Industry Europe – Issue 28.1

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Volume 28/1 – 2018

DFM – quality furniture from Poland FILTECH – World’s leading filtration show returns Gorenje appliances for a simpler life

Porsche invests in the electric future



OPINION

PETERMERCER

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Trouble in Turkey Is Turkey pivoting away from the West?

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ournalists are not universally renowned for their subtle inferences. Intemperate hyperbole is more their natural mode. So it was quite surprising to hear that two Turkish journalists had been charged with sending ‘subliminal messages’ during a television programme that had gone out the day before the attempted coup in July 2016. Ahmet Altan had apparently said that he believed President Erdogan would remain in power for another two years – an observation that the prosecutors claimed was in effect an incitement to the plotters to get on with it. It seems it was not alleged that Mr Altan also attempted to bend a spoon or saw himself in half during the programme but the malign intent (and, no doubt, the insult to Islam) was clear to the counter terrorism police who arrested him. It was certainly clear enough to the Istanbul court this month for Mr Altan, his brother and four other journalists to be sentenced to life imprisonment, for ‘violating the constitutional code’. They have joined more than 70 other journalists who are currently in Turkey’s jails, together with the 50,000 people who have been arrested since the coup and the more than 150,000 teachers, doctors, judges and so on who have been thrown out of their jobs. The TV show on which the Altan brothers had deployed their evil powers was called ‘Free Thought’. Of course to Erdogan and his AKP party all these people are complicit with the terrorists, with the US-based Gulenists and the Kurdish opposition party in parliament as well as with Islamic State, the militant Kurdish PKK and the Kurdish YPG, the USbacked militia which has been doing most of the fighting against ISIL in Syria. The writers, the thinkers, says Erdogan, are like gardeners who nourish the terrorists with the water they pour from their columns. There is no doubt that Turkey faces a serious on-going assault from terrorist organisa-

tions, including the PKK and the remnants of Islamic State, who seem to be switching more of their attention to the country now that they have lost most of their territory in Syria. Of course most Turks are Sunni Moslems, like themselves, but perhaps the IS zealots feel that, having been a secular republic for nearly a century, Turkey is not sufficiently pious. Mr Erdogan, however, seems to be intent on putting that right. His government has been busy in recent years pursuing people who neglect Islamic practices or make any comments offensive to Islam. In recent weeks it has even taken to describing its operations against the Kurds in Syria as ‘jihad’ and ensuring that everyone got the point by ordering all of Turkey’s 90,000 mosques to broadcast on their loudspeakers the Koranic ‘prayer of conquest’. And as Turkey becomes daily less of a secular democracy and seeks to position itself, perhaps, as the reborn leader of the Moslem world – through ‘Ottoman Islamism’ – it is also fast becoming much more authoritarian. Opposition politicians in parliament have been imprisoned and a quarter of former prosecutors and judges have been dismissed, as well as more than half of the top tier of army officers. Since the founding of the republic by Kemal Ataturk, the armed forces have been effectively the guarantors of the secular regime but, after the involvement of some of their number in the failed coup, Erdogan has moved to create heavily armed units within the police and the intelligence services as well as promoting civil defence groups that will be loyal to him personally. It is also alleged that the government has distributed more than $10 billion seized during the post-coup purges to friendly business leaders.

Stop pretending None of this, of course, has done anything to improve Turkey’s chances of ever joining

the EU, as President Macron made clear recently during Mr Erdogan’s visit to Paris. Given what was happening there to the rule of law and freedom of expression, he said it was ‘hypocrisy’ to go on pretending that progress on Turkey’s long-standing application was now possible. Mr Erdogan might have replied that every pampered dog on the Paris streets knew that France had never had any serious intention of allowing Turkey to join the EU, given its problems with its own Moslem population. But he contented himself with saying that all this delay was ‘seriously exhausting’ for his nation and that it might now have to take a ‘different decision’. That, of course, set alarm bells ringing on both sides of the Atlantic. The USA already sees Turkey working with its new-found partners, Russia and Iran, in the Syrian ‘peace process’ and sees too its determination to deny the Kurdish YPG any part in that process. But the US sees the Kurds as having been a vital ally in the defeat of ISIS. Could this be the beginning of an authoritarian Turkey turning away from NATO in favour of an alliance with fellow authoritarian states Russia and Iran that might dominate the Middle East? Probably not, given the centuries of hostility between the Ottoman and Russian empires, but possible enough to keep Washington worried. Europe, however, has a more immediate worry. Turkey’s prime minister had already warned that his country might not be able to continue with its agreement, in return for 3 billion euros of ‘aid’, to keep the 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey from heading for Europe. The deal, he said, was not working well – there had been no progress on visa liberalisation – and the EU should bear in mind that Turkey had the power to unblock the route to the Balkans. That’s a threat that no one in Paris or Berlin will be able to keep out of their minds. n Industry Europe 1


CONTENTS Production Manager Tania Balderson

Editorial Director Peter Mercer

Comment

1 Opinion Trouble in Turkey 5 Bill Jamieson Europe still needs a miracle

Editor Victoria Hattersley

Copy Manager Andrew Briggs

Profile Writers Romana Moares Barbara Rossi Dariusz Balcerzyk Edina Beale Philip Yorke Emma-Jane Batey Eugenia Fiusco Piotr Sadowski

Administration Jess White

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Advertising Manager Stephen Moore Massimo Ragazzo

Aerospace Industry

Automotive Industry

Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Anna Dudek-Nocny Eniko Kovacs Marc Lewis Michael Hudson Oliver Clements Szidonia Hajdu

Art Director Rob Czerwinski Designer Leon Esterhuizen IT Support Syed Hassan

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Porsche plans for an electric future Investing in electromobility

Automotive news The latest from the industry Space drill put to the test for ExoMars 2020 mission Close encounters with the Red Planet

Aerospace news The latest from the industry

HVAC Industry 14

Stepping up efficiency Intelligent technologies for

temperature control

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HVAC news The latest from the industry

News

22 Winning business New orders and contracts 24 Linking up Combining strengths 26 Moving on Relocations and expansions 27 Industry people Appointments 28 Technology spotlight Advances in technology 29 Notice board New products and processes

Reports 18

Smart solutions A look at how Rockwell Automation is

embracing Industry 4.0

30 31

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

Industry Europe

BDLI

Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, United Kingdom

across Civil, Military and Space

35 38

Sealed success SCHOTT Galileo calling Spaceopal

Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 779850 Email: photos@industryeurope.net adcopy@industryeurope.net Web: www.industryeurope.net Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndustryEurope

© Industry Europe 2018 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher. INDUSTRY EUROPE LTD.

A Square Root Company

2 Industry Europe

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The voice of German aerospace Supporting members

Commerical UAV Expo 40

Commercial UAV Expo Europe 2018 Preview of this

year’s show

Filtech 43

World’s biggest filtration show returns Preview of

FILTECH 2018

47

Focus on high performance filtration

Haver & Boecker

50 52 53

The latest in filtration technology TWE Group To the wire STH WIRE Swiss quality without compromise Bollhoff Attexor

VDMA Machine Vision 54

Building the factories of the future Uniting the

machine vision sector

58 Leader in vision technology Cognex Corporation 62 Changing the sensor game Precitec Optronik 65 Solving the industry 4.0 gap! SCHMACHTL


VOL 28/1

Above: Asco p68 Below: Righi Group p86

Below: Erwin Hymer p98

Aerospace & Defence 68 71 74

Delivering high lift leading-edge efficiency Asco

Flying for success Jihlavan Aiming high PBS Velká Bíteš

Automation & Robotics

78 Machining solutions for the Aerospace sector Yamazaki Mazak 81 Lifting experience Otis 86 A clear vision for growth Righi Group

Automotive & Heavy Vehicles 90 94 98 102 106 110

Powering ahead Bosch India At full speed Cooper Standard Digital connectivity – The future of caravanning

Czech Republic

Erwin Hymer

The undercarriage experts Sampierana Recognising supplier excellence ZF Group Investing in growth Cooper Standard Automotive

164 Metal specialist Primabiro 168 Driving turbine technology forward Rainpower 172 World-leading trenchless technology Agriapipe 175 Stable outlook Andritz

Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC 178 182 186 194

Driving thermodynamic technology forward Angelantoni

Smartest sound solutions ReSound Innovative appliances for comfortable living Gorenje Group

Shaping the future of glass SCHOTT Glass

Metals & Mining

198 Total solutions in steel and aluminium BE Group 202 Global supplier of C-Parts Bufab 206 Containing waste material

ZPUH JK Milosz Kiedrowski

210 Advanced technology for container production STRUMET 213 New horizons Alcomet

Chemicals & Petrochemicals

Plastics & Rubber

113 Excellence through innovation Nuova Solmine 116 In high gear CASALE PROJECT 120 Chemical synergy Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri 126 Ambition for success MOL Petrochemicals

218 Mixing masterclass HF Group 221 Thermoplastic specialist R&P POLYPLASTIC 224 Plastic solutions for industry Weber Polska

Construction & Engineering

Textiles, Home & Personal Care

134 Tapped into the future FM Mattsson Mora Group 137 Greener cabling solutions Nexans 140 Offering smarter solar solutions Palram 144 Delivering sustainable steel-cladding solutions Ruukki 149 Building on sustainable success Skanska 154 Designed to succeed SBA Group

Energy & Utilities

Above: Ruukki p144 Below: Gorenje Group p186

Above: STRUMET p210 Below: WL Gore p256

228 Transforming to face the future Ahlstrom-Munksjö 232 Advancing oral hygiene Schiffer Group 235 Unilever: Green means go Unilever

Also in this issue...

244 Experience irresistible: Iarp cool emotions Epta 247 Success is not enough DFM 252 Optimising footwear fashion Lloyd Shoes 256 In the spotlight WL Gore

157 Innovation in process technology Alfa Laval 160 Pioneering digital coating technology

Cefla Group Industry Europe 3


COMMENT

BILLJAMIESON

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Executive Editor of The Scotsman

Europe still needs a miracle EU growth is very positive news but the nettle of labour market reform has still to be grasped.

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urope is on an economic roll. Powered by a stream of positive surveys and data, economic sentiment in France and Germany hit a multiyear high as we entered the New Year. The euro area economy – in marked contrast to the UK’s – is enjoying the strongest period of economic growth in more than a decade. Overall, the consensus forecast is that the eurozone should maintain its growth performance, running close to the 2.5 per cent growth pace achieved in 2017. It’s a miracle indeed, for how could this be? For most of the 19 years of the European single currency, commentators have bemoaned the eurozone’s sluggish economic performance and in particular the failure to undertake structural labour market reforms considered vital for an uplift in economic well-being. It’s done very little on this front. Moreover, the growth momentum has been achieved in the face of continuing political turbulence and uncertainty – Germany as yet without a new coalition, Italy facing crunch elections in March, Spain still impaled on its Catalonia stand-off and France still finding its way under Emmanuel Macron. How has ‘Europe’ shaken off what seemed to be permanent stagnation and achieved the improbable of strengthening growth, rising exports and falling unemployment – and this without breaking the shackles of labour market regulation that continue to keep large numbers out of work? ‘Blossoming Europe needs to grasp the nettle of reform’, ran a recent headline in the business section of a widely-read serious Sunday. The writer could hardly believe, after so many years bemoaning the lack of reform, that he was still having to write such a piece.

Growth across the board First, the positives – and a booming eurozone is very positive news indeed for 4 Industry Europe

UK firms and exporters. In the final three months of 2017, eurozone Gross Domestic Product was up by 2.7 per cent on a year ago – almost double the UK’s pallid 1.5 per cent. Business sentiment remained at multiyear highs in France and Germany in January, while preliminary composite Purchasing Managers Index surveys for both countries for the same month signalled that their economies continue to grow robustly. Data recently released by the German government showed that the economy grew 2.2 per cent last year. Domestic demand was the main pillar of growth, underpinned by a buoyant labour market with strong employment and wage growth.

“...the growth momentum has been achieved in the face of continuing political turbulence and uncertainty – Germany as yet without a new coalition, Italy facing crunch elections in March, Spain still impaled on its Catalonia stand-off and France still finding its way under Emmanuel Macron.” The British press commentary may focus on ‘Merkel’s continuing coalition crisis’, but growth is set to continue this year on rising private consumption, while fixed investment should be encouraged by a robust manufacturing sector. Analysts see German GDP growth at 2.3 per cent in 2018. Markedly higher productivity compared to the UK is certainly a factor. So, too, has been the ultra-accommodative monetary policy

stance of the European Central Bank. According to Bundesbank calculations, the German government saved €290 billion since 2008 thanks to record-low interest rates. And corporate lending across the eurozone as a whole hit a post-crisis high in December. Also helping the bloc has been robust global growth, which has boosted demand for exporters. In France, the economy looks to be on a solid growth track, with GDP last year thought to have expanded at the fastest rate since 2012. Helped by modest initial labour market reform in 2016, unemployment has inched down to the lowest rate since August 2011. Across the 19-nation currency bloc as a whole, Eurostat reports that industrial output surged by a better than forecast 1 per cent in November. Economic confidence is said to be at the highest in 17 years. Most of the euro area economies experienced an upgrade this month to their growth prospects for 2018, including France, Germany and Spain. Cyprus was the sole economy to have its outlook downgraded, while Belgium, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal and Slovakia saw no changes to their forecasts. Ireland, Latvia and Malta are forecast to be the fastest-growing economies in the euro area this year, expanding at rates of 3.8 per cent or above. And all this has helped UK exports to the eurozone. Its exports to France were up 24.6 per cent in the final three months of 2017, those to Holland up 15.2 per cent, to Ireland up 8.5 per cent and Germany up 7.7 per cent. But for the eurozone growth story to continue, the current political stand-offs have to be resolved and laser beam attention brought to bear on labour market reform if the 8.7 per cent unemployment rate (and 18.2 per cent youth unemployment rate) is to be seriously reduced. Europe still needs n a miracle.



Porsche plans for an electric future Porsche plans to invest more than six billion euros in electromobility by 2022.

Mission E

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orsche has been putting together an unprecedented future development plan: By 2022, the sports car manufacturer will invest more than €6 billion in electromobility, focusing on both plug-in hybrids and purely electric vehicles. “We are doubling our expenditure on electromobility from around three billion euro to more than €6 billion,” explains Oliver Blume, chairman of the executive board of Porsche AG. “Alongside development of our models with combustion engines, we are setting an important course for the future with this decision.” The plans have been bolstered significantly to include around three billion euro of investment in


material assets, and slightly more than €3 billion in development costs. From the additional sum of €3 billion, some €500 million will be used for the development of Mission E variants and derivatives, around €1 billion for electrification and hybridisation of the existing product range, several hundred million for the expansion of sites, plus around €700 million in new technologies, charging infrastructure and smart mobility. In Zuffenhausen, a new paint shop, dedicated assembly area and a conveyor bridge for transporting the painted bodies and drive units to the final assembly area are currently being constructed. The existing engine plant is being expanded to manufacture electric drives and the body shop will also be developed. Investment is also planned for the Weissach Development Centre. The Mission E project has created approximately 1200 new jobs.

The purely electric Mission E sports car has a system power of 600 hp, meaning that it will require significantly less than 3.5 seconds to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h; it will also be able to accelerate and brake repeatedly without any loss of performance, and it will offer a range of 500 kilometres in the NEDC. The charging time will be very short: Thanks to the 800-V system voltage, it will take just 15 minutes for 400 kilometres.

Rapid charging infrastructure Porsche, along with Audi, is representing the Volkswagen Group in Ionity, a joint venture with the BMW Group, Daimler AG and Ford Motor Company. The goal of this venture is to construct and operate 400 powerful rapid charging stations along the major European traffic routes by 2020. Construction began back in 2017. To complement the work of Ionity, the Porsche dealer network is becoming part of a nationwide rapid charging infrastructure.

Plug-in hybrid fast becoming a success story at Porsche The release of the new Panamera sees the third generation of the Porsche plugin hybrid drive on the road in two different variants. Both variants offer a purely electric range of up to 50 kilometres. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is the flagship model in the model line – it offers the perfect combination of exceptional performance and maximum efficiency, with a four-litre V8 engine and an electric motor generating a system power of 680 hp. The model is the sportiest car in the luxury segment – and not in spite of, but because of its hybrid drive system. Porsche reports that since the market launch, around 60 per cent of all vehicles in this model line delivered in Europe were equipped with these state-of-the-art drives. This figure was significantly higher on incoming orders in some countries and even reached around 90 n per cent in Scandinavia.

Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Industry Europe 7


NEWS

New developments in the Automotive & Heavy Vehicles industry

Volkswagen Group to establish new auto part packaging centre in Wilhelmshaven

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rom 2019, auto parts for the Volkswagen Group are to be packed and prepared for delivery to countries such as Mexico, China and

the USA at the Jade-Weser-Port in Wilhelmshaven. With the new packaging centre, the Volkswagen Group is reacting to the growing demand for vehicles on overseas markets. As a result, more and more parts such as headlamps, audio systems or steering wheels need to be exported for local production. The Volkswagen Group has selected a new location near the Jade-WeserPort for a facility to pack these new volumes. Thomas Zernechel, head of Volkswagen Group Logistics, says: “The decision in favour of the

Wilhelmshaven location is of strategic importance for the Volkswagen Group. The Jade-Weser-Port is Germany’s only deep sea port. With the packing facility, we will be establishing a direct connection to a port which will allows our parts to be carried by the largest ships in the world.” From 2019, parts for the Volkswagen, Audi and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands are to be packed in Wilhelmshaven and then shipped to 25 locations in 15 overseas countries. Visit: www.volkswagenag.com

High performance engine production races ahead at Ricardo

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ince the launch of the high-performance engine assembly facility at the Shoreham Technical Centre in 2011, the Performance Products division of Ricardo has increased production six-fold and now regularly exceeds 20 engines per day – equivalent to an annual output of 5000. “The year 2017 was a milestone achievement for manufacturing at Ricardo,” commented Ricardo Performance Products managing director Mark Barge. “While we are actively develop-

ing our manufacturing skills in new areas such as electric vehicle battery packs and management system assembly, we are also constantly honing and improving the service that we can provide to performance engine customers. With the production records achieved in 2017 and our new intake of apprentices, the engine manufacturing operations of Ricardo are in extremely good shape for 2018 and beyond.” Visit: www.ricardo.com

First on-road tests for self-driving Jaguar Land Rovers

Ford to invest $11 billion in electric vehicles

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ord is to expand its electrified vehicle lineup with a total of 40 vehicles globally, which will include 16 full battery electric vehicles by 2022. To support this, the company announced that it now plans to invest more than $11 billion in electrification from 2015 to 2022. The company also reiterated

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part of the £20m UK Autodrive project, Jaguar Land Rover is testing a range of research technologies that will allow cars to talk to each other as well as roadside infrastructure, such as traffic lights on the roads of Coventry. The trials will explore how future connected and autonomous vehicles can replicate human behaviour and reactions when driving. Jaguar Land Rover is developing both fully and semi-autonomous vehicle technologies to offer customers a choice of an engaged or autonomous drive, while maintaining an enjoyable and safe driving experience. The compa-

ny’s vision is to make the self-driving car viable in the widest range of real-life, on- and off-road driving environments and weather. “Testing this self-driving project on public roads is so exciting, as the complexity of the environment allows us to find robust ways to increase road safety in the future. By using inputs from multiple sensors, and finding intelligent ways to process this data, we are gaining accurate technical insight to pioneer the automotive application of these technologies,” says Nick Rogers, executive director, Product Engineering. Visit: www.jaguarlandrover.com

that it is on track to deliver a full battery electric performance SUV that offers at least a 300-mile range, for launch in 2020. “We are actively evolving our position to be more competitive,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice-president and president, Global Markets. “At the highest level, we need to narrow our full lineup of nameplates to a more focused lineup that delivers stronger growth,

less risk and better returns. We are repositioning the company to offer best-in-class, humancentered vehicles and mobility services.” Regarding self-driving vehicles, Ford is focused on building an autonomous vehicle business, including a purpose-built vehicle, the self-driving technology and the operational infrastructure in parallel. Visit: www.ford.com


NEWS

INDUSTRYNEWS ContiTech Invests €20 Million in Hungarian Nyíregyháza Location

Swedish engine plant is Volvo Cars’ first climate-neutral manufacturing site

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olvo Cars’ engine factory in Skövde, Sweden, has become the company’s first climateneutral manufacturing plant, having switched to renewable heating as of 1 January 2018. Skövde is the first plant in Volvo Cars’ global manufacturing network to reach this status, which marks a significant step towards the company’s vision of having climate-neutral global manufacturing operations by 2025. Skövde also becomes one of only a few climate-neutral automotive plants in Europe.

“Improving energy efficiency is our first priority and then, for the energy we need to use, we aim for supplies generated from renewable sources,” said Javier Varela, senior vice-president of Manufacturing and Logistics at Volvo Cars. “The Skövde plant achievement is an important addition to our broader efforts in minimising our environmental footprint. We are pleased to be a leader within the automotive industry in the move towards climateneutral manufacturing.” Visit: www.volvocars.com

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ontiTech is building on its commitment to Hungary. Over the past one and a half years, the industrial supplier – part of German technology company Continental – has invested around €20 million in its location at Nyíregyháza alone. The plant has built a second rubber mixing line, a new semi-finished production facility (using calender technology) for air bellows and a production line for hoses destined for heating and cooling applications in cars. It has also constructed a warehouse for its Compounding Centre and the construction of a logistics centre is also in progress, which will be used for air springs and hoselines. The new logistics centre for the Compounding Centre, which will supply the other Hungarian locations, was commissioned in December 2017. The new mixing line, which was built to satisfy an ever-increasing demand for the company’s products, is currently starting its test mode. Hose production has already started, with capacity expected to double by the end of this year. The shared 4500-square-metre warehouse – which will store both hoses and air bellows – is also on course for completion by spring. Visit: www.contitech.com

Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen starts production of the new CLS

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ite manager of the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant Michael Bauer said, “The Sindelfingen team has once again demonstrated its motivation and many years of experience in the successful start-up of the new CLS. The start-up

Gestamp to enter into Morocco G estamp, the multinational company specialised in the design, development and manufacture of highly engineered metal components for the automotive industry, has announced its entry into Morocco, which will mean the start of the company’s operations in Africa.

The entry of Gestamp into Morocco takes place through the signing of a joint venture agreement with the local components manufacturer Tuyauto. The transaction is subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities. The two partners, Gestamp and Tuyauto, will begin the construction of a greenfield plant in the town of Kenitra, located around 50km away from Rabat, next to the plant that PSA is building in the town. The new Gestamp facility is expected to start operations in 2019. Initially it will be dedicated to the assembly of Body-in-White parts and small stamping. It will have 120 employees. Visit: www.gestamp.com

of the third generation of the vehicle in series production shows the flexibility that characterises our production at the Sindelfingen plant.” The CLS runs off the same assembly line together with the E-Class sedan and the E-Class T-model. State-of-theart digital production technologies are used. For example, a system locates the

screwdrivers which are required by an employee and provides the necessary information on a certain vehicle, such as its order data. That way, only screwdrivers, which are actually required for the operations on the vehicle, were activated. The worker is optimally supported during the assembly process. Visit: www.daimler.com Industry Europe 9


Space Drill put to the test for ExoMars 2020 mission Space qualification tests of the drill manufactured by Leonardo (formerly Italy’s Finnmechannica) at its Nerviano (Milan) plant for the ExoMars 2020 mission have now been successfully completed.

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he announcement of Leonardo’s succesful drill test comes at the presentation of the exhibition ‘Mars – Close encounters with the Red Planet’, at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan. The tests of the instrument, which lasted four months, took place at the University of Padova’s Interdepartmental Centre for Space Studies and Activities ‘CISAS – G. Colombo’. The drill operated in a special 10 Industry Europe

testing chamber simulating the Martian environment and included rocky soil, temperatures ranging from -100°C to +35°C and an atmosphere thick with carbon dioxide at a pressure of 5–10 millibars. These operations demonstrated that the drill will be capable of completing its mission on, where it will look for traces of present or past life, digging down as far as two metres into the surface of the Red Planet. At this depth, in

fact, biological activities are not destroyed by cosmic radiations, and it is therefore possible to find evidence of their existence. ExoMars is a joint endeavour between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos), with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) playing a strong role as a major contributor within the ESA State Members, that also developed a laser micro-reflector called INRRI (Instru-


ment for landing-Roving laser Retroreflector Investigations) together with the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN). It is developed by a European industrial consortium led by Thales Alenia Space and involving almost 134 Space companies from ESA State members.

Technological marvel The ExoMars drill is a true technological marvel. With a power of just 80 watt (one-fifth of the power in a household drill), it will drill through the soil with a polycrystalline diamond bit, making a hole 25 millimetres across. It will collect samples of material which will then be distributed to the ExoMars Rover’s analytical laboratory for detailed examination.

A full-size model of the drill, with the details of its robotic and fully automated interior, will be on display at the exhibition ‘Mars – Close encounters with the Red Planet’. The initiative is sponsored by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism and the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci, in collaboration with the European Space Agency, INAF, Leonardo, Thales Alenia Space and National Geographic. ExoMars is the first mission in ESA’s Aurora exploration programme, comprising two separate missions. The first mission, Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), was launched in 2016 and is currently investigating the pres-

ence of methane and other trace gases in the Martian atmosphere, possible proofs of an active life presence. Mastering these key phases is a prerequisite for any future human exploration of Mars. The TGO will also act as a communications relay to transmit data between the Earth and Martian rovers used on subsequent missions. The second mission in this programme, to be launched in 2020, will include an autonomous European rover, capable of taking soil samples down to a depth of two metres, and analysing their chemical, physical and biological properties. Leonardo participates in the programme through its joint ventures Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio, and through its Airborne & n Space Systems Division.

Industry Europe 11


NEWS

New developments in the Aerospace & Defence industry

Modernising head-up More Airbus helicopters for Japan Helicopters’ business in Japan posted from the Dauphin family. The helicopter will displays for United Arab Airbus two new orders and two new deliveries at be dedicated to rescue missions and supportthe start of the year, reaffirming the company’s ing activities in the Prefecture and will play an Emirates F-16 fleet strong presence in the country. Currently leading important role in the North of Japan, known for

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AE Systems has been selected by Lockheed Martin to modernise head-up displays (HUD) on F-16 aircraft for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces, replacing the fleet’s analogue system with advanced digital technology. The HUD, which sits directly in a pilot’s line of sight, is a see-through display that presents real-time, flight-critical information without obstructing his or her view of the outside world. BAE Systems will use its cutting-edge Digital Light Engine (DLE) technology to implement a HUD upgrade that integrates seamlessly into the F-16’s existing HUD space, requiring no changes to the aircraft, cabling, or computing. The advancement will remove the outdated cathode ray tube image source and replace it with a digital projector. “To the naked eye, the pilot sees no difference in performance when our DLE HUD is installed. It retains the existing optics, video camera, and control panel,” said Andy Humphries, director of Advanced Displays at BAE Systems. “The real difference is the significant cost savings our customer will experience over the product’s life cycle as a result of reduced maintenance and spares requirements.” Visit: www.baesystems.com/dlehud

Nasmyth Group to supply a Satellite Communications Module transport container to Airbus

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asmyth 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 Space-

12 Industry Europe

the Japanese civil and parapublic helicopter market with more than 50% market share, Airbus Helicopters plans to increase its position in tandem with the Japan’s projected fleet growth of 2% annually over the next 20 years. The first contract was signed with longstanding customer Excel Air Services, for a Helionixequipped H135 helicopter. This new aircraft will join the operator’s growing Airbus fleet currently comprising an AS355N, AS350B2, AS350B3 and Hermès-designed H135. This best-seller light-twin helicopter will be dedicated for electronic news gathering missions. The second contract was signed with a new customer, the Hokkaido Government, which placed an order for one AS365N3+ helicopter

its extensive fields and harsh winter conditions. Visit: www.airbus.com/helicopters.com

ATR sees further growth potential in Asia Pacific

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TR, the world’s leading manufacturer of turboprop aircraft, anticipates a demand for some 750 turboprops within the next two decades in the Asia Pacific region (excluding China). Asia Pacific is ATR’s largest market globally, accounting for over one third of the global fleet. As of today, there are nearly 1200 ATRs

around the world, of which some 420 are in Asia Pacific. The region ranks first in terms of number of ATRs in operation. Of the top ten countries in the world, in terms of ATR fleet size, four are in the Asia Pacific region. “Asia Pacific is a fast-developing region of the world with strong economies, but there is a real need for greater air connectivity in the region to further drive economic growth,” says ATR CEO Christian Scherer. “Many cities and towns in Asia Pacific need more air services and there are many places that still have no or very few air services. ATR are the best aircraft for developing new air routes and new markets. In 2017, our aircraft created 70 new routes in Asia Pacific alone, thus bringing regional connectivity to new places and expanding business opportunities for regional carriers.” Visit: www.atr-aircraft.com

craft 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. The NEOSAT programme aims to support Airbus Defence and Space in providing a commercially attractive platform in the mid-range and high-end telecommunication satellite segments. Visit: www.nasmythgroup.com


INDUSTRYNEWS Dassault CEO Éric Trappier to be chairman of CIDEF

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MTU Maintenance starts virtual reality pilot project

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TU Maintenance, one of the world’s leading providers of services for commercial aero engines, has started an augmented reality pilot project at its facility in Berlin-Brandenburg. The project goes by the name ‘Inspection 4.0’ and aims to improve knowledge management in the shop. Inspection 4.0 has two main goals. The first is to centralise all data regarding a specific part into one system. This has the benefit of reducing the amount of time mechanics spent switching between documents and enabling them to focus on inspecting the part in question. Secondly, the real and virtual world of maintenance will merge – data will be transferred to tablets or smart glasses so that the mechanic has a complete overview at all times. Visit: www.mtu.de

ric Trappier, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, president and chairman of the board of the European Aerospace and Defence Industries Association (ASD) and president of the French Aerospace Industries Association (GIFAS – Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales), was appointed chairman of the Council of French Defense Industries (CIDEF – Conseil des Industries de Défense Françaises). “I am honoured and proud to have been appointed chairman of CIDEF,” stated Éric Trappier. “CIDEF’s priority will be to support the influence and development, in France and abroad, of a highperformance and competitive defence industry by highlighting the offer and expertise of all French companies, both small and large, which constitute the industrial and technological defence base, so that they can contribute to providing our armed forces with the means necessary to ensure the sovereign defence of our country.” Visit: www.dassault-aviation.com

GKN Aerospace transponders modification for the Airbus A320 family

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KN Aerospace’s Fokker business has obtained the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from EASA for the introduction of the ADS-B Out modification on the Airbus A320 fleet. Last year Fokker was selected by SmartLynx, Latvia for the ADS-B Out installation on its A320 fleet. After having obtained the STC’s for the Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft last year, Fokker is now introducing upgrades or new ATC Transponders for the Airbus A320. New Transponders are a form-fit replacement for legacy Transponders which need to be replaced. In the meantime, Fokker has also applied for the FAA STC, which is expected within a few months. ADS-B Out (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) is a common system onboard many aircraft that automatically broadcasts relevant data from the aircraft towards air traffic management organisations. ADS-B Out data includes the identity of the aircraft, the GPS location and direction of flight. Visit: www.gkn.com

Bombardier selected for new Airbus nacelle programme

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ombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services has been selected by Airbus as a supplier on a new engine nacelle programme for the Pratt & Whitney powered A320neo family of aircraft. Bombardier’s Northern Ireland operations (Short Brothers plc) has been chosen

to develop and manufacture a new thrust reverser to enable Airbus to offer a new, innovative nacelle and its aftermarket support for Pratt & Whitney’s Pure Power PW1100G engine. Stephen Addis, vice-president, Customer Services and Programmes, Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as

a supplier on this new nacelle, which will enable us to build on the relationship we already have with Airbus. This work package reinforces our long-term strategy to grow our capabilities in the nacelles market and to focus on delivering innovative, higher value products and services in an extremely competitive global environment.” Visit: www.bombardier.com Industry Europe 13


From building automation systems to energy analysis software, the HVAC sector is constantly developing more efficient and sustainable technologies for heating our buildings. Victoria Hattersley reports.

Stepping Up Efficiency in HVAC H

VAC systems are the subject of sustainability and efficiency improvements in many areas. This is due in part to the huge amount of energy they can consume, and in part to the high costs related to their installation, operation and maintenance. According to the Carbon Trust, heating and hot water can account for 60 per cent of a building’s total energy use, while ventilation can account for around 30 per cent of heat loss in commercial buildings. Meanwhile, air-conditioning can increase a building’s energy consumption and associated carbon emissions by up to 100 per cent. Fortunately, there are ways in which we can save energy and make these systems more efficient. Given the unstoppable rise of Industry 4.0, intelligent building solutions are of course a part of this. A study prepared in

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2014 for eu.bac (European Building Automation and Controls Association) looked at the potential energy savings from the increased application of heating controls in residential properties across the European Union. Results show that the enhanced adoption of existing heating control technologies (2014) in EU homes led to peak annual energy savings of over 50TWh per year, nominal fuel bill savings of around €4.3 billion and CO2 savings of nearly 12MtCO2 per year. Below are just some of the areas of focus for the HVAC industry today.

Building automation systems Many of us will already have a smart thermostat in our house. These operate very much like a programmable thermostat but take the technology to the next level by


adding Wi-Fi connectivity and other smart features. They can be accessed through a smartphone and can even send energydiagnostic reports to show the user where they are wasting energy. It is no longer enough for an HVAC manufacturer to offer advanced systems – to be competitive in today’s marketplace they also need to be integrated across multiple platforms. Take the Daikin Sky Air A-series, the winner of the ‘Energy Efficient Product of the Year HVACR’ at the Energy Awards 2017. Not only is the system quiet and energy-efficient, but it also enables the user to control their heating system via a tablet or mobile device using the new intelligent Tablet Controller and Daikin Cloud Service. The smart thermostat is just one of the facets of Building Automation Systems (BAS) that can provide efficiency savings on a daily basis. In its June 2017 report ‘Opening the door to smart buildings’, the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) emphasises that a smart building: “i) stabilises and drives a faster decarbonisation of the energy system through energy storage and demand-side flexibility; (ii) empowers its users and occupants with control over the energy flows; (iii) recognises and reacts to users’ and occupants’ needs in terms of comfort, health, indoor air quality, safety as well as operational requirements.” Busch-Jaeger is another company that has been building its offering in the area of

intelligent building management. Its Buschtacteo control panel is universally applicable with glass sensors with non-contact reaction, offering almost unlimited possibilities for intelligent networking. The system can control functions such as blinds, heating, air conditioning or lighting.

Energy analysis software All living spaces can be analysed and measured to produce an ‘HVAC load’, which refers to the space an HVAC system is required to heat and cool. As systems vary in size, they should be installed with an eye to the specific load requirements of each space. If no thought is given to measurement of the HVAC load, then an over- or undersized system can be installed which will waste both energy and money. Companies such as the international air-conditioning specialist Trane offer energy analysis software that can accurately identify the most energy-efficient HVAC system for a particular space. The TRACE 700 tool, for example, helps HVAC professionals to compare the energy and economic impact of building-related selections such as architectural features, HVAC systems, HVAC equipment and financial options.

Ductless systems While many are still using conventional heating and cooling systems using duct networks to distribute air throughout the home, we are

seeing a rise in the development and use of advanced ductless systems. Instead of using ducts to distribute air, this method pumps the refrigerant directly into an air handler, where fans below blow heated or cooled air directly into a room. These systems offer enhanced flexibility as, since there is no need to connect them to ducts, they can be placed anywhere in a room. This also increases efficiency as they can be placed in the optimum position to heat or cool the room. The ductless heating market continues to grow, with Mitsubishi Electric one of its most well-known exponents. Its popular MXZ-5B multi-zone ductless series offers individual zone control to as many as eight indoor units from a single outdoor unit.

Systems of the future All of the above are just some of the examples that indicate the way the HVAC market is heading. But there are so many different areas of development it would be impossible to list them all here. Other exciting fields include the growing interest in geothermal heat pumps (not to be confused with geothermal energy) to heat and cool homes, or the importance of indoor air quality to increase HVAC efficiency, leading to ever-more sophisticated air-cleaning systems. But what all of these have in common – as with every other field of innovation today – is that they are driven by the need to reduce the environmental impact of HVAC systems.

Industry Europe 15


NEWS

New developments in the Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC industry

Bosch opens IoT campus in Berlin

Research team creates ‘new generation of HD’

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osch is bringing together its global IoT activities at a new hub in the German capital. More than 250 Bosch associates are working at the new campus. Over the next few years, the number of associates is expected to rise to around 400. They come from a range of different domains within the company. The IoT experts will advise and support customers during the development and implementation of projects for connected solutions. These encompass, for instance, solutions for Industry 4.0, connected mobility, smart cities, and smart homes. Michael Hahn, a member of the executive management of Bosch Software Innovations, emphasised the significance of the new IoT campus: “With its cloud-based Bosch IoT Suite software platform, Bosch is a leader in technology. We are now combining this expertise with our broad knowledge of IoT consulting and applications at our new Berlin location.” Visit: www.bosch.com

Ingersoll Rand acquires ICS Group Holding

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ngersoll Rand plc, a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments, has announced the acquisition of United Kingdom-based ICS Group Holdings Limited (ICS Cool Energy). ICS Cool Energy will be part of the company’s Commercial HVAC business. ICS Cool Energy is a privately owned temperature control and HVAC solutions and services company that specialises in temporary rental of energy efficient chillers for commercial and industrial buildings across Europe. It also sells, permanently installs and services high performance temperature control systems for all types of industrial processes.

CIBSE launches HVAC Systems Group

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IBSE (The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) has launched an HVAC Systems Group to support and encourage the efficient design, installation and operation of HVAC systems. The new group will act as a forum to exchange best practice knowledge in the efficient design and operation of HVAC sys-

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“ICS Cool Energy is a leader in the high margin rental services business with a reputation for strong customer service, helping building owners enhance productivity and reduce environmental impact,” said Dave Regnery, executive vice-president of Ingersoll Rand. “This acquisition is a strong fit with our Trane business, and strengthens our growth plans and ability to serve a broader range of customers in the important European market.” The company is headquartered in Southampton, England and has an extensive footprint in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Visit: www.ingersollrand.com tems. Heating and cooling systems can be the largest users of energy in buildings, but they are also some of the hardest services to decarbonise and manage effectively. HVAC systems often get overlooked when it comes to driving innovation in building services and delivering better buildings. The new group aims to enhance knowledge and awareness of the strategic and practical

process developed by an international research team could lead to brighter, lighter and more energy efficient high definition TVs and smart devices. The team’s findings are said to reveal that when quantum dots are clustered together, they are more fluorescent and provide a wide variety of colours. The research team included representatives from ETH Zurich, Empa, Florida State University, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology and Taiwan’s National Synchrotron Radiation Research Centre, as well as Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). ETH Zurich Professor Chih-Jen Shih, who created the quantum dots and led the investigation, added: “Normally, the quantum yield – which determines the brightness – degrades significantly as quantum dots aggregate, forming crystalline solids. However, our investigations show that brighter levels are achievable because of the new photonic process that we have discovered and have named aggregation-induced emission (AIE).” The researchers are now looking for similar processes for blue and red colours so they can create the ‘Holy Grail’ of screen displays, which would replicate all of the colours that can be captured by the human eye. Visit: www.ethz.cz

issues, the latest developments and new technologies related to HVAC systems. The group will also identify knowledge gaps in the design and operation of HVAC systems to promote research in these areas in addition to contributing to the development of new publications and the maintenance of existing guidance such as CIBSE Guide B. Visit: www.cibse.org


INDUSTRYNEWS Noske-Kaeser merges KRESS launches new vehicle refrigeration solutions with Engie Axima RESS has launched new refrigerated vehicle depends on providing careful and detailed advice to

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he takeover of NOSKE-KAESER Maritime Solutions GmbH by the ENGIE Group has now been formally completed. The Hamburg head office and its subsidiaries in Australia, India, Malaysia and Turkey are now part of ENGIE Axima, headquartered in Paris, which is responsible for the group’s global shipping and oil & gas activities. For more than 135 years, NOSKE-KAESER has been developing innovative solutions for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) for marine vessels. Today it also offers systems for refrigeration, fire extinguishing technology, piping technology, electrical engineering as well as systems against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards (CBRN protection). “The acquisition of NOSKE-KAESER allows ENGIE Axima to further strengthen its position in the Cruise & Ferries, Oil & Gas and Marine segments. In addition, the acquisition enables us to tap into new markets such as offshore wind energy and the global expansion of our installation and service business from our two strong home locations in France and Germany,” emphasises Philippe Le Berre, managing director Marine and Oil & Gas at ENGIE Axima. Visit: www.noske-kaeser.com

Samsung Electronics debuts latest Family Hub refrigerator

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amsung Electronics Co., Ltd has unveiled the next generation of its award-winning Family Hub refrigerator. A winner of the 2018 CES Best of Innovation award, Family Hub sets a new standard for connected living. Family Hub in 2018 offers a wide range of smart features that allow consumers to do

solutions for economic and efficient downtown logistics. The cooling structure is aerodynamically designed and has unique characteristics, including: largely smooth, jointless outer surfaces of the refrigerated box; recessed outer lights on the front wall; and built-in or recessed fitting and surface-level doors. “No matter which type of drive is selected, a refrigerated vehicle incorporating the CoolerBox2.0 is an investment with a good return,” says managing director Joachim Kress. “At the last IAA 2016, we also presented a refrigerated truck with electric drive, and quite a few of our e-refrigerated vehicles are already in daily use. Ultimately, it always

our customers. Our specialists in the field bring a lot of practical and always up-to-date experience from all application sectors.” Visit: www.kress.eu

Busch-Jaeger expands range of intelligent buildings

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he new Busch-tacteo KNX sensor is the latest addition to the ABB Ability smart building offering. Busch-tacteo is an individually configurable control element for the intelligent building management of modern public buildings, sophisticated housing and luxury hotels. Its innovative glass surface also meets the highest design standards. The new Busch-Jaeger control panel is yet another example of the company’s commitment to developing intelligent products that are universally applicable. The capacitive KNX glass sensors react non-contact and offer almost unlimited possibilities for intelligent networking and building control. Functions such as heating, blinds, air conditioning or lighting can be controlled to create comfortable living and working environments. Flexibility is an essential feature of BuschJaeger and ABB products when it comes to customising building functions. All settings can

what they could not do before. These include syncing up food storage with meal preparation, keeping family members better connected and organised, and providing enhanced entertainment. Family Hub is also more intuitive and intelligent with the addition of Bixby voice control and its integration with Samsung’s SmartThings IoT ecosystem. “Since Family Hub’s introduction in 2016, consumers have

be easily set by software, which means that the building automation can be adapted to changing requirements at any time. The devices are manufactured to international environmental standards and can be easily connected to wired or wireless sensors, drives or sensor drive units and DIN rail mounted devices. Visit: www.busch-jaeger.de

embraced it as their home’s digital command centre to help manage food, family and fun. We’ve been listening closely to current users and created a new Family Hub that’s even smarter and more advanced than before,” said John Herrington, senior vice-president, general manager of Home Appliances, Samsung Electronics America. Visit: www.samsung.com Industry Europe 17


Smart solutions Thomas Donato, Rockwell Automation EMEA President, explains to Peter Mercer how the fourth industrial revolution is transforming manufacturing efficiency.

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the summer of 2017 Rockwell Automation, the global leader in industrial automation and information, opened its first EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Customer Centre in Karlsruhe, Germany. The new facility is designed as a one-stop source for customers seeking personalised advice on the right digital strategies that will help them develop their own ‘smart’ factory – in which the interlinking of production and IT systems can reduce costs, improve quality, save resources and enable a faster response to market changes. Rockwell Automation started its own journey to what it now calls ‘The Connected Enterprise’ around ten years ago with the introduction of intelligent monitoring of production data across its own manufacturing facilities. Its customers can now use the new Centre to leverage Rockwell Automation expertise and 18 Industry Europe

experience the benefits of digitalisation live on site. In theory, of course, most enterprises understand the potential of the smart factory but the Customer Centre is designed to bring these advantages to life though interactive demos, application examples and advice from Rockwell Automation specialists on how the smart factory precepts may be implemented to meet the specific needs of each company. “When we began the process of connecting production and IT systems across our own manufacturing operations – connecting assets across multiple locations – we were able to achieve up to 5 per cent gains in productivity,” explains Thomas Donato, Rockwell Automation President for the EMEA region. ‘Now we can help our customers to realise similar benefits through reducing inventories, optimising supply chains, improving product quality and unlocking cash resources.

“Essentially the Customer Centre enables us to show customers how we have done it ourselves and where they themselves can start. We can offer them an Execution Model, that we have developed as part of our Connected Enterprise concept and which we can use to help them tackle each of the stages in their own realisation of the smart factory. We start by reviewing their current situation and clarify their expectations. Then we define the goals together, decide on the scope and create a concept that will meet exactly their individual needs.” The new Customer Centre also hosts staff, PartnerNetwork members and customer training sessions as well as seminars on smart factories, big data and the Internet of Things. The Connected Enterprise is the foundation of the Rockwell Automation approach to


Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution (after steam, electricity and computer-driven automation) that is bringing together computers and automation in systems of data exchange that monitor the physical systems of the ‘smart factory’ and make it possible to control the operational technologies in real time. These connected technologies hugely improve information transparency and visibility into manufacturing processes, making it possible to transform operational productivity, efficiency and asset reliability as well as dealing with quality issues before they arise. The Connected Enterprise approach is already delivering huge boosts to performance, flexibility and connectivity throughout industry, from automotive, chemicals and food processing to fibres and textiles and even entertainment.

Designing-in productivity Rockwell Automation is working with Jaguar Land Rover to deliver flexible and productive solutions. JLR is also building a new £1 billion plant in Nitra, Slovakia, which will have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles, will feature many advances in auto production technology, including an ultra-fast carrier system (from Kuka) and a highly automated

paint shop process that will minimise the impact on the environment. Thomas Donato explains that one of the things that has changed in recent years is the ways in which productivity can be ‘designedin’ to new plants. “For example, our Independent Cart Technologies help move parts and products around the plant more efficiently and with less maintenance than traditional methods. This is a real gain in operations such as that of JLR where the manufacturing process has to cope with a very high degree of variation in product specification – to meet vehicle customisation demands – so it’s vital to get the right parts to the right places and to error-proof the systems. “In fact these systems can be programmed and re-programmed to perform different functions at different times or for different throughput. These functions can themselves be altered at a touch of a screen and new functions can be added with new product lines or capabilities. This means a huge reduction in change-over times and a built-in ability to adapt to future change too. Furthermore, when flexible new motion technologies such as these are operating in a fully connected enterprise, plant managers gain unprecedented visibility into the perfor-

mance of equipment on the shop floor. This data can thus be analysed and transformed into actionable business intelligence. And bringing new levels of business intelligence from the machine level into the MES and ERP levels of the enterprise means that manufacture can become a seamless part of the whole supply chain.”

Connecting up food processing machines Unprecedented levels of connectivity and remote management were also key requirements for Hiperbaric, the Spanish manufacturer of high pressure food processing equipment for the worldwide food industry. It was looking for a solution that would integrate all the components that shape its machines to provide higher reliability and productivity and greater energy efficiency as well as managing the equipment easily – and even remotely. Hiperbaric met these challenges by implementing a Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture control and information system which could interface with a plant-wide Connected Enterprise solution. Thanks to the enhanced operational intelligence delivered by the Rockwell Automation systems HiperIndustry Europe 19


baric its customers can now access, analyse and act on production data in real time while also benefiting from the enhanced productivity made possible by the integration of all the interconnected systems. This connectivity also allows remote management to be performed from Hiperbaric’s offices. “We can connect from any PC to all the machines we have distributed worldwide,” explains Carole Tonello, the company’s Applications Manager. “Since all key elements are in the network, we can access any of them for diagnostics, see configurations and enter changes. For us this is undoubtedly a very powerful tool.”

The next step – IoT Throughout manufacturing industry in both the US and Europe, the consensus is that the next major step in the journey to smart manufacturing and the truly connected enterprise is going to be the adoption of the technologies of the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT). Rockwell Automation is currently developing new products and systems that will help organisations worldwide progress from pilot or proof-of-concept IoT projects to scalable IoT deployments. 20 Industry Europe

“Manufacturers and industrial operators are discovering practical ways to apply IoT across their operations,” says Thomas Donato. “Combining IoT technology and expertise in specific industrial applications enables better collaboration, faster problemsolving and increased productivity.” Rockwell Automation had the early chance to show how effective its IoT solutions could be when it was asked by Metso, the Finnish industrial equipment group, to develop a global industrial IoT platform that would connect, monitor and perform analytics for its mining and aggregates equipment and services. “Metso equipment is used by mining operations in multiple locations in all parts of the world so its customers need to have the most effective possible monitoring of everything from current and projected market demand to current mine capacity and local production costs,” explains Thomas Donato. “Only complete transparency can give them the information they need to respond swiftly to changing circumstances, by, for example, expanding or reducing production levels or increasing investment.”

Metso began working with Rockwell Automation on a pilot programme in 2015, remotely monitoring an African-based mining crusher from a location in Wisconsin. The IoT solution it developed was built on its FactoryTalk Cloud platform powered by Microsoft Azure and the data collected immediately enabled Metso to identify opportunities for improvements in machine performance. Jani Puroranta, Metso’s Chief Digital Officer, explains why the results confirmed the company’s commitment to the implementation of the industrial IoT platform on a global scale: “For our mining and aggregates customers, access to real-time data enables higher uptime, faster and safer shutdowns and ultimately more tonnage processed at lower cost. Thanks to Rockwell’s IoT platform we can now deliver analysed equipment data into the hands of our customers anywhere in the world for advanced decision-making.”

Scalable solutions “The availability of data on an unprecedented scale is revolutionising how companies solve issues and adapt to changes,” says Thomas Donato, “but producers are now faced with


the complexity of making data useful at the right place and the right time, especially when often they lack in-house expertise in data management. So Rockwell Automation has developed very simple-to-operate scalable computing offerings that can deliver IoT data at three levels, from individual devices to the entire plant to the entire enterprise.” At the device level ‘Shelby’ is a personal chatbot assistant that can help users to monitor performance and maintenance issues on the plant floor. It can tell you everything from the number of drives on-line to which devices have faulted. Whether you are interacting from your phone or your computer, Shelby keeps you informed on the overall health of your system and warns you when something goes wrong. At the system level the Rockwell Automation ‘Scio’ platform opens access to ad-hoc analytics and performs advanced analysis by pulling both structured and unstructured data from virtually any existing source in the enterprise, enabling managers to make decisions when and where they matter most. It can intelligently fuse related data to deliver analytics in intuitive dashboards – called storyboards – that users can share and view. “Scio puts analytics to work for everyone across the plant, giving users personal access to all data sources,” says Thomas Donato. “Indeed, its easy-to-use interface means that all users can effectively become self-serving data scientists – they don’t need PhDs to become expert problem solvers.”

anomalies and triggering an alarm if its spots a problem. Future iterations will go beyond diagnostics to direct users on how to fix the problem or automatically adjust system parameters without any human intervention. “Shelby, Scio and now Sherlock make smart analytics available to industrial producers in packages that are really easy to implement,” explains Thomas Donato. “As they embark on their digital transformation voyages our customers can’t wait on expertdriven analytics – there just aren’t enough industrial data scientists available and even

if there were, most companies have neither the time nor the resources to employ them. “What we are therefore developing is an expanding system of analytic offerings that run across the plant floor for devices, machines and systems and enable our customers to easily monitor and model their industrial operations. Rockwell Automation’s smart scalable analytics means that plantfloor data can be fully integrated at every level into business intelligence strategies, making The Connected Enterprise a reality n for industry worldwide.”

Putting AI to work In fact, the expertise of all those data scientists that used to be needed to create diagnostic analytics solutions has now been ‘boxed’ in an artificial intelligence (AI) module that was unveiled by Rockwell Automation at last November’s Automation Fair in Houston. Once installed in a controller, the Project Sherlock AI module leverages novel physics-based modelling to ‘learn’ the application that the controller manages and build a model from the stream of data – in a matter of minutes. Sherlock then continuously watches the operation, looking for

Thomas Donato, Rockwell Automation EMEA President

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NEWS

New contracts and orders in industry

NCC to construct Dansmästaren project in Uppsala

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Bombardier to provide additional coaches to Israel Railways

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ail technology leader Bombardier Transportation is to provide 54 additional BOMBARDIER TWINDEXX Vario double-deck coaches to Israel Railways (ISR). This call-off is part of a framework agreement signed in October 2010 and is valued at approximately €104 million. Delivery of the new coaches is scheduled to be completed by August 2020. “The new coaches will be fully compatible for revenue operation on ISR’s first electrified line, the A1, which connects Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. Together, ISR and Bombardier teams collaborated closely to develop the necessary technical adjustments required to enable the trains to operate in tunnels and on electrified lines,” said Avi Zalman, head of Development and Engineering Rolling Stock Division, Israel Railways. The new order consists of 11 control cars, 11 intermediate coaches with dedicated space for people with reduced mobility and 32 trailer cars. The control cars will no longer use diesel generators to feed auxiliary systems like air-conditioning as the BOMBARDIER TRAXX locomotives will provide more than enough power for both traction and auxiliaries. Visit: www.bombardier.com

CC is to construct the Dansmästaren project with Uppsalahem AB and Uppsala Parkerings AB. The project will include 133 rental apartments, a parking facility and large premises in the Rosendal district of Uppsala, Sweden. The order value is SEK 290 million. “Uppsala is expanding at a rapid rate and there is still substantial demand for rental units. With NCC as a partner, we will be able to add a number of much-needed rental units in a new city district,” says Niosha Baghaei, Construction Manager, Uppsalahem AB. Dansmästaren will have a strategically important location at the northern entrance of the new Rosendal district. The district will be close to transport links and, particularly, the university campus area, which is also likely to be reflected in the people who will live, work and study in the area. Dansmästaren will consist of a six-storey building with 133 rental apartments ranging from studios to one-bedroom apartments and adapted for student living. The apartments will be built to meet a Silver environmental rating from the Sweden Green Building Council. Visit: www.ncc.se

Serbia’s Sinvoz wins ten-year order from Bombardier

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erbian rolling stock production and repair company Sinvoz has signed a ten-year agreement to produce train roofs and cabs for Canada-based aerospace and transportation group Bombardier. The train roofs and cabs produced by Sinvoz will be assembled by Bombardier at its factories in western Europe. Moreover, Sinvoz is currently working on a one-year contract worth €3.5 million ($4.1 million) for the overhaul and modernisation of five electric train sets of Srbija Voz. Sinvoz plans to install a specialised serial production line at its factory in Zrenjanin, in the north of the country, in the coming weeks, and to hire 150 welders and locksmiths. The company currently operates a factory with a production area of 20,000m2 and office space of 2000m2. Visit: www.sinvoz.rs

Vattenfall signs major supply agreement with Ovako

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attenfall has signed an electricity supply agreement of approximately 1 TWh annually with leading Finnish steel manufacturer Ovako, enabling improved transparency and electricity cost control for Ovako. Vattenfall will supply all Ovako’s production facilities in the Nordic region with 22 Industry Europe

electricity, the three largest being Hofors and Smedjebacken in Sweden and Imatra in eastern Finland. Ovako is committed to sustainability with its steel production based on recycled scrap, making them one of largest steel scrap recyclers in the Nordics. “We have a clear strategy for efficient communications with our customers, who know that we take responsibility and deliver what

we promise,” says Branislav Slavic, head of Business Sales, Vattenfall. Vattenfall is committed to reducing its climate impact across the entire value chain and offering climate smart solutions, with a special focus on supporting customers and society by lowering their emissions and to reach their climate targets. Visit: www.vattenfall.com


WINNINGBUSINESS Qatar agrees contract for Typhoon aircraft

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AE Systems and the Government of the State of Qatar have entered into a contract, valued at approximately £5 billion, for the supply of Typhoon aircraft to the Qatar Emiri Air Force along with a bespoke support and training package. The contract is subject to financing conditions and receipt by the company of its first payment, which are expected to be fulfilled no later than mid-2018. The contract provides for 24 Typhoon aircraft with delivery expected to commence in late 2022. BAE Systems is the prime contractor for both the provision of the aircraft and the agreed arrangements for the in-service support and initial training.

“We are delighted to begin a new chapter in the development of a long-term relationship with the State of Qatar and the Qatar Armed Forces, and we look forward to working alongside our customer as they continue to develop their military capability.” Visit: www.baesystems.com

Veidekke to build 107 student homes in Stockholm

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eidekke’s Swedish building construction operation has been awarded the contract by Robutz Krediten 2 AB to build 107 student homes with accommodation for 192 students in Stockholm. The project is a design and build contract with a total value of SEK 127 million. The contract involves erecting a 9-storey building with a gross area of 6540m2. Construction will start in January 2018, and the student homes are expected to be ready for occupation in the summer of 2019. The project has been planned using Virtual Design Construction (VDC), which is a method applied to rationalise processes relating to design, construction and operation. The VDC work is subsequently used in production, with digital drawing management, among other things. “This is Veidekke’s second student home project with the same project organisation. We have carried out a proper transfer of experience to create the best possible assumptions and retained the combined knowledge,” says Arne Svensson of Veidekke. Visit: www.veidekke.se

Prysmian to provide strategic power grid connection in Bahrain

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rysmian Group, world leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industry, has been awarded a new contract worth in the region of €80 million by Electricity and Water Authority of the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain to develop a new 400kV cable loop circuit. As part of EWA’s strategic 400kV Transmis-

sion Development programme (2009–2013), this project adds a crucial link to the infrastructure of the Kingdom of Bahrain and is the first 400kV XLPE submarine cable to be installed in the Gulf Cooperation Council Region. The project involves the design, supply, installation and commissioning of a 400 kV AC power link, including a section of 400 kV XLPE submarine cable. The group will supply three

Schlemmer to supply cable cleats to Singapore T

he Asian city of Singapore is pressing ahead with the relocation of power lines below the ground. Today, around 86% of the supply lines are already underground. In a large-scale project, high-current cables are to be relocated up to 60 metres below ground level. With this project, Singapore is playing a pioneering role in developing a sustainable and future-oriented infrastructure. The construction of the cable tunnels started in 2013 and is scheduled to be completed in 2018 with the installation in the tunnels of the new transmission and distribution cable systems over the next 10 years. The Singapore tunnelling project is key to ensuring the reliability and security of the electricity network in Singapore. Schlemmer UK has designed a range of cable cleats for the 400kV network NDC199. The company’s design and engineering capability and local presence through the Schlemmer Singapore office have enabled it to secure purchase orders from the three cable manufactures awarded the contracts to install the cable systems. Visit: www.schlemmer.com

submarine High Voltage Alternating Current 400kV cables with XLPE insulation for a total length of nearly 13km. Leveraging a wide range of in-house engineering, manufacturing and installation capabilities, Prysmian will provide a comprehensive turnkey solution with the delivery and commissioning of the loop circuit. Visit: www.prysmiangroup.com Industry Europe 23


NEWS

Combining strengths

Instalco new owner of Sprinklerbolaget BIOCRATES Life

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nstalco has broadened its offering through the acquisition of the sprinkler company Sprinklerbolaget Stockholm AB, with nation-wide operations in fire protection and sprinkler systems. Sprinklerbolaget was founded in 2007 and currently has 45 employees at its offices in the Swedish cities of Västerås, Helsingborg and Säffle. For the 2017 financial year, preliminary net sales amounted to approximately SEK 75 million. IKEA, DHL, Akzo Nobel, Peab and Fastec are some of its customers. Sprinklerbolaget is a fire protection company certified according to SBF (from the Swedish Fire Protection Association) and offers planning, installation, service and maintenance of automatic fire suppression systems with a speciality in fire sprinklers. In 2017, the subsidiary Automationsbolaget Sverige AB was founded, which offers ventilation system control programmes. “Through the acquisition of Sprinklerbolaget, we broaden Instalco into a new area of operation. We see several synergies between our existing units and Sprinklerbolaget, as they are working within the same geographic areas,” says Per Sjöstrand, CEO of Instalco. Visit: www.instalco.se

Plastech acquires majority share in Kautex Maschinenbau

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ienna-based Plastech Beteiligungs GmbH is the Kautex Maschinenbau Group’s new majority shareholder after acquiring a 74.9% stake. The Austrian company takes over from the previous investor capiton AG (Berlin). The Kautex management team, under Dr Olaf Weiland and Andreas Lichtenauer, will retain a significant investment in the company. Kautex Maschinenbau has enjoyed above-average growth during the last 12 years. The company’s revenue increased from approximately €60 million in 2006 to over €140 million in 2017. Financial investors played an important role in making this achievement possible. CEO Dr Olaf Weiland sees the majority acquisition by Plastech as the perfect opportunity to advance the long-term development of the company with the support of a medium-sized principal shareholder. “We are very pleased with the partner we have found in Plastech and the entrepreneurs behind the company,” commented Weiland. “We particularly like the company’s focus on the plastics technology sector, on profitable growth achieved with a customer-centric approach, innovation and digitalisation, and on taking a long-term approach to business.” Visit: www.kautex-group.com

Safic-Alcan UK acquires Techform Fine Chemicals

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afic-Alcan UK has acquired 100% of Techform Fine Chemicals Limited, a chemical distributor specialising in the construction sector in the UK and Ireland. Techform is a speciality chemicals distributor with a focus on the UK and Ireland. “The acquisition of Techform will enable us to strengthen our

24 Industry Europe

footprint in the construction sector and widen our Group expertise in this field,” stated Yann Lissillour, director of Mergers and Acquisitions for Safic-Alcan. Techform produces and distributes a wide range of polymers, thickeners, accelerators, retarders, shrinkage compensators, defoamers, air entrainers, plasticisers, binders, as well as a special-

Sciences acquires Metanomics Health

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IOCRATES Life Sciences AG, a global leader in targeted metabolomics, has acquired Metanomics Health GmbH. Metanomics Health is a metabolomics biomarker development and healthcare services specialist based in Berlin, Germany. BASF Plant Science GmbH, the former owner of Metanomics Health GmbH, will keep a minority share of BIOCRATES Life Sciences AG. The complementary skills and technologies of the merged companies will enable BIOCRATES to serve the fast-growing metabolomics market as a total solution provider, with a focus on healthcare and pharmaceutical applications. “Together, BIOCRATES and Metanomics Health provide the broadest technology and metabolomics product portfolio in the industry. These will enable us to provide deep metabolic phenotyping through targeted metabolomics profiling services, customised assays, targeted screening kits, and comprehensive data interpretation. Moreover, the merger will enable us to develop kits for both Diagnostics and Companion Diagnostics,” said BIOCRATES’ CEO Dr Wulf Fischer-Knuppertz. Dr Tim Bölke, Metanomics Health’s managing director, commented: “Metabolomics has the potential to bring a new dimension to diagnosis and patient stratification in precision medicine as well as to improve the drug discovery and development process.” Visit: www.biocrates.com ity additives portfolio grouped under its private label name. “As part of our overall C.A.S.E. strategy, we see this acquisition as a stepping stone in the UK market and we look forward to further building on this additional expertise within Safic-Alcan,” concluded Philippe Combette, CEO of Safic-Alcan. Visit: www.safic-alcan.com


LINKINGUP

Schütz acquires Mexican packaging producer Enva Group takes

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chütz has signed a purchase agreement for 100% of the shares of Envases y Laminados, S.A. de C.V. (ELSA). ELSA is the leading supplier of rigid industrial packaging in Mexico. The company has been co-operating with Schütz under licence agreements for the manufacturing and sale of Schütz IBCs and plastic drums for almost 20 years. Roland Strassburger, CEO of the Schütz group, stated: “We are excited about this unique opportunity to be present in Mexico with a fully owned subsidiary. ELSA is well established and Mexico offers interesting growth perspectives for our industry as our customers perceive Mexico to be an integral part of the NAFTA region.” Carlos Mata, sole manager and owner of ELSA, declared: “I am extremely pleased to pass my company on to Schütz, a family-owned business like ELSA, which stands for high-quality

products and services worldwide, a long-term business approach and solid financials enabling strong development in the years to come.” Visit: www.schuetz-packaging.net

Ettlinger purchased by Maag Pump & Filtration Systems

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ttlinger has been acquired by the Swiss Company Maag, a business unit of Dover Corporation. Ettlinger Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH was founded in 1983 and is today a globally recognised brand. The German company has its headquarters in Königsbrunn, near Augsburg, and an American sales and service subsidiary in Atlanta, Georgia. Its

core expertise is the development and manufacture of high performance continuous melt filters and injection moulding machines. Ettlinger melt filters are used for processing heavily contaminated material streams as well as extrusion applications where pressure stable filtration is desired. Switzerland-based Maag Pump & Filtration Systems is a worldwide leader in the manufacture of gear pumps, pelletising systems, and filtration systems for demanding applications in the plastics, chemical, and petrochemical industries. Maag and Ettlinger, with their combined expertise, innovative products and advanced technologies, will leverage the polymer, compounding and recycling industry. Ettlinger will benefit from Maag’s global network and will be able to strengthen its worldwide service and support. Both companies will go to the market under their existing brand names. Visit: www.ettlinger.com

Trelleborg acquires Dartex Holdings

broadens Trelleborg’s offering and strengthens the group’s position as a premium supplier of engineered coated fabrics Dartex has its head office and a production facility in Long Eaton, England. It has another production facility in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. This bolt-on acquisition is part of Trelleborg’s strategy to strengthen its positions in attractive market segments.

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relleborg has, through its business area Trelleborg Coated Systems, finalised the acquisition of the privately owned UK company Dartex Holdings Ltd. The specialises in the manufacture of coated fabrics primarily for the healthcare & medical industry and is a world leader in coated fabrics for pressure injury prevention. The acquisition

over Blue Sky Plastic Recycling

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nva Group, formerly known as DCC Environmental, a leading provider of waste management and waste materials solutions in the UK and Ireland, has acquired Blue Sky Plastic Recycling (BSP). BSP, based in Lincolnshire, UK, specialises in recycling plastics from Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and other waste plastic materials. Recovered plastics are formulated and refined to substitute virgin plastic material in manufacturing processes. BSP deploys stateof-the-art waste separation technologies to sort waste plastics from other materials, and converts the waste plastics into a range of high-quality regrinds and compounds. BSP will form the fifth operating unit within Enva Group and will continue to be led by existing managing director and principal shareholder Chris Riddle. Tom Walsh, CEO of Enva Group, said: “We are delighted to be investing in BSP. Chris and his team, through clever innovation and many years of process development, have established solutions for one of the critical waste challenges of our time; converting plastic waste back into a valuable raw material. The acquisition of BSP extends our existing suite of material recovery solutions.” Visit: www.enva.com

“I am very pleased with this acquisition, which complements our product range and strengthens our position in healthcare & medical, a growing industry for us. We will be capable of offering our customers even more engineered solutions and, not least, a greater geographic reach,” says Dario Porta, president of Trelleborg Coated Systems business area. Visit: www.trelleborg.com Industry Europe 25


NEWS

MOVINGON

Relocations and expansions across Europe

Glunz & Jensen consolidates production Stalatube invests €20 million in and R&D at its new Danish headquarters growth and internationalisation

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the past year Glunz & Jensen has been restructuring its business to transform the company into a more profitable, efficient and more cohesive entity. A part of the plan has been to merge departments across Denmark and move its activities and headquarters to Nyborg, the eastern part of Funen. The next step of the plan is to strengthen its Flexographic business area. It has been decided to consolidate the company’s production and R&D activities from Rosate (Italy) and Ringe (Denmark) into the new headquarters in Nyborg, Denmark. These two sites will be consolidated into the 5850m2 production and warehouse facility in Nyborg, creating a Flexographic centre of excellence. The company will successively move into the new locations on Lindholm Havnevej 33 in Nyborg in the first 6 months of 2018. The 5800m2 buildings are situated directly on the harbour front and combine offices, production and warehouse facilities. Visit: www.glunz-jensen.com

MMK to build new sinter plant

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agnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK) is completing the final preparatory stage of work for the construction of a new sinter plant in Magnitogorsk. The current works include driving piles, laying foundations and installing the metal structures. The installation of the main technological equipment is planned for March 2018. The total capital investment in the complex, which will provide an opportunity to significantly improve the quality of the sintered steel and reduce the environmental impact, amounts to approximately RUB 22 billion. Work on the site began in December 2016 with construction of the electric substation No. 68. Currently, its construction and wiring are around 90% complete. It has now been connected to the high voltage line, and is ready for additional voltage supply for the construction site of the sinter plant. Visit: www.mmk.ru

thyssenkrupp Materials Services to open aerospace facility in Morocco

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hyssenkrupp Materials Services, the global supply chain solutions experts, is opening a sales and production site in Morocco. The new location, situated close to Casablanca, will offer material storage and processing services. The aerospace unit of thyssenkrupp Materials Services

26 Industry Europe

talatube Oy will invest heavily in growth and internationalisation in the next two years. The company’s turnover already grew 20% in 2017. Stalatube is now preparing for more growth in Finland, and also in Poland by establishing a production facility in Lodz, for manufacturing further processed stainless steel products. In Finland, Stalatube will increase its capacity and focus its operations in one production facility. The facility in Poland will produce labour-intensive further processed products serving especially the central European markets, shortening their delivery times. Stalatube’s position as a leading supplier of stainless steel structural hollow sections, its wide product portfolio, custom-made solutions tailored to meet specific customer needs, and its flexible customer service have given the company a competitive advantage in its market areas. CEO Jukka Nummi says, “Improving cost-efficiency on a continuous basis demands renewal and investments as well – even bold ones. Another positive aspect is that growth brings the need for more industry professionals, both in Finland and Poland.” Visit: www.stalatube.com

Smurfit Kappa expands global network of recycling plants

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murfit Kappa has opened a new recycling plant in Malaga, which will strengthen its recovered paper service in the region. The plant, which is expected to process over 30,000 tonnes of recovered paper annually, is perfectly positioned to meet the city’s growing recycling needs. A fleet of eco-friendly hybrid vehicles collects paper and board from households and businesses. This is then sorted at the plant and sent to the Smurfit Kappa Mengibar Containerboard Mill where it is converted into board that is used to create new packaging. Speaking at the launch, Ignacio Sánchez, Recycling Country Manager, Spain, said: “Paper-based packaging is 100% recyclable. All corrugated, solid board and folding carton can be put through a process to make it into another box in as little as 14 days, demonstrating a truly closed loop approach.” Visit: www.smufitkappa.com

already has successful business relationships with many of the aerospace companies based in North Africa, and these relationships will now be expanded. The geographical proximity of the new site to its customers will enable the large number of manufacturers located in the region to delegate their raw material supply chain management to thyssenkrupp Aerospace.

Laura A. Holmes, CEO of thyssenkrupp Aerospace, says, “We will expand our market position sustainably and become the preferred service partner in the region.” The warehouse space of more than 2000m2 will stock raw materials such as aluminium, steel, and titanium in various forms and alloys. Visit: www.thyssen-krupp-materialsservices.com


NEWS

INDUSTRYPEOPLE Vygon Group welcomes Anne Najaint as CFO

Magnus Kagevik new head of Lantmännen Energy Sector

ygon, the single-use medical devices group, has appointed Anne Najaint as chief financial officer. Her arrival will bolster the group’s senior management. Anne Najaint will join Vygon’s executive committee and in doing so bring to the decision-making body her vast knowledge and experience. Her main duties will relate to finance, business law and administrative management. This strengthening of expertise forms part of the group’s strategic plan to pursue profitable growth, particularly through the development of international activities. As a graduate of EM Lyon with more than 20 years of experience in performance management and corporate finance (management control, financial control, financial communication, purchasing, financial and strategic planning), Anne brings world-class expertise in both management and organisation in finance.

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Michael-Julius Renz becomes head of Audi Sport

Tomas Carlsson appointed CEO of NCC

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ichael-Julius Renz (60) is the new CEO of Audi Sport GmbH. He follows Stephan Winkelmann (53), who is now president of Bugatti. “With his international experience, Michael-Julius Renz will further drive the growth of Audi Sport worldwide. Under his leadership, we want to firmly establish the brand as a global player in the market,” explains Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management at AUDI AG. Renz has a degree in Business Management and has held managerial roles at AUDI AG for over 20 years. As president of the Audi Sales Division China since 2015, he has been responsible for sales and brand awareness in one of the world’s most important markets. The new CEO will take over the operational activities of Audi Sport GmbH from March 1 onwards.

Climeon hires new head of R&D

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wedish heat power company Climeon has hired Karl Brodin to become head of R&D. Prior to Climeon Karl Brodin worked as business manager at the Motor Vehicle Division at Atlas Copco Industrial Technique AB. Karl has extensive experience from leading R&D, Marketing and Operations at Atlas Copco.

agnus most recently comes from a position as executive vice-president Assa Abloy AB and President APAC in Hong Kong. He takes up his new position on 1 March 2018. Previously, Magnus has held a number of leading positions in Assa Abloy and before that at Whirlpool, based in the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Italy, and France. In his role as head of the Energy Sector, Magnus will also be part of Lantmännen Group’s management team. “I would like to welcome Magnus to Lantmännen and the Energy Sector. Magnus has a solid industrial competence and experience from leading positions, as well as an international competence that is becoming more and more important for the expanding businesses in the Energy Sector. I look forward to working together, and feel confident that Magnus is the right person to continue leading the Sector forward,” says Per Olof Nyman, Lantmännen’s CEO and Group President.

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omas Carlsson has been appointed the new president and CEO of NCC. He previously worked at NCC for nearly 20 years, most recently as the head of NCC’s construction operations in Sweden. Tomas Carlsson has been the president of Sweco since the end of 2012. During his time as president, the company increased its sales from approximately SEK 8 billion to approximately SEK 17 billion with a stable operating margin. “I am delighted that Tomas Carlsson will be the next president of NCC. Tomas is highly familiar with NCC’s operations and he has been able to expand his expertise during his time at Sweco. He has gained experience in leading a consultancy firm and has also been able to observe how various construction companies operate in the market. Tomas’s project experience is a perfect fit for NCC,” says Tomas Billing, chairman of NCC.

Thomas Öström, CEO: “We are both proud and thankful to welcome Karl to Climeon. When our current head of R&D Anders Marcusson moves over to a more focused architecture role it feels good to hand over the leadership to Karl Brodin. He has a strong and very relevant track record related to bringing new products from small volumes and up to global multi-billion SEK revenue. Karl’s

strengths are to see the customer’s needs and how to convert these into offerings. On top of this he has a strong history of leading small and large R&D teams.”

Industry Europe 27


NEWS

TECHNOLOGYSPOTLIGHT New research project for FRAMOS: In the future, robots will help to empty sea containers

Advances in technology across industry

Lightweight aircraft engines of the future

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he Bremen Institute for Production und Logistics at the University of Bremen (BIBA), in collaboration with its development partners BLG Handelslogistik, Schulz Systemtechnik, and FRAMOS, is conducting research on the automated unloading of standard 40-foot containers, with the project, ‘Interactive Robotic System for Unloading of Sea Containers’ (IRiS). In the future, intelligent robots will carry out this difficult and predominantly manual task automatically. The robot will be equipped with an innovative grappling system, that will move autonomously between the gates and drive directly into the container. The robot, equipped with machine learning methods, will independently classify different packing scenarios and use this information to unload the containers in the best possible way. FRAMOS, a specialist in industrial image processing, is developing state-of-theart methods for the IRiS project based on artificial intelligence, for the reliable classification of both packing scenarios and the analysis of container contents. “Object recognition is based on 2D/3D image data. It uses state-of-the-art image processing and combines these with machine learning techniques, such as deep learning,” explains Dr Simon Che’Rose, head of Engineering at FRAMOS. “This allows the system to detect whether a container can be unloaded fully automatically, or whether manual control of the robot is required in special situations. The location and orientation of the contents are analysed fully in advance, allowing optimum planning of the unloading process.” Visit: www.framos.com

Lumenaza completes its first project outside of Germany

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.ON, together with Lumenaza, has created a local energy system in Simris, a small village located in southern Sweden, fully based on renewable energy. The energy for the approximately 140 households mainly comes from a wind turbine and photovoltaic panels, supported by a battery system. Residents of the village are not only consumers of energy, but also produce their own energy through a combination of photovoltaic and battery systems. Furthermore, heat pumps and other steerable load assets are integrated into the village’s energy system. “We are in the middle of tremendous changes in the energy sector. In the future, the generation of energy and its consumption will be renewable, decentralised and local. Simris is a perfect example of how to realise the energy transition on the local level and how to reach a high degree of self-sufficiency. We are happy to help with our software to drive this change,” comments Christian Chudoba, founder and CEO of Lumenaza. Lumenaza started in 2013 to connect and control producers and consumers of renewable energy intelligently. The software platform works nowadays as a utility-in-a-box, enabling every energy market participant to become an innovative and digital utility. Visit: www.lumenaza.de 28 Industry Europe

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nder the European Clean Sky 2 research programme, long-term partners MTU Aero Engines, German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)), and GKN Aerospace Engine Systems, Sweden have joined forces to enhance an engine’s compression system and make it lighter. The new technologies could already go into the next generation of geared turbofan engines. At the DLR site in Cologne, the test campaign on the ICD rig has now officially kicked off. ICD stands for Inter Compressor Duct and is the name of the transition channel between the low- and high-pressure compressors. The goal is to precisely fine-tune the interaction of the low-pressure compressor, ICD and high-pressure compressor to identify and leverage new potential for even more fuel-thrifty engines. An important step in this direction is the systematic mapping of the flow conditions in short, steep transition channels (ICDs). To this aim, an entirely new windtunnel test rig was built at the DLR Institute of Propulsion Technology in Cologne, MTU’s Center of Competence (CoC) for propulsion systems. The ICD rig measures the channel flow in an unprecedented depth of detail: 500 pressure tapping points, probe measurements at three traversal levels, the use of laser technology and turbulence probes allow detailed insights into the flow mechanisms. Dr Gerhard Kahl, Chief Engineer, Technology Demonstrators and Rigs at MTU says, “By conducting these tests, we’ll certainly gain a much better understanding of the flow conditions in the ICD, the aim being to come up with particularly compact designs to further reduce the length, and hence the weight, of the engines in the future.” Visit: www.mtu.de


NEWS

NOTICEBOARD

Imec launches SWIR hyperspectral camera

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mec, the Belgian research hub, has shown its first shortwave infrared (SWIR) hyperspectral imaging camera at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco. Hyperspectral imaging in the SWIR range opens up applications in food sorting, waste management, machine vision, precision agriculture and medical diagnostics. Imec’s SWIR camera integrates CMOS-based spectral filters on an InGaAs imager. The cameras feature both line scan ‘stepped filter’ designs with 32 to 100 or more spectral bands, as well as snapshot mosaic solutions that can capture 4 to 16 bands in real time at video-rate speeds.

Cameras with both USB3.0 and GigE interface are currently in the field undergoing qualification with strategic partners. It is expected that more than half of commercial multi- and hyperspectral imaging applications need discriminative spectral data in the 1000nm to 1700nm SWIR range. The SWIR range provides valuable quantitative information about water, lipid and protein content of organic and inorganic matter. It also gives key discriminatory characteristics about plastics, paper, wood and many other material properties. Visit: www.imec-int.com

AkzoNobel and Gasunie ABB subsea variable speed drive tested under water first full scale prototype of a subsea variaChevron and ABB. The JIP aims to develop translook to convert water Tin aheblesheltered speed drive has been successfully tested mission, distribution and power conversion systems harbour in Vaasa, Finland, taking for subsea pumps and gas compressors, operatinto green hydrogen the vision of an all-electric subsea processing at depths of 3000m and over vast distances.

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kzoNobel Specialty Chemicals and Gasunie New Energy have joined forces to investigate the possible large-scale conversion of sustainable electricity into green hydrogen via the electrolysis of water. Intended for Delfzijl in the Netherlands, the installation would use a 20-megawatt water electrolysis unit, the largest in Europe, to convert sustainably produced electricity into 3000 tonnes of green hydrogen a year – enough to fuel 300 hydrogen buses. A final decision on the project is expected in 2019. “We see ‘power to gas’ not only as a promising technology, but also one that will be necessary to achieve a fully sustainable energy mix by 2050. Hydrogen also plays a crucial role in achieving the emission reduction target set by the Dutch government for 2030, i.e., a reduction of CO2 emissions by 49% compared to 1990. To make sure we have enough hydrogen in 2030, we will need to take steps now to validate the technology at different scales,” said Ulco Vermeulen, member of Gasunie’s executive board. Visit: www.akzonobel.com

ing facility one step closer to reality. A variable speed drive is needed to boost the productivity of processes, improve energy efficiency and cut maintenance costs of electrical gear. The test is the latest in a five-year Joint Industry Project (JIP), started in 2013, between Statoil, Total,

By providing the large power needs closer to the reservoir, production improves due to the increased flow and pressure of the stream. The subsea VSD features a pressure compensated design, whereby all of its power components are cooled by being submerged in oil. The water test proved that the electronic and power components can meet the thermal performance demanded. Prior to the test, the main drive sub-assemblies and components were pressure tested at 300 bars, this test performed to demonstrate that the drive can tolerate a pressurised environment. Visit: www.abb.com

QuantiServ introduces new robotised laser technology

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ärtsilä Services’ Business Line QuantiServ, which offers specialised maintenance and repair services for marine and energy customers, is introducing a new robotised laser cladding technology, revolutionising the reconditioning of large bore pistons in 2-stroke engines. The new reconditioning process minimises welding, causes less thermal shock to the base material, and replaces the old chromium layer’s galvanic application. “In addition to its environmental efficiency, the new coating extends the piston head’s lifespan and time between overhauls (TBO), compared to conventional chromium layers. We have fieldtested the new technology on container vessels, and after 15,000 running hours the results are very promising, showing excellent running behaviour and very low piston wear rates,” says Ole Pyndt Hansen, director, QuantiServ. “Based on these tests, we predict that recondition-

ing the piston by using the new laser cladding process can almost double its lifespan.” The new robotised laser cladding technology has been developed in QuantiServ’s Reconditioning knowledge centre in Kruiningen, Netherlands. In 2018, this technology will be cloned and available for customers in selected QuantiServ remanufacturing workshops globally. Visit: www.quantiserv.com

Industry Europe 29


EURO-REPORT

FOCUS ON...

Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the likely impact of Brexit on Germany.

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ermany’s financial hub Frankfurt is reckoning on 8000 new banking jobs as a result of the Brexit exodus from the city of London. “We expect at least half of the Londonbased financial jobs to be moved to Frankfurt,” explains Gertrud Traun, chief economist for the Hess-Thuringia State Bank, which recently released a new study putting Frankfurt ahead of European rivals Paris and Dublin. By the end of 2019, a four per cent increase in employment is expected in the city’s banking sector. In total, up to 88,000 additional jobs are expected to be created by the bankers’ influx – in the transport industry, construction, education and health sectors. Some 15 financial heavyweights in London have indicated their intention to relocate to the city on the River Main, including the American heavyweights Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs. The four Japanese banks – Nomura, Daiwa Securities, Sumitomo Mitsui and the Mizuho Financial Group – have already opted for Frankfurt. The British bank Standard Chartered and the Swiss UBS have also mooted Frankfurt as their new base. Frankfurt came seventh in a recent quality of life survey, ahead of Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin. London was 40th on the list. But not everything is a Brexit bonus for Europe’s powerhouse economy. The vaunted car industry is already suffering because of the UK vote to leave. “Brexit and the related lower demand in Britain caused by exchange rates has contributed to a 2.0 per cent fall in car exports, to 4.3 million vehicles,” said Matthias Wissmann of the German Federation of the Automobile Industry. The UK is is the biggest export market by unit sales and the second-biggest in cash value. German carmakers had around 20 pe cent of global car market share last year with 16.4 million vehicles sold and produced around half of all new cars registered in Europe. 30 Industry Europe

The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) predicted a no-deal Brexit – based on export figures of 2016 – would hit the car industry with customs duties of 2.35 billion euros.

“The clock is ticking: On 30 March 2019 the British are probably out of the EU. This makes a Brexit with no follow-up agreement more likely. The German economy will be seriously impacted.” DIHK general manager Martin Wansleben said: “The clock is ticking: On 30 March 2019 the British are probably out of the EU. This makes a Brexit with no follow-up agreement more likely. The German economy will be seriously impacted.” If the EU and the United Kingdom were not to agree on an agreement, trade would again be subject to WTO rules, which would result in significantly higher customs burdens. “Quick solutions are in demand because cherry picking by the UK is not allowed in negotiations,” added Walsleben. Last year Germany exported cars worth 20.8 billion euros to the UK.

Taking a hit While Brexit no longer dominates the media or the political mood in Germany, its very being poses a serious threat to finances. For German taxpayers will have to plug a 3.8 billion-pound hole in the EU budget after

Britain leaves next year. That is calculated as the German contribution to an overall shortfall of €10.2 billion when the UK pulls out in March 2019. For Germany this represents a 16 per cent hike in payments to Brussels. The sums were calculated by the Funke Media Group based on a new EU parliamentary study. The EU is uncertain whether individual states can pony up such huge sums and is considering both new continent-wide taxes or budget cuts in the face of Brexit. “Brexit not only increases the financial burden for the EU-27, but also changes the distribution of burdens,” according to the report. Germany and countries like the Netherlands and Sweden are currently benefiting from a discount on the ‘British rebate’, with which London was able to reduce its payments. These perks fall away after Brexit. According to the German report, France would have to pay €1.2 billion more, Italy around one billion. To date, Germany has paid net more than 14 billion and France 5 to 6 billion euros per year. However, how much must be added to each country in the end depends on whether the EU is forced by Brexit into austerity mode. But whichever way Brexit falls – hard or soft, immediate or protracted – Germany will suffer more economic hardship than Europe as a whole. A study by the German Institute for Economic Research found Germany’s GDP could fall up to 0.4 percentage points, while the eurozone’s economy could lose 0.2 per cent points. “The German economy suffers more from uncertainty than the whole euro area, because our manufacturing sector is very export-oriented and will directly feel the impact of a lower demand in the UK,” said Malte Rieth, one of the researchers. Whatever happens, it looks like it will be n ugly out there....


EURO-REPORT

FOCUS ON...

France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on outrage in the French wine industry.

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rench winemakers could take to the streets in mass nationwide protests if their government goes ahead with a plan to put an ‘alcohol is dangerous’ health warning on all bottles by the end of this year, a leading wine union boss has warned. Health minister Agnes Buzyn said in February that the current slogan ‘drink in moderation’ was ‘no longer relevant’ and did not sufficiently alert wine lovers to the health risks of heavy drinking. She said in a debate on French television that a new message could read, ‘Alcohol is dangerous for your health’, and added: “The wine industry wants to believe that wine is different from other alcoholic drinks. But in terms of public health, drinking wine is the same as drinking beer, vodka or whisky. There is zero difference.” Her comments have triggered rage among winemakers across France, including from the chairman of Bordeaux’s CIVB wine board Bernard Farges, who branded her remarks ‘infantile and hygenist’. And Frederic Rouanet, chairman of the militant Aude winemakers union, said in a statement to the French media: “If the government goes ahead with this ridiculous proposal to rope wine in with hard liquors like whisky and vodka, there will be thousands of winemakers marching through Paris demanding it stops demonising our national drink. “Having a few glasses of delicious French wine with a meal is not dangerous, it is a national institution. In fact it is widely accepted by health experts that drinking in moderation is good for you.” France’s powerful wine lobby, Vin et Societé – which represents producers and growers – said Buzyn had provoked a ‘scandal’ in the wine industry by going against the tide of the political direction of travel indicated by French President Emmanuel Macron, who it said had encouraged the lobby group to participate in the drawing up of a new prevention plan against excessive alcohol consumption.

Macron, a self-confessed wine lover, even commented on French radio last year, “a meal without wine is a bit of a sad meal,” a spokesman for the lobby noted. Anger in the wine industry has been on the rise since last year after the health ministry launched a campaign against alcohol abuse, and classed wine at the same level as ‘legal and illicit psychoactive substances’. As the debate raged on, the French Prime Minister tried to calm anger in the wine industry by telling producers: “We will take the problem head on and we will at the same time respect the particular place which wine has in French culture and agriculture, but we are not going to kid ourselves by saying there is no problem with alcohol in public health. Everyone knows that wine must be drunk in moderation.”

Bad harvets but good exports Meanwhile, winemakers are also facing massive losses after a spate of poor harvests over the past three years. Last year’s harvest alone saw output drop by 23 per cent due to especially harsh springtime frosts which hit vineyards all the way from Bordeaux to Burgundy. Cotes du Rhone and Languedoc wines in southern France were spared the cold, but then suffered severe drought in the summer. Georges Haushalter, Bordeaux trader and president of the Economic Commission of the Interprofessional Bordeaux Wine Council, told L’Express newspaper: “The situation in the wine industry is now critical, but it is not tragic. “There is already a lot of anxiety locally. In Burgundy they have had three difficult years because of frost, and wine growers in Pommard are on the brink of bankruptcy. Nationwide, winemakers could lose out on about a billion euros this year. “Luckily there are stocks to compensate for the shortfall so there is still plenty of wine in

the shops, unlike the butter crisis. But if next year’s weather isn’t better, customers may begin to notice less choice and higher prices.” He added: “Customers can help by spending more on their bottle of wine than they might usually do. Fine wines count for about three per cent of the wine produced but 20 per cent of the turnover. That means that if the fine wines sell particularly well the pressure on the volume market of our everyday wines will ease.” But while wine production has been hit at home, exports of French wine and spirits rose to a new record in 2017 due to strong sales to the United States and China. Wines and spirits rank second in France for exports, behind aerospace and ahead of perfumes and cosmetics. Antoine Leccia, president of the French Wine Exporter’s Federation (FEVS), said: “All French regions benefited from this export windfall, with sales of almost 13 billion euros, which is up 8.5 per cent on 2016. Wine sales also rose 6 per cent in volume, which was their first increase in five years, and this is thanks mainly to the United States and China. Long may they keep drinking our amazing wines.” In the United States, sales rose 9.5 per cent and broke the 3 billion euros mark for the first time, boosted by cognac, which accounted for 40 percent of exports in value. In China, where growth of the upper-middle class is driving sales of luxury goods, shipments climbed 24.5 per cent, to 1.2 billion euros, mainly due to cognac and Bordeaux wines, the Federation revealed in a statement. In Britain, France’s second biggest export market for wine and spirits, sales rose by 2.7 per cent to 1.33 billion euros, but Champagne sales to Britain fell by around five per cent, hurt by the euro’s rise against the pound after the Brexit vote, Mr Leccia said. He added: “Perhaps our friends across the Channel do not currently feel they have n very much to celebrate!” Industry Europe 31


The voice of German aerospace

BDLI, the German Aerospace Industries Association, is the foremost representative of companies within the country’s aerospace industry. As we shall see, it promotes the interests of its members through open dialogue with politicians, trade associations and authorities, and governments both domestically and abroad. It is also the trademark owner and co-organiser of the world-renowned ILA Berlin Air Show.

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BDLI

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ith more than 108,000 direct employees, the BDLI’s members generate an annual sales volume of €37.5 billion. Investment in innovation across all disciplines remains very high, amounting to some €4 billion (11 per cent of total industry sales). The industry performed very well in 2016, with sales growth for the entire industry at 8 per cent. Today the Association has more than 230 companies under its umbrella, covering a wide range of disciplines within the aerospace sector, including: Aviation and Aerospace Systems; Engines; Equipment; and Material Science and Components. It works to support its members in a number of key ways. Firstly, it aims to stay abreast of the most important areas for technological growth. Representatives from members companies form the Steering Committee of the BDLI’s governing body, while more than 40 expert panels focus on a wide range of topics relevant to the industry, such as Industry 4.0 and 3D printing. Furthermore, the Association lobbies the relevant trade and governmental bodies on issues that are important to its members. It belongs to Germany’s most important trade group, the Federation of German Industries (BDI), and at the European level it is also a member of the umbrella organisation ASD, the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe. BDLI serves on expert panels and committees and regularly takes part in hearings held by the German parliament. According to the Association’s most recent report: “Germany and Europe are among the leaders in the global aerospace industry. Our

industry is increasingly becoming a strategic factor for Germany as an industrial location: we invest heavily in research and development. When it comes to issues relevant to the future such as the factory of the future, our industry is playing a pioneering role – with spill-over effects in other industries.”

Civil, Military and Space Generally speaking, members can be divided into the three key pillars within the German Aerospace sector: Civil Aviation, Military Aviation and the Space Sector. Civil Aviation is still the largest single sector, with more than 75,000 employees and sales of €27.1 billion. According to the BDLI, “The increasing global demand for mobility and the replacement of older aircraft marked by high fuel consumption with the latest quieter, more fuel-efficient generation of aircraft continue to be the key engines for growth.” With full order books and increased production rates, it is estimated that the order backlog for German aircraft manufacturers amounts to around 10 years of work. This is, of course, good news for engine manufacturers and other medium-sized suppliers. The last few years had seen a decline in sales for the German Military Aviation sector, but 2016 has shown a turnaround with an increase in sales of 8 per cent and sales volumes rising to €7.5 billion. Futhermore, the number of employees has risen by 3 per cent to 23,800. The Association believes this is due in part to the changing security situation worldwide, which calls for greater investment in defence infrastructure. Industry Europe 33


The development and later procurement of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), with its Nukleus Next Generation Weapon System (NGWS) as a joint European venture is a positive sign for military aviation manufacturers. According to the BDLI, “This system makes a lasting contribution to the preservation and expansion of industrial competence in Germany. It is also necessary to continue the work on the development project MALE UAS, together with France and Italy.” In the future, the Association belives the development of further new programmes and the establishment of a military technology roadmap will be essential. The BDLI is ‘ready for a structured dialogue’ on this subject. Compared to the previous year, 2016 sales in the German Space sector rose by 17.3 per cent to €2.9 billion, while its workforce grew by 5.7 per cent to 8900. And there are promising signs for the future too: in December 2016, some new resolutions were adopted by the ESA Ministerial Council, one of the most important of which was a strong emphasis on space applications and technology programmes. There was also an agreement to continue the international cooperation on the International Space Station up to 2024 – and as Germany is the leading space nation in the ESA this is great news for the BDLI members.

Air show success The ILA Berlin Air Show, run by BDLI, is an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their very latest technological achievements. The most recent edition of the show, which took place in June 2016, attracted 150,000 trade visitors and members of the public to the 250,000m2 Berlin ExpoCenter Airport. For the professionals there were 50 congresses and conferences, providing information about the latest 34 Industry Europe

developments in the industry including digitalisation, 3D printing, Industry 4.0 and eco-efficiency. The brand-new Future Lab, located on the stand of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs, gave many exciting insights into the technological future of the aerospace industry. Another new feature for 2016 was the Startup Day, which enabled 50 newly established companies to present their creative ideas and business models.

Staying focused From the above it is clear that the German aerospace sector is enjoying strong growth in a number of areas and this looks likely to go on as it continues to innovate and embrace the latest technological revolutions. However, this does not mean the Association and its members can afford to be complacent, as there are also a number of challenges to contend with – not least of which is the number of competitors from abroad. “Given the growing competition worldwide, the first priority in the coming years will be to make the German aerospace industry competitive and thus secure its future. We will only achieve this goal if all stakeholders from industry, politics and research join forces. The federal government should step up its efforts to ensure fair competition worldwide. Regulations must be implemented globally to avoid disadvantages for Germany as a centre of business and industry.” As with virtually all sectors today, an important area for future development within German aerospace manufacturing is the introduction of Industry 4.0 and digitisation in development, production and supply. “These investments in key technologies will also form the basis of our n industry’s global market success in the future.”


BDLI

Sealed Success SCHOTT Electronic Packaging, a member of the global SCHOTT Group, is a leading developer and manufacturer of hermetically-sealed housings and other components for the reliable, long-term protection of sensitive electronics. Romana Moares spoke to Mr Michael Tratzky, the sales director, about the components developed for the defence and aerospace sectors and the reasons why the German company is a preferred supplier for key global players.

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CHOTT is a recognised leader in several sectors, with over 130 years of experience in offering a broad portfolio of high-quality products and intelligent solutions. The group maintains a global presence with production sites and sales offices in 34 countries and over 15,000 employees. The parent company, SCHOTT AG, has its headquarters in Mainz (Germany) and is solely owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. Its business unit Electronic Packaging, located near Munich, specialises in the development and production of hermetic housings, supplied to the aerospace and defence sectors. Core technologies include glass-to-metal and ceramic-to-metal sealing, thermal sensing components and a variety of cutting-edge speciality glass competencies. What are microelectronic packages and why they need to be hermetically sealed? Mr Tratzky explains: “Hermetic microelectronic packages, our core business, are used to ‘package’ and thereby protect sensitive electronic components and complete electrical assemblies from harsh environmental conditions, including high temperature, moisture, shock and vibration. At the same time, the vacuum-tight housings and substrates must enable power and signal transmission (electrical and optical) into and out of the package. This is facilitated by the so-called connectors or feedthroughs hermetically sealed into that package. As electronics are critical in the defence and aerospace sectors, the quality and reliability of the microelectronic package is of extreme importance. As the type of electronics they encapsulate are often safety-dependent, their failure is not an option, to paraphrase the NASA statement.”

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Customised solutions Mr Tratzky further points out that as the maintenance or repair of these sophisticated electronics is often impossible, the most critical aspect of a microelectronic package is hermetic reliability over a long period of time (i.e. exceeding the specific product life). This is also the key market requirement for this type of product, together with robustness against harsh environmental influences. “To meet these requirements, a profound expertise and knowledge of the suitable material selection as well as processing is essential,” says Mr Tratzky. “SCHOTT is one of the most experienced hermetic packaging suppliers worldwide. We draw on more than 75 years of experience in technology and can deliver products for a broad range of applications, including other safety-relevant applications such as hermetic packages used in nuclear submarines, nuclear power stations, medical devices and also other sectors such as automotive. The core focus, however, remains the defence and aerospace sector.” The solutions SCHOTT provides for its key sector are customised and reflect each individual customer’s needs. “In addition to excellent quality standards we also provide our customers with operational excellence, which is extremely important, as all our clients in this arena have their own specific, individual ideas and requirements,” says Mr Tratzky, adding that the company promotes true partnerships starting at the concept and continuing to after-sales support and consultations. With its range of available technologies, including Glass-to-Metal, Ceramic-to-Metal (CerTMS®) and Multilayer HighTemperature Co-Fired Ceramic (HTCC), SCHOTT provides its cus-


BDLI

tomers with a significant advantage and enables them to get exactly what they need. With its century-long tradition in glass development & production and its extensive in-house glass development capability, SCHOTT has outstanding material expertise. In addition to a technical partnership, SCHOTT can offer its customers another highly sought-after advantage – stability. “Due to the nature of their projects, our customers are reliant on long-term partnerships with well-established, financially stable suppliers. SCHOTT’s 130-year history includes its ownership by the Carl Zeiss foundation – an arrangement that signifies a focus on sustainable growth and innovation-minded customer relationships,” says Michael Tratzky. While he admits that all recent projects are subject to confidentiality, he gives a recent example demonstrating SCHOTT’s capabilities – its innovative hermetically-sealed packaging concept was the basis of a new semiconductor amplification technology in the Satellite ‘Proba-V’, the newest member of a family of smaller satellite missions by the European Space Agency (ESA), launched into orbit in May 2013. As a result of an innovative design, the high-frequency waves are able to pass through the wall of the housing with very low attenuation. In addition, the reflection losses of the high-frequency waves along the housing wall are also minimised.

ogy a perfect fit for high-power aerospace applications,” says Michael Tratzky. “All microelectronic housings and substrates are developed and manufactured by a specialised and dedicated team at SCHOTT’s site in Landshut, near Munich. This designates SCHOTT microelectronic components as 100 per cent Made in Germany, an important aspect for European defence and aerospace industries.” In response to increasing demand, the company has invested significantly in the extension of its R&D and production capacity, with a view to further strengthening the group’s position in the international market. This strategy was reflected in the recent acquisition in Japan, where SCHOTT acquired the remaining shares in the joint venture NEC SCHOTT Components Corp., Minakuchi, which has become a fully-owned SCHOTT subsidiary. Through this it has shown a clear commitment to the Asian markets. In Europe, SCHOTT is ready to participate in new aerospace projects. “Throughout our history we have proven that we are a valued partner to our customers and we intend to remain so in the future,” concludes Mr Tratzky.

Investing in the future SCHOTT regularly showcases its capabilities and product offerings at European Microwave Week in Nuremberg, Germany. This year, as explained by Mr Tratzky, the focus was on thermal management and miniaturisation. SCHOTT has significant in-house capabilities in HTCC technology. Multilayer design enables the production of miniature 3D interconnect solutions, paving the way for high-density input/output capability in small-form packages for both feedthroughs and circuit board substrates. “Superior thermal conductivity of the material and temperature resistance beyond 300 degrees Celsius makes the HTCC technolIndustry Europe 37


Galileo calling In December 2016, The European GNSS Agency (GSA) announced that the tender to operate the EU’s Galileo navigation system had been awarded to Spaceopal, a joint venture between Italy’s Telespazio (Leonardo-Finmeccanica/Thales) and the DLR GfR mbH, a subsidiary of the German Space Agency (DLR e.V.). Managing Directors, Mr Paolo Minaciacchi and Mr André Bauerhin, spoke to Industry Europe about the company’s capabilities and its continuing success story.

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rom November 2010 until the end of June 2017, Munich-based Spaceopal was the prime contractor responsible for Galileo operations under the Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) WP6 Operations Framework contract, regulating the servicing of the two Galileo control centres and external Service Centres through a worldwide network of ground stations. In July 2017, after a two-year international competitive tender run by the European GNSS Agency, it was decided that Spaceopal GmbH would continue to operate the Galileo satellite fleet with greatly extended scope under the Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) contract issued by the European GNSS Agency (GSA). The company that will ensure the provision of the Galileo services to the worldwide community was established in Munich in 2009 as a joint venture by two shareholders, DLR GfR mbH and Telespazio SpA, the Italian joint venture of Leonardo (67 per cent) and Thales (33 per cent). The company portfolio includes the management of Satellite and Mission Operations, Network Services, Integrated 38 Industry Europe

Logistics Services, LEOP and IOT campaign, Hosting Services as well as enabling services such as the provision of Timing, Geodetic Reference Products and System Performance and KPI products.

European partnership Spaceopal inherits Europe’s largest space operations service contract ever placed in open competition to an industrial company. Now, through servicing 22 satellites in orbit including related ground infrastructures dispersed worldwide, Spaceopal can be considered one of the biggest space operations service providers in Europe. Spaceopal employs very competent and highly skilled people, flexible and effective to quickly respond to customers’ needs, and therefore able to grow in the very competitive space environment. In order to accomplish all tasks, Spaceopal relies on a valued industrial subcontractor chain cooperating successfully with this ‘core team’ for a long time. Major suppliers include the shareholders of Spaceopal (DLR GfR mbH and Telespazio SpA) and other European top


BDLI

Galileo Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen

ranking companies and agencies such as INECO SA, SES Techcom SA, Vitrociset Belgium Sprl, T-Systems GmbH, Thales Alenia Space France SAS as well as DLR, ESA, CNES and INRIM. Spaceopal is headquartered in Munich, close to one of the Galileo Control Centres in Oberpfaffenhofen. The company runs several operational sites located in Germany, Italy and Spain where its engineering, operations and maintenance teams work together with other international teams from the industrial chain to accomplish the day-to-day service activities of the Galileo System to provide reliable and continuous signals to users worldwide.

Serving the world The company’s core business is centred around the Galileo System. In December 2016 Spaceopal was awarded a contract by the GSA for the GALILEO Service Operations for a period of 10 years, which is key to the further development of Spaceopal’s business. Spaceopal is responsible for guaranteeing that the constellation is delivering high-quality navigation services worldwide on a continuous basis. Mr Minciacchi reveals that the company is already preparing for the future and is currently involved in the GALILEO Second Generation project. “As Galileo is a system that provides services to users all over the world, we consider ourselves implicitly present around the globe. In terms of physical presence, we focus on the European market but operations outside Europe are being explored with our shareholders in the medium term, should future demands require this. Our scope of work includes the Service Operations Management, Design and Implementation, Ground and Space Operations, Logistics and Maintenance as well as global Support Services to End Users. In that sense Spaceopal is providing a worldwide service.”

plated award from ESA in recognition of the successful deployment of 18 Galileo satellites. Spaceopal can look back on more than a decade of partnership and collaboration with ESA in implementing and servicing major infrastructures such as GCCs, IOT as well as GDDN and LEOP services to enable these major achievements. Since 1 July 2017, Spaceopal has continued this success story, now under a new contract with the GSA as the Galileo Service Operator, say the Managing Directors. In terms of the future, they add that the company sees huge potential in mass-market GNSS services and applications as well as related technology developments. The European satellite navigation programmes Galileo and EGNOS are important elements to boost the international competitiveness of the European space and high-tech sector. Through its core business activities, Spaceopal GmbH is making a key contribution to Europe’s performance in the field of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and the navigation and position and timing related services development. n Paolo Minciacchi, Managing Director

André Bauerhin, Managing Director

Key contributor The company’s unique operating model and its superb quality have been duly recognised – on 24 January 2018, on behalf of the entire Spaceopal team, the directors of the company received a bronze Industry Europe 39


Commercial UAV

Expo Europe 2018 Drones have been gaining prominence and making headlines slowly but surely and not always for the best reasons. There are two distinctive audiences and user groups in the drone sphere: commercial operators and hobbyists.

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Commercial UAV Expo

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ommercial operators such as surveyors, farmers, construction inspectors, electricians and many, many others are only interested in finding new, cheaper and more innovative ways to do their jobs. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) represent unique and powerful additions to their toolboxes. It was only natural that this growing industry would produce an annual event focused on the commercial applications of the technology. Stakeholders from all different industries come together to exchange opinions and insights, and these events are expanding in both scope and scale. The first Commercial UAV Expo Las Vegas happened in 2015 with 800 attendees and 50 exhibitors. The 2017 edition of the event grew to 130 exhibitors and with over 2000 attendees. Given the success of the Americas show, Diversified Communications, the owner of Commercial UAV News and Commercial UAV Expo decided to launch an event focused on the European drone market. Commercial UAV Expo Europe, presented by Commercial UAV News, is a conference and exhibition focused exclusively on the commercial drone market, covering industries including Surveying & Mapping; Civil Infrastructure; Aggregates & Mining; Construction; Process, Power & Utilities; Precision Agriculture; Law Enforcement, Emergency Response and Search & Rescue (SAR). The European event will take place on 10–12 April 2018 at the RAI Amsterdam in The Netherlands. The North American event is taking place October

1–3, 2018, at the Westgate Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. For more information, visit www.expouav.com/europe and www.expouav.com. The conference programme for Commercial UAV Expo Europe, the pan-European trade fair and conference focused on the integration and operation of drones for major industrial and commercial applications, has been finalised. The highly anticipated programme is comprised of keynotes, plenaries and breakout sessions, which together provide industry professionals an overview of the European market for commercial drone activity, insight into the newest technologies on the market, and a glimpse at what’s to come. Coupled with an international exhibition of the newest drone technology from the world’s top vendors and numerous networking events, the event is critical for anyone who needs to stay on top of the latest technology, regulations and developments in Europe’s rapidly changing commercial drone market. The second event will take place from 10–12 April 2018 at the RAI Amsterdam.

Day 1 – Product Previews and Networking The pre-conference day on Tuesday 10 April consists of short presentations from exhibiting companies in which attendees can learn about vendors’ newest products and product updates. The day ends with a Welcome Happy Hour, where attendees, speakers and exhibitors can meet and network over drinks.

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Day 2 – Keynotes and Plenaries Lisa Murray, Group Director of Diversified Communications, will open the proceedings with welcoming remarks followed by three keynote addresses: Jesse Kallman of Airbus International’s address is entitled ‘The Future of Aerial Data: Leveraging Data from the Sky’ and explores drones as part of a broader ecosystem of tools such as satellites and high altitude aircraft for leveraging data. The second address, by Kay Wackwitz of Drone Industry Insights, is entitled ‘Securing the Digital Transformation: The Layer-Cake of Drone Data Protection’, which will provide insights into the current state of the commercial UAV market as well as the anticipated impact and timeline for newest initiatives such as personal air vehicles. The third keynote is by Lorenz Meier of PX4, called ‘Drones in the Connected Ecosystem: The Coming Transformation’, and explores how drones have evolved from a standalone device to part of a connected ecosystem, as well as looking at what’s to come. Numerous plenary sessions will follow the Keynotes, including: • Newest Technologies on the Horizon for Commercial UAVs with: Christoph Strecha – Pix4D (Switzerland); Baptiste Tripard – Intel (USA); James Harrison – Sky-Futures (UK); Christian Janke – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Germany) • Regulatory Update & Developments in UTM and U-Space with: Benoit Curdy – Global UTM Association (EU); Marc Kegelaers – Unifly (Belgium); Sebastian Babiarz – Airmap (Germany) • Safety and Risk Management for Commercial UAVs with: Ulrich Hoffmann – SafeDrone by Lufthansa Technik (Germany); Steve Flynn – SkyTango (Ireland); General Eden Attias – ParaZero (Israel); Oliver Heinrich – BHO Legal (Germany) • Pan-European Funding Opportunities for Commercial UAV Tech nologies (SESAR and Horizon 2020) with: Marco Balsi – DIET, La Sapienza University (Italy). Next, drone developers and visionaries will share their latest innovations in the Drone Hero contest organised by EUKA. 42 Industry Europe

The day will end with an offsite networking event at the Boathouse, a canal-side venue where attendees can mingle while enjoying drinks and light fare.

Day 3 – Keynotes, Plenaries and Breakouts On the final day, sessions will be organised around vertical market segments including: • Electric Utilites – Maintenance & Inspection • Smart Cities – Telco-IOT & Urban Air Mobility • Civil Engineering & Infrastructure • Surveying & Mapping • Construction and Aggregates • Precision Agriculture • Oil & Gas – Maintenance, Surveying and Inspection • Security, Law Enforcement, Emergency Response & SAR. Registration is open and available here: https://www.xpressreg.net/ register/uave0418/landing.asp.


FIltech 2018

World’s biggest filtration show returns FILTECH is the largest and most important filtration event worldwide. This exhibition is a must for all those concerned with designing, improving, purchasing, selling or researching filtration and separation equipment and services. This year’s show promises to be even more successful than the previous edition, with more than 380 exhibitors expected, featuring targeted solutions for filtration processes across all industry sectors.

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ILTECH is a unique platform for both visitors and exhibitors from across the filtration industry to generate new business and make new contacts. Attendees range from top management (CEOs, directors, presidents, etc.) to procurement managers, marketing managers, R&D experts and production managers. In the 2016 edition of FILTECH, more than 31 per cent of all foreign guests came from overseas. In total 76 nations were represented, offering exhibitors a unique possibility to generate new business. A substantial increase was registered in the number of trade visitors from Italy, Poland, France, Turkey, USA, China, Japan, Korea and India.

Delegates profit from high-level knowledge transfer and learn about future trends and perspectives. Technology and know-how transfer is a main target. The FILTECH Conference is a must for everybody concerned with designing, improving, using, purchasing, selling or researching filtration and separation equipment – no matter from what industry, they can learn and network with an international audience. Conference participation includes proceedings featuring all papers in an Abstract Book plus full papers on USB Stick, welcome reception on 13 March 2018, lunches & refreshments during breaks, a Cologne public transport ticket valid 13–15 March 2018 as well as admission to the FILTECH 2018 exhibition and the catalogue.

Conference programme

Filtration knowledge boost

Running alongside the exhibition will be a full conference programme, which will feature the latest advances and techniques from across the industry. Topics covered include: Filter Media – Quality Control and Pore Size Analysis; Mist and Droplet Separation; Backwashing Filtration; Decanter Centrifuges; Depth Filtration; Continuous Vacuum and Pressure Filters; Cross Flow Techniques and much more besides.

As always, FILTECH, will also feature a number of short courses for visitors to boost their knowledge of filtration issues still further. The first course takes place over one day and covers solid/liquid separation. It is of interest to engineers, scientists, managers and other technical personnel involved in solid-liquid separation in the process and other industries. Attendees will find this course Industry Europe 43


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FIltech 2018

Production line at TWE Dierdorf

Haver & Boeker woven wire technology

informative, regardless of whether they design, purchase, research or use F&S equipment. Plant engineers, technicians and operators will find the material directly applicable. Research students will value the expert introduction to the technologies. It is a comprehensive review of the processes involved in the separation of solids from liquids. The second course is all about fine dust separation, also lasts one day and is of interest to engineers, technicians, scientists, managers, and other personnel involved in gas-solid separation in the process and other industries. This course is informative, regardless of whether you design, purchase, research, or use dust separation equipment for product recovery, emission control, air cleaning or process gas cleaning. It provides a comprehensive review of the processes involved in the separation of solid or liquid particles from gases. Industry Europe 45


Exhibitor feedback Exhibitors have always been happy with the exposure the show gives them, and the previous edition of the show was no exception. Karl Kersten, Head of Application, Phenom-World, said: “FILTECH 2016 has been great for Phenom-World. It is the 3rd time we have participated and we see more and more international exhibitors turning into happy customers. At FILTECH 2018 we will again demonstrate our scanning electron microscope research and quality assurance capabilities. FILTECH is the perfect setting for that and we are looking forward to the next event.” In addition, Thomas Durant, Team Manager Marketing, Sonderhoff Holding GmbH, said: “For us, the Sonderhoff Group of companies, many new contacts will develop the world of the filter industry as a result of our participation in FILTECH 2016. For our highly specialised product range – reactive liquid seals and low-pressure mixing and dosing systems for sealing, bonding and casting of industrial components and system components – we can focus on finding an audience of profes-

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sionals here. And although we are active in more than 50 countries, we conducted significantly more discussions ‘at home in Cologne’ in English than in German and, accordingly, we counted more new international than German contacts from our FILTECH trade fair presence in 2016.” n FILTECH: The Filtration Event 2016, March 13 – 15 | Cologne, Germany More info: www.filtech.de


Filtech 2018

Focus on high performance filtration Haver & Boecker is a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance wire mesh filtration solutions. Constant investment in new technology and R&D has resulted in the development of ground-breaking weave types as well as innovative automation solutions. These latest high-tech products will be showcased in March at the International Filtech Trade Fair in Cologne, Germany. Philip Yorke reports.

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aver & Boecker is an independent, family owned company with its headquarters in Oelde, Westphalia, Germany. Founded in 1887, it operates two diverse and distinct product divisions. The company’s wire weaving division produces woven wire cloth and processes it into finely engineered woven wire products. These are used for the screening and filtration of chemicals, plastics, automotive components, in aviation and aerospace, electronics, industrial and analysis screening, in the food industry as well as for architectural applications. Haver & Boecker’s machinery division is specialised in industrial processing, transport and storage, as well as in the filling and palletising of bulk materials. The Machinery Division’s product range includes single machines and complete turnkey systems for the handling of powder-based and granulated materials, as well as for liquid and pasty products for food and animal feedstuffs. Sophisticated ship-loading and -unloading equipment is also manufactured by the company’s fast growing machine division. Together with over 50 subsidiaries and a network in excess of 150 dealers across five continents, Haver & Boecker is a truly global player with more than 3000 employees. In 2017, the Haver & Boecker Group recorded consolidated revenues of around half a billion euros.

Taking filtration further At Filtech in March this year, Haver & Boecker are planning to showcase their latest range of innovative filtration systems that offer advanced three-dimensional solutions. Where conventional filter cloths have reached their limits, the company’s Minimesh RPD HiFlo-S uses a revolutionary weaving technology that features highly efficient, three-dimensional pore geometry. This development provides new solutions for manufacturing industries that in turn makes specialised filter processes more efficient, more economical and more eco-friendly than ever before.

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Filtech 2018

Haver & Boecker told Industry Europe, “Woven wire mesh solutions for filtration and separation make up an important part of our product range. The Filtech Trade Fair is an international platform in this field. Haver & Boecker will not only be present with a comprehensive booth, but will also be taking an active part within the conference programme itself by presenting two very informative lectures.” The latest weaving technology from Haver & Boecker is unrivalled and means that the open surface over any given area is significantly increased due to the special weaving structure of the company’s new Minimesh® RPD HIFLO-S. The medium’s flow-through rate can easily be doubled when compared to conventional filter cloths that have the same pore size, for example the Minimesh® DTW-S. In addition, the flow conditions are optimised and turbulence around the filter cloth effectively avoided. The unit’s pore size can also be calibrated as required, from 5um to 40um. As a result, it is now possible to weave special materials such as Avesta, Titanium, Hastelloy and Inconel in the small pore size range, which previously had not been possible. Hence, for the very first time, the RPD Hi-Flo-S offers corrosion and temperature resistant filter cloth with pore sizes below 40um. Judith Ahlke, marketing manager of Haver & Boecker’s Wire Weaving Division, said, “Our customers’ requirements for new end products inspire our engineers, technicians and product designers to develop bespoke solutions for new product applications and developments. These include new weave types, automation solutions and conceptualising the optimum production and testing process.” Ahlke added, “We are constantly pushing boundaries in order to produce the ultimate solution for innovative products. This includes combining wire mesh of various designs with injection moulding for edge protection, sealing, joining, support or assembly elements, or for forming shapes. In cooperation with scientific institutes Haver & Boecker considered the design in single- and multi-layered woven wire mesh combinations for solid-liquid separation.”

In cooperation with the Institute of Mechanical Process Engineering (IMVT) in Stuttgart, Haver & Boecker has investigated and evaluated different offline measurement techniques when using woven wire mesh in solid-liquid separation. Particle systems were also evaluated and their influence on the result of load-dependent fractional separation efficiencies and the dirt-hold capacity revealed. The effects of different gradient structures and layer configuration in single- and multi-layered woven wire mesh combinations have been subject to extensive research. The outcomes of the research clearly demonstrated the reduction of the tendency to blocking and pressure loss, as well as improved separation efficiency and dirt-hold n capacity, with optimised through-put characteristics. For further details of Haver & Boecker’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.haverboecker.com or attend the company’s booth at Filtech 2018 in Cologne, Germany, between the 13th and 15th March.

New design considerations When it comes to solid-liquid separation, Haver & Boecker thinks differently and looks beyond the standard to innovative design considerations in wire mesh combinations. Industry Europe 49


The latest in filtration technology The tasks of filtration are the separation or elimination of harmful substances before their release into air and liquid, for the protection of equipment from industrial circuits or for the recovery of valuable substances. The Germany-based nonwovens specialist TWE Group is continuously developing its offering to meet these demands.

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here are many complex global challenges today that require a new way of thinking when it comes to filtration technology. These include global warming, population growth, urbanisation, the required increase in raw material and energy efficiency and the switch to sustainable energy resources. But there are also new opportunities, such as the emergence of Industry 4.0 and new possibilities in terms of product design, device technology and filtration performance. When looking at the filtration market, the expansion of existing products and market segments on the one hand, and a strong increase in new fields of application on the other hand, is becoming clear. In the field of engineering nonwovens, filtration is one of 50 Industry Europe

the areas with the greatest growth potential. Recent studies show that the global market for filter fabrics in 2018/2019 can exceed the €5 billion threshold. The predicted average annual growth rate is estimated at 5 per cent. The focus for air/gas filtration continues to be on fiber nonwovens with a share of 53 per cent (needle punched nonwovens: 10,075 tonnes; wetlaid nonwovens: 8160 tonnes). Filament spunbond fabrics and meltblown nonwovens have a combined share of 47 per cent. In comparison, the proportion of fiber nonwovens in liquid filtration is significantly higher at 73 per cent and 23,000 tonnes than in air filtration. In the area of liquid filtration, 9360 tonnes of polymer-based nonwovens were produced in 2016.


FIltech 2018

Environmental awareness Fine dust in focus owing to the increasing awareness of their negative impact on health, particulate matter (PM10), particulate matter (PM2.5) and ultrafine dust (PM1) have received more and more attention in all areas in recent years. In December 2017, the European Environment Agency announced that around 520,000 people die prematurely in Europe each year as a result of air pollution. One of the main causes of this is fine dusts, which are inhaled with every breath. The polluted air flows through the trachea into the lungs, fills the alveoli and is then exhaled again. Pollutants, soot, exhaust gases, tire wear, pollen, sand and millions of the finest suspended particles enter the body through the air. Particles so small that humans breathe them in unnoticed are the most dangerous. They colour the lungs dark, almost comparable to a smoker’s lung. The ultrafine dust, which cannot be stopped by the alveoli, enters the bloodstream and is transported via the blood through the arteries into the organs. Ultrafine dust (nanoparticles) have an inflammatory effect when inhaled, can change the immune system, and can also activate viruses that rest in lung tissue cells.

TWE’s challenge TWE has taken on all these tasks to develop filter media that positively counteract these fine dust partices. As a strong player in the field of coarse dust filtration and pre-filter media, the group has focused all its efforts in recent months on the development of foldable media from coarse dust to particulate matter. The media are

purely mechanically bonded and thus free of chemical binders. The solidification and layer bonding are carried out through a combined process of mechanical and thermal solidification. The media are highly pleatable with knife and rotary folders, and the folds are sharpedged and stable. The media consist of 1 to 5 layers, depending on the application, the dust concentration and the required filter class. A major advantage over comparable media is the abrasion resistance of the applied fine fibre layer.

Filtech 2018 In recent years, great efforts have been made to conserve resources and reduce particulate matter pollution in the ambient air both outdoors and in built-up areas, as well as during industrial processes. The results of these extensive development activities have been the focus at various symposia and trade fairs in the past year. The classification of filter media for general air filtration can be more application-related thanks to the new ISO 16890, which has been in force since January 2017, although the launch involved some difficulties in setting up the new test equipment and processes. FILTECH 2018, which will take place from 13–15 March in Cologne, is an international platform for experts from all branches of the filtration industry to exchange their experience and knowledge. It will be an excellent marketplace for wide-ranging information on new filter materials, technologies, regulations and test options as well as for presenting the many new products and results of research n projects over the past year.

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To the wire STH WIRE INDUSTRY (M) SDN BHD (STH) was established in 1997 to manufacture industrial wire for a variety of applications, particularly custom-made stitching wire, book binding wire, redrawn galvanised steel wire (G. I. wire), and rewinding annealed wire.

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TH’s facilities are well-equipped with a wide range of machinery, which gives it a strong competitive advantage when it comes to providing customised wire solutions for its clients. STH has to a certain extent eliminated the need to import wire, enabling domestic customers to order the necessary quantity without hesitation or the need to carry extra stock – thus improving their cash flow.

Highest quality STH is dedicated to offering the highest quality products and solutions, providing the best possible service to customers at all times. The company is able to stand out from its competitors thanks to its quality guarantee – even when it comes to used products. STH holds the ISO 9001 Quality Management and ISO 14001 Environmental Management certifications, and since its establishment has worked to maintain consistency of quality across all industries and markets it serves. STH has been expanding its reach overseas in recent years – something it feels confident doing thanks to its continuously improving quality and timely deliveries. It has exported its wire to more than 30 countries throughout the world, including Russia, Hong Kong,

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Japan, Colombia, Singapore, Thailand, Dubai, Lebanon, Uganda, Mauritius, Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Australia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, France, UK, Yemen, Pakistan, Vietnam, China, Oman, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Doha, South Africa, n Zambia, Romania.


Filtech 2018

Swiss Quality

Without Compromise

Bollhoff Attexor SA, a Swiss clinching manufacturer, is a pioneer in its field with more than 30 years of expertise. The company recently launched a new, innovative product that has brought a lot of attention. Romana Moares reports.

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ollhoff Attexor SA, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, is a leading manufacturer of clinching technology for ‘Metal joining without components’. The company, a pioneer in Europe, builds on its experience of more than 30 years, and – using a network of highly qualified partners, distributors and agents – throughout the world. The wide range of tooling solutions and machines, many of which are protected by patents or with patents pending, is based on unique SPOT CLINCH® - RIVCLINCH® (clinching) and TAGGER® (stitch-folding) joining techniques. What exactly is clinching? The clinching process is a method of joining sheet metal by localised cold forming of the materials. Coated and painted sheet metals also be joined together without altering the surface finish. The RIVCLINCH® technique can be used to join steel and stainless-steel materials as well as aluminium and/or non-ferrous materials in a cost effective, environmentally friendly process. Compared to welding, clinching offers tremendous improvement in terms of environmental protection, working conditions & cost savings. The solutions have many applications across a variety of sectors including construction, HVAC, home appliances, automotive and others.

The complete solution for bag filters To add to its wide range of innovative products, Bollhoff Attexor SA has developed a complete automatic filter solution to join air pocket filters with a capacity of 100 filters per hour adjustable to filter frames from 270x270mm up to 915x915mm. Instead of manually assembling the pocket filters in four generic steps, the Bollhoff Attexor’s complete solution allows it to continuously manufacture the filters to a consistent level of quality and with increased productivity. “We have hardly worked for one year on this innovative project and it has been delivered worldwide, even before the official launch. Our customers are satisfied, and our distributors are requesting it

more and more,” says Minh Tam Luong, project manager of Bollhoff Attexor SA. “Our major challenge is to adapt ourselves to the customer needs. There are no two Filter Solutions alike in the world!” n The company will be demonstrating the complete solution at FILTECH, Köln in Germany from 13th to 15th of March 2018.


Building The Factories of the Future Operating as a subgroup within the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association, VDMA Machine Vision unites more than 115 member companies supplying machine components and systems for a wide range of industry applications. Victoria Hattersley talks to Anne Wendel, Director of the Machine Vision Group, to find out exactly how it supports its members, and how the emergence of Industry 4.0 will be shaping their future development.

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VDMA Machine Vision

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achine Vision is an exciting technology: it enables machines to see and to comprehend. Cameras generate images that are automatically analysed by software. Machine vision systems perform quality tests, guide machines, control processes, identify components, read codes and deliver valuable data for optimising production. VDMA Machine Vision unites more than 115 members split into two broad groups: component manufacturers and systems integrators. The component manufacturers produce machine components such as cameras, optics, lighting, software and more besides; the system integrators then take all these components and make a complete solution. The machine vision industry in Germany and throughout Europe has been recording high growth figures for some years. According to the latest VDMA Machine Vision Market Survey, its turnover in Germany reached another record high of €2.2 billion in 2016 – an increase of 9 per cent on 2015. Indeed, apart from the year 2012, sales have been rising continuously since 2010, and between 2012 and 2016 the turnover rose by an average of 10 per cent per annum. Machine vision is constantly capturing new fields of application – including those beyond the arena of manufacturing – always striving for higher quality, efficiency and product safety. To give some idea of how the machine vision technology is used beyond the factory, we can look at how the London Underground today relies on machine vision. Within the network, an automated track monitoring system analyses image data that are acquired by two camera systems mounted on passenger trains. One camera system is mounted on the bogie to provide information on the wheel-rail interface, and the other is mounted at the end of the carriage to provide a 4’ view of the running rails and conductor rails. Image data is collected during the passenger train’s normal working hours, uploaded by wi-fi and analysed at night. The maintenance of the network’s 1000km of track is then conducted during the four-hour night closure period, which minimises any disruption to services.

How members benefit VDMA Machine Vision’s activities include producing and disseminating statistics and market studies, standardisation, marketing services, public relations, sponsoring important industry events, and holding its own networking events at regular intervals. Ms Wendel explains that the association’s work is broadly built around three key pillars: Networking, Services and Representation of Interest. With the first of these, it regularly arranges networking events such as the European Machine Vision Summit – a highly interactive event – workshops or members’ assemblies. A good example of the representation of interests is the VDMA Machine Vision Pavillion at the SPS IPC Drives. This kind of joint representation is a far more powerful thing for members: their ability to make new contacts is greatly enhanced as part of a larger collective than if they were, as Ms Wendel says, “tucked away in a small booth in the corner where nobody can

see them.” VDMA Machine Vision will also host the Vision Expert Huddles – a novel presentation approach whose goal will be to bring industry experts together to exchange ideas, including a panel discussion on machine vision. And of course, as she points out, while it’s important to promote communication between other Machine Vision companies, it is also often useful for them to connect with companies from other areas of the VDMA. “Many of our members have strong links with producers from the medical or food production sectors, for example. VDMA has working groups for topics of common interest for its more than 3200 members, such as additive manufacturing, medical equipment, mobile machines, battery production or e-Motive. There are also five regional offices in Germany and one in Austria that connect companies in their regions. So the VDMA membership enables companies to not only gain new clients through our marketing services, but also to find new partners.” When it comes to services, VMDA has over 600 dedicated staff members worldwide, assisting members with the daily running of their business. “We have various cross-sectional departments and competence centres, such as Foreign Trade, Legal Services, Future Business, Technical and Environmental Affairs and so on, so if there are any problems the VDMA members can always call on them and ask for support and assistance Also, if there are new directives coming up in Brussels or when there are consultations on issues that affect our members, VDMA keeps the members informed of these.” As for the representation of its members’ interests, as mentioned above VDMA has offices in Berlin and Brussels which exist partially to seek consultations with policymakers and, where necessary, will work to influence the decision-making process in order to ensure its members’ concerns are taken into account. Without such a voice operating on their behalf, companies within the mechanical engineering industry would be very much at the mercy of EU policymakers who may not even be aware of the challenges they face.

The rise of Industry 4.0 One of the major topics driving not only the machine vision sector but the world of manufacturing as a whole, is Industry 4.0. For those of our readers unfamiliar with this term, the idea behind this is based on the ‘Smart Factory’, in which every single process is interconnected. According to VDMA, factories of the future will be designed to yield maximum benefit from the lowest possible consumption of material and energy. Interconnected and more flexible production processes will pave the way for new business models. Machine vision has a pivotal role to play in this because it offers solutions to meet these challenges. VDMA is at the forefront of the drive for the Smart Factory; it is one of the partners in the German platform Industry 4.0 (Plattform Industrie 4.0), the goal of which is to continue the government’s high-tech strategy and to support its implementation in Germany. Industry Europe 55


The VDMA accompanies and supports its members on their paths to Industry 4.0 with diverse activities in the three core fields of information, knowledge transfer and networking. When it comes to implementation, interoperability, connectivity and standards are key factors. Ms Wendel tells us: “In order to ensure that people, machines, production resources and products can directly communicate with each other you need a common communication architecture. VDMA and many other players from the industry support OPC UA. In the course of the AUTOMATICA trade fair, VDMA Machine Vision and the OPC Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the preparation of a Machine Vision Companion Specification for OPC UA.” During the discussions, it was noted that camera interfaces and standards for communication and networking of various machine vision components within the system are already there. What is missing is a generic interface for machine vision systems and user level. The scope of the OPC UA companion specification is not only to complement or substitute existing interfaces between a machine vision system and its process environment, but also to create horizontal and vertical integration capabilities to communicate relevant data to any authorised process participants, right up to the IT enterprise level. As Ms Wendel says, “You need a lot of information and data to make the smart factory happen. The idea behind this companion specification is to verify and process what is seen in the factory and transmit the result. Most significantly, this is not just a case of detecting issues within the production process and beyond; quality control will also evolve into production optimisation, which will allow the integrated systems to react flexibly.” 56 Industry Europe

Industry 4.0 will be one of the key areas of interest at VDMA’s upcoming 5th European Machine Vision Summit, which will take place on 29 September. Rather than a typical conference, the summit has been designed more as a place for European machine vision executives to work together on issues that are decisive for the future. Two main topics have been chosen this year: day one will be focused broadly on machine learning, while day two will be looking at the digitisation of industry. According to Anne Wendel, “We measure the success of such events by their ‘take-home’ value. So if our members come away inspired and with an idea that they can implement in their own company, we have done our job.”

Meeting future challenges With such huge changes taking place in the way factories and supply chains operate – not just in Europe but throughout the world – it is clear that companies operating within the machine vision sector will have a number of challenges to face as they learn to adapt. The rapid growth of the industry in the past decade could in itself represent a challenge as well as an opportunity, as members must push themselves to meet demand and further growth. According to Anne Wendel, one way in which this may be accomplished is through consolidation of the industry. She explains: “VDMA Machine Vision is largely dominated by small companies with around 80 employees. Increased demand will need to be addressed and this could be achieved if companies join together – or are even bought by a single entity – so they combine strengths when it comes to export functions, sales, marketing and so on.”


VDMA Machine Vision

This may also help the smaller members of the group to address another challenge: a growing number of competitors from abroad. “New competitors are coming up on the horizon all the time – in Asia, for example – and this is not just in the area of Machine Vision technologies. We also have to think about other areas that are will be increasingly competing for the same clients – such as other sensor technologies, or computer vision, smart phones and so on. But we still believe machine vision in Europe will have the leading edge in the future.” There is, however, a great deal to be positive about moving forward. For 2017, the association predicts that further growth of at least 10 per cent is feasible, given the development of the VDMA monthly incoming order and turnover statistics. Exports have been the main driver for growth in recent years, and Ms Wendel says that VDMA Machine Vision intends to continue supporting its members in n conquering new markets.

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Leader in Vision Technology Cognex Corporation is the world’s leading provider of vision technology and industrial barcode readers used in manufacturing automation. The company has been achieving impressive year-on-year growth and with the anticipated rise in automation and robotics, the trend is likely to continue. Romana Moares spoke to Sven Klockmann, the Business Development Manager for Mobile Terminals based in Germany, about the company’s focus on innovation and new products designed to fully meet the current market requirements.

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VDMA Machine Vision

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ognex Corporation designs, develops, manufactures and markets a range of products that incorporate sophisticated machine vision technology giving them the ability to ‘see’. Its products include barcode readers, machine vision sensors, and machine vision systems that are used in factories, warehouses, and distribution centres around the world to guide, gauge, inspect, identify, and assure the quality of items during the manufacturing and distribution process. The company is the world’s leader in the machine vision industry, having shipped more than 1 million vision-based products, representing over $4 billion in cumulative revenue, since its founding

in 1981. In October 2017, Cognex reported record results for the third quarter of 2017 and forecasts for the fourth quarter indicate expected growth exceeding 30 per cent year-on-year.

Right time, right place Cognex vision helps companies improve product quality, eliminate production errors, lower manufacturing costs and exceed consumer expectations for high quality products at an affordable price. Typical applications for machine vision include detecting defects, monitoring production lines, guiding assembly robots, and tracking, sorting and identifying parts. The company serves an international customer base from offices

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located throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, and through a global network of integration and distribution partners. It is headquartered close to Boston in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. “We are today’s market leader in the vision industry and to be a technology leader has always been the key company objective since its inception,” says Mr Klockmann. “Our company is probably the one in the market with the highest budget for R&D, amounting each year to about 15 per cent of total revenues.” He confirms that in light of market development and increasing focus on automation and robotisation, the company is ready to expand and increase staff numbers from the current roughly 1500 by another 300. “We are recruiting a relatively high number of new talents worldwide, including in Europe and Germany. We are sourcing people from various industries and are lucky to be renowned for our focus on innovation and thus attractive for prospective candidates. In Germany alone, we plan to open another office in Munich and expand the base in Berlin.

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“Of course the Industry 4.0 trend has boosted growth, but we have always been focused on automation and started well ahead of time. The very purpose of our devices is to provide more accurate information at the right time, i.e. all types of information that is required by the users. We are in the very right sector at the right time,” says Sven Klockmann.

Globally sought-after Cognex continues to invest heavily in its core vision technology. In many cases its R&D investment alone is greater than some competitors’ total annual revenue. The company has over 660 patents issued or pending worldwide. The current focus includes, for example, mobile terminals, for which it offers unique products integrating smartphones and high-performance vision tools. The MX-1000 series and MX-1502 series visionenabled mobile terminals have many applications – the MX-1000 is ideal for reading DPM codes on automotive parts and label-based barcodes on packages and equipment, while the MX-1502 reads codes from as near as 15–30cm to as far as 8m away, making it ideal for scanning barcodes on floor labels, rack labels on high shelves and slips hanging from warehouse ceilings. The Cognex Mobile Barcode SDK provides enterprise-grade barcode scanning capabilities from a smartphone, tablet, or MX Series mobile terminal. “This is a new market which will definitely grow. The main differentiation that we provide is the integration of an ordinary smart phone into the barcode reading device. Long ago we decided that we will never compete with Samsung or Apple in terms of smart devices, but that we do it using their computing experience and integrate it with our device,” says Mr Klockmann. The MX-1502 leverages the latest communication technologies supported by mobile devices including 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more. In this respect, the company cooperates, for example, with the open source platform developer Red Hat enabling the user to self-create their own mobile apps that can be managed online in the cloud. The user can manage the whole process and be self-sufficient.


VDMA Machine Vision

“Our mobile terminals find application across many sectors, including electronics, medical devices, logistics and many more. The main users tend to be logistics operators, distribution companies and of course manufacturers for various industries including automotive,” says Mr Klockmann. “Geographically, we see a lot of demand in China and the Far East, but to be honest all markets including Europe and the Americas are driving our growth.” Mr Klockmann mentions another fast-growing market: 3D vision systems to optimise product quality by providing three-dimensional inspection. “To meet the needs of our customers, Cognex decided to invest in products which can perform more and better 3D inspection on stationary or moving parts. In the past two years, we have acquired several companies with advanced technology knowledge. It is exciting to see these technologies, e.g. in the field of 3D vision or deep learning, in the hands of our R & D teams and being transformed into more n marketable products. Stay tuned.”

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Changing the sensor game Precitec Optronik, a member of the Germany-based Precitec group, happens to operate in today’s fastest growing sector. Its pioneering sensors have been developed to meet rising customer requirements for the utmost precision and accuracy across industries and continents. Romana Moares spoke to Jean-François Pichot, Director of Sales and Marketing about the current business focus and the new product to be launched in 2018.

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VDMA Machine Vision

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recitec Optronik, the German specialist in optical measuring technology, is a member of the family-owned Precitec Group founded in Baden-Baden in 1971. Over the 40 years of its existence, the group have become a sought-after specialist for complex system solutions in laser processing as well as optical metrology, operating numerous subsidiaries around the world and employing a total of around 500 people. While Precitec Optronik is a relatively young company with about two decades of operation, it has become a market leader in its field. "Our core business is to develop non-contact optical sensors for very accurate distance and thickness measurement that have many applications in a variety of industries," summarises Mr Pichot. He further explains that while traditionally the strongest sector has been the glass container industry, where the company still controls about 80 per cent of the market share, in the last ten years or so the products have been applied in an increasing number of other industries, such as the silicon wafer and the coordinate measurement machine sectors, and - most recently – the consumer electronics market. Here the Precitec sensors are installed, for example, for inspecting the quality of smart phones in the mass production factories of the world leaders.

Innovation driven Innovation is the company's very basis and each year Precitec Optronik launches several new products. "We see our products as intended more for the high-end, cutting edge technologies. The prod-

ucts are the result of our own product development but may be customised to fit the customers applications," says Mr Pichot. Given the company size of about 90 people, it´s product development capability are impressive. The - R&D department employs 25 - 30 specialists and enjoys annual investments of 12 per cent of total turnover. Innovative products include the CHRocodile C and CLS sensors and, the latest addition, Chromatic Vision camera. "CHRocodile C and CHRocodile CLS sensors are our 3D measurement sensors based on chromatic confocal technology. Basically, we focus light with special lens on a surface. The special lens splits light around the focus into different wavelength - like you can see in a rainbow. When imaging back the light we have colour-coded distance. It is a very accurate and stable measurement with resolution down in Nanometer scale. We have very high acceptance angle and could measure on any surface," explains Jean-François Pichot. The CHRocodile C sensor was introduced at Control 2016 and is the first “all in one” chromatic confocal point sensor. Its revolutionary design integrates opto-electronics and measuring probe in one single housing, the size of a pack of cigarettes. This device offers an excellent alternative to classical laser triangulation based sensors thanks to its unrivalled performance/price ratio. "CHRocodile CLS is our line sensor with 192 measurement points, enabling very fast and accurate measurement, introduced about four years ago. For our customers it was a gamechanger in the semicon and consumer electronic market," he points out.

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Classical microscopy technology

CHRomatic Vision Camera technology

Jean Francois Pichot, Director Sales & Marketing

Breaking new grounds The company is now launching a new sensor, CHRomatic Vision Camera, which will complements its classical 3D inspection technology. "With the new product we are trying to expand our portfolio to include 2D inspection. Chromatic Vision is a new microscopy technique with extended depth of focus. This is the real breakthrough of this new type of camera, unrivalled in the market. Simply put normally, a product measured on a production line may vibrate slightly, resulting in a poor image. Our technology enables to get a very focused, sharp image," explains Mr Pichot. Precitec’s CHRomatic Vision line scan camera uses chromatic optics for 2D imaging. It is distinguished from microscope cameras thanks to it high depth of field, eliminating the need to autofocus. The technology may be used for quality assurance in in-line and offline applications like cosmetic inspection of metal parts, defect inspection on wafers or OLED mask inspection. The all-in-one design with integrated coaxial illumination enables easy integration into any production line. "We moved from 3D to 2D but still use the special lens to split light while focusing, enabling the highest depth of field compared to microscope optics," Mr Pichot adds.

Rising star Although the key market for Precitec Optronik used to be Germany, the company has been intensively developing its international presence in the last ten years. Current focus is on Asia, indicating the biggest growth. "In China alone we have doubled the turnover recently," admits Mr Pichot. "We are also seeing a rapid growth in Korea and Taiwan but generally speaking the whole of South-East Asia is very promising." An undeniable competitive advantage for Precitec's products is clearly its place of origin - 'Made in Germany' is a synonym for top 64 Industry Europe

quality and reliability and, coupled with the company's engineering capability, focus on innovation, extensive know-how and the rising demand for smart products Precitec seems to have just the right solution to meet the needs of every producer.

Colour coded 3D Image derived from CHRocodile CLS

"The CHRomatic Vision camera has generated some fantastic feedback from the markets. It is very well suited for mass production in most sectors, and brings a significant advantage to our customers worldwide. It is also fully in line with the trend for smart factories with smart machines – and with the expansion of the Industry 4.0 its potential is huge." Increasing demand means accelerated growth for the German company. "In the last three years we have expanded by 25 per cent each year. Now we are going to exceed this figure. You may say that Precitec Optronik really is a rising star, in the right place, at the right n time," concludes Mr Pichot.


VDMA Machine Vision

Solving the Industry 4.0 gap! SCHMACHTL GmbH, a leading Austrian industry provider, is dedicated to creating and selling innovative product solutions to its customers across Austria’s wide range of industry sectors. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to division manager Florian Martin to learn more.

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ounded in Linz, Austria over 70 years ago, product and systems provider SCHMACHTL GmbH prides itself on its reactivity, flexibility and eagerness to solve its clients’ issues. With locations in Austria (Linz (HQ), Vienna, Graz and Innsbruck) Czech Republic (Prague (HQ), Zlin) and Slovakia (Bratislava (HQ)), Schmachtl has built its success on representing leading German and Italian manufacturers and today serves many of the leading Central European names in their activities across Europe and Central Europe. Within the Schmachtl industry automation portfolio, the common thread is its attention to quality and intense focus on customer satisfaction and customer service. Industry Europe spoke to Florian Martin, SCHMACHTL’s division manager for its inspection solutions range, who explained how the company’s activities come together to create a cohesive offer. “Schmachtl is dedicated to providing the right solutions to its customers, with each of our divisions offering a technically-advanced element, such as machine vision equipment. We are particularly active in the field of detecting defective products in the manufacturing process. This is where our AI solutions are really proving to be a game changer as we now have the ability to learn in record time from a vast number of situations and can adapt processes accordingly or simultaneously.”

Vision for success The quality inspection solution division headed by Florian Martin works to create and integrate quality inspection systems with smart camera solutions. Mr Martin said, “We are different to other suppliers and to our competitors in that we focus on guaranteeing our customers a return on investment, therefore providing the right solution rather than automatically opting for a standard solution. “Our approach is to understand our customers’ needs and deliver a system that fully answers that need. And we don’t just hang them out to dry! We are available all day, we are close by, ready to answer any questions, make any changes...it’s a true support system. “We don’t just make and sell an inspection system; we also make sure our customers know exactly how to maximise their products’ performance and how to interpret the technical data they receive about their products.” Mr Martin noted he has worked with customers that previously invested in expensive systems from other suppliers which did not perform as well as expected. He was keen to point out that the guaranteed focus on problem solving means this does not happen when a customer chooses SCHMACHTL. He said, “There are lots of carefully-designed steps in the SCHMACHTL process of delivering a complete solution. We start by analysing the customer’s need, Industry Europe 65


Machine vision division manager Florian Martin

complete a full evaluation of the challenge ahead and have carefully designed implementation steps. After the delivery we’re still in contact, ready to make any tweaks or advise the customer. We know that this is the only way to make sure the customer is always totally happy with the system; it can be that they wouldn’t get in contact about ‘a little thing’, but as we’re always here, always on hand and in touch, those little issues can quickly be ironed out, making sure the customer is always completely happy with the SCHMACHTL system they’ve invested in.”

Mr Martin concluded by illustrating how SCHMACHTL’s vision systems can provide highly valuable technical information in a digital form such as total traceability throughout the production process – ‘but we take it higher, with more analysis’ – and that the company’s real-time learning algorithms mean customers can seamlessly integrate their solutions. He said, “The end customer can use our real-time learning algorithms to teach their production systems how to approach any possible issue without having to parametrise new n software. It’s incredible!”

Never say goodbye

Should your company have a need for a quality inspection system within your production processes, please don’t hesitate to contact Mr Florian Martin. His contact details are below.

This ‘always at the customer’s side’ promise is a continuing mantra for SCHMACHTL. As the company looks forward to its next half century and beyond, Mr Martin explained how it plans to stay at the forefront of the electrotechnic systems solutions industry. “We are currently working on finding our upgraded business model that is inclusive of Industry 4.0, where we see great opportunities for growth as it is perfectly in tune with our expertise and customer base. We see our abilities as a leading industrial provider, plus an integrator of solutions as key differentiating factors. Our turnkey solutions are the right answer to many Industry 4.0 issues, with one of these being our vision systems. ”

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Product Manager Machine Vision Schmachtl GmbH Pummererstraße 36, A-4020 Linz, Austria Phone number : +43 732 7646-38 Mobile phone : +43 664 8366987 Fax: +43 732 785036 Email: f.martin@schmachtl.at Website : www.schmachtl.at


VDMA Machine Vision

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Delivering high lift leading-edge efficiency Asco Industries is a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-lift structures, complex mechanical assemblies and major structural components for the aerospace industry. The company provides some of the world’s most innovative avionics solutions to the world’s biggest aircraft OEMs and was recently awarded another long-term contract with Boeing. Today Asco continues to expand its product portfolio and technological capabilities. Philip Yorke reports. 68 Industry Europe


Aerospace & Defence

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sco Industries is a proven technology specialist and supply-chain integrator in design, development, precision machining, processing, certified assembly and MRO of complex high-value aircraft components. The company is also a global leader in the development, manufacture, treatment and assembly of steel and titanium highprecision components for the aerospace industry. Its product portfolio includes wing-flap actuation systems, engine mounts and landing gear components. It was founded in 1954 and is headquartered in Zaventum, Belgium. Today the company operates from four key locations – Belgium, Canada, the USA and Germany – with over 1500 employees and a turnover that exceeds €250 million. Asco also produces more than 2500 assemblies each month and is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the design and manufacture of high-lift devices for the aerospace and avionics industry.

Operational excellence recognised Earlier this year Asco was selected by Boeing as a long-term supplier of hard metal and aluminium structural aircraft components. The agreement, which runs until 2024, includes both the renewal of existing contracts for the 737 MAX, 737-8 and 787 aeroplane platforms as well as several new packages on the 777X airliner. “Asco has been delivering parts to Boeing for more than 20 years; we are honoured to be recognised with this award and are fully committed to operational excellence to keep advancing this relationship,” said Kevin

Russell, GM and VP of Commercial Asco Aerospace Canada. Laurent Canoen, CCO of Asco, further explained that this long-term contract confirms the relevance of its strategic development in North America. Parts will be produced in Asco’s Zaventum facility in Belgium, as well as in Delta-Canada and Stillwater-OK USA.

At the forefront of aerospace technology Asco strives for engineering excellence by not only designing innovative customised solutions, but also by targeting the aviation challenges of tomorrow. In close collaboration with its customers, the company focuses on staying at the forefront of the latest technological advances. It maintains its technological leadership through its research and development expertise as well as through pioneering projects with major global players in both original aircraft equipment manufacturing companies and research institutions. Asco firmly believes that precision in the aerospace industry is all about a continuous focus on detail, while keeping the big picture in mind. This is why it places a high priority on driving its quality management systems and procedures to meet the highest levels of international standards and legislation. The company’s engineers continuously enhance the excellence of their products which are designed to meet cutting-edge applications for high-lift devices and complex structural assemblies, while at the same time working towards achieving greater sustainability and a significantly reduced environmental footprint.

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metals such as aluminium lithium. Asco’s state-of-theart production facilities are equipped for the high-speed machining and production of components in these advanced metallic alloys. In addition to its dominant presence in the wings and landing gear sectors, the company supplies a variety of secondary structural engineering components and assemblies for critical fuselage structure, flight system interfaces and attachments

Key player in Dreamliner programme

Improving aerodynamics During the concept design phase the company’s design and stress engineers work on new aircraft technology concepts, either on-site, integrated into customers’ design teams or in its ‘Wings’ development team. Here Asco engineers are responsible for the concept and detailed design, including verification tests, final release and review authorisation of 3D models. Asco is always working to build upon its enviable market position as the global leader in high-lift devices. These include deployment mechanisms and support systems for a wing’s movable leading-edge slats and trailing edge flaps. The company works continuously to improve the aerodynamics of an aircraft, thus resulting in better fuel economy and reducing the aircraft’s overall ecological footprint. This is why Asco is the industry’s preferred partner for the design and supply of enhanced lift and landing solutions for the majority of the world’s commercial aircraft fleets.

Optimising critical structural components Asco enjoys a global reputation for its design and ‘Build to customer’s Print’ manufacturing and assembly capabilities. It is ranked by Flight International as one of the Worldwide Aerospace top 100 companies. The company manufactures critical structural components and assemblies for an aircraft’s fuselage including spars, ribs, bulkheads, profiles and frames. Weight is an all-important element in the design of an aircraft and is driving the use of advanced composites in titanium and lightweight

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Today, Asco can supply parts for an airbus A330 in just five days, and for a complete set for the massive Airbus A380 where it must take into consideration that it requires a total of more than 2500 individual components. Asco is currently involved in all the various airbus programmes, including the A330, A340, A380 and the A350 – this is in addition to existing work on the 737 MAX, 747-8, 777 and 787. In fact, since the mid-1990s Asco has supplied key parts for every western aircraft model in the 50-seat plus range. The company is also playing a major role in the current 787 Dreamliner programme, supplying slat tracks and the crown and lower frames of the fuselage section that supports the aircraft’s vertical fin. Through its close industry partnerships, Asco also supplies the regional aircraft market, with components for both Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer’s executive jets. For further details of Asco’s exceptional, high-tech product high-lift solutions and services visit: www.asco.be


Aerospace & Defence

Flying for success Czech Jihlavan is a traditional partner for R&D, production and service of hydraulic end elctromechanical components, wheels and brakes for the aerospace industry and medical applications. In the last few years the company has significantly increased its focus on the aerospace sector. Romana Moares spoke to the company’s Sales Director, Mr Petr Lízal, about Jihlavan’s recent projects and plans for the future.

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ounded in 1952, Jihlavan has developed into one of the major players in the Czech aerospace industry with an increasing presence in export markets. More than 10,000 aircraft have been equipped with Jihlavan’s hydraulics so far. Over the years, the company has built a reputation as a stable partner for the development, production, and servicing of hydraulic power systems in aerospace and ground hydraulic applications. The company’s ownership structure was revised in 2015, the consequence of which has been an even stronger emphasis on the aerospace business. An extensive facility modernisation has also been completed to accommodate demanding aerospace contracts from around the world. The product portfolio has also changed – the volume of aerospace production today accounting for the greater part of production output. Jihlavan owns extensive R&D facilities that allow it to pursue the development of new individual products as well as entire systems.

Its development engineers have taken part in several major projects, such as the development of complete hydraulic system for the EV-55, major hydraulic components for the new generation of personal commuter L410NG and recently 36 hydraulic components, wheels and brakes for the next generation military trainer L39NG.

Growing international presence Jihlavan is a traditional supplier of hydraulic components for flight controls, hydraulic power and landing gear systems for Czech aircraft, such as Turbolet L 410, for which it is the leading supplier of over 20 components. Jihlavan is an important exporter with customers all over the world. In recent years, major contracts were signed in France and Spain. “We have significantly increased our international presence in the last few year,” confirms Petr Lízal. “Recent successes include long-term contracts for BTP (built-to-print) hydraulic components for Industry Europe 71


the Airbus supply chain, such as the hydraulic fuses for the complete Airbus fleet, LockStayActuator for the Airbus A350, MLG (Main Landing Gear) Door Actuator + NLG (Nose LG) Door Actuator for Airbus A350, and 3 Ramp Actuators + Swivel Valve for the Airbus A400 M, to name just a few.” An important part of the portfolio is also the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) business. The company’s main competence in this area is the instrumentation refurbishment for the L39 and L410 programmes; repair and testing of hydraulic components for the B737 Classic and, more recently, for the B737 NG.

Major development projects However, Mr Lízal explains that keeping a strong footing in the Czech market is just as important. Here the company is a major supplier of its second line of business, the BTS (built-to-specification) aerospace hydraulic components, and has become a partner for the product development and delivery within the L410 NG project, in which a number of Czech aerospace companies participate. “The

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project covers a major upgrade of a popular and successful Czech commuter aircraft with passenger capacity of 19 plus two pilots. The aircraft is made by Aircraft Industries (formerly LET) that obtained the EASA certificate in late 2017. Jihlavan developed, delivered and supported the certification of 28 hydraulic components for this aircraft.” Another project for which Jihlavan delivers BTS hydraulic components is the L39NG project for Aero Vodochody. The Aero L-39NG (Next Generation) is a turbofan-powered military trainer aircraft, a successor of the Cold War era Aero L-39 Albatros, around 600 of which are used by the armed forces of dozens of countries today. The aircraft is being developed in two versions (stages). While the L-39NG Stage 1 is an upgrade of the original L-39 airframe with a new engine and avionics, the Stage 2 is a newly-built aircraft with several design improvements such as the wet wing without the type’s distinctive wingtip fuel tanks. “Jihlavan is one of the partners in the development and series supply of 36 hydraulic devices as well as wheels and brakes. The first take-off is planned in 2019, and the certification should be com-


Aerospace & Defence

pleted in 2019,” says Mr Lízal, confirming that series production of the devices within these major projects would mean a year-on-year increase in turnover (CZK 225 million in 2017) by about 20 per cent.

Indispensable player In support of its current projects, Jihlavan has invested significantly in both technology and infrastructure. Last year the company purchased a five-axis multifunctional machining centre for the WFL Millturn M30a body and piston hydraulic actuator production as well as a set of environmentally friendly component washers. “For 2018 we are planning a major upgrade of the existing information system so that it meets the sophisticated requirements of the aerospace industry,” says Mr Lízal. He confirms that the company will strive to keep pace with market development, sustain and increasing its business in both the export and domestic markets, further cementing its position as an indispenn sable player in the European aerospace sector.

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Aiming high PBS Velká Bíteš is an engineering company boasting a solid tradition, the manufacturer of high-speed turbine machines for the aerospace and power industries. The company competence includes in-house design and development of small UAV engines, auxiliary power units and air conditioning systems for aircraft and helicopters along with all the connected manufacturing processes including precision casting, hi-tech machining of metals, electroplating and subsequent assembly of finished products. Based on its engineering skills and extensive experience, the company now wishes to increase its business for its core aerospace sector. Romana Moares reports.

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Aerospace & Defence

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BS Velká Bíteš, based near the city of Brno, draws on a long and rich engineering and manufacturing tradition of the second largest city of the Czech Republic. It is fully owned by the PBS GROUP, a large grouping of engineering companies, providing a solid management structure and synergies between the sister companies. PBS has a varied portfolio and delivers high quality products in four business lines - aerospace, transportation, power and waste water management. PBS is a leading European supplier of turbocharger wheels for transport vehicles, locomotives, ships and cars, specialising in precision castings of wheels, blades and other turbocharger components as well as their subsequent precision machining. The company is also a trusted partner for the power generation sector, supplying rotors and stator blades for gas turbines, and an important producer of decanter centrifuges, designed for water treatment plants and industrial applications. With designing and manufacturing aircraft equipment and devices for over 45 years, the aerospace programme is a key business line of PBS Velká Bíteš. The first aerospace products developed and produced by PBS were Auxiliary Power Units (APU) and Environ-

mental Control Systems (ECS). The APUs and the ECS in accordance with global aerospace standards have boosted the company’s success in global markets. APU Safír 5K/G MI today is the key product of the division, generating a large percentage of current revenue with a significant growth potential. After gaining valuable experience in this technology, PBS expanded its product portfolio to include main propulsion units – turbojet, turboshaft and turboprop engines for small manned or unmanned aircraft and helicopters. Their technical parameters and excellent power-to-weight ratio have made PBS one of the world leaders in its field. The company is a certified aerospace manufacturer (EASA DOA PART 21, Section A, Subpart J, G).

Powered to fly PBS turbojet engines are designed mainly for missiles, target drones, UAVs, powered gliders and micro jets. PBS offers a number of turbojet engines which differ in thrust, but all offer an excellent power-to-weight ratio, compact design, reliable operation, low fuel and oil consumption,

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and starting at high altitudes and at high speeds. The most commercially successful model is the TJ100 turbojet engine (1,300 N). It is a single-shaft engine that features a starter generator integrated in the radial compressor impeller, one axial turbine, autonomous oil system and digital control system. So far, over 750 units have been delivered to customers in Spain, China, UAE, Russia, the USA, Germany and other countries. The PBS TP100 turboprop engine is designed for UAVs and small experimental aircraft. The TP100 develops 180 kW and weighs 62 kg.

Low weight, low-vibration operation, extended intervals between overhauls (TBO), and higher efficiency at high altitudes make the TP100 engine stand out from competing piston engines. The TP100 is able to achieve flight levels of 9,000 m with a maximum starting height of 6,000 m. The engine may be installed in either pusher or tractor mode. The PBS TS100 turboshaft engine is designed for light helicopters and unmanned helicopters. It has small installation dimensions, low weight and high static performance, it offers maximum power of180 kW. Similarly to the turboprop engine, it is able to achieve flight levels of up to 9,000 m and a maximum starting height of 6,000 m. Its modular design features a gas generator, power turbine and gearbox, which offer the possibility to install a 1.6 kW alternator.

Worldwide reach In 2017, the company completed the development of two types of small turbojet engines, which, in terms of thrust and weight parameters, represent the very best in their categories. The PBS TJ80 type turbojet engine has been designed as a propulsion unit for aerial targets, missiles and other UCAV systems. Development of this engine started in 2015; 4 prototypes were manufactured and used for testing. It is a simple design engine, lubricated by fuel with oil admixture, fitted with BLDC starter-generator, electric fuel pump and electric control system of FADEC type. TJ80 is built to customer specifications and may be modified based on specific installation requirements and meet different operating conditions. The engine is now ready to be launched into series production. Another new development is the turbojet engine PBS TJ40-G2, designed for UAVs, target drones and gliders. The engine can provide 76 Industry Europe


Aerospace & Defence

speeds of up to Mach 0.8 and take its parent aircraft to an altitude of 9,000 m. Weighing just 3.8 kg the TJ40-G2 provides take-off thrust of 395N. Other features include engine start temperatures as low as -40°C and a shortened start-up sequence that comes in at less than 25 seconds. The utility of the engine will be greatly enhanced by the ability “for repeat starts” – on the ground or in flight – and the fact that the engine may be used in any position at the time of launch. Although PBS’s turbojet engines are designed primarily for the aviation sector, the company participates in various development projects, where the final product can hardly be classified as an aircraft. An example of a different application is the “Flying Bike Apollo“ constructed by an American company JetPack International. The “Jet Bike “is equipped with two PBS TJ100 turbojet engines with maximum power of 1,150N. The engine programme in general, and the turbojet engine line in particular, have become the key direction the Aerospace Division of PBS wishes to pursue. The company is now developing PBS TJ150 turbojet engine, with maximum thrust of 1,500 N, planned to be launched in 2018. The goal for the future is to expand the delivery of n aerospace products worldwide.

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INTEGREX e-1600V/10S

Machining solutions

for the aerospace sector Aerospace manufacturing is highly demanding for all tiers of the supply chain, from OEM to subcontractor. Yamazaki Mazak examines the specific machining challenges the sector faces and offers some solutions.

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or decades, the commercial aerospace sector has bucked the trend and enjoyed above average growth rates, driven by a continuing increase in passenger travel demand and an exceptionally fast asset replacement cycle. Research by Deloitte suggests that strong increases, year on year, in total passenger kilometres are driving unprecedented levels of aircraft production rates, which in 2015 were about twice the levels experienced 10 years ago. All of this places exceptional demands on the aerospace supply chain. One consequence is that, in recent years, a number of tier one 78 Industry Europe

suppliers have taken the decision to close their non-core machine shops and place their faith in high quality subcontractors equipped with the machines capable of rising to the demands of the sector.

Complex machining solutions Those involved in aerospace component manufacturing are faced with a wide range of challenges, from the machining of structural parts, such as wing parts and bulkheads, through to engine components and landing gear systems. In addition, a wide range of metals and alloys are being machined, from titanium through to aluminium.


Automation & Robotics

It is worth analysing these different machining challenges in order to identify the issues being faced and highlighting some potential machine solutions. Structural parts, such as fuselage, wings and bulkheads, require specific machine characteristics, namely the ability to profile large workpieces. The VORTEX HORIZONTAL PROFILER (HP) 160 5-axis horizontal machining centre, is equipped with a horizontal spindle and a large vertically oriented worktable that accommodates a maximum load capacity of 3000kg, making it ideal for structural parts. The machine’s special box-type design integrates its base, column and table to ensure consistent, highly rigid cutting performance, provided by its 26,000rpm, or optional 30,000rpm, main spindle. For subcontract manufacturers of structural parts, accurate and efficient machining of large thin walled parts is vitally important and one of the most popular machines for this type of work is the VTC800/30SDR vertical machining centre. The machine features a 40 taper or HSK-A63 18,000rpm spindle, swivelling spindle head (B Axis) and a full traveling column design with two synchronised NC rotary tables each 3690mm apart. This facilitates a large trunnion fixture with an 820mm diameter swing, for an effective solution for machining aerospace structure components up to 3000mm long. Large chip volumes typically associated with this type of application are efficiently dispersed from the working area by the combination of a chuted bed design with an integrated Niagara coolant wash that covers the full X-axis length. The enhanced swarf management characteristics are further complimented by a large volume coolant tank and a specialised conveyor system, enabling prolonged and uninterrupted machining.

Additionally, the VTC-800/30SDR is available with a choice of either MAZATROL Matrix 2 or SIEMENS SINUMERIK 840D sl CNC, giving additional choice to customers who may have standardised upon Siemens control in their production facilities. The ability to machine complex geometrical surfaces with a high degree of accuracy is vitally important for the aerospace sector. The machine of choice for many aerospace suppliers, therefore, is the VARIAXIS i-series, which offers full simultaneous 5-axis machining allied to a variety of spindle options to suit multiple applications. The VARIAXIS i-1050T, for example, combines both 5-axis milling and turning capability in a single set-up for large components up to a maximum diameter of 1250mm x 900mm in height, which makes it ideal for machining engine components. Performance is delivered by a powerful 10,000rpm and 37kW 50 taper milling spindle and a high rigidity turning table, that utilises a 500rpm direct drive motor integrated inside a fully supported trunnion table for maximum stability. Additionally, the milling spindle can be optionally specified, with a high torque 5000rpm spindle for difficult-to-cut materials, and a 15,000rpm spindle for high-speed machining requirements.

Multi-tasking capabilities The size of the machining envelope, which impacts on the size of the component that can be machined, is also a major issue for the aerospace sector. The INTEGREX e-V series, a highly popular machine in the aerospace sector, possesses full multi-tasking capabilities, including 5-axis contouring, with a large workpiece capacity. The INTEGREX e-1600V/10, for example, can machine a maximum workpiece diameter of 2050mm up to a height of

VTC 800/30SR


INTEGREX i-630V/6

1600mm, whilst the high-rigidity base construction, coupled with the double column design, enables the spindle to reach 540mm beyond the centre line. This makes the INTEGREX e-1600V/10S ideal for the high accuracy requirements of aerospace components, such as engine and fan cases. This ability to machine large, heavy workpieces is also shared by the INTEGREX i-V vertical multi-tasking series. The INTEGREX i-630V/6S, for example, is equipped with a single table that provides a generous machining capability of 1250mm in diameter and 1400mm in height, with a maximum load capacity of 1750kg. This enables the machine to process large aerospace components, such as turbine disks, fan cases and bulkheads. Complex workpieces, such as actuators, turbine blades and hydraulic valve blocks, require a variety of machining disciplines that can lead to bottlenecks in production. The INTEGREX i-series with its DONE-IN-ONE capability can dramatically reduce the number of operations and production lead times to substantially reduce manufacturing costs. The INTEGREX i-series, with bed lengths from one metre to 2.5 metres, offers a flexible configuration according to the application requirements. The machine has powerful main and second turning spindles, tailstock, lower turret and a fully contouring B-axis that houses either a high-power 12,000rpm or a high speed 20,000rpm milling spindle, making it ideal for machining complex workpieces. The combination of powerful turning capabilities allied to milling is very important for the aerospace sector, particularly for large workpieces. The INTEGREX e-H multi-tasking series combines turning centre capabilities with high-powered milling and full 5-axis, making the machine a popular choice for the sector. The INTEGREX e-670H, with an exceptionally large 1050mm swing diameter and bed lengths up to six metres, incorporates a powerful 10,000rpm 37kW milling spindle in a fully contouring B-axis. Machining capability is enhanced further by a fully automatic NC tailstock and steady rest to support long shaft components. Meanwhile a long boring bar 80 Industry Europe

stocker provides a solution for deep hole machining applications, making it ideally suited to meet the demanding requirements of large aerospace applications, such as landing gear struts. The range of different components required by the aerospace sector inevitably means that a one-size-fits-all machine philosophy is impossible. The differences in machining a bulkhead compared to a gear or flap trap inevitably require different capabilities. Our advice is to partner with a machine supplier that can offer the necessary breadth of machines and application support that will enable you to n choose the best machining solution.

VARIAXIS i-1050T


Automation & Robotics

Lifting Experience Founded 165 years ago, Otis remains the world’s leading manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products, including elevators, escalators and moving walkways. Innovation continues to be at the forefront of the company’s strategy – to provide better, safer, greener and more efficient solutions for smart buildings of the future. Romana Moares reports.

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pioneer in its field, Otis is the world’s leading manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products, including elevators, moving walkways and escalators. Its lifts, escalators and walkways are moving people on every continent and its nearly 68,000 employees serve customers in approximately 200 countries and territories. The company has numerous manufacturing units as well as a network of research and engineering facilities and test towers around the world. Creating industry-defining lifts that change the way people move has been one of the factors that has cemented the company’s leading position. Its product range is wide and fully reflects the modern market requirements. The revolutionary Gen2® and cutting-edge SkyRise® systems are two of the latest examples designed to make the most of ambitious plans and carry people in refined safety.

Safe, efficient and green The environmentally-friendly Gen2 elevators set the new standard for performance, reliability, design flexibility and comfort – while reducing costs and energy usage throughout their lifecycle. This technology comes in a variety of solutions, whether new lifts are needed for new or existing buildings, or an upgrade package for older equipment is required.

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Otis’ patented polyurethane-coated steel belts enable a more compact, energy-efficient machine, freeing up valuable building space and reducing operating costs. With all major components located inside the hoistway, the Gen2 system’s streamlined installation process – standard worldwide – has minimal impact on building construction or other trades. The ‘green’ aspect is particularly remarkable – an abundance of excess energy, which is often wasted as heat when an elevator is empty or goes down, is turned by the Otis ReGen™ drives into electricity and the captured power is then fed back into the building’s electric grid for reuse by other building systems such as lighting. Even better, ReGen drives produce ‘clean power’ thanks to low harmonic distortion, which minimises impact on the building’s electrical system and helps protect sensitive equipment. Otis’ most advanced high-rise lift yet is the SkyRise elevator system, combining cutting-edge science and precision engineering to deliver solutions to modern skyscrapers around the world. The SkyRise system is available in a range of speeds, duties and rises to support any high-rise project. The double-deck configuration reduces the number of lift hoistways needed for the building, increasing rentable space by up to 40 per cent. The super double-deck system frees architects to design buildings with floors of different heights. The sys-


Automation & Robotics

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tem automatically adjusts the distance between the upper and lower cars while the lift is moving – without passengers noticing. Otis has been developing new solutions across its whole product range. In order to achieve safe, energy-efficient and environmentally responsible solutions, the company relies on engineering capacities, including those from its local and WHQ engineering teams as well as researchers at the United Technologies Research Center.

Global reach, local presence Otis has manufacturing plants around the world. One of them is located in the Czech Republic in Břeclav, near the Austrian and Slovak borders, and manufactures new escalators, moving walkways and solutions for the modernisation of elevators, escalators and moving walkways. Otis follows in the traditions of the biggest local elevator manufacturer Tranza and became the biggest company in the industry. Otis entered the Czech market in 1991 by acquiring a local lift manufacturer and has become one of the largest companies in its sector in the country. The company has seen particularly dynamic development in its escalator division, especially in the area of escalators designed for heavy-duty operation – such as metros, airports, train stations and so on, with much of the demand coming from Europe. It is not only new escalator equipment, but also elevator and escalator modernisation that form a big part of the business of Otis Breclav.

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Its elevator modernisation solutions using not only Gen2Mod, but also roped and hydraulic systems, can be found all over the world. This very unique focus makes Otis Breclav a key supplier that increases safety, eco-efficiency, smoothness of ride and aesthetic attractiveness. Its sophisticated solutions include the delivery of escalators for new Prague metro stations. Within the scope of this important contract, the Czech Otis production plant delivered its longest escalator to date (for the Petřiny station) with a vertical rise of 38 metres, which corresponds to a total length exceeding 84 metres. Other local projects have included a comprehensive modernisation of all the lifts in Corinthia Towers, one of the most famous hotels in Prague. The local projects, however, represent only a fraction of the Czech factory’s output – most of the escalators are sold in export markets, such as for the London, Stockholm and Paris underground systems or various shopping centres in Germany and other countries. The Otis brand itself is a great asset – it embodies a wealth of experience, know-how and references, technical expertise, engineering services, research capacities, top quality products and a wide range of comprehensive services. Lifts, escalators and moving walkways by Otis have been implemented in thousands of buildings used by people all over the world every day. Otis products have been installed in many of the world’s tallest buildings and the company has been a partner to n the most prestigious of brands.



A clear vision for growth The Italian Righi Group, a leading producer of industrial automation, robotics and renewable energy technology, has three separate subsidiaries under its umbrella. Victoria Hattersley talks to managing director and company founder Mauro Righi about the group’s history, production profile and its plans for growth.

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Automation & Robotics

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he Righi Group, headquartered in Cesena, is focused on the engineering of a wide range of industrial automation solutions, switchboard systems, robotics assembly systems and renewable energy technologies – offering its customers tailored solutions to meet their needs across the entire production process. But this was not always the case: as Mr Righi explains, back in 1991 when he established Righi Elettroservizi SpA, the company’s first electrical plants and panels were made in Mr Righi’s home garage. However, the company quickly grew and over the years it has opened not only two more subsidiaries – Righi Energy and Denken Italia – but also several more branches in Italy as well as abroad, in Germany, Romania, France, Jordan, Iran and Russia. Mr Righi explains: “We gradually made the move into engineering and began investing significant amounts into R&D. Today we have 70 people in our technical department.” In 2015 the Righi Group invested in increased capacity at its head office, with the result that it now has over 18,000m2 of open space, a 7000m2 covered area and a new building facility called ‘Think Tech’, with over 1000m2 of R&D space.

Group production profile Righi Elettroservizi, the original company established in 1991, still accounts for the largest percentage of group sales with an annual turnover of €26 million. This arm of the group is a leading player in the fields of industrial automation, systems integration and information technology. Among other things, it is focused on the production of new switchboards and automated MCC lines. It operates both in Italy and abroad either directly or through controlled companies and partnerships. In 2007 the operations of Tecnoquadri, a company engaged in the production of motor control centres and power centres under the brand TQM Multisystem, was also incorporated into Righi Elettroservizi. Righi Energy, established in the late 1990s, is concentrated on electrical, mechanical, alternative energy and energy efficiency. Energy conservation and sustainability has been an important focus for the group for many years – long before this became a general expectation for manufacturers – and it continues to invest significant amounts in this area. The latest asset acquired by the group in 2014, Storage Energy Esco, has further enhanced its capabilities in energy saving with the introduction of electric storage systems.

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According to the company: “Reducing energy consumption and optimising the functioning of plants that burn fossil fuels such as petrol, coal and natural gas is an absolute priority in order to hand a better world to future generations. Energy saving and in particular the use of renewable energy are the most important levers to reach this essential aim.” Finally, in 2012 the group founded a brand-new company, Denken Italia Srl, which is engaged in the development and manufacture of solutions for material handling and robotics. In this particular area, Mr Righi tells us the company will be investing to develop its capabilities in vision systems, an area of increasing importance thanks to the emergence of Industry 4.0 – the rapidly growing trend for automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. As many of our readers will be aware, this is affecting the entire production chain across all sectors.

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Automation & Robotics

Bespoke service According to Mr Righi, the group’s customers fall into two main categories: producers of automated lines and users of technologies in a wide range of fields including oil & gas, metals and so on. “60 per cent of our production is sold abroad. Although we are mainly concentrated on the European markets we also sell much further afield, through our office in the US, for example.” The Righi Group works with some of the biggest producers in their fields, with major customers including Siemens, ABB, Kuka and more besides, across Europe, Asia and the Americas. One example of a recent customer-specific contract was for the automotive producer FCA North America, for which it installed an automated logistics system in their car assembly workshop. “Our mission is to provide customised systems for our clients. We are a systems integrator and as such we look to support them through every stage of the production process. We are focused on continuing to invest in increasing our skills base in order to help our customers grow and improve their own technologies.”

Future focus Mr Righi tells us that the next few years will see further investments in R&D and expansion into new markets. “For example, we are currently working on an agreement with a company in Holland that will see us establish a firmer presence on that market. We are also looking at expanding into other markets but that’s something I can’t go into any more detail on at the moment.” In conclusion, he states: “The key message we want to give out is that we are an innovative company that wants to support our customers in any way we can to help them remain competitive in their n own markets.”

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Powering ahead

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology products and services for a broad range of manufacturing industries. Bosch India is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group of Germany and is the leading driver of innovative technology throughout the Asia region. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to invest heavily in new plant and research facilities and is setting new standards in mobility solutions, consumer goods and energy and building technologies.

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ince the outset of manufacturing operations in India in 1953, the number of manufacturing sites has grown to 14 along with 7 research, development and application centres that employ over 30,000 people. India is also home to the largest Bosch development centre outside Germany. Recently, in the Indian state of Karnataka, the company completed the construction of a new state-of-the-art fuel injection system plant, which is now playing a major role in the delivery of highly efficient electronic fuel injection systems for a wide range of vehicles.

Driving solar power initiatives The New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) solar project commissioned in late 2017 has resulted in Bosch India providing solar power systems that are equivalent to powering 5000 urban households at the port. At the same time, the new initiative is estimated to help reduce CO2 emissions by more than 4100 tonnes per annum. Bosch told Industry Europe that it is keen to expand its green footprint in India with a clear focus on the country’s seaports. The new 4MW solar project is being executed by the Bosch Energy and Building Solutions (BEBS) team in India. This is a groundmounted installation sited on a land area that extends close to 18 acres. It will deliver up to 20,000 units per day of the port’s total energy consumption needs. The specialised Bosch team in India has leveraged its strong design and engineering expertise in innovating solutions for the PV

(Photovoltaic) Plant, along with NMPT and the solar energy corporation of India, in order to realise this major solar project. The solar plant will also act as the energy gateway for NMPT, as the main metering centre from the electricity grid located at the solar plant itself.

Launching heavy-duty technology Recently Bosch India launched its latest range of ‘Heavy-Duty’ Professional Power Tools designed to deliver unmatched reliability and performance. The new range of Heavy-Duty Power Tools has been engineered to outlast customer expectations and offer them unrivalled power, performance and robustness. Commenting on the launch, Panish PK, regional sales director and business head, India said, “We have noted feedback from our users regarding the performance they want from their tools to match their specific needs. This resulted in an urge to develop a product portfolio that can really fulfil their demands and more.” He further added, “The construction industry is highly demanding and needs sophisticated tools to cope with the heavy load. Bosch Power Tools Heavy Duty Range offers them exceptional solutions to

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complete the job on time and with quality.” Today the Bosch HeavyDuty Power Tools range is the toughest and most reliable on the market and comes with an industry-leading one-year warranty.

Driving electromobility forward Bosch India plans to move into first series production of its electromobility solutions in the Indian market during the first quarter of 2018. The company’s new products will provide end-to-end electrified solutions adapted to the Indian market. Over 40 Indian cities are home to more than one million residents. With growing mobility requirements being greatest in urban sprawls, Bosch foresees electrification as the key to its future growth in India. “Small vehicle segments will drive the transition to mass electrification, as urban dwellers seek a simple and affordable alternative to conventional standards,” said Mr Peter Tyroller, member of the board of management of the Bosch Group responsible for the Asia Pacific region. The company’s latest range of electrified solutions aims to address India’s individual mobility requirements. However, despite the focus on electromobility as a long-term alternative, internal combustion engines will continue to play a major

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role in the near future, with the powertrain of the future being a mix of electromobility and combustion engines. The Central Indian Government’s initiative has set a target to have an all-electric fleet in India by 2030 as well as faster adoption and manufacturing of both hybrid and electric vehicles. This directive offers Bosch a clear competitive edge. Bosch India provides customised solutions that are designed to meet the government’s impending targets. Bosch has already developed integrated electrification systems including motors, control units, battery chargers and displays, as well as developing an app that can power two-, three- and four-wheeled electric vehicles. “There are a lot of vehicles in the Indian automotive market right now that have the scope to be electrified. This makes India a great incubator for an electric future,” said Tyroller. The electrification systems from Bosch India can easily be integrated with any light vehicle. The solution has been made scalable across all performance classes between 0.2520kW. This electrified solution delivers high performance for manufacturn ers even under the most challenging circumstances. For further details of Bosch India’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.boschindia.com



At full speed Cooper Standard, a leading global supplier of systems and components for the automotive industry, is accelerating game-changing advancements in material science to produce environmentally conscious solutions and automotive components that reduce weight, lower emissions and improve vehicle performance. At the same time, the company is increasing its research and manufacturing capabilities worldwide. Romana Moares reports.

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ooper Standard has a long tradition of providing customers with the highest quality and most innovative solutions in sealing systems, fuel and brake delivery systems, fluid transfer systems and anti-vibration systems. Headquartered in Novi, Mich. USA, the group employs more than 30,000 people globally and operates in 20 countries around the world. Products include rubber and plastic seals, fuel and brake lines, fluid transfer hoses and anti-vibration systems. Cooper Standard’s customer base includes the world’s biggest automotive OEMs. The company provides advanced engineering solutions to mitigate vehicle noise vibration and harshness (NVH), and to enhance ride and handling characteristics. It is a top five global supplier of vibration control products for powertrain, chassis and suspension components. Specialising in complete powertrain and body mount systems, its reputation is backed by extensive engineering, analysis and world-class test capabilities to meet the most demanding applications for cost, mass and performance. All the company’s anti-vibration products are developed using a costeffective, technology-focused approach, with a focus on providing system solutions to meet the most demanding customer requirements and vehicle specific characteristics.

At the forefront Its focus on innovation has been one of the factors that has hoisted the company to its position and remains an utmost priority today. To help customers meet the demands of the evolving auto industry and non-automotive adjacent markets, Cooper Standard recently opened a new Global Technology Centre in Livonia, Michigan. The new facility offers capabilities in material science, tooling, development, production and validation, consolidating the company’s innovation and development teams under one roof with the expertise to take products from material development to production reality. Cooper’s innovative contribution was awarded in October last year when the company was named as a finalist in the 2018 Automotive News PACE Awards for its Fortrex™ lightweight elastomeric material. The new class of material is providing game-changing advances in weight reduction and enhanced performance in automotive sealing, an area that until now has not experienced significant material innovation in decades. The Fortrex™ material combines the best attributes of EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) and TPV (thermoplastic vulcanizate) materials, which are typically used in sealing, while eliminating

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their negative aspects. Fortrex™ offers weight savings of up to 30 per cent versus traditional EPDM, while avoiding the compression set issues associated with TPV, resulting in superior sealing systems and reduced cabin noise. It does not weather or bloom like EPDM and can be accurately colour-matched. Fortrex™ is non-conductive and has a remarkably low carbon footprint across the entire material and production chain. In addition, Fortrex™ is a dynamic material platform that can be modified for an endless list of applications and performance solutions within automotive and related markets. In addition to technological innovation, Cooper Standard is committed to ecological and environmental improvement and its continuous research programme is designed to improve the company’s overall carbon footprint. Cooper Standard’s extensive research and development department is clearly focused on research that is directed towards improving products in ecological terms, as well as in terms of better performance and more competitive pricing.

to increase. The prototype centre focuses on material science development and prototyping new technologies. The test centre will concentrate on validation and testing, both designed to support the regional research and development centre. The recent investment demonstrates Cooper’s commitment to further strengthening its position. Technological leadership, combined with broad product expertise and capabilities, high quality global resources, as well as its customized set of global best practices designed for quality and lean initiatives, are solid foundations on n which Cooper can build as a top global automotive supplier.

Committed to growth In the last few years, the Cooper Standard has been significantly increasing its global technical capabilities as well as its manufacturing presence. In addition to its new innovation centre in Livonia, it is investing $1 million to expand its manufacturing facility for coolant tube and hose assemblies, transmission cooling lines, and fuel and brake lines at Surgoinsville, Tennessee, in response to customer growth. Focusing on China, Cooper Standard has accelerated its business development programme in the Asia Pacific area in recent years. In a bid to further boost its presence in Asia, currently consisting of 17 plants with nearly $600 million in revenue and about 5300 employees, the company recently opened test and prototype centres in Shanghai. The test and prototype centres are located about 30 miles from the firm’s regional headquarters in Shanghai, also the home of its regional technical centre. Currently, the two centres combined employ about 50 engineers, but that number is expected

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Digital connectivity – the future of caravanning The Erwin Hymer Group is a world leader in the design and manufacture of luxury motorhomes and caravans. The company has consistently managed to remain at the forefront of technological change in the industry. Challenges facing the sector have never been greater, with digital technology driving dramatic change in levels of safety and efficiency. Philip Yorke reports.

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he Erwin Hymer Group was founded in Germany over 50 years ago in Bad Waldsee, Germany. In 1961 Erwin Hymer built his first motorhome for a renowned German engineer, which was to set new industry standards in comfort and style. Hymer called this first prototype the Caravano. Since then the company has gone from strength to strength. Today the Group unites the leading motorhome and caravan manufacturers as well as motorhome and caravan accessory specialists, with hire and financing services all under one roof. With a turnover well over €2 billion, the group sold around 55,000 recreational vehicles in the 2016/17 financial year, supported by a workforce of more than 6000 people worldwide.

Pioneering autonomous driving The European motorhome industry continues to grow and is therefore fertile ground for new developments. Currently the Erwin Hymer research teams in North America are intensely focused on the issue of self-driving vehicles. What sounded like a utopian vision only a few years ago will soon become reality. The first fully self-driving motorhomes from Hymer should be available from 2030 onwards. The Erwin Hymer Group was the first company in the world to be permitted to test its self-drive vehicles on a public road. The initial research on test tracks has now been followed by first tests

on public roads. Experts have defined five levels of autonomous driving. The three autonomous driving levels that have already reached market maturity are referred to as partial automation. The technology required for levels four and five is currently being tested. Level four includes systems such as driverless, automated city buses, or driving with the assistance of an autopilot system on the motorway. Driving becomes fully automated at level five. At this level the driver simply has to set the destination and the system will then automatically deal with all traffic situations throughout the entire journey.

Connectivity-based leisure The Erwin Hymer Group believes the future of caravanning is ‘connected’, whether it is for access to a campsite database, route information whilst travelling, or being able to control alarm systems via a smartphone. It would appear that motorhome drivers have clear expectations when it comes to the next stages of development. “We want to offer our customers unparalleled leisure time and touring experiences,” said Jan de Haas, member of the Erwin Hymer Group Management Board. “These days connectivity-based services are almost compulsory. The most important thing is that they have to represent a clear additional value for the user. Unnecessary applica-

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tions and gimmicks have a negative impact on user experience; we are therefore concentrating on the essential.” With the right digital features it is acknowledged that connectivitybased travelling will change caravanning in many ways. These technological innovations are designed to make life easier for people by offering increased comfort and safety. Today it only takes a few clicks to book a pitch online, check the water and wastewater levels or to control the locks, the heating and the lighting. Monitoring features such as smartphone alerts when there is a gas leak, provide additional safety. Driver assistance systems such as surround cameras, traffic jam assistants or an autopilot promise an even more relaxed driving experience.

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“Above all, connectivity should make touring a more relaxing experience. People now have more time to spend on leisure pursuits, such as health-related activities, communicating or infotainment. The technology must be used in such a way as to make caravanning as relaxing as possible,” added de Haas.

Exploring new horizons Recently the Erwin Hymer Group acquired the Explorer Group Ltd, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of motorhomes and caravans. This strategic acquisition strengthens the presence of the Erwin Hymer Group in Europe’s second largest market. The company is


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placing its trust in the existing management team at Explorer and the UK company will change its name to the Erwin Hymer Group UK Ltd. With a motorhome market share of 11 per cent and touring caravan market share of 17 per cent, the Explorer Group is one of the three leading manufacturers in the UK. “Since 2012, our SoLiD construction method has revolutionised the production process and resulted in a product that is stronger, lighter and free from water ingress,” said Rob Quine, Managing Director of Erwin Hymer UK Ltd. The Erwin Hymer Group is already represented in the UK today by the Burstner, Carado, Dethleffs, Eriba, Hymer, Laika and Sunlight brands. The company says that the new Erwin Hymer Group company will provide an ideal starting point to strengthen and further expand its market presence in the UK with a local manufacturing base. “By acquiring the Explorer Group Ltd, we are strengthening our involvement in the UK. As the leading European manufacturer, we see strategic opportunities in the second largest European caravanning market,” said Martin Brandy, CEO of the Erwin Hymer Group n AG &Co. KG. For further details of the Erwin Hymer Group’s latest products and services visit: www.erwinhymergroup.com Industry Europe 101


With its three divisions – Sampierana undercarriages, Eurocomach and U/C Spare Parts – the Sampierana Group is a top ranking manufacturer of undercarriages, spare parts and machinery for the construction and earth moving sectors. Mr Mosconi, sales director, explained to Barbara Rossi how his company is particularly able to listen to its customers and respond to their needs.

The undercarriage experts

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he roots of Sampierana SpA go back to 1950, when Aleardo Para set up the company as an agricultural and earth moving machines repair workshop. In 1974 his two sons, Moreno and Cesare, joined the company, in which they are still involved today; two years later, Sampierana became an authorised Berco undercarriage components dealer. A further development came in 1984, when it started manufacturing ‘Sampierana’-branded crawler undercarriages, an activity which is still one of its core businesses. Further milestones were reached in 1993 when Eurocomach (which Sampierana had acquired the previous year) started designing and manufacturing 102 Industry IndustryEurope Europe

articulated wheeled loaders, mini-excavators and skid-loaders with increasing success, and in 1998, when the group achieved the ISO 9001 certification for all of its divisions. Since the turn of the millennium Sampierana has been broadening the boundaries of its work, continuously developing new products and widening its distribution network, whilst at the same time keeping its strong link with the area in which it is based and the earth moving sector. Sampierana SpA is located in San Piero a Bagno, in the Forlì-Cesena area of north-eastern Italy, where it occupies a 90,000m2 area (12,000 of which are covered) employing 160 people (15 of whom are dedicated


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to design and R&D). The synergy existing among the three divisions of the group allows a transfer of skills amongst technicians and mechanics, as well as a more widespread service network.

Sampierana Undercarriages The growth of Sampierana as an undercarriage manufacturer started with the production of undercarriages for special machinery which required extendable undercarriages to ensure high performance in terms of sturdiness and stability, while allowing for ease of transport. Since 1984 it has been designing and producing side frames, crawler undercarriages with crossbars, fixed crawler undercarriages and extendable crawler undercarriages (of the coaxial, telescopic and parallel extension types). These can be generally mounted on perforation machinery, such as excavators, demolition equipment, cranes, crushers and crawler units with an operational weight ranging from 1 to 400 tonnes. Moreover, it has been offering customised special systems according to clients’ specifications, as well as over one hundred standard models. Thanks to more than 40 years of experience in the earth moving sector, today Sampierana is one of the world leaders in the crawler undercarriage manufacturing industry and is able to offer a comprehensive range of products and solutions fulfilling the needs of any application, including those with special requirements. Because of the competence and skills developed over the years by its technicians, an undercarriage is no longer an assembly of components, but a machine designed for a purpose.

ment (ranging from perforation to lifting, and also including demolition and maintenance of green spaces) on which manufacturers with different sector specialisms can build their machinery. There is also Geo-service, a satellite control system, which Eurocomach makes available as a standard on many of its models and as an optional on others. Geo-service is able to continuously monitor the position, state and main functional conditions of the work machines. Moreover, thanks to this system it is possible to exactly ascertain maintenance needs and ensure visits from technicians for non-routine work, while knowing in advance the nature of the issue and the location of the machine. In this way production is optimised and machine downtime is reduced, while the machine lifespan is extended and costs are cut. Furthermore, the fact that the location of the machine is continuously known increases security against thefts and frauds in the machine hire sector. Thanks to the experience acquired through these two divisions (Sampierana undercarriages and Eurocomach) and to its 40 years’ experience as a Berco dealer (of which the group is particularly proud) in 2008 Sampierana SpA decided to create its own line of undercarriage parts in collaboration with reliable partners and employing continuous production

Eurocomach and U/C Spare Parts As mentioned, in 1992 Sampierana acquired an Italian company already renowned for the manufacturing of small articulated backhoe loaders, and decided to improve and broaden its range. This is how the Eurocomach brand was born. The chosen name already conveys the will of the Para brothers to broaden their entrepreneurial activity beyond the national borders. In fact, Eurocomach is short for European Construction Machinery and, while at the time the name might have appeared as being a bit ambitious, over the years it has proven to be the right choice. Thanks to the construction of the new plant and the achievement of the ISO 9001 certification, Eurocomach became ready to wholly design and manufacture a new range of products at its premises, to respond to essential market needs. Today it designs and manufactures mini excavators, skid loaders and articulated backhoe loaders ranging from 10 to 70 CV and from 1000 to 10,000kg. Its wide range is continuously updated and developed to fulfil the changing needs of its customers and different markets. All its mini excavators are short radius or zero tail, the engines of its skid loaders are regularly improved and two new skid loader models will soon be added to the range. The division also regularly takes part in all the main sector fairs, such as Bauma Munich, ConExpo USA and Intermat Paris, amongst others. Despite the crisis affecting important markets, including Italy, in recent years Eurocomach has experienced significant growth and now exports over 70 per cent of its production. Eurocomach also offers a special platform (ESP - Eurocomach Special Platform) which functions as a basis for any type of equipIndustry Europe 103


control processes. This was the beginning of U/C Spare Parts, which was set up to be able to respond to the requests of an increasingly demanding market and fulfil the needs of a wider range of clients. For the same reason in 2009 the company created the rubber track range, which gradually became a reference point in terms of performing, highquality products of this type. Today the two-arrowed logo of Sampierana U/C Spare Parts - a synonym for quality, competence and reliability appears on an increasingly wider range of components, representing a valid alternative in a market with a vast offer, but where not all products offer value for money. “As well as offering spare parts for the products of the other two divisions, U/C Spare Parts supplies its clients with own brand undercarriage spare parts, with more than 10,000 products in stock. The product range is a continuous work in progress, combining market strategies with customers’ needs. For clients Sampierana SpA is a valid partner focused on listening and responding to their needs,” Mr Mosconi explained. “Today our aim is that of consolidating existing markets and finding new ones. For this reason, alongside trying to improve and widen the range of products on offer, Eurocomach is implementing its own spare

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parts warehouse to make order processing more efficient and effective, as well as optimising delivery times and costs, so as to be able to offer customers the world over the best possible service. “In terms of market segments, for years the undercarriage division of the group has focused its production mainly on collaboration with large perforation specialist OEMs (such as Soilmec, Casagrande, Abi and Reichdrill, amongst others). The construction and earth-moving sectors are the main segments served by Eurocomach, but the field of application of its products is wide, thanks to the flexibility of the Sampierana Group and its ability to listen and respond to customer needs.” Geographically, the group has a widespread consolidated presence in many European countries, particularly Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland and Russia (plus Scandinavia). Oceania is also a market which responds very well. In terms of development, currently efforts are mainly channelled into entering and developing the South American and Canadian markets. “The US has also become an object of increasing attention. Shortly our products will become available there, thanks to the fact that we are making our engines compliant with the current local legislation.”



Recognising

supplier excellence The ZF Group is the global leader in the design and manufacture of driveline and chassis technology for cars and commercial vehicles. The company continues to pioneer automotive drive-chain technology and autonomous driving, setting new standards for the industry. Unrivalled innovation is achieved in collaboration with its key suppliers. Each year the suppliers that go the extra mile are recognised by the company’s coveted ZF Supplier Awards.

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

Recognising the best of the best Supplier innovations and a global presence are strategically important to the ZF Group and in 2017 seven companies were honoured to receive the coveted ZF Global Supplier Award. For the first time a prize has been awarded for partner companies in the digitalisation sector. At the Global Supplier Summit, seven of ZF’s suppliers received prizes spread over four different categories for their outstanding performance. Wilhelm Rehm, a member of the ZF board of management and responsible for materials management among other areas, said: “Innovation and financially sound suppliers with a global name are the backbone of our company’s success. In the midst of the global megatrend for advancing digitalisation and increasing electro mobility, ZF is pursuing Vision Zero (the reduction of road accidents and emissions) with passion. ZF needs a supplier base with an inter-

national production structure for the new products and commodities that result from Vision Zero. Reliability and quality are the most important aspects here.” In 2017 around 300 ZF specialists and executive managers, along with representatives from the company’s most important key suppliers, met at the Global Supplier Summit at the ZF Forum in Fredrichschafen, Germany, the corporate headquarters of the group. The event was an opportunity to share knowledge and discuss strategies on purchasing and logistics. The ZF management team also used the event to honour its most outstanding suppliers. The high-tech company gave a supplier award in the digitalisation category for the first time. The winner was Gefasoft GmbH: an IT company from Munich that leads in online data exchange. The company won over the jury with its transparent presentation of information, which boosts the efficiency of processes. Together with ZF, Gefasoft developed a platform to digitally visualise and optimise work processes within production. This increases responsiveness in production and improves capacity utilisation for data systems.

Going the extra mile Three companies won an award in the Production Materials category this year. The Hella Group, which supplies ZF with sensors and other elements and entered into a strategic partnership with ZF

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in the summer, scored points because of its technological leadership and the amazing support it provides for engineering. The family firm, from Lipstadt, Germany, is listed on the stock exchange and represented in 125 locations across 35 countries worldwide. Another winner that went the extra mile in this category was Ningbo Sunny Automotive Opotech. The company belongs to the Chinese Sunny Optical Technology Group. Sunny is the world’s biggest camera lens manufacturer and a strategic partner for the manufacture of many ZF automotive components, including those in the LIDAR technology sector. Yet another prize-winner was the French company Lisa Automotive, which supplies ZF with anchorage systems and forming technology. It is also a strategic development partner for ZF and is the prize-winner in the Production Materials sector.

The Polish special-purpose machine manufacturer Pemes Sp. won an award for Non-Production Material. This company is headquartered in Warsaw and has a global network of cooperation partners. It supported the Active and Passive Safety Technology division of ZF in establishing an innovative and cost-effective airbag production process. The second award winner in this category was the Kempten-based logistics company Dachser. This company is a global leader in system logistics and has a tight global network. The award in the Innovation category went to the Spanish Instituto Technologico de Aragon. This technology centre from Zaragoza advises ZF on matters related to innovative engineering and made a considerable contribution in revamping the technological processes within the group, in particular for the virtual development of a new brake system.

Expanding autonomous driving horizons Today ZF is expanding its development competences in the autonomous driving field. On 1 December 2017, 20 developers from an automotive engineering company in Kosching, in upper Bavaria, became part of the ZF Group and now work for ZF’s subsidiary, Zukunft Ventures, under the name ‘Zukunft Mobility’. The new automotive engineering company specialises in the development of functions for driver assistance, integrated vehicle safety and autonomous driving. Its employees include computer scientists, physicists and software developers, who have many years of experience in the automotive industry. They will be working on developing these functions for the future, particularly in the sensor and software development sectors. “The expansion of our capabilities and skills in software and algorithm development is extremely important to ZF, as it enables us to offer our 108 Industry Europe


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customers intelligent mechanical systems,” said ZF’s CEO Dr Stephan Sommer. “With these developers, we have an experienced and competent team, and together we can work on the future of the automobile industry. In terms of our ‘See-Think-Act’ claim we are strengthening the ‘Think’ element by making the intelligent connection between what is happening in the vehicle and subsequently how it should act.” For ZF, the development of functions, systems and algorithms for autonomous and automated driving will be at the forefront of its future activities. This could include, for example, environmental detection of vehicles or objects for automated parking scenarios.

when compared to conventional drum-in-hat park brakes. This can lead to enhanced fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions; and by eliminating the park brake lever or pedal, it also frees up space in the n interior cabin and activates at the touch of a button.” For further details of ZF’s latest innovative products and services, visit: www.zf.com

First HD electric park brake Recently ZF launched the world’s first heavy-duty electric park brake for the Ford Motor Company’s F-150. This marks the first launch of a heavy-duty electric park brake system in North America for larger light trucks. In Atlanta, Georgia, the Ford Motor company has bought the fuel economy, enhanced packaging and diverse functions of electric park brake (EPB) technology, with this first-to-market introduction of heavy duty EPB on the 2018 Ford F-150. “The electric brake is a remarkably versatile technology that is ideal for larger light vehicles,” said Manfred Meyer, senior vice-president for global braking. “For example, it can result in weight savings of up to 20 pounds or more for commercial vans, larger trucks and SUVs

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Investing in growth Cooper Standard Automotive Czech Republic s.r.o., based in Žďár nad Sázavou, is the largest European production plant of Cooper Standard Automotive, the global producer of systems and components for the automotive industry. The group restructuring, initiated two years ago, has brought positive changes for the Czech subsidiary – in 2017 the company commissioned a new factory and capacity is set to further increase. Romana Moares reports.

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and non-utilised capacity in western Europe, including Germany and France. Cooper’s global leaders confirmed that a healthy European business was also essential to ensuring that Cooper Standard is properly positioned to support its local and global customers.

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ooper Standard, headquartered in Novi, Michigan, USA, is a leading global supplier of systems and components for the automotive industry. The company is a leader in gamechanging advances in material science to produce green solutions and automotive components that reduce weight, lower emissions, enhance design and improve vehicle performance for customers. Products include rubber and plastic sealing, fuel and brake lines, fluid transfer hoses and anti-vibration systems. Cooper Standard employs more than 30,000 people globally and operates in 20 countries around the world. In 2015, the group launched an extensive programme to restructure its European manufacturing footprint based on current and anticipated market demands. The aim was to further improve Cooper Standard’s European capability by removing excess capacity, improving cost structure and shifting some production to its Eastern European facilities. Actions include consolidation of operations to improve efficiencies and closure or downsizing of certain facilities with high costs

Growing plant The restructuring activities have significantly boosted the position of Cooper Standard Automotive Czech Republic, the group’s biggest production facility in Europe. Launched in 1998 under the name of Siebe Controls C. R., the company, based in Žďár nad Sázavou, started to operate as Cooper Standard Česká republika s.r.o. in 2001. The plant is part of the Metallic group, which includes factories in Germany (Schelklingen, Grünberg a Hockenheim), France (Creutzwaldu) and another Czech subsidiary in Turnov. In 2007, the production area was extended by 7000 square metres to 18,000 square metres. Key technologies include metal and plastic pipe bending and assembly equipment and final product assembly lines containing thousands of machines operating under strict emission limitation regimes. Raw materials, including the steel and plastic pipes, are supplied mainly from the group’s sister companies. The plant manufactures a variety of automotive components including fuel systems, brake systems, fluid transfer systems, valves and others. Industry Europe 111


As the third largest provider of fluid transfer systems in the world, Cooper Standard’s products control, sense and deliver fluids and vapours for optimal powertrain and HVAC operation. The portfolio of fluid transfer products addresses the full spectrum of temperature requirements, while offering weight reduction, abrasion resistance, corrosion protection and finished assembly aesthetics. By rigorously monitoring the safety, fuel efficiency and emission standards and regulations the company is a step ahead of its competitors. The customer base includes practically all car makers in Europe and some companies in Asia and North America.

Increased capacity, stronger position As a result of the group restructuring, Czech production capacity has been significantly boosted. In the autumn of 2017, the company launched a new factory, built on a greenfield site some 30km from the older plant. Although the new factory will copy the portfolio of the existing plant, the focus will be different: while the factory in Žďár nad Sázavou, now employing over 1000 people, makes primarily plastic brake and fuel systems, the new plant will house the production of components made from metal. The investment, estimated to be worth some CZK 1bn (€37m) was started in 2016 and the first hall was completed within over a year. Cooper Standard is expected to create about 450 new jobs at the production facility. The project is scheduled to be fully completed by 2020, according to Jan Barák, the chief executive of Cooper Standard’s Czech subsidiary. In the first phase of the investment, i.e. by the end of 2017, the new factory took on some 200 people. Customers of the Czech Republic’s Cooper subsidiary encompass all Jaguar factories (including the recently opened plant in

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Slovakia), PSA, Opel, Renault, Daimler as well as the Volkswagen Group. New cusomers include Audi and Porsche. The company achieved a turnover of CZK 3.5 billion last year and is set to grow further. The second stage of extension is already under way. The development of Cooper Standard Automotive Czech Republic will follow the group’s strategy of strengthening its position on a global scale. In the recent past, the company has met or exceeded its growth goals and is now poised for a future of growth as a top n global automotive supplier.


chemicals, petrochemicals and offshore

Excellence through innovation Nuova Solmine is an Italy based chemicals company, focused mainly on the production of sulphuric acid and oleum. Barbara Rossi talks to Antonella Mansi, the company’s sales director, about its dedication to excellence and continued technological innovation.

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uova Solmine is a leader in both its domestic market and other Mediterranean markets when it comes to the production and commercialisation of sulphuric acid and oleum. In addition to this, the company produces demineralised water, steam and electricity. It belongs to the Solmar Group, a major player in the Italian chemical sector. “Our policy has always been focused on achieving excellence, starting with production. For this reason, we employ a certified Integrated Management System, guaranteeing quality, environmental standards, health & safety, and social responsibility. Over the years we have obtained the following certifications: EMAS, Responsible Care Programme, UNI EN ISO 14001, UNI 10617, OHSAS 18001, UNI EN ISO 9001, UNI 14001, SA8000 and UNI CEI EN ISO 50001. This translates into Nuova Solmine products which are not only suitable for multiple

types of industrial production, but also perfectly fulfil the most demanding health & safety and environmental requirements. This approach is implemented and monitored throughout the whole supply chain to guarantee customers the best product accompanied by the best service, fully complying with current legislation to ensure the quality of the end-of-line production processes and thus of our made-in-Italy promise,” Ms Mansi explains.

Production capacity Nuova Solmine has two plants for sulphuric acid and oleum production. The main one is in Scarlino, near the southern Tuscan town of Grosseto, while the other facility – featuring a lower production capacity – is in the Alessandria area of north-western Italy. The latter works is the only plant in Italy carrying out the thermal treatment of solid and liquid sulphur-conIndustry Europe 113


taining waste and the regeneration of spent sulphuric acids. Its location and the fact that it is served by major roads place it in a strategic position to serve the production facilities of the main Italian companies employing these products in their processes. “Because of our activity, my company has a strong focus on research and development, with the aim of continuously improving its own processes, starting with actual production. In line with this, our policy is that of constantly investing in research.” Talking about the main sectors served by her company, Ms Mansi explained, “Sulphuric acid has a wide range of applications, both at industrial level and in the laboratory, such as fertiliser manufacturing, minerals treatment, chemical synthesis, oil refining, sulphanations in organic chemistry, waste water treatment, inorganic acid production and applications in the metals and steel industry. Furthermore, it is used in the food industry (sugar refineries, distilleries, etc.), tanneries, textile factories, paper mills, cleansing products, car battery production, pharma, paints and pigments, herbal medicine, glass making, resins and plastic materials.” In addition to the national market, where the company is the leader, exports are also an important contributor to turnover. The Mediterranean basin is particularly significant (France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria,

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Tunisia, Israel, Turkey and Greece) but other countries are also important. In fact, a significant proportion of sales are generated in Portugal and South America, where sulphuric acid has a key role in metal working processes and fertiliser production. Alongside producing its own sulphuric acid, the company commercialises significant volumes supplied from various production sites, some of which are based abroad. “We are implementing important investments in logistics optimisation which, in the next few years, will allow us to be continuously active on long-haul routes. In particular, we are planning to install tanks with a capacity of up to 20,000 tonnes in nearby Piombino harbour and a new large stocking facility for our raw material: sulphur. In the next few years these two elements will allow us to improve our competitiveness. At the same time, we are paying a lot of attention to the way the markets are developing in order to be ready to spot possible new opportunities.”

Technological innovation and international presence In terms of future development, Nuova Solmine is mainly working on organic growth, but this does not exclude possible acquisitions in line with its strategy of business diversification logic. “This means that we


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will concentrate our efforts on our core activities, but this does not stop us from taking other steps. We are already involved in two challenges: technological innovation and the internationalisation of our activity; therefore, we will strive towards being increasingly more technologically advanced and growing our international presence.”

Partnerships All-round reliability, including quality and service, is the main factor employed when selecting a supplier. In addition to this, suppliers

have to fulfil all the requirements discussed earlier when talking about the Integrated Management System. Of course, being competitive on the market also comes into play. “In our work we tend to create partnerships both with our customers and our suppliers, in view of the sensitive nature of our activities and the strategic impact deriving from the optimisation and improved efficiency of the supply chain. This translates into achieving great added value for all parties involved, which actually increases the fulfilment of the standn ards expected in our commercial relations.”

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chemicals, petrochemicals and offshore

In high gear Czech CASALE PROJECT, a engineering company providing a comprehensive set of design, engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning management services for nitrogen fertiliser production and other related projects, has significantly boosted its market position under a new owner. The company now expects new projects to further support its growth.

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ASALE PROJECT, a Czech specialist in industrial projects related to nitrogen fertiliser production plants, has undergone a major change: since mid-2016 the company has been fully owned by the Swiss CASALE HOLDING, a chemical holding and technology licence holder operating worldwide. This has helped to transform CASALE PROJECT, which until then had to buy technology licences for individual production projects from external suppliers, into a major global producer of the above-mentioned commodity.

Optimum solution The company, the history of which goes back (under various names) to the early 1950s, continues to draw on the expertise and professional skills of its employees. With a major focus on engineering and deliveries of nitrogen fertiliser production lines and related technologies, the company’s core business covers activities related to production of nitric acid, ammonium nitrate and urea. “Our extensive experience allows us to design plants meeting the highest of customer requirements, not only from the point of view of built-up area utilisation but also in terms of cost savings based on optimising distances between individual technological units and their layout, as well as the best possible piping and cabling arrangement. The result is an optimum solution without the need to compromise between the level of investment, required capacity, smooth technological flow and the quality of each plant’s final products,” says section manager Petr Platovský. In addition to providing the highest level of technical design and the latest and most progressive technolo-

gies, the company also puts great emphasis on the highest work safety standards during both the implementation of all project stages and during the actual operation of the production lines.

Stronger together The crucial moment in the company’s recent history came in 2014, when CASALE HOLDING bought a 60 per cent of stake in the former CHEMOPROJECT NITROGEN (CHPN). The stake gradually increased to 100 per cent in 2016, after which the company was restructured and renamed to clearly indicate its connection not only to the parent company but also to CASALE SA, a sister company within CASALE HOLDING. The Swiss owner, a leader in the development and sale of its own licences, was established in 1921 as an ammonium producer and only two years later developed its own ammonium production technology. Since then a number of other technologies have been developed with a view to acquiring a complete portfolio of its own technological licences, ranging from natural to synthetic gas treatment and production of ammonia, methanol, urea and melamine to technologies for the production of nitric acid, ammonium nitrate and combined fertilisers. With this capability and the availability of the complete chain of technological licences, CASALE PROJECT a.s. has become a member of a strong group, capable of meeting comprehensive customer requirements. The close cooperation with its Swiss sister company and the group synergies this has opened up, covering all aspects from Industry Europe 117


Rotex Europe Since 1844, Rotex has been an innovative pioneer in the technological development of screening machines for dry separation from size analysis to conveying, screening and separating. Rotex’s Gyratory Reciprocating screening motion is an efficient alternative to traditional vibratory screening equipment. Unlike standard vibratory machines, Rotex screening motion features low angle, long stroke and gyratory reciprocation

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motion. Additionally, Rotex utilises precise screen openings allowing for accurate particle size distribution for increased accurate screening and efficiency. Depending on your application requirements based on material, flow characteristics and capacity; Rotex’s industrial separation equipment screening solutions can be tailored to meet your needs and are suitable for a wide range of processing industries. These include: Agriculture, Foods, Chemicals, Fertilisers, Minerals, Recycling and more.


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research through engineering to installation and commissioning, have brought the Czech company new prospects for future development and extended the scope of services provided within EP, EPCm and EPC projects, significantly boosting its international presence.

Prestigious references Mr Platovský stresses the key role of reliable and trustworthy business partners. “As a general contractor we often work closely with major technology suppliers, such as Arvos, Oschatz, MDT, Mitsubishi Corporation, Hitachi, Kralovopolska, Lointech, Kelvion, KPS, Welders, Hamon, Fans, Sulzer, JLS, Renetra and Flowserve; suppliers of electrical components such as Siemens, ABB, Global Business, Power Energo; suppliers of I&C systems such as Emerson, Yokogawa, Honeywell, Schneider Electric and Endress Hauser; and a number of suppliers of piping and valves, such as AZ Armaturen, Armatury Group, FEBE, Moravia and many others.” He also points out that the change in ownership has had no impact on the company’s ongoing projects concluded earlier. For example, last year, still under the CHPN brand, it completed a number of projects including a large-capacity urea production unit in the Russian Federation and a urea production plant in Slovakia. This year, the company is planning to hand over a modernised urea plant for the Romanian Azomures. The new owner has nevertheless opened up opportunities in new markets. “In early 2015, with the participation of our major stakeholder, we signed a significant contract with Norwegian YARA for the delivery of a new unit for nitric acid production in the Swedish

town of Köping,” says the Section Manager. “The project is now in the final completion stage and will be handed over to the customer soon. This will become the tenth unit for nitric acid production successfully completed by our company (both under the previous and current names) within the last ten years.”

The right partner The company is currently working intensively with CASALE SA in project design, procurement, expert inspections and deliveries of selected types of technology sets and equipment for the ongoing EPC contract for the construction of a new nitric acid production plant in Uzbekhistan, and is involved in the design of a large urea production complex in Russia. “Our recent successes include a contract with a major Russian partner for the delivery of licences and documentation for a new large-capacity nitric acid and granulated ammonium nitrate production unit,” says Mr Petr Platovský. “With regard to increasing demand for nitrogen fertilisers and a continuing interest in this commodity, we hope that as a result of the high quality, our designers’ skills, long-term experience in large-scale industrial plant implementation, supported by a long list of prestigious references, as well as the current cooperation with CASALE SA, our sister company CASALE PROJECT a.s. is the right company to meet demanding customers’ requirements. I believe that our proven track record, together with our current capability, will ensure the n company’s further growth and successful development.”

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Chemical synergy Two years on from its acquisition by Huntsman Corporation, Italian systems house Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri is going from strength to strength. While retaining its core values, expertise and focus, the business is exploiting the opportunities that arise from being part of a bigger group.

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untsman Tecnoelastomeri is a manufacturer and marketer of polyurethane-based, hot-cast elastomer systems and processing machines. In 2015, the company was acquired by global chemical giant Huntsman, which operates more than 100 manufacturing and R&D facilities in approximately 30 countries and employs around 15,000 associates within five distinct business divisions. Huntsman’s chemical products are sold worldwide to manufacturers serving a broad and diverse range of consumer and industrial end markets.

Two pillars Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri has two key businesses – the company produces high-technology elastomer systems, from which it is possible to create a variety of everyday industrial items such as wheels, rollers, seals and general technical parts, and also a range of CASTECH® machines that can be used to efficiently cast compact polyurethane elastomers and microcellular elastomer foams from all types of isocyanate and chain extender combinations. “Very few companies offer what Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri does,” says Andrea Ghermandi, Tecno Commercial Manager at Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri. “The company is one of the only high-performance elastomer producers that can provide innovative hot-cast materials – including tailor-made formulations – alongside a complete casting

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equipment solution. Customers really appreciate this holistic approach. Conversations typically start with technical discussions to agree specific elastomer material requirements. Then, talk progresses to equipment decisions, plant set-up and manufacturing best practice.” Since the acquisition two years ago, the company has consolidated its position. “Being part of a larger business significantly boosts Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri’s capabilities – enabling it to produce its TECNOTHANE® systems in other parts of the world. There is also the larger Huntsman sales force that can increase awareness of Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri products. Furthermore, being part of a global corporation means greater access to raw materials and better economies of scale and buying power,” confirms Mr Ghermandi.

Full range of solutions Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri is based in Modena, Italy, but since becoming part of Huntsman, its CASTECH® machines have been installed at the corporation’s European polyurethane headquarters in Everberg, Belgium; at its Auburn Hills site in Michigan, USA; and at its Chemistry R&D Centre in Shanghai, China. “This will increase opportunities for customer collaboration on elastomer-based R&D and innovation projects – putting hot-cast R&D and prototyping capabilities exactly where customers need them,” stated Mr Ghermandi.


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Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri markets its diverse product lines globally under a number of well-known tradenames, including Tecnoelastomeri engineering urethane elastomers, TECNOTHANE® polyurethane systems and CASTECH® polyurethane machines. “TECNOTHANE® hot-cast engineering elastomers are an advanced portfolio of polyurethane-based products. Incredibly versatile, these products provide good chemical resistance and mechanical, dynamic performance, and are the ideal material for the manufacture of robust wheels, seals, rollers, pads and other technical parts needed for heavy-duty industrial applications,” says Mr Ghermandi. In fact, the company offers a full range of solutions for almost every kind of polyurethane elastomer project or task where a material to substitute TDI+Mboca or rubber is required. All Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri materials and machines are produced in Modena – the home of the business and its technical headquarters. Around 60 people are employed in Modena – almost half of whom have a technical background. In terms of TECNOTHANE® MDI systems production, the business has several reactors with up to 12 tes capacity. The Modena plant also has a CASTECH® machine department, which can produce up to 20 machines per year; and an elastomer department, which can produce any kind of elastomer part. This department has the most direct interaction with customers, some of whom want small batches of product, and some of whom want advice on setting up a new production line or developing an elastomer for pre-marketing. The products have wide-ranging use. “Think of an industrial application and it’s likely that you’ll find a high-technology elastomer in use somewhere – normally as the basis for wheels, rollers, seals or general technical parts. Typically, Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri elastomers are used in heavy-duty projects where there is a need for rugged, durable materials, for example in mining or offshore environments. They are 122 Industry Europe

also used in robotic and hydraulic equipment. Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri also produces materials for the automotive industry where there is a need for components that are tough enough to withstand extreme under-hood conditions such as heat, oil, grease and friction. There are many other uses for Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri hot-cast elastomer systems too. With more than 1000 different formulation options available there is a solution for almost every kind of polyurethane elastomer project. The team’s job is to work with individual customers to tease out their requirements and then recommend or tailor-make the polymer that’s best suited to their needs,” he explains.

Trusted partner The list of Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri’s customers is long and varied and includes RÄDER-VOGEL, one of the world’s largest producers of industrial wheels and castors. With help from Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri, RÄDER-VOGEL recently expanded its product portfolio to include extra-large, custom-made wheels. The wheels are being offered under RÄDER-VOGEL’s PEVOTEC® brand – an extensive family of wheels and castors designed for use in extreme operating conditions. Based on a TECNOTHANE® hot-cast polyurethane MDI system, PEVOTEC® castors and wheels are well equipped to handle extreme stress and temperature variations and are ideal for heavy-duty tasks. Customers putting RÄDER-VOGEL’s PEVOTEC® wheels to use include Dango & Dienenthal Maschinenbau GmbH – a leading manufacturer of machines for the filtration and processing of raw materials. Another key Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri customer is ASMA kunststofftechnik PUR – an Austrian company that manufactures and processes polyurethane elastomers, turning them into high wear resistant coatings and technical parts for industrial applications. ASMA


chemicals, petrochemicals and offshore

has worked with the team at Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri since 2005 – using TECNOTHANE® elastomers and CASTECH® machines to create a variety of moulded parts. ASMA’s specialisms include the creation of polyurethane-based transporting and driving wheels, and guiding and diverting rollers. Tailor-made to customers’ needs, these components are typically used in applications where there is a high load capacity or where resistance to abrasion, cuts, and general wear and tear is mission critical. Examples include elevators, commercial vehicles, agricultural machinery or equipment employed in wood and plastics processing plants. Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri has recently expanded its equipment offer, developing the next generation of the CASTECH® LC3000 series. Fitted with a number of new and improved features, the CASTECH® LC3000 series is designed to ease equipment integration and deliver the highest levels of dosing and mixing precision – ultimately enabling the creation of elastomers with maximum performance potential.

Global reach Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri has a very successful business model in place, which is now to be replicated around the world. “At present, most of the business originates from central and northern Europe

but there is also a growing market in China and South Korea. As part of Huntsman’s global operations, Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri is now looking at ways to expand the distribution of its materials and machines in North and South America, in Australia and in other Asia Pacific countries such as Malaysia,” explains Mr Ghermandi. In Europe, Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri has recently forged a partnership with Azelis – a leading distributor and supplier of speciality chemicals. Azelis is now the official distributor of TECNOTHANE® products in France and Benelux. Huntsman and Azelis are long-term partners. The two companies started working together in 1993 and the latest supply agreement builds on an existing arrangement. Azelis already distributes core products from Huntsman’s SUPRASEC® MDI product range across most of Europe. This new distribution deal will enable Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri to consolidate its position in Europe while looking for new opportunities.

Consolidating position Following the acquisition of Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri, Huntsman now offers one of largest portfolios of polyurethane elastomers based on MDI technology. The range includes Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri’s TECNOTHANE® systems and Huntsman’s IROGRAN® TPUs. “These

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materials are sold in the same markets,” Mr Ghermandi points out. “There are many customers that use both materials but there are clear differences between the product lines, which are actually complementary. Customers typically begin new projects with cast polyurethane-based elastomer systems. The cost of moulds and the effectiveness of machines is better where low production numbers are involved. Once a part’s design has been tried and tested, some customers decide to switch to TPU, which can be a more cost-effective option where larger production volumes are concerned.” He further explains that, moving forward, the Huntsman team will cross-sell products from both ranges to customers as and when the opportunity arises and depending on their requirements. In collaboration with Huntsman’s global R&D centres, the Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri team is also busy improving MDI system processability to facilitate customers moving from TDI-Mboca to MDI systems in offshore, mining, automotive and railway applications. “The team is investing in innovation and developing its existing portfolio of high quality, high performance materials and machines, to consolidate and build on its position as a n complete solutions provider in the field of hot-cast elastomers.” Tecnoelastomeri S.r.l. Polyurethane Systems and Machines Via Magellano, 7/9/11 41013 Castelfranco Emilia (MO) ITALY Telephone +39 059 92 07 07 www.tecnoelastomeri.com 124 Industry Europe



Ambition for success The MOL group in Hungary is preparing for a giant investment to extend the petrochemical activities at MOL Petrochemical Ltd’s Tiszaújváros plant in Hungary. The new industrial facility will introduce polyol production while creating hundreds of jobs in Hungary’s most deprived region. Edina Beale reports on the details of this new project.

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chemicals, petrochemicals and offshore

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eadquartered in Budapest, Hungary, MOL Group is a leading integrated oil and gas corporation with operations in over 33 countries and 26,000 staff worldwide. MOL’s exploration and production activities are supported by more than 80 years’ experience in the hydrocarbon field. The group operates four refineries and two petrochemical plants in Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia, while its retail network consists of more than 2000 filling stations in 10 countries across central and south-east Europe.

From crude oil to plastics As part of the integrated Downstream Division of MOL Group, MOL Petrochemicals Ltd, along with the petrochemical unit of SLOVNAFT in Bratislava, develops optimised refinery and petrochemical production processes in accordance with the group’s philosophy ‘from crude oil to plastics’. Established in 1951, MOL Petrochemicals Ltd, formerly known as Tisza Chemical Group plc, holds a leading position in the petrochemical sector in central-eastern Europe. The company engages in the production and wholesale distribution of olefins, petrochemical products and polymer products. It produces and supplies ethylene, propylene and other olefin co-products to chemical and oil companies. It also produces and supplies a range of polymer products,

including low-density polyethylene, unimodal and bimodal highdensity polyethylene, polypropylene copolymers, and homogeneous polymer primarily to plastic processing companies. It exports its products to Italy, Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Romania, Austria and the Czech Republic.

Aid granted for gigantic investment The European Commission has recently found Hungary’s €131 million investment aid to MOL Petrochemical Ltd’s Tiszaújváros plant to be in line with EU State aid rules. This support will contribute to the development of the northern Hungary region, while enabling the group to remain competitive in the single market. Among other things, the investment aid granted by Hungary will support MOL’s plans to invest a total of €874 million to introduce the production of polyols and propylene glycols in its existing plant in Tiszaújváros. Polyol is the main component of polyurethanes, which are used for the production of foams for car seats, dashboards, coatings, adhesives and sealants – amongst many other things. Propylene glycol is primarily used in the production of polymers, but is also used in food processing, personal care products and pharmaceuticals. This new industrial facility will produce an annual total of 200,000 tonnes of propylene oxide, which will be used by MOL to create polyol

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products. The facility will consist of many different units: besides the propylene oxide plant there will be several polyol production lines. Polyurethane plastics made from polyol are used worldwide in the construction, automotive, packaging and furniture industries.

Organic and industrial investment According to the plans outlined in MOL’s 2030 long-term strategy, the group intends to invest around 4.5 billion dollars into the petrochemical segment between 2017 and 2030. The new modern complex of facilities will be built in Tiszaújváros and it will be the largest organic investment project, both for MOL and for the region as a whole, in the next five years. According to Zsolt Hernádi, MOL chairman and CEO, this will not only be a special investment for the chemical industry but also for Hungarian manufacturing as a whole. He said: “The new petrochemical plant will produce 15 per cent of the European polyol production

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with zero emissions, and its production could increase the Hungarian GDP by 70 billion forint per annum. We spend on average 100 billion forint a year on investments. Tiszaújváros plays an important role in the MOL Group, as we have world-class plants here. Thanks to the petrochemical investment we will be able to create the region’s largest chemical conglomerate, and the MOL Group will be the only company in central and eastern Europeto carry our integrated production of this product.”

Plans for new Budapest headquarters In accordance with its ambitious strategy plans for the next 15 years, the MOL group has made the decision to establish a brand-new headquarters that will provide the required working conditions for a multinational group. The new headquarters will be constructed in a new quarter of the XI District in Budapest, and will be named ‘MOL Campus’. The 28-storey building, due to be completed by 2021, will be 120m high.


System 800xA’s Select I/O fundamentally changes automation project execution

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or decades, automation projects have used controller-centric distributed control system (DCS) architectures. Such architectures create a significant number of interdependencies between project tasks that can easily lead to considerable cost overruns and delays should any change orders be implemented. ABB has developed a new I/O family – complete with engineering tools and methodologies – that eliminates this scenario and takes project efficiency to the next level, making over-budget or late automation projects a thing of the past. One example of project interdependency is when a “design freeze” is declared before hardware purchase, which, in turn, has to precede application engineering, and so on. Any changes to the design, like changing I/O types, adding I/O, moving I/O to a different controller, etc., require potentially costly change orders due to the amount of work needed to make changes after design freeze. In response, ABB has developed an extension to the System 800xA family of I/O solutions called Select I/O. Select I/O is a single channel I/O

solution for both process and safety applications that commun cates with the system via a redundant industrial Ethernet I/O network. The Select I/O terminations can be installed and wired in the field early in the project phase, obvia ing the need for space-consuming marshalling cab nets. The signal types can be defined much later by adding individual signal conditioning modules, which reduces the financial impact of any late changes. With the multiple clusters of Select I/O commun cating on a redundant Ethernet network, the I/O can be automatically scanned, configured, and checked in the field in parallel with the application enginee ing being done in the ABB project factory. This paralleling is called “xStream” engineering and includes soft marshalling capabilities that automatically converge the two workstream deliverables – ie, the application engineering project and field I/O configuration – just before final commissioning. The result is that automation is removed from the overall project critical path. Fewer surprises, fewer change orders, earlier commissioning of projects and happier owner-operators is the result. n Industry Europe 133


Tapped into the future

FM Mattsson Mora Group is a leading Nordic manufacturer of taps and bathroom accessories. In the past two years it has undergone a name change – just one part of its ongoing drive to keep up with the evolution in this industry sector.

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reviously known as Ostnor AB, the FM Mattsson Mora Group has been registered under its current name since September 2015. Founded by Frost Matts Mattsson 150 years ago in the village of Östnor, Sweden, the company is today a market leader in the production of taps and accessories. In 1927 a separate company, Mora Armatur, was founded by Mr Mattsson’s son and 75 years later the two were merged to form a joint group in 2003. This was followed by the strategic acquisition of Damixa, Denmark’s leading producer of kitchen, bath and shower fixtures, in 2014. As a result, today the group has three clear and well-established brands under its umbrella: FM Mattsson, Mora Armatur and Damixa. Today, the group has annual sales of over SEK 1 billion and employs over 550 people. It is poised to further strengthen its position in Sweden, expand its market share in other Nordic countries and establish itself as a niche player on selected markets outside this region. In March of this year (2017), the company was listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange. Outside the domestic market, it is active in Germany, Russia, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Australia and Iceland.

Strong brand portfolio FM Mattsson Mora develops and manufactures a wide range of taps and accessories, with the consistent theme of operations being leading-edge technology, high quality, attractive design and eco-

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friendliness. Marketing is carried out through the strong, well-established product brands FM Mattsson, Mora Armatur and Damixa. When it comes to market growth, the company says this is driven by new construction, renovation, conversion and extension, known in Sweden as the ‘ROT’ sector. Mora Armatur is one of the leading brands for product development and marketing of sanitary fittings (kitchen and bathroom taps) in the Nordic region. In the heating, ventilation and sanitation sector it is recognised as an innovator offering products that are elegant and of the highest quality. The group’s oldest roots are through FM Mattsson, Sweden’s most well-established tap brand. Founded in 1865, the company initially made parts of traditional Mora clocks, fine-tooth combs, small bells, brooches and pastry wheels. The company manufactured its first barrel taps and boiler room taps in 1876. Through this brand, FM Mattsson Mora Group supplies hundreds of thousands of mixers every year. This company was the first to introduce ceramic seals, non-freeze garden taps and two world-unique solutions – soft closing single lever mixers and thermostatic mixing valves. “For most people, a mixer is just an attractive interior design feature that supplies water and enhances the interior of a kitchen or bathroom,” says a company spokesperson. “For us who have been working with mixers for over 100 years, it means so much more. We


Construction & ENGINEERING

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value aesthetic qualities both on the inside and the outside. Among other things, that means developing technical solutions that help to save water and energy, thereby improving the environment. To us, aesthetic value means always taking the whole picture into account.” Lastly, Damixa is a leading Danish designer of stylish, functional mixer taps and accessories. Founded in 1931, in 1966 it was the first in Europe to introduce the 1-handle mixer and receives a design award for the unique appeal of its products at least once a year.

Energy efficiency Sustainability is important to FM Mattsson Mora. Given that its main environmental impact arises mainly from its manufacturing, surface treatment and transport activities, its aim is to carry these out with the smallest possible environmental impact. Furthermore, the company is taking a leading role in the phasing out of high-risk substances contained in bathroom products. In 2014, a major step was taken in this direction when Mora introduced a new lead-free brass into its production process. There is also the company’s Ecosafe concept, which is central to the marketing of its products and is based on environmental awareness at all stages of product development, production and distribution. This includes minimising environmental impact in the

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factory, choosing optimal materials and providing energy-smart functions that make the end products eco-friendly and recyclable. For example, the Eco Flow function means that its taps work exactly as usual, but air is mixed into the jet. This limits the water flow, making the mixer very energy-efficient.

Long-term trends Moving forward, FM Mattsson Mora is very aware of the trends within this industry sector that will impact its development. For example, in recent years end customers are having an increasing influence over the choice of their mixer taps, meaning that creating unique, individual designs is becoming a much more competitive factor. Furthermore, when it comes to product development there are many new technologies and materials, such as electronics and polymers, that will need to be taken into account. As with any company in this area, FM Mattsson Mora is also feeling the pressure to adapt as a result of competition from new marketing channels such as the DIY market and the Internet. While these can bring significant opportunities to the company that is able to exploit them, this in itself represents a clear strategic challenge – n but one that FM Mattsson Mora is more than ready to face.


Construction & ENGINEERING

Greener cabling solutions Nexans is the global leader in the development and manufacture of cables and advanced cable systems and solutions. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to set the industry standards through innovation and its clear commitment to facilitating the transition to clean energy and the development of energy networks between countries worldwide.

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exans was founded in Oslo, Norway in 1915 and is part of the multinational Nexans Group of France. The company is a global player in a wide range of key industrial sectors including infrastructure, renewable energy, construction and local area networks (LAN) among many others. In the infrastructure market, Nexans supplies a broad range of products including medium voltage connectors, surge arrestors, cold and hot shrink joints and bushings for transformers and switchgear. For the industrial sector the company offers a complete portfolio of cables and solutions for markets as diverse as automotive, aero-

space, rolling stock, and shipbuilding, as well as for nuclear power, oil & gas and the petrochemical industry. In the building and construction industry Nexans supplies cables and network solutions for public buildings and large industrial complexes. With an industrial presence in more than 40 countries, 120 manufacturing facilities and commercial activities worldwide, the Nexans Group is a leading global player. Today it employs over 25,000 people and in 2016 recorded revenues of more than €8 billion. The Nexans Group is listed on the Euronext stock exchange as well as on the New York stock exchange. Industry Europe 137


Bringing cleaner energy to the world Nexans is building a new state-of-the-art vessel for submarine highvoltage cable installation. This futuristic ship is designed to ensure the safe and efficient transport and installation of cable systems throughout the world. The decision to construct this high-tech vessel forms part of the company’s recently announced initiative to reinforce its manufacturing and installation capabilities. This is in response to the growing global demand for high-voltage cabling systems, with a special focus on interconnectors and offshore wind projects across all five continents. In the face of growing concerns surrounding climate change, energy transition is now a top priority on the international agenda. In order to drive this fundamental shift in the production of global energy production and distribution of cleaner energy, Nexans has announced recently that it has started the construction of a new cutting edge cable-laying vessel for submarine high voltage cable systems installation. “The construction of this new cable-laying vessel is a fundamental milestone in our commitment to cleaner energy,” said Amaud

Poupart-Lafage, Nexans CEO. “For many decades, Nexans has been acting for energy transition and sustainable development. In this next exciting chapter, the cutting-edge technology of the new ship will enable Nexans to support countries in their development of their unlimited potential of renewable power generation,” he added. The new vessel will be built by the Uljanik Group, a Croatia based shipyard with over 160 years of expertise in the construction of all types of specialised vessels. This high capacity addition to the Nexans fleet is designed for the worldwide installation of large volumes of HVAC and HVDC cable systems, even in the most severe weather conditions. The vessel covers the complete Nexans submarine product range and has a 10,000-tonne capacity turntable. The new ship has been designed by the leading consulting agency Skipsteknisk AS and encompasses around 100 years of Nexans’ experience in submarine cable installation, thus taking it to the next level in sustainable power generation.

Europe’s largest on-shore wind power project Nexans’ cables are set to carry green energy to thousands of Norwegian households in the largest on-shore wind-power project in Europe. Norway’s energy sector is set to more than double its wind energy generation capacity in a single move, with the construction of the Fosen Vind Project. Linka AS, the electro-technical contractor for the project, selected Nexans to supply cable for the Roan Wind Farm. This is the first of six such wind farms in Fosen Vind DA’s development project in central Norway, that will become Europe’s largest onshore wind farm project. The first phase is made up of 71 turbines and will have a capacity of 255 MW. When completed, it will provide enough energy for over 170,000 Norwegian households. Nexans will supply over 200 kilometres of TSLF 36kV underground cables to interlink the turbines and to transmit the power to the national grid. Nexans Norway’s head of sales and marketing, Bard Lillehaug, said: “The renewable energy market is an important target area for Nexans. We have supplied cables for the majority of on-shore wind

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farms in Norway and a considerable share of wind farms internationally. The choice of our cable by Linka AS is a very welcome recognition for us.”

Complete installation service Nexans submarine power cables interconnect large wind turbines and complete wind parks, to both local and distant grids. The company oversees the complete installation of medium and high voltage cables from the initial pre-qualification design, to customised production, logistics, installation and testing. Nexan works in close partnership with developers, power utilities, installers and contractors worldwide. Its unrivalled reputation for excellence is based upon its oil and gas submarine energy and telecom cabling expertise and its unique on-shore and offshore cable installation know-how. For further details of the company’s innovative products and services visit: www.nexans.com

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Offering smarter

solar solutions

Palram is a global leader in the manufacture of extruded thermoplastic sheets for solar control applications. The company continues to see strong growth thanks to its advanced solar solutions technology and its on-going commitment to sustainability and protection of the environment. Philip Yorke reports.

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alram was founded in Israel in 1963 and for over 50 years has led the field in the manufacture of semi-finished extruded plastic sheet solar protection products. The company’s broad product portfolio includes flat products, corrugated products, panel systems, speciality products and finished products. Two of Palram’s bestknown international brands are Sunglaze® and Suntuf Rooflights®. The company operates eight state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities strategically located throughout the world. Palram’s panel sheets and panel systems are manufactured from polycarbonate and PVC and meet all the relevant internationally recognised quality standards. The company is mostly active in sectors such as agriculture, construction, architecture, sign and display, as well as in the DIY and fabrication sectors worldwide.

The re-roofing project involved the replacement of more than 45,000 square metres of existing roofing. Palram worked closely with the developers in order to provide a comprehensive, turn-key solution based on its Sunlight XL multi-wall polycarbonate panels, in addition to a large number of aluminium profiles. Palram matched the architect’s requirements for varying colours and light transmissions across different sections of the stadium roof. The new roof will provide protection from the rain, along with penetration of natural illumination from the sun. The company’s unique Solar Control technology will avoid accumulation of excess heat under the roof. Leveraging its global R&D and manufacturing expertise, along with its experience in designing stadium roof solutions, Palram will provide Sydney stadium with a customised roofing solution that is built to last.

Turnkey sunlight solutions

Innovative, low maintenance roofing

Today, over 16 years after the Olympic Games held in Sydney, Palram’s unique sunlight solutions cover its renowned Olympic Stadium known today as the ANZ Stadium. The company was selected to provide its polycarbonate solution for the re-roofing of the gigantic stadium.

One of Palram’s key roofing market sectors is the agricultural industry, particularly in the area of Commercial Greenhouses and Garden Centres. These tailor-made structures are designed to offer very low maintenance, as well as being weather- and corrosion-proof.

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The company’s agricultural roofing products reduce condensation and assist in maintaining the perfect long-term light conditions. Palram has recently introduced selective light transmission roofing panels for greenhouses, garden centres and retail outlets that sell plants and accessories to the gardening sector. In this area weather conditions and holiday periods tend to determine peak seasons and require outlets to operate seasonally, all of which affect staffing considerations, soil use, energy costs and the return on investment. Palram’s Agricultural Applications Manager said, “Despite the plants being on display for a relatively short time, a nursery must ensure that customers are offered attractive, high quality plants with healthy foliage. At the same time, the greenhouse must provide amenable conditions to the customers. Palram has taken on the challenge and developed a selective light transmission panel, one surface of which allows ideal light for plant growing, while other surface filters keep out infra-red radiated heat, thus reducing heat accumulation within the greenhouse.”

Palram’s brand name for its unique selective-light solution is ‘SolarSmart’, which filters the transmission of light and solar energy in transparent sheets, while allowing for versatile specifications for each individual project. In regions where summers are characterised by high levels of solar radiation, Palram’s ‘SolarSmart’ panels create a client-friendly heat and light environment, while also contributing to reducing artificial lighting and the cost of air conditioning.

World-cup winners Palram were on the winning team when they were given a major contract to provide solutions for the World Cup stadium in Arena Castelao in Brazil. Owned by the Brazilian government, it was inaugurated in 1973 and completely re-vamped for the recent World Cup. Palram’s specialised project support team was asked to provide an architectural solution for the roof’s vast skylight, which is a 7000m2 transparent front edge roof that was specially designed in order to allow natural daylight onto the pitch. The solution was found in Palram’s unique ‘SunTuf’ transparent polycarbonate corrugated sheets that provided a cost-effective, watertight solution. A single length ‘SunTuf’ polycarbonate sheet covering the entire length of the roof was installed, thus ensuring long-term transparency for the skylight and a minimal risk of leakage. Since its inauguration, the Arena Castelao has hosted over 50 worldclass football matches and, in addition, has also hosted international music concerts from artists such as Paul Mcartney and Beyonce. n For further details of Palram’s innovative solar solutions and products visit: www.palram.com

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Delivering sustainable steel-cladding solutions Ruukki is a global leader in the design and manufacture of energy-efficient steel construction products for a broad range of building and infrastructure applications. The company continues to expand, setting new standards in quality, efficiency and sustainability, as Philip Yorke reports.

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uukki was founded in Finland in 1960 by the Finnish government in association with a number of leading Finnish industrials. The reason behind this cooperative venture was to ensure the availability of raw materials for the Finnish shipbuilding industry as well as for other steel-dependent industries. With its early commitment to quality and innovation, Ruukki was the first company in the western hemisphere to produce steel using the cost-efficient ‘continuous casting’ method. The success that the company enjoyed as a result of this innovation was exceptional and, following major investments in new plant and technology, the company expanded into the construction business. Today Ruukki manufactures and markets energy-efficient and sustainable building and construction materials and solutions, with a focus on northern and eastern Europe. The company currently employs over 2500 people and operates 15 state-of-the-art production facilities spread throughout Europe. In 2016 Ruukki recorded sales of over €556 million. Currently Ruukki’s product portfolio includes both its well-known Ruukki and Plannja brands, which are available through its broad professional dealer network and extensive number of customer service points.

Bridging the technology gap Ruukki’s vision is to become the leading global provider of energyefficient steel solutions in order to build a better living environment

for all. Today Ruukki is responding to the increasing demand for greater energy efficiency and sustainability, which is driving its commitment to produce more innovative, energy-efficient steel solutions. The overall objective is to significantly cut energy costs throughout the life-cycle of all its construction products. The company offers a broad portfolio of engineering products, including building solutions, infrastructure solutions, steel products, steel cladding products and stainless steel and aluminium products. Some of Europe’s biggest engineering projects continue to benefit from Ruukki’s unrivalled construction technology. The latest in a long line is the supply of special steel structures for one of Europe’s largest bridges. Ruukki Construction recently announced that it is to supply the load-bearing steel structures for the Jaanevirta bridge, which will span the Saimaa deep water channel at the boundary with Kuopio and the municipality of Siilinjarvi in Finland. The company’s contribution also includes the installation of the huge load-bearing structures. When completed the new bridge will be 15 metres wide and over 560 metres long. “The sheer size of the bridge means that the steel structures involved are necessarily large and require heavy-duty technology in both the manufacturing and installation procedures. Ruukki has broad experience gained in the completion of many similar major bridge construction projects.” Ruukki is supplying a total of 2430 tonnes of specially treated load-bearing steel structures for the bridge. These vast structures

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are being manufactured at Ruukki’s plant in Ylivieska, which specialises in the manufacture and installation of such steel structures used in the construction of large buildings and bridges. The modern Jaanevirta bridge has been commissioned by the Finnish Transport Agency and construction of the new bridge started in October last year. Ruukki began constructing the steel structures in January this year. Installation work will begin in April and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2018.

Advanced energy efficiency at work In the building components sector, Ruukki’s energy-efficient steels are at work in steel frame structures, steel pile foundations, façade claddings, load-bearing sheets and pre-fabricated roof elements. Ruuki’s commitment to innovation is also contributing to many major road and bridge infrastructure projects. Its coils, sheets and plates include hotand cold-rolled steels, colour coated steels and metal coated steels.

Precision tubes, pipes and hollow steel sections are also created by Ruukki to optimise energy efficiency and are the result of the company’s on-going investments in new manufacturing processes and its firm commitment to R&D.

Leading the field in environmental management As one of the world’s largest companies in its field, Ruukki takes its responsibilities concerning protection of the environment very seriously. A company spokesman said, “Improving energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective ways to combat climate change. We aim to provide our customers with environmentally effective solutions and to continuously improve the level of environmental protection and energy efficiency of our operations. “As a fully recyclable material, steel forms a good base for energy efficient construction solutions. Our recyclable, wear resistant, and highstrength special steel products improve the material efficiency of lifting, handling and transportation equipment and reduce energy consumption.” Energy efficiency is systematically promoted at all Ruukki’s production sites as part of its ISO 14001 environmental management programme. Each and every person at Ruukki is responsible for their own environmental performance. In-house training provides employees with the means to manage the environmental impacts of their jobs. The company also encourages its subcontractors to take environmental issues into account during their own business operations. In addition, Ruukki constantly evaluates the impacts of its ‘logistical’ supply chain. By optimising transport routes and schedules, unnecessary transportation can be avoided and thereby n minimise energy consumption. For further details of Ruukki’s innovative steel products and services visit: www.ruukki.com

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Building on sustainable success

Skanska is a global leader in the design and construction of eco-friendly, sustainable buildings and infrastructure. This diverse and ambitious group is listed high on the ‘Climate A List’ for the protection of the environment. Philip Yorke reports on a company that is seeing strong growth thanks to its sustainable initiatives, energy-efficient products and increasing global reach.

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kanska is one of the world’s biggest and most successful construction and project development companies. Founded in Sweden in 1887, it has grown to become one of the most innovative and respected construction companies in its field. Today Skanska operates four distinct business divisions: Construction, Residential Development, Commercial Property and Infrastructure. Construction remains the company’s largest revenue generator and working in close partnership with its other business units and collective financial resources, is able to undertake some of the world’s largest and most complex construction projects. Outside the Nordic arena, Skanska has its European operations in building construction and civil engineering located in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the UK. The company develops commercial properties in selected local markets in Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary, as well as having a focus on residential developments in Prague and Warsaw. In 2016 Skanska

recorded sales of more than SEK 36 billion in Europe with almost 17,000 employees responsible for its combined European operations. In addition, as one of North America’s leading construction companies it specialises in areas such as construction, civil infrastructure and the development of commercial properties. In 2016 Skanska recorded sales in the USA of more than SEK 59 billion and currently has around 9500 professionals working for its operations there.

Flying high When it comes to improving increasing the efficiency of airport terminals and railway systems, Skanska is flying high and offers unrivalled expertise wherever it is employed. Two recent contracts underscore the scale and complexity of the type of projects that Skanska undertakes both in Europe and in the USA. In October this year Skanska announced that it had been retained to expand Portland, Oregon’s international airport with a budget of more than $151 million (SEK 1.3 billion). Industry Europe 149




This major project involves the expansion and renovation of Portland International Airport in Portland Oregon, USA. This prestige project entails a 14,000 square metre two-story expansion of the airport’s Concourse E, and includes the addition of six new gates. The broad scope of the new contract also includes airside site-work, modifications to baggage handling systems and the refurbishment of

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a number of areas within the existing terminal building. Construction of the new state-of-the-art facilities has already begun with completion anticipated by the end of the third quarter of 2020. In a separate operation, Skanska has recently won another significant contract to develop the scheme design and production for two main work construction packages for the UK’s famous High Speed Rail pro-


Construction & ENGINEERING

ject: HS2. Furthermore, Skanska’s joint venture with Costain and Strabag, means that they have been selected as preferred bidders for the UK’s Euston tunnels, as well as the approaches to the Northolt tunnels. Upon completion of the 16 month ECI period, the main work will proceed early in 2019, and is estimated by the UK government to be worth in the region of GBP 1.8 billion. The new HS2 railway will create faster journeys for passengers travelling between London and Birmingham. The new HS2 project will create additional capacity thereby reducing pressure on the UK rail network as a whole.

New sustainability standards Throughout the development and construction of its many important projects, Skanska applies innovative and sustainable eco-friendly solutions. The company builds for a better future that offers an improved quality of life for all. It also focuses on the sustainability areas where it can make the most significant and positive contributions. These include: Ethics Safety, Green and Community Investment as well as Diversity and Inclusion. All of these key areas relate to Skanska’s core businesses and are fully interconnected.

Ultimately the company’s goal is to grow from being a leader in each area to being an industry leader and authority within sustainability as a whole. Its sustainability leadership is also seen as a business advantage in that it contributes delivering profit and the creation of greater shareholder value, as outlined in the company’s ‘Overall strategy and Profit with Purpose’ business plan. Today Skanska’s environmental agenda includes energy, carbon, materials, water and many other environmental considerations. The implementation of change and its environmental agenda is the responsibility of the company’s line managers, who in turn are supported by corporate professionals and individuals with the appropriate competences for each business unit. In pioneering its many new sustainable initiatives, Skanska is also a pro-active participant in a number of international sustainability initiatives, which include many significant global organisations. Skanska also supports green building initiatives and green counn cils throughout Europe, the USA and Scandinavia. For further details of Skanska’s latest innovative sustainable products and services visit: www.skanska.com

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Designed to succeed The SBA Group is one of the largest holding groups in the Baltics, comprising over 30 manufacturing and service companies. Philip Yorke looks at the company’s resounding success and continuing programme of diversification, and also reports on its award winning projects that set new standards in eco-friendly construction and manufacturing processes.

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he SBA Group was founded in Lithuania in 1990 at a time when the country had just emerged as a free market economy. Following a series of strategic acquisitions and a programme of innovative product development, it is now active in a broad range of business sectors that range from furniture to clothing and from retail to construction. However, its core business remains the design and manufacture of furniture. To underscore this the company has invested in a new manufacturing plant in Russia, dedicated solely to producing furniture for the Swedish giant IKEA. The group is also focusing on developing its own branded product lines under the PARRA brand name. This includes bedroom, dining room and living room furniture mainly exported to the Russian market through franchising agreements or via its own retail outlets. The other major development is that of branded upholstered furniture, which is mainly sold throughout western Europe, and Germany and Scandinavia in particular.

Increasing competitiveness SBA’s Concern division manages the largest furniture factories in the Baltics and has embarked upon the construction of a major logistics centre in Klaipeda, Lithuania, that will optimise its supply chain and

significantly improve the group’s competitiveness. The first stage of the construction process will provide a central warehouse for the SBA furniture group with an area of more than 28,000m2. In addition, it will construct a furniture components factory with an area of over 12,000m2 and these projects are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018. This will mean an investment of €22 million for the first stage of construction. The new state-of-the-art logistics centre will be used to store and distribute the products of three SBA furniture factories – Klaipedos balkdai, Germanika baldai and Visagino Linija – which will be dedicated to providing products for the company’s global export markets. “Our most important aim is to optimise the supply chain and increase the competitiveness in global markets of not only SBA furniture factories, but also furniture factories from the entire region. Centralised logistics will enable us to fill trucks or containers with products much more efficiently, by forming cargo from the products of different factories,” said SBA Concern VP Egidijus Valentinavicius, commenting on the decision to invest in the construction of the new logistics centre. The SBA logistics centre will also provide services both to factories owned by the Concern, and to other Lithuanian manufacturers working with international retail trade networks.

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New ‘Green Hall’ receives A+ energy rating The new SBA Green Hall 2 business centre is located near the Neris River in Vilnius, Kithuania and has become the first office building in Lithuania to receive the coveted A+ energy certification. According to Lionginas Sepetys, the head of Urban Inventors (the company developing the project) and part of the SBA Group, this rating means lower costs to future tenants. It is estimated that heating and ventilation costs will be up to 50 per cent lower for companies based in the Green Hall 2 office complex, compared with traditional operating business centres. “Energy efficiency, sustainability and minimal impact on the environment – these were the requirements that we and our architects had to meet when designing the Green Hall 2 business centre. The complex façade design echoes the curve of the Neris River and maximises energy efficiency in a building with a lot of glass façades, which was a difficult challenge for specialists in Lithuania, Germany and Denmark,” said director of Urban Inventors, L. Sepetys. The Green Hall’s double façade, whose total area exceeds 5600m2, is like an energy-saving shield that prevents the building from overheating during the summer and traps the warmth inside during the winter, as well as providing reliable protection against city noise. The seven-

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storey Green Hall 2 business centre, with an area of 8800m2, was built in the Zverynas region of Vilnius, where Urban Investors is continuing to develop the Green Hall business valley project. Barclays bank has established itself in the first Green Hall building, with the first tenants moving into the building later this year.

Preserving the past In another major construction project SBA Concern companies will be reconstructing and renovating the old town square of Kaunas City in Lithuania. It will preserve important historical and urban elements and provide new homes for inhabitants in a style sympathetic to the existing old architectural styles. During the reconstruction process the old square covering will be changed, leisure zones will be set up, the lighting will be rearranged, and a new gardening project will be implemented. By utilising investors’ funds an underground parking area for nearby offices, their staff and other city dwellers will be constructed under one part of the square, n which in 25 years will become the property of the city. For further details of the SBA Group’s diverse range of products and services visit: www.sbagroup.lt


Energy & Utilities

Innovation in process technology Alfa Laval is a global market leader in heat transfer and fluid handling technology. Its subsidiary business in India is driving the growth of the group’s operations in Asia and is a major contributor to the company’s global energy optimisation programme as well as to its commitment to sustainability and protection of the environment. Philip Yorke reports.

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January 2017 Mr Anantha Padmanabhan was appointed as Managing Director, Alfa Laval India Limited and Cluster President for India – Middle East – Africa. Anantha is based in Pune, the headquarters of Alfa Laval India. Anantha Padmanabhan was the Managing Director of Alfa Laval Middle East Limited before taking up the new role in India. Anantha is a Mechanical Engineer who joined Alfa Laval India Limited in 1985 and has served in various senior and leadership positions with Alfa Laval, in India, Indonesia and the Middle East. Alfa Laval has been present in India since 1937. The Indian company holds a unique Group Manufacturing Unit status for supplying Centrifugal Separators, Decanters and Flow equipment for the global market through sales companies across the globe. The company’s products & systems are widely used in a variety of applications in Indian industries such as Food Processing, Inorganic, Marine, Pharmaceutical, Oil & Gas, Energy, Effluent Handling, Steel & Metal, Sugar, Petrochemical, Pulp & Paper, Distillery, Starch, Edible Oil Processing and Brewery. Alfa Laval India Limited holds ISO 9001:2008 Certification from LRQA of UK for its entire manufacturing operations and after sales services. With deep knowledge of processes, experience and Industry Europe 157


expertise in handling projects, in-house manufacturing of a wide range of equipment has given a cutting edge advantage to the company to offer complete projects in diverse sectors like vegetable oil refineries, breweries, ethanol production and food processing.

Brewery process line Alfa Laval India’s recent projects include the supply of a process solution to a leading multinational brewery group for one of its plants in India. The order had a value of approximately SEK 60 million and delivery was completed in 2016. The order was for a complete process line, including separators, heat exchangers, mixers and fluid handling equipment. The process line handles yeast propagation, fermentation, maturation and filtration. This is the first brewery in India to use Alfa Laval’s unique mixing technology to reduce the fermentation processing time. “This order is interesting in many ways since it involves a unique technology, a complete process line and also one of the major players in the brewery industry,” said Lars Renström, President and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group. “It proves our position as a reliable supplier.” 158 Industry Europe

Heat exchangers This contract followed a previous order to supply Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchangers to a refinery in India. The Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchangers were part of a capacity expansion in the refinery. The heat exchangers were designed to recover heat from one part of the process to be reused in the process of catalytic reforming, where petroleum products are transformed into high octane liquids. “Our Packinox heat exchangers are extremely efficient when it comes to heat recovery and can replace several shell-and-tube heat exchangers in the same duty. This order confirms that they are highly suitable for the demanding applications in the refinery and petrochemical industry,” said Lars Renström. To date Alfa Laval has delivered more than 250 Packinox heat exchangers for catalytic reforming to refineries around the world. It has recently won an order to supply a refinery in the Middle East. The order, worth approximately SEK 55 million, is booked in the Welded Heat Exchangers unit of the Energy Division. Delivery is scheduled for 2018.


Energy & Utilities

The order comprises compact heat exchangers for energy recovery in the refinery process where low octane refinery naphthas are converted into high-octane liquid products. One single Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchanger can raise the temperature of the incoming naphtha from 80 to 520 degrees Celsius, by reusing heat from the refinery process. “This is the second order within a short period of time for our reliable Packinox heat exchangers,” says Susanne Pahlén Åklundh, President of the Energy Division. “This confirms our products’ proven capacity to generate energy savings for customers in energy-intense industries – at a time when this is getting increasingly important.”

Its equipment, systems and services are dedicated to assisting customers in optimising the performance of their processes. The solutions help them to heat, cool, separate and transport products in industries that produce food and beverages, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, starch, sugar and ethanol. Alfa Laval’s products are also used in power plants, aboard ships, in the mechanical engineering industry, in the mining industry and for wastewater treatment, as well as for comfort climate and refrigeration applications. Alfa Laval’s worldwide organisation works closely with customers in nearly 100 countries to help them stay ahead in the global arena.

Global engineering solutions Alfa Laval is a leading global provider of specialised products and engineering solutions based on its key technologies of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling.

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Pioneering digital

coating technology The Cefla Group of Italy is a global leader in the supply of turnkey plant and equipment for the construction and energy industries. Other Group divisions include industrial manufacturing of dental equipment and wood finishing products. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to extend its global reach and to grow its HVACR, (Heating, Ventilation, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration) business systems.

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C

efla was founded in 1932 as a cooperative specialising in the development of electrical and thermo-hydraulic systems. Over the years the company has seen continuous growth as a result of its commitment to innovation and diversification. In the 1980s Cefla entered the energy field, developing efficient energy recovery systems and energy production plants and taking its clients through all the phases of each individual project from early studies to construction, commissioning and lifetime plant maintenance. Cefla operates four distinct business units; however, all combine the skills and capabilities to achieve important goals in their respective markets. The company’s original Plant Solutions have been complemented by advanced finishing lines for painting, wood ennobling, glass, plastics, metal and fibre cement and finishing. The company also designs and markets medical and dental products under the brand name Cefla Medical Equipment. This is in addition to producing furniture solutions for large retailers under its Cefla Shopfitting brand. “Today Cefla is undergoing a major evolutionary process. Changes in the business world and market developments have led us to introduce organisational changes, streamlining and the strengthening of the various Group companies. Cefla Impianti has now become Cefla Plant Solutions, a name that expresses our historical direction, our goals and our orientation towards new global markets,” said Roberto Cocchi, managing director of Cefla Plant Solutions.

Unmatched finishing technology Cefla Finishing is a global leader in surface finishing and decorative solutions for a wide range of industrial applications. Exploiting the potential of digital personalisation and applying this to high-definition

printing on large formats is only possible thanks to a programme of continuous research and unmatched expertise by Cefla. The company’s new inkjet printing platform, known as J-Print MP, allows users to make ultra-high definition reproductions of any pattern or photograph on glass surfaces and countless others. The platform covers a considerable range of sizes that can meet any individual requirements. The graphics software features a user-friendly interface that lets operators process the image in terms of both shade and resolution. It can also divide the image into separate frames where surfaces are made up of multiple elements. The unique printer uses a verifiable ink that can be tempered at high temperatures and ensures high colour stability over long periods of time. Furthermore, the ink is resistant to the abrasion that can result from contact with other materials and also offers excellent resistance to weathering.

Flexible technologies Décor Leader is an Italian company that specialises in the decoration of panel edges. This successful Italian company has selected Cefla as its technological partner for the development of production lines, which are oriented towards digital printing and high-precision finishing. In view of the growing demand for customisation in the field of decorative finishes, being able to recreate materials such as stone or wood with vein patterns of different types and colours is vital in order to meet these new market challenges. The company’s most pressing need was to acquire the most flexible technologies possible to enable it to create perfect edges for the furniture produced by its customers and to manage small production batches more successfully. “Cefla has developed the technologies that are crucial for our needs. After in-depth analysis of the Italian and

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Energy & Utilities

overseas markets, we chose Cefla because its organisation combines a series of technologies of crucial importance for what we wish to achieve. This involves digital printing and coating solutions, as well as being able to utilise the in-house software department, which is essential for the development of advanced digital printing,” explained Mr Daniele Martelloni, co-founder of Décor Leader. The state-of-the-art production lines that Cefla has installed at the Décor Leader plant include a ‘Smartcoater EVO2’ for the roller application of primer and finishing coatings and a J-Print SP single-pass digital printer. The latter is able to operate at a speed of 60 linear metres/ minute and is capable of printing on any type of substrate, thus making it the best possible solution to the company’s needs for flexibility and modularity. The new lines conclude with Cefla UV-R ovens, which combine all parts of the drying process in a single module.

tion and testing of all HVACR systems and of the annexed generation plant of 7.5 MW capacity. The Cefla Group plans to extend its presence in the energy sector both in Italy and abroad through technical innovation and customised, site-erected power plants and continues to increase its involvement in industrialised pre-assembled systems. Cefla’s main suppliers include Siemens, Schneider and ABB for regulation control and electrical panels, KSB for valves, Ingersoll Rand, SIAT, KSB Italia, Ecoline, Fiorini n and Flakwoods.

Focus on energy Cefla continues to consolidate its leading position in the industrial energy sectors and has recently been working with the Italian Malturo Group in a joint venture for the construction of a new airport in northern Italy. Here, Cefla is responsible for the design, procurement, erec-

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Welding process

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Energy & Utilities

Montage hall

Metal specialist Metallurgy is not the word that instantaneously comes to one’s mind with reference to Croatia. However, the country has a sound manufacturing base and Primabiro, a manufacturer of high voltage transformer casing and other heavy metal structures, is one of the companies that have managed to capitalise on thenew opportunities of the last two decades and win a reputation as a reliable partner to European producers. Primabiro directors Mr. Željko Mezga and Mr. Stjepan Pongrac

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rimabiro, based in northern Croatia near the Hungarian and Slovenian border, is a family-owned enterprise managed by two partners, Željko Mezga and Stjepan Pongrac. The company, today employing 340 people, was founded in 1992 and this year commemorates its 25th anniversary as a successful operation in European metallurgy markets. In the early 2000s, the business was carried on in four separate locations but in 2004 the company bought a manufacturing plant and consolidated all activities into the new premises. In 2005 the modernisation of production halls was completed, providing the company with 3350 square meters of covered manufacturing areas and 750 square meters of offices. In 2006 the company focused on incorporating welding technologies into the portfolio and achieved the DIN 17700 part 8 welding requirements, an important prerequisite for increasing its European market share. Today they are holders of EN ISO 3834-2 Comprehensive quality requirements and EN 15085-2 Welding of railway vehicles and components.

“We are a metal processing company and our core business includes all kinds of heavy metal structures, “says CEO Željko Mezga. Our primary products, reflecting our knowledge and experience, are metal casings for high voltage transformers for customers including Kolektor Etra d.o.o. Ljubljana/Slovenia, Starkstrom-Gerätebau GmbH Regensburg/Germany, Royal SMIT Transformers B.V. Nijmegen/Netherlands, Siemens Europe, CG Power Systems Belgium NV Mechelen/Belgium, Preis&Co. Ges.m.b.H. Pernitz/Austria and others. They account for 90 per cent of our current production, representing around 330 tons of finished product per month.”

Investment - key to the future He further explains that the production process includes technical drafting, metal sheet, profile and pipe cutting, machining, welding, metal part assembly and anti-corrosion surface treatment. “The production flow is structured to ensure a line production process from raw material input to Industry Europe 165


Inspection

the finished product output,” he says, adding that continuous investment is an integral part of the company’s strategy, aiming to secure further growth and development of new production processes and capacities, deploying new modern machines and technologies. “We pay particular attention to education and training of our employees as well as safe working conditions,” he affirms. Since moving into the new premises 15 years ago, large sums have been invested in capacity extension as well as technology modernisation. The latest major investment has been spent on the installation of a new technology for incoming material shot blasting. “In 2018, we plan to complete the investment in increasing production capacity to ultimately have 10,000 square meters of roofed aria, housing a line process production of metal casings for high voltage transformers. This will further

Plasma cutting process

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boost our capability to fully meet customer requirements both in terms of product quality and delivery terms. After this, we will further invest in technology upgrade and modernisation, safer working conditions and professional staff training,” explains Mr Mezga. The design and structure of the new halls meet all applicable environmental regulations. As the technological process involves production of metal structures, it has no negative impact on the environment.

Challenges and opportunities Asked about the key competitive advantage that has enabled the company to penetrate and successfully operate in the sophisticated and highly competitive West European markets, Mr Mezga says: “We guarantee the quality of our products to customers with all required fea-

Welding process


Energy & Utilities

tures duly in place, reflecting the quality of construction and welding and including the appropriate anti-corrosion protection of the final product.” “The biggest challenge we are currently facing is the outflow of labour due to unfavourable labour conditions in Croatia on the one hand, and the opening of the European labour market on the other. The number of people attracted to better working conditions aboard is rising, resulting in a shortage of quality workforce at home. Nevertheless, we strive to provide our workers with adequate salaries, professional training and other benefits in order to retain skilled workforce. To offset the continuing requirements from customers to reduce the product prices against the ever-increasing labour cost as well as other work-related expenses, such as in the improvement of the work environment, is quite a challenge.” However, despite the challenges, Mr Mezga confirms that the company is well on track towards its mission - to continue to be a reliable and trustworthy partner for its customers. “We remain committed to providing high-quality products and services to our n customers in the demanding world energy market.”

Probing installation (Trial installation of trafotank )

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Driving turbine

technology forward

Rainpower is a leading European hydropower group, specialising in the manufacture of hydro-turbines and power-plant modernisation services. It is also Scandinavia’s leading supplier of control systems. Philip Yorke looks at a company that continues to drive hydro-turbine technology forward in the interests of cleaner, safer and more efficient renewable energy.

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ainpower was founded in Lodalen, Norway in 1853 and began by manufacturing castings for the building industry. However, a major milestone was reached in 1890 when the company produced its first hydropower turbine. This was a ‘Pelton’ design and had a hydraulic head of 11 metres capable of delivering 230 horsepower. However, Rainpower itself is a young company that was founded in 2007 when General Electric sold its Norwegian hydropower operations to the industrial Group, NLI. Today Rainpower supplies all kinds of equipment for hydropower plants, including generators, valves and turbine governors. Its services span the 168 Industry Europe

entire value chain from the development of technical solutions to the commissioning of power plants. The company’s business activities focus on product development, engineering services and the production of turbines and electromechanical solutions for the supply of renewable energy. Today Rainpower is part of the Norwegian ARD Group, which was formerly known as NLI and is a privately owned investment company with interests in oil, gas, hydropower, renewable energy, onshore facilities, property, health foods and consultancy services. The group currently employs more than 2000 people in 12 countries and in 2016 recorded sales of €175 million.


Energy & Utilities

Innovative hydroelectric solutions Today Rainpower’s goal is to be the leading and preferred supplier of upgrade projects and services as well as for the maintenance of hydraulic power stations. Rainpower is recognised by its international customers as having one of the world’s best hydro-electric workshops. This state-of-the-art workshop plays a central role for Rainpower in the service, modernisation and upgrading of power stations both in Norway and overseas. The company performs refurbishment services for a broad range of hydro-electric equipment, including mechanical parts in hydroelectric power stations. The workshop’s deliveries meet the most stringent requirements in terms of quality and materials, as well as for geometric tolerance, process control and documentation. The company’s organisational structure is designed to deliver services that are effective, flexible and timely. Rainpower has comprehensive experience and expertise related to the entire value chain, from design, logistics and production, to project management, procurement, assembly and power station commissioning. The close proximity between the company’s engineers and its workshop, and their communication with customers, ensure the necessary flexibility that is required to work efficiently.

Improved business model Rainpower collaborates closely with leading international suppliers of generators, electrical plant and automation, as well as with local installation companies. In recent years the company has significantly

improved both its business model and its organisational structure in order to bring it in line with on-going developments in both the national and international hydropower markets. New ‘lean practice’ measures have been established in order to align the company more closely to the needs of the renewable energy market of today and to increase its level of competitiveness. The company has identified its best opportunities for growth and sees these as being the upgrading, modernisation, servicing and maintenance of hydropower plants in Norway and beyond. Furthermore, it plans to place greater emphasis on smaller hydropower plant production and the development of new, more advanced control systems.

Increasing global demand Rainpower’s hydropower products and services are helping to provide more efficient, cost-effective and renewable energy for consumers from Norway to Canada and from Equador to Peru, where Rainpower has delivered two 87MW Pelton Turbines, as well as many other types of electro-mechanical equipment for a new power station that has recently been commissioned. In Equador, Rainpower Hangzou has delivered three Pelton Turbines of 60MW each and in Turkey the company has completed a small hydropower plant and is currently installing three new hydropower stations in the country. Closer to home, in October 2017 Rainpower signed a contract regarding the refurbishment of the Ramsele G2 hydro-electric power plant. The new contract includes new Francis runner, new guide vanes and the refurbishment of other key mechanical parts. The work

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will take place during the summer of 2020, and when the G2 station is completed, all units in Ramsele will employ Rainpower turbines. The advanced Ramsele plant is located at Faxalven, Sweden and has a maximum output of more than 157MW.

Focus on innovation In 1985, Rainpower completed its state-of-the-art testing laboratory in Trondheim, Norway and it has been continuously upgraded ever since. The advanced turbine testing laboratory was built in 1985 and it continues to play a key role in the testing and development of new hydroelectric turbines and related equipment. The innovative results of the laboratory are testament to its high level of expertise and the company’s extensive experience in advanced hydropower technologies. Today, Rainpower leads the field in the development of hydropower plants, especially for those that utilise large heads. This is due to the natural conditions prevalent in the region. In addition, reservoir power plants that use Pelton and Francis turbines have also played a significant role in Nordic hydropower production. Recently Rainpower entered into a partnership with Statkraft and E-CO of Norway, both of which operate Francis turbines with large

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heads. The objective is to boost the understanding of the dynamic phenomena that arises in these powerful turbines during operation. This collaboration has helped to establish improved criteria for the design and efficiency of Francis turbines for large heads. Furthermore, the small-scale power market in British Columbia has also expanded significantly in recent years and the company has now successfully established itself in this market too. In 2008 Rainpower had the vision to establish itself in the Chinese market in Hangzhou, where it has an in-house engineering facility. China is one of the world’s largest hydropower markets and the company anticipates a significant increase in demand for its products and services in the region. Turkey is also a major market for Rainpower and one of the largest markets in Europe with over 50 per cent of the country’s hydropower potential yet to be exploited. This market is also targeted for Rainpower’s future growth. In 2001 Rainpower founded new offices in Peru to serve the South American n market, which is yet another of its most promising markets. For further details of Rainpower’s advanced hydropower products and services visit: www.rainpower.no



World-leading trenchless technology

Hungarian construction specialist Agriapipe Kft has experienced dynamic development in the past 10 years and achieved a stable market position in the domestic and foreign markets. The company offers a wide selection of No-Dig utility system refurbishing solutions for a broad range of sectors and has up-todate professional knowledge and expertise to implement such procedures. Edina Beale reports.

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he Hungarian Agriapipe Kft specialises in No-Dig utility system refurbishing procedures in a wide range of sectors, including water, gas, sewage and industrial networks. Using a variety of solutions, the company is able to repair local faults in the piping system as well as renewing full piping sections. Besides rehabilitations, Agriapipe is significantly involved in pipe inspection and pipe cleaning. Owing to its specialist expertise, the company is able to provide support for service providers and construction planning/design companies. When implementing No-Dig procedures Agriapipe uses uniquely designed machines and equip172 Industry Europe

ment, therefore it is able to design and manufacture specialised equipment for this purpose. The Hungarian firm currently employs 40 people and has a steady annual turnover of €4–5 million.

No-Dig green utility construction technology No-Dig technologies are also called trenchless technologies and they are used for pipe rehabilitation. The main advantage of this technology is that there is no need to dig a work hole at all, or at least only a very minimalistic one. As a result of this, the operation is fast and environmentally friendly as dust, noise and air pollution is minimal, and


Energy & Utilities

the emission of greenhouse gases is 80–90 per cent lower than when using traditional construction technologies. For this reason No-Dig procedures are labelled as green utility construction technology. When using trenchless technology, specialist inner lining and inner pipes are installed inside of the pipes that are in need of repair and this inner pipe – similar to a new pipe construction – fully meets all specialised requirements. Its lifespan is equal to the lifespan of a brand new pipe.

Dynamic growth Established as a family business in 2007, Agriapipe Kft was set up to solve problems in relation to piping systems, predominantly focusing on the No-Dig trenchless pipe reconstruction technologies which offer minimum excavation and surface disruption. In 2008 the firm introduced the Australian RibLoc Expanda, and this was followed in 2011 by the Japanese SPR technology. As these technologies were developed abroad and at that time they were not known in Hungary at all; it was a great challenge for the company to introduce these technologies in the domestic market.

From the beginning the strategic goal was to make Agriapipe Kft a competitive business both in Hungary and in the foreign markets. In line with this aim, in 2008 its technology was introduced in Yekaterinburg in cooperation with a Russian firm. Encouraged by the success of this venture, in 2010 another Hungarian-Kazakhstan joint venture was established in Kazakhstan, and this also led to the formation of another firm in 2016. An important part of this dynamic development was that all employees had extensive professional experience in the No-Dig pipe reconstruction technology. Another milestone in the company’s history was in 2015 when Agriapipe merged with another Hungarian No-Dig specialist.

Unique problem-solving capabilities In the years since its establishment Agriapipe has won several professional awards for completing outstanding projects and received professional prizes for its top technology and high quality service. The company’s expertise and professionalism, however, are still frequently tested as each project requires unique problem solving. “The rehabilitation of Industry Europe 173


industrial pipes with inner lining is still a challenging task for us as specialist technology and special use of material is required, while the operation must meet the strictest safety regulations and has to be carried out in short notice,” explains Zoltán Varga, managing director of Agriapipe Kft. “Currently we are completing a rehabilitation project for MOL’s damaged sewage system covering a length of several kilometres, but our partners include many other Hungarian chemical and energy companies.” Chemipipe is the company’s joint venture in Kazakhstan, where currently a sewage system repair project is in progress. “The aim is to carry out utility reconstruction projects with the support of Agriapipe Kft, and later to establish and operate an independent No-Dig specialist company in the Kazakh market.” Another unique project in recent years involved a sewage system in Budapest. “Our company was asked to refurbish a sewage system under a railway line, plus an additional requirement was to lead across a telecommunication cable to the other side of the railway, which is an extremely expensive and long procedure,” recalls Mr Varga. “We lined the pipes with the Soltaliner XTRA specialist hose system manufactured by Gebr. Röders AG, while leaving extra space in the pipes to put in the cables. We are very proud of this project, as we were among the first in Europe to solve this kind of problem.”

Exclusive Carbon Calculator software According to Mr Varga, there are serious opportunities in the construction industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With No-Dig technologies the emission of greenhouse gases can be reduced by 80–90 per cent compared to traditional construction, which requires the digging of open trenches for the work to be carried out. In the area of underground utility construction, alongside tutors from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics Agriapipe developed a unique ‘Carbon Calculator’. “In the very near future a free programme will be on our website which will help to compare the emissions of greenhouse gases for various utility construction projects,” reveals Mr Varga. “We believe that no other similarly complex application is available at the moment. We hope that this software will encourage climate protection awareness and expect it to be used by strategic decision-makers and construcn tion technology specialists.” 174 Industry Europe


Energy & Utilities

Stable outlook

In order to compensate for the decreasing opportunities in the energy sector in 2017, heavy-weight machine and component manufacturer Andritz Kft, the Hungarian subsidiary of Andritz AG, has recently altered its product portfolio. Edina Beale reports

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May 2015 Andritz Kft in Hungary was integrated into the Hydro business unit of its parent company, Andritz AG. This strategic change was based on the short- and long-term market data showing that 80 per cent of the products being produced in Hungary were required for the Hydro sector. While in 2016 the company had a record turnover and achieved €35.5 million, 2017 saw a fall in the market for water power stations thanks to slow development in the energy market. Unfortunately this has had a knock-on effect on Andritz Kft’s revenue too, as the company expects a €23 million turnover in 2017. In order to make up for this drop, Andritz has decided to alter its product portfolio and is aiming to increase customer satisfaction to the highest level – focusing on supplying products that meet world-class standards and increase their on-time performance.

Consistent demand The company is still producing its pioneering product, the Yankee drier cylinder for the paper industry. By replacing cast-iron with steel, Andritz has created a high-precision drying cylinder that ensures excellent drying rates at low specific costs. The product, of which Andritz manufactures 3–4 a year, allows for highly efficient drying by using special material alloys and has the ability to increase the length and diameter of the drying cylinder so that larger-sized paper can be produced. In 2013 Andritz installed its largest on-site Yankee cylinder. This project was not only a breakthrough in the Tiszakécske plant, but for the Andritz Group as a whole. The project continues in 2017/18 as the Austrian Zellstoff Pöls AG has invested in a new paper machine for which it will need another Yankee cylinder. The product

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will be manufactured by Andritz and the company will also take part in the assembly process on-site. Andritz has also begun to manufacture other related products in the field of paper machine production. These include drying cylinders, which are used for paper drying functions for cardboard production machines. In 2017, Andritz was required to make 39 of these machines, due to be delivered in the first quarter of 2018. Plated beams have also been introduced as new products: 300 tonnes of plated beams were produced in 2017 alone and the firm expects to supply the same amount this year. Every year there is a significant and reliable customer order for lamella lines: Andritz makes 200–250,000m2 per annum on average, however in 2016 it manufactured nearly 350,000m2.

Extended portfolio Within the Hydro sector core products include stator frames, upper/ lower brackets, rotors, bulbs and so on, but in recent years Andritz Kft has been required to produce butterfly valves and spiral casings too. At present the Hungarian firm is involved in many significant projects such as the Dnipro Water station in Ukraine, the Gouvaes power station in Portugal, the Namgang project in South Korea, and many more investments in Austria and the USA. Since 2015 Andritz has been manufacturing floodgates and stoplogs too, currently supplying these products for projects in Pakistan and Norway. The floodgates are mainly manufactured for Andritz Charlotte to be installed in the Rock Island water station in USA, but the company delivers gates to Austria and Chile too. Due to a strategic decision made by the parent company in the pump sector, the production of water uplifting and transporting screws has ceased and has now been replaced by spiral casings and pit liner manufacturing. Andritz will deliver and install 3+2 spiral casings and pit liners for the Kaleshwaram and Devadula water stations in India, as well as supplying 35 different sizes of pump covers. 176 Industry Europe


Energy & Utilities

Overseas work experience In 2017 Andritz employees had many opportunities to gain experience in installation projects in foreign countries including Austria, China and Sweden. The parent company has subsidiaries in more than 100 countries and this enables the employees to exchange ideas and become familiar with new technologies. For example, people employed by Andritz in Hungary were sent to Austria and Norway on many occasions in order to examine the installation sites for floodgates. The next opportunity will be in Brazil where, together with colleagues from Graz, Andritz Kft employees will be taking part in the finishing process for the Yankee cylinder.

Exploiting resources for growth As for the future, Andritz Kft is aiming to continue providing these opportunities for its employees. Owing to the large technological investments made in previous years, the company has all the machinery and equipment required to meet the highest quality standards worldwide. Its target now is to maximise and make the most efficient use of its infrastructure. In 2018 Andritz Kft expects its annual turnover to reach €25 million. n

V-INOX V-INOX Outlet Ltd has been a very important inox & alu product (coil, strip, sheet) supplier of Andritz Ltd since its establishment in 2015. This outstanding partnership is characterised by reliability and trust in quality and service. V-INOX Outlet Ltd is looking forward to continuing this relationship and serving Andritz with high quality raw material, allowing them to get the best possible results out of their products.

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Driving thermodynamic technology forward Angelantoni is a global leader in the development and manufacture of thermodynamic solar products, testing equipment and services. Philip Yorke reports on a company that is at the cutting edge of solar energy technology and continues to lead the field by driving technologies forward that enhance the protection of the environment.

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ngelatontoni is an Italian company that was founded in 1932 by 28 year-old Giuseppe Angelantoni as a refrigeration business. The company has seen consistent growth over the years and in 2012 a new organisational structure was put in place. Today the Angelantoni Group is comprised of three distinct divisions: Angelantoni Test Technologies (ATT), Angelantoni Life Science (ALS) and Angelantoni Clean Tech (ACT). It also has a wholly owned subsidiary by the name of Archimede Solar Energy (ASE). The Angelantoni Group is a truly global player with eight production plants located throughout Italy, Germany, France, India and China. The group is innovation-driven in the areas of testing, biomedical and clean technology sectors, as well as in advanced solar technologies.

Interestingly, it is the ATT division that stands out for its broad product portfolio of testing solutions, which are marketed through its three main brands: ACS for environmental test chambers, BIA for automotive and aerospace test benches and TIRA for electrodynamic vibration test systems, material testing equipment, balancing machines and mechanical engineering systems. The ALS division is a global leader in the manufacture of biomedical equipment and medical devices for the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, as well as for life science research institutes. It also works closely with leading universities and research institutes, which has resulted in a variety of new patents and ground-breaking products being launched. These include unique products which have

Industry Europe 179


been designed for the blood-banking and bio-banking areas and the only fully automated system to store and retrieve individual biological samples at cryogenic temperatures. Angelantoni Clean Tech and Cold Energy (ACT) controls six companies operating in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors with a particular focus on solar power. This division also demonstrates a clear commitment to R&D with numerous registered patents to its name.

Focus on solar energy The Archimede division’s Concentrating Solar Power Systems (CPS) produce electricity in a similar way to conventional power stations, using steam to drive a turbine. However, the difference is that the

energy comes from solar radiation and is converted into high temperatures of between 400 and 1000ºC using hundreds of mirrors. The special CSP technology allows the conversion of solar radiation into thermal energy through a concentrator, which is made by reflecting areas that focus the sun’s rays onto a receiver and thereby constitute a ‘trough’. The south-western part of the United States is one of the world’s best areas for insolation and the Mojave Desert receives sunlight hours of up to twice that of other regions in the country. Other promising geographical candidates where CPS technology can be optimised include southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and parts of India, China and Australia.

New thermodynamic power plant Recently Archimede Solar Energy (ASE), a division of the Angelantoni Group, announced that it has completed its first large thermodynamic power plant in China with parabolic trough collectors and molten salts. This major project was started in 2013 and is now fully operational with 32,000 tubes delivered, which generate 55 MWe power and offers 15 hours of thermal storage that will enable it to produce electricity even when the sun is absent. The system operates by allowing the parabolic troughs to follow the sun to continuously collect and concentrate its radiation onto a receiver tube. Inside the receiver tubes there is a fluid that is heated by the solar rays from 290C to 550C and this result is achieved using a balanced molten salts binary mixture. ASE is the only company in the world able to produce Molten Salts Solar Receiver Tubes, but it can also offer receiver tubes for different technologies available on the CSP, such as oil and DSG (Direct Steam Generation). Currently ASE tubes production capacity exceeds 200 MWe and this is likely to increase still further in the years to come.

Going beyond environmental compliance In accordance with the international environmental standard, ISO 14001, the Angelantoni Group has introduced a far-reaching Environmental Management System into its solar testing and biomedical production activities. The company’s adoption of these voluntary environmental management models goes well beyond mere compli180 Industry Europe


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ance with legal requirements and the environmental statement. It regularly publishes the results attained in its environmental management programme, thereby demonstrating its commitment and transparency to the whole community. The Angelantoni Group’s commitment to protecting the environment is an essential element of its business strategy that permeates every one of its process and production activities. This is evident in its continuous reduction and elimination of environmental impacts encountered during its manufacturing processes; for example, by the installation of photovoltaic panels on roofs and a biomass thermal energy system for n heating and cooling manufacturing facilities. For further details of the Angelantoni Group’s innovative thermal products and services, visit: www.angelantoni.it

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Smartest

sound

solutions ReSound is based in Denmark and is a part of the global GN group, a market leader in the development and manufacture of smart audio hearing products and solutions. ReSound continues to bring ground-breaking and award-winning hearing aid products to market and to extend its global reach. Philip Yorke reports.

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eSound is an integral part of the GN Group, which is headquartered in Ballerup, Denmark. The group is a global leader in its field with almost 150 years of experience in the development of high-tech audio solutions. Its unique portfolio of medical, professional and consumer products is supported by its extensive research capabilities, which in turn gives the company’s brands an unprecedented advantage over the competition. With its roots dating back to 1943, ReSound has pioneered many new developments in the hearing-aid industry and delivered a number of hearing industry firsts. For example, the company was the first in the world to deliver 2.4GHz technology in hearing aids for direct connectivity, and developed the world’s first ‘Made for iPhone technology’ in hearing-aids with direct stereo sound streaming.

New era Earlier this year, Resound launched its revolutionary ReSound LiNX 3D™, which is taking Smart Hearing to new levels. This breakthrough heralds a new era in intelligent, smart-hearing technology, as it enables people with hearing loss to hear more and do more than ever before. The company’s comprehensive ecosystem seamlessly

connects hearing-aids, all wireless accessories and smartphone apps to make everything work together. With the introduction of the new LINX 3D and ReSound Smart Fit™ software, an entirely new hearing care experience is made possible. These breakthroughs are developed with audiological insights and the latest advances in technology developed by the GN Group to bring more convenience and efficiency to users than ever before. These new hearing care solutions offer remote fine-tuning and remote hearing-aid updates, which are enabled by GN’s proprietary and secure cloud solutions. Following an initial fit at a clinic, the user can request assistance for any fine-tuning of their settings wherever they are. This means that the hearing care professional can make all the fine tunings of their settings remotely, thus providing a better experience for the hearing aid user. Recent studies show that compared to existing premium hearing aids from competitive brands, the ReSound LiNX 3D is up to 50 per cent better at identifying speech across various environments and enables users to hear up to 80 per cent more of the sounds around them. In addition, it enables users to understand up to 40 per cent more speech in busy, noisy environments.

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Award-winning technology ReSound’s superior hearing-aid technology developed for its LiNX 3D has been recognised with two prestigious prizes awarded at the IFA trade fair this year, held recently in Berlin. HIS Markit awarded the ReSound Smart 3D the HIS Markit Innovation Award, selecting it as the most innovative product in the fitness, wearables and health devices category at the show. Also recognised was the LiNX 3D and Smart 3D app in the UX Design Awards, where they were honoured as a leading intuitive solution provider that prioritises seamless people-to-technology interaction. “ReSound is committed to continuously improving the hearing care experience for our users through innovation, design and leading technology,” said Helen Ljungdahl Round, senior vice-president at GN Hearing. “ReSound LiNX 3D allows people to live the most active and inclusive lives possible wherever they are, and whoever they are.” ReSound’s broad portfolio of Smart Hearing technology is available through a comprehensive network of hearing care professionals worldwide.

Demonstrable superiority Earlier this year in Indianapolis, USA, the company conducted the world’s first transatlantic hearing-aid demonstration, for remote fine-tuning with the new ReSound LiNX 3D. This was conducted in front of a live audience during GN Hearing’s Investor/Analyst meeting at the International ‘AudiologyNow’ 2017 conference. The unique remote fine tuning of a ReSound LiNX 3D was conducted by GN Hearing vice-president of Medical Affairs, Dave Fabry, and senior audiologist Steve Hallenbeck, for Karsten Videbaek, a 47 year-old LiNX 3D wearer based in Denmark. This coincided with the company’s launch of its 5th generation 2.4GHz wireless technology hearing aids, ReSound’s intuitive and

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convenient Smart Fit™ software, and a remote fine tuning with ReSound Assist. These components together create a new cloudbased eco-system that provides a ground-breaking hearing care experience for the user. “We were very excited to demonstrate the capabilities of our ReSound LiNX 3D to the marketplace, which are unmatched in sound quality and user experience,” said Anders Hedegaard, CEO of GN Hearing. “GN made history 145 years ago by establishing the world’s first telegraph connection between northern Europe and East Asia. Today’s demonstration builds on that history of connecting people through innovation n while representing the future of Smart Hearing.” For more details of ReSound’s latest innovative hearing-aid products and services visit: www.resound.com



Asko

Innovative appliances for comfortable living Gorenje Group is one of the leading European manufacturers of household appliances, all with a range of different and unique features but with one clear goal: to make life simpler and more enjoyable for its customers. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to president and CEO Franjo Bobinac to find out more about the company’s products, continued expansion and strong focus on digitisation to drive future growth. Franjo Bobinac, Gorenje President and CEO

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Gorenje

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ounded in Slovenia nearly 70 years ago, leading household appliances manufacturer Gorenje Group has developed a portfolio of technologically advanced, energy-efficient and beautifully designed products. With a well-deserved reputation for creating household appliances that offer quality, durability, thoughtful design, effortless usability and perfect results, Gorenje’s solutions provide a simple and intuitive user experience that makes consumers’ lives easier. President and CEO Franjo Bobinac told Industry Europe, “Our main focus is on household products and services, where we can leverage our innovative know-how and extensive experience in the field to provide a comprehensive range of products. Based on our dedication to design, we have earned the status of a challenger and trendsetter in our industry, confirmed by the numerous prestigious design awards and enhanced by collaborations with renowned designers such as Pininfarina, Karim Rashid, Ora ïto and Philippe Starck.”

European foundations, global outlook Today, Gorenje Group is a truly multinational concern with some 11,000 employees representing 42 different nationalities. Its head office is in Velenje, Slovenia, where the company also manufactures high valueadded products such as cooking appliances, dishwashers, advanced washing machines, dryers and niche refrigerators. It also operates three manufacturing plants in Serbia (in Valjevo, Zajecar and Stara Pazova), which manufacture fridges, freezers, washing machines and tumble dryers. Its plant in Mariánské údolí, Czech Republic, manufactures freestanding cookers, and there is a toolmaking facility in Kragujevac, Serbia.

There are also dedicated research & development centres in Sweden, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. The Gorenje Group range of household appliances centres on its two core global brands – Gorenje and Asko – as well as six local brands, which enable the company to reach customers in over 90 countries worldwide. It exports as many as 95 per cent of its appliances, with key sales markets including Germany, Russia and the Netherlands, followed by Scandinavia, south-western Europe and the US. However, the group is not content to rest on its laurels and is targeting even greater international expansion. “Yes, we are currently a European core player but with the new Gorenje Group 2016–2020 strategy, we are focused even more decisively on global growth with the more profitable premium brands and products. In the past year we have increased our sales particularly in North America, Australia, the Middle and Far East, the Caucasus region and Asia. Thus, we are mitigating our reliance on European markets as well as improving our sales structure by increasing the share of premium appliances and brands.”

Asko – Inspired by Scandinavia Mr Bobinac goes on: “Our premium brand ASKO also plays an important role in our strategy. As a clearly positioned premium brand in the market, over the past two years we have rolled out ASKO in Italy, France, the Middle East and China. The premium segment is growing and we believe that with our appliances inspired by Scandinavia, with its cultural heritage and design attitude, there is a lot of room in those Industry Europe 187


markets for our brand. In Asia we see a lot of opportunity. We have established around 20 premium ASKO showrooms in China and we will also explore outlets in Hong Kong, Taiwan and other territories. There is a very positive attitude in Asia towards European brands.”

Gorenje – Life Simplified Gorenje is a widely used brand, which generates the highest percentage of revenue within the Gorenje Group portfolio. As previously discussed, the driving force behind this brand and its product development is simplification. Gorenje brand customers “seek a good work-life balance and want to eliminate unnecessary stress. They appreciate solutions that help them perform tasks faster, better and

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they use modern technology when it enables solutions that simplify their lives. They expect effortless usability, durability, perfect results, quality and design at a fair price. “Since we launched our Gorenje brand promise ‘Life Simplified’ we are integrating it into all customers’ touch points: our products, added value services, customers’ shopping experience and communication. At last year’s IFA Gorenje was present with a ‘Time to reconnect’ story, which was a logical upgrade from the year before. We were showing how the right user-friendly appliances can seamlessly integrate with our busy everyday lives, making our household chores easier, our to-do lists shorter, and our lives less complicated and more pleasant, thus leaving more time to spare, to enjoy, to reconnect.”


Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC

For over 20 years Strip’s d.o.o. have been improving Gorenje’s customer experience with various household electronic solutions. Our competencies in the areas of touch user interfaces, electronic appliances control, connected appliances and IoT, sensors and measuring, full customer support from the idea to mass production, combined with internal lean production, enabling everyone to thrive: our partners, our clients, our suppliers, our employees, and our communities. Our core engineering principles of innovation, dedication and out-of-the box thinking, paired with our operational excellence principles of speed, efficiency and sustainable development, ensure that projects are completed on-time, on-budget and with a high degree of mutual satisfaction. Strip’s d.o.o. is a leading European electronics development and manufacturing partner. We devote all of our experience, expertise and capabilities towards creating products that help our clients succeed.

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Strong supply chain In order to maintain this continued global growth, Gorenje Group is well aware of the importance of building strong and lasting supplier relationships – both local and multinational. Without an efficient supply chain, a company cannot hope to compete on the global stage. “We strive to build and maintain a good and fair relationship with each of our suppliers, as we do with each of our business partners. We have been cooperating with many of our suppliers for a number

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of years and they have been our partners in both good times and bad. We appreciate the fact that all our suppliers, both large and small, have the ability to adapt to changes and to our own needs in terms of quality, service and price.”

Digitalisation: A smarter approach Another important element behind Gorenje Group’s strategy is its appreciation of the value of smart digitalisation across its portfolio.


Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC

Aligned closely with its Life Simplified concept mentioned above, the company’s digital strategy places particular stress on the development of smart or connectible domestic appliances as part of a smart home. “Moreover,” says Mr Bobinac, “a digital environment has been customary for many of our business processes for some time. We are thus reinventing the traditional home appliances by optimising the user experience, making sure they afford the user freedom and flexibility.” At the above-mentioned IFA, Gorenje took the opportunity to present many new developments from the field of smart appliances. There was a particular focus on artificial intelligence as the group launched its personal shopping bot, Anna. Waiting to strike a conversation with visitors to the original Gorenje Facebook page and websites, Anna’s job will be to simplify the user experience, help those visitors looking to make a purchase or inform them about specific Gorenje products. Furthermore, at the end of 2017 the group launched a line of smart connectable appliances under the Atag brand. With such a forward-thinking strategy, it is clear that Gorenje is already well-positioned to maximise its potential in 2018 and beyond. Mr Bobinac concludes: “The battle for the markets and market shares of course continues and nothing can be taken for granted. There are still quite a few tasks that remain to be completed, but we are on the right path to achieving our future strategic goals.”

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Shaping the future of glass SCHOTT is a leading international technology group in the areas of speciality glass and glass-ceramics. The company has more than 130 years of expertise, and offers a broad portfolio of high-quality products and intelligent solutions. With its pioneering innovations, the company stands at the forefront in its field.

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CHOTT is an innovative enabler for many industries, including the home appliance, pharma, electronics, optics, life sciences, automotive and aviation sectors, and is committed to innovation and sustainable success. The parent company, SCHOTT AG, has its headquarters in Mainz (Germany) and is solely owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. As a foundation company, SCHOTT assumes special responsibility for its employees, society and the environment. The company has a global presence and maintains close relationships with its customers through manufacturing and sales units in all major markets. Europe remains the most important economic region, generating sales of €936 million with 9100 employees (5200 are based in Germany alone), but Asia-Pacific ranks as one of the most important markets for the future with its huge growth potential. Last year, the company achieved a record-breaking net income of €197 million. All business segments contributed to the success. Demand was particularly dynamic in the application areas for ZERODUR® – an extremely low thermal expansion glass ceramic – glass for optical applications and speciality glass products for use in medical technology and pharmaceutical packaging.

Key material For 130 years, SCHOTT has been shaping the future of glass technology. Its research and development capabilities include The Otto Schott Research Centre in Mainz, one of the world’s leading glass research institutions, the development centre in Duryea, Pennsylvania, (USA), and technical support centres in Asia, North America and Europe.

Last year was marked by a large number of innovation projects, which again prove that glass will continue to play an important role in high-tech applications in the future. Ultra-thin SCHOTT AS 87 eco glass, which is used in camera modules, fingerprint sensors and flexible displays, is a good example of the company’s innovative strength. The ultra-thin glass is as flexible as plastic, yet strong, age-resistant and aesthetically pleasing. Moreover, SCHOTT AS 87 eco is more than a high-quality solution – it is environmentally friendly. In contrast to similar glass suppliers, SCHOTT completely foregoes the use of highly hazardous hydrofluoric acid during production. With its innovative Down Draw Process, it is the only company in the world that manages to directly draw the required thicknesses down to the thinnest glass. Glass is also a key material in diagnostics. SCHOTT’s portfolio of high-quality speciality glass for use as a substrate material and its wide range of solutions continue to improve the quality of life for many sick people. With the new glass substrate D 263® bio SCHOTT offers a quality material for microscopic analysis in the field of optical diagnostic and biotechnology, with certified biocompatibility as well as very low autofluorescence across its entire transmission range. The new glass is built on a proven legacy in optical diagnostics as set by D 263® M, the leading material for microscopy coverslips since the 1960s. The automotive industry is yet another sector where SCHOTT makes a difference. The new MultiLight light source equips cars with customised interior lighting through a mix of evenly radiating contour light guides and spots from a single light source. This allows for the reduction of Industry Europe 195


electronic components, particularly in the case of coloured illumination. Electronic circuitry is simplified, making it more cost-effective and less susceptible to defects.

Continued leadership In May 2017 SCHOTT signed a contract with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) for the production of the primary mirror for the Extremely Large Telescope. SCHOTT will supply 949 hexagons for the 39-m-diameter mirror, along with maintenance and replacement segments. Besides the primary mirror, SCHOTT is also producing the mirror substrate for the secondary (M2), tertiary (M3) mirrors and the fourth mirror (M4). It is the largest single order for an astronomy project that SCHOTT has ever received. The company’s innovation focus is supported by investment in increased production capacity. For example, its competence centre in St. Gallen, Switzerland, is increasing the production of pre-fillable polymer syringes in response to growing demand. Growth is also expected to come from Asia. In October 2017, the joint venture SCHOTT Xinkang expanded its production capacity for pharmaceutical packaging with the opening of a new state-of-the-art plant in Jinyun, China. Up to two billion ampoules, vials and cartridges can be produced there annually. SCHOTT’s production facility in the United States, offering the latest generation of pharmaceutical vials, has also been expanded. The innovative technologies developed by SCHOTT give its 35 production units and sales departments all over the world a leading edge over the global competition. Decades of experience in successfully transforming technological innovations into business success will form the basis for the company’s future development. 196 Industry Europe


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Total solutions in

steel and aluminium The BE Group of Sweden is a market leader in the development and manufacture of specialised stainless steel and aluminium products. It is acknowledged worldwide as the company of choice when it comes to meeting new technical challenges. Philip Yorke reports.

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Metals, Metalworking & Mining

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he BE Group of Sweden has been trading for over 100 years and remains a privately owned family business with a long and proud history. It is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange as a trading and service company that is focused on high quality steel, stainless steel and aluminium. It offers efficient delivery and valueadded production services to customers that reside primarily in the construction and engineering sectors. In 2016 the group confirmed revenues of SEK 3.9 billion, which was generated by a workforce of more than 900 employees. Its headquarters are located at Malmo, Sweden, with Finland and Sweden remaining its biggest markets, although many of its products are exported worldwide.

Pre-processed precision The BE Group offers an unrivalled product portfolio of steel, stainless steel and aluminium products, as well as a large and competitive selection of production and consultancy services. The company’s range of various types of steel and aluminium products also includes thousands of different items from many of the world’s leading suppliers. In addition, the BE Group provides tailor-made products that are pre-processed to meet its customers’ specific requirements. This

helps to keep production throughput times as short as possible and to optimise production costs. Finished products are delivered directly to a customer’s production sites at competitive prices and precisely on time. By outsourcing parts of a customer’s production, it makes it possible for them to focus on their core competencies and to free up capital and resources. This is in addition to reducing their overheads and increasing profitability. The BE Group’s comprehensive range of production services includes the cutting and sawing of steel, stainless steel and aluminium, as well as shot blasting and protective painting. Furthermore, it offers flame cutting and the pre-processing and reinforcing of steel sections. The group also has a number of state-of-the-art workshops designed to shorten lead times and reduce transportation costs.

From strength to strength The BE Group continues to see consistent growth across all its divisions and has again seen a strongly improving operating result in its third quarter. Net sales rose by 9 per cent to SEK 968 million. The company’s president and CEO Anders Martinsson said: “The third quarter provided further evidence that the BE Group is on the right

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track. Following a seasonal weak start to the quarter, an increase in net sales of 9 per cent was achieved compared to last year, and the underlying result (uEBIT) improved to SEK 22 million.” Martinsson added, “The improvement is primarily attributable to increased steel prices and improved profitability in our production operations. The sharp rise in steel prices that occurred in the second quarter was followed by a settling of prices for certain types of steel that resulted in inventory losses of SEK -3 million, compared with inventory gains of SEK 16 million in the same period last year.” According to the BE Group, demand is expected to remain favourable in the company’s main markets, with both the Swedish

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and Finnish manufacturing sectors developing well. However, it is expected that steel prices will increase slightly until the end of the year and this, combined with on-going improvement measures and the discontinuation of unprofitable operations, means the group’s profitability is expected to develop positively. As a result, it expects to see a substantial improvement in earnings in the fourth quarter compared with that of the previous year.

Broad range of logistics services The BE Group’s logistics services help its customers to improve their efficiency, their profits and to reduce their costs. The com-


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pany deploys its own warehouses and distribution systems to offer customers complete logistics solutions. Its warehouse and efficient distribution systems ensure customers are offered the highest levels of operational efficiency and also help them to run their production operations more smoothly. The broad range of logistics services on offer at the group include steel and aluminium solutions that are tailored to specific needs, as well as transport planning and insurance. What is more, it offers customised delivery schedules with standard labelling and packaging. In addition, the company provides unrivalled logistics know-how, competitive prices and order tracking online, as well as covered delivery trucks and truck cranes for swift unloading. An example of how this long-established company is clearly focused on the future can be seen in its progression into the value chain. Increasingly the company is making more products for itself, rather than its previous role as a sole provider of the delivery of metn als, and this has proved to be a very positive strategy. For further details of the BE Group’s innovative steel products and value-added services visit: www.begroup.com

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Global supplier

of C-Parts Bufab Poland, headquartered in Gdansk, is a leading supplier of C-Parts, from traditional fasteners to complicated processed and assembled components made from various materials. The company is a part of the Bufab Group, an international giant that offers its customers full-service solutions for sourcing, quality control and logistics for C-Parts. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.

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ufab was founded in 1977 in Sweden. Since then, it has enjoyed 40 years of growth and stability through a consistent focus on delivering value to its customers. This strategy has led the company to its position as the leading supplier of components and services to the worldwide manufacturing industry. It is now an international giant, with 35 subsidiaries in 25 countries, and delivers its products to 13,000 customers. With 1000 employees, its net sales for the past 12 months amounted to SEK 2.9 billion (€300 million) and its operating margin was 10 per cent. Bufab is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. The group offers more than 140,000 separate products made to almost any imaginable specification, held in stock across its 28 warehouses worldwide. These components include C-Parts, such as metal or plastic fasteners (screws, bolts, nuts, rivets, pins, washers, etc.); and other small metal, rubber or plastic parts including cables, springs and electronic fasteners. Bufab also offers a comprehensive range of standard parts in a variety of materials including carbon steel, stainless steel and brass – manufactured according to all commonly used standards on the market (e.g. DIN, ISO, NFE and AFNOR). There are also special products manufactured according to customer specifications via processes such as stamping, injection moulding, casting, cold forming, hot forging and turning, in materials such as sheet metal, plastic, rubber, zinc alloy or aluminium. Furthermore, through its highly advanced in-house kitting solutions and network of partners, the group can supply a customer with almost any kind of kit needed to distribute their products. Additionally, Bufab can take on the warehousing and logistics operations required for a customer-specific product and can take responsibility for timely delivery to the production line. By combining many components into an assembled part and delivering the result to the customer, Bufab can reduce both direct and indirect costs, as well as achieving a reduction in the overall number of suppliers needed.

BUMAX, Bufab’s registered trademark, is known as the strongest stainless-steel bolt in the world. It is manufactured at Bufab’s plants in Sweden and meets the requirements of the most highly demanding customers when it comes to quality, corrosion resistance, strength, traceability and heat resistance. Some of the products in the BUMAX family are completely unique and cannot be found anywhere else on the market. All BUMAX products have full traceability (with 3.1 certificates available for each item).

Polish market leader The Polish branch of Bufab has been operating for almost 30 years. It was founded in 1989 as a local company named BTT Automatyka. In 1990, it began its collaboration with Bulten Stainless AB and, eight years later, the Swedish company took over BTT. In 2004, the company achieved the highest sales of stainless steel components in Poland. The next year saw the acquisition of Bulten Stainless AB by the Bufab Group. “Soon after, we changed our name to Bufab Polska to emphasise the fact that we are a full member of the Bufab Group,” says Jaroslaw Bazeli, Bufab Poland’s president of the board. “At that time, we fully integrated our ERP systems with the Bufab Group and began focusing on end-user activity (medium and large production plants), increasing our sales of special items and carbon steel components and reducing our distribution of stainless steel products. In 2014, Bufab Poland moved to a newly constructed warehouse with space for 1640 pallets, enabling it to maintain all the required stock levels for our customers. We also installed a new automated packaging facility. Our annual growth rate (CAGR) for 2009–2016 was 31 per cent, and our forecast sales growth in 2017 compared to 2016 is estimated at 12 per cent.” With three production sites Bufab Poland now offers the Bufab Group’s full range of services and products, including those services described as ‘Global Parts Productivity’. “Bufab takes an end-to-end Industry Europe 203


SGP Group- Thinking about quality SGP PL was established in Czestochowa in 2006 as a respond to the market demand and aiming to provide the highest quality to our customers. Since 2006 SGP Group has been supporting companies in providing the highest quality of manufactured products. Company is experts in following services: selection, sorting and repairing parts, components and finished products. We recruit and train employees for every branch of industry.

responsibility for the management of C-Parts, allowing our customers to focus on their core business. We call this Global Parts Productivity. Its aim is to improve the productivity and quality of C-Part manufacturing for customers and to achieve fast and secure delivery, reduce total costs and free up capital,” says Mr Bazeli. The group’s core strategy includes maintaining a strong supplier base. “We strive to be a desirable partner to our suppliers; demanding but solid, ensuring common development goals. Bufab Group has introduced its supplier classification and auditing system, supporting the development of companies that want to grow with us. We learn from each other. We are also going to deepen our relationship with key suppliers by offering partnership contracts,” he adds.

Benefits of group membership Today Bufab Poland is one of the largest companies in the Bufab Group. Since 2015, it has been developing a service centre for logistics and global sales. It also houses the regional administration centre for the group’s activities in Russia, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Turkey and Estonia. “We are a highly motivated team of professionals, familiar with many different sectors of industry including fasteners, metal components, manufacturing and logistics. We specialise in complex industrial supplies. The group constantly invests in our team’s professional development and our highly trained and carefully selected staff allow us to provide top quality services to our customers in Poland. In my opinion, we are a modern example of the opportunities that are open to a small, local company when it becomes part of a larger group; Bufab offers interesting options for the company’s further development. “The group looks for stable, local companies that are well managed and have a strong brand. It is an industrial investor, not a financial one: its strategy is to develop each company within the group in order to build value for the Bufab Group shareholders, the acquired company and its n owners,” concludes Mr Bazeli. Visit: www.bufab.com 204 Industry Europe

Customers are medium and large companies, mainly from the automotive, home appliances, audio/video appliances, glass, food, pharmaceuticals, footwear and clothing industry. SGP Group can provide services to almost every manufacturing industry. Quality policy in times of rapid growth of enterprise’s competitiveness is one of the key areas in every production facility. Unceasing striving for quality improvement of manufactured goods enforces reorganisation of production area and quality, but not only. In what way one can improve the activity of the quality department? How to more effectively control one’s production quality? SGP Group will help you solve the problem ! SGP Group guarantees: • Full responsibility for the undertaken projects and their results • Trained, motivated stuff, supervised by experienced and compe tent coordinators • Availability of services in Poland and in those European coun tries, where the SGP Group subsidiaries are operating • Following the customers’ needs, flexible adjustment of provided services at home and abroad • Over 11 years of experience in executing similar projects • Expanded network of experts/ residents in the European countries (at the premises of our Customers) Role of outsourcing offered by SGP Group: reducing quality costs, reducing production costs, reducing HR costs and increasing operational flexibility of companies. Why SGP Group? • • • • • • •

Safety Flexibility Competence Costs optimisation Reaction time Preparation Coordination



Containing waste material ZPUH JK Milosz Kiedrowski, a company from Byslaw, Poland, is a leading European manufacturer of steel containers. In 2018 it will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.

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ince the very beginning ZPUH JK Milosz Kiedrowski has been a private, family business focused on the production of various types of containers. It was founded in 1988 in Byslaw, Poland, by Mr Janusz Kiedrowski who sadly passed away in 2016. Now, his son, Mr Milosz Kiedrowski, is the company’s owner and president. In 2001 the company established a close cooperation with ILAB Container AB, a well known Swedish distributor of materials handling equipment including containers for waste material, large containers, and standard freight containers. “For us it was a key strategic breakthrough, as ILAB Container AB has become the sole distributor of our products for the whole region of Scandinavia. I would like to say that we have had a very warm-hearted relationship with our Swedish partner, not only of a business nature,” points out Mr Kiedrowski. The following years saw more key turning points in Kiedrowski’s business development: in 2006, with the financial support of the EU, the company built a new, modern production hall; four years later it began selling its products to western Europe; in 2011 the second, fully equipped production hall was established, also with the support of EU financing; soon after this, three more halls were constructed.

This means the total surface of the production halls has grown to more than 17,000m². The company employs 600 people, a considerable percentage of whom are welders. It uses modern technologies such as Autodesk Inventor 11 and the latest CNC machines for bending, cutting and welding operations. It has also installed modern painting cabins with effective filter systems, which meet the strict requirements of environmental protection. For painting it uses high-quality anti-corrosive paints from Teknos. The containers are blasted before painting, which provides a high quality of paint coating. All the Kiedrowski products have the CE certificate, as well as ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001, ISO 18001 and ISO 3834 quality systems, which confirm the company’s high production standards.

Thousands of containers for Europe “The company’s economic situation is very good. Exports share about 97 per cent of our total sales, whereas only 3 per cent of our containers are sold domestically. However, in the coming years we would also like to increase production for the Polish

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SSAB JK Miłosz Kiedrowski has become the first SSAB partner - My Inner Strenx program in the container industry. The company has been using high strength steel - Strenx for many years. Floors, side walls and upper beams are made with Strenx 700 MC. The use of high-strength steels results in weight reduction by 30%, higher capacity and lower fuel consumption. Now My Inner Strenx sign confirms product quality as to design, production and performance.

market. Now, 65 per cent of our products are sold to the Scandinavian countries; the remainder is sold in western Europe, mainly in Germany, where we are present through three local distribution companies,” says Mr Kiedrowski. For 30 years the company has grown rapidly by increasing its variety of products for both the domestic and foreign markets. Now it makes more than 70 models of containers, which are offered in more than 200 types, including containers made from high-strength steel by the Swedish company SSAB. Kiedrowski’s annual output in 2017 is going to reach its record breaking level of 15,000 units, but the plan for the next few years is to increase production up to 20,000 containers, including 10,000 units to be sold in Scandinavia. The company’s monthly steel usage is currently estimated at 1800 tonnes.

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Wide product offering The LV type containers are Kiedrowski’s flagship product. They have a capacity range from 5m3–40m³ and can be used for the storage of industrial and municipal waste. The LV containers are designed for vehicles with hook loading. Compactors are containers for special applications, produced only in the closed variety (with solid roof) with a capacity range from 20m³–37m³ and with space to assemble a hydraulic press. Compactors are often used in markets, shopping centres and similar spaces. The KP-type containers have a capacity range from 3m³–18m³ and are designed for the storage of municipal and industrial waste, offered in open or closed varieties. Skips (MULDA) are containers for the storage of industrial or municipal waste, such as rubble, scrap and plant waste. Dump containers are self-unloading containers with a capacity range


Metals, Metalworking & Mining

from 1m³–5m³, designed for the storage of industrial waste, scrap and cullet-glass; while bell-type containers are designed for PET separation. PA-1100 are dumpsters with a capacity of 1.1m³, designed for the storage of the industrial and municipal waste or for waste segregation. They can be painted or hot-dip galvanised. The company is also well-known from making non-standard containers, for individual orders. “For instance, we have manufactured the self-extinguishing containers for our client from Scandinavia, while for a customer from the Netherlands we have produced a special container for a giant leaf vacuum cleaner installed on the vehicle,” says Mr Kiedrowski. What makes Kiedrowski’s products so popular and valued in Europe? For Mr Kiedrowski the answer is obvious: “There are three main elements in our offer that are extremely important for our partners: the quality of our containers, the timeliness of our deliveries and finally a good price. And I mean it in this order. But to achieve proficiency in these elements, hard work is required. We provide it,” he concludes.

Teknos Teknos is a global coatings company with operations in more than 20 countries in Europe, Asia, and the USA. It employs approximately 1,700 people and makes annual net sales of approximately EUR 400 million. Teknos is one of the leading suppliers of industrial coatings with a strong position in retail and architectural coatings. Teknos wants to make the world last longer by providing smart, technically advanced paint and coating solutions to protect and prolong. Teknos always works in close cooperation with its customers. It was established in 1948, and is one of Finland’s largest family-owned businesses. More information www.teknos.com

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Advanced technology for container production STRUMET, a company from Strumien, Poland, is one of the leading European manufacturers of steel containers used in transportation and storage systems.

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TRUMET was founded in 1995, following the privatisation process of the state-owned company that faced a crash at that time. “Our first task was to get the company out of debt,” Wojciech Szczypka, the STRUMET vice-president and production director, recalls. “Since then, we have continued to grow. We have invested more than 90 per cent of our return into the company’s development. The long path we’ve been through for 23 years can be illustrated by the increase in the company’s employment. In the 1990s, our team was only 45–50 people, now we employ 520 people, have 60 external workers and 500 subcontractors. In total, 1100 people work for us.” In 2005, STRUMET received the certificate of the Quality Management System to the ISO 9001 standard. The company also has the certificate forFactory Production Inspection according to EN 1090 and the quality certificate of welding works according to EN ISO 3834-2. The Galvanising Institute in Gliwice has classified STRUMET to the 1st Large Plants Group pursuant to the requirements of PN-M-69009. 210 Industry Europe

In March 2008, the company opened its Hot Dip Zink Plant, which is one of the largest plants of this kind in Poland. It is equipped with state-of-the-art devices and machines that make it possible to obtain high zinc-coat quality combined with high efficiency. In 2015–2017, the fire galvanising line was modernised and extended. A new chamber with pickling kettles was also commissioned and a kettle for liquid zinc was replaced with a larger one. Since 2012, many investments have been made in new technologies, galvanising, warehouses, CNC hall and powder coatings. The indoor production space increased to 45,000m², while the company’s total area covers 10 ha. STRUMET’s annual sales in 2016 were estimated as PLN 220 million (€52.4 million), including PLN 175 million (more than €41.6 million) from export sales. STRUMET sells its products all over Europe as well as to Turkey, Mexico and the USA. In September 2017 STRUMET received Environmental Management System certification according to the ISO 14001:2015 standard.


Metals, Metalworking & Mining

Delivering know-how and comprehensive service The company’s production volumes in 2016 amounted to 36 thousand tonnes of steel processed into metal containers and 22 thousand tonnes of galvanised parts. The automotive industry accounts for 95 per cent of STRUMET’s total sales. It works in close cooperation with such big names in the automotive sector as the Volkswagen Group, Daimler Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Pirelli and Continental. The company’s products are also used by the metal industry, the chemical industry, the construction industry and many more. “Most of our products constitute containers made to special orders, tailored to the client’s individual needs,” explains Mr Szczpka. However, we are not limited to selling our products, we offer our clients our knowhow and comprehensive service, including assistance in choosing a proper type of container matched to the customer’s specific needs. We can implement designs from scratch; we prepare technical documentation, and manufacture the container prototypes, which may be tested by a client before the series production. We can make almost every kind of construction according to the customer’s requirements. Nothing is impossible. We have our own design office equipped with modern CATIA V5, Autodesk Inventor and NX Siemens software, tool room and prototype room, thanks to which we can draw up a design virtually for every container type. Modern and cost-efficient machines as well as high technology production lines enable us to complete orders fast and on time.” The basic materials for container production are semi-finished steel products, including: sheets, flat and round bars, squares, round and rectangular pipes, and so on. STRUMET has close relationships with

reliable suppliers. Each delivery is certified and inspected by the Factory Production Inspection. All materials are stored in roofed warehouses. Since welding is the company’s basic technology, it uses highquality welders, and the process is supervised by qualified controllers as well as scientific research institutions. In 2014, STRUMET initiated the robotisation of welding processes with the installation of three robotised Comau welding posts. “We rely on the latest technologies and cost-efficient machines to ensure the high quality and competitiveness of our products. In recent years, we have considerably extended the department of computer operated machines (CNC). We have numerically controlled automatic machines for cutting pipes, numerical presses, CNC machining centres, laser pipe cutting machines, laser metal sheet cutting plotters, pipe bending CNC posts and many more modern machines,” says Mr Szczypka. The containers are produced in powder-painted or hot galvanised versions. STRUMET owns two powder shops – an automated line and a large size powder shop. The galvanising process is carried out on a hot galvanising line. The company can also produce containers in cold-galvanised versions and is about to open a new department for plastics processing.

Experts in zinc coating Zinc is a metallic chemical element that is present in the natural environment and is not harmful to the environment; it is even a necessary element for living organisms. Moreover, zinc can be recycled. The hot-dip zinc coating (plating) process known as zinc coating by

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immersion, currently used by STRUMET, is one of the most efficient methods of steel structure rust-proofing. The coat features high mechanical resistance and aesthetic appearance. Average zinc loss in a structure in use ranges from 1–2 µm per year (for use under nonaggressive conditions). Therefore, the average working life of zinc coats is 30 years, but it can reach even 100 years. The STRUMET Zinc Coating Plant is equipped with modern environmental protection devices. All process tanks are closed tight and

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equipped with extractors. They are provided with a chemical leakage protection system fitted with pumps and buffer tanks that can cope with simultaneous tightness loss in a few tanks. Tank extractors are connected to an absorber to prevent chemical vapours from being released into the environment. The Zinc Coating Plant releases no liquid waste, because process solutions operate within a closed circuit. Visit: www.strumet.pl


Metals, Metalworking & Mining

New Horizons Alcomet AD is one of the leading manufacturers of rolled and extruded aluminium products in the Balkans and the only one of its kind in Bulgaria to house the production of both types of processing. Benefiting from nearly 35 years of experience in the field of non-ferrous metallurgy, Alcomet offers a large variety of foils, sheets, strips and profiles and, in response to growing demand, plans to double production capacity next year. Romana Moares reports. Mr Fikret Ince, Owner of Alcomet AD

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ounded in 1981, today Alcomet AD is the leading Bulgarian producer of aluminium rolled and extruded products. Over the past 35 years the company has successfully evolved into one of the major aluminium producers in the Balkans and has gained recognition as a reliable partner in both foreign and domestic markets. Its product range includes aluminium foils, sheets, strips and profiles. Over 95 per cent of the total volume is marketed abroad, mainly in the countries of the European Union. The company’s only plant is located in the north-eastern part of Bulgaria, on 370,000m2 premises in the town of Shumen, about 100km from the Bulgarian port of Varna. As a result of a large-scale investment programme, Alcomet spent €75 million in upgrading its production facilities, increasing its output nearly four times over the last 10 years. Now the company can boast modern production equipment, integrated management systems, precise inspection devices as well as highly qualified staff – all factors that have contributed to its considerable growth. “The company has achieved very good financial performance in the last few years and managed to establish itself as a trusted supplier to major customers. Today, capacity is 95 per cent utilised and we need to expand,” says Fikret Ince, the company’s owner and

chairman of the Supervisory board. He added that, for this reason, a decision was made in 2016 to considerably extend the production capacity to accommodate new orders and, just as importantly, to expand to new markets outside Europe.

Doubling production capacity Alcomet’s investment in expanding its capacity and increasing production efficiency is worth over €40 million and will include purchasing state-of-the-art technology. As a result of the investment, the current production premises will be extended by an additional 18,800m2. New technology will include a cold rolling mill and extrusion press delivered by a leading German manufacturer, SMS group. This will allow Alcomet to diversify its product range and enhance the product quality. “The construction has been under way and we have ordered the equipment. Then there will be the installation stage and testing prior to commissioning, which should be achieved at the end of 2018. It is worthwhile mentioning that the investment is financed by our own source and by bank loan, without using any financial support from EU funds,” remarks Mr Ince. “Our target industries after implementation of the investment programme are the automotive and packaging sectors. The new capacity will also help us to target the USA and North Africa market.” Industry Europe 213




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He confirms that Alcomet has always been dedicated to improving the quality and efficiency of its metal processing and keeping its production equipment in line with the latest technological standards and market requirements. “As part of our ongoing efforts to provide better service to our customers, we continue to enhance our extrusion capabilities by adding new lines to our portfolio. Our newest acquisition is a state-of-the-art 5-axis CNC machining centre, supplied by leading German manufacturer Elumatec. The SB151 FLEXIUM is capable of performing even the most complex drilling, tapping, thread milling, routing, sawing and notching operations. Designed for economical and efficient machining of aluminium profiles, it guarantees the highest quality and precision in profile processing.”

efficient use of natural resources as one of its key elements. Through recycling we manage not only to preserve natural resources but also to achieve energy savings, thus reducing our carbon footprint. We recycle 100 per cent of our internal production scrap and purchase a major part of the aluminium scrap generated in Bulgaria.” Over the next few years, the company will be busy implementing and consolidating its new capacity. While Europe is currently the major market for Alcomet, with Germany consuming 25 per cent of n its exports, the company is ready to progress further afield.

Meeting the challenge It is important to point out that environmental protection and sustainability have always been high on the company’s priority list. All investments in the modernisation and expansion have invariably been accompanied by the installation of modern purification facilities. The technical and technological solutions employed are of the highest standard and greatly improve the purity of air emissions and the quality of water used in production. The company has developed a number of programmes to manage production waste, the greater part of which are also utilised by other industry sectors. “As a major producer in the region, we do care greatly for the people and the environment,” confirms Mr Ince. “We have a lot of social responsible programmes in place to support not only our employees but also the community. Also, our corporate strategy includes an

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Mixing masterclass The HF Group is a broad industrial conglomerate that provides products and services to the global tyre, technical rubber goods, oil seed processing and food industries. The company’s key business units cover extrusion technology, tyre building machines and curing presses. Philip Yorke reports.

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H

arburg-Freudenberger Maschinenbau GmbH was founded in Hamburg, Germany in 1855 and has been delivering cutting edge engineering solutions to major manufacturing industries ever since. The HF Group is one of ten divisions belonging to the German-owned holding company L.Possehl & Co. Under the umbrella of the HF Mixing Group, the HF Tyre-Tech Group is focused on providing industrial scale equipment for rubber mixing, which is predominantly internal mixers, single screw and twin screw dump extruders, mixing room control systems and auxiliary equipment such as strip-cutting machines and bale cutters. The HF Group’s machines also create compounds for a vast number of specialised products for the automotive industry, such as special seals and brake pads and for the building and appliances industries, where it produces items such as rubber seals for windows and washing machines. The mixers are available in a wide range of sizes, from 0.3 litres to 1000 litres capacity.

Innovative biomass technology The HF Group’s experience in developing innovative recycling techniques for the biomass sector is unrivalled and its subsidiary, HF Press+LipidTech, (HF-PLT) continues to set the standards for the industry. Today it is possible to select the best available technology to process and add value to biomass and animal fat products. This unique HF technology allows companies to produce high quality products for new applications, which in turn can open up new markets and new industries. Animal meal is one of the products used as protein-rich animal feed, nitrogen-rich fertiliser, and as an energy source in power stations and cement kilns. The second main product is animal fat which also finds its way into animal feed, but also as a fuel, either directly as crude fat or after conversion to biodiesel. Both the meal and the fat are starting points for a large variety of final products and fuels. This demonstrates the importance of

state-of-the-art recycling technologies for these raw organic products. For over 40 years, HF has been building on its experience and innovation in rendering and recycling technologies. Today HP-PLT provides the most modern equipment, process systems and complete turnkey plants, all of which subscribe to the latest and most stringent European hygiene standards. One special key component in the entire process sequence is the HF disc dryer. It is designed for drying sterilised animal waste and can also be used to dry oilseeds, grains, distiller’s grains, and a wide variety of other industrial inorganic or organic sludge and slurries. Apart from the most advanced disc dryers, sterilisers and other process equipment, HF is also known worldwide for its market-leading Krupp-Screw Press products.

Flexible tyre building Changes in the automotive market are posing new challenges for tyre manufacturers in their production processes. It is recognised that the variety of tyres in the automotive market is growing, especially for the larger size tyres of over 17”. These are steadily gaining an increasing share of the tyre market. The most pressing challenge today is the requirement for tyre manufacturers to enable production for quick code changes and at the same time be able to produce smaller lots cost-effectively. Quality requirements are also constantly being upgraded. These are driven by the automotive industry and not only as a result of the latest tyre labelling legislation, which has been mandatory in the EU and South Korea since 2012, but also due to the requirement to sign OE Tyre sizes visually on the sidewall. These pre-requisites will be implemented in other markets such as the US, China, Brazil and Japan in the near future. Interestingly, HF has developed an entirely new tyre-building machine that meets these requirements by means of a flexible drum concept, which ensures the diversified production of highly complex and innovaIndustry Europe 219


tive tyre designs. The company’s PL2-SD-Flex is the answer to tackling the range of challenges posed by today’s tyre market. By means of a mere tool change it is possible to build all tyre constructions currently available on the market, in either flat or high crown building processes in just one basic machine. Tyre constructions, especially in the layer area, can be built ranging from C-envelope to ply-down tyres, thus offering decisive advantages in the sidewall area, which is the most critical part in relation to the tyre’s performance. Tyre sizes that previously required the so-called two-stage process can now be produced directly in a single stage on HF’s new PLT2-SD-Flex machine.

New energy-saving technologies The automotive sector’s demand for more energy-saving tyres is having a significant impact on the tyre machinery sector. This trend is linked to current developments among the world’s car manufacturers, for whom energy-saving technologies are now a major focus. This takes the form of reducing the energy consumed during curing and increasing process efficiency by raising the throughput of the presses, which can often create a bottleneck in the tyre manufacturing process. At the HF Group, one of the latest energy saving products is a quick mould change device, which significantly reduces the mould changeover times and the energy consumed. There are also other uses of HF’s technology on the horizon to increase still further the intelligence and efficiency of its curing presses. In terms of energy saving, the company has developed many new technologies including the introduction of advanced process control systems which offer high speed open-and-close facilities in order to trap the heat. In addition, improved insulation and heat recovery options help n to improve energy saving still further. For more details of the HF Group’s latest innovative energy saving technologies and services visit: www.hfgroup.com

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Thermoplastic Specialist R&P POLYPLASTIC specialises in the production of thermoplastic compound materials for processing by pressure, blow and extrusion moulding. The company is the absolute industry leader in Russia, boasting a more than 40 per cent share of the Russian market of composite polymer materials for technical purposes. Mikhail Katsevman, the company’s director for science and development, speaks about the current product range, competitive advantages and plans for further expansion.

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he history of R&P POLYPLASTIC reflects the development of Russia’s plastics industry. Founded in 1991, the company has evolved into a major player supplying its products to a wide range of industries. Mikhail Katsevman describes the latest development: “In the last two to three years our company has notably increased production efficiency. We managed to reduce the amount of waste and reach a fundamentally new level of customer cooperation. A good example is R&P POLYPLASTIC’s successful access to the European market.”

Solid base R&P POLYPLASTIC consists of the head office, two production sites and an R&D centre with trial production. The industrial sites are located in the Russian regions: one production plant is situated in the ‘auto capital’ Togliatti (Samara region), geographically aiming at one of the company’s main customers, Renault-Nissan-Avtovas; the other, larger plant is located in Engels (Saratov region), housing 13 production lines of the world-renowned equipment producers Berstorf, Coperion, ICMA and BUSS. “By the end of 2017, we are planning to launch two additional extrusion lines allowing us to increase production capacity to 115000 tonnes a year,” says Mr Katsevman. He further highlights the aspects that make the company stand out. “Quite recently, our cooperation with PSMA Rus (a joint venture of the PSA Group and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation) became truly global. Our company was included in the PMR 2017 international list. This means that we can supply our compounds to all production plants of this international car manufacturer around the globe. What differentiates us from European competitors is our list of products based on the principle ‘as good as necessary’, and a top-class research and technology division supporting the customer while homologation of new types of materials is taking

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place. One of the basic guiding principles of R&P POLYPLASTIC for many years has been ‘tailor-made materials’. This refers to a customer-focused attitude and providing maximum comfort to the client,” he confirms.

Focus on development The company’s core business is the production of thermoplastic compound materials, which are widely used for a large number of applications. The major customers of R&P POLYPLASTIC are automotive producers, large domestic appliance makers and manufacturers of construction materials, both interior and exterior. “We have a wide range of materials, more than 250 product names primarily based on Polypropylene (Armlen) and Polyamide (Armamid). There is also quite a high demand in Russia for our products based on PA66, HDPE, PBT and POM, under the brand names Technamid, Armobond, Torlen, Technoter, Technoset and others. We also have new developments based on polyphenylene sulfide — a material adapted to high temperatures which is used in the energy industry,” explains Mr Katsevman. He further remarks that the current trend is focused on compounds based on high-temperature matrixes, including the use of high modulus and so-called ‘long fibres’ (LFT), in order to achieve a unique range of characteristics. These materials are increasingly used in electronics, electric engineering, automotive and other high-tech industries as an alternative to metals. “We also expand the use of recycled polymers and biodegradable compounds. We are actively working in these directions. Our R&D specialists have developed a relevant compound product range, while a separate group of developers is working with recycled polymers. The latter analyse the market, conduct experiments, develop formulations and create quality requirements for future industrial applications.”


Plastics & Rubber

Today, the most promising sector for R&P POLYPLASTIC is automotive – each vehicle contains more than 10 per cent thermoplastic compounds and the rate is constantly growing. However, the company strives to accommodate the needs of clients from all sectors alike; for example, when one of its clients, Whirlpool, asked it to work out an individual solution to develop a washing machine drum for its latest model, the company’s specialists developed a material to make the sides of the drum thinner while maintaining the same strength properties. This enabled it increase the drum’s efficiency by up to 30 per cent and the spin cycle speed by up to 1500 rpm without changing its dimensions. In 2014, the company received the JEC International Award for this achievement.

Going stronger “Our enterprise has been successfully delivering its mission for more than a quarter of a century, with great support from our suppliers,” says Mikhail Katsevman. “We have been working with some of our suppliers for decades. When it comes to Polypropylene and Polyamide, our basic matrices, we are working with local producers such as Sibur, Lukoil, Nizsnekamskneftehim and Kuibishevazot. I would like to point out that we strive to build long-term relations with all our suppliers.”

He confirms that the company is well on track for future growth. R&P POLYPLASTIC is looking forward to the opening of Zapsibneftehim (owned by the Sibur Group), one of the largest modern petrochemical complexes in Russia with a PP copolymer production unit with a 500,000-tonne capacity. “The installation of this unit will give our company a competitive advantage and not only in Russia,” he claims. After achieving a leading position on the local market, the company is seeking new areas for development; to this end, an expansion strategy called ‘Export Boost’ has been developed, based on its programme of external development. The current focus is on boosting business in central Europe, where most of its potential customers are located. “We will take the extensive path based on the principle of mergers and acquisitions,” says Mikhail Katsevman. “Our company is ready to cooperate in any form including purchasing new production plants.” He concludes: “Last year R&P POLYPLASTIC had its 25th anniversary. Remarkably, our company was registered on the day of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the foundation of a new Russia. And believe me, a quarter century’s development of a company that is 100 n per cent private through such a difficult period is worth a lot.”

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Plastic solutions for industry Weber Polska, a company based in Goleniow, Poland, is a manufacturer of plastic storage and technological tanks and a part of the German Weber Group, one of the biggest producers of plastics tanks in Europe. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.

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eber Polska is one of the seven companies that comprise the Weber Group, which itself is an offshoot of Gerhard Weber Kunststoff-Verarbeitung GmbH, the German company from Minden (Westphalia), founded in 1967 by Gerhard Weber. Today, the company is still a family-owned business and now in its second generation. Initially, Gerhard Weber Kunststoff-Verarbeitung was focused on the production of plastic composite tanks, as well the development of GRP coatings. A few years later the product range was enlarged to include the processing of thermoplastic materials. Today, after more than 50 years as a manufacturer of plastic tanks and devices for storing chemicals and handling aggressive materials, the group is a well-established player on the market. Annually, more

than 3000 tonnes of plastic sheets are processed in its factories. This makes Weber Group one of the largest manufacturers of thermoplastic tanks and accessories in Europe, employing a staff of more than 500 people. Gerhard Weber Kunststoff-Verarbeitung GmbH is now the parent company of the group.

Diamond in the crown Weber Polska was founded in 1996 as KTS Kunststoff-Technik Szczecin Sp. z o.o; its name was changed to Weber Polska Sp. z o.o. in the year 2011. The company’s independent distribution division covers the eastern European markets and production includes both the processing of thermoplastics as well as in-house steel construction.

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At its Goleniow headquarters, the company is situated on an area of 65000m2 and has at its disposal two production halls for plastic and steel processing covering an area of 10000m2. In addition, Weber Polska is a co-owner of a wound pipe production plant, also located at the Goleniow site. “Our plant in Goleniow is the group’s biggest production site, which employs more than 250 people,” says Mr Pawel Tomaszewski, a member of Weber Polska’s management board. “We are the leading manufacturer of storage and technological tanks for various industries, including the chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry, food industry

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and heavy industry. The products from Goleniow are sold mainly to Germany and other European countries, but also to the Middle East, Asia, South and North America.”

Wide range of products Circular and rectangular tanks are the company’s flagship products. “We produce tanks made from welded sheets (thermoplastics: PE, PP, PVC, PVDF, PVDF-HP and ECTFE) as well as steel constructions from carbon steel and stainless steel. Our products cover a wide range of applications, from drinking water and wastewater treatment to the


Plastics & Rubber

handling of highly aggressive chemicals. The design of the individual tanks is dependent upon customer specifications and technical factors. We can accurately implement any required diameter. Our products are suitable for both indoor and outdoor installation. In the field of tanks processing, accessories, equipment and the static dimensioning depend on the respective case of application. Thus, if stirring devices are used, for example, the resulting static loads must be considered,” explains Mr Tomaszewski. The company also provides all necessary plant technology and components, including prefabricated lines for hot dip galvanisers, components for galvanising, and exhaust air purification installations (designed as absorptive wet scrubbers or mechanically acting droplet separators).

The competitive advantage Weber Poland is deservedly proud of its competitive advantage, which is the result of several factors. “Our strengths include our large production capacity, modern machinery, qualified staff, flexibility and

focus on customers’ needs. We are happy to use the know-how of the wider Weber Group, which results in added value owing to the synergy effect. The Weber Group can rely on many years of experience and has all the necessary licenses and certificates for the implementation of large hall projects, among others. Last but not least, we offer a complete service package from one source: we plan, design and install all plants.” In order to be able to offer such a wide range of innovative tanks and installations, Weber Polska cooperates with many partners, which in turn translates into successes and business opportunities for all partners taking part in the cooperation. “The long-term relationships we have with our partners, including many local companies, support the implementation of our quality concept. Only in close cooperation with our suppliers can our products be further developed and designed according to the static, mechanical and chemical loads,” n points out Mr Tomaszewski. Visit: https://weber-polska.com/

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Transforming to

face the future

As a result of a recent merger, Ahlstrom-Munksjö Oyj has become a global leader in innovative and sustainable fibre-based materials. Romana Moares spoke to Pekka Helynranta, the Managing Director of Ahlstrom-Munksjö Glassfibre Oy, about recent company developments and plans for the future.

A

hlstrom-Munksjö Oyj is a new entity, established as recently as April 2017 as a result of a merger of two large traditional companies. The merger created a global leader in innovative and sustainable fibre-based materials with combined pro forma net sales of approximately €2.15 billion, around 6000 employees, and 41 production and conversion facilities in 14 countries. “Both companies have a long tradition reaching back to the 19th century and each has been a strong player in its field. The filtration business has always played a major role for Ahlstrom – about 50 per cent of all cars worldwide use the company’s products. Similarly, Munksjö is a well-known international speciality paper company manufacturing products that add value to selected industrial sectors,” says Pekka Helynranta. Therefore it was a natural decision for

the owners to join forces in order to further strengthen the position of the company worldwide. Ahlstrom-Munksjö is a global leader in fibre-based materials, supplying innovative and sustainable solutions to customers worldwide. Its offerings include glassfibre nonwovens, glassfibre fabrics, decor paper, filter media, release liners, abrasive backings, electrotechnical paper, food packaging and labelling, tape, medical fibre materials and solutions for diagnostics. In 2016, Ahlstrom-Munksjö derived about 60 per cent of its total net sales from Europe, 24 per cent from the Americas and 16 per cent from the Asia-Pacific region. Know-how in fibre-based technology, an efficient manufacturing platform and ability to serve global customers locally helped in forging its strong market position.

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Close to customers One of the group’s subsidiaries is Ahlstrom-Munksjö Glassfibre Oy, which produces glassfibre nonwovens mainly used in building applications such as flooring and glassfibre reinforcements in composite applications, e.g. wind turbine blades. Pekka Helynranta, Managing Director of Ahlstrom-Munksjö Glassfibre, stresses that the company always works closely with customers and the products are mostly tailor-made. “Product development is a joint effort between our and the customers’ specialists. The newest product, Aceblade, is an excellent product in terms of its mechanical properties. It can significantly improve the performance in comparison with stitched uni-directional products used in wind turbine blades. This is something we have been offering for a few years and it has raised a lot of interest.” He points out that demand for the Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites (RTC) products that the company has had in its portfolio for 230 Industry Europe


Textiles, Home & Personal Care

many years seems to be increasing, not only in the automotive sector but other parts of the transportation industry in general. “These products can be easily shaped to suit the customers’ needs.”

Expected growth Ahlstrom-Munksjö Glassfibre Oy operates three plants, two in Finland and one in Russia. One of the plants specialises in the production of reinforcement fabrics, while the other two focus on glassfibre nonwovens. “We launched the investment project in Russia in 2006 and the plant was commissioned in 2008. The aim was to satisfy local demand,” says the Managing Director. “The demand for our products is increasing globally so we have to have our sensors out all the time, even if no immediate plans for new plants or acquisitions are in the pipeline. Being a Europe-based company, Europe clearly remains the biggest market although our products are supplied worldwide. To grow and further develop the business is our main task. The glassfibre business is a strong part of the Ahlstrom-Munksjö family and we are confident about the future,” confirms Mr Helynranta. One example of the company’s putting these future growth plans into action is its latest decision to invest €4 million into upgrading the Karhula, Finland plant’s glassfibre nonwovens line. This investment n will be completed by the end of 2017.

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Advancing oral hygiene The Schiffer Group is a European market leader in the development and manufacture of toothbrushes and oral care products. This family-owned independent business has seen consistent growth since it was founded in 1887. Today Schiffer is the largest independent toothbrush manufacturer in Europe and supplies some of the world’s biggest brands with products designed to meet the changing demands of the world’s consumers. Philip Yorke reports.

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he Schiffer Group originally began business as a brush factory in Germany and it wasn’t until 1945 that it made the strategic decision to focus its production on the manufacture of toothbrushes. The company patented the first anchorless toothbrush in Germany and established the ‘Dr.Best’ brand in Europe. Today M+C Schiffer has its headquarters in Neustadt, Germany, between Cologne and Frankfurt am Main. The company’s state-of-the-art production facilities are located in Austria, Germany and India. The Schiffer Group’s success is enhanced by the fact that its development costs for accelerated product launches such as ‘rapid prototyping’ are kept to a minimum due to the extremely short time in which it can bring new products to market. In fact, the manufacturing process extends right up to the packaging phase via automated inline production systems. By using this ‘no human touch’ manufacturing method, the company easily satisfies the most stringent international hygiene requirements. Today the Schiffer Group employs more than 1000 people and produces over one million toothbrushes a day.

Focus on R&D Research and development is at the heart of the company’s business ethic and considered to be one of the main contributors to its success. The Schiffer Group works with the most prestigious design

agencies and scientific institutions in order that its customers can benefit from the best and most competitive products. The company has always adopted a proactive approach to the development of new technologies and production processes. Perfection at Schiffer means the screening and optimising of all its processes down to the very last detail. This is why it is able to offer innovative products to the highest standards. The group also develops its own state-of-the-art machinery in many areas of productivity. This uncompromising attitude to perfection has many advantages for its customers, as it paves the way for unique products, smooth production processes and optimal cost-efficiency.

Individual solutions The Schiffer Group has been an innovation pathfinder for decades and is a reliable partner for almost all branded oral care goods for the world’s multinational retailers. It offers a customised range of oral care products for consumers, from conventional manual toothbrushes to the latest generation of brush-heads for electric toothbrushes. In addition to the items the group manufactures for itself, it also provides products from selected, audited partners. These complimentary products, such as dental floss, interdental kits and electric toothbrushes, are developed, designed and manufactured in-house, in accordance with its consistent high standards. The comIndustry Europe 233


pany’s aim is to make the best possible offer to its customers, taking into account all the cost and service factors throughout a product’s entire lifecycle. This in turn means that the Schiffer Group’s customers receive the best price-performance ratio at all times in this niche sector. Furthermore, the company uses its unrivalled know-how for the development of products in other healthcare sectors. These include sophisticated plastic products for consumers, such as facial brushes, mascara brushes, baby products and safe, plastic toys. These unique tailor-made products are designed to give customers valuable competitive advantages.

Latest in-mould processes Schiffer toothbrushes are manufactured in one continuous process using the latest in-mould technology. This patented method is not only highly efficient but also offers an exceptionally hygienic production process. As a result, this affords the possibility to work with special filaments, which in turn create new vistas of hygienic and more functional design options. Today, many leading global oral-care companies trust in Schiffer’s production processes and logistics expertise, as well as its ability to supply international markets with best-in-class toothbrushes. These long-term partners greatly value the company’s innovative capabilities

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and its uncompromising dedication to perfection. Many major European retail chains source their private label toothbrush ranges from Schiffer in order to offer toothbrushes of unrivalled quality and reliability.

A conscientious approach to the environment Responsibility and continuity are two of the basic values enshrined in the company’s corporate philosophy and these also apply equally to its relationship with nature. For many years it has been certified to ISO 14001 and remains a model practitioner in its region. Schiffer’s Neustadt/Weid facility has also been certified to ISO 50001 since 2005, which ensures the group’s careful and mindful use of energy. The company also strictly avoids the use of hazardous agents and strives to minimise emissions throughout its production facilities. In addition, many years ago Schiffer developed its own environmentally friendly toothbrush. This product replaced mineral oil-based plastics with sustainable materials, such as natural fibres and wood based derivatives. For packaging purposes the group uses FSC certified materials and recycled packaging materials. What’s more, it also assesses its n suppliers on the basis of appropriate ecological constraints. For further details of the Schiffer Group’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.mc-schiffer.com


Textiles, Home & Personal Care

Unilever: Green Means Go Unilever has long been recognised as a frontrunner when it comes to sustainability. For this globally renowned consumer goods giant, the mission is clear and simple: to ‘make sustainable living commonplace’. Industry Europe finds out how it has continued to further this agenda – while delivering results for its stakeholders at the same time – since we last looked at the company in 2016.

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W

ith over 400 Personal Care, Home Care and Food & Drink brands sold to consumers all over the world, Unilever’s global turnover totaled €52.7 billion in 2016. Brands such as Hellmann’s, Surf or Ben&Jerry’s are part of everyday life for millions of people throughout the world. Furthermore, as we shall see later on, the company is continuously making new acquisitions in order to strengthen its existing brand portfolios and global outreach. Indeed, in May this year (2017) it was named as the company with the most brands in the Kantar Worldpanel Global Top 50 index. As many will be aware, Unilever also made headlines in February this year when it fended off Kraft Heinz’s £115 billion takeover bid. The offer was withdrawn ‘amicably’ after Unilever indicated it would use every tool at its disposal to ensure the deal did not take place. Kraft Heinz’s position was further weakened by the fact that rumours of the deal were leaked before it was ready to make its announcement, meaning it did not have time to sound out key investors before going public. This represented a positive outcome for Unilever, whose main objection to the bid was that it ‘fundamentally undervalued’ its substantial assets. But quite apart from the above accolades and takeover dramas, what makes Unilever stand out is the fact that it uses the position it has built over its many years of operation to set an example on how a business can be run both profitably and sustainably. According to the company: “Unilever believes profitable growth should also be responsible growth. That approach lies at the heart of our business model…It guides our approach to how we do business and how we meet the growing consumer demand for brands that act responsibly in a world full of finite resources.”

Sustainable and responsible What is the Unilever sustainable living plan (USLP) we have heard so much about since its launch in 2010? For the group, it is far more than just words – it is an ethos around which its entire business strategy is built. Within this, its goals can be broadly divided into three main groups: improving health and wellbeing for more than 1 billion people; reducing its environmental impact by half, and enhancing millions of livelihoods throughout the world. Each year the company publishes a comprehensive account of its progress towards these goals in the form of its Sustainable Living Report. 236 Industry Europe

With regard to improving health and wellbeing around the world, Unilever’s approach falls into two main categories: Health & Hygiene and Improving Nutrition. It seeks to provide safe drinking water, reduce infectious illnesses through hand washing, improve access to sanitation, oral health and, last but not least, improve self-esteem to help those from developing countries gain the tools to build a better future. The push for safer drinking water has been greatly advanced with the development of the Pureit water purifier in 2008, a breakthrough innovation designed by Hindustan Unilever and offering complete protection from all water-borne diseases. It provides four litres of ‘As safe as boiled’™ water at a running cost of Rs 1 without the need to boil, and without the need for electricity or a continuous tap water supply. For the millions who live in the developed world with little access to water, this product can be life-changing. Reducing environmental impact for Unilever means cutting greenhouse gases across its operations, cutting water use by at least a half, reducing waste and packaging, and ensuring all its raw materials are sustainably sourced. Finally, enhancing livelihoods for millions translates to fairness and human rights in the workplace, opportunities for women and inclusive business practices – the latter intended to improve prospects for smallholder farmers, small-scale retailers and young entrepreneurs. A good example of Unilever’s responsibility when it comes to its supplier relationships is in its sourcing of palm oil – it being one of the world’s largest users of this resource. In recent years it has been working with specialist partners in North Sumatra, Indonesia, to drive sustainable palm oil. Following its partnership with the IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, PT Perkebunan Nusantara III Persero (PTPN III) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), 63 farmers – 19 of which are women – have now achieved RSPO certification. This move makes them the first independent palm oil farmers in the entire Indonesian province of North Sumatra. According to Unilever Chief Supply Chain Officer Marc Engels: “As one of the world’s largest palm oil end users in the consumer goods sector, Unilever is committed to leading the transformation of a sustainable palm oil industry. By sourcing sustainably, we aim to reduce the impact of palm oil cultivation on forests, and drive positive economic and social impacts for smallholder farmers, indigenous peoples and forest communities.”



International recognition

Combating stereotypes

And there have been clear indications that the USLP is effective. For example, Unilever was recently identified as a global leader in corporate sustainability and awarded a position on this year’s A List for climate, water and forests by CFP, the non-profit global environmental disclosure platform. CDP publishes A–D scores across climate, water and forests for over 3000 major corporates. This is the first year it has announced company scores across all three areas simultaneously, reflecting the interconnectivity between climate, forests and water. Unilever Chief Financial Officer, Graeme Pitkethly, highlights the significance of this achievement for the company: “Disclosure through the CDP platform is an important tool for Unilever to measure how we are performing against our sustainability plans and making progress to reduce our footprint. We are delighted to have been recognised as one of only two companies to achieve straight ‘A’ scores across the rankings.” He went on: “Transparency and reporting are more important than ever before, not only to ensure trust among employees and consumers, but also for our investors. Unilever is one of the first companies to commit to implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. If markets are to operate efficiently, we must be transparent to help them evaluate companies’ risks and opportunities and make better decisions for the long term.”

Social and cultural responsibility are also a strong part of the Unilever ethos. To emphasise this, in March this year it released a trailblazing new report detailing its plan to challenge discrimination and outdated stereotypes across the company and society at large. The report is entitled ‘Opportunities for Women: challenging harmful social norms and gender stereotypes to unlock women’s potential’, and builds on Unilever’s ‘Unstereotype’ commitment, launched in 2016, in which it pledged to change the way it portrays women and men in its advertising. It outlines the work Unilever is doing to support the women it directly employs, those working along the supply chain and in broader society. Alan Jope, Unilever President of Personal Care, neatly summed up the importance of such initiatives, saying: “Empowering women and girls offers the single biggest opportunity for human development and economic growth…We are already making a difference to the lives of women, through the work of brands like Dove, with campaigns like ‘My Beauty My Say’ and partnerships like Surf’s work with Oxfam to alleviate the burden of unpaid care work on women.”

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Innovation, innovation, innovation At the heart of Unilever’s ambition to grow sustainably is its innovation programme. Each year it invests a massive €1 billion in R&D and holds a portfolio of more than 20,000 patents and patent applications. Through its research and technical centres in India, UK, China, North America and Netherlands it employs more than 6000 scientists, engineers, chefs and technicians to both anticipate and deliver what consumers are demanding. Its teams draw on local knowledge to ensure they are able to meet consumer preferences for each of the different markets its serves – always bearing in mind that tastes and needs vary radically across the world. One result of the ongoing innovation efforts by its in-house teams appeared in May this year, when Unilever unveiled its groundbreaking new technology to recycle sachet waste. This technology, known as the CreaSolv® Process, was developed in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Germany, and was adapted from a method used to separate brominated flame retardants from waste electrical and electronic equipment polymers. During the process, plastic



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is recovered from the sachet and the plastic then used to create new sachets for Unilever products – in line with the company’s full circular economy approach. This innovation marries perfectly with Unilever’s above-mentioned pledge to ensure all its plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. The company is looking to create a sustainable system change by setting up waste collection schemes to channel the sachets to be recycled. Unilever is testing this by working with local waste banks, governments and retailers and will look to empower waste pickers.

Global leading brands Of course, while we have so far put the spotlight on Unilever’s sustainability programme, we must not lose sight of the fact that it is also a business – and an extremely successful one. Its brands – whether they are Food & Drink, Personal Care or Home Care – are all of course developed with an eye to the USLP. To Unilever, a ‘Sustainable Living’ brand must have a clear purpose that helps tackle a social or environmental concern, while at the same time contributing to one or more of the key targets set out in the USLP. In the category of Food & Drink, Unilever global brands include, amongst others, Cornetto, Knorr, Lipton, Hellmann’s and Marmite. And as with all the categories it covers, the company is continuously adding to its brand stable. In October this year, for example, it announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire the Brazilian natural and organic food business Mãe Terra. This is a fast-growing brand in Brazil, providing organic and food products that aligns with Unilever’s sustainable nutrition strategy. When it comes to Personal Care, with well-known brands including Dove, Vaseline, Alberto Balsam, Brut and many more, the most recent addition to the brand stable is Carver Korea. This is a leading skincare business in North Asia which has shown exponential growth over the past five years, delivering sales of €321 million and EBITDA of €137 million in 2016. This will help Unilever to further consolidate its position in the South Asian consumer goods market. In the Home Care market, growth has been driven by particularly strong performance from the fabric conditioner Comfort and the value brand Brilhante, as well as the roll-out of Omo into Iran. Furthermore, the recent acquisitions of the brands Seventh Generation and Blueair (an air purification product) have performed strongly and are expected to contribute to overalls sales growth in the coming months. 242 Industry Europe

Strategy for growth Unilever’s plans for the future include further growth in emerging markets, particularly India and China. Commenting on its results for the third quarter of 2017, which showed an overall sales increase of 2.6 per cent driven by these emerging markets, CEO Paul Polman said: “The transformation of Unilever into a more resilient, more competitive and more profitable business continues and we are making good progress against the strategic objectives we have set out for 2020.” He added: “The ‘Connected 4 Growth change programme is beginning to make our business less complex and more responsive to fast-changing consumer trends. The new organisation is delivering increased innovation speed and our savings programmes are allowing us to step up investment behind new growth opportunities. n We expect to reap the benefits over the coming quarters.”



Glee - Iarp Cool Emotions Range

EXPERIENCE IRRESISTIBLE: Iarp Cool Emotions Epta, a multinational group specialising in commercial refrigeration, presents the new Iarp Cool Emotions range.

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also in this issue...

Joy - Iarp Cool Emotions Range

T

he exclusive Iarp Cool Emotions plug-in solutions have been designed to meet the modern requirements of the Food & Beverage and Ho.Re.Ca sectors. The range presents a great selection of products in cabinets with an eye-catching design to enhance their appeal and therefore the profitability of the client’s business. The cabinets from the new Iarp Cool Emotions range stand out thanks to their hi-tech design and elegant form as well as the special blue LED lighting on the external profiles that help to attract the attention of consumers towards the products on display, incentivising impulse buying.

Innovative new designs The line is the result of innovative use of plug-in power and comes in four models: the semi-vertical Joy 30 – ideal for displaying beverages; the vertical Glee – for beverages and ice-cream, which is also available in the special Winery version; and Delight for scooped ice-cream, which shares the same aesthetic appeal and is thus the perfect solution for ensuring the highest level of display quality within bars and ice-cream shops. Excite, a compact countertop unit used to display ice-cream cones or classic packaged ice-cream, completes the range. Thanks to the introduction of digital printing directly onto metal sheets, the cabinets can be completely personalised, in

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Delight - Iarp Cool Emotions Range Led lightihg of Glee - Iarp Cool Emotions Range

order to satisfy the requirements of display versatility and flexibility for all retail premises and improve the image and profitability of Food & Beverage and Ho.Re.Ca operators. Available in two versions, Lite and Prime, they combine aesthetics with the utmost reliability: indeed, the exclusive plug-in technology ensures operational efficiency in any environment, eliminating the need for maintenance interventions for at least one year. “The success of the Iarp Cool Emotions range relies on its finishing, materials, attention to detail and the exclusive systems adopted,” says William Pagani, group marketing director at Epta. “The range combines technology with a highly evolved design to get consumers involved whilst n offering our partners the highest returns.”

Joy - Iarp Cool Emotions Range 246 Industry Europe

Glee - Iarp Cool Emotions Range

Excite - Iarp Cool Emotions Range


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SUCCESS IS

NOT ENOUGH A three-time winner of the Forbes Diamonds ranking, this manufacturer of top quality upholstered furniture does not rest on its laurels. It continuously expands its plants and employs top specialists to ensure its furniture delivers comfort and the highest quality standards.

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D

FM Sp. z o.o. is a 100 per cent Polish-owned company, located in Dobre Miasto near Olsztyn. This region is one of the most beautiful parts of north-eastern Poland owing to its many wonderful lakes, forests and other popular spots frequently visited by tourists from all over the world. Since 2001, the company has successfully been selling furniture to the markets of the Benelux countries, Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the United States.

Investment and steady growth In 2016, the company’s sales were estimated at approximately €90 million. Market demand and a steady increase in its sales were the decisive factors behind last year’s expansion of DFM’s production facility in Dobre

Miasto, when its production area was increased by three hectares and the most modern production lines were purchased. The acquisition of professional cutters for fabrics and leathers has improved workflow and increased productivity. At this time the company also launched a carpentry shop to manufacture wooden components, making DFM almost self-sufficient.

Working with people and for people But however many improvements are made and ultra-modern machines and equipment installed, nothing can replace a company’s most important factor: its people. Today, DFM employs more than 1000 people – well-educated professionals with extensive experience in their fields. They understand the needs of customers and perfectly match the product to their expectations. Indeed, customer satisfaction is the driving factor behind the company’s strategy.

Production with passion Each element of DFM’s furniture, down to the smallest detail, is produced with great diligence and care. Everyone involved in the production process understands that his or her work is very important, as it contributes to the creation of the highest quality furniture that will last for many years. DFM uses the highest quality materials, purchased from reputable suppliers in Poland and abroad. The company has a very individual approach to the expectations of the market and its customers, and thus offers a wide range of comfort seats and backrests – from standard foams to high resilience foams, pocket springs, bonell springs,

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memory foams, silicones or feather mats. Within these different variations there are countless combinations, leading to the creation of a totally personalised product for each customer. In addition to its very wide range of fabrics and leather in various price ranges, DFM is a company that is valued by customers for its creativity and flexibility. Whatever their expectations, DFM has a product line to meet these, including: design, modern, landhaus and TV Relax chairs.

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“We focus on professional customer service and punctuality, while at the same time taking care not to lose the high quality, design and good price,” says company owner Dariusz Kołakowski.

New ideas and challenges Ninety-eight per cent of DFM’s upholstered furniture is sold abroad. In the domestic market, it also offers its ‘livingroom’ brand. In 2016 it


also in this issue... Motionitalia “Since 1997, Motion Italia has been working every day to create the best expression of comfort. Thanks to a highly specialized team of researchers, designers and engineers, Motion Italia supports upholsteredmanufacturers by offering innovative and technologically advanced solutions for moving armchairs and sofas to enhance their efficiency and comfort. From concept to design, from production to distribution, we care about every single step to ensure a perfect synthesis result between design and functionality. Motion Italia represents innovation at your service all over the world.”

opened a model showroom in Warsaw, where a customer can see and test this particular line of furniture. “It is very important for us to allow a customer to touch and feel the comfort of a couch or a chair, to look at their functionality and high quality of finishes and finally to help the customer make a purchase decision on this basis,” says Dariusz Kołakowski. In the next few years, the company plans to open more showrooms in other cities in Poland to give people the opportunity to get to know the livingroom brand even better. From the above, it is clear there are big challenges facing the company. “We intend to make further investments in our production processes, as we cannot forget that the world does not stand still but constantly moves on. Our ambition is to play in the furniture premier league, on the n national, European and global levels,” concludes Mr Kołakowski.

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Optimising footwear fashion

Lloyd Shoes is a market leader in the design and manufacture of premium fashion shoes. The company’s latest collections set the trends in the industry for both sport and business shoe styles. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to see strong growth and further global expansion.

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also in this issue...

L

loyd is a well-established European shoe brand that was founded in 1888 in Bremen, Germany and has been headquartered in Suligen, Germany since 1942. Under the management of Poul Haugard Petersen, Andreas Schaller and Jorg Wetzel, it has seen consistent growth and in 2016 generated consolidated sales of more than €132 million, with export sales accounting for almost 30 per cent of its total revenues. Currently over 7000 pairs of shoes are manufactured every day by Lloyd, which has 14 subsidiaries and more than 1500 employees worldwide. Probably the best-known Lloyd identifier is its famous red stripe, which was introduced in 1968 to signify the unique quality and design of Lloyd shoe collections. In 1983 the company moved into the sport shoe sector, motivated by the boom in training shoes. Soon the company’s sport brand ‘Rocky’ took the market by storm and remains a leading brand to this day.

Pioneering footwear comfort Trainers have always been an important element of footwear fashion and not just because they can be easily coordinated fashion-wise, but also because they are hard to beat when it comes to creative styles and comfort. In addition to its range of innovative trainer ranges, seasonindependent styles such as Light Chelsea, ankle or desert boots form an equally important part of the collection, as well as stylish courts, classic ballerinas and summer footwear such as sandals and mules. It is acknowledged that the trend towards casual business shoes has been long established in the fashion world. Today office footwear has taken on a more relaxed look with ballerina flats, lace-ups, loafers and sneakers marked by unrivalled comfort without sacrificing the crucial fashion element. New sole developments pioneered by Lloyd have established new trends in both style and form. Optimal comfort is the new luxury offering, providing a perfect fit

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coupled with ‘high comfort finishing’ such as cushioning for the ball of the foot, soft impact inner soles and lightweight micro-cellular outsoles all blended with the special passion for design that is unique to Lloyd.

Building on export success In August 2017 Lloyd opened two new ‘Concept Stores’ in Beijing, China under the aegis of its partner, Lloyd China Limited. The company made a strategic decision to build upon its past success and pursue an ambitious growth programme in Asia in the coming years. The special feature that is common to all its new stores is their automatic storage system which was adapted from technology developed by Lloyd in Germany, when it added an automated outer-box warehouse to its logistics and supply chain systems a few years ago. Each new store’s fully automated storage system is located behind a glass wall within the sales rooms and therefore visible to all the store’s customers. With the expert advice available from the sales assistant, the customer looks for the model of his or her choice, which can then easily be called up from the storage area by means of a shuttle. This system has proved to be very popular as it means that the customer does not have to wait while the sales assistant vanishes into a storage room at the back of the store, thereby interrupting the sales process and often irritating the customer if the style is not sourced quickly. In addition, the customer has the option to pay via ‘WeChat’ on his or her smartphone and can have the goods delivered directly to their homes. “The new store concept is innovative even for China, and demonstrates that Lloyd thinks one step ahead of the competition in not only fashion terms but in technology and logistics too,” said Andreas Schaller, the company’s managing director. This ambitious company is also planning another store opening under the same principle this year, as well as a mobile pop-up store for malls, airports and train stations throughout the 2018 season.

Creative material mix Fresh styles and creative material combinations set the scene for the company’s forthcoming Spring/Summer collections. From various types of leather finishing and surface structures such as snake 254 Industry Europe

prints through to white, hand-dyed crust leather, the latest collections not only promise exciting new visual effects but also unique, built-in craftsmanship. Here the colour spectrum is widely faceted with gleaming satin-like shades in powdery rose, beige, milky white, subtle lion prints and shiny metallic surfaces. These unique variations in style are inspired by some of the iconic images of the 60s and 70s, such as beads, bows and velour themes. Despite the latest Lloyd collections for ladies being so varied, all the models have one thing in common: high-class design, masterful finishing and the unmistakable red stripe located in the heel.

Expanding global footprint As part of the company’s ongoing strategy for global expansion, it recently signed a ten-year contract with a leading Chinese distribution company, Kingwood. This compliments Lloyd’s existing presence in China and offers the company another high growth opportunity. Kingwood was founded in 2001 and has over 15 years of relevant expertise in the distribution of high quality European brands of footwear in the Chinese market. Here Lloyd’s focus is on the re-launch of its men’s and women’s collections. It also reinforces the company’s goal to establish a broad, sustainable network in China. For further details of Lloyd’s latest creative collections and services visit: www.lloyd-shoes.com



In the spotlight

With approximately 9500 employees in manufacturing facilities and sales offices around the world, W. L. Gore & Associates is famous for making industry-leading products that make a difference to our everyday lives. Its products are used in many sectors, including the automotive industry. Romana Moares spoke to Ulrike Geissler, the Product Manager for the automotive lighting and powertrain segment, about the company’s products reflecting the latest industry trends.

F

ounded 60 years ago by Bill and Vieve Gore in the basement of their home, Gore has evolved into a global brand operating worldwide. By using proprietary technologies with the versatile polymer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), Gore has built a reputation for solving complex technical challenges in the most demanding environments — from revolutionising the outerwear industry with GORE-TEX® fabric to creating medical devices that improve and save lives to enabling new levels of performance in the aerospace, automotive, pharmaceutical and mobile electronics markets, among other industries. R&D expenditure accounts for more than 10 per cent of Gore’s total revenue. The company has been granted more than 2000 patents worldwide in a wide range of fields including electronics, medical devices and polymer processing. The company is headquartered in the United States near Philadelphia and operates a number of production, R&D and sales centres in numerous countries. The European headquarters is in Putzbrunn, Munich.

Headlights without compromise Within its automotive solutions for venting, EMI shielding, cables and fuel cell components, Gore products are present throughout the vehicle: in lighting, electronics as well as powertrain applications. With these products, Gore helps automotive OEMs and Tier-1 manufacturers to meet their growing demand for protecting their highly sensitive components.

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In January, the company participated in one of the key automotive lighting events of the year – the DVN Munich Workshop, a networking event for companies manufacturing and selling automotive lighting solutions. This year’s theme, ‘Digital Light’, was focused on the convergence of automotive lighting and digital technologies. “We showcased a broad variety of our products that we sell to the automotive industry, including automotive vents for electronics and exterior lighting, EMI grounding and shielding products as well as fuel cell components. As the conference theme suggests, our focus was on lighting, and condensation management in particular. We see that today’s sophisticated LED headlamps are more and more sensitive with ever-smarter electronics that need to be reliably protected from condensation. However, the lower temperature of LED light sources, a higher volume of plastics in the headlamp and smaller cavities increase the condensation challenge for lighting designers,” says Ulrike Geissler. Automotive headlamps, fog lamps and rear lamps are crucial components for safety but may be compromised by environmental factors such as heating/cooling cycles, humidity, dust, debris and fluids. GORE® Adhesive Vents for exterior automotive lighting protect lamp assemblies from degradation or premature failure in harsh environments. They reduce condensation within the lighting enclosure and continuously equalise pressure, so seals are not stressed and will not fail over time. Also, they effectively block ingress of rain,


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sleet, snow, dust, dirt and debris. In summary, Gore vents provide three key benefits: condensation/moisture reduction; pressure equalisation, and contamination prevention.

Future industry needs The mega trends that drive today’s automotive sector are connected cars, autonomous cars and electric cars. “What is relevant for us in light of the current market developments is that the R&D cycles for headlight technologies have become much shorter. While it took about 20 years to move from halogen to xenon light, now the technology is changing every year. That is a significant factor we need to consider,” Ms Geissler points out. “Another major trend is of course digitalisation – with the increasing focus on connectivity we see a growing need for integrating sensors and cameras with exterior automotive lighting. Additional functionalities like high-definition resolution, glare-free characteristics, driver assistance, and communication both car-to-pedestrian and car-to-car are included in the headlamp. That means more functionality and data management: the more functions the headlamp has to fulfil, the more data needs to be generated and processed in the car. This means that data management within a vehicle will be more and more important and new solutions will be created that will, in the end, increase road safety.”

different countries. In the US, customers don’t value lighting design differentiations that much, whereas in Europe the design is a big factor. Environmental conditions also play a role, with China for example having a much more humid environment and a higher volume of fine dust. In terms of R&D, Europe and Japan are the most interesting markets to observe for us, with Germany as the forerunner in design differentiation of exterior automotive lighting.” In the future, the company will continue to design, manufacture and sell innovative and consistently reliable products with a particular focus on three areas: in medical; in protective and comfortable fabrics; and in the industrial area, where Gore’s ultimate goal is to provide solutions to complex product and process challenges across a variety of markets and industries – from aerospace to automotive, n pharmaceuticals, mobile electronics and more.

Staying at the forefront With its automotive exterior lighting, electronics and powertrain products the company serves all major automotive OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers globally, while fully meeting the different market needs. Ms Geissler explains that differences between regions are substantial. “For example, the LED penetration rate is much lower in the US than in Europe or Asia, and regulations concerning safety also vary in Industry Europe 257


ADVERTISERSINDEX

ABB Accuride International Adeka Palmarole AD Hulst Ahlstrom Munksjö AHOLA Transport AHOLA Transport AHT Cooling Systems Alfagomma AMAG Austria Metall Aratz Ardo AXIMA

133 190 130 250 156 Inside front 147 240 104 201 171 238 82

Balambiga Metal Finishers

Halbo Mce Haver & Boecker Helios Coatings Hercorub Rubber Products H & R Group Huntsman Hurtostal2

131 44 208 139 139 125 227

ILVA Glass IMA Tea & Herbs Division Inofama IRINOX Italinox

190 239 209 89 212

Kaneka Katarzynki K+S Kali Kwadrat

143 251 241 212

70 159 167 220 61 234 251

Mare Mazak Mei Ruey Industrial Mevera Metall Mila Motionitalia

Dachser DE RIGO Diehl Controls Dimontonate Dow

109 181 193 96 101

Emporio Oleodinamico EPTA refrigeration Eurolog

105 243 128

FELB Ferropatent Ferval Fiorini Industries Flegrea Shipping & Trading Folplast

5 176 104 163 115 130

GBIE Ghani Rasheed Guangdong Hongtai Technology

96 255 85

148 205 214 Inside back 162 231 240 208 208 146 44 189 237

Teknos Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Trimo group TWE Group

209 73 152 46

Unimasters Logistics

217

240 77 215 136 249 251

Vattenfall Veproil V-INOX VLT Volvo Construction

230 129 177 181 150

Nuova Saimpa

191

Woodtai Enterprises WOSS Kereskedelmi

185 130

Opus Automazione

115

ZDAR

112

Plastiflex Port Trans Precitec Optronik Prince Minerals

130 227 57 196

93

Cazenave CG Power and Industrial Solutions Chemische Industrie Erlangen Christian Maier Cognex Colorplasticchemie Conceria Leonica

SFS Intec SGP Group SIAD SIAD S.I.A.T. Sonoco Alcore Sp Berner Plastic Group SSAB Poland SSAB Strenx Stam STH Wire Industry Strip’s Symrise

RENETRA 118 Rotex 118 Royal Institute of Technology Outside back SABA Adhesives Salcavi Industrie Sarinox

250 188 193