Industry Europe – Issue 27.2

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Volume 27/2 – 2017

The world of European manufacturing

AFV AcciaIERIE Beltrame expands its global reach Maini Group delivers precision components for worldwide customers Complete machine vision solutions from Stemmer Imaging

Construction back to growth Industry Europe i




Identity Politics Turkey’s disenchantment with liberal democracy may signal seismic geopolitical shifts.


fought against all enemies, we were attacked by those who have the world view of crusaders. But as a nation we remained strong. We can only bow to our shrines and not to anyone else.” No, this was not Kemal Ataturk congratulating his troops on hurling the British and Anzac invaders back into the sea after their victory at Gallipoli (Canakkele to the Turks). This was just the current President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, rousing his supporters after his referendum victory granting him sweeping new powers that will significantly reduce the role of parliament and enable him to remove senior civil servants at will. But what was all this stuff about ‘crusaders’? No doubt the Turks were a bit fed up with politely knocking on the EU’s door for the last 30 years (before, in fact, it was even the EU) and were probably getting the feeling that, if the governments in Paris and Athens had their way, they were likely to be as successful as their forebears had been at the gates of Vienna in 1683. But after the crackdown on dissent after last year’s failed coup, with around 50,000 people jailed and some 120,000 sacked from state jobs, it was hardly surprising that the EU suspended talks. But Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952, before even West Germany and 30 years before Spain. It was a key ally of the West throughout the Cold War and still fields the second largest army in the alliance. So why is its president sounding like some Islamic website, as if the West was its historic enemy and a current existential threat? And what are these ‘shrines’ to which its people now bow? It did not go unnoticed that the shrine Mr Erdogan did not honour on his day of victory was that of Kemal Ataturk himself, preferring to address his followers from the steps of his own palace rather than from

those of the mausoleum of the founder of the Turkish secular republic that dominates the city of Ankara. Mr Erdogan used to look like the leader who might actually succeed in taking a Muslim majority state into the EU, into the European community itself; is he now bent on turning his country away from the West, maybe to reassert its historic role among the countries of the former Ottoman Empire? If so that may mark the failure of what the former British Foreign Secretary William Hague calls the ‘great vision of a fully democratic Muslim nation becoming permanently anchored in Europe’. Democracy for Mr Erdogan, as for Mr Putin in Russia, now seems more like gaining popular assent for the rule of autocracy and authoritarianism and the stifling of dissent. And Mr Hague’s dismay is shared by everyone who has seen the remarkable transformation of Turkey in the new century into one of the fastest growing industrial powers in both Europe and the Middle East. Its largely free-market economy has been boosted by radical privatisation programmes in the industrial, banking, transport and communications industries and by the success of entrepreneurs in expanding production beyond the traditional textiles and clothing sectors. Indeed, in recent years it has been the automotive, petrochemical and electronics industries that have overtaken textiles in the country’s export mix. Obviously these entrepreneurs, and the urban middle classes generally, now have even more urgent reasons for dismay than observers in the West. Mr Hague is inclined to blame the EU for its failure to help Turkey to become a fully ‘European’ state and to welcome it into a Union that was ‘broad and decentralised’ enough to contain both ‘Christian and Islamic democracies’; such a more ecumenical EU, he hints, might even have been able to keep Britain as a member.

Core values But there may be deeper currents flowing here. Twenty years ago, in his influential book ‘The Clash of Civilisations’, Samuel P, Huntingdon pointed out that the polarisation of the Cold War world was being replaced by the renewed importance of different cultural identities – or civilisations. It was a delusion to suppose that just because most of the world was embracing Western technology and even market systems, it would also welcome Western democracy and liberal values. More likely was a return to a world defined by distinct civilisational values in which the West would be challenged specifically in the East by a revived Sinic civilisation centred on China and in Eurasia by resurgent Orthodox and Islamic civilisations. Most civilisations have an acknowledged leader, a core state (the USA for the West, Russia for the Orthodox world etc) but one of the historic weaknesses of Islamic civilisation since the fall of the Ottoman Empire has been the lack of such a core. Turkey, observed Huntingdon, had the history, the population, the economic strength, national coherence and military tradition to be the core state of Islam. But it could never replace the Ottoman Empire in that role as long as it continued to define itself as the secular republic that Ataturk had founded. Islamic civilisation is a culture, above all, of believers, of the faithful. But what, asked Huntingdon, ‘if Turkey redefined itself?’ What if, one day, it gave up ‘its frustrating and humiliating role as a beggar pleading for membership in the West and resumed its historic role as the principal Islamic interlocutor and antagonist of the West?’ What if, indeed. Could Turkey now, 20 years after that supposition, actually be on the brink of rejecting Ataturk’s legacy to remake itself as the core civilisational state of resurgent Islam? If it is, the half of the country that voted against the President in the referendum will be feeling n something more than dismay. Industry Europe 1

CONTENTS Editor Peter Mercer

Production Manager Tania Balderson

Deputy Editor Victoria Hattersley

Copy Manager Andrew Briggs

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

Administration Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey Advertising Manager Stephen Moore Massimo Ragazzo Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Anna Dudek Eniko Kovacs Pavlina Kutlakova Marc Lewis Michael Hudson Alexander Sykes Oliver Clements

Art Director Gareth Harrey Art Editor Rob Czerwinski Designer Leon Esterhuizen IT Support Syed Hassan

Above: Construction Industry p6

Comment 1 Opinion Identity Politics 4 Bill Jamieson Customs apocalypse?

Construction Industry 6 European construction – back to growth The market shows signs of recovery 9 Construction news The latest from the industry 12 The 3D printing revolution Sustainable construction technologies of the future

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

© Industry Europe 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. INDUSTRY EUROPE LTD.

A Square Root Company

2 Industry Europe

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

Reports 22 23

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

Automation & Tooling 26

An aura of success Comau Robotics &

Automation Products

Automotive 30 34 38 43

The engine for change Deutz Super-league performance Ducati Precision capability Maini Group Gearing up for new business awards ZF Group

VOL 27/2

Above: Heineken p46

Consumer Goods 46 50

Sober brewing Heineken Hungary Adding innovation to private label products McBride

Energy & Utilities 55 58

Putting efficiency first Savo-Solar Delivering smarter metering technology AEM

Household Appliances Above: Comau p26 Below: Ducati p34

62 66

A trusted brand Hajdu Keep cool Iarp

Above: UniControls p92 Below: CD Cargo p96

Metals & Metalworking 70 77

A feel for steel AFV Acciaierie Beltrame Rolling out new technology Alutech

Paper, Packaging & Printing 81 84 90

Adhering to perfection Gravic Europe Boosting value and sustainability Sofidel Innovation at its core Sonoco Alcore

Rail 92 Under control UniControls 96 Efficient and reliable CD Cargo

Also in this issue…

Above: ZF Group p43 Below: Savo-Solar p55

101 Major investment in advanced healthcare performance Mölnlycke 104 Clear vision Stemmer Imaging 112 New narrow-track generation Claas Group 116 Delivering high-performance advanced moulding technology Goodway Plastic 120 Driven by innovation Atlas 124 Surpassing expectations Dacia 128 One step ahead Lloyds 132 World’s first fitness-tracking technology Jabra 136 The forest family Sodra 139 A single supplier for end-to-end ceramic production SITI B&T Group 142 Resounding success GN ReSound 146 Corrosive liquid fertiliser doesn’t stand a chance VOSS Fluid 148 Performance plus Daimler

Above: Stemmer Imaging p104 Below: Goodway Plastic p116

Industry Europe 3




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

Customs apocalypse? New systems could actually make things easier.


all the scare stories that have chilled UK exporters to the EU, arguably the most bloodcurdling have been warnings of a customs gridlock at key ports such as Dover. The introduction of customs checks could bring gridlock to the south-east of England, with lorries queueing for up to 30 miles in Kent to get across the channel, senior transport industry figures have warned. Short of cutting into the famous Cliffs of Dover, the busy cargo port has no room to expand to accommodate paperwork checks for the 2.6m trucks that pass through the port every year. As if this prospect was not scary enough, drinks industry chiefs have weighed in with dire prognostications of a massive wine bottleneck at UK ports. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has warned that if Brexit negotiations do not reach a deal on frictionless borders, gridlock will become commonplace at ports and encourage the resurgence of alcohol smugglers. It predicts that Brexit red tape will bring customs to a standstill and cause key ports to be hit with delays. Around 1.8 billion bottles of wine are imported to Britain each year. Of those, 55 per cent come from the EU, according to the WSTA. While imports from, and exports to, countries from outside the European Union are subject to customs controls, goods from the EU are free to be moved on with no extra checks. When the UK leaves the customs union, it could mean more than double the volume of cargo that would be subject to inspection. As for the bigger picture, Eurotunnel, which caters for another 1.6m lorries a year at its Euroshuttle transporter a few miles inland, is facing similar problems. John Keefe, its spokesman, told CityAM’s Rebecca Smith that the problem for busi4 Industry Europe

ness is not just the prospect of tariffs in a new customs regime but the disruption to the free flow of goods. “There are no warehouses any more, everything is about ‘just in time’,” says Keefe. And a bottleneck in Dover would affect businesses from the car industry in the Midlands to farmers in Wales and fisheries in Scotland. “If you are looking at stopping trucks, you are looking at stopping the economy.” Michael Lux, a customs trade lawyer, said the paperwork alone was going to add administration time to businesses, with all cargo required to have a customs licence or ‘export declaration’ form. Asked by CityAM if the UK would be ready for a reintroduction of customs in two years, Lux replied: “You make me laugh. You will need at least double the number of customs officials than you have now. They will need to be recruited and trained and this takes time.”

Nonsense However, not all business chiefs go along with the ‘chaos at Dover’ headlines – and there are ways in which this could be avoided. John Longworth, former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, describes the ‘apocalyptic prediction’ as ‘complete nonsense’, exposing little knowledge of how customs procedures actually work. His report, ‘Brexit and a Future UK Customs System: A Blueprint for Frictionless Trade’ just published by Leave Means Leave, attacks the notion that Dover would be clogged up. It sets out how Britain’s exit from the customs union is a huge opportunity for Britain to become a more effective force for trade when we leave the EU. “Exit,” he argues, “fits very well with a vision for a post-Brexit Britain as a truly enterprise economy and a free-trading nation.”

If customs procedures are to continue as smoothly as possible, the government must ensure that relevant procedures are in place in advance of Britain’s formal exit from the EU. A vital part of future customs clearance lies in utilising technology to create a frictionless, virtual border to ensure that trade can continue without undue obstacles. This will enable vehicles to pass through ports at ease. To remove the need for UK customs clearance on goods which will be processed and then shipped outside the UK, the report recommends creating an Export Processing Zone which would serve as a Free Trade Zone or free port. The report recommends allowing businesses with Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) status to complete self-assessment on customs duties and other import charges themselves, which would support the virtual border concept and work to speed up the current customs declaration process. Customs clearance outside of the UK can often be time consuming, particularly for traders who have not got AEO status. To tackle this, the report recommends a trusted third party such as the Chambers of Commerce overseeing a new Trusted Trader accreditation process. This would relieve a significant strain on businesses – particularly on SMEs. The report also proposes a new UK Customs Code to change several elements of the existing Union Customs Code. This would help to simplify cross-border business for UK firms, lower costs, reduce regulatory burdens and support businesses. “With robust and long-standing systems in place for aspects such as export documentation, as well as the opportunity to streamline customs procedures on our own terms, the government can immediately implement several procedures to facilitate our trade with the EU and the rest of the world.” Failure here would truly be scary – n but can be avoided.

Industry Europe 5

High speed train routes through – or rather under – the Alps continue to rank among Europe’s most ambitious projects. Pictured is the work to assemble a tunnel boring machine (TBM), which will be used to drive one of the anciliary bores on the 55 km Brenner Base Tunnel project.

European construction

back to growth After many difficult years in the wake of the global economic crisis, the European construction market has started to see growth. As ever in Europe, there are areas of weakness offset by genuine hotspots – most notably Germany.


ccording to the Construction Industry Federation (FIEC), construction output in Europe came to €1241 billion in 2015. With growth put at a little over 2 per cent, that should have taken the market to around €1265 in 2016 and on up to around €1290 this year. Those are impressive figures, but the fact remains that investment in construction is still more than 10 per cent lower than it was ten years ago in the pre-crisis era. Construction’s share of GDP is now only around 8.5 per cent, compared to the previous benchmark of 10 per cent of GDP, which was something of a rule of thumb in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But there is scope in the current climate for the construction sector to bring about 6 Industry Europe

Southern European markets may be weak, but there are still impressive projects underway. Pictured is the construction of the €410 million Venda Nova III pumped storage hydroelectric project in Portugal.

The Mersey Gateway is one of the largest infrastructure projects currently underway in the UK.

a small reversal in its fortunes. At present the industry is growing marginally faster the European GDP. The International Monetary Fund put eurozone GDP growth at 1.7 per cent in 2016 and predicts a deceleration to 1.5 per cent this year. If construction can keep growing at around 2 per cent or better – the Euroconstruct forecasting body expects 2.1 per cent in 2017 – its share of economic activity will increase. As Euroconstruct said in a statement following its November 2016 meeting in Barcelona, Spain, “There is an interesting window of opportunity created by a combination of cheap credit and a more favourable perception of building as an investment shelter. However, this opportunity may be ephemeral, and not a driver for the longer term. The key factor for strengthening the construction sector is public demand, which Euroconstruct expects to keep improving, but only marginally and in (only) some countries.” One of the key issues highlighted by Euroconstruct, and reflected in other data too, is that while the overall picture for Europe is reasonable, the headline figure masks a very patchy recovery. “Behind that European average that still looks healthy there are far too many exceptions: lack of growth in in civil engineering and lack of growth in six countries (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and by a narrow margin, also the United Kingdom),” said Euroconstruct.

But it has to be remembered that the construction sector has had a rough journey in the post-crisis years. Growth only genuinely returned in 2014 after a false dawn in 2011, and the fall from peak to trough saw output drop by about 15 per cent or €200 billion in terms of annual construction output. Growth may be weak and patchy, but growth is still growth.

Residential renaissance The real driver of the recovery to date has been the residential construction sector. This segment took off particularly sharply as the market improved in 2014. In contrast the civil engineering market did not improve until 2015 and the non-residential building segment has been even further behind the curve, with a return to growth not materialising until last year. The outlook from Euroconstruct is for the residential sector, particularly new housebuilding as opposed to repair & maintenance, to continue on its sharp growth trajectory. Growth in the civil engineering/infrastructure segment is expected to accelerate this year after a slow pick-up, while the non-residential market still looks sluggish. But when looking at the European construction market, headline figures for the region only get you so far. The overall picture is a composite of different countries with very different market dynamics. In the post-crisis era, it has generally been true that Northern and mid-European

countries have had the healthier construction markets, while the Southern economies have been much more troubled. That still holds true to some extent, although most of the Southern markets have now returned to growth. In some cases that growth is impressive in percentage terms. Spain’s expansion in 2015 and 2016 was of the order of 5 per cent, according to FIEC, so well above the European average. However, the problem remains the country collapsed so far and so fast in the crisis years, that even this impressive growth leaves the market a long way short of being in good health. Construction output in absolute terms in Spain today is only about half of what it was a decade ago. But there are certainly bright spots in the European construction picture. Nordic markets while being small have shown good growth over the last three years or so, with Sweden being the pick of the bunch. But more significantly, the major markets of France, Germany and the UK have all performed well. Among these big three, Germany’s construction market put in a remarkable performance last year. According to the Hauptverband der Deutschen Bauindustrie (HBD) trade association representing large contractors, construction output in Germany grew a staggering 6.3 per cent last year, outstripping its own bullish previous forecast of 5.8 per cent. As in Europe as a whole, housebuilding was the main driver, but activity was strong across all sub-sectors of construction. Industry Europe 7

Roadbuilding contributed to growth in the German construction market last year.

The outlook is positive for this year, with contractors reporting high order intakes, particularly from public sector bodies. This is partly thanks to increases in federally funded road building programmes. As a result, the HBD expects a further 5 per cent increase in construction output this year. In France meanwhile there was useful growth of 3.5 per cent in public works last year according to the FNTP trade association representing contractors in this sector. This came after falling output in the two preceding years. Meanwhile INSEE, the national institute of statsitics and economic studies, said housing starts were up 12 per cent in 2016, again following two lacklustre years in 2014 and 2015. Some of the credit for France’s economic turnaround has been given to the youthful former finance minister Emmanuel Macron, who resigned from the government in August to run as an independent candidate in this year’s presidential elections. His key policy was the July 2015 ‘Macron Law’, a far-reaching package of measures designed to reform bureaucracy and stimulate the economy. In addition to this, there have been a number of useful projects, particularly in high-speed rail with the new Tours-Bordeaux line to lift the French construction industry. Meanwhile, the current talk about future opportunities centres on the Grand Paris scheme. This project, conceived by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, is designed to better connect the sprawling Paris metropolitan area with measures including a €35 billion, ten-year transportation plan.

cent in 2016 to £138 billion. It was a slower rate of growth than had been seen in 2014 and 2015, but a fourth consecutive year of growth nonetheless, which came despite the unexpected June referendum result. As in other parts of Europe, housebuilding was the main engine of growth last year, with the value of new build work rising 10 per cent. The privately funded commercial building market was also strong, helping to offset a weak infrastructure market. And the near-term outlook for UK construction also looks promising, with a number of major projects in the pipeline. Already underway are landmark infrastructure schemes such as the Mersey Gateway bridge and Thames Tideway Tunnel sewage project, while in the next year or two work should start on the HS2 high speed rail link between London and Birmingham, while concessionaire EDF said it had ‘started pouring concrete’ on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project in March this year. More distant on the horizon are schemes such as Crossrail 2 in London and the third runway project at Heathrow. Notwithstanding the positive outlook, there are serious concerns around Brexit for the UK construction industry. The most immediate concern is that a clamp-down on immigration would have a devastating impact on the construction workforce. Prior to the referendum last year, David Thomas,

the chief executive of one of the UK’s largest housebuilders, Barratt Developments, said a ‘significant’ part of its labour force came from other EU countries, adding that in London the figure was in the range of 30–40 per cent. For an industry that already struggles to attract staff and suffers from skills shortages, barriers to recruiting from the rest of the EU could have dire consequences in terms of its capacity and wage inflation. And inflation is already a concern in the industry as a result of the sharp depreciation in the pound after the referendum. According the Construction Products Association, which represents 22,000 manufacturers of construction products in the UK with a turnover of £55 billion, pretty much the entire industry saw a rise in prices last year. Although many raw materials for construction products will be sourced in the UK and therefore unaffected by exchange rates, many raw materials such as metals and plastics will have a price rooted in dollars, as do energy costs. The prospect of a hard Brexit, bringing with it a further depreciation of the pound and tariffs on imports would of course add further significant cost burdens on the industry. But the issue with Brexit of course is that no-one knows what form it will take, and it is therefore impossible to plan for n the consequences.

Barratt Developments chief executive David Thomas warned last year that immigration controls following Brexit could have significant implications for UK construction companies.

The Tours to Bordeaux TGV line, the newest addition to the French high-speed rail network, is due to go into service in July. It was opened in February by President Hollande.

Brexit impact? And so to the UK, where it is impossible to discuss anything without mentioning the B-word. So far Brexit does not seem to have affected the construction industry. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), UK construction output grew by 2.4 per 8 Industry Europe



New developments in the Construction industry

Two VINCI Concessions motorway projects open to traffic in Greece G

reek Prime Minister Aléxis Tsípras has inaugurated the new section between Corinth and Patras, extending the east-west corridor Athens-Corinth. This inauguration follows the commissioning of the new motorway between the Malian Gulf and Kleidi on the eastern coast, on 6 April.

These two new motorways were built under concession contracts and their concession companies, Olympia Odos and Aegean Motorway, will operate them until 2038. VINCI Concessions holds a 30% stake in the first and a 14% stake in the second company. The investment amounted to €2.8 billion in total. The Corinth-Patras section is a new 120km dual carriageway (two lanes each way) encompassing 12 new tunnels, 209 bridges, overpasses and underpasses, and 29 interchanges. The bridges and tunnels were designed specifically to blend the motorway seamlessly into its surrounding area and its spectacular views. Visit:

kanska has together with Cura-gruppen signed an agreement with Sykehuset Vestfold HF for the expansion of the hospital in Vestfold, Norway. Skanska’s share of the contract is worth about NOK 960M, about SEK 1.0 billion. The work will be carried out

Paris 2024 welcomes Bouygues Construction as its 15th official partner


he Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Bid Committee has unveiled its 15th official partner, Bouygues Construction. The company will work alongside the bid to provide innovative construction solutions to ensure Paris 2024 is the most sustainable and environmentally managed Games in history.


by Skanska Norway (70%) in cooperation with Skanska UK (30%). The project includes a new psychiatry building with a gross floor area of about 12,000 square metres and a building for somatic care of 33,000 square metres. The project also includes alignment of the infrastructure, energy facilities and demolition of existing hospital buildings. The contract is based on the IPD model (Integrated Project Delivery), where the parties will cooperate in the implementation phase with common incentives, also including subcontractors. For the project, Skanska has gathered expertise from Norway, Sweden, UK and USA. Construction work has begun. The Psychiatry building will be completed in March 2019 and the building for somatic care during the first quarter 2021. Visit:

he European construction group STRABAG has been awarded the contract to build an art storage facility as part of the Liget Budapest Project. The complex of five buildings forms part of the National Museum Restoration and Storage Centre (OMRRK). The contract has a value of approximately €39 million. The 37,000m2 building ensemble will provide storage space for more than 350,000 artworks from the Ethnographic Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Gallery. The complex also consists of a visitor centre including auditoriums and a cafeteria. Visitors will find parking in an underground car park. One building is dedicated to research, with archives and offices as well as a library, lecture halls and meeting rooms. Construction is scheduled for completion by mid-2018. “This ambitious project will benefit from the know-how of three of our group companies – from building construction and civil engineering to road construction,” says Thomas Birtel, CEO of STRABAG SE, about this new order. Visit:

Paris 2024 Bid CEO, Etienne Thobois, said: “We are very proud to welcome Bouygues Construction as Paris 2024’s 15th official partner. Their know-how, expertise and that of its collaborators worldwide will reinforce our project’s sustainability and will help to improve the living conditions of our population during 2024 and beyond.”

Bouygues Construction CEO, Philippe Bonnave, added: “The Olympic and Paralympic Games are by definition a moment of sharing, of innovation and can be a window into the positive aspects of human nature. These are values at the heart of our company’s ethos and one of the key reasons why we are so committed to supporting Paris 2024.” Visit:

Skanska expands hospital in Vestfold, Norway


STRABAG to build art storage facility in Budapest

Industry Europe 9


New developments in the Construction industry

NCC to build Finspång medical centre Salini Impregilo wins

$300 million contract in Saudi Arabia


CC has been commissioned to design and build Finspång medical centre in cooperation with Region Östergötland. The order value is estimated at approximately SEK 500 million. “We need to adapt our operations to tomorrow’s healthcare, which is becoming increasingly sophisticated and demanding. The new building will not only replace old and dilapidated premises but also promote the development of Region Östergötland and the Municipality of Finspång’s healthcare operations,” says Stefan Fredriksson, Property Development Manager, Region Östergötland. The new building will comprise about 17,000 square metres across five floors with space for a doctor’s office, a laboratory, child health centre, midwifery clinic, child and youth health centre, specialist nurse-led clinic, residential rehabilitation, investigation service and a home care and local care department. The building will also be environmentally certified according to Sweden Green Building Council (SGBC) Silver. Visit:

YIT to start the construction of an area project in the Czech Republic


IT has started the construction of an area development project in Prague, Czech Republic. The first phase of the project called Aalto Cibulka will consist of approximately 250 apartments with total living area of almost 15,000m2. The value of the first phase is approximately €50 million, and it will be completed by summer 2019. The start-up was recorded in the first quarter of the year. Aalto Cibulka is located in a wanted residential area in the 5th district of Prague, close to the city

Costain wins contract to plan refurbishment of A40 Westway


ostain has been selected by Transport for London (TfL) to undertake investigation works and to plan the refurbishment of the A40 Westway dual carriageway and the Marylebone flyover – a vital London transport link used by over 96,000 vehicles entering and exiting the capital each day.

10 Industry Europe

taly’s Salini Impregilo has won a $300-million contract from Al Khozama Management Company, the leading developer and manager of luxury, hospitality, retail and commercial properties in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The contract – known as the Al Faisaliah District Redevelopment Project – begins with a $53 million refurbishment of the renowned Al Faisaliah Mall, home to some of the world’s leading designer brands, as well as demolishing the adjacent Seyahiah buildings to make way for the construction of a mall extension. Reflecting the world’s highest architectural standards and most innovative retail experiences, this is poised to be the ultimate lifestyle destination experience.The entire project is to be finished in three years. The contract is part of €1.7 billion worth of projects already awarded to Salini Impregilo this year, news of which was announced with the publication of the group’s preliminary 2016 results. Visit:

centre with good public transportation connections. The value of the whole area project is over €80 million and it will consist of over 400 apartments that will be constructed in 2 to 3 phases. YIT has also acquired a plot for a residential project in Prague in order to grow its residential business in the CEE countries. The plan is to build approximately 50 apartments and the construction is estimated to begin in August 2017. Visit: Costain will undertake a number of investigations of the 21 structures along the 4.6km of the route that runs through Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and the City of Westminster. The feasibility study will take approximately 10 months to complete after which Costain will develop a concept design and model how best to deliver the refurbishment works.

Marcus Hollan, project manager at Costain, said: “The A40 Westway is a vital transport link for Londoners. Tens of thousands of people use it every day to get to work, take their children to school or make deliveries. We are looking forward to working with TfL to help them improve the journey for people travelling in and out of London.” Visit:


Sacyr contract for Jan De Nul Group acquires port dredging contract in Mumbai, India cement plant in Bolivia J an De Nul Group, in a joint venture with Royal Boskalis Westminster NV, has acquired a contract with port operator Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust for the deepening and widening of the

access channel towards Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai, India. The contract carries a value of approximately €250 million with a 50% share for Jan De Nul Group. The works are scheduled to commence in the coming weeks and will be completed within two years. The areas to be dredged include the 35.5 kilometres long access channel and various turning basins and anchorage areas. In total more than 40 million cubic metres of sand, silt, clay and rock will be removed. For this project a jumbo trailing suction hopper dredger will be deployed in combination with a jumbo cutter suction dredger and a large backhoe. Jawaharlal Nehru Port is the largest container handling port in the country. Upon completion of the project the port will be able to accommodate larger container vessels. Visit:

Balfour Beatty secures Glasgow Queen Street Station redevelopment project


alfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, has been awarded the £16 million enabling works contract by Network Rail for the redevelopment of Glasgow Queen Street Station. The contract, which supports Network Rail’s expansion scheme to accommodate increasing passenger numbers, will involve the demolition of platform buildings and the construction of a new operations building. Hector MacAulay, Balfour Beatty managing director for Scotland, said: “Following Balfour Beatty’s recent successful completion of the new Edinburgh Gateway railway station and our ongoing work for the Dundee Railway station

and hotel, we are proud to continue our work with Network Rail to make Glasgow Queen Street Station a world class facility.” Visit:

Astaldi wins new railway contract in Romania

aldi’s share is 42%. The contracts include Lots 2A and 2B of the new railway corridor for the rehabilitation and stabilisation of 80 kilometres of railway and 11 stations, the ERTMS telecommunications and signalling system, as well as the construction of 30 bridges and a tunnel. The two lots are adjacent to one another; the considerable operational synergies and economies of


part of a joint venture Astaldi has been awarded two new contracts in Romania, both related to the rehabilitation of the Frontieră-Curtici-Simeria railway line, part of the Pan-European Corridor IV. The total value of the works to be performed equals approximately €776 million, and Ast-


pain’s Sacyr Industrial is leading the consortium which has been awarded the main contract for the new cement plant in Potosí (Bolivia), signed with SEDEM (Servicio de Desarrollo de las Empresas Públicas Productiva) for ECEBBOL (Empresa Pública Productiva Cementos de Bolivia). This EPC contract, worth 241 million dollars, is the second of its kind in Bolivia. The contract includes the greenfield design, construction, assembly and commissioning of a new clinker line with capacity for 3000 tonnes per day, along with the cement line to produce up to 1.3 million tonnes of cement a year The required clinker manufacturing process is the dry process, meaning the plant will have the following main processing units: primary crushing, a pre-homogenisation yard, a vertical raw mill, a raw meal silo, a 5-stage preheater tower, a rotary kiln, a grate cooler, a clinker silo, a cement mill, a cement silo, and a packaging and palletising line for the produced cement. Visit:

scale thus gained will guarantee optimum performance of the works. The works are expected to last 36 months, starting by the end of the first half of this year. The customer is Romania’s National Railway Company. The works are 75% financed by European Funds (POIM), with the state budget providing the remaining 25%. Visit: Industry Europe 11

The 3D Printing Revolution How long is it before we are seeing huge 3D printers on building sites rather than traditional construction teams? According to Maurizio Andreoli of the Italian WASP Project, which is focused on the development of 3D printing technologies for sustainable development, that day may not be so very far off. Victoria Hattersley reports.


cross the global construction industry we are seeing an ever-increasing interest in green construction – not least because of the significant savings it offers compared to traditional construction methods. So what if, in the future, houses could be 3D-printed using locally sourced raw materials at a fraction of the current production and environmental costs? This is the aim of the WASP initiative: led by the Italy-based 3D printing firm Centro Sviluppo Progetti (CSP), it was created in 2012 to manufacture professional 3D printers inhouse in order to encourage sustainable development and in-house production.

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To this end, WASP is studying new materials to utilise in the printing process, leading to the innovative use of straw, clay and porcelain, amongst others. The project’s first 3D printer was the PowerWasp – a versatile machine that also allows the shaping of aluminium and wood. This was followed by the current 12m DeltaWasp line, which is adaptable to every 3D printer requirement and can be used for both small and large projects.

The benefits But why exactly can the kinds of 3D printing technologies developed by projects such as WASP can potentially revolutionalise the

construction industry? Mr Andreoli explains: “For one thing, it is extremely efficient: the client’s project can be perfectly realised owing to the precision of the mechanical process and customisable designs can be easily achieved using geometric modeling softwares. We can create cavity walls that are impossible to obtain with traditional techniques, and the aeration canals could be utilised for air circulation, air conditioning and air heating systems.” There is also, of course, the matter of cost and environmental savings. Using a mixture of straw and natural terrain and its in-house developed extruder, WASP can

obtain a fibre-reinforced composite-like material with around half the material consumption of traditional building methods. Mr Andreoli continues: “Our aim is to create micro-independent communities, born and developed on community knowledge thanks to advanced self-production systems that anyone is able to achieve. The 3D printing process will allow us to realise the goal of the no-debt house – a house which offers more freedom to people and in fact produces energy instead of using it. A living solution at zero costs able to satisfy all basic human needs: house, food, energy, health, jobs, culture. This type of building technology can also be helpful in cases of humanitarian emergencies caused by economic or political crises or natural disasters.”

Significant achievements There have already been several examples of WASP’s 3D printing technology in action. Last year, a collaboration with the Siam Cement Group (SCG), the largest cement manufacturer in Thailand, saw the development of the first 3D printed house in Asia. The project, called ‘Helix: The Family Cocoon’, involved the creation of a small shelter imitating a natural shell structure. The Hermitage shelter project, meanwhile, is a versatile and reproducible model of shelter with almost zero environmental impact using locally sourced materials and rapid prototyping machines of CNC. In its search for a combination of advanced technology and the use of natural resources, WASP has developed what it calls an ‘architectural archetype’ – the result of a multidisciplinary

project converging the skills it has developed from a number of sectors including: renewable energy, furniture design, research on hydroponics and vertical gardens. Hermitage houses are what WASP describes as a ‘passive’ architectural model “because they are able to meet most of their energy needs with passive devices, capable of producing energy instead of consuming it.” Built using only natural materials (earth, straw, lime and stand) found in the local territory, which are completely reusable and compostable at the end of their life, this sustainable architectural model leaves no waste.

Ongoing project One of the most significant projects in which WASP is currently involved is an experimental eco-village at Massa Lombarda (Ravenna), around 50km from Bologna, using soil and straw. This village represents the pinnacle of everything the project has been working to achieve up to now: sustainable housing construction with locally available materials at the lowest possible costs. 3D printing the world’s first ever soil and straw building has been a challenge, but Mr Andreoli says WASP is very encouraged by the results so far: “We have already proved that two men and one machine can 3D-print a comfortable and healthy shelter with extremely little money. We are very satisfied with the results, even if we know there is still a lot to do in the future. “The main goal was to develop an extruder to lay down scores of mixtures, to verify if the machine mechanism was able

to stand continuous material deposits, to supervise the extruder during the printing phase, to face printing interruption and recovery, also connected to material pickup, to protect the wall from the rain in case of storms, and more. These are just some of the difficulties we have faced and solved.” Looking ahead, WASP will continue to test new materials and carry on its research into 3D printing with soil and straw. Mr Andreoli concludes: “New challenges in the improvement of systems for cheap and fast material preparation are coming. The printer is doing its job and after the last changes in kinematics we will modify something in the extruder too. The aim is to automate the system to enable the machine to print a shelter in a few days.” WASP is still in the prototype phase of its work and clearly there are still regulatory and quality control issues to be addressed. That being said, given the way technologies are developing it is not unrealistic to believe we may be seeing the first commercially viable 3D house-printing technologies on the market before 2020. And from then on, there is n no end to the possibilities.

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New contracts and orders in industry

12th TADANO mobile crane at I&H I

&H Kran-Transport-Montage-Service has once again displayed its trust in TADANO by investing in its 12th TADANO crane – the 5-axle ATF 220G-5. The new look of the driver’s cab provides various new features and maximum comfort. Features include: a better panoramic view, ergonomic seats made by Recaro for an optimised seating position to prevent fatigue on long distances, and the multifunction touch display which is identical to that in the superstructure cab. The TADANO crane is equipped with two engines made by Mercedes Benz (Euromot IV, EPA Tier 4f), featuring a power output of 390 kW (530 HP) for the carrier and 145 kW (197 HP) for the superstructure. In addition to reduced fuel consumption, the separate recording of the operating hours enables a clear indication of the amount of crane work and driving accomplished. The rugged boom has a mast length of 13.2 to 68 metres. “At such working heights, we require an especially powerful boom for lifting operations. Especially important for us is the mechanical strength and the capability of moving the material by crane without the jib,” says Nils Lauman, member of the I&H management. Visit:

JOSAB India receives an order in Kerala, India


OSAB’s subsidiary in India has received an order for one water purification unit from Kerala Water Supply And Sanitation Agency, KRWSA, India. The order is part of the World Bank financing of water treatment projects in the state of Kerala. The order value is approximately TSEK 140.

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Atlas Copco wins orders for key Colombian road projects


tlas Copco, a leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions, has won several orders for equipment that will be used in the construction of vital road projects in Colombia as the country is building up its infrastructure. To accelerate economic development, Colombia has initiated the so-called Fourth Generation (4G) road infrastructure program. The construction involves more than 8000km of high-quality roads, including tunnels. In the fourth quarter 2016 and first quarter 2017, several Colombian construction companies that are part of the 4G program placed orders totalling MUSD 13 (MSEK 115) for Atlas Copco equipment. “We are proud to play a role in the modernisation of the infrastructure in Colombia by providing our customers with the safest and most energy-efficient equipment available,” said Helena Hedblom, president of Atlas Copco’s Mining and Rock Excavation Technique business area. The Atlas Copco machines include drilling rigs, concrete spraying mobiles and more. The products are known for their high productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. Visit:

Alfa Laval wins SEK 170 million energy-efficiency order in China


lfa Laval – a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling – has won an order to supply Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchangers to a petrochemical plant in China. The order value is approximately SEK 170 million and it is booked in the Welded Heat Exchangers unit of the Energy division. Deliveries are scheduled for 2017 and 2018. The heat exchangers will be used to recover energy in the production process of mixed xylene, an important ingredient for the manufacturing of industrial chemicals and plastics products. “Compared to alternative solutions our Packinox heat exchangers are compact and very energy efficient and hence perfect for applications in the refinery and petrochemical industries,” says Susanne Pahlén Åklundh, president of the Energy division. Visit: Josab India Pvt Ltd has received the order in Kerala, India, in competition according to the public tender published by KRWSA. The unit will be placed in Bharathipuram in Kollam, Kerala to supply the population with clean drinking water. “We are very proud of the order that we have won in competition with qualified suppliers. This gives us proof of the demand

for JOSAB’s technology,” explains Dennis Abraham, MD, Josab India Pvt Ltd. Johan Gillgren, CEO, Josab International AB, concludes that: “This order give a clear signal that the tender license we previously received offers us new business opportunities, and the hope is to win enough tenders to be able to apply for the higher license.” Visit:

WINNINGBUSINESS Geven signs contract with ATR for new passenger seats ChromoGenics orld’s leading turboprop manufacturer ATR at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, currently receives large order W and the Italian producer of aircraft interiors held in Hamburg, Germany. Geven have signed a contract to equip the ATRThis contract affirms ATR’s continuing to provide dynamic 600 series aircraft with brand new passenger tradition of ensuring the highest standard of onseats. Named Neo Classic and Neo Prestige, board comfort by offering the widest intra-armglass to Fabege they have been specifically designed for ATR by the Italian designer Giugiaro and are presented

rest space on the turboprop market: 18 inches for both the Neo Classic and Neo Prestige. In addition, the Neo Prestige can be reclined, has a larger tray table and a backrest which is two inches higher than the one of the Neo Classic. Wider, more comfortable and easy to retrofit on ATR -600s and older ATR versions, the new seats also offer weight savings of up to 170 Kg. Additionally, thanks to an optimised use of space and cutting-edge design, it is now possible to offer two additional seats in some cabin layouts, while keeping the same operational weights, thereby profiting from the additional payload. Visit:

HANZA awarded contract for custom made manufacturing solution H ANZA Holding AB has signed an agreement by which HANZA will create a custom-made supply chain to provide complete subassemblies to a customer’s final assembly plant in Finland. Parts will be fabricated in HANZA’s cluster in Estonia, and the subassembly will be carried out at the customer’s site in Finland. The new manufacturing solution will start during the second quarter of 2017 and it is estimated to reach full capacity within a year. Annual business volume is estimated at €5 million. “Our business model, to combine consulting services with complete manufacturing, creates new opportunities for our customers,” says Thomas Lindström, senior vice-president, head of Business Solutions HANZA. “Several product companies are

facing the same challenges; to increase flexibility, and at the same time reduce costs and tied-up capital. Then the solution is HANZA.” Visit:

Witteveen+Bos to design cycling infrastructure in Singapore

that will enable the district’s 175,000 residents to cycle safely and comfortably. In the pre-design phase, Witteveen+Bos will draw from its Dutch cycling infrastructure expertise as well as experience gained in Singapore in order to design superior infrastructure. In the final design phase, local engineers will contribute to taking the designs a step further under Witteveen+Bos’ supervision.


itteveen+Bos and Singapore-based design and engineering consultancy Surbana Jurong were recently awarded a contract by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) for the planning and design of the cycling network in the city’s Ang Mo Kio district. The project aims to create a cycling network there


hromoGenics has been selected to provide dynamic glass to the sustainable Grand Central Project in Sundbyberg, Stockholm. The real estate project will meet the requirements for the sustainability certification system BREEAM-SE, level ‘Very Good’, where ChromoGenics’ dynamic glass contributes to improved energy efficiency and indoor comfort. Deliveries are planned for the first half of 2017 and the opening of the property is planned for the second half of 2018. “We are proud to be a part of a project using the world’s longest established method of certifying the sustainability of buildings, and using the latest technology,” says Thomas Almesjö, CEO ChromoGenics. “Daylight and contact with the outside surroundings improves comfort and well-being. ConverLight™ controls heat and light transmission while maintaining daylight and the view to the outside world. In addition, ConverLight™ contributes to lower maintenance costs as well as green building certifications, which is on top of the agenda to reach the European environmental goals of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by the year 2020.” Visit:

“We are immensely proud that Witteveen+Bos was selected as a specialist in cycling infrastructure and to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the development of Singapore’s walking and cycling infrastructure,” says Martijn Akkerman, cycling infrastructure, planning and design expert at Witteveen+Bos. Visit: Industry Europe 15


Combining strengths

Lagercrantz acquires Apparatenfabriek Bereila


agercrantz Group’s subsidiary Asept International AB has acquired the shares of the Dutch company Apparatenfabriek Bereila BV. Bereila is a specialised manufacturer of sauce and condiment dispensers to fast-food restaurants and food manufacturing companies. Apart from its own products, the company also offers customised dispensing solutions. Bereila’s operations are based in Bedum outside Groningen and it generates annual sales of about €1.5 million.

“We are creating a strong and effective team through the acquisition of Bereila. We will be able to offer existing and new customers a better and broader product range than before on an international market,” commented Per-Anders Nilsson, MD of Asept International AB. Bereila will be a subsidiary of Asept International AB and will form part of the Lagercrantz Niche Products Division. Visit:

KAUP moves into Australia


Renault-Nissan Alliance and Transdev to develop driverless vehicle fleet system


he Renault-Nissan Alliance and Transdev have agreed to jointly explore development of mobility services with fleets of electric driverless vehicles for public and on-demand transportation. The companies will collaborate to develop a comprehensive, modular transportation system to enable clients to book rides, and mobility operators to monitor and operate self-driving car fleets. “As the mobility services landscape keeps evolving, we have a great opportunity to offer innovative, connected mobility solutions for the evolving needs of our customers, fully aligned with our vision of a zero-emission, zero-fatalities society,” said Ogi Redzic, Renault-Nissan Alliance

Gleason acquires KISSsoft AG


leason Corporation has acquired KISSsoft AG, located in Bubikon, Switzerland. KISSsoft is a leader in the development of design software for gears and power transmission systems, serving customers globally across a wide spectrum of industries. Dr Ulrich Kissling, the founder and CEO of KISSsoft, comments: “We are excited about our

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senior vice-president of Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services. “Partnering with Transdev allows us to share our knowledge as leaders in electric vehicles, autonomous drive and connected-car technologies with one of the largest multi-modal mobility operators worldwide. Together we will develop an advanced driverless mobility system that will enhance existing public and on-demand transport systems.” The research will initially include field tests in Paris-Saclay with Renault ZOEs, the leading electric vehicle in Europe, and Transdev’s on-demand dispatch, supervision and routing platform. Visit: future partnership with Gleason. Given Gleason’s mission as a Total Gear Solutions Provider, its strength in bevel gear design and its position as a world leader in gear manufacturing and metrology solutions, the potential opportunities to provide our customers with new solutions is compelling. In addition, Gleason’s global reach and long-time customer relationships will open up new doors for our products.”

AUP GmbH & Co. KG (KAUP) will acquire its Australian distributor ATTOLLO Australia Pty Ltd (ATTOLLO) to form KAUP Australia Pty Ltd. “It is natural that KAUP takes the next step and combines our forces even closer with ATTOLLO,” says Holger Kaup, managing director of KAUP. “KAUP is strong in serial products and has good contacts with the manufacturers, while ATTOLLO has a lot of experience in special solutions and is close to the local sales force. Together we can cover all areas.” Stefan Marschner, managing director of KAUP Australia says: “KAUP Australia brings along with it a global brand and a wealth of attachment knowledge.” KAUP is the leading European manufacturer of Forklift Truck Attachments with headquarters in Germany and a manufacturing facility in China. ATTOLLO has been the KAUP distributor to the Australian and New Zealand market since 2005. Visit:

John J. Perrotti, president and CEO of Gleason Corporation, adds: “KISSsoft joining Gleason will deliver significant synergies and provide our customers greater value by linking design and manufacturing expertise, having the potential to radically improve the efficiency of designs and the manufacturing solutions optimum for those designs.” Visit:


EuroChem acquires Bulgaria’s leading Winkler+Dünnebier acquires Halm Industries fertiliser distribution company W E uroChem Group AG, a leading global fertiliser company, has announced the acquisition of a 100% interest in Agricola Bulgaria, Bulgaria’s leading fertiliser distribution company. It will be renamed EuroChem Agro Bulgaria. Agricola Bulgaria, based in Pleven, northern Bulgaria, was previously owned by Agrium Europe, and has annual fertiliser sales of approximately 70,000–80,000 tonnes, 9% of the Bulgarian fertiliser distribution market. The acquisition will help to further develop EuroChem’s distribution footprint in Bulgaria and the wider region of eastern Europe. Dmitry Strezhnev, EuroChem’s CEO, commented: “The acquisition of Agricola Bulgaria, a well-established player in the Bulgarian fertiliser distribution market, is in line with our expansion strategy in eastern Europe where we see strong

demand for fertilisers. This acquisition will contribute to the group’s growth in Bulgaria and its neighbouring countries while providing local farmers with better access to EuroChem’s high quality fertiliser products and agricultural solutions.” Visit:

Leoni acquires majority stake in Adaptricity L eoni, the leading European provider of cables and cable systems to the automotive sector and other industries, has secured a two-thirds holding in Adaptricity AG. The ETH Zürich spin-off will contribute software-supported consulting services based on expert electrotechnical knowledge to the Group. “This majority holding in Adaptricity gives us access to skills in the fields of software, simulation and cloud-based data analysis, which we

have defined as the primary building blocks of our strategic development towards being an innovative solutions provider,” said Bruno Fankhauser, member of Leoni AG’s board of directors with responsibility for the Wire & Cable Solutions Division. “To remain a leading technology partner to our customers, we are investing in cable and cable systems-related, trailblazing as well as intelligent software and analysis solutions, which will furthermore develop new business models for us.” Thanks to Adaptricity, Leoni will be able to deploy proprietary software that generates time series-based simulations, for example to optimise power distribution grids by applying SmartGrid technologies. The company will thereby contribute to intelligent power distribution. Visit:

Nel and Proton OnSite form world’s largest electrolyser company

“Proton OnSite is recognised as the number one provider of PEM electrolysis systems and fully complements Nel both in terms of technology and market outreach. The combined entity will be able to offer the full spectrum of electrolysers in terms of capacity and technology. This will give Nel a strong foothold in the US and other markets beyond our current position,” says Jon André Løkke, CEO of Nel.


el ASA has entered into a non-binding term sheet to acquire the Connecticut US based hydrogen technology company Proton Energy Systems Inc. This will create the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser company with a global footprint. The purchase price corresponds to an enterprise value of USD 70 million.

inkler+Dünnebier GmbH (W+D), a BarryWehmiller company, is strengthening its position as a long-term technology and servicesolutions partner for the envelope and printed mail market with the acquisition of Halm Industries, a leading manufacturer of offset and digital printing presses. Halm has locations in Glen Head, New York, and Warmond, Netherlands. “Halm’s new four-colour digital inkjet envelope overprinting press, designed to meet customers’ rapidly growing demand for personalisation and short-run envelope overprinting production, will be a perfect complement to W+D’s short-run, highly flexible and easy-to-use line of envelope converting, inserting and printing solutions,” said Frank Eichhorn, managing director of W+D. “We are eager to globalise this new product’s very successful North American introduction. Plus, W+D will assume the service for the installed base of all Halm machines, with the support of key team members in the US and in Warmond, Netherlands.” Visit:

Incorporated in 1996, Proton OnSite has been developed into the largest manufacturer of on-site hydrogen generators with over 2600 units installed worldwide in more than 75 countries. The company offers advanced Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysis systems to various markets, focusing on small to medium sized plants. Visit: Industry Europe 17



Relocations and expansions across Europe

Liebherr opens subsidiary in Buenos Aires


March Liebherr-Argentina SA opened a new office in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. From the subsidiary Liebherr is expanding activities in Argentina and Uruguay, primarily in the product areas of mining, mobile cranes and port and harbour cranes. The opening of the new office marks another chapter in the history of Liebherr-Argentina SA. With an area of 314 square metres, the office in the heart of the Argentinian capital offers space for current and future growth, primarily in the product areas port and harbour cranes and mobile cranes. Eleven of the 17 Liebherr employees working in Buenos Aires look after sales and service in the area of port and harbour cranes, and four other employees are responsible for the mobile cranes area. With the new office Liebherr not only strengthens its presence in Argentina, but also takes over the entire sales and service activities of Liebherr mobile cranes in Uruguay. “My greatest wish is that this new office becomes too small very quickly,” stated Daniel Haag, managing director of Liebherr-Argentina SA, during the opening ceremony. “We are optimistic about the future and are expecting further growth in Argentina and the neighbouring countries we look after from here.” Visit:

ContiTech opens new plant for coated fabrics in China T

he opening of ContiTech’s new facility for coated fabrics marks a special milestone in the company’s history in China: It is the first international production site for elastomer coatings outside Germany. “The investment into that new plant underlines our commitment within and to the Chinese market. It allows us to better meet our Chinese customers’ demands in different industries,” emphasises Dr Peter Scholtissek, head of ContiTech Elastomer Coatings. With a total investment of more than €20 million (170 Million Renminbi), the plant produces high-performance coated materials for a variety of applications. The product range includes robust concertina wall materials, which connect railway carriages together, or fabrics for protective equipment, dry diving suits or life rafts. “It’s a special moment for me and my team, because we are putting a long-pursued plan into action. We have established an ultramodern and climate-friendly facility equipped with leading production technology that can only be matched by a few companies worldwide.” Visit:

AMS Technologies opens design centre in Poland A MS Technologies, Europe’s leading solution provider and distributor for optical, power and thermal management technologies, has established a design centre in Krakow, Poland. In this design centre skilled AMS experts will address customer requirements for professional, turnkey solutions in the fields of thermal management and electronics. Unlike other distributors, AMS Technologies not only supplies leading edge products and

components but views itself as the customer’s ‘extended workbench’. Opening the new centre is in line with this strategy, which further reinforces the company’s position as a premier provider of custom thermal management solutions. Business models where so-called ‘valueadded’ distribution is taking over design are already widespread in the electronics industry. In the thermal management sector, however, most

customers develop their own solutions to specific challenges. AMS Technologies is pioneering a new approach with its offer to realise professional turnkey solutions to the customer’s order. The AMS design center in Krakow will specialize in design and ‘proof of concept’ as well as supporting the transfer of the resulting prototype into volume production after customer sign-off. Visit:

Fortum to start building the Ånstadblåheia wind farm in Norway

Fortum has decided to purchase 14 wind turbines from Vestas for the Ånstadblåheia wind farm, resulting in an installed capacity of about 50 MW. The annual production of Ånstadblåheia is estimated to be more than 150 gigawatt-hours (GWh). Fortum finalised the acquisition of three wind power projects from Nordkraft at the beginning of January 2017. The transaction

consists of the Nygårdsfjellet wind farm, which is already operational, as well as the fully-permitted Ånstadblåheia and Sørfjord projects. When built, the total installed capacity of the three wind farms will be approximately 170 MW. Fortum is cooperating with Nordkraft on the construction and operation of the wind farms. Visit:


ortum is launching construction of the Ånstadblåheia wind farm in Norway. The construction will begin with ground works in March, and the wind farm is expected to start production in 2018. Fortum announced the acquisition of three wind projects on 8 November 2016 and 5 January 2017.

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Mikael Fryklund new president and CEO of HEXPOL


he board of directors of HEXPOL AB has appointed Mikael Fryklund as president and CEO. Since 2012, Mikael Fryklund has been business area president within Trelleborg AB and part of the group management. Prior to the present position Mikael Fryklund has experience from other management positions within the Trelleborg Group (since 2002) and the Bosch Group. Mikael Fryklund, born in 1963, holds a M.Sc. Eng., and also a B. Sc. in Business Administration. “With the recruitment of Mikael Fryklund HEXPOL will have a CEO with broad international experience from the rubber and plastic industry. Mikael has since 2012 successfully developed Trelleborg Industrial Solutions with strengthened global positions, organically as well as through acquisitions. I am confident that Mikael with his industry and acquisition experience will continue to develop HEXPOL positively,” says Georg Brunstam, current president and CEO HEXPOL.

Probi appoints Jörn Andreas as new CFO


robi AB has appointed Jörn Andreas as CFO. Andreas comes from a role as CFO for the Pinova group within Symrise. He has also worked as CFO for the Diana Group, as director of Corporate Development and M&A at Symrise as well as a consultant for the Boston consulting group. He has also served as a director on Probis board since 2014. “Jörn Andreas has a proven international track record as CFO and in complex M&A projects, his skills and experience is a perfect match for the next stage of development at Probi which is combining strong organic growth with acquisition growth. Jörn also knows the company very well from his time on the board which will give him a flying start,” says Peter Nählstedt, CEO of Probi.

Semperit appoints Martin Füllenbach as new CEO

artin Füllenbach has been appointed new chairman of the management board (CEO) to the supervisory board of Semperit AG Holding. Born in GerJean-Paul Mindermann appointed M many, Füllenbach (49) studied economics and business organisation in Munich, subsequently gained his doctorate in financial sciences in Nuremberg. Trelleborg business area president and Füllenbach has been CEO of Oerlikon Leybold Vakuum in Cologne since 2012


ean-Paul Mindermann has been appointed as the new business area president of Trelleborg Industrial Solutions, starting 1 July 2017. He succeeds Mikael Fryklund, who leaves Trelleborg and will assume the position as president and CEO of Hexpol. Jean-Paul Mindermann was born in 1965 and is of Spanish and German nationalities. He has been in charge of the successful development of the global operations of industrial and construction tires since joining Trelleborg Wheel Systems in connection to Trelleborg’s acquisition of Watts Tyre Group in 2011. “It is with great pleasure that I have accepted this assignment. I am committed to taking on this new responsibility, leveraging experience from other parts of the group,” says Jean-Paul Mindermann.

Ms. Saila Miettinen-Lähde appointed as CEO of Endomines AB


ndomines has announced the appointment of Ms. Saila Miettinen-Lähde as the new CEO of Endomines AB. Saila is an experienced leader with extensive experience including posts as deputy CEO and CFO of Talvivaara Mining Company Plc during the period 2005–2015 and board membership

and, in addition, an appointed member of the group management board of OC Oerlikon AG in Pfäffikon, Switzerland, since 2014. “We are very pleased to have won Martin Füllenbach as new CEO. We are confident that the Semperit Group will strongly benefit from his know-how and his experience, particularly in realigning companies as well as building and developing new business areas,“ says Veit Sorger, chairman of the supervisory board of Semperit AG Holding.

of Outokumpu Oyj since 2015. Recently she has been working as the CFO for F-Secure, a cyber security company listed at Nasdaq Helsinki. Saila holds a Master of Science degree in engineering from the Tampere University of Technology. “I am looking forward to contributing to the development and execution of a new strategy for the company. We anticipate advancing our

activities along the Karelian Gold Line and building significant value for our shareholders,” comments Ms. Saila Miettinen-Lähde.

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Shaping the future of driverless vehicles

Advances in technology across industry

Revolutionary technology for marine industries



ATEway Project has begun research into public acceptance of, and attitudes towards, driverless vehicles. The trials, which will see an autonomous vehicle driving in a complex urban environment, are not about robotising existing forms of transport, such as the car, but examining ways to optimise mobility for the urban environment using new modes of transport enabled by automation. In the latest phase of the GATEway Project (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment) a prototype shuttle will begin driverless navigation of a 2km route around the Greenwich Peninsula, using advanced sensors and state-ofthe-art autonomy software to detect and avoid obstacles whilst carrying members of the public participating in the research study. The GATEway Project is a world-leading research programme, led by TRL and funded by government and industry. It aims to demonstrate the use of automated vehicles for ‘last mile’ mobility, seamlessly connecting existing transport hubs with residential and commercial areas using a zero emission, low noise transport system. Research findings from the project will guide the wider rollout of automated vehicle technology in all forms of surface transport, including cars, lorries and buses. Uniquely, the focus of the study is not the technology but how it functions alongside people in a natural environment. This first trial will explore people’s pre-conceptions of driverless vehicles and barriers to acceptance through detailed interviews with participants before and after they ride in the shuttle. The prototype shuttle, dubbed ‘Harry’ (in honour of navigation visionary John Harrison), uses a state-of-the-art autonomy software system, called Selenium, which enables realtime, robust navigation, planning, and perception in dynamic environments. Visit: 20 Industry Europe

orteCros, subsidiary of Cortec Corporation, has released a new educational video demonstrating the efficiency of a technological breakthrough line of environmentally friendly corrosion protection products for marine market – Bull Frog. CorteCros’s team wanted to make Bull Frog technology more accessible and provide the company’s customers with a better understanding of how the corrosion of sea vehicles can be prevented with a few simple steps. It is well known that unfortunately various types of destructive attacks can occur to structures, ships and other equipment used in sea water service. The term ‘aqueous corrosion’ describes the majority of the most troublesome problems encountered in contact with sea water, but the atmospheric corrosion of metals exposed on or near coastlines and hot salt corrosion in engines are equally problematic, and like aqueous corrosion require a systematic approach to eliminate or manage them. The Bull Frog line of products offers contemporary technology that has been perfected and proven in marine applications around the world. A wide range of products protect clients’ investments and help them perform at their optimal level. Bull Frogs’s Vapor Corrosion Inhibitors (VpCIs) replace conventional and hazardous petroleum-based rust preventatives. They bond with metal surfaces to form a protective ‘Molecular Umbrella’, sealing out air and moisture that cause rust and corrosion. Most importantly, they save time and labour involved in applying and removing traditional protective coatings. These formulations conform to today’s highest environmental standards and utilise the newest chemical technology available. They alleviate concerns in the areas of health, safety, flammability and pollution control. Bull Frog products from an ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 certified manufacturer are available in Croatian marinas and will soon be available in all larger European marine chains, including Montenegro, Italy and other Mediterranean and pan-European countries. Visit:

Award for TechnipFMC’s innovative subsea technology T

echnipFMC, a longstanding engineering partner of Sulzer, has won the Hydraulic Institute Award for Innovation and Technology for its innovative products and solutions. The global leader in oil and gas projects, technologies, systems and services was recognised during a ceremony at the Institute’s Centennial Celebration Gala in Florida, USA. The awards committee recognised TechnipFMC as an innovator in subsea technology. Such innovations have included streamlining subsea operations via combining processes: the introduction of improved research and development strategies such as rapid prototyping and the utilisation of condition performance monitoring. In addition, the Institute also commended the business’s commitment to reducing subsea topside dependencies. Sulzer has worked in partnership with TechnipFMC on a number of high profile offshore

projects – with the businesses considered as premium suppliers of high performance subsea pumps and motors respectively. The two subsea experts work in tandem to deliver fully integrated systems for the most challenging environments, servicing the demanding applications that provide our energy resources. Visit:


NOTICEBOARD HOBAS launches new Top wind power innovation from IMO leading wind energy magazine Windpower “characteristic enabler for the next turbine scalgeneration of GRP pipes TheMonthly rated the ‘brightest ideas of 2016 ing and optimising steps, including for enhanced


ith a brand-new product line, featuring a particularly durable inner protective layer, HOBAS now provides a top-notch solution for challenging projects that require a product beyond the ordinary. And that’s not all: The standard centrifugally cast HOBAS GRP Gravity Pipe has also been further improved to suit a broad variety of applications even better than before. HOBAS experts have developed a pipe system that resists abrasion, corrosion, and impacts extremely well and thereby eases project operators’ minds throughout a long and maintenance-free service life. The new HOBAS Top Performance Pipe is equipped with an exceptionally durable inner protective layer made of polyurethane resin, the thickness of which is customised for each project individually, typically starting at 2mm. This special layer makes the pipe extremely resistant to abrasion, corrosion and impacts. Almost simultaneously, the standard HOBAS CC-GRP Gravity Pipe has been upgraded to the ‘next generation’: The structural properties of the pipe wall have been redesigned, leading to a significantly better wet creep factors. A new resin used in pipe production further improves the durability and impact resistance of the pipe. Visit:

at the cutting edge of wind energy design and development’ – and IMO’s next level pitch bearing was among the five top innovations awarded by the magazine. T-Solid 4IPC is an innovative pitch bearing especially designed for the latest 3 to 4MW low-wind onshore turbines as well as 6 to 8MW class offshore turbines, increasingly incorporating individual pitch control (IPC) for intelligent structural load reduction. IMO presented the 3-row cylindrical roller bearing for the first time in September 2016 at WindEnergy in Hamburg. The windpower magazine wpm distinguishes IMO’s 3-row-roller bearing in its rating as a

25–30 year operating life.” Visit:

New Wireless Inductive System from Pepperl+Fuchs


obotic applications using interchangeable tools move at high speeds with rapid movement and rotation. Traditional solutions with drag chains or slip rings lack the required flexibility for this automation technology. The Wireless Inductive System (WIS) from Pepperl+Fuchs masters these challenges by enabling noncontact connectivity where no fixed connections are possible. The new WIS 2 offers improved performance with an even higher power transmission of 12 watts. A longer 7mm distance between the primary and secondary transmitter provides significant tolerance to axial misalignment. Depending on the application, users can choose between a 2-channel WIS 2 version for smaller applications or an expanded 8-channel version, offered with an 8-way connector box, to operate up to eight sensors at the same time. Bringing flexibility to an even higher level, pri-

mary and secondary devices are not paired and can be interchanged. A single primary 2-channel device can be used with multiple secondary 2-channel devices. Having an IP67 protection and a temperature range from -20 °C to +55 °C, WIS 2 creates safe and reliable connections in harsh environments. Visit:

New high bay LED luminaire from Regiolux


he new ‘worker’ high bay LED luminaire from Regiolux combines high efficiency and innovative lighting technology with ILO (Individual Lens Optic). This area luminaire fulfils almost all requirements in industry and commerce, in shopping malls, DIY stores and cold stores (down to -20 °C). Various versions are available for applications with high ambient temperatures. In all cases the worker achieves very good glare control as each individual lens is precisely tailored to the LED. It opens up an

enormous energy saving opportunity that can be further increased through dimming and through the use of lighting management systems. The worker LED high bay luminaire offers the higher protection class IP54 and can be flexibly employed with three different light distributions (wide-beam, wide/narrow-beam and narrowbeam). The ‘High Output’ version with maximum lumen package is suitable for ambient temperatures up to max. +35°C. The ‘High Temperature’

version with slightly reduced lumen package is the right choice for higher ambient temperatures of up to +45°C. Visit:

Industry Europe 21



Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on meat-free official parties.


ermany’s carnivores have declared the decision to ban meat at some government functions one of the ‘wurst’ policies they have ever heard of – especially as a knock-on effect might hit an industry worth billions of euros a year. But although traditionally a land of meat lovers, 10 per cent of Germans are now vegetarians. Which is one reason why the national environmental agency perhaps felt emboldened to take mammalian flesh – and fish – from the menus of its receptions. The ministry sees itself as being a ‘role model’ in the fight for environmental protection and against climate change. Environmental minister Barbara Hendricks is behind the policy decision which has enraged meat lovers, saying; “We want to set a good example for climate protection, because vegetarian food is more climate-friendly than meat and fish.” In a further bid to embrace its inner organic self, the ministry recommends that seasonal and locally grown produce should be favoured above all others. But to those still in love with schnitzel, rinder rouladen – massive bacon-and-oninon stuffed beef olives – ham hocks and the ubiqiuitous sausage, the no-meat mandate is a step too far. Some members of the government have accused Hendricks, an MP with the Social Democratic Party, of overreaching. “I’m not having this Veggie Day through the back door. Instead of nanny-stateism and ideology, I believe in diversity and freedom of choice,” said Christian Schmidt, minister of food and agriculture – and a conservative. The decision came two months after minister Schmidt railed against ‘vegetarian fascism’ and proposed a ban on the terms ‘vegetarian schnitzel’ and ‘vegan curry sausage’. Schmidt has also contacted the European Union’s executive branch to discuss extending rules that govern the use of the terms ‘milk’ and ‘cheese’ to apply to meat as well.” 22 Industry Europe

Minister Schmidt, a member of the Bavarian Christian Social Union which governs in tandem with Angela Merkel’s CDU, also reiterated a call for schools to serve pork – a practice on the decline because of the escalating numbers of Muslim scholchildren.

A big business Banning flesh at environmental ministry receptions alone would not seem to radically endanger the culinary habits of the average German. They each consume a little under 55kg of pig meat annually, 88kg of all meats, nearly twice the world average. But

Although traditionally a land of meat lovers, 10 per cent of Germans are now vegetarians. Which is one reason why the national environmental agency perhaps felt emboldened to take mammalian flesh – and fish – from the menus of its receptions. while the country remains – largely – a land of committed meat eaters, vegetarianism and veganism is rising. According to the Institute for the Study of Trade, Germany saw revenues of £286m for vegan and vegetarian products in 2015, a demand which grew 100 per cent from 2010. Meat industry advocates want to keep the pole position it has among German industry, however. The meat products industry, with

its turnover of a good €20 billion, is one of the leading branches in Germany’s food sector. In 2016, more than 1.4 million tonnes of sausages were produced in Germany. This includes 864,000 tonnes of boiled sausage, 429,000 tonnes of raw sausage and 177,000 tonnes of cooked sausages. And these products continue to enjoy a constant growth in interest from abroad Sausage exports alone account for €1.2 billion annually and account for 60,000 jobs in Germany. On a global scale, Germany comes third in pork production after China and the USA. Pork husbandry in Germany is primarily concentrated in the north-west of the country, which accounts for about half of the entire domestic pig population. Today a good 30,000 pig farms have a total of 28 million pigs. 60 per cent of all pigs are raised in farms with more than 1000 animals. Constant increases in productivity have brought pork production to record levels. In 2015, approx. 59 million pigs were slaughtered, compared to the year 2000 when the number was 16 million less. The supermarket butchers have also become a firm fixture among the top companies in the German meat industry. The largest of these is Edeka, with its 13 butchery operations in seven regions and cumulative sales of €2.65 billion. Rewe is currently seeking a new home for its Brandenburg meat plant which is currently located in the Frankfurt district of Fechenheim. “Vegetarianism is, relatively speaking, still in its infancy in Germany and that is the way that the meat industry wants it to stay – for profits, for jobs, for security,” said Manfred Wörner, a meat industry advocate. “I think we can live with one government agency being politically trendy in forswearing meat at functions. But it is not the way forward that the meat industry in particular, and the food sector in general, would like to see.” n



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on the plight of French farmers.


he crisis in the French agriculture industry has been poignantly summed up by one struggling French farmer who mowed the word ‘HELP’ in giant letters into his wheat field in the Loire valley. His desperate plea for aid from the government comes after official figures released this month stated that more than a tenth of France’s 400,000 farms are now in a ‘situation of extreme urgency’. Last year, half of French farmers earned less than 350 euros a month, far below the national poverty threshold of 800 euros, the government statistics agency said. The plight of agricultural workers is now eroding the fabric of rural life in Europe’s leading farming nation, and as farmers see their livelihoods evaporate, more and more are giving up, along with an alarming spike in suicides over recent years. Farmer Jacques Fortin, 63, whose 50 metre high letters ‘HELP’ can be clearly seen by passing aircraft, said: “Political leaders do not listen to us. They’re deaf to our anger. I hope they’re not blind and will read this message of despair. I live in a world where I have the responsibilities of a chief executive and I live below the poverty threshold. It’s not normal to live with 350 euros a month when you work every day. Some break down. Others commit suicide.” Fortin, whose farm is in Athee-sur-Cher near the central town of Tours, added: “When planes pass overhead and start to descend to Orly airport, the passengers can see my SOS, which is a collective cry for help on behalf of all farmers. In fact, it was the pilot of a small plane who sent me the first photo by email. We have had successive years of bad weather conditions in the past four years. Farmers are at the end of their tether. They are fed up.” There are multiple reasons behind the current escalating crisis hitting farmers, not just in France, but across Europe. The beef, pork and milk sectors have seen prices collapse because of both declining sales to China and the Russian embargo on most Western

food imports in retaliation for sanctions over their annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. A nosedive in prices of grain and vegetables has hit producers hard, while wholesalers selling to supermarkets are demanding ever deeper cuts from suppliers, who are in turn squeezing farmers. Outbreaks of blue tongue disease was a severe blow to cattle farmers, while bird flu lead several countries to ban imports of foie gras. The most tragic impact of their deepening woes was a spike in the suicide rate of farmers in 2016 to almost 12 a week, or around 600 a year, making suicide the third most common cause of death for agricultural workers after cancer and heart disease. A recent report by France’s INVS health institute said they were in ‘no doubt’ that financial problems were the chief cause of the high suicide rate among farmers. But Marie-Therese Denieul of the farmers’ insurance association the Sociale Agricole said there were other reasons to blame as well as poverty. She told French daily Le Figaro: “There are three main reasons. Severe financial pressures, social isolation and the proliferation of government red tape, controls and administrative procedures.”

Despair Public protests are now a weekly event in France, with agricultural workers herding cattle through towns, driving tractors along the Champs-Elysee boulevard in Paris or heaping tons of manure outside the government’s agriculture ministry. The leading candidate in May’s presidential election was heckled when he visited a farming trade show in central France, prompting two other candidates to cancel appearances at similar shows. President Francois Hollande came to power in 2012 ago vowing to address the plight of the sector, but five years later average earnings are 15 per cent lower and the suicide rate is 12 per cent higher.

Laurent Pinatel, spokesman for the national small farmers group Confederation Paysanne, told news agency AFP: “Agriculture is experiencing its worst crisis ever. There is a lot of worry on farms, and a lot of people are quitting because they feel there is no future.” Dairy farmer Louis Ganay, 35, who has personal experience of suicidal depression, told the BFM TV news channel: “Getting up early every day, knowing that in a month you’ll only be able to make 200 or 300 euros with 80 hours of work each week, is a real torture.” When fifteen of his 50 cows died in 2014, Ganay was traumatised and suffered financial hardship which pushed him into depression, he said. He added: “With the physical fatigue, the psychological pressure, the bank that wants to give up on you, the death of the cows, I had no reason to live anymore.” Ganay was able to reach an agreement with his bank to spread out his debt repayment, and he also wrote about his problems on the Internet, receiving numerous letters of support, and he is now on the path to recovery. And Francis Le Ferrand, whose farmer husband killed himself, told France 2 television: “It’s inhumane to work without pay. When you work 70 hours per week and there’s no pay at the end, believe me, it is very difficult to live.” Jacques Jeffredo, a former farmer who studies the phenomenon of farmer suicide, is trying to raise awareness of the problem. He argues that the official estimates, which put the number of annual suicides at around 200, are a vast underestimate and the real figure is around 600 - partly due to the reluctance of relatives to speak about the tragic phenomenon. He told BFM TV: “As long as we see it as an illness, there is a sense of shame and as a result we don’t talk about it.” Jeffredo, who set up 600 white crosses, similar to those used in military cemeteries, in front of Basilica Saint-Anne d’Auray in Brittany - the region with the highest suicide rate added: “For me, this image was important.” n Industry Europe 23

24 Industry Europe

An AURA of

Tobias Daniel


Tobias Daniel, head of Sales & Marketing at Comau Robotics & Automation Products, talks to Barbara Rossi about the important innovations launched by the business unit in the past two years, including the AURA collaborative robots.


omau Robotics & Automation Products is the Comau division that spearheads industrial robot design, production and sales of articulated robots, in addition to the Scara range. It is also specialised in a series of industrial automation products, such as spot welding grippers and roller hemming tools, just to mention two of the most significant solutions. Furthermore, the division designs and offers its own robot handling software, 3D simulation 26 Industry Europe

and other solutions for specific applications, such as welding. In addition, the robot range also benefits from next-generation control technology and Teach Pendant featuring a cutting-edge humanmachine interface. Therefore, Comau Robotics & Automation Products is a 360° partner for whoever needs to robotise a production line; it can respond to customers’ needs and provide all the robot automation components.

A global leader The fact that both Comau itself and the Robotics & Automation Products business unit have a global presence is very important for customer care and after sales, as its specialists remain close to their clients and quickly meet their needs. Since the start, Comau has been present on the global market, given that the Consorzio was originally set up to manage an important project in Russia. Today the company operates at a global level and is present in 17 different countries, with 33 facilities, 15 production plants and five innovation centres. It employs about 12,600 staff with headquarters in Turin. Thanks to this international presence, which is concentrated where the major industrial companies have their production plants, Comau can guarantee the highest level of customer care. One feature which distinguishes Comau from other large automation companies is its investment in training for secondary school, graduate and post-graduate students through the Comau Academy. Investing in young people is a strategic factor because it allows Comau to select the best resources and help them grow within the company. In fact, every year young people all over the world apply for the Masters and the other training programmes organised by Comau and its academic partners. The Comau Academy also offers training programmes for professionals working for other companies. The newest program, the Executive Masters in Manufacturing Automation & Digital Transformation, organised together with the eminent ESCP Business School, is due to start in January 2017.

Traditionally Comau has been a top player in the automotive sector, thanks to its affiliation with the FCA Group and its vast experience in this field, gained since the establishment of 'Consorzio Macchine Utensili' in 1973. While staying true to its roots, the company has widened its robot offering, especially in the past few years, to include other General Industry sectors. This expansion strategy – marking a new Comau-branded robotic era – is defined by the inclusion of new machines of different sizes, particularly small robots, and the expansion into new market segments. “This is the direction of our endeavour to create new Racer robots (Racer7-1.4 in 2014, Racer7-0.99 and Racer3-0.63 in 2015, Racer5-0.63 and Racer5-0.80 in 2016) and the recent Rebel-S Scara robots, available in five different models,” Mr Daniel explained. Today, in addition to offering automotive solutions, Comau serves multiple industrial sectors including food & beverages, electronics, plastics, mechanics, foundry and so on. Within these sectors, it offers solutions for all possible applications: pick & place, assembly, palletisation and logistics, press machine and line tending, handling and more besides.

Recent innovations To drive the changes that are transforming the world of industrial production, the company has completed numerous important innovations in the past two years. Between 2014 and 2016 Comau has presented 12 new robot models, between articulated and Scara, in addition to having introduced its own collaborative robots which Industry Europe 27

are an absolute market first – no other collaborative robot is able to handle 110kg at the wrist. Furthermore, it has presented a new motion-control software, developed and presented new robot controls (C5G) – including an 'Open' model that can internally integrate the codes of different machines and tools – and evolved its Teach Pendant (TP5). Moreover, with its partner B&R, the company has started the openROBOTICS project, a solution which offers complete integration of the robot controller with existing machines and

28 Industry Europe

production lines that feature B&R automation components. In this way, thanks to openROBOTICS, the robot is directly driven by the machine itself. This translates to technological simplification for the line operator, who can now program and exploit a robot just like any other automation tool that is managed by dedicated Mapp software. Among the most recent innovations launched by Comau, the AURA (Advanced Use Robot Arm) collaborative robots deserve a special mention because they represent a real quality leap in collaborative robotics. In fact, the Comau collaborative solutions, such as the hollow wrist solution which is able to handle 110kg, are able to safely handle very high payloads. This technical feature is possible thanks to the sensors which are installed under a layer of protective foam and the combined use of other technologies, all integrated with each other. 'Sensitivity' management is a unique feature of Comau’s solutions. “For the first time, AURA combines the perception of physical proximity to a person – or to any other automation component – with actual contact and its connected intensity,” Mr. Daniel continued. “The combined use of these technologies, to which there is the added use of laser scanners to identify the position of people in the work area, can manage the robot’s deceleration and motion. The robot therefore comes to a complete stop only when it is very close to, or in actual contact with, the operator. But that’s not all. When AURA is touched, it not only stops moving, it can also react to the operators’ needs. Moreover, the solution also includes the assistance of a vision system, which is integrated into the robot control technology. This transmits data regarding the proximity of the robot to the people present in the work area. It is therefore possible, through specific software, to predict the robot’s movements and modify its path accordingly.”

The combined and integrated use of sensors and control features guarantees that the Comau collaborative robots can be installed in any position, even on the ceiling, without having to worry about vibrations. Therefore, AURA does not need to make compromises when it comes to design, layout and performance.

Investing in the future The investments that Comau has planned and continues to implement will help to transform the entire world of industrial automation. “For Comau, production process automation means simplifying human work and helping the operators with their most difficult, heavy and repetitive tasks. This happens according to certain guidelines: first of all, the machines must be easy to use. Secondly, they must be able to integrate different sensors and technologies; in this way, the machines can become reliable colleagues for the human operator. Finally, it is necessary that all technologies are able to leverage the enabling role of the Internet. This allows us to control in real time what happens in the plants, process a huge quantity of data, supporting a company’s strategic and tactical decisions, and integrate information coming from different work environments.”

Industry Europe 29

The engine for change Deutz was the first engine maker in the world and today ranks as the world’s biggest independent manufacturer of diesel engines and engine components for agricultural machinery, marine propulsion, automobiles and construction equipment. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a remarkable company that continues to expand and set new global standards in efficiency and environmental management.

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eutz AG was founded in 1864 by Nikolaus August Otto, the inventor of the four-stroke combustion engine, who set up a small workshop in the old city of Cologne. It was here that he developed the world’s first combustion engine to be produced in significant numbers – the atmospheric gas engine – and this was followed by another innovative ‘first’, a fully functioning four-stroke engine. Today Deutz is one of the world’s foremost independent manufacturers of diesel engines. Currently the company employs over 4000 people and operates production plants in Germany, Spain, China and Argentina. Deutz AG also has a significant presence in 130 countries worldwide.

Pioneering smarter engines With the increasing pressure on automotive manufacturers to produce cleaner diesel engines, Deutz has been anticipating the new tougher legislation and developing a new generation of smarter, more environmentally friendly engines. The company’s new TCD 9.0 engine meets the EU stage V and US Tier 4 and EU Stage 111A emissions standards. This ground-breaking new engine had its world premier in Bauma, China in 2016, which is Asia’s biggest trade fair for construction equipment.

The company’s special four-cylinder diesel engine with a capacity of nine litres is the first of a new generation of engines that Deutz is planning as part of its alliance with the Liebherr Group. As well as the TCD 9.0 Deutz has also developed a six-cylinder variant and this will be produced by Leibherr in cooperation with Deutz with the new engines bearing the Deutz AG brand logo. The plan is for the company’s Chinese joint venture to manufacture the TCD 9.0 under license so it can more easily serve the local market in China. The new engine has a power rating of 300Kw and produces 1700 nM of torque. It also features a highly compact design that makes it easy to install in a wide range of applications and is particularly well suited for excavators and wheeled loaders. Michael Wellenzohn, member of the Deutz AG management board, said, “By adding new engines from the alliance with Leibherr, we are enhancing our product portfolio and can now cover further output ranges and applications. Furthermore, having the TCD 9.0 manufactured in Dalian, it will give us the opportunity to be located in close proximity to the Chinese partners that we need. We see a great deal of growth potential in this market when it comes to developing advanced technology.”

Industry Europe 31

Ideal fit The key aspects of a significant strategic alliance between Deutz and Liebherr has been formalised concerning the supply of new engines from 200 to 700 kW. Under this agreement, Liebherr will grant Deutz worldwide sales and service rights for diesel engines rated at between 200kW and 700kW and for a broad variety of applications. These engines meet the statutory future requirements for exhaust emissions and will be available for series delivery from 2019. These highly efficient low-emission engines provide an ideal fit with Deutz’s existing product portfolio. Deutz plans to sell them under its own brand to customers, as well as to its global network of dealers. It is also planned that Deutz will receive exclusive rights to the production of a Liebherr nine litre engines in China. In addition, an expansion in the use of Deutz engines in Liebherr’s machines up to 150kW is also anticipated. The agreement between Deutz and Liebherr on the key points of their strategic alliance, strengthens their long-standing and successful trading partnership.

Stage V ready Deutz recently concluded a long-term agreement with Putzmeister of Germany with ‘Stage V ready’ engines. The new long-term agreement with Putzmeuster is for advanced diesel engines of between 2.2 and 12 litres. This builds upon several years of close collaboration between the two companies. In order to meet the next emissions standard legislation, Putzmeister has opted to install ‘Deutz Stage V Ready’ engines in its floor screed and concrete pumps, which are to be launched progressively throughout 2017. Wellenzohn added, “This supply agreement reinforces the enduring collaboration between Deutz and Putzmeister. We are delighted to be working together to achieve the conversion Stage V engines. Our product range is ideally prepared for this challenge.”

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In another interesting development, the Deutz reconditioned engines known as Deutz Xchange have been the subject of a new agreement between Deutz and Terex, the multinational manufacturer of powered access equipment. “Terex was impressed with the three year transferable warranty that Deutz offers with its exchange engines,” explained Robert Mann, Deutz Corporation’s president and CEO. “Also, our product quality and the fact that that our Xchange engines can be serviced by any Deutz distributor were critical factors n in Terex selecting Deutz for the business.” For further details of Deutz AG’s innovative products and services visit:

Industry Europe 33

Super-league performance Ducati is an iconic Italian motorcycle brand that leads the field in both style and performance. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to launch world-beating models and to capture the imagination and admiration of motorcycle enthusiasts worldwide.

34 Industry Europe


1926 Antonio Cavalieri Ducati and his three sons founded ‘Societa Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati’ in Bolgna to produce vacuum tubes, condensers and other radio components. By 1935 they had become successful enough to enable them to construct a brand new factory. Following on from the huge success of a Turin based company called SIATA that sold small, motorised bicycles, known as the ‘Cucciolo’ (Italian for ‘puppy’), Ducati decided to produce its own Cucciolo-based motorcycles. This first Ducati motorcycle was a 48cc bike weighing 98 pounds (44kg) and called the 55M. This was followed by the 65TL. Consistent growth followed and in the 1960s Ducati earned its place in motorcycle history by producing the fastest 250cc road bike then available, the Mach 1. In April 2012 Volkswagen Group’s Audi subsidiary announced its intention to buy Ducati for €860 million.

A number of new, ground-breaking models followed including the Monster 1200 and 1200S, the flagship Superleggera superbike, and the Multistrada 950, which is a highly capable touring bike.

New strategic direction The launch of two new ‘SuperSport’ models marked a significant change of direction for the traditionally sports bike-focused Italian motorbike manufacturer. According to official press releases these new bikes ‘blend Ducati’s sporting side with road-focused performance and accessibility’. In a nutshell, this means that what they have produced is an ‘everyday Ducati sports bike’. The target customer for the new SuperSport bike is one that desires a good-looking sports bike which is fun to ride and can be used in everyday life. In order to achieve this goal, Ducati have achieved something

Industry Europe 35

special where others have failed, by designing ground-up an entirely new model, rather than taking the easy route by sticking a smart faring on an existing machine. Therefore, although the SuperSport models appear to share many components with the Hypermotard and Monster range, in fact they have very few components and design features in common. The SuperSports model’s sporting credentials have been confirmed with bike geometry that is similar to the Panigale’s, thus giving it agile handling with a possible 48 per cent of lean, whilst a longer wheelbase adds greater overall stability. Both the trellis frame, which uses the engine as a stressed member, and the single sided swing-arm are unique to the Ducati SuperSports models, as are the wheels.

Super-smooth ride Ducati’s latest Multistrada 939 benefits from a Hyperstrada-derived engine, which is both smooth and linier in its delivery. In addition, the softly-sprung suspension delivers a super-smooth ride and excellent comfort characteristics. The fully-adjustable suspension is set on the soft side as standard and provides a superb mix of comfort and control on the road. The power derived from the 937cc Testastretta

36 Industry Europe

engine is impressive with delivery that is perfectly fuelled at slow speeds, and it is a similar story for the softly-sprung set-up. Ducati have done an excellent job of keeping the steering precise and easy despite the increase in size of the front wheel to a 19” rim. All those who have test-driven the latest Ducati Multistrada 939 agree that it has a lot to offer. In addition, the new Multistrada 950 is a highly capable smaller capacity adventure touring bike with the comfort and commanding ergonomics of the larger Multistrada 1200. The Multistrada 1200 and 1200 Enduro globetrotter bikes have been travelling around the world as part of Ducati’s 90th anniversary celebrations.

Enhancing the ‘Monster’ spirit The latest Monster 1200 and 1200S incorporate many new changes, with styling becoming even more compact and purposeful and reinforcing the original and iconic Monster spirit. The model features a significantly revised Testastretta engine which adds power whilst providing much improved power delivery. The electronics are also advanced, with the incorporation of an internal measure-

ment unit, which permits the addition of Bosch Cornering ABS and Ducati’s renowned Wheelie Control (DWC). The brand new Monster 797 captures entry riders to the world of Ducati, with easy to use performance coming from its 803cc aircooled engine, stiff trellis frame and Brembro brakes with standard Bosch ABS safety features. Meanwhile, the superbike family welcomes the addition of Ducati’s flagship 1299 Superleggera, which represents the ultimate in sports bike technology. Built around the same Superquadro engine, it is the world’s first and only production motorcycle with a full carbon structure. This is a limited addition dream bike with only 500 units being produced in total. As well as these exciting new editions to the Ducati range, many of the bikes launched last year will be on display in 2017, including the XDiavel, Hypermotard 939, Monster R and other current models such as the Monster 821, Diavel, 1299 Panigale and the 959 Panigale models. For further details of Ducati’s unique range of superbikes and customer services visit:

Industry Europe 37

Precision capability The Maini Group is an India-based global business that works across markets to deliver high precision, high quality solutions to a range of industries including AUTOMOTIVE, AEROSPACE, MATERIAL HANDLING AND STORAGE AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to MD Gautam Maini to learn more.


he Maini Group tagline ‘Value delivered. Always’ has been carefully created to reflect the long-term dedication to QUALITY, RELIABILITY and VALUE. Having long sold itself on its capabilities rather than simply its products, the Maini Group is able to work across markets, with the common thread being its ability to deliver solutions. As one of India’s leading design and manufacturing companies, the Maini Group was founded in 1973 by Dr S. K Maini, whose devoted stewardship has seen the operation grow from one company with ten employees to a multi-unit group with 14 locations and over 1500 employees. Second generation Maini family member GAUTAM is

38 Industry Europe

today’s MD of the flagship company Maini Precision Products and he continues to harness the visionary approach of his father. Gautam Maini told Industry Europe, “My father, Dr S. K. Maini, was a visionary with a deep faith in India’s potential as a major industrial nation. He knew that with its people – the Indian workforce – given their due, this country could hold its own in product and service. He had a profound belief in the power of training, faith in ability, the need to learn from the best and then build something enduring and incomparable. The decades since have shown how truly farsighted he was and I am proud to continue this.”

Beyond the product The Maini Group comprises Maini Precision Products, Armes Maini Storage Systems and Maini Materials Movement, all of which come together to deliver a complete SOLUTION to its customers. Mr Maini continued, “We’ve always sold ourselves on capability TO DELIVER SOLUTIONS and not just products. This is key to our success because we go beyond the product and deliver a true understanding of how our products add value for our customers. This means that not only do we know exactly how the products are made and the precision parts and machines that are used in this process, but we know all about the next chapter in the products’ lives too.” In terms of capabilities, the focus is not only continuous build up of manufacturing infrastructure but also keeping on upgrading our business, production and quality systems. These are supported by deployment of processes like Enterprise Resource Process, Product Life-Cycle Management, and web based CRM systems using internationally proven softwares. This approach is certainly yielding excellent results. The Maini Group continues to grow 20–30 per cent year on year, with its ‘aggressive and organic’ growth strategy sitting closely with its ‘capability not products’ promise. Mr Maini explained, “We’ve always been different and we’ve always known that quality and capability is the added value we offer. We initially grew from the fact that my father was head of production at Bosch in India, so he learned that European way of working, of making sure that quality is king. So right from the start we have been a proudly Indian company that has been perfectly aligned with European standards. We’ve never cut corners or just focused on price, nor have we had to suddenly think about quality. We’ve always

focused on quality and technology which when delivered consistently brings about RELIABILTY – it’s in our DNA.” As a diversified manufacturer catering to a global clientele in the automotive & industrial and aerospace sector, Maini is a one-stop solution provider to its clients. Mr Maini noted, “Key products manufactured by us for the automotive & industrial sectors include precision components, machined castings & forgings, fuel filters and sub-assemblies used in engines, transmissions, fuel injection, turbo chargers, steering & chassis for passenger commercial vehicles and precision components, machined castings and forgings for other industries; and for the aerospace sector our products include precision components and sub-assemblies used in the three verticals of aero structures, aero engines and aircraft systems.” Mr Maini continued, “We believe that our manufacturing processes are robust and adaptable to our customers’ bespoke requirements and we endeavour to keep abreast with the latest technological developments and combine them with our Skilled workforce to Create an Appropriate Competitive Technology offering. We have in-house capabilities to engage with a client at various stages of product development including design, validation, testing and delivery. We benefit from a large and reliable supplier base for our raw materials and special processes, such as surface treatment and heat treatment, which enables timely manufacturing and delivery of components.”

Complete understanding As a tier two partner whose customers are tier one companies, the Maini Group totally understands how best to deliver the service its customers

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need. Mr Maini said, “We know that the trend is for large companies to have fewer, trusted suppliers, particularly when it comes to global operators. We fit with that trend perfectly as we deliver JIT solutions anywhere in the world thanks to our third party warehouses across the EU, the US and Asia. We have almost every kind of machine you can think of, all available JIT anywhere in the world. We’re a true one-stop shop – an Indian company with European standards.” The strong network of Maini Group units is very much a part of its long-term success and its expectation for continued growth of 20–30 per cent year on year. With its high volume, high quality offer, the group’s strategic aim is to ‘keep going up the supply chain’ so its complete service ticks all the boxes. Mr Maini concluded, “From critical parts to sub-assembly to assembly, our aim is to keep going up the supply chain so we are integral across our customers’ processes. We are always operating at the highest level of optimisation and technology and, thanks to our unique Maini Group eco-system, we always have the answers our customers need. We export over 60 per cent of our production, so we have already proven ourselves as a trusted global partner and we look forward to continuing to serve our customers. We have strong localisation as well as globalisation – our strong on time delivery performance coupled with quality and reliability means that our customers return to us with new products to be delivered globally on n an ongoing basis.”

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EXPERIENCE THE POWER OF ZERO ‘Zero’ is not about ‘nothingness’. By the way it places itself, it is the exponential that multiplies any number to great heights, infinite in its possibilities. Zero is the exponential that amplifies our capabilities, driving us to do more, to aim for perfection beyond standards. This is why we have adopted the ‘Zero’ philosophy as our guiding principle.

We aim to deliver Zero Defect Products with Zero Time Delay Zero Excuses and Zero Complaints

We achieve this through We strive for Zero Wastage Zero pollution Zero Compromise and Zero Inefficiency

Gearing up for new

business awards The ZF Group is the global leader in the advanced design and manufacture of driveline and chassis technology for cars and commercial vehicles. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that continues to drive global automotive technology and set the standards for the industry. Unrivalled innovation is achieved in collaboration with its key suppliers, who collectively strive to win the company’s coveted ZF supplier awards.

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he ZF Group was founded in 1915 in Friedrichshafen, Germany to produce gears for Zeppelins and other airships. Today the company specialises in the precision engineering of driveline and chassis technology for cars and commercial vehicles. It is also involved in the rail, marine, defence and aviation industries. Currently ZF has more than 230 production locations in over 40 countries worldwide and in 2016 employed around 140,000 people.

Best of the best Supplier innovations and a global presence are strategically important to the ZF Group, and in 2016 seven companies were honoured to receive the coveted ZF Global Supplier Award. The event was held on 6 December at a summit in Katowice, Poland where the company recognised the best-in-class performance of its suppliers in four categories: Global, Innovation, Production Materials and

Non-production materials Wilhelm Rehm, a member of the ZF board of management, emphasised the importance of suppliers for the ZF 2025 strategy: “At least two of our five strategic goals, namely globally-balanced market penetration as well as innovation and cost-leadership, are difficult to achieve without the commensurate performance of our suppliers. It makes me very happy to report that the majority of our suppliers are already aware of, and support, our strategic directions. Those being honoured today are ‘merely’ the summit of this movement.” The Murata manufacturing company took the top prize in the category ‘Innovation 2016’, which marks the second year in which the Japanese

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company has been bestowed with this special supplier award. Murata supplies ZF’s E-Mobility as well as Active & Passive Safety technology. The E-Mobility Division was able to draw on constant development support from Murata, in particular during volume production development of the electric axle drive for passenger cars. TDK was presented with the ZF Supplier Award in the ‘Global Award’ category. The global Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, supplies ZF Europe, Asia and South America with advanced electronic components characterised by consistently high quality, professional management of subcontractors and a high level of cost efficiency. ZF also determined that three companies were praiseworthy in the production materials category: Dutch DSM Engineering Plastics BV; German Bausmann GmbH for its innovative spring technology, which is now implemented in almost all ZF divisions; and Oechsler AG, which is headquartered in Ansbach and furnishes ZF with advanced actuators for electronic parking brakes. In the non-production materials category, two companies that are active in in all ZF divisions merited special commendations and these were: ZITEC Industrietechnik GmbH located near Munich, as well as the US based FedEx Corporation, a logistics partner that provides a high level of performance at competitive pricing.

New networked vehicle platform Recently ZF presented its new Networked Vehicle Platform for the Rinspeed ‘Oasis’, a visionary electric concept vehicle that will feature a number of ground-breaking technologies from ZF. This platform provides the opportunity for ZF to debut its unique ‘Intelligent Rolling

Chassis’ (IRC) which combines an axle-integrated electric drive with an extremely agile chassis and a flat vehicle floor. The new IRC is designed for urban passenger and transport vehicles and features zero emissions thanks to its all-electric drive, based upon the ZF electric twist-beam rear axle. The aluminium electric motors at the rear axle are integrated with a single transmission that enables the Oasis to accelerate to 100km/h in approximately nine seconds and reach up to 150km/h. The Oasis is incredibly agile with a turning radius of up to 75 degrees versus a typical turning radius of 50 degrees, making it ideal for use in crowded cities where parking is at a premium. ZF technology enables this highly responsive vehicle control by networking the chassis actuation systems using a powerful electronic unit housed within the IRC system. This unit can receive signals from multiple vehicle control systems, thus providing advanced manoeuvrability for piloted or automated driving.

Increasing occupant safety Recently ZF responded to a new crash-scenario test for the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As a result, the new ZF Airbag Concept helps to significantly raise the bar in passenger car occupant safety. To help mitigate injuries in the event of a collision, ZF is set to launch several new and innovative passenger airbag concepts, including a passenger curtain airbag system with either V or U-shaped design features. This all-new airbag system is designed to better protect front seat occupants from serious injuries even when the vehicle is struck head-on and from the left at 90km/h. The unique airbag geometry enhances safety further by having an additional function that helps to prevent the occupants in the front from their heads hitting the dashboard or A-pillar. To achieve this, ZF enhanced the curtain airbags installed in the roof-liners with a special bag-shape design. When the airbags deploy, the additional safety cushn ion inflates next to the driver’s head. For further details of ZF’s latest innovative products and services visit: Industry Europe 45

Sober brewing Headquartered in Budapest, Heineken Hungary is the second biggest brewer in Hungary with two breweries located in Sopron and Martfű. Heineken is a company with 140 years of heritage through its flagship brand, Heineken. But even with this remarkable legacy, the company is still making continuous efforts to stay modern and relevant to our times and responds well to the challenges of the fast changing market.

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eineken Hungary is proud to be one of the few breweries in the world certified to brew Heineken. The high-quality Heineken produced in Sopron is exported to six countries including Germany, Austria or the Czech Republic. Through its local sourcing initiatives on its Soproni and Strongbow brands, Heineken’s export activities provide indirect export opportunities to Hungarian barley and apple farmers.

Creativity across all platforms Beer consumption in general is declining, while big brewers face challenging regulatory environments with a very high profitability pressure. Market leading segments are declining to the benefit of economy and premium brands, led by the very dynamic growth of the Czech beer segment. Consumer trends are also changing. People make conscious choices, prefer convenient and portable packaging and recognise the value of a great customer experience. In order to face these challenges, Heineken Hungary uses its key strengths: marketing and innovation. Whether it is a new product or a process development or the way it communicates with consumers, creativity is integrated across the ‘DNA’ of the Heineken company. This year Heineken Hungary extended its Radler portfolio with Gösser NaturRadler 0.0 per cent PET in a re-closable plastic bottle and Gösser NaturRadler 0,0 per cent Grapefruit with Stevia, containing 33 per cent less sugar than

an average Radler. At the beginning of 2016 the firm overtook the well-known Czech brand, Krusovice, and scaled up its distribution. Thanks to its quick and agile response to consumer feedback, Heineken relaunched the 0.5l cans instead of 0.4l for both its Soproni and Heineken brands. Sustainability is our generation’s biggest challenge, and sustainable innovation is our biggest opportunity to ensure a better future for our children. The world is finally listening, and so is Heineken. The firm has made some major inroads, and sustainability has become a business imperative – a key strategic priority globally. Now halfway through its sustainability programme ‘Brewing a Better World’, Heineken has substantially reduced water consumption and CO2 emissions, increased the number of local suppliers to 86 per cent, supported local communities with more than 250 million HUF and reached more than six million people with programmes promoting responsible and moderate alcohol consumption.

Connecting with local farmers As part of its commitment to supporting local suppliers, as of January 2016 Heineken Hungary has announced that Soproni Klasszikus and Soproni A.P.A. beers are to be made of 100 per cent barley purchased in Hungary. The agreement it has signed to this end provides sustainable business opportunities for more than 100 barley farmers in Hungary. Heineken Hungary was the first among the large beer

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brewers in Hungary to make such a commitment to supporting local barley cultivation, in line with the strict quality assurance policy of the global company. Moreover, 80,000 tonnes of Hungarian apples are being processed for its Strongbow ciders, which is more than 10 per cent of the total apple crop in Hungary.

High-tech logistics To maintain excellent product and service quality while meeting the rigorous expectations of consumers and customers, investing in new developments is vital. As a result of the latest logistics investments made last year, Sopron Brewery’s storage capacity has doubled; the 6000m2 facility has been implemented with technical innovations. Heineken was one of the first companies in Hungary to implement a new truck call-up system, which enables the incoming trucks to receive information via a phone application about the cargo and expected loading time. It is a very safe solution to replace pedestrian traffic with online communication tools. Heineken Hungary is one of the biggest employers within the beer market in Hungary with 520 employees. Besides its permanent staff Heineken provides indirect job opportunities to around 24,000 people in other phases of beer production such as material and packaging procurement or hospitality, and if we take into consideration the forward multiplier effects related to beer consumption, Heineken contributes to the retention of 6000 jobs on average each year.

Defined purpose to thrive Heineken’s aim is to ensure people learn that when beer and cider are consumed moderately, they can be an integral part of a fulfilled healthy lifestyle. Each year Heineken makes tremendous efforts to

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promote responsible alcohol consumption. In 2016 it launched the ‘DETOX ain’t cool’ programme with Hungarian celebrities to engage with millennials and promote the message that binge drinking, besides being dangerous, is perceived very negatively by their peers. Moreover, Heineken intends to further strengthen its great relationship with Hungarian suppliers and aims to widen its local material procurement to bring new opportunities to Hungarian farmers. Last but not least, Heineken is constantly working on being a great employer. It emphasises that in order to remain competitive and still be a great place to work, a multinational company has to be very people-oriented.

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Adding innovation to private label products McBride is a global leader in the development and manufacture of private label household and personal care products. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that continues to expand its product portfolio and set the standards for the industry.

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cBride was founded in Manchester, England in 1927 to supply chemical processing products to Lancashire’s cotton industry. Following consistent growth, in the 1960s the company moved into producing washing-up liquid and fabric conditioners further to growing demand for supermarket private labels. The fast expanding company was acquired by BP in 1978 and was established in its present form in 1994 following BP’s decision to sell its Consumer Products division. Rapid expansion soon followed with key acquisitions made in the UK, Holland, France and Poland. More recent acquisitions include the purchase of Dasty, an Italian producer of private label household cleaning liquids in 2007. Further expansion then followed in the Far East and in eastern Europe. Today the company operates across 12 countries with 17 manufacturing facilities across Continental Europe and the Asia Pacific. With a turnover approaching €1 billion and 4400 employees worldwide, McBride is twice the size of its nearest competitor.

Delivering scale advantage McBride is continuing along its strategic path to become the leading European manufacturer and supplier of co-manufactured and private label products in the household and personal care markets. In 2015, following a number of years of disappointing results, the group entered into a transformation stage with a new management team driving a fresh, strategic direction. This transformation process helped to optimise McBride’s activities by maximising its market-leading position and size to deliver the comprehensive scale advantage the company enjoyed, for further value creation and new growth opportunities.

A number of key developments in McBride’s main markets mean that its scale and geographic spread will be an increasingly important element of its supply capabilities and growth. These developments include the consolidation of retailers in many parts of Europe, the emergence of discounter retailers with their own private label offers and the drive by many established retailers to simplify their product ranges and supplier base. These changing market forces allow the company to leverage its opportunities for further growth.

Manufacturing capabilities The McBride Group operates a number of manufacturing sites acrossContinental Europe and the Asia Pacific, which are aligned with its commercial activities to support its regional market requirements and to create synergy between its diverse manufacturing activities. The company’s extensive network of manufacturing locations and assets offer unrivalled capacity and capabilities for both retailers, private label and branded product retailers for outsourced manufacturing. The current market dynamics offer the company yet further growth opportunities, requiring targeted investments aligned with its selective market and product offerings. This will allow for a substantial improvement in its cost-competitiveness and operational excellence. McBride’s R&D, production expertise and technologies include the development and manufacture of powders, liquids, tablets, soluble sachets, triggers, aerosols, creams and lotions, as well as specialist air fresheners. However, despite its ambitious acquisition heritage, which continues to this day, and its strong organic growth, the company remains clearly

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focused on its two chosen product categories of household and personal care products. In the household cleaning sector it produces laundry products, dishwasher products, household cleaners, toilet cleaners and air-care products. Recent investments in new technology,such as a high-speed line that can manufacture PET bottles and fill them within the same time, has made its UK Middleton factory one of the most efficient and costeffective in the McBride Group. Furthermore, future investments for other manufacturing facilities are also planned.

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Growing product portfolio Despite the fact that McBride’s core business is private label products, the company also has a growing portfolio of its own branded products within the household and personal care sectors. These brands represent an important new opportunity for growth particularly in emerging markets and in eastern Europe, where private label is still in its infancy. This development also creates an opportunity to develop and test new ideas, products and packaging technologies, which are subsequently often adopted by its private label customers.

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Typically the big brand owners turn to McBride when they have shortterm or medium term capacity issues, or where they need a second manufacturer to spread the risk. Whatever the requirement, McBride’s unrivalled expertise in production, formulation and logistics means that it can deliver whatever level of support is needed, from purely contract manufacturing, to the entire process from concept to packaging and

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delivery. The company plans to continue to invest in its growth regions and categories to further leverage its capabilities and maintain and expand its support to major retailers across the world. For further details about McBride’s innovative products and private label services visit:

Putting efficiency first Savo-Solar is a market leader in the development and manufacture of solar thermal energy technology. The company has seen dramatic growth thanks to its unique and revolutionary vacuum coating technologies. Recently the company was granted a coveted award for its exceptionally efficient ‘Direct Flow Absorbers’, as Philip Yorke reports.


avo-Solar was founded in Finland in 2009 by a group of coating experts who decided to use their combined expertise to make a difference, and contribute to making the world a better place by providing cleaner, more efficient energy. Today Savo-Solar, with its highly efficient collectors and large scale solar thermal systems, has taken solar thermal technology to the next level. The company’s unique collectors are equipped with its patented nano-coated directflow absorbers and with this leading technology Savo-Solar has

helped its customers to produce highly competitive clean energy. The company’s vision is to be the first choice supplier of high-performance solar installations on a global scale. Today’s focus is on large-scale applications such as those for district heating, industrial process heating and real-estate systems. These are market segments with a big potential for rapid growth. Savo-Solar primarily delivers complete systems from design to installation, using the best, most qualified local partners.

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Savo-Solar is acknowledged as the most innovative company in the industry and it aims to stay at the forefront of solar technology. The company has sold and delivered its products to 17 countries across four continents, and Savo-Solar’s shares are listed on the Nasdaq First North Sweden stockmarket, with the ticker SAVOS, as well as on the Nasdaq North Finland stockmarket, with the ticker SAVOH.

Record-breaking performance The Savo-Solar thermal collectors installed recently at the Jelling Varmevbaerk site in Denmark have shown a record-breaking performance of 5kW h/m2. In mid-June 2016 the first portion of the collector field began its energy production and within its first weekend of production produced more than 34 MWh in just one day. This

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first instalment of the vast Jelling field contains 461 of the total of 1031 collectors planned and offers a total area of over 6836 square metres. Accordingly, the measured efficiency is a record-breaking 4.97 kWh/m2, according to the independent information available, which established a new Danish record, exceeding the next best field by more than six per cent. Bjarne Nielsen, plant manager at Jelling Varmevarerk, said, “We are very pleased to have received a collector field which has become a record-breaking installation in its first few weeks of operation. It will be exciting to follow the collector’s performance during the rest of the year.” Jari Varjotie, managing director of Savo-Solar added, “We are happy to see that our collectors are delivering clean energy according to promise, and to the full satisfaction of our customers. Our unique technology means minimised heat loss and maximised energy yield. These remark-

able results are best seen in practice. The more data we receive from the actual use of our collectors, the better we can encourage our potential new customers to rely on our advanced thermal systems.” In another location in Denmark, the Danish District Heating Association (Dansk Fjernvarme), Savo-Solar has installed a new thermal solar station with 431 solar thermal collectors and covering an area of over 4700m2. The target is to reach the best production efficiency in Northern Europe, a goal which is almost certain to be achieved.

Optimising output Another feature of Savo-Solar’s patented technologies means that the high heat transfer capability and even temperature distribution of its absorbers, also makes them ideal for use with PVT (photo-voltaic thermal) panels. PVT panels use solar cells and produce electricity just as PV panels do, however PVT panels also produce heat energy

which can also be used for hot water or space-heating applications. Savo-Solar supplies uncoated absorbers to selected PVT partners who then apply their solar cells on the absorbers. This is done to cool the solar cells on hot days so they can maintain their optimal temperature for the production of clean electricity. Otherwise, on sunny days when PV panels should produce the most electricity, the electrical components would become overheated and lose a significant amount of their efficiency. Cooling the PV cells with MPE absorbers will ensure that they maintain their optimal operational temperature at all times and produce as much electrical power as possible.

Dedicated flexibility With its dedicated customer services and production flexibility, Savo-Solar is able to meet the wide range of diverse demands for cleaner more efficient energy with its tailor-made solutions and built-n management and manufacturing flexibility. In addition to supplying its full range of A1 products, Savo-Solar can coat a wide variety of absorber materials from A1, Cu, stainless steel, polymers and even concrete, thanks to its special in-line coating production procedures. Absorbers may also be produced in different colours according to the individual customer’s requirements. Varjotie commented, “We have developed a new type of solar absorber that is unique in many ways and offers the most efficient route to transfer solar energy to a liquid, which can then be used for heating water, space heating, industrial processes and even for cooling.” For further details of Sova-Solar’s latest innovative products and services visit: Industry Europe 57

Delivering smarter

metering technology AEM is a global leader in the development and manufacture of smart metering devices for domestic electricity and gas meter measuring systems. Philip Yorke spoke to Bogdan Baciu, the company’s head of marketing, about its advanced ultrasonic meter technology, growing product portfolio and plans for further global expansion.


EM was founded in Romania in 1970 as a national manufacturer of electrical energy meters and measuring systems. Today it is a fully privatised company and a global leader in the development and manufacture of a wide range of measuring devices for private customers. AEM offers state-of-the-art products for the metering of electric energy and gas. AEM is a clear technology leader in its field and continues to invest heavily in new technology in order to stay ahead of the competition. During the last few years it has invested over €50 million in infrastructure and the latest fully automated robotic production lines. AEM is also one of the few companies that can claim to be a 100 per cent fully-integrated manufacturing company, with all its innovative products developed and designed in-house at its extensive R&D facilities in Romania.

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Today more than 8 per cent of turnover is dedicated to research and in 2015 the company employed over 1500 people and recorded sales of more than €73 million.

Smarter solutions driving sales All of AEM’s advanced metering products provide ‘smart solutions’ for the measurement of electricity and gas consumption for domestic users. From meters and equipment to gas meters, AEM is able to cover every aspect of design, testing and production. Furthermore, the company offers its customers free smart electronic reading devices as well as special software for its volume converters. Baciu said, “Our ultrasonic technology uses a unique ultrasonic sensor from Panasonic and this means it is possible for the utility

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to measure gas usage digitally without the need to employ meter readers. Our products also feature a long-life lithium battery, which has a minimum lifespan of 16 years and requires no maintenance throughout its lifetime. Recent investments in new production lines have doubled our capacity. We are fully integrated and even our plastic mouldings are made in-house so we are able to optimise quality control and offer flexibility in all aspects of our supply chain. “In addition to being the major supplier in our domestic market, we are also expanding in western Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Recently we sold 250,000 classic gas meters to Egypt and have just confirmed a major contract with Italy as well as with several other western European countries. Our success is not based on our superior technology alone, and while money can buy the latest equipment, you cannot buy the highly skilled workforce that takes many years to train and accumulate. We believe our employees are our main asset.” Baciu added, “Last year over 50 per cent of our products were exported and many went to both traditional and new markets such as India, Hungary, France, Turkey, Italy and Austria. Our strategy is to continue to penetrate new global markets and to this end we participate in many international trade fairs in order to help us achieve our goals.”

Landmark contract In the coming months, AEM will continue to invest in new production lines to satisfy the demands of the Italian and wider European markets, as well those now coming from non-traditional markets. Italy’s main gas distributor, 2i Rete Gas, already has over 480,000 AEM smart gas meters installed, and AEM has also secured two further tender agreements that will add a further 100,000 gas meter units to other contracts. Italy is committed to the installation of more than 12 million smart gas meters by 2018. The latest compact ultrasonic meters can be installed in different Italian regions and do not have moving mechanical parts, which in turn guarantees greater measurement durability and overall reliability. 60 Industry Europe

With the new ultrasonic technology, the problem of pressure drops is eradicated as it allows the meter to respond in a precise and accurate way with each variation of the gas flow. The latest AEM smart meter is designed for installation in all environmental conditions and is able to function perfectly in a temperature range of between -25C to +55C. The lithium powered battery technology also allows for the remote transmission of measurement data for a period of 16 years or more through point-to-multipoint up to 169MHz. Meters supplied to 2i Rete Gas are fully integrated into a system dedicated to the management of network concentrators allowing it to communicate with data concentrators supplied by Ericsson. This in turn enables gas distribution companies to reduce the number of concentrators required and also keeps operational and maintenance n costs low. For further details of AEM’s latest innovative products and services, visit:

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A trusted brand Once known as a washing machine brand in Hungary, the Hajdu name today is well recognised across Europe for its high quality and environmentally friendly household goods. Thanks to large investments and a consistent focus on innovation, the company is now going full steam ahead, as Edina Beale reports.


ajdu began to manufacture household goods in 1957 and maintained this traditional line while also branching out into new activities during the 1990s. Since the beginning, meeting customer needs while keeping step with current trends were the highest priorities. Hajdu also recognised the need early on for constant development, and its latest investment project is another dynamic effort to maintain its market-leading position.

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Numerous product launches As part of a two-year development project, the Hajdu group has recently invested 400 million HUF into improving the technological capabilities, production capacity and internal logistic capacities of Hajdu Ipari Zrt. This extensive investment will enable the firm to launch seven new products; two of these are already present on the market while the other five will be introduced to the market throughout 2017.

The new products include new varieties of hot water tanks, such as the MINI, CUBE, FLAT and SMILEY, and a new puffer hot water tank with high volumetric capacity and a single room heat recovery recuperator. In order to meet new market demands, Hajdu has further developed its range of indirect heater tanks and solar hot water tanks with the launch of two brand new product types: the boiler heated AQ IND and the solar heated AQ STA. Its puffer tank family range offered for heating systems is now being extended with the addition of 1500-litre and 2000-litre versions. Furthermore, Hajdu has also taken a step forward in heat pump technology; the company has developed an air-water heat pump hot water tank (200–300 litres) that meets the EU’s strictest COP requirements, and has begun to manufacture special heat storage tanks for a large German manufacturer’s heat pump systems.

Hajdu is now also present in the European hot water tank market, particularly in France and Belgium, where its hot water storage tanks are in high demand. Within the segment of condensation gas boilers, the HGK SMART wall mounted appliance is implemented with the most advanced condensation technologies; these sit high above EU requirements for this type of technology when it comes to environmental efficiency.

Accelerated automotive division Meanwhile, Hajdu Autotechnika Industrial Zrt, the diversified manufacturing operation of the Hajdu group, is spending 4.3 billion HUF between 2015 and 2017 to increase its competitiveness and modernise its technology base. This development project, which is due to be completed by August 2017, involves the construction of a new

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4500m2 production hall, the implementation of three press machines – including two NEFF hydraulic presses and one SCHULER servo press – and the refurbishing of its tool making factory. “As a result of this development, we expect to double our turnover within 5–7 years,” says CEO Mrs Dedéné Novotni Anna. “This will be achieved by maintaining our existing partners while extending our customer base in the sheet processing and tool making segments in the automotive and other sectors. We intend to develop our technological capabilities with new investments in laser cutting, welding and assembly lines.” In the past two years, the group’s third division, Hajdu Infrastructure Zrt, has invested 450 million HUF to increase energy efficiency and improve staff working conditions; this included the modernisation of its lighting facilities and the renewal of its electric system as well as the reconstruction of its industrial water cooling system.

and future aim is to meet these requirements to a higher and higher standard, for example by minimising heat waste through better insulation or increasing heat efficiency through technological solutions including smart control or recuperators,” continues Mrs Novotni. “Besides market requirements, the EU expects Hungary to reduce CO2 emissions, increase energy efficiency and increase its renewable energy shares. The government’s Home Warmth Programme was set up to support this goal and we hope that our products will be supported by this programme this year.”

Expected increase “While continuing to extend the variety in our existing product lines, we also plan to enter a new market segment with the introduction of a single room heat recovery ventilation system product,” reveals Mrs Novotni. “We hope that the spending power will continue to become stronger in the domestic and foreign markets; the number of property developments and housing renovations are increasing so we can expect more demand. However, it is not just the increase in demand but also the increased customer needs for better quality and the increase in energy awareness that we have to consider when it comes to innovative product development. “Hajdu products are among the best in Hungary from the point of view of environmental protection and energy saving. Our current Industry Europe 65

Keep cool

Offering modern, flexible solutions in the field of commercial refrigeration, leading Italian brand Iarp is justifiably proud of its ever-growing European presence. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to marketing manager Emanuela Di Costa to learn more.

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nnovative Italian commercial refrigeration company Iarp has long been associated with the very best in plug-in refrigerated cabinets. Established in 1983, Iarp merged with Epta SpA in March 2013, enabling it to become part of a larger solutions-driven family that is active across the world. Known as ‘a true innovator’ in the commercial refrigeration industry, Iarp offers a range of efficient, effective self-contained refrigerated units that can be utilised across the commercial sector. Ms Di Costa said, “Iarp has long been famous for being totally flexible in our creation of plug-in refrigeration solutions; we can create something very special for our customers, something that is exactly what they ask for. It’s all about innovation, coupled with the fact that we know commercial refrigeration inside out. Together that means we can listen closely to our customers, understand what they need and what challenges they face, then design and build a unit that answers those issues perfectly.”

Reliability is cool Iarp’s portfolio, particularly since becoming part of the Epta family, offers a broad range of products known for their great flexibility, innovative capacity and reliability.

The Iarp brand includes a range of plug-in, or self-contained, refrigerator units, including catering equipment, vending machines, chest freezers, supermarket equipment, scooping ice cream cabinets and upright glass door coolers and freezers. With a well-earned, well-deserved reputation as a progressive brand, all the Iarp products feature display solutions that are carefully in-tune with each customer’s needs. Ms Di Costa continued, “Our solutions are particularly flexible and are guaranteed to match each of our clients’ specific requests and to ensure they respond to the very latest market trends. Our plug-in cabinets feature the Iarp name and that represents our promise to deliver a refrigeration cabinet that covers the diverse needs of the food and beverage sector.” Iarp’s refrigeration cabinets are available both as chillers and freezers, making them ideal for both the food and beverage demands.

Solutions are cool Other brands in the Iarp portfolio highlight that the company is a valued partner, actively working with carefully-selected quality brands to extend its offer. Ms Di Costa explained how this approach enables the company to stay ahead of the competition as it always has an innovative solution for whatever challenge the Industry Europe 67

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customer may have. She said, “These ad-hoc solutions we are able to add to our portfolio are then personalised with graphics to fully reflect the company’s image or that of the products on display. The result has a strong appeal to consumers, prompting impulse purchases. We have long been able to provide a diverse range of solutions across the F&B industry, which is certainly an aspect of our competitive advantage.” That Iarp competitive advantage is defined by Ms Di Costa as a ‘marriage between quality and client satisfaction’. She told Industry Europe, “Our competitive advantage is demonstrated by the development of innovative technology which constantly improves the performance of quality products that are without rivals in this market segment. We are constantly driven by the logic that aims to develop innovative, sustainable solutions to optimise energy consumption and perform above client expectations. In other words, Iarp is about total, all round quality. This can also be seen in the ability of our cabinets to maintain constant temperatures wherever they are installed and at the most diverse latitudes the world over. That is what reliability means when you buy the Iarp brand.”

Support is cool A wide range of services are also available to Iarp customers. Its quality promise is equally reflected in its after care as it is in its dedication to creating and manufacturing refrigeration solutions. Maintenance and spare parts management are always available for every type of Iarp model, with the company heavily investing in a trace-

ability process for its plug-in cabinet serial numbers that ensures all spare parts are easy to find for any customer, anywhere in the world. Ms Di Costa continued, “Our clients can be assured of an excellent service, supported by our competent personnel at our approved service centres and well-stocked warehouses around the world. We can ensure the best on-going performance of our clients’ cabinets and make their plug-in cabinet even more attractive for a new business season.” As this proudly ‘progressive refrigeration cabinet brand’ looks forward to its next chapter, Iarp expects to see further global expansion, particularly as more carefully-chosen partners join the Epta family, bringing its visibility to an even wider audience worldwide.

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A feel for steel As the European leader in the manufacture of merchant bars, Italian steel group Beltrame is commercially present across the world. With its long-term strategy already proving successful, Emma-Jane Batey spoke to CEO Riccardo Garrè to learn how Beltrame is on the right track.

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ctive in the steel industry since 1896, Italian group Beltrame (Gruppo Beltrame) is Europe’s leading producer of merchant bars. Used across the construction industry, steel merchant bars form the core of Beltrame’s portfolio and demand 2000 employees, four steelworks and 10 rolling mills across seven production sites. Its locations in Italy, France, Switzerland and Romania allow the group broad access to European markets, with its global footprint reaching to all continents. AFV Acciaierie Beltrame SpA (Gruppo Beltrame) is headquartered in Vicenza and has become number one in its sector in Italy and the leader in Europe thanks to both continuous innovation and an on-going culture of productivity and quality. CEO Riccardo Garrè spoke to Industry Europe to explain how this focus has served the company well for over a century. Mr Garrè said, “I am proud to say that our company has long been very successful and we believe this is down to our considerably desirable offer. We have always delivered high quality solutions that meet the precise demands of our customers and we know that, in order to maintain our marketleading position, we must continue in this manner.”

Serving customers Mr Garrè continued, “That is why the last three years in particular have seen extensive investment in order to guarantee our competitive advantage. We offer the best in service and a full range of

products, all of which are underpinned by our long-term dedication to serving our customers. I know that is easy to say, but I can guarantee that Beltrame truly serves our customers in the best possible manner. We serve our customers anywhere in the world, faster and with a more extensive range of products than any of our competitors. We are the leader in the merchant bars market for one clear reason: we offer the best complete service.” AFV Acciaierie Beltrame SpA has operated in the steel industry for well over a century, producing rolled sections for use in construction, shipyards and excavators. Its state-of-the-art facilities across Europe have the capacity to produce over three million tonnes and include four electric furnaces and ten rolling mills. With the seven facilities located across Europe, Beltrame also has a strategic advantage in terms of its broad spread. Mr Garrè explained, “Our carefully-selected geographical locations allow us to be present both where our products are consumed and where the raw materials are purchased. This makes for an incredibly effective supply chain, which is only supported further by our extensive group power.” Yes, Gruppo Beltrame’s ongoing objective to ‘make strategic choices aimed at constantly reaching the key objectives of high quality products, environmental sustainability, the safety of its workforce and energy savings’ is clearly working. With the solid financial footing of the group behind AFV Acciaierie Beltrame SpA creating a strong foundation, together with the proven product quality and

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reliability and the customer-focused service, Mr Garrè is clear that it needs to ‘do more of the same’. He explained, “We are not simply focused on the past nor the present; we know we have a unique competitive advantage in that we have learned extraordinary things about delivering the best possible merchant bars over the last century alongside being resolutely modern. Our workforce is dynamic, our facilities are equipped with the latest machinery and technology – it’s a powerful combination. And we make sure we deliver this advantage to our customers.”

Always improving One area on which AFV Acciaierie Beltrame SpA has recently focused is its global distribution. Mr Garrè is clear that customers must be able to rely on receiving the same high quality product wherever they are in the world. He said, “All plants can produce all products. This improves global distribution and supports our sustainability goals in terms of transportation. We are able to optimise our shipping thanks to being part of a large group by mixing SKUs in one carton, while still delivering our JIT promise. This is very important to our customers. We’re also continually updating our range of sizes and shapes to meet whatever demands our customers bring to us, as well as staying one step ahead of their needs.”

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Mr Garrè is clear that AFV Acciaierie Beltrame SpA’s ongoing success will be a continuation of its proven strategy. He concluded, “We love customer feedback and we’re always updating our offer. We’re looking to expand our global reach even further with a particular focus on additional sites in the Mediterranean and North Africa. We see strong market opportunities in these regions so that is exciting for us.”

Rolling out new technology Alutech is a leading European manufacturer of roller shutters, aluminium profile systems and sectional doors based in Belarus. Philip Yorke reports on an ambitious company that is setting new standards for the industry.

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he Alutech Group was founded in 1996 and has seen strong growth from the outset. Today its group of companies is comprised of six modern manufacturing plants and more than 30 dedicated sales offices throughout Europe. Initially the company’s roller shutters were made from components supplied by foreign manufacturers, but within a few years of operation Alutech invested in its own manufacturing capabilities, enabling it to develop new products such as sectional doors and aluminium profile systems. Today the company is a brand leader in the roller shutter market, as well as a leading supplier of sectional doors and aluminium profiles in eastern and western Europe. The company’s focus on new product development, advanced technologies and improving overall product quality have been the distinguishing hallmarks of the Alutech Group. In just two decades the company has grown from a small business employing six people to a major holding with six manufacturing enterprises and local warehouses distributed throughout the European market.

Expanding portfolio Alutech’s exceptionally wide and diverse range of products includes coated aluminium and steel lathe roll-formed profiles, components and accessories for roller shutters, as well as sectional doors and extruded aluminium profiles. At its latest production plant, Alutech

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Door Systems produces a wide range of doors, including garage and industrial sectional doors, steel guide channels, entry systems, and sandwich panels for sectional doors. In addition Alumin Techno, which is one of the founding plants in the Alutech Group, boasts the largest production volumes of extruded aluminium profiles, as well as for powder coating and anodic treatments in eastern Europe. Adding significantly to the company’s production capabilities and its presence in western Europe, the leading German manufacturer of garage and industrial doors, Gunther-Tore GmbH, was purchased by the Alutech Group in 2013. The Alutech division that specialises in the design and manufacture of aluminium profile systems is comprised of more than 20 groups of interior architectural systems and includes façade and window systems, balcony glazing, door-window systems, and sky-light systems, as well as office and interior partitions. In addition, Alutech sectional door systems offer a broad selection of sectional garage and industrial doors, panoramic doors and gates, making it the most comprehensive supplier of aluminium profile systems in Europe.

Large scale automation Today the Alutech Group produces more than 150 million linear metres of roll-formed profiles per year. Alumin Techno was the first

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factory operating in the group and manufactures over 55,000 tonnes of extruded aluminium profiles per annum; it is the largest producer of its kind in eastern Europe. The youngest company in the group is Alutech Sectional Doors, which is capable of producing an impressive 240,000 units per year. By consistently investing in new technology the Alutech Group has succeeded in achieving an enviable level of automation throughout its diverse production processes. The installation of the latest cuttingedge equipment has enabled the company to substantially increase its cost-effectiveness and quality finishing. For example, just one of its latest production lines can replace six semi-automated lines and is capable of manufacturing up to 700 sectional doors per day. All components for Alutech’s roller shutters and sectional doors are produced from ecologically clean and safe materials. The use of these eco-friendly materials and their recycling makes the company one of the most eco-friendly producers in Europe. Another important

advantage of the group’s products is its unique, multi-stage quality control system. This means that during the production of roller shutters the entire manufacturing process is monitored across 50 parameters, using more than 40 control methods. As a result, products are tested for compliance at leading test centres throughout Europe, thus guaranteeing the highest possible quality.

Cost-effective security The Alutech Group recently announced the launch of an innovative emergency door opening mechanism, which also embodies an inner anti-panic bar. This all-new addition to the company’s range complies with the construction standard EN 179 and offers a wide sphere of applications. It is easy to use with its core turnkey, or turning handle inside a wicket lock. In addition, this new product is attractively priced, being much cheaper than that of current construction locks on the market. Alutech advanced products such as this new emergency door opening system have helped to make millions of buildings and structures safer, more attractive and more comfortable in over 70 countries worldwide.

Individual dedicated services The Alutech Group offers a number of value-added services to its clients and also offers companies both large and small beneficial terms of business. Taking an individual and responsible approach concerning the interests of its partner businesses enables the company to respond to market forces quickly and efficiently, while meeting the local requirements for legislative compliance. Alutech works in close partnership with its customers to optimise production efficiency and its clients’ profitability. For further information about the Alutech Group’s innovative products and services visit: 80 Industry Europe

Adhering to


Gravic Europe is a global leader in the development and manufacture of self-adhesive labels, high-precision die cutting services and durable goods identification. The company’s subsidiary, Gravic Hungary, is also active in virtually all areas of manufacturing with its diverse range of products and unrivalled expertise. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to lead the field in its many niche markets by providing innovative solutions and tailor-made customer services.


ravic Hungary was founded in 2004 in Debrecen, a thriving university city located in the east of the country. This strategically important location is at the heart of Europe geographically, being just 30km from Romania, 100km from Slovakia and 110km from Ukraine. The company’s move into Hungary was also driven by the fact that much of Gravic’s business at that time involved the production of technical labels for mobile phone sim cards, batteries and components. Many of the world’s biggest consumer electronics companies were also moving to Hungary, including Nokia and Blackberry, as well as electronic component manufacturers such as Flextronics. However, with the increasingly competitive nature of the consumer electronics sector, and the growing trend of such companies to move to the cheapest labour markets, including China, Gravic decided to develop longer-term relationships with the automotive industry. This was already well established in Hungary as well as in its neighbouring countries. Today Gravic Hungary is growing at around 20 per cent per annum and has recently moved into an all-new, purpose built plant in Debrecen which, extending to over 1800 square metres, is more than two and a half times bigger than its existing facility in Debrecen. Following its consistent and on-going strong growth, Gravic is planning a further major investment in automated production lines at the same site.

Unique technologies Gravic Hungary, in association with its parent company Gravic Europe, has developed many new technologies that combine both conventional, digital printing and die-cutting, which makes it unique in the industry. Gravic manufactures labels and die-cut components in small or large volumes in combination with an infinite variety of substrates. Self-adhesive or otherwise, these labels can be supplied in rolls, or sheets, or even fan-folded to suit any specific layout. All planning is tailor-made to meet its clients’ individual requirements, in addition to offering them just-in-time delivery and cost-effective solutions. The many diverse markets served by Gravic include computing, household appliances, automotive, pharmaceuticals, food & beverage and transportation. However, the three main industries that the company serves in the automotive sector, which represents almost 20 per cent of its total sales, are industrial marketing by silk-screening, complexing (the fitting together of several component layers) and the cutting of technical pieces. Gravic also produces backlight filters, foam gaskets and technical adhesives. This expertise has made it possible for Gravic Hungary to enhance its position as a major Tier 2 supplier to the German car market. Industry Europe 81

Diverse technical solutions Thanks to Gravic’s long-term expertise in the mass fabrication of technical labels and die cuts, it was soon able to position itself as a significant player in the electronics and household electronics markets. A number of key solutions were developed for this important growth market, including the traceability of labels for the components of half-finished products and functional solutions for labels sensitive to temperature or humidity. This was in addition to decorative solutions such as those designed for 3D logos, embossed front panels and the partial or complete application of resins. In addition, Gravic offers safety solutions for items such as warning labels and numerous anti-fraud solutions for hologram-based labels. For many years now Gravic Hungary has been collaborating with Its customers and partners from the early design phase to fully automated production lines for its household electronics clients. Gravic is acknowledged as the biggest manufacturer of devices for the television, hi-fi, video and household electronics markets.

Meeting demanding medical criteria Gravic has been active in the medical sector for more than 30 years and is able to offer products and solutions that are specially developed and tested to meet the stringent requirements of the medical sector. Appliances used in the medical field, which include those found in clinics, hospitals and laboratories, demand very strict product specifications in order to ensure the health of patients, as well as the safety of those required to use the medical devices. High levels of sterility and cleanliness and the durability of materials are the hallmarks of the medical industry. Gravic provides tailormade solutions for a broad range of products including anti-bacterial labels, toxin-free labels, long-lasting labels and UL/CSA labels. 82 Industry Europe

For many years the world’s leaders in the medical sector have relied on Gravic’s unrivalled expertise and innovative solutions to provide a best-in-class service to their clients and end-users. For further details of Gravic Hungary’s exclusive range of innovative products and services, visit:

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Boosting value

and sustainability

Sofidel is a global leader in the development and manufacture of tissue paper for a wide range of hygienic and domestic applications. Celebrating 50 years of growth and sustainability operations in 2016, the company annually recognises the contribution made by its key suppliers, as Philip Yorke reports.

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he Sofidel Group was founded in 1966 and is now a world leader in the tissue paper production market for hygienic and domestic. This includes items such as napkins, toilet papers, kitchen paper and tissues. The group’s best known brand is ‘Regina’, which is available in many countries worldwide. From its headquarters in Porcari, Italy, Sofidel coordinates the activities of its 19 companies spread throughout Europe and the United States, which between them produce more than one million tonnes of paper each year and provide over 5500 people with employment. The Sofidel Group’s daily operations include the creation of valueadded products that are manufactured with a dedicated commitment to the environment and an overriding respect for protecting the planet. Social responsibility is at the core of its activities and it is seen as an essential tool for promoting long-lasting and considerate development of the environmental equilibrium and the consumer’s needs of today and in the future.

Supplier contribution recognised On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Sofidel Group, celebrated in November 2016, the company announced its latest supplier award programme: the ‘Sofidel Suppliers Sustainability Award’. This coveted annual award aims to motivate its national and international suppliers to promote the highest possible sustainability standards. It is also designed to help promote best practice in the industry and to recognise improved social and environmental responsibility at all levels of development and throughout the company’s manufacturing processes. The award is clearly focused on the ‘Ten Principles of the Sustainable Supply Chain Self-Assessment Platform’, which has been created by

the Global Compact Network Italy Foundation (the GCNI Foundation), of which Sofidel is a founding member. The self-assessment platform analyses environmental performance following these ten essential principles. Three distinct awards are assigned each year beginning with the ‘Best Supplier award’ for businesses reaching the best score on the ten-principles platform. The ‘Best Improver award’ is for businesses that have sensibly increased their results by adopting clearly focused social/ environmental and sustainable procedures, while the ‘Best Sustainable Project Award’ is for businesses that have carried out particularly effective social and/or environmental sustainable initiatives. More than 300 of the group’s local suppliers took part in Sofidel’s award initiative and this year’s winners for the ‘Best supplier award’ were as follows: In the Pulp Producers Category – SCA Graphic Sundsvall; in the Procurement & Purchasing Category – Henkel; in the Logistics Services Category – Chep India; and in the Marketing & Sales Category – Vizeum Deutschland. For the same categories for the ‘Best Improver Award’ were: Arauco, TMC, JC Trans (UK) and Vizeum Deutschland. For the same categories for the ‘Best Sustainable Project Award’ it was Metsa Fibre, Imball Center and Kinect Energy.

Strong growth Strong growth continues to be a feature of the Sofidel Group’s performance, enhanced by a number of key acquisitions in the past few years. These have included the purchase of a new processing plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, the opening of another facility in Hattiesburg (Mississippi) and the launching of the company’s first American green-field investment for the realisation of an integrated

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facility in Clircleville (Ohio). With operations in seven states Sofidel is a dominant player in the US today. The year 2015 was also an important year for the group in Europe, with the implementation of its new plants in Sweden and France. The company’s new path of growth and consolidation continues and it leads the field with its on-going commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly production and logistics. With the acquisition of the new Swedish Tissue, a fully integrated facility was created and built into the Nordic region, a facility that until now was lacking, while the new processing plant of Ingrandes in the nearby settlement of Buxeuil has created the conditions for an entirely new integrated facility. Today Sofidel is entering its fourth phase of organic growth, which in the European market tends to remain steady and will essentially increase the production of its existing European sites. Many of the group’s sites, for example in Poland, UK, Germany and Spain, have been designed and built to be expanded and have sufficient space to be doubled and in some cases tripled in size and capacity. As far as greenhouse gas emissions are concerned, the Sofidel Group has relaunched its commitment to the WWF Climate Savers Programme by setting new, broader objectives for 2020. These include achieving -23 per cent of direct emissions reductions, 13 per cent of indirect emissions and 8 per cent of the use of renewable sources on the total amount of fuel consumed annually. For further details of the Sofidel Group’s latest innovative products, awards, sustainability programmes and services visit:

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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.


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 90 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 Visit:

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Under Control

UniControls, headquartered in Prague, supplies control systems and electronic equipment for the railway sector and industry applications. The company has just signed a framework contract with the Austrian Federal Railways for the delivery of energy meters, in line with its ambition to become a leading, internationally recognised supplier in its line of business. Romana Moares reports.


rom its foundation in early 1991, UniControls has focused on providing comprehensive system solutions for the most demanding of customer requirements – first in the area of industrial automation, later in the railway sector. In the mid-1990s the company became a supplier of the Train Control and Monitoring System for the renovated trains of the Prague underground and continued to grow. The beginning of the new millennium was the time when UniControls managed to penetrate export markets on a larger scale, not only in Europe but also overseas. “We have become a member of a number of international associations and co-created the new industry standards applied today in the railway sector,” says UniControls CEO Antonín Felber. “And we, of course, have continued to develop our products in line with these standards as well as with the latest trends.” This focus on innovation was internationally recognised in 2015, when UniControls was awarded the Ruban d‘Honneur prize as the most dynamic innovative company in Europe, within the European Business Awards. The company has an in-house R&D facility and production sites in Prague and Zlin. It owns two major subsidiaries: UniControls–Tramex based in Blansko and ZPA Industry in Karlovy Vary. Overall, the company employs about 230 people.

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Two pillars As a result of its dynamic growth – not only organic but also by means of acquisitions – UniControls stands strong. Today it is recognised as one of important European suppliers of electronic devices and control systems to two core sectors: the rail vehicles (Train Control and Monitoring System, Passenger Information System, Telediagnostic System, Train Communication Network) and industrial applications (electrical assemblies, field instrumentation and control systems). UniControls continuously expands its product and service range. Its emphasis is on a high degree of reliability, long-term product availability and an innovative approach. “In industry, it is, without a doubt, the gas sector that is the most important to us,” says Antonín Felber. “Our competence is very high in all areas of the gas sector, i.e. in transportation, storage as well as distribution.” He explains that one of the major projects the company has delivered has been the comprehensive automation of gas transportation in Slovakia. Another successful project (in the power sector) has been the delivery of control systems for the Počerady coal fired power plant. “All five active units with a total output of 1000 MW and a large number of auxiliary operations are now controlled by a system delivered by our subsidiary ZPA Industry,” says Mr Felber. In the rail vehicle business, the company’s reach has long exceeded not only the Czech Republic, but also the EU. Today, passengers are carried by underground and railway carriages controlled by UniControls systems in Europe, Asia, America and (recently) in Africa. The latest demonstration of the company’s international credibility was a contract with the Austrian ÖBB-INFRA AG (the national railway operator) for the supply of energy meters for their own product; the railpower box mini. The two companies signed, at the same time the letter of intent to collaboratee in the field of energy measurement system for traction vehicles in the European railway market. “Both of these agreements will strengthen the position of UniControls in the market for the measurement of electricity consumption of rail vehicles in the European Economic Area,” says Antonín Felber, chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of UniControls a.s. Industry Europe 93

Investing in safety and reliability Investment in research and development is an on-going process at UniControls and a number of new development projects completed each year. “The cost of investment spent on research and development amounts, on average, to €700,000 per annum,” says the Mr. Felber. In the past four years, R&D has focused primarily on the development of platforms for train control and information systems with Ethernetbased communication. These projects resulted in a new generation of UNITRACK TCMSe (Train Control and Monitoring System based on Ethernet) and a multi-media information system for passengers – UNITRACK OMTS (On-board Multimedia and Telematic System) – including PIS (passenger information system), MMS (multi-media system), PAS (public address system), CCTV and central monitoring in the form of a ground MOMA server. “The most topical innovation project is the development of the SCU-300 (Safety Control Unit),” says Mr. Felber. “With this project the company is preparing to accommodate the growing demand for integrating those functions in trains which are safety-related and are, in line with safety standards, certified.”

Worldwide reach UniControls exports its components and systems to several rail vehicle producers in western Europe (e.g. Alstom, CAF, etc.). Exports to the Asian markets have also increased recently, particularly to China and Japan, with Russia and the former Soviet Union countries remaining another important territory. Both markets the company serves enjoy favourable development at the moment. The railway sector generally registers, across all continents, a trend for improved comfort and safety, increased speed, 94 Industry Europe

better information and multi-media entertainment, and in Europe for measuring traction energy consumption (UniControls has recently developed a product to meet this demand). Industry is growing also, with a myriad of new development and reconstruction projects. UniControls is ready to capitalise on these opportunities. “With regard to the fact that today’s market demands larger amounts of data being transmitted more rapidly between carriages in train sets, we focus on Ethernet solutions – this really is our future,” concludes Mr Felber. “The demand is particularly apparent in the Chinese market but not only there. Just recently we signed a contract for the refurbishment of underground carriages in Tbilisi. There, our comprehensive Ethernet solution will be installed on underground n carriages for the very first time.”

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Efficient and reliable CD Cargo, with its 7000 employees and nationwide operation, is the largest Czech railway freight transport provider and one of the five largest in the European Union. Romana Moares spoke with Mr Michal Roh, the company’s sales director, about its strategy to succeed in the increasingly competitive railway sector.

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Cargo was founded as a subsidiary company of České dráhy (Czech Railways) in 2007 by divesting the Czech Railways freight transport, and next year will commemorate 10 successful years of operation in the fully liberalised railway freight transport. However, its tradition goes back much farther, to the days when railway freight transport began in the Czech lands some 175 years ago. Mr Roh describes some significant milestones in the company’s recent history: “A big event in the last decade was the recession, when we had to accommodate a significant drop in transport volumes by implementing a number of restructuring measures. A historically important year was also 2016 when we extended our fleet with our new inter-operable Siemens Vectron engines.”

Nationwide coverage CD Cargo employs nearly 7000 people in the Czech Republic and is the largest Czech railway freight transport provider. The company offers shipments of an extensive range of goods, from raw materials to products with high added value, transport of containers, exceptional deliveries, lease of railway wagons, repairs and maintenance and other transport services. The annual volume of cargo transport

ranks it among the five largest railway transport providers within the EU member states. The company provides its services to customers in thousands of locations in the Czech Republic, and via its subsidiaries throughout Europe. “Our core business is railway freight transport, which we offer in the form of two basic products,” explains the sales director. “In the form of complete trains suitable for larger volumes (about 60 per cent of total output), and in the form of individual deliveries, representing an attractive alternative to road transport. In addition, we offer a wide range of complementary services, such as customs services, wagon lease, repairs, security consulting, logistics services, warehousing and others.” He adds that developing new products and services is an on-going process. “Our latest additions have been a direct train connecting the Czech Republic with the Antwerp port, and a cargo connection to the east via the Małaszewice transhipment point.”

Modern fleet The railway freight transport market is severely competitive, both in terms of inter-modality and individual railway shippers. In the relatively small Czech market, there are about one hundred competitors,

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fighting, in particular, for complete train transport. Road transport clearly represents a dominant transport mode in today’s Europe but railway offers many obvious advantages, such as environmentalfriendliness, much lower incident/accident rate and thus a much lower impact on the health of the population. However, gaining a bigger market share is dependent on political decisions and increasing social responsibility. Investment in technology is also key to keeping abreast with competitors. “As I have already mentioned, in 2016 we bought our first five Siemens Vectron interoperable electric engines which will significantly improve performance on long-distance tracks. Furthermore, we added series 163 engines to out fleet, acquired from our parent company Ceske drahy, and further investments are being considered,” says Mr Roh. He goes on to point out that about 60 per cent of CD Cargo’s transport services consist of international shipments, i.e. import, export and transit through the Czech Republic. The nature of of the exported goods varies considerably – the largest part is made up of containers, passenger cars, wood and several other commodities. The ratio is similar for imports, which also include raw materials (coal, iron core etc.) and fuels.

Market leader “The strategic vision of ČD Cargo is to maintain its leading market position in freight railway transport in the Czech Republic and the central European region, and at the same time remain an efficient, customeroriented company,” says the sales director. “We have defined several strategic objectives to meet this vision, such as expansion in our export markets, development of intermodal transport, winning new customers, wagon shipment system optimisation and others.” He explains that the company is well on the way to meeting each of these objectives: CD 98 Industry Europe

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Cargo has been successful in expanding its services in Poland and has signed a partnership memorandum with TransContainer, increasing its transport to the east. “It is important to stress that CD Cargo is an efficient and reliable shipper capable of transporting almost any type of goods including hazardous and radioactive substances. An example of such a shipment is the transport of white phosphor from Kazakhstan to Břeclav in the Czech Republic: this alone is evidence of the breadth of our services, which cover all aspects of the shipment including transhipment on the Belarus-Polish border,” says Mr Roh. At the other end of the spectrum, CD Cargo transports seasonal crops (in 2016 the company will deliver about 200,000 tonnes of sugar beet for a major sugar refinery), mineral water (Mattoni, Korunní, Toma) and sweets (Nestlé). “Railway shipment simply pays n off,” concludes Mr Roh. 100 Industry Europe

Major investment in

advanced healthcare performance

Mölnlycke is a leading global medical solutions company within wound management, pressure ulcer prevention and surgical solutions. Philip Yorke talked to Eric De Kesel, the company’s Executive Vice-President Operations and Quality, about its latest innovative products and recent major investment in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the Czech Republic. Industry Europe 101


he year started off strongly for Mölnlycke with its largest investment to date – a total of €67 million in a new factory in the Czech Republic, where the company already has one manufacturing site. As well as being a major milestone for the company, this also represents one of the largest foreign direct investments in the country in recent years. The investment will enable Mölnlycke to increase both its capacity and efficiency, resulting in 67 per cent higher production volumes. The official opening of the factory will take place on 17 May. According to Eric De Kesel: “Our new facility in the Czech Republic will significantly enhance our manufacturing capabilities for surgical procedure trays and help us to strengthen our strong position in the global marketplace within this area. Beside the surgical solution business we offer a full-spectrum wound management portfolio and a unique pressure ulcer prevention solution – two areas where we are worldwide brand leaders.”

Bespoke solutions The investment is part of what Mölnlycke describes as its larger journey to advance performance in healthcare within three focus areas: wound management (including a range of dressings and wound therapeutic solutions); prevention (including prophylactic pressure ulcer wound care dressings and turning and positioning systems); and surgical solutions (including items such as Mölnlycke Procedure Trays, drapes, surgical gloves and gowns). Indeed, the company no longer talks in terms of providing ‘products’ but about offering all-round ‘solutions’ including education and health economic support data to meet healthcare needs. The new factory will help Mölnlycke to provide a bespoke service to its customers, while at the same time strengthening its position as a worldleading medical solutions company.

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According to Mr De Kesel: “We know from our experience working with hospitals that one size does not fit all; every procedure is different and each hospital has its preferred configuration. We are already offering healthcare professionals a wide range of truly customised surgical solutions. There is no limit to the different combinations we can put together in a tray to match our clients’ needs. Our tailor-made solutions ensure accuracy and consistency for every procedure set-up. That means reduced opening and set-up time, which, in turn, enables surgical teams to carry out more procedures. In the new factory, we will also be able to add instruments that cannot afford a second sterilisation cycle to the already sterilised procedure trays.”

Increasing in-house efficiency The new Czech plant will also allow Mölnlycke to be more flexible when serving its customers as it will be assembling trays to order and sterilising them all in-house before shipping either directly or via distribution centres to its clients throughout the world. The increased internal efficiency will enable the company to be faster and more flexible when it comes to changing tray composition for customers – while maintaining its existing (if very urgent) 48-hour delivery-fromorder promise. Mr De Kesel added, “The new factory will increase our capacity. It will also make Mölnlycke less dependent on sterilisation suppliers as everything is now made in-house. This gives us increased control over the whole process and shortens the lead-time. The in-house sterilisation will also boost our efficiency further, as the ethylenoxyd degassing will be four times faster.” The development in the Czech Republic is a part of a wider global investment programme. Last year, for example, the com-

pany completed a €2.8 million (SEK 25 million) investment programme at its Oldham factory in the United Kingdom, and equally large sums have been spent on improving facilities in Finland, USA and Thailand.

A global leader Originally founded in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1849 as a textile company, today Mölnlycke is a global healthcare solutions provider with 17 modern manufacturing plants, of which three are in the USA, six in Asia and the remainder spread throughout Europe. The company’s products can be found in over 100 countries worldwide. According to Mr De Kesel: “We are a truly global player. As well as our key markets in Europe and the US, we are expanding our operations in Brazil and have established permanent sales offices in China, South America, South Africa and the Middle East. “Our strategy is to build on our product portfolio and our reputation as the manufacturer of choice in our market sectors. We are the global brand leaders in advanced wound dressings and also hold leading positions in the other sectors we serve. Currently we employ more than 7500 people worldwide. I would say that our USPs are our full spectrum portfolio, our innovative products and strong value propositions. We work in close collaboration with our customers to meet their needs and to help them prepare for future healthcare challenges.”

Eric de Kesel

Advanced prevention and treatment solutions Product innovation is another major strategic focus for Mölnlycke. In the area of hospital acquired conditions (HAC), the company has developed prevention and care protocols to support medical teams, based on clinical and scientific evidence, as well as a portfolio of products that help to deliver better patient and health economic outcomes. A good example is the Mölnlycke Prevention Programme for pressure ulcers. It sets out best practice protocols to help hospitals ensure the right team is in place and assess which patients are at higher risk. It also advises on the best use of dressings such as Mepilex® Border Sacrum and Mepilex® Border Heel, which can help to prevent pressure ulcers forming. Another important area for development is patient positioning, including the turning and positioning systems (Tortoise™ and Z-flo™) to protect the head, back and heel by redistributing pressure from stress points. Mölnlycke’s core business is the advanced wound care range. These advanced dressings, developed exclusively by Mölnlycke, are easy to work with and to apply or reposition as required. The Safetac® silicone layer not only minimises pain and stress for the patient but also prevents ‘skin stripping’ when dressings are changed, as well as maceration that can delay the healing process by causing n damage to the peri-wound area. For more information about Mölnlycke visit: Industry Europe 103

Clear vision Easily the largest and most advanced core vision technology company in Europe, Stemmer Imaging has long been leading the way when it comes to intelligent consulting for imaging projects. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to marketing director Mark Williamson to learn more.

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temmer Imaging has 11 offices across Europe and is Europe’s largest machine vision technology provider. Very much a value added consultancy, Stemmer is ‘not just a box shifter’, but rather utilises its exceptional knowledge of the machine vision sector to ensure its customers get the best possible imaging solution. With an annual turnover of more than €85 million, Stemmer Imaging is in a proudly unique situation. Marketing director Mark Williamson told Industry Europe, “At our very heart is consultancy and service; we are continually focused on delivering the very best technical advice on each machine vision project and, as we are independent, we can truly advise on the best machine vision technology solution. We are not just a box shifter. We are a value added distributor that works hand-in-hand with our customers to find the best possible solutions to their needs.”

Vision at its core Stemmer Imaging is the perfect combination of innovative products, intelligent consulting and extensive service, all coming together to provide a complete solution. Mr Williamson added, “We have all the components and the knowledge for OEMs to build machines that use machine vision. Our unrivalled consultancy capabilities mean that Stemmer Imaging is very well trusted to deliver an unbiased solution. We do not manufacture our own products and we are able to call upon whatever is the right product for the project. This independence, coupled with our over 30-year history as the leader in our field, is what has created the exceptional Stemmer Imaging reputation.” With its roots in the German core technology company Stemmer, which was founded in 1977, Stemmer Imaging was founded in 1987, so it is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Mr Williamson said,

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The Imaging Source: Key Supplier to STEMMER IMAGING The Imaging Source, industrial camera manufacturer and industry pioneer with over 25 years in imaging, is honored to work with STEMMER IMAGING in providing vision consumers with reliable, high-performance industrial cameras. Robust design, compatibility and value are why cameras from The Imaging Source can be found in so many machine vision applications. Our product portfolio features industrial zoom and autofocus cameras with integrated optics and software-controlled focus and autofocus; board-level cameras for OEMs and embedded applications; USB3 Vision and GigE Vision interface standards which ensure rapid integration into new designs and existing systems. Drivers, SDKs and software tools for Windows and Linux simplify the realization of custom imaging applications. The Imaging Source looks forward to our continuing shared success.

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“We’ll certainly be marking this milestone somehow. It’s an important illustration of how we have been at the top of our game for three decades; as a privately-owned company with significant cash reserves, no debt, an extraordinary workforce that delivers sector-defining service every day and a totally reliable distribution model, we are proud to celebrate our 30th anniversary.” The ‘totally reliable distribution model’ is also a key factor in Stemmer Imaging’s impressive achievements. With over €8 million in stock available for next day delivery across Europe and its network of offices in 11 European countries, the company knows that not only is it delivering the right core vision technology, it’s delivering it quickly. Mr Williamson said, “Even just as a distributor, we are the fastest. Our volumes are high, our transportation is effective and our response is quick. Couple that with our incredible consultancy service that makes sure customers are getting the exact product for their needs and you can see why we are by far the leader in our field! The feedback we often get from customers is that they feel very safe working with Stemmer Imaging, which makes us very proud.” There are a number of ways in which Stemmer Imaging differentiates itself. Beyond the fast delivery, excellent stock and extensive independent consultancy, the company also offers various ‘tech knowledge’ services. Mr Williamson explained, “We have a fantastic

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450-page handbook that is packed with tech knowledge. It’s been carefully compiled to be of great value to our customers as it shares our expertise in a way that is suited to their actual day-to-day and long-term requirements. We also host tech forums, with usually over 1000 people attending and a number of interesting speakers. It’s a great way for our customers to network as well as gaining valuable information on the core vision sector, both in terms of where it is today and where it is heading in the future.”

People make the difference In order to retain its ‘exceptional workforce’ and ensure that Stemmer Imaging keeps its advantage, the company is passionate about its culture. With on-going training and a great atmosphere, it enjoys a very low staff turnover. Mr Williamson added, “We call it consultative selling; over 70 per cent our people are engineering qualified and that includes our sales team. We have a real learning culture, with training facilities in every office that are available for staff and customers alike. We are always learning, always moving forward, always keen to make sure we have the very latest knowledge on new technologies, products and services that can possibly impact on our customers. It makes for a very positive atmosphere too, which is great for everyone.”

With the clear possibility of further acquisitions, Stemmer Imaging’s future is looking positive. Having already carefully chosen strategic acquisitions across Europe that allow it to grow in the technology-led sector it has driven for three decades, the company expects to move into new territories and new markets in the coming years. Mr Williamson concluded, “We’ve all seen the commoditisation of business, however as we have the added value of expertise we retain our differentiation. While the lower end of the market is being pushed hard, our mix of high end and consulting along with price driven products allows us to optimise the lower end. We’ve enjoyed a 10 per cent growth year on year through organic means over the last ten years, so with this continuing plus strategic acquisitions, we expect great things n in the future.” Industry Europe 111

New narrowtrack generation The Claas Group is a global leader in the development and manufacture of advanced agricultural systems. The company leads the field in new product development and has recently launched a number of new, innovative agricultural machines that include harvesters, tractors and sowing equipment. It is also a leading producer of drive technology and hydraulics, as Philip Yorke reports.

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ounded in 1913 as a family business by Augustus Claas, the company has always been strongly innovation focused. Today it is headquartered in Harsewinkel, Westphalia, Germany and is considered to be the biggest combine harvester manufacturer in the world with more than 500,000 units sold by 2016. Claas is also the world leader in rubber-tracked wheel technology with over 45 per cent of all its new combine harvesters equipped with rubber tracks. In addition, the company is responsible for the world’s largest selling self-propelled forage harvester and also produces a comprehensive range of high-tech tractors.

enhanced cab comfort. Furthermore, the new shaking system simplifies the emptying of the bucket and comes as standard for all of its telescopic loaders, at the same time providing greater operational safety. The telescopic arm can also be moved while the vibrating function is still activated. The machine operator is able to choose from blade mode, stack mode with vertical stroke and manual mode during smart handling. A further automatic function of the system is the blade return. The position of the working tool can be stored at any time and can then be started automatically at the push of a button.

Smart handling

Optimising comfort

At the latest Agritechnica trade show, Claas showcased its new Scorpion series of telescopic loaders, which were presented with an increased level of engine power and comfort. From today all current models are available with new functions and additional features, which are designed to provide even greater comfort and further improved handling. For example, they include a special shaking function for shovel work and a multi-coupler for faster coupling and decoupling of the attachments, as well as offering a variety of tyre variants. All the new Scorpion models are available with a 4-cylinder Deutz engine including the latest proven systems such as smart roading and smart handling, as well as intelligent drive systems and

Recently Claas launched it new generation of narrow-track tractor, the Nexos®. In highly specialised environments where wine and fruit is processed, for example, small and very manoeuvrable tractors are required, which must have powerful engines and offer the driver an unsurpassed level of comfort and ergonomic practicality. The all-new series of tried and tested narrow gauge tractors, known as Claas Nexos, optimally combines these requirements. The new Nexos generation includes 14 different tractor models, all of which offer different performances and dimensions. All new narrow track tractors from Claas are fitted with its proven FPT 4-cylinder engine, which offers even- handed running and high pull-through with particularly low vibration levels. The power of the Industry Europe 113

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available engines range from 75hp to 112hp or up to 103hp for the Nexos VE, which is designed to go between narrow rows of vines. When it comes to transport applications, the new Nexos series is at least 10 per cent stronger than its predecessor series.

Students and young farmers who were born after 30 October 1984 can register their innovations on line until 30 October 2017 to n participate in the Claas ‘Farming by Satellite Prize’.

Push-button performance The Nexos range now comes with a speed memory, which means the speed can be precisely adjusted by the push of a button. When working with PTO units, the appropriate speed and a high impact force are available at all times, and in addition the new engines offer extended maintenance intervals of 600 hours instead of 500 hours as offered with earlier models. Increased space and comfort are achieved for the driver through a significantly flatter transmission tunnel, along with optimally arranged instruments and operating elements and a digital display dashboard. What’s more, a new gearbox variant is available in which the mechanical gear is combined with 24v forward and reverse gears thanks to the Claas Revershift reversing gear. This works with an electronically controlled, special, wear-resistant lamella coupling device. In addition to the five available transmission variants of the Nexos, the 24V/12R transmission with Revershift and Twinshift features are both available on the top models. The new Nexos range is available with two hydraulic outputs: a hydraulic pump with a capacity of 60 1/min pump for the control units and a 27 1/min pump for the rear power lift are available for demanding hydraulic drives and combined inserts.

Farming by satellite Sustainability and agriculture are inevitably linked and cannot be separated from each other at this time. Agricultural companies are therefore increasingly striving to use resources as sustainably and efficiently as possible. Today Claas is actively promoting innovations for sustainable and future-orientated agriculture, and one pillar of this commitment is the ‘Farming by Satellite Prize’. This is presented with a prize total of €13,000 and it awards innovative ideas and projects for agriculture that improve production and efficiency, while also reducing environmental damage.

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Delivering high-performance Advanced-moulding technologies Goodway Plastic is a global leader in the development and manufacture of small, high-precision plastic components for a broad range of industries. Philip Yorke talked to Stanley Yip, the company’s CEO, about its major investment in new plant and cutting-edge micro-moulding robotics technologies.


oodway Plastic is a family-owned private business that was founded in Hong Kong more than 40 years ago. The company has seen consistent growth since it was established and this success is based upon its flexibility, high quality products and ability to offer a ‘one-stop shop’ service to its clients. Goodway is one of the very few companies in its field to be equipped with all the various moulding processes, including tooling, moulding, multi-material moulding, clean-room painting, vacuum metallising and ultrasonic welding as well as many other individual processes.

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Niche market expertise In order to differentiate its services and products in a highly competitive market, the company decided to focus on providing a bespoke service that catered for customers requiring high-precision plastic components in addition to a dedicated design and R&D service. This gives them the unique opportunity to develop original solutions to today’s complex plastic moulding challenges. The company has also established a wide range of individual business units that focus on key markets such as acoustics, hearing aids, CCTV, currency detec-

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tors and sensors. These specialised business units allow Goodway to invest more resources in these growing niche markets. Today Goodway is a high-tech partner to companies that offer solutions to improve customers’ products, as well as helping them to develop new ones. The company prefers to get involved at an early stage of any project as it can then leverage its considerable expertise to the client’s best advantage.

Advanced robotics Goodway Plastic sees robotics as the future for manufacturing companies as they are increasingly more intelligent, and today modern robotics are capable of tasks that even a few years ago were not considered possible. Goodway has therefore started working with the leading company in this sector, Universal Robots, in order to develop a variety of concepts and fixtures and to complete some secondary processes that streamline its production processes. In addition to its increasing use of robotics, the company develops new mechanical concepts and secondary processes, which in turn helps to increase the opportunities for reduced ‘time-to-market’ parameters. Yip said, “The components that we produce for our Acoustic customers are a good example of how our expertise can enhance these

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advanced micro-products to offer them greater reliability, improved design and compactness. Our high-precision parts for these items are very small and have to conform to strict and precise tolerances. “In addition, these products benefit from better water and airsealing properties and protection against accidental shock, because they are robust and more durable thanks to our unrivalled advanced moulding technology. What is more, before we embark on a new project, we need to evaluate what the customer wants to achieve and to fully understand their engineering technology. This way we can make a positive contribution and be able to validate any new materials and plastic components involved. “We also have a very big material database as a result of our 40 years’ experience in this area and are therefore able to share this valuable information with our customers to their advantage. Today we are only focused on small and medium sized plastic parts and are the market leaders in the development and manufacture of small, high-precision parts for the European market.

“As a one-owner family business, we have all the plastic moulding solutions at our fingertips – including ultrasonic welding and advanced robotic technologies – and we strive to offer our clients the fastest and most efficient product solutions. In order to improve our customer services yet further we have recently made a major investment in new plant at our existing facilities in China, which is only a two-hour drive from Hong Kong. Here we have installed over 30 electric moulding machines in the first phase with more machines being added in the second. There will not be any operators required in our new moulding halls as the majority of the work is carried out by high-precision robotics. “Currently we have more than 1400 employees located in Hong Kong and China and our modern tooling shop has over 200 technicians that are responsible for over 150 sets of the latest injection n moulding machines.” For further details of Goodyear Plastic’s innovative products and services visit:

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Driven by Innovation The German company Atlas GmbH boasts a heritage of almost a hundred years, but its modern history really began seven years ago under its new owner Fil Filipov. Romana Moares spoke to Brahim Stitou, the managing director who turned the business around, not only about what makes this traditional company so special but also about his unorthodox management methods that have changed a loss-making business into an international success.


tlas, headquartered in Ganderkesee in northern Germany, manufactures a wide range of machines for the construction, railroad, material handling and infrastructure industries. In the one hundred years since its establishment, the company has gone through various stages of development, some less successful than others. In 2001, struggling financially, the business was taken over by the Terex Corporation but sadly continued to fail and ten years later ended up nearly bankrupt with too many staff and losses of about €2.2 million a month. In 2010 it was sold yet again to the private owner and former Terex executive Fil Filipov, ready – despite the scepticism of many – to be turned around.

From bottom to top “The former Terex management offered me a position outside Atlas but I decided to stay. I knew Fil and really liked his no-fuss action-focused management style. So I put all my efforts into improving the company’s 120 Industry Europe

performance,” recalls Brahim Stitou, who has a very personal experience of what it takes to achieve success. Born and raised in Germany by Moroccan parents, he is one of those great success stories who worked his way up from the bottom. Starting as an apprentice on the shop floor in Atlas in 1996, with no formal education, he always knew that he could do better. After completing his evening classes, his career took off. “I always looked for more efficient, better ways of doing things; I wanted to achieve things. For this I was prepared to work really hard. When Terex sold Atlas to Fil, I saw this as a big opportunity and knew that I wanted to be involved in bringing the company into the black,” he said. The rest is history. Under Brahim Stitou’s management the company re-claimed its traditional name of Atlas as well as its original orange colour. Pushing for results was not without obstacles, but as early as the end of the year (2010) the business achieved a breakeven point, followed by profitable performance only a year later – for the first time in 25 years. In 2012 Mr Stitou became the vice-

president of the company and, in 2013, the managing director and a member of the Board of Directors UK. He is also the managing director of Atlas Components, located in southern Germany, which is where the group makes components for the Atlas Machines and others. SPS (Spare Parts and Services), a new company established in 2012, is based at the headquarters in Ganderkesee near to the production of Cranes and Excavators so even if there are urgent parts, Atlas can take it from the production.This company is handled by Britta Frey who is its managing director. About 75 per cent of the business is generated in Germany and (mainly) central Europe, while the rest is sold worldwide. Mr Stitou is not your typical corporate manager. He holds no meetings, neither does he hide in his office – he prefers individual discussions, likes to be where the action is and expects the same from his management team. And it seems to work. With an annual output of about 900 excavators and between 1700 and 2000 cranes, the company now employs about 500 people and achieves a turnover of roughly €200 mil-

lion. In the past seven years, the Atlas brand name has been successfully re-established and now supplies customers around the globe with a wide range of state-of-the-art machines and equipment.

Customer first Atlas’s current product range includes cranes, wheeled, crawler and rail-road excavators and material handlers and also Wheel Loaders, Tunneling Machines with combustion engines and electric drives. “Innovations are what is driving us: my job every day is to constantly remind people in our company to do better, to listen to customers, always accommodate their wishes and make sure they get exactly what they desire, always. If they want a Sony music system in the cab, we will build it,” says Mr Stitou. He points out that in the last few months basically all machines have been changed and redesigned. Almost all excavators are already available in the recent ‘Tier 4 final version’. “The safety level is now just below that of aircraft,” he says proudly. In addition to this, some of the

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electrical material handlers now work completely emission-free, and in the loader crane segment new folding cranes are available. But the company is also focusing on extending its product range – in addition to excavators and cranes, it now also offers loaders and cutters for the tunnelling business and has increased its output for the military sector (military cranes, recovery cranes) not only in Europe but also in distant countries such as Oman and India. Atlas’s added advantage is its ability to combine products and offer something which competitors simply can’t. Several years ago, for example, it fitted a double cab (used on a different product) to a material handling machine for training purposes, allowing the trainer to sit next to the driver. “Again, the customer was highly satisfied and, unlike our competitors, this solution did not cost us millions. All we had to do was to re-install the double cab from one machine to another,” says Brahim Stitou.

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Best of its kind The company has a growing dealer network covering 30 locations, more than 120 service points in Germany and 120 locations in Europe, while its global presence is also increasing. About 75 per cent of the business is generated in Germany and (mainly) central Europe, while the rest is sold worldwide. The next stage is to focus on strengthening its position further afield, particularly in the US (where a subsidiary, Atlas USA, is to be opened soon), Argentina and Chile. The planned growth will be supported by the two new companies: Atlas SPS (the company currently stocks about €10 million worth in spare parts, enabling a 95 per cent availability); and Atlas Group Service, established to provide technical support to dealers worldwide. These are managed respectively by Uwe Hinrichs, Ralf Ostendorf and Hans-Günther Neumann. “I want Atlas to stand for the best in our market segment,” says the managing director. “Customer satisfaction is our absolute prior-

ity. I don’t care what it costs but the customer must be satisfied.” The other attributes he wants to further promote are an even better attentiveness to customer needs, cost-effective production, high availability and user-friendliness. “The machine has to be as simple as possible for the end user. When you get your new BMW, you don’t want to be reading the manual to work out how to drive the car,” he explains. Atlas’s new self-folding crane, for instance, has just one button to fold it up or in. The company is also unique in terms of the speed with which it handles warranty claims – it now takes only five days to get feedback, and is striving to get this down to two. “A crisis is also an opportunity to do something differently, better. The development of our company in the past seven years is a good illustration of how, when handled well, a crisis is positive,” says Brahim Stitou. “Against all odds, we are getting stronger and winning business from well established competitors. We are not the cheapest and we don’t even want to be. We want to be number one for customers in terms of high quality, high performing machines with excellent customer support,” he concludes.

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Surpassing expectations Dacia is a leading automotive manufacturer that was founded in Romania in 1966 and today is at the forefront of the European automotive industry. Philip Yorke follows the strategic path that led to the company’s remarkable success and also explores the innovative engineering strategy that has led to its growing market share, currently enjoyed by its award-winning new models that have surpassed all expectations.


acia is the main car maker in Romania and in 1968 the first Dacia1100 car was produced under licence from Renault. The company’s consistent success has resulted in Renault purchasing 51 per cent of the company’s share capital following its privatisation process. Today Renault holds 99.43 per cent of Automobile Dacia’s equity. Recently the company was subject to a thorough modernisation programme that upgraded its industrial installations in Romania, reorganised its supply chain and rebuilt its commercial network. This comprehensive modernisation programme resulted in the company being awarded three top quality management standards including one in the area of environmental management and protection. To date the total investments made by Renault at Automobile Dacia in Romania exceed €2.2 billion, which has contributed greatly to its position as one of the major companies in the Romanian economy. In 2014 Automobile Dacia became the company with the highest turnover in Romania. Dacia’s mission is to produce an excit-

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ing range of robust, reliable and accessible vehicles for the domestic and overseas markets to the highest Renault quality standards. The quality of Dacia products enjoys international recognition: according to surveys carried out by specialised institutions and trade magazines, Dacia clients also declare themselves particularly pleased with the quality of Dacia Cars and this has made a significant contribution to improving Romania’s image abroad. Dacia’s success can be explained by its unsurpassed ratio of innovation, price, quality, modern facilities and reliability. More than 93 per cent of the output of the Mioveni Vehicle plant in Romania is exported to over 30 countries worldwide.

Four of the best In the fourth quarter of 2016, Dacia launched its four much heralded new models at the Paris Motor Show. This meant the unveiling of the new Sandero, the Sandero Stepway, the Logan and finally the Logan

MCV models. All these distinctive models have been significantly redesigned to meet the express desires of its customers’ expectations. The design of the front-end panels on all four models was reconfigured to give them a more ‘same family’ look. The front bumper, grille and air vents go further in order to confirm the robust nature of Dacia’s latest vehicles. The new lighting utilises smart LED technology and conveys a more elegant and modern look. They form four triangles, which come together to underscore the new Dacia lighting signature. The rear light clusters on the Sandero, Sandero Stepway and the Logan have all been redesigned in the same spirit. On the interiors there have also been major changes to design features on these four models, including the use of new materials, improved ergonomics and increased storage areas. In addition the company’s new entry-level three-cylinder petrol engine – the 1.0 litre SCe75 – is a modern, more economical and Euro 6 compliant unit. Furthermore, for the first time Dacia is offering

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its Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) automatic transmission on the Duster model for an even smoother and more enjoyable ride. At the end of August 2016 Dacia set a new sales record with over 550,000 vehicles sold worldwide.

Innovative engineering Thanks to its ground-breaking and innovative engineering the TCe90 unit weighs 15kg less than a motor of equivalent power. This ensures supple and energetic re-starts and accelerations, thus blending together the pleasure of driving with low fuel consumption and emissions. Dacia’s mechanical and chassis plant covers 18 hectares on the Mioveni industrial platform and together with the Dacia vehicle plant is the first mechanical plant within the Renault Group worldwide in terms of its manufacturing diversity. The huge Mioveni plant in Romania has almost 4000 employees, of which 27 per cent are women. The four modern production plants at this site manufacture aluminium parts,

motors and gearboxes. In addition, the front and rear bridges, axles and frames are installed for other vehicles in the Dacia, Renault and Nissan ranges. In another move to increase investment in production capabilities, improve efficiency and respond to the on-going success of Dacia’s Global Access Range, the Renault Group will start producing the Logan MCV in a second plant. The Mioveni plant has had to respond to the resounding success of the Duster model, for which the volume of orders is only second in its segment in Europe. In order to make more room for its Duster model, the Renault Group will also assemble the Logan MCV in its Tangier plant. The group’s manufacturing forecast is confidential, however today the manufacturing capacity of the Mioveni plant is being utilised at its n highest level. For further details of Dacia’s latest range of innovative passenger vehicles visit:

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Lloyds is a European leader in the manufacture of shoes and fashion accessories for men and women. The company continues to lead the field with its stylish designs and high-tech quality finishing. Philip Yorke reports on a company that has set the standards in fashion and quality for shoes since 1888.

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loyd Shoes was founded by H.F. Meyer in Bremen, Germany and the Lloyd brand name was first registered in 1905. The company’s famous ‘red stripe’ insignia was launched in 1968 as a brand identifier of quality and design. In 1983 the company moved into the sports and leisure footwear sector, which at that time was driven by the big boom in sports trainers. Shortly afterwards the famous brand-name ‘Rocky’ was introduced and took the market by storm. The distinctive brand remains an iconic leader to this day. However, it wasn’t until 2004 that Lloyd launched its first collection of accessories for men and women and this paved the way for the opening of a string of top-drawer retail outlets, known as ‘Concept Stores’, which are now distributed worldwide.

Contemporary concepts Staying one step ahead of its competitors is part of Lloyd’s DNA as it not only follows cutting edge trends but also sets them. For example, menswear is currently undergoing a phase of continuous transition, with events and demand being driven not by a revolution, but through a gradual evolving of time-honoured stereotypes. The growing move towards greater casualisation and comfort continues to have a major influence on the visual appearance of men’s fashion. Another significant trend can be seen in the sports sector where foreign influences, traditional craftsmanship and technical innovation are setting the pace. The latest collections by

Lloyd reflect the fast moving trends and distinctive casual fashion styles that dominate the following summer and autumn ranges. Mid-cut boots such as desert bots and Chelsea boots are the new trend setters and are offered by Lloyd in a variety of new last designs that provide a range of exciting material combination. This includes metal appliques, colourful inserts and highlighted lining materials. Last season the company’s most successful X-Motion series was repositioned in the market to impart a more sporty and elegant feel, with stylish upper leathers, complemented by new, non-slip profile soles. Winter themes featuring durable Gore-Tex can also be found in this range as well as in Lloyd’s latest casual boots and loafers.

Growing global reach The Chinese market has been of increasing importance to Lloyd and as part of the company’s growing internationalisation strategy, it attaches great importance to the Chinese market. As a result, Lloyd entered into a relaunch of its men’s and woman’s designs, which from now on will be represented in China by ‘Kingswood’ who are the premium shoe distributor in China, with whom they have signed an exclusive ten-year contract. “China has high market volume at its disposal and offers us attractive growth potential. We are highly delighted to be promoting this new strategic orientation on the Asian market in cooperation with Kingswood,” explained Andreas Schaller, CEO of Lloyd Shoes.

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Kingswood was founded in 2001 and has over 15 years of relevant experience in the distribution of high quality European brands of footwear on the Chinese market. It is Lloyd’s plan to re-launch its men’s and women’s collections and to establish a sustainable network in China. In order to achieve this, Kingswood will be opening Concept Stores for Lloyd and establishing carefully selected area partnerships throughout the region.

Crossover style Export sales at Lloyd are driven by the distinctive style and quality of its collections. The company relies upon its own innovative design teams, as well as utilising top design teams from Italy and Germany, for certain collections. In order to promote its diverse product portfolio globally, the company attends international trade fairs such as GDF in Dusseldorf and the MICAM trade fair in Italy. This is in addition to other important trade fairs in Denmark and the Netherlands that take place throughout the year. The company has also been selling its shoes successfully in Moscow for more than 30 years, which is one of the biggest markets outside Germany and Denmark. Setting new standards and growing its market share is an on-going process at Lloyd. The company is also famous for its business shoes, which it has produced from the outset. However the big trend in informal shoe-wear has led to the development of a very special kind of shoe, known as the ‘Crossover’ Shoe®. This new shoe affords more comfort for the wearer and the ability to provide greater shock absorbance characteristics, These unique shoes are also bio-degradable and bio-compostable, which in turn means that they will decompose when buried

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within three months, unlike traditional shoes which can take up to 300 years to achieve the same result. Lloyd is justly proud of the fact that all its shoes are made with sustainability and eco-friendly manufacturing methods in mind. The company also uses water-based glues and other approved materials in their shoe compositions as well as managing all their own waste products. For further details of Lloyds Shoes and its latest collections visit:

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World’s first fitness-tracking technology Jabra is a global leader in the development and manufacture of wireless and corded headsets for mobile phone users, contact centres and officebased 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. 132 Industry Europe


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 market. Jabra’s head office is located in Copenhagen, Denmark from where it manages its diverse global operations.

Next generation sports headphones

Advanced sports earbuds

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 out of 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.

Drawing on the heritage of the GN Group’s long-standing headset and hearing expertise, Jabra continues to pioneer unparalelled 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, true wireless earbuds on the market. They are the ultimate training aid that deliver freedom of movement on any terrain. The fully water- and sweat-proof Jabra Elite Sport models are packed with advanced features including groundbreaking in-ear fitness analysis, strong battery life and music for all. When it comes to phone calls, Jabra Elite Sport benefits from 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

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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 unique 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 to enable access to new and attractive market segments. It also gives GN Audio the opportunity to leverage VXi’s best-in-class expertise within ‘High Noise’ communication environments. For further details of Jabra’s latest innovative products and services visit: 134 Industry Europe

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The forest family

Swedish forestry cooperative Sodra has been investing heavily to ensure its more than 50,000 forest owner members are maximising the ever-growing opportunities for pulp and paper. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Sodra’s head of marketing and business development, Marcus Hellberg, to learn more.


Sweden’s largest forestry cooperative, Sodra is made up of over 50,000 forest owners who come together to form an international forest industry group with operations based on responsible forestry. Sodra’s core activity sees its members convert raw material into sawn timber, pulp for paper and dissolving, as well as providing green energy. Well known for doing things its own way, Sodra is proudly different. Head of marketing and business development Marcus Hellberg told Packaging Europe how this is achieved. He said, “We challenge expectations of what a forestry company should be. We have a strong sense of self-confidence and we act clearly. Together with our members, we are showing what it means to be a next generation forest company.” Sodra sees itself both as a forest-owner association and as an international forest industry group, with its operations based on processing its members’ forest products. This unique position means it is continually processing ‘its own’ raw material at its own mills, with the forest harvested by its owner-members. So rather than ‘big companies’ owning the forest, in Sweden, thanks to Sodra, it remains the smaller forest owners that dominate – albeit with the strength and support of the huge Sodra family behind them. Mr Hellberg continued, “This is a huge advantage and a huge differentiator. Our unique history shows how individual forest owners, with their experience, commitment and foresight, have come together over the years to create a successful, growing industrial group. It’s not comparable to big industrial forestry companies – other than we can easily

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compete on price, flexibility and availability. But where we are completely different is that we are so very close to the people that are actually caring for and harvesting the forests. They are in our family.”

Renewable and responsible Sodra’s business is built on value-generating relationships and a long-term approach, as proven by its well-established relationships with both forest owners and customers. There is an overall focus on promoting the profitability of its members’ forest estates by providing advice and support with regards to sustainable forestry, as well as by contributing to a market-based rate of return on their forest products. Mr Hellberg explained, “The wood from the forest estates of our members is processed in one of our three pulp mills or converted into sawn and planed timber, interior wood products, biofuel and pulp for the pulp market. We purposefully focus on innovation to develop new products based on renewable wood raw material.” Sodra has one of the largest sawmill operations in Sweden and is a major supplier of softwood sulphate pulp to the European pulp market. Its three pulp mills are largely fossil fuel-free as well as actually generating surplus energy, which is then sold as bio-based products such as green energy and district heating. In 2016, Sodra posted sales figures of more than SEK 18 billion and its wood volume was 15 million m³sub (cubic metres solid volume underbark). These impressive figures have also yielded strategic investment, with 2016 seeing over SEK 6 billion (around €700 million) spent on investment and expansion projects. Over two thirds of this was

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spent on ‘ramping up’ Sodra’s west coast mill, which is soon to reach capacity. Mr Hellberg said, “We started this project years ago and it’s taken an 18-month period to really ramp up our west coast mill’s production to the point where we’re almost at capacity. By the end of the year we’ll be at about 700,000 tonnes, so we’re working hard now to maximise our investment by fine tuning, synchronising and consolidating what we’ve done so everything’s running smoothly and is well connected.”

Old yet fresh As an 80-year old company that sources its raw materials in a different way, Sodra has ‘sustainability built into our business model’. As such, it has a passionate army of fans. Mr Hellberg noted, “Customers ask for Sodra as they love how we work and who we are. Customers know that we are made up of the actual forest owners and that we are here to combine everyone’s efforts into the best products. But it’s not all just about being a big forest family – we are focused on increasing our competitive edge too. Our sourcing is not just better for the environment and the forest owners, it’s better for the customers too. It’s direct, it’s responsible and it’s sustainable.” With continued investment and expansion planned, Sodra expects to see further growth in the coming years. Mr Hellberg concluded, “It’s no secret that we plan to further expand our east coast

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pulp mill, even though it is already one of the biggest in the region. Not everything has been decided yet about this project but our owners are in this for the long term, so we know it will be done with the n same Sodra spirit.”

A single supplier for endto-end ceramic production With its new patented technology Supera®, SITI B&T Group is among the world leaders in the production of turnkey plants for the ceramic industry, focusing on innovation, quality, flexibility and energy efficiency. Daniele Garavaglia reports.

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

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

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

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

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

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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 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

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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.

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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 of its ReSound ENZO2™, which brings 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 has now extended its range of wireless sports headphones with the launch of two new special editions: the Jabra Sport Coach and Jabra Sport Pulse. 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.

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 exercises available over time. For further details of the GN ReSound Group’s innovative products and services visit:

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Corrosive liquid fertiliser

doesn’t stand a chance A continuous operation of soil tillage implements and sowers is the prerequisite for time-efficient and profitable economic activity in agriculture. Important condition: The machines must be resistant to corrosion from fertiliser, rain and frost. This particularly applies to the connection parts of machine hydraulics that are critical for functioning. If the component is not optimally compatible with the system requirements or is incorrectly assembled, leaks can quickly occur.


griculture is characterised by price erosion: Companies must achieve high work productivity, and additionally, the environmental standards of the European Union require a resourceefficient cultivation of rural areas. Horsch Maschinen GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers of qualifying machines and progressive components for soil tillage, seeding and plant protection.

New Quality Standards in Hydraulics Within the last few years, Horsch recorded an increasing demand for fertilisation machines – the requirements here for the corrosion protection of the integrated parts are especially high. “Corrosion resistance against liquid fertiliser and fertiliser dust is extremely important for our customers. They expect operationally safe, but also optically flaw146 Industry Europe

less machines – even after years of operation,” emphasises Thomas Prüll from Research and Development at Horsch. In order to also guarantee customers a future-proof and consistently high standard in fluid technology, Horsch declared VOSS Fluid GmbH as the standard supplier for hydraulic connection technology. “VOSS Fluid convinced us with the zinc-nickel coating, which is leading on the market with its high corrosion protection,” Thomas Prüll explained.

Effective Surface Technology Definitive arguments for Horsch: VOSS coat outperforms even the highest corrosion protection class K5 of the German Association of Machinery and Plant Construction (VDMA) standard sheet 24576, in that a red rust resistance on the surface of at least 720 hours is

required. Additionally, in contrast to pure zinc surfaces, only a light, inconspicuous grey coating forms, rather than a pronounced white rust. Unassembled parts coated with VOSS coat achieve a corrosion protection of more than 2000 hours in the salt spray test. But even in the practical test, the surface proved its resistance under real conditions. For this, randomly selected articles from ongoing production passed through the typical work processes, from transport and storage to assembly with standard tools. Despite mechanical stress, the connection parts showed no corrosion of the base metal, even after 1000 hours. In order to ensure sustainable suitability even with regard to requirements in agricultural engineering, Horsch examined the VOSS coat more closely. “For us the results from the salt spray test are only of limited significance,” said Prüll. “The actual effects of assembly, fertiliser, temperature and humidity on corrosion resistance first appear on the fields.” Even the conditions in operation put an effective corrosion protection to the test: If exposed parts come into contact with mineral or nitrate fertilisers, this can lead to increased corrosion. Therefore, in a weathering test, the developers from Horsch have been testing how couplings from various manufacturers and different surfaces behave over an extended period of time. In order to realistically re-create the practical conditions, Horsch mounted the couplings, secured them onto a rack and exposed them to natural weathering. Over a period of two months, the developers sprayed the components every workday with an established liquid fertiliser solution known for its corrosive effect. The comparison was made between components with A3C coating and zinc-nickel surfaces, as well as stainless steel connection pieces. After just a short amount of time, red rust appeared over the entire surface of the zinc-coated yellow-passivated surfaces and the standard zinc-nickel coating. In contrast, only marginal traces of corrosion

were detected on the connection technology from VOSS Fluid, even six months after the beginning of the test. In direct comparison with other zinc-nickel surfaces, VOSS coat therefore comes out on top – an indication that high corrosion resistance is not only attributable to the coating. The result: even under real conditions, the VOSS tube connections remain functional and are also an economic alternative to stainless steel.

High Production and Application Expertise The reason behind the high corrosion protection of the couplings lies in the sustainable surface technology developed specifically by VOSS Fluid and its longstanding experience in the production and application of tube connections. The construction of the VOSS coat is at first glance comparable to customary zinc-nickel coatings. It consists of a zinc-nickel base coat, which is passivated and sealed. A central distinctive feature is the design of the coating processes, which is continually optimised by the manufacturers from Wipperfürth: A prerequisite is the electroplating, in which only tube couplings are coated. This is how the connection expert specialised in the efficient and careful reproducibility of each of its approximately 16,000 articles – more than one hundred million parts are subjected to electroplating annually. Thanks to the process parameters specially defined for each product, VOSS achieves first-class results with regard to even coat distribution, optics and friction coefficients. In addition, training courses for the leak-free assembly of the connection technology guarantee Horsch a process-safe installation into the hydraulic system. Complaints relating to couplings are a thing of the past after making n the switch to VOSS Fluid. Industry Europe 147

Performance plus

Daimler AG is known worldwide for its unrivalled standards of excellence and cutting-edge technology. Today the company’s undisputed global lead in design and manufacturing capabilities are complemented by the dedication and commitment of its key suppliers. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at Daimler’s continuing progress as a brand leader and the suppliers behind the scenes who have gone that extra mile for the company.


hile other major automotive manufacturers struggle to maintain their market share, Daimler has been posting doubledigit growth for the last 12 months with sales increasing in all regions of the world. Today the company is seeing particularly strong growth in Europe, the US and China. The global demand for its passenger cars and commercial vehicles continues to set the pace and the standards for others in the automotive industry.

Partnerships driving innovation In Stuttgart, Germany on 23 February 2017, Daimler AG recognised the remarkable performance and dedication of its key suppliers, who were honoured for their commitment, collaboration, partnership and innovative contributions to the company. Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management at Daimler AG and head of Mercedes cars: “We recognise the changes confronting our industry for what they are: great opportunities. Together with our suppliers we 148 Industry Europe

will use them!” At the special award ceremony event, more than 450 high-ranking representatives from Daimler’s most important suppliers were guests at the Mercedes-Benz Centre in Stuttgart. The 2016 Daimler Supplier Awards went to ten outstanding suppliers who excelled with their extraordinary performances in the past year. This covered the categories of Quality, Partnership and Innovation. The top members of the Daimler board of management and heads of procurement presented the awards in front of a large audience of guests from the supply industry, where the event’s motto was: ‘Focus on excellence’. Once a year, Daimler presents the Daimler supplier awards for exceptional performance and partnership collaboration with its suppliers. Working closely with its direct suppliers, Daimler employs its unique supplier cooperation model, the ‘Daimler Supplier Network’. Daimler measures performance in terms of quality, cost, delivery reliability and innovative strength. In his opening speech, Dieter Zetsche

stressed the importance of the Daimler Supplier Awards. “We celebrate a winning team – the world’s best supplier network – and we thank our suppliers for their loyalty and dedication.” The winners and additional nominees for the Daimler Supplier Award 2016 included the following companies: Hella KGaA Hueck & Co was nominated for Quality. Also nominated were JTEKT Europe S.A.S and Wagon Automotive Nagold GmbH. Awarded for being flexible and reliable contract manufacturers were Schmidt Automotive GmbH and Brembo SpA, while Dr Schneider Uternehmensgruppe was also nominated. LG Chem Ltd and Marquardt GmbH were rewarded for their high innovation standards in the area of air vents. In the category Global Procurement for Trucks and Buses was Bharat Forge Limited. Also nominated were: Bridgestone Europe NV in the Global System Partnership category; WABCO Holdings Inc.; Neue Halberg-Guss GmbH; Hema Endustria A.S. and Zonar Systems Inc. Industry Europe 149

Awarded for making savings in time and money were FKM Sintertechnik GmbH and Vinracoustic GmbH. In addition, in the category of International Procurement winners included Seruves, Rhenus SE & Co. KG as well as Keiner Maschinenbau GmbH and MapalFabrik. Also nominated was Trumph Laser-und Systemtechnik GmbH. Further nominees included was Plug & Play Germany GmbH and JSL S/A Geico SpA for Innovation. A special award for Outstanding Innovation went to Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd.

Major investment programme Following yet another record year for sales, Mercedes Benz Vans are set to invest more than €2 billion in new products and services. 2016 has proved to be the most successful year on record with sales and EBIT far exceeding Daimler’s targets. Most of the major investments in 2017 and 2018 are to be directed towards new product development and cutting-edge, innovative solutions, as well as purpose-built state-of-the-art production facilities. Last year the Mercedes Vans division handed over a total of around 360,000 vans and multi-purpose vehicles to its customers, which represents growth of about 12 per cent, with revenues increasing to €12.8 billion. Mercedes Benz Vans is making full use of its strong market position and plans to invest over €2 billion in the expansion and renewal of its product portfolio and into new customer services. New investments include the new Mercedes Benz Pick-Up and the next generation of the Sprinter large van, as well as innovative overall concepts surrounding all Mercedes Benz products. As one of the first concrete results of the strategic initiative for the future, ‘adVANce’, Mercedes-Benz Vans Mobility GmbH will launch the first products in mid-2017 with its range of new rental, sharing, leasing and fleet management services from one source. It is also planning to double the number of ‘advance’ employees to 400 by n the end of the year. 150 Industry Europe

Industry Europe 151


A Allison Park Group Alpemac Alteo Group AMA Service Arauco AWOS

I 108 68 49 73 88 95

B Blue Vision Bruks AB Burag

110 138 115

Inside front 126 126 86 49 109 40 95 94

E Ecoverde


F FELB Ferrutensile Fischer elektronik Fornaci Zulian Forwardis

108 131 126 33

99 48

L La Technomeccanica Lorincz

36 49

M metalleghe Metaphase Metsa Fibre Mez Opravna Minebea Intec Moltech Murata Electronics

75 106 86 100 74 64 45

NAF Axles NAF Neuenkirchener Neumatica Technologies

123 114 40

O Officine Rami Oltis Group OMD Optima Packaging Optronis Oy Sika Finland


Phlox Pulver Kimya

100 64 126 49 61

Sabic Schülke SEEI Smart Vision Lights Sonoco Alcore Specim Spectral Imaging Spinea Stapi Step International SV Swashtik Multitech Synergy Synergy

82 53 87 109 25 111 29 98 82 68 40 134 145

T Tamron Europe The Imaging Source Therelek Tondini Total

109 106 41 72 64

U UCP Zeller Plastik


V 69 99 74 Outside back 111 57


H Hema Endustri

K Koleje Czeskie KSB

Railco Ritmonio Ronera Rubber RotaPack Rutronik

S 114

N 24 141 95 74 100

G Gardasoft Vision Ghani Rasheed Gic Nosag Metal Gietburg GMM 115

40 89 5 80 114

J Joseph Dresselhaus

C CAAC Pioneer Logistics Calsonic Kansei Capirom Capp Plast CCL Label CCS Europe Channey Techno ClickTouch Connectronics

Iconic Castings Imball Center Index Inprojal Elektrosysteme Internorm


107 79

VR Foundries


W Woodtai Enterprises Woodtai Enterprises WUG

135 Inside back 64

154 Industry Europe

Articles inside

Resounding success GN ReSound

pages 144-147

The forest family Sodra

pages 138-140

A single supplier for end-to-end ceramic production SITI B&T Group

pages 141-143

Corrosive liquid fertiliser doesn’t stand a chance VOSS Fluid

pages 148-149

World’s first fitness-tracking technology Jabra

pages 134-137

one step ahead Lloyds

pages 130-133

Surpassing expectations Dacia

pages 126-129

Driven by innovation Atlas

pages 122-125

New narrow-track generation Claas Group

pages 114-117

Delivering high-performance advanced moulding technology Goodway Plastic

pages 118-121

Clear vision Stemmer Imaging

pages 106-113

major investment in advanced healthcare performance Mölnlycke

pages 103-105

under control UniControls

pages 94-97

efficient and reliable CD Cargo

pages 98-102

Innovation at its core Sonoco Alcore

pages 92-93

Boosting value and sustainability Sofidel

pages 86-91

Keep cool Iarp

pages 68-71

Rolling out new technology Alutech

pages 79-82

A feel for steel AFV Acciaierie Beltrame

pages 72-78

Adhering to perfection Gravic Europe

pages 83-85

Delivering smarter metering technology AEM

pages 60-63

A trusted brand Hajdu

pages 64-67

Putting efficiency first Savo-Solar

pages 57-59

Adding innovation to private label products McBride

pages 52-56

Gearing up for new business awards ZF Group

pages 45-47

Precision capability Maini Group

pages 40-44

Super-league performance Ducati

pages 36-39

Sober brewing Heineken Hungary

pages 48-51

The engine for change Deutz

pages 32-35

An aura of success Comau Robotics

pages 28-31

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 16-17

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

pages 25-27

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

page 22

The 3D printing revolution

pages 14-15

linking up Combining strengths

pages 18-19

Bill Jamieson Customs apocalypse?

pages 6-7

european construction – back to growth

pages 8-10

moving on Relocations and expansions

page 20
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