Volume 28/5 – 2018
Hoffmann Group consolidates its market position ZF Group expands in Hungary
Collaborative robots: the workplace of the future Courtesy of Rethink Robotics, Inc.
Keeping the lights on Small could be beautiful for our future energy needs.
he looked out of his office window at the darkness falling on St James’s Park on Monday 3 August 1914, Sir Edward Grey, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, made the remark that was for so many to sum up the tragedy of the Great War – “The lamps are going out all over Europe.” More than a century later the lights of Europe burn, literally if not metaphorically, more brightly than Sir Edward could ever have imagined. But for how much longer? The commitment, across the continent, to transitioning to a low carbon economy by the middle of the century poses huge challenges, in particular to the power generation industry. In the UK alone the plan is to phase out coal generating plants by 2025. Yet by 2030, 14 of the UK’s 15 nuclear power plants will also have been closed. That will take out around 40 per cent of the UK’s reliable electricity capacity. And after that, things get worse. The UK’s government says it intends to ban the sale of petrol and diesel from 2040. Probably even before then most of us will be wafting silently along in our electric cars, which will be great for the air quality – and the polar bears – but where is all the extra electricity supposed to come from? According to the National Grid, the complete electrification of the UK’s light vehicle fleet could increase demand by more than a quarter. And what about domestic heating? That takes even more energy than transport, most of it in the form of natural gas. In theory it could be possible to use the existing gas network to deliver hydrogen to homes instead of methane – burning hydrogen produces no carbon emissions. But the only currently viable means of producing hydrogen on the scale required is by hydrolysis of water. A report from Policy Exchange estimates that producing enough hydrogen to heat the
entire country that way would mean increasing electricity production to three times the current levels. What all that means is that we are going to need levels of low-carbon electricity capacity beyond anything we have previous imagined. Can we achieve this through 100 per cent renewable energy? Not at any tolerable cost. Because solar and wind generation is inevitably intermittent, huge amounts of back-up capacity and storage would be required – and not even used for much of the time. The cost to consumers and taxpayers would be hard for any democratic government to justify. So that means that nuclear power has a crucial role to play in meeting our low-carbon energy needs. Unfortunately, current nuclear projects are not going too well. This November Toshiba announced that it was to withdraw from the Moorside nuclear power plant project in Cumbria and wind up its Nugen subsidiary. The Moorside plant was originally to use reactors made by Toshiba’s Westinghouse subsidiary but after running into huge cost overruns in building reactors in the US, Westinghouse itself had to be sold off. Moorside is one of the six new nuclear power plants planned by the UK government. Only one of these, Hinkley Point in Somerset, is actually under way. This too is behind schedule and over budget. France’s EDF has admitted that the plant is unlikely to be completed until 2027, ten years after it hoped to begin operation. Construction cost estimates have increased by £1.5bn in the last two years and the final bill looks like being over £20bn. Meanwhile EDF’s Flamanville reactor, begun in 2007 with a launch date of 2012, has run into various technical problems and is now looking at completion in 2020. Its costs are now three times the original budget. So while nuclear power plants are environmentally friendly and cost-effective once
they are up and running, the burdens on private utility companies in managing and financing such huge projects are almost insupportable. Is there another way?
Smart solution A solution currently being proposed is the development of small modular reactors (SMRs). These would produce around 300MW each (against Hinkley Point’s 3.2GW) and can be largely built as modules in factories to avoid the traditional on-site construction costs of large plants. They also avoid the huge up-front investment costs of such plants and the decade-long – or more – development times. Current estimates are that an initial SMR power station could be built in four or five years, at a fraction of the cost of a gigawatt plant (around £2.5bn) and could produce power at least as cheaply (around perhaps £60/MWh). What’s more, because such plants would be quickly operational, they would soon be generating revenue that could help to finance additional units. In the UK Rolls-Royce is heading up a consortium of leading companies that includes ARUP, Laing O’Rourke, Nuvia and AMEC Foster Wheeler. The aim is to develop a modular reactor that will marry proven technology with commercial and standardised components and which will be designed specifically for in-factory manufacture. Each reactor will be compact enough to be transported by truck, train or barge. Rolls-Royce points out that the lessons, and cost savings, learned through the development of power plants in series can be carried over from one project to the next. And, crucially, that the much-reduced cost of SME plants will make them attractive to commercial investors and avoid the need for government financial support. In the meantime, of course, carry n on fracking. Industry Europe 1
CONTENTS Editorial Director Peter Mercer
IT Support Syed Hassan
Editor Victoria Hattersley
Production Manager Tania Balderson
Profile Writers Romana Moares Barbara Rossi Dariusz Balcerzyk Edina Beale Philip Yorke Emma-Jane Batey Eugenia Fiusco Piotr Sadowski
Copy Manager Andrew Briggs
Automation & Robotics Industry
Advertising Manager Stephen Moore
1 Opinion Keeping the lights on 5 Bill Jamieson Who speaks for business on brexit?
Art Director Rob Czerwinski
Katarzyna Pozoga Jurita Millere
Designer Leon Esterhuizen
The future of industrial automation
Automation & Robotics news The latest from the industry
Food & Beverage Industry 10
Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Eniko Kovacs Michael Hudson Oliver Clements Szidonia Hajdu
The rise of the cobots
Tackling the food waste crisis What can be done to
ease the burden?
Food & Beverage news The latest from the industry
Plastics Industry 14
Single-use plastics ban: The lowdown What does it
mean and does it go far enough?
Plastics news The latest from the industry
News 18 Winning business New orders and contracts 20 Linking up Combining strengths 22 Moving On Relocations and expansions across Europe 23 Technology spotlight Advances in technology
Reports 24 25
Industry Europe Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 779850 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Web: https://industryeurope.com 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
27 Fluid progress ASSOFLUID 30 Moving with the times D.R.A.
Air Filtration 32
Supreme filtration for a better environment
Automation & Robotics 35 Automation masterclass Alvey Group 38 Tools for better performance Hoffmann Group 42 Multi-axis materpiece SCM Group
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles 47 Customised innovation Schwarzmueller 52 Full speed ahead Michelin 56 Safety and performance VBG Group 59 Freight solutions specialist Bodex 62 New energy to harvesting AGCO Feucht 65 Polished performance Dacia 68 Powerful, profitable solutions Ponsse 72 On track for multiple success
2 Industry Europe
Focus on Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris
Koncar Electric Vehicles
Above: OJ Electronics p128 75 82 87 90
In top gear ZF Customer-driven transformation Groupe PSA Strong link BorgWarner A powerful brand beyond tyres Pirelli
Construction & Engineering
Above: W.L. Gore p32 Below: Hoffmann Group p38
95 New name, new strategy Emmegi Group 98 Where the grass is greener Tarkett 102 Luxury yachts from Poland Delphia Yachts 105 More sustainable bio-mass solutions Aalborg Energie Technik (AET)
Energy & Utilities
Above: Tarkett p98 Below: Lovato Electric p108
108 High-performance power solutions Lovato Electric 112 Liquid assets Pentair
Food & Beverage 116 Technology on tap Celli Group 118 Professional catering at your service Liberty Food Services
Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC 121 Crystal clear versatility Franke Water Systems 124 Pioneering, hyper-clean modular solutions Dagard 128 First in eco-functionality OJ Electronics 132 Optimising exchange rates Valmex
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
Above: Schwarzmueller p47 Below: ZF p75
135 138 142 146 151 154
Crowning glory Chelopech Greater tunnel vision Leonhard Nilsen & Sonner Profile of sustainable success Profilglass Turning the lights green Skanska Connecting the world Prysmian Group World-class heat treatment furnaces SECO/WAR-
Above: Profilglass p142 Below: Herti p160
158 Delivering critical torque Brugola
Paper, Packaging & Printing 160 164 168 172 176
Below: Ontex p179
Sealed-in success Herti Changing the face of packaging Schur Flexibles Wall-to-wall digital solutions Olbrich Turning the tide Logoplaste Sustainability tubed Linhardt
Textiles, Home & Personal Care 179 Global leader in hygienic disposables Ontex Industry Europe 3
Executive Editor of The Scotsman
Who speaks for business on brexit? The concerns of big business are not the same as those of most businesses.
Hell with Brexit: I’m not sure whether I’m jumping the gun on this assessment of popular opinion in Britain or am two and a half years behind. But millions want it done and gone. It is beyond exasperating. The political equivalent of metal fatigue has set in long before the finishing line is in sight – or should that be the backstop to the finishing line? For businesses across the land, the process of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU has been a nightmare. What will it mean for exporters and continuity of supply? What new checks at ferry terminals and airports? New trade deals with non-EU countries? On and on till the head spins. Here we are, with another final deadline said to be looming and we are still not clear whether exit within a customs arrangement means clean break, dynamic regulatory alignment, maximum facilitation or an interminable lorry queue at the port of Dover. Since the vote in June 2016, we’ve had departures from the Downing Street cabinet and rumours of Conservative backbench revolts that could topple Prime Minister Theresa May and trigger a general election with a Jeremy Corbyn-led far-left Labour government an altogether serious possibility. It’s a wonder the UK has enjoyed any economic growth at all. But we have – 0.6 per cent in the third quarter, with the GDP gain on a year earlier at 1.5 per cent, while the French economy grew 0.4 per cent in the third quarter, Italy stalled and Germany saw a decline of 0.2 per cent. However, while employment growth here has continued and regular earnings are now up 3.2 per cent on a year ago, business investment has been hit as a result of all the uncertainty. It is down 1.2 per cent on the quarter. Which major business would sign off on an acquisition or expansion with new plant and machinery with this deafening cacophony of division and dissent raging on the 4 Industry Europe
national news? This is indeed a worry, and the longer the arguments rage at Westminster, the worse it will become.
Whose voice? The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), widely regarded as ‘the voice of business’, has been vehement in its concerns over an investment collapse. But does this extend across all businesses, in all sectors? The CBI indeed speaks for many of the largest firms in the UK. But we do not know how many projects have been scrapped or even how many businesses the CBI represents as it does not disclose its membership.
For businesses across the land, the process of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU has been a nightmare. What will it mean for exporters and continuity of supply? What new checks at ferry terminals and airports? What we do know is that there are some 5.7 million businesses in Britain. And of these, most are not with the CBI. In fact, 99 per cent of these businesses comprise firms with fewer than 250 employees. Within that total there are also 5.5 million micro businesses, each employing fewer than ten people. Even this segment accounts for 33 per cent of UK private sector employment and 22 per cent of turnover. Now while a majority may not be directly involved in exports, they rely on bigger firms for orders and business, so the slowdown in business investment will have an effect on them.
However, the business models and dynamics of SMEs are far removed from the behemoths of the CBI. And while a large firm may have the capacity to deal with the torrent of business directives and regulation that has poured from the European Commission over recent decades, for smaller businesses it has been a constant source of grief and resentment. The prospect of the UK government agreeing a negotiated exit that the CBI may be comfortable with leaves large legions of UK businesses extremely apprehensive. They will have no say in how new directives and regulations are drafted and very few have any lobbying representation in Brussels. This concern is likely to become acute if, as both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have warned, the global economy experiences a slowdown in 2019, with some commentators fearing recession. Here again, mega companies may be able to weather the storm. But smaller niche suppliers in engineering and manufacturing could find themselves exposed. Already Eurostat has estimated that the eurozone’s GDP rose by just 0.2 per cent quarter on quarter in the three months to end September, down from 0.4 per cent growth rates in the first and second quarters. The US economy has slowed from a 4.2 per cent growth rate in the second quarter to 3.5 per cent, partly reflecting the fading impulse of tax cuts whilst net exports declined. Japan’s GDP has been hit by natural disasters and a decline in exports, and China grew at a less-than-expected 6.5 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter compared with 6.7 per cent in the previous three months. Concerns about global growth are also evident in the oil price, where the price of Brent crude futures has fallen from $86 in early October to below $61. Are there worries as big as Brexit? Yes, most assuredly so. n
The rise of the cobots The cobots have well and truly arrived – and they’re here to stay. Industry Europe looks at how how they are helping to shape the future of industrial automation.
e’re all familiar with the sight of industrial robots on the shop floor: whether for pick-and-place purposes, assembly or product transfer, they are playing an increasingly important role in the modern workplace. But what of the collaborative robot, or cobot? Unlike the traditional robot, which works apart from humans to carry out a specific pre-determined task autonomously, cobots are designed to work with human workers to provide support and help them complete a task (perhaps, for example, by holding something securely in place or passing a tool). The International Federation of Robotics’ ‘World Robotics Report 2017’ forecast a growth in robot installations of about 15 per cent for 2018–2020, owing to factors
such as stronger-than-expected growth in the global economy, more varied customer demand and the emergence of Industry 4.0. And it says ‘human-robot collaboration’ will have a large role to play in this. According to IFR President Junji Tsuda, “Key trends such as digitalisation, simplification and human-robot collaboration will certainly shape the future and drive forward rapid development.” As an example, in the future cobots may help to support the growing trend towards flexible production of small quantities with high complexity. A recent report by Interact Analysis, ‘Collaborative Robots – 2018’, found that while the cobot market is still relatively small compared to traditional robotics – it was worth less than $400m last year – the industry is set to grow rapidly in the next five years. Fur-
thermore, the current European leaders in the field can expect to see increased competition from Chinese and Taiwanese suppliers. Here we take a brief look at some of the biggest players in the European cobot industry today.
Smart partnership At the end of 2017, Switzerland’s ABB, manufacturer of the ‘world’s first truly collaborative robot’, YuMI, announced it would be working with Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries to share knowledge and promote the benefits of cobots, particularly those with dual arm technologies. Also in 2017, ABB teamed up with IBM to leverage its Watson data analytic software to improve cobot technology. The two companies will be jointly developing and selling new products to enable manufacturers to analyse data and optimise their processes to speed up operations. Accoring to ABB Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer: “This powerful combination marks truly the next level of industrial technology, moving beyond current connected systems that simply gather data, to industrial operations and machines that use data to sense, analyse, optimise and take actions that drive greater uptime, speed and yield for industrial customers.”
Europe’s cobot pioneers Elsewhere, Germany-based Festo is pioneering in the field of ‘bionic’ cobots. Its Bionic Learning Network (BLN) is an R&D effort to develop industrial robots drawing inspiration from nature. Through this, it has developed three cobot-related products. One of these, the ‘BionicCobot’, is inspired by the human 6 Industry Europe
arm and its use of antagonist muscles (like biceps and triceps) to execute movements. Festo says it can work safely with humans as, in the event of a collision, it automatically eases off and can also be used within a protective cage for extra security. The BionicCobot is operated intuitively by means of a graphic user interface developed in house. With a tablet, the user can quite easily teach the actions to be performed and order them in any sequence. By means of the ROS (Robot Operating System) open source platform, the programmed motion sequences reach the integrated Festo Motion Terminal, which steers and controls the kinematics. Cobots like this can be used for ‘monotonous’ or repetitive activities in order to relieve humans. Elsewhere, Denmark-based Universal Robots manufactures a series of cobot arms – including the most recently introduced e-series – which are used for a number of applications including pick and place, injection moulding, quality inspection, assembly, packaging and palletising. Its products have
been used, for example, by Nissan Motors in its Yokohama plant to offload certain repetitive or time-consuming tasks, and allow more time for activities.
Rethink moves to Europe A big story from the European cobot market from the past year concerned one of the most high-profile companies in the field, the US firm Rethink Robotics, producer of the highpeformance cobot ‘Sawyer’. The firm went out of business in October, but in November it was announced that it had been purchased by Hahn Group, the Germany-based robotics and automation group, with all patents and and trademarks including its Intera5 software platform for robot programming. Thomas Hähn, CEO of Hahn Group, said: “The acquisition of Rethink Robotic’s technology marks an important milestone for the development of our portfolio of collaborative robotics solutions. This transaction will bring us not only a boost in innovative technologies but also access to highly specialised
know-how in one of the most dynamic future markets. We are very pleased that we could convince the owners of Rethink Robotics to agree to the sale of its robotic technology around the ‘Cobot Sawyer’ as well as the Intera5 software.” The company says that it intends to further develop Rethink Robotics’s technology, combining this technology with German engineering and know-how to enhance its industrial applications. There is certainly still ongoing debate on the possible impact of AI on the workplace. There are many who would argue that AI poses more of a threat because robots and algorithms can be trained to carry out more intellectual tasks. Others argue that continuing technological advances will boost economic growth and ultimately create more jobs that it replaces. Whichever side of the fence you stand on, it’s clear that the world of manufacturing is going to look very different in 20 years’ time, and cobots will almost certainly play a major role in that.
Industry Europe 7
New developments in the Automation & Robotics industry
eluminocity and Huawei to build Smart City solutions Hahn Group acquires cobot technology of and eluminocity have signed a Memoranby public data to allocate and regulate a city’s Hof auawei dum of Understanding, marking the beginning public resources in an integrated manner, with Rethink Robotics cooperation for Smart City solutions. Both comthe goal of automatic intelligence to achieve the panies will cooperate with each other to develop innovative Smart City solutions for customers. Huawei will provide AI, Big Data and cloud computing platforms, which will create a city-based decision-making mechanism driven
most efficient operation of the city. eluminocity will focus on electric car charging stations, intelligent street lighting, and other Smart City sensor technologies. Cooperating with Huawei OceanConnect IoT platform FusionInsight Bigdata and Huawei Cloud both could provide an open, highly efficient and collaborative Smart City experience to customers. Huawei and eluminocity will build a joint test centre to set up and optimise innovative Smart City solutions in Huawei’s Munich OpenLab. After that, both companies will carry out a series of go-to-market activities to capture more business opportunities. Visit: www.huawei.com
Inspekto launches S70 autonomous machine vision system
VISION 2018 in Stuttgart, Germany, Inspekto launched the S70, the world’s first autonomous machine vision system. The S70 system can be installed in 30 to 60 minutes. It offers a simple, intuitive user interface designed to be installed directly by the shop-floor employee. This means that no systems integrator is required at any step of the short set up process or at any time later. A German company with Israeli DNA, Inspekto is supported by leading industrial businesses from across the DACH region. During beta stage, the company installed its system in the plants of leading industrial manufacturers, in countries including Germany, Italy, France and Austria. “The S70 is a world first – defining the autonomous machine vision category and introducing the inaugural Plug and InspectTM technology for the modern shop floor environment,” explained Harel Boren, CEO and co-founder of Inspekto.
OMRON to launch TM series collaborative robot
MRON Corp. has announced the global launch of the TM series collaborative robot family in 40 countries in order to realise an innovative manufacturing environment where humans and machines work in harmony. With its simple, intuitive programming environment, OMRON will further enable
8 Industry Europe
“Because of the S70’s affordability and simplicity, the digital factory is now a reality, allowing collection of data, down to product images, meta-data and defects from the entire production process and across production tiers.” Visit: www.inspekto.com
safe, flexible and collaborative manufacturing between human and machine. OMRON’s TM series provides a unique solution to easily install a robot to automate applications such as picking, packing, and screwdriving which, although traditionally performed by humans, can be challenging to easily automate. As part of the TM series launch, OMRON will release a ‘mobile-com-
he Germany-based Hahn Group has strengthened its portfolio and service offering by acquiring robotic technology from US robotic pioneer Rethink Robotics. As part of the transaction, Hahn Group has acquired all patents and trademarks of Rethink Robotics as well as its software platform ‘INTERA5’. Utilising the INTERA software platform, which enables users to intuitively program industrial robots, Rethink Robotics has been the leader in the industrial deployment of collaborative robots, or ‘Cobots’. Hahn Group intends to further develop Rethink Robotics’ technology, with the goal of combining this technology with German engineering and knowhow of industrial applications. Hahn Group will thereby be able to provide its customers with highquality collaborative robotic solutions and reliable service offerings. In addition, HahnGroup intends to make the software platform available to suitable partners through licensing or other arrangements. In addition to its integration business (operated by Hahn Robotics) and renting offerings (operated by Hahn RobShare), the business unit ‘Rethink Robotics’ will become the third pillar of the Hahn Group’s robotic division and complete its service portfolio. Visit: www.hahn.group patible’ model which will seamlessly integrate into the market leading LD series autonomous mobile robot. By integrating the mobile-ready TM series with the LD series, users can automate more complex tasks such as pick and place onto a tray / into a container and flexibly automate by connecting processes with autonomous mobile robots. Visit: www.omron.com
INDUSTRYNEWS Comau releases e.DO educational robot Epiroc invests in
hanghai Comau, the global leading company in industrial automation, has launched its e.DO robot in China. e.DO is the first educational robot in the company’s history designed to help students of different ages learn both STEM and humanities subjects, as well as explore the world of robotics in a more engaging, innovative way.
Unlike the industrial robots that Comau traditionally develops, e.DO is an intelligent educational robot based on an open-source software and hardware, which can be applied in various fields like education, science research, home and professional use. Its modular, flexible structure enables students, teachers, pioneers, tech enthusiasts, developers and novice users to enjoy building the robot. Comau brings e.DO into the classroom, improving students’ class participation and providing them with the leading technologies in the field of educational robotics. “As the global leading company in advanced industrial automation products and solutions, Comau is committed to help more companies realise their potential for digitalised manufacturing. Comau also wants to inject new technical elements into education with innovative project solutions and revelatory technologies,” said Kai Wei, Comau China Head of Robotics and Automation Products. Visit: www.comau.com
New igus robotic joint cuts cost of service robots
ith the introduction of a new low-cost robotic concept from igus, simple tasks can now be automated easily with a relatively quick ROI. Under the name ReBeL, the new wave-driven joint differs fundamentally from the previous robolink models: Instead of stepper motors, brushless DC (BLDC) motors are used and, thanks to maintenance-free injection moulded parts, the new ReBeL series is a cost effective option for robot builders. Due to their small size, the BLDC motors can be installed in the maintenance-free gearbox of a ReBeL joint. The control technology is also integrated in the axes, eliminating the need for an external control cabinet. “The Bus cables are routed inside the robotic arm,” explains Robert
Dumayne, Dry-Tech Director at igus. “For added safety, an absolute encoder is used to set the arm’s last position in the event of power failure.” Visit: www.igus.co.uk
Rockwell Automation and PTC launch collaborative digital suite
complete visibility of operations and systems status from one source of information inside the organisation. The collaborative offering is the first to integrate technologies from both companies following their strategic partnership announcement in June. FactoryTalk InnovationSuite, powered by PTC, improves connectivity to operational technology (OT) devices on the plant floor,
ockwell Automation and PTC have launched FactoryTalk InnovationSuite, powered by PTC, a software suite that enables companies to optimise their industrial operations and enhance productivity by providing decision makers with improved data and insights. The new suite delivers
autonomous mining solutions business
piroc, a Sweden-based productivity partner for the mining, infrastructure and natural resources industries, has acquired part of ASI Mining, LLC, a US-based company that provides technology solutions for the autonomous operation of mining vehicles. Epiroc has acquired 34% of ASI Mining, which is based in Mendon, Utah, United States, and is a subsidiary of Autonomous Solutions Inc. Its products include on-board hardware and software that convert vehicles to autonomous operation, as well as system level software platforms for command and control of autonomous fleets across various mining applications. The solutions integrate with various mobile mining equipment, regardless of make or model, and are used by mining customers globally. The business is estimated to have revenues in 2018 of more than USD 6 million. “The investment in ASI Mining is part of our strategy to expand in automation and interoperability in the mining segment,” said Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s Senior Executive Vice-President Mining and Infrastructure. “This is the future in mining, and the great team at ASI Mining has developed state-of-the-art solutions that will enhance Epiroc’s delivery of productivity and safety improvements to customers worldwide.” Visit: www.epirocgroup.com
natively supporting the rapid, scalable, and secure connection of the most commonly used industrial equipment. Combined with data from information technology (IT) applications and systems, decision makers can now gain a complete digital representation of their industrial equipment, lines, and facilities from anywhere in the enterprise. Visit: www.rockwellautomation.com Industry Europe 9
Tackling the food waste crisis
There are many possible approaches to dealing with the global food waste problem, from innovative packaging to nanotechnology and smarter transit solutions, as Victoria Hattersley reports.
the world’s population expands and environmental pressures increase, the vast extent of the global food waste crisis is being thrown into the spotlight. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says that roughly one-third of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year. And according to WRAP, the UK’s Waste and Resources Action Programme, each year the world sees $984 billion in economic losses per year due to food waste. But how is such a vast problem to be tackled? Of course there is no simple – or single – solution: technologies are being developed in a number of fields to help reduce the amount of food we waste and ease the environmental burden at the same time.
Improving sanitisation technologies Take Swiss startup Ebeam Technologies, which uses electron beams to sanitise crops and other dry foods. The company is currently in a partnership with Swiss food giant Bühler to test the technology, with the first installation taking place at German food manufacturer Kündig’s production facilities. One of the significant aspects of this technology is that it is able to sanitise the foodstuff, prolonging its shelf life without damaging its essential qualities – i.e. its taste and nutritional value. For example, in 10 Industry Europe
early tests on coriander ebeam was able to provide sanitisation while only slightly reducing the essential oils (amounting to roughly a third of the oil that would be lost through steam treatment).
Smarter transit solutions Reducing damage to food during transport is another major challenge, which a team from the Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) in Switzerland is working to address. They have developed sensors to monitor the condition of fruit as it travels from farm to shop. These sensors are the exact size and composition of the fruit, in order to model its experience in the pallet as closely as possible. They provide continuous feedback on the container’s temperature, as even the slightest variation can affect the shelf life of the fruit. This solution could help prevent food waste as well as creating more leeway on the use-by date on the produce.
Packaging innovation Smarter packaging development to deal with the food waste crisis can take many forms. Some researchers are looking at improving barrier properties, for example, while others are developing intelligent packs that can interact with the environment and monitor the rate of deterioration.
However, while high barrier packaging materials are desirable in terms of food protection as they offer strong resistance to water, oxygen and pathogens, they are often produced from non-renewable resources so there is something of a tension between the need to lower the environmental impact of a package while also protecting the food. It’s a difficult balance, but one that researchers are constantly working to achieve. For example, last year, UK-based Aquapak Polymers Ltd launched HydroPol, a range of flexible polymers based on polyvinyl alcohol, which is oil-based while also being biodegradable and fully recyclable. According to Dr John Williams, business development director at the company: “Unusually for a plastic, HydroPol is hydrophilic, so food is also less likely to perish from sweating. Many plastics are used only once, and for a short time, before they become waste. Aquapak’s Hydropol significantly reduces the environmental impact of flexible plastic packaging, without requiring a change in consumer behaviour.”
Nanotechnology Whether it’s in the area of nanocoatings on packaging or in the structure of the food itself, there is significant promise in the use of nanotechology (science, engineering and technology conducted at the nanoscale) to design
Sensors from Empa can monitor the condition of fruit as it travels from farm to shop
food, ingredients or food contact materials at the molecular level. For example, nanoparticles could be used to provide a barrier to oxygen in plastic packaging to reduce food spoilage, or nanosensors could be developed to detect bacteria to reduce the risk of contamination. We spoke to Dr Julian McClements, Distinguished Professor at the Department of Food Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, about the possibilities of this fascinating but complex area of research. He told us: “Nanotechnology-based sensors are being developed to monitor the safety and quality of foods more closely so that consumers can make more informed decisions about when to eat (rather than just relying on sell by dates). These sensors can be integrated into packaging. “Materials such as nanocelluose, a waste product from other food and non-food processes, can be converted into plant-based packaging materials. Other biopolymers may also be used for this. But more research is needed to make them durable, affordable, and scalable.” One project looking at using nanotechnology for packaging materials is the EU-funded NanoPack, which is developing an active packaging film with antimicrobial properties that would slowly release miniscule amounts of antimicrobial essential oils into the ‘headspace’ of the packaging, sanitising both the food and the headspace and extending its shelf life.
When it comes to improving the durability of food itself at the molecular level, nanopesticides and nano-fertilisers could improve agricultural yields, reduce losses and enhance resilience. These tiny particles are able to penetrate into the plants and get to the place where they need the nutrients. Dr McClements says: “We are working on nano-based delivery systems and excipient systems that can increase the bioavailabilty of vitamins, nutraceuticals, and health oils (such as omega-3). They do this by being broken down more efficiently in our gastrointestinal tracts because of their small size and large surface area.” But it should be remembered that this technology is still in its early stages, and many are cautious about the use of nanotechnologies to manipulate the structure of food. When questioned about this issue, Dr McClements said: “In my experience, there are some potential risks, because small particles can behave differently in the environment and our bodies than larger ones. However, just because a particle is nano does not mean it is harmful (milk contains lots of nanoparticles). Typically, potential toxicity has to be established on a case-by-case basis.”
Using food waste Environmental organisations are also looking at the problem from further up the chain. After all, even with the wealth of new technologies in development it will not be
possible to entirely eliminate food waste – and that’s not to mention the many food byproducts that are also sent to landfill. How, then, can we create economic value out of surplus food products? One method is to use anaerobic digestion to process feedstock, which can be turned into biogas for energy generation, or used as biofertiliser. UK-based start-up Revive Eco, for example, is working on transforming coffee ground waste into fertilisers and biomass pellets that could be used as a low carbon heating source. Co-founder Fergus Moore says: “According to figures from the International Coffee Organisation, approximately 500,000 tonnes of coffee ground waste ends up in landfill every year in the UK. Creating Revive Eco was our way of addressing the issue.” Then there is YPACK, an EU-funded project that started in November 2017 and is currently developing a fully recyclable flow pack film and fully biodegradable packaging tray using by-products that would normally be wasted, such as unpurified cheese whey or almond shells. The flow pack film would function as a passive barrier and the tray would have active antimicrobial properties that are capable of extending the shelf-life of the food products. If successful, this last is a great example of how a packaging could potentially ‘close the loop’, making use of food waste products while also helping to prevent further food waste along the n supply chain.
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New developments in the Food & Beverage industry
Italy’s Lavazza Group to acquire Mars Drinks Electrolux strengthens
talian coffee producer, Lavazza Group, has entered into an agreement to buy Mars Inc.’s coffee unit, Mars Drinks. The acquisition covers Mars Drinks’ coffee business in North America, Canada, Japan, and Europe. Under the terms of the agreement, Lavazza will purchase Flavia and Klinz, two leading office coffee makers under Mars Drinks. Lavazza Group is the
third largest coffee producer in the world, holding about 2.5% of the global market according to Euromonitor International. This deal follows its previous acquisitions of Carte Noir and ESP in France, Merrild in Denmark, Blue Pod Coffee in Australia, NIMS in Italy and Kicking Horse Coffee in Canada. “This acquisition fits perfectly within our international expansion strategy, the objective of strengthening key markets, as well as the pursuit of having an even closer relationship with end consumers,” remarked Antonio Baravalle, CEO of Lavazza Group. “Indeed, this acquisition strengthens the Lavazza Group’s position in the OCS (office coffee service) and vending segments, which offer considerable opportunities for growth and development.” As part of its long-term strategy, Lavazza has revealed it will be moving Mars Drinks towards the away-from-home coffee market. Visit: www.lavazza.com
Jacobs Douwe Egberts expands to Nordic beverage market
acobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) has recently announced it will acquire Sweden-based coffee business JOBmeal from Valedo Partners Fund II for an undisclosed sum. JOBmeal offers a vast range of office coffee solutions to customers in both Sweden and Finland. This acquisition will enable new growth opportunities for JDE in the Nordic region. The agreement will provide JOBmeal’s customers with access to JDE’s coffee and tea brands, such as Gevalia, Piazza D’Oro, L’Or and Pickwick. George Schoof, general manager JDE Professional Nordics, commented: “The addition of JOBmeal to our Nordic family will enable us to expand our reach in Sweden and Finland. Together we will be better able to serve the evolving needs of customers at all levels, through a truly Nordic footprint.”
Unilever launches premium probiotic ice cream brand
nilever has introduced a new probiotic ice cream brand, Culture Republick, which it says is the first premium ice cream to contain probiotics. Culture Republick’s product range will initially include seven flavours: Milk & Honey, Turmeric Chai & Cinnamon, Cold Brew & Chocolate Chip, Pistachio & Caramel, Lemon
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Fredrik Mossberg CEO, JOBmeal added: “At JOBmeal, our goal and our passion is to significantly enhance the office coffee experience. Becoming part of JDE gives us great opportunities to accelerate ourdevelopment towards that goal.” Visit: www.jacobsdouweegberts.com
& Graham, Chocolate & Cherry, and Matcha & Fudge. Each pint tub contains three billion live active cultures, between 400 and 500 calories, 16-18 grams of protein, 11–12 grammes of fibre and no artificial sweeteners. According to Unilever, 10% of the brand’s profits will be used to support the arts in local communities. It will collaborate with emerging artists to design each pint tub.
lectrolux has acquired SPM Drink Systems, an Italian manufacturer of professional dispensers of frozen and hot beverages and soft ice-cream, as part of its plan to expands across the hospitality industry. The extensive product portfolio offered by SPM Drink Systems will enable Electrolux Professional to become a full service solution provider by increasing its current beverage offering to include a comprehensive range of products. Together with the acquisition of Grindmaster-Cecilware in North America in 2017, this further strengthens Electrolux’s presence in the fast-growing beverage segment. “We are excited and pleased to enlarge and complement our product portfolio in beverage with such an attractive, modern and well regarded company with a strong position in Europe. This acquisition is strategic and a perfect match to bring added value to our product offering,” commented Alberto Zanata, head of Electrolux Professional Products. With five decades of heritage and skilled expertise, SPM Drink Systems had combined net sales of approximately €30 million in 2017, and 110 employees. The company’s headquarters and main manufacturing facilities are based in Spilamberto, Italy. Visit: www.electrolux.com Leslie Miller, marketing director of ice cream at Unilever, said: “Culture Republick was created with a distinct purpose in mind. “We believe that humanity could use a bit more brightness. By combining our passions for culture and ice cream, we intend to do our part in making people feel more balanced, inspired and connected.” Visit: www.unilever.com
INDUSTRYNEWS Calbee strengthens position in Europe with acquisition Nespresso to eading Japanese snack food maker, Calbee, lattice. The brand’s crisp flavours include: sea use responsibly LSeabrook has recently acquired British crisp brand, salt and red wine vinegar, cream cheese and Crisps, as it looks to further expand chives, and lamb and mint. sourced aluminium across Europe. Calbee UK managing director Richard RobCalbee was drawn to Seabrook’s ‘iconic’ inson commented: “This is an exciting developin coffee capsules brand of potato chips in Britain, which includes ment which will allow us to combine and further variants such as: straight cut, crinkle cut and
leverage the skills and brands of two ambitious players in the UK savoury snack market – building an even more dynamic, innovative and effective snack business going forward. We firmly believe it will prove to be good news for both business and the UK snack industry as a whole.” He also added: “This acquisition is good news for Calbee UK’s business aspirations and has been designed not for cost savings but to generate growth. Whilst wholly owned by Calbee UK, Seabrook will run separately as a business, sharing their expertise with Calbee and ours with them.” Visit: www.calbee.co.uk
Siro and Cerealto to merge to create Cerealto Siro Foods
iro and the multinational Cerealto have agreed to merge into a new multinational food group, Cerealto Siro Foods, dedicated to the manufacturing of third-party labels. The new group will close the 2018 financial year with estimated consolidated figures of €600 million in turnover and a production volume of 400,000 tonnes. The new group has a team of more than 5000 people distributed among its 17 production centres in Spain, Portugal, Italy, United Kingdom and Mexico, and also has a local team in the United States. The aim of the new group is to position itself in the global food market with an offer of products that respond to the needs of consumers and a business model based on ‘quality, operational efficiency and innovation’. To this end, Cerealto Siro Foods plans to allocate its operational and financial resources to the
global categories of Biscuits, Cereals and Pasta, which it believes have global growth potential. Visit: www.cerealto.com
Orkla integrates companies in strategic growth plan
& Søn acqusition and Hamé was aquired by Orkla in 2016. “Vitana and Hamé are two successful companies, but together they will form an even more competitive organisation. By integrating them we can build a stronger organisation than each company can do alone,” explained Johan Wilhelmsson, executive vice-president, CEO Orkla Foods International.
rkla has announced it will integrate two of its companies, Hamé and Vitana, to create one strong food company to strengthen its position in both Czech Republic and Slovakia. The companies have previously been run as separate entities. Vitana joined the Orkla family back in 2013 as a part of the Rieber
espresso will become the first company to use responsibly-sourced aluminium, supplied by Rio Tinto, to produce its coffee capsules. The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together with Nespresso’s capsule manufacturers to fulfill a commitment of sourcing 100% sustainable aluminium by 2020. The use of Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) Certified Aluminium is an important milestone towards reducing the impact that the world’s second most used base metal has on the planet. The ASI sets out standards to promote the protection of biodiversity, respect for indigenous peoples’ rights, water management and low-carbon emissions during the production of aluminium. The ASI’s Chain of Custody Standard creates a traceability mechanism, so that end-users like Nespresso can be sure that the aluminium they buy has been manufactured by ASI-Certified producers at each stage of the process. The standard is the first of its kind for any industrial metal. Visit: www.nespresso.com
The new organisation will be led by Pawel Szcześniak, the current CEO of Vitana. Orkla Foods Česko a Slovensko will be one of the largest food companies in both the Czech Republic and in Slovakia. It will also have operations in Hungary, Ukraine and Russia and will export to other markets. Visit: www.orkla.com Industry Europe 13
ban: The lowdown What will Europe’s ban on single-use plastics mean for industry and the environment, and is it all good news? Victoria Hattersley reports.
he European Parliament’s announcement in late October this year that it would be imposing a wide-ranging ban on singleuse plastics (or ‘SUPs’), to tackle pollution in seas, fields and waterways, has received mixed reactions from industry bodies, manufacturers and consumer groups. Under the terms of the proposed directive, which was passed by a large majority – 571 votes to 53 – widely used plastic items such as straws, cotton swabs, disposable plastic plates and cutlery would be banned by 2021, and 90 per cent of plastic bottles recycled by 2025. Single-use plastic drink containers will only be allowed if their caps and lids remain attached to the package. Instead, all the above items would in future need to be made from more sustainable alternatives. The ban has been described by the European Commission as a “clampdown on the top 10 plastic products that most often end up in the ocean”. Following the vote, European Environment Commissioner, Karmenu Vella, said: “Today we 14 Industry Europe
are one step closer to eliminating the problematic single use plastic products in Europe. It sends a clear signal that Europe is ready to take decisive, coordinated action to curb plastic waste and to lead international efforts to make our oceans plastic-free.”
Why single-use plastics? It’s been increasingly widely publicised that huge amounts of plastic waste are washed into our oceans and waterways, where they can take centuries to fully degrade. Singleuse items, which are more lightweight, can travel long distances with ease, damaging marine flora and fauna. And of the 25.8 million tonnes of plastic waste generated in Europe every year, less than 30 per cent is currently collected for recycling. Given this, it is clear that the problem is one that needs addressing, and urgently. In this light, the European Commission’s clear signposting that it is committed to tackling it can surely only be a good thing.
The bioplastics viewpoint But maybe it’s not quite so clear-cut: some industry bodies have expressed their reservations. For European Bioplastics (EUBP), which represents the interests of the European bioplastics industry, the move is largely a positive one but there are issues of food safety that cannot be ignored. It therefore believes that some modification is required to meet the realities of food consumption in Europe. It cites, for example, certain closed-loop contexts, such as canteens, air travel or music events, at which single-use cutlery and plates can provide safety and hygiene for food and drinks while ensuring waste collection and recycling. Compostable plastics may be the answer here. According to François de Bie, EUBP Chairman, “European Bioplastics fully supports the transition from a linear to a circular economy. Bioplastics enable more sustainable solutions for a range of products. We agree on the importance of reducing single-use plastic
products where feasible, but hygiene and food safety cannot be compromised. With regard to some of the concerned single-use products – such as plates and cutlery – biodegradable compostable plastics provide an organically recyclable alternative.”
Lacking coherence Elsewhere, some have voiced concerns that the initial proposals lack clarity. The industry body PlasticsEurope, which represents plastic manufacturing firms, said the measures voted in October had been passed too quickly and could therefore risk “generally blurring the market”. It claimed that definitions for ‘plastic’ and ‘single-use plastic’ were too ambiguous and cautioned against ‘disproportionate’ bans on some items. It also suggested that an outright plastic ban does not address the root causes of marine plastic waste. According to a spokesperson: “Bans are not the solution. They will discourage investments that are crucial to further develop technologies and infrastructure to recycle plastics. The root causes of marine litter are improper waste management, a lack of awareness and littering behaviour: these are independent of material type.” Philip Law, Director General of the British Plastic Federation, argues that plastics themselves are not the culprit, and that there is a tension between the perceived need to drasti-
cally reduce our use of plastic and the possible environmental benefits it can provide. “It is important for governments across the globe to work together with brands, retailers and industry to identify and implement the most effective solutions to reducing the global issue of marine litter and we welcome much of the political will across Europe to take action. But we feel the proposal to target certain products made of expanded polystyrene is unjustifiably discriminatory and we also do not encourage bans on products. It is important to remember that plastic actually benefits the environment in a great number of ways, such as reducing food waste and lowering CO2 emissions.” EUROPEN, European organisation for packaging and the environment, says that while it supports measures addressing the problem of plastic waste (its members have launched their own voluntary corporate commitments on recycled content for plastics), it has concerns that certain aspects of the Commission’s resolution have not been adequately examined. According to EUROPEN Chairman Hans van Bochove: “We see significant investment from producers in empowering consumers by contributing financially towards disposal and anti-littering awarenessraising campaigns, and by driving product, material and recycling innovations that support the transition to a circular
economy. Legal clarity is essential to underpin these investments, but is lacking in this instance, for example with regard to which packaging falls under the SUP scope and which not. In addition, design requirements with significant impact such as the tethered caps proposal should be based on established facts and a thorough impact assessment.”
Does it go far enough? And then there are those who, while welcoming the news, feel it needs to be more far-reaching. After all, not all single-use plastic items would fall under the umbrella of the ban. Instead, the consumption of items for which there is as yet no viable alternative would be reduced by EU member states by at least 25 per cent by 2025 under the new rules. This would include mainly food containers, such as burger boxes, or packages for fruits, vegetables and ice-creams. Some campaigners are also disappointed that the Parliament did not adopt a ban on very light-weight single-use plastic bags supported by the Environment committee. And there have also been reports that major plastics users, such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, PepsiCo and Danone, are lobbying national environment ministers to water down the directive, which is another cause for concern for opponents of SUPs. The battle is not over yet. n Industry Europe 15
New developments in the Plastics industry
PepsiCo signs deal for 100% recycled plastic packaging Veolia and Unilever rinks giant PepsiCo has signed a new partnerchairman and chief scientific officer at PepsiCo. to collaborate on DIndustries ship with US sustainable plastic firm Loop “This partnership represents a step-change that to roll out product packaging made with will empower PepsiCo in our drive towards creatsustainable packaging
eolia and Unilever have signed a collaboration agreement to work together on emerging technologies that will help create a circular economy on plastics across various regions of the world, starting in India and Indonesia. The companies have acknowledged that the issue of plastic waste is a shared responsibility that requires bold action across the value chain to develop and scale up collection and reprocessing infrastructure, which is critical in the transition towards a circular economy. The work will focus on material collection, which will help channel recycled content back into the value chain. Veolia will work with Unilever to implement used packaging collection solutions, add recycling capacity and develop new processes and business models through this partnership in various countries. Laurent Auguste, senior executive vice-president of Veolia for Development, Innovation and Markets, commented: “With this global partnership, Veolia and Unilever join forces in various geographies around the globe and, from the collection to the recycling, take a leadership role to redefine a responsible and sustainable future for packaging.” Visit: www.veolia.com
Novamont boosts compostable bioplastic production in Rome
ovamont, an Italian bioplastics firm which produces fully compostable products, has opened a revamped Mater-Biopolymer plant south of Rome, boosting production capacity from 120,000 tonnes per year to 150,000. The new facility will increase Novamont’s production of ORIGO–BI®, biopoly-
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100 per cent recycled plastic by early 2020. The ‘multi-year’ supply agreement, announced late last week, will see Loop supply PepsiCo with production capacity at its factory in the US, which produces PET plastic using 100 per cent recycled materials. Loop’s technology recycles low value plastics, including ocean plastics, back into virgin grade polymer, used to produce plastic bottles and other food-grade packaging. “Loop’s technology enables PepsiCo to be a leading force in ensuring plastic packaging need never become waste,” said Mehmood Khan, vice-
ing a circular economy for plastics.” As well as boosting PepsiCo’s use of recycled plastics, the deal will also include a marketing and communications push to raise consumer awareness of recycling and the circular economy. Visit: www.pepsico.com
VTT and Carbodeon enable faster 3D printing with nanodiamonds V TT and Carbodeon Ltd Oy have developed a plastic material suitable for consumer and industrial use, enabling faster 3D printing and improving the mechanical durability of the printouts. The uDiamond® filament, patented by Carbodeon and now available on the market, improves the usability of 3D technology and broadens the applications of 3D printing. The excellent performance of the new 3D filament is based on the nanodiamond particles it contains and their ability to shape the structure and properties of the material. The material’s spherical nanodiamonds work like a lubricant and do not increase the clogging of the printer nozzle. Nanodiamonds, for example, improve the thermal conductivity of the plastic material, which helps increase 3D printing speed. In Carbodeon’s tests, the printing speed could be increased up to 500 mm/s. In addition, the mechanical properties of the esters with a high level of renewables, and components of MATER-BI® compostable bioplastics, used to manufacture various applications as an alternative to traditional plastics, including coffee cups and pods, carrier bags, cutlery, straws and food packaging. The overall investment amounts to €70 million, rising to €100 million within the next three years.
material were improved. Nanodiamond-reinforced PLA plastic is also easy to print with consumergrade printers. “Using our chemical pilot devices, we at VTT produced the nanodispersed material required for the melt processing, and thus supported the creation of a new product,” says Jarmo Ropponen, Research Team Leader at VTT’s chemical pilots. Visit: www.vtt.fi
The company also recently secured a deal with the UK’s Co-op retailer to supply bio-based and compostable carrier bags for shoppers at its stores. The increased production of the Patrica site will help the company meet the demand from contracts for compostable plastic bags to retailers throughout Europe. Visit: www.novamont.com
WFO showcases first shelter with recycled plastic from the river Po P
lastic waste that has been collected and then recycled can become a useful tool for dealing with emergency situations. This was the result of an experimental project presented at the Ecomondo fair in Rimini by Waste Free Oceans and Corepla, who, together with Protomax, have created a humanitarian shelter prototype with plastic collected along the river Po in Italy.
Corepla – the Italian non-profit-making consortium for the collection, recycling and recovery of the waste from plastic packaging materials – partnered with the Waste Free Oceans foundation to provide the material that was used for the first shelter. The plastic waste, collected using experimental polyethylene barriers in the river Po, was recycled by Corepla and sent to the Storm Board plant of the English group Protomax Plastics, a company specialising in the production of recycled plastic panels that are mainly used in the construction sector, in order to produce the boards which served for building the shelter. The aim of the project is to find a practical answer to the issue of marine litter and educate society on the recycling solutions available. Visit: www.wastefreeoceans.org
KHS and startup share developing unique PET bottle
erlin startup share is the first beverage producer in Germany to sell its water in PET bottles made from 100% recyclate. With its expertise from the Bottles & Shapes™ consultancy program the KHS group is working with the company to design and develop the bottle in a very short time frame. The plans are ambitious: according to startup share, in 2019 it wants to fill water into about a million bottles a month made entirely from recycled PET and thus save over 200 metric tons of plastic waste a year. For several weeks now the product has been on sale at Germany’s supermarket chain REWE and drug store dm and has received considerable media attention. “It took a long time for the original idea to be implemented,” says Iris Braun, head of Product and Social Projects at share. “Finalising the tech-
nology and obtaining certification are both lengthy processes. Your partners are thus crucial.” Besides the above-mentioned retailers share’s other partners are bottler Mineralbrunnen Allgäuer Alpenwasser and preform manufacturer Plastipack. KHS Corpoplast was also instrumental in the implementation of the project. Visit: www.khs.com
INEOS to acquire Ashland Composites business
Middle East. The deal is expected to complete in the first half of 2019. Ashley Reed, CEO INEOS Enterprises said, “Ashland’s composite resins have been the materials of choice for the world’s boat builders for 30 years, and for good reason. Unlike wood they don’t rot, unlike metal they don’t corrode and unlike concrete they don’t crack.”
NEOS Enterprises has agreed to acquire the entire composites business from Ashland Global Holdings Inc. for $1.1 billion. The businesses included in the transaction have combined sales of more than $1.1 billion per year. They employ 1300 people across 20 sites in Europe, North and South America, Asia and
WRAP signposts way towards sustainable use of plastics
ey actions businesses should take to help curb plastic packaging pollution have been laid out by WRAP in its UK Plastics Pact Roadmap to 2025. The actions relate to a series of milestones aligned with the targets of The UK Plastics Pact, the world’s first programme to tackle the issue of plastic waste through collaboration across the entire supply chain; with the UK acting as a testbed for a planned network of country-specific, global Plastics Pacts. The UK Plastics Pact Roadmap to 2025 provides a framework for all businesses, including members, to deliver the ambitious targets. It has been designed by WRAP as a living document that will evolve over time, reflecting changes in policy and innovations. WRAP says achieving the milestones will bring huge benefits for the UK, but will require tough decisions and significant investment. Marcus Gover, chief executive of WRAP says: “These targets cannot be delivered by business action alone. It needs policy intervention as well as consumers to play a part. Factors like Extended Producer Responsibility are going to have a profound influence on momentum, and effecting change in areas such as collections, recycling and reprocessing.” Visit: www.wrap.org.uk
Ashland’s Composites Business produces unsaturated polyester resins, vinyl ester resins and gel coats. In addition to its wide range of gelcoats, the business also provides corrosionresistant fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP), which provides exceptional durability, superior heat resistance, low maintenance and high performance for challenging environments. Visit: www.ineos.com Industry Europe 17
New contracts and orders in industry
Poland’s PGNiG signs Texas LNG contract Irish-Spanish consortium to P oland’s Petroleum Mining and Gas Industry (PGNiG) has signed a 20-year deal to import two billion tonnes of liquid natural gas a year from Texas in the US, further strengthening the company’s gas resources. The state-owned company will import its gas from a terminal in Jefferson County, Texas. The agreement was made with Port Arthur LNG, a subsidiary company of Sempra LNG & Midstream and Venture Global LNG. The LNG supplies will reach Poland by 2023. Co-CEOs of Venture Global LNG, Mike Sabel and Bob Pender, commented that PGNiG will be collaborating with Venture Global’s current global partners Shell, Edison, Galp and BP in the Calcasieu Pass project. According to the terms of the agreement, PGNiG is also permitted to resell the gas on international
markets. Company director Piotr Woźniak hopes the contract “will allow further diversification of Polish gas resources.” In addition to the above, the Baltic Pipe, which will supply Poland with 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually and ease its dependence on Russia’s Gazprom, is due to be completed soon. Visit: www.pgnig.pl
ABB wins $40 million order for eco-efficient substation
BB has won an order of around $40 million from German transmission grid operator TransnetBW to upgrade a high-voltage substation in Obermooweiler, in the German state of BadenWuerttemberg. As an integral part of the upgrade, ABB will install the world’s first 380-kilovolt (kV) gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) which uses an environmentally friendly alternative gas mixture to the industry standard SF6.
Rolls-Royce signs $1.5bn agreement with China Eastern Airlines
’s aero engine manufacturer RollsRoyce has announced the signing of a Trent XWB engine and long-term TotalCare® service agreement with China Eastern Airlines, involving the airline’s 20 Airbus A350-900 fleet and worth over CNY10 billion (over US$1.4bn).
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Substations enable the efficient and reliable transmission and distribution of electricity. Within the substation, switchgear controls and protects the network from power outages and facilitates reliable electricity supply. Due to its unique physical properties, SF6 gas has been used extensively in the electrical industry for decades. It is however, a greenhouse gas and ABB has been working on alternative solutions. In 2015, ABB successfully commissioned a substation using the AirPlusTM switchgear technology for a 170-kV GIS substation in Zurich, based on the alternative gas mixture. “With more than 30 years of technology partnership between ABB and TransnetBW, we are embarking on yet another innovation milestone,” said Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids division. “ABB’s eco-efficient GIS solution will lower environmental impact while strengthening the transmission grid.” Visit: www.abb.com China Eastern ordered 20 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft in 2016 to strengthen its widebody fleet for international routes and meet the needs of the fast-growing Chinese aviation market. Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines are already used in all China Eastern Airlines’ 59 Airbus A330 aircraft in service. Rolls-Royce also intends to secure a significant amount of business with a number
build new Dublin Airport runway
ublin’s airport operator daa has awarded the contract for the construction of Dublin Airport’s new North Runway to a consortium comprising Ireland’s Roadbridge and Spain’s FCC Construccíon. Described by daa chief executive as “the most important thing Ireland will build in a generation”, the runway will be 306m2 in length and comprise 6km of new internal airport roads. The terms of the contract also extend to the installation of new drainage and pollution controls, 7.5km of electrical cable and more than 2000 new runways and taxi lights. Construction will start in January 2019 with completion expected in early 2021. According to daa, the runway spells good news for Ireland’s economy as it is expected to support the creation of 31,200 new jobs and €2.2 billion in additional economic activity by 2043. To maximise local employment opportunities in the project, the Roadbridge-FCC consortium will be working closely with Fingal-based development company Empower and daa to fill as many positions as possible from within the local community. Visit: www.fccco.com
of Chinese companies across different sectors, representing UK manufacturing on a global scale and demonstrating the importance of international trade – particularly significant for the country’s manufacturing sector given the continuing uncertainty around exactly how Brexit will impact both trade and domestic production. Visit: www.rolls-royce.com
Aerotech Czech to manufacture and test parts of Ariane 6 space rocket A
erotech Czech, a manufacturer of rotationally symmetric and prismatic components from a wide range of materials, has been contracted by MT Aerospace to manufacture and test parts of the propulsion system of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Ariane 6 rocket.
The Ariane 6 has been in development since 2014 and is set for its first launch in 2020. Designed to lift objects into space, the rocket will now have a Czech flag on its skull – one of 13 countries collaborating with the ESA on the project. Aerotech project manager Aleš Homolka explains the company’s role in the project: “Regarding Ariane 5 we only worked on riveting small parts. However, now we have made a bit of a leap forward, being entrusted with the production of certain parts and the selection of suppliers. We are also responsible for the design, because when it is not possible to create the components we contact the design team and they accept our improvements.” Visit: www.aerotech-czech.cz
Castle Precision Engineering wins £80m Rolls-Royce order
astle Precision Engineering, a Glasgow-based manufacturer of critical precision components, has signed a six-year contract worth £80m with Rolls-Royce through which it will supply cones, shafts, spacers and turbine seal plates for the Trent family of aero-engines. Yan Tiefenbrun, managing director of Castle Precision, said: “To significantly grow our activity with Rolls-Royce, a giant in the global aerospace industry, is a privilege and a fantastic endorsement of the high-quality precision engineering work we deliver here in the UK. John Fitchett, strategic purchasing executive at Rolls-Royce, said: “We are continuing to see increasing demand for our Trent engines worldwide and suppliers with the right skills and performance,
such as Castle Precision, have an important part to play in supporting our growth story. We look forward to continuing to work with Castle Precision and building on a well-established relationship.” Visit: www.castleprecision.com
Scania to deliver record bus order to Bogotá
currently running in Bogotá. When the new Scania gas buses come into operation, carbon emissions are expected to be up to 20 per cent lower while emissions of particulate matter will be two to three times lower. Emissions of nitrogen oxide are four to five times lower than with the previous model Euro 5 buses. “We are very pleased with the outcome because this translates into significantly less
its largest gas bus delivery to date, Scania will supply 481 Euro 6 gas buses for the renewal of Bogotá’s TransMilenio Bus Rapid Transit system. Scania’s Euro 6 gas buses represent a step forward in cleaner technology compared with the older-generation Euro 2 and Euro 3 buses
Airbus wins £180 million satellite contract
irbus Defence has landed a deal worth almost £180M from one of the world’s leading satellite operators, France’s Eutelsat, to develop communications for two state-of-the-art satellites. Components and major parts for the two HOTBIRD next generation satellites will be manufactured in the UK before being sent to Toulouse for final assembly. They will deliver improved performances over the European and Middle-Eastern footprint, reinforced by a powerful European Superbeam. The HOTBIRD fleet forms one of the largest broadcasting systems in Europe, broadcasting 1000 television channels to more than 135 million homes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The new spacecraft will be based on the Eurostar Neo platform, Airbus’s new geostationary telecommunications satellite standard design. Eurostar Neo combines increased payload capacity and more efficient power and thermal control systems with reduced production time and optimised costs. The satellites combine electric power of 22 kW with a launch mass of only 4500kg, thanks to the EOR (Electric Orbit Raising) version of the Eurostar Neo platform. Due to be launched in 2021, they will be the ninth and 10th high power all-electric Eurostar satellites, harnessing multiple electric propulsion thrusters for faster orbit raising and on-station manoeuvres. Visit: www.airbus.com pollution in Bogotá,” says Juan Carlos Ocampo, Scania Colombia’s Managing Director. The 179 articulated Scania K320 IA 6x/2, (320 hp engines), buses have a capacity for 160 passengers and the 302 bi-articulated Scania F340 HA 8x2 (340 hp engines) have a capacity for 250 passengers. All buses will be bodybuilt by Busscar. Visit: www.scania.com Industry Europe 19
Stora Enso acquires BITZER and Wurm join forces cellulose technology T company Cellutech
tora Enso has increased its ownership up to 100% in the Swedish company Cellutech AB. The company specialises in the development of new materials and applications based on cellulose, micro-fibrillated cellulose (MFC) and other woodbased components. The acquisition of Cellutech supports Stora Enso’s vision of replacing fossil-based materials with renewable ones originating from wood. The acquired company works, among others, in the areas of foams for packaging and hydroponics where the markets are continuously growing. Cellulosic foams can, for example, be used in packaging to replace polystyrenes which are the most widely used plastics. “The acquisition of Cellutech will add a new dimension to our fibre and cellulose capabilities particularly in lightweight cellulose foams and spheres. We are investing in technologies and expertise that will further broaden application development competence in Stora Enso’s Biomaterials Division,” says Markus Mannström, EVP, Stora Enso Biomaterials. Cellutech was formed to take world class scientific research developed at SweTree Technologies and Wallenberg Wood Science Center and develop the ideas into commercially successful technologies and products. Visit: www.storaenso.com
LKAB Minerals signs agreement to take over Francis Flower
KAB Minerals is to acquire full ownership of Francis Flower. “Acquiring Francis Flower accelerates our growth within the Industrial Minerals market. An increase of iron ore production is one building block in LKAB’s growth plan, but growing our other businesses is equally as important
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he refrigeration and air conditioning specialist BITZER and the automation expert Wurm have paved the way for a successful future together with a joint venture agreement through which BITZER will be the majority shareholder of the newly established Wurm Holding GmbH from 1 January 2019. As a leading manufacturer of electronic system solutions for refrigeration, air conditioning and ventilation applications, all national and international Wurm companies will be integrated into the new holding company. As a managing partner, Dr Horst Peter Wurm will join the management of the new Wurm Holding GmbH and will step down from the operational management of the individual Wurm companies in mid 2019. In the holding company, he will supervise
the long-term development and strategic orientation of the group in coordination with BITZER. No changes will be made to the management of the Wurm Group, which is made up of senior employees, or to any of its operational sites in Germany or abroad. Visit: www.bitzer.de
Neste and Clariant to develop sustainable industrial solutions N este, a provider of sustainable renewable diesel and an expert in delivering drop-in renewable chemical solutions, and Clariant, a leader in specialty chemicals, have signed an agreement for a new partnership to join forces in developing and making new sustainable material solutions accessible to a variety of industries. In the first phase of the partnership, companies will start replacing fossil-based ethylene and propylene used in Clariant’s top-quality hot-melt adhesives, with monomers derived from renewable feedstock. This is enabled by turning Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons – produced 100% from renewable raw materials, such as waste and residue fats and oils as well as vegetable oils – into ethylene and propylene for Clariant’s products. In a later phase, the companies will also develop other sustainable additive solutions derived from
renewable raw materials for plastics and coatings applications. This will enable the two companies to help various sustainability-focused brand owners – such as those producing furniture, sporting goods, hygiene products, electronics, and automotives – to increase their bio-based offering while also reducing crude oil dependency and climate emissions. Visit: www.neste.com
to create a better balance between our divisions, something that makes us less sensitive to the iron ore market volatility, which strengthens LKAB,” says LKAB CEO Jan Moström. Besides that, there are other strategic components to the acquisition, explains Jan Moström. “Bringing in Francis Flower’s business into ours creates a form of circular
economy, as there is a strong link to LKAB’s iron ore business. The largest product area for Francis Flower is recycling blast furnace slag from the steel industry for production of Ground Granulated Blast furnace Slag (GGBS), a sustainable product that can replace 70% of Portland Cement in a concrete mix delivering decreased CO2 emissions.” Visit: www.lkab.com
LINKINGUP BASF invests in Chinese FRAMOS strengthens embedded vision development Group, a manufacturer of imagWith over 17 years of experience in vision 3D printing company FRAMOS ing products, custom vision solutions and engineering and manufacturing, our focus will
ASF Venture Capital GmbH is investing in Prismlab, a specialist in 3D printing processes and 3D printers, headquartered in Shanghai, China. BASF’s investment will enable Prismlab to further accelerate its product development and innovation while strengthening its global market reach. “This is our first direct investment in a Chinese company,” said Markus Solibieda, managing director of BASF Venture Capital GmbH. “The trailblazing technology from Prismlab allows large and stable components, such as medical braces and anatomical models, to be 3D printed for the first time. This investment supports BASF’s strategy of actively advancing our technologies and expanding our product offering in the 3D printing sector.” Prismlab has developed a patented 3D printing process, ‘Pixel Resolution Enhanced Technology’, based on stereolithography (SLA). SLA allows comparatively large components to be produced using light-curing resins. Alongside this patented process, Prismlab also markets 3D printers and other related services. The Prismlab technology can be used in various key customer applications, including invisible braces, and anatomical models for medical, and education and training purposes. Visit: www.basf.com
Nederman acquires Luwa Air Engineering AG
ederman has completed a deal to acquire 100% of the shares in Luwa Air Engineering AG, a global manufacturer and supplier of custom engineered air conditioning, waste handling and heat recovery systems for fibre applications. Luwa is based in Uster, Switzerland and operates
OEM services, has acquired Croatian company Smartek Vision. As FRAMOS Embedded Engineering, the Croatian team will focus on Embedded Vision development, custom solutions, IP and sensor modules. Smartek Vision was founded in 2001 and is based in Cacovec, Croatia. Bought by Framos in 2014, the complete facilities including all 30 employees now become an integrated part of the FRAMOS group, operating as its Embedded Engineering department. The Croatian engineering team brings an advanced experience in sensor modules, camera customisations and IP solutions for imaging applications in industrial and consumer markets. Damir Dolar, appointed as vice-president of FRAMOS Embedded Engineering, says: “We are extremely pleased to join the FRAMOS Group.
be enabling the FRAMOS customers to leverage from imaging technologies and embedded vision to create cutting-edge solutions in all industrial and consumer markets. Our engineering team is a knowledge development partner for individual approaches to sensor modules, custom cameras, imaging algorithms plus IP and SoC solutions to support customers building devices that see.” Visit: www.framos.com
Hiab completes acquisition of Effer cranes
iab, part of Cargotec, has completed the acquisition of Effer SpA from CTE Group. For Hiab, this means a significant advancement in its ambition to be leader in cranes and preferred partner for its customers. Effer, headquartered in Minerbio, Italy, and with approximately 400 employees, is a renowned premium knuckle-boom crane manufacturer. Effer’s product range includes truck loader cranes, special application truck cranes, and marine cranes, with
through global entities in China, India, Singapore, USA and Turkey. The Luwa Group’s activities include the design and engineering of single components and whole systems as well as manufacturing, assembly, installation and after sales services. Manufacturing and assembly facilities are situated in India and China and the group has a significant global installed base.
particular recognition for heavy cranes >100 tm capacity. Distribution is managed through a network of more than 100 dealers covering around 60 countries globally. Effer will continue to operate under its recognised brand and identity, and through its established dealer and distribution partner network. Effer will be part of Hiab’s global cranes organisation, with Lorenzo Cipriani continuing as managing director Effer, reporting to Joakim Andersson, senior vicepresident Cranes, Hiab. “I am incredibly proud today to welcome Effer and its employees as part of the Hiab family. Bringing our two proud histories, strong brands and unique competence together will make Hiab and Effer stronger and able to even better serve our customers,” says Joakim Andersson. Visit: www.hiab.com “Luwa is an excellent complimentary fit for the Nederman Group, combining Luwa’s strong market presence, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, and their proven world leading technical capabilities and strong brand name and installed base within the strategically important fibre and textile markets,” says Nederman President and CEO, Sven Kristensson. Visit: www.nederman.com Industry Europe 21
Relocations and expansions across Europe
UK spring manufacturer expands with purchase of third factory E uropean Springs & Pressings, one of the UK’s leading spring and pressing suppliers, has doubled the size of its Cornwall operation with the purchase of a new 2000m2 site. The spring manufacturer, with factories in Redruth, Cornwall and Beckenham near London, has increased the size of its south-west operation to over 4000m2 with the purchase of new premises in Penryn, Cornwall. Michael Gibbs, managing director of European Springs & Pressings in Cornwall says: “Purchasing the new Penryn-based factory is a really exciting new chapter for everyone in European Springs & Pressings and a fantastic achievement in our 70th year. This significant investment allows for continual growth across our industrial and automotive product divisions and affords new opportunities for expansion across the sites in Redruth and Penryn.” Visit: www.europeansprings.com
Fortum-Rusnano wind power project in Russia
he Fortum-Rusnano wind investment fund has taken the investment decision for a 200-megawatt (MW) wind power project in Russia. The project is the second of the total 1000 MW awarded to the fund in the Russian wind auction in June 2017. The wind farm is expected to start production during the first half of 2020. The first 50-MW project was started in late 2017 and is expected to start production during the first half of 2019. The Fortum-Rusnano wind investment fund is a 50/50 owned investment partnership to invest in wind power in Russia. The investment decisions related to the renewable capacities won by Fortum and the Fortum-Rusnano wind investment fund in 2017 and 2018 will be made on a case-by-case basis. Fortum’s maximum equity commitment is RUB 15 billion. In the longer term, Fortum seeks to maintain an asset-light structure by forming potential partnerships and other forms of cooperation. Visit: www.fortum.com
Expansion of K+S KALI Hattorf potash site approved
he regional council in Kassel has approved the expansion of the Hattorf (Philippsthal) tailings pile. With this, the disposal of solid production residues which is an important requirement for producing potash at this site, has been ensured. Based in Kassel, K+S KALI GmbH extracts crude salts containing potas-
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sium, magnesium and sulphur from its six mines in Germany. These are used to produce a wide range of fertiliser specialties and preliminary products for many different technical, industrial and pharmaceutical applications. “The granted permit now provides the employees of the site, but also the entire company, a good deal of future security,” says K+S CEO Dr Burkhard Lohr.
Xtrac opens new factory
erkshire-based automotive and motorsport specialist Xtrac welcomed the UK Prime Minister Theresa May on 8 November to open its new manufacturing facility extension that will ultimately represent a £22 million investment in UK manufacturing. Peter Digby, president of Xtrac, showed the Prime Minister around the company’s premises, which operates 24 hours a day to create advanced gearboxes used by motorsports teams around the world and in hybrid and electric high-performance road cars. The Prime Minister said: “Xtrac is a great example of how providing high quality apprenticeship programmes can help people to go on to have long-term and successful careers within the company that trained them. I am very pleased to be able to open this new facility which I hope will remain a leader in the manufacturing industry and inspire the next generation of engineers.” Xtrac has won numerous awards for its apprenticeship and undergraduate training programmes with one in seven (14%) of its 350 employees having started with the company as apprentices or undergraduates. Visit: www.xtrac.com
He continues: “After seven years of intensive work, it brings us one step closer to our goal of being able to use our full capacity for processing crude salt without restrictions caused by disposal bottlenecks. I am confident that we are on the right track regarding our wastewater disposal issues.” Visit: www.kali-gmbh.com
Advances in technology across industry
Siemens implements autonomous stockyard management system in China
iemens is supplying an autonomous stockyard management system to be used in a new plant for HBIS Laoting Steel Co. Ltd., a Chinese subsidiary of one of the world’s biggest iron and steel producers. The autonomous stockyard management system from Siemens comprises a material tracking and management system
(MAQ), an autonomous stockyard operating system (MOM), a Simatic PCS 7 process control system, industry network, consulting, engineering, project management and commissioning. Interaction between these different components enables control of all the plant’s machines and conveying systems, offering wide-ranging benefits such as the capability for all machines and conveyors to be controlled from a single system. This is achieved using a 3D model of the existing inventory which provides information on the volume and quality of stocked material, enabling autonomous operation of all the plant’s storage and retrieval machines. This allows HBIS Laoting Steel Co. Ltd. not only to
drive down its operating costs, but also to achieve between a five and ten per cent improvement in system efficiency and between three and seven per cent higher production capacity. The use of autonomous storage and retrieval machinery also improves safety. The latest environmental regulations set out by the Chinese Government require all newly constructed stockyards to be indoors. The high temperatures and levels of dust involved make for harsh working conditions, meaning that only autonomous storage and retrieval machinery can be operated in these new indoor facilities. www.siemens.com/mining-digitalization
Innovative energy concept for Berlin TXL
the future, Berliner Stadtwerke and E.ON will supply TXL – The Urban Tech Republic – in Berlin with cooling and heating using a highly innovative combination of environmentally friendly technologies. The bidding consortium was the winner of an EU-wide concession tender for the research and industrial park on the site of today’s Tegel Airport. The Schumacher Quarter, with its more than 5000 apartments, which is also planned for the Tegel site, will also be included in the energy concept. The energy will be supplied via a new lowtemperature network. This so-called LowEx
network is operated at temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius. The lower operating temperature compared to a classic district heating network means that heat losses can be reduced. Furthermore, heat pumps installed for consumers can generate higher temperatures as well as cooling energy, if required. The LowEx network can absorb surplus or self-generated energy and thus turns the customer into a producer. Because everything is generated, stored and consumed directly on site in a decentralised and sustainable way from a mix of combined
heat and power plants, solar plants, geothermal energy and waste water heat, the network functions as an energy exchange point. Philipp Bouteiller, managing director of Tegel Projekt GmbH, says: “We are concerned here with the far-reaching possibilities of this new approach, which picks up on a central point of the energy turnaround; away from central energy generation towards citizen-oriented, decentralised, intelligent energy systems and modern neighbourhood management.” Visit: www.berlinerstadtwerke.de
Patrolling robots to eradicate petrol plant explosions
he risk of a petrol plant explosion or a potential disaster on an oil refinery could be dramatically reduced thanks to a new generation of tiny chemical sensors that use light and sound to ‘listen to’ gas leaks. Fitted to an autonomous patrolling robot, the tiny ‘Photo-Acoustic’ gas sensors will be part of a wireless network continuously monitoring pipelines that can instantly identify petroleum, hydrogen sulphide, and a number of toxic gases, before alerting operatives in an oil rig or chemical plant. Current state-of-the-art technologies can take anything up to 8 minutes per measurement and give off ‘false positives’ when detecting gas leaks. However, a group of EU researchers are exploiting new techniques that combine both photonic and acoustic technologies to positively identify a leak in milliseconds.
The multi-discipline consortium, calling themselves ‘REDFINCH’(or mid infraRED Fully Integrated CHemical sensors) have combined light together with sound to increase the detection sensitivity of the wavelength ‘fingerprint’ of a gas so that it can be positively identified. Project dissemination manager, David Williams, explains: “The REDFINCH consortium is developing Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs), using hybrid and monolithic integration of III-V diode and Interband Cascade/Quantum Cascade materials with silicon to create high performance, cost effective sensors. Essentially using light and sound together allows us to produce a more specific detection and to be more accurate. “By integrating all the components, such as the laser, the detector and the sensing chamber all onto one single chip, we reduce the possible points of failure and more importantly, the ‘noise’ ratio to
improve the sensing capabilities. Shifting everything onto one silicon chip makes things more convenient and less expensive.” Visit: www.redfinch.eu
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Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on uncertain times for German industry.
ermany’s ‘wise men’ – a council of economic experts whose musings on future growth, trade, fiscal policy and general financial health are listened to by every politician and economist – met in November and reorted grim news. The experts, who advise the German chancellery on economic policy, sharply lowered their outlook for the powerhouse of the EU, citing problems arising from trade conflicts, Brexit uncertainty and an ageing population that has to be underwritten by the taxpayer. The experts said they expected Germany’s economy to grow by 1.6 per cent this year and 1.5 in 2019 – well below their previous forecast of 2.3 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively. “The uncertain future of the global economic order and unavoidable demographic change represent major challenges to the German economy,” said chairman Christoph Schmidt in the council’s latest annual report. The ‘wise men’ – in fact four men and one woman – implored embattled chancellor Angela Merkel to take action to prepare Germany for the trials that lie ahead. The Federation of German Industry had warned earlier in the year of a no-deal Brexit threatening a trade deal with the UK in the region of €60 billion annually. But she no longer commands the clout she once did – and may not be in office for her whole term. Her policy of open-door immigration for refugees triggered the growth of the far-right Alternative for Germany party and decimated support for her own conservative CDU. The supersonic growth which Germany enjoyed in 2017 – underwritten by brisk domestic and international demand for its goods, record-low unemployment and low interest rates – is now a distant memory. Mrs Merkel took the opportunity after the Armistice Day remembrance ceremonies to warn of ‘dangerous isolationism’ – a thinly 24 Industry Europe
disguised attack against the ‘America First’ policies of Donald Trump. “We know that most of the challenges and threats of today can no longer be solved by one nation alone, but only if we act together. That’s why we have to stand up for this kind of collaboration,” Merkel said at the Paris Forum – a meeting the president skipped. “Close international cooperation on the basis of shared values that are enshrined in the UN charters: This is the only way to overcome the horrors of the past and pave a new future,” the chancellor told the forum.
“The uncertain future of the global economic order and unavoidable demographic change represent major challenges to the German economy.” Merkel, Macron and other EU leaders are worried how far Trump’s trade wars with the EU and China will go, therefore how much economic impact they will have on societies in Europe. As the bulk of Germany’s wealth comes from its exports, it is no small matter. The economic advisers also warned of the dangers of an unruly Brexit hitting Germany hard, saying it could badly disrupt Anglo-German trade. They were also worried about rising nationalism in Italy and the parlous state of its finances. “An escalation of the trade conflict, a disorderly Brexit, or a resurgence of the euro area crisis harbour risks for economic development,” they warned and implored Germany and the European Union to “forcefully reject protectionism and stand up for free trade.”
Future challenges And the panel singled out Germany’s ageing workforce as a ‘major challenge’. Industry is already battling with skilled worker shoirtages as the baby-boomer generation retires and the birth rate does not keep up. Berlin is expected to promote more childcare policies to encourage mothers to get back into the workplace. The experts also pressed Berlin to make greater progress in preparing Germany for the digital economy, urging investments to improve the country’s creaking internet infrastructure. Berlin should also do more to support tech start-ups and modernise its education system to prepare youngsters for the ‘digital transformation’, they added. With an eye on the future, Berlin announced in November that it intends to spend €1 billion to support a consortium looking to produce electric battery cells. But while meant to reduce the dependence of carmakers on Asian suppliers and protect jobs, the measure may come too late because global market leaders are not only ramping up production at home, but also in Europe. Soon they will be offering the full value chain of battery technology from cell production, pack assembly to battery management systems, prompting analysts to warn of a likely glut that could hinder the establishment of large-scale battery cell production by European newcomers. According to data collected by Bloomberg News, some 80 per cent of the world’s existing battery production is in Asia, with China accounting for 69 per cent of capacity, the United States 15 per cent and the EU less than 4 per cent. China’s seeming monopoly in batteries threatens to undermine the ability of Germany’s carmakers to compete with their Chinese rivals as the automotive industry shifts away from the combustion engine. All in all the economic news is disturbing. Come Brexit day in March next year, the chill economic winds may have turned even icier. n
France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on the fall of an industry titan.
rench car giant Renault has been plunged into chaos this month after its chief executive Carlos Ghosn was arrested on suspicion of spending almost €16 million on luxury property using money from Japanese car-maker Nissan, where he is also chairman. The French government – which has a 15 per cent stake in Renault – has called this month for an ‘interim governance’ structure to be put in place at the company while Ghosn’s financial dealings are investigated. Meanwhile, shares in both car companies plunged following Ghosn’s arrest in Tokyo on November 19. Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has announced that after a months-long investigation prompted by a whistleblower Brazilian-born Ghosn would be dismissed for ‘significant acts of misconduct’ that allegedly included under-reporting his salary and using company assets for personal benefit. The Japanese media reported that Nissan had provided Ghosn with houses in four countries where he had ‘no legitimate business reason to reside’. Ghosn, 64, also serves as chairman of Mitsubishi Motors, and became one of the world’s leading industry tycoons after helping forge an alliance between the three companies to create the world’s biggest car seller. The disgraced executive is accused of spending three million euros on a sprawling penthouse apartment in Tokyo, and millions more on sumptuous homes in Paris, Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro and Beirut. After his arrest for financial misconduct, his ex-wife Rita Ghosn has shared a Facebook post declaring ‘all narcissists lie and abuse behind closed doors’. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France-Info that Ghosn is not in a position to lead the Renault Group because of the accusations. He urged the board to hold an emergency meeting to strip Ghosn of his CEO title, and hand control to his number two, Thierry Bollore. But Le Maire added that the
authorities had examined Ghosn’s tax situation in France and found no wrongdoing. In Paris, Renault’s senior executives were reported to have pledged their full support to Ghosn, while the Lebanese government said it would stand by him, with foreign minister adding: “Carlos Ghosn is a Lebanese citizen who represents one of the Lebanese successes abroad and the Lebanese foreign ministry will stand by him in his adversity to ensure he gets a fair trial.” Ghosn’s fall from grace has now led to speculation about the future of the alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. Le Maire and Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko are said to have spoken by telephone to ‘reaffirm the strong support’ of both governments to the union, which they described in a joint statement as ‘one of the greatest examples of Franco-Japanese industrial cooperation’. But in Tokyo, national media network NHK said Nissan had paid ‘huge sums’ to buy and maintain luxury residences for Ghosn in Beirut, Paris, Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro that were not for legitimate business reasons. The purchases were not declared in stock market filings, while Ghosn was underpaying or not paying rent, NHK alleged. It also accused Ghosn, who was in charge of paying Nissan’s top 13 executives, of secretly siphoning off some of that money for himself.
Le cost-cutter Ghosn graduated as an engineer in Paris in 1974, and began his career in 1978 at Europe’s biggest tyre maker Michelin where over 18 years he rose to plant manager in Le Puy-en-Velay, France, to chief operating officer for Michelin North America. He joined Renault as an executive vicepresident in 1996, and forged the alliance between Renault and Nissan three years later, then becoming Nissan’s fourth nonJapanese chairman.
He won many admirers during his long career as one of the world’s leading auto executives, winning praise for his cost-cutting and vision to promote electric vehicles and low-cost vehicles. But he also attracted critics for his high salary, with shareholders voting down his pay in 2016, although the vote was nonbinding. Only by agreeing to a pay cut did Ghosn get shareholders’ approval at an annual meeting in Paris in June. In Japan this month some industry experts questioned whether Ghosn was being treated in the same way that a Japanese executive might be treated in similar circumstances in a country where prosecutors have been criticised in the past for being too soft on home-grown politicians and corporate executives accused of wrongdoing, and too harsh on foreigners. Ghosn is currently in custody in Tokyo, where he can be held for up to 23 days before being charged. If bail is granted, it would be ‘exorbitant, in hundreds of millions of yen’, or millions of dollars, according to Tsutomu Nakamura, a former prosecutor at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors office. But in major cases like this, ‘often no bail is granted until after the arraignment at the first court session’. Falsifying corporate annual reports, which Ghosn and Nissan Representative Director Greg Kelly are accused of, carries a maximum penalty of up to ten years in prison and/or a fine of up to 78,000 euros, under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. Nobuo Gohara, the head of a law firm specialising in compliance, said he had not heard of a previous case in which a false statement regarding directors’ compensation in a securities report had resulted in such a punishment. He wrote in a blog post: “There is a question whether this case should be charged as a criminal one.” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told the media: “It’s extremely regrettable. n We will watch developments closely.” Industry Europe 25
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ASSOFLUID, the Italian Association of Manufacturing and Trading Companies in Fluid Power Equipment and Components, commemorates its 50th anniversary in 2018. Its Director Mr Marco Ferrara talks to Industry Europe about the Association’s history and objectives, as well as about how it helps its members to better deal with market challenges and make use of new opportunities.
Industry Europe 27
its 50 years of activity, ASSOFLUID has developed into a strong body representing and promoting the interests of Italian industrial leaders. From 13 founding members, the membership base has grown to the current number of 180 companies, representing 70 per cent of the Italian market and employing over 14,000 people. Looking back, Mr Ferrara summarises the Association’s development: “It all started with several companies agreeing to work together in the 1950s. Later on, in 1962, CETOP – the European Oil Hydraulic and Pneumatic Committee – was founded. Approximately six years later, in February 1968, these companies founded ASSOFLUID to coordinate, protect and promote technical and economic interests in the hydraulic and pneumatic fields.” The role of the Association is to represent its members in institutions, agencies and national and international organisations. It works to address technical, economic, legislative, fiscal and customs problems in the interest of its members; promote knowledge and increase the awareness of products manufactured by its members; develop technical and professional instruction by publishing manu-
28 Industry Europe
als, organising and managing courses and promoting all forms of collaboration between members and schools and universities; and to gather and develop statistical data and economic information.
Promoting the interests of the sector ASSOFLUID members are hydraulic and pneumatic manufacturers and distributors, which export their products around the world, with a total production value of €3.5 billion (in 2017) and a 65 per cent export share. The Italian fluid power market (worth €2.2 billion) is the fifth largest in the world, after the USA, China, Germany and Japan. “In the 50 years of its activity, ASSOFLUID has become the most important Italian reference for all the operators in the fluid power sector,” says Mr Ferrara. “The benefits the Association offers to its members are many and include a wide range of services from the statistical field, such as quarterly and annual economic surveys, cost variation index and statistical cost surveys, to publication of documents relating to European Directives and Regulations governing the sector, for example the Machinery Directive, Pressure Equipment, ATEX and others.
“The Association also offers its members the opportunity to participate in the most important fluid power exhibitions including the Hannover Messe, PTC Asia and IFPE to name just a few, through Italian pavilions organised directly by ASSOFLUID or in collaboration with ICE – the Italian Trade Agency,” he explains. ASSOFLUID has joined Confindustria, the leading organisation representing manufacturing and service companies in Italy, and Federmacchine, the National Federation of Associations of Manufacturers of Capital Goods intended for Industrial and Handicrafts Manufacturing Processes. “Through the support of Confindustria, ASSOFLUID can have regular dialogues with institutions, suggesting themes and issues to be elaborated and allowing its members to participate in events and/ or conferences promoted by these institutions. This is a continuing relationship, always subject to updates to reflect the issues related to the industrial world,” says Mr Ferrara.
wide-reaching concerns. “Environmental protection is certainly a topical issue, but there are other subjects related to industrial and technological development that are important, such as occupational safety,” Mr Ferrara points out. “Over the years, laws and regulations regarding occupational heath and safety have been promulgated both in the European Community and in Italy, with a significant, direct impact on machine safety. In our sector, this relates for example to the enhancement of hydraulic safety valves and power packs.” Mr Ferrara makes it clear that ASSOFLUID will continue to strive to support its members both at the national and international levels. “We want to continue to be a valid support for all our members as they represent an important sector of the national economy and contribute significantly to its successful development. That has been n and will be the key role of the Association.”
Valued support He points out that Industry 4.0 is now undoubtedly influencing the fluid power sector, not only in terms of components and systems, but also regarding companies’ internal processes, which are forced to adapt quickly to this new industrial phase in order to compete in international markets. “The Italian industry, including our sector, has always been characterised by the high quality and reliability of its products, with the most high-tech production standards, allowing our companies to be among the market leaders worldwide,” says Mr Ferrara. “One of ASSOFLUID’s objectives is therefore to promote ‘Made in Italy’, through its presence at international exhibitions and using proper marketing tools. Also, being aware that the right level of hydraulic and pneumatic skills is a determining factor for competitiveness, we have implemented the CETOP Education Programme, i.e. sets of competence-based qualifications to meet the occupational levels of those people involved in the maintenance and management of fluid power systems.” ASSOFLUID helps its members to adapt to market developments, reflecting new technological advancements as well as more
Director Mr Marco Ferrara Industry Europe 29
Moving with the times
D.R.A. Srl is an Italian company based in Volvera, in the province of Turin, specializing in the design, assembly, and distribution of high-quality hydraulic motion systems for industrial application. Eugenia Fiusco talks to company owner Mr. Giulio Dolce about D.R.A. Srl’s products and its future direction.
2001, D.R.A. Srl moved to its current headquarters in Volvera. The move resulted in a significant increase in productivity and the installation of a fully automated, vertical warehouse that was much larger and much more efficient.
Products and industrial applications “The company specializes in the design, production, and sale of hydraulic systems and all their relative components, such as valves, cylinders, filters, hydraulic actuators, and, generally speaking, all parts necessary to build customized systems,” explained the owner of D.R.A. Srl, Mr. Giulio Dolce. “Our systems have a wide range of 30 Industry Europe
industrial applications: oil & gas plants, assembly processes and machines, water treatment plants, foundries and many more.” A highly experienced team of staff, cutting-edge machinery, and equipment allow the manufacture of high-quality products. The systems are entirely assembled in-house, starting from the carpentry work on the raw tanks, followed by assembly and painting. Such high standards are possible thanks to the company’s technical staff with decades of experience in system design. Hydraulic systems have a large variety of industrial applications and this is reflected in the number of industries that D.R.A. Srl supplies. “Our production lines are all aimed at industrial applications
and among the industries we supply there are the automotive, oil & gas and industrial machinery industries,” said Mr. Dolce. To complete its service, the Italian company set up two additional dedicated commercial branches in 2004. These are strategically located in Castelletto sopra Ticino and Castagnole Lanze, between them covering the provinces of Novara, Vercelli, Verbania, Asti, and Alessandria. The two commercial branches, along with the main commercial department at the company’s headquarters, can easily support the needs of each region it covers, acting quickly and efficiently. “We are very active in the national market, especially in the northern regions of Piemonte, Val d’Aosta, Liguria, and Lombardia. The European markets we serve are mainly Spain, France, and Germany.” In addition, Mr. Dolce explained that the company is actively looking to expand its business beyond Europe. “We are working to build a presence in the Arab world and Africa.”
Recent investments and news D.R.A. Srl has lately invested significant amounts in the logistics and IT aspects of its business, implementing new hardware and software to optimize the warehouse management. The owner, Mr. Giulio Dolce, further explained: “For instance, we have introduced the use of barcode
scanning in the warehouse, optimized packaging, and internal handling operations. Last but not least, we have focused on providing specialized services to our clients. As such, we have introduced an oil contamination analysis service and contaminated oil treatment that we are now applying to hydraulic fluid systems repair and maintenance services.”
Future goals “Our future goals consist of strengthening and further developing the commercial side of the business through better and more efficient networks both in the domestic and foreign markets. Moreover, we are working to expand the sales of our hydraulic systems abroad. Finally, we are hiring more personnel to work in all areas of the business; that is, both the commercial department and the technical staff.” As part of the plan to expand its presence and offer its clients and even faster and more efficient service, D.R.A. Srl is focusing on its online presence by improving its website and aims to launch the online sale of some of its production lines. D.R.A. Srl has enjoyed a long-term collaboration with one of the world’s largest suppliers of hydraulic cylinders and parts for industrial applications, Parker. In Italy, some of the most valuable ongoing coln laborations are with Berarma Srl and Fratelli Tognella SpA. Industry Europe 31
for a better environment W.L. Gore, the American company famous for its industry-leading solutions, has achieved leadership in yet another area. The company has recently launched a pioneering new product, a game changer for the filtration sector. Romana Moares reports.
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.L. Gore summarises its core business as follows: “In manufacturing, controlling contamination is a must. Gore provides reliable air, gas, liquid and particle filtration solutions that purify processes, increase yields and control costs.” This global player, which is commemorating its 60th anniversary in 2018, is at the same time celebrating 45 years of experience in the filtration business, serving a diverse set of markets including chemical, cement, steel and ferroalloy production as well as the wasteto-energy sector. The company has accentuated this important anniversary by introducing a new product that will bring substantial benefits to a wide range of industrial players.
Cost-saving benefits Chemical production is one of the company’s largest filtration segments. Chemical manufacturing demands high, consistent throughput under challenging baghouse operation conditions. Filter bags are critical to their processes. Membrane-based GORE® filter bags provide consistent reliability and long product life, meeting or exceeding the production requirements of demanding chemical processes. Steven R. Aubuchon, Ph.D., Global Product Specialist with Gore’s Industrial Dry Filtration business, says: “The new product that we have
been introducing and will keep introducing this year is called the GORE® LOW DRAG™ filter bag. Although the product was first launched two years ago in the steel production segment, we are now pushing for wider dispersion. Earlier this year, we launched into multiple segments including carbon black, cement and ferroalloy production, with an official introduction into carbon black in Europe in September.” “LOW DRAG is really a revolutionary product. The LOW DRAG filter is inherently more cleanable, without sacrificing durability or particle capture efficiency. It provides a pathway to much lower cost of ownership through several advantages, including longer bag life, improved air flow, lower fan energy requirements and fewer bags required,” he explains. “The reason why these characteristics are interesting and exciting is that virtually every single industrial chemical plant is looking for ways to lower costs.”
Product leadership The bags incorporate a new ePTFE membrane which is designed to drastically reduce drag, defined as the resistance to airflow in the baghouse. By optimising airflow, the filter bags allow operations to run more efficiently with significant benefits including lower emissions and sifting, leading to consistent regulatory compliance and
Industry Europe 33
improved downstream energy recovery; lower persistent differential pressure (dP), which enables longer bag life through reduced cleaning, and, last but not least, increased throughput. GORE LOW DRAG filter bags have recently become available for use in carbon black applications. This filtration solution for carbon black dust collection and particulate emissions provides the same efficiency, high performance and low cost of ownership that other industries have experienced through GORE LOW DRAG filter bags. “The development of the LOW DRAG filter bag took several years,” says Dr Aubuchon. “GORE is a product leadership company and we are committed to ensuring that our products are fully fit for use in the applications in which we are promoting them. So we have a rather extensive product development and pre-launch period to make sure that the product performs as expected.”
Global interest With GORE being a global player with sales evenly distributed around the world, the potential of the new product is tremendous. “Many of the value propositions are resonating globally, particularly lower cost of ownership – everyone strives to improve in this direction no matter where they live. We have noted a great interest in Europe, where the ability to meet environmental regulations and to lower the energy consumption is of particular interest to our European customers,” Dr Aubuchon points out. However, he admits that Europe is far from being the only region where customers are eager to make use of LOW DRAG benefits. “Generally speaking, the fastest growing market for GORE is the APAC region. Over the last two years or so, environmental regulations have been tightened in Asia and demand for products ensuring compliance with those regulations is increasing.” In light of current market developments, and being the only filter bag of this kind in the market, demand is expected to grow. “LOW 34 Industry Europe
DRAG is the only product we are aware of that can produce this level of performance, a true leader in the filtration membrane technology.” Still, the company is already thinking of the next stage. “GORE is the inventor of this filtration membrane and we are continuing to develop and improve this product. LOW DRAG is a family of products; we have currently launched only a small number of laminates and will continue to develop additional laminates to complement our current LOW DRAG portfolio,” says Steven Aubuchon, affirming that GORE will strive to continue to be what is at the core of its global success – n an industry innovator.
Steven R. Aubuchon, Ph.D., Global Product Specialist
Automation & Robotics
Automation masterclass For over 50 years the Alvey Group has pioneered the way forward in industrial automation. Its systems increase plant efficiency through its unrivalled expertise in warehousing and distribution systems, palletising technology and industrial software and services. Recently the company was acquired by Scott technologies of New Zealand, thus opening up yet greater horizons for the group, as Philip Yorke reports.
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or more than 50 years Alvey has developed a unique expertise in the design and installation of integrated industrial automation solutions. The Alvey Group is headquartered in Belgium with operations in France, the Czech Republic and the UK. The company’s broad product portfolio and skilled project management teams ensure that it delivers complete turnkey systems on time and within budget. Alvey Group solutions include both hardware and advanced software to significantly improve warehousing efficiency and distribution. The group offers a variety of mini-load systems and is expert in the supply of horizontal and vertical transportation systems via various types of conveyers. The range of solutions on offer is infinite and always tailored to optimise the efficiency, productivity and profitability of its customers.
Optimising functionality Today Alvey offers the most advanced, flexible and reliable material handling systems available on the market. The company has been leading the field for more than 50 years with its specialised palletising and de-palletising systems, which range from single line palletisers to the most complex multi-line systems, and are specifically designed to optimise handling functionality. Alvey told Industry Europe, “Palletisation requires a high level of diversity and flexibility and our specially designed solutions offer unrivalled versatility and applicability. Our systems perform faultlessly in the most demanding situations, for example in environments with extreme temperatures and dusty atmospheres. Furthermore, for each industrial sector we develop tailor-made solutions that are able to meet the most demanding production challenges. “Many of our customers work in challenging overseas environments, therefore improving standards of quality, hygiene and safety are a higher priority for the company than ever before. We view palletisation as a logistics activity, which usually requires wooden pallets, as well as all kinds of other consumables such as plastic sheets, separators and stickers. Many of our customers would rather not see any of these items anywhere near a hygienic production hall. In our multi-line concept, several production lines are connected to one or more palletisation machines, which are not usually placed in the production hall itself.” 36 Industry Europe
New horizons A major development announced recently by the Alvey Group is its recent acquisition by the Scott Group of New Zealand, a leading global automation systems company. This strategic move opens up new horizons for Alvey in many areas of its global operations. Alvey is closely aligned with Scott, which has products and services that perfectly compliment its own product portfolio. This key development adds significantly to the company’s overall value and automation capabilities, whilst helping to fulfil its strategic goal of global expansion, thus in turn accelerating its access to new overseas markets. The Alvey Group brings to Scott an enviable European reputation, a high-calibre workforce and unrivalled expertise that will add much to Scott’s product range and new software capabilities, whilst allowing the company access to skills and technology at a faster rate than could have been developed in-house. This milestone transaction has a value of more than €12 million and is expected to have a positive impact on group earnings following completion of the deal in the third quarter of 2018.
Automation & Robotics
Systems of choice For many of the world’s biggest manufacturing companies, such as Siemens, the Alvey Group is the supplier of choice for their advanced automation systems. The list of benefits to customers is endless and includes dedicated knowledge of the customer’s industry, low cost of ownership, complete turnkey solutions, the strategic location of production and service sites and, not least, the safety and wellbeing of customers, employees and sub-contractors. As a leading specialist in automated palletising systems, installations can involve multi-line, or single-line layer palletisers and endless combinations of both, utilising either conventional or robotic units. For each industrial sector, Alvey develops a tailor-made solution that meets the most stringent international standards and the customer’s own individual specifications. The company’s challenge is to develop solutions that are a simple as possible, whilst resolving today’s extremely complex automation challenges. When it comes to warehouse and distribution systems, the Alvey Group excels again with its specialised computer hardware and high-end software. This significantly improves warehousing efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The wide range of solutions on offer at Alvey is always tailored carefully to suit each client’s individual requirements. These are usually centred around the efficient receipt of goods, automated preparation of ‘Click & Collect’ orders, temporary and long-term storage and advanced order picking and preparation utilising ‘pick-by-list’, ‘pick-to-light’, or ‘pick-to-invoice’ criteria.
Focus on safety and service Alvey is much more than a reliable partner dedicated to improving its customers’ bottom lines. Its service team is comprised of around 50 highly trained and experienced technicians and sales engineers. These are based in strategic locations throughout Europe. Their goal is to support Alvey’s clients, both large and small, 24 hours a day and all year round, in order to keep production equipment running efficiently, and with a view to eliminating expensive downtime. n For further details of the Alvey Group’s innovative automation systems and services visit: www.alvey-group.com
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Tools for better
performance Founded almost a hundred years ago, Hoffmann Group is a leading provider of quality tools, workstations and storage, personal protective equipment as well as related consulting and services to improve the performance of its global customer base. The group has recently introduced several new products to reinforce its market position. Romana Moares reports.
he Hoffmann Group wrote the first chapter in its story about 100 years ago. Quality and expert advice were the focus from the very start. Ever since its early days the business grew organically, pursuing its path to success, following a simple recipe: a passion for quality tools that create perfect results in customers’ hands. Today, Hoffman Group is Europe’s largest tooling logistics provider - with its worldwide partners and staff of about 3000, the company serves global leaders as well as small and medium sized businesses in over 50 countries. With comprehensive customer service and over 99 per cent delivery quality certified by TÜV, the tooling experts with 38 Industry Europe
their head office in Munich ensure that their customers experience efficient cooperation on a partnership basis. Last year, the company strengthened its competencies as a system partner for the manufacturing industry by entering the market for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with a full product range including roughly 6000 PPE products from 60 leading manufacturers as well as a comprehensive Europe-wide consultancy service. Hoffmann Group covers all protective areas from head to toe. This makes procurement easier for buyers and safety engineers. In addition, the Hoffmann Group is forging ahead with the development of
Automation & Robotics
product related digital services and has already taken some decisive steps in this direction. An example is the ToolScout, which supports the use of analogue tools digitally. The Hoffmann Group’s aim is to provide the customer with optimal support in the future, no matter whether it’s classic or digital.
Latest addition Inside its latest catalogue, an unparalleled range of more than 80,000 articles showcases the very latest that the GARANT premium brand, the HOLEX quality brand and 500 leading manufacturer’s brands have to offer. With another 500,000 articles listed in its database, the company can provide the ideal tool for any task you need to accomplish – with an outstanding cost/benefit ratio. As a premium brand, GARANT is a byword for the concentrated manufacturing competence of the Hoffmann Group. More than 38,000 efficient and powerful, high-performance tools for all areas of application provide the highest levels of innovation, constant premium quality and an optimum benefit-price ratio. Just recently. Hoffmann Group has now brought the new GARANT Power Q product family on to the market. Industry Europe 39
With four different types of toolholder and newly developed indexable inserts in three system sizes, Garant Power Q offers a broad spectrum of tools for machining steel, hardened steel, stainless steel and titanium, all to high standards of process reliability. This means the mills are suitable for all users who have to perform flexibly across a wide range of milling tasks and who need to achieve high metal removal rates. The GARANT Power Q product family is characterised by high process reliability at very high feed rates, across an enormous range of products. Thanks to their newly developed geometry, the indexable inserts are extremely stable and deliver high performance. A two-part end face radius and large clearance angles ensure reliable chip evacuation and permit a high feed rate, with constant performance even in deep cavities. The new types of insert are suitable for GARANT Power Q tool carriers with diameters from 16 to 100 millimetres. They are available in three system sizes XOM.060310, XDM.090416 and XDM.120516 for steel, hardened steel, stainless steel and titanium. 40 Industry Europe
Looking ahead The Hoffmann Group has consolidated its market position both in Germany, which remains, as before, its most important market, as well as abroad. It has 69 subsidiaries and offices worldwide, meaning that customers can get the concept or solution they need – at any time and wherever they are located. The management believes that there are still opportunities for growth worldwide. Its business model as a system partner with a unique, threefold combination of trading, manufacturing and service expertise is not only being successfully embraced in Europe, but has promising potential further afield. As an internationally operating, successful company with highly motivated and dedicated employees the company will continue to strive to find the best solutions for its customers, to make them even more successful, in line with the company’s slogan to provide “tools to n make you better.”
Automation & Robotics
Industry Europe offers targeted advertising placements in our printed and online magazines focused on specific issues, which provide high-impact visibility to boost your presence and show off your skillset to Europe’s manufacturing sector. Our aim is to build a long-term partnership with your organisation and deliver you a real return on investment over a prolonged period of time – providing strategic value and awareness for your brand through continuous presence across print, digital, social and direct contact with our audience.
Industry Europe 41
Multi-axis masterpiece The SCM Group is a global leader in the design and manufacture of Industrial machinery and components. Philip Yorke looks at a remarkable group and the companies that, through research and innovation, continue to create ground-breaking technologies in the many diverse facets of its business.
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Automation & Robotics
he SCM Group comprises six highly specialised companies with offices and sales networks across all five continents. The SCM Group was established around the success of the Rimini based CMS company, which back in 1952 invented the first CMS Woodworking Machine and later diversified its operations to enter other industrial sectors, including the processing of composites, plastics, metals, aluminium, glass and stone. Founded in 1952, CMS SpA recorded sales of over €150 million in 2017 and includes five overseas companies and a worldwide sales and service network. CMS machining centres are used in the processing of plastics, light alloys, aluminium, marble, stone, glass and wood. Thanks to its unrivalled variety of products and high-tech solutions, the company is able to meet the requirements of the most demanding precision industries including aerospace, military and civil aviation, automotive, wind energy and construction. Since its foundation, CMS has been the leader in the field of secondary woodworking machinery and offers the widest range of specialised technologies for both industry and craftsmen. The group has three major
production centres in Italy with an annual production output of more than 17,000 machines. SCM SpA is an integral part of the SCM Group, which continues to see double digit growth throughout its broad business activities. The company invests heavily in research and development and its innovative products are all designed and manufactured in-house at its three, extensive and highly specialised production centres in Italy. Today the group employs over 3500 people worldwide and in 2017 recorded sales of almost €700 million.
Smarter systems Keeping pace with the digital transformations currently being endorsed throughout industry, the SCM Group has launched its latest ‘smart’ technologies at a major convention held recently by the Turin Industrial Union, entitled: ‘Elements for Competing in Italy and Europe’. At the convention, Frederico Ratti, SCM’s Technical Director, illustrated how the digital revolution launched by the group has led to the development of advanced IoT systems for its machines. “This powerful transformation will produce ever smarter and more
Industry Europe 43
Electro Adda S.p.A. Electro Adda - focused on AC electric motor business for more than 70 years - is the reference technological partner for highly specialized companies in different sectors – industrial, marine, navy, O&G and heavy duty sectors. The capability to design and build custom-made and high performance motors is highlighted in the long standing cooperation between SCM GROUP and Electro Adda. Since 1950, SCM and Electro Adda started their relationship as the rising family companies but internationally oriented and destined to grow over time until today. At first, SCM work in the field of machines for woodworking starting from the “Invincibile”, a classic machine in short widespread all over the world and Electro Adda in the field of the electric motors. The relationship of mutual thrust between the founders of these two companies brought Electro Adda to develop electric motors tuned to the service required by machines for woodworking. Further SCM is not only a customer but moreover a Partner to share their experiences and conduct joint development. This relationship was, is and will be solid over time, in spite of the different ways and size of rise, the different type of products and manufacturing technologies. Electro Adda is being provided SCM Group reliable, customized and efficient electric motors to meet specific requirements, such as standard machines, working centres, plants for panel processing, systems for window and door frames, technologies for the plastic working, glass, marble and composite materials. Electro Adda is proud to serve SCM since over 60 years and thanks SCM for the loyalty and the opportunity to mutually grow in terms of technology and recognized performance excellence.
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social machines accompanied by a wider variety of additional services, including a faster and more efficient connection with service technicians during the after-sales phase. “It also provides the possibility for SCM Group technicians to view, in real-time, whatever goes on with their running systems at any time and anywhere in the world. We’re heading towards a future where systems will be smarter and smarter, and equipped with sensors that will produce huge amounts of data. These will also perform sophisticated analysis, use machines much more efficiently and be able to fix any machine just prior to their breakdown – thus offering a much faster return on investment and improved organisation of production departments,” added Ratti.
Pressing ahead Another of the SCM Group’s star performers is Sergiani, which is a significant group company based in Rimini, Italy, and was acquired in 2006. Founded in 1947, Sergiani has been producing state-of-theart presses since 1954. The first products were manually operated single-compartment hot presses designed especially for small carpentry shops and they made Sergiani the first company in Italy to produce dedicated presses for the wood industry. In keeping with its reputation for innovation, the company patented its now famous Las 230 continuous-loop press, for the production of hollow-core doors. Thanks to this break-through, Sergiani became a world-leading supplier of presses for the world’s largest door manufacturers. Innovations that have since been introduced into the production of this automated model include up to ten com-
46 Industry Europe
partments, ideal for large scale furniture producers, which continue to benefit from high productivity levels in the processing of large or thick wooden panels.
Focus on productivity When CMS became a subsidiary of the SMS Group it was entrusted with the task of providing the group with customised CNC multiaxis machining centres for the processing of a very broad range of materials. Today the company offers an extensive product portfolio ranging from 3-4 interpolated axis monobloc machining centres to versatile waterjet cutting robots. The company’s complete waterjet cutting systems are both quick and versatile and specifically designed to process all flexible materials such as plastics, rubbers, foams, composites and layered materials. Its speed, combined with its ability to use multiple cutting heads, and the automatic pallet change system, enables it to offer high levels of productivity for users at a very competitive cost compared to conventional systems. Another specialisation is the company’s Brembana Speed model: the 3-4 interpolated axis monobloc machining centre, which is specifically designed for the machining of ultra-thick slabs and blocks of marble, granite, and natural and composite stone. It can carry out any type of rough or polished edge contouring, as well as milling, drilling, countersinking, recessing, bass relief and complex engraving operations. It is the world’s best-selling machine in its class and n represents the state-of-the-art in axis machining technology. For further details of the SCM Group’s innovative products and services visit: www.scmgroup.com
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
Customised innovation Schwarzmueller is Europe’s largest manufacturer of trailers, semi-trailers and bodies for a broad range of industrial applications. The company continues to see strong growth in the EU markets thanks to its innovative solutions and ability to provide ‘optimal-fit’ for any upcoming transportation challenge. Philip Yorke reports.
Industry Europe 47
ith a major presence in 21 countries across Europe, Schwarzmueller is one of the leading and most respected utility vehicle manufacturers for bodies, trailers and semitrailers in the world. The company’s extensive range of products, along with its decades of experience, and unrivalled quality makes it an internationally approved manufacturer for standard and specialised commercial vehicles. Its dedication to providing innovative, cost-effective solutions has boosted production to more than 9000 vehicles this year. In addition, its comprehensive network is also unrivalled for its fast and efficient repair and spare part replacement services. Today Schwarzmueller operates in 21 countries, mostly in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe. The company develops, produces and services premium vehicles for bespoke, value-added transport solutions, and sets the benchmark as an innovative technological leader with over 150 years of experience. The Schwarzmueller Group currently employs around 2300 people and in 2017 recorded sales of approximately €350 million.
Meeting strategic goals At Schwarzmueller’s headquarters in Freinberg, Austria, last year, Roland Hartwig, Group CEO, confirmed that the company’s strategic goals noted in its 2020 plan were very much on track. Now in its 150th year, the Austrian premium commercial vehicle manufacturer aims to generate revenues of €450 million and to sell over 10,000 vehicles this year. Hartwig also stated that the priority 48 Industry Europe
was establishing flow-production, which entailed building totally new production lines in all of the company’s European plants. The reduction in process times brought about by this development is designed to increase efficiency and meet changing customer expectations. Delivery times have also become a hot topic during the current boom market conditions. Since mid-year 2018 resources have been concentrated on accelerating the conversion process. “Starting in the autumn of 2018, our increased efficiency will enable us to offer all of our customers shorter delivery times,” said Hartwig. In its key sales markets, Germany remains the current leader with a boom in the sales of construction vehicles. Elsewhere, the group has been able to defend its market dominance in Austria and Switzerland, and sales in Europe. Furthermore, Hungary and Poland remain stable markets. Once the new ‘flow production’ process is introduced, the plants will begin with sequencing. This computer-optimised production control method is intended to enable the company to achieve significant improvements in overall manufacturing efficiency. The majority of the latest €8 million investment is being used for this purpose, however funding is also being provided for the construction of an in-house training workshop, designed to advance the company’s internal training practices.
New partnership Recently Schwartzmueller gained an important partner in an interesting growth market that compliments the company’s product portfolio and volumes. Nooteboom Trading BV is a Dutch company that is
Schwarzmueller Group and NEXA AUTOCOLOR® Nexa Autocolor, premium refinish brand and part of the global PPG Industries group, has been Schwarzmueller’s preferred coating partner for over 10 years. The supplier’s continued focus on commercial transportation coatings research goes beyond aesthetics and durability with the aim to develop innovative products that help vehicle builders to increase productivity and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. This has led to the introduction of the TURBO VISION® product line, a flexible paint system using a new generation of patented technologies and advanced colour tools which enables painters to make fine adjustments to allow for paint shop conditions, colour and gloss variation. Enhanced opacity and the need to do less rework also saves on material and energy costs. Finally, fast drying properties reduce bake time by up 25% and, because the coatings are very hard after bake, parts can be installed almost immediately rather than waiting for painted surfaces to cure overnight.
famous for its ‘Rino Trailer’ brand that has been in family ownership since its foundation. With its Rino Brand trailer, the company is clearly focused on heavy goods transport for the construction industry, as well as providing used vehicles for international markets. The progressive Dutch company is located in Zeewolde, and has an extensive network that is especially active in the construction industry and has now enhanced its distribution network for Schwarzmueller vehicles. Schwarzmueller also brings much to the table with its eight product groups, and 135 different types of vehicles. It is also able to offer everything from a wide variety of
50 Industry Europe
vehicles to special constructions tailored to suit any unique market requirements. These may include platform and tipper vehicles, tank vehicles, low-loader vehicles, timber stanchion vehicles, and walking floor and swap-body vehicles, in addition to specialised refrigerated-box vehicles.
Long-haul sector growth During the last two years it has been the long-haul sector that has been driving growth. As Europe’s only international full-service supplier of commercial vehicles, it benefits from the strong, on-going
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
growth in long distance platform vehicles. This is an area in which the company scores points for its lightweight designs, broad range of fittings and robust construction technology. However, at the same time, more vehicles have also been produced for the construction industry, which involves mainly tippers and low-loaders, including the box-body tipper semi-trailer that was developed especially for this market. “We are the acknowledged specialist for custom-configured vehicles. These do not appear on our price list, however, this ability is particularly beneficial for our customers in the construction industry,” said Hartwig. “Today we are switching to a very modern, but very complex production method that will allow us to produce customised vehicles in considerably shorter throughput times. This project requires massive changes to our manufacturing and assembly processes. What’s more, the so-called ‘sequencing’ of the entire process chain is rare in our industry and is only used by premium n manufacturers such as Schwartzmueller.” For further details of Schwarzmueller’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.schwartzmueller.com
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Full speed ahead Michelin is the second largest tyre manufacturer in the world and an innovation leader. Recognising the value of business partnerships, the company recently awarded its top performing supliers for contributing to the Group’s global success and growth. Romana Moares reports.
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
ichelin, the world’s leading tyre manufacturer with over 14 per cent of the market, is dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility, designing and distributing the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its clients’ needs and developing hightechnology materials that serve the mobility industry. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 170 countries, has 114,100 employees and operates 70 production facilities which together produced 187 million tyres in 2017.
World leader in innovation Michelin supplies tires for all types of vehicles – cars, vans, trucks, buses, farm machinery, earthmovers, mining and handling equipment, tramways, metros, aircraft, motorcycles, scooters and bicycles. This ability to deliver effective solutions in response to widely varying expectations and usage patterns, depending on the country or region, has positioned the group at the forefront of every one of these segments. Innovation remains the key to Michelin’s success and the company intends to remain the most innovative company in its sector. The goal is to innovate better and faster so that it maintains its lead over the competition and delivers solutions that are increasingly effective and competitive, and perfectly suited to the challenges of mobility. A staff of 6600 people on three continents, an annual R&D budget of close to €640 million and a portfolio of
over 2000 patent families give Michelin an unrivalled capacity for innovation in the tire industry. One of the main lines of Michelin’s strategy is to use technology and innovation to make its products and services stand out, so that it can consolidate its leadership and meet its customers’ needs as effectively as possible. More than 20 years ago, the Group achieved a major breakthrough that made its tires more energy efficient. Today, it is the global leader in low-energy tires and a trailblazer in the functionality economy, which consists in selling services or the use of a product rather than selling the product itself.
Valued partnerships Given that purchasing costs represent more than 60 per cent of the Group’s revenue, the high quality of the relationships Michelin enjoys with its suppliers is seen as a key contributing factor to its success. Every two years, the company announces its best performing suppliers – the Michelin Supplier Awards are the result of a robust evaluation process which places the emphasis on excellence. The 2018 Suppliers Awards ceremony took place on the evening of Thursday, October 25, at the ‘Aventure Michelin’ in ClermontFerrand, France. The awards were presented to representatives of the winning companies by Jean-Dominique Senard, President and Managing General Partner of the Michelin Group, and three members of the Group Executive Committee.
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
At the 4th edition of its Supplier Awards, Michelin has recognised five of its best suppliers with awards for 2018. In the field of Raw Materials Purchasing, the winners were Belgium-based BEKAERT, founded in 1880, a global market leader in the field of steel wire transformation and coating technologies; and also Belgium-based SOLVAY, created in 1863, a world leader in the chemicals industry. In the field of Industrial Purchasing the winners were HIMILE, a Chinese company that has become an international player in three major areas (namely tyre mould machines, high-end mechanical parts, and equipment for the oil and gas industries); and VMI, a Dutch company established in 1945 supplying tyre production and rubber cutting machinery. And finally, in the field of Services Purchasing, Michelin presented the award to South Carolina-based Human Technologies Inc (HTI), founded in May 1999 and one of the biggest recruitment and human resources companies in the southeast of the USA.
Global organisation On March 16, 2017 Michelin launched a new reorganisation project to reinforce its growth. The objective is to meet new customer expectations, improve satisfaction, simplify the Group’s operating methods and accelerate its digital technology. This new organisation will encourage close relations with customers all over the world and will focus on recruiting highly skilled professionals in high-tech and digital equipment. In pursuing its ambitious objectives for 2020, and as a signatory of the UN Global Compact and official partner of the COP climate conference, Michelin aims to strengthen its leadership in sustainable mobility and become one of the world’s top-performing companies in fulfilling all of its commitments to responsibility. Integrated into every project and cascaded to every team, the ambitions for 2020 express Michelin’s commitment to building growth over the long term and helping to address societal challenges by putting its values of respect into practice, thus continuing its stragety to stay at the n forefront in its sector. Industry Europe 55
Mr Anders Erkén, the Managing Director and Division Manager of VBG Truck Equipment
Safety and performance Traffic safety is a concept on which the Sweden-based VBG Group was founded. Today, with its global operations covering all continents, the core values remain the same, as Mr Anders Erkén, the Managing Director and Division Manager of VBG Truck Equipment, confirmed. Romana Moares reports.
BG Group, headquartered in Vänersborg, Sweden, covers four divisions, each holding a leading position in their respective niche markets, operating worldwide under strong brands aimed at different customer segments: VBG Truck Equipment, Edscha Trailer Systems, Mobile Climate Control, and Ringfeder Power Transmission. The group’s development is a story of continuous growth and expansion. Founded in 1951 by Herman Krefting, an active member of society and passionate about traffic-safety issues, who himself designed the drawbar coupling that VBG uses today, the international group’s identity
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still fully reflects the founder’s values and beliefs to contribute to a better, safer environment. “The social role is very important for us. This is also demonstrated by the three organisations that Herman Krefting established and which became the principal owners of the group, providing valuable financial support to various research projects at the University Hospital in Gothenburg,” affirms Mr Erkén. Speaking about the group’s development in recent years, he explains that after last year’s acquisition of the Swedish company Mobile Climate Control Group Holding AB, which today accounts for about 50 per cent
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
of the VBG Group’s turnover, the Truck Equipment division has become the second largest member of the group, with a 30 per cent turnover share. The VBG Truck Equipment division develops and manufactures drawbar couplings and related equipment for trucks with heavy trailers, supplied to truck body builders, truck manufacturers, emergency and commercial vehicle markets, hauliers, and importers. The division’s two brands for drawbar couplings, VBG and Ringfeder, account for more than 50 per cent of the world market. VBG is the leader in Scandinavia and the UK, while Ringfeder is strong in the rest of Europe and other markets, such as Australia. VBG Truck Equipment also holds a world-leading position in automatic tyre chains through the Onspot brand, with a market share of approximately 65 per cent and well-established sales in North America.
Record performance In 2017, the group recorded its highest sales and earnings in its history. Total sales grew by over 10 per cent, setting a new overall profitability
record. “2017 was a very successful year particularly for the Truck Equipment division,” confirms Mr Erkén. “Not only did we succeed in setting sales records in drawbar couplings and strengthening our position as systems suppliers in Central and Western Europe, we also launched a digital marketing initiative and established ourselves in China and Brazil.” He explains that the market position in China was boosted by a distribution agreement with Hyva China Mechanics signed in 2017, while sales in Central and Western Europe increased as a result of a revised business model – by more clearly establishing itself as a systems supplier and offering certified solutions to end users and body builders, the company can take a spot higher up on the value chain and simultaneously increase its volumes. Mr Erkén affirms that VBG Truck Equipment is not just a product supplier. Given its many years of contact with both national and international government authorities and legislators, the division has a good understanding of the policy processes driving the market, which in turn provides crucial insight into its own strategy and product development
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initiatives. By working together with government authorities for a more harmonised legislation – primarily in the EU – VBG Truck Equipment has the opportunity to affect developments in traffic safety.
Shaping the market “Generally speaking, the need for sustainability must align with the need for improved road transport capacity. Goods transportation is expected to grow by 50 per cent by 2030, with the EU commission setting the target to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 per cent. How could this equation be resolved? There are many initiatives going on but there is one segment that would bring the largest benefits but that still stands outside the decision-makers’ attention: High Capacity Transport, i.e. longer and heavier vehicles. Their deployment would not only reduce fuel consumption per tonne-kilometre but also road wear and congestion.” Mr Erkén points out that VBG Truck Equipment is well positioned to meet the challenge and participates actively in projects that support the development towards longer and heavier vehicles. “We are a future-oriented company and generally see ourselves as contributing significantly to enhancing the sector. This is supported by continued investment not only in increased efficiency but also increased functionality. For example, by adding digital functions to coupling equipment, the driver can obtain important information while driving, which promotes increased traffic safety and reduced wear on components. Digital information also facilitates service work for workshops, and enables hauliers to become more productive.”
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As part of digitalisation, VBG Truck Equipment is also involved in developing product solutions for autonomous vehicles. “The future holds many challenges but also opportunities that we plan to grasp to secure continued growth. Basically, we will continue to operate in the same way as before, on the basis of our core values, with the ultimate objective of contributing to improved road safety and ensuring a better, cleaner n vehicle performance,” Anders Erkén concludes.
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
solutions specialist Bodex, headquartered in Szczercow, is a leading Polish manufacturer of semi-trailers and trailers. The company owes its business success to its ability to offer the most reliable products and meet customers’ expectations to the highest standards, as well as its highly professional employees. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.
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odex was founded in 1991 in Szczercow, a village in central Poland, at a time when the Polish trailer industry was almost non-existent. There was therefore practically no local competition for Bodex as foreign producers had not yet entered the market. Initially, the company was dealing with specialised repairs of transport vehicles. However, owing to the growing demand for vehicles to transport loose materials, Bodex made the decision to launch the production of dumper semi-trailers followed by box semi-trailers. Success followed rapidly, with the trailers from Szczercow successfully competing with tippers made by foreign manufacturers. Over the following years, the company continued the implementation of new products; its range of models grew steadily and it also continued to improve on its existing lines. This resulted in a dynamic sales increase that made Bodex one of the leaders on the Polish market for semi-trailers and trailers. The year 2004, when Poland joined the European Union, brought even greater development opportunities for Bodex. To meet growing demand, the company modernised its production facility with a new warehouse, new production hall, new painting chambers and upgraded machinery park. As a result, Bodex was able to increase its production of quality semi-trailers to meet highest expectations of its customers, who had been growing in number year-on-year.
Vast product offering Today, Bodex is a well-known Polish manufacturer of more than 100 different types of vehicles, including tippers, low loading semitrailers, walking floor trailers, tippers with blowing system, drawbar trailers, tank vehicles, container trailers, curtain trailers, curtain trailers with drop sides, rigid boxes, timber trailers and chassis for further development. However, the company does not rest on its laurels and has constantly been increasing its product range.
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Bodex uses only components from renowned international manufacturers, such as the SAF and BPW axes with a load capacity of 9 to 12 tonnes and DaimlerChrysler axes. The chassis are equipped with Wabco or Knorr braking systems. Electric installations with LED lamps come from Hella or Aspöck, while the hydraulic cylinders are from Penta, Hyva, Edbro or Binotto. Meanwhile, Hardox and Domex steel are the basic materials for tipper production. The company’s strategic goal is to increase its share in the global markets and grow customers’ trust for the Bodex brand in newly acquired markets. The more unusual vehicles often require non-standard solutions, such as steering axles controlled mechanically, hydraulically or by radio waves. Bodex operates advanced warehouse facilities that allow for timely deliveries of vehicles. The machine park is equipped with modern production equipment that enables it to customise its vehicles to clients’ specifications wherever necessary.
A European supplier Bodex is well recognised and appreciated both on the local, Polish market and on the international markets. It delivers its semi-trailers and trailers to many countries, including: Poland, Ukraine, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Germany, Hungary and many more. The company’s development is supported by EU funds, which it acquired as part of the project known as ‘The innovative technology for the production of a new optimised construction of a multivariate loading trailer’, co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Program: Smart Growth Operational Program (OP IR) 2014-2020. As a result of the project’s implementation, a semi-trailer with with a frame weight reduced by 500kg will be created, while maintaining
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
the same strength parameters. A new trailer for multivariate loading will also be constructed. Its advantage will lie in the elimination of the central post, which hinders the loading of long products.
Highly appreciated The fact that Bodex is able to deliver a product that is strictly designed according to customers’ requirement is a great competitive advantage. However, it is also very important that even though each product is treated separately, Bodex can still deliver it much faster than other producers. Each year the company’s statistics are improving and thanks to constant communication with its clients, it is able to keep up with the market latest trends to make its trailers better and better. Its products meet the expectations of the most demanding customers, which is reflected by the continued sales growth. Bodex’s semi-trailers and trailers are durable and functional; no wonder, then, that they are highly sought after on the secondary market, and that drivers who use them praise their high durability as n well as the driving comfort and ease of operation. For more information, visit: www.bodex.biz.pl
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to harvesting This year, AGCO Feucht GmbH (formerly FELLA-Werke GmbH) has two reasons to celebrate: the site commemorates its 100th anniversary as a leading player in the agricultural engineering industry. At the same time, the parent company AGCO is making a €10.5 million investment in an major plant expansion, an important step in line with anticipated business growth. Romana Moares reports.
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
GCO Feucht GmbH is a German manufacturer of agricultural equipment based in Feucht, Germany, located just southwest of Nuremberg in Bavaria. It was established in 1918 as a harrow manufacturing company, and its product range has expanded ever since. The company currently holds a top position in the specialist green forage harvesting machinery sector. With a comprehensive range of drum and disc mower units, tedders and rakes, FELLA has been enjoying solid growth in the world market.
Member of a Group In 2011, FELLA-Werke GmbH was acquired by the AGCO Group, changing its name to AGCO Feucht GmbH. The FELLA brand has remained independent and, as a result of competence concentration, has gained in significance. The Feucht location has been designated the centre of excellence for green forage harvesting in Europe. AGCO is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural equipment. Through well-known brands including Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra®, AGCO Corporation delivers agricultural solutions to farmers worldwide through a full line of tractors, combine harvesters, hay and forage equipment, seeding and tillage implements, grain storage and protein production
systems, as well as replacement parts. AGCO has the sector’s most powerful sales network – including more than 2600 independent dealers in many countries of the world. Joining AGCO Corporation has not diminished any of FELLA’s core strengths, quite the contrary – the company has the widest product portfolio in the green fodder segment including the unique, specialised Alps range of machines, it continues to offer quality made in Germany and to operate a strong dealer network. But the company’s targets for the future surely reflect a boost in confidence, as FELLA intends to continue to increase its turnover in the coming years.
Strong brand FELLA is the specialist in the world of innovative harvesting technology. With a huge range of high-quality drum and disc mower units, tedders and rakes, FELLA offers the industry’s largest selection of harvesting tools in the world. Plus, FELLA’s ‘Customer First’ philosophy means the company is fully focused on providing the optimum solution for each individual forage harvesting need. Traditionally FELLA supplies machines to dairy farms in countries across Europe, Northern America, Australia and New Zealand. In addition to these core customers the company will increasingly
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target larger commercial farming enterprises as well as harvesting contractors in these areas. Through its own sales and service network FELLA covers the western European markets of Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Benelux and Italy, where many important clients are located. Recent strong developments in countries like Poland and North America have promoted FELLA to strengthen distribution networks further afield. Now, with the additional sales reach of the AGCO Corporation, even more markets have become easier to access including Russia and South America. Future growth is expected to come from incremental growth in line with the growing distribution networks and the additional sales channels provided by the AGCO partners.
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Investing in the future Currently, FELLA’s site is undergoing its greatest period of change in more than 20 years. This involves building production facilities for three brands, increasing production capacity by up to 40 per cent and converting company processes to an SAP system. In late 2016, the first machines marketed under the Fendt and Massey Ferguson brands left the production line at AGCO’s European centre of excellence for forage harvesting in Feucht. Since then, the brand mix has been changing significantly, with the overall number of machines produced rising. Coupled with the increasing demand for larger machines, the capacity of the Feucht site has reached its limits. Therefore, the parent company has made a decision to support growth by investing €10.5 million in the facility extension. The biggest addition is a new assembly hall measuring 4000m², where the entire range of mowers will be produced in the future. The flow of materials is also being optimised in order to meet growing demands on capacity. “The new plant layout will enable us to manufacture products on time and respond more flexibly to the increasing demands of the individual markets,” says Uli Nickol, Managing Director of AGCO Feucht GmbH. Given the company’s track record and sound performance, the investment will, no doubt, further boost its leading n position in global markets.
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
Polished performance The Dacia Duster leads the SUV field, now the Dacia Duster 4X4 Commercial has been named the best 4X4 van for the third year running at the 2108 ‘What Van?’ publication awards. Dacia’s Logan MCV is also taking the market by storm in what is probably the most difficult year to date for the automotive industry, as Philip Yorke reports.
acia is Romania’s largest and most successful auto manufacturer. In 1968 the first Dacia1100 car was produced under licence from Renault. Following privatisation, its remarkable success resulted in Renault purchasing 51 per cent of the company’s share capital. Today Renault holds 99.43 per cent of Dacia’s equity. Since 2004, Dacia has introduced eight new vehicles to the market including the Sandero, Sandero Stepway, Logan MCV 4X4 Commercial and the Duster. The Dacia Duster remains the number one selling car for Renault worldwide.
At Mioveni, Romania, located 80 miles north-west of Bucharest, Dacia operates one of Europe’s biggest vehicle manufacturing plants for Renault. To date the total investments made by Renault in Automobile Dacia exceed €2.5 billion. This has resulted in it gaining the position of the biggest single contributor to the Romanian economy. Today Automobile Dacia also has the highest turnover of any company in Romania. Its mission is to produce an exciting range of robust, reliable and accessible vehicles for the domestic and overseas markets, in keeping with Renault’s highest quality standards. Industry Europe 65
Dacia’s on-going success is due to its unsurpassed ratio of innovation, price, quality, modern facilities and reliability. More than 93 per cent of the output of Dacia’s Mioveni Vehicle plant in Romania is destined for export markets worldwide.
Firm grip on the market The new Dacia Duster Commercial 4X4 has retained its firm grip on the 4X4 van market, by winning the honour of being the best 4X4 available, according to the 2018 ‘What Van?’ publication awards. Based upon the renowned technology of the Dacia Duster, the most affordable new SUV in the UK, the vehicle took the title again after impressing the judges with its rugged, go-anywhere capability and its unrivalled value. The new Duster 4X4 Commercial is priced from just £11,795 excluding VAT. The latest Dacia Duster 4X4 Commercial combines the driveability and comfort of an award-winning SUV with a 1604-litre maximum load capacity with low P11D cost, as well as many other financial benefits thanks to its LCV status. Louise O’Sullivan, head of Dacia UK, said, “It’s fantastic to see the Duster Commercial retain its crown, especially when competing against much more expensive rivals. The win underlines how Dacia is not only out in front when it comes to providing passenger car buyers with an award-winning, ‘no-nonsense’ product, but is also doing the same for cost-conscious LCV customers who need a vehicle that is dependable and highly capable on and off road.”
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The Dacia Duster Commercial 4X4 has a flat load area in lieu of rear seats and a payload of 550kg. Available in two different trim levels, Ambiance and Laureate, the Duster Commercial 4X4 also receives blue tooth connectivity, electric front windows and a heated rear screen. These features apply even on entry-level models. The Laureate version adds special features such as cruise control, leather steering wheel, alloy wheels, air-conditioning, and electric heated door mirrors.
Small is beautiful The Dacia Sandero has been voted the ‘Best Small Car’ in the UK for less than £12,000, for the fifth consecutive year running at an awards ceremony held by UK’s leading automotive publication, ‘What Car?’ in London earlier this year. Having undergone a series of updates for the 2018 model, the successful ‘Supermini’ has taken the honours yet again. The Sandero’s ability to provide a class-leading mix of practicality, comfort and low running costs is enhanced by its remarkably affordable price-tag of just £5995, which is just half the amount of the category in which it competes. Steve Huntingford, Editor, ‘What Car?’ said: “You won’t find this much space for so little in any other new car. A recent facelift brought an updated, higher-quality interior. The Sandero also feels better to drive. The handling is tidy and the ride is surprisingly comfy for such a cheap car. You can buy a new Sondero for less
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
than £6000, however we recommend spending a little more to get the mid-range ambience trim. This adds niceties such as air-conditioning, central locking, electric front windows, a DAB radio and Bluetooth. It also replaces the standard black plastic bumpers with body-coloured ones that look a lot smarter.” The new Dacia Sandero is a five-door hatchback, available in three trim levels with a choice of two petrol and one diesel engine. The Dacia brand continues to go from strength to strength with more than 27,000 new Dacia vehicles sold in the UK alone last year.
nature that was unveiled at last year’s Paris motor Show, with headlights that incorporate LED daytime running Lights (DRL) in the form of stacked rectangles. This modern design results in a visibly wider, more purposeful n look for the front end of the new Logan MCV Stepway. For further details of Dacia’s latest range of innovative passenger and commercial vehicles visit: www.daciagroup.com
One step ahead In March this year, Dacia unveiled its new Logan MCV Stepway at the Geneva Motor Show. The distinctively rugged version of the new Logan MCV Stepway follows in the footsteps of the new Sandero Stepway. This is the fifth member of the Dacia UK range, and is available at just £11,495. The new Logan Stepway boasts a muscular style finish with flared wheel arches, roof-rails, and a ground clearance of 174mm. It maintains the same impressive boot space of 573 litres (VDA), which is one of the largest amongst this market segment. The new Logan MCV Stepway is available in ‘Laureate’ trim, which offers a high specification as standard. At the front end of the new model, there is a distinctive two-tone bumper as well as a satin-effect chrome skid plate, plus the fitment of special fog lights. This model also incorporates Dacia’s new lighting sig-
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles In 1970 Finnish forestry entrepreneur Einari Vidgren searched to find forestry machines sufficiently powerful for his needs. Finding none available, he decided to build his own. These uniquely robust machines quickly made Ponsse a market leader in the ‘cut-to-length’ method of tree harvesting. Today his remarkable success story continues with the launch of new solutions for more profitable harvesting. Philip Yorke reports.
oday Ponsse is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of forestry machines and related equipment. Its operations are still guided by its customers’ needs and the unrivalled expertise of its founders. The company’s products cover the diverse requirements and challenges of the global forestry industry. Tree species can vary greatly around the world, from old pine to eucalyptus. Therefore forestry machines must be able to endure tropical heat and arctic conditions without damaging the local terrain. They must also be capable of climbing the steepest gradients and covering the roughest uneven ground. Ponsse’s head office is located in Vierema, Finland, at the very same site where the company was founded. Today its shares are quoted on the Nasdaq OMX Nordic stock exchange. The many Ponsse Group subsidiaries are operational worldwide, from Europe to North America and from the Asia Pacific countries to South America.
Ponsse specialises in the production, sale and maintenance of forest machines specially designed for the cut-to-length method of harvesting as well as their related information systems. Innovation lies at the heart of the company’s business, which remains an independent family-owned concern. From the outset Ponsse has been dedicated to meeting the precise and challenging demands of the global forestry industry as dictated by forestry owners and operators worldwide.
Fast-forward efficiency In keeping with its commitment to an on-going programme of innovation and increased sustainability, Ponsse recently launched its most efficient load-handling machine, the K121. This powerful all-new loader offers a greater level of efficiency and speed for load handling than ever before. This exceptional loader extends the company’s series to a completely new size range. It combines high slewing torque with unrivalled lifting power, as well as increased reach, and an entirely new type of loader geometry. Industry Europe 69
The latest, ground-breaking innovations from Ponsse have come together to create the most powerful loader on the market. It enables shorter loading and unloading times, facilitates improved working conditions, and makes difficult terrain easier to manage. Here large trees can be processed on steep slopes, which demands significantly increased loading power. Interestingly, harvesting on steep slopes is becoming increasingly popular worldwide and Ponsse’s new forest machines have opened up a completely new range of possibilities in this area. Its new highpower machines make it possible to harvest timber on previously inaccessible land. Such difficult conditions also demand a large tilt angle for the machine’s crane pillar in order to ensure smooth load handling. Ponsse’s K121 loader has the largest tilt angle available which has been field tested under the most demanding conditions in Russia, Canada and the USA. Here they have been exposed to exhausting test procedures over thousands of working hours. The results clearly confirm the unrivalled capabilities of Ponsse’s new heavy-duty forwarder-loaders.
Enhancing global services Ponsse continues to enhance its customer service support programmes worldwide. A recent example can be found in Brazil, where Minas Gerais is a key forestry area and where Ponsse wanted to enhance its customer services offering. In order to achieve this, the company entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Sotreq S.A. on the sale, service and marketing of Ponsse harvester equipment in the Minas Gerais region. Sotreq has been serving forestry customers in the area for over 75 years with its advanced tracked forestry machines. Now with the Ponsse product line it has significantly extended its forestry product portfolio. This new level of customer support and increased range of forestry products is considered to be an ‘industry-changing’ partnership in Brazil for both companies. Today Sotreq has a total of four key service centres in the Minas Gerais region and in addition to being a leading tree harvesting equipment dealer, also operates in other industry sectors, such as mining, 70 Industry Europe
energy, oil & gas and materials handling. Founded in 1941, the familyowned business is headquartered in Rio de Janeiro and has around 4500 employees located at 40 locations throughout Brazil.
Sustainable power Ponsse retains its pole position as the leader of sustainable tree harvesting with the launch of its new ‘Stage V’ emission engines. The company’s new Mercedes-Benz/ MTU Stage V emission engines are both powerful and extremely fuel-efficient. All these engine versions offer higher torque, with maximum power achieved at lower RPM (Revolutions per Minute) than ever before. The latest engines have been extensively tested in diverse global markets.
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
The company’s forwarders and harvesters have been subjected to comprehensive testing programmes in both cold and hot climates in actual working environments. A major benefit of the new breed of Mercedes-Benz engines in terms of their use is the exceptionally strong engine design and configuration. The most significant difference from previous models is the new after-treatment exhaust system. In addition to the existing SCR after-treatment and EGR exhaust recirculation, there is now an added DPF particulate filter. The cleaner emission system is housed in a fully insulated catalytic converter unit. Stage V European Union emission standards will come into force later in 2019, and Ponsse’s forest machines will switch to the Stage V Mercedes-Benz engines during the first quarter of 2019.
Powerful, profitable solutions In August this year Ponsse presented its latest solutions for more profitable harvesting at the FinnMETCO Trade Fair, which was held in Jamsa, Finland. The new Bison Forwarder and Ponsse Cobra and Fox harvesters were also launched at the fair. These cuttingedge products now complement Ponsse’s already extensive forestry machine range. For further details of Ponsse’s latest innovative and powerful forestry machinery and solutions visit: www.ponsse.com
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On track for multiple success Koncar Electric Vehicles is a market leader in the design and manufacture of electric rail and road transport vehicles. The company’s latest ‘low-level-entry’ multiple units represent a major success story for Koncar, along with its eco-friendly trams and other energy-efficient transport systems, as Philip Yorke reports.
oncar Electric Vehicles was founded in Zagreb, Croatia in 1970 as part of a modern, integrated engineering group of more than 20 companies. From the outset the group has strived to produce outstanding energy-efficient electric rail and road vehicles and equipment. Headquartered in Jankomir, the largest industrial area of Zagreb, it operates from a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that extends to more than 20,000 square metres. This major manufacturing plant was designed specifically for the production and assembly of electric rail and road vehicles, and is strategically located close to the city’s main road and rail networks. The main business of Koncar Electric Vehicles today concerns the development, production and modernisation of electric vehicles of all kinds and their related components. These operations are supported by teams of highly qualified service engineers who provide ‘aroundthe-clock’ customer support services. Koncar Electric Vehicles owns all its extensive facilities and the equipment necessary to design, manufacture, overhaul, repair, 72 Industry Europe
reconstruct and modify electric rail vehicles and their components. This is in addition to the design and manufacture of infrastructure for its transport links with public road and railway networks.
Optimising low-floor accessibility Koncar’s latest eco-friendly vehicles offer superb travelling comfort, whether traveling by trams or railway vehicles. Koncar continues to set new standards in the practical ergonomics of these hard-working public vehicles. Their unique design and driving characteristics, along with their low floor access, has led to a major success story for the company, with order books at an all-time high. Koncar’s electric multiple units, (EMUs) are the flagship products of the group. The new models provide uniform space along the entire length of the train, without partitions or stairs, and floor height is optimal for 550mm high platforms. In addition, each passenger unit has up to eight doors on each side of the carriage,
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
thus offering fast and easy exchange of passengers, when arriving at city terminals. The company’s advanced EMUs also boast fully air-conditioned passenger compartments and driver’s cabs. These latest electric EMUs from Koncar also boast a number of innovative features that includes its own programming and support systems and diagnostic monitoring facilities. Today these modern units offer standing space for 250 people and space for a further 140 seated passengers. The latest electric multiple-unit trains have the most advanced vacuum toilets, which are located in each passenger compartment. The electric train’s main frame is comprised of a four-part weldedsteel construction that is linked with robust, steel universal joints. The body consists of aluminium sandwich panels and windows. In addition, all bogies are equipped with the latest air-suspension comfort systems. Each new vehicle’s three-phase asynchronous traction motors are fed from an electric IGBT inverter and are able to deliver high acceleration at start-up and a top speed of more than 160 km/h. Furthermore, the sophisticated steering and diagnostic system
utilises a microprocessor system that links the vehicle’s sub-systems with the most modern communication tools, thereby allowing the linking-up of three trains in just one smooth operation.
Super-functional tramcars Koncar’s latest contribution to a more stylish and more eco-friendly transport system is the TMK 2200. This vehicle has proved to be a major success since it was first introduced in 2005. Today the vehicle has evolved to become a top seller and a firm intercity favourite. The latest version is more advanced and more user-friendly than ever. The low-floor TMK 2200 tram is a super-functional vehicle that offers an entirely new approach to every-day inter-city travel. The company’s latest TMK2200 tramcar is a 100 per cent lowfloor vehicle that offers state-of-the-art benefits with a 300mm entrance height, air-conditioning, ergonomic seats, and panoramicview windows. This all comes together with finely-tuned suspension and special rubber-cushioned wheels that turns the travel experience from a ‘ride’ into a ‘glide’.
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The tram’s flexible, articulated body is constructed of welded-steel panels with individually powered bogies. Its asynchronous motors deliver a top speed of 70 km/h, which is actually the maximum speed limit in most city centres. However, in many cases it is often 60 km/h or less. The vehicle’s main control unit is connected directly to its integrated sub-systems, which includes brakes, converters, suspension, doors and air-conditioning units.
Growing demand for eco-vehicles Koncar is continuing to see strong growth in the demand for its latest eco-friendly trams and trains, with exports extending to Turkey, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Macedonia and now beyond to the Russian Federation countries. A company spokesperson told Industry Europe, “We are aware of the global demand for greater efficiency and cleaner engines. “Today we are clearly focused on developing cleaner and more ecofriendly processes and power units. Our goal is to optimise every stage of production to create the most efficient and environmentally-friendly engines possible. All of our management and manufacturing processes are fully certified to meet the strictest EU regulations, including ISO 9001 for management systems, and ISO 14001 for environmental care and planning. “It is important to note that everything that is produced by Koncar is developed and designed in-house, with the exception of the wheels. This means that the copyright and many patents relating to our systems remain the property of Koncar Electric Vehicles. This includes everything from the design and development of electric motors, bogies and power-trains to the overall design and testing of n the completed passenger vehicle.” For further details of Koncar’s latest innovative, eco-friendly vehicles and transport systems visit: www.koncar.com 74 Industry Europe
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
In top gear
ZF is one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers offering clear added value not only for vehicle users and manufacturers, but also for the environment and society as a whole. In addition to its latest product innovation, Industry Europe reports on the opening of the group’s new transmission manufacturing site in Hungary.
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an eventful 100-year history, the German ZF has seized its entrepreneurial opportunities and developed from its roots as a supplier specialised in the aviation industry to a global mobility technology company. Today ZF is one of the leading technology companies in the field of driveline and chassis technology and active and passive safety technology; its turnover in 2017 reached €36.4 billion. The group has an extensive product range that includes transmissions and steering systems, chassis components and complete axle systems and modules. ZF allows vehicles to see, think and act. More than six per cent of the company’s annual revenue is invested in research and development, focusing mainly on efficient and electric driveline technology. With its wide range of products, ZF contributes to the development of transport and services not only in the field of passenger cars but also in commercial vehicles and industrial applications.
New eAMT technology ZF’s recently developed electrified Automated Manual Transmission (eAMT) technology is an innovative concept for the hybridisation of front-transverse vehicles that integrates the company’s electric axle drive system (eVD) and an automated manual transmission (AMT) into one system. For the hybridisation of price-sensitive small to compact vehicles with front-wheel drive, the greatest challenges are currently additional cost and development effort as well as limited installation space. “With eAMT, ZF has developed a fully-fledged plug-in hybrid drive for front-transverse
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vehicles,” said Norman Schmidt-Winkel, functional developer of electric drives at ZF. “This increases flexibility for vehicle manufacturers. They can use existing platforms to implement conventional drives or plug-in hybrids. The ZF concept integrates an automated manual transmission and an electric axle drive system on the rear axle into one unit. In some vehicle classes, automatic transmissions are out of the question for reasons of weight, space or cost. In this scenario, the automation of manual transmissions is a great way to significantly increase comfort and efficiency for drivers, as they don’t need to actuate the clutch or change gears.”
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
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Thanks to electric drive and intelligent drive management, eAMT’s shift comfort and performance are almost on par with more costly torque converter or dual clutch transmissions. As soon as the AMT disengages in order to engage a new gear, there is a tractive force interruption. This is normal for automated manual transmissions due to their design. With its Traction Torque Support function, the new eAMT almost completely compensates for this short break in accelerative force. The electric drive on the rear axle precisely bridges this break with a perfectly timed insertion of torque. A ZF eAMT demonstration vehicle based on a current compact SUV platform underscores just how well this balance of force between the front combustion engine, the automated transmission and the rear electric drive works in real-world applications.
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New production facility in Hungary Today the ZF group provides jobs for nearly 146,000 employees in 230 locations in almost 40 countries. The company has been manufacturing transmissions in Eger, Hungary for more than 20 years. In September 2018 the ZF Group opened a new factory to produce eight-speed automatic transmissions for passenger cars. The investment will create more than 770 jobs by the end of next year, adding to the 1265 people ZF Hungária Kft employs at present. The investment, worth HUF 31 billion, was supported by an HUF 6.7 billion state grant. The 40,000m2 plant will have a capacity to produce 150,000 transmissions a year. Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who was present at the factory’s opening ceremony, said that Hungary is now a significant player on the central European car manufacturing industry and recalled that 2017 saw record production in the Hungarian automotive industry, valued at over HUF 8000 billion. With this new project ZF brings a new cutting edge technology
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
to Hungary. This will provide new opportunities for local suppliers including small and medium businesses as ZF Hungária intends to increase its ratio of Hungarian suppliers from the current 2 per cent to 15 per cent in the near future. “All products being produced in Eger will be exported, which means as a result of ZF’s investment Hungary’s export output will increase by HUF 200 billion per year,” said Mr Szijjártó. Michael Hankel, vice-president of the ZF Group, said the company had decided to build the new plant in Eger because the local labour force has great experience in making transmissions, besides which the city and local region has good infrastructure. “The eightspeed automatic transmission is one of our best selling products, of which we will produce 3 million this year. With this new plant we have extended our global production network so we can create a n competitive structure within the ZF group.”
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Groupe PSA, ranked as Europe’s second largest carmaker, has emerged from a process of a profound transformation, aiming at becoming a global car manufacturer on the cutting edge of efficiency. In the first half of 2018, the group achieved a record-breaking number of units sold globally, generating a 40 per cent increase in revenues. Pierre-Olivier Salmon, Head of Corporate Information, spoke about the company’s recent developments and its plans for the future.
eadquartered in Rueil-Malmaison, Groupe PSA is a French multinational manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles sold under the Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands. Peugeot is the largest PSA brand worldwide in Europe. Following a difficult period, in April 2014, one month after Carlos Tavares was appointed CEO, Groupe PSA launched a strategic plan to drive its turnaround and become profitable again. It was completed by end of 2015, ahead of schedule, and the ‘Push to Pass’ strategic plan launched in 2016 accelerated the positive transformation of the company. “The deep transformation of the company, driven by a performance-oriented mind-set, has been the most notable achievement of the last few years. Coming from a near-death experience, the company is now becoming one of the most competitive and agile companies of the automotive Industry,” Mr Salmon affirms. 82 Industry Europe
“In 2017, Groupe PSA bought Opel-Vauxhall’s business, which was regularly generating losses for years. The Opel-Vauxhall turnaround is now on track and results of the first half of 2018 show first positive figures and improvement in performance. This is just the beginning but again, there is evidence of a profound transformation driven by all teams.”
Stronger together Mr Salmon pointed out that the success has been aided by solid partnerships – be it for the development of activities in new geographical areas (specifically in China and India), acquiring the best technologies from leading brands or partnerships on specific projects, aiming at enhanced offerings. The value of partnerships has been duly recognised: on 26 June, for the 14th consecutive year, Groupe PSA awarded its suppliers at
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
its 2018 Supplier Excellence Awards ceremony. “The main objectives are to share the Groupe PSA Product, R&D and Purchasing Strategy with our partner suppliers and reward European and international suppliers fully engaged in the relationship with the group,” explains Mr Salmon. “The event was also an opportunity to praise the performance and industrial excellence of 16 supplier plants that meet the group’s quality requirements, from producing the vehicle to handing over the keys to the end customer.” The awarded suppliers include: Aisin AW, SMP, Hutchinson Sealing, Mobis, KYB Corporation, Tata Consultancy Services, Orange Business Services, Mediacom, Haosen, Airtex Products SA, Freudenberg Filtration, A Raymond, Faurecia Clean Mobility, Modine, Plastic Omnium and GMD.
Embracing new developments Staying ahead of market trends is one of the group’s competitive advantages. PSA is now rolling out its Autonomous Vehicle For All (AVA) programme that started in 2016 with driving assistance functions on the latest Peugeot, Citroën and DS models (level 1). “In 2018, we launched level 2 with the automated driving functions under driver supervision on DS 7 CROSSBACK. From 2020 onwards, new and progressively autonomous functions (level 3) will offer drivers the possibility of delegating driving to the vehicle without supervision,” affirms Mr Salmon. Groupe PSA is also developing its Connected Vehicle Modular Platform (CVMP) and has developed a partnership with Huawei in order to roll out connected services for the whole PCD-OV range. The DS 7
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Our history SACIA was founded in 1990 in Nelas, Portugal, with the purpose of acting as a subcontracting coordination center for light industry manufacturing. SILENCOR, the company that originated the now GROUP SACIA, was founded in 1982 and expanded from light metallurgy to the manufacture of parts and accessories for the automotive, home appliances and car radios. GROUP SACIA, unifies all the companies, into a cohesive whole capable of providing solutions to the most complex scenarios in sheet metal transformation and assembly. We permanently aim to broaden the range of customers and expand areas of presence, seeking to grow, within the expectations of our clients, through the guarantee of high levels of quality.
What we do
GROUP SACIA is a supplier of products and components produced through the
We have, or can adapt, assembly lines with the flexibility to accept a broad
transformation and/or assembly of sheet metal components for automotive,
range of products.
home, etc. We can, in conjunction with the client, manage a Products Lifecycle (Project,
GROUP SACIA has a wide range of presses available, allowing us to work sheet
We follow the principles of Transparency, Cooperation, Efficiency, Dynamism,
metal of various types and thicknesses, through conventional or progressive dies.
and Quality. Respond, actively, to our customers to ensure their satisfaction and promote
continuous improvement in processes and products.
In a section dedicated to welding, we work with the following technologies: MIG/MAG, Spot welding, RSW resistance spot welding, with manual or robotic lines.
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Our GROUP is environmentally aware and certified to international standards.
CROSSBACK is the first Groupe PSA vehicle using this platform and equipped with Huawei technology. As Mr Salmon explains, new services for private customers and fleet managers will be regularly added to these features, and will include for example infotainment services, remote software updates and navigation mapping, as well as services useful for car hire companies, fleet managers and car sharing operators. “Groupe PSA is also working on C-V2X technology towards 5G enabling communication between vehicles and their environment, enabling advanced performance for safety, traffic efficiency and autonomy. Some demonstrations have been done this year with Qualcomm,” he says, adding that other recent initiatives include the establishment of the Low Emission Vehicles Business Unit, aiming to respond to the challenges of the energy transition and to build an efficient and coherent offering of electric mobility solutions. “The new BU has a global scope and aims to deliver models that meet customer expectations, in line with the highest service standards.”
Digital transformation Digital plays a central role in the group’s transformation as a key enabler. “There are several priorities in our development in the digital era. The first one is to increase our customer focus: ‘How do we make sure that customer is at the heart of our daily activities?’ To support this ambition, we decided to create a Customer Digital Factory in mid 2016. At the beginning of 2017 it started to deliver its first results. To make it short, the Customer Digital Factory is a digital production unit which builds and runs all digital products with a direct customer interaction, or which are used by our sales front-line: brands web sites, e-commerce platforms, apps, CRM tools,” Mr Salmon explains. “At the same time our core product, the car, is entering the world of IoT. At the end of 2017 we decided to extend the con-
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cept of a factory to the connected services development and we created the connected services factory. We gathered all the staff from those two facilities, plus our date factory, in one physical place: a digital factory, installed right at the heart of our Poissy Car Factory. Immersing our digital factory in a metallic factory was a clear way to emphasize the importance of industrialisation, efficiency and quality for our digital production, as it has been the case now for years in the automotive industry.”
At the forefront Along with the launch of 12 strategic digital programmes, the creation of the digital factory has been a strategic decision. “We are convinced that this digital transformation programme that put Customer, Connected Car and Agile Efficiency as top priorities will enable us to accelerate our deliberate move into the digital era,” says Mr Salmon. Groupe PSA has been engrossed in its efforts to prove its industry-leading role, rigorously implementing the strategic Push to Pass plan (from 2016 to 2021) and at the same time pursuing PACE!, the turnaround plan for Opel/Vauxhall which has started showing significant results. On the geographical front, the company has been busy continuing to develop new business in all regions: a new joint venture with CK Birla Group to produce and sell vehicles and components in India by 2020, a partnership with Naza Corporation Holdings to establish a shared manufacturing hub in ASEAN, a 10-year progressive return project in North America, to name just a few of the on-going initiatives. “As detailed in the Push to Pass strategic plan, Groupe PSA’s objective is to be a global carmaker with cutting-edge efficiency and a leading mobility provider sustaining lifetime customer relationships,” concludes Mr Salmon.
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
Strong link The American company BorgWarner has created 600 jobs by investing 15 billion forint into its three production plants in Oroszlány in Hungary in the last three years. BorgWarner Oroszlány Kft today is a strong link with great future prospects within BorgWarner’s global operation. Edina Beale reports.
ne of the most important challenges in all industries today is to create solutions for a cleaner and more energy saving world. Companies in the automotive industry have a major task to deliver energy saving transport solutions and BorgWarner has been focusing on this area for decades. It has developed technology systems that improve the efficiency of the vehicle, reduce emissions and increase performance. The R2S two-stage turbocharger system is a prime example of its pioneering solutions; it uses an electric actuator instead of the former vacuum technology to move the valves so the vehicle responds quicker whilst significantly reducing emissions.
Dynamic growth BorgWarner has been manufacturing innovative technologies in Hungary for many years now. Located 76 kilometres outside of
Budapest, the Oroszlány campus produces state-of-the-art turbochargers for gasoline and diesel engines. The factory was established in 2001 in order to assemble turbochargers to serve the Audi factory in Hungary but soon began to manufacture the products in-house. The company has seen dynamic development ever since and today the Oroszlány site is now the second largest turbocharger production site in Europe. Last year (2017) the 14,000m2 production area of the turbocharger producing factory was extended by another 7000m2 production hall. This unit, now on full capacity, requires an additional 350 staff. The current product portfolio includes BV turbochargers with variable turbine geometry, turbochargers with waste gate for diesel and gasoline as well, and turbochargers with twin scroll. The products from this business unit are used by personal car, light/medium/heavy truck and
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commercial vehicle manufacturers and serve many globally renowned European automotive companies including Audi, Volkswagen, Fiat, GM, Volvo, the PSA group and BMW. The Hungarian factory incorporates all the latest energy efficient operations. It uses waste heat from air compressors and furnaces and will recycle rainwater for watering lawns as well as condensation wastewater. Additionally, the building uses linear fluorescent lamps (LFLs) in most of the production and office areas, and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in the remaining facility to reduce energy consumption.
Extending product profile In addition to turbocharger production, there are now two more business units in operation on the Oroszlány complex which covers an area of 35,000m2 and employs more than 1400 people in total. In 2015 BorgWarner opened its TTS production facility to provide capacities that allow the company to meet growing customer demand with localized production. It began to manufacture hydraulic pumps for ‘preemptive’ AWD systems, complete transfer case units for Jaguar Land Rover and related spare parts for OEMs. BorgWarner’s market-leading AWD solutions contribute to enhanced vehicle traction, improved driving dynamics and better fuel economy. Later in the same year, another business unit, BorgWarner Emission Systems, was established to
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manufacture advanced products including exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) tubes, valves and coolers as well as thermostats – all key technologies for modern engines aimed at reducing emissions.
Good prospects Mr Attila Bogár, the managing director of BorgWarner Turbo Systems Kft, has been working for the company for over eight years. He has always been interested in innovative car technologies. Mr Bogár believes the two main components essential to achieve success are quality and reliability. He sees incredible opportunities in innovations in the automotive sector: “The field of innovations in this industry is extraordinary as changes are obvious and very fast; therefore there is no need to look back decades but just to examine the new developments at the end of the year.” He highlighted the ideal geographical position and large capacities of the Oroszlány campus which attracts car manufacturers like Audi, Mercedes and Opel operating in Hungary as well as Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive suppliers. According to Mr Bogár the future prospects of the automotive industry will be largely influenced by the stability of the eurozone in the next few years. Unlike Europe, Asia and China can expect more stable and dynamic growth in this sector. Quality requirements and regulations are additional factors that will influence the pace of pro-
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
duction. The increase in energy prices forces manufacturers to produce vehicles that are more efficient but at the same time smaller in size – 1.6 litre engines instead of 2 litres are already available on the market. The opportunities will change according to market needs.
factories that has won this award five times in a row. With this recognition the company received a USD 20,000 reward that was shared between n the local fire service, the ambulance service and a kindergarten.
Safe operation winner With its dynamic development and high quality standard operations BorgWarner Oroszlány Kft has set an example for other international sites of the BorgWarner group. While continuing to expand, the company has managed to maintain its focus on safe operations and has won the Work Safety prize several times. This is a prestigious award for completing one million working hours without accidents that require reporting. The Hungarian firm is the only company among BorgWarner’s 74 global Industry Europe 89
Pirelli was founded in Milan in 1872 and today stands as a global brand known for its cutting edge technology, high-end production excellence and passion for innovation that draws heavily on its Italian roots. Romana Moares reports.
A powerful brand beyond tyres W
ith around 30,000 employees and a turnover of more than €5.3 billion in 2017, Pirelli is a major player in the tyre industry and the only global player focused solely on the consumer tyre market, which includes tyres for cars, motorcycles and bicycles. In March 2017, Pirelli spun off its industrial tyre business making the company 100 per cent focused on consumer tyres. Pirelli is now concentrating on high value tyre markets, delivering innovative tyres and developing Specialties and Super Specialties for its comprehensive product portfolio. 90 Industry Europe
Pirelli is dedicated to making a wide range of high quality and technologically advanced tyres best suited to meeting the needs of the final consumer. The company’s product range consists of innovative tyres for cars, motorcycles and bicycles, and includes a growing portfolio of customised products such as Pirelli Cyber Tyre and Pirelli Color Edition. These product innovations harness the latest technology and research to offer greater performance and safety for all Pirelli’s customers.
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
Within the tyre industry, Pirelli competes with ‘Tier 1’ manufacturers (namely Nokian, Bridgestone, Michelin, Continental and Goodyear) which are characterised by higher than average price positioning, a wide range of products and dedicated regional lines. Among these players, Pirelli distinguishes itself for its exclusive positioning in the Pure Consumer Tyre segment. Over the years Pirelli has gained a sound positioning in High Value tyres, and is today a world leader in the Prestige car tyres segment, with a share of more than 50 per cent of the global market, and also in the radial motorcycle tyres segment. Pirelli is also leader in Europe, China and Brazil for New Premium replacement car tyres and for Premium motorcycle tyres.
Pirelli supplier awards 2018 Each year, the company rewards its suppliers, recognising their undisputable contribution to Pirelli’s global success. Sustainability, innovation and quality of service were the key elements for the Pirelli
Supplier Awards 2018, the annual occasion when the company awards nine suppliers from its global supply chain of over 10,000 for their ability to make the Pirelli supply chain even more sustainable and enhance qualitative excellence. In the 2018 edition, the most frequently seen factors include innovation, quality of service and sustainability, which had its own specific award. The winners of the Pirelli Supplier Awards 2018 include: Glanzstoff Sicrem SpA (Italy), suppliers of textile reinforcements – awarded for the criteria of ‘Quality’ and ‘Speed’, plus the prestigious Sustainability prize, which the company deserved because it produces rayon using only cellulose from plantations certified for sustainable agro-forestry management; JSR Corporation (Japan), a supplier of synthetic rubber awarded for the criteria of ‘Innovation’ and ‘Service Level’; Thai Eastern Innovation Co., Ltd (Thailand), PT. Kirana Megatara Tbk (Indonesia) and PT. Prasidha Aneka Niaga Tbk (Indonesia), all
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
Thai Eastern Group Holdings Thai Eastern Innovation Co.,Ltd , One of our subsidiary company of “ Thai Eastern Group “has been received Pirelli Supplier Award in Milan( 2016-2017). The key factors to accomplished in Innovation, Quality, Efficiency, and Sustainability bring us to the successful company acheivements. With “Pirelli’s corporate strategy, focused principally on the top of the range towards common goals in terms of innovation, transparency, quality, flexibility and sustainability. We have been certified to maintain the high standards to serve all customers and it’s very essential to us to have a continual improvement corresponding with customer requirement. Thai Eastern Group has been contributing to develop of performing the Sustainable Rubber in Natural Rubber Industry in Thailand. Expertise in smart technology and innovative throughout continual improvement lead to company acheivement recognise in quality management and supporting of cost effiency with capabilities of development a full automation processing.
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suppliers of natural rubber awarded for ‘Quality’ and ‘Service Level’; VMI Holland (Holland), a supplier of tire assemblers and machines for semi-processed components for the criteria of ‘Quality’ and ‘Global Presence’; MDM (Italy), an integrated marketing and communication agency awarded for the criteria of ‘Innovation’ and ‘Speed’; APPIAN (USA), a supplier of the Business Process Management platform and related consultancy services awarded for the criteria of ‘Innovation’ and ‘Speed’; Warehouse Service, Inc. (USA), a logistics services supplier awarded for the criteria of ‘Speed’ and ‘Innovation’. Matteo Battaini, chief purchasing officer, commented: “Pirelli has built its business model, focused on high value, on product innovation and process digitalisation. To pursue this strategy it is not only necessary to choose suppliers that are leading companies, but also to build with each of them a partner relationship. It is essential that they share values such as innovation, quality, customer care, product and process sustainability and attention to brand value.”
Premium Italian heritage The company is set the meet the challenges of the future. With 18 factories located in 12 countries Pirelli had a production capacity of
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76 million car tyres in 2017, and more than 14,600 points of sale in over 160 countries – a growing sales network that puts Pirelli ever closer to its customers. A strong commitment to research and development with an open and collaborative approach is the basis for future development. In 2017, Pirelli’s investment in R&D was 6.5 per cent of its revenues from high value products, which absorbed 90 per cent of total R&D expenditure – one of the highest levels among the world’s major tyre producers. Pirelli has 1800 people engaged in R&D located at its Milan headquarters and 12 local technology centres and a portfolio of 6100 patents. The Pirelli brand is known around the world as an icon of technology and excellence. Represented by the ‘capital P’ logo for more than a century, the Pirelli name stands for a premium, high-end style with an Italian heritage all underlined by its distinctive position as a supplier to luxury car manufacturers. The reputation and strength of the brand are continually reinforced by Pirelli’s involvement in motorsport projects and competitions, design and lifestyle projects and initiatives for the community, art and culture. This involvement is set to carry the heritage into the future.
Construction & ENGINEERING
New name, new strategy In September 2018 the evolution of Italy’s Emmegi Group into a deliverer of solutions for ‘smart cities’ was marked by a new corporate identity – Voilap holding
mmegi, the Modena based leader in cutting and milling machines for aluminium, light alloys, steel and PVC, was centre stage at the Nuremberg Fair in March, with several pieces of important news. In the world of PVC it launched an innovative new welding solution destined to make a huge impact, creating a seamless weld with a limited investment; and in the aluminium sector, it launched a new generation of Comet machining centres, offering advanced performance and with a particular focus on ergonomics and ease of use – thanks to a 24” vertical monitor and a new software interface with touch screen panel. Founded in 1970 by Giuseppe Caiumi in Modena, Emmegi has grown into a group that offers customers complete solutions in key sectors of the building construction sector, above all in the door and widow manufacturing industry. The group has a total workforce of 1400 people and in 2018 will achieve a total turnover of more than €300 million. The group has 58 companies and operates worldwide with the brands Camäleon, Elumatec, Elusoft, Emmegi, Emmegisoft, Imecon, Keraglass, Tekna and Voilàp Digital, with seven production plants (four in Italy, one in Germany, one in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one in China). It has an extensive network of 40 commercial branches and a global presence in more than 60 countries.
Programme for growth The last four years of rapid growth at the Emmegi Group began in 2014 when it acquired the majority of Keraglass Industries, a leader in the sector of glass processing plants, and Tekna, which had been
competing in the market for aluminium extrusion machines for over 50 years. Also in 2014 Voilàp Digital was established, a digital company offering services to the industrial sector for the optimisation of offline-online business processes. But it was in 2016 that the group transformed its position in the industry when its holding company Cifin took over the German Elumatec Group, which since 1928 has been a point of reference in the design, production and marketing of machines, lines and plants for machining aluminium and PVC profiles. In addition to its main manufacturing plant near Stuttgart, Elumatec had another plant in Bosnia as well as a sales network covering over 50 countries. Together Emmegi and Elumatec have a workforce of some 1200 and a turnover of around €225 million.
New identity Following this, in 2018 Cifin also acquired the majority of Imecon Engineering, a leading Italian company specialised in the design, prototyping and production of turnkey technological solutions in the field of Digital Signage. But this move not only opened up a vital new market for the group – it also marked the creation of a new corporate identity. In September the Cifin Group announced that its 10-year transformation project would now be marked with the introduction of a new name for the group: Voilap Holding. Speaking at the launch of the new group, Valter Caiumi, Chairman of the Cifin Group, noted: “This acquisition not only reinforces each organisation thanks to the skills and expertise of the Imecon Industry Europe 95
founders and their colleagues, but completes this phase of the group’s evolution, positioning it on the leading edge among those who contribute to achieving the results sought by intelligent cities: smart buildings, solar panels, smart vehicles, traffic areas are just some of the sectors that our technology can be applied to. The
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metamorphosis of the group also included a natural, planned change of our name: starting today Cifin has become Voilàp Holding, a multicultural brand that contains all the brands of the group, that recognises and unites our differences, elevating them to a new perspective. Thanks to a blending of technology and experience, of virtual and reality, our group will continue to develop and pursue goals that are ambitious and always new. “The new name marks another step in an evolution that has seen Cifin, a group that has always been focused on the digital world, establish itself as a leading international manufacturing group in the design, production and distribution of technologies for the machining of aluminium, PVC and steel profiles, as well for glass machining. In full harmony with the concepts of smart industry, the transformation involved a consistent, progressive effort to move closer to the end user, implementing the precepts of Industry 4.0 to provide digital solutions to consumers that are able to offer a purchasing experience or an innovative, simple, accessible knowledge within an increasingly integrated B2B2C chain. With Voilàp Digital another step has already been taken to speed up and simplify the future.”
Construction & ENGINEERING
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grass is greener
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Tarkett is a global brand that is as well known for its artificial grass and sports surface solutions as it is for its domestic and commercial flooring. The company continues to see strong growth thanks to its innovative, sustainable products and strategic acquisitions. Two major developments recently added significantly to its global market presence and future growth prospects, as Philip Yorke reports.
Construction & ENGINEERING
he Tarkett Group was founded in France in 1880 by two young entrepreneurs whose early success set the stage for the future growth of the company. More recently, the company has seen exponential growth and this has continued to accelerate over the last decade to make it a truly dominant global player. For almost 140 years, Tarkett has been a market leader in the development and supply of unique flooring and sports surface solutions. It offers a broad range of products including vinyl, linoleum, carpet, rubber, wood and laminate, as well as synthetic turf and athletic track surfaces. With more than 12,500 employees and 35 industrial sites, Tarkett sells over 1.4 million square metres of flooring every day. Market applications include products for hospitals, schools, housing, offices, stores and sports fields. Today Tarkett’s new prestige headquarters are located in the select La Defence area of Paris, and are the hub of its global operations which span over 100 countries worldwide
Enhancing long-term growth Earlier this year the Tarkett Group announced a number of strategic investments that will increase its luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) production capacity in North America and Europe, whilst at the same time enhancing its sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing base worldwide. In the US, around $60 million will be invested over a three-year period to increase its production capacity at two key manufacturing facilities based in Alabama. This significant expansion addresses the increasing demand for Tarkett’s vinyl modular flooring in North America. In addition, the company will build a new distribution centre in Florence, Italy to facilitate the European market. These operations are expected to create over 60 new jobs. Furthermore, in Europe
more than €20 million will also be invested over the next three years in new manufacturing facilities, mainly in Luxembourg and Poland. “These investments will strongly optimise our equipment, increase our local luxury vinyl tiles production capacity, improve our supplychain efficiency and enhance our customer service,” said Jeff Fenwick, President, Resilient, Tarkett North America. “This is a strong signal of Tarkett’s commitment to long-term growth and sustainability in North America,” he added. Fabrice Barthelemy, President of Tarkett EMEA, said, “These investments will further enhance our strong position in the European vinyl tiles marketplace and facilitate our customers’ access to our unique range of exclusive designs.” Over the last few years, Tarkett has also strengthened its commercial and industrial activities in China through a number of strategic transactions. In addition, it has acquired the assets of a vinyl flooring facility located near Beijing, which is now fully operational and producing a wide range of Tarkett sustainable flooring products. These strategic acquisitions, transactions and business partnerships continue to drive the sales of Tarkett products to entirely new levels.
Synthetic turf takes off The Tarkett Group, through its FieldTurf subsidiary, recently announced the acquisition of the assets of ‘Grassman’, a market-leading Australian synthetic turf manufacturer. This important acquisition significantly expands FieldTurf’s presence in the Australian market – in particular, in the field of hockey, tennis, landscape and utilities. This move will also add to the company’s growth in the soccer and rugby sectors. “We are excited to expand in the growing Australian market,” said Eric Daliere, President of Tarkett Sports. “Grassman, led by its
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founder Gary Waterford, has been a true pioneer and innovator in the synthetic turf industry. This acquisition will significantly strengthen our ability to provide high-quality innovative products and to deliver an exceptional overall experience to our Australian customers.”
Driving the circular economy Earlier this year Tarkett shared its commitment to help drive the circular economy by showcasing its sustainable and creative linoleum flooring products at a major world forum at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. For many years Tarkett has been committed to the cause of sustainability and the circular economy. It has done this by applying cradleto-cradle principles across all of its activities. The company’s ReStart® collection and recycling programme is one of the cornerstones of its
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commitment to closing the material loop. A new strategic partnership with Veolia has enabled it to offer clients a better collection and recycling service, whilst increasing volumes and quality of recycled input in our flooring. It also illustrates the capacity of the private sector to offer solutions that support sustainable, economic growth. In order to encourage discussion around these themes, Tarkett is showcasing its linoleum products made in Narni, Italy, that encompass all the qualities of modernity, naturalness and circular design at a special event in Venice. In addition to this, Tarkett EMEA creative and trends director, Beatrice Mange, gave a paper on how companies and archin tects can work together to create a true circular economy. For further details on Tarkett’s latest innovative and sustainable products and services visit: www.tarkett.com
Wojciech Kot, Company co-owner
Delphia Yachts, headquartered in Warsaw, is the largest builder of luxury yachts in Poland, with a product range including yachts between 7 and 15 metres in length. The company has seen over 25 years of success, as Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.
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Construction & ENGINEERING
he Delphia Yachts shipyard was founded in 1990 by two brothers, Piotr and Wojciech Kot. “It all started from our passion for sailing,” says company co-owner Wojciech Kot. “We’ve always loved sailing and once you have been bitten by the sailing bug, it will remain with you forever. Since we had a small carpentry workshop, where we maintained a yacht servicing business, we came up with the idea to run the yacht construction business. We were lucky enough to manage to persuade the legendary Polish yacht designer, Mr Andrzej Skrzat, to cooperate with us. This fruitful cooperation has continued up to now.” Initially, the company made only boats dedicated to inland waters, such as the Sportina 680 and Sportina 600 series. However, it soon made the next step forward and introduced a range of models perfect for seas and oceans, Delphia and Escape. It also built a boatyard in Olecko, a town in the Masurian Lakeland in northern Poland. It is one of the largest boatyards in central eastern Europe. In 1994 the company established a cooperation with Jeanneau, a French boatyard, which is a part of the Beneteau group. In 2012 it purchased prestigious Swedish brand Maxi Yachts. After many years of developing a successful business, the Delphia brand has become known throughout the global sailing community for its build quality, innovative designs, comfort, durability and performance. It has received numerous awards, including the ‘Economy Award of the President of the Republic of Poland’ 2014 as well as distinctions and nominations such as the ‘European Yachts of the Year’ for Delphia 47. “Some Delphia yacht owners have sailed around the world. For others, the sheer joy of being aboard a superior yacht is reason enough to be a part of the Delphia family. Great sailing, friendship and pride of ownership. This is the world of Delphia,” points out Mr Kot.
The world of Delphia The company’s headquarters are in Warsaw, while its production facilities and branch office are in Olecko. The boatyard consists of assembly and auxiliary production plants (the carpentry shop hall and two assembly
halls equipped with transport systems of heavy, bulky elements from which boats are assembled); a carpentry section, producing furniture for yachts and motor boats as well as other wooden elements; an assembly hall where sailing yachts from 8.0 to 16.0 m and largest motor boats are assembled; and a laminate hall, in which it makes laminates for decks, hulls and small elements made of polyester-glass laminate. For almost 30 years Delphia has manufactured more than 25,000 vessels for oceangoing, seagoing and inland use. It has developed over 40 models. The company has extended its activities across the European markets as well as further afield to the USA and Canada, Russia, Japan and Australia. Nowadays 95 per cent of its total production is exported. Large motor boats, from 9 to 15 metres in length, enjoy the greatest popularity among the company’s foreign customers. Delphia Yachts employs 750 people. Its annual sales in 2017 were estimated at PLN 140 million (more than €34 million). In 2017 it manufactured 300 sailboats and 1250 motorboats.
True yachts The process of building a yacht is highly complex and requires specialised technical knowledge. Delphia has the know-how, experience and the advanced technology necessary to build yachts of the highest quality and comfort. By combining its experience and passion with the best modern technology, the company can present a range of boats of Industry Europe 103
truly unique character and style. Its yachts are designed by professional craftsmen using state-of-the-art computer software and high-tech equipment such as CNC. Delphia Yachts uses wood and plastics to build the hull, deck and interior. Other materials comprise acid resistant steel and aluminium. Higher-end models employ the Laminate Infusion Method. The company has developed the YSI (Yacht Integrated Structure) technology, on which its top-end models are based, the reason for this being that a strong and light hull equates to safety and speed. Delphia Yachts has a longstanding relationship with the Ship Design and Research Centre where the boat prototypes are examined and tested. The company has twice benefited from co-financing from the EU funds. Thanks to EU support, it has founded an R&D centre for the development of new materials technologies for the production of moulds as well as floating and flying units. In January 2018 it signed a contract for co-financing a project to develop polyester gel coats modified by nanomaterials. The main goal of the project is the launch of a new generation Delphia Nano Solution yacht, the world’s first yacht to use gel coats modified with nanomaterials.
Building a stronger future On July 12, 2018, a preliminary agreement was signed to establish a joint venture between Delphia Yachts and the Ostroda Yacht shipyard belonging to the Beneteau Group. The new company will take over the business of designing, constructing and selling recreational boats under the brands of Delphia Yachts, Maxi Yachts and other brands (including the Beneteau group). Delphia Yachts will hold 20 per cent of shares of the new company. “The main goal of establishing a capital relationship between these two companies is to provide them with further dynamic growth resulting from the strategic plans of the Beneteau Group and Delphia. It will provide Delphia Yachts and its sales representatives with further stable growth, will increase job security and will give even greater opportunities to its employees,” ensures Mr Kot. Next, a promising new chapter in the history of Delphia Yachts will begin. For more information, visit: https://pl.delphiayachts.eu/
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Construction & ENGINEERING
AET is an independent, market leading engineering company and a key supplier of biomass-fired and combined heat and power plant (CHP) installations. The company’s reputation for the development of innovative, eco-friendly energy solutions is the envy of many others in the energy industry. Philip Yorke looks at what lies behind AET’s runaway success and reviews some of its recent ‘greener’ and increasingly more sustainable energy solutions.
alborg Energie Technik (AET) is a technological leader in the design and production of high-efficiency biomass energy systems through its thermal utilisation of agro-industrial biomass waste. For over 30 years the company has focused on developing innovative eco-friendly energy solutions for Europe’s leading utility companies. AET has been involved in the dedicated design of biomass plants for the production of greener energy from the outset. AET’s plants can be fired by a broad range of agro-organic waste products. This includes residual products such as wood chips, wood waste, distiller’s grain, poultry litter and bone meal as well as straw and other organic, biodegradable waste products. In addition, AET carries out operational maintenance and consultancy work for its clients, as well as complete plant overhauls and Industry Europe 105
essential maintenance services. AET also assists in the optimisation and operational efficiency of existing biomass plants in values ranging from 25 to 170 MWh.
Harnessing green power Recently AET secured a prestige order for a state-of-the-art 30MWe biomass power plant to serve residents in Russi, near Ravenna in Italy. This blue-chip contract is the result of a joint venture between the Italian company Termokimic Corporation and AET. The equipment for the installation including an advanced biomass boiler will be developed specifically for the Italian project by AET. The design, management and installation is in association with the plant’s management company, Power Crop Rusi, which in turn is owned and operated by Enel Green Power and Seci Energia of Italy. The new boiler is designed to achieve a fuel heat input of 88MW and will generate live steam at 122 bara and 542C. This latest ecofriendly plant is capable of producing sustainable power at a continuous rate of 30 MWe gross for the Ravenna region. The annual power production of the new plant corresponds to the consumption of over 84,000 households in the region, and the reduction of carbon emissions will be a significant 17,000 tonnes of CO2/year. The strict emission requirements of the project will be fulfilled using ‘Best Available Technology’, including AET’s advanced combustion system, that serves its latest Biomass Boilers, as well as an electrostatic precipitator, a bag filter and the essential NOx and CO2 catalysts.
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Hans Erik Ascou, CEO of AET said, “We have enjoyed great collaboration with our TKC partners and look forward to delivering our latest, highly efficient power plant together with them, which is to be commissioned later in 2018. This will be our second major delivery of a biomass-fired plant to Italy and our most advanced yet.”
Full steam ahead AET has continued to focus its research programmes on the optimisation of biomass energy technology and to further advance its biomass related plant systems and equipment. The company’s commitment to providing ever greener and sustainable energy means that it can offer high-efficiency and reliable systems that ensure optimal combustion whatever the material involved and achieve the lowest ever flue gas emissions. The company told Industry Europe that it considered the most important decision in the design of a well-functioning biomass-fired plant to be the choice of combustion system. The well-proven AET system is based upon its Spreader/Stoker and special AET BioGrate design, which is considered to be the system of choice for leading utility companies. It is worth noting that many biomass fuels today have ash content that has a strong tendency to slag and block the heat transfer surfaces. Others often contain foreign matter that requires special measures in the fuel-handling process to protect the equipment, when it comes to the combustion process, to protect the environment. AET’s ‘ best available technologies’ overcome any such issues at source.
Construction & ENGINEERING
Retro-fitting greener energy There has been a boom in the demand for the advanced design and efficiency of AET’s products in the biomass sector throughout Europe. The company’s biomass boilers and its unique, cogeneration technology offer users the highest levels of efficiency and compliance, even when confronted with the most demanding environmental legislation. More than ever before, plant owners and operators are being challenged by the on-going demands for maximum energy-efficiency and cost-effectiveness. This is particularly in relation to international legislation, and a growing list of requirements with respect to the environment and the efficiency of their facilities. The list of products and services offered by AET is diverse and too long to list in this article. However it does include fuel conversions from coal to biomass, combustion system upgrades, dedicated engineering support, efficiency optimisation and controls for all Scada systems.
factor in the independent jury’s selection of a winner,” said Allen Terp, partner in EY and responsible for the Entrepreneur of the Year awards for the region of Northern Jutland. Hans Erik Askou, AET’s CEO, commented, “I am grateful and proud, but also humbled to be heading around 150 highly skilled and dedicated employees that we have assembled here at AET. I am equally proud of the remarkable results that we have created together. I am therefore very confident that with the strong team we have in place now, and the solid growth that we have achieved over the years, we will continue to see n even more exciting results in the years to come.” For further details of AET’s latest innovative biomass-energy and CHP solutions visit: www.aet-biomass.com
Rewarding innovation Earlier this year AET was recognised for its innovation and entrepreneurship when it was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award for its contribution to environmentally friendly and sustainable energy solutions, and for the consistent growth of its chosen disciplines for more than 30 years. Today the company’s portfolio includes everything from the design and manufacture of advanced biomass installations to providing key services such as design and engineering, and the service and repair of biomass production facilities of all types and sizes. It has done this so well that it has been able to achieve continuous growth not only in its domestic market, but also in its growing number of overseas markets. “This has been a decisive Industry Europe 107
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Energy & Utilities Lovato Electric is a global market leader in the design and manufacture of low voltage electrical components. Owned and managed by the descendants of the same family that founded the company almost 100 years ago, its entrepreneurial spirit and unswerving commitment to innovation continues to enhance and underscore its dominant position in the global marketplace, as Philip Yorke reports.
ovato Electric was founded in Bergamo, Italy in 1922 and has since grown to become recognised as one of the world’s most innovative electronics companies in its field. It was one of the first Italian businesses to achieve the coveted ISO 9001 certification in 1992 and today boasts a product portfolio of more than 10,000 state-of-the-art products. These include motor protection circuit breakers, contactors, switch disconnectors, digital multi-meters, AC Motor drives, automatic power factor controllers and generator controllers. Today the company is present in over 100 countries worldwide and continues to maintain its global expansion programme through an on-going commitment to innovation, sustainable products and eco-friendly production processes.
Pioneering power solutions In Abu Dhabi, UAE, the world’s largest indoor Ferrari theme park has been created on Yas Island and is furnished with over 20 major attractions. NP Power Solutions of the UK is a long-term customer of Lovato Electric, which provides it with advanced power factor corrector equipment, as well as manufacturing components, services, repairs and modifications as determined by each individual NP Power project. For this particular project, Lovato supplied NP Power Solutions with the components necessary to manufacture 2pcs 800kVAr detuned dynamically switched PFC units, each composed of 16 steps of 50kVAr and ipc 700kVAr Dynamically Switched PFC units
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composed of 50kVAr. All necessary components were manufactured and subsequently installed in the Ferarri-World Theme Park by Lovato to provide Dynamic PFC compensation for its large rollercoaster attraction installed in the extensive Ferrari theme park. For this prestige project, Lovato Electric solutions were considered to be the optimal choice thanks to the pioneering master-slave function in its DCRG8 power factor controllers. This equipment is superior to traditional systems because when the power factor control system is divided into more than one panel, as in this application, the master-slave function performs the integrated connection throughout all of the DCRG8 controllers installed.
Optimising built-in multi-meter systems One of the world’s leading insurance groups and financial service providers, the Allianz Group of Switzerland, recently constructed a new skyscraper building in Istanbul to accommodate its new
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regional headquarters. This futuristic, landmark building is equipped with advanced automation systems that are controlled from its headquarters in order to efficiently monitor and manage all its HVAC, lighting and CCTV etc. In order to monitor energy consumption throughout the building and the common services across its many floors, the building was equipped with Lovato’s 86pcs DMG110 modular multi-meters. The company is also providing RS485 communication ports and 46pcs DMG6700 flush-mounted multi-meters, each furnished in turn with EXP1012 RS485 communication ports. Electrical values in the building are monitored remotely via its own Scada system. However, today, thanks to the installation of advanced Lovato multi-meters, the Allianz Group is able to monitor the building’s energy consumption and to generate monthly and yearly power consumption outcomes for its management control system purposes.
Energy & Utilities
Getting to grips with robotics In Indonesia, Gajah Tunggal Tbk. is the largest manufacturer and distributor of tyres for passenger cars, SUVs, and commercial vehicles, as well as for off-road vehicles, industrial vehicles and motorcycles. In addition, the company also manufactures and distributes other rubber related products such as synthetic rubber, tyre cords, inner tubes, flaps and O-rings. Recently Gajah Tunggal built a brand new manufacturing facility in Tangerang Banton, west of Java, which is equipped with the latest robotic machines for complex welding applications. Lovato’s Indonesian distributor, PT Maxindo, has been directly involved with the project from the outset, for the supply of key components used in the manufacture of 7 dynamic switching capacitor banks, including 6pcs capacitor banks 3080kVAR at 525V, and 1pc capacitor bank 2400kVar at 525V. These capacitor banks have been configured to take advantage of the master-slave functionality of DCRG8: for 6 banks of 3080kVar each. The extensive installation was performed with 1 master DCRG8 and 2 slaves, as well as a DCRG8 controller that is able to communicate with all others via an RS485 facility. In such a configuration, it has been possible to control the total power of 3080kVar on each bank. In addition, each master controller of each capacitor bank has also been equipped with an EXP1013
ethernet expansion module in order to allow remote control and monitoring of the entire installation, using the existing Ethernet network installed in the facility.
Enhancing Polish power systems Recently Lovato Electric power factor controllers and thyristor modules were installed at a major Gestamp manufacturing facility in Poland. Gestamp is an international group specialising in the design, development and manufacture of metal components for the automotive industry. The new electrical system is comprised of two power correction panels, with each being equipped with DCRG8 controllers in Master/Slave configuration and relevant thyristor modules utilised for efficient dynamic compensation. The whole modern system is remotely supervised by the facility’s managing controller and communication is based upon its existing Ethernet connection via EXP1303 expansion module. There are countless other examples of how Lovato Electric has increased manufacturing productivity, reduced power consumption n and reduced its CO2 footprint worldwide. For further details of Lovato Electric’s products and services visit: www.lovatoelectric.comm
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Liquid assets Pentair is a global leader in the provision of water treatment solutions for residential, commercial, municipal and infrastructure applications. The company has seen strong, consistent growth over the years via its strategic acquisitions and high-tech equipment protection and thermal management products. Philip Yorke reports.
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Energy & Utilities
entair is a global company dedicated to building a safer, more sustainable world. It develops ground-breaking products and solutions that help to make the best use of available water resources. Pentair’s advanced technologies move the world forward by ensuring that water is plentiful, useful and pure, and that critical equipment and those near it are protected. The company continues to see strong growth and in 2017 recorded revenues of around $5 billion. Today the company employs more than 18,500 people worldwide.
Smarter sustainable solutions Pentair’s Executive VP and Chief Growth Officer, John Jacko, told Industry Europe that by 2015, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. Pentair believes that the health of the world depends on reliable access to clean, safe water and it strives to help people around the world to make the most of this most precious resource. In July this year Pentair showcased its latest innovative water treatment technologies at the 2018 Singapore International Water Week. As a leading global water company with a comprehensive range of sustainable water solutions, Pentair has a long history of enabling people, communities and industries to access clean, safe water, reduce water consumption and recover it. Phil Rolchigo, Pentair’s Chief Technology Officer, said, “Our work on the Keppel Marina East Dual Mode Desalination Plant clearly demon-
strates how Pentair’s advanced technologies can help address water shortage challenges. We are proud to be the technology partner to Keppel Infrastructure and PHB, Singapore’s national water agency, on this important endeavour. Once the Plant is completed in 2020, the 30 million gallon per day Keppel Marina East desalination plant will be its fourth such installation and the first large-scale, dual-mode plant that is able to treat both seawater and freshwater from the Marina Reservoir. Pentair contributes to this major project along with its engineering services division that includes Pentair X-Flow ultra-filtration (UF) membranes, Pentair Codeline pressure vessels and Pentair Haffmans / Union Carbon dioxide (CO2) injection systems. This will be the first large-scale desalination plant in Singapore to use the Direct Coupling UF-RO, (Ultra-Filtration Reverse- Osmosis) approach in its process design, where the filtrate from the UF pre-treatment is fed directly to the downstream RO process. This advanced design eliminates the need for an RO break tank and pumping stage, thus providing significant cost savings, as well as minimising space and reducing energy consumption.
A rising star The influential US Environmental Protection agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy named Pentair as a 2018 ‘Energy Star’ Partner of the Year, a Sustained Excellence Award winner. The Industry Europe 113
honour marks the fifth year that Pentair has gained recognition for its continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior, innovative energy-efficient technologies. Pentair, an Energy Star Partner since 2013, has been recognised for leadership in manufacturing energy-efficient pool pumps that earn the energy Star, the government-backed symbol of energy efficiency. In order to qualify for a coveted Energy Star certification, pool pumps must be at least 30–72 per cent more energy efficient than typical traditional pumps. “More than a decade ago, we began a journey to help our customers enjoy their pools whilst saving energy, which sparked an industry-wide revolution, when we became the first to introduce variable speed technology to the pool industry,” said Jerome Pedretti, Aquatic systems Vice-President, Pentair. Pentair Eco Select® efficient pumps have helped US consumers to save more than 1.5 billion between 2015 and 2017, which translates to more than 14 billion kilowatt hours of energy saved. These significant kilowatt savings have helped prevent the release of nine million tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of 18.9 billion car-driven miles.
Delivering sustainable solutions As a global leader in helping to manage the world’s valuable water resources, Pentair is delivering smarter, more sustainable solutions across the entire water and wastewater landscape, from advanced filtration, desalination and water supply to water disposal, process and control. For industrial processing and wastewater treatment Pentair has been unveiling its latest advanced filtration technologies. These include the Pentair X-Flow Helix, which is a breakthrough tubular membrane-based wastewater solution that helps to prevent the build-up of insoluble particles in high-solids Ultrafiltration while increasing productivity by up to 100 per cent and lowering energy consumption by up to 50 per cent. The company’s Pentair X-Flow Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor (AnMBR) is designed to treat high strength and high solids industrial wastewater streams. Pentair’s unique AnMBR technology, efficiently 114 Industry Europe
delivers a cleaner water streams for direct reuse or safer discharge to the environment, whilst simultaneously producing methane-rich n biogas as a renewable source of energy. For further details of Pentair’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.pentair.com
Technology on tap
The Celli Group is a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-tech dispensing systems for beverages. While this is a beer-centred market, the company is truly diverse, with its latest water dispensers setting new standards in efficiency and design, as Philip Yorke reports.
elli’s state-of-the-art production plant is based at San Giovani near Rimini, Italy. Here the company’s products range from drink dispensing machinery, such as towers, coolers, pressure regulators and beer taps, to water dispensing products which include treated mains water systems. The drink dispensing products include a standard range, as well as customised products for leading global brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi Co, as well as most of the world’s major breweries, who then distribute the machines to their individual retail outlets. Today Celli is a truly global player with its products being exported to over 100 countries worldwide.
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Sustainability by design At the heart of Celli’s operations is a constant drive for excellence and technological innovation, as well as for functional design and sustainability. Thanks to its partnership and collaboration with cutting-edge companies, universities and certification institutes throughout Europe, Celli develops new ground-breaking products for the on-going improvement of its products and processes, as well as for its broad range of dedicated customer services. Since 2011, the Celli Group has worked closely with three of Italy’s top universities in order to conduct innovative research into
Food & Beverage
eco-designed products and to reduce the environmental impact of its products and manufacturing processes. The company takes full advantage of its extensive and fully-equipped laboratories and prototype facilities, where advanced, sustainable and technologically advanced products are developed and tested. The Celli Group’s significant investment in research and development includes the design and purchase of advanced software to analyse its products’ lifecycles, sustainable characteristics and performance.
and filtered water at room temperature or chilled, carbonised or hot. The G200 and G300 models both offer additional features such as a swivelling nozzle and extractable spray-head. Celli says that design, innovation and convenience are the main characteristics of its new n range of Cosmetal home taps. For further details of the Celli Group’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.celli.com
Combining design with eco-technology One of the Celli Group’s best-known subsidiaries is Cosmetal, a leading European brand in the design and production of taps for the world’s domestic consumer markets. The company recently unveiled a new range of home taps, combining advanced eco-design with cutting-edge technology, and all demonstrating the famous Italian flair for design. The individual tap lines feature different flows and technical specifications in order to offer a truly diversified consumer choice depending upon the type of kitchen involved. Cosmetal has always invested heavily in research and development in order to ensure the continuous improvement of the technological and visual performance of its products. Examples of its latest product ranges include the new Cosmetal taps, which are designed for dispensing both mains water and filtered water at room temperature or chilled, carbonised, or hot, thanks to the use of a special double-control feature. This facility was achieved without the need to make additional holes in the home sink. The latest range expands on the existing one and is available in a variety of finishes, including chrome or glazed, to match any kitchen style or character. The new Cosmetal models include the G100, a round, 5-way tap with a double control facility, which can dispense both mains water
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Professional catering at your service Bulgaria-based Liberty Food Services offers a diversified portfolio of products and services that satisfy demanding customers not just in its native country but in several European countries. Mr Vincent Rombaut, company owner and Managing Director who founded the business in 1999, talks about its ambitious plans for future growth.
started with one contract for a major manufacturer but soon became aware that to secure a growing business we needed to develop the Sofia market and open a small kitchen in the capital. At that time we started to participate in tenders for government contracts; soon we won several tenders for the hospital sector, which was the breaking point and the business really took off,” Mr Rombaut begins. “As the Sofia market grew, we realised that we needed bigger premises. In 2010, we embarked on a major investment that resulted in opening the most technologically advanced production unit in the entire Balkans. The kitchen facility does not only provide meal services throughout 118 Industry Europe
Bulgaria but has the capacity to produce food products under private labels for export. As such, Liberty Food Services has become an international player selling products from Bulgarian soil.”
Investing in growth
Mr Rombaut explains that the new production facility opened up more opportunities, as well as initiating requests from supermarkets, and the company started to diversify into ready-meal production. Today, the company operates several production units. “Our main facility is in Sofia, with over €2 million invested in the unit. In Varna we have another production facility about half the size worth over
Food & Beverage
€600,000. As we strive for long-term customer relationships, we invest and install kitchen equipment in our clients’ bases,” he says. “As an approved importer of Electrolux Professional we make sure that every piece of kitchen equipment installed is of high quality and with a lot of production options. But we do not just install kitchens – in collaboration with Electrolux, we have also designed several kitchen for greenfield operations.” In 2018 Liberty Food Services acquired a frozen food production facility and started to focus more on creating products for the export market using Bulgarian raw materials. “With the new unit we are able to store over 30 tonnes of frozen meals or frozen food items with good access to the EU markets. Actually, our food can be delivered within 48 hours to places like Berlin, with plenty of shelf life left even if delivered fresh. This allowed us to specialise in custom meals, which are hard to automate and expensive in northern Europe,” he affirms.
Firmly established “We are a 100 per cent food company and that shows,” he continues. “I have solid background in the food industry and having
worked in some Michelin star kitchens gives me the experience and knowledge to create very good food at great prices. Moreover, given my additional hospitality background, the company is able to provide customised services for each client. Today, in addition to the industrial and hospital meal services, our portfolio includes the production of ready-made meals, frozen or fresh, which has been a growing segment over the last few years.” The foundation of the business continues to be the corporate clients, followed by governmental contracts and schools. “We have been reducing the amount of government contracts in our portfolio as payment delays are tremendous and sometimes hard to enforce and prices have been stagnant in this sector anyway,” Mr Rombaut points out. “In the ready meal business, we see opportunities for expansion in the export markets, capitalising on our ability to provide customised services and lower volumes compared to large food factories. “We are an approved NATO supplier and participate in international tenders. I see growth potential in offshore contracts as we are extremely competitive and have a large staff base of over
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500 employees,” he affirms, adding that the company is a good potential supplier for ‘compound’ catering services and offshore catering services. “Having worked nine years in the cruise industry I have extensive experience in making sure supplies are where they need to be.”
Recent developments He confirms that growth has been tremendous in the last few years and the company is now starting to be choosey about its customers. Solid, reliable relationships are preferred. “As of 1 October, we start with a new client requiring over 2000 meals served daily. We have invested heavily in a local production site and we are able to provide meal services on a short notice of just 30 days; i.e. we are able to build a kitchen basically from scratch in 30 days.” And the future? “We will continue to develop in the frozen sector. One of our goals is for our large facilities to be able to bake all bread on site in order to provide an even better customer service and experience,” says Mr Rombaut, confirming that the company is also looking at new markets. “We have been in contact with factories in Macedonia and Serbia and are exploring the opportunities there. In addition, we have also approached supermarkets in Belgium and the Netherlands to propose our custom (white label) frozen foods and ready meals.” Given its rapid development and expansion, Bulgariabased Liberty Food Services is indeed ready to firmly set foot in the n new territories. 120 Industry Europe
Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC
Crystal clear versatility Franke Water Systems is a global leader in the design and manufacture of kitchen products and solutions for a broad range of industrial applications. It is the world’s biggest supplier of stainless steel sinks and also leads in washroom and foodservice systems. Franke has seen expediential growth during the last few years as a result of its ground-breaking products and versatile solutions, as Philip Yorke reports.
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he Franke Group is based in Aarburg, Switzerland and employs over 12,000 people worldwide. In 2017 the Franke Group recorded sales of more than CHF2.5 billion. The company was founded by Herman Franke in 1911 and began life as a sheet metal business. Following an economic upturn in the industry and construction sector in the 1920s the company expanded to include sanitary installations, oven tops and dormer windows. During the 1950s the business expanded rapidly and the construction of complete kitchen systems began. This strategic move led directly to its global domination in this key business sector. Today the company sets the standards for the industry in its many operations thanks to its on-going investments in new product development and process technologies.
New synthetics capability The Franke Group recently consolidated its global synthetic sinks production in its Franke Kitchen Systems division, with a new state-of-the-art production facility and competence centre located in Strecno, Slovakia. The total investment in the construction of the new site amounted to around CHF 42 million. Full production commenced on 28 June 2018. With the new synthetic sinks facility, the company will improve its distribution and logistics globally, thereby providing considerable benefits for its broad customer base. Capacity and efficiency gains in the production process will also help this fast-growing division to achieve even greater flexibility, faster response times and a broader product range.
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Franke Group CEO Patrik Wohlhauser commented, “There is a clear market trend towards coloured sinks, which is reflected in our sales figures, which are posting double-digit growth rates. Coloured sinks made from the Fragranite and Tectonite composites are therefore a strategically important product segment for Franke Kitchen Systems.”
Four times better When Franke Water Systems launched its Omni-4-in-one tap it set new standards in convenience and efficiency in the modern kitchen. This high-tech tap offers filtered, 100C boiling, filtered cold and mains hot and cold water at the turn of a lever. This premium solid stainless steel 4-in-one tap also provides perfect tasting water for hot drinks and obviates the need for bottled water. It will also dispense eight cups of boiling water at less than one penny a cup, or fill two large pans. Its triple safety action with optional child clip to prevent accidental operation, plus its cool-touch chassis, means that it is a very safe appliance to use. Steve Rutter, Marketing Operations Manager at Franke said, “We know from our research that customers value products that are genuinely lifestyle enhancing and Omni means they can have the best of both worlds with combined filtration and boiling water functions. Our Omni range includes many patented features and moves tap innovation and technology to the next level, with its exceptional functionality at a very attractive price.” Staying with modern taps, Franke’s latest specialist range of Crystallo taps also feature a beautifully designed unit, which gives it the unique
Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC
versatility to suit both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs. This elegant mixer tap features upright paddle levers and a popular U-shaped spout. The spout sits flush with its slim cylindrical body to give it a distinctively angular, yet streamlined design. In addition, the spout is moveable making it ideal for use with a double sink unit.
Building on core strengths Franke Foodservice systems is a leading global supplier of modern kitchen equipment and related systems. This important division of the Franke Group recently strengthened its pole position by acquiring Facility Solutions Inc., a leading project management firm that that serves the national restaurant and retail chains in the US. The newly acquired company will continue to serve its customers from its offices in Michigan, thus complementing Franke’s own business in supporting large-scale facility improvement programs for global restaurant brands. “FSI’s business mirrors our own in many ways,” said Thomas Campion, Franke Foodservice Systems CEO. “Not only do they manage complex, high-risk rollouts of new menu and service platforms for the world’s biggest foodservice brands, they’ve also become a trusted partner that works closely with their customers from initial planning to close-out.” Facility Solutions handles all aspects of nationwide roll-outs from in-store surveys and site preparation to execution timelines, client approvals and the full management of contractors.
functional, complete kitchen system offering 36 sinks, taps, hoods, hobs and ovens. This is a unique, stand-alone collection. What makes this collection so different is that all products enjoy the same design style and footprint so that it is possible to achieve a perfectly streamlined and coordinated design-look throughout the kitchen layout with the added assurance of maximised performance. Ergonomically, all products are designed to work together seamlessly to optimise workflow around the kitchen. For further details of Franke’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.franke.com
Harmonious design Best known for their high-tech sinks and taps, Franke has now added hobs, ovens and more cooker hoods to their product portfolio, with a new collection called, ‘Frames by Franke’ Frames by Franke is an ultraIndustry Europe 123
modular solutions The French market-leading clean-room and cold-room company Dagard was recently acquired by the international Purever Group. Philip Yorke reports on how this strategic move builds on the expertise offered by Dagard, its broader market implications and how it benefits the company’s diverse customer base.
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Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC
wenty years ago a small family joinery business, founded in France in 1951, was transformed into a major, industrial scale manufacturer producing highly efficient insulated ‘sandwich panels’ for use in modular cold-rooms and clean-rooms. From its early beginnings, Dagard was committed to innovative and sustainable production methods and exceptional customer service. As a result, the company quickly grew to become one of Europe’s leading companies in its field. Out of this dedicated drive for creating the best possible outcomes for its clients came the Dagard ‘cam-lock®’ assembly system. This clever, innovative device has subsequently become the standard reference for the sandwich-panel type of structure throughout the industry. Dagard initially focused on the design and manufacture of purpose-built industrial panels for the fast and simple erection of food processing plants and cold storage facilities. By the year 2000 the company had extended its product portfolio and services significantly. The market response was positive and in 2004 it installed a modern, automated, continuous panel production line, which in turn resulted in a significant increase in its industrial production capacity. Following this qualified success, Dagard established a major presence in the US with its new subsidiary: The Dagard USA Corporation. This was celebrated with the commissioning of a
new state-of-the-art plant at Montluçon, which is dedicated to the manufacture of a broad range of clean-room products. A continuous programme of investment has since added yet further to its portfolio of innovative products and global reach.
Customer-focused On 18 April this year, Dagard joined the International Purever Group. This conglomerate was founded in 2001 in Portugal following Dagard’s sale of its operations in Spain, Portugal and South America. The strategic acquisition added significantly to the group’s activities in other parts of the world. For Luis Borges, CEO of the Purever Group and the new CEO of Dagard, told Industry Europe that for him and for his 800 employees, “the key priority was the group’s ‘obsession to serve its customers’, whether they are endusers, distributors or installers.” This significant development will clearly enhance the technical expertise and recognised know-how of both companies and offer additional high-quality solutions for their respective customers. The enlarged group will in turn be better placed to satisfy new market trends and demands, as well as fulfilling important location proximity considerations. It is worth noting that the combined expertise and facilities of the enlarged Purever Group adds significantly to the company’s
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ability to develop and install an unrivalled range of modular cold rooms, and isothermal facilities, as well as dedicated clean-room envelopes. The Purever Group and Dagard’s extensive industrial expertise covers the broadest range of modular structures, factorymade components, thermal insulation and sound insulation products. In addition, the new company configuration offers advanced fire safety systems, for walls, ceilings, doors and glazing, as well as providing optimal hygiene control, ease of cleaning and air/vapourtightness solutions.
Showcasing new solutions This year for the first time, Dagard will be present at the Chillventa Trade Fair in Nuremburg, Germany. The well-known international trade show is focused on showcasing the latest developments in the coldroom and clean-room industry. At Chillventa, energy-efficiency and sustainability remain the driving forces behind the development of new products and systems for refrigeration, air-conditioning, ventilation and heat pumps. Chillventa is the premier platform for any company wanting to keep up with the latest trends and developments in the industry. It enables a direct exchange of views with leading experts and suppliers form all over the world. Interested parties should note that Dagard will be showcasing its latest ground-breaking, innovative products and solutions at Chillventa at the hall 9 on stand number 612. Visitors to the show can expect to see the very latest advances from Dagard in cold-room technology and its latest airtight envelope systems, Dagard is also proud of its latest high-tech clean-room technologies, which have been developed for use for pharmaceutical and cosmetics packaging applications. Other critical product solutions have been developed for use in the nuclear and aerospace industries where the most stringent specifications apply. Additional sensitive and high-specification industries served by Dagard include data-centres, bio-safe laboratories, operating theatres and critical surgical units.
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mentally friendly manufacturing procedures and products. For example, expansion agents used by the company for insulating foams are CFC-free and HCFC-free in strict compliance with the Kyoto Protocols, designed to limit the emission of greenhouse gases. Dagard uses 100 per cent pure organic mineral wool that is composed of fibres classified as non-carcinogenic by the World Health Organisation. In addition, mineral wool scraps, pallets and film residues are 100 per cent recycled, whilst the steel being used is bought from reliably recycled sources. In addition, Dagard’s systems concerning project management have been implemented. These involve the close relations between production, engineering and installation departments, and allow for the optimal consumption of materials and the recycling of waste products. Dagard told Industry Europe, “A series of tailor-made in-factory and on-site procedures is designed to keep the impact of company operations on the environment to an absolute minimum. The company only uses nonpolluting consumables, it optimises packaging materials and employs special procedures for re-routing discarded materials and chips to n authorised suppliers and processing plants.” For further details of Dagard’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.dagard.com
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First in eco-functionality OJ Electronics is a global leader in the design and manufacture of HVAC control systems. The company is dedicated to developing intelligent solutions that reduce energy consumption and optimise its own advanced digital technologies. Not surprisingly, OJ Electronics’ latest innovative ‘GreenZone’ systems and Wi-Fi-enabled electronics are keeping it well ahead of the competition, as Philip Yorke reports.
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ounded in Denmark in 1964, OJ Electronics is a privately owned business that has since built up an enviable reputation for its hightech electronic control systems and customised heating solutions. OJ Electronics is headquartered in Sonderborg, Denmark and enjoys a strong international presence with its affiliates and sales offices located throughout the world. Today the company is committed to the development of intelligent solutions that ensure maximum user comfort whilst minimising energy consumption. With a reliable yet flexible supply chain, OJ Electronics is able to deliver exceptional quality and performance across its entire range of eco-electronic control systems.
Advanced ‘GreenZone’ software Many of OJ Electronics’ innovations have been inspired by its customers and their changing requirements. The company’s latest ‘GreenZone’ systems are no exception. These new updated products were inspired by its customers’ day-to-day work experiences. Some of these can provide system designers with unforeseen opportunities and new challenges. For example, it is now possible to connect individual VAV dampers to up to 50 supply air diffusers in a single large room, thereby allowing the installation of smaller ducts. Other functions bring cost savings to end-users such as flexible hotel-mode functions and new pre-programmed weekly cycles. These latest software updates, which have
been integrated into the new OJ GreenZone™ controllers, can also be easily installed into existing systems. Until now, big residential and office rooms have required a large common VAV damper in the duct for all supply air diffusers. With the new update it is now possible to use up to 50 supply air diffusers in the same room, each fitted with their own VAV damper. This reduces the requirements regarding duct size and the headroom needed above ceiling tiles. In addition it is possible to attach two VAV dampers to each GreenZone module, thereby the new slave function ensures that all zone modules located in the same room work in strict harmony together. In hotel mode settings, guests can adjust the comfort settings with the OJ Electronics RPT-20T room panel. Some guests will always want greater air circulation and a different temperature to that of the standard setting. This can generate unnecessary costs if more energy-consuming settings continue without actually being required. However, it is now possible to select hotel mode settings for individual rooms, thus ensuring that each room is automatically re-configured to its standard settings at least once every day.
New Wi-Fi functionality Recently OJ Electronics upgraded its OCD5 touchscreen thermostat for electric floor heating, by launching a Wi-Fi-enabled version that can be controlled via an app. This innovative cloud-based solution Industry Europe 129
combines an updated version of the OJ Microline® Touch Thermostat OCD5, with the latest generation of the OJ Microline® app. This means it is possible for customers to obtain added functionality with total reliability, thanks to its tried-and-tested technology. The latest OJ Microline® app makes it easy for users to make their thermostats precisely match their temperature control needs. What’s more, detailed data on energy consumption provides users with all the information they need in order to maximise their energy savings. In addition, the robust system design means that users will retain full control of the heating system even if their internet access is interrupted. In this event, users can simply access all programming options and functions via the built-in system display. The user-friendly OJ Microline® app is available for Android and iOS platforms and offers detailed assistance installing and connecting the new WiFi-based thermostats. Therefore, no printed manuals are required, as users are simply guided through a few simple steps in order to connect the thermostat to the app.
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Flexible partnerships Today OJ Electronics rates as one of the top three companies in the world when it comes to HVAC electronic control systems. This global company is continuing to gain market share through its in-house R&D innovations and unrivalled applications knowledge. Many air handling unit producers choose to go to OJ Electronics for its advanced control systems, however it is also able to adapt these systems in order to provide tailor-made functions and features based upon its customers’ individual requirements. Today the OJ Electronics brand is clearly defined by its quality, reliability and functionality, as well as its ease of use and speed of installation. As the demand for ‘high-end’ system controls continues, the company plans to maintain and build upon its leadership position by offering its customers updated product programmes that are designed to help grow their businesses. This will be achieved by enhancing its current range of products, with the addition of new functions and more built-in energy-saving features.
Eco-design efficiency Recently OJ Electronics announced the launch of its new electronic floor heating thermostat, which it defines as ‘affordable yet advanced’. The company’s new digital MTD3 electronic floor heating thermostat offers much more than any traditional basic thermostat on the market, including ‘Ecodesign’ and EN 50550 compliance. The new thermostat raises the bar for basic thermostats with its large display and expanded functionality, which in turn enables installers to stand out in the basic thermostat market. The EN 50559 compliance is often required in major tenders, and with the MTD3 there is access to an affordable product which fully meets the requirements of the international standard. The unit also comes with a blind cover, thus making it ideal for public spaces where access to thermostat adjustments may be n restricted, such as in hospitals and institutions. For further details of OJ Electronics’ latest innovative products and services visit: www.ojelectronics.com Industry Europe 131
Optimising exchange rates Italian company Valmex is a market leader in the design and manufacture of heat exchangers for heating, cooling and air-conditioning. Its consistent success is based upon its dedicated mission to offer the best possible heating and cooling solutions for its diverse range of clients. Philip Yorke reports.
almex SpA was founded in Italy in 1999 and has since seen consistent growth thanks to its superior engineering and innovative heat exchange solutions. The company designs and manufactures heating, cooling and air-conditioning systems, cold pressed metal parts, assemblies and sub-groups, which are designed specifically for both European and international market requirements. Today Valmex has a broad product portfolio and offers heat exchangers for domestic gas boilers, including copper heat exchangers for traditional domestic boilers, and aluminium heat recuperators for semi-condensing and fully condensing gas boilers. These products are in addition to its advanced heat exchangers for condensing boilers and mini-channel aluminium condensers. Valmex’s broad product portfolio is sold through various sales network organisations in eastern Europe, the Baltics, Scandinavia, and the Russian federation as well as in many other overseas countries. In November 2015 Valmex became a subsidiary of MVM Investments Srl and this strategic move has enabled it to continue to increase its global presence and new product development capabilities. Today Valmex offers a full range of specialised products and services. Its customers receive their finished products that have been created from initial concept through to design, prototyping, certification, assembly and testing, and finally on to commercial production and delivery. Currently Valmex is one of the world’s main producers of copper, aluminium and stainless steel heat exchangers for gas boilers, and is a leading supplier for heat exchangers in the industrial refrigeration market for many diverse applications. 132 Industry Europe
Optimised parallel-flow systems The corporate mission of Valmex is to offer the world’s manufacturers of heating, cooling and air-conditioning systems the optimal solutions for their individual client needs and applications. In response to demands for even more efficient and increasingly reliable condensers, Valmex has developed a range of new, high-performance parallel-flow condensers for a wide range of industrial applications. These have totally replaced the traditional mechanical condensers in the automotive industry. Identical demands are being created in all heating and cooling-related industries, including those involved in commercial and industrial air-conditioning systems and industrial refrigeration markets. The growing demand for this new kind of condenser is gathering pace as further applications are catered for by Valmex. Parallel-flow condensers are made exclusively in aluminium and brazed in the company’s state-of-the-art plant in Italy with a special brazing-weld process using a special Nocolok furnace. All the condensers’ components are braze-welded to provide unrivalled solidity and perfect conductivity characteristics.
Purpose-built performance In keeping with its commitment to a programme of continuous improvement, Valmex has developed a new, single-purpose, integrated and compact heat exchanger that is based upon a simple stainless steel coil with a special oval section. The all-new ‘Circond’ condensing stainless steel heat exchanger is composed of a com-
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bustion chamber, a condensing area and an insulated metallic disc that is protected with a silicon ceramic ‘bur’ which in turn separates the two areas of operation. The many benefits of the new stainless steel condenser include simpler interchangeability, higher performance, greater reliability and a broad range of parameters designed to accommodate a full range of domestic applications. Further benefits of a single-coil heat exchanger include completely weld-free construction, a minimum number of moving components, a unique auto-cleaning feature, and higher overall efficiency and robustness. New functional principles mean that the hot flue gases produced in the combustion chamber cross the first coils before the metallic disc and then travel outside towards the external casing in one simple operation. Upon detecting the high temperature of the unit the flue gas goes beyond the baffle and subsequently passes across the last coils, thus creating the low temperature heat exchange, which then pre-heats the water inlet through the condensation of the exhaust gasses. Following this process, the condensated product then drains out of the bottom of the ‘Circond’ system, whilst on the opposite side of the unit, the flue gases exit at the top of the exchanger.
Distinctive features The Circond range by Valmex is comprised of three models that differ from each other by the number of coil windings involved; this in turn affects the external dimensions of each one. Noticeably, one
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of the Circond’s most distinctive features is that the metal disc separates the combustion chamber from the condensing area and this makes the position of the disc infinitely variable. This unique feature also guarantees an optimised condensing heat exchange for each specific power unit size. This special property affects both the flue pressure drops and the quantity of condensate that is produced, resulting in much improved n heat exchanger efficiency. For further details of the latest, innovative products from Valmex visit: www.valmex.it/en
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
Crowning glory Chelopech is a leading precious metals mining company and one of eastern Europe’s biggest success stories. Today the company is championing new industry standards in environmental care, sustainability and worker safety. Philip Yorke reports.
he Chelopech mine is located in central-western Bulgaria approximately 70 kilometres east of Sophia, the national capital, on the southern flank of the Balkan ranges. The company’s mining licence covers an area of more than 260 hectares which is owned by Dundee Precious Metals (DPM) and on which the mining facilities are constructed. Mineral potential at the property was discovered in the mid-19th century, rediscovered in the 1950s and several decades later was acquired by DPM who transformed it into the modern mining facility that it is today. Following its purchase, DPM transitioned the mine’s
extraction methods and implemented production process upgrades which resulted in significant improvements in productivity and a considerable drop in the consumption of electricity and water consumption.
Transforming fortunes A programme of continuous investment has transformed the fortunes of the Chelopech mining company, whose mission was to increase the output of the mine by over two million metric tonnes of ore. This has subsequently been achieved and exceeded. Iliya Garkov is the company’s VP and is executive director for DPM Industry Europe 135
Chelopech and DPM Krumovgrad, “Since the acquisition, DPM has invested close to 90 per cent of its profits in order to transform the mine from an under-capitalised operation into a modern and viable one that meets all the international standards for worker safety, environmental protection and sustainable development,” said Garkov. Some of the most important changes that DPM has made at Chelopech include the development and installation of an underground crusher and advanced conveyer system for hauling the precious gold, silver and copper ore. Other upgrades include an improved ventilation system via a new and ultra-efficient fan at its Sever mineshaft. Major process plant upgrades have also been completed including the commissioning of a SAG mill and four high-capacity flotation tanks to replace the 26 existing units. This is in addition to the installation of two modern concentrate and flotation-tailings thickeners. According to Garkov, the installation and commissioning of the new facilities has resulted in the mine achieving optimal operational efficiency: “Undoubtedly, the improved management of all aspects of production and environmental protection has come as a result of the large-scale investment programme which has since introduced many new production process innovations.” 136 Industry Europe
Focus on innovation As a direct result of the company’s continuous investment programme, mining process innovations have become a priority in an industry which until not long ago was relying on old technology and inefficient extraction practices. Recognition of Chelopech’s contribution to environmental protection and increased production efficiency has attracted the attention of a number of top trade publications such as ‘Mining Magazine’ and the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame, which bestowed upon DPM and its CEO, Rick Howes, its ‘Outstanding Innovator Award’. Recently DPM also earned Mining Magazine’s coveted ‘Technology Award’ for its strategy for mining out a 30-metre crown pillar safely in a most complex geotechnical environment. One of the many challenges of this project was that it was located between the historical cave zone and the underlying ore bodies where LHSF was employed. At the root of this problem was roof stabilisation for the planned production stopes in the pillar, which was lying beneath a 600 metre-high cave that was full of unconsolidated rock. To date, six production stopes in the crown pillar have been successfully mined, with ore loss of just 5 per cent, which is standard
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for the method under normal operating conditions. Therefore the term ‘Crowning Glory’ seems particularly appropriate when looking at this scenario for DPM.
New horizons. Throughout the 15 years of operation by DPM of the Chelopech mine, there has been a steady improvement in technology, efficiency and workers’ health and safety, as well as in the areas of environmental protection and sustainability. This progress is a result of DPM prioritising these important key issues on a day-to-day basis. Today the Chelopech mine is the best in the region and a flagship model for DPM whose diverse operations have all been fully optimised. The company told Industry Europe that, although modern mining faces many significant challenges, being able to successfully drive positive change and introduce new innovations is empowering. Seeing people grow in skills and knowledge, leadership and management is taking the company to new levels and to bigger industrial horizons. Today the company is looking at a bright future and prides itself on its partnerships with its global mining contemporaries and associated IT companies, which continues to bear fruit. One example is its development of an integrated management system and the adoption of a modern approach to its mining operations. “Chelopech can now be monitored in real time, similarly to any open pit. The integrated management system was first introduced in 2012 which was then a new approach and never tried before in underground mines such as ours,” said Garkov. “At the moment, the Chelopech mine continues with its improvement efforts and as a result the mining n efficiency rate has increased by almost 30 per cent.” For further details of Belopech mining products and services visit: www.dundeeprecious.com Industry Europe 137
Greater tunnel vision Leonhard Nilsen & Sonner (LNS) is one of the world’s most successful civil engineering companies. It offers unique expertise in overcoming the most extreme challenges, including hostile environments and exceptional logistics. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that not only defies the impossible, but also defines cutting-edge technology in the tunnelling, mining and road construction sectors.
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NS was founded in Norway in 1961 by Malvin Nilsen and his father Leonhard Nilsen. Since then the company has grown to comprise 16 companies whose core activities include road and tunnel construction, mining, harbour development, bulk transport and deep sea blasting. The company is unique in that its speciality is providing innovative solutions for the world’s most challenging and demanding civil engineering projects. In recent years LNS has been engaged in high profile projects throughout Norway, the Antarctic, Greenland, Iceland, and Russia. The company is also involved in major civil contracts in Chile and Hong Kong where it has established its own offices. Today LNS is a truly global player with major engineering projects stretching from the North to the South Pole. LNS operates a large fleet of heavy machinery and equipment that is at the forefront of cutting edge technology in all its many chosen disciplines. The journey from a modest, local company to the emergence of today’s imposing global group with over 12,000 employees and a turnover of more than NOK 2 billion has been a long and challenging one, but also one of many significant achievements. The company’s headquarters are based in Risohamna, Vesteralen, Norway, which is located more than 300 kilometres north of the polar circle.
Unrivalled expertise LNS is very much a global concern and offers a wide range of highly specialised engineering services that include the construction of roads and tunnels, underground mining, earth moving, deep-sea blasting
and rock support. The company is at the forefront of the industry in its development and implementation of new engineering technologies, with employees offering unrivalled expertise in their respective fields. LNS managers are given a lot of freedom and the company cultivates an organisation with short decision-making lines. LNS’s key personnel are also co-owners of the company and it practices a bonus arrangement where 10 per cent of the company’s profits are distributed amongst its employees. Great enthusiasm is therefore an integral part of the LNS company culture. “We are a global mining, road and tunnel contractor, undertaking projects in difficult locations where the logistics of the operations are very challenging,” explained project director Frode Nilsen. “Our key clients are predominantly mining companies, hydropower businesses and public road and harbour authorities. We have been retained to undertake some of the world’s most prestigious and demanding projects, including the Global Seed Vault in Antarctica, which requires the storage of seeds in the event of a global catastrophe, such as that caused by nuclear war, a major asteroid strike, or serious plant sickness. “We are also undertaking foundation work in Antarctica where we are building antennas for satellites that are encircling the earth’s poles. In addition, we are working on the construction of a 4.3 km undersea harbour tunnel in Hong Kong as well as being contracted for the excavation and tunnelling of 12 kilometres of a 38 kilometre four-lane highway in southern Norway.” LNS has been responsible for many of the world’s longest tunnels, including several in Norway, where the group is the major player in
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this sector. Transport and communication tunnel projects primarily involve road tunnels; however, LNS has also acquired unique expertise in the construction of tunnels for hydroelectric power plants. Projects in this industry are often interdisciplinary in nature and the company has specialists on staff from many different backgrounds including plant engineering, underground operations and engineering geology. Thus the LNS Group’s expertise is unique and in constant demand from its clients worldwide.
Productive partnerships Since the late 1990s the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation project has gradually extended the northern shore of Hong Kong Island into Victoria Harbour. Doing so has created more land for waterfront development, allowing several building and transportation projects to move forward. One of these is the Central-Wan Chai Bypass. This is a 4.3 kilometre dual, three lane highway tunnel that runs between Sheung Wan in the west, to Forest Hill in the east. LNS is one of the main contractors for this project working in partnership with a number of other international companies. The new highway road tunnel is designed to alleviate traffic congestion along the Gloucester Road-Harcourt Road
Central Corridor. This strategic road will connect to the island’s eastern corridor expressway at the northern shore of Hong Kong Island. This high-profile project has utilised LNS’s ‘Drill-and-Break’ tunnelling technology to excavate a mined tunnel 26 metres below ground and 16 metres below the water level of the neighbouring Victoria Harbour. The roadway navigates Hong Kong’s existing busy circulation system by passing 20 metres beneath the southern approach ramp of the Cross-Harbour tunnel which carries around 120,000 vehicles a day. Another recent example of the benefits of working in partnership with other engineering specialists is exemplified by the company’s joint venture with Leighton Asia Limited, which secured a contract worth more than NOK 2.1 billion for a major sewage tunnel project in Hong Kong. This extensive project is part of the Hong Kong government’s Harbour Area Treatment Scheme. This project involved planning and driving a 7.5-kilometre tunnel with five shafts, each varying from 70 to 100 metres long, through a busy part of the metropolis and harbour, where more n than 160,000 ncubic metres of concrete were required. For further details of the LNS Group’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.lns.no
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Profile of sustainable success The Profilglass Group of Italy is a global leader in the manufacture of aluminium spacer and decorative bars for insulating glass (IG) units. It recently acquired Lamial, a leading Italian company in alloy laminates, offering greater synergy and expertise to Profilglass’ automotive and transport sectors, as Philip Yorke reports.
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rofilglass has led the way in aluminium machining and profiles since 1982, when two brothers Giancarlo and Stephano Paci began to produce decorative profile spacers for the fast growing double glazing industry. Rapid growth over the years has resulted in a highly efficient organisation that produces more than 180,000 tons of aluminium products per year, with exports delivered to over 90 countries worldwide. Profilglass started out as a family business and continues to be driven by the same Paci family today. The company operates from its original production site in Bellocchi di Fano, on the Adriatic coast, which now extends to over 250,000 square metres and employs around 700 people. The state-of-the-art facility is comprised of four of the latest cold and hot rolling mills, an extensive cast-house for slabs and six continuous casting lines. In addition it operates modern machinery for the production of aluminium sheets and coils, as well as over twenty machines for the production of aluminium profiles. Profilglass also operates its own powder coating plant and plastic moulding facility. In 2017, the Profilglass Group recorded sales exceeding €500 million.
Technological advantage Staying ahead of the competition in a crowded market place such as the double glazing industry requires major on-going investments in technology and customer services. More than 10 per cent of Profilglass’s revenues are dedicated to research and the acquisition of the latest manufacturing process technologies. Working with its
long-term partners the company develops and implements cuttingedge technologies that keep it one step ahead of the competition. Today Pofilglass is the fastest growing Italian company in the aluminium-strip production sector and much of this success can be attributed to its close working partnerships with other specialists in the industry. Companies such as Mino of Italy, with whom Profilglass has developed a close working relationship since 2001. Mino has supplied Profilglass with high-tech cold rolling mills as well as the latest hot rolling lines. Recently Profilglass also contracted Mino to supply a new Continuous Annealing & Heat Treatment line, where the floating furnace and quenching sections were supplied by Otto Junker of Germany. In terms of its dedicated customer services, Profilglass strives to provide assistance 24/7 with optimal, just-in-time deliveries based upon a 3-4 week turnaround. This exceptionally short turnaround is only possible thanks to its high volume warehouse storage facilities. Profilglass is also proud of its unrivalled product portfolio, which ranges from 0.10mm to 8mm in thickness, and from 10mm to 1,550mm in width. Superior service comes as standard at the company and is endorsed by its vision, “You can only be successful, if you offer superior service and can fulfil the needs of your clients”.
Focus on the environment From the outset, Profilglass has recognised the importance of sustainability and the protection of the environment. Its raw materials are 100 per cent recyclable and it has developed an increasing
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number of sustainability policies over the years, with a strong commitment to managing its resources in a responsible way. “We are firmly convinced that development and innovation should go hand-in-hand with a deep-rooted respect for health and safety for everyone involved, as well as for the environment. This is why we take all necessary measures aimed at optimising working conditions and enhancing human resources, by investing in equipment, organisational improvements and other actions with a view to fostering a positive corporate climate that encourages growth and cooperation” Profilglass told Industry Europe. “At the same time we have chosen to make our facilities as environmentally-friendly as possible, by installing a large-scale photovoltaic system, which is one of the biggest solar-parks in Italy, and is installed on our factory roofs. This was constructed by the Bellariva Group in collaboration with Opera Energisa and is owned by the Chinese specialist company Jiangsu Zongyi Co. Ltd,. This vast installation has a power capacity of 16.2MWp and is able to meet the energy requirements of more than 4,500 households.”
World-beating efficiency Profilglass currently has an annual production capability of more than 500 million metres of aluminium profiles, 90 per cent of which are destined for global markets. Such large-scale production is achieved with the employment of the latest, internally-built roll-forming machines that use the induction welding process. These high quality aluminium profiles are available in standard, bendable, clear anodised and painted versions. Since its founding, Profilglass has conducted a constant policy of investment and improvement, which has culminated in the construction of four state-of-the-art continuous-casting plants and two modern rolling mills. These allow the realisation of finished products from non-processed raw material. The latest specialised plant developed in-house by Profilglass is its coil degreasing plant which eliminates completely the rolling mill lubricant remains, which is executed online n during the roll-forming process. For further details of the Profilglass Group’s innovative products and customer services visit: www.profilglass.it
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Turning the lights green Skanska is a global construction and project development group based in Sweden. It leads the world in the construction of environmentally friendly buildings and infrastructure. Philip Yorke reports.
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kanska was founded in Sweden in1887 and has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most respected construction groups. Skanska is a complex and highly decentralised company. Being a global project-based group, the organisation is constantly changing shape as its teams of employees and subcontractors disband and re-group over the lifetime of a project. Today Skanska operates four distinct business divisions: Construction, Residential Development, Commercial Property Development and Infrastructure. Construction is the group’s largest business stream both in terms of revenue and the number of employees. Close collaboration with its other business units and the company’s collective financial resources make it possible for Skanska to undertake very large and highly complex global projects. Currently the largest business opportunity for the company is in the field of sustainable development. Skanska says it wants to help build a ‘Deep Green’ society, which is a place where all projects have near-zero environmental impact. In keeping with its care-for-life value, Skanska promotes green solutions and seeks to conduct operations utilising green practices. The group aspires to go beyond compliance and to push toward future-proof projects. The company’s key geographic markets are the Nordic region, Europe and the USA. In 2017 Skanska recorded sales of more than SEK161 billion.
Futuristic LED technologies In pioneering sustainable initiatives, Skanska is also a pro-active participant in a number of international sustainability programmes, which include many significant global organisations. It also supports green building initiatives and green councils throughout Europe, the USA and Scandinavia. A current example of how Skanska is transforming traditional energy concepts and technologies is a futuristic ‘green lighting’ project, which involves upgrading ageing city lights in Gloucestershire, UK with its latest LED technology, thus enabling it to cut carbon emissions
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be active and what work different machines should undertake. Secondly, Site Assist provides insight in top production KPIs, such as how much material is being produced. Finally the system acts as the integration point of data between all the various units and systems being used on-site. Together, these functions enable Site Assist to coordinate all operations simultaneously. In addition, thanks to Site Assist, the autonomous machines can share information with one another, for example, where they want others to be and work together as a close-knit fleet. This enables continuous extraction of gravel from the quarry pit, which results in more efficient equipment flow, improved cost efficiency and significant time savings on site. by an estimated 7000 tonnes a year. The upgrade is also expected to save over £17 million in energy costs over the next 12 years. In Gloucestershire, almost 55,000 street lights are being replaced with Skanska’s energy-efficient LEDs. Compared to traditional lamps, LED street lights are much more cost- and energy-efficient, as well as being more reliable and easier to maintain. The initial installation will take place over four years and this will be followed by a maintenance period that together provides the group with a contract worth a total of around £40 million.
Revolutionising site efficiency Skanska, in partnership with Volvo, is currently testing the viability of its ‘electric-site’ concept at Skanska’s Vikan Kross quarry, near Gothenburg, Sweden. The system, which incorporates both electric and autonomous machines, will run in a real production environment for 10 weeks, delivering an anticipated 95 per cent reduction in carbon emissions and up to 25 per cent reduction in total cost of operations. This futuristic new system will revolutionise site efficiency wherever it is employed. Skanska’s unique Site Assist system has three main functions. Firstly, it controls the overall operation at the Electric Site. This involves, for example, choosing which automated machines should
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New Green Strategy Recently, Skanska set itself a new Green Strategy. It focuses on zero/ low-carbon solutions, which support the carbon reduction ambitions of many customers and of our society. Another part of the new strategy is significantly reducing the group’s carbon emissions footprint by 2030, in line with the Paris International Climate Agreement. Beyond providing benefits to customers, the environment and our society, Skanska’s ambition to minimise carbon emissions also drives improved efficiencies in the group’s overall operations. This reduces usage or emissions of energy, carbon materials and water, lowering costs and requiring smarter and more collaborative ways of working. To further this strategy, Skanska conducts regular carbon analyses and works on developing carbon roadmaps and action plans. The company also uses Green Strategic Indicators to measure green performance. These cover three areas: increasing the level of green business; management support and the training of employees on green subjects; and supporting teams to deliver projects with n improved green profiles. For further details of Skanska’s global projects and environmental management systems visit: www.skanska.com
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
Connecting the world The Prysmian Group is the world leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industry. The company is pro-active in every aspect of power transmission and telecommunications technologies. Its latest inter-array cable systems have secured offshore wind projects worth in excess of 700 million euros in 2018 alone. Philip Yorke reports.
ith around 140 years of experience and sales exceeding €11 billion, more than 30,000 employees and 112 plants worldwide, the Prysmian Group is strongly positioned in the world’s hightech markets. It offers the widest portfolio of products and specialist services anywhere on the market. Prysmian operates in the businesses of underground and submarine technologies and cable systems for power transmission and distribution, also of special cables for applications in a
broad variety of industries and of medium and low voltage cables for the construction and infrastructure sectors. For the telecommunications industry, the group manufactures cables for voice, video and data transmission, offering a comprehensive range of optical fibres, optical and copper cables and connectivity systems. Prysmian is a publicly owned company that is listed on the Italian Stock Exchange in the FTSE MIB index. Industry Europe 151
Unique cable solutions With its strong focus on innovation and sustainability, Prysmian has taken another step forward in connecting homes and businesses to the world and has also launched its unique Karona Overblow System. This new, innovative solution enables the installation of high density optical-fibre cables into pre-existing sub-ducted routes, containing the existing legacy cable. Now more than ever, data transmission is an essential part of modern life, which means that it is vital that reliable digital infrastructure is securely established in place. Existing networks are already congested with legacy cabling, but installing more ducts can be expensive and time consuming. Prysmian has developed a solution to this global problem, offering a new way to install additional amounts of fibre cable using the existing duct network. The new Karona Overblowing System comprises overblow cables, installation equipment, connectivity and comprehensive training. Additional cables can be installed, using existing Point-to-Point methods that achieve distances of up to 1km and further still when using Prysmian’s Centre Blowing Techniques. The unique overblow cable range contains from 12 to 432 fibres, which are matched with a range of special joint closures.
Focus on core products The Prysmian Group was the supplier of choice when it came to the supply of high-tech inter-array cables for the UK’s 1.4GW offshore wind farm, located at Orsted off the east coast of England. This latest wind farm project will see the company deliver over 300km of cabling, as 152 Industry Europe
well as a further 900km of cable cores. All of this will be manufactured at the company’s state-of-the-art plant in Wrexham, UK. Prysmian Group offshore wind sales team manager Alessandro Panico said, “We are proud to support Orsted in providing the UK market with the highest quality, locally manufactured cables for the next generation of offshore wind farms. Alongside this we have launched an important investment plan to increase our submarine cables production capacity in order to meet the growing demand from this sector.” Panico added, “This key investment in our Wrexham facility is a sign of the growth in the UK offshore wind supply chain, and our strategic ambitions in the renewables industry.”
Meeting new challenges Of all the advanced, high-tech industrial sectors, none is seeing a more radical transition than that of the automotive sector. The latest challenge is the change in the certification of Quality Management Systems from ISO/TS 16949 standards to IATF 16949. Upon expiry of the existing standard, which remains in force to date, all companies involved in the supply of components and materials to the automotive industry should ‘migrate’ to IATF 16949, in order to be compliant with the new Quality Management System certification that is specific for the automotive market. Prysmian is a Tier 2 supplier to the automotive sector and is therefore strongly involved in this transition process for all factories within the group that are dedicated to the manufacture of automotive cables in order to meet this new challenge.
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Following a stringent three-day audit, Prysmian has achieved the successful certification of the facility dedicated to the manufacturing of automotive cables in its Suzhou plant in China, thus proving that it is fully certified to supply the international automotive industry. In order to obtain IATF 16949 certification status, it required the Prysmian team involved to highlight its fully integrated processes, evidence-based decision-making and culture of continuous improvement, and demonstrate customer satisfaction improvement. “The key benefits highlighted by the ability to implement the transition to IATF 16949 are multiple. IATF 1649 certification is compulsory for most automotive stakeholders. The successful implementation of the transition shows Prysmian’s maturity in facing automotive stakes and demands and contributes to strengthen Prysmian’s reputation,” n said Gianluca Mazzantini, Prysmian automotive BU VP. For more details of the Prysmian Group’s latest innovative cable products and services visit: www.prysmiangroup.com Industry Europe 153
The SECO/WARWICK GROUP, headquartered in Swiebodzin, Poland, is one of the world’s leading producers of heat processing furnaces for metals, both in terms of sales volume and product range. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.
or more than 25 years, SECO/WARWICK has been revolutionising the global metallurgical industry by providing equipment and technology to leading companies in the aerospace, automotive and power industries. The company was founded in 1991 and in 2003 it took over the ELTERMA SA enterprise. Subsequently, in 2006, a reverse acquisition of the mother company took place, as a result of which the main
headquarters of the group were transferred to Poland. One year later, the company was launched on the stock exchange and in 2013 the SECO/WARWICK SA Holding, with the entirety of the operational arm located in SECO/WARWICK Europe, was separated. “From the very beginning, the company philosophy was based on product and technology development to meet the high expectations of our customers, i.e. top tier organisations from the automotive, aerospace and energy industries. Thanks to our technological solutions that are constantly being developed and improved, our customers are able to apply state-of-the-art materials by virtue of which they gain a competitive edge,” says Pawel Wyrzykowski, SECO/WARWICK CEO.
The gateway to the future The SECO/WARWICK Group’s activities include the production of five main product groups: vacuum furnaces, aluminium heat exchanger brazing systems, aluminium heat treatment systems, atmospheric furnaces and vacuum metallurgy furnaces. The group is one of the technological leaders in its field. Thanks to its state-of-the-art R&D division equipped with a metallography laboratory, and cooperation with the leading academic centres in Poland and around the world, it is able to provide innovative solutions not offered anywhere else in the world. 154 Industry Europe
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The company is also involved in a project for the industrial production of graphene, a unique material some refer to as a ‘gateway to the future’. Graphene is an allotrope of carbon in the form of a twodimensional, atomic-scale, honeycomb lattice, in which one atom forms each vertex. Graphene has many exceptional properties: it is about 100 times stronger than the strongest steel, conducts heat and electricity efficiently and is nearly transparent. The graphene obtained by using SECO/WARWICK’s SuperCarb® solution is a product with a wide range of applications. The group has also developed a manufacturing technology for the functional nanocomposite GRAPH ROLL, based on polycrystalline graphene and intended for reversible hydrogen storage. It can revolutionise the automotive industry, since GRAPH ROLL allows for the possibility of safe storage of large quantities of hydrogen, which is used to propel the experimental cars of the future.
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Strong, international group The SECO/WARWICK Group is currently made up of five manufacturing companies and subsidiaries located in 10 countries, the leader of which is SECO/WARWICK SA, based in Swiebodzin, Poland. The group has its production facilities in Poland, the USA (two factories, in California and Pennsylvania), India and China. In addition, the group includes a number of service and sales offices in such countries as Germany, Russia and France. The other main companies in the group are: SECO/WARWICK Corporation (USA, wholly-owned), Retech Systems LLC (USA, wholly-owned), SECO/WARWICK Retech Thermal Equipment Manufacturing Tianjin Co., Ltd (China, 93 per cent of the capital), SECO/ WARWICK Germany GmbH (Germany, wholly-owned), SECO/WARWICK Allied Pvt. Ltd. (India, 98 per cent of the capital), SECO/WARWICK France (France, wholly-owned), SECO/WARWICK Services
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(Poland, wholly-owned), OOO SCT (Russia, 50 per cent of the capital), SECO/WARWICK RUS (Russia, wholly-owned), SECO/VACUUM TECHNOLOGIES LLC (USA, wholly-owned), SECO/WARWICK Systems & Services (India) Private Limited (India, wholly-owned). The group sells its products in 70 countries around the world. Some of the main market segments in which SECO/WARWICK’s products are present are the automotive industry, aviation, and the machinery, equipment and aluminium metallurgy sectors. With more than 4000 solutions in total, SECO/WARWICK’s customers produce, among others, control system components, gears, landing systems for aircrafts, turbines, aircraft engine elements, heat exchangers in aircrafts and automobiles, surgical instruments and coins. The group’s wide range of customers include such industrial giants as Bosch, Siemens, Valeo, General Electric, Honeywell, Ford, Volkswagen and Rolls-Royce. The solutions offered by SECO/WARWICK are universal, because they are based on best practices for failure prevention in the best
sense of the word. In order to raise the service reliability of its customers’ equipment, the group offers comprehensive support services, including preventive inspections and the subsequent preventive measures using advanced tools in the fields of metering and reporting. For years the group has gathered around itself a circle of trusted business partners. It cooperates with both large, international corporations and small, local companies. Such a strategy has translated into successes and business opportunities for all sides. Some good examples of successful cooperations include the long and fruitful partnership with Daniels Fans, a leading manufacturer of high temperature fans, with thousands supplied to furnace manufacturers worldwide; Guenther Polska, a member of the Günther GmbH Group, which manufactures temperature probes for various industrial applications; Radam, a distributor of high-quality cable and cable sheaths; n and Solid Logistics, a worldwide logistics operator. For more information, visit: www.secowarwick.com Industry Europe 157
Delivering critical torque Brugola SpA is a symbol of the best in Italian innovation and engineering. It has a legendary technological record with one in every four car engines relying on its components. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to pioneer new solutions and to revolutionise critical tightening assembly systems that also provide ‘zero defect’ solutions.
rugola was founded in Lissone, Italy in 1926 by Egideo Brugola, an Italian inventor and entrepreneur, who began by establishing a factory for producing washers and special engine rings. In 1945 Brugola patented a special bolt that subsequently carried his name: a unique socket head bolt with a spiral shank. This fastener revolutionised the automotive assembly market at the time. Following this landmark, the company continued to see consistent growth over the years and in 1964, the founder’s son Giananntonio Brugola took over the reins to become president. Under his leadership Brugola focused increasingly on the development of niche products such as hexagonal socket bolts, which in turn in the 1980s led to its strategic partnership with Volkswagen. Following this significant association, the principles of ‘zero defects’ and ‘total quality control’ were introduced by Brugola thus creating yet another milestone in the company’s history and opening up a broad range of new market opportunities. Further new benchmarks were set in 1993 with the launch of Brugola’s patented Polydrive® bolt. This unique component evolved from the cylindrical head bolt and hexagonal socket developed earlier by the
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company. It is specially designed for assemblies that rely on high torque, such as critical parts in modern automotive engines, especially for the installation of cylinder heads which operate under huge stresses. Constant innovation has propelled the company’s fortunes to greater heights, helping it to achieve growth even through difficult times and enabled it to increase its turnover from €50 million in 1998 to 130 million in 2015. Today virtually every major automotive manufacturer from BMW to Mercedes Benz and from Volvo to General Motors rely on critical engine parts from Brugola. In 2017 the company employed around 800 people worldwide and recorded revenues of more than €150 million. Currently Brugola manufactures almost 1000 different types of screws, producing over seven million each day and selling 1,750,000 pieces each year.
Expanding global reach
therefore work on screws that are smaller but are able to provide even better resistance. “We consider ourselves to be the most competent, reliable and innovative solution providers, and work closely in partnership with our customers to achieve the best possible outcomes for them and the industry. Our aim is to be the partner of choice for the most important automotive companies in the world when it comes to fastener components, and we are almost there. Negotiations are already in progress with Hyundai and Toyota and when these companies join our family, n the circle will be complete.” For further details of Brugola’s innovative products and services visit: www.brugola.com
Today Brugola operates four state-of-the-art production sites in Lissone, Italy and a logistics centre in Desio. This is in addition to its global logistics centres located in Germany, North America, Mexico and Spain. In 2015 the company opened its first manufacturing facility in Michigan, USA. Brugola said, “The United States represents an important market for us and it opens up some interesting business opportunities. We plan to strengthen our presence there, although Italy will always be our most important production hub. The opening of our first plant in the United States was due to the fact that Ford decided to move to Plymouth, Michigan. As Ford’s exclusive supplier we consequently adapted to this future-orientated decision.” The company’s dedicated customer orientation is one reason why Brugola is the world’s top producer of fastener components for the automotive industry. “We continue to develop innovative solutions and to develop new materials and better products. We do not only manufacture products according to fixed specifications, we also put great emphasis on research and have a clear focus on the concept of future engines. We strive to develop solutions that are ahead of their times and are proud of the company’s special spirit that is evident throughout the company, its employees and customers. “We are establishing strategic technical partnerships with other global players, such as Hyundai and Toyota, for whom we would become the first non-Japanese hardware suppliers. Brugola plans to become an increasingly global supplier for a market that operates worldwide, but especially in the two key areas for industrial development and innovation: the United States and China. “Currently as engines become smaller on the one hand, there have been significant improvements in performance on the other. We Industry Europe 159
Sealed-in success Bulgaria-based Herti, one of the leading European manufacturers of roll-on pilfer proof closures, plastic closures and articles and composite closures, commemorates an important milestone in 2018 – its 25th anniversary. In the last few years the company has expanded into international markets and its position is now stronger than ever. Romana Moares reports.
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stablished back in 1993, Herti has grown to be an internationally recognised player in its sector, offering almost any possible dimension of aluminium closures for clients producing various kinds of beverages, olive oil and pharmaceuticals as well as cosmetics. Located 80 km from the Bulgarian port of Varna, the company’s premises in Pilska occupy 22 acres of land with 15,000m2 of production halls. Zahari Zahariev, the CEO and company owner, confirms that the last few years have been a period of continued growth, supported by substantial investment. “We never stop investing because investment drives our progress and growth. Over the last three years, we have followed a major investment programme and different projects for increasing capacity and improving the health and working conditions in the factory.” “We have recently installed new equipment to increase capacity for our 30x60 aluminium screw caps. This gives the company more flexibility to meet customers’ needs for wine closures in terms of quantity and delivery time. Last year Herti commissioned two more lines to boost capacity and give more decorating options.”
The company has also recently commissioned a new warehouse at the production facility. The building, covering 2,500m2, has four loading platforms and is provided with two wrapping machines, a reach truck and forklift trucks. The bar code readers and the software allow easy navigation and quick service. In addition to the the new warehouse, the company also invested in a water treatment plant in line with its environmental policy to focus more on an effective use of natural recourses.
Caps for all Each year Herti manufactures more than one billion aluminium, composite and plastic closures for almost any kind of bottle across various industries. The portfolio includes more than 40 different sizes aluminium screw caps for different kinds of spirits, wine and non alcoholic beverages. Herti develops and markets new products every year together with its subsidiary Tihert JSC, specializing in tool production. “This autumn, we launched two new sizes of screw caps for the spirits sector,” says Mr Zahariev. “Our R&D team works closely with our customers in the development of their products and their brands, creat-
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ing unique and innovative products. Our R&D and quality assurance departments strive to improve all processes related to new product development, explore new materials and technologies and implement them in production. Recently we developed a new olive oil pourer for smooth pouring of the liquid and improved the equipment to increase the capacity for producing olive oil closures.” Herti’s customer base spans the globe – its caps are sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. The company works with several prime producers of wine in France and California, producers of alcoholic drinks in Germany, Poland and the UK, and has just started new projects with more partners from France and Australia. “Around 85 per cent of production output is sold in our export markets, mostly in Europe but some go further afield, to customers in Australia, Russia, Asia and recently the US,” Mr Zahariev points out, adding that the company is currently experiencing a marked growth in Germany and France and expect a big increase in North America, where they have just opened a new subsidiary Herti US, in California, in the heart of North America’s wine industry, to be close to its customers and to boost position in the North-American market.
25 year of growth The company has celebrated its important anniversary by various events organised for both the employees and the business partners from many countries. “During those years, several events marked our growth. Establishing subsidiaries in different countries has shaped Herti as a market leader. Going public in 2008 also made a positive impact on our development,” Mr Zahariev reflects. With decades of experience and a consolidated market position, the company is set to continue its successful development. In Sep162 Industry Europe
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tember 2018, Herti was ISO re-certified and will now implement the rules of ISO 9001-2015. Following its long-term policy of sustainability in quality assurance and customer satisfaction, Herti installed further vision control systems, enabling accurate quality inspection on high speed running machines. The installation of the vision systems is a part of the management programme to continuously improve the product and process quality to achieve the highest standards. Mr Zahariev confirms that the company is always ready to accommodate the customers’ varied requirements and duly respond to emerging market trends. “Design has become a very important part of the package vision. Clients turn to design options such as hot foil top and side printing and top embossing, so our company, just like other manufacturers, must invest in printing machines and innovative designs to secure further growth.” The recent investment and growing demand hint at further progressive development. “At this stage I think our growth will be mainly organic,” says Mr Zahariev. “It is expected to be generated mainly by the wine closure, olive oil closure and mineral water closure segments,” he adds, confirming that the company will continue to strive n to sustain its market leadership.
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Changing the face
of packaging Since its establishment in 2012, Schur Flexibles has transformed traditional packaging thinking and brought innovative technologies to the table. Today the Schur Flexibles Group continues its remarkable growth trajectory, boosted by its centres of excellence and an ambitious programme of pan-European acquisitions. Philip Yorke reports.
hen Schur Flexibles first came to the market in 2012 it did so without creating a big stir; however, this was the beginning of a remarkable and meteoric journey to the top. The original concept created a network of the most advanced packaging competences on a pan-European scale. This meant pooling specialist competences and companies that were technological leaders in their chosen disciplines and in their respective markets. All these companies have one thing in common: a reputation for excellence and unrivalled state-of-the-art manufacturing processes. So although the Schur Flexibles Group is a newcomer, it is com164 Industry Europe
prised of the best, most well-established and integrated players. All members of the group are highly specialised, flexible and fast growing enterprises. From its head office in Weiner Neudorf, Austria, the Schur Flexibles Group directs its 15 subsidiary companies that between them operate 23 factories in Germany, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Greece, France, Russia and the UK. Almost 2000 employees create unique packaging solutions for the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and tobacco industries. In 2018 the Schur Flexibles Group is expected to record sales of more than €500 million.
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Strengthening position The Schur Group continues to strengthen its position as one of the leading providers in the European flexible packaging market. Recent major developments include the appointment of Thursten Kuhn, who joined the company earlier this year as the group’s CEO, and the forthcoming integration of the Uni Packaging group of France. Over the last few months the Schur Flexibles Group has made a string of key acquisitions, including Cats Flexibles Packaging, Hansel Flexible Packaging and Nimax from the Clondalkin Group. All are leaders in their respective fields. Following these strategic purchases the Schur Group has also acquired Uni Packaging, the French packag-
ing giant that specialises in the flexible packaging of a wide range of cheeses and dairy products. Uni Packaging was acquired by Lindsey Goldberg, the parent company of Schur Flexibles, and it will be fully integrated into the group within the next six months. The two companies complement each other perfectly. Uni Packaging’s extensive experience and local presence will further strengthen and expand Schur Flexible’s position in the fast-growing cheese and dairy products market, as well as in the fresh products and convenience sectors, especially in France and the UK. As a result of this latest development, Schur Flexibles is now represented in all the most attractive European packaging markets. It will
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also benefit from Uni Packaging’s proven expertise in pouches, which is a rapidly growing market segment that is increasingly replacing traditional rigid packaging devices. Today, Schur Flexibles is an integrated, full-range supplier of flexible packaging that offers raw materials purchasing, extrusion, printing, lamination, converting and pouch-making. The company is therefore able to provide its customers with undisputed one-stop-shop value and unrivalled packaging expertise from a single source.
Showcasing excellence At this year’s FachPack, the international packaging trade show, Schur Flexibles presented its latest innovative packaging portfolio. This included stand-up pouches with digital printing, as well as SuperThin laminate films and its latest FlexiClose technology, which recently won the German Packaging Sustainability Award. All these products are part of Schur’s ‘rethink initiative’, which is a far-reaching climate protection programme.
Triple-bubble shrink technology The Schur Flexibles Group operates some of Europe’s most technologically advanced production sites. This includes its Vacufol facility, Schur Flexibles Poland, Danapak and Alpha Beta Roto as part of the Schur Group. Schur Flexibles Vacufol features its outstanding 7-layer ‘Water Quench’ technology for high barrier PA-EVOH-PE or PA/PE thermoforming films, as well as the pioneering triple-bubble 9-layer EVOH shrink technology. Furthermore, Schur Flexible’s Alpha Beta Roto subsidiary houses state-of-the-art cylinder production and the most advanced 11 col166 Industry Europe
our roto-printing facility in Europe. It also boasts a modern HD flexo printing facility of up to ten colours. At the group’s Flexofol plant it recently installed the latest UV flexo equipment for short runs and n ultra-sophisticated printing processes. For further details of the Schur Flexibles Group’s latest innovative products and one-stop shop services visit: www.schurflexibles.com
Wall-to-wall digital solutions Olbrich is a market leader in the design and manufacture of cutting edge machinery for the manufacture of wall and floor coverings, and coated and laminated film products. Today 45 per cent of its production is focused on the automotive industry and the balance for the converting equipment sector. Philip Yorke reports on the latest developments of this ambitious and dynamic innovator. Olbrich provides manufacturing solutions for electrical products, insulating materials, metal foils, membranes and foam. In January 2013, Olbrich recorded another significant milestone in its rich history when it announced the takeover of the Hamburg-based Sam Sungan Pagendarm company. A leader in its sector, the company supplies innovative machinery for the flexible packaging industry for the production of labels, tapes and in-line coating solutions. Today Olbrich remains a familyowned business and in 2017 recorded sales of more than €120 million.
Customised digital technology
he Olbrich Group is headquartered in Bocholt, Germany and has around 1000 employees worldwide. Its operations are conducted from four key European locations. The company was founded in 1949 and started out with the manufacture of printing, coating and drying equipment for wall covering applications and R2R products. The parent company, Borgers, was founded in 1866, and specialised in serving the automotive industry from the outset. In the automotive sector, Olbrich is specialised in the production of tools and trimming machines, as well as water jet equipment. It offers a comprehensive range of equipment for the production of automotive and trucking interior parts, including dashboards, ceilings and arm rests. Within the converting business, Olbrich offers a broad range of machines and equipment for the manufacture of a variety of self-adhesive films and papers on the same coating line. In addition, there are product lines available for decorative, and medical items, as well as for pharmaceutical products, including sophisticated trans-dermal systems, oral films, and lines for wound-care among many others. 168 Industry Europe
As an innovation leader, Olbrich is always searching for new cutting edge solutions to keep its customers one step ahead of the competition. In this context it offers its clients the highest levels of precision, efficiency and added value. At the international trade fair, Heimtextil, held in Frankfurt, Olbrich introduced its latest digital printing solutions for the wall-coverings industry. The new digital printing technology features an oil-based ink system which is specially tailored to meet the requirements of PVC-based wall covering producers. The printed items on display by Olbrich have been produced in its corporate Technical Centre in Bocholt, Germany. The printing widths of 550mm enable a trimmed standard product width of 530mm. Printing speeds can be as fast as 70m/min in single-pass production featuring CMYK colours with 600 dpi.
Expanding technology For many years, Olbrich has been offering virtually all technologies required for laminating, coating, printing and refining rolled goods, which customers from the floor covering and foil industries rely on for their production purposes.
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Until now they only had to use the machines of other makers for the manufacture of carrier foils, as Olbrich did not cater for this particular step in production. This situation has been overcome recently with the development of dedicated in-house research and expertise that has resulted in the availability of new ‘keyword calendar technology’ for its customers. Following this break-through, the first big order for a three-roller calendar with a four-metre working width has been designed and tested. This was a logical step for Olbrich as the technology leader in the refining of foils, to be able to offer the manufacturing capability for the foils themselves. This strategic decision was acted upon as a result of continuous requests from customers, which convinced Olbrich to invest in the new technology, and thereby close the only gap left in its comprehensive product portfolio. The brains behind the calendar project included project engineer Johannes Kemp and sales manager for the floor covering Industry, Johannes Klein-Heibling, who also oversaw the production and delivery of the first major order. During the calendaring process, the synthetic material is transported into a gap between two rollers of the calendar and rolled out under pressure to create a precisely defined film. Calendar technology developed by Olbrich is very versatile, particularly in the manufacture of floor coverings, self-adhesive products and decorative rolls.
Innovation driving sales The development of new cutting-edge technologies has been the company’s priority for almost 70 years and it is this that has been driving sales since its inception. With its interdisciplinary project and engineering teams, Olbrich has the expertise to develop customerspecific and intelligent machine solutions as well as plant concepts 170 Industry Europe
for the manufacture of web-like products such as wallpapers, floor coverings, films and foils and high-tech textiles. Olbrich actively anticipates the industry’s future trends and together with its customers develops new opportunities for the future with its unrivalled process and production technologies. Today advanced technology applications is, and remains, the company’s number one priority, as well as its inspiration. An outstanding component of this is the company’s renowned technical centre, where it can test a wide range of products in real-time and simulate actual n production scenarios. For further details of the Olbrich Group’s latest products and services visit: www.olbrich.de
Turning the tide
A leading European company is turning the tide against waste and global warming. Logoplaste is a global packaging group based in Portugal and, with its ‘Ecover Ocean Bottle’ and a major sustainability programme, has dramatically reduced its global footprint and CO2 emissions, as Philip Yorke reports.
ogoplaste is a successful pan-European industrial group that manufactures rigid plastic packaging for some of the most reputable companies in the world. These range from those in the food and beverage industry, and personal care, to household care, oil and lubricants. For over 42 years the company has pioneered in-house manufacturing with its ‘through-the-wall’ concept and the supply of plastic packaging delivered ‘just-in-time’ from modern plants that are installed either within, or adjacent to, its clients’ facilities. Today Logoplaste manages 60 facilities at locations in 17 countries and employs the most advanced technologies in injection moulding,
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stretch-blow moulding and extrusion moulding, in order to produce the highest quality packaging solutions across a broad range of market segments. In keeping with its dedication to precision and reliable customer service, Logoplaste demands only the best from its own suppliers.
First for quality consistency Consistent quality has always been a priority at Logoplaste and it selects its equipment suppliers with the utmost care. For almost 20 years the leading German moulding machine manufacturer, Bekum, has been one of Logoplaste’s most valued partners for the supply of high-performance extrusion blow-mould-
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ing machines. Bekum has delivered more than 20 of its state-of-theart machines to date, as well as ancillary equipment to Logoplaste’s many production facilities throughout Europe. These high-precision machines have been employed to produce premium, high-quality rigid packaging for Unilever and Proctor and Gamble as well as for many other leading brands. With more recent orders placed with Bekum for plants in Europe and the US, Logoplaste underscores and guarantees its enviable levels of quality and consistency. In addition, it has further strengthened the mutual trust and close business relationship with not only Bekum, but also those of its global blue-chip clients.
Shaping the future Aligning its industrial activity to the development of sustainable packaging and design, the company is dedicated to shaping the future of rigid packaging. Logoplaste’s state-of-the-art Innovation Laboratory keeps it at the cutting edge of packaging technology and supports its mission to be the natural choice in the supply of rigid plastic packaging solutions worldwide. A pioneer in the ‘through-the-wall’ operations, Logoplaste’s business model centres on working in close partnership with its clients. The company’s ‘through-the-wall’ concept is based upon it being
fully integrated into its partner’s building and infrastructure and as a result, it becomes fully integrated into the supply chain process. Logoplaste is also very flexible when it comes to just-in-time delivery systems and faster times to market. It offers a complete delivery service from product innovation and design, to final package delivery. “The concept is not about selling bottles, but delivering a fully integrated project where we install machinery, train people and manage all of the client’s packaging operations,” said Rui Abelho, the company’s North American managing director. “From day one we ensure that we understand the client’s DNA, and translate that into products that stand out in the market, whilst helping to optimise the company’s operations with reduced carbon footprint, zero transportation costs and a just-in-time inventory.” Seeing continued growth in the FMCG market segment, Logoplaste also eyes the pharmaceutical and medical fields amongst other industries that can benefit from its innovations.
Plant-in-plant facilities Today Logoplaste implements an infinite variety of creative solutions to help its many blue-chip clients achieve their growing sustainability goals. The company pursues two major strategies to improve its environmental footprint. For example, it locates its production lines
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within its customers’ plants, which at a stroke eliminates the need for trucks for shipping and secondary packaging. In addition, it uses its innovative design tools to improve the environmental profiles of the bottles themselves. When the Carlyle Group invested in Logoplaste in 2016, its investment team saw a unique opportunity to support the expansion of plants and innovative packaging, thereby helping to meet its customers’ sustainability goals. Back in 2010, Logoplaste began working in close partnership with the global beverage leader, Diageo, with a modern on-site plant situated on Diageo’s Plainfield site near Chicago, which instantly eliminated 2327 trucks from the road each year. Currently, Logoplaste has 44 plant-in-plant facilities and nine ‘nearby’ facilities, and estimates that every site opened using the plant-in-plant model eliminates around 10,000 trucks from the road each year. For example, if three onsite plants were opened each year with average shipping routes of 223 miles, the estimated carbon savings each year would amount to more than 11,000 metric tonnes.
Dedicated innovation Logoplaste’s dedicated Innovation Laboratory was completed two years ago and today works closely with clients in order to research and develop the most feasible, viable and sustainable packaging solutions. These may include integrating biomimicry methodology into the packaging process, in order to pursue greener design
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items. For example, the company’s team recently redesigned the Nestle/Lactalis bottle, modelling the label area on fish scales, which reduced the bottle weight and gave it greater rigidity and a more distinctive shape. Logoplaste’s creative design tools also helped to reduce Diageo’s carbon footprint per bottle by 53 per cent from 2104–2015. In 2016 the company relaunched its 29/25 bottle neck, which today is used worldwide, reducing the weight by more than 20 per cent.
Award winning designs Logoplaste’s level of creativity in bottle design isn’t just environmentally effective – it is also award-winning. The company’s Ecover Ocean Bottle is a perfect example of both source reduction and recycling. Through its new ‘skeleton’ design processes, which are based on the structure of the very ocean plankton threatened today by ocean plastic pollution, the bottle uses 20 per cent less material, whilst retaining the same stability and functionality of a conventional plastic bottle. In addition, 10 per cent of the raw materials come from ocean plastic waste itself, with the remainder from other recycled sources. This innovative solution was recognised with a number of awards n from the coveted Green Good Design Award Institute. For further details of Logoplaste’s latest innovative products and services visit, www.logoplaste.com
Sustainability tubed Linhardt is a global market leader in the design and manufacture of aluminium and plastic tubes for the packaging industry. Its dedication to sustainability and all that entails is well known within its business sector, as Philip Yorke reports.
inhardt was founded by Christian Linhardt in Viechtach, Germany, in 1943. The company’s first plant in Hambrucken began production in 1947. A second facility was opened in Viechtach in 1958. The company continued to see consistent growth and in 1992 it acquired the leading Italian tube maker, Tubettificio Tubex of Milan. The success of this strategic acquisition provided the springboard for several other key acquisitions, completed in 1997 and in 1999. Another milestone was reached in the year 2000 when it opened its first state-of-the-art ‘clean factory’ facility in Viechtach, which was dedicated to the production of specialised packaging for the pharmaceutical industry. Today the company is a major global player serving leading multinational brands in the fields of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics,
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consumer goods and healthcare. Linhardt’s diverse product portfolio extends to Multi-flex tubes, aluminium cans and rigid tubes, as well as collapsible aluminium and plastic tubes and formed aluminium parts for individual packaging solutions. Currently Linhardt employs more than 1300 people and in 2017 recorded sales of over €150 million.
Antimicrobial advance From the outset, Linhardt has demonstrated its commitment to innovative product development and sustainability, which has become the hallmark of all Linhardt packaging. This year the company unveiled another ground-breaking product which achieved the goal of extending a product’s shelf life without the need for preservatives. As a result,
PAPER, PACKAGING & PRINTING
Linhardt was awarded the title ‘Tube of the year 2018’ by the European Tube Manufacturers Association (ETMA) for its latest innovative packaging concept, the third such accolade this year. Whether it is sensitive ointments for the pharmaceutical industry, high priced cosmetics or foodstuffs such as tomato paste, there are countless items in daily life that rely on the packaging expertise of Linhardt. However, it is not always enough to keep valuable fillings fresh for a sufficient length of time. Today many manufacturers rely on preservatives or complex sterilisation processes to provide longer shelf lives for their products. The challenge was therefore to develop a film composite that offered antimicrobial properties and then process it into a tube for serial production. This became a challenge that Linhardt was determined to master, and which resulted in its unique ‘Antimicobial Tube’. The highly efficient composites involved kill resistant germs, viruses, fungi and other harmful organisms with their broadband antimicrobial effect. The advantage of the Linhardt antimicrobial tube is obvious. It offers significantly higher shelf life for any product without the traditional need for preservatives. Furthermore, it also eliminates the need for energy-intensive processes such as radiation sterilisation.
to the development of new innovative packaging concepts and the equipment pool, it also includes society and the environment of the planet. “We want to do more than simply hand a healthy company on to the next generation; we want them to grow up in a world that is worth living in. This vision extends beyond tomorrow and defines the philosophy of everyone here at Linhardt. “In the near future Linhardt’s production processes will be entirely CO2 neutral and its combined heat and power systems will continue to dramatically improve our energy efficiency. One of the biggest-scale individual measures to reduce energy consumption is the installation of energy-efficient co-generation plants at our facilities in Viechtach and Hambrucken. These plants use natural gas to produce most of the electricity that we need, whilst at the same time converting the thermal energy produced in the process to heat production facilities in winter and to cool them in the summer,” a Linhardt spokesman added. It is impossible to imagine life without some form of packaging, which is why Linhardt feels responsible for guiding its packaging towards a more sustainable future. The company therefore adopts the widest range of approaches for the reduction of resource consumption and for the protection of the environment.
At Linhardt, systemic energy management practices reduce consumption and pave the way for other eco-friendly processes. Sustainability and a pioneering spirit, combined with integrity, are set in the DNA of a family business that has led the packaging field for over 75 years. This re-investment programme is not just limited
Linhardt’s Multiflex tubes clearly demonstrate what the next generation of composite material packaging is able to offer. The wall of the company’s latest Multiflex tube is not overlapped and welded as in the past, but joined edge-to-edge. An extra-thin tape seals the butted joint, thus making the joint virtually invisible.
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The Multiflex tube’s advantages include a 360-degree printing surface that is capable of photographic print quality, as well as offering a variable reset force and the provision of constant shape stability. In addition, it offers asymmetrical layering, particularly valuable for items requiring a combination of high-gloss decorative films with functional films inside the tube. These functional films can interact directly with the product, which also provides clearly definable barrier properties. The company’s latest Paperflex tubes benefit from up to 50 per cent paper content and offer a very natural look. The tubes’ inner layer is food-grade compliant and its PET intermediate layer gives it n a strong, pleasing and high-quality feel. For more details of Linhardt’s latest innovative packaging products and services visit: www.linhardt.com
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Textiles, Home & Personal Care
Global leader in
Ontex is the global market leader in the development and manufacture of hygienic disposables for the private-label sector. The company’s remarkable growth continues to gather pace with the launch of new, ground-breaking products, major investments in new plant and strategic overseas realignments. Philip Yorke looks at the company’s latest operational highlights and its dynamic strategy for further global expansion.
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ntex is the clear global leader in the production of hygienic disposables, and Europe’s biggest player by far in the field of disposable non-wovens. Ontex offers a diverse range of hygienic disposables for the baby-care sector including nappies and wipes, as well as for the feminine-care sector, with products such as sanitary towels, panty liners and tampons. Ontex is also a major supplier to the adult incontinence sector through its fast growing healthcare division. All Ontex products are produced either for private label customers or for its own generic consumer brands. Ontex is able to adapt swiftly to market trends and takes a nimble, fast-lane approach to new product development and implementation. According to the company, “We make, sell and distribute our products in more than 110 countries worldwide through leading retail brands, as well as under our own brand labels. As the world’s leading suppliers of disposable, personal hygiene products, we are proud to make a difference to the daily lives of people across every generation. “With 19 manufacturing sites around the globe, we employ more than 11,000 people and in 2017 generated sales of €2.6 billion. Our cutting-edge product research and development teams draw on extensive consumer insights to help our retail and health industry clients stay ahead of rapidly changing markets and meet the needs of the world’s growing populations.”
Delivering change worldwide In true keeping with its enviable reputation for driving change for healthier, more sustainable disposables, Ontex has taken the lead once again with its launch of its ‘Little Big Change’ nappies on 24th September this year.
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The company’s ‘Little Big Change’ nappies are a true (r)evolution with 0 per cent Chlorine, 0 per cent perfume and 0 per cent toxic products. This range of products is a fresh new entrant in the market and is also novel in that the products are available through online subscription and delivered to any address at an affordable price. On average a baby relies on nappies for 900 days, so Ontex makes sure that they are as efficient, comfortable and safe as possible. For example, the fluff used in the absorbent pad is nothing more than cellulose that originates from trees, it is bleached with oxygen and is guaranteed to be 100 per cent chlorine free. These new generation nappies from Ontex are also hypoallergenic, and certified to provide up to 12 hours of efficient protection, Furthermore, they are produced in a sustainable production system that uses only 100 per cent green electricity.
East and West expansion In October 2017, the Ontex Group announced that it will further expand its personal hygiene business around the world through its new stateof-the-art manufacturing facility to be built in Radomsko, Poland. This follows the success of its existing production facility in Warsaw that has been in operation for several decades. The investment is estimated to be in the region of €50 million over the next few years. Ontex aims to open a total site area of around 110,000m2, with a total industrial area of more than 24,000m2. This significant investment is expected to create around 200 jobs by the end of the year 2020. Ontex CEO Charles Bouaziz commented on the extension of Ontex’s production capacity in Poland: “To remain competitive it is important to continue investing in production capacity. The new facility in Radom-
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Textiles, Home & Personal Care
sko will help us to fulfil our growth ambitions, create job opportunities in the region, and we will make sure we continue to satisfy our expanding retailer customer and consumer base in central and eastern Europe.” In Brazil, Ontex is also driving forward its integrated manufacturing activities in order to achieve sustainable, profitable growth for the coming years in this important growth market. A comprehensive plan encompassing commercial, operational and efficiency initiatives has been established, in order to accelerate the turnaround of its Brazilian business and to achieve ongoing, strong sustainable growth.
Fastest-growing innovation pipeline Healthy nappies continue to result in healthy sales for Ontex as it announces its 2018 financial highlights. The company sees its innovation pipeline growing across all categories and in all markets, with continued growth in supply to e-commerce retailers and the start-up of its own digital initiatives programme. In addition, the company has new capacities available in adult and baby pants, with the start-up of new propriety production technology operations in Brazil. Charkles Bouaziz, Ontex CEO, commented: “This is a resilient set of half-year results amid challenging conditions and we have made good progress against our 2018 priorities. We also continued to make progress in launching innovations and ramping up capacity for faster growing, higher margin products, both of which should n increasingly serve us well in the second half of the year.” For further details of Ontex’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.ontexglobal.com Industry Europe 183
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