlueStream® system offers ‘Dry Cooling’ through a thermosiphon process in which the refrigerant circulates naturally, without the need for a pump or compressor. Intelligent web controls coordinate the operation of both wet and dry system components and adjust all weather and thermal load conditions for optimum efficiency, utilising ‘wet’ cooling when it’s hot and ‘dry’ cooling when it’s temperate or cold. BlueStream® is an ideal technology for process cooling, data centres, power generation and year-round, base-loaded HVAC applications with water-cooled chillers. Initial analysis indicates a payback period as low as 2.5 years, depending upon the facility’s geographic location, utility costs and operating conditions.

Enhancing the vision With a vison to create a safer, more comfortable and sustainable world, the newly formed Johnson Controls NYSE:JCI began operations in September 2016 following the successful completion of its merger with Tyco, marking a historic turning point for both companies. By uniting Johnson Controls, the number one provider of building efficiency solutions, and Tyco, the number one provider of fire and security solutions, a new company has been created that can be positioned as a leader in products, technologies and integrated solutions for the buildings and energy sectors. This powerful combina-

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tion brings together best-in-class products, technology and service capabilities across controls, fire, security, HVAC and energy storage. This means it is now able to serve the full spectrum of end markets including large institutions, government, commercial buildings, retail and industrial, as well as small businesses and residential markets. Tyco and Johnson Controls’ buildings platforms create immediate opportunities for growth through cross-selling, complementary branch and distribution channel networks, and expanded global reach for established businesses. Longer term, the company is uniquely positioned to drive new innovations in technology business models to support the smart buildings, campuses and cities of the future, as well as building upon strategic, high-value-added services driven by data analytics and connectivity, in particular for retail solutions and Connected Services businesses. The company will also have one of the largest energy storage platforms with capabilities spanning the entire technology spectrum to serve an expanding global energy storage market.

New China HQ China’s growing demand for hospitals, airports and higher education facilities are expected to drive strong growth for Johnson Controls International PLC’s two main business segments in 2017 – and beyond, according to the company’s vice-president and president for the Asia Pacific region, Trent Nevill. Mr Nevill said Johnson is also excited about unveiling of its new headquarters building campus in Shanghai, scheduled for 22 June

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22 2017. “This will be the first time in our history that everything from leadership to sales will be located in one building,” he said at the company’s investor day conference in New York on 5 December. “Historically we have operated in pieces spread over Shanghai. We like the synergies the new building and campus will produce in conjunction with our growth strategies.” Nevill went on to say that the new building will house around 1200 employees and will be the greenest in China. “This is a statement of what we stand for and how we will support China’s 13th Five-Year Plan,” he added.

The company expects solid growth in vertical construction markets such as healthcare and education. There will be more than 3000 private hospitals built in China over the next five years as well as significant investments in airport construction and data centres. The Johnson product portfolio caters well to a technology intensive environment, in which data centres, for example, will require sophisticated cooling and fire safety solutions. n For further details of Johnson Controls innovative high-tech solutions and services visit: www.johnsoncontrols.com

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EXCELLENCE IN MOTION SPINEA, based in Prešov, has conquered the global markets with its pioneering high-precision reduction gears, sold under the TwinSpin trademark. Romana Moares spoke with Mr Ľubomír Bezák, the company’s managing director, about the current product range and plans for further development.

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invention by a Slovak engineer was the spark that led to SPINEA’s establishment in 1994. Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength: the unique TwinSpin high precision reduction gear solution obtained an international patent and is now sold throughout the world. “We are the only European producer of high-precision reduction gears in the world. Our other three direct competitors are located in Japan. In the beginning, the biggest challenge for us was to persuade customers in the robotics sector, such as German KUKA, to test our gears at all,” recalls the managing director. “The initial tests surpassed all expectations but then we needed to convince them that we were able to supply the products in consistent quality, volumes and timeframes despite the fact that we were a brand new company with no track record,” he points out. Now, 22 years on, SPINEA has become a major player in the high-precision gear sector. The challenges of today are very different

from those two decades ago – continuous product innovation and process optimisation, with the aim of constantly increasing added value for customers.

Unique of its kind TwinSpin is the company’s flagship product. It belongs to the category of hi-tech products and represents a unique technical solution integrating radial-axial bearings and a high-precision reduction gear into a single compact unit. TwinSpin high-precision reduction gears are designed for applications requiring a high reduction ratio, high kinematic accuracy, low lost motion, high moment capacity and high stiffness with a compact, low mass design so they can be installed in a limited space. “The new transmission system allows for the utilisation of the TwinSpin reducer in robotics and automation, machine tool production, measuring equipment and navigation systems in the aircraft,

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defence and medical sectors and many more,” says the managing director. “We believe the TwinSpin has huge potential,” he further confirms, adding that the company is currently busy preparing new projects for existing as well as new customers. The other two core products are: DriveSpin – a compact actuator with TwinSpin reduction gear and AC servomotor (combining optimised servomotors and TwinSpin gears resulting in a dynamic, high-performance and very compact servo actuator with high tilting torque capacity with integrated bearing); and the RotoSpin rotary module, a positioner installed on rotating equipment ensuring easy connection to the frame and comfortable clamping of movable parts to the output flange.

Global player “I would like to stress that both the Slovak and Czech Republics are highly interesting markets for us,” says Mr Bezák. SPINEA reduction gears are employed in robotised production lines in the automotive sectors (e.g. AUDI, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Ford) but, as I said earlier, also in the machine tool production and the automation and defence sectors. In all of these industries we have not only longterm, stable customers but many new projects in progress. Our key competitive advantage in these two markets is local knowledge and physical closeness to our customers,” he explains. However, as the high-precision reduction gear market is highly specific and the products’ application in local markets is limited, almost 97 per cent of SPINEA’s output is exported. In addition to traditional territories such as Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Taiwan and Korea, sales have increased in Turkey and – in 2016 – in Estonia, Australia and Thailand.

Continued growth Since 2000, when mass production was introduced, the volume of output has increased systematically, reinforced by a large contract with KUKA, the world producer of robots. In 2012, production capacity reached its absolute maximum. In view of the great product potential, the company’s management decided to double capacity within the following three years: in 2012–2015 a new produc184 Industry Europe

tion hall worth €20 million was built and new modern technologies purchased for additional €15 million, increasing overall capacity to 65,000 pieces. The managing director believes that the growth will continue in the years to come. “For several years now our engineers have been developing a new generation of high-precision reduction gear. The new generation will cover a wide range of type dimensions, in both full shaft and hollow shaft versions. The development and launch of the new generation is vital for sustaining and improving our position in the highly competitive marketplace,” Mr Bezák stresses. The new generation of TwinSpin is not the only product that the company has in the pipeline. Together with SPINEA Technologies, development engineers have been working on a new series of actuators and a mini-series of gears, both for existing customers and for the commercial market. “Our aim is to provide customers with innovative and efficient solutions, with improved parameters for a competitive price. We will strive to meet this objective in the n future,” concludes Mr Bezák.


TREVA FORGE – THE

CREDIBLE BRAND The history of the die forges in Prakovce dates back to 1967. Today the company ranks among the largest and most modern forges in Slovakia, covering a comprehensive set of operations from tooling and forging through to heat treatment, blasting, magnetic crack detections, machining, packaging and dispatching.

T

he current core business is the production of forgings for the following industry sectors: railways industry, gears and transmissions, heavy construction and mining mechanisms, automotive, trucks and trailers, power generation and others. The forge is unique in terms of its heavy hammers, whose parameters are exceptional both within and beyond the Slovak Republic (forgings of 0.5 to 400 kg in weight). As part of its long-term strategy, TREVA has entered the railway

vehicle subassembly sectors, i.e. the draw elements of railway carriages – draw hooks, draw gear mechanisms and bumpers pressed from a single piece, which are now in the process of testing. The customer base includes companies in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, and the Czech and Slovak Republic. TREVA is a holder of the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 certificates and a number of specialized certificates. With an annual turnover of EUR 7 million, TREVA currently employs 112 people. In 2016 the company will supply forgings of over 3,700 tons in total, including new types of products. The current product range includes over 250 types of forgings. TREVA is a modern, dynamically developing forge capable, as a result of in-house product development and properly communicated analyses of customer needs, of offering its customers the most innovative of solutions in the forging sector. In a short space of time, TREVA has earned a renowned position within Europe and is geared to further improve this position by means n of the certification and subsequent launch of pressed bumpers.

Industry IndustryEurope Europe185 185


ADVERTISERSINDEX

A ABM Greiffenberger ACE Apparatebau Aliplast All Freight Logistics Amcor Anvi Trade AP&P

H 115 76 135 35 141 59 139

B Bharat Forge Kilsta Bio-Line Chemicals BORGHI Impianti Oleodinamici BUSE Bussetti & Co

Inside front 122 176 164 60 169 124 131

D Dako-CZ Danish Crown DDL Stampaggio Deadline Marketing Devro Dneprotyazhmash DPOV

164 98 176 104 98 145 165

E Esmech Equipment ESP

151 169

F Farma Group FELB Fiorini International F.lli Facchinetti Fontana Gruppo FOR SpA FPT Industrial Futura

51 5 110 89 123 122 123 155

G Gerresheimer Glenfin Chemicals Goodtech Solutions Grundmeier GTM

172 79 76 96 177

26 119 59 54 110 110

I INDEX

139 72 122 59 110

C CAAC Pioneer Logistics CAB PLUS Castel ČD - Telematika a.s. CHARVAT AXL Colorspol Comelf Cora Elettroautomazioni

Habasit Habasit Polska Hella Hoffmann Group Hora Mont Hydrotech

Inside back

K Kavros KLEIBERIT Knorr-Bremse Konrad Hornschuch KOPR Kovis Kovoplast

110 84 59 84 61 161 60

L LMA

37

M Mauting Menert Metall Carbon ME Werbeagentur

98 92 76 99

N Nuova Solmine

176 125

P Palota-Videk Pantecnica Pars Komponenty Pesa Bydgoszcz PLAČEK & BoLD Plasbox PMC Ouvrie Polystal Composites

77 131 165 166 148 54 108 50

S Semperit Sheng Kwei Enterprise SICK Sico Rubena SIM Gdynia Holding SINFLEX Sirmax Sodexo

T Tai-Saw Technology Total Czech Tradepol Trelleborg Material Mixing Lesina Treva Forge Trim NW

85 27 26 60 114 181 55 138

42 109 105 69 185 5

U UniControls

164

V Vankat Vyva Plast

138 61

W Winkhaus Austria Wirepas Wittex Plus Woodtai Woodtai

83 27 169 41 47

X X-label

72

O Officine Rami O.L.C.

Sonoco Alcore Outside back Stahlwerk Annahütte 65 Stavit 92 Sulzer Austria 108 Synergy ScienTech Corporation 42

173

Z Zakkencentrale Zaporozhogneupor Zollner Elektronik

110 144 51