Industry Europe – Issue 27.4

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Volume 27/4 – 2017

Specim makes the invisible visible Vetrex invests in production capacity Emmegi explores new markets

European aerospace impacted by Brexit



OPINION

VICTORIAHATTERSLEY

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Unpalatable truths Chicken lasagne and backstage plotting – and uncertain times for the UK’s relationship with Europe.

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t’s meant as a symbolic statement, of course – UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s choice of Florence as the venue for a speech on 22 September that will, according to her spokesman, “underline the government’s wish for a deep and special partnership with the European Union once the UK leaves the EU. “The UK has deep cultural and economic ties spanning centuries with Florence... As the UK leaves the EU, we will retain those ties.” Fine words, but at the time of writing the speech has yet to be made and the UK and the rest of Europe are waiting, if not exactly with bated breath, then with interest to learn the stance Theresa May will be taking. Given the disastrous way her election gamble backfired in June this year, she is in a far weaker position than she was at the time of her Lancaster House speech in January. Back then the message was loud and clear: leaving the EU meant leaving the single market. Unsurprisingly, since the election there has been a softening of this approach. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has said there is now ‘general agreement’ at the top of government that a transitional period will be called for, meaning in effect the UK would still be operating within the single market for some time to come. Such an ‘interim period’ would no doubt be good news to many UK business leaders: the uncertainty of the UK’s position has already, says Charlie Mayfield, chair of the retailer John Lewis, had a detrimental effect on the economy. Many no doubt fearful the UK will end up with some kind of horribly bastardised Frankenstein’s monster of a deal – the worst of both worlds: second-best, associate EU membership for which a high price would need to be paid. (Indeed, the already-infamous chicken lasagne served up by Mrs May at Chequers – not something a real Italian would ever dream of producing – could be seen as a chilling portent of the future. How’s that for symbolism? Is she going to serve up a terrible

gastronomic insult of a deal – something that, quite simply, just doesn’t work?)

Back-seat driver So much for the main action – but wait, who is that lurking in the wings? Why, it’s UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. The internet has been reeling at his 4000-word editorial in The Telegraph, timed neatly to fall a week before the speech, attacking the idea of a soft Brexit. All the talk of a transitional period will of course be anathema to Johnson. “Before the referendum,” he wrote, “we all agreed on what leaving the EU must logically entail.” But did we, and who is ‘we’ anyway? If memory serves, there was a great deal of ‘Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George’-type bombast and hollow promises from sections of the Leave campaign, meaning that on polling day many people really didn’t know what they were voting for at all. Speaking of hollow promises: the aspect of Johnson’s article that has caused most controversy is his resurrection of the Leave’s ‘£350m extra a week for the NHS’ promise. Sir David Norgrove, the head of the UK Statistics Authority, was ‘surprised and disappointed’ that the foreign secretary would revive these claims – a ‘clear misuse’ of official statistics. “This confuses gross and net contributions. It also assumes that payments currently made to the UK by the EU... will not be paid by the UK government when we leave.” Disappointing, perhaps; surprising, no. There have been plenty of mutterings that the timing of the article, and its content, signal a genuine challenge to Theresa May’s already fragile leadership. (One Cabinet colleague even ventured to accuse Johnson of putting ‘personal ambition before the interests of the country’. Imagine.) But for anyone who has been paying even the slightest attention to his antics over the past two decades, this is simply par for the course. Since he first stood, unsuccessfully, as a Conservative

candidate in Clwyd South, Johnson’s plotting and scheming would have put Machiavelli to shame. Consider how quick he was to throw his lot in with the Leave campaign against old Bullingdon chum David Cameron when there was political capital to be gained. But perhaps it is more noble than that: after all, in the past he has likened himself to Cincinnatus – the farmer and retired Roman statesman called upon to save Rome from invaders in 458 BC, who then calmly resumed ploughing when his job was done. Only of course one gets the impression Johnson would not be quite so keen to return to the field when he’d rescued the UK from those pesky foreigners. The EU is not perfect – we all know this – but so far there has been no real alternative offered and it is doubtful whether a Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be able to provide this. And yet....Even after the events of the past year there are still plenty who would ask whether this prospect is so terrible. Look how he clowns for us, with his bumbling manner and his willingness to suspend himself on a wire for our amusement. It couldn’t possibly be an act, could it? We laughed at Donald Trump though, didn’t we? And he laughed back at us. The image of him and then-UKIP leader Nigel Farage – remember him? – braying at us from in front of a gilded elevator after Trump’s election to the US presidency is one that lingers. Will we one day be treated to the sight of Johnson laughing at us in simlilar fashion as the door to No.10 swings shut on him? Suddenly even a weakened Theresa May in bed with the DUP doesn’t look so bad after all. Then again, another alternative being mooted is Jacob Rees-Mogg, the new clown in town – the Eurosceptic ‘man of the people’ who was obliged to apologise for speaking at a black-tie dinner hosted by the far-right Traditional Britain Group, which advocated for the repatriation of ‘non-indigenous’ Britons. Would n we still be laughing then? Industry Europe 1


CONTENTS Editorial Director Peter Mercer

Production Manager Tania Balderson

Editor Victoria Hattersley

Copy Manager Andrew Briggs Administration Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey

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

Advertising Manager Stephen Moore Massimo Ragazzo Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Anna Dudek Eniko Kovacs Pavlina Kutlakova Marc Lewis Michael Hudson Oliver Clements Szidonia Hajdu

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

Comment 1 Opinion Unpalatable truths 4 Bill Jamieson Better news we need to hear more of

Aerospace Industry 6

Challenging times The impact of Brexit and the trend

towards consolidation

9

Aerospace news The latest from the industry

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

Reports 12 24 25

The new Silk Road Rail freight links between Britain and China Focus on Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

Agritechnica 26 31

Showcasing the future of crop technology AGRITECHNICA

Integrated solutions for agriculture Ro-Sys Software

Fakuma 32 34

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

The latest in plastics processing Fakuma 2017 An established leader UNION

FKG 38 Optimising automotive competence FKG 42 Investing for growth Automotive Components Floby

Swissmen 46 50

Strength in unity Swissmem Got the gear Humbel

Automation & Robotics 54 Optimising power and performance © 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.

Andreas Stihl

58 65 68

The future’s hyperspectral Specim Spectral Imaging Geared for innovative drive solutions Nord Drive Systems

The pump family Marzocchi Pompe

Automotive & Heavy Vehicles A Square Root Company

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73 Optimising value-added networks Bosch Group 76 Reinforcing sustainable tyre technology Kordsa 80 Fast flowing success Mann+Hummel


VOL 27/4

Above: Specim Spectral Imaging p58

Construction & Engineering 86 Modern lighting systems from Poland ES-SYSTEM 88 Premium windows for Europe Vetrex 94 Material advantage Heidelberg Cement 98 Innovation from tradition Dorfner Group 100 All under one roof Tondach

Energy & Utilities 103 Green Power Aalborg Energie Technik 108 Innovation and a green heart

Above: Andreas Stihl p54 Below: Marzocchi Pompe p68

Watts Industries Italia

Food & Beverage 112 Success squared Alfred Ritter 116 A taste of traditon Szubryt

Above: Aalborg Energie Technik p103 Below: EPCOS p128

Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC 120 Energy for life Riello Urzadzenia Grzewcze 124 In safe hands Meta System 128 Electronics giant EPCOS

Logistics & Transport 132 Merger of new rail technologies

Greenbrier-Astra Rail

136 Lifting expectations Bolzoni 139 On the move Contargo

Metals, Metalworking & Mining 142 Efficiency, technology and diversification

SCM Fonderie

145 150 153 156

Thinking outside the box Emmegi Vipa is always one step ahead Vipa Staying strong Metalcam Group The high-pressure specialist

Above: Emmegi p145 Below: TWE Group p162

Schoeller-Bleckmann Nitec

Paper, Packaging & Printing 160 Innovation at its core Sonoco Alcore

Above: Mann+Hummel p80 Below: Heidelberg Cement p94

Textiles, Home & Personal Care 162 166 172 176 179

Delivering more sustainable nonwoven solutions TWE Group Sustainable hygiene solutions Ontex Group The nonwovens specialist Glatzeder It’s all cosmetic OJSC Arnest Big and beautiful Farmec

Also in this issue... 182 Furniture for people Szynaka-Meble 187 Largest Polish food packaging producer Supravis Group Industry Europe 3


COMMENT

BILLJAMIESON

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Executive Editor of The Scotsman

Better news we need to hear more of Finding reasons for optimism in the midst of Brexit turmoil.

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eading through the media coverage of the UK’s economic performance, it would be hard to avoid the impression that we are going steadily downhill. Are we not doomed to sluggish growth?Is not business being choked by Brexit uncertainty and buckling under the higher costs flowing from the fall in the pound? This bleak outlook plays into the hands of anti-Brexit ‘Remainers’ urging a ‘soft’ Brexit – and preferably, one suspects, a halt to the whole Brexit business altogether. When it comes to the eurozone, militant Brexiteers can often seem little better. Are not the economies in the single currency area in long term decline, struggling under shedloads of Brussels regulation with barely a pulse to be felt? In truth, there are reasons to be more cheerful on both counts than these partisan positions allow. Take the EU. It is certainly not in our interests to have a weak partner: it remains the market for just over 40 per cent of our exports and will continue to be so whether we sign a free trade agreement with the EU or not. The eurozone in particular may not be showing a tiger-economy super strength, but it is doing better than many critics admit. It is currently enjoying a better performance than we have become accustomed to. In the April–June quarter the economies in the single currency area have enjoyed on average the fastest pace in more than two years. Preliminary estimates put GDP growth at a seasonally-adjusted 0.6 per cent over the previous quarter, up a fraction from a better than forecast performance in the opening three months. The Netherlands was the outstanding performer. Growth also gathered pace in Spain where the economy has finally returned close to pre-crisis levels.France and Italy has maintained growth, while Germany remained robust – and with signs pointing to a sustained performance for the rest of the year. 4 Industry Europe

Confidence indicators across the eurozone continue to hover at all-time or multiyear highs and independent analysts are forecasting GDP growth of two per cent this year, thanks to a firmer labour market, rising investment and healthy external demand.

The UK outlook And how fares the UK? Certainly a lot better than former chancellor George Osborne’s scary prediction that “as many as 820,000 jobs could be lost” as a direct consequence of the vote to Leave, and the Treasury analysis that Britain would be worse off by £4300 a year per household by 2030 in the

Confidence indicators across the eurozone continue to hover at all-time or multiyear highs and independent analysts are forecasting GDP growth of two per cent this year. event of a Brexit vote. Unemployment has fallen to 4.4 per cent, the lowest for more than 40 years. Numbers in work have risen 0.7 per cent over the past year to more than 32 million or 75.1 per cent of the working age population. And GDP has continued to grow, albeit modestly, but defying Osborne’s predictions of a fall. Business activity is strengthening based on the Brexit devaluation’s switching of demand away from consumption to net exports and investment – trends confirmed by CBI and Bank of England agent surveys as well as by the Purchasing Managers Indices.

What of UK trade and the balance of payments? Goods export volume, excluding oil and erratics, was up 6.2 per cent on a year earlier in the April–June quarter. The equivalent import volume, in spite of strong consumption growth over that period, was up only 4.5 per cent. There has also been an improvement of £2.4 billion per quarter in the balance of trade in services. This is showing clear progress in Britain’s external accounts. Much is made of the threat of EU tariffs on UK manufactured goods in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit result. But as economist Professor Patrick Minford points out, these EU tariffs are low on average – around 3.5 per cent. Vexing these may be, but capable of absorption, particularly in the wake of the 13 per cent fall in sterling. What he finds puzzling is why EU exporters are not putting more pressure on the Brussels negotiators to sign a trade deal with the UK. The UK will be able to sign free trade deals with many other countries, which will send us goods at much lower prices than the current EU-protected ones. “EU exporters,” he points out, “ will not just face the same low tariffs which we will no doubt proceed to levy on them if there is no deal; they will also face much tougher competition which will force them to lower their prices sharply. “Why are these exporters not putting pressure on the EU to sign a trade deal with us that might defer this pressure or even stop it completely in some sectors where current EU protection could be prolonged by agreement?” The Brexit process, he despairs, “continues to be an extraordinary episode in which the common-sense economics of free trade and competition is repeatedly denied by producer interests and their allies.” There’s certainly cause for despair when we look – but more cause for hope than much n media commentary allows.


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Airbus wing factory, Broughton, North Wales

Challenging times Alongside the ongoing Brexit negotiations and a trend towards consolidation, there are plenty of other issues impacting on the European aerospace sector. Murdo Morrison, editor of Flight International Magazine, looks at the continued rivalry between Airbus and Boeing, as well as how the smaller players are faring in today’s uncertain climate.

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or an illustration of how tightly Airbus’s UK operations are bound with its final assembly lines in Hamburg and Toulouse, visit the European aircraft maker’s wing factory in Broughton. As Airbus prepares to ramp up production of its A320 narrowbody family to roughly 60 a month by 2019 – mainly to meet unprecedented demand for air travel in Asia and other emerging regions – some four wings a day will need to be shipped from North Wales. And that is not counting around a further one each day of the larger and even more complex structures for Airbus’s widebody range. Not since World War Two has Europe’s aerospace industry depended on such just-in-time output. Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, they are unlikely to pitch an immediate spanner in the works of this intricate relationship. But many UK aerospace leaders – and their continental counterparts – fret that a hard departure from the EU 6 Industry Europe

that leaves the country outside the customs union and single market could cause massive disruption to Airbus and its UK supply chain. As with other industries, the prospect of trucks and Beluga transport aircraft being held up at Channel ports or Toulouse and Hamburg airports as endless documentation is checked and approved leaves many profoundly worried about UK industry’s longterm ability to remain in the Airbus machine. But should it? While the time taken to transport goods from supplier to customer is as valuable as in any other sector, aerospace manufacturers have been operating with diverse global supply networks since the beginning of the century. A factory in southern Italy makes large sections of Boeing 787 Dreamliners that are assembled in plants on the east and west coasts of the USA, while European firms, not least engine-makers RollsRoyce and Safran, are key Boeing suppliers. Similarly, US, Canadian, Korean and Chinese companies design and build components for

Airbus. Commercial aviation may connect the world, but the supply chains that produce the aircraft also span the planet. Therefore, those more sanguine about Brexit believe that the ingenuity of logistics will find a way around any complications caused by a 2018 UK departure from the European Union. Changing suppliers in aerospace is not easy. Programme partners, as they are often called, share investment risk and intellectual property. The complexity of creating a competitive aerospace industry – even at second-tier supplier level – can take decades of training and investment. This is partly why only one commercial airliner manufacturer – Brazil’s Embraer – has emerged in the past 25 years, and why even high-tech economies such as Japan and China have struggled to join the club.

Deeper issues Brexit aside, Europe’s dominant aerospace manufacturer has a few other concerns. While the challenge of rallying a supply chain to


crank up output to meet rising demand for your products may seem the nicest problem to have, Airbus is not having it all its own way. First to market with a re-engined single-aisle – the so-called A320neo – ahead of Boeing, which responded with the 737 Max, the European company still leads its arch-rival in orders and deliveries of short-haul aircraft. However, when it comes to larger, longerrange twin-aisle airliners, Boeing has been more sure-footed with its big strategic decisions – namely the launch of the 787 and 777 successor, the 777X. Airbus – to be fair – has done well with its 325-seat A350-900 variant, and its latest A330neo should extend the production of its top-selling medium-haul A330 for at least a decade. However, after Airbus abandoned its smaller A350-800 (effectively replacing it with the A330neo), there are now question marks about market demand for the largest variant, the A350-1000: two prominent airline customers have recently downsized their commitments to the -900. Most worrying of all for Airbus is that its flagship programme – the A380 – will soon cut production to just one aircraft a month as a lack of orders continues to eat into the backlog. Emirates alone is a true believer in the world’s biggest airliner, the Dubai carrier hav-

ing ordered 142 of the double-deckers since the programme’s launch in 2005, with almost 100 in service (no other carrier has more than 20). Unfortunately for Airbus, the first A380s to go into service around 2007 are being retired by the original customers, with no sign that they will find a ready secondhand market. Airbus believed – and still claims – that increasing demand for slots at capacity-constrained hubs would make the 500- to 600-seat superjumbo a winner. However, airlines have voted with their chequebooks for smaller but less-costly two-engine alternatives such as the A350 and Boeing 777. Airbus’s problems go deeper. Four years ago, the Franco-German controlled aerospace group EADS renamed itself as its dominant commercial aircraft unit. The new integrated

Airbus – which has under chief executive Tom Enders long shed its clumsy dual-headquarters and double-management structure and much of its governmental oversight – now has helicopter and defence/space units. While its helicopter business has been hit badly by the decline in the oil and gas sector, its most prestigious military aircraft programme – the A400M transporter – has wreaked havoc on Airbus’s balance sheet and profitability. The four-engined turboprop was designed to give the armed forces of France, Germany, Spain and the UK, as well as some export customers, a versatile tactical platform to deliver troops, materiel or emergency aid into inhospitable terrain, and as a modern alternative to the US-built Lockheed Martin Hercules. However, it has been beset with problems

Industry Europe 7


since its launch more than a decade ago. In its 2016 financial results, Airbus wrote-off around $2.6 billion as a result of additional costs incurred on the programme. This meant a 3.3 per cent increase in overall revenues to $70.8 billion – boosted by strong sales of its A320 family – translated into a 44 per cent decline in profits, to just $2.4 billion.

The other players Beyond Airbus, Europe’s other big aerospace concerns have been wrestling with their own challenges. Five of the biggest 20 aerospace firms in the world – ranked by sales in the FlightGlobal Top 100 listing – are European. Safran – number eight– has businesses comprising landing gear, helicopter and military jet engines, and aerostructures. Its most lucrative, however, is its 50 per cent share in the CFM International joint venture with GE that supplies every Boeing 737 engine and half of those powering Airbus A320s. Additionally, Safran is in the process of moving into the increasingly-important cabin interiors segment, with the acquisition of troubled fellow French player Zodiac. Immediately behind Safran come BAE Systems, Leonardo (formerly Italian group Finmeccanica), and Rolls-Royce. BAE made the deci-

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sion to exit the commercial aircraft business in the 2000s when it axed the Avro regional jet programme and sold its 20 per cent share in the Airbus commercial aircraft business. Since then, the civil segment has grown while the military market has struggled. However, BAE’s unique position as a national champion in the UK defence sector – in military shipbuilding, for instance – as well as its substantial stateside foothold in the world’s biggest defence market have allowed it to maintain a strong position. Italy’s Finmeccanica was long seen as a basket case among Europe’s top tier. A hotch-potch of ailing state-controlled industries lumped in with powerful Italian aviation brands such as Alenia, Selex, Aermacchi and AgustaWestland, and known for swapping chief executives more regularly than a struggling Premier League football team, the group has rebranded as Leonardo and is promising an Airbus-style streamlining of its management and corporate culture. The legacy brands and failed businesses have been off-loaded and Leonardo says it is replacing an old silo mentality with a fluid structure that will see operating units share technologies and platforms, and talent. While Rolls-Royce faces questions over the future of its non-core propulsion operations, its aero engine business remains one of the big three in the sector alongside the USA’s General Electric and Pratt & Whitney. The company was a pioneer in seeing the potential of the aftermarket – it makes more money from service contracts than it does selling new engines – and its Trent family dominates on Airbus widebodies. However, after it sold its share in the International Aero

Engines consortium to Pratt & Whitney in 2012, it has been absent from the top-selling narrowbody segment. The UK company plans to address this with an as-yet unspecified programme launch next decade.

Consolidation trend As well as the B-word – Brexit – the C-word, for consolidation, dominates many conversations about the immediate future of aerospace in Europe and elsewhere. The past few months have seen US avionics specialist Rockwell Collins buy cabin interiors firm B/E Aerospace and in turn be acquired by United Technologies. In Europe, as well as the Safran-Zodiac merger, smaller players such as the UK’s GKN and France’s Figeac Aero have been slowly absorbing rivals in a bid to bolster their negotiating power against aircraft manufacturers looking to deal with fewer partners, who in turn should share risk in programme investment and manage their own supply chains. Consolidation will apply in another way. Despite President Trump’s threats, defence spending by Europe’s NATO members will continue to dwarf that of the USA, even on a per capita or GDP basis. Post-Cold War budgets are not big enough to sustain national industries, something recognised in the 1990s with the birth of the four-nation Eurofighter consortium. Cooperation on an even wider pan-European basis is likely to be necessary when it comes to the next generation of armed combat and surveillance aircraft. Sharing the crown jewels of know-how and industrial capability will not come easily to all, but it will be the only way to ensure a n European defence sector survives.


NEWS

New developments in the Aerospace industry

INDUSTRYNEWS

Airbus Perlan Mission II sets new world record

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irbus Perlan Mission II, the world’s first initiative to send an engineless aircraft to the edge of space, has made history in the Patagonia region of Argentina by soaring to over 52,000 feet and setting a new world altitude record for gliding. “With every Airbus Perlan Mission II milestone, we continue to learn more about how we can fly higher, faster and cleaner. But we also learn that aviation still has the power to surprise us, thrill us, and motivate us to find new frontiers of endeavour,” said Tom Enders, Airbus CEO.

Airbus Perlan Mission II is an initiative to fly an engineless glider to the edge of space using weather phenomena called stratospheric mountain waves, rising air currents that are significantly heightened a few times a year in only a couple of places on earth by the polar vortex. The area around El Calafate, within the Andes Mountains in Argentina, is one of those rare locations where these rising air currents can reach the stratosphere. Visit: www.airbus.com

STG Aerospace increasing investment and capabilities in R&D

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ircraft cabin lighting specialist STG Aerospace is increasing its capability to meet future demand for its aircraft photoluminescent floor path marking, emergency and informational signage and LED mood lighting products. This is very much driven by the company’s commitment to R&D at its Innovation & Engineering Centre in Cwmbran, Wales. Nigel Duncan, CEO of STG Aerospace noted: “Our investment in R&D and Innovation has placed us at the forefront of research into the impact that lighting has on airline passengers, both physiologically and psychologically. It is central to our cabin

lighting product development philosophy and key to the success of the company.” Newly appointed chief operating officer, Grant Bennett, commented: “I am looking forward to the imminent challenge of ensuring the seamless integration of all our operational functions as the company expands and develops.” STG Aerospace continues to lead and light the way within the retrofit and upgrade market with its cabin lighting products on a third of the world’s airlines today. Visit: www.stgaerospace.com

GKN completes first flight of additive manufactured detection probe

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KN Aerospace is the global leader in electro thermal IPS and flew its patented Optical Ice Detector (OID) on-board the Atmospheric Research Aircraft (ARA) operated by the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM), based at Cranfield, UK. The titanium probe housing was enabled by GKN’s laser powder bed manufacturing process. The OID features a small sensor head that is designed to be fully compatible with GKN Aerospace’s IPS technology, as well as in standalone devices. The sensor head incorporates

optical fibres arranged to emit laser light into any ice that forms over the head, and collect the laser light that is reflected by the ice. This head can be integrated into any ice-accreting surface on the aircraft or in the internal areas of gas turbine engines. During the course of the first flight, the OID successfully detected numerous ice accretion events. This was the first flight of the OID and the successful detection of ice matched the ice detection performance that it demonstrated in GKN Aerospace’s Icing Research Tunnel in Luton, UK.

The OID confirmed the presence of ice, as well as measuring its thickness and rate of accretion. Visit: www.gkn.com

Diehl Aircabin and EconCore cooperate on aircraft interior modules

modules by thermoforming and functionalising mono-material sandwich panels in a single step. The partners have produced a prototype of an aircraft stowage unit. EconCore and Diehl Aircabin, a division of Diehl Aerosystems, were supported by consortium partners from industry and academia during the four-year InCom (Industrial Production Processes for Nanoreinforced Composite

Structures) project, which concluded at the end of August. The two companies now plan to work together on an independent basis. The new development brings together EconCore’s honeycomb production technology with a special grade of polycarbonate that has outstanding fire-smoketoxicity performance. Visit: www.diehl.com

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hermoplastic honeycomb technology specialist EconCore has joined forces with Diehl Aircabin to develop next-generation solutions for aircraft interior modules during a European Commission funded project. The two companies envisage a new highly cost-effective process for creating

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NEWS

New developments in the Aerospace industry

A new design for LISA Airplanes’ AKOYA

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he AKOYA, an amphibious aircraft from LISA Airplanes that is known for its elegant design, streamlined forms and graceful curves, is unveiling a new side to its personality with a new external design. The AKOYA is now available in ‘ice blue’, as an example of the extensive customisation possibilities for customers. The preceding AKOYAs were painted in a pearl white, enhanced by its green eye as an extension of the canopy, echoing the lining of the cockpit. LISA has chosen a more audacious colour for the aircraft’s new look. Extensive research and tests were conducted to find the right balance and identify the colour that perfectly reflects the essence of LISA and the company’s values and identity, while enhancing the AKOYA’s contours.

The graphic design extending the canopy has also been redesigned. It highlights the large panoramic canopy and enhances the aircraft’s streamlined and aerodynamic lines. The combination of a slightly iridescent ice blue, enhanced by several swathes of deep-sea blue and white lines, highlights the AKOYA’s natural curves and identity. Visit: www.lisa-airplanes.com

BAE Systems to support US Navy communications and electronics

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he US Navy has awarded BAE Systems a 22-month, $76 million contract to help develop vital communications and electronics. The company will support the rapid design, development, fabrication, customisation, and life-cycle maintenance of new and existing communication and electronic platforms for the Naval Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD). BAE Systems will also support the testing, evaluation, installation, integration and certifi-

UK aviation encouraging more people with a disability to fly

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he UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has published a report that assesses the top 30 UK airports on the quality of assistance they provide to passengers with a disability. It shows that the number of people with a disability requesting extra help when travelling by air has now reached over three million

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cation of mission equipment and systems for NAWCAD’s Special Communications Mission Solutions Division. This cutting-edge equipment is designed and developed by NAWCAD and allows customers to communicate securely. It is widely used by the Navy, as well as the US Army, US Air Force, Joint Special Operations Forces, and other US Department of Defense and federal government agencies. “We perform expert, integrated engineering and sustainment support services that meet the development demands of the Navy,” said Mark Keeler, acting president of BAE Systems’ Intelligence & Security sector. The work will be performed at customer and company facilities in St. Inigoes, Maryland; Chesapeake, Virginia; and Fayetteville, North Carolina. Visit: www.baesystems.com journeys in 2016. The report reveals that the majority of UK airports are providing ‘very good’ or ‘good’ support. But four airports have not met expectations and have been told they must improve. The CAA’s framework, the first of its kind in Europe, was introduced to ensure there is a consistent and high quality service for disabled passengers across UK airports. Of the airports reviewed, six were rated ‘very

Siemens to modernise baggage handling systems at 13 Greek airports

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make baggage transport to and from Greece flow even more reliably and securely, Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics has received a contract to modernise the baggage handling systems of the 13 out of the 14 regional airports operated by Fraport Greece. Siemens will also be responsible for maintaining the systems. The project was initiated by a consortium of Fraport AG and the Greek Copelouzos Group holding the concession to operate the regional airports. In 2016, the 13 airports handled altogether 22 million passengers. Michael Reichle, CEO of Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics, said: “We are helping in this major step to improve the airport infrastructure in Greece. At the same time, the modernisation of the airports plays a major role in raising passenger satisfaction.” To thoroughly modernise the baggage handling systems, Siemens is installing equipment including the latest VarioBelt conveyors, vertical sortation units (VSUs) and horizontal diverting units (HDU). Siemens is integrating Standard 3 X-ray equipment for hold baggage screening (HBS) to further improve security. The scope of delivery also includes smart SCADA software for monitoring and controlling the technical processes. Visit: www.siemens.com

good’, 20 rated as ‘good’ and four rated as ‘poor’. Those with ‘very good’ and ‘good’ ratings have performed well in areas such as customer satisfaction, waiting times and engagement with disability organisations. East Midlands, Exeter, Heathrow and Manchester airports that have been rated ‘poor’ have all now committed to making improvements. Visit: www.caa.co.uk


INDUSTRYNEWS

Nasmyth Group signs Bell Helicopter and PGZ sign letter of intent contract with Airbus B Space and Defence

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he Nasmyth Group has been selected to provide the Spacecraft Transport Container for Airbus Defence and Space’s new generation satellites based on Eurostar Neo, a platform developed within the European Space Agency’s landmark ‘Neosat’ satellite programme. Nasmyth Group, a global precision engineering company, will manufacture the Spacecraft Transport Container for Eurostar Neo, which is one of the two new satellite product lines of the European Space Agency’s Next Generation Platform, NEOSAT. The Spacecraft Transport Container will house the crucial ‘clean room’, enabling its safe transportation by road, rail, sea or air – whichever is deemed applicable. The container has self-generation and air conditioning with full external/internal monitoring system in place. The container will be supplied with two removable transfer trollies, which will allow the spacecraft to be rotated 360 degrees and is capable of powered movement from both horizontal and vertical planes. This will be supplied with all test and operating equipment. An important goal of the NEOSAT programme is to build a European supply chain, which optimises costs and guarantees on-time delivery of satellites. Visit: www.nasmythgroup.com

ATR and Stobart Air renew their Global Maintenance Agreement

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fter 10 years of cooperation, ATR, the world’s leading turboprop manufacturer, and the Irish regional airline Stobart Air, have announced the extension of their Global Maintenance Agreement (GMA). This new six-year contract covers the repair, overhaul and pooling services of Line

ell Helicopter and Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to cooperate on the UH-1Y. Based on this LOI, the companies will expand potential areas of cooperation related to Poland’s future utility helicopter needs with the UH-1Y. In addition, this document also identifies the AH-1Z in support of the ‘Kruk’ Programme, an effort on the part of Poland’s government to acquire attack helicopters included in the modernisation plan of the Polish Armed Forces. Pursuant to the LOI, Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa and Bell Helicopter will have discussions regarding the knowledge that may be transferred from the American partner to Polish companies in the arms industry, as well as the possible scope of production and maintenance work which PGZ Group companies may be allowed to perform autonomously if the Minis-

try of National Defence purchases Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and Bell UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters. The AH-1Z attack helicopter as well as UH-1Y utility helicopter are currently operated by the US Marine Corps in some of the world’s harshest conditions. Visit: www.bellhelicopter.com

FACC signs major contract with Airbus

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ACC has concluded a contract with Airbus for the delivery of overhead stowage compartments and ceiling panels. The contract provides for a supply volume of more than €500 million. “In addition to a high level of comfort and sufficient space, the most important aspects of a passenger cabin are low weight, convenient

Replaceable Units, along with Propellers’ availability and maintenance. The entire ATR fleet of Stobart Air is covered by this maintenance agreement: 2 ATR 42-300s, 2 ATR 72‑500s and 13 ATR 72-600s. Flying in the United Kingdom, Ireland and continental Europe, these aircraft are operated by Stobart Air under the Aer Lingus Regional and Flybe brands, on behalf of their respective

handling, low operating costs and high reliability,” said Robert Machtlinger, CEO of FACC. “We strive to meet these requirements through consistent research work and by developing innovative and lightweight solutions creating more space in the cabin. With the new ‘Airspace’ cabin, Airbus offers its passengers an exceptional feel-good ambience. We are particularly happy that FACC gets the chance to support this level of comfort by contributing technological advances for the A320 family.” According to the present contract FACC will develop, in close cooperation with Airbus, the so-called ‘Airspace XL Bins’, the biggest overhead stowage compartments in the category of short and medium-haul aircraft. Series production will start in 2018. Visit: www.facc.com owners. Stobart Air also operates charter flights and offers wet-leasing solutions. Mick Conlon, Stobart Air Director of Engineering, commented: “As one of Europe’s leading regional aviation specialists, , we demand industry leading reliability, availability and operating economics; ATR GMA has been a key enabler of these results.” Visit: www.atr-aircraft.com Industry Europe 11


First direct train service from China to the UK arrive in London

The new Silk Road

The East Wind is coming – Robert Williams reports on the new era of rail freight between Britain and China.

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et’s talk about rail freight. No, seriously. Freight trains don’t often make the news. But the East Wind – the first train to run from Britain to China – was more than your average freight train. It departed in May, carrying goods including vitamins, baby products and pharmaceuticals. Its 34 wagons, carrying 68 containers loaded with household goods such as clothes, socks, suitcases, purses and wallets worth a total of £4m, travelled 7456 miles, making it arguably the longest train journey in the world. The 7500-mile (12,000km) journey from eastern England to eastern China took three weeks, around half the time needed for the equivalent journey by boat. Its route took it from Barking, through the Channel Tunnel into France and then through Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan before ending its journey in Yiwu in China. The first freight train coming from China arrived in Britain in January 2017, making London the 15th European city to be served by direct trains from China. It has joined desti12 Industry Europe

nations in Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Spain on a transcontinental network of more than 40 routes. Trains heading for Europe also carry high-tech IT products such as laptop computers and mobile phones produced for multinational companies in factories in western China. The cross-continent trade route was officially revitalised in 2013, when a train from Chongqing arrived in Duisburg, Germany via the Yuxinou (Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe) International Railway. By 2016, more than 2100 trains have been dispatched via the Yuxinou Railway, according to statistics from the China Railway Corporation.

One Belt, One Road The train to London is just one part of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) strategy. It is restoring the ancient ‘Silk Road’ between China and Europe by encouraging investment in Eurasian transport and logistics networks, including rail, to boost Chinese trade and investment, and economic integration.

This 2000 year-old route was once travelled by Chinese silk caravans transporting their goods to Europe and Africa. Less romantic names for the route include the ‘Eurasian Land Bridge’ or ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. What the route does provide is rail links between Pacific seaports in the Russian Far East and China and seaports in Europe; the Trans-Siberian Railway, which runs through Russia and is sometimes called the Northern East-West Corridor; and the New Eurasian Land Bridge or Second Eurasian Continental Bridge, running through China and Kazakhstan. Trains reach Europe using either the southern branch of the Trans-Siberian Railway from northern China, or like the London train, by passing through western China and Kazakhstan and joining the Trans-Siberian at Yekaterinburg. China’s rail system has been linked to the Trans-Siberian via north-eastern China and Mongolia. In 1990 China added a link between its rail system and the Trans-Siberian via Kazakhstan.


As well as Kazakhstan, the railways connect with other countries in Central Asia and the Middle East, including Iran. With the October 2013 completion of the rail link across the Bosphorus under the Marmaray project the New Eurasian Land Bridge now connects to Europe via Central and South Asia.

Investing in increased efficiency As part of OBOR, China is pushing, and largely funding, a vast programme of Eurasian infrastructure investment. The China Investment Bank estimates that 900 OBOR infrastructure projects worth $US 890bn, ranging from rail to road, port and pipeline, are planned or underway in 64 countries. Many of these investments will be directed at improving logistics processes for rail. Crossing borders, and switching between different rail gauges and back again, remains a major challenge, and an obstacle to reduced transit times. From the 1960s until the early 1990s the Trans-Siberian railway served as the primary land bridge between Asia and Europe, until several factors caused the use of the railway for transcontinental freight to fall away. One key problem is that the railways of the former Soviet Union use a wider rail gauge than the rest of Europe and China. So the journey is as much an engineering challenge as a logistical problem. Freight must swap

trains along the way, as railway gauges vary between the connecting countries. Some of these challenges are being met with the construction of the Khorgos Gateway project. On the Kazakhstan-Chinese border, this future logistics and industrial hub is being billed as the new Dubai. This includes the 129.8ha Khorgos Gateway Inland Container Dock, a gauge-changing station for the transEurasian railway, which has capacity for six trains at one time and can process 580,000 TEUs annually. (TEU stands for Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit – the standard measure of size in the container industry.)

A new era for rail logistics The new route unlocks a new option for shippers. At present, the choice is between an ocean-bound route, which, although cheap, is slow, or using an air carrier that is considerably faster but much more expensive. This growing network and frequency of service is translating into higher volumes. DB says that more than 40,000 TEUs were transported between China and Germany in 2016 – a record – and it is expecting this figure to grow to 100,000 by 2020, more than triple the amount carried in 2014. In June 2016. eight trans-Eurasian freight trains left eight Chinese cities simultaneously, heading to destinations across Europe. All were carrying royal blue TEUs with the name of

the new service, China Railway (CR) Express, stencilled onto each 40-foot unit. At present, less than 1 per cent of EUAsia trade is currently conducted overland. Most is still done by sea, and freight train services face technical and bureaucratic hurdles which vary according to country. However, the East Wind clearly benefits from a lack of customs checks at the FrenchBritish border and from the European Union’s continued effort to create a Single European Railway Area, covering everything from signalling to fire safety standards – and a huge reduction in red tape. For import-exporters who cannot afford to wait months for product delivery, but are also concerned about their carbon footprint, the rail service is bound to be a great new alternative. Perhaps we should remember that the train’s name is no mere flight of fancy, but is taken from Chairman Mao’s dictum: “The east n wind will prevail over the west wind.”

Industry Europe 13


NEWS

New contracts and orders in industry

ABB wins $30 million order in Iraq A

Kalmar to deliver container handling machines to DP World Australia

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almar, part of Cargotec, continues its longterm cooperation with DP World Australia, the country’s largest stevedore, with orders of 38 new machines for its new logistics arm, DP World Logistics Australia. The orders include 7 Kalmar reachstackers, 11 loaded and 20 empty container handlers. 22 units have successfully been delivered to DP World Logistics Australia’s Botany Intermodal terminal with the remaining equipment to be delivered by September 2017. The new machines add to DP World Australia’s existing fleet of Kalmar rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs), straddle carriers and terminal tractors and

will serve operations in Sydney, Melbourne, Fremantle and DP World Australia’s semi-automated terminal in Brisbane. Kalmar reachstackers will be equipped with Kalmar K-Motion transmission technology, which secures uptime and productivity while reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Four units will also include overheight legs. All the Kalmar machines will be powered by Volvo IV Final engines to meet emissions standards and will feature the Kalmar SmartFleet system for performance-boosting remote monitoring and reporting. Visit: www.kalmarglobal.com

STRABAG to build Cracow’s tallest high-rise tower

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he European-based construction group STRABAG has been hired to build a five-building business centre in the Polish city of Cracow. Currently an unfinished high-rise building stands at the prominent location in the centre of the city. “With the construction of the Unity Centre, this abandoned building, which has stood unfinished in central Cracow since 1979, will finally be resurrected. At a height of 102.5m, the Unity Tower will also be the city’s tallest tower,” explains Thomas Birtel, CEO of STRABAG SE.
 Another unique feature of the Unity Tower will be Cracow’s highest viewing platform, the

so-called Unity Eye. The project, which was commissioned by investor TREIMORFA Project Sp. z o.o., will cost around €89 million.

 STRABAG will not only revitalise the existing building and construct four additional ones (up to nine storeys), but will also provide the technical infrastructure. The construction design was prepared in 4D: The 3D model was expanded through the addition of a temporal component so that the progress of construction could be simulated in the model at any time. The project is scheduled for completion in mid-2021. Visit: www.strabag.com

Gunnebo to supply Marseille Airport

immigration control will raise efficiency and help improve the flow of cross-border traffic without compromising security. The work is part of the French government’s PARAFE programme, or Automated Fast Track Crossing at External Borders. It will be completed in partnership with Imprimerie Nationale, specialists in biometric passports.

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he Gunnebo Group will supply Marseille Airport with biometric border control gates in a deal worth €830,000. Using biometric fingerprint authentication technology, the gates will enable passengers to cross the border simply, quickly and without delays. With passenger volumes constantly increasing at the airport, automation of

14 Industry Europe

BB has won an order to supply and install a substation at the 3000 MW Rumaila power plant, located in the Basra region of southern Iraq. The completed power plant will be operated by Shamara Holding Group (SHG), one of Iraq’s largest private industrial conglomerates and an independent power producer. The Rumaila power plant is expected to increase power generation capacity by about 20% and address acute shortages of electricity, hampering economic growth in the country. The 3000 MW from the Rumaila power plant will add to Iraq’s current generation of 13,000 MW, which is short of the country’s peak load demand of about 23,000 MW. Iraq balances its high power demand and low supply capacity through load shedding, which means power is only available to its 34 million citizens for about 15 hours each day. The addition of new generating plants will increase electricity supply and support economic growth. ABB will design, engineer, supply and install the 400 kV air insulated switchgear (AIS) substation, which will be equipped with technology and instrument transformers from ABB. The substation will also be equipped with advanced digital control, protection and telecommunication systems. Visit: www.abb.com

“Gunnebo has understood our needs and proposed the right solution for us,” comments William Colo, Maintenance Director at Marseille Airport. “Their capacity to deploy within a short planning period with a high level of project management was key. This project is important for us as it will impact on passengers, airport processes and our image.” Visit: www.gunnebo.com


WINNINGBUSINESS JLT Mobile Computers selected by Swire Coca-Cola, USA

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LT Mobile Computers, a leading Swedish developer and manufacturer of reliable computers for demanding environments, has started the delivery of more than 300 of its JLT1214N forklift computers to Swire Coca-Cola, USA, one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the United States. The JLT1214N forklift computer is the latest generation logistics computer from JLT, deliver-

ing the lowest total cost of ownership for a wide variety of logistics applications. The JLT1214N comes with a 64-bit Intel quad-core processor and features dual-diversity antennas, custom-made for reliable Wi-Fi in environments with poor coverage. “The JLT1214N is a real workhorse for warehousing applications with the higher performance that increases users’ productivity,” said Eric Miller, CEO of JLT Mobile Computers, Inc. “It is based on the successful JLT computer platform and designed from the bottom up with the latest processor technology to deliver maximum reliability and trouble-free operation in very tough environments, from cold storage rooms to broiling hot sun, from fixed wall mounts to vibrating forklifts.” Visit: www.jltmobile.com

Science community acquires oceanographic LISST instruments from MacArtney

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acArtney has secured an order for LISST instruments from the University of Bergen, Norway. LISST instruments are manufactured by Seattle based oceanographic instrument manufacturer, Sequoia Scientific, Inc. They are used for environmental monitoring, industrial and scientific applications across the globe. The unique submersible LISSTs help engineers, scientists and monitoring agencies reliably measure the concentration and size of sediment, plankton and oil droplets in any water body. The order placed by University of Bergen with MacArtney consists of the LISST instruments LISST-VSF and LISST-200X. These products are to be used in the sea close to the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway for water optical property studies. The LISST-VSF is the most advanced submersible in-situ optical instrument in the world. It measures the volume scattering function (VSF) of water with depolarisation capabilities. These

measurements are used by oceanographers and physicists to develop models for light propagation in water. The LISST-200X, introduced by Sequoia in 2016, is the world’s most advanced submersible laser particle sizer. Since 1995, the LISST-200X predecessors, the LISST-100 and LISST-100X, have been used by aquatic engineers and scientists all over the world to study sediment transport, dredge plumes, algae growth and oil droplet dispersion. Visit: www.macartney.com

New contract win for Clipper Logistics

that, throughout a detailed tender process we have been able to demonstrate our ability to act proactively as a team and to develop a logistics solution which will make a real difference to the EWM Group’s business. We are delighted to have finalised this long-term contract to enable us to support the operations and anticipated growth of the EWM Group throughout Great Britain.”

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lipper Logistics has signed a 5-year deal with the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group of Companies. It will provide logistics services on a predominantly exclusive basis throughout Great Britain. Steve Parkin, executive chairman of Clipper said: “Clipper began its relationship with EWM Group last year. I am delighted

Aurus places order with SMS group

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urus, a company based in Moscow, Russia, has placed an order with SMS Group for the supply of an UrbanGold Compact plant. The plant will be located near Moscow. Around 6000 tonnes of printed circuit boards will be processed by the plant each year. It will be used to produce LME grade metals such as copper, nickel, gold, silver and platinum. The process for this was jointly developed by SMS group GmbH and UrbanGold GmbH, Austria. The SMS Group’s scope of supply includes the supply of all components for mechanical preparation of the raw materials, top blown rotary converter (TBRC), refining furnace (PolyRefine), casting wheel, electrolysis, gas cleaning plants, and automation. SMS Group will provide the engineering, supervise the erection and commissioning, and train the customer’s personnel. UrbanGold, a spin-off of the SMS Group joint venture partner Mettop in Austria, is responsible for the design of the equipment and for the metallurgical process. Commissioning of the plant is scheduled for 2018. In winning the Aurus order SMS group has gained entry to a growing market with an innovative product from its portfolio. With the first plant of its kind worldwide, SMS group and UrbanGold are demonstrating their expertise in electronic scrap recycling technology. Visit: www.sms-group.com Mark Hebditch, group Logistics director at EWM Group, said: “We are delighted to have successfully concluded our negotiations and to be entering into a contractual relationship with Clipper, initially for 5 years, but we hope that it will be a long, successful and prosperous partnership for both parties.” Visit: www.clippergroup.co.uk Industry Europe 15


NEWS

Combining strengths

HENSOLDT takes Kistler Group takes over Vester Elektronik over EuroAvionics K

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he newly founded German sensor house HENSOLDT has taken over the Pforzheim-based company EuroAvionics GmbH, a supplier of avionics systems for helicopters and UAVs. Now that all the legal requirements have been met, the signed share purchase agreement has taken effect. “The takeover of EuroAvionics is the perfect example of a strategic acquisition since both parties generate added value from our collaboration,” said Celia Pelaz, head of Strategic Business Development. “We can now develop a comprehensive Avionics product line at HENSOLDT by combining the strengths of EuroAvionics in the civilian market and our own portfolio, which has primarily been geared towards the military up until now.” In this way, HENSOLDT will improve its access to civilian helicopter manufacturers and fleet operators. At the same time, synergies are expected from a more efficient use of research and development funds to meet new customer requirements. EuroAvionics Group generates revenues of approx. €20 million with around 100 employees. Its portfolio includes flight management systems as well as avionics computers and autopilot systems, particularly for UAVs. Apart from the headquarters in Pforzheim, the company has subsidiaries in the UK, the US and Switzerland. Visit: www.hensoldt.net

DEUTZ and Liebherr sign cooperation agreement

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EUTZ AG and Liebherr Machines Bulle SA have concluded a cooperation agreement, granting DEUTZ AG with immediate effect the global distribution and service rights for Liebherr diesel engines in various applications between 200 and 620 kW. Series production start-up is planned for 2019, in time for the

16 Industry Europe

istler Group has taken over Vester Elektronik GmbH – a company that specialises in sensor technology and test automation. Since its founding 50 years ago, the familyowned company Vester Elektronik GmbH has specialised in high-quality optoelectronic sensors for controls and process monitoring in the field of punching and forming technology. The company is known for its innovative and wellengineered systems for the quality assurance and surveillance of punching and forming processes, as well as for the high level of continuity and quality from a single source. Through the takeover Vester Elektronik GmbH gains access to a global corporate structure and new resources aimed at increasing its business and developing new markets. Customers in turn will benefit from the Kistler Group’s global service and sales network. By taking over Vester, Kistler is not only acquiring decades of knowledge in the field of test automation and sensor technology: it also

facilitates the establishment of a centre of excellence for optical measurement in Germany. “This new technology is the perfect addition to Kistler’s traditional measurement technology. It gives us access to new applications that enable us to meet the demands of new and existing customers even more effectively,” says Rolf Sonderegger, CEO of the Kistler Group. Visit: www.kistler.com

Continental and Kordsa join forces

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he Tire division of technology company Continental and Kordsa, a leading international supplier of textile reinforcing materials for the tire industry, are working together on a new, sustainable adhesion system standard for bonding textile reinforcing materials to rubber based compounds. In the context of their collaboration in the development sector, the two companies have agreed to develop a technology in which the substances resorcinol and formaldehyde are replaced by more eco-friendly chemicals. “Taking responsible action in the interests of our employees and of society as a whole forms a key component of our corporate strategy. So we are constantly seeking for new ideas to make our tire manufacturing processes as environmental friendly as possible. In Kordsa, we have found a competent development partner for adhesion systems, who can contribute their extensive knowledge in the field of resorcinol- and formaldehyde-free bonding technologies,” said Dr Boris Mergell, who heads up worldwide research and development of passenger car tires at Continental. “We are therefore planning the progressive introduction of this technology in the production of our tires across all segments in what is a further substantial step toward greater sustainability.” Visit: www.kordsa.com introduction of the new EU Stage V emissions standard. These four engines, all in the 9 to 18 litre cubic capacity range, will be designed to meet the EU Stage V, the US Tier 4, the China IV and the EU Stage IIIA emissions standards and will thus satisfy the requirements imposed by future statutory emission regulations. The TCD 9.0 four-cylinder engine delivers 300 kW of power and generates 1700

Nm of torque. The TCD 12.0 and 13.5 are six-cylinder engines producing, respectively, 400 kW of power and 2500 Nm of torque, and 450 kW of power and 2800 Nm of torque. The biggest engine, the TCD 18.0, delivers 620 kW of power and generates 3600 Nm of torque. These powerful engines are ideally suited to heavy-duty off-highway applications. Visit: www.deutz.com


LINKINGUP Groupe Renault signs a new joint venture in Iran

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roupe Renault has signed a joint venture agreement with the Industrial Development & Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO) and PARTO NEGIN NASEH Co, an importer of Renault products in Iran. The proposed joint venture company, of which Renault will be the majority shareholder – though with a first period of joint control with IDRO and

PARTO NEGIN NASEH Co – will include an engineering and purchasing centre to support the development of local suppliers as well as a plant with an initial production capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year, supplementing Groupe Renault’s existing capacity of 200,000 vehicles a year in the country. The first vehicles to be produced at the plant will be the new Symbol and new Duster. In addition to the vehicle plant announced in September 2016, an engine plant is also planned with a capacity of 150,000 units a year. 
The manufacturing facilities will be in Saveh, located 120km from Tehran. They will be owned and operated by the joint venture company. The agreements also provide for the development of an exclusive Renault distribution network, in addition to the existing network of NEGIN Khodro. Visit: www.renault.com

Siemens to acquire TASS International

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iemens will acquire TASS International, a global provider of simulation software, as well as engineering and test services aimed primarily at the automotive industry; and focused on autonomous driving, integrated safety, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and tyre modeling. Based in Helmond, Netherlands, TASS International has developed a rich family of solutions that will further strengthen Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software portfolio, and add

to its position as the leading supplier of systemsdriven product development offerings for the global automotive industry. “The automotive industry is a core focus for Siemens and our acquisition of TASS International is another example of our commitment to offering a complete Digital Enterprise solutions portfolio, enabling automotive companies to realise their digital transformation and fully benefit from all opportunities of digitalisation,” said Dr Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens’ Digital Factory Division. “TASS International is a proven leader in both integrated safety and autonomous driving – two fields of engineering that are increasingly important for the industry. By combining its strengths with Siemens’ PLM offerings, we are able to respond even better to today’s challenges in the automotive industry.” Visit: www.siemens.com

Sirmax enters the Indian market with joint venture

mers) for the automotive, appliance, electronics, power tools and household sectors. Autotech Polymers India Private Limited is one of the most historical Indian families (Nirmal B. Thakkar of Mumbai), active since 1945. The agreement is focused on continuing Sirmax’s strategy of global growth in Asia. According to the terms of the agreement, Sirmax will purchase 50% of Autotech-Sirmax

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he agreement for the joint venture Autotech-Sirmax India between Padua-based Sirmax SpA and Autotech Polymers India Private Limited was signed on 18 July 2017. Sirmax SpA is the fifth largest European producer of polypropylene compound and engineering plastic compound (techno poly-

Merger of Meusburger and PSG China A

new chapter in the cooperation between Meusburger and PSG in China began on 1 September 2017, as of which date Meusburger Mould and Die (Wuxi) Co. Ltd are now legally a single entity. Located on Lake Taihu and on the shore of the Yangtze river, Wuxi is often also called ‘little Shanghai’. Wuxi has also expanded economically: the city in the Jiangsu province is one of the eastern Chinese economic centres and is regularly included in the Top 10 best Chinese business cities. Meusburger and PSG have jointly obtained new office spaces in Wuxi and are now on site with more than 40 employees. Together with the new office spaces, a warehouse of 250m2 was set up in accordance with Meusburger’s guiding principle of permanent availability. Already, a large percentage of all parcels come directly from the new warehouse and can be dispatched all over China within two working days. Enormous synergies can be utilised through the merger of Meusburger and PSG. Customes can benefit from an expanded portfolio, central service performance and the shared know-how of the customer consultant. Visit: www.meusburger.com

India, while Autotech will hold the remaining 50% through its own management, a strategic role in the production of polypropylene and engineering thermoplastic compounds, now also with the license for and use of Sirmax’s technology and brand. The forecast of the JV for 2021 is an increase in production capacity in India from 15,000 to 40,000 tonnes. Visit: www.sirmax.it Industry Europe 17


NEWS

MOVINGON

Relocations and expansions across Europe

Zytronic announces Japanese expansion

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ytronic, a leader in durable, customised Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™ and MPCT™) touch sensors has announced a significant expansion in Japan, increasing its team to support customers, as well as appointing two new sales channel partners in the country. Zytronic has appointed Mr Masami Saito to the new position of business development manager, Zytronic Japan, reporting to Ian Crosby, global sales and marketing director. Sarah Larter has also been appointed as UK-based internal sales and customer service assistant to support its customers and partners in the Asia Pacific region. Furthermore, two new distributors have been appointed in Japan: KTL Corp. and Takachiho Koheki Co. Ltd. Both companies have extensive networks of sales offices nationally – Takachiho has 60 years’ experience in bringing the best Western technologies to the Japanese market and offers Zytronic a detailed knowledge of the country and access to potential customers. In addition, KTL has strong relationships with internationally known technology companies like Texas Instruments and Molex. Visit: www.zytronic.co.uk

TechnoNicol invests in new Russian drainage systems plant R

ussian construction materials manufacturer TechnoNicol Corporation has opened a new plant to make plastic roofing drainage systems, including drainpipes, at its base operation in Ryazan near Moscow. The company invested nearly €21.5m in the project to establish this highly automated facility, which has created 60 new jobs. TechnoNicol’s new operation will produce a range of drainage system components such as pipe, water intake funnels, connecting gutters and protective grilles for use on low-rise homes. The PVC products will deal with rainwater and snow melt roof drainage in a temperature range from -50 to + 50 degrees centigrade. TechnoNicol has installed in the plant a range of plastics extrusion and injection moulding lines supplied by leading western machinery manufacturers including Austria’s Engel and the German firm Theysohn Extrusionstechnik. The firm stressed that its modern equipment and raw materials will enable it to ensure its product quality matches the highest world standards. It is gradually increasing the amount of domestic Russian produced PVC, so reducing dependence on imported raw material and the production costs. Visit: www.technonicol.com

Lenzing opens Application Innovation Centre in Hong Kong

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he Lenzing Group is setting a further milestone in intensifying its cooperation with its partners along the value chain by the opening of a new Application Innovation Centre (AIC) in Hong Kong. New applications for Lenzing fibres will be developed and tested at the new facility, among them

18 Industry Europe

Teknos opens new Technology and Training centre

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eknos has built a Technology and Training centre in its Rajamäki facilities in Finland. The centre will serve Teknos’ clients and staff as training facilities and paint showroom. “We felt that we needed a place where we can provide training for our partners and our own staff on using our products. The facilities also allow us to test our own products, before commercialising them, in the circumstances where they will be used,” says managing director of Teknos Finland Arto Mannonen. The centre has a total floor area of approximately 1500m2. All the equipment, the painting chamber and the robotics represent the newest technology. “There has been a demand for training facilities like this. Our retail customers believe that testing our products in practice also supports the sales work in stores. Our professional customers, in turn, will be able to test our new products and provide us with valuable feedback on product features,” says Wille Saarinen, AC sales director in Finland. Visit: www.teknos.fi

applications for recent innovations like the RefibraTM branded lyocell fibre and the EcoVeroTM branded viscose fibre. “With this new centre Lenzing is further implementing its corporate strategy sCore TEN. The proximity to important Asian customers and partners along the value chain creates a new dimension in our service offering,” says Robert van de

Kerkhof, chief commercial officer of the Lenzing Group. “This new Centre is an integral part of our global technology network, from our R&D department and fibre processing laboratory in Lenzing to our fibre testing facility in Indonesia,” states Heiko Arnold, chief technology officer of the Lenzing Group. Visit: www.lenzing.com


NEWS

INDUSTRYPEOPLE

Bo I. Andersson appointed president of YAZAKI Europe

BO Getinge appoints Lars Sandström as CFO

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ars Sandström has been appointed CFO and member of Getinge executive team. He has held several senior positions within the finance organisation in Scania and most recently served as senior vice-president, group Reporting, Tax & Control in the Volvo Group. “I am very pleased that Lars has accepted the CFO role and that he will join the Getinge team. Lars has a long and broad experience from the finance area in public listed companies with global businesses. He will bring knowledge and experience both from a head office and a market perspective that will benefit Getinge,” says Mattias Perjos, President and CEO Getinge. Lars Sandström will be a member of the Getinge executive team and report to Mattias Perjos, president and CEO Getinge.

Airedale appoints dedicated Surfactants manager

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iredale Chemical is bolstering its plans to diversify and strengthen its product offering with the appointment of a new market manager focused specifically on surfactants. Elaine O’Neill joins the chemical company with a wealth of surfactant experience, having worked in the past for Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry, McIntyre and more recently Libra Speciality Chemicals. Her new position will entail technical and commercial support for the Airedale Chemical sales team on surfactant-based products advising on applications of surfactants, sourcing new suppliers and implementing new supply deals. Elaine said: “The surfactants market is a buoyant and growing area that Airedale Chemical is actively looking to expand into. My plans also include new products for personal care. I forecast a lot of potential in this and the home care industry, so I’ll be looking at ways to make the most of those opportunities.”

New managing director of Handtmann A-Punkt Automation

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Armin Walther has been the managing director of Handtmann A-Punkt Automation GmbH since June 2017. Mr Walther joined the company in the middle of April 2017 and became managing director of Handtmann A-Punkt Automation GmbH on 1 June. After studying General

I. Andersson has been elected new President of YAZAKI Europe. Andersson, born in 1955 in Falkenberg, Sweden, graduated from Stockholm and Harvard University in Business and Management. In 1987, Andersson started his career with SAAB Automotive AB as a purchasing manager before he was promoted to Purchasing vice-president in 1990. In 1993, he relocated to Detroit to join General Motors where he held various executive positions. From 2001 to 2009, he took over the position of global vice-president of Purchasing. In 2009, Andersson joined the GAZ Group as its president, and in 2013 he was appointed president of JSC AvtoVAZ, the largest Russian car manufacturer. Since 2016, he has headed Bo Group Industries as an industry advisor for both global automotive and non-automotive organisations.

Fredrik Emilson appointed new CEO of Höganäs

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redrik Emilson has been appointed
new president and CEO of Höganäs AB. Fredrik has been responsible for the
company’s business in Asia since 2012 and prior to that he held the same position
in Europe for two years. He succeeds Melker Jernberg, who will leave the
company. “With Fredrik Emilson, Höganäs will have a CEO with a broad knowledge of the company’s customer base, products and organisation. He has a documented ability to deliver healthy growth and good results and is a strong leader,” says Staffan Bohman, chairman of the Höganäs board of directors. “Fredrik is a highly qualified person to continue the implementation of the different initiatives that have been started during the past couple of years, such as ways of working, strategy and organisation, as well as to develop the company’s strong offering and customer relations.”

Engineering followed by a post graduate course in Industrial Engineering, Mr Walther first worked in the field of plant engineering and chemical/biological process engineering. For approximately 20 years, he has been employed in managerial roles by global companies and world market leaders in the field of surface finishing and machine tools. At Handtmann A-Punkt Automation, he can

use his expertise and experience extensively and will guide the company into the future, together with the Baienfurt team.

Industry Europe 19


NEWS

TECHNOLOGYSPOTLIGHT

Advances in technology across industry

New testing technique could speed up metal additive manufacturing in aerospace

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new technique could improve the efficiency of metal additive manufacturing in the aerospace industry and reduce waste by allowing components to be inspected during the build process. The technique, which uses laser ultrasound to detect defects, is being developed by Dr Ben Dutton from the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, UK. His work could encourage the use of additive manufacturing within mass manufacturing industries as it removes the need for a separate inspection process once components are built. It also responds to the need for new and improved testing techniques in view of the increased use of additive manufacturing in industries such as automotive and aerospace. Dutton, an expert in non-destructive testing, said: “Currently some additive manufacturing systems incorporate in-process monitoring but they use cameras to take snapshots of the layers as the item is being created. The problem with cameras is that each new layer of powder can conceal part of the defect. With NDT methods such as laser ultrasound, there is a certain amount of penetration so you can look below the top layer and detect sub-surface defects in a non-contact way.” The technique has shown potential for use with powder bed and directly deposited additive manufacturing processes, and with components of complex shape. Dutton is also playing a key role in the development of new ISO standards for inspecting additive manufactured components. Visit: www.the-mtc.org

Smartphone screen technology used to trick harmful bacteria

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onducting plastics found in smartphone screens can be used to trick the metabolism of pathogenic bacteria, report scientists at the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Centre at Karolinska Institutet. By adding or removing electrons from the plastic surface, bacteria may be tricked into growing more or less. The method may find widespread use in preventing bacterial infections in hospitals or improve effectiveness in wastewater management. When bacteria attach to a surface they grow quickly into a thick film known as a biofilm. These are especially dangerous in hospitals where they can cause life-threatening infec-

tions. Researchers have now aimed to address this problem by producing coatings for medical devices made from a cheap conducting plastic called PEDOT, which is what makes smartphone screens respond to touch. By applying a small voltage, the PEDOT surface was either flooded with electrons or left almost empty, which in turn affected the growth of Salmonella bacteria. “When bacteria land on a surface full of electrons they cannot replicate,” says principal investigator Agneta Richter-Dahlfors, Professor at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Neuroscience and Director of the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Centre.

On the other hand, if the bacteria encountered an empty PEDOT surface, the opposite happened, as they grew to a thick biofilm. “With the electrons being continually sucked out of the surface, bacteria could continually deposit their own electrons, giving them the energy they needed to grow quickly,” says Professor Richter-Dahlfors. This left the research team in a position where, at the flick of a switch, they could either abolish bacterial growth or let it continue more effectively. This has many implications for both health and industry. Visit: www.ki.se

A drone for last-centimetre delivery

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new drone developed at EPFL uses cuttingedge technology to deliver parcels weighing up to 500g. The device will never get stuck in traffic, it’s programmed to avoid obstacles, and it can reach destinations on steep or uneven terrain. Its protective cage and foldable design mean that it can be carried around in a backpack and used in total safety. With a drone, things like letters, medicine, firstaid supplies and food can be delivered quickly, cheaply and autonomously without having to worry about traffic, blocked roads or a lack of roads. The drone is equipped with several innovations that make it particularly safe, autonomous and easy to transport. The unique idea here 20 Industry Europe

is that the drone becomes the package that wraps around the cargo before flight, just like a mail package. The foldable carbon-fibre cage protects the drone and the cargo in case of a collision or fall. What’s more, the recipient can catch the drone mid-flight without being injured by the propellers, which are located within the structure and have a safety system so that they stop when the cage is opened. The origami-inspired design means that the frame can be folded and unfolded in a single movement. It can be flattened in just a few seconds, reducing the drone’s volume by 92% so that it can easily be slipped inside a backpack Visit: www.epfl.ch


NEWS

NOTICEBOARD Magura partners with LCL Electronics develops PCB for perfect timing eading contract electronics manufacturer, cence issues and uncertainty in the supply for Bosch and ZEG for L LCL Electronics, has successfully developed a a number of the old through-hole components, new brake systems new PCB for an old photographic timer, leading by creating new source code for the microcon-

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the late 1970s Bosch introduced the first fully functional ABS for cars. Now, the ABS technology that improved safety for cars and motorcycles in critical traffic situations is available for the first time for bicycles. Magura and Bosch have combined their efforts in a project to develop an ABS brake system, which increases rider safety for e-bikes. Magura developed a completely new brake, as a system with ABS needs more braking fluid and also more spare volume because of the pulsating function of the brake. A bigger and more ergonomic 3-finger-lever offers better control and improves sensitivity. The system is made up of a master cylinder, caliper (front: 4 pistons, rear: 2 pistons), brake pipe, adaptor (incl. cradle for the Tone Wheel Sensors), 2 sensor discs, and 2 tone wheels from Magura, while Bosch is responsible for the ebike system, ABS control unit, control lamp, and wheel speed sensors. Visit: www.magura.com

to cost savings and reduced production times. World-renowned Paterson Photographic is developing its existing products to combine traditional forms of lighting equipment with new technology. Using LCL as its electronics partner, the 200D enlarger timer, a mains operated digital timer unit, has been re-launched with updated technology to improve safety and efficiency. The development team, including Richard Oliver of LogicaTronics Ltd, overcame old technology from the 1980s, plus potential obsoles-

troller. The team also produced an improved circuit board using surface mount (SMT) components to reduce the risk of obsolescence. The end result is a final PCB design that is far more robust and efficient. The design uses less power and has fixed operational issues with the original firmware. The manufacturing process has also been simplified through improvements to the interconnection between the various mains input leads and the timer circuit board. Visit: www.lclelectronics.co.uk

A revolution in automation from Festo

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neumatics is intrinsically a user-friendly technology and it is set to become even more straightforward, versatile and flexible. The brand new VTEM Motion Terminal from Festo propels pneumatics into the era of Industry 4.0 with apps that can replace over 50 individual standard components, thanks to the latest developments in piezo technology and software.

“We predict that the VTEM Motion Terminal will revolutionise automation technology in much the same way that the smartphone turned the mobile communication market on its head a decade ago,” says Andy Parker-Bates, product manager at Festo. “In addition to transforming pneumatic products into true Industry 4.0 components, the VTEM simplifies system design, reduces costs and offers greater energy efficiency. ” Festo predicts that the new method of function integration exemplified by the VTEM – combined with software apps – will simplify the entire value chain, since only one piece of hardware will be required. Visit: www.festo.com

Sony introduces the IMX420/428

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ony Semiconductor Solutions launches the first models featuring its 3rd generation CMOS Global Shutter with the IMX420 and IMX428 image sensors. Both sensors achieve an excellent saturation at 25.000e- for a pixel size of 4.5 µm. These sensors come equipped with the SLVS-EC interface and new features like High/Low Conversion Gain (HCG), Dual Trigger, Dual ADC and self-triggering to increase the maximum throughput for object recognition and quality assurance of moving objects in Machine Vision, Robotics, and Factory Automation. Sibel Yorulmaz-Cokugur, line manager for SONY Semiconductor Solutions at FRAMOS, explains the new SLVS-EC interface: “Based on the different quality improvements, the existing standard interface would reach its limit transferring the high data volumes at faster speed. SONY has developed the SLVSEC standard with 8 lanes. It answers the increasing demands in resolution and speed and doubles the maximum output to 18.4 Gbps compared to the second generation (9.5 Gbps).”

 The IMX420 and IMX428, the first sensor models featuring SONY’s 3rd generation CMOS Global Shutter mode, clearly show how the combination of high resolution and high frame rates, along with Global Shutter read-out technology, boosts imaging quality and speed into new spheres. Visit: www.sony.com Industry Europe 21


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Industry Europe 23


EURO-REPORT

FOCUS ON...

Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the growing concerns for a post-Brexit EU.

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is now widely reported across Europe that the EU is resigned to Brexit talks failing because of a British ‘loss of reality’. And that failure to strike a deal is now being built into German plans for the future. A leaked German government paper shows that Chancellor Angela Merkel has formed a ‘United Kingdom Task Force’ inside her foreign ministry to handle Brexit negotiations and stand firm on her own red lines. The directive says Germany – the powerhouse of the European Union and the biggest payer into its treasury – will reject “all forms of individual agreements because this could lead to a split in the 27 EU states.” She recognises that ‘future relations’ with London, which include the status of students, financial concordats and the movement of goods, could take far longer to crystallise and believes that the EU Commission prediction of talks on these matters taking up to ten years is a real possibility. Germany, says the paper, highlights 60 sectors of its economy that will be affected by Brexit. Since October last year German ministries have been collecting data on the sectors – among them manufacturing and financial – that will be hit by Brexit. Mrs Merkel has appointed former eurocrat Uwe Corsepius, 56, as her point man in the ministry to handle all German concerns during Brexit talks. He is a close confidant of the chancellor but viewed by his erstwhile colleagues in Brussels as a ‘gruff’ and humourless apparatchik more interested in bottom lines than people. German economics minister Brigitte Zypries said on the morning of Brexit: “Today is the start of the negotiations which last for two years. Everything remains the same at first. “The rights and obligations of EU membership continue to apply to the United Kingdom. A new cooperation agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom should be 24 Industry Europe

completed after the withdrawal negotiations. There is no blueprint, but both sides have an interest in a close partnership, because trade barriers take advantage of no-one. “Whether and what consequences Brexit will have in the long term depends very much on the future partnership. It makes sense to have clarity, because uncertainty always slows investment. “I’m not worried because the German economy is robust and internationally intertwined. Britain faces much greater risks than the EU.” Concrete preparations for a worst-case scenario are already underway in the EU parliament, too. For example, the EPP, with the support of other groups, has applied for a change in CO2 emissions trading, due to the ‘increasing risk’ that the negotiations with London are failing. British companies should therefore not be able to redeem emissions trading certificates that they have received free of charge after Brexit. “In London there were unrealistic notions about a possible deal,” explains Peter Liese, EPP Group spokesman for environmental policy. “That is why we are also preparing for a hard Brexit.”

Rocky path ahead The EU Commission believes the next two months will be decisive. The liberal Guy Verhofstadt, Brexit negotiator of the European Parliament, says the British government has not yet submitted a specific proposal on its financial obligations. In Brussels, it is estimated that after the withdrawal between 40 and 100 billion euros must be paid by the UK in order to meet already entered-into agreements. The British proposals on the future of Ireland and Northern Ireland have already been rejected by Barnier as insufficient. Even London’s ideas on immigration and the future rights of EU citizens in the UK and the British in the EU are not satisfactory to the

rest of the EU. Lastly, an internal paper by the British Home Office, according to which the British government wants to restrict immigration of EU citizens directly after Brexit, caused trouble. “That would dramatically increase mistrust should it reflect government policy,” Brok said. Germany industry leaders are also lining up to sharpen their criticism of Downing Street’s Brexit strategy, saying London lacks a ‘clear course’ in negotiations to leave the EU. Dieter Kempf, the head of the German Industry Federation (BDI) warned of the talks: “With such bad conditions, hardly any progress can be expected.” According to schedule, Brexit will fall in March 2019. Ultimately the objective is an agreement to make the consequences of the British departure as smooth as possible for millions of affected citizens and the economy. BDI chief Kempf also criticises the British ideas for a future customs agreement, saying they are associated with “disproportionately high bureaucratic efforts.” He went on: “These ideas are far away from business practice. The United Kingdom must finally make clear statements about the exit modalities.” The British Government, on the other hand, is urging the EU to be more flexible. London wants to negotiate on issues of separation from the EU and on the future relations of both sides at the same time. The EU Commission, however, wants to impose its demands on the United Kingdom, including British payments of up to €100 billion for projects it had signed up to before the referendum last year. “The British still seem to think that this is a bluff,” says the Christian-Democrat EPP Group in the European Parliament. Elmar Brok, a foreign policy expert with Angela Merkel’s CDU party, puts the risk of Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal n as high as 50 per cent.


EURO-REPORT

FOCUS ON...

France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on a yachting slump in the French Riviera.

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rance’s luxury yachting industry has suffered a major downturn in revenue this year as thrifty millionaires shun the Riviera to moor their vessels in cheaper and less glamorous resorts. The cost of marine diesel, crew and mooring charges in the south of France are driving the world’s wealthiest people away to rival ports around the Mediterranean – especially Spain, Italy and Greece. The port of St Tropez has suffered a 30 per cent slump in income from berthing fees compared to 2016, while Antibes has lost 25 per cent of its revenue, and the less glamorous port of Toulon has lost 40 per cent. Monaco Maritime boatyard also recently lost a lucrative contract for a 152metre mega-yacht to a Spanish rival. This means that hundreds of businesses servicing the yachting industry, including crew agencies, yacht repair and painting firms and catering and fuel suppliers, could also be hit by the exodus of the tycoons. The high costs on the Riviera are blamed on France’s strict enforcement of EU regulations on the sale price of diesel, and the high French taxes and social contributions introduced in March meaning that employers now need to pay for crew members. Now three leading Riviera politicians, regional president Renaud Muselier, Nice mayor Christian Estrosi and Toulon mayor Hubert Falco have written an open letter to President Emmanuel Macron pleading for a loosening of the regulations. It said: “The gravity of the economic situation of the yachting sector in the Provence-Alps-Riviera region makes it necessary for us to appeal for your direct intervention. Refuelling a 42-metre yacht in Italy, instead of France, gives a saving of nearly €21,000 a week because of the difference in tax, while the additional cost of maintaining a seven-person crew in France is €300,000 a year.

“As a result, hardly any French sailors are now being hired to crew yachts and sales by the four largest marine fuel vendors have fallen by 50 per cent this summer. This is because the European Union is allowing Italy and Spain to undercut the Côte d’Azur, and we need an immediate harmonisation of tax and social regulations at the European level.” And Franck Dosne, manager of the Port Vauban yachting marina in Antibes, added: “The fall in visits can easily be seen simply by looking at a map showing where yachts are berthed in the western Mediterranean. National insurance, health and other compulsory contributions which boat owners pay for crew members has increased from 15 to 55 per cent of their wages.” A spokesman for Mr Macron said the president would be inviting representatives of the yachting industry to Paris to discuss their concerns in the coming weeks.

Unhealthy image Also in France this summer, the equally glamorous fashion industry was hit with tough new rules banning super-skinny models from catwalk shows and advertising in a bid to end the ‘glorification of anorexia’. Under the new law, models will now need a doctor’s certificate to prove they are healthy before being allowed to work in the fashion industry. The new rules also state that from October this year, magazines that use Photoshop to change a model’s shape must label their photos as ‘re-touched’. Fashion agencies and models will now face fines of up to £60,000 for using underweight girls in advertising, promotions or on the catwalk. French health minister Marisol Touraine said on Friday: “Exposing young people to normative and non-realistic images of the body leads to a sense of self-depreciation and poor self-esteem that can impact health behaviours. So this law aims to reduce the

promotion of inaccessible beauty ideals and to prevent anorexia in young people.” There are approximately 40,000 people in France suffering from anorexia, around 90 per cent of whom are adolescents, according to the latest health ministry figures. An earlier draft of the bill triggered protests in the fashion industry last year by proposing that a minimum body mass index – a measure of body fat based on height and weight – be imposed for models. But MPs have now agreed to let doctors decide whether a model is too thin by taking into account their age, gender and body shape. Medical certificates must now state that a model’s health ‘has been assessed in particular in terms of body mass index and is compatible with the practice of the modelling profession’. The new health reforms will also crack down on so-called ‘pro-anorexia’ websites that ‘incite extreme thinness’ by encouraging people to diet. It will now become illegal in France to ‘provoke a person to seek excessive weight loss by encouraging prolonged nutritional deprivation that could lead to health risks or death’. France’s National Union of Modelling Agencies has complained that the law on models will affect the competitiveness of the French fashion industry. But it is backed by veteran Italian designer Giorgio Armani, who said in 2013 that the fashion industry had a duty to ‘work together against anorexia’. He added: “The industry has to recognise the link between its preference for abnormally thin models and the growth in eating disorders among young women.” Also under the sweeping health reforms, France hopes to tackle child obesity by banning restaurants from offering unlimited fizzy drinks for a fixed price, and making water freely available in all bars and restaurants. A French health ministry spokesman said: “It is clearly unhealthy to be either too fat or too thin, and we are aiming to legislate n for both.” Industry Europe 25


AGRITECHNICA:

Showcasing the future

of crop technology Taking place from 12–18 November 2017 in Hannover, Germany, AGRITECHNICA is the world’s No.1 trade fair for agricultural machinery and equipment. Industry Europe looks at this year’s programme and finds out why this show stands out above all others in the sector.

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Agritechnica

Future crop protection Crop protection is one of the most important aspects of successful crop production and the scope of current development in this area ranges from forecasting models and nozzle technology to boom guidance, GPS control, drone and robot technology. With this in mind, a special feature of this year’s show is entitled ‘Future crop protection – responsibility needs ideas’. It will offer a unique platform to showcase new developments in the field of crop protection, tackling questions such as:

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ver seven days, AGRITECHNICA 2017 will be hosting 2900 exhibitors across 23 halls, showcasing the very latest crop production technologies and agricultural equipment. Alongside this, its technical programme will include a number of specialist forums and conferences and the event will also play host to the coveted Innovation Award and a Young Farmers Day.

• What changes are necessary in order to work more efficiently and thus in a more eco-friendly manner? • What action can farmers take to improve the way they use machinery and technology? Visitors concerned with this subject, such as farmers, consultants and private contractors, can take advantage of all AGRITECHNICA has to offer, including: finding out about innovations in crop protection; comparing and discussing systems and offering at a single venue; sharing their ideas and exchanging experiences with colleagues and suppliers; talking to experts and specialists to find answers to their most pressing questions.

Industry Europe 27


Conferences and forums As always, AGRITECHNICA’s show programme encompasses a broad range of conferences, forums and seminars. There are two international conferences running this year: ‘LAND.TECHNIK – Ag.Eng 2017’ and ‘Ag Machinery International – Access to emerging markets’. The first of these, running from 10-11 November, offers an insight into the vast world of agricultural technologies with tractors, power trains, electrical drives, mobile hydraulics and

28 Industry Europe

agricultural information technologies just some of the topics under the spotlight. The second conference mentioned above will be held with a view to enabling visitors to learn about interesting emerging economics and developing countries. Several events will take place examining selected countries in eastern Europe and southeast Africa, as well as South East Asia and China. Each separate part of the conference will offer market reports and best-practice


Agritechnica

examples from successful firms, as well as farmers’ reports from each participating country. The three main events within the conference, taking place from 14-16 November, are: • Opportunities in new markets – will the prophecies hold true? • Emerging markets in focus – positive outlook despite political uncertainties • South-East Asia in focus – Will Western brands find their place? AGRITECHNICA’s forum programme, meanwhile, provides visitors with opportunities to discuss current international topics with experts across science, business, consultancy services and agricultural practice.

Forestry and landscape This year, Hall 26 at AGRICTECHNICA plays host to the Forestry and Landscape Information Centre. It will focus on the safest methods

for harvesting wood, the most cost-effective way to process it and the best way to market it. It will also promote discussions on sustainable forest management and its importance for meeting society’s demands as well as providing income for future generations. The outdoor area of this information centre will put the spotlight on modern logging trailers, enabling potential buyers to determine which power band and specification is right for them, which safety features they need and so on. Moderated demonstrations will be running in the arena several times a day, featuring logging trailers of various capacities to suit a wide range of requirements. In addition, budding forestry machinery operators will be given the opportunity to test out their skills on simulators before moving on to the real thing.

Fostering young talent While AGRITECHNICA has long been recognised as a ‘must’ for established players in the agricultural sector throughout the world, its organisers also understand the importance of encourag-

Industry Europe 29


ing future generations. To this end, on Thursday 16th November a special Young Farmers Day offers a comprehensive technical programme with information and discussion forums, including themes related to ‘Access to the profession, careers and salaries’. Afterwards, there will be a large panel discussion with international guests followed by the now-famous Young Farmers Party in the TUI Arena.

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Also targeting budding agriculturalists will be the Campus & Career event – a platform for employment, careers, science and research. The comprehensive programme includes: company recruiting stands; universities, colleges and research institutes; academies, media and recruitment agencies and jobs walls; as well as a range of careers advice and occupational guidance from DLG coaches.


Agritechnica

Awarding innovation Finally, one of the highlights of this year’s event is the AGRITECHNICA Innovation Award, given to those who have displayed particular leadership in innovation. Winners will be selected by an independent and international jury of experts in various fields, who will honour pioneering developments with both Gold and Silver medals. All products classified as company innovations by a Commission

of Experts will be published both in the Innovation Awards Magazine and on the AGRITECHNICA website. Every firm registered as exhibitors at the show is eligible to take advantage of this unique opportunity to publicise their R&D efforts. For more information about the show, visit: www.agritechnica.com

Integrated solutions for agriculture For Hungary-based Ro-Sys Software Kft, a software developer and leader in ISOBUS-based system integration solutions for agricultural machinery in the central European region, Agritechnica 2017 will be a chance to showcase its latest ISOBUS product family with the open:control and the LogBox.

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ccording to a Ro-Sys’s CEO, “The LogBox is a manufacturer-independent logging device which can store all of the tractor data and automatically upload them via a GSM connection to a server. This can be a smart basis for using further online controlling systems. We are working on pilot projects with VisibeFarm, iGazda and Agrovir at this moment.” “Using the LogBox we can feed any kind of web-based server interfaces with real-time machine data without any user intervention needed. We can collect the openCAN, OBD, J1939 and ISOBUS data from the machines at the field and forward them via GSM, Bluetooth or WiFi connection. We can provide GPS (including optional RTK precision) positioning in the device as well. Our goal with the LogBox is to provide a very simple device that can be attached to almost any kind of machine – even the older ones without any cabin.” Alongside the LogBox, the open:control ISOBUS based control units could provide the suitable electronic bases for any small-sized

agricultural machine manufacturers. It’s a very scalable and easy-to-integrate solution with CodeSys interface included for the very fast and almost “plug-and-play” developments. This product is manufactured by the company’s long-term strategy partner for hardware development – ANEDO Ltd – which is a technology-leader ISOBUS OEM manufacturer already working at this field for the last decade. Ro-Sys mainly serves agricultural machinery manufacturers, although a growing secondary target market is industrial mobile development. In the latter it focuses on providing mobile apps and iOS apps, using GPS and Bluetooth-based connected devices.

Investment and growth plans Ro-Sys continues to extend its capabilities: in 2017 it invested in a new prototype production environment in order to be able to create its own devices, using 3D prototyping and testing tools to allow it to check the hardware. The company‘s CEO tells us: “For the coming year we are planning to create a

simple and solid, ISOBUS-based terminal extension to the LogBox, which can provide similar logging possibilities but includes the ISOBUS control functionalities as Task management, Section Control, Variable ApplicationRate handling.” As for its future plans, Ro-Sys has plans to expand further than its main markets of Hungary and Germany, increasing its presence in the central and eastern European countries such as Romania, Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. “We are concentrating on the neighboring countries. We would like to start working with some smaller machinery manufacturers together in order to spread our ISOBUS devices, as well as some additional partners to provide local web-based fleet management and controlling solutions using our logging devices.”

Industry Europe 31


Fakuma 2017: The latest in plastics processing

Fakuma, the international trade fair for plastic processing, will take place at the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre from 17–21 October and will be a chance for both visitors and exhibitors to find out about the latest technological developments in this sector.

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FAKUMA

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ore than 1700 exhibitors will present their products and processes on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the world’s leading technical event for industrial plastics processing. Launched initially in the old Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre and now with more than 915,000 square feet of overall exhibition floor space, once again occupying all available exhibition halls as well as the East and West foyers, Fakuma has evolved from small beginnings into the No.2 plastics technology trade fair in the world. At this year’s edition of the show, its organisers are expecting more than 40,000 expert visitors from 120 countries. These will include suppliers and users of plastics processing for specific issues and applications. Attention will be paid to the latest technologies, as well as processes and tools for efficient plastics processing.

Showcasing innovation Fakuma is the only technical event anywhere in the world to focus on all currently relevant technologies for plastics processing: injection moulding, extrusion, thermoforming and 3D printing. Thus, together with the comprehensive product portfolios of the manufacturers and distributors from more than 30 industrialised nations, Fakuma offers users a strictly practice-oriented information, communication and procurement platform for uncompromising solutions covering a great variety of challenges in the field of manufacturing engineering. From materials mix for lightweight design, material and energy efficiency for enhanced conservation of resources and environmental protection, to qualitative productivity for more economic efficiency – modern plastics technology provides conclusive answers to questions about the future. Whether new or time-tested materials, new or optimised processing technologies and methods, new or adapted tooling systems, and finally partially or fully automated raw materials and finished parts handling are involved – with integrated quality assurance and networkable structures and production systems, plastics processing facilities are ideally expressing the Industry 4.0 philosophy

today. From the initial concept to product development, prototyping, tool-making, series production, identification and packaging, Fakuma presents all of the necessary building blocks for the plastics processing sequence.

Covering the complete supply chain The plastics processing sequences for injection moulding, extrusion, thermoforming and 3D printing don’t come to an end after parts production. Other fundamental constituents of efficient production include downstream processes such as module assembly, go/no-go sorting of the finished parts, uninterrupted identification and QA documentation, sterile assembly and packaging of critical components and assemblies and more – in all of which Fakuma plays a pioneering role. As a logical consequence, Fakuma began exhibiting stand-alone and system solutions for the production of technical medical components at a very early stage, involving micro injection moulding as well as lightweight design in the form of integral components made of fibrous composite materials, other composites and honeycomb structures. Fakuma’s motto: Create Markets, Not Trends!

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An established leader Since its establishment in 1950 UNION, based in San Vittore Olona, Italy, has been developing and producing complete extrusion lines and components.

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he quality standards it has achieved in its more than 65 years of continuous activity, its range of products and constant machinery updates have made UNION a leader in the field of extrusion. To many, its name is synonymous with reliability and productivity, providing technical services, hi-tech solutions and assistance to its customers throughout the world.

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UNION’s range includes: extruders and complete extrusion lines for sheets, foils, profiles, hollow sheets at two and more walls, compounding and recycling equipment; special lines for composite panels of plastics and metal, and complete lines for undulated and greca sheets of PMMA, PC, PET; as well as advanced equipment for XPS, XPET, XPE foam boards, sheets and profiles.


FUKUMA

New experiences in compound and master-batch extrusion “Union has intensified its activity in the compound extrusion industry,” begins Zanazza, the company’s sales director. “A few years ago we made a big line for the production of high-concentration polymers; while today we are focusing on the real compound and master-batch market, dedicated to the production of plastic materials with anti-flame, antiblocking and graphene additives. “We have already made a series of machines, including a laboratory machine which has been newly installed at a compound transformation company, that will allow us to continue research in this field. Our range already included slow and fast twin-screw co-rotating extruders, produced mainly for rigid sheets and foam production,

but now we have developed machines which are totally dedicated to compounds and master-batches.” In the 1970s Union achieved significant growth thanks to its granulation, colouring and compound machines: today it is able to transfer the experience gained in twin-screw co-rotating extrusion even to compound and master-batch lines. From February 2017 its laboratory has been made available to potential customers, and consists of two high-speed twin-screw extruders complete with dosing devices for powders and granules, mixers, side feeders and two different types of die cutters to perform compound tests and small-batch production. “For less experienced customers, who are approaching the compound world with their first production facilities, we are able

Industry Europe 35


to provide our experience, if required, to improve the formulations proposed, using a consolidated partnership with an Italian company specialising in additives. “In the granulation and recycling field we have also made great strides in the field of MICROGANULATION for foam materials, such as recycled EPS from post-consumer cases and recycling in foam microgranules from 0.8 to 1.2 mm which is used in the development of new products such as panels for acoustic thermal isolation – even those with high electromagnetic dispersion thanks to the use of graphene.

Experience and know-how “We do not stop here,” adds Zanazza. “Our intent is to further expand the range with machines that are still in development. I think it is important to keep in mind the positive experiences gained in the past: certain themes, in fact, cyclically re-emerge. The research in the compound field could also help to make new extruded flat dies capable of replacing other materials. “I believe that the success of Union in recent years is derived mostly from the experiences gained during all the research and development phases, as well as those gained in the field from the 1950s up to now. We have been pioneers among manufacturers of sheet singlescrew extruders in the construction of machines with more venting zones and sheet extrusion machines with an L/D ratio higher than those of competitors. “When, in the early 1990s, machines with much greater lengths were proposed, our best competitors claimed that the extruder should have a length not exceeding 25–30D: today, however, these manufacturers have realised that a greater length, with equal screw diameter, ensures better mixing and energy saving. 36 Industry Europe

“Today we believe very much in the realisation of new types of plastics: special materials, of which we talk so much, will be achieved when the polymers are modified with nanoparticles. Our target for the future will be the use of compounds for the production of sheets with characteristics very similar to metals. The base will be a polymer made from those that are already known, but the structure will probably change: the addition of nanoparticles will give it higher mechanical characteristics. “In the elastomers field, although it is in lower numbers than in thermoplastic materials, nanoparticles are already used. The intention is to participate with our technology in future developments in n the field of thermoplastics.”


Plastics & Rubber

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Optimising automotive competence

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FKG is the official non-profit trade organisation of the Scandinavian automotive industry. The 25 year-old organisation is also a member of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, (CLEPA) and utilises this network to increase its contacts and strengthen the position of its suppliers. The association helps OEMs, component manufacturers and designers with everything from advice on legislation and quality control to sourcing new business partners. Philip Yorke reports.


FKG association

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or more than 25 years FKG has made a significant contribution to the development of the automotive industry and suppliers in Scandinavia, by working actively as their spokesperson for the industry to influence, politicians, authorities and the media. The association also creates meeting places to strengthen business relationships, provide opportunities for growth and work to promote future competence and excellence within the automotive industry. FKG also works continuously to improve the industry’s business conditions. This takes place as a result of its contact with government, parliament, trade and commerce organisations, as well as with Scandinavian research institutes and universities. The organisation also collaborates with a wide range of other industries and organisations on temporary one-off projects. Another important role of FKG is to have

contact with the media and to provide information about automotive suppliers and their goals. FKG is consistently consulted when special events take place within the automotive industry.

Promoting new initiatives The automotive trade magazine ‘Vehicle Component’ is published by FKG five times a year and has a circulation approaching 5000 copies. It also contains the Automotive Technical Association member’s magazine, SVEN, which is an informative newsletter presented in e-mail format that is distributed five or six times per month. This important publication promotes new initiatives within the automotive industry and creates various forums for suppliers to discuss the latest developments in order to help them to make key strategic decisions.

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The association also arranges key meeting places to help its members develop new initiatives for their business and to promote growth. A good example of this is the meetings that it arranges at special booths when suppliers gather together at important supplier trade fairs. In addition, FKG arranges business meetings between its members, car manufacturers and component suppliers in other countries under the umbrella title: Go Global.

Meeting future challenges The fast changing and increasing demands on the automotive industry generated by governments and consumers alike is driving the need for new initiatives and new negotiation techniques. FKG continues to develop the competence of its members to deal with future challenges and carries out national branch seminars that cover various topics such as financing, quality, contract law and industrial finance. The association also analyses and comments on current issues affecting the industry so that its members can gain a better understanding of new contracts and thus be able to offer qualified acceptances etc. FKG is the contracting partner in the joint financed automotive research programme that involves manufacturers and government agencies. This on-going programme is called FFI (Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation). The organisation also supports suppliers with the formulation of new projects and applies for funding in order to start projects. FKG carries out a profitability analysis each year of the entire automotive market and when required will examine the

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overall state of the market in relation to such things as the price of raw materials and the changing structure of the industry, and these are carried out at regular intervals.

New branch initiative Recently FKG formulated a new branch initiative for the Swedish automotive industry that is driven by innovation. The initiative is based on a number of key considerations including the on-going collaboration between parties with similar agendas and the prevailing market conditions for growth. In addition, it is based upon the understanding that the automotive industry accounts for sustainable growth and the development of society. It also relies on a commitment from suppliers to carry out research and development programmes as well as offering a trade policy that provides competitive neutrality. As a full member of the European supplier organisation, Clepa, with its head office in Brussels, FKG utilises this well-established network in order to create new contacts and to reinforce the Scandinavian suppliers’ position. Clepa’s strength as an organisation comes partially from its network of large global supplier companies and in part from its national and regional branch organisations. The big companies provide Clepa with leverage in its contacts with the OEM car manufacturers. Furthermore, the many medium-sized component suppliers are represented by its branch organisations, which in turn provides Clepa with legitimacy within the EU.


FKG association

Increasing value of Scandinavian exports Scandinavia and in Particular Sweden is one of the most dependent regions when it comes to relying on its automotive industries for employment and export revenues. The total value of exports from the Swedish automotive industry, for example, increased to more than K150 billion, which represents 12 per cent of the country’s total exports – making it by far the biggest single industry in Sweden. From an international perspective Sweden is unique with three car manufacturers that are responsible for manufacturing and development. In addition, two of the world’s largest manufacturers of heavy vehicles, namely Volvo and Scania, are based in Sweden along with the Volvo Car Corporation. These companies constitute an important part of industry and commerce and significantly impact on Sweden’s economic growth. The Scandinavian automotive industry has a high share of the Nordic country’s exports and

of its combined manufacturing abroad where approximately 85 per cent of passenger cars and 95 per cent of its heavy vehicles are manufactured outside of Scandinavia. The association’s many branch organisations work with other key entities such as the Norwegian organisation Norpart, as well as with many Finnish suppliers. The FKG also collaborates with countless other automotive trade organisations including ACS (Slovenia), AFIA (Portugal), AGORIA (Belgium), ANFIA (Italy), AUTIG (Denmark) and FIOEV (France). FKG works actively to support and promote the automotive industry and its suppliers. In order to be approved for membership the company must have a connection with the automotive industry. This applies to manufacn turing companies, as well as to service companies. For further details concerning the unique range of services offered to the automotive industry by FKG visit: www.fkg.se

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Investing for Growth Recently taken over by the Volvo Car Group, Automotive Components Floby manufactures automotive components including brake discs, wheel hubs, and connecting rods for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Romana Moares reports on how the company’s current production profile and plans for the future now it has the backing of the international group.

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reviously known as Amtek Components AB, Automotive Components Floby (AC Floby) has only been registered under its current name since 27 July this year following Volvo’s 100 per cent share purchase. Prior to this, however, there was already a strong history of mutual dependence between Volvo and the Floby, Sweden-based manufacturer. In fact, up until 2015 the plant was owned by Volvo but at this time it made the decision to divest it to the India-based Amtek Group. There followed two years of independent existence, but ultimately Amtek was not able to fulfill the terms of the agreement – hence the renewed Volvo ownership. However, it is important to remember that in the past two years the former Amtek Components had in fact managed to achieve considerable success with growing sales and good capacity utilisation. Its customers from the automo¬tive and commercial vehicle sectors have been enjoying increasing demand and the company has secured several new projects for the near future. Magnus Johansson, AC Floby’s sales and marketing director, says: “In the last two years we have focused our efforts on proper setting up all necessary functions that had been centrally organised before, such as HR, Finance, IT systems and so on,” he says, adding that the company has had a really good start up. “Demand for all of our product groups is increasing and we are in the process of reviewing our investment strategy. If needed, we will expand production capacity to suit the increased volume of requirements, while, of course, maintaining the quality of our performance.” Mr Johansson is also keen to stress that as far as the company’s structure and supplier relationships is concerned, nothing will change. “The plant will continue to run as a standalone company, with its own sales, purchasing, marketing and so on. Nothing has

changed in terms of the organisation, production profile or supplier relationships – all that has changed, in essence, is the name of the company and the owner of its stock.”

Core production focus AC Floby employs 480 people concentrated in a single manufacturing facility and is a major employer in the region of south-¬west Sweden – an area where many automotive manufacturers are located. Its product range is divided into three groups – brake discs, wheel hub and connection rods – which are all equally strong, but Mag¬nus Johansson foresees some changes in the future in order to keep up with trends in the rapidly changing automotive industry. “Electrification is the big topic of the day and this will of course significantly change the industry. This will no doubt have a con¬siderable impact on us. We need to be prepared for the changes, prepared to meet the need for new products which will be required as a result of the changed automotive environment.”

Lightweight and effective He points out that the company’s R&D engineers have been working on improvements towards more lightweight products, in anticipa¬tion of future trends in the automotive industry. One example of this approach is the silicon carbide reinforced aluminium (SCRA), which is the basis of products that are lightweight and durable at the same time. “The advantage of using SCRA in brake discs is that it is incredibly durable with excellent heat conduction, at the same time being significantly lighter than steel. Brake discs using the SiCaLight technology are installed in some variants of the Volvo V40,” says Mr Johansson, and adds that the lightweight solution is now ready to enter the market on a larger scale. Industry Europe 43


“We have had a very good response recently. Although we have had this product for some time, the markets were not mature enough. This is now changing, and with the shift to electric cars, we believe that there may be a good opportunity for this product.” He foresees that the changes will also affect the company’s key strategic product, connecting rods for cars, which it has been producing since 1990 in various types including connecting rods for highperformance engines in sports cars and modern diesel engines. “With the development of electric cars, demand for this type of product will decrease, but this is a long term vision, maybe in some 20 years’ time. In the meantime, we want to use our extensive experience and know-how to improve the connecting rod proper¬ties – we now make connecting rods from various materials, and our great flexibility allows us to bring in new materials. The focus here is on lightweighting too.” All of AC Floby’s products are made to customer specifications and this is one of the company’s competitive advantages. “We try to be partners to our customers, to help them design the most effective specifications allowing the part to be made in the most cost-effective way, while achieving the highest quality and good performance level,” stresses Magnus Johansson.

The future is bright Swedish car and commercial vehicle makers represent the dominant section of the company’s customer base, but it also supplies manufacturers in other European countries such as France, Belgium, the UK and Germany, as well as in other parts of the world. “We are a global supplier,” says Mr Johansson. “Our plant is only some 150km from the port of Gothenburg, from which goods are shipped all over the world. So, 44 Industry Europe


FKG association

unlike some manufacturers in Europe, we have an easy global reach. This is another competitive advantage.” “We rely on good partnership with our suppliers and their good performance. Reliable suppliers represent a very important asset for us. In this context I would like to highlight in particular our excellent relationship with several German and Danish companies but we value all of our suppliers, in whichever country they are based.” He maintains that despite the change in ownership the company will stay on its course to continue growing, developing and expanding its customer base. Indeed, thanks to the stability that comes

from being a part of an international giant like Volvo, it is putting an extensive investment plan in place to install new machining equipment for its entire scope of products. The figure will run into hundreds of millions of SEK. He concludes: “We are optimistic about the future. We believe that, despite the growth in the Asian auto industry, there is a big potential for the automotive and commercial vehicle sectors in Europe. Even though the markets have become global, there will be local produc¬tion everywhere. We want to ensure that we have an n even stronger position in this local growth.”

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Focus on swiss industry

Strength in unity

The industrial organisation Swissmem unites companies from across Switzerland’s mechanical and engineering (MEM) industries, as well as from related technological sectors. Industry Europe interviewed communications manager Jonas Lang to find out how it helps its members achieve their goals and works to boost the industry as a whole.

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ne of the key objectives of Swissmem is to strengthen Switzerland’s ability to compete at international level as a hub of both manufacturing and research. By remaining a staunchly independent voice over more than a century of activity, it has been able to successfully represent the interests of its members in economic, political and public debates. Furthermore, the Association of Swiss Engineering Employers (ASM) – the most significant collective employment agreement within the industry – also operates under the Swissmem umbrella. Mr Lang gives a brief overview of how the organisation was born and how it has developed over the years: “It was founded in 1883 as the Swiss Association of Machinery Manufacturers (VSM) with an initial focus on questions relating to customs and trade policy and to safeguard and promote the general interests of the Swiss engineering industry. The beginning of the 20th century marked a time of rising social tensions which resulted in the founding of the Association of Swiss Engineering Employers (ASM) in 1905. Since 1 October 1999, VSM and ASM have been operating under the name of Swissmem.”

Promoting Swiss manufacturing Swissmem’s key mission has not changed substantially since its establishment over a century ago: to promote the interests of its more than 1000 members from the Swiss engineering industry, ranging from small SMEs to international holding companies.

But how exactly does it go about this? One of its most basic strategies is to identify the concerns of its member companies and provide efficient services and solutions tailored to their needs. These services include advice on export matters, assistance with employment law problems, sector-specific educational and training programmes and energy efficiency, plus custom-made activities for the individual divisions. Essentially, then, whichever area of the mechanical engineering industry a particular member operates in, Swissmem will have the infrastructure in place to provide them with the help they need. Alongside the above, it also encourages active networking between all its members. This involves, as Mr Lang tells us, “participation and professional dialogue in 27 specialist groups (sub-sectors).” When it comes to the industry trends currently having the biggest impact on Swissmem’s members, Mr Lang emphasises the growing need to adapt to the digital revolution and the emergence of Industry 4.0. Smart factories are the future and Swiss industry will have to adapt to this if it is to remain competitive. “Along with other partners, Swissmem has launched the ‘Industry 2025’ initiative, the aim of which is to facilitate companies’ access to digitisation and the networking approaches of Industry 4.0.”

Industry Day 2017 In order to reach out to key decision-makers from business, politics, science and government as well as to enable its members to Industry Europe 47


Focus on swiss industry

meet face-to-face, each year Swissmem holds its annual Industry Day. This year’s event took place in Lausanne on 20 June and explored questions such as: what is Switzerland’s recipe for success when it comes to innovation? What conditions favour innovation in the Swiss MEM industries and where is there potential that can still be exploited? There were presentations from prominent figures in Swiss industry who discussed the process of innovation from product idea to market launch and emphasised the importance of cooperation between companies, universities and research institutions. The

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speakers included, among others: Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, Head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS); Hans Hess, President of Swissmem; Steve Bolze, President and CEO of GE Power; and Aude Pugin CFO of APCO Technologies.

Award-winning innovation Owing to the strong Swiss franc, one of the challenges for Swiss producers moving forward is to ensure they focus strongly on innovation and lean production methods. Fortunately, Swissmem’s


members are well up to this challenge. One illustration of this can be seen in Ampegon, a relatively young manufacturer of high power systems for world-class research facilities. In November 2016 this company was presented with the Swiss Technology Award 2016 in the category of ‘Innovation Leaders’ – the most important prize for innovation and technology transfer in Switzerland. In cooperation with the Institute of High Power Electronics (HPE) of ETH Zurich, Ampegon has developed an innovative short pulse modulator used for research facilities such as SwissFEL (free electron laser) at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and for medical applications (cancer treatment) and industrial processes (liquid sterilisation). The jury recognised the company’s high level of technological innovation, which combined both economic and social benefits. Mr Lang informs us that boosting innovation will continue to be a major focus for Swissmem in the years to come, as will globalisation for its SME members and continued training to improve performance n across its entire membership base. For more information on the organisation, visit: www.swissmem.ch

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Focus on swiss industry

Got the gear A European market leader in gear technology, family company Humbel Gear Technology has been ‘driven by customer satisfaction’ since it was founded in 1928. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to technology director Alex Humbel to find out more.

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family-owned Swiss company, Humbel Zahnrader AG, or Humbel Gear Technology, has long been driven by customer satisfaction. With both a respect for its proud history and a clear focus on the future, Humbel manages to bridge the gap between utilising experience and delivering the most innovative gear technology solutions. Technology director Alex Humbel spoke to Industry Europe to explain how Humbel Technology continues to develop and create forward-thinking gear technology: “We have been driven by customer satisfaction since 1928 and we intend to make a difference in the future too. We develop precision-engineered components, perfectly aligned assemblies and innovative engineering for our national and international customers and partners.” As a proudly traditional Swiss company, Humbel Gear Technology is committed to long-term, mutually-beneficial client and partner relationships. Mr Humbel continued, “We have successfully established ourselves as a leading name in global gear technology thanks to our ability to consistently create solutions that exceed our customers' expectations. We play a major role in our industry as a centre of expertise for everything associated with innovative gear technology.”

Bruderer BRUDERER relies on HUMBEL precision engineering to achieve highest standards in quality and precision.

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Focus on swiss industry

Family focus While Humbel Gear Technology remains a Swiss family company, it also manages to stay at the very forefront of the global gear technology industry through strategic expansion and investment. Steady growth throughout its nearly 100-year history has seen the opening of state-of-the-art facilities in the Czech Republic and Romania, as well as representative offices in Germany, Thailand and, most recently, the UK, enabling the company to serve customers across western, central and eastern Europe as well as India, South East Asia and China.

Mr Humbel explained how the global footprint of the company serves it well. He said, “We are a member of Swissmem, an association that unites the Swiss mechanical and electrical engineering industry. We find that working with our partners in Swissmem and being an active part of the group means that we have an extra level of understanding and a clearer voice when it comes to importing our solutions around the world. Furthermore, as we have various strategic locations that allow us to truly work closely with our customers wherever they are based, we find that we can provide the best of our Swiss engineering excellence with the advantages of being globally active.” The on-going investment programme at Humbel Gear Technology is also integral to its success. Recent years have seen the company regularly purchase new machines across the whole Humbel Group and install extensive new laboratory equipment. Mr Humbel said, “Our new laboratory for material testing and metallography in Switzerland has been open since September 2016 and this allows us to measure case hardening depths, analyse the microstructure of steels and determine the alloying elements completely in-house. This has not only extended our abilities in the field of heat treatment but has also increased our famous flexibility.”

Core strengths The Humbel Gear Technology core competencies are engineering, production, gears and transmission, with each skill working together with the others as required. Mr Humbel explained, “The sooner customers use our engineering services the better solutions can be achieved! By working with us right from the development phase, the functionality and costs can be more decisively controlled; our teams work in cooperation with engineers and designers across a wide range of specialist areas. Synergies, 52 Industry Europe


know-how and creativity are used to develop efficient and sustainable system solutions.” In terms of production, Humbel's many decades of experience, solid industry knowledge and innovative team of specialists combine to deliver leading gear and transmission components. Mr Humbel noted, “The high degree of in-house production depth is one of our particular strengths, enabling us to control the entire manufacturing process. By doing so, we can satisfy all our customers' needs, whether that's a single or partial operation for a manufacturing process or the complete production of gears and gear components.” The portfolio of gears offered by Humbel is 'anything but standard'. Mr Humbel said, “What is standard for us is that we create a huge range of customer-specific gear parts, from prototypes to series, with modules ranging from 0.5mm to 12mm, including spur gears, helical gears, ring gears, pump gears, bevel gears and worm gears. There's also the various extrusion screws, threaded spindles, sprocket wheels and timing wheel belts.” Humbel is positive about its future, as Mr Humbel concluded: “We have a very strong market position, coupled with our exemplary experience and our on-going investment and development. This is a very positive recipe for success. We're already growing our presence worldwide thanks to our strategic locations and we expect to see good growth internationally in the coming years. Our strategic focus in terms of markets will see us expand in the exciting world of motorsports, which is why we have opened a new office in the UK in York, the home of motorsport. We have also identified interesting opportunities to grow and develop in the e-mobility industry, with our gear technology experience perfectly positioned to benefit partners n in this future-focused industry.” Industry Europe 53


Optimising power

and performance Andreas Stihl is the clear market leader worldwide when it comes to the design and manufacture of chainsaws and hand-held power tools. Ultra-high performance and unquestionable reliability are the hallmark of this renowned global brand. Philip Yorke looks at the company’s latest innovative products and its strategy for future growth.

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Automation & Robotics

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ndreas Stihl invented the chainsaw in 1926 and since then its commitment to excellence has become legendary, making it the product of choice for professionals and consumers alike. Based in Walblingen, Germany, the company remains an independent, family-owned business, producing a wide variety of hand-held power tools that range from chainsaws, brush cutters, edgers and hedge trimmers to drills, sprayers and blowers. Today Andreas Stihl is active in more than 160 countries and operates a number of state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Germany, Switzerland, Brazil and the USA; in 2008 it made a major investment in new facilities in Qingdao, China. In 2016 the company recorded sales of more than €3 billion with over 12,500 employees worldwide.

New cordless applications Innovative, cordless power tools introduced by Stihl for private use have significantly extended the company’s product range. Lightweight, silent and efficient, these tools are ideal for applications in home gardens, especially in city areas, which has become a new target group for the company. Stihl plans to meet the needs of these consumers through its ‘Electric and battery partners’, which are the new dealers in urban areas. Stihl’s new battery technology increases the scope of applications for power tools. Whereas petrol-powered tools are used primarily on larger properties outside the cities, its silent, cordless power tools are ideal for gardens in densely populated urban areas. In order to Industry Europe 55


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Automation & Robotics

address these customers directly, the company is constantly adding new dealers to its specialist stores network. The goal of the ‘Stihl Electric and Battery Partnership Initiative’ is to break into the untapped potential of private customers in urban areas. To these new partners, Stihl provides professional advice prior to selling, handing over ready-to-operate tools and offering unrivalled after sales service. These are all mandatory conditions according to the Stihl guidelines for its new specialist stores.

Improving performance and handling Building upon its reputation for producing the world’s most innovative and efficient range of power tool products, the company has been busy introducing a range of new and improved products such as its latest ‘iMow’ robotic mowers, which take the hard work out of grass cutting. These can be programmed to mow the lawn automatically, avoiding obstacles and mastering hilly terrain. Once its work is completed, or the batteries require charging, the iMow returns automatically to its docking station. In addition, Stihl’s new MS 261 C-M chainsaw delivers optimal engine performance at all times and can handle a wide range of applications from cutting firewood, thinning work and harvesting small woodland, to felling medium sized stands of trees. This compact and powerful chainsaw is fitted with the company’s unique M-Tronic, fully electronic engine management system as standard. The significant product benefits keep this range of chainsaws from Stihl at the forefront of chainsaw technology.

Yet another product that tops the league in terms of design and efficiency is Stihl’s new, ultra-high-performance professional blower, with a full-length adjustable blower tube and handle position arrangement that avoids the need for tools. High blowing force combined with low weight, make this advanced blower ideal for removing grass and hedge cuttings, as well as for removing leaves and debris from large areas. This latest blower features the Stihl anti-vibration system, wide shoulder straps, hip belt, 4-MX engine, simple start logic and infinitely variable locking throttle lever with integrated carrying handle.

Supplier contributions rewarded Recently Andreas Stihl AG & Co. honoured six of its key suppliers with its coveted ‘Supplier of the Year 2016’ award. The company has presented this award to a total of 100 suppliers since it was established in 1990. Twenty-two of these companies have won the special award since, eight have been honoured three times, two four times and two suppliers five times. The assessment criteria for the award include outstanding accomplishments for quality, technology, innovation, service and priceperformance ratio. The annual award spotlights the suppliers who have supported Stihl in a special way with their high supply quality, punctual deliveries, flexibility, cooperation and special know-how. The six award winners for 2016 were: Hans Kolb Wellpappe GmbH & Co. KG. Memmingen, Germany (Packaging); Ipan Gmbh. Munchen-Haar, Germany (Renewals for protection of intellectual property rights); Radici Novacips SpA Chignolo d’Isola (BG) Italy (Plastic Resin); Reinhold Burkle Technische Federn GmbH Kernen I.R. Germany (Stamping and wire forming parts); SIIX Corp. Osaka, Japan and IIda Denki Kogyo Co., Ltd. Tokyo, Japan (Electronic n modules and electromechanical assemblies). For further details of these awards and Andreas Stihl’s unique range of innovative, powertool products visit: www.stihl.com Industry Europe 57


THE FUTURE’S HYPERSPECTRAL

As a world-leading authority on the development and manufacture of hyperspectral instruments, Finland’s Specim Spectral Imaging Ltd is dedicated to ‘making the invisible visible’. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to sales and marketing director Mikko Kannelsuo to learn more.

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Automation & Robotics

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ocated in Oulu, Finland and with a truly global client base, worldleading hyperspectral instruments manufacturer Specim Spectral Imaging Ltd is truly at the forefront of this fast-moving industry. Offering the widest selection of hyperspectral cameras anywhere in the world, Specim’s cameras and systems are globally respected. Established in the mid-1990s, Specim has developed rapidly, in line with this extraordinary technology that continues to embrace innovation as fast as it can be created. The company grew on the back of many years of research from the VTT Research Centre, where the Specim founders designed the first professional hyperspectral spectrographs and imagers. Today, the company continues to offer in-depth hyperspectral knowledge and extensive expertise in optical engineering in order to deliver cameras and systems that are the very height of precision, durability and functionality.

Dominating the scene Sales and marketing director Mikko Kannelsuo spoke to Industry Europe to explain how Specim’s clear dominance of the global hyperspectral imaging sector is driven by the its desire to remain ‘the technological leader’ across its active markets. Mr Kannelsuo said, “Specim cameras are unmatched. With our cameras, our customers can make machines perform on a different level compared to a traditional RGB technology. It really is incredible to be part of something so innovative. There are so many different applications for hyperspectral imaging, with more applications being evident all the time.” Mr Kannelsuo continued, “In the past four or five years, the hyperspectral imaging industry has grown faster than ever before; it’s been boosted as we’re seeing the perfect balance between enough years of experience coupled with fast-moving technologi-

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cal advancements. So that, added to the identification of new applications, means this really is a wonderful time for Specim.” The hyperspectral imaging cameras and systems Specim is creating are now faster, more effective, more reliable and more affordable than ever before. Mr Kannelsuo explained, “Yes, in the past five years the cameras have become smaller and it means they can be integrated into different interfaces. This has opened up a new world of possibilities for us and our customers and potential customers; we offer the best solutions in hyperspectral imaging for the industry’s needs.”

The name’s Specim The Specim product portfolio reads like a paragraph of a James Bond novel. With future-focused products that have been developed by harnessing the very latest in innovative technology from this

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already mega-futuristic industry, Specim’s range is broken down into Airborne, Geology, Industry and Spectrograph categories. Many world-class research, business and defence organisations rely on Specim. A large percentage of its customers are major global OEMs, who in turn have the ability to integrate the Specim cameras into their products. Mr Kannelsuo explained, “By choosing Specim hyperspectral cameras to integrate into their products, global OEMs can offer a far greater level of quality and information to their end users. And with more and more applications becoming apparent – such as detecting mould on food, for example – it is becoming clear that our products are really adding value and saving money for our customers.”

Imagine imaging The way that Specim works with its customers is also a key element in its success. Mr Kannelsuo said, “We have the ability to listen to our customers to get the exact information about their products, the challenges they’re facing, the issues they want to resolve – the issues they don’t even know we’re able to resolve. When you combine this information, this intense knowledge of their product and match it with our passion for the exciting world of hyperspectral imaging, we end up creating solutions they didn’t even know were possible.” With over 90 per cent of Specim’s products already being globally exported, the company’s main markets are Europe, North America, China and Asia Pacific. In the short term future, Specim will be focused

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on growing in China, Japan and South Korea. Mr Kannelsuo concluded, “We are strategically growing in these areas as they are a very good fit for our skills and experience. We have started a cooperation with a Japanese company which has helped us reach a large audience very quickly and we expect that to continue. We also expect to see a continued rapid boom in robotics cameras, particularly of a very small size, that can be integrated into ever-smaller products. Specim is certainly part of the future and I’m more than excited to share that.”


Automation & Robotics

Geared for innovative drive solutions Nord Drive Systems is a global market leader in the design and manufacture of application-specific drive solutions for industry. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to expand its global operations and to lead the field in the development of innovative, energy-efficient drive systems for a diverse range of heavy-duty industrial applications.

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ord Drive Systems was founded in Bargteheide, Germany in 1965 and began as a supplier of geared motors to local manufacturing industries in and around Hamburg, Germany. Initially a supplier of geared motors, it quickly expanded its facilities to produce gear unit housings, shafts and flanges. Since setting up its own electronics manufacturing facility in the mid-1980s Nord has grown to become a complete drive solutions provider, with an international network of agents and distributors. The establishment of its own motor factory in the 1990s significantly improved the flexibility of the company. Nord has always been committed to investing in new technologies and to being a global player, having founded its first foreign subsidiaries over 35 years ago in the USA, Sweden and France. Today Nord remains close to its customers on all five continents with its own assembly and service facilities and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of mechanical and electronic drive technology.

Heavy-duty performance Nord’s reputation for quality and reliability in the harshest conditions has resulted in the company being awarded a contract to provide heavy-duty machinery for construction work in the Swiss Alps. The expansion project, known as Linthal 2015, is high up in the Swiss Alps and clearly demonstrates the robust and efficient nature of Nord’s famous drive systems. For this special project, an underground central chamber for a new power station is being constructed at an altitude of more than

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1700 metres and has been driven 600 metres into the mountain. It will pump water from the existing Limmerboden reservoir at an altitude of 1860 metres to the 2500 metre-high Multsee range in order to power the turbines that generate the electricity. The huge quantities of excavated rock will be conveyed out of the mountain by two Nord SK12407 industrial power units. These two Nord industrial units power conveyer systems in a sub-station that transports 500 tonnes of excavated material per hour with a steep incline of 45 degrees and a height difference of approximately 180 metres. Industrial gear units from Nord have easily managed the transportation of over 2.5 million square metres of rock at high altitudes in an Alpine environment full of dust.

User-friendly innovation At the recent 2017 LogiMAT China Exhibition, Nord drive systems showcased a very user-friendly electronic-drive innovation: The Nordac Link Field distribution system, which is also available as a frequency inverter. These products feature manual control switches and maintenance switches for simple operation and service access. They are also equipped with PI controllers and an on-board PLC to empower smart autonomous applications. Nord’s Chinese subsidiary currently operates production plants in Suzhou and Tianjin with a total floor space of more than 35,000 square metres. Today Nord China has 23 sales offices across the nation to provide customer support in China as well as in other Asian countries.


Automation & Robotics

The comprehensive Nord Modular Product Range offers high efficiency drive concepts for conveying, positioning and hoisting applications. The unique product line-up includes IE4 synchronous motors with considerable energy-saving potential, notably in conveying systems with frequent partial-load operations at slow speeds. In these scenarios, industrial users will see considerable TCO reductions. A dedicated logistics industry solution is also offered by the standardised Nord LogiDrive units, which are engineered to be readyto-use, especially in large-scale plants with many belt and roller conveyers. These units are not only very affordable, but also help to streamline spare-parts management and come in sizes that cover all typical performance requirements in, for example, postal sorting hubs, warehouses and baggage handling systems.

Nord configures complete drive systems for heavy-duty operations in conveying systems, pumps and agitators. Designated major application fields for these units include bulk handling, the cement industry, steel industry, process engineering, woodworking, sugar n processing and wastewater management. For further details of Nord Drive Systems’ latest innovative products and services visit: www.nord.com

Unrivalled configuration options Nord’s industrial gear series offers an exceptional variety of configuration options for application-specific drive solutions. The unique Nord modular product range includes dual-gear set-ups, auxiliary drives, brakes, torque arms, backstops, swing bases and its latest special extruder flanges. In addition there are a number of sealing potions and solutions for monitoring and temperature management. The gear units can be mounted on all six sides. Furthermore, gear ratios can be configured to fine increments from 5.54:1 to over 30,000:1, with two, three or four gear stages, and an extra primary stage if required. All Nord industrial gear units feature a single piece Unicase housing. This ensures excellent longevity, a very high power density, compact dimensions and high overload capacities. Industry Europe 67


The pump family

As one of the world’s largest and most reliable manufacturers of external gear pumps and motors, Marzocchi Pompe is proudly leading the way in this demanding market. Industry Europe spoke with sales and marketing manager Aldo Toscano to learn more about the company’s distinctive qualities. Emma-Jane Batey reports.

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ased in Italy, Marzocchi Pompe has over 50 years of experience as a leading developer and manufacturer of some of the world’s most well-regarded external gear pumps and motors. Consistent development over the past half-century has ensured that the company, which is still firmly in the hands of the Marzocchi family, remains synonymous with reliability and quality. Marzocchi Pompe is not only proud of being a family-owned and managed company, but also of the fact that all its products are developed in Italy and made in Italy. Sales and marketing manager Aldo Toscano explained to Industry Europe why this is important: “Marzocchi Pompe SpA is a company that is dedicated to the exclusive design, manufacture and sale of external gear pumps and motors for high performance. The company is still solidly in the Marzocchi family, who hold the majority of shares, and our chairman and one of our directors are the sons of the two brothers that founded the company. Our name is so important to us; it is our family and our business. Marzocchi means quality and reliability and has done for over 50 years.”

Perfect performance The Marzocchi Pompe product portfolio offers a broad range of pumps and motors, highly focused on quality, performance and high-pressure applications. The company is specialised in microhydraulics as well as offering an extended range of products that ably cover all the standard needs of the market regarding displacement, flanges, shafts and porting. Mr Toscano added, “Our wellrespected micro-hydraulic pumps are low noise and on the spot, with efficiency and high performance as the key features.” Marzocchi Pompe has continued to develop in recent years, with its latest investment seeing the finalisation of a whole new range of pumps. Mr Toscano noted, “A lot of things have happened recently; we’ve been very busy! We recently launched our new range of low noise helical rotor pumps, but our main achievement has been the deployment of a new plant dedicated to the full production of our gears sets and the assembly and testing of our automotive pumps.”

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The R&D department at Marzocchi Pompe plays a key role in the on-going development of the company and its range of respected gear pumps and motors. Mr Toscano explained how the team showcased its latest developments at Hannover Messe 2017. He said, “Our R&D department is always busy working on something new to enhance our product range and to respond to our customers’ changing needs. At the moment we’re working on several personalisations of our standard pumps so that they are fully industrialised and validated in the same way as our customised range. We are active participants at the world’s most suitable trade fairs for our industries, so Hannover Messe was a great opportunity for us to meet with cus70 Industry Europe


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tomers and potential customers across Europe. This year has also seen us participate at CONEXPO/CONAGG in Las Vegas in March and we were at Bauma China in Shanghai in November.”

Global development Its regular attendance at such global exhibitions illustrates how broad Marzocchi Pompe’s footprint is, with Europe its main market currently and North America and Asia both important markets. Mr Toscano said, “We have recently opened a commercial branch in Shanghai covering the whole Asia Pacific market: So Marzocchi China now joins our Marzocchi Pumps USA branch to ensure we can deliver our reliable solutions to customers anywhere in the world.” It is certainly true that the Marzocchi promise of flexibility, quality, customer care and production capability is achieved across all of its active markets. Mr Toscano noted, “Of course there are plenty of challenges due to the behaviour of the market and of the aggressiveness of the competition and so on, but it is the distinctive characteristics of our company that continue to help us: our focus, our know-how, our superb team.” With Marzocchi Pompe expecting continued success in the coming years, the company is planning to stay on its positive path. Mr Toscano concluded, “Our strategy is to remain one of the leaders in our market and, in order to do this, we need to keep working on all our goals – production capacity, new products, maintaining high standards of quality and reliability. We are also launching an exciting new programme that will allow our key distributors to produce product modifications, which will further enhance our flexibility and our speed of response.” 72 Industry Europe


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Optimising value-

added networks The Bosch Group is a global leader in the supply of innovative electro-mechanical technology to a broad range of industrial sectors. The company has always recognised the valuable contribution of suppliers, who provide services and innovative products above and beyond their requirements. Philip Yorke reports on the group’s latest award ceremony held in Stuttgart, Germany, where 44 suppliers from 11 countries were honoured for their unique contribution to the on-going success of the Bosch Group.

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he Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services to a broad range of industrial sectors, including mobility, consumer goods, energy and building technologies. The company employs around 400,000 people worldwide and in 2016 generated sales of more than €73 billion. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility and connected manufacturing. It uses its unrivalled expertise in sensor technology, software and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer IoT customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 440 subsidiaries and regional companies active in over 60 countries worldwide. The company’s global manufacturing, engineering and sales network covers almost every country in the world. The basis for its future growth is its innovative strength at 120 locations across the globe, and its 59,000 associates involved in research and development.

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Partners in success The latest Bosch Supplier Awards award ceremony marks the 15th time that Bosch has honoured outstanding performances in the manufacture and supply of its products or services, notably in the areas of quality, costs, innovation and logistics. Bosch presented the coveted awards before an audience of over 100 delegates from the supply industry in Stuttgart, Germany. The theme of this year’s award ceremony was ‘Partners in Success’. Dr Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the Bosch board of management, emphasised the special role of the increasingly inter-linked cooperation between Bosch and its suppliers: “In the connected world, partnerships are becoming more and more important. Hierarchical value chains are turning into value-added networks. With our open platform technologies, we are in an ideal position to seize the opportunities offered by digitalisation in our partner networks. For example, exchanging 4.0 data using the Production Performance Management Protocol.


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“Our goal is to achieve supply-chain excellence, which requires maintaining the highest quality standards. In the future we must react even more quickly and flexibly to the demands of the market and those of our customers. This will work only when all partners are intelligently connected with one another, working closely together with the aid of automated processes,” said Prof. Dr Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, the deputy chairman of the Bosch board of management and in charge of purchasing and logistics.

Focus on software As a global leader in its field, Bosch is not only shaping the future of technology but actively driving the transformation based on the new opportunities created by digitalisation and the increased connectivity this offers. “By 2010, all Bosch’s new electronic products will be connected. This means that our demand for software will also be constantly on the rise. By 2013 we expect to triple our software purchasing volume to over three billion euros,” Denner commented. The Bosch CEO is convinced that the company’s suppliers will also find it increasingly important to further develop their organisational structures, a move that will primarily involve expanding their softwarerelated expertise. Denner believes that companies’ sharingof ideas and knowledge is a key factor: “We have to work together to further expand our existing business in connected products and industry 4.0. Indeed, this is the only way to stay competitive over the long term.”

Co. Ltd., China, Dow Corning Corporation, USA, Minebea Mitsumi Inc., Japan, and the Essex Group Inc., USA. For Electronics and Electro-Mechanics, the following companies were honoured: Infineon Technologies AG, Germany, Integrated Silicon Solution Inc., USA, Kyocera Crystal Device Corporation, Japan, Meteor Sas Di Fabio Dell’Oglio & C., Italy, Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Japan, Nidec Corporation, Japan, Osram GmbH, Germany and Shenzhen Kaizhong Precision Technology Co., Ltd., China. For Mechanics, the following companies were honoured: Anton Haring KG, Germany, Cablex Group, Slovenia, Formtechnik Dr. Hasel GmbH, Germany, Fuji Industries Corporation, Japan, Gentherm, USA, Korel Electronik San. Ve Tic. A.S., Turkey, Marcegaglia Poland Sp. Z.o.o., Italy, Bemd Meffle Kunstoffverarbeitung GmbH, Germany, Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Japan, Nash Industries (1) Pvt. Ltd., India, Ningbo Sunny Aitomotive Optech Co., Ltd., China, Pressofusione Saccense S.r.l., Italy, Reich Gmbh, Germany, Scherdel GmbH, Germany, SFS Intec AG. Switzerland, Ssangyong Materials Corporation, Korea, Takako Industries Inc., Japan, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, Sweden and Yantaio Shougang Magnetic Materials Inc., China. For Resale Goods, the following company was honoured: Kingclean Electric Co., Ltd., China. Finally, for Innovation, the following n company was honoured: VEM Gruppe, Germany. For further details of the Bosch Group’s supplier awards and innovative products and services visit: www.bosche.de

Rewarding excellence This year’s winners of the Bosch Supplier Awards come from all corners of the globe: from Germany (18) Japan (6), the US (4)Korea (2), India (1), Sweden (1), Switzerland (1), Slovenia (1), and Turkey (1). At the ceremony Bosch conferred awards in a total of six categories. These are: innovation, raw materials and components, electronics, and electro-mechanics, mechanics, resale goods and the purchasing of indirect materials. For Purchasing of Indirect Materials the following companies were honoured: Balluf GmbH, Germany, Bechtkle AG, Germany, Chiron Werke Gmbh & Co. KG, Germany, Comparex AG, Germany, Koh Young Technology, Korea, Loccioni, Italy, Netzwerk P Produktion GmbH, Germany, Strama-MPS Maschinenbau GmbH & C0. KG, Germany, Traytec GmbH, Germany and Zeller + Gmellin GmbH & Co. KG, Germany. For Raw Materials and Components, the following companies were honoured: A.Schulman, Germany, CW Bearing Cixing Group Industry Europe 75


Reinforcing sustainable

tyre technology Kordsa is a global leader in the development and manufacture of tyre reinforcement technology products. A clear focus on quality and innovation has made Kordsa a global brand that offers stronger and lighter reinforcement materials for the automotive and aviation industries. The company has also widened its lines of business by trasferring its expertise in tire reinforcement technologies into construction reinforcement and composite technologies, repositioning itself as ‘The Reinforcer’. Philip Yorke reports. 76 Industry Europe


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oday one out of every three automotive tyres manufactured globally, and two out of every three aircraft tyres produced worldwide, are reinforced by Kordsa high-tech cord products. Thanks to the company’s technological leadership, unrivalled expertise and broad global footprint, it continues to set the standards for the industry. Kordsa was founded in 1973, and following consistent growth and a number of key acquisitions over the last 40 years, it has emerged as the world’s foremost producer of nylon and polyester yarns. Thanks to its strong global footprint, combined with its technological leadership and broad experience in tyre reinforcement technologies, the company has been able to widen its lines of business to include construction reinforcement and advanced composite technologies. Today the company has over 4000 employees operating in eight plants across five countries: Turkey, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand and the USA. In summarising its latest investments in the tyre reinforcement market, Kordsa inaugurated its second tyre cord fabric and polyester yarn plant in Indonesia with a USD 100 million investment in 2015. The following year Kordsa made an additional investment of USD 30 million in order to expand its polyester production by 7kton in both Indonesia and Turkey. Furthermore, in order to maintain its leadership position in the US, the company recently purchased the facility of the Invista Corp in the US state of Tennessee. Kordsa has two official R&D Centres, focusing on light-weighting and reinforcing projects for both composites and tyre reinforcement. Its first R&D Centre, which was founded in 2007, ranks among the top R&D Centres in Turkey and is mainly focused on the reduction or elimination of compound while applying tyre reinforcement materials to reduce rolling resistance.

Driving composite technologies forward However, as mentioned above, Kordsa is also increasingly expanding into new areas of business besides tyre reinforcement, one of the most significant of which is composite technologies for lightweighting. In line with this strategy, last year (2016) the company invested USD 30 million into a new Composite Technologies Centre of Excellence, based in Turkey. Established in cooperation with Sabancı University, it has one of the most advanced testing laboratories of its kind in the world. The resulting ground-breaking composites that emerge from these laboratories offer a range of new product benefits to many manufacturing industries. The new Kordsa composite material is 10 times lighter and three times stronger than steel and

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can be used in such diverse industries as automotive, aviation, transportation and marine. Kordsa has also recently developed a new resin technology that provides a revolutionary shortening in the curing process in automotive production and and has brought speed and efficiency for mass production to the automobile industry. With the new resin technology, the curing time of nine minutes has been reduced to three minutes and the surface of the composite material is of a much higher quality than its counterparts. In line with this innovative vision of combining industrial and academic processes under one roof, Kordsa had a record number of patent applications in 2016, when it applied for 32 new inventions and 116 patents. In total, the company has 411 patent applications and 128 inventions in place.

New technology for construction sector Established in 2014 the Kordsa Construction Reinforcement Business Unit is involved in market research and technology development for the manufacturing of construction reinforcement products. Kordsa has combined its broad experience in industrial fibre technologies with its reinforcement mission to introduce its first construction reinforcement product: KraTos. This advanced new product range stands out as a new synthetic fibre for concrete reinforcement of exceptional quality offering: speed, labour cost savings, equipment and energy efficiency, as well as long-lasting durability. Kordsa’s latest KraTos Micro product provides superior results in terms of preventing early age drying shrinkage cracks when compared to polypropylene and basalt fibres. The company’s KraTos Macro brand offers a highly engineered and optimised fibre design that ensures homogeneous 3-dimensional distribution in concrete. This unique product provides all-round crack control by increasing load-bearing capacity of concrete under service and the design loads of the structure. In addition, its superior toughness properties, easy mixing and applicability enable it to be used in a variety of construction applications including slab-on-ground concrete, screed, shotcrete, tunnel lining and pre-cast concrete components.

Focus on sustainability In 2015 Kordsa published its first Sustainability report that represented its economic, environmental and social performance during 2014. Since then its clear focus on sustainability has been rewarded with many prestigious industrial prizes. The report itself was awarded two prizes by the League of American Communication Professionals. In 2016 the company published its second 78 Industry Europe


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sustainability report in accordance with GRI4 guidelines and is currently working on its third Sustainability Report. In line with its corporate responsibility understanding the company also sponsors and runs many social welfare projects.

Value-added technologies Kordsa’s CEO Ali Çalışkan told Industry Europe, “As Kordsa Reinforcers, we will continue to develop value-added innovative technologies while creating products for a more sustainable world. We know that companies doing business in today’s rapidly changing and competitive markets are expected not only to create economic value, but also to offer value to their stakeholders by managing their social and environmental responsibilities. “At Kordsa we execute all our activities in such a manner that they facilitate continuous improvement and generate value for our stakeholders and the society that we live in.”

Tailor-made supply-chain Efficient supply-chain management is an important component in the on-going success of Kordsa and in fulfilling its customers’ needs and providing added value. The company is continuously improving its value proposition by enhancing its supply chain services and their outcomes. Kordsa handles its incoming customer orders in the most efficient manner possible, allocating inventory and production to individual customer orders. The company’s unique supply-chain process simultaneously manages the procurement cycle, manufacturing cycle, replenishment cycle and customer order cycle. Its main proposition is to be closer to its customers by understanding them and fulfilling their needs on n time and in full. For further details of Kordsa’s innovative sustainable products and services visit: www.reinforcer.com

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Fast flowing success Mann+Hummel is a global leader in filtration solutions and a major development partner in the international automotive and mechanical engineering industries. The company continues to invest broadly in new technology and R&D, which has resulted in a substantial expansion of its product portfolio. Philip Yorke reports on the company’s latest innovative new products and its record year for sales.

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ann+Hummel was founded in 1941 near Stuttgart, Germany by Adolf Mann and Dr Enrich Hummel. The company has developed a number of ground-breaking products including cyclone air filtration technology, textile and felt filters, strainer disc filters and main-flow oil centrifuges. The company’s strategy to combine synergistic acquisitions with the development of innovative new products continues to ensure a positive future. Today Mann+Hummel is a truly global player with over 20,000 employees and an annual turnover of more than €3.5 billion.

Innovation driving growth In the financial year 2016, Mann+Hummel increased its sales revenues by over 14 per cent to €3.5 billion and the company has made some strategic decisions to ensure its profitable growth in the future. This involves a sharp focus on filtration, its core expertise, which is important in order to achieve clean air and pure water throughout the world. “Today we already develop and produce cutting-edge technology for people’s health and mobility. Tomorrow we will grow more and more profitable with filtration applications in areas which are

outside the automotive sector,” explained CEO Alfred Weber as he presented the company’s latest figures. “The automotive and mechanical engineering sectors are currently in a period of transition. The same is true of our business model. The drivers here are alternative transport solutions, digitalisation and the growing importance of sustainability. The opportunities to participate in the development of mobility and the industries of the future have seldom been as interesting as they are today,” he added. In 2016 the group invested more than €125 million in R&D and for the sixth consecutive year is listed by the German Patent and Trademark Office as being in the top 50 most active companies for the filing of new patent applications.

New technology centre The Czech Republic was the country selected for the building of a new state-of-the-art technology centre by Mann+Hummel. The new building is to focus on the development of new automotive filtration technology and is the company’s first such facility in central and eastern Europe. The development centre is located in Brno and is the sixth facility of its kind in Europe and the eleventh in the world.

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RORA MOTION recognised as a leading innovator RORA MOTION – among the key suppliers of MANN+HUMMEL - is one of the leading innovators in the SME sector. The Bad Reichenhall-based company was granted the Top 100 award, now in its 24th year, by Ranga Yogeshwar, Professor Nikolaus Franke and compamedia. Since 1993, compamedia has been awarding the Top 100 seal of approval to SMEs with a particular ability to innovate and above-average success rates for innovations. This is the second time in succession that RORA MOTION has joined this elite group. The independent panel of judges praised the company’s climate of innovation and its adoption of open innovation principles.

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It was established as a result of the need to enhance the technical background of the manufacturing plant in the Czech Republic and to generally increase Mann+Hummel’s development capacity. The centre employs specialists that design and develop automotive filtration technologies using existing CAD/CAE techniques. The development centre also collaborates closely with university students who are taking degrees in technical fields. In addition, the Brno office is working in close cooperation on research projects with the academic and research programme of its local Technical University.

New ‘spin-on’ separator at Hannover At this year’s Hannover trade show, Mann+Hummel presented its latest star product, the StarBox2. The new spin-on separator covers a wide range of volume flow rates and therefore offers considerable advantages for compressors with variable drive ratios. Designers have two application options: the separator can be used energy

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efficiently with low-pressure drop, or used for high compression and performance applications with significantly higher flow rates. This new separator was developed for use with both mobile and stationary compressors with an output up to 55kW. StarBox2 covers the FAD range of 1.5 to 6.5m3/min and can therefore be used in a wider performance range than conventional spin-on separators. The separator’s highly efficient flow design and new sealing concept reduces flow loss and therefore also the drive-energy required by the compressor. This in turn reduces the energy costs, which account for approximately 75 per cent of the total costs of running a compressor. Furthermore, the company has developed a new Wavelock spinon filter system for oil and fuels as original equipment for compressors and combustion engines. Another three new products have also been showcased at Hannover this year at the ConVac trade fair in April. The three new advanced air cleaners for vacuum pumps and compressors are the Iqoron VP25, the Entaron CD4 and the Enteron HD 4Vac.


Automotive & Heavy Vehicles

The Iqoron VP25 is the product of choice for compressors with a volume flow-rate of 25 M3/Min and is available as a single stage air cleaner for application conditions with low dust levels, or as a two-stage air cleaner for locations that are prone to high dust levels. Its flat and compact design and innovative Variopleat filter element make it an ideal solution where installation space is tight. For the first time Mann+Hummel will present two new products from its Enteron family. The Enteron CD4 is a single stage air cleaner for use with stationary compressors. It is differentiated by its direct suction technology and low pressure drop. The Enteron HD 4Vac variation is a superior two-stage air cleaner for vacuum pumps and is the successor to the Europiclon 200 Vacuum. n For further details of Mann+Hummel’s innovative products and services visit: www.mann-hummel.com

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Modern lighting

systems from Poland The ES-SYSTEM Group, a company headquartered in Krakow, Poland, is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of professional LED lighting technology. In its plant in Dobczyce, which produces LED modules, emergency lighting systems, power supplies and controllers, it has just launched its third line for the production of complex electronic modules.

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he history of the ES-SYSTEM Group goes back as far as 1990. The purpose behind it was to save energy with each lighting solution through the use of the most modern technologies. This concept is reflected in the company’s name, as ‘ES’ refers to ‘Energy Saving’. The ES-SYSTEM NT plant in Dobczyce is the group’s latest and most technologically advanced factory, opened in 2012 (the NT acronym stands for New Technology). This plant has a total area of 6400m2. “You could say that the new plant was tailor-made,” begins Rafal Gawrylak, president of ES-SYSTEM. “It fully addresses our needs and expectations, both in terms of the production potential and the working conditions we wanted to create. Visitors, both from Polish and foreign companies, are impressed by the fact that all our luminaires and highly advanced electronic modules are produced by us. This is a huge benefit for our customers.” There are three production lines in Dobczyce. The latest investments involve the assembly line for electronic modules in SMT technology – i.e. surface mounting and laser marking of electronic products directly in the 86 Industry Europe

production line – as well as another line for automatic optical testing. Its launch has shortened the process and increased production efficiency by 40 per cent. In addition, the expanded 9-camera optical system for automated testing reduces the number of false errors during testing, allowing for more effective product control. The electronics manufacturing process is extremely complex and demanding. To ensure that the machine operates to its full capability and that the components produced are of the highest quality, optimum ambient temperature and adequate humidity are maintained.

Strong tradition in Wilkasy The ES-SYSTEM capital group includes the Wilkasy plant located in the north-eastern part of Poland. Its origins date back to 1957. Since the 1970s, the company has been focused on the production of industrial, explosion-proof and road luminaires. Nowadays, it is also a specialist in creating plastic and sheet metal housings for luminaires. Since ESSYSTEM SA entered the stock market in 2007, the Wilkasy plant has


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undergone a thorough modernisation. Today it is equipped with modern machines for plastics processing, laser punching machines, bending machines and numerically controlled cutters. The Wilkasy machining centre is one of ES-SYSTEM’s largest investments to date.

Light is life ES-SYSTEM runs a BBT-accredited laboratory that has achieved SMT-supervised status. It is one of only two private research centres of this class in Poland, operating in the lighting industry. All the luminaires produced by the company are tested there. This way, customers can be confident they are buying reliably tested products. ES-SYSTEM is the first company in Poland to promote the concept of photobiological safety. It educates users on the fact that blue LED light does not need to be dangerous: it all depends on the quality of the LEDs used. That is why it is so important to buy luminaires from proven manufacturers. “We buy LEDs only from reputable suppliers,” says Rafal Gawrylak. “However, the whole process of design and production takes place entirely in-house. At each stage, the product undergoes tests and detailed controls. I have heard people say that the manufacture of LED luminaires is simple, but in fact nothing is further from the truth. There are many cheap solutions available on the market, but it is doubtful whether these can fully exploit the potential of this technology. A luminaire with LEDs is a really complicated electronic device. It must have a suitable power supply, adjusted to the number of LEDs and the structure to protect against overheating. Only then can this technology be efficient and completely safe for users.”

Custom projects made to order ES-SYSTEM’s annual production is estimated at more than 3000 different projects, but only 20 per cent of them are standard. The remaining 80 per cent of the luminaires are manufactured according to the individual requirements of customers, to fully meet the needs of the specific project. “The production of custom solutions gives us endless possibilities,” says Mr Gawrylak. “Light is extremely malleable and requires a specific

approach. It is in fact the creator of the environment. It gives you amazing possibilities for arranging rooms and outdoor areas. The boundless imagination of the designers and our ability to customise the luminaires allow us to create amazing solutions. The effects of such a collaboration can be seen, for example, in the Hall of the Earth in Poznan or in the Deloitte office building in Lisbon.”

The LED revolution The LED revolution continues, which can be seen from the company’s results. Every quarter shows a greater share of LED luminaires in ES-SYSTEM’s total sales. A few years ago it was only 20 per cent, while today these products account for 60 per cent of sales. Sales of LED solutions in the first half of 2017 amounted to 68.7 per cent of the company’s total sales revenue (i.e. 63.3 million PLN) compared to the 59.7 per cent share (i.e. 48.8 million PLN) in the first half of 2016. Cumulatively, the Group noted an increase in the share of LED products in its domestic sales to 67.7 per cent from 56 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year. The percentage share of LED product sales in the export department decreased to 72 per cent from 74 per cent in the corresponding period in 2016, whereas the value of LED product sales abroad increased by 35 per cent yearon-year, reaching 16.7 million PLN. Foreign markets are more mature and oriented towards new technologies, not only in economic terms but also ecological. Fortunately, Poland is also beginning to show an increased interest in the use of LED technology thanks to the continued development of the economy. “We are proud that we can show that a Polish company is able to compete with world leaders in this industry; for example, we provided lighting for the French Prime Minister’s office,” emphasises Mr Gawrylak. In 2017, the company plans the further development of its technological base. This will increase its advantage over other companies operating on the Polish market. New investments will be focused on developing its own technology park to provide state-of-the-art n production standards. Industry Europe 87


Premium windows for Europe

Vetrex is Poland’s leading producer of premium class windows, doors and façade systems. It is a part of the LIEBOT Windows and Façade Group and this year it celebrates its 20th anniversary. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.

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etrex, a company from Rokitki, near Gdansk, offers PVC and aluminium windows and doors, as well as façade systems. “We have been producing windows for 20 years. During this time, thousands of investors and clients have trusted us and we have not disappointed them,” points out Daniel Malinowski, Vetrex vice-president. The company was founded in 1997 and was initially involved in the production of windows for the local market. However, its dynamic sales growth has resulted in the rapid development of the company. In 2002, it purchased 3.5 ha of ground in Rokitki, built a 88 Industry Europe

new production hall and offices, and finally moved there in 2004. Since that time, Vetrex has grown enough to offer its products all over Poland. It currently employs 350 people and its daily production capacity is estimated at more than 1000 window units. In 2016, its total annual sales exceeded PLN 100 million (approx. €24 million). “The economic crisis that took place in Europe in 2008 has made us more aware of the need to strengthen our brand. After doing a lot of market research we decided to focus on the premium woodwork segment. This, in turn, resulted in the need to introduce a new quality


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of product, as well as providing a higher level of support for our partners. Over the next few years we have built a strong network of authorised dealers, which currently counts 80 points throughout Poland,” explains Mr Malinowski.

Important part of the group This development was noticed by the Liebot Group from France, Europe’s largest producer of windows, doors and façades, which was looking for partners to develop its foreign sales. The Liebot Group consists of manufacturers specialising in providing woodwork solutions of the highest quality. It achieves revenues of €510 million, and employs people in France, Poland, Spain and Italy. “We have thoroughly explored the Polish market and have chosen Vetrex because of its well-established market position, the quality and technological sophistication of its products, and the client trust it has built up over the years. We are also impressed by its transparency and its consistency in achieving its goals, resulting in the creation of a true European premium brand,” said Bruno Leger, CEO of the Liebot Group, in 2014. “We gained an investor and at the same time a strong partner with whom we can see greater opportunities to expand our offer and improve our products,” adds Mr Malinowski. “The long tradition and prestige of the group obliges us to continuously increase standards. At the same time, being a part of the consortium we can dynamically develop and access breakthrough technologies.” The company’s exports account for about 30 per cent of total sales, and are growing steadily. In the coming years, they should reach 50 per cent. Germany and Italy are Vetrex’s main foreign markets, followed by the Scandinavian countries, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, France

Landsberg Landsberg cooperates with many joinery manufacturers from all over the country, but since 2000 we have enjoyed a particularly strong collaboration with Vetrex as a supplier of steel reinforcements. Our strengths as a supplier include our excellent quality standards, wide assortment and the rapid delivery of our products. Working closely with Vetrex is part of our strategy to focus more on customer needs and improve our service level. We continuously increase our technical competences and thanks to our cooperation with companies like Vetrex we have implemented over 500 technologies for all window systems as well as for ventilation, construction and more besides. Furthermore, in response to customer demand we have established a large, modern warehouse which enables us to quickly deliver the necessary steel reinforcements to our customers.

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P.P.U.H. PROFIL Jerzy Sowiński P.P.U.H. PROFIL Jerzy Sowiński is a company that specializes in a production of window and door joinery accessories. We own a molding workshop for the production of injection molds. We support the European manufacturers of window and window profiles, mainly in Germany, Slovakia, Spain, and Croatia. We are constantly expanding on new markets, recently trying to reach such Eastern European markets as Romania. We are an official supplier of: ROTO-FRANK, SALAMANDER-WINDOW AND DOOR. Our main products are: mechanical joint blocks (fixed/movable), glazing bridges and flat packers, door threshold switches, run-up blocks (clips) and sliders, weld corner inserts, drain hole covers. Our experienced and specialized employees along with high quality of our products and services are the qualities that distinguish us from the competitors. Since 1994, many customers from Poland and abroad have trusted us. Through all these years, the attention shown to the aesthetic aspects of our products and to the products’ quality, as well as to the customer’s satisfaction has been our highest priority. Given the continuous changes that occur on the domestic market and abroad, we have implemented the ISO 9001-2009 modern quality management system.

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and the Netherlands. “We do our best to properly plan our presence on foreign markets. Recently, we have established two local companies in Germany and Italy, each with separate sales structures. We adjust our offer to customers’ expectations, which are specific for each country: e.g. in Poland and Germany energy-efficient products make up 80 per cent of our sales, while coloured doors and windows, as well as renovation windows, are popular in Italy, and windows with monoblock frames are particularly popular in France,” explains Mr Malinowski.

In its 20th year of business, Vetrex is optimistic about the future: its sales network is growing, new products are being introduced, and the construction of a new factory has been finished; starting the next year, very modern doors will be produced in that factory. This is a good starting point for another 20 successful years in business. n www.vetrex.eu

At the cutting edge Vetrex windows and doors are at the leading edge of energy-efficient systems. Meeting the European standards, Vetrex’s offer has the most laboratory-tested constructions. All its windows and doors are subject to specialist tests in notable research units, such as the Window Research Institute IFT Rosenheim and the Construction Research Institute in Warsaw, supervised by the Minister of Infrastructure and Construction. The company owns a professional laboratory with a chamber to test extra-large woodwork constructions. Vetrex products are made using the most advanced technology. The factory is equipped with fully automatic lines for the production of PVC woodwork, which includes cutting and machining centres for PVC profiles and 4-head welding machines cooperating with milling and cleaning centres; it has a modern line to produce aluminium woodwork with a numerically controlled machining centre for aluminium profiles. “We do not compromise on quality: we collaborate only with the best suppliers and we are focused on long-term cooperation, in which a low price is not the main factor for us,” points out Mr Malinowski.

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Material advantage Heidelberg Cement is the world’s largest integrated manufacturer of building materials. It leads global markets in aggregates, cement and ready-mixed concrete. Following the acquisition of Italy’s leading cement company, Italcementi, it has significantly enhanced its global footprint and technological superiority. Philip Yorke reports.

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eidelberg Cement is a global market leader in the supply of building and infrastructure materials such as aggregates, cement, and many related downstream products that include ready-mixed concrete and asphalt. Headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, the company employs 63,000 people at over 3000 locations and in more than 60 countries worldwide. Heidelberg has over 3000 production sites globally as well as more than 150 cement plants with an annual cement capacity of almost 200 million tonnes. In addition, the group owns 1700 ready-mixed concrete sites and operates over 600 aggregates quarries. Following the recent acquisition of Italcementi, Heidelberg has continued to expand its operations throughout the Asia Pacific region and the Africa-Mediterranean basin, as well as enhancing its dominant market position in Europe and North America. Today the group is divided into six key geographic business units: Western & Northern Europe, Eastern Europe-Central Asia, North America, Asia-Australia-Africa, Asia Pacific and Group Services.

New markets targeted Heidelberg Cement and Italcementi are a perfect fit. With this recent significant acquisition, the company is well placed to enter new markets, such as France in Europe, Egypt and Morocco in North Africa, and Thailand in south-east Asia. In the USA, Canada, India and Kazakhstan, the takeover will further strengthen the global presence of Heidelberg Cement. Heidelberg told Industry Europe, “The core activities of Heidelberg Cement include the production and distribu-

tion of cement and aggregates, the two essential raw materials for concrete. Our downstream activities mainly cover the production of ready-mixed concrete, but also of asphalt and other building products in some countries. With the acquisition of Italcementi, we have significantly expanded our maritime trading activities.” The company added, “Cement is by its very nature an energy intensive raw material. That is why we build our long-term success on sustainable business practices. This includes securing access to raw material reserves, efficient and innovative production processes and the use of alternative production processes. Heidelberg Cement is also active in the promotion of bio-diversity at its extraction sites.”

Focus on sustainability Heidelberg Cement has been recognised as a global leader for its corporate action on climate change and its response to the need to protect bio-diversity and focus on sustainability. The award by US Charity CDP has listed Heidelberg Cement on the A List of companies driving Climate Change awareness and implementing strategies to prevent it. The Climate A List is released in CDP’s campaign, ‘Out of the starting blocks’, which tracks the progress on corporate climate action reports. CDP’s CEO said, “We congratulate the A List companies that are leading the charge towards our low carbon future. Companies are key actors in in enabling the global economy to achieve its new climate goals, and the leadership group point the way for others to take bold action and to capitalise on the many opportunities that await.”

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In July this year, Heidelberg released its 2016 Sustainability Report which saw major advances in the company’s achievements in relation to CO2 emissions and sustainable devlopment processes. This is Heildelberg’s 8th Sustainability Report and was prepared in accordance the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI G4) and summarises important topics and challenges for Heidelberg Cement in its drive for sustainable development.

New value-added additives Heidelberg Cement, in association with RWTH (the University of Aachen), is carrying out a major research programme into the binding potential of CO2 minerals. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the ‘CO2MIN’ project with three million euros. During the three-year research project the absorption of CO2 from flue gases by the minerals olivine and basalt will be investigated and evaluated. In the future, these carbonised materials could be used as a value-added supplement in the manufacture of a wide range of building materials. Heidelberg and the Aachen University will be supported by the Potsdam

Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies and the Dutch startup Green Minerals. The natural minerals olivine and basalt are able to bind CO2 over their entire life cycle. With natural absorption, it takes decades until these minerals are saturated with greenhouse gases. The ground-breaking research project is designed to speed up the absorption process. If successful, carbonised materials can be used in many manufacturing applications. The use of CO2 as a raw material has high priority in the climate strategy of Heidelberg Cement. “We are already reducing CO2 emissions at our plants very successfully by using alternative fuels and raw materials by optimising the efficiency of our kilns,” explained Jan Theulen, director of alternative sources at Heidelberg Cement. “In order to reduce CO2 emissions even further in the future we need to develop and test new approaches. One of them is the binding of n CO2 materials,” added Theulen.

For further details of Heidelberg Cements latest innovative products and sustainable development strategies visit: www.heidelbergcement.com

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Dorfner functional fillers act as a key component in modern composites, functionalised particles in intelligent paints or in industrial flooring systems.

INNOVATION FROM TRADITION The Dorfner Group is a supplier of industrial minerals and REFINERALS® that are used as highly functional fillers and additives in a variety of applications. The company has secured a leading position in several of its target segments. Due to their extraordinary features, some of which are unique on the market, many Dorfner products can be found in a vast array of daily-use items around the globe.

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ounded in 1895, the Dorfner Group specialises in the extraction, processing and refining of industrial minerals that are used as functional fillers and additives in many industries. The starting point was one of the most important German kaolin and quartz deposits located in the Upper Palatinate region in Bavaria and access to highly versatile mineral raw materials. Dorfner recognised the potential of these resources early on, and has consistently expanded the operation ever since. Today Dorfner is a successful family-owned company headquartered in Hirschau, Germany, with approximately 300 employees and five subsidiaries worldwide. Dorfner’s products have allowed it to attain market leadership in many industrial sectors. Their functional mineral fillers provide valuable services in numerous segments, and open up new opportunities for many industries – for example in construction materials, ceramics, paper and glass. Due to the recent market developments, Dorfner now focuses on the strategic segments of composite materials, paints and coatings, and construction 98 Industry Europe

chemicals. Here the filler systems can act as a key component in contemporary kitchen sinks and bathroom elements, or as functionalised particles in intelligent paints. Industrial flooring systems are a major segment in construction chemicals. Within this segment many decorative and resistant surfaces consist of Dorfner GRANUCOL® coloured quartz sand. New and innovative Dorfner products offer low-dust or conductive solutions for the industry. Early this year, Dorfner launched a full range of fillers for sanitary elements, like washbasins or bathtubs. These new products open up new opportunities in design and resistance for producers of Solid Surface (ATH). The entry into the sanitary world provides a second mainstay in the important segment of composite materials, along with the kitchen industry. Kitchen sinks and countertops made of composite materials with mineral-based functional filler materials are more in demand than ever before. Dorfner has transitioned coloured functional filler materials to market maturity, and is a market leader in this field. Customer-specific coloured sand mixtures with significant


Construction & ENGINEERING

Dorfner supports e.g. the paint & coatings industry with solid application know-how. Sophisticated particle technologies, as well as modification processes, turn the raw materials into high-quality functional materials.

With the in-house casting facility for composites experimental processes can be tested under real conditions.

technical performance and a broad variety of colours are developed from a range of more than 150 pure colours. A particular new website (www.dorfner-composites.com) gives an overall impression of the portfolio focusing on the industry and designers.

Dorfner’s philosophy makes it stand out in the market of filler manufacturers. Dorfner is different and is perceived differently in its field.

Elaborative refinement processes and sophisticated particle technologies

Internationalisation is a clear focus point in Dorfner’s strategy. The latest acquisition of ACS International Products, based in Tucson, Arizona, USA, in August 2017, represents another important step forward. With revenues in the double-digit millions (USD), ACS has been one of the US’s top manufacturers of decorative, non-mineral filler systems for some years. The products are primarily used in the production of bath and sanitary products, furniture and other cast polymer and spray applications. In addition to both being familyowned, Dorfner and ACS also uphold similar company philosophies with a focus particularly on product innovation and individualisation. The company started its worldwide expansion in September 2014 with the establishment of a new sales subsidiary in Dubai to strengthen its position in the market of the Middle East. The major system manufacturers for flooring systems in the region are supplied with GRANUCOL® sands and DORSIMIX® blends. Many flooring projects of thousands of square metres have been finished in the meantime. The next goal is to convince the companies operating in the paint industry in Arab countries of Dorfner’s competence and products. This has already been achieved in Australia. Since the beginning of this year, one of the market leaders in the paint industry in the Pacific region has been continuously supplied with DORKAFILL® products. In the course of supplying products to this client, the company’s R&D specialists are constantly learning about the user- and climate-specific requirements in the local markets. For further details about Dorfner filler systems and services visit: www.dorfner.com or www.dorfner-composites.com

The quality of the products is ensured through the processing and further refining of the raw materials. The raw materials undergo an elaborate refining process, where they are separated into their components and get cleaned. The result is pure crystal quartz sand with a uniform colour and of the best possible quality. With sophisticated particle technologies, as well as through modification processes, Dorfner knows how to finish the raw materials into exceptionally high-quality functional materials, such as industrial minerals and REFINERALS®. Most of the products are manufactured on a tailor-made basis for customers, which ensures the technical and economic perfection of the final product.

Customer service and innovation Dorfner primarily sees itself as a partner for its customers – a partner who cooperates with them to facilitate expansion of added value, supporting them in a goal-oriented manner to successfully create innovative and marketable products. In order to achieve this, Dorfner has built up a professional R&D department and solid application know-how, as well as product and market-oriented consulting for production and processing. Along the customers’ process chain, new formulas, or experimental and upscaling processes, can be tested under real conditions, e.g. with investment in an in-house casting facility for composites. In this way, it is possible to quickly identify problems and solve them accordingly using suitable formulas and an adapted process execution.

In Hirschau and around the world

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All under one roof Austrian Tondach is a leading manufacturer of long-life ceramic roof tiles and roof systems and has been present in Hungary for over 25 years. Since 2012 the world’s largest brick producer, Wienerberg, has been involved in a joint corporation with the Tondach brand, which led to the creation of valuable synergies. Edina Beale reports.

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1992 the Austrian Tondach Gleinstatten AG expanded into Hungary, and began a series of acquisitions to expand its operations in Europe. First the group acquired shares in the largest Hungarian roof tile manufacturer, later purchasing two more tile factories in Hungary. To increase the efficiency of these dynamically developing operations, Tondach decided to fuse the three companies and established Tondach Hungary in 2003.

Giant capacities Following several successful years, in 2009 Tondach built a new production facility in Békéscsaba, south-east Hungary from a €50 million investment. The new factory was completed in a record one year and provides a space of 25,000m2 to house the cutting-edge production technology. The output capacity of this state-of-the-art facility reaches nearly 30 million roof and 2.5 million profile tiles a year. This is enough to cover about 3 million square metres – i.e. the roofs of 15,000 houses. The 235 metre-long kiln is the largest of its kind in the world. Tondach is seriously committed to providing responsible services and the best solutions for their partners at their two sites in Békéscsaba and Csorna where nearly 50 million roof tiles are made every year. The Hungarian subsidiary employs around 300 staff – in fact, nearly 2 million people live under a Tondach roof in Hungary, where the company is a clear market leader. While providing a fast and efficient service for the domestic market, half of the total production is distributed to foreign markets including Slovakia, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

Unique roof solutions Due to the wide selection of solutions it offers in terms of both shape and colour, Tondach Hungary offers unique and creative roof solutions for builders: a total of 1392 different variations can be made from its products. This year’s new collection of Tondach roof tiles Industry Europe 101


includes the Natur line, Color line, Protect line and Exclusive line, while customers are able to choose ceramic roof tiles with Fusion Color and Fusion Protect surface treatment options in the popular brown, grey or black colours. The aim of this continuous product development is to serve all market requirements at the highest level, while also staying abreast of current trends and complying with construction laws. Tondach’s principle is that there is absolutely no barrier to the creativity and imagination of the designer and builder when it comes to new roof or roof repair.

New integration It was at the end of 2012 that the management of Tondach Hungary Zrt and directors of Wienerberger Téglaipari Zrt announced that Wienerberger AG would be purchasing 50 per cent of Tondach Gleinstatten AG. The aim of this cooperation was to widen the ceramic product choice for builders, from the brickwork to the ceramic roof tiles. Wienerberger is the largest producer of bricks in the world and holds the leading position in the clay roof tiles market in Europe, with 198 production sites in 30 countries. The company is also No. 1 in the production of house front/facade bricks in central and eastern Europe.

Top position While operating in Hungary, Wienerberger has achieved a market leading position in the market for ceramic building materials. The company established its Hungarian subsidiary in 1990 with an aim of introducing its hi-tech solutions and products in the central eastern European region by manufacturing at local sites. Owing to its dynamic market policy and intensive investment activities, the Hungarian subsidiary has achieved a top position in the Hungarian construction materials market. Its expertise has been proven by the manufacture and sale of marketable products, but it also leads the way when it comes to sustainable innovation in brick production; its energy efficient products include the Smartbricks, Porotherm Thermo and Klima bricks. The new cooperation has allowed the two firms to bring all ceramic construction materials together: from the cellar bricks, walls, bearers and 102 Industry Europe

slabs to façade solutions and ceramic roof systems. Ceramic construction materials are long lasting products that can survive for thousands of years but are still able to recreate and renew themselves. Tondach’s products are manufactured only from natural materials, and thanks to their environmentally friendly characteristics they provide healthy living conditions. Wienerberg’s Porotherm Smart bricks are the most innovative and most energy efficient bricks, which are 40–60 per cent better at insulating than traditional bricks.

Winning concept This is clearly a winning concept for the two ceramic construction material producers in order to satisfy more customers and therefore acquire better market positions. By using the newly-created synergies, the firms are able to put customers first and offer healthy, energy saving and economic ceramic construction solutions. The Tondach brand is as valuable as Wienerberger’s Protoherm brand name, both of which guarantee the highest quality and customer satisfaction levels.


Energy & Utilities

Green power Aalborg Energie Technik (AET) specialises in the design and manufacture of biomass-fired boiler plants and combined heat and power installations. Industry Europe looks at the latest from the company.

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ast year (2016) AET celebrated its 20th anniversary. It was founded in 1996 when a group of leading Danish engineers decided to set up a new company following the decision by Alfa Laval Aalborg to shut down its biomass boiler business in Denmark. Today AET is a leading, independent European contracting company that supplies biomass fired boiler power plants and combined heat and power plants (CHP) throughout Europe. As a technological leader in solving socially-created environmental problems through thermal utilisation of agro-industrial biomass waste, the company strives to continuously improve its technology in order to provide the best biomass-fired power and CHP plants in the world. AET covers the design, engineering, delivery and service of biomass-fired plants with all forms of biomass: primarily wood chips, wood waste, sander dust and bark. In addition, the raw fuel materi-

als can also be distiller’s grain, poultry litter and meat and bone meal as well as straw and other agricultural residues. Today AET designs and supplies power plants that range from 25 to 170 MWth and employs more than 100 people.

High-efficiency, low emissions As one of the world’s most innovative and experienced biomass boiler suppliers, the company has a well stablished reputation for supplying biomass boilers and combustion systems with exceptionally high efficiencies and availabilities. These offer high fuel flexibility and low emission impact. In addition, the unique AET biomass boiler systems enjoy very low maintenance costs. Meanwhile the AET Combustion System is a well proven technology which, together with the boiler design, optimises the combustion process to give its Industry Europe 103


plants unique emissions and operational conditions such as low inhouse power consumption. A spokesperson for the company said, “Unlike most of our competitors we are purely a biomass company with a clear and dedicated focus that’s committed to delivering optimal performance and service. Our core business is the design and manufacture of highlyefficient biomass boilers and we have developed advanced pre-heat equipment and components that allow us to develop advanced boiler units and full turn-key systems. Furthermore, we have our own in-house design teams and provide our own operations and maintenance packages. “What we focus on is the value of long-term partnerships and how we can optimise our business case with better fuel efficiency and innovative technology. Due to our technologically advanced boiler systems we are able to operate with as little as 2–5 per cent oxygen, which in turn means extremely high boiler efficiency. In fact, in this

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respect our boilers can be compared favourably with oil-fired boilers. We also supply a variety of manufacturing industries including paper mills, district heating companies, pharmaceutical companies and chipboard manufacturers.”

Latest projects Last year, in a consortium with BWSC, AET installed a pressure boiler for UK-based Tilbury Green Power Limited for its renewable power plant fuelled by waste wood, within the port of Tilbury on the banks of the River Thames. The plant has a capacity of about 40 MW and will produce up to 319,000 MWh of renewable electricity each year – enough to supply around 97,000 average homes. In December that same year, the company announced it had started construction of a turnkey biomass-fired Cogeneration Plant in France at the Gemdoubs paper mill in Novillars. The plant consists of fuel handling, AET Biomass Boiler, steam turbine,


Energy & Utilities

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flue-gas cleaning system and steam connection to Gemdoubs. The cogeneration plant will be highly optimised in order to fulfil the requirements set by the French government in the CRE 4 auction round, and will therefore have an overall efficiency of more than 65 per cent. It will come equipped with the advanced AET Combustion technology and AET SNCR DeNOx system to ensure very low emissions levels. Finally, in May this year AET secured an order for a 30 MWe biomassfired power plant to be built in Russi near Ravenna, in the province of Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Through this contract, a joint venture between the Italian company Termokimik Corporation Impianti e procedimenti industriali SpA (TKC) and AET will provide the equipment for a biomass-fired power plant, including an AET Biomass Boiler, to be developed in Russi. The project is owned by PowerCrop Russi Srl, a company owned and operated by Enel Green Power and Seci Energia. The AET Biomass Boiler is designed for a fuel heat input of 88 MWt and will generate live steam at 122 bara and 542°C. The AET Biomass Boiler will at normal continuous rating have a fuel heat input of 84 MWt, and the power plant will then produce 30 MWe (gross). The annual power production corresponds to the consumption of around 84,000 households, and the biomass fired power plant permits a reduction of carbon emission of n 117,000 tonnes of CO2/year. For further details of AET’s innovative biomass power plant technology and services visit: www.aet-biomass.com

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Innovation and

a green heart Watts Industries Italia Srl is a part of the Watts Water Technologies Group. Industry Europe looks at the company’s continued dedication to innovation and the latest products launched in 2017.

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he Watts Water Technologies group is listed on the New York stock exchange and is headquartered in North Andover, Massachusetts (USA) with branches located all over the world. Watts Water Technologies contributes to its sector’s technological research with its continuous development and maximum quality-oriented philosophy. Watts has implemented a research and development programme focused on increasingly efficient energy-saving solutions. The group has been present in Italy since 1993, with two plants based in Biassono, in the Monza area, about 20 kilometres northeast of Milan; and Gardolo, near the north-eastern Italian town of Trento. Watts Industries Italia’s most recent overall turnover amounted to €75 million. The company is a leader on the Italian heating, air conditioning and plumbing market. It is well-known for

the fundamental role it plays in the sector, with the launch of systems and products such as flush Modul manifolds, zone control, quickconnect one-piece fittings, balancing valves, heat metering/billing systems and hydraulic backflow preventer units. Watts Italia also offers its partners (wholesalers and OEMs) a new series of reliable high performance products, including: digital and radio frequency thermostats, new concept thermal energy meters, components for solar systems and a new domestic hot water distribution system. The range includes products such as Domoradiant – a device designed for mixing and delivering hot water at a lower temperature and consisting of a three-way mixing valve operated by a thermostatic actuator with a FH-148SD remote sensor. The required flow rate for feeding the radiant panels is supplied by a three-speed

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electrically driven pump. The manifold can supply up to 12 lowtemperature circuits and up to three radiators. Each return outlet is designed to fit the 22C series thermostatic actuator for adjusting the temperature in each individual room. The supply outlet is fitted with the FLMR series flow meter, which is able to measure and adjust the flow rate accordingly. As an option, the various electrothermic actuators (when provided) can be controlled by a WFHT series modular control box. The Master module is provided with a control relay for the electrically-driven pump, which is automatically deactivated when all the actuators are closed. When the actuators are not controlled by the modular box, a by-pass kit is available for controlling the differential pressure. Such a kit should be attached to the head connections of the manifolds. The system, which has been hydraulically tested in the factory, is housed in a special inspection box equipped with a single door and epoxy finishing. Watts pays particular attention to domotics and water distribution applications. The company has studied specific solutions aimed at lowering energy consumption and improving comfort. One of these is the WattsVision system, whose aim is that of achieving optimum comfort in residential buildings, with customised management of heating and other house devices, as well as of metering products and thermostatic valves.

Recent products and R&D Talking about recent products, in 2017 the company presented the new MH Series of hydraulic balancing valves for radiant panel floors. This is an absolutely innovative solution, which is able to quickly and easily aid the installer in the maintenance of functioning plant system parameters. Furthermore, it has launched on the market the new e-Ultramix: a mixing thermostatic valve equipped with an anti-Legionnaires’ 110 Industry Europe


Energy & Utilities

disease valve. This is a device suitable for installation in the systems of buildings used by the general public, where the risk of contracting Legionnaires’ Disease constitutes an important public health issue. A strong believer in innovation, in 2016 Watts strengthened its research facilities in Italy, opening an R&D centre at the Rovereto-based BIC (Business Innovation Centre). The research taking place here is concentrated on applications for heating and air-conditioning systems, with a special focus on central heating plants and network distribution. In 2016, Watts has launched two product lines: the new radiator valves, which have been designed according to new system solutions and the WattsVision system, which helps the user to best manage comfort and other domestic devices, taking domotics to a new level. Splitting heating expenses among the residents of multi-occupancy buildings is an issue, especially further to legal requirements demanding heat meters in this type of building. In this framework, Watts offers a dedicated product line and has organised a series of meetings, which have proven to be very popular all over Italy. The company will continue to invest in this, both in terms of training and development of new products. Legal requirements concerning renewable energy are in the pipeline. These will influence future changes at system level, triggering necessary system and component innovations for radiator valves and water protection systems.

Watts mainly serves the HVAC market. It operates at global level, with the SEE Region covering Italy, Spain and other Mediterranean countries. At the moment, there are no plans for boundary expansion either at geographical or market segment level. Being a diversified multinational company, Watts’s future development plans could n take a different course.

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Success squared Thanks to its instantly recognisable square pack and constant introduction of new, innovative varieties, Ritter Sport chocolate has become a firm favourite in households around Europe. Industry Europe looks at how the company has achieved its iconic status, as well as its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.

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lfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG is a traditional family enterprise which today employs around 1400 people, has an annual turnover of €470 million and is active across 100 companies. Ritter was established in 1912, in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, where the master confectioner Alfred Eugen and his wife Clara Göttle, a sweet shop owner, started their own chocolate and sweets factory. Chocolate was in high demand, and the company grew quickly, until in 1932 Clara observed that rectangle-shaped chocolate is a poor fit for the pockets of spectators at local sport-

ing events. The revolutionary square shape and the name ‘Ritter Sport’ were born and in 1960 the company decided to focus on the square shape exclusively.

The building of a global brand The slogan ‘Quadratisch.Praktisch.Gut’ (Quality. Chocolate. Squared) was used in nationwide TV advertising during the 1970s and quickly became a strong brand identifier in the German market. This, coupled with the characteristic colour coding of each

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flavour and the user-friendly design of the ‘snap’n’open’ packaging, rounds off the unmistakable identity of Ritter’s chocolate. The product range includes 27 varieties of the 100g square bar, five large format (250g) bars, various mini-varieties as well as seasonal ‘limited edition’ bars as well as the popular ‘Choco Cubes’. The company continues to innovate and introduce exciting new lines in order to keep its range fresh and interesting to consumers.

Sustainable ambitions Environmental responsibility has always been a driving factor behind Ritter’s corporate strategy. As early as 1991 the company replaced aluminium and paper packaging with a one-component packaging material made from fully recyclable polypropylene. It also owns and operates a block power station, which provides energy and heat for production. Since 1990 the company has been supporting cocoa farming in Nicaragua with the project ‘Cacaonica’, aiming to improve living conditions for farmers and using the premium cocoa for its organic range of chocolate. There, it produces cocoa by means of agroforestry – i.e. cocoa trees grown with companion crops: shade trees and plants which both produce compost and promote soil fertility. In 2012 the company took this programme a major step forward with the purchase of land in the country and the establishment of its own plantation for the sustainable cultivation of cocoa. Ritter’s aim is to achieve CO2-neutral production by 2022. In 2015 it was certified in line with the DIN standard 50001. According to the company: “By 2025, the cocoa for all of our Ritter Sport chocolate will come from sustainable production; by 2020 the figure will be at least 75 per cent. ‘Sustainable cocoa’ means cocoa certified according to internationally recognised standards such as the Rainforest Alliance, fair trade and UTZ. Working together with all the departments, possible ways to save energy will be elaborated and measurable targets set. In this context, we find it particularly important to involve and train all our staff.”

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Quality first The price of quality commodities such as cocoa and hazelnuts varies from year to year but Ritter always chooses to maintain its high product quality rather than compromise owing to price pressures. “Quality has its price,” said a company spokesperson, “and as a family-owned enterprise we have to work to healthy business principles. When it comes to a product that stands for pleasure and a bit of luxury, the price should be secondary to the enjoyment that the product brings.” The founder’s grandchildren, who are today leading the board and executive committee, are carrying on in the family tradition: Ritter Sport will remain square, colourful and of uncompromisingly n high quality.

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A taste of tradition Szubryt Meat Processing Plant, a company from Chełmiec, Poland, produces a range of cold meats which are well-known for their unique highlander’s taste and the highest European quality standards.

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zubryt is located among the green hills of Beskid Sadecki (a mountain range in the Western Carpathians, south-eastern Poland), close to the place where the Poprad and Dunajec rivers merge together. “We have made cold meats in this region for more than 20 years. Since the very beginning we have been listening to the opinions and suggestions of local customers, and at the same time cherishing the best traditions of meat production in our region,” says Mr Zbigniew Szubryt, the company’s founder and president. “Using the unique technological process based on real smoke chambers and excellent drying of wood, as well as on machine-free curing and meat manual cutting, we can proudly say: ‘yes, this is a taste of the highlander’s tradition’.”

Experts in traditional products Like many other companies, Szubryt started as a small concern. After some time it managed to purchase a plant in a nearby village and this was thoroughly modernised. However, the company’s rapid development and its success made it necessary to build a new plant in accordance with the European standards. Now, this plant is also undergoing considerable expansion and modernisation with new warehouses, new machines, and a new packaging department. The company employs more than 900 people. It makes more than 200 types of cold meats, 20 kinds of ready meals and more than 20 tinned meats, both in glass packaging and cans. Daily production is estimated at 60 tonnes of cold meats, which puts it at the forefront of domestic meat producers. It is worth noting that Szubryt is a local leader in the ‘traditional’ products market, which means meat must be produced in a very particular way. “This is not easy, when it comes to industrial scale production. Many processes, such as cutting, smoking in traditional chambers with beech smoke from whole wood or final immersion meat curing, require

time and the manual work of many hands. We are constantly looking for qualified employees and we will need more in the future because quality is our priority; manual production gives us a competitive advantage and helps our products stand out,” explains Mr Szubryt.

The health factor Thanks to its extensive knowledge and many years of experience, Szubryt adds natural spices in perfectly balanced proportions as this is the main factor affecting the final taste of the product. Furthermore, because spices are natural products this ensures that no harmful substances are produced during smoking. Traditional smoking is a process that is compatible with the craftsmanship and knowledge of local producers. It includes drying, natural smoking, and roasting with baking. “We are uncompromising in our dedication to using no chemical substitutes. We smoke on live fire, with hardwood; wood is seasoned and subjected to a stringent humidity measurement; the smoke resulting from the burning then gives the meat a perfect aroma, protects it from bacteria and preserves it. It may look like we make the same as the competition but, in fact, we make it much tastier, better and basically by hand. Is this a faster way? Certainly not,

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but faster means that you use chemicals, which we have limited to the necessary minimum,” says Mr Szubryt. Traditional products are the company’s flagship. On the other hand, modern society’s increasing concern with health issues means that cold meat with no preservatives is an increasingly popular choice. Healthy products are sought after and appreciated – and Szubryt has a lot to offer. The entire series of Naturali products, for example, is clear proof that ‘popular’ does not necessarily mean ‘cheap’. The company also cares about the careful selection of suppliers and business partners. “We work particularly well with domestic, local suppliers of spices and production materials. Companies such as Supravis Group or MAS-POL Kielce, or Nomax or Promar are our important partners that we strongly recommend. Polish companies are already at a world-class level in terms of service and collaboration, and this can be felt at every stage of the business,” confirms Mr Szubryt.

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Food and Beverage Mr Zbigniew Szybrut – Founder and president of the Board of ZM SZUBRYT

Ready for the European markets So far exports do not represent a large share of the company’s sales as the domestic market is very demanding. However, Szubryt is looking forward to developing exports, since the plant extension is already in a very advanced stage. “By the end of the year, we would like to launch a new department for confectionery and one of the most modern meat slicing departments in Poland. As for new product launches, I cannot reveal more information because it should be a surprise for our consumers. I can only promise that our future products will be as usual exquisite, natural and devoid of unnecessary chemicals. Healthy and tasty food is our mission now and n in the future,” concludes Mr Szubryt.

Fresh Logistics Polska Fresh Logistics Polska specializes in comprehensive logistics services for fresh products which require controlled temperature from +2°C to +6°C (for fresh products), 0°C to +4°C (for fresh meat and fish) and -18°C to -23°C (frozen products) in the whole supply chain. As a partner of European Food Network Fresh Logistics offers international distribution to 34 European countries in groupage system and full truck load. We offer: • own fleet • temperature ranges from –25°C to +25°C • direct delivery transports from 1 do 66 pallets • deliveries in whole Europe • monitoring of transport route (GPS) • 24/7 loading and unloading system We guarantee: • individual customer needs flexibly adapted solutions • dedicated customer service person • dispatcher supervising the whole transport route

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Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC

Energy for life

Riello Urzadzenia Grzewcze SA of Torun is one of Poland’s predominant manufacturing plants. It is a part of Riello Group, the worldwide leader in the production of burners and one of the major European players offering products and services in the heating and air-conditioning market. Beretta boilers and heaters, manufactured in the factory at Torun, are Riello’s ‘flagship’ brand.

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iello Group, an Italian historical brand present on the national market since the 1920s, is now a world leader in combustion technology, which offers systems and technology for the heating and air-conditioning of all environments. The group’s main aim is transforming nature’s natural energy into power, which fuels life, in every condition and expression. The company’s mission is to optimise comfort where people live and work, by proposing projects and solutions able to create the perfect harmony of climate, thanks to the integrated systems and services, which are always focused on the impact on the environment. Among

the factors distinguishing Rug Riello from the competition are: the quality of the products, flexible response to the market demand, technological support of customers and product innovation. The group offers a wide range of products: from large powerful burners to produce heat in commercial and industrial applications to the smaller burners for residential applications; from wall-hung and floor-standing boilers to water heaters, air-conditioners, system accessories, to solar heating, photo-voltaic, geo-thermal and cogeneration. While continually paying attention to energy saving and its impact on the environment, Riello Group has focused on cogenera-

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tion and the use of renewable energies, including solar panels. In fact, today the company offers state-of-the-art technologies for the most sophisticated heating and air-conditioning systems, where it is working to set new standards in terms of efficiency, reduction of energy consumption and protection of the environment. Riello is a complex industrial group that considers the entire world as its playground. This awareness has been consolidated and strengthened over time, leading the company to gradually expand its presence in international markets. After the first step in Europe and later in North America, Riello started its conquest of the Far East. The group takes pride in its 8 production sites and 5 research centres, provides employment for 8000 people (including 2000 employees and 6000 agents and independent distributors), owns 4 permanent organisations abroad, has a commercial network comprising 13 foreign subsidiaries and has thousands of customers in more than 120 markets. It owns more than 50 patents and 7 brands. As the number-one manufacturer in the global market, Riello produces around 297,000 burners, 456,000 wall-hung heaters, 82,000 water heaters, 23,000 floor-standing boilers, 18,000 solar energy systems and 29,000 air conditioners. In 2015, Riello reached the primacy in Europe on monoblock premix burners at very low NOx emissions, reaching the maximum power of 1850 kW and 9 ppm NOx, with the RX 1800 SP/V model.

Torun and Wroclaw: jewels in the crown At the turn of the century, Riello started to look at the possibility of opening a factory abroad. Finally, it decided to build a plant in Poland. The company was looking for the best place for investment in the north 122 Industry Europe

part of the country and found it in Torun. On August 10th, 2001, the Torun plant of 16,000m2 was opened to make Beretta products. Beretta is one of the international brands of Riello Group, for more than 40 years expressing innovation and progress. Specialising in residential heating systems, Beretta offers traditional and condensing wallhung boilers, floor standing boilers, gas water heaters, cascade solutions for district heating, solar systems and heat pumps. The factory in Torun is focused on wall-hung boilers, and water heaters and have gained a significant position in Poland and international markets. At the same time as Beretta was entering the Polish market, the Boren Jan Borkowski company started to operate as the official importer of Riello burners. Two years later, the Office of Technical Inspection completed factory certification. This way, Riello obtained approval for production in Poland and Riello Burners in Wroclaw was created. The company is fully owned by the Italian company Riello SA and is the number 1 producer of burners sold in Poland.

Only reliable partners No success comes by itself. In addition to the company’s own resources, structures and processes there are always the relevant partners needed, who support the company in meeting the challenges posed by its customers. RUG Riello cooperates with very well-known suppliers of materials, including such internationally recognised companies as Grundfos Operations A/S, Alfaplast SpAand Raccordi Speciali Srl. These partners contribute to an ongoing strengthening of the image and innovative character of the company, which in turn translates into successes and business opportunities for all partners taking part in the cooperation.


Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC

The company’s sales network is based on direct collaboration with leading manufacturers of heating and technological equipment; the service network is built through service and installation companies. RUG Riello offers its partners comprehensive support. Each year, the company conducts more than 30 training sessions for about 300 technicians. The Research Centre has a training centre with lecture rooms and four test boilers, where technicians are trained. The training area is used for many intensive courses and presentations of new products. The company runs a special Ateneo program dedicated to the Beretta authorised installers and service technicians. The programme includes qualification training, technical training, sales, service and authorisation training. Ateneo has access to Riello’s laboratory, technical support as well as the ability to test Beretta products before their official launch. n Visit: www.beretta.pl or www.rielloburners.wroc.pl Industry Europe 123


Historically a specialist in advanced electronic security systems for the automotive, motorcycle and energy markets, Italy-based Meta System SpA now also offers cutting-edge telematics and home-alarm solutions. Barbara Rossi writes about recent solutions which have been developed by Meta System since Industry Europe last spoke to the company.

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ince 2015, Meta System’s majority shareholder has been the Shenzhen-based Deren Group. Deren, which operates in various sectors, is a specialist in automotive and consumer cabling and thanks to this acquisition has further expanded its automotive range. Meta System SpA, part of the Meta System Group, designs, engineers and manufactures its solutions in-house. It is still headquartered in its native northern Italian town, Reggio Emilia. Here it has several production units and facilities, which are flanked by a plant in Mornago and a production site in Shenzhen. Traditionally very strong in Europe, the company has expanded its presence in other markets, notably China and other Asian countries, partly thanks to the Deren Group. Meta System’s core products are safety and security solutions for the automotive (vehicles and motorcycles) OEM, OES and after-market segments. Telematics solutions for the insurance world are also prominent and have led to interesting developments in home-alarm solutions, which will be discussed later in the article. Alongside this, it features an increasing power electronics range for electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as low power modules for automotive acclimatisation systems. The company, which holds all the relevant certifications, works with all the major automotive manufacturers and is experiencing significant growth, especially in the areas of power electronics, telematics, home-alarm solutions and low power modules.

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Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC

Meta EasyCan One of the products recently developed by Meta System is the Meta EasyCan, a range of new concept alarms for vehicles. Able to interface easily with all the communication protocols installed on vehicles, this range has been developed thanks to the experience accrued by Meta System in the automotive security systems market. This innovative range of modular alarms can be activated through a remote control and boasts several unique features: it is equipped with a wire or radio-connected siren and a universal platform housing all the alarm devices; furthermore, it can be customised and is compatible with all the communication protocols found inside vehicles, such as CAN-BUS and PLIP or direction indicator flashing modes. The modules are very easy to program and can be easily updated thanks to a programmer and a PC connected to the Meta System website (specifically logged onto the technical section). Summing up its advantages, it could be said that the added value of this alarm system is given by its high degree of flexibility and customisation, easy installation and very effective replenishment and inventory management.

Vestha The home alarm systems range is also growing significantly. A flagship product in this range is Vestha, an automatic alarm system which, like the rest of the Meta System solutions (with the exclusion of those sold

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in Asia) is designed, engineered and manufactured in Italy. Vestha is a modular, expandable, wireless home alarm system which comes in four different kits, making it suitable for flats and houses of varying sizes. This exclusive cutting-edge system developed by Meta System offers a comprehensive range of anti-burglary modules and is accompanied by the Vestha App for Android smartphones or tablets to easily control the Vestha Security remotely. It can also remotely control and activate electrical devices, such as boilers, watering systems, outside lighting, surveillance cameras and gates with a simple text message. There is also the Vestha Service. This telematics service is linked to the Vestha security system to guarantee the safety and security of the home and its inhabitants. All the events reported by the Vestha home security system are managed by the Central Operation Safety Unit, which works 24/7, 365 days a year. The service also includes contacting the emergency services. As an added bonus, Vestha features an attractive and compact design, an integrated siren, a large display and wireless sensors. The system is very reliable and will work even in the event of a power cut. One of the components belonging to the Vestha family is T521E, a fully-wireless PIR sensor for home volumetric protection. This double infra-red sensor is used for external surveillance (for example for porches,

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balconies, gardens and courtyards). In addition to being highly flexible, it offers an optimal and effective installation process and is guaranteed for a total of four years. There is also Wi 11.0 Siren, the new siren of the Vestha home security system. This is based on a new WiMeta wireless communication technology. This protocol has been developed by Meta System and enables a bidirectional dialogue between devices running on similar technology. Transmission is totally secure and under control, as it is encrypted and not vulnerable to interference. Furthermore, each command requires confirmation of receipt. Thanks to all of these features, n Wi 11.0 Siren really offers an optimal level of deterrence.


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Electronics giant

EPCOS TDK Europe, part of the world-renowned Japanese TDK Group, develops, manufactures and markets electronic components, modules and systems for fast-growing technology markets including information & communications, automotive, industrial and consumer electronics. Industry Europe looks at how the group’s Hungarian arm, based in Szombathely, has progressed in recent years.

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hen Industry Europe last spoke to EPCOS Hungary in 2007, the company was planning considerable investments to increase internal product development capacity at its main plant in Szombathely. Fast-forward 10 years and we can see the company is beginning to reap the rewards of this, but there have been more changes besides: in 2008 the company was acquired by the Japanese TDK Corporation. The new parent company’s aim was to create a leading electronics components company with a strong presence across customer sectors and regions. In this, as we shall see, it has been successful.

Investing to expand In 2014, EPCOS TDK Europe announced it would be adding around 10,000 square metres to its existing 35,000 square-metre production space in Szombathely for components to be used in automotive electronics applications. These include additional types of power inductors, EMC filters and axial-lead aluminium electrolytic capacitors. These are used, for example, in automatic headlamp control systems and parking assistance systems based on optical technology.

As a result of these investments, today Szombathely is TDK’s largest facility in Europe with about 100 engineers working to develop its revolutionary new solutions. In recent years, it has been awarded by the Hungarian Innovation Foundation for its research and development work, which leverages resources throughout the global TDK Corporation. The developers here collaborate on new projects with researchers at other plants – especially with the group’s experts in Japan.

Wide range of products This dedication to innovation has resulted in EPCOS TDK Hungary’s ability to supply and manufacture an impressive range of state-ofthe-art electronics solutions. Products sold under the EPCOS brand include aluminium electrolytic capacitors, ceramic capacitors, components for PFC and Harmonic Filtering, RF components and modules, sensor systems, protector devices, inductors, transformers and much more besides. The Hungarian plant itself was established to produce inductors and capacitors, and today it is the leading plant for these two divisions throughout EPCOS’s entire global network.

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TDK Corporation is continuously updating its range of EPCOS products. For example, in July this year it significantly extended its range of EPCOS single-phase power capacitors for industrial electronics. One particular feature of these updated capacitors is their high reliability and long service life of 100,000 hours. The synthetic resin-filled and PCB-free capacitors are designed for a continuous operating temperature of 70ºC.

Award-winning sustainable production EPCOS Hungary also has a very successful track record when it comes to meeting its sustainability commitments in new product development: it has, for example, received an award from the above-mentioned Hungarian Innovation Foundation for the ongoing development of its aluminium electrolytic capacitors and power inductors. The capacitors now feature lower losses, and improvements in the conductivity of the electrolytic fluid have further increased the energy efficiency and environmental friendliness of the systems the com-

ponents are designed into. Moreover, the new electrolyte is more chemically stable, especially at high temperatures, so the capacitors can achieve longer useful lives.

Meeting supply demands and industry standards Thanks to its favourable location, Szombathely is one of the major European hubs of the automotive industry. The products manufactured here are exported throughout the world but are also leaders in the domestic market. Alongside the automotive electronics market, the TDK plant will continue to supply components for other industries, in particular for a wide range of industrial electronics applications as well as numerous applications in the renewable energy segment. Aside from the above, TDK Europe’s ongoing plans also including continuing to meet evolving European standards in order to maintain its leading position. In Hungary, it will maintain its focus on its two main markets – capacitors and inductors – to meet the exacting demands of its clients in the automotive and industrial electronics markets.

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Merger of new

rail technologies

Greenbrier-Astra Rail is a global supplier of specialist equipment and services to the global rail freight transportation markets. The company is a world leader in the design and manufacture of freight railcars as well as marine barges for the north American market. Greenbrier Europe and Astra Rail recently merged to form a new European-based conglomerate, Greenbrier-Astra Rail. Philip Yorke reports.

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he Greenbrier Group is headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon and is a leading global supplier of equipment and services to the global rail freight transportation markets. The company manufactures freight railcars in the US and Brazil through strategic partnerships in which it holds majority interests and also produces rail castings through a separate Brazilian partnership. Greenbrier also owns a majority stake in Greenbrier-Astra Rail, which is a recently formed end-to-end, Europe-based freight railcar business. Through other partners and joint ventures the company manufactures a broad range of products including tank heads and other rail freight equipment. It also owns a lease fleet of over 9000 railcars and provides management services for a further 268,000 railcars.

In addition to freight wagon production, the company also provides servicing, maintenance and repair facilities for the development and inspection of rail cars. Today Astra Rail continues as a well-established and highly successful, pan-European multi-plant business with three modern manufacturing, engineering and repair facilities located in Arad, Severin and Caracal in Romania. In addition to its three state-of-the-art manufacturing plants it also manages a network of maintenance shops throughout Europe and is able to conduct all its own testing procedures in-house. Having merged with the Greenbrier Group it now represents a formidable engineering force in the global rail transportation and service industry markets.

A century of technical innovation and service

Greenbrier-Astra Rail is led by an engineering team with decades of experience in railcar markets throughout eastern and western Europe, as well as in North America and emerging markets around the world. The company’s daily operations are led by an experienced management board team including CEO and president Bernd Bose, most recently the CEO of Astra Rail, and CFO Bogdan Lesnianski, previously head of Greenbrier’s Wagony Swidnica operations. Growing demand in mature rail markets like

Astra Rail Industries was founded in Romania in 1882 and has since produced more than 1 million freight wagons. Astra Rail has the largest freight wagon manufacturing capacity in Europe with covered working areas exceeding 350,000 square metres. This enables the company to produce over 5000 freight wagons per year in a wide variety of designs that include many innovative and unique tailormade high-tech systems.

Increasing global diversification

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western Europe, coupled with the opportunities provided by fastgrowing emerging markets, places Greenbrier-Astra Rail in a strong position for further growth. “The creation of Greenbrier-Astra Rail extends Greenbrier’s commitment to global diversification, while providing scale and greater value to our customers in Europe,” the company told Industry Europe. It sees the transaction as transformational now that its combined operations are better positioned to pursue the growth opportunities offered by the growing global freight car market. Greenbrier-Astra

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Rail plans to capitalise on the substantial market opportunities on offer by leveraging its resources to provide the best possible end-toend solutions. Beyond Europe the company will aggressively pursue the fast growing markets it can easily access from its range of broad European-based operations. “We are excited to unify the creative and capable management teams from both companies to deliver world-class innovation to our freight railcar customers in Europe and beyond. Together with our investments in Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Mexico


Logistics & Transport

Greenbrier has significantly grown its international footprint over the last few years to create a truly global network. We look forward to an expanded presence in Europe, while we also address the developing markets in the GCC, Africa and Eurasia, said Greenbrier-Astra Rail.

Multi-functional technologies The company is a lean, efficient and reliable organisation that prides itself on its quality customer service as well as on the high standard of its products. Today Greenbrier-Astra Rail is becoming more and more involved in the design and manufacture of highly complex special projects where it is often involved in developing ground-breaking new technologies in the development of multi-functional freight wagons. A recent example of these new technologies at work in its special contracts portfolio can be seen in the company’s unique, ‘Super Self-Discharging Train’. This special vehicle is over 600 metres long and consists of permanently coupled rakes, each with either six or four wagons, and with its own conveyer discharging system. This advanced system is suitable for the effective transportation of gravel, ballast, sand and mixed materials. In addition each rake consists of a power unit fitted with a diesel engine, which powers the hydraulic, electric and pneumatic systems. Greenbrier-Astra Rail operations cover all its European facilities and services that involve six railcar manufacturing facilities and railcar repair sites. This is in addition to sales, administration and engineering offices spread throughout Europe. The newly formed company already employs over 4000 people across eastern and n western Europe. For further details of the latest innovative products and services available from Greenbrier-Astra Rail visit: www.gbrx.com Industry Europe 135


Lifting expectations Bolzoni is a global leader in the design and manufacture of lift truck attachments, forks and lift tables. The company continues to see strong growth in its global markets through a programme of consistent investment in new technology and strategic acquisitions. Recently the company has been the subject of a takeover itself by US forklift giant, the Hyster-Yale Group, thus enabling it to offer an even wider product portfolio and enhanced global growth options. Philip Yorke reports.

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he Bolzoni Group has been active for over 70 years in the design, production and distribution of lift attachments, and industrial material handling equipment. The strategic and organisational capabilities of this large group with its strong commitment to innovation and quality have enabled it to meet the global expectations of forklift OEMs throughout the world. The company was founded in 1945 by Luigi and Livio Bolzoni for the manufacture of agricultural machinery. In the early 1950s Bolzoni entered the attachment business with a unique brick transportation system and this was followed by a range of forklift truck attachments, which quickly became its core business. Since 2006 Bolzoni has been listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. Today the Bolzoni Group has six production facilities worldwide and employs more than 3500 people. With well-known global brands such as Bolzoni, Auramo and Meyer the company’s products are in demand in a wide range of manufacturing industries including those involved in white goods, paper and beverages. Recently the group established new offices in Pune, India, to better support its north Indian operations. This is in addition to its existing exclusive distributorship that it operates in Southern India and is managed by the ‘Factory Products’ company located in Bangalore.

Unique solutions for industry When it comes to materials handling equipment, Bolzoni brands are the products of choice for many customers. The company has connections with all segments of industry as a result of its innovative solutions and close cooperation with users and its ability to provide unique, high-tech customised products. For example in the Paper industry the company has specialised know-how regarding material handling attachments for forest products handling, which is sold to countless transport, shipping and logistics companies worldwide. Bolzoni’s close cooperation with the global paper industry allows it to provide the best and most innovative and cost-effective solutions for forest product handling operations. Today the world’s diverse beverage industries also benefit from the unrivalled expertise offered by Bolzoni. The company provides a wide selection of pallet handling models, capacities, widths and fork openings, which are supplied to meet the challenging requirements of industries where there is a heavy handling requirement for palletised loads, and in particular for the soft drinks industries, breweries, mineral water bottling plants and food industries. In addition, a wide range of carton and appliances special clamps have been developed for the safe and damagefree pallet-less handling of white goods and high volume carton boxes.

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Highly efficient materials-handling equipment has also been developed for the beverage and warehousing industries. Bolzoni is also happy to develop tailor-made solutions in the event of different combinations of load types and configurations, typically required when handling washing machines, refrigerators, microwave ovens and televisions etc.

New horizons Thanks to a significant acquisition of Bolzoni shares by the leading US forklift truck manufacturer, Hyster-Yale Materials handling Inc., Bolzoni has new horizons to explore in terms of both its technological capabilities and its global reach and international sales networks. Hyster-Yale Materials Handling Inc., headquartered in Cleveland Ohio through its wholly-owned operating subsidiary, Hyster-Yale Group, Inc., designs, engineers, manufactures and markets a comprehensive range of lift trucks and after-market parts globally under the Hyster® and Yale® brand names. Nuvera Fuel Cells LLC is a subsidiary of Hyster-Yale Group Inc., and is an alternative power technology company focused on the development of fuel cell stacks and related systems for on-site hydrogen production and dispensing systems. The recent acquisition by Hyster-Yale’s holding company, Penta Holdings SpA, provides exciting opportunities for Bolzoni to signifi-

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cantly expand its global reach while increasing its depth of penetration in certain overseas markets. Bolzoni’s CEO Roberto Scotti said, “Today Bolzoni provides attachments and components to forklift OEMs, their sales networks and customers, and the company ensures that the integrity of information is maintained at all times. This core operating principle will not change as a result of the acquisition.” Hyster-Yale Group president and CEO Colin Wilson says its product offering would be broadened by the new deal with its long-term partner as both companies look to the future and new market opportunities. “Bolzoni is well known as a reliable world-class supplier of attachments and has become the preferred supplier for Hyster and Yale products,” said Wilson. Recently Bolzoni has been investing in the expansion of its manufacturing capacity and recognises the latest opportunity to leverage this is by absorbing Bolzoni’s unused capacity. Traditionally Bolzoni’s strength has been in Europe, which still offers it many growth opportunities; however, Bolzoni has also been expanding in the Americas n and plans to significantly increase its presence in China. For further details of Bolzoni’s innovative material handling equipment and services visit: www.bolzoni-auramo.com


Logistics & Transport

On the move Established in 2004, Germany-based Contargo is one of the leading container hinterland logistics providers in Europe. Victoria Hattersley spoke to sales manager Marcel Hulsker about the different ways in which the company has grown and developed since it was last featured in Industry Europe in 2013.

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he Contargo Trimodal Network, as its name suggests, incorporates three modes of transport throughout Europe: rail, road and sea. Furthermore, within this framework, there are another three separate components to which the Contargo network owes its success: its own terminals act as nodal points; its own barge and rail transport lines act as interconnections; and finally order processing is carried out by competent central and decentralised customer service organisations. With a network of 26 terminals throughout Germany, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland, today Contargo employs over 900 people and in 2016 it transported 2.3 million TEU of cargo to achieve a total turnover of €415 million.

Customer-centric services Contargo offers a comprehensive range of container services including local collection and delivery of containers by truck; maintenance and repair; and stuffing and stripping. The company also offers interim storage at terminals where required, and is experienced at

handling many complex deliveries, from dangerous goods to specialist Reefer services. To ensure the smooth running of its network it operates consistent, integrated processes and IT systems and also takes on document processing. Mr Hulsker explains how this enables the company to stand out in this competitive market: “Our integrated network is our unique selling point because we can offer almost any kind of transport solution: whether it is containers to Switzerland, the Benelux or elsewhere in Europe, we will find the right solution for our customers. Next to our everyday transport services we also try to offer tailor-made solutions wherever possible because we know that every customer has different needs.” One example of Contargo’s ability to develop long-term customer partnerships is its on-going collaboration with Daimler-Benz, established in July 2015, through which Contargo operates Daimler’s 61,000m2 Logistics Centre in Speyer. This contract includes responsibility for the depot administration and the transport of containers by truck from the Consolidation Centre to the region’s inland waterways and railway terminals. Industry Europe 139


But whatever the customer or the service being performed, it is important for the company that it remains a ‘neutral’ provider. The sales manager explains: “For us, wherever the containers are discharged – Hamburg, Antwerp, it doesn’t matter – our service is the same wherever it is and that is what we mean when we say we are neutral.” Alongside this, Contargo really does go the extra mile for customers by providing them, for example, with up-to-date on information on the latest truck fuel or low water surcharges – important since these charges can fluctuate a great deal throughout the course of the year. “We provide them with online tools to keep them updated with the latest on surcharges and we also send them emails about the current situations with a link to our website. This is another reason why strong communication channels between ourselves and clients are so vital.”

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The company always looks to build long-term relationships with suppliers in order to further ensure the smooth running of its services. “Working with the right barge owners is very important, for instance. We have barge owners that have worked with us for more than 30 years and this is great because it means we can offer our clients a solid service; we are confident that even in times of low water and congestion our business partners will deliver and we are always on the look-out to build new long-term supplier relationships. For us, it’s about quality and trust rather than finding the cheapest possible provider.”

Investments and expansion But Mr Hulsker is keen to point out that the company is never content to rest on its laurels when it comes to its service offering and facilities: further investments continue apace, as he tells us. “In Janu-


Logistics & Transport

ary 2016 we started our own Contargo wheel services company and so we now run the trains ourselves with all the attendant risks. We have been expanding our terminals to increase capacity and are also continuing to build new ones.” Two months ago the company celebrated the opening of its new 46,000m2 Emmelsum terminal with the first official container lift. This marked the completion of the Contargo Rhein-Waal-Lippe GmbH network and has considerably increased its capacity in Germany, while also relieving pressure on other terminals in the region – enabling it to provide an even more efficient service to customers in the years to come. Alongside the above investments and strategic agreements, the company has also been expanding its Contargo Road Logistics services; for example, the fleet at its Hamburg-based terminal has been more than doubled from 60 to 150 trucks. The rail

transport offer has also been further increased with the launch, in January this year, of a new rail connection between Rotterdam and Koblenz.

Looking to the future Moving forward, Mr Hulsker tells us that Contargo will continue with its programme of steady investment. “Hopefully when we speak within the next five years we will have expanded our number of terminals from 26 to 36 across areas such as eastern Europe and the Benelux in particular, where we do not yet have such a strong presence.” As for any future challenges to be faced, he is very confident in the abilities of the company’s staff: “Contargo is on the move and we are actively looking forward to responding to any challenges that arise. We are a very strong team and we are always able to work together with our n many business partners to come up with solutions.”

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Efficiency, technology

and diversification SCM Fonderie Srl is a foundry specialist which is 100 per cent owned by the SCM Group – a leading manufacturer of woodworking machines and systems. Barbara Rossi talks to Mr Sanchini, general director, and Mr Savini, responsible for sales, about their company’s recent innovations and future plans, as well as the importance of technological innovation, diversification and fast deliveries.

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Metals, Metalworking & Mining

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he SCM Group today has a turnover of €500 million, with 3300 employees, 18 high-tech production facilities and 20 branches. Rimini-based SCM Fonderie Srl achieved a €25 million turnover in 2016, has 174 employees, two production facilities and offers a wide range of grey and nodular iron castings, from those featuring high mechanical resistance to their more ductile counterparts that perform well at low temperatures. In recent years, it has added CGI (Compact Graphite Iron) castings to its offer. This is a material with intermediate properties between grey and nodular iron, and is becoming particularly popular for motors in general.

Core product offering SCM Fonderie’s two production facilities are based in Rimini and nearby Villa Verucchio, offering a 25,000-tonne overall production capacity. The Rimini site specialises in castings with weights ranging from 1kg to 500kg, produced in small and medium series on automated plants using the green sand moulding process. Villa Verucchio, on the other hand, is focused on castings with weights ranging from 200kg to 5000kg, produced in small series using the hand moulding process. In addition to castings, the company can also supply finished products thanks to its cooperation with various experienced suppliers, which is particularly important for foreign markets. It also offers its customers a co-engineering, prototyping and start-up service thanks to software packages with the ability to simulate the production process. SCM serves a wide range of sectors with its castings and products, ranging from power transmission, machine tools to agriculture and com-

pressors, but also including the textile, robotics, tractors, pumps and rail products segments. Other areas of application include urban lighting, industrial handling and woodworking machinery. “Being able to offer high-tech products is vital for us in order to keep the competition at bay. Another essential factor behind our success is diversification. We are able to serve a wide range of sectors and this protects us during downturns in some market segments,” Mr Sanchini and Mr Savini explained. When it comes to new product development, the company is currently working on compressors, winches and high-range motors among others, mainly involving nodular iron castings.

Faster deliveries and zero defects “We are currently working on an important technological development plan, aimed at achieving better productivity and faster internal processes. This is very important because today success plays on quick delivery times rather than simply quality. In a way, we could say that quality is a must and is taken for granted. Service is increasingly what makes the difference, as customers no longer keep large stocks of products in warehouses and need to have just-in-time deliveries.” Recent investments include the installation of a new 35-tonne electric oven at the Rimini plant and the implementation of an energy efficiency plan in August 2016. “This plan involves the use of plasma in the metal heating process. We were assisted by ILT, a Spanish supplier, in this endeavour and are proud to say that so far only a Spanish foundry has a similar system. There is a lot of interest in this technology.”

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In terms of technology, SCM is continuously working on further improving its casting quality and achieving zero-defect production. Another aspect on which technological development is focused is reduced thickness, often a must for customers owing to their need to lower the weight of the parts as much as possible. Work is also being carried out on the production of compressors with better mechanical features at low temperatures. Generating 90 per cent of turnover, geographically Italy is still SCM Fonderie’s main market. The rest of its sales derive from direct exports to Europe. “Recently we have established very good business relations on the German market and this is starting to bear fruit. In general, we are set to expand through organic growth, entering new geographical markets and segments thanks to our new products, such as low temperature iron castings with improved features and high range compressors, but also thanks to our flexibility and expertise in more ‘classic’ productions. We are also open to using our technology to develop applications suitable for market segments which we do not yet serve. For instance, we have recently started supplying the marine industry. “To summarise our discussion, I would say that our roadmap for the near future includes technological improvements and an optimisation process which will allow us to become more competitive on the market. This will stand us in good stead to enter new markets and segments.” The company – which is continuously conducting R&D research at different levels – holds all the major certifications, including UNI EN ISO 9001:2015, UNI EN ISO 14001:2004, EMAS and AIA. Amongst its clients, it can boast Rossi, Bonfiglioli and Dana Brevini for gear units, Same Deutz Fahr, Argo Tractors and CNH for agricultural vehicles, Siad for large compressors, Comau for robotics, Parker Hannifin for hydraulic motors, and Alstom for the rail sector.

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Metals, Metalworking & Mining

Emmegi Headquarters, Soliera (MO)

Thinking outside the box A

round 70 per cent of Emmegi’s products are destined for the door and window manufacturing industry, with aluminium processing machines contributing the most to turnover. The remaining 30 per cent of its output is sold to other industries, such as the furniture, lighting, pneumatic, rail, truck trailer and oil platform sectors. What sets Emmegi apart from the competition is its wide range of products that can meet many different needs and budgets, along with a continuous commitment to the development of new solutions and providing all-round assistance. “We have two main divisions – the cutting division and the milling division – each of which focuses on different lines that can serve small businesses in the private sector that are looking to invest a

Emmegi is one of the biggest players in the provision of cutting and milling machinery for aluminium, light alloys, PVC and steel. The company is part of the Cifin Group which, in the last few years, thanks to a few strategic acquisitions, has doubled its turnover and widened its geographical presence. Eugenia Fiusco spoke to Emmegi marketing director, Marco Bellucci, to find out more about its plans for the future.

modest amount, all the way up to highly advanced CNC machines requested by clients working on larger scale projects, such as skyscrapers, that are ready to invest up to €500,000 for a piece of equipment. In between these two extremes, there are different options to suit many different clients,” said Mr Bellucci. “Over the past 10 years we have been working to fill the gap in our offering by providing PVC processing machinery which, alongside aluminium, is widely used in the door and window industry,” explained Mr Bellucci. Moreover, Emmegi supplies a comprehensive software package developed by its software house Emmegisoft – the FP SUITE – that can be customised to work in synergy with its machines. This package Industry Europe 145


Emmegi Headquarters, Soliera (MO)

of software programs was developed exclusively to meet the needs of door and window makers and offers complete and integrated solutions for all operational areas, including sales, design, purchasing, production and administration. “Our group is the leader in this niche industry, but such a great achievement would not have been possible without our serious commitment to and investment in research and development. It goes without saying that our suppliers are vital in ensuring the quality of the final product,” explained Mr Bellucci. Among Emmegi’s key suppliers are Harmonic Drive, SMC, Bosch Rexroth, SKF, Kennametal, Balluff and Reer.

Marco Bellucci

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Recent investments and acquisitions The past three years have been a period of incredible growth and investment for the Cifin Group. In 2014 Emmegi took over the Milanbased company Tekna, which was among the first companies in the sector to design, develop and sell CNC machining centres. Tekna has kept ahead of a fast evolving market with a series of innovative solutions, many of which are custom-designed around the requirements of individual clients. Emmegi acquired the brand and the technological know-how of this company. In the same period Cifin Group has widened its range of final applications with the acquisition of Keraglass. “Keraglass is a small

Keraglass Headquarters, Baiso (RE) Italy


Metals, Metalworking & Mining The presentation, configuration and digital sales for the world of window and door

company located in the province of Reggio Emilia that was acquired by our holding group, but maintains its independent position on the market as a provider of glass processing solutions,” added Mr Bellucci. Glass was therefore added to aluminium, light alloys, iron and PVC to complete a production range and commercial network that is now operating across five continents. But the historical acquisition that has seen Cifin Group double its turnover and workforce took place in January 2016, when it won the bid to acquire the German group Elumatec – previously the biggest competitor of Emmegi. Elumatec boasts an established presence in the PVC industry, a workforce of roughly 700 people and a projected

turnover of approximately €125 million, of which about €100 million comes from foreign markets. It is easy to see how this event represented a huge win for the group. “Emmegi and Elumatec will be controlled by our holding company, with a combined workforce of around 1200 people, achieving a total turnover of roughly €240 million,” stated Mr Bellucci. “However, they are still operating as competitors on the market. We are now considering and exploring the ways in which the two groups could work more in synergy through an exchange of technology and optimisation of components.”

Diversification is the key From the above, it is clear to see that Cifin is a group that is not scared of taking on new challenges and exploring new markets. A clear example of this is the establishment of Voilàp, the group’s digital arm, which is dedicated to the development of virtual platforms and showrooms. Clients can see their projects come to life, visualise their ideas and customise products to adapt them to their needs. “Clients can now see the products online, choose the colour, size and finishing and finally apply their product of choice to different virtual rooms to get a more precise idea of the final result. This is our latest development and is now offered to our Italian clients, but we aim to export this tool for our international clients. Moreover, at a later stage we could easily apply this virtual platform to more products that can be customised. The possibilities are unlimited,” explained Mr Bellucci.

Future goals “Our main focus now is to work on the integration with Elumatec. Our goal is to optimise processes and continue with product development. Industry Europe 147


At present, every time we want to update a component we have to take into account the whole family and the impact that a potential development could have on every line of the different companies of the group,” said Mr Bellucci. “Considering the number and the scale of the recent acquisitions, it is likely that there won’t be any other imminent investment in that direction. However, we do not eliminate the possibility of n further acquisitions if the opportunity and timing are right.”

In the 4.0 Industry era, as a group we felt the need to come full circle – something which is only within the reach of a company able to integrate and digitalise all sales processes, as well as production. ‘Voilàp’ was born out of this need and thanks to our skills. Through this digital company we have been able to offer our customers ‘View’, a revolutionary latest generation B2B web platform. This innovative digital show-room is focused on doors and windows but can also be customised to meet the needs of other sectors. It is able to present, configure and sell products, simplifying the purchasing process for the final customer. For the first time, the consumer can take part in a new purchasing process, based on an emotional, multisensorial and practical experience. Voilàp is proof of our awareness that to be successful in the Industry 4.0 age it is necessary to be able to connect all players along the production chain, with a total focus on the consumer. Voilàp is digitisation and integration: It’s the future brought to the present!

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Elumatec Headquarters, Mühlacker, Germany


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Vipa is Always

one step ahead A wide range of products, including non-standard items and a high level of service with an efficient automated warehouse in a strategically located site; these are the elements on which the success of Vipa is based on. Vipa supplies fasteners (nuts, bolts and screws) made of carbon steel, stainless steel and brass, as well as offering all the possible treatments applicable to them. The result is a wide range of solutions, over 65,000 product varieties including: high-tensile strength, low-tensile strength, technical fasteners as well as fasteners for wood and sheet metal, bolts, screws and nuts in stainless steel and brass, products for clamping and fixing elements. Lately Vipa has also established a rubber sealing division parallel to the fasteners business. 150 Industry Europe


Metals, Metalworking & Mining

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ipa is able to supply upon request particular drawn items that can be offered in different sizes, materials and treatments that are normally hard to find on the market. This is possible, thanks to its laboratory equipped with CAD design equipment, as well as its partnerships with external manufacturers able to manufacture customised products. In addition to this, Vipa is also able to carry out all necessary tests to guarantee the quality of the final products, certified according to ISO 898-1-2009. Vipa is also certified as a producer of structural bolts according to EN 15048-2007 standards. These items are used for all new constructions according to the Construction Products Directive S: 89-106/EEC of 1989, the EN 1090-2009 standard and the new Regulation 305-2011. Another construction product lately released are its screws according to EN 14399 in HV and HR kits. The catalogue includes all the sizes of hex head bolts plain and galvanised from M12 to M36. The core business mostly available in the 8.8 classes has a very interesting range from M2,5 up to M56 in various lengths. Vipa was first established in 1970 by Mr Adelio Poppi, the founder and father of the current directors. Despite the fact that the company is today an joint stock company, it is still a family business represented by Vaccari Leandrina , the president of the company, and her two sons Vilson and Paolo Poppi, maintaining its traditional principles and structure. Since its establishment the company has grown and, at present, besides the head office based in Rolo, in the Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy, it has founded branches in France, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic and the latest in China, with about 120 employees and over 50 sales people.

Significant investments are made on a regular basis, which allow the company to keep up with the technological development of materials and markets. As foreign and domestic commercial managers Mr Collepardo and Mrs Facchini explain: “We are always very careful of the needs of the market and the legal requirements of the European Union. For this reason we ask our suppliers for products that can fulfil all requirements and needs.” The laboratory is equipped with machines such as a profile projector to detect accurately small tolerances, angles, and eventual surface defects of the samples. A tensile strength machine detects the tensile strength and the elongation after fracture of the sample. A spectrometer analyses the chemical composition of the steel and gives the exact percentage of each chemical element. Finally, a microscope detects the percentage of martensitic composition in the core of the material as well as the structure of the material. “We are now able to issue the required certification ourselves, alongside offering the option of independent certification, if required by the client, along with the cooperation of external laboratories; therefore we have a qualified team dedicated to quality control and certification.” Vipa supplies its products to manufacturers from a variety of sectors, ranging from automotive, building, home equipment, carpentry, agricultural and construction machinery to spare parts, transport systems, pumps, hydraulics, energy and power transmissions. Alongside this type of customer, Vipa also supplies other distributors when they lack the required goods in their warehouse.

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Fast, lean and top quality Another of Vipa’s assets is its four distribution centres, which are part of the automated 30,000m2 covered warehouse based in Rolo. The warehouse, equipped with 12 elevators and 15 picking isles, able to handle over 120,000 pallets and carry out 4500 collections per day. These results put it in the top market position in Italy and also make it one of the leaders in Europe. The other distribution centres, Italian or foreign-based, are engaged in the supply of products specifically for the requests of local markets. The automated warehouse allows Vipa to meet any demand quickly. Goods are picked and shipped in real time. Obviously the delivery time depends on where the client is located. “We have a totally automated 24-hour system; the warehouse machines are operational round the clock. At night the machines are at work for the optimisation of the goods spots; not only on the basis of actual orders, but also on probability of potential ones.” VIPA offers a KANBAN service, developed in close partnership with the customer, in order to manufacture according to specific requirements. The KANBAN system is used to manage the purchasing activities of customers. The KANBAN system allows the user to: - Make a simple production plan and control; - Reduce stock volumes, with the optimisation of cash flow; - Cut out dead times and simplify all procedures involved in the process. Through the study of the client’s production process, KANBAN can support the customer’s employees in the optimization of the necessary parameters for goods availability: The daily average consumption of the pieces (pieces / time); the average time of coverage (time); the safety stock and the sizing of the containers (pieces / container). Furthermore, Vipa can offer this service of analysis and study not only for fastening product, but also for other C class components employed by the firm, for which it can also act as the supplier.

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Since 2012 Vipa has been innovating both in terms of services and technology. At first it introduced a bilingual web-shop in order to achieve fast orders in a click using the internet, which is constantly updated through its internal system. This allows for the rapid selection of the desired items through direct access to the ERP database, throughout the web. This includes: -

Visualisation of the current availabilities; Visualisation of the current net sales prices; Possibility to order the available items at any time; Possibility to search for standard norms (DIN-EN-ISO), categories of article, typologies of treatments and dimensions; - Possibility to search for the code and/or client’s article (cross reference); - Complete list of offers, orders and consignments as well as a history of documentation. Italy is still the main market for Vipa, but in the past few years the company has been constantly growing in other European markets. The future may bring a further expansion in foreign markets, with other local branches and staff. “Predicting the future is very hard, but despite the current circumstances we intend to take the challenge and try to expand our activity further to reach a more international market. We believe that a local presence helps us to be close to the customers. We have the will to grow and the will to present ourselves as a unique company that is internationally efficient and well appreciated. Our philosophy is based on service, fast response and quality. We plan to increase our focus on service and quality, investing in skilled human resources and equipment for quality control and logistical solutions so as to reduce order preparation delays and increase n precision and delivery times.

www.vipafasteners.com http://www.vipaspa.it/en/shop.php


Metals, Metalworking & Mining

Staying strong Italy-based Metalcam Group, headquartered in Breno, is a European leader in the production of open die steel forgings. Industry Europe talks to sales manager Massimo Cocchi about what makes the company unique in its sector and how it has fared in difficult market conditions since we last spoke to him in 2009.

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hen we last spoke to Metalcam, the company was experiencing steady growth of 10–12 per cent per year. However, as Mr Cocchi explains, the challenges it has faced over the past three years as a result of the international oil crisis have obliged it to seek alternative markets, such as Shipbuilding and Energy, in order to recover from the drop in its Oil & Gas business. Fortunately for Metalcam, its years of experience and set of unique strengths have enabled it to remain positive during this time. As Mr Cocchi explains: “Metalcam has always been a fully vertically integrated company with a steel mill and forging shop under the same ownership and managed by a single team. Other competitors have tried to replicate this organisation in recent years but none of them is as fully integrated as we are. This aspect of our business is still highly regarded by many of our key customers.” And it is this integrated structure that has enabled the company to grow far beyond the Italian market in the years since its establishment in the 1920s.

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Today Metalcam’s main production facility is still located in Breno, but over the past 20 years it has integrated two other production companies that have enabled it to significantly increase the range of solutions it can offer its customers. These companies, both based in Italy, are: Valforge – a producer of small/medium forging components; and Adamello Steel – a producer of hot rolled steel plates.

Product development As mentioned above, in light of the international oil crisis Metalcam has been looking to diversify its activities in recent years. Today it supplies medium- to large-size steel forged products for clients in the Mechanical, Oil & Gas, Energy and Shipbuilding industries, as well as supplying hotwork tools and raw material for forges and rolling mills. According to Mr Cocchi, “Metalcam Group differentiates itself from other companies by being able to provide its customers with the most effective technical and metallurgic solutions by choosing the right materials and creating the optimal production cycle.


Metals, Metalworking & Mining

Normally in our business R&D means mainly identifying new ways to produce standard parts and optimise costs because the real R&D is carried out by our customers while developing and engineering their own equipment. However, over the past few years some key customers, appreciating our technical and metallurgical skills, are involving Metalcam during their product design phases. They consider us to be not only a supplier but a reliable partner able to establish deep collaborations with them.”

Global supply partner When it comes to sales, today Metalcam looks well beyond the Italian market. According to Mr Cocchi, the European market has always been the most important for the company as it is, together with the domestic market, the most developed. Over the past 10 years Metalcam has also strongly developed its US market activities in parallel with the South American and Far Eastern Markets. He tells us: “Metalcam Group is the everyday choice of hundreds of clients all around the world who value its huge production capacity as well as the highest expertise in the technical and metallurgic fields, its worldwide sales network, commitment, quality and care in looking after its customers.” Of course, he acknowledges that none of this would be possible without maintaining relationships with the most reliable suppliers.

“Considering how critical is our production cycle and considering we do not start from ‘free issue material’ (our main raw materials are metal scrap and ferroalloys), it’s fundamental to deal with suppliers who are highly qualified and conscious of being part of a strategic supply chain. Through collaboration with a few selected machining shops, we have been able to approach our clients to offer more and more advanced products.”

Future development goals Moving forward, Mr Cocchi acknowledges that the continuing volatility of the market means Metalcam will have to find more strategic ways to stand out from its competitors. “The global market, despite showing better trends compared to last year, is still pretty unstable and driven by several uncontrolled factors including speculation on raw material and end products.” For this reason, he says, Metalcam has always focused its investments on quality rather than quantity. “Such investments – concerned with doing better than doing more – are of course more complicated to identify but can strongly support the company to perform better and better from a technical, quality and service perspective.” And it is this long-term thinking that will help the company to stay strong during these challenging times and continue to diversify in the years to come.

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The highpressure specialist A

ustria-based Schoeller-Bleckmann Nitec GmbH designs and manufactures customised high-pressure apparatuses for the fertiliser and petrochemical industries, in close cooperation with licensors and processors. The company, founded in 1862 in Ternitz, Austria – where it still resides today – was formerly known as Schoeller-Bleckmann Nooter GmbH. A major milestone came in 2008 when the business was acquired by Christof Holding AG, a global expert in complex plant engineering and industrial services with more than 100 years of market experience and an impressive international customer base.

State-of-the-art technology Schoeller-Bleckmann Nitec GmbH is an expert in the field of urea and ammonia plants. For these complex facilities, the company produces high-pressure heat exchangers and high-pressure reactors, lined with highly corrosion-resistant materials, and all the

For decades, Schoeller-Bleckmann Nitec GmbH (SBN) has been one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-pressure equipment for the chemical and petrochemical industry, in particular for the fertiliser sector. In 2008 the company became a member of the Christof Group, an international comprehensive engineering expert, cementing its position on global markets. Romana Moares reports.

fittings such as liquid distribution systems, sieve plates and others, made of heat-resistant, unalloyed steel grades and austenitic chromium nickel steel. With its series of high-pressure vessels, SBN covers the entire process spectrum of ammonia plants: from primary and secondary reformers and various gas scrubbing stages with highpressure temperature and corrosive stress and high-pressure apparatuses for ammonia synthesis up to the connected pipelines. The most commonly used materials include temperature-resistant chromium nickel steels and nickel alloys as well as hydrogenresistant steels. For many years now, Schoeller-Bleckmann Nitec GmbH has also been supplying high-pressure equipment and components to the chemical and petrochemical industry, both for the processing of crude oil and natural gas to various intermediate and end products, and as for the production of olefins and polyolefins.

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As a leading manufacturer of high-pressure equipment for the chemical industry, SBN offers its customers special on-site services such as welding of high pressure urea pipes, installation of sieve plates in urea reactors, repairs or exchange of linings in urea reactors, repairs of heat exchangers, complete piping exchange as well as engineering and logistics services.

Modern production facility Schoeller-Bleckmann Nitec GmbH has responded quickly to the trend towards increasingly larger and technically more demanding systems and therefore to heavier equipment – components weigh-

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ing more than 200 tonnes are no longer a rarity today. The current requirements are fully reflected in production technology and manufacturing processes. In the last few years, the machine park has been brought up to date with a generous investment programme. The factory in Ternitz consists of two production halls with a total area of 5270m². The prefabrication with the tailoring, the equipment for the sheet metal forming and the machines for the mechanical processing are housed in a new production hall with an area of 3000m². The modern technology includes a CNC BTA deep hole-drilling machine, a CNC carousel lathe and various welding manipulators with a load capacity of up to 100 t. Six


Metals, Metalworking & Mining

bridge cranes with a capacity of max. 240 t guarantee a smooth handling and loading of heavy components. The basis of SBN’s manufacturing know-how rests on the mastery of highly complex welding processes. The company has a comprehensive range of welding equipment, from machines for TIG, MAG and electrode welding to machines for welding cladding (tape and wire cladding) and the computer-assisted systems for tube welding (conventional and background welding). In addition, a large number of container turning devices with a load capacity of up to 500 t are available. To accommodate the increasingly large dimensions and weights of the equipment, the company has been running a second produc-

tion facility in Linz for several years. The high-pressure equipment is prefabricated in parts in Ternitz, then transported to Linz where it is completed, inspected and approved by independent inspectors before being loaded directly onto the inland waterway vessel to be shipped to customers.

Exceeding the expectation In order to ensure that the high-pressure apparatuses manufactured fully meet the customers’ requirements the company has been working closely with licensors and material manufacturers for many years. SBN was a pioneer in the extensive use of Safurex® – a superduplex steel developed by the Swedish steel producer Sandvik AB and the Dutch lawmaker Stamicarbon BV. SBN is now producing a new generation of pool condensers and pool reactors according to the Urea 2000 process from Stamicarbon, which significantly increases productivity in urea plants. The global trend towards ever-increasing plant capacities and the introduction of new technologies and materials present daily challenges for designers and engineers of companies such as SchoellerBleckmann Nitec. To keep pace with the latest market developments and to incorporate the latest requirements in its portfolio, SBN collaborates intensively with processors, inspection companies and technical universities. The company’s philosophy focuses on customer satisfaction. On a continuous basis, a significant part of the company’s earnings is invested in research, development and innovation, whereby customers, suppliers and partners are often involved with the goal of offering optimal, cost-effective and future-oriented solutions. Solutions n that not only meet but exceed customers’ expectations. Industry Europe 159


Innovation at its core

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

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onoco Alcore creates a broad range of tube and core solutions for its customers across the paper, film, man-made fibre yarn, metal and construction industries. It is part of the global Sonoco family, one of the world’s leading providers of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and supply chain services. Acknowledged as the leader in ‘high-quality, innovative, value-creating tubes and core solutions’, Sonoco Alcore’s production of tube and core solutions for such a wide variety of markets means it is divided into different product-focused segments. Packaging Europe spoke to commercial segment manager Gary Morgan and technical segment manager David Van Hove, the two driving forces behind the dedicated film segment of Sonoco Alcore, who have been integral in the division’s impressive growth in recent years. Gary Morgan began: “We are very excited about the continued potential of the film industry in terms of our expertise in paper core solutions, which is why David and I have been highly active in establishing ourselves as a dedicated division for Sonoco Alcore. Back in 2012, David and I realised that Sonoco Alcore did not have a team 160 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.”


PAPER, PACKAGING & PRINTING

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

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

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

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Delivering more sustainable

Nonwoven solutions The TWE Group is a global market leader in the design and manufacture of nonwoven products for a broad variety of industrial applications. These range from filtration, automotive, living and building to cleaning, healthcare and hygiene. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to lead through innovation, and the development of more sustainable, value-added nonwoven products.

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he TWE Group was founded in 1912 in Emsdetten, Germany and is one of the biggest and most advanced companies of its kind in the world. TWE started as a jute weaving company and today specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced nonwoven products for a broad range of industrial applications. The TWE Group operates 14 state-of-the-art production facilities across Europe, Asia and the United States. The company’s non-woven products fall into seven distinct categories: Hygiene, Medical, Mobiltech, Filtration, and Building and Construction, as well as Wipes and Comfort. The hygiene division is focused on the manufacture of unique, threelayer ‘Slimcore’ Acquisition Distribution Layers (ADL). This is in addition to the production of top sheets and back sheets for baby, fem-care and adult incontinence products. 162 Industry Europe

TWE leads the field with its special manufacturing processes and this makes it possible to produce significantly thinner diaper layers, thus reducing transportation costs and providing a competitive edge for its customers. Another of its many strengths is its extensive product portfolio and its leadership in the area of sustainability.

Advancing nonwoven technology When it comes to medical nonwovens the company focuses on three key areas of operation: Orthopaedic Cast Padding (OCP) bandages, wound-care products and disposable gloves for hospital use. The company’s Mobiltech division mainly serves the automotive sector where its products are utilised for hundreds of different applications, as advanced technical components. These high-tech products can


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soundproof, seal and filter. They can also be located in heated car seats and car trunks as well as for many other automotive applications. TWE’s filtration division has two main areas of operation: air filtration and liquid filtration. Its diverse range of products can provide secure filtration and durable performance in spray booths, vacuum bags and kitchen hoods. In the wipes division, too, the company meets the most stringent customer demands – especially when it comes to anti-bacterial protection, coating and refining. The building and construction industry continues to play an increasingly important role in TWE Group’s overall product portfolio. The company’s products can be found in all areas of the home, where they are used for both interior and exterior applications. The company also makes nonwoven products for other sectors such as furniture, bedding and apparel. Furthermore, under its leading Isosoft label it offers a broad spectrum of durable and sustainable insulation products that offer high performance in relation to its weight, coating layer construction and fibre length.

for the TWE Group, which at the same time is expanding its own natural fibre product portfolio and thus securing a bigger stake in a promising future market. Globally the trend is towards more sustainable and lightweight products and the company has embraced this trend by developing textiles that ensure that the demands of its customers for more environmentally friendly products are met in full. The TWE Group sees

Putting quality and sustainability first All of TWE’s manufacturing plants subscribe to the same high standards of sustainability and product excellence. Every one of its production facilities are certified to ISO 9001, as well as the energy management certification 5001. The company’s commitment to quality can be seen from its receipt of many prestigious industry awards. Recently the TWE Group added to its green product portfolio with the acquisition of a leading US company that specialises in producing nonwovens from natural fibres such as Hemp, Flax, Kenaf and Jute in combination with other approved product components. These are environmentally friendly and offer even greater application versatility. This makes the acquisition of ‘Isowood’ a perfect partner Industry Europe 163


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big growth opportunities in the market for thin nonwoven products and innovative material combinations that also offer energy savings and other ecological advantages.

Focus on value-added products For some of its products, logistics costs are an important factor, especially for comfort products, where the costs of transportation can be prohibitive and restrict the number of regions where they can be sold. Therefore the establishment of production facilities in strategic global locations is an obvious solution. In recent years the company has moved away from purchasing raw materials based on price considerations alone, and are now clearly focused on the development of high-end, value-added products.

Today the creation of innovative products and meeting its customer’s changing needs is more important than price alone. With more investment going into R&D than ever before TWE is staying one step ahead of its competitors. Furthermore, in order to remain successful in the years to come the company says that it must be inventive and develop new solutions by working closely with both its customers and suppliers. TWE’s unrivalled experience, modern R&D labs and know-how offer its partners significant added-value solutions and its international sales teams work with a future-orientated focus designed to n maintain and increase its market-leading position. For further details of the TWE Group’s latest innovative nonwoven products and services visit: www.twe-group.com Industry Europe 165


Sustainable hygiene solutions The Ontex Group is the world’s leading global provider of personal hygiene solutions, with unrivalled expertise in baby-care, feminine care and adult care products. The company continues to extend its global reach and enhance its product portfolio. Philip Yorke reports on a company that not only sets the standards in innovative personal care, but also in sustainable manufacturing processes.

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he Ontex group was founded in Aalst, Belgium over 30 years ago and has grown to become the world’s leading supplier of personal hygiene products and solutions. The company manufactures, markets and distributes its products to over 110 countries worldwide through its sales to leading brand owners and its own branded product ranges. Today Ontex designs, develops and distributes a broad range of personal hygiene products that include disposable diapers and pants, pads, tampons and panty-liners. With 19 manufacturing bases spread strategically throughout the world, it employs more than 11,000 people and in 2016 recorded sales of almost 2 billion euros. The Ontex Group’s in-house R&D departments and international development teams draw on extensive consumer insights that create the flexibility to help its retail and health customers stay ahead of the competition as well as the world’s rapidly changing markets and in the process, meet the diverse needs of different populations.

Ontex also combines traditional values such as integrity and customer care, with the latest design and sustainable manufacturing processes and technology. This makes the company the smart choice for retailers, health institutions and consumers alike.

Ontex brands driving growth Recently the Ontex Group announced its intention to acquire one of South America’s largest personal hygiene businesses, Hypermarcus of Brazil. The acquisition of HM personal hygiene supports the Ontex strategy by extending its market position in the America’s to Brazil. This is in addition to increasing sales from Ontex-owned brands, and its new access to a fast growing market for adult incontinence, thus cementing its brand-leading status. Over the past 12 months, HM Personal hygiene has generated revenues of around €350 million in the growing baby-care and adult incontinence categories. This has been helped by a growing number

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of strong local brands, such as baby-care products: PomPom, Cremer and Sapeka, a regional leader in the value segment. Ontex CEO Charles Bouaziz commented, “We are very excited to welcome HM personal hygiene into the Ontex Community. This business has achieved leading market positions in the baby-care and adult incontinence Categories, and is built on attractive brands which respond to consumer needs and strong execution.”

Expanding international footprint The Ontex Group’s acquisition of Mexican-based Grupo Mabe, a leading personal hygiene company in 2016, has significantly strengthened Ontex International’s presence as well as enhancing its own portfolio of leading brands. The company’s key priorities for 168 Industry Europe

2017 are to implement further its ambitious sustainability programme and to develop its own branded and retailer branded businesses. The acquisition of the leading Mexican personal healthcare company Grupo Mabe, has expanded the company’s geographic footprint in North and Latin America, thus increasing its growth opportunities. The successful integration of Grupo Mabe into the Ontex family has helped it to reach a 40 per cent market share of the baby diapers category in the Mexican retail sector. Traditionally, Ontex has a strong portfolio and expertise in producing and marketing a wide range of strong retail brands. At the same time, the company has a growing share of own-brand products, spanning baby-care, feminine care and adult care, which are distributed worldwide. In 2016, Group revenues from Ontex brands was


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44 per cent up from 37 per cent in 2014 and following recent acquisitions in Latin America, the proportion of revenues generated from Ontex brands will now exceed 50 per cent for the very first time.

Driving sustainability forward Over the last few years, Ontex has grown rapidly from a manufacturing company to an international consumer goods company. Ontex ownbrand product lines will gain further significance in the future. However,

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its manufacturing strategy remains the same, developments and innovations in both categories of own-brand and retail brands are tailored to suit local markets and are driven by extensive consumer research. In 2016 Ontex created a new management structure in order to embed sustainability into all Ontex operations and Divisions. As a result of an extensive review, the company’s approach to sustainability was grouped into four distinct areas: sustainable growth, the people at the heart of the company, human rights and business ethics, and responsible production. Ambitious targets have been set in each one of these areas. In the responsible production sector for example, the company plans to reduce CO2 emissions of transported goods in 29017 by 20

per cent compared to 2012 and that by 2020, all electricity consumed will be generated by renewable sources. Annick De Poorter Group R&D, Quality & Sustainability director at Ontex said, “As one of the world’s leading hygiene solutions providers, we are constantly aware of the need to reduce the environmental impact of our products and are committed to the well-being of our people. The new structure and the ambitious targets set bring sustainability to the core of our production.” For further details of the Ontex Group’s latest innovative, personal n hygiene products visit: www.ontexglobal.com

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Kristin Glatzeder

For over 45 years, Glatzeder has been distributing and processing nonwovens and technical textiles to its many customers from various sectors. The company, based in north-west Germany, currently operates two facilities and is planning to increase capacity soon. Romana Moares spoke to managing director Kristin Glatzeder about the company’s development and plans for the future.

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ith its partner company, NOW Contec GmbH + Co. KG, Glatzeder specialises in converting and distributing nonwovens and technical textiles and offers a spectrum of additional services such as folding and packaging, different format cutting, rewinding, hot and cold calendering, as well as flexographic and screen printing. All products are packaged according to individual customer requirements and sent worldwide.

In 2017, Glatzeder exhibited at Techtextil, the leading international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens in Frankfurt am Main, where it showcased its services in the field of converting and welcomed customers and suppliers alike. “Whether the fair was a success, I cannot estimate at the moment. We received some very interesting enquiries and are now in the process of their evaluation and offer preparation,” reflects the managing director.

Trusted partners

From a single source

“Glatzeder was founded in 1972 by Peter and Ruth Glatzeder as a supplier to the upholstery furniture sector. As a result of a close cooperation with Freudenberg, the worldwide leader in the production of nonwoven fabrics and textile materials, we were able to expand our range of services to include converting (slitting, rewinding and printing) and distribution of nonwovens and several other technical textiles to customers mainly in Germany and Europe,” begins Mrs Glatzeder. In 1990, a company called Convert Vliesveredelung was founded together with Freudenberg in Waldfischbach-Burgalben (near Kaiserslautern), specialising in the converting of nonwovens for agricultural needs. A few years later and at the same location, Peter Glatzeder founded NOW Contec, the core focus of which was the production of tailor-made nonwovens for roofing for renowned companies such as DuPont and Caplast. In 2016, shares of both companies were sold to Mehler AG. “Our two German facilities employ a total of 90 people and serve customers in Germany and elsewhere in Europe,” says Mrs Glatzeder.

As a wholesaler, Glatzeder mainly distributes PP-spunbond in all weights and standard colours in white, grey, black and beige. The product portfolio also includes polyester spunbond, needlefelt, spunlace, chemical bonded, meltblown and Evolon®. As a converter, Glatzeder together with NOW Contec manufactures nonwovens to meet customers’ needs, such as rectangle blanks, shape blanks, sewed and welded bags, folded products, laminated products, coated products and many more. “We do not have our own product line; we see ourselves as an extended workbench of our customers, including nonwovens manufacturers as well as processors for the automotive, roofing, packaging and printing industries and the hygiene and medical sectors,” she explains. “At the same time, we always strive to make customers’ wishes come true. Our goal is to provide customers with a finished product from a single source. Together with numerous partners, who can perform tasks that we cannot fulfil ourselves, we offer our customers ready-made products. We also offer a range of thought-through services, from storing raw materials and finished Industry Europe 173


SWG SWG can refer to a long standing engraving tradition since 1890. Our rotary printing and embossing forms are applied in over 50 countries in lots of various branches of industry such as packaging, tissue, textile, wall paper, automotive. In the past few years we invested a great deal into new technologies and highly productive laser engraving machinery in order to fulfil highest market demands. Our business activities cover the complete service from design development, colour management, reproduction up to the printing form according to the requests of our client. P. Glatzeder GmbH and Now Contec GmbH & Co.KG belong to our most important business partners who SWG supplies with flexo printing forms for the production of top quality special foils for construction materials.

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goods to completing all logistic processes (including the implementation of software for the near-time data comparison, if required), handling of all customs formalities and dispatch to end customers.”

State-of-the-art technology Glatzeder currently operates two production facilities, in Detmold and in Waldfischbach-Burgalben. Mrs Glatzeder points out that the company’s unique competitive advantage is the combination of its extensive machinery park, know-how and long-term experience of its employees in the field of nonwoven converting. “To give you some examples, the Detmold facility employs an offline hot and cold Küsters calendering machine with a working width of 350cm, while the Waldfischbach-Burgalben plant is equipped with several short-roll winders with integrated flexographic printing units and fully automated packaging units. We are also willing to invest in


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new machines if required for new jobs, should we not have the required technology available.” Last year the company boosted production capacity at Waldfischbach-Burgalben by purchasing an additional short-roll winder with twocolour flexographic printing unit and another fully automated packing system for short rolls up to a width of 150cm. Now Detmold is in focus – later this year the machinery park will be extended by the addition of a short-roll winder with a working width of 210cm. “We are also planning to integrate a new flexographic printing unit with a width of approximately 220cm into an existing machine,” adds Mrs Glatzeder.

New horizons The key partner for Glatzeder has always been Freudenberg SE but the company has forged links with others too. “We are working intensively with DuPont de Nemours and other well-known nonwoven manufacturers. In recent years, we have been increasingly purchasing our products from Turkish manufacturers. Our customer base currently remains in Germany and Europe,” confirms Mrs Glatzeder, while adding that the biggest growth in the future is expected in the construction industry and the hygiene and medical sector. The managing director has an optimistic outlook in terms of future development. She explains that, in 2016, Glatzeder took over the general distribution and converting of small volumes of Evolon® printing media for Germany and central Europe and in 2017 is going to intensify its efforts to distribute these products.

“I hope, of course, that we can grow organically, but I also see that we have to open up new markets. We can do this only through targeted acquisitions, intensive market research and intelligent investment in our machinery as well as staff training and development. I also think that in the future we will have to make more efforts to make sustainable products. The focus is also on the development of own products. With our own brand nu:ju, micro fibre cleansing textiles, we have laid foundations n for development in both directions,” she concludes.

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It’s all cosmetic OJSC Arnest is the largest manufacturer of perfumery-cosmetic products and household chemicals across Russia and the CIS countries. Industry Europe takes a look at some of the reasons behind the company’s continued success.

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ocated in Nevinnomyssk in the Stavropol region, today OJSC Arnest offers more than 350 different products across three main categories: perfumery and cosmetic products in polymeric and aerosol packaging, household chemical goods (different cleaning products, footwear, furniture and car care products) and insecticidal products and repellents as well as antistatic agents. Arnest also produces its own aluminium spray cans, valves and spray caps, as well as aerosol propellants. The company has continued to expand its production capacity in recent years. In 2014, for example, it increased its aluminium can production capacity with the launch of a new high-speed line capable of producing 50 million cans per year. The launch of this line reduced the dependence of Arnest and a number of other domestic enterprises on imported products. Arnest provides a variety of services covering every step of manufacturing, storage and distribution, including the quality control of products in its own laboratory, storage of finished products and logistic infrastruc-

ture and delivery through its own railway track. In addition, the company has a strong sales structure. It distributes not only its own brands, but also the brands of its partners. One of the most pressing concerns for the modern company is an environmentally relevant approach to the production process. “Our company is actively pursuing an ecological agenda and was the first aerosol producer in Russia to switch to eco-friendly hydrocarbon propellants in 1996,” says Mr Gubenko. Since 2004, Arnest has ben certified according to the ISO 14001 standard. In 2012 the company released a new line of ecological laundry detergents, ‘Garden’. The line has since been enlarged with ecological dishwasher gel concentrate and some other sanitary products.

A strong partner Arnest has always been customer oriented. “Our company keeps up with the times, constantly improving levels of professionalism and taking care of customers and partners,” explains a company spokesperson. Industry Europe 177


Since 2000, it has been carrying out contract manufacturing of perfumery-cosmetics products and household chemicals for a wide range of high-profile clients, including: L’Oreal, Unilever, Schwarzkopf & Henkel, Procter & Gamble, Oriflame and American air freshener company Sara Lee. Rexona, Dove, Ambi Pur and Charm Professional are among the many brands manufactured by the Russian company. All partners are offered the full range of services in production, storage and distribution logistics. In 2010 Arnest was listed among the 300 fastest developing companies in Russia, with a more than 60 per cent share of the aerosols market and more than a quarter of the styling market. In 2007 and 2008 the company acquired Aerozol-Novomoskovsk (Russia) and Barony Universal (UK), and in 2011 the Russian brand leader in shoe care Dividik along with its production capacities. 2012 was marked by the acquisition of the Italian company Alpatec, which was renamed Arnest SpA. To handle the enlarged production and to fulfil all commitments from the manufacturing contracts, Arnest has implemented training, education and research programmes, as well as applying contemporary management methods while still adhering to the core values of its business, such as responsibility and innovation.

Expanding horizons Speaking about Arnest’s key sales markets, the company spokesperson explains that its main market is in the territory of the Russian Federation, with special attention paid to the markets of the former Soviet Union and Europe. “It is always very important to actively explore similar markets but also to be aware of the market competitors.” With its long-term experience in the industry, Arnest understands the impor178 Industry Europe

tance of innovation and proactive corporate policy. “Our company is not standing still and we are seriously considering expanding to the markets of North and South America, as well as to Asia.” Arnest regularly attends major trade shows in order to showcase its solutions and win new clients. In January this year (2017) it took part in the 11th international Aerosol & Dispensing Forum in Paris. The Forum brought together experts from leading international cosmetic brands and key service providers of aerosol technologies and n innovative solutions, and manufacturers of packaging. Visit: www.arnest.ru


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Big and beautiful

Market-leading Romanian cosmetics and household products manufacturer Farmec is dedicated to developing and producing its well-respected own-brand products that are popular across the world. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Farmec’s CEO Mircea Turdean to learn more about its investments and ambitious plans for the future.

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ocated in Romania and active across the world, leading ownbrand cosmetics and household products manufacturer Farmec develops and produces high-quality products under its respected Gerovital brand. In fact, Gerovital is so well-known that it was voted Romania's number one brand in 2016 and was awarded Superbrands status in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Mircea Turdean said, “The quality of our products has long been rewarded; we are very proud of the regular awards and certificates that our Gerovital own brand products have gained. We were recently awarded the prize for the 'Product of the Year' for our Gerovital H3 Evolution line, which is fast making waves in the cosmetics industry.”

Perfecting premium skincare Gerovital H3 Derma + Premium Care is a high-end range that represents Farmec's launch into premium skin care. Mr Turdean noted, “We are constantly developing new products. At the end of 2017 we will be adding more Gerovital premium products in response to customer demand and this has been specifically developed for external markets.” As the market leader in skincare in Romania, Farmec's Gerovital range is also popular across Europe and beyond. The company exports its products to countries including Hungary, Greece, Spain, France and the UK, with increasing exports worldwide to the Middle East, the UAE, North America and South East Asia. Mr Turdean added,

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“We have been steadily and strategically entering new markets, with 2017 seeing Gerovital reach Israel, the Republic of Ireland and Thailand. We are also continuously working on developing beneficial partnerships in other countries in order to further expand our presence.”

Reputation for excellence This new market growth is a result of Farmec's focus on offering tailored solutions to meet its customers' needs. Mr Turdean explained, “Our products are well known for their efficacy and reliability, so we are keen to work with our strong reputation to develop and deliver products that utilise the advanced technologies in which we've invested. We will pay great attention to the environment and the impact of our activity on the environment in all of our future developments of course, as we appreciate this goes hand-in-hand with product development from a responsible manufacturer.” Primarily serving the cosmetics and household products sector means that Farmec is well known across households in Europe and especially its domestic Romanian market. Mr Turdean said, “According to AC Nielsen Romania we are the market leader in cosmetics, face care and hair treatment in Romania. We are also number one in descalers and kitchen household products. We are always working hard to ensure that we maintain and enhance this market-leading position and, thanks to regular investment and an excellent team, we are set to achieve this.”


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Always investing Farmec's ongoing investment programme has had a number of visible results. The company already has three separate production facilities, each focusing on a different product area (cosmetics, aerosol and household products), with a number of ongoing expansions. Mr Turdean explained, “We are currently expanding our household production capacity and we have also invested in new packaging technology for our facility. This will add shrink-sleeve capability to our packaging. We also plan to extend our production capacity for our cosmetics line soon.” In addition to investment and geographical expansion, the awardwinning Farmec Gerovital range is enjoying expansion through its large network of branded stores across Romania. Mr Turdean commented, “Recently we have concentrated on developing our brand store network. We already have 19 stores across the most important cities in Romania and we plan to increase this number in the near future. We will also continue to invest in the technology, modernisation and extension of product lines in our existing facilities.”

Mr Turdean concluded, “We are certainly concentrating on organic expansion through developing innovative and appealing new products across our skincare and household ranges. We are also entering new markets and are very excited to be developing new distribution chains that include pharmacies and spa and wellness centres. We also expect to see further strong growth through e-commerce n with our dedicated online shop at www.farmec.ro.”

Growing and learning With such ambitious plans clearly well in process, it looks as though 2018 will be another strong year for Farmec and its Gerovital brand.

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Furniture for people

Szynaka-Meble (Szynaka-Furniture), headquartered in Lubawa, is Poland’s leading furniture manufacturer. It successfully combines business with quality, safety and environmental protection, both in terms of the furniture and implemented processes. This year the company celebrates its 60th anniversary. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.

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zynaka-Meble has been cultivating strong values and traditions for four generations. Each of its products is signed by the name of Mr Szynaka, which emphasises the personal responsibility of the owners for maintaining the highest quality standards. The Szynaka-Meble mission is to build the image of a furniture manufacturer and business partner that cares about the quality of the furniture and sales services, occupational health and safety, and the environment. Its motto: ‘Szynaka-Meble, always close to people’, illustrates the special attention it pays to customers’ and employees’ satisfaction. Its market success is determined by its ability to take advantage of opportunities associated with new projects. Decisions on new investments and new products have always been well thought over.

From small craft business to international player The company’s history goes back to the 1957, when it was a small craft business run by Mr Jan Szynaka senior. The next stage in its development began in 1985, when its current chairman of the board, Mr Jan Szynaka, took over his father’s factory and four years later moved it to the newly built 800-metre production hall specialising in the production of natural birch furniture. Three years later another hall was built, twice the size of the previous one. In 2001 the Szynaka-Meble brand was established, and the furniture group was growing steadily: in 2003, it acquired the Wolsztyn Furniture Factory, a leading manufacturer of kitchen furniture. In 2007 a new production facility was built in Nowe Miasto Lubawskie and two other entities were established: MM Szynaka

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ALFATHERM S.p.A. Alfatherm is proud to be associated with GM SZYNAKA. Wishing them continuous success into the future and congratulations in their Jubilee year.

Living in Ilawa and MM Szynaka Interline in Nowe Miasto Lubawskie. In 2012, the group expanded with the establishment of a Logistics Centre in Ilawa with a warehouse area of over 42,000m2 and an Exhibition Centre measuring 1400m2, in which fair and training events are organised. In 2012 the group bought modern production lines, machining centres and packaging lines and introduced a new brand of kitchen furniture, ‘Moelke’. Following this, a professional Conference and Training Centre was established in a historic mansion in Mortegi near Lubawa. In 2014 a new production hall and an innovative line to produce furniture elements were put into operation. The following year, a modern Furniture Industry Centre in Lubawa was opened.

Strong furniture group Today, the Szynaka Group consists of six modern production plants located in Lubawa, Ilawa, Nowe Miasto Lubawskie and Wolsztyn, a Logistic and Exhibition Centre and Conference Centre. Their total combined area is more than 500,000m², which corresponds to the size of 70 football pitches. The Szynaka Group benefits from the

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also in this issue...

support of EU funds for the purchase of technological infrastructure, research, training, participation in trade fairs and exhibitions. Szynaka-Meble is a leader in the production of high quality furniture. Its unique, strong brand coupled with a broadly developed sales policy and cooperation with global and national retail chains such as IKEA, CASTORAMA, CONFORAM and BEGA ensures its high market position and guarantees global marketability. The company’s annual sales are estimated at nearly PLN 1 billion (more than €238 million), almost 60 per cent of which comes from exports. Every year, more than ten million units of furniture are sold abroad. The company’s business activities are conducted in more than 50 countries around the world. Its foreign markets include: Germany, France, Great Britain, USA, Russia, Turkey, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

Beauty around us Szynaka-Meble offers a wide range of furniture with versatile features, creating a unique atmosphere for bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, dining rooms, hotels and offices. The company’s offer includes two main product lines: Prestigeline is an exclusive range of solid wood and veneered furniture for the most demanding customers, while Trendline combines functionality and modern design. WFM is also a well-recognised brand worldwide: its kitchens combine modern

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design with the highest quality and carefully selected materials. An individual approach to customer demands and the use of the latest technological achievements are hallmarks of WFM. According to Szynaka Furniture Group, beauty lies in every part of the interior, and all that is needed is to extract its potential skillfully. All furniture is created in response to customer needs, in line with the latest global trends. Owing to the variety of projects available in the company’s offerings, customers can create their rooms according to their individual needs. Its many years of experience and a constant dedication to creating beautiful and functional furniture have ensured that Szynaka-Meble’s products stand out against other offers available on the market. For more information, visit: www.szynaka.pl

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Mr Jan Szynaka, Charman of the Management Board


also in this issue...

Largest Polish food packaging producer Supravis Group SA is a family business now in its second generation. The company has been operating on the market since 1985, initially under the name PPH Z. Gąsior. From its early days until now, the company’s capital has been in 100 per cent Polish.

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upravis Group SA is today a leading manufacturer of plastic packaging in central-eastern Europe. The company has over 500 employees in total and is the only European manufacturer to offer such a comprehensive range of barrier and high barrier flexible film packaging used in the food industry, particularly for meat, fish and milk processing. Its products are also used to protect medical products and in the technology industry (e.g. in the furniture and automotive sectors). According to the company: “Our customers are offered many options in one location. We offer films and laminates of different structures, a wide range of barrier casings, thermoshrinkable bags and films as well as vacuum pouches. We are also pleased to develop new technologies that make it possible to create the specific product needed by the customer. “All our products provide a high level of protection, increase durability and extend the shelf life of food products, making them look better and improving their presentation at the point of sale. We also offer a wide range of services, from graphic design through printing and casings converting to technical support and consultancy. Around half of our output today is exported to more than 50 countries worldwide.”

Strong potential The company’s headquarters are located in Bydgoszcz and its premises spread over an area of 13 hectares. The production floor, covering a total area of 19,500m2, accommodates several dozen standalone, highly automated production lines and pieces of equipment. Its yearly production capacity is over 15,000 tonnes. Thanks to significant investments in modern production equipment, Supravis continues to increase the scale of its business, improve quality and systematically expand its range of products. In the years 2012–2018 the value of its investments in tangible fixed assets will exceed €60 million.

Products Supravis stands out thanks to its comprehensive product offering, including many opportunities for a wide range of packaging users. This includes the following film solutions: • thermoshrinkable materials such as films, bags and sleeves • flexible and rigid bottom thermoforming films • lidding films with/without overprint • laminated films with/without overprint • vacuum pouches for vacuum packing with/without overprint • casings with/without overprint. The above types of packaging are ideal for packing products in pieces, blocks, slices as well as loose and liquid products. The company explains: “Our products are created and developed in response to new social and environmental needs. By adapting the business and services to the challenges that we have to face, we have managed to increase the number of customers who appreciate our innovative solutions. We often carry out projects together with our customers, which involve the creation of entirely new products fully adapted to their precise needs. “Furthermore, we also take a number of measures to reduce the depletion of natural resources, stop the contamination of the envin ronment and save natural ecosystems.”

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ADVERTISERSINDEX

AAK 114 Ahlstrom Munksjo 82 ALFAPLAST 121 Alfatherm 184 Aluman 178 Aluprof 91 Aluprof Outside back ATD-Pressure Gas System 96 Automotive Components Floby 44 Birla Brandstrom Instruments Bruderer Brütsch Rüegger Tools CAAC Pioneer Logistics Cablex CIA Custom Products Coreth Verpackungen

79 62 51 52 Inside back 75 127 102

Daco Instruments Domel

IIDA DENKI ILT Plasma Technologies IMA Klessmann ITB Spolka

56 144 186 92

Killi Kovis

130 135

Laitex Landsberg Luehr Filter

105 89 107

MAS-POL Megoldas Mitsubishi Electric Moveco

118 131 23 138

Navitar Nova StilmOil

62 147

Optima Packaging OptoPolymer

169 60

Papiery Powlekane PASACO PCC Exol Pfleiderer Polska Photonfocus Port of Amsterdam P.P.U.H. PROFIL Jerzy Sowiński

171 181 186 61 22 92

Raccordi Speciali Rensen-Driessen Rora Motion Ro-Sys Software Kft

123 140 83 30

Scaligera Guarnizioni Schweisstechnik Lambach STL Shipex SHW Storage & Handling Sill Optics Sistem Pneumatica Sofradir

67 159 170 107 61 148 63

64 56

Egger Ersatz Teile Schienenfahrzeuge Eural Gnutti Euro Cold

185 134 70 148

Facil FELB Fischer Connectors Frana-Polifibre Fresh Logistics Fritz Studer

45 5 61 164 119 71

Galambos Trans GFM Meccanica GP Cellulose Grundfos Guarniflon

130 149 170 123 110

Hafele Heberlein

186 49

Sonoco Alcore Stabar Stilmoil Supravis Group SWG Tentec TES VSETIN Teymur Textile Trioplast Union Officine Meccaniche

Inside back 105 147 118 174 158 82 175 168 37

Van Hollebeke Vasi Korall VIPA

164 131 148

Werner Kenkel

119

Xenics

60

Yawal Yawal

5 23

ZPH Frezwid

90