Volume 29/1 – 2019
Henkel invests in global innovation AGCO: Supporting sustainable agriculture A greener future for Sonoco Alcore
European aerospace: An international outlook
The Land of Lost Content Despite Coldplay, in France yellow isn’t mellow.
marche sur la glace’ said Emmanuel Macron, somewhat incongruously, as he walked across the sands of Egypt to see the temple of Abu Simbel at the end of January. But the problem wasn’t how to express France’s concern at the rather disappointing record on human rights of his host, president al-Sisi, let alone the propriety of his wife’s footwear (the British tabloids were in a lather about her trainers – ‘baskets’ in French – even though they were, naturally, Louis Vuitton). What was worrying him was yet another Saturday of chaos in the streets, of Paris and throughout France, as the gilets jaunes continued their long-running protests against, well, everything really. But especially him. This Saturday around 70,000 of the yellow vests demonstrated across the country, rather fewer than the 280,000 who launched the campaign in November. But the turnout has never been less than 30,000 and in the last two weekends it has been more than 80,000. Long-time connoisseurs of revolutionary street theatre, the French have taken to referring to the repeated protests as scenes from a drama – last Saturday’s demo was acte XI. Although Mr Macron might agree with Shakespeare’s Berowne (himself a French courtier) in ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’, that this is already too long for a play. It’s also getting more violent. Most of the gilet jaunes have been relatively peaceful from the start but there have always been plenty of ‘casseurs’ (people who like breaking things, especially shop windows) happy to join in. After all, in Paris there’s not much for disaffected young folk from la banlieue to do on a Saturday night except burn cars. But the casualties are mounting. Figures from the Interior Ministry show that some 1900 demonstrators have been injured to date as well as 1200 police. Ten people have been killed. And more than 100 official enquiries have been launched into police violence. So what are they all so fired up about? The
protests may have started over hikes in diesel taxes – the rural French didn’t see why they should have to pay for the president’s lofty ambitions to lead Europe in meeting climate change targets. They were people who were more worried about getting to pay day at the end of the month than about the state of the planet in a thousand years, as the saying went. But the discontents have multiplied. They don’t like Macron’s pension reforms or the abolition of the wealth tax, they don’t like austerity or the decline of public services in rural areas. Like the folk who voted for Trump or for Brexit, they feel they are the forgotten ones. And they have had enough.
Pas content You could see this coming even last May in La fête à Macron – a tongue in cheek name for a street party, a picnic even, to mark, without enthusiasm, the president’s first year in power. Of course that event was organised by the far left, La France Insoumise, but among all the usual banners demanding ‘Macron Must Go’, ‘Down with the President for the Rich’ and ‘A Year Too Many’ was a solitary placard proclaiming ‘Je ne suis pas content’. The French too can do understatement. Well now half the country, at least, is not happy. And it’s quite clearly not just a left wing protest anymore. Most of the yellow vests are white, lower middle-class and rural, not at all like the Parisian working class (and radical lawyers and students) who have spearheaded every previous insurrection since 1789. They have resisted attempts to hi-jack their movement by the far left and the public sector unions on the one hand and Marine Le Pen’s far right on the other. Indeed, French commentators have been intrigued by the movement’s agility in refusing to have anything to do with a general strike – the traditional recourse of left-wing protest – preferring to do their demonstrating on Saturdays and continuing to pick up their wages.
Of course, for the French, being the French, all this unhappiness can only be understood as some kind of existential crisis. Maybe a ‘crise de sociabilité’ in which the conventions of tolerance have been abandoned. Le Figaro sees France descending into a sinister circus in which everyone feels free to express without shame their fiercest passions – anger, hatred, envy, scorn. And Macron himself speaks of a wave of discontent – a dissatisfaction that is ‘sociale, économique, morale et démocratique’ and which is breaking over all western democracies. So is this the familiar populist revolt against globalisation, de-industrialisation, international capitalism, soaring income inequality, the urban elite, big tech? Probably all of that. Macron, for the yellow vests, may well be the incarnation of Davos man – an aloof, disconnected technocrat, an investment banker who knows nothing about the lives of ordinary people. Though it would be unwise to call him a ‘citizen of nowhere’ – in France, unlike in the UK, everyone is a proud citizen of somewhere – of France itself. Fraternité is as important as liberté. But there’s a distinct lack of égalite these days and many blame the president for trying with his reforms to make the gap between the winners and the losers wider. The ‘left-behind’ are changing the structure of politics across the western world. In Europe no less than in the USA, traditional conservative and social democrat parties are being pushed to the margins by populist responses to the ‘hollowing out’ of towns and villages and the anxieties of immigration in the cities. In the UK the Conservatives may have succeeded in neutralising the populist threat by embracing, however reluctantly, Brexit. But Macron came to power by breaking the parties of the centre right and left and offering himself – the man above party – as the new De Gaulle. So when people are unhappy they have non one to blame except him. Industry Europe 1
CONTENTS Editorial Director Peter Mercer
IT Support Syed Hassan
Editor Steve Gislam
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 Advertising Manager Stephen Moore
Comment 1 Opinion The Land of Lost Content 5 Bill Jamieson Strangely missing in action:
A growing economy
Aerospace & Defence Industry 6 8
Formation flying Can Europe’s aerospace giants go it alone?
Aerospace & Defence news The latest from the industry
Construction & Engineering Industry Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Eniko Kovacs Michael Hudson Oliver Clements Szidonia Hajdu
Art Director Rob Czerwinski
Katarzyna Pozoga Jurita Millere Grace Mayne
Designer Leon Esterhuizen
10 European construction: Continued growth – but risks remain high Positive news comes with warnings for
Construction & Engineering news The latest from
Transport & Logistics Industry 14
Automated logistics: A new reality How automation is
shaping the future of the transport sector
Transport & Logistics 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 24 Change from within RKW Group
Industry Europe Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 779850 Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Web: https://industryeurope.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndustryEurope
Focus on Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris
Automation & Robotics 27 Multi-axis performers Fidia 30 Experts in industrial automation and robotics AIUT 34 Delivering ‘future-proof’ logistics Vanderlande 38 Driving into the future Liebherr 41 Compounding ceramic success SITI B&T Group
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles © Industry Europe 2019 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher. INDUSTRY EUROPE LTD.
A Square Root Company
2 Industry Europe
44 48 51 54 59
AGCO rewards its key partners AGCO Super-sealed solutions ALT Technologies 3D patient-specific care Materialise Ahead of the curve Scania Pioneering smarter, cleaner full-efficiency Valtra
Chemicals & Petrochemicals 63 66 70
Adding purity to performance Nuova Solmine Winds of change INA Delivering new anti-corrosion solutions
Above: EVVA p139
Construction & Engineering 73 76 78 82
Groundswell in eco-innovation Tarkett Durability at every step Amtico First for high-performance flooring Junckers Transforming electrical system solutions
Superior tube solutions Sonoco Alcore
Energy & Utilities Above: Fidia p27 Below: AGCO p44
89 Harnessing new hydro-turbine technology Rainpower 92 Uninterrupted success Riello Group 96 Industry innovator Vexve Oy 100 Optimising liquid assets Golar LNG 103 Warming up to cold energy Angelantoni
Above: Sabaf p106 Below: Paini p117
Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC 106 Revolutionising modern appliances Sabaf 110 Smarter sound solutions GN ReSound 114 The coolest beverage technology on the market Lancer 117 Expertise on tap Paini 120 Optimising global growth potential Enics Group
Logisitics & Transport 123 The age of the dragon Newag 128 On track for growth Greenbrier-Astra Rail
Metals, Metalworking & Mining 134 Down-to-earth solutions Alcomet 139 Accessing the future EVVA 142 Centred on peripheral solutions LNS Group
Above: Alcomet p134 Below: Henkel p170
Pharmaceuticals & Medical 146 Positive progress in anti-infectives
Above: INA p66 Below: Sonoco Alcore p86
150 Yielding more Atotech
Textiles, Home & Personal Care 154 Close-up on fashion Lloyd Shoes 158 Driving nonwoven functionality forward TWE Group 162 Global leader in hygienic disposables Ontex 166 Uniquely sustainable botanic-fibre solutions
Also in this issue... 170 Leadership based on strong partnerships
Henkel Adhesive Technologies Industry Europe 3
Executive Editor of The Scotsman
Strangely missing in action: A growing economy Downbeat? That scarcely begins to describe business morale across the UK.
he UK seems to be trapped in the economic doldrums. And the forecasts are no more encouraging. Right? But also profoundly wrong. Pundits and politicians may have beaten voters into a mood of bleak despair about our economy and our prospects. Doommongering has swollen into a daily cacophony. And hope, never mind optimism, is a no-no. In such an atmosphere, what business would not by now have put expansion plans on ice and retrenched in the face of forebodings that we are heading for trauma and disruption? But coincident with this, the most extraordinary figures have been released that have gone remarkably unexplained by forecasters. Labour market figures for the three months to end November show numbers in work across the UK rising to their highest level since records began in 1971. Far from firms cutting back on hiring, they are continuing to recruit. The UK’s employment rate is now at a record 75.8 per cent. This puts the estimated number of people in the UK working, aged 16 years and older, at 32.53 million - a 328,000 increase for the same period in 2017. Private sector employment is now up by 3.8 million since 2010. Andrew Wishart, UK economist at Capital Economics, said the figures were “reassuring, showing no sign of any hit to firms’ hiring ambitions due to Brexit.” Are all the job vacancies surely not filled by now? Not a bit. There were a record 853,000 vacancies in the three months to December. Companies are desperately scrambling to find skilled labour and are apprehensive over border controls post-Brexit that may hinder the flow of badly-needed skilled migrant workers into the UK. 4 Industry Europe
The employment figures are not the only stunning piece of news on our circumstances. Pay growth across the UK has reached the highest level for a decade. Annual earnings growth climbed to 3.4 per cent in the three months to November. Workers’ real after-inflation earnings growth is also looking healthier, rising to 1.2 per cent in the three months to November from 0.1 per cent in June. As for inflation, it is now down to 2.3 per cent despite the weaker pound. What of the runaway budget deficit and concerns over the public finances that have dominated since 2007–08? While Public Sector Net Borrowing saw a year-on-year deterioration in December, this was only the second month in the first nine months of fiscal year 2018/19 that this has happened and was due to the UK’s net contribution to the European Union being £1.5 billion higher than in December 2017. The budget deficit in the first nine months of the fiscal year at £35.9 billion is down 26.7 per cent year-on-year and the best performance for 16 years.
Miracle cure Of the many predictions leading economic forecasters have got wrong in the past ten years, interest rates – that most fundamental of indicators – must rank at the top. Back in 2009, the resort to ‘emergency low’ rates was widely seen as a temporary measure: Few imagined they would last more than a year. But today interest rates are still in ‘emergency’ terrain at just 0.75 per cent – and with little expectation that they are likely to move up any time soon. A decade of interest rates below one per cent would once have been regarded as a miracle cure for our ills, lifting business and household spending and borrowing.
Indeed, if you had asked anyone a few years ago what were the key ingredients that would guarantee growth and prosperity, they would have replied: low interest rates, full employment, low inflation, low public borrowing and rising real wages. Today we have all five, though you could be forgiven for not having spotted this in the daily cascade of doom and foreboding – with the BBC to the fore. Now there is reason to be apprehensive as to what Brexit will bring. Firms have been stockpiling in the event of supply disruption and we cannot know whether the contingency plans to avoid long delays at ports and motorways will be effective. With the lack of clarity over future trade arrangements with the EU – this after two and a half years of deliberation – business frustration is understandable. Perhaps some terrible collapse is lurking just around the corner. But one cannot but wonder at this extraordinary paradox of positive economic backdrop data coincident with such gloom. It might be due to the UK’s rising population and fewer people being classed as economically inactive: the number of economically inactive people fell by 100,000 to 8.6 million, a rate of 21 per cent – the lowest on record. Has the Brexit imbroglio already discouraged migrant workers from coming to the UK? We certainly have more women in the workforce. Consumer spending, in the form of online retailing, continues to surge. And official GDP figures may be failing to capture the growth of the digital economy. But I would say it is the biggest conundrum of our age. A doctrinal pessimism has set in with Brexit – and with the attendant risk of pushing us close to recession – if not n over the edge.
Industry Europe 5
Formation flying Going it alone is not an attractive option for today’s aerospace companies – even the biggest. Murdo Morrison reports.
is hard to understate Airbus boss Tom Enders’ feelings about Brexit – particularly the no-deal version. The UK has been part of the company he runs since forming a consortium with France, Germany and Spain exactly 50 years ago to build the ‘Airbus’ widebody jet as Europe’s challenger to the USA’s airliner market dominance. In 2018, Airbus delivered a record 800 singleand twin-aisle aircraft, and, as they have for half a century, its plants in Bristol, Broughton, and now Belfast, designed and manufactured the wings for each one. Enders – who departs as chief executive in April – has never made a secret of his displeasure over the UK’s planned departure from the EU. However, in January, the German industrialist issued his strongest warning yet about what might happen after 31 March. Airbus, he said, was “not dependent on the UK” for its future, and while it could not relocate wing production lines to other parts of the world immediately, “aerospace is a long-term business and we could be forced to redirect future investments in the event of a no-deal Brexit.” With 14,000 employees in the country, Airbus is, along with BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, one of the UK’s biggest aerospace, defence and security employers, 6 Industry Europe
and an industrial asset the country could ill-afford to lose. Governments in Germany and Spain – not to mention China – have long harboured ambitions to usurp the UK’s privileged role. As Enders noted: “Make no mistake – there are plenty of countries out there who would love to build the wings for Airbus aircraft.” How seriously to take Enders’ threat? While some Brexiteer MPs dismissed it as ‘project fear’, UK ministers enjoy little leverage when it comes to future Airbus investment decisions. Neither the state nor any British company is a shareholder in the group, with the majority of its shares now floating freely on various European stock exchanges. On the other hand, wing production is about more than simply bolting and shipping large sheets of metal – it involves design expertise and intellectual property that has evolved in the country over decades. The UK’s – and now Airbus’s – wing production capabilities include Bombardier’s factory in Belfast after the European group finalised a deal to acquire the Canadian company’s ailing CSeries programme in mid-2018. The 110- to 130-seat airliner, now renamed the A220 as part of the A-prefixed Airbus range, will continue to be assembled in Mirabel, near Montreal, and now also in Airbus’s new factory in Mobile, Alabama. The Belfast
plant, still owned by Bombardier, will go on supplying the composite wings. Bombardier – which also makes aerostructures for business and regional jets in Northern Ireland – sees the Airbus takeover of the A220 as an opportunity to win a role on the European manufacturer’s successor to the fast selling A320neo narrowbody, likely to launch next decade. Airbus has begun a ‘Wing of tomorrow’ research and development project, and, Brexit outcomes permitting, Bombardier believes its expertise designing and building the A220’s innovative carbonfibre wing could give it an edge over Airbus’s in-house facilities. Across Europe – and throughout the global supply chain – the success of Airbus and Boeing in the commercial aircraft market has been good news, as well as challenging, for the industry. During 2018, the big two broke output records, delivering just over 1600 airliners between them. However, as both manufacturers continue to ramp-up to monthly production rates of over 60 units to fulfil a combined order backlog of over 10,000 just for their A320neo and 737 Max narrowbody families, suppliers are under pressure to keep up the pace. One worrying sign, however, is a 20 per cent drop in net orders over the previous year. While demand for airliners remains strong in
historic terms – particularly in Asia – there is anecdotal evidence that some of the recent breakneck expansion in the airline world may be slowing, with wobbles in the Chinese economy, and some of the big buyers of recent years, such as European low-cost airline Norwegian, reporting financial strains. How far this erodes these giant backlogs over the next two or three years remains to be seen.
M&A activity continues Last year saw the usual whirl of mergers and acquisitions in the aerospace industry. While 2018’s biggest industrial marriage – that of US corporates United Technologies and Rockwell Collins – affects subsidiaries in the UK and France, M&A activity among European-owned companies included the finally completed absorption by France’s biggest aerospace company Safran of airliner interiors specialist Zodiac, and Melrose Industries’ hostile takeover of UK engineering group GKN. Zodiac, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of airliner seats, had been a prime example of how supply chain problems can quickly impact the ability of aircraft manufacturers to hit demanding output schedules. Between 2015 and 2017, quality hitches at the French company led to delays in airliner deliveries and stinging criticism from the then-chief executive of Airbus’s commercial division. Safran, which also makes engine systems and landing gear, believes it has brought these problems under control. Turnaround specialist Melrose’s swoop for GKN came as a surprise to many who had been impressed by the UK firm’s transition from a diversified engineering concern to a key Airbus partner with major investments in the aircraft manufacturer’s wing facilities. One concern is whether Melrose – known for extracting maximum value from its subsidiaries – will be prepared to take the long-term gambles necessary to secure risk-sharing positions on future Airbus and Boeing programmes. In March of last year, Tom Williams, chief operating officer at Airbus, GKN’s largest customer, said that “a commitment to longterm investment and strategic vision” was necessary within the top tier of the aerospace supply chain, something he saw as incompatible with typical venture capital or
restructuring ownership. “It would be practically impossible for us to give any new work to GKN under such an ownership model, when we don’t know who will be the longterm investor,” he said. With Airbus building helicopters and now airliners in the USA, its arch-rival established its first proper industrial footprint in Europe last year by opening a production facility in Sheffield – albeit, with around 50 employees, a modest one. Although the American company touts the size of its supplier base on this side of the Atlantic, it is often criticised for its limited direct investment relative to the contracts it secures for its defence products, particularly in the UK.
China on the move China – for more than a decade one of the most dynamic airliner markets for Airbus and Boeing – has slowly been making its presence felt on the aerospace side of the equation. Initially focusing on lower labour cost production of components for European and North American manufacturers, the country now harbours ambitions to take on its West at its own game, with Comac’s recently-flown C919, a narrowbody competitor to the A320neo and 737 Max, as well as a long-haul airliner being developed with Russia. Chinese companies have also been investing in European aerospace companies. Early in 2018, Wangfeng Aviation bought Diamond Aircraft of Austria, a family firm that made its name producing light aircraft flown by enthusiasts but also in demand in markets such as China to provide training for airline pilots. Interestingly, Diamond has also been moving increasingly into the higher-margin, ‘special mission’ market, designing, in partnership with defence companies, manned and unmanned versions of its aircraft for aerial surveillance. Other businesses now with Chinese nameplates over the door include UK passenger seat manufacturers Thompson and Acro, as well as FACC and AIM Altitude, which specialise in cabin fittings. Once the in-house maintenance, repair and overhaul department of Swissair in Zurich, SR Technics is now owned by China’s HNA Group. Meanwhile, UK parts manufacturer Gardner Aerospace is expanding into China after being bought by mining concern SLMR.
Defence questions While a messy Brexit may have repercussions for the UK’s – and Europe’s – commercial aircraft sector, the UK’s departure may also affect cross-border relationships in the defence industry. BAE Systems is a partner in the European Eurofighter Typhoon military fighter, and a shareholder in missile house MBDA, but European defence activities have been much less integrated than in the airliner world, with nations such as France, the UK, and even Sweden keen to preserve their national capabilities. At a time of falling budgets and mounting programme costs, however, this self-reliance has proved harder to sustain. France maintains Dassault Aviation – maker of the Rafale fighter as well as the Falcon range of corporate jets – as its industrial champion, while the UK has BAE, also a partner in the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme, for which London is a major customer. When it comes to developing a 2030s successor to the Eurofighter, the question is whether the UK and/or France will join forces with the likes of Germany, Italy, and Spain. At July’s Farnborough air show, the UK government and BAE unveiled a full-scale mockup of what a next-generation UK fighter might look like. Dubbed the Tempest, the country’s defence secretary Gavin Williamson said it was part of a strategy “to keep control of the air, both at home and abroad [and] remain a global leader in the sector.” However, while the project is designed to show off UK capabilities, the country is inviting international participation in any future programme. In defence, as in the commercial airliner sphere, going it alone in aerospace for any European nation is not a prospect that many n view with enthusiasm.
Industry Europe 7
New developments in the Aerospace & Defence industry
Boeing to modernise entire Spanish Chinook helicopter fleet
oeing is to upgrade all 17 of Spain’s CH-47D Chinook helicopters to the F-model configuration, adding features such as the digital automatic flight control system, common avionics architecture system and advanced cargo handling to align that country’s fleet with those of other nations. This is the first order from a non-US customer placed through a contract Boeing and the US Army signed in July. That contract covers six new F-models for the US and options for up to 150 more Chinooks for US and international customers. Deliveries to Spain begin in 2021. The CH-47F is a twin-engine, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter. In addition to the US Army and Special Operations Forces, Chinooks are currently in service or under contract with 19 international defence forces. It can fly at speeds exceeding 175mph and carry payloads greater than 21,000 lbs. In 2017. Visit: www.boeing.com
Construction begins on Airbus’ US A220 manufacturing facility
irbus’ manufacturing growth in the United States has advanced another step in Mobile, Alabama, as construction of the company’s A220 manufacturing facility officially launched with a groundbreaking ceremony. The assembly line will satisfy the strong and growing US demand for the A220 aircraft, the newest offering in Airbus’ commercial aircraft product line. The new assembly line, which is the company’s second US-based commercial aircraft production facility, will be located at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley adjacent to the A320 family production line and will facilitate assembly of A220-100 and A220-300 aircraft for US customers. Aircraft production is planned to begin in Q3 2019, with the first delivery of a mobile-assembled A220 aircraft scheduled for 2020. The new A220 production facilities will be complete by next year. The A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100–150 seat market; it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and true widebody comfort in a single-aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-ofthe-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20% lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. With a range of up to 3200 nm (5920 km), the A220 offers the performance of larger singleaisle aircraft. Visit: www.airbus.com
Second SAAB GlobalEye takes to the sky
he second GlobalEye aircraft took off for the first time on 3 January from Saab’s airfield in Linköping. GlobalEye, which is based on a modified Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft with a suite of advanced sensors including the Erieye ER airborne radar, undertook a test flight collecting flight-test data. The flight duration was 2 hours 54 minutes. “Today’s successful first flight is another major step for GlobalEye. We received the initial
contract in late 2015, completed the maiden flight with the first aircraft in March 2018 and now we have the second aircraft in the air just over nine months later. This is the kind of efficiency that signifies Saab,” says Anders Carp, head of Saab’s business area Surveillance. GlobalEye brings extended detection range, endurance and the ability to perform multiple roles, including tasks such as search and rescue, border surveillance and military operations.
Monitoring plant health from Space
photosynthetic activity. Thales Alenia Space is the programme’s prime contractor and has also signed a novation agreement to integrate the contract that ESA awarded to Leonardo in 2016 concerning the development of the FLORIS instrument. The overall contract is worth approximately €150 million. Thales Alenia Space will be leading a consortium for the FLEX programme. Thales
hales Alenia Space has signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to lead the Fluorescence Explorer (FLEX) satellite mission. FLEX was selected in 2015 as ESA’s eighth Earth Explorer mission, and is scheduled for launch in 2023. It will make use of an innovative instrument, named FLORIS, to map the Earth’s vegetation fluorescence to quantify
8 Industry Europe
The launch customer for GlobalEye is United Arab Emirates, where the solution is known as the Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS). Visit: www.saab.com
Alenia Space in the UK will be in charge of the satellite propulsion system, as well as assembly, integration and testing (AIT). Thales Alenia Space in Spain will provide the radio-frequency subsystem, including X-band and S-band transponders, and RUAG will contribute to the design and production of the platform. Visit: www.thales.com
INDUSTRYNEWS GKN Aerospace announces new £32m Global Technology Centre in Bristol
KN Aerospace’s new Global Technology Centre in the UK – funded by a £17m commitment from GKN Aerospace and a £15m commitment
from the UK Government, through the Aerospace Technology Institute – is expected to open in 2020. Once open the 10,000 square metre facillity will host 300 highly skilled engineers, and will include collaborative space for research and development with universities, the UK’s CATAPULT network and GKN Aerospace’s UK supply chain. The centre will focus on additive manufacturing (AM), advanced composites, assembly and industry
4.0 processes to enable the high rate production of aircraft structures. The GTC will maintain GKN Aerospace’s position at the forefront of technology development for the next generation of energy efficient aircraft. The facility will serve as a base for GKN Aerospace’s technology partnership in the Airbus’ ‘Wing of Tomorrow’ technology programme as well as new additive manufacturing programmes. Visit: www.gkn.com
ATR and Aurigny confirm order for three ATR 72-600s A
TR and Aurigny have confirmed the acquisition of three ATR 72-600 aircraft, following approval from the States of Guernsey and after the initial signature of a Letter of Intention at the Farnborough Airshow, in July 2018. The first aircraft will be delivered in August 2019 and all three will be equipped with the new ClearVisionTM Enhanced Vision System (EVS), with Aurigny the launch customer for this cutting-edge technology. ClearVisionTM uses an external camera to display an augmented outside-view in real-time to a head-mounted visor, worn by the pilot with the EVS improving significantly the pilot’s vision. This is a major change for Aurigny’s crew as Guernsey’s location in the English Channel sees its flight operations regularly affected by fog, leading to disruptions for passengers. A study showed that an ATR
Safran is proud to power the Bell Nexus
he first application of the Safran HybridElectric Propulsion System (HEPS), the Bell Nexus, was officially unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The propulsion solution of this multi-rotor vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft is capable of producing more than 600kWe power.
equipped with the ClearVisionTM EVS could have saved 50% of the disrupted landings in Guernsey, over the period of a year. ClearVisionTM will also enhance operations into other destinations served by Aurigny. Stefano Bortoli CEO of ATR said: “ATR’s aim is always to develop solutions that will have genuine impact for our operators and also on the travel experience of their passengers. Aurigny’s new ATRs, equipped with ClearVision™, will reduce delays and cancellations for its passengers. To have Aurigny as the launch customer for this technology is the perfect seal of approval for its effectiveness. We are proud that our latest-generation ATRs equipped with this cutting-edge solution will provide improved connectivity for the people of Guernsey.” Visit: www.atr-aircraft.com
“This partnership with Bell in the ondemand mobility sector is a strategic opportunity for Safran,” said Jean-Baptiste Jarin, Safran Helicopter Engines Vice-President, Hybrid Propulsion System Program. “Nexus is the first of a new breed of aircraft; it opens the doors to new markets and new missions.” HEPS works by distributing thermal and/or electrical energy, depending on the phase of
First flight for Czech L-39NG
he first pre-serial L-39NG trainer and light attack aircraft with serial number 7001 made its first flight on 22nd December, at Aero Vodochody Airport. The new generation of the Czech jet trainer climbed up to 5000 ft. and after 26 minutes successfully landed at Aero Vodochody. “This pre-series first flight represents a significant milestone sending an important message to our customers: We can fully fulfil our commitments and we will be ready to deliver the first aircraft in the first quarter of 2020,” said Giuseppe Giordo, President & CEO of AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE. The L-39NG is a single-engine two-seater with staggered seating and an advanced cockpit design that includes full glass cockpit, a sophisticated on board virtual training system and a Helmet Mounted Display. The L-39NG is a key component of an innovative training concept developed by Aero that includes state-of-the-art ground-based training facilities, new learning methods and environment and extensive use of Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence technologies. Visit: www.aero.cz
flight, to multiple rotors. It comprises three sub-systems: electric generation that relies on a turbo-generator and batteries, electric power management and the electric motors that generate lift and propulsion. Visit: www.safran-group.com
Industry Europe 9
One of the most exciting projects pending in Europe is the Fehmarn Link, a proposed road and rail tunnel under the Baltic between Germany and Denmark.
European CONSTRUCTION: ContinuED growth – but risks remain high The European construction sector has enjoyed a period of good health over the last three years, but too often the industry has made the headlines for the wrong reasons.
rowth in the European construction sector moved at a good clip from 2016 to 2018 according to the Eurconstruct group of economic forecasters. The fastest expansion was in 2017 when construction output rose by 4.1 per cent, with the rare occurrence of the 19 largest national construction markets in Europe all growing at once, some by impressive double-digit amounts. This period was arguably the first time the segment has been in good health since the global economic crisis a decade ago. Growth is expected to be more subdued over the next few years, but Euroconstruct sees the expansion remaining at 2.0 per cent this year before slowing in 2020 and 2021 as rates of GDP growth dip and the European economy slows. The surge in output over the last few years was driven by high levels of new housebuildEngineers are exploring the feasibility of a floating tunnel across the Sognefjord in Norway.
10 Industry Europe
ing, particularly in Germany. However, with that force now spent, activity in the residential building market is expected to pivot more towards repair & maintenance work from this year onwards. The non-residential building market has been more subdued, partly because a large part of this segment is driven by under-pressure public sector budgets. In the private sector, a big portion of this segment is accounted for by offices. This is an area which is expected to suffer particularly badly in the UK following Brexit due to the anticipated migration of jobs, slowing of the economy and the decrease in investment. On the positive side, the outlook for the civil engineering segment is for strong and perhaps increasing growth. Although this is an area which is also heavily influenced by national and local government budgets, there is money available for road and rail renovation in particular around Europe. In addition, the sector benefits from significant EU-level funding, the main vehicle for which is the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). CEF applies to a number of sectors, the most important for construction being the Trans-European Network transport (TEN-T) schemes, for which €24.05 billion is available in the CEF budget for 2014–2020. At just over €3.4 billion per year, that is not a great deal in
the context of total European construction output, which the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) put at €1.28 trillion in 2016. However, the key point about CEF is that it provides support for schemes which might otherwise not be viable. According to the European Commission website, CEF funds were used to support 75 projects across Europe. The level of support from CEF tends to be around 20 per cent of total project costs making it a significant stimulus for the industry. CEF projects are not necessarily large but they often are. These major schemes have significant positive impact for the industry as a whole.
Infrastructure opportunities Europe is a developed region with a largely complete infrastructure network, so the industry tends to be focused on repair & maintenance, rather than major new build schemes. This means that when a major project comes along it is great news for construction companies. Certainly the UK’s High Speed 2 (HS2) project falls into this category. With the main civil engineering work due to get underway this year, this new rail link between London, Birmingham and beyond should give the industry a significant lift. Having said that, there was concern at the start of this year that HS2 could be cancelled despite design and enabling works being underway. Liz Truss,
Construction of the UK’s High Speed 2 rail link should get underway in earnest this year, although threats loom from a government spending review.
Omniturm is a new 190m-high skyscraper in Frankfurt which is due for completion this year. It is billed as Germany’s first true mixed-use high-rise, offering office, residential and public spaces.
Drone technology has potential in the construction industry for applications such as surveying, particularly of remote sites. Embracing this, Austria’s largest contractor, Strabag, has set up a new business unit to handle digital surveying and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) opportunities.
the UK’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury (a senior ministerial position) seemed to signal the scheme could be scrapped under a government spending review she is leading. Elsewhere in Europe the news is better for schemes like the Grand Paris project to extend and better connect the Paris metropolitan area. Among the construction elements are three new metro lines comprising 200km of track and 75 stations to be built at an estimated cost of €32.5 billion. Another key project moving slowly towards implementation is the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link, an 18km tunnel in the Baltic Sea to link northern Germany to the Danish island of Lolland. Conceived in the early 2000s, the tentative plan at the time was for the link to be completed in 2018. It says something about the difficulty of advancing such projects that the current timeline is for construction to start in 2020, with completion in 2028. Money is of course a major concern on a project this size. In 2009 the costs, which were to be met predominantly by the Danish government, were estimated at DKK 42 billion (about €5 billion). The latest estimate is DKK 52 billion (about €7 billion) including a reserve. Another significant project in Northern Europe is the Stockholm Bypass scheme, which broke ground in 2015 and which will see some 21km of major roads – 18km of which will be in tunnels – added to the city over ten years to alleviate traffic. And besides these major schemes there are others around Europe on the drawing board or moving towards execution. These include a 50km tunnel in the Baltic between the Finnish and Estonian capitals of Helsinki and Tallin, which is currently at the feasibility study stage. Also under consideration is the highly experimental concept of a floating tunnel across the Sognefjord in Norway.
It is no coincidence that many of these major schemes are in northern Europe. Although returning to health, the construction markets in southern Europe are not what they were in the 2000s prior to the global crisis, and there is a marked lack of major schemes. The causes are relatively weak economies and a lack of the EU funds which were a huge driver of growth in the 1990s and 2000s, but which have since been refocused on newer member states in central and eastern Europe.
Making headlines Despite a good business climate, the construction sector remains dogged by familiar problems. The low margin and litigious nature of construction contracting is a constant issue for the industry, which can contribute to corporate failures. High-risk/low profit contracts combined with excessive debt contributed to the UK’s second biggest contractor, Carillion, falling into bankruptcy just over a year ago. Meanwhile in Italy, one of the country’s largest general contractors Astaldi filed for protection against its creditors in October having already sold off assets to shore-up its financial position. It had been in difficulty since November 2017 following a €230 million write-down on a major Venezuelan scheme. Meanwhile, Condotte d’Acqua, another large Italian contractor, secured a €190 million government bailout in December to stave off bankruptcy as a result of its huge debts. Incidentally, the company was the original builder from 1963–1967 of the Morandi Bridge which collapsed in Genoa in August last year killing 43 people. The causes of the tragedy are still being investigated. Some theories point to a structural failure due to corrosion – a lack of proper maintenance in other words – but a landslide or even a lightning strike may have triggered the collapse.
Back in the UK, both Kier and Interserve have been under huge pressure to cut their debt, while Spanish contractor Ferrovial is believed to be looking for a buyer for its UK subsidiary Amey following a cost dispute on a long-term road maintenance contract in Birmingham. The persistent problem for contractors is that because margins are so slim, writedowns, delays or cost overruns on a single major project can be fatal. These were major factors in both Carillion’s and Astaldi’s downfalls, and history is littered with many more examples – overruns and disputes on Wembley Stadium took down Australian contractor Multiplex, while a succession of losses in the late 1990s and early 2000s forced John Laing to sell its once mighty construction business to much smaller rival O’Rourke for a humiliating £1. But doing well can have its downsides too. The UK housebuilding sector has enjoyed strong growth over the last three years. This led to Jeff Fairburn, the chief executive of one of the sector’s largest residential building specialists, Persimmon, receiving a £75 million (€83 million) bonus in 2018, making him the UK’s highest paid executive. The payment was particularly controversial as some of the houses Persimmon builds receive partial government funding under a scheme to help first time buyers afford their first home. In what could only be described as a PR disaster, Mr Fairburn walked out of a live TV interview when quizzed about his bonus, and was asked to resign by the company’s board as a result of the furore. So while the European construction industry is in reasonable health and offers opportunities, companies in the sector can often be their own n worst enemies. Industry Europe 11
New developments in the Construction & Engineering industry
HOCHTIEF secures STRABAG receives contract for modernisation of D1 motorway in Czechia major contract for
consortium including STRABAG a.s., a subsidiary of European construction group STRABAG, has been awarded the contract for the modernisation of the D1 motorway in the Czech Republic. The contract, which has a total value of CZK 1.88 billion (€72.7 million),
comprises the complete renewal of the cement concrete surface of the D1 motorway between Velký Beranov and Měřín. The total section to be modernised measures 14.8km in length. Completion is scheduled within a project period of three years. Working on the project are the consortium leader STRABAG and its two partner companies Metrostav a.s. and EUROVIA CS a.s. “As one of the leading companies in the Czech transportation infrastructures sector, we have already proven our expertise in projects such as the construction of the D3 motorway linking Prague with the Austrian border,” says STRABAG SE CEO Thomas Birtel. Visit: www.strabag.cz
Vinci completes La Marseillaise tower A
new feature of the Marseille city skyline and its waterfront, La Marseillaise – funded by property developer Constructa and designed by architect Jean Nouvel – marks the second phase of the major project to regenerate the Quais d’Arenc. At 135m in height, La Marseillaise offers 35,000m² of office space on 31 floors. It also boasts a shared company restaurant, a 26-place crèche and five ground floor retail units. With completion of the La Marseillaise tower, VINCI Construction France – working through its local subsidiaries GTM Sud and Travaux du Midi – confirms its expertise in tower construction and major projects that deliver cutting-edge technical performance in dense urban surroundings. This technical feat has been achieved within what is a very restricted site environment. Constructed at the edge of the sea on exceptionally rocky land, exposed to sea winds and bounded by a rail line and an urban motorway, La Marseillaise is both a technical and innovative achievement. Visit: www.vinci.com
Skanska builds tunnel in Norway
kanska Norway has signed a contract with the Norwegian Public Road Authority (NPRA) to build a tunnel on E69 in Finnmark county, Norway. The contract is worth about NOK 622 million. The project includes the 3.5km-long Skarvberg tunnel and an additional 3.8km of new road. The project aims to secure
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the highly exposed road section of the E69 towards Nordkapp against avalanches. In addition to the new tunnel, Skanska will build two major avalanche embankments to secure the road. Construction starts in April 2019. The new tunnel will open by the autumn of 2021. Skanska is one of the leading development and construction companies in the Nordics, with
part of the new suburban railway trunk route Munich
ogether with its partner Implenia, HOCHTIEF has secured a contract from Deutsche Bahn (German Federal Railway) for the second trunk route of the suburban railway in Munich. The joint venture (JV), under the technical leadership of Implenia, will build the central station Marienhof. The contract volume is approximately €400 million, whereby the two companies each have a 50% participation in the JV. The second trunk route envisages an additional underground inner-city link, which runs roughly parallel to the first trunk route in the centre of Munich, which opened in 1972. The project, for which the overall construction work began in 2017, runs for a length of around ten kilometres and is designed to increase capacities on the very busy route. “We are pleased to implement this sophisticated and demanding tunnel construction project on behalf of Deutsche Bahn in cooperation with Implenia. Together with our reliable partner, we are combining many years of experience and infrastructure construction expertise in Munich,” commented Riku Tauriainen, Business Unit Manager of Civil Germany at HOCHTIEF Infrastructure. Visit: www.hoctief.com operations in building construction and civil engineering in Sweden, Norway and Finland, and developing residential and commercial property projects in select home markets. Visit: www.group.skanska.com
INDUSTRYNEWS YIT to sign a contract on Greece’s GEK Terna signs €262 new wastewater treatment million Belgrade airport overhaul deal plant in Stockholm, Sweden reek construction company GEK Terna has tion and refurbishment works at Belgrade’s Nikola
IT and Stockholm Vatten AB have signed an agreement on new infrastructure work in Henriksdal wastewater treatment plant in Stockholm, Sweden. The work will begin in February 2019 and will be completed in December 2023. The value of the contract is approximately €60 million. The contract covers earth works, concrete work, rock engineering of the plant as well as installation work for underground wastewater systems. YIT will be responsible for the interior of the tunnel that will be the basis of the new wastewater treatment technology in the plant. YIT will also renovate and improve capacity of the entire sludge treatment process. The largest part of the contract includes the construction of a new sludge separation building including auxiliary equipment. The operation of the existing plant will be ongoing throughout the construction period. The Henriksdal wastewater treatment plant is the largest in Sweden and one of the largest in Europe. It serves approximately one million people and treats approx. 2/3 of the municipal wastewater of the Stockholm area. It is also one of the world’s largest wastewater treatment plants located inside rock. Visit: www.vitgroup.com
First tower crane arrives as HS2 prepares to demolish Euston towers
ork to transform Euston station and deliver extra capacity as part of the HS2 project has taken a very visible step forward, with the arrival, on the London skyline, of the project’s first tower cranes. Delivered last week and assembled over four days, this 66m-high crane is one of three
signed a €262 million ($297.7 million) contract with France’s Vinci Airports for construc-
Tesla airport. Under the terms of the deal, GEK Terna will be in charge of building a new passenger terminal with a total surface area of 42,000m2, refurbishing existing terminal facilities with a total surface area of 15,000m2, building a new 3500m-long runway and upgrading the existing 3400m runway. GEK Terna will also expand the existing apron and build new apron infrastructure with a total surface area of 55,000m2, expand the existing deicing pads with a surface area of 6000m2 and build new car parks with 2400 parking spaces. Visit: www.gekterna.com
Bouygues Travaux Publics is chosen to construct phase four of the Istria motorway in Croatia
he Bina Istra concession company has awarded Bouygues Travaux Publics, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction, a contract to widen to four lanes of a 28.1km stretch of the Istria Motorway, located in a peninsula in north-western Croatia. The contract is worth €167.1 million. Jean-Philippe Trin, CEO of Bouygues Travaux Publics, said: “We are proud that our customer has entrusted us with the construction of the fourth phase of the Istria Motorway, following phases 1A, 1B and 2A. This contract underlines recognition of Bouygues Travaux Publics’ expertise in motorway construction projects, not only in France but also in other countries.” Bouygues Travaux Publics is responsible for phase 2B1, which covers the upgrading of the stretch between Rogovići, in the west of the peninsula, and Vranja, in the east, turning it into
in the Euston area and comes a week after the completion of the station’s new taxi rank, which opened to the public on 6 January. Together, this progress allows HS2 to push ahead with the demolition of One Euston Square and Grant Thornton House, which stand above the entrance and exit to Euston’s old underground taxi rank. Expected to take around 10 months to complete,
a 4-lane dual carriageway toll road. Works on the first 11.6km section, between Rogovići and Cerovlje, got under way in November 2018 and are due to be completed in November 2020. Works on the 16.5km section from Cerovlje to Vranja, along with the construction of a rest area, will begin in November 2019, with handover set for November 2021. The new stretch of the Istria Motorway also includes the construction of 11 viaducts. Visit: www.bouygues-construction.com
their demolition will be the biggest change to the Euston skyline for almost 50 years. HS2’s early works contractor, a Costain and Skanska joint venture (CSjv), working with expert subcontractors McGee, are already at work, stripping out the interiors and erecting the scaffolding that will support acoustic screening around the buildings. Visit: www.costain.com Industry Europe 13
Autonomous logistics technologies, from warehouse automation to augmented reality and self-driving vehicles, are revolutionising the way manufacturers move goods from place to place, increasing efficiency, improving safety standards and reducing environmental footprints. Industry Europe looks at just some of the biggest trends of recent years.
A new reality T
he market for autonomous logistics systems is growing rapidly. According to the ‘Logistics Automation Market by Component’ report by Research and Markets, the global logistics automation market is expected to grow from USD 46.22 billion to USD 80.64 billion by 2023. This anticipated boom can be explained by numerous factors: the continued growth of the e-commerce industry, robotics advancements and the emergence of IoT, amongst others. The growing sophistication of driverless vehicles and drones is also playing a vital role in automating logistics processes.
Warehouse automation In warehousing facilities throughout Europe, humans and robots are working increasingly 14 Industry Europe
closely together. One high-profile example of this is at online retail giant Amazon’s Winsen centre in Hamburg, where robots are being use to help with stock-picking. As yet, this technology is by no means the norm as the majority of facilities across Europe are still manually operated. But as demand for staff rises thanks to the growing popularity of e-commerce, many European countries are facing labour shortages; according to research from Oxford Economics, working age populations are expected to fall in countries such as Germany, Poland and Spain up to 2031. Increased warehouse automation could be a viable solution to this. And this is also where collaborative robots (‘cobots’) come in. Increasingly, they are working alongside humans on repetitive
tasks – such as unpacking and inspection – to keep warehouses running more smoothly and eliminate errors. For example, automation technology specialist Swisslog’s AutoPiQ solution has robots picking items with humans finishing off the job. German logistics company DHL’s Sawyer robot, meanwhile, has articulated arms and suction grabbers to help pack products.
Augmented reality Emerging computer vision and machine learning technologies are helping warehouse employees to identify where a product is located at a faster pace than could otherwise be achieved. Augmented reality applications could streamline the time it takes to identify packages. A mobile app
or wearable device can provide information about the type of goods being transported, the weight of a package, whether it is fragile, etc. The device could then calculate the space needed for the package in the vehicle as well as displaying digital directions for the immediate environment. Such augmented reality technology could greatly reduce the cost of warehousing operations in future. For example, German logistics company DHL has successfully implemented its mobile AR ‘Vision Picking’ system in warehouses around the world. These smart glasses provide visual displays of order picking instructions along with information on where items are located and where they need to be placed on a cart, thus freeing up pickers’ hands and enabling them to work more efficiently. According to Eric Abbruzzese, principal analyst at ABI Research Logistics, which in late 2017 produced a report on ‘Augmented Reality in Warehousing and Logistics’: “More universal AR use cases, including maintenance and repair, training, and navigation, can be incredibly useful in various parts of the logistic market. While device concerns around comfort, battery, usability, and robustness
do persist, advancements in smart glasses, as well as the quickly growing AR-powered mobile device space, promise to lessen these concerns over time.”
Self-driving vehicles The development of autonomous vehicles for logistics is also a global trend; in the years to come we may well see long-distance heavy autonomous trucks transporting goods all over the continent. Forbes has projected that more than 250 million smart vehicles as well as 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road by 2020. Volvo Group already has a fully automated truck operating in the Kristineberg mine in Sweden, and has also demonstrated a fully driverless truck in China that can drive between delivery hubs without the need for a human operator. But there have inevitably been concerns about this technology – not just from a safety perspective but on the part of truck drivers who see it as a threat to their livelihoods. In a May 2017 report, the ITF predicted that up to 4.4 million of the 6.4 million professional trucking jobs in the US and Europe could be eliminated by autonomous technology. As with many other sectors where automation is likely to play a key role
in the future, the fear of the robots coming to take over humans’ jobs is a very real one. But a complete transformation to fully automated trucks is likely to be slow. Closer than total autonomy is the possibility of trucks driving themselves part of the time, with assistance from humans. ‘Platooning’ technology, for example, involves trucks owned by a single company synchronising their braking on motorways to enable them to drive far closer together than would normally be safe. The benefits of this are reduced air resistance and lower fuel consumption. Off the road, automated guided vehicles equipped with lasers and cameras can also be used in warehouses or logistics hubs to move and sense hazards – meaning a reduced need for investment in tracks or guide lanes. For example, back in 2015 The Hook in Rotterdam became the first shipping terminal to open a fully automated shipyard – the Maasvlakte II, or MVII Shipyard – using smart sensors powered by wind and other renewable energy sources to move cargo efficiently. While there are still many issues to be addressed, not least of which is safety, there’s no doubt that autonomous vehicles will be playing a significant role in the future n of the global logistics industry.
Industry Europe 15
New developments in the Transport & Logistics industry
GreyOrange launching new flexible automation products
obotics and warehouse automation company, GreyOrange, is set to launch its new modular sortation system and demonstrate upgraded versions of its Butler and PickPal. Today, retailers and logistics businesses face many new kinds of complexities and challenges due to the unprecedented growth in volumes, combined with the volatility of peak periods and increased pressure to cut operational costs. GreyOrange will
present a portfolio of AI-powered solutions that it says bring Flexible Automation to life; it reduces complexities and delivers maximum productivity, from inventory management and picking to sortation. Sid Chatterjee, Vice-President, Products, GreyOrange, said, “The GreyOrange solution portfolio offers a strong business case for Flexible Automation. In the past year it has been adopted globally by industry-leading players in retail, 3PL and e-commerce.” The new GreyOrange modular sortation system comprises modular components that it says deliver significantly higher throughput per unit area, improving space utilisation and reducing operating costs. The AI-enabled robotics system can be easily scaled, making it more investmentfriendly and usable for a range of applications across retail and logistics industries. Visit: www.greyorange.com
BEUMER lands $33 million contract at Queen Beatrix International Airport
EUMER Group has signed an agreement with Aruba Airport Authority N.V. for the design and installation of a $33 million, high-speed baggage transportation and sortation system at Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport. The installation, which also includes BEUMER’s residential programme for on-site operation and maintenance, is part of the airport’s Gateway 2030 expansion and modernisation program. The baggage handling system (BHS) features a tote-based CrisBag® high speed baggage transportation and sortation system, with integration to a full TSA-compliant EDS screening system with intote screening functionality, and a Baggage Image Weight Identification System (BIWIS) to streamline the airport’s US pre-clearance process. The new system will eliminate the requirement to reclaim checked luggage and undergo a second passenger screening process which
Rhenus to take over Core Management Logistics
uropean forwarder Rhenus Logistics has continued its programme of UK growth, through the acquisition of 3PL provider Core Management Logistics (CML). The deal sees Rhenus Warehouse Solutions Europe acquire the Leicestershire-based business, which specialises in warehousing, pre-retail, freight
16 Industry Europe
presently is in place for U.S. travellers. Additionally, the new system will allow US and non-US bound flights to operate from a common-use check-in facility. Aruba Airport handles approximately 2.8 million passengers annually, with 67 percent coming from the United States. Installation will begin in Q3 of 2020, with completion expected in Q2 of 2021 in coordination with the opening of the Gateway 2030 project construction phase 1. Visit: www.beumergroup.com
forwarding and distribution services for the UK market. CML currently occupies more than 45,000m2 of warehousing space, across three facilities, on Lutterworth’s Magna Park, one of Europe’s largest distribution parks. CML provides customers with flexible warehousing, multi-channel fulfilment, valueadded services and international freight forwarding solutions.
Kalmar AutoRTG system gains ground in Europe
almar, part of Cargotec, has won a tender to supply a complete AutoRTG system to Belfast Container Terminal (BCT) in Northern Ireland. The system will comprise eight automated rubber-tyred gantry cranes (AutoRTGs) controlled by the Kalmar Terminal Logistic System (TLS) and new-generation remote control (RC) desks. Belfast Container Terminal (BCT), the largest in Northern Ireland, is owned by and located in Belfast Harbour and is operated under concession by Irish Continental Group. The AutoRTG system will replace the manually operated rail-mounted gantry crane (RMG) system currently in use at the terminal. The cranes at BCT will operate fully automated within the container stack, receiving orders from the Kalmar TLS which performs planning, routing and execution for all operations based on orders from the terminal operating system (TOS). Crane gantry operation will be automated with supervision from the operator at the RC desk in the control room. Truck handling will be remote controlled, and the system will feature a truck positioning system to ensure accurate alignment of trucks under the RTGs. As part of the project scope, Kalmar will be responsible for the integrations between the TLS, the TOS and other relevant systems. Visit: www.kalmarglobal.com CML’s warehouse provision is aimed at the UK’s growing e-commerce sector. CML is also the UK’s only provider of Green GOH, a garment-on-hanger solution for the transportation of hanging garments in containers. Rhenus also operates logistics centres in Germany, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands and Poland. Visit: www.rhenus.com
INDUSTRYNEWS Kuehne + Nagel opens Slovenia’s biggest pharma & healthcare warehouse
witzerland-based logistics company Kuehne + Nagel has opened the largest pharma and healthcare warehouse in Slovenia, strategically located at Brnik, close to the country’s capital, Ljubljana. The new facility will distribute finished products worldwide and will be used for the storage and distribution of production materials for the pharmaceutical industry. “The pharma and healthcare industry is among the most important growth drivers for Kuehne + Nagel,” said Gianfranco Sgro, member of the managing board of Kuehne + Nagel International, and responsible for contract logistics. “Therefore, it is of strategic importance to further strengthen our integrated KN PharmaChain network. The cutting-edge facility in Brnik is a cornerstone in this ambition and enables Kuehne + Nagel to offer its unique pharma solutions to an extended customer base.” KN PharmaChain provides pharma and healthcare has a global network of currently close to 200 certified operations, 600,000m2 of industry dedicated warehousing space and a team of specially trained operators. Visit: www.kuehne-nagel.com
Jungheinrich and Fricke found joint venture
amburg-based Jungheinrich AG and the Fricke Group from Heeslingen in Lower Saxony are combining their expertise in the fields of intralogistics and spare-parts wholesale to launch a joint venture for the international sale of spare parts. The two companies see considerable growth poten-
Samskip leads initiative for sustainable, autonomous shortsea shipping
amskip, a leading European multimodal container logistics systems operator, is heading an ambitious initiative to develop autonomous, zero-emissions container ships that can also compete on cost. Samskip has been named the lead partner in ‘Seashuttle’, a project seeking to bring emissionsfree, autonomous container ships to market. The announcement follows the awarding of €6 million from the Norwegian government to Project SeaShuttle to take forward development of two allelectric ships slated to connect Poland, Swedish west coast ports and the Oslo fjord. The vessels will draw on state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cells for their propulsion power. Seashuttle is one of six initiatives included in ‘PILOT-E’, a €100 million-plus scheme involving the Research Council, Innovation Norway and Enova, aiming to develop solutions for climate-
neutral industries. Seashuttle funding came from four Norwegian ministries (Food and Fishing; Climate and Environment; Petroleum and Energy; and Transport and Communications). “Samskip is delighted to take the lead in the project to develop next generation sustainable shortsea shipping,” says Are Grathen, MD Samskip Norway. “What distinguishes this project and will be key to its success is the combination of fuel and technology that will make it cost competitive with existing solutions.” Visit: www.samskip.com
TX Logistik and Vegatrans transport commercial vehicles by rail
ith the adapter system ‘roadrailLink’ (r2L), Vega International Car-Transport and Logistic-Trading Gesellschaft mbH (Vegatrans) and TX Logistik AG (TXL) are setting new standards in commercial vehicle transport by rail. The system, which transforms a standard pocket wagon into a car transport wagon, is being used on the new
tial, in particular within the independent after market and within e-commerce. Christian Erlach from the Jungheinrich board for Sales and Marketing: “Fricke’s many years of expertise within e-commerce combined with Jungheinrich’s expertise in truck construction and service provide outstanding opportunities for a highly customer-friendly provision of spare parts.”
route between Sommacampagna-Sona near Verona and the German North Rhine-Westphalian town of Rheine, which commenced in September. Iveco light commercial vehicles from Italy are currently being sent in two round trips to GVZ Rheine every week on this route, while Scania and Iveco trucks destined for Italy as well as new semi-trailers from various manufacturers are being transported to Sommacampagna-Sona. By using r2L, the same wagon equipment can be used. The system is a load carrier developed by Vegatrans and KTT (KässbohrerTransportTechnik), which is constructed with mobile and adjustable ramps and can be easily loaded into the standard T3000 pocket wagon at each rail terminal with a reach stacker or a terminal crane. Visit: www.txlogistik.eu “Jungheinrich and Fricke are two family companies with shared values. We know that Jungheinrich is an innovative leader with outstanding products and are certain that together we can offer our current and future customers real added value,” says Hans-Peter Fricke, managing director and proprietor of the Fricke Group. Visit: www.jungheinrich.de Industry Europe 17
New contracts and orders in industry
Wärtsilä ship design chosen for state-of-the-art fishing vessel
he technology group Wärtsilä will provide the ship design, as well as the main engine and other propulsion equipment, for a new state-ofthe-art fishing vessel. The ship will be built at the Balenciaga shipyard in Spain for Castlehill, the Fraserburgh, Scotland based owners. The 69.8 metre-long ‘Resolute’ will replace an existing trawler of the same name in the owner’s fleet. When delivered in 2020, this innovative vessel will provide high efficiency, and will represent the latest in ship designs for fishing
industry purposes. It will operate in the fishing grounds of the North Sea. “Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine vision supports the development of efficient and environmentally sustainable solutions, and this ship will certainly meet those criteria,” says Riku-Pekka Hägg, Director, Ship Design, Wärtsilä Marine. In addition to the ship design and relevant documentation, Wärtsilä will also supply a Wärtsilä 32 main engine, as well as the gear, shaft line, stern tube and controllable pitch propeller (CPP).
Under a separate agreement, the company will also develop a concept that can be used for the owner’s application for an extended fishing quota. Visit: www.wartsila.com
E.ON and Clever form JV for ultra-fast electric car charging D
enmark-based E-mobility Service Provider Clever and Germany’s E.ON have announced a joint venture for building and operating ultra-fast
chargers along the freeways throughout Scandinavia. ‘Ultra-Fast Charging Venture Scandinavia’ will aim to connect cities in Denmark, Norway and Sweden with a total of 48 ultra-fast charging sites. The joint venture is fulfilling a promise to the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme to build 28 co-financed sites in Denmark and Sweden. The joint venture will also deploy 20 sites in Norway outside of the funding scope. The joint venture will be a charge point operator, where the partners share the vision to provide
more ultra-fast charging stations and better customer experience for drivers of electrical vehicles across borders. In 2020 all 48 sites are planned to be operational. E-mobility customers of Clever, E.ON and third party operators will get access to the charging stations. “This is a major leap forward for Scandinavian and European EV drivers alike. With this new joint venture, we’re journeying into the new era of borderless sustainable e-mobility,” says Casper Kirketerp-Møller, CEO of Clever. Visit: www.eonenergy.com
PNE Group wins 174 MW Polish wind energy contracts T he internationally operating German wind power company PNE Group has achieved further success in Poland with two new wind energy projects. Under the terms of the contract, wind power turbines with a nominal capacity of total 174 MW will be constructed by PNE at the ‘Barwice’ (42 MW) and ‘Jasna’ (132 MW) wind farms. Both projects are located in windy regions in northern Poland and have been developed by subsidiary WKN. Construction of the wind farms
Nouryon signs deal with Itaconix for bio-based polymers
ouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals) will expand its offering to customers in the detergents market through a supply agreement with bio-based polymers maker Itaconix. Itaconix will produce and supply polymers with chelating properties that Nouryon will market to
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is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2019. 14 wind power turbines will be erected at the Barwice wind farm. 39 turbines are planned for the Jasna wind farm. Completion and start of operation are scheduled for 2019 and 2020. Markus Lesser, CEO of PNE AG, said: “This is a great success for us. Our intensive and multi-year project development in Poland is now paying off. The internationalisation of our core business has taken another major step forward. In addition to
customers in household, institutional, and industrial detergent and cleaner applications. In addition, the companies will work together to transition many of Itaconix’s current detergent customers to Nouryon. This is the first supply agreement resulting from a joint development agreement signed by the two companies in 2017 to explore opportunities for polymers made
our successful developments in France, Sweden and the USA, the market for wind energy in Poland is now also developing extremely well for us.” Visit: www.pne-ag.com
from bio-based itaconic acid using technoloy from Itaconix. Peter Kuijpers, General Manager Chelates and Micronutrients at Nouryon, said: “These polymers will generate new opportunities for our customers in key detergent applications, enabling greener formulations without compromises on technical performance.” Visit: www.nouryon.com
SMS Group to supply NCC wins SEK 330 million contract 5000-tonne press to for swim centre in Norway N Musashi Europe CC, Nuno Arkitektur and Bærum Municipality have signed an agreement for construction of the Rud swim centre. The order is valued at approximately SEK 330 million, and the centre will be open to the public in the summer of 2021. “Swim centres are one of NCC’s specialties. We are the Nordic region’s largest contractor in the segment, with proven proprietary technical
usashi Europe has placed an order with SMS group for the delivery of a 5000-tonne eccentric forging press, type MT 5000, for its plant in Bockenau, Germany. Commissioning of the new MT 5000 closed-die forging press is scheduled for Q4 2019. The new forging press will enable Musashi Europe to produce large rotationally-symmetric forgings for passenger cars and truck applications in a highly efficient production process. The MT 5000 is one of the latest generation of eccentric presses from SMS group. The eccentric shaft and the flywheel are directly driven by dynamic torque motors. This type of drive separates the pure ram motion from the forging energy supply, and combines the advantages of servo presses with those of presses featuring a flywheel and conventional clutch-brake combination. This means the forging process is both highly energy-efficient and resource-friendly. The energy generated during the deceleration phase can be used for the reacceleration of the flywheel. Visit: www.sms-group.com
Langh Tech to deliver scrubber systems to Polaris fleet
angh Tech and STX Offshore & Shipbuilding (STX O&S) have signed a deal covering scrubber retrofits on seven vessels in the Polaris fleet. The four 180K bulkers and the three 300K VLOCs in the fleet will be equipped with Langh Tech’s open loop scrubbers.
solutions and work processes. Our internal team of specialists has worked in a targeted manner, in partnership with external expert advisers, in order to offer Bærum Municipality an attractive facility,” says Olle Forsberg, swim centre project manager for NCC in Norway. Bærum Municipality wants to make the Rud swim centre one of Norway’s most climate- and energy-friendly, and it will be Norway’s first BREEAM-certified swim centre. This includes 30% less energy consumption compared with similar buildings, a passive building standard and a recycling rate of over 90% for surplus material. In addition, the construction project will comply with NCC’s proprietary ‘Green Construction Site’ control system. Visit: www.ncc.se
Chevron chooses Maersk supply vessels for Gorgon project
aersk Supply Service has won a contract with Chevron Australia, through which two of its newbuild anchor handling tug supply vessels will support the Chevron-operated Gorgon Stage Two drilling programme. Maersk Mariner and Maersk Master will provide towing, anchor handling, supply, and WROV services for the programme in the Northwest Shelf of Western Australia starting in Q2 2019. Maersk Mariner and Maersk Master have been working in Western Australia since September 2017 and March 2018 respectively, where they will remain until the contract commences. Throughout the programme, both vessels will be operated by local crews and supported from Maersk Supply Service’s Perth shorebase. Maersk Mariner and Maersk Master are the first two vessels of Maersk Supply Service’s Starfish newbuilding series, designed to mini-
The scrubber installations will be carried out as turnkey deliveries by STX O&S. On each of the vessels the main engine and the three auxiliaries are connected to the scrubber. The scrubbers are multi-inlet type and Langh Tech will deliver all the equipment necessary for a fully working open loop system. The component deliveries will start in summer 2019 and the installations
mise fuel consumption while maximising reliability and onboard safety. Following their delivery in 2017, three more vessels of the series have joined the fleet, with the final scheduled for delivery in early 2019. Visit: www.maersksupplyservice.com
will follow soon after component delivery. Langh Tech is well established in Korea and locally represented by Regional Manager Mr. Simon Kim. “I believe that this scrubber retrofit contract with Polaris Shipping will be a great milestone for Langh Tech to cooperate with many other esteemed Korean shipping companies in the future,” says Mr Kim. Visit: www.langhtech.com Industry Europe 19
ASSA ABLOY takes Sika acquires Romanian market leader in waterproofing systems over UK door sealing S specialist Lorient
SSA ABLOY has announced its acquisition of Lorient, a leading UK-based designer and manufacturer of high performance door sealing systems with half of sales exported outside of the UK and EU. “I am very pleased to welcome Lorient and their employees into the ASSA ABLOY Group. This acquisition delivers on our strategy to strengthen our position in the mature markets through adding complementary products and solutions to our core business,” says Nico Delvaux, President and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. “Lorient is a very attractive addition to the EMEA division thanks to its strong position in the UK fire protection market. It allows us to offer a comprehensive door sealing portfolio alongside innovative drop-down seals and finger protection solutions from Planet GDZ, which we acquired earlier this year in Switzerland,” says Neil Vann, Executive Vice-President of ASSA ABLOY and head of the EMEA division. Lorient was established in 1979 and has around 135 employees. The head office is located in Newton Abbot, Devon, UK. Visit: www.assaabloy.com
E.ON and Clever form JV for ultra-fast electric car charging
-mobility Service Provider Clever and E.ON have announced a joint venture for building and operating ultra-fast chargers along the freeways throughout Scandinavia. ‘Ultra-Fast Charging Venture Scandinavia’ will aim to connect cities in Denmark, Norway and Sweden with a total of 48 ultra-fast charging sites.
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ika has agreed to acquire Arcon Membrane Srl, a leading manufacturer of roofing and waterproofing systems in Romania. Through the acquisition, Sika will significantly strengthen its position in the Romanian market and extend its product portfolio to meet the increasing demand for complete solutions in the roofing and waterproofing markets. The acquired business generates annual sales of CHF 23 million. Arcon is based in Sfântu-Gheorghe, 200km north of Bucharest. In its fully automated manufacturing facility it produces technologically advanced bituminous membranes, with the potential to also serve other South East European markets. Furthermore, Arcon’s product portfolio also includes thermal insulation systems for facades and roofs, combining EPS (expanded polystyrene) sheets and bituminous membranes.
Ivo Schädler, regional manager EMEA: “Arcon’s market leading position, comprehensive product portfolio, and established distribution network will support our growth strategy by opening up new cross-selling opportunities, as well as increasing our market access and the penetration of key projects. We would like to welcome the Arcon employees to our Sika team and look forward to growing our business together.” Visit: www.sika.com
Smurfit Kappa increases presence in France with new acquisition
murfit Kappa Group has expanded its product range in France with the acquisition of Papcart, a specialist in offset printing and conversion of cardboard and corrugated board consumer packaging, The strategic acquisition enables Smurfit Kappa to extend its portfolio with a comprehensive range for the luxury goods, wines & spirits, FMCG and bag-in-box markets. This will build on the group’s already strong presence in the consumer packaging segments and corrugated board solutions for perfume and food. Established over 70 years ago, Papcart is equipped with the latest generation of offset printers, die-cutters, folder-gluers and finishing equipment and offers the widest spectrum of finishes required for gift and premium packaging by combining acrylic or UV inks, specific varnishes,
hot and cold foil gilding, embossing and lamination to meet even the most complex customer needs. Jean-Christophe Bugeon, CEO of Smurfit Kappa France added: “We are delighted to welcome the Papcart employees into the company. More and more companies are seeking more sustainable packaging alternatives and we can add an even wider choice of premium solutions to our offering.” Visit: www.smurfitkappa.com
The joint venture is fulfilling a promise to the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme to build 28 cofinanced sites in Denmark and Sweden. It will be a charge point operator, where the partners will provide more ultra-fast charging stations and better customer experience for drivers of EVs across borders. In 2020 all 48 sites are planned to be operational. E-mobility custom-
ers of Clever, E.ON and third party operators will get access to the charging stations. The two operators – Clever and E.ON Drive – will remain competitors in other service categories. E.ON Drive Infrastructure will furthermore deploy ultra-fast charging sites in Germany, UK, France and Italy as part of the EU CEF programme. Visit: www.eonenergy.com
Axel Johnson moves into Czech power transmission market A
xel Johnson International’s Industrial Solutions business group has purchased a majority stake in Arkov, a Czech distributor of mechanical power transmission and hydraulics products. Arkov is a well-recognised industrial player on the Czech market, being one of the country’s largest authorised distributors of SKF and Schaeffler products. Founded in 1992, Arkov has 80 employ-
ees and eight branch offices covering the central regions of the Czech Republic. With net sales of around €7.8 million and most of its sales in the MRO segment, Arkov distributes several strong international and domestic brands. “Arkov has a strong position on the local market that will strengthen Industrial Solutions’ offering and expand our geographical footprint,” says Ola Sjölin, Managing Director, Industrial Solutions. Sjölin adds that Arkov also works closely with SKF in service and maintenance, which will strengthen Industrial Solutions’ relationship to SKF. Jiri Urban, director of Arkov, added: “We think that working together will create great opportunities on the customer side as well as the supplier side, increasing our share on the Czech market.” Visit: www.axeljohnson.com
Duroc acquires Herber Engineering D uroc has signed an agreement to acquire all shares in Herber Engineering AB. Herber manufactures advanced hydraulic and electrical tube bending machinery for cold tube forming. The company also offers customised solutions and services, replacement parts and technical support to the market. Customers are found in several segments, such as automotive, aerospace, furniture and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air condition) around the world. The company has approximately 20 employees and revenues of approximately SEK 50 million. The operation is located in Värnamo, Jönköping County, Sweden. “We are proud to add Herber to Duroc’s portfolio of subsidiaries. Herber will be a part of the business area Industrial Trade, that including Herber
has revenues of approximately SEK 550 million on an annual basis. There are good opportunities for synergies within in the business area, e.g. in geographical representation and sales,” says a company spokesperson. Visit: www.duroc.com
Vossloh completes purchase of STRABAG’s rail milling business
division and expands the already existing Vossloh milling business significantly. Vossloh is active in rail technology markets worldwide. The company’s core business is in the field of rail infrastructure. Its activities in the area of rail infrastructure are organised into the three divisions of Core Components, Customised Modules and Lifecycle Solutions. Visit: www.vossloh.com
ail technology specialist Vossloh has successfully completed the acquisition of the rail milling business of STRABAG Rail GmbH. The acquired unit, which consists of four milling machines and 30 employees, will be integrated in the Berlin-based subsidiary Alpha Rail Team in the Lifecycle Solutions
Samson becomes ‘largest European slurry tanker producer’
enmark-based Samson Group has taken over the activities of Pichon Industries – a company which produces a wide range of slurry tankers, implements and muck spreaders in its two facilities in France and Poland. With the acquisition of Pichon, which was put into receivership in November 2018, Samson is set to become the largest European player in the field of slurry tankers. In future, Samson says it will be responding strongly to the increased focus on the use of natural fertiliser for agriculture – “A development that undoubtedly will speed up a consolidation amongst manufacturers due to the financial strength needed to fund the required product development.” The products made at Samson’s factory in Viborg are aimed at contractors and large animal operations. PICHON’s products are mainly designed for small and medium-sized farms and medium-sized contractors. The company produces slurry tankers from 5m3 up to 30m3 using the vacuum filling technique, while SAMSON’s models start at 16m3 and go up to 35m3 based on its unique ejector filling technique. On the spreader side, PICHON starts at 8m3 while SAMSON’s newly developed US series goes up to 40m3. Visit: www.samson-agro.com
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Zoomlion opens world’s largest intelligent tower crane factory Z
oomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Co., Ltd., China’s top construction machinery manufacturer, has opened the world’s largest intelligent factory for tower cranes in Changde, China, marking a new milestone for Zoomlion in the realm of intelligent manufacturing. Taking three years to construct and representing 780 million yuan (US$115.4 million) of investment, the factory is the central feature of Zoomlion’s goal to meet Germany’s Industry 4.0 standards. Boasting 12 automatic production lines, over 10,000 sensors, 100 industrial robots, 35 unmanned RGVs and AVGs as well as 16 sets of CNC machining centres, it is the most advanced, efficient and environmentally-friendly intelligent tower crane factory in the world and features integrated IM control, IM production line, intelligent logistics and intelligent sensors. The new factory will allow Zoomlion to reach a new stage in the tower crane industry by integrating talent, capital, technology and information from both upstream and downstream along the industry chain. “We are very excited to begin production at our new cutting edge intelligent factory,” said Zhan Chunxin, Chairman and CEO of Zoomlion. “By leveraging our world-leading technology, along with the resources and support available to us in the Changde region, we will be the undisputed world leader in the construction hosting machinery sector and will endeavour to develop even better quality, more intelligent products.” Visit: www.zoomlion.com
Volkswagen expands its business in Sub-Saharan Africa
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by Thomas Schaefer, Head of the Volkswagen Sub-Saharan Africa Region, and the Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), Abebe Abebayehu. Under the terms of the agreement, Volkswagen will focus on four key pillars: the 22 Industry Europe
Relocations and expansions across Europe
Orange inaugurates its new Kanawa submarine cable in Kourou
he official inauguration of the Kanawa submarine cable has taken place in Kourou. This 1746kmlong cable linking French Guiana and Martinique was financed entirely by Orange. Completed in under two years, this cable will support and anticipate the strong growth in digital uses and improve the quality of the network. Following an internal competition open to all group employees, the cable was named Kanawa in reference to the traditional Amerindian boats that provided a means of exchange between the islands. Now, Kanawa is also a submarine cable that provides a link between French Guiana and the American continent. Visit: www.orange.com
Porsche invests in US start-up
orsche has invested in start-up ‘Urgent.ly’. The American company sees itself as the leading global platform for mobility and roadside assistance. The US start-up’s platform supports roadside assistance services in North America, Europe
and Asia. Using artificial intelligence and geolocation, Urgent.ly connects drivers, service providers and automotive manufacturers in real time, thus coordinating the best and fastest help in the event of a breakdown. “Urgent.ly is an innovative platform solution which impresses with its speed and transparency. It is also internationally scalable. We are convinced that it can help increase customer satisfaction levels in critical situations,” says Kilian Sauerwald, Director Aftersales Region and Market Development at Porsche. “The team at Urgent.ly sets itself apart due to its well founded expertise within the customer and technology business. This is why we chose a strategic investment.” Visit: www.porsche.de
establishment of a vehicle assembly facility, localisation of automotive components, introduction of mobility concepts such as app-based car sharing and ride hailing as well as the opening of a training centre. As such, Volkswagen will work closely with the Ethiopian higher education and training institutions for skills development and capacity building of local talent.
Schaefer commented: “As one of the fastest growing economies in the continent, Ethiopia is an ideal country to advance our Sub-Saharan Africa development strategy. Additionally, Volkswagen intends on tapping into existing expertise and strategic resources in Ethiopian to help to establish a thriving automotive components industry.” Visit: www.volkswagenag.com
Advances in technology across industry
Sustainable concrete mixtures for Lab on a chip the 3D printing of breakwater units A
the swiftly evolving area of 3D concrete printing, a new research project has been set up by Ghent University, construction company BESIX, start-up ResourceFull and engineering company Witteveen+Bos. The research will focus on developing sustainable concrete mixtures suitable for the printing of breakwater units. As the major construction cost of a breakwater unit is related to the logistic resources needed to move the breakwater units from the yard to the construction site, the possibility to print it in situ, possibly even below the water level, would be very advantageous. Moreover, 3D printing would make it possible to define a tailor-made model breakwater unit, with
more complex and optimised shapes in line with local wave patterns and sea currents. In addition, the layered surface, produced by 3D printing, would allow for additional energy dissipation. However, printing such massive units is a real challenge as the high binder contents currently used in printable mixtures would cause thermal cracking in addition to the drying shrinkage cracks which are related to this automated production technique. To guarantee the durability of the unit in a marine environment, the research partners want to develop a printable mixture which answers all requirements to print the contour or both the contour and the infill pattern of the breakwater unit. Visit: www.ugent.be
team from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has created a device that precisely dispenses and stores liquids that can be used on a range of diagnostic lab-on-a-chip platforms, at an estimated manufacturing cost of $2 to $6. The technology, which could also be scaled up in size for use in packaging food, cosmetics and chemicals, was reported in Nature Communications. Lab-on-a-chip technology promises to transform expensive health care laboratories into small, affordable and portable chips that can perform various tests automatically at points of care. Simpler examples of LOC, such as home pregnancy tests, have already begun this transition to a degree. Just as all laboratories rely on storage and dispensing devices, LOC too relies on being able to efficiently store and then release different liquids on a chip. The simplified dispenser comprises a tube with an aperture that is covered by an elastic membrane. It’s activated when the internal pressure becomes greater than the force required to stretch the membrane. Pressure can be exerted by pushing with a finger or from the artificial gravity a centrifuge creates. When the internal pressure reaches the critical level, the membrane stretches and provides a path for the liquid to discharge. Visit: www.kth.se
New material to push the boundaries of silicon-based electronics
he electronics market is growing constantly and so is the demand for increasingly compact and efficient power electronic systems. The predominant electronic components based on silicon will in the foreseeable future no longer be able to meet increasing industrial requirements. This is why scientists from the University of Freiburg, the
Sustainability Center Freiburg and the FraunhoferGesellschaft have joined forces in order to explore a new material structure that may be better suited for future power electronics. The recently launched project ‘Research of Functional Semiconductor Structures for Energy Efficient Power Electronics’ (in short ‘Power Electronics 2020+’) is researching the novel semiconductor material scandium aluminum nitride (ScAlN). ScAlN is a piezoelectric semiconductor material with a high dielectric strength which is largely unexplored worldwide with regard to its usability in microelectronic applications. “The fact that scandium aluminum nitride is especially well suited for power electronic components, due to its physical properties, has already been proven,” explains Dr Ing. Michael Mikulla, project manager on the part of Fraunhofer IAF. The aim of the project is to
grow lattice-matched ScAlN on a GaN layer and to use the resulting heterostructures to process transistors with high current carrying capacity. “Functional semiconductor structures based on materials with a large bandgap, such as scandium aluminum nitride and gallium nitride, allow for transistors with very high voltages and currents. These devices reach a higher power density per chip surface as well as higher switching speeds and higher operating temperatures. This is synonymous with lower switching losses, higher energy efficiency and more compact systems,” adds Prof. Dr Oliver Ambacher, director of Fraunhofer IAF. “By combining both materials, GaN and ScAlN, we want to double the maximal possible output power of our devices while at the same time significantly lowering the energy demand,” says Dr Mikulla. Visit: www.iaf.fraunhofer.de Industry Europe 23
Change from within J
ens Bestian is a man with a mission: As Vice-President Operations Hygiene at the Germany-based RKW Group, a global manufacturer of film solutions, he aims to boost Operational Excellence. Since July 2018, the new VP has been following a clear-cut strategy: with a mix of operational and cultural changes, Bestian hopes to leverage untapped potential. Industry Europe talks to the visionary to know more about his twopronged approach. Mr Bestian, you have a solid track record in the field of operations management. In the past, you implemented acquisitions, expanded businesses, and gained insights in logistics and production. Are there any challenges left for you?
rates even more transparent – with the aim to increase uptime and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) next to material loss optimisation. Besides changing the hardware, i.e. the technology, or providing scorecards to assess the performance, there needs to be a shift in focus – from a margin-driven to a more holistic evaluation of operations. If you reach a certain margin, that is good for the company – but it can lead you to gloss over the fact that some production lines are not working as effectively as they should. We not only need to make operational indicators more transparent. We must pay greater attention to them in the first place and utilise them to identify pain points and strong points. This analysis, in turn, allows us to enhance operations – from single machines to complete processes.
Jens Bestian: Of course! After several jobs at private equity and multinational companies, I wanted to tackle tasks that are not primarily related to short-term goals. Growing a company is often associated with unknown risks. I was looking for challenges on a different level: Optimising operations – from the inside, without focusing too much on additional external resources and internal, central overhead. I have always been fascinated by the complex interplay of different operational factors, from KPIs to cultural aspects like commitment and work safety. That is why I was eager to switch to a medium business with professional management…
Such as? What is your approach to complex supply chain management, the backbone of every customer relationship? Enhancing our supply chain is a top priority as well. Our goal is to secure customer supply with a decentralised, local approach. A major hygiene consumer goods customer, for instance, produces in China. So, to avoid supply delays and foster planning security, we focus on developing our local business in China, where we opened our film manufacturing plant a few years ago. Rather than supplying the customer with products from our German sites, we provide quicker, direct support. This is also a question of using local raw material: we need to produce our products in China with raw material sourced in China to ensure a fast time-to-market. This also means building process knowledge locally, e.g. maintenance and process know-how, so that the colleagues on-site can remedy technical issues without having to constantly involve our centre of competence. Knowledge transfer between sites is a major prerequisite for this.
…so you knocked at RKW’s door. Correct. RKW has an excellent reputation across the plastics industry, with highly committed employees. And RKW considers Operational Excellence – continuous improvement of the operational processes – a key strategic pillar. For me, this was the ideal ground on which to make the next career steps – even more so as RKW offers great potential as it is constantly improving operations. Leveraging this potential can benefit both the company and its customers because it allows us to create further added value. And supporting this process would allow me to drive a truly sustainable, long-term change that comes from within. In other words, a company like RKW finds value in structural and cultural changes, without having to economise. What wheels will you set in motion to achieve this? First off, transparency over KPIs is crucial to reach the next operational level. In our hygiene and industrial business, we are currently working towards making machinery defects or rejection 24 Industry Europe
Is this the cultural aspect you mentioned? Yes and no. Training employees and expanding their knowledge is crucial for smooth operations. But so is their commitment, their accountability and their attitude towards important topics like work safety. Teamwork hinges on a common understanding of how things are done, and which things are important. When it comes to work safety, we follow a behavioural approach that aims to create awareness for the topic. This includes talking about the subject during performance reviews. The same holds true for the overall value of Operational Excellence as such: it must be a common goal for all RKW sites, and I believe that a lively exchange and
knowledge transfer are a means to reach this goal. Individual sites shouldn’t be operating as sealed-off silos. In that spirit, I look forward to building on the Group Operational Excellence programme, from alignment to implementation, strengthening relationships with my colleagues. However, as a newly appointed VP, I must make sure change comes smoothly. You cannot alter behaviour overnight and decree what you deem fit. Listening to people and respecting established work cultures is as important as venturing off to new shores. Respect is a core value of RKW, and it is my firm intention to act according to these values. My goal is to slowly guide people towards making new commitments and discussing possible shortcomings if necessary. This is not about blaming anybody, but about planning, doing, checking and adjusting our course to move on. Jens Bestian
The RKW Group The RKW Group is an independent, family-owned company headquartered in Frankenthal, Germany and one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of excellent film solutions. RKW is the market leader in the areas of hygiene and agricultural films, films for the beverage industry and packaging for powdery goods. In addition, the company makes films and nonwovens for medical applications, for the chemical and converting industries as well as for the construction sector. RKW’s sustainable films enable its customers to improve the daily life of consumers all over the world. In the fiscal year 2017, RKW generated total sales of €905 million. About 3000 employees process 378,000 tonnes of plastic materials at 20 locations around the world. True to the corporate slogan ‘When excellence matters’, the company, which was founded in 1957, offers outstanding performance in terms of quality and service. Respect and reliability are the core values of RKW and form the basis of the company’s success.
Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on labour shortages in eastern Europe.
he Polish plumber became one symbol among many for those people supporting Brexit. Overpaid, over-expectant – and over here. But for Germany and its neighbour Poland the battle lines are being drawn over the new labour force bogeyman from...Ukraine. Employee-starved Polish businesses are worried that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians they rely on will be tempted by higher wages further west as Germany opens its doors to them. “The panic is affecting mainly businesses in the farming and construction sectors relying on Ukrainian workers,” said Krzysztof Inglot, head of the Personnel Service employment agency. “People are often illegally employed in these sectors and these workers will go to Germany.” Inglo’s agency has recruited 9000 Ukrainians on behalf of Polish employers. “But for those who are legally employed in Poland, there will be less incentive to move given the higher cost of living in Germany,” he added. With many working for a few months and then going home, it is difficult to pin down exactly how many Ukrainians work in Poland, but estimates suggest more than a million. They fill a yawning labour gap that emerged when some two million Poles sought betterpaid jobs in western Europe, mainly Britain and Germany, after their country joined the EU in 2004. The ‘Polish plumber’ became a potent symbol for Brexiteers campaigning for the UK to leave the EU. Now Ukrainian is the race tickling xenophobic nerve endings. Poland’s Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers (ZPP) first sounded the alarm about a possible fresh labour exodus in November when it got wind of German moves to open the job market of the EU’s largest economy to non-EU nationals.
German business groups fully support draft legislation which aims to attract from abroad skilled vocational workers with German language skills and promises them eased visa procedures and reduced red tape. Those looking for jobs such as cooks, metallurgy workers or IT technicians would be allowed to come for six months to try and find employment, provided they can financially support themselves. The Bundestag is expected to consider the legislation later this year.
Employee-starved Polish businesses are worried that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians they rely on will be tempted by higher wages further west. Official statistics show that around 140,000 Ukrainians currently work in Germany, although the real number is likely higher as those who have obtained Polish visas can cross into Germany, where salaries can be up to three times higher depending on the type of job.
Competing for labour With their workforces ageing, Poland and Germany are competing to fill labour gaps experts believe are bound to grow in the coming decades. Poland has experienced expansion each year since it shed communism in 1989 and is one of the EU’s fastest growing economies. While its right-wing PiS government forecasts a 3.8 per cent growth in 2018, international institutions like the OECD are more bullish, predicting 5.2 per cent but warning that a labour crunch could slow that to 3.3 per cent by 2020. But according to a worst-case scenario set forth by Polish employers, Poland’s GDP
could decline by an estimated 1.6 per cent should half a million Ukrainian workers leave. Germany currently has 1.2 million vacancies on its labour market. The nation of 81 million people is expected to need 12 million new workers over the next three decades. The ZPP employers association estimates Poland, which currently has a population of 38 million, will need five million migrant workers by 2050. For many Ukrainians, working abroad has become a lifeline. Living standards in Ukraine are well below that of its western neighbours and the nation is struggling with the economic and social fallout of the armed separatist conflict in its east. Officials estimate 3.2 million of the country’s 45 million population have permanent jobs abroad while seven to nine million find work on a seasonal basis. They sent about €10 billion back home to their families last year, according to Sergei Fursa, a Ukrainian economist working for Dragon Capital investments. Poland is a popular destination for Ukrainians seeking work abroad because it is close and has a similar culture and language. But higher wages are tempting many to leave. Nearly 40 per cent of Ukrainians working in Poland said they are considering seeking work in western Europe, according to a survey by the OTTO Work Force employment agency quoted by Poland’s ‘Rzeczpospolita’ daily. To avert a possible exodus, the ZPP wants the government to streamline procedures for hiring foreigners, to offer them permanent residence and even a path to citizenship. Poland is slated to extend work visas from the current six months to a full year, Inglot said, adding that he hopes for a further extension to 18 months. Similar measures are being prepared or have already been adopted in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, two smaller EU economies that are reliant on car production and are n also facing shortfalls of workers. Industry Europe 25
France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on a new public interest in toilets – and careers going down them.
began as a simple blog by a young woman with an acute interest in lavatories. Aude Lalo would inspect public toilets wherever she went, then post her opinions online for her small but like-minded readership. But she soon began to attract the attention of bathroom and sanitary industry companies who were eager to receive positive reviews of their products on her web page. As the professional interest mounted, and her views on loos were being taken ever more seriously, she launched ‘Flush’ magazine, in which major French industry figures became increasingly keen to plug their wares and pay her hefty sums to advertise. Aude said: “If the blog initially began as a tongue-in-cheek hobby, I quickly began to realise there was a much more important side to the simple toilet. Other subjects like fishing or horse racing only matter to those who are interested, but toilets affect everyone on the planet. “The act of going to the lavatory is also a prism through which to address topics from health and sanitation to ecology, urbanism, and, for example, the social relations between different groups in Swiss railway stations, where women have to pay a third more than men to use equivalent public facilities.” Flush magazine, now a sleek quarterly which was launched in November to co-incide with World Toilet Day, describes itself as about ‘toilets, culture, and society’. Adverts for the magazine now crop up in public loos throughout France, with brief articles even pasted to the backs of cubicle doors informing users of interesting ‘toilet facts’ such as that it’s illegal to use your newspaper as toilet paper in Turkmenistan, or that the best toilet she ever visited was at a cake shop in the south-eastern city of Lyon. French media circles also took note and Aude was invited to TV and radio studios where she patiently explained her product to bemused-sounding hosts. 26 Industry Europe
Aude added: “As soon Flush was launched, I began receiving letters from people saying, this is great, I’m a toilet enthusiast, this is the magazine I’ve always been waiting for. We’re undeniably in a niche and I don’t know of any other magazine, at least in France, on this topic. On the other hand, toilets are universal.” A typical issue of Flush consists of four sections, which, together, offer readers a broad, 360-degree view of the world according to toilets. The first section rounds up toilet news from around the world; the second features industry trends and products (anyone for
The act of going to the lavatory is also a prism through which to address topics from health and sanitation to ecology [and] urbanism. a $45 matte-black toilet brush?). A ‘dossier’ in the third section focuses principally on a big social or political theme, like sanitary conditions in refugee camps or prisons. The fourth section is dedicated to culture, with celebrities interviewed about their loos or famous toilet scenes from films. The first issue included a feature on World Water Week, an annual event in Stockholm, Sweden, and another on innovations in the the human waste disposal and water-cleaning industry. Aude said: “I think the people who bought Flush at the newsstand bought it because they wanted to be surprised. And they were, because I feel I have raised the tone of something which is so often the butt of vulgar jokes to something crucial to people’s daily lives. “I’d love to launch international editions like Flush US and Flush UK, but we would need local editorial staff because you can’t just translate content. The relationship with
the toilet is very cultural and it changes from one country to another.”
Flushed away Elsewhere in France, Carlos Ghosn’s two decades at the helm of French car giant Renault are expected to come to an end in the coming weeks after he was arrested in Japan in November on suspicion of spending almost €16 million on luxury property using money from Japanese car-maker Nissan, where he is also chairman. While Ghosn still languishes in custody in Tokyo, Renault is expected to choose two big-hitters from the French car industry, Thierry Bollore and Jean-Dominique Senard, to take over the CEO and chairman jobs, according to a source who spoke to FRance’s AFP news agency on condition of anonymity. Bollore, 55, has already been running the company on an interim basis since Ghosn’s stunning arrest, and is expected to be named CEO. Like Ghosn, he began his career at French tyre giant Michelin and has been described as “very rigorous and dedicated, and much-liked by the entire workforce.” One industry insider, who worked alongside Bollore at French parts maker Faurecia, said: “I think that his knowledge of Asia and his skills in relationships with the Japanese will give him an advantage.” Senard, who is set to be named as the new chairman, arrives at Renault fresh from his role as CEO of Michelin, where he has worked since 2005. He is known for his successfully negotiated sensitive labour agreements with trade union leaders in Michelin’s French factories to preserve jobs in the face of cheaper imported Asian products. He was also the first non-family member to head the historic company that spawned the Michelin food guide. A former colleague at Michelin said: “What has happened to Ghosn is a spectacular tragedy, but Mr Senard and Mr Bollore are both n more than qualified to replace him.”
Automation & Robotics
Multi-axis performers Fidia is a global market leader in the design, production and distribution of high-performance milling machines. It is recognised as one of the few companies that is capable of providing complete solutions for the entire milling process. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a dynamic European company that continues to see strong global growth thanks to its strong customer focus and pro-active development of unique and innovative milling solutions.
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idia SpA was established in Turin in 1974 by Dr Giuseppe Morfino, who today remains the majority shareholder and CEO of the Fidia Group. Fidia designs, manufactures and markets milling machines and numerical controls for milling systems that produce complex components for the automotive, aerospace and energy sectors. With three major industrial production sites in Italy, one joint venture in China and seven overseas subsidiaries, the Fidia Group employs around 400 people. Today the company is renowned for the manufacture of highspeed milling machines, and is also recognised as the world leader in the design and production of numerical controls for the machining of complex shapes and surfaces. During the last few years the company has been gaining access to new markets thanks to its latest ‘GTF’ gantry-type machines, which have taken the global manufacturing industry by storm, both in the mould & die and aerospace industries. Every year, a significant percentage of the group’s annual turnover is invested in new product development. In 1996 Fidia was fully certified to ISO 9001 and the company remains dedicated to a continuous programme of improvement, product reliability, performance, quality and innovative solutions.
Collision-free look-out If there is one innovation developed by Fidia that sums up its enviable reputation as a global leader in milling software solutions, it has to be the company’s ViMill® real-time 3D virtual collision look-ahead software. This unique technology effectively enables the machine operator to avoid any unforeseen, and often costly, collisions. While milling is in progress, the ViMill® is steadily monitoring any unexpected or potential collision by graphically executing actual milling processes well ahead of time.
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In addition, Fidia’s ViMill® 3D anti-collision graphic simulation software is also active in JOG Mode, thus allowing ultra-safe operation of any manual axis replacements. It is well worth noting that a feature this special provides valuable support for the operator, especially in cases of low reciprocal visibility of the tool, workpiece or milling head. From a CNC perspective, recent enhancements include a new V5 software that features new algorithms for tool-path control with three and five interpolated axes including optimisation of the dynamic behaviour of the machine itself.
Extensive product portfolio Currently Fidia’s worldwide sales are comprised of 80 per cent machines and 20 per cent supply of CNC systems to other machine tool manufacturers. The company’s products are based on a modular system which makes them receptive to customisation, effectively making its range of milling machines virtually infinite. The company’s product portfolio includes the recently enhanced D range of five-axis milling machines which offer both 3+2 and simultaneous 5-axis finishing of surfaces with high-speed spindles.
Automation & Robotics
With countless installations worldwide, the D218 (2000mm X-axis tracel) D318 (3000mm) and D418 (4,250mm) are now newly enhanced to ensure a rapid return on investment. Today Fidia’s D family of machines offer cutting speeds of up to 22m/min, a new Z-axis counter-balance system and an active cooling system. The broad range of product applications include plastic injection moulds, die casting dies, aluminium aerospace components, graphite electrodes, resin models, tyre moulds and jet engine disc slots, among many others. In a different sphere of activity, Fidia’s GTF gantry line is characterised by its remarkable versatility, which is thanks to its modular structure, its X-,Y-, and Z-axis, where strokes of several metres can be supplied to match any individual customer requirements. GTF gantry machines by Fidia are ideal for a host of applications in sectors such as automotive, aerospace and general machining. The company’s Y2G series of 5-axis gantry models feature two independent heads either working together on the same workpiece, or on different parts, separated by a bulkhead, thus allowing productivity to be doubled. In addition, Fidia’s G996 compact, upper gantry milling system is characterised by its strong monolithic structure. This model is specially designed for the machining of small and medium size workpieces, regardless of material properties. A large cast-iron bed provides a perfectly stable platform, whilst its open front doors ensure the widest possible visibility.
America has resulted in the company taking the strategic decision to move its North American operations from Troy, Michigan, to a new 14,000 square foot headquarters facility in Rochester Hills, Michigan. “Because our market share and customer base has steadily increased over recent years, we have found the need to expand our existing North American operations. Combine that with our partnering programme with the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Paragon Die & Engineering company to build machines right here in Grand Rapids, it became evident that we required additional manpower and facilities to better serve our existing and future customers. The new expanded facility includes an 8000 square foot warehouse and demonstration area,” said Dr Giuseppi Morfino, n CEO of the Fidia Group. For further details of the Fidia Group’s latest range of products and services, visit: www.fidia.it
Increased global reach The Fidia Group is a truly global business with facilities operational from the US to China and from Europe to the Indian sub-continent. Furthermore, new sites are being regularly added to its growing global presence. To endorse this, strong demand for its products in North Industry Europe 29
Experts in industrial automation and robotics AIUT, a company from Gliwice, Poland, offers specialised solutions in industrial automation and electrics, as well as the implementation of projects in the field of robotics. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.
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Automation & Robotics
IUT was founded in 1991 as a private company based entirely on Polish capital. Initially it focused on the export of software services, start-up of automation and process control systems. In 1992 it became a representative of Elsag Bailey Process Automation N.V. (a worldwide provider of automation systems, process instrumentation, analytical measurement products, and professional services for the process industries) in Poland. That company merged with ABB in 1999, however, its product lines have continued up to the present day. In 1996, AIUT established an electrical engineering project team and electric workshop. At the dawn of the 21st century it developed and installed its first LPG tank remote monitoring systems, heat meter remote reading systems, complex robotised production stations and intelligent gas meter systems. In 2007 AIUT became a partner of IBM Polska, and in 2012 it developed and implemented a liquid fuels distribution management system. Three years later it established subsidiaries in China, the USA and Romania. “For more than 27 years we have created many solutions for demanding customers in Poland and abroad. We have already implemented more than 1300 projects in 45 countries. Our main objective is to improve our efficiency and quality of manufacturing. With this goal in mind we create new technologies as well as modernising our existing production lines,” says Mr Brunon Gabrys, AIUT’s founder and managing director.
Global player AIUT employs 800 highly skilled, well qualified and experienced people, including 750 in Poland and 50 in its foreign subsidiaries. The company is headquartered in Gliwice, a town located in the Upper Silesia region, southern Poland, near Katowice. “A substantial part of our projects are executed at the customer plants; therefore, we have established local branches close to the premises of our important and long-term customers. In Poland we have branches in Bielsko-Biala, Bialystok, Bydgoszcz, Poznan and Opole. We also own subsidiaries in Shenyang (China), Greenville (USA), Sebes (Romania), Mumbai (India) and Dingolfing (Germany),” says Mr Gabrys. AIUT’s annual sales in 2017 are estimated at €50 million, while its profits reach 7–8 per cent. Exports make up 60 per cent (or €30 million in 2017) of total sales. The company’s products and services are present all over the world, including in such distant markets as China, Canada, the USA, India, Australia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Chile, Brazil and Mexico. “We operate globally in the investment market. This means that the more investments worldwide, the more our company develops. With many years of experience in automation and robotics and by gaining new skills we are a dynamically developing organisation. Commit-
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ment, perseverance and belief in continuous development make our company one of the leaders in the market,” explains Mr Gabrys. AIUT has benefited from co-financing from EU funds. In total, the value of projects implemented with the participation of EU funds has already exceeded PLN 22 million (more than €5.3 million).
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Wide product offering AIUT is operating in the dynamically growing sectors of automation, robotics, computer science and electronics. “Currently, all these fields overlap with each other and for many of our projects it is difficult to set a limit between telemetry, robotics, automation or IT,” says Mr Gabrys. Its scope of activity includes providing complete solutions for automation, process control and production management for various industries, including: innovative automated and robotised stations and production lines; systems and products within the area of management and distribution of liquid and gaseous fuels; products and solutions for intelligent media meters; and the IT solutions for Enterprise Asset Management. The company’s clients come from various industries. The German automotive industry (including BMW) is its biggest customer, for which it produces automated machines and the production lines. It also offers solutions based on linear drives, electric, pneumatic and hydraulic actuators, servo drives and industrial robots for such leading manufacturers as ABB, Comau, Fanuc, Kuka, Motoman (Yaskawa) and STÄUBLI.
Automation & Robotics
Furthermore, AIUT offers a complete range of solutions within the following areas: Asset Management, IT Asset and Service Management, and Maintenance and Service departments support. Its offer includes the CMMS and Service Desk (ITIL) solutions, focused on the IBM products (IBM Maximo, SCCD). The company is also the world leader in telemetry systems for LPG and LNG (it is the number one company in Europe and the fourth in the world for this field of activity). AIUT’s innovative system can help to generate delivery orders, schedule more efficient delivery routes, detect leaks and overfills, and improve customer service and satisfaction. 90 per cent of all installations achieve a full return on investment within one year, and significant revenue increases after that. Its solutions are trusted by many of the largest companies around the world, n with more than 80,000 installations.
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Delivering ‘futureproof’ logistics Vanderlande is the global market leader in the development and manufacture of advanced logistic automation systems for airports, warehouses and parcel hubs. Recently acquired by the Japanese giant, Honda, the company is adding to its formidable portfolio of intelligent software solutions with its latest, ground-breaking technologies such as ‘Cobot’ (co-robotic technologies) and ‘future-proof’ FLEET baggage sorting systems, as Philip Yorke reports.
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Automation & Robotics
anderlande Industries was founded in Veghel, the Netherlands in 1949 and began by manufacturing conveyer systems for the loading of agricultural produce onto ships. Today the company is the global leader in the development of automated handling technology and acknowledged as one of the most innovative in the world. Its core businesses provide a wide range of fully automated material handling systems for baggage sorting at airports, as well as providing advanced robotic systems for warehouses and postal distribution centres. Today Vanderlande’s impressive statistics speak for themselves. Its baggage handling systems move over four billion pieces of luggage around the world each year, which is equal to over 10 million pieces per day. Its advanced systems are operational in more than 600 airports, including 13 of the world’s top 20. In addition, more than 40 million parcels are also sorted by Vanderlande’s systems each day. Today the company’s extensive portfolio of integrated and innovative systems, intelligent software and life-cycle services provide fast and reliable automation solutions worldwide. Currently the company has around 6000 employees and in 2017 recorded revenues of more than €1.5 billion.
Future-proof technology Vanderlande’s unique, ‘future-proof’ FLEET baggage logistics solutions developed for airports worldwide has been implemented for the first time in The Netherlands, at ‘Rotterdam The Hague Airport’ (RTHA), where it is undergoing an historic three-month readiness
test period. During this time, it will operate in live, real-time situations. The futuristic, joint innovation programme also involves RTHA and Aviapartner of the Netherlands, and will contribute significantly to each organisation’s strategic objectives. In line with its forward-thinking approach, RTHA will gain valuable insight into the full potential of these latest innovative technologies developed by Vanderlande, including its FLEET systems, as well as improving its performance as the airport’s dedicated handler. Aviapartner will also benefit from the increased efficiencies of automatic sorting carried out by the Vanderlande FLEET system. Furthermore, company operatives can benefit from the positive impact of a truly ergonomically designed baggage-loading process during the flight make-up process. Sustainability is also a prominent factor in the new system, as the energy used by FLEET is initially generated by solar panels, thus helping to create zero-emissions baggage handling solutions at RTHA. Andrew Manship, Vanderlande’s executive vice-president for Airports and member of the board said, “This programme is a tremendous example of how Vanderlande and its partners can bring cutting-edge innovations to life in a situation where high performance, efficiency and reliability are essential.”
Pioneering new robotic technologies With the growing global demand for integrated, intelligent software solutions, Vanderlande has developed a unique robotic system that is physically capable of working alongside human operators. Known
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as ‘Cobot’, this technology has been developed together with the leading Finnish trading company in assembly and fastening materials, Wurth Oy and its logistics partner, Leanware Oy, in a shared pilot project. The unique Cobot system is currently operational at Wurth’s logistics centre in the town of Riihamaki, just north of Helsinki. Robotic technology has long been used in the warehousing industry for the automated movement of goods. However the SIR (Smart Item Robotics) solution is unique. This is because the utilisation of a robotic unit that is able to work harmoniously in the same area as a human operative as well as the ability to smartly ‘pick and place’
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individual items is revolutionary. This unique project also addresses one of the key challenges facing the market today: the continuing lack of available, skilled operatives. After a lead time of less than two months, SIR has been fully integrated into Wurth’s daily operations alongside Vanderlande’s highly flexible storage, retrieval and transportation system known as ADAPTO, to seamlessly pick products for its customers’ orders.
Integrated, intelligent software Tighter schedules, higher volumes and increasing customer demands make intelligent software an essential part of any sorting process. In addition to hardware, it now forms a key element of Vanderlande’s global business proposition. For example, the company’s VISION software suite offers a flexible modular solution for end-to-end planning and control. It is crucial to be able to optimise processes every day, or even every hour. VISION provides an operational, high-performance dashboard that supports daily planning, and provides real-time information on a system’s status. This system also enables operations to be constantly monitored and provides the decision-support-intelligence needed for re-scheduling, planning and forecasting for a hub’s core management processes. VISION is a modular, scalable software solution that integrates seamlessly with existing systems and low-level controls. System dynamics are also taken into account to make correct decisions when sending products to the required destinations. For long-term trend analysis, combined with the ability to benchmark with other hubs and depots in a defined network, VISION capabilities can also be extended to work n with business process intelligence.
Driving into the future Liebherr, a traditional German family-run enterprise, is not only one of the world’s largest manufacturers of construction machinery but has also caved out a strong position in several other industries. The group covers many companies worldwide including Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH, a specialist in machine tools and automation systems. Romana Moares spoke to Martin Winterstein, Director for Global Market Sales and Market Service, to find out more.
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Automation & Robotics
the nearly 70 years since its establishment in the late 1940s, the Liebherr Group has demonstrated stability and reliability, reflecting the personal commitment of the company owners and the credo of the family enterprise. The group continues to be a fully family-run business – its stakeholders are second and third generation descendants of the company’s founder and play an active role in its activities themselves. Under the umbrella of Liebherr-Verzahntechnik, which is based in Kempten, the group produces gear cutting machines, gear cutting tools and automation systems. “In addition to Kempten, we also have facilities in Ettlingen, Germany and Collegno, Italy, where we manufacture our gear cutting tools,” said Mr Winterstein. “We also have an assembly site and a service & sales administration in Saline, USA and a joint venture in India. Additionally, we operate sales and service offices in France, Russia, China, South Korea, Japan and Brazil, and work with sales channel partners in many other countries.”
In full gear Liebherr-Verzahntechnik specialises in high-quality gear cutting machines, gear cutting tools, and automation systems. From the automotive and aerospace industry to wind turbine manufacturers, customers around the world trust Liebherr machines. “The range of gear cutting machines includes gear hobbing machines, gear
shaping machines, gear skiving machines, generating and profile grinding machines as well as chamfering and deburring machines for soft and fine machining of cylindrical gearing based on the new LHGearTec software,” said Mr Winterstein. He pointed out that Liebherr is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of gear cutting tools. “Moreover, Liebherr ensures highquality machining of gear cutting tools from all manufacturers. The long service life of the tools distinguishes us as a reliable partner.” The list of innovative technology that Liebherr has launched is long and extensive. As an example, Mr Winterstein highlighted the gear grinding machine LGG 280, with the new flexible palletising cell LPC 3600 and an emphasis on modular functions. “A special advantage of the machine is the new GH 320 grinding head, which is now available with a mobile meshing sensor and swivel-in measuring probe. With the new palletising cell LPC 3600, Liebherr offers the customer the appropriate automation module for productive manufacturing by means of cage logistics. Work piece handling is carried out with a robot, which also facilitates additional functionalities.”
Innovation focused Liebherr has established itself worldwide as a specialist for automation solutions. The broad range of automation systems ranges from linear gantry robots and robot applications to conveying and storage Industry Europe 39
Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH, Kempten
systems through to solutions for pallet handling systems. Automation solutions from Liebherr reduce production costs and enable a flexible and fast response to changes in market demand. “Perfectly matched for the universal user is the PHS 1500 Allround pallet handling system – the modular concept in three weight classes for loads of up to three tonnes is extremely flexible and can be individually configured and expanded,” Mr Winterstein explained. “Another new development is our own software development called Liebherr Manufacturing System 4.0 tailored for high volume production systems. With the new LMS 4.0 software the automation process is controlled by modular means. This includes operating data recording, production planning, parts tracking and an information system.” He further revealed that the R&D is busily working on new products to be introduced soon. “We are focusing on expanding the skiving technology for machines and cutting tools, as well as further development of chamfering and deburring solutions. We are also working on enhancing the gantry systems and pallet handling solutions for automation systems.”
Global expansion To reinforce its worldwide footprint, Liebherr-Verzahntechnik participates in major trade fairs around the globe.
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“We attended AMB in Stuttgart, IMTS in Chicago and Jimtof in Tokyo, where we presented our latest innovations. This effort will continue in 2019 – in Europe, we will be present at Industry in Lyon, MECSPE in Parma, Metalloobrabotka in Moscow and EMO in Hanover. We will also participate in the big trade fairs in China (CIMT) and USA (Gear Expo). Participation in these trade fairs is of great importance for us – they provide an excellent opportunity to show our new products to our existing customers, and find new customers for our solutions.” In 2018, the company started a cooperation with Wenzel GearTec, a manufacturer of reliable, high precision gear measuring machines and a developer of gear measuring software. “The combination of measuring mechanics and the software ensures precise measuring results and has been developed for companies in various industries such as automotive, mechanical engineering and aerospace,” said Mr Winterstein. Speaking about plans for the future, Mr Winterstein hinted at expansion across all of the company’s markets. “We plan to further localise and broaden the product portfolio in the Americas and will inaugurate a local assembly facility in Yongchuan, China in 2019.” Continuing to supply products and services that create genuine added value and user benefit will remain the basis of n the company’s success.
Martin Winterstein, Director for Global Market Sales and Market Service
Automation & Robotics
Compounding ceramic success For over 50 years the SITI B&T Group of Italy has been strengthening its position in the international ceramics marketplace. Philip Yorke reports on the company’s ambitious expansion plans, its complete turnkey plant solutions and latest innovative products.
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he SITI B&T Group is listed on the Italian stock market, and is a global manufacturer of state-of-the-art production plants for the ceramic tile and sanitary ware industries. Recently the group enhanced its leading position as a major world player following the award of a number of new, high-profile contracts. Today more than 85 per cent of the company’s turnover is generated from export sales, with its global network of service companies making it the company of choice for many of the world’s top ceramic tile and sanitary ware manufacturers. Now SITI B&T’s advanced technologies are able to offer ceramics manufacturers a unique opportunity to improve the quality of their finished products by producing modern tiles that offer greater market appeal than ever before. Added to this, the company’s range of ‘Green’ technologies has defined new industry standards in terms of performance, reliability and productivity. These benefits have been achieved through a significant reduction in energy consumption and other relevant cost savings throughout the entire service life of a plant. With more than 2500 customers worldwide and a growing global network of technical support agencies, SITI B&T is able to offer an unrivalled after-sales service backed up by the most qualified technical specialists in the world. Today the group has more than 100 active patents and offers an innovative range of the most energy-efficient production plants. Its kilns, dryers and spray-dryers optimise its latest cutting-edge high-tech applications, which are able to reduce energy consumption by as much as 30 per cent.
Strengthening presence During the last ten years the SITI B&T Group has installed and serviced dozens of unique, turnkey manufacturing systems in Russia. These have been specifically designed and installed for the country’s leading tile and sanitary ware manufacturers. Russia
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is one of the world’s foremost producers of ceramic products and one that continues to see strong and consistent growth. This market is therefore of particular interest to the group and one that it plans to follow closely. In addition to its central Moscow office, the company has decided to strengthen its presence in the country in order to better serve its growing Russian customer base. “This is another important step to implement our international network that fully fits our strategy based on our investments in research and development and to have a direct presence in all major ceramic markets worldwide. By supporting our customers in dealing with their everyday problems, we intend to offer qualified assistance throughout the entire life-cycle of a plant – thereby ensuring its proper operation and creating a real competitive advantage for the users of our advanced technologies,” said Fabio Tarozzi, chairman and CEO of the SITI B&T Group. Today the group has dozens of completed plants operating in Russia. These have been installed throughout the last ten years for leading Russian ceramic manufacturers, for the production of tiles as well as for sanitary ware products. These individual plants cover the group’s entire technological range that not only involve the parent company, SITI B&T, but also its wholly owned subsidiaries including Projecta Engineering, Digital Design, Ancora and B&T White.
Increasing return on investment In February 2015, SITI B&T made the strategic decision to acquire Ancora SpA, a Sassuolo-based Italian company that specialises in the provision of top-class technological solutions and advanced ceramic finishing processes. This move has paid big dividends for the group, for in addition to complementing its unrivalled portfolio of products and processes, Ancora has also achieved an increase in annual sales over its last fiscal year of more than 45 per cent.
Automation & Robotics
Ancora’s unique technical solutions have been installed in many of the largest ceramic tile manufacturing companies in the region and include the supply and installation of complete finishing lines. The provision of fully automated machines that are compliant with the latest 4.0 Industry requirements complete the high-tech package. Tarozzi commented, “When we acquired Ancora in February 2015, the company was not performing well, however the turnaround has been rapid thanks to the work of a young and motivated management team that we had the confidence to invest in from the very beginning. “In addition to Ancora’s unique finishing technologies, Italian businesses, which produce the highest quality and most aesthetically beautiful ceramic tiles in the world, have also appreciated the comprehensive offer of our group companies, the aim of which is to highlight the ‘beauty in ceramics’. “Our company’s Projecta Engineering with its very special EvoDryFix is the first digital printer to combine inkjet drop on demand and dry grits technologies. In addition, we have Digital Design, a sector leader in the design and realisation of digital graphics for design surfaces. These are just two examples of our unique group offering,” added Tarozzi.
A first for Brazil The group’s South American focus is based in Brazil, where it operates under its subsidiary, ‘B&T do Brazil’. This company has recently achieved an all-important goal with the launch of its first kiln for a leading national ceramics group with exclusive government accreditation. As a result, Brazil has now become a new SITI B&T international production centre. This latest development in the dynamic Brazilian market, which represents more than 10 per cent of the group’s sales, is further endorsed by the numerous orders placed for the sale of its latest, energy saving, eco-compatible and highly-productive lines to leading sector players, such as the group’s long-standing customers Ceramn ica Almeida and the global sanitary ware giant, Kohler. Industry Europe 43
AGCO rewards its key partners AGCO is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural equipment. Although specific needs may vary from market to market, the company’s common approach is to partner fully with every customer through every phase of the farming process, aiming to boost agricultural productivity and reduce post-harvest waste. Romana Moares reports.
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
GCO is the world’s largest manufacturer of machinery and equipment focused solely on the agricultural industry. 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. The company has been investing in facilities and technologies that allow it to manufacture the most cutting-edge machines and equipment to stay at the forefront in the sector - over the past few years, every one of its factories around the world has benefited from a significant investment in both its people and systems.
2018 Supplier Day The company’s leading global position could not have been achieved without reliable partners and suppliers, a fact that is well recognised. Each year, the company awards its top suppliers in
various regions and various categories. This year, AGCO honoured its top EME Region suppliers during the annual AGCO EME Supplier Day in March, an event which was held at AGCO’s Breganze Harvesting Facility in Italy and run under the theme ‘WE ASPIRE IDEAL PARTNERSHIPS’. At the event, AGCO`s senior leaders presented the 2018 business plan and also shared their expectations towards the supply base. They further explained the importance for suppliers to attain ‘Preferred’ and ‘Partner’ level status to participate in additional growth through New Product Introduction, a resurging market as well as new opportunities resulting from AGCO’s strategy to consolidate and optimise its supply base and focus on Supply Chain Excellence and Partnership. As 2018 sales projections, order intake and the overall business environment remain strong and positive, AGCO heavily relies on and challenges its supply base to ensure on-time-delivery, world class quality as well as sharing the benefits generated by improved fixed cost absorption driven by increased volumes.
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NAFs drivelines for harvesting machines Instead of expensive track systems as front drivelines, NAF has
- Proven reliability/cost-efficient
launched its cost- efficient bogie drive solution. The oscillating bogie
- Low maintenance/reduced wear
deriving from long term experience in forestry and construction applications, provides with the integrated Permanent Bogie Balancing
- Optional: - Tyre pressure control- and regulation system
System (PBBS ) an equal distribution of weight and tractive effort
- NAF’s Multi Disc Differential Lock
on all 4 tyres. Resulting in a similar driving performance in comparison to track systems by drastically reduced costs.
To complete your harvester’s driveline our centrally driven rear steering axles with adjustable track width are the best choice. To the already 3 existing axle sizes (9 – 12.5 tons), we are presenting the
All advantages at a glance:
new size with 14 tons payload for class 10 harvesters. - Best adaption to your application due to NAF’s modular system - Tractive effort is nearly doubled in comparison to legacy systems
- High traction forces - Superior stability due to Permanent Bogie Balancing System (PBBS ) ®
- High capacity self-cooling NAF Turbo Brake in the planetary drives - Reduced soil compaction
using two wheel mounted hydraulic motors - Easy and simplified hydraulic control and regulation system needing only one central motor - Weight optimised design – one central drive - Optional tyre pressure control- and regulation system
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
AGCO honoured its first three ‘Partner’ level suppliers, which is the highest relationship level a supplier can attain with AGCO, recognising AGCO as a top customer, providing leading innovation and serving as a world-class benchmark. The first Partner suppliers were Trelleborg Wheel Systems; Robert Bosch GmbH and Reinz-Dichtungs-GmbH.
Honoured partnerships Trelleborg was awarded for taking a number of strategic steps since 2012 to support AGCO as a key customer, including the opening of new factories in China and the US, purchasing Mitas to offer more competitive tyres and leveraging its manufacturing footprint to optimise production and flexibility in supply. During the recent upswing, Trelleborg has gone the extra mile to support AGCO’s sudden demand peaks while remaining flexible to changes. Bosch has been recognised for proactively sharing its leading edge technologies with AGCO and extending its product portfolio and manufacturing footprint to support AGCO´s Global demands, while providing competitive cost, and an impressive global delivery and quality performance. The third company, Reinz-Dichtungs-GmbH, has been awarded for helping with its seals and gaskets to keep the pressure in the right place, the power up, the oil lock-&-tight, and the temperature steady. It gives priority to AGCO, collaborate closely with AGCO engineers and researchers, while keeping an outstanding quality level with year-overyear ZERO PPM levels and ZERO non-conformances. AGCO also awarded 20 suppliers in 8 categories for their special commitment and performance: Collaboration (Danfoss Power Solutions; Erkunt Sanayi A.S.; Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co KG.),
Quality (Alfagomma Hydraulic SPA; Witzenmann Rohrtechnik; Shapers’ France), Innovation (Faster SPA; AF Neunkirchener Achsenfabrik AG; Comer Industries SPA), Logistics (MSK Plast Oy; Camozzi Automation GmbH; Wabco), Best Logistics Service (Döderlein Spedition GmbH), Parts (M. Barnwell Services Ltd), NPI (PKC Group; Polirim SRL; Komas Oy) and Indirect (SDL plc; Air Liquid Group; Concentra).
Continued growth While the company values its business partners, it is at the same time aware of its social role - in September AGCO announced the launch of the AGCO Agriculture Foundation. “The AGCO Agriculture Foundation is a testament to our commitment to support farmers feeding the world. Our objective is to support non-profit initiatives that contribute to global food security, support sustainable agriculture development and have an economic impact in developing countries,” said Martin Richenhagen, AGCO’s Chairman, President and CEO. This initiative is set to benefit from the group’s continud growth - in October, AGCO reported net sales of approximately $2.2 billion for the third quarter of 2018, an increase of approximately 11.5 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2017. “AGCO’s solid operational performance across our regional business units and constructive market developments are driving sales and earnings growth,” stated Martin Richenhagen. “We delivered sales and operating income improvement across all regions, with the strongest growth in North and South America. Equally important, we have delivered operationally while making significant progress on our long-term n strategic growth drivers.” Visit: www.agcocorp.com
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Super-sealed solutions ALT Technologies is a global leader in the development and manufacture of special adhesives and sealants for a broad range of industries. Following its recent takeover by GIMV Smart Industries, it has ambitious plans for further growth in Asia and the Americas, as Philip Yorke reports.
LT is the heir to a long tradition of innovation and manufacturing expertise that began in 1935 when R. Stanton Avery manufactured the world’s first self-adhesive labels in Los Angeles. In 1990, trading as Avery Dennison, it started the development of automotive safety products in the USA, which was followed in 1997 by the construction of manufacturing facilities for automotive safety components in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Subsequently, an investment of €1.5 million enabled the company to acquire new process technology and to be accredited to ISO TS 16949, which in turn paved the way for further capital investment for its global expansion. By 2004, consistent growth had provided the impetus for the company’s construction of new production facilities in Romania and a new sales office in China. By 2012 ALT Technologies had opened its dedicated, state-of-the-art facilities in Shanghai, China as well as a new sales office in Detroit, USA. In October 2018 ALT Technologies also opened a new, high-tech production facility in Mexico. The company’s stated mission is to develop and deliver valueadded solutions to the automotive-durable goods and other industries that are designed to surpass and exceed their customers’ needs and expectations. With its global presence and total quality management approach it guarantees to meet customer quality and service requirements worldwide. 48 Industry Europe
In keeping with its dedication to providing innovative and eco-friendly solutions, ALT Technologies has recently entered into a strategic alliance with Biolink, a leading specialist in customised, self-adhesive tapes. These products combine high-tech innovative formulas with eco-friendly solutions. Since 1997, Biolink has been designing, developing and producing a wide range of specialist self-adhesive products using its unique UV-cured technology and customer-focused approach. Biolink’s products and R&D capabilities perfectly compliment those of ALT Technologies and will help to increase yet further its competitive edge.
Ambitious plans The global investment company GIMV has recently taken over the Dutch ALT Technologies Company from Standard Investment, which has held a majority stake in it since 2011. GMV has acquired a 67 per cent stake, while the balance is held by the company’s management team under the leadership of CEO Jean-Luc Verstraeten. ALT Technologies has since confirmed its ambitious plans for growth in Asia and the Americas. The automotive airbag market is expected to see strong growth over the coming years, which is being driven by the implementation of more safety regulations in the world’s emerging markets, and especially by the tightening of safety regulations for new vehicles.
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
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In addition, consumers in the more mature markets are also becoming increasingly aware of the importance of vehicle safety standards. This has resulted in a higher number of airbags being installed per vehicle. Jean-Luc Verstraeten, CEO of ALT Technologies said, “This transaction is the first step in our company’s next growth phase. Both myself and the entire management team are looking forward to working with GIMV Smart Industries team.” “We are delighted that we can use our expertise in the automotive industry, built up over many years with earlier investments in VCST, Punch Powertrain, Mackevision and Arplas, to help ALT Technologies’ international growth,” added Sander van Vreumingen, Partner in the GIMV Industries Platform.
Increasing global reach To enhance its position as a truly global player, ALT Technologies has opened its all-new Latin Americas production facility in Chihuahua City, Mexico. This modern, high-tech plant will manufacture all the key ALT Technologies automotive products for their global customers’ needs in the Americas locations. This strategic, additional manufacturing location and increased global capacity will allow the company’s other production facilities in Romania, The Netherlands and China to focus on its European and Asian markets, enabling further growth potential to flourish in each region. A dedicated Mexican team has been recruited and the new purpose-built facility has been constructed to meet the most stringent international standards. The entire production team has spent many months being integrated into the company and trained at European locations to support future growth and the demands of its Tier 1 automotive customers.
Biolink and Saint-Gobain have established an ideal connection Biolink offers a wide range of specialist self-adhesive products, using our unique UV-cured technology and customer-focused philosophy. For manufacturers around the world that need reliable and innovative solutions to
their fixing, mounting and bonding applications, Biolink
ALT industries has won many awards for its innovative achievements and the high quality of its products and services. In 2018 it received the Excellence Quality Supplier award from the ZF TRW Dongfang Airbag inflator plant in Shaanxi Province, China. This prestigious award was given for the company’s long-term, outstanding quality performance. Earlier, ALT Technologies, Industrial Parts (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. also received a coveted technical innovation award from the Jin Heng Group of China, for its outstanding contribution to the Chinese comn pany’s latest design concept improvements.
provides high-performance, solvent-free, environmentally-friendly PSA solutions, designed and delivered with expertise and creativity. Based on these conditions, Saint-Gobain acquired Biolink in 2017. In cooperation with other strong brands from Saint-Gobain, we are now able to offer unique tape solutions and a broad portfolio of products meeting the demands of the automotive and other industries.
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
3D patient-specific care Materialise is a Belgian company that leads the field in the development of 3D printing software for a broad range of applications from healthcare and automotive to avionics and consumer goods. Philip Yorke reports.
aterialise incorporates almost 30 years of 3D printing expertise and software development, which today forms the backbone of the 3D printing industry. The company’s open and flexible dedicated solutions enable players in a broad variety of industries to build innovative 3D printing applications that are designed to make the world a better and healthier place. Headquartered in Belgium, with a global network of offices, Materialise has pioneered many of the world’s leading medical, automotive and aerospace three-dimensional solutions.
Fast expanding IP portfolio Recently, Materialise strengthened its unique position in the healthcare industry with its expanding implant (IP) portfolio of personalised solutions. A new patent has been accepted for Materialise’s 3D planning technologies and 3D-printed guides that enable the desired fixing of personalised implant products. Materialise’s latest patent enables the design of screw replacements for the fit and fixation of customised implants. With the recent expansion of its portfolio of medical patents, the company continues to strengthen its unique position in the healthcare industry. At the same time, this supports its commitment to help patients worldwide through technological innovation. With almost 30 years of experience in medical 3D printing and planning and an impressive IP portfolio of 160 medical patents granted, Materialise is in a unique position to support surgeons with advanced planning tools and personalised medical devices for complex patient cases. Industry Europe 51
This latest patent strengthens further the company’s 3D planning technologies and 3D printed guides that allow accurate planning and design of screw placements for customised implants, ensuring the desired fixation and optimal bone preservation.
All-in-one platform Earlier this year Materialise launched its latest personalised solution, the TRUMATCH® Personalised Shoulder system. With its expanded collaboration with DePuy Synthes, its US distributor, the new online platform and 3D printed guides for shoulder surgery was unveiled recently at the AAOS annual meeting in New Orleans. The unique TRUMATCH® Personalised Solutions Shoulder System will help orthopaedic surgeons prepare for shoulder arthroplasty surgery, specifically addressing Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty (RSA) and Anatomic Shoulder Arthroplasty (TSA) operations. It offers sur-
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geons an all-in-one, web-based platform that allows them to better plan and prepare for these operations as well as to order patientspecific 3D-printed surgical guides. RSA and TSA operations present unique challenges to surgeons with limited visibility as the result of the small incision, the Glenoid cavity being sited deep in the surgical window and the lack of reliable landmarks. However precise alignment is necessary, not just because of limited bone stock, but because of its impact on overall screw length and fixation (with RSA) and the occurrence of peg perforation (with TSA). “3D planning is gaining popularity with orthopaedic surgeons performing shoulder operations,” said Wilfred Vancraen, founder and CEO of Materialise. “Together with our strategic partners like DePuy Synthes, we are continually working to improve surgical planning processes for a range of hospital operations.”
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
Validated software solutions Materialise is working closely with its partners and providers to remove uncertainty and confusion for hospitals and physicians who are incorporating 3D printing into their diagnostic and surgical planning processes. In Chicago in November 2018, Materialise launched its certification programme that allows printer manufacturers that partner with the company, to have products tested and validated as being fully compatible with ‘Materialise mimics inPrint’ software. This is the first and only software to gain clearance from the FDA to develop 3D anatomical models for diagnostic and surgical planning uses. The inPrint software is both printer and material-agnostic, thus allowing Materialise to develop partnerships and solutions to meet a wide range of hospital and clinician requirements. Stratasys and Ultimaker are the first two 3D printing hardware partners to participate in this programme and to have their products tested by Materialise to certify compatibility. “These partnerships offer healthcare providers the benefits of our open and flexible 3D printing solutions, whilst eliminating potential compatibility challenges with third party hardware providers,” said Bryan Churchfield, VicePresident and General Manager of Materialise North America.
“Hospitals and physicians want the benefits of flexible software tools that are material and printer ‘agnostic’, but they also require the certainty that flexibility won’t create compatibility challenges at deployment or in the future. We’re ensuring they can focus on patient care and improving people’s livers by providing compatible point-of-care solutions that meet their individual needs,” Churchfield added. For further details of Materialise’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.materialise.com
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Ahead of the curve Scania AB is a world leader in transport solutions for trucks and buses designed for heavy transport applications. The company is well ahead of the curve in the development of more efficient, eco-friendly vehicles. Its latest XT truck range for heavy construction work, its lightweight urban range and its new Scania hybrid buses are already making a major contribution to a cleaner, safer world, as Philip Yorke reports.
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
cania was founded in Sweden in 1900 and began as a bicycle manufacturer before moving in to the development of light vehicles in 1911, following its merger with Vabis, a producer of railway cars. Today the company is a world leader in transport solutions and combines this with an extensive service offering. With almost 50,000 employees located in over 50 countries, Scania is strategically placed to be close to its global customer base. Research and development activities are focused in Sweden, Brazil and India. Vehicle production takes place in ten countries worldwide, including Europe, Latin America and Asia with global facilities for the interchange of both components and complete vehicles. Today Scania is part of the Volkswagen Bus and Truck Group and is listed on the Swedish Nasdaq OMX stock exchange in Stockholm.
Targeted offensive Recently Scania launched its world-beating XT truck range, designed specifically to target the growing global construction industry. This latest construction range of heavy-duty trucks represents the second stage in Scania’s introduction of new generation trucks, which are the fruits of more than ten years’ development and an investment of more than €2 billion. “This industry is facing increasing demands for sustainable and cost-effective production components in the complex construction logistics process, therefore we must adapt to higher standards for efficiency and Scania XT is our contribution to this shift,” said Henrik Henriksson, president and CEO of Scania trucks. Following an extensive analysis of the multi-faceted construction industry, Scania has also developed a comprehensive range of
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vehicles to meet the highly diverse transport assignments within this sector. Scania says that it is uniquely placed to offer solutions for the entire range of new specifications available from its range of cab and engine specifications, which means that customers can select engines with power ranging from 280 to 739 horse power, in order to meet their individual needs. These broad specifications are also complemented by a host of services to ensure the highest possible uptime, reliability and profitability for customers. The introduction of the new XT range by Scania marks the start of a targeted offensive with tailor-made solutions focused on Europe’s most demanding customers. Henriksson added, “We are putting a higher emphasis on construction. We now have the right products, the right services and the right skills to match Scania’s leading position in long-distance vehicles.”
Showcasing ‘Citywide’ electric buses A few months ago Scania unveiled its hybrid, Scania Interlink Low Decker bus and also premiered its new battery-electric Scania Citywide bus at the Busworld Trade Fair in Kortrijk, Belgium. With the addition of this latest hybrid technology, Scania now meets the entire scope of alternatives for suburban and intercity operations. The Scania Interlink Low Decker bus is presently available for diesel, biodiesel, HVO, CNG/CBG, ethanol and hybrid applications. “The accelerating urban growth in the world is largely suburbanisation rather than
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expanding city centres. That means longer commuter trips to work and, in fact, suburban public transport presently consumes three times more fuel than city centre transport. Thus we need a greater focus on finding non-fossil alternatives for these journeys,” said Karin Radstrom, head of Buses and Coaches at Scania.
New low carbon solutions Following the introduction of its next generation trucks for long haulage and construction, the focus is now on urban and additional low carbon transport solutions. With the recent launch of its lighter trucks powered by its latest 7-litre engine, Scania offers urban transportation new levels of vehicle efficiency with fuel savings of up to 10 per cent. With its more compact dimensions, the new P-Series cab can feature a lower engine tunnel, which opens up a more spacious cab interior. As a result, drivers can enjoy the best possible driving conditions in the industry in vehicles that excel in handling, steering and driveability, all of which are essential in urban traffic. Low entry means higher efficiency and the latest L-series is Scania’s newly developed cab series for urban transport, for applications such
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as distribution, refuse collection and maintenance. Drivers benefit from vastly improved direct vision of the surroundings and are also at the same height as other road users, with the added advantage of improved working conditions when repeatedly entering and exiting the cab. The Scania L-series features a ‘kneeling mode’ and lower boarding steps on both sides of the cab. As well as providing a better view over traffic, Scania also introduces the ‘City Safe Window’, which offers better opportunities for drivers to detect nearby pedestrians and cyclists. The window on the passenger door is available for all P-series and L-series cabs, n which are those in most common use in urban transport. For further details of Scania’s latest highly efficient, eco-friendly transport solutions visit: www.scania.com
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
Pioneering smarter, cleaner fuel-efficiency Valtra is a market-leading manufacturer of tractors and agricultural machinery and part of the AGCO Corporation. Its innovative SmartTouch technology is employed in its latest T254 model. This has contributed to the series winning the Agritechnica 2018 ‘Tractor of the Year Award’. Valtra has also become the first tractor manufacturer in the world to begin using renewable diesel for its tractors, as Philip Yorke reports.
altra was founded in 1951 and is headquartered in Suolahti, Finland, from where it operates its extensive European state-ofthe-art manufacturing facilities. The company has another major production plant situated in Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil, where it also produces combine harvesters, cane harvesters, self-propelled sprayers and seed drills. Today Valtra employs over 1200 people and in 2017 recorded sales of more than €100 million. The company manufactures around 25,000 tractors a year at its two plants.
Award-winning features Valtra’s newest model series, the Valtra A4 (75-130hp), has won the Red Dot 2018 Design award in the ‘Commercial Vehicle’ category. This coveted award continues Valtra’s success in the world’s most prestigious design award competition in which Valtra was also recognised in 2016 and 2017. The competition was launched in the 1950s and this year attracted over 6300 entries from 59 countries. These were judged by a jury of 40 independent design experts from
around the world. The brand new design of the A4 series makes it a truly versatile performer designed to boost the efficiency of farmers, contractors and municipalities alike. In a separate event in 2018, the Valtra T254 tractor featuring its ‘SmartTouch’ armrest technology won the renowned ‘Tractor of the Year 2018’ award at the Agritechnica Trade Fair in Hannover, Germany. Included among its many winning attributes is its ‘fitted-as-standard’, SmartTouch armrest which features a nine inch touch screen, an intelligent multi-use drive lever and a new hydraulic joystick which gives the most straightforward user interface in the industry. This allows the driver to control and adjust almost any setting of the engine, transmission, hydraulics, the AutoGuide and Telemetry. In addition, the 5-step Powershift transmission features four main and two creeper speed ranges for a total of 30 speeds in both directions. Shifting is precise and effortless whether operated fully automatically or manually with the drive lever. The T254 Versu also features Valtra’s special Hill-hold feature, which enables easy starts using just the accelerator pedal, even uphill. This is in addition to Valtra’s revolutionary, patented Industry Europe 59
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
hydraulics assistant. This latest innovation provides more hydraulic output automatically, either when stationary or when driving, without affecting driving speed.
Responsible innovation In December 2018 Valtra announced that it would be the first tractor manufacturer in the world to begin using ‘Neste MY’ renewable diesel as the start-up fuel for all its new tractors. As a result more than 700,000 litres of fossil-based diesel fuel will be replaced each year by 100 per cent renewable fuel. By beginning to use ‘Neste MY’ renewable fuel Valtra is strengthening its role as a responsible and innovative tractor manufacturer. The quality of the renewable diesel is excellent, and its cold-start properties are equally efficient even in Arctic conditions. Valtra’s renewable diesel is ideal for tractors as well as forklift trucks without the need for any additives and without having to make any adjustments to engines. “In today’s world it is important that we can demonstrate to our customers that we are taking decisive action to protect the environment. ‘Neste MY’ offers us a simple way to move towards environmentally friendly operations. We are quite a big consumer of diesel so this move is really significant,” said Mikko Lehikoinen, Marketing Director at Valtra. “The environment is also very important for our customers, who traditionally support ecological values. They are constantly trying to make better choices and no doubt also prioritise responsibility when choosing a tractor brand,” added Lehikoinen.
total of almost 700 Valtra tractors were sold in Norway in 2017, which means that there was an increase in sales of over 220 tractors from the previous year. “It has been an amazing year for us. We have dedicated sales staff across the country, good service technicians and of course excellent products. That’s why it it’s so satisfying to be able to reach the top of the scoreboard,” said Tor Jon Garberg, sales manager for Valtra in Norway. “This year we launched several new models that have been very well received by the market. The new SmartTouch Armrest is one of the great, new technological releases that has contributed to its success. n Customer feedback has also been very positive,” added Garberg.
The number one best seller For the first time, Valtra has become the best-selling tractor brand in Norway with a market share in 2017 of more than 20 per cent. A Industry Europe 61
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
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chemicals, petrochemicals & offshore
Adding purity to performance Nuova Solmine is a European market leader in the production and distribution of sulphuric acid and oleum. Thanks to its high level of purity, the sulphuric acid produced by the company has many applications in industrial processes from water purification and pharmaceuticals to detergents, fertilisers and foodstuffs. Philip Yorke reports on a company that is clearly focused on technological innovation as well as increasing its global presence.
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uova Solmine is a leading European chemicals company based in Italy. In 1962 the industrial complex of Casone di Scarlino was built by the Montecatini Edison Company for the business of pyrite extraction and processing. However, the plant merged with Solmine in 1972 to produce sulphuric acid, ferrous oxide and energy. Following this development, in 1996 Sol Mar SpA was formed in order to tender for the then Eni Group company, Nuova Solmine. The business came under the complete control of Sol Mar SpA as a result of a management buy-out. In 2005 Nuova Solmine SpA also acquired total control of So.Ri.S. SpA. Today Nuova Solmine is the market leader in Italy and the Mediterranean basin in the production of sulphuric acid. Because of its unrivalled purity, the sulphuric acid produced by Nuova Solmine is ideal for many industrial processes, including water purification, synthetic fibres, pigments, pharmaceuticals, batteries, detergents and fertilisers among many others. Diluted sulphuric acid is also produced, which is marketed by Solbat, another company in the Sol Mar Group. Nuova Solmine is fully certified to ISO 9001, ISO 1400, UNI 10617, OHSAS 18001, ISO 50001 and the international EMAS Responsible Care Programme.
Focus on sustainability Because of its broad range of activities, Nuova Solmine has a strong focus on research and development with the objective of continuously improving its production processes and minimising waste and CO2 emissions. Sustainability is therefore a priority at Nuova Solmine and its activities are considered particularly ‘virtuous’ by industry watchers from the point of view of clean energy and protection of the environment. The complete absence of waste in the manufacturing processes (as opposed to the original procedure of baking the pyrite, and the significant amount of heat generated by the manufacturing process) allows virtually all of the energy to be produced with zero emissions of 64 Industry Europe
greenhouse gases. This is also due to the fact that sulphur combustion and its successive oxidisation do not produce any carbon dioxide gas emissions. Nuova Solmine constantly maintains and upgrades its structures and machinery in order to keep its production facilities at the highest standard in order to guarantee optimal efficiency and dedicated care of the environment. The extensive Scarlino plant covers around 140 hectares and has an annual production capacity of more than 600,000 tonnes.
Pure diversity The high-purity sulphuric acid produced by Nuova Solmine creates a strong mineral acid, which is liquid at ambient temperatures, and is also oily, colourless and odourless. The product’s chemical formula is notated as H2SO4. It is the most used base chemical in the industrial world. It is also a compound that is commonly used as the catalyser in essential chemical preparations such as alkylation, sulphonation, nitration and oil refining. The sulphuric acid produced at the company’s Scarlino plant has an infinite range of industrial applications at both the laboratory and industrial levels. The list includes mineral treatments, chemical synthesis, oil refining, wastewater treatment, the production of inorganic acids and use in the iron and steel industries. It is also used in the food industry for starches and for distilleries, as well as for tanning, textiles, paper mills, car battery production, paints, pigments and pesticides. As a result of its high grade of purity, sulphuric acid manufactured by Nuova Solmine can be used in multiple industrial processes at both home and abroad.
Expanding global reach Nuova Solmine’s traditional markets include France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Israel, Turkey and Greece. However other markets are
chemicals, petrochemicals & offshore
also contributing increasingly to the company’s exports, namely Portugal and South America where high quality sulphuric acid plays a key role in metalworking processes and the production of high quality fertilisers. Further investments in logistics will be bringing other global markets within reach, allowing the company to be continuously active on longhaul international routes. In addition, Nuova Solmine continues to install substantial storage tanks at its nearby Piombino harbour, as well as investing in a new and extensive stocking facility for the company’s bulk raw material, sulphur.
Steaming ahead In the company’s Serravalle Scrivia Plant in northern Italy, Nuova Solmine produces demineralised water, steam and electricity. The state-of-the-art demineralised water production facility is initially fed from well-water that has first been sterilised, filtered and softened. Following this treatment the water then flows into three lines of reverse osmosis. This treated
water then supplies the company’s production plants for the generation of steam, of which a small amount is used to produce a special sulphuric acid called ‘accumulator-acid’. The Serravalle Scrivia plant produces demineralised water for internal use, whilst the Scarlino plant, with its production capacity of 100m3/h and stocking capacity of more than 1200m3, also uses part of the water to produce steam. At the Scarlino plant steam is produced from the heat generated from the combustion of sulphur and methane. The energy generated by the sulphuric acid exothermic process is used to produce electricity. This amounts to over 6000V, which in turn is used either in the plant, or transformed in its substation to 130KV, in order that it can be put into the national grid, to which the company’s power plant is connected. Approximately half of the normal production of energy generated by Nuova Solomine’s manufacturing processes is sold and the remaining energy used for n consumption by the company’s own plants.
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Winds of change INA is a European oil company that enjoys a strong market position in Croatia and its adjacent markets. The business also has operations in Angola and Egypt. The INA Group has seen consistent growth since conflicts in the region ceased in 1991. Today INA operates around 500 petrol stations complemented by additional sales of consumer oil products produced at its refineries in Rijeka and Sisak. Philip Yorke reports.
NA was founded in 1964 as a result of a merger between Naftaplin, a Croatian company specialising in gas exploration and production, and the oil refineries located in Rijeka and Sisak. INA d.d. is a stock company that has MO listing, with the Republic of Croatia its largest shareholder; however, a minority of shares are also owned by private and institutional investors. INA shares have been listed on the Zagreb stock exchanges since 1 December 2006. Today the INA Group has its headquarters in Zagreb, Croatia and is comprised of several affiliated companies that in total employ more than 11,000 people. The company manages a regional network of around 500 petrol stations in Croatia and neighbouring countries. In 2010 the INA Group initi-
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ated a significant modernisation and revitalisation programme of its retail network. It remains committed to doing business in accordance with sustainable development and strives towards integrating economic, environmental and social factors in its broad range of daily operations. INA is a driver of social and economic development that takes care of people and the environment whilst fostering responsible business operations and local partnerships.
Strategic gas fields In November 2018, in keeping with the company’s growth strategy, the INA Group completed the purchase of ENI’s shares in the strategic Northern Adriatic Offshore gas fields. Following an announce-
chemicals, petrochemicals & offshore
ment concerning the purchase of ENI Croatia, INA has confirmed that all the required conditions have been fulfilled and the transaction duly completed. As a result, INA now owns 100 per cent of Croatia’s offshore gas fields in the Northern Adriatic and Marica regions. This milestone purchase will immediately increase the company’s daily gas production by around 10 per cent and represents another important step towards achieving the full replacement of its fuel reserves. The gas produced in the Northern Adriatic concession area will be directed towards the Croatian supply network, thus increasing the security of the gas supply to its domestic market, while gas produced in the Marica area will continue to be transported to customers in Italy, under the original gas sales contract signed by INA and Eni. This significant acquisition will now allow the INA Group to carry out further investments in the Northern Adriatic and Marica regions.
Key partner programme Effectively broadening its customer and supplier base in one step, the INA Group has begun a two-year business cooperation with ROX, INA’s long-term consumer of oil products and a supplier of consumer goods. Historically, ROX has been an integral part of the successful INA Key Partner Programme that also involves Bosnia and Herzegovina. This move will enable ROX to use its INA Partner membership, in order to sell INA’s fuels exclusively at its recently reconstructed, extensive retail site in Zagreb. With the offer of INA’s high quality fuels Eurodiesel and Eurosuper 95, customers will be able to purchase Eurodiesel Class Plus and Eurosuper 95 Class Plus at the same retail outlet. Moreover, the retail site will also be promoting NA Autoplin, INA Gas bottles and INA Maziva lubricants, which will also be on permanent display at the recently refurbished site.
Cold comfort The INA Group manages the biggest retail network in Croatia, within which it offers a wide range of products and services. The company’s strategy is to be able to offer its customers the highest possible quality fuels, especially throughout Croatia’s severe winter months when temperatures drop well below zero, making starting engines difficult and time-consuming. To overcome these difficulties, INA technical experts have developed INA Eurodiesel Arktic fuel, especially developed for driving in severe winter conditions. This advanced winter fuel is the first of its kind in the region. INA’s Arktic fuel has been developed using highquality ingredients which are combined to provide excellent, low-temperature characteristics in adverse weather conditions, and through a combination of cold-filter plugging point of max -30C and Cloud Point of max -10C a steady engine start and uninterrupted running in harsh conditions is guaranteed.
High-Efficiency Liquid-Phase scale catcher Carryover of impurities into hydroprocessing reactors occurs very frequently. Sources are ubiquitous: foreign material may be transported with the feed, corrosion byproducts may be generated in some of the many metal degradation processes, salts may be present due to additives or inefficient performance of other units. While it is important to research the source of the impurities in order to improve efficiency and avoid potential equipment failures, a scale catcher at the top of a packed bed is most often the best way to manage solid impurities and minimise the rate of increase of pressure drop across the reactor. Haldor Topsoe is installing a HELPscTM scale catcher at the top of one of INA’s hydrocracker. This model comprises a series of settling
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pans and filters. The latter are made by metallic cages containing particulate material. HELPscTM (the acronym of High-Efficiency LiquidPhase scale catcher) is designed to maximise particulate abatement in the settling pans. Here, the particulate with largest aerodynamic diameter can sediment. The remaining, finer, particulate is collected in the filters. In this equipment, the gas phase, which typically does not carry particulate, by-passes the filters. The liquid phase passes through the filter leaving the particulate on the filtration surface. Due to the presence of the settling pans, the particles captured in the filters are small and typically much smaller than the clearance in the filter. Thus, the prevalent filtration processes are inertia and interception rather than sieving. One peculiarity of a HELPscTM is to have double raw filters. By means of this design, it is possible to maximise the particulate retention capacity and to classify particles. This often helps to understand the origin of scale, and provide effective troubleshooting. The equipment has proven effective in a vast number of industrial cases, allowing many units to increase their cycle length by a factor of 2-5. HELPscTM is typically installed on top of the distribution tray. Most commonly it fits inside the dome of the reactor, above the weld line, in order to avoid any interference with the catalyst volume. The construction allows for installation of the tray on top of third party distribution trays, which is the case in the present configuration of the INA hydrocracker. Topsoe has proprietary technologies to ensure that existing tray support rings, or attachments of other kinds, are sufficient to hold the load of both the distribution tray and the HELPscTM at the operating conditions. While support rings or other equivalent wall attachments for reactor internals are often available, in certain situations there may be the need of supporting reactor internals by other means. For these applications, we envisage using other means of support. These may be, for example, hanging technologies (from the inlet nozzle, or other flanges of the reactor comprising, for example, the thermowell nozzles), floating technologies, and others.
Focus on sustainable development Pro-active projects surrounding sustainable development are an integral part of the INA Group’s business plan. These are referred to in its six clearly defined key areas of sustainable development. Regarding climate change on a global level, the company under68 Industry Europe
takes to implement a full range of projects and activities related to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, thereby increasing overall energy efficiency. In terms of environmental protection, health and safety, particular attention has been paid by the company to workplace safety, environmental protection improvements, reducing greenhouse gas emission, rational use of energy and favouring suppliers who abide by the same important operational principles. In addition, the oil industry requires high-level occupational health and safety (OHS), therefore INA has established a comprehensive OHS management system, with special attention being paid to ensurn ing work safety.
Delivering new anti-corrosion solutions Russian Coatings JSC is a leading global player in the development and manufacture of specialised anticorrosive coatings for industry. The company continues to increase its global competitiveness through its scientific development of new products in association with its international partners. Philip Yorke reports.
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chemicals, petrochemicals & offshore
ussian Coatings JSC was founded 180 years ago when a Russian merchant by the name of Andrei Fedorovich opened a small shop in Tolchkova Sloboda to produce lead-based white paint. The start-up was a success, and subsequently the company grew to emerge as Russia’s most successful industrial coatings company and one that today competes on equal terms with the world’s market leaders. Russian Coatings is focused on key global markets such as automotive OEM coatings, car finishing systems, decorative and industrial coatings and advanced powder coatings. The company’s strategy is based upon its commitment to R&D and continuing sales of highly adaptable coatings and materials, as well as innovative process technologies. The company adheres to all the well-known international quality standards for its development, production and sale of products, including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Russian Coatings is currently recognised as one of the most stable and fastest-growing enterprises in the Russian paint and varnish industry and plays an active role in both domestic and foreign markets.
Unrivalled efficiency Towards the end of 2019, Russian Coatings made a landmark agreement with another leading Russian brand, Dullak of Vladivostok. This strategic alliance was based upon the provision of logistics and technical support for shipping in the Far Eastern region. Specialised ant-corrosion paints and varnishes, developed and manufactured by Russian Coatings JSC, would be used exclusively for these regions.
Today Russian Coatings JSC is seeking new horizons and is developing a new range of complex anti-corrosion ship paints in partnership with the St Petersburg Institute of Technology, and the country’s Ministry of Education & Science. Following the results of the latest R&D, nine new brands of paints and varnishes will be certified in accordance with the requirements of the Maritime Register, the Navy and River Registers. The selection of Russian Coatings JSC as Dullak’s partner in the Far Eastern Region is based upon sound parameters. Dullak has been engaged in the provision of complex paint formulas and technical support in the region for more than 20 years. The latest paint solutions from Russian Coatings offer unrivalled efficiencies in anti-corrosion and flame retardant properties when applied to shipping, reinforced concrete structures, self-levelling floors and much more. In recent years the demand for Russian shipbuilding and ship repair requirements has increased significantly. Added to this, large investment projects are being implemented in the Far East to create modern shipbuilding facilities, which in turn means a significant increase in the demand for specialised paints.
New colour-tinting system In recent months the demand for its high-tech primer-enamel paint, Prodecor 1201 and 1202 has grown dramatically. In order to satisfy the new demands and to serve its clients more promptly, Russian Coatings JSC has developed a new tinting system and implemented this with is partners. The unique Prodecor tinting Industry Europe 71
system includes basic primer-enamels of two types; Prodecor 1201 & 1202, as well as 13 universal pigment pastes and a programme for drawing up new formulations. The sophisticated programme also allows customers to calculate the cost of the resulting product in advance. The use of the latest Prodecor tinting system offers indisputable improvements over the traditional technology involving the production of finished colours. These include low implementation costs and convenient and intuitive software. In addition, the new tinting system offers simplicity in the manufacture of primer-enamels, which does not require large investments in specialised equipment. With the paint dealerships in Russia covering the whole country, Russian Coatings is able to provide its customers with an opportunity to obtain high-quality anti-corrosion paint in the precise volumes required, without having to refer to the standard Tare volumes. If the consumer needs non-standard colour or in fact any individual shade, then it can be developed and added to the programme. Furthermore, the company’s technical support experts can provide any necessary customer paint-tinting training.
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Moving re-finishing forward At a major conference held in Azerbaijan in 2018, the car refinish business division of Russian Coatings JSC hosted over 80 guests for a special review of the market and to enhance the company’s leading position in car refinish materials made under its brand. The company’s R&D centre provided new data on some specific features and key advantages of the advanced refining materials Involved, and focused on new refinish materials such as its ‘express clearcoat’, anti-gravel coatings and ultra-hard polyurethane coatings. For the first time the conference delegates were able to see how these materials looked in detail and familiarised themselves with the specifications of the products and their individual test results. In the well-attended meeting, discussions were held relating to the high demand for certain products, the quality of primers and clearcoats, as well as the colour palette of metallised enamels and mix n components for the company’s colour-matching systems. For further details of Russian Coatings’ latest innovative products and services visit: www.ruskraski.ru
Construction & ENGINEERING
eco-innovation Tarkett is the global brand leader in innovative eco-flooring and sports surface solutions. The company offers a broad range of products that include vinyl, carpet, rubber, wood, laminate and synthetic turf, as well as advanced surfaces for athletics tracks. Today Tarkett enjoys strong growth across the board thanks to its sustainable, eco-friendly products and strategic global acquisitions, as Philip Yorke reports.
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or almost 140 years, Tarkett has been a market leader in the development and supply of unique flooring and sports surface solutions. Today with more than 13,000 employees, the company serves over 100 countries worldwide through its key brands that include Tarkett, Desso, Johnsonite, Tandus Centiva, FieldTurf and Beynon. As an indicator of its dominant role in the global marketplace, Tarkett sells over 1.4 million square metres of flooring every single day. Market applications include products for hospitals, schools, housing, hotels, offices, stores and sports fields. Tarkett’s new prestige headquarters are located in the select ‘La Defence’ area of Paris, and are the hub of its extensive global operations. The company is listed on the Euronext stock exchange in Paris and in 2017 recorded revenues of more than €2.8 billion.
companies, which will enable optimised performance and contribute to a seamless integration. “With the acquisition of Lexmark, Tarkett has reinforced its position in carpets for the hospitality market in North America and is now one of three leading brands in this sector,” said Fabrice Barthelemy, chairman of Tarkett’s management board. “Additionally this move enables us to provide a global offering to key international accounts and strengthens our expertise in this important segment. We are very pleased to welcome Paul Cleary and his team to the Tarkett family.” Lexmark Carpet Mills produces high quality carpets primarily for the North American hospitality market and is well recognised among leading hospitality chains for its state-of-the-art products and services. In 2017 Lexmark achieved sales of more than $120 million and employed around 500 people.
Expanding global reach
Recently the Tarkett Group announced a number of strategic investments that will expand its global operations and increase its luxury vinyl tiles production capacity in North America and Europe. The additional capacity will significantly enhance its sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing base worldwide. In another recent move, Tarkett announced that it had completed the acquisition of Lexmark Carpet Mills. This will reinforce its presence in the growing North American hospitality sector. It has identified sales and supply chain synergies between the two
Tarkett is planning to invest a further $60 million over a three-year period in order 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 order to meet growing demand in Europe for its products, Tarkett will also build a new distribution centre in Florence, Italy to facilitate the growing European market. Furthermore, over €20 million will be invested over the next three years in new manufacturing facilities
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in Luxembourg and Poland. Barthelemy commented, “These investments will further enhance our strong position in the European vinyl tiles marketplace and facilitate our customer’s 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. One such investment was its recent acquisition of 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 key business partnerships continue to drive the sales of Tarkett products to entirely new levels.
Focus on the circular economy For many years Tarkett has been committed to the cause of sustainability and the circular economy. It has demonstrated this by applying cradle-to-cradle principles across all of its activities. The company’s ReStart® collection and recycling programme is one of the cornerstones of its commitment to closing the material loop. A new strategic partnership with Veolia has also enabled Tarkett to offer clients a better collection and recycling service, whilst increasing volumes and quality of recycled input in its flooring. It also illustrates the capacity of the private sector to offer solutions that n support sustainable, economic growth.
Where the grass is greener The Tarkett Group, through its FieldTurf subsidiary, recently announced the acquisition of the assets of ‘Grassman’, a marketleading Australian synthetic turf manufacturer. This acquisition significantly expands FieldTurf’s presence in the Australian market, in particular, in the areas 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 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.”
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Amtico is a global leader in the design and manufacture of luxury vinyl tiles. The UK-based company offers an extensive range of flooring finishes with an unrivalled choice of designer styles including Wood, Stone or Abstract aesthetics. Philip Yorke reports on a highly successful company that continues to set the industry’s fashion trends and quality standards throughout the world.
mtico was founded in Coventry, England in 1964 as the result of a joint venture between the multinational company, Courtaulds and the leading US company, American Biltrite. In 1969 Courtaulds acquired the whole of the UK business operations and gained a licence to market the Amtico branded products in every country outside North America.
Focus on the environment At the turn of the century Amtico was already focussed on the most effective methods required to achieve “end of life” recycling for PVC. This dedication led to the company’s recognition of the internation76 Industry Europe
ally acclaimed ISO14001 environmental management standard. As a result, by 2008 all Amtico packaging became 100% recyclable as part of its UK carbon footprint project. In addition, in 2011 the company achieved SHARP (Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Programme) certification. This was awarded as a result of its latest innovative, environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques designed for the launch of its Amtico Infinity collection.
Multiple performance system Thanks to the company’s comprehensive range of designs and textured finishes, it is possible to mix and match laying patterns,
Construction & ENGINEERING
or experiment with borders and motifs to provide an endless series of design combinations. Amtico uses the industry’s most technically advanced layering system. The world-leading ‘Multiple Performance System’ offers unrivalled underfoot comfort and high resistance to wear. Its crowning glory, however, is Amtico’s new urethane layer, known as Quantum Guard. Not only does it eliminate the need to polish the flooring, but it also enhances durability even further and is extremely easy to clean. From design to delivery, Amtico takes pride in its rigorous testing procedures and quality control systems. Before an Amtico floor reaches the consumer, it must pass 43 product assurance checks, from colour consistency and component specification to gauge and bevelling, to adhesion and curl.
New showpiece facility Recently Amtico officially opened its new showpiece facility located at Pilot Park, Coventry in the UK. The state-of-the-art 6,782 m² Pilot Park facility is the central international distribution hub for Amtico’s extensive range of luxury vinyl tile flooring and commercial carpet products, as well as being home to the company’s new training academy. During the opening ceremony, Amtico’s CEO and regional chairman of the West Midlands CBI (Confederation of British Industry) Jonathan Duck said, “Amtico is a forward-looking company with ambitious growth plans over the next few years. We’re incredibly proud to have our roots in Coventry and to play our part in the UK’s export-led economy. So, securing this site for all
our logistics, warehousing and training needs is extremely important. It’s sure to have a positive effect on Amtico’s future. “The team has worked very hard to create a fully functional, state-of-the-art facility in such a short space of time, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their amazing dedication and effort”. The new building has been specifically developed to house and distribute over 15,000 pallets to around 50 different countries. On average, 214 pallets now leave Pilot Park’s doors every day, using Amtico’s dedicated delivery service vehicles. Amtico’s showpiece building has also been constructed with the environment in mind, featuring solar panels on the roof, a cyclonic water irrigation system, bio-digester and electric charge inputs for its employee’s cars. The location of Pilot Park is in close proximity to Amtico’s existing Coventry factory, thereby allowing the company to retain its staff and continue to be able to support the local community. As the largest manufacturer in the area, Amtico currently employs over 400 people at its Solihull headquarters. It is interesting to note that Amtico’s Coventry manufacturing facilities produce over double the volume they did five years ago, and four times as much as they did a decade ago. With the new facilities and its latest designer collections, Amtico are confident that the dynamic growth seen over the last few n years will continue unabated. For further details of Amtico’s products and customer services visit: www.amtico.com
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First for high-
performance flooring Junckers is a Danish company that leads the field in the design and manufacture of solid wood flooring for the sports, residential and commercial market segments. Its carefully balanced range of products are produced in Denmark, thus its clients benefit from the solid traditions of its world-famous Danish craftsmanship. Recently the ongoing success of the company has been enhanced by the involvement of Jysk Fynsk Kapital (JFK) investments, who has purchased a majority shareholding in the company, as Philip Yorke reports.
ounded in Denmark in the 1930’s, Junkers’ consistent growth through the years has resulted in it becoming Europe’s leading hardwood flooring company. Today it is represented worldwide through seven subsidiaries and a large network of distributers and carefully selected agents. Exports account for two-thirds of the company’s total sales and its products are sold in over 50 countries across four continents. Junckers is the only flooring company in the market that complements its range of products with its special series of dedicated wood-care products. These are also produced inhouse for the regular maintenance and renovation of wooden floors.
New horizons With the announcement of the financial involvement of the leading investment company JFK, new horizons are now possible for Junckers. Per Kristensen, the CEO of JFK said, “Junckers is a company with a strong brand and really good products. Through a focused strategy, the management has created a sound business with good earnings, which provides a strong foundation for continued growth and further development”. JFK is one of Europe’s fastest growing investment companies and it is worth noting that the investment 78 Industry Europe
company already owns several leading companies in the building materials sector. Junckers CEO, Carsten Chabert commented, “We were not actively in a sales process, but we have had dialogue with JFK since before the summer vacation of 2018. The discussions have been as much about how we can further develop Junckers, as the actual sale of the shares. In this way, we have learned a great deal about each other, and I am confident that JFK will contribute a lot of knowledge and expertise, combined with their focus on longterm development of their businesses; they are a good match for us. Obviously, I am pleased and proud that we have developed the company to become an attractive acquisition for such experienced industrialists, as the ones behind JFK.”
Portable floors bounce back For many years, Junckers has been involved with the FIBA (the International Basketball Federation), which began with the supply of sports flooring for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Subsequently, Junckers also supplied sports flooring for many EuroBasket 2009 events in Finland, Israel, Romania and Turkey.
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Following these premier venues, in 2017 Junckers also signed a partnership agreement with the FIBA to serve as Official Technical Suppliers for Eurobasket 2017. As the leading supplier of portable hardwood sports flooring, Junckers provided custom-made, specifically designed portable solid hardwood courts for the five venues that hosted the biggest basketball competition in Europe.
Today, Junckers continues to work in partnership with FIBA, and its hardwood sports flooring continues to out-perform all others with its unique area-elastic characteristics. These not only give athletes the ultimate freedom of movement, but it also protects them against injury and ensures that all competitors are able to perform to the best of their abilities. Junkers portable sports flooring is also ideal for temporary use, such as for basketball tournaments, coverings for ice rinks and even for non-sporting events such as concerts. In addition, simple and easy assembly and disassembly adds to the attraction of the company’s range of products. Junckers has the technical expertise to design and supply solid hardwood flooring that is ideal for consumers and for underfloor heating. It also offers wooden sports flooring for a broad range of indoor activity areas such as gyms, fitness flooring, athletic facilities and multi-purpose rooms. All Juncker’s flooring is supplied pre-finished from the factory n with either urethane protective coating or oil. For further details of Junckers’ innovative flooring products and services visit: www.junckers.com
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Construction & ENGINEERING BASF Plasticizers at BASF Plasticizers are used to soften rigid PVC and turn it from being hard and brittle to soft and flexible. The area of applications for plasticized PVC is wide, ranging from electrical cables to medical devices. BASF offers the right plasticizer for diverse requirements. BASF’s portfolio of plasticizers includes Palatinol® N (DINP) and Palatinol® 10-P (DPHP) for industrial applications. Hexamoll® DINCH is known as the trusted non-phthalate plasticizer for applications with close human contact. Several retailers and leading brands in the toy and medical industry put their trust in the non-phthalate plasticizer and it is the plasticizer of choice for indoor applications such as flooring and wall covering. For specialty applications, adipates and polymeric plasticizers complete the portfolio. For more information, please visit: www.plasticizers.basf.com
About BASF At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions.
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system solutions The Sitem Group of Italy is a market leader in the design and manufacture of stamped and annealed electrical laminations for many manufacturing industries. The company has seen strong growth through innovation and acquisitions and has been pro-active in pursuing new technologies and new e-mobility solutions. Philip Yorke reports.
item SpA was founded in Trevi, Italy in 1974 and has grown to become an important European manufacturer of stamped and annealed electrical laminations for a diverse range of electrical products. The company mainly produces components for electrical appliances, however, it has diversified its offering over the years to include products and solutions for industries such as hydraulics, automotive, lifting equipment and energy. In addition, its electrical laminations are used worldwide for the manufacture of fans, industrial pumps, burners, wind turbines and air compressors. Critical automotive parts such as alternators, electric windows, power steering and fans are also produced by Sitem. Raw materials including high quality magnetic steel are purchased from major European steel producers such as ThyssenKrupp and Voestalpine. This 82 Industry Europe
quality ensures best-in-class aluminium die-cast components for housings and other items that between them consume over 6000 tonnes of raw material each year.
Acquisition driving sales Having embarked upon a mission to acquire other key companies in the electrical lamination sector, in 2004 Sitem began with the purchase of two companies in Milan that produced electrical laminations and stamping tools. This was the beginning of an acquisition trail that has since transformed the company’s fortunes, and its global market position and standing. A further milestone was achieved in 2004, when in order to enter the eastern European market, the company founded a new state-of-
Construction & ENGINEERING
the-art production facility in Spisska Nova, Slovakia. This investment proved to be a very strategic one for the entire Sitem Group and enabled it to keep its most important customers, such as Bosch-Siemens, Whirlpool, Aweco, Askoll and Best & Rosenberg, whilst acquiring new ones. Further strategic acquisitions have taken place since then, including the purchase of its main Italian competitor, Canegrate, which was part of the Framag Group.
New group potential A new group was formed recently when the Sitem Group acquired 100 per cent of the leading Swiss Electric Lamination house, Stanzwerk AG. This clever strategic move was inspired by the conviction that a larger organisation would be able to provide a wider range of
innovative products and services and offer more in-depth expertise and experience. The new group is now registered as the Sitem/ Stanzwerk Group, and is in a position to exploit to the full their unrivalled knowledge and experience. This means its ability to leverage sales from the unrivalled competence of the two companies’ respective fields is gilt-edged. The new electrical lamination group has a total of more than 800 employees and a turnover in excess of €200 million, making it one of the biggest players in the electrical laminates sector. Following this significant acquisition, Sitem has also extended the Stanzwerk facilities at its location in Unterentfelden, Switzerland. This new investment was undertaken in order to establish it as the competence centre for the fast-growing e-mobility automotive market.
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There are many new services and areas of expertise that Sitem will be able to offer its customers in the future, however there are also many things that will not change. For example, Stanwerk AG will continue to operate as usual from its headquarters in Unterentfelden, Switzerland and all management and employees will continue to be retained in their existing roles.
Future focus Looking to the future, Sitem will be focusing on the world’s emerging industries such as those involved in the production of hybrid and e-mobility vehicles. It is estimated that by the year 2020 more than 25 per cent of the global automotive market will be made up of electric and hybrid vehicles. Despite its strong presence in overseas markets, and in particular Europe, China, Mexico and South Africa, Italy still accounts for over 40 per cent of the company’s total revenues. Sitem is also conducting in-depth research into the development of innovative systems and dies for the manufacture of new products and is collaborating directly with its customers. Technology and customisation are likely to remain the main drivers for the company’s future expansion, which is also likely to include new acquisitions both at home and abroad. In order to support its growth in the world’s new high-tech industries, Sitem has obtained all the necessary certifications, including ISO-9001, ISO-14001, BS OHAS 18001 and more recently the technical specification ISO/TS 16949. Furthermore, the company has embarked upon a programme of continuous improvement by adopting the well-known Kaizen lean business method, which will be extended to all plants within n the next few years. For further details of Sitem’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.sitemspa.it Industry Europe 85
Superior Tube Solutions Sonoco Alcore, a recognised leader in its sector, provides high-quality, value-creating tube and core solutions for a variety of industries. Romana Moares spoke to Sales Manager Frederic Piau about the factors that make the company stand out in a highly competitive marketplace and its plans for the future against the ever-increasing focus on environmentally-friendly solutions.
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onoco Alcore is part of the international group Sonoco Products Company, one of the largest diversified global providers of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and displays and packaging supply chain services. Sonoco Alcore has become a recognised leader in the tube and core sector, operating a large number of tubes and cores plants as well as paperboard mills in Europe. With its wide-ranging knowledge and capabilities, Sonoco Alcore serves customers in various markets, including paper, man-made fibre, transport packaging, construction and more.
Light, resistant and recyclable The company has a strong footprint, particularly in the construction industry where its products are used for a variety of large projects. Sonoco Alcore offers a full range of rain-resistant cardboard forms for all types of forms including round and specialised shapes of all diameters and lengths. All the forms use the company’s patented RainGuard® technology, allowing the customers to use them on building sites in the harshest weather conditions without sacrificing the quality of the finished concrete form. Sonotube® fibre forms have an increased
moisture barrier and added strength, for perfect columns in a broad range of environmental conditions. The reduced thickness of Sonotube® fibre forms makes them approximately 35 per cent lighter and consequently much easier to carry, manipulate and set up. In many cases, no crane is needed to erect the tube. The tubes come in various shapes and dimensions – round and square, with dilatation joints, and with sharp or cut corners to suit individual customer needs. “Innovation is one of our strengths. In addition to our standard sizes, we can also design special sizes in square or rectangular shapes to respond to specific requirements. Architects sometimes care less about dimensions but we can fulfill any bespoke requirements.”
Green direction Focus on sustainability and environmental protection lies at the core of Sonoco Alcore’s values. The company has established metrics to measure progress towards reduction of energy consumption, greenhouse gases and other types of air emissions, water usage and waste products. In addition, Sonoco Alcore maintains an on-going commitment to social responsibility and its economic goals. Sonotube fibre forms are 100 per cent recyclable. They can be sorted with other paper and cardboard packaging elements and
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removed at very low additional cost. To help protect the environment, Sonotube fibre form products are manufactured from core board rather than from more complex laminates containing aluminium. “What distinguishes us from competitors is the fact that we are using only recyclable board. Most of other companies use Tetra Paks, which, despite their better water resistance properties, have the disadvantage of not being recyclable. With a growing focus on sustainability and an increasing number of construction companies doing green projects with less noise, water and waste recyclability, this feature makes our products very attractive.” Sonoco Alcore also offers a number of supplementary products for use with its Sonotube forms, such as its Sonaplon ‘Shorting System’ which is used to hold the form straight and secure during the construction progress. In addition, the company’s ‘honeycomb board solution’ allows customers to create a void between concrete walls or underneath a concrete slab and its Concrete Reservation Box is used to make passage ways within concrete slabs and walls for wiring and access purposes. With a thickness of 3.5mm, it’s lightweight, easy to modify on site, does not adhere to concrete and is 100 per cent recyclable.
Bright prospects Mr Piau explains that Sonoco Alcore tubes are produced in several factories in Europe, the main being the French plant near Grenoble, with additional facilities in locations including Germany, Poland and Greece. “Demand for different shapes and sizes varies by different markets,” he says. “Some countries, such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece, are using only round tubes, while in northern countries the more expensive square and rectangular shapes are in demand, in addition to the most common round shape. In terms of sales, Germany is the driving market, but we don’t have a big 88 Industry Europe
market share there as yet. However, we are doing pretty well in France and, in fact, in most countries in Europe, and expect the demand to further increase.” Given the fact the Sonoco Alcore tubes seem to tick all the right boxes in terms of current and future market considerations – premium quality, environmentally conscious practices as well as significant savings due to lower waste removal costs – this is not so surprising. Mr Piau confirms that overall prospects look good, and – in line with the positive market outlooks – the company plans to continue to grow organically but would also consider acquisitions n and joint ventures should the right opportunities arise.
Energy & Utilities
Harnessing new hydroturbine technology Rainpower is a leading independent European hydropower group specialising in the manufacture of hydro-turbines and power plant modernisation services. The company is also the Nordic countries’ leading supplier of advanced control systems. Philip Yorke reports on a dynamic company that is committed to innovation and creating the most efficient renewable energy systems.
ainpower’s roots go back to 1853 when the company was established in Lodalen, Norway as Kvaerner Energy, which started making turbines for hydro-power in the early 1890s. However Rainpower itself is a relatively young company that was formed in 2007 when General Electric sold its Norwegian hydropower operations to the Industrial conglomerate NLI. Today Rainpower supplies an extensive range of equipment for hydro-power plants that includes generators, valves and turbine governors. Rainpower’s services span the entire value chain from the development of technical solutions to turnkey solutions and the commissioning of power plants. The company’s core business activities are focused on new product development, the manufacture of turbines and electro-mechanical solutions for the supply of renewable energy. In addition, it offers an unrivalled range of tailor-made customer services for the upgrading and modernisation of existing power plants, and the maintenance of hydraulic power stations. Today Rainpower is a truly global player that is supplying products and services that provide more efficient and cost-effective renewable energy for consumers from Norway to western Europe, China and the Americas.
Focus on innovation Rainpower is a 100 per cent privately owned Norwegian company which has its headquarters in Kjeller, Norway, where it employs around 400 people. In 2017 Rainpower recorded revenues of more than 700 MNOK. The company has always led from the front with a strong focus on new product development and innovative technical solutions. Located within its headquarters is a technological centre of excellence where it works on medium and high head turbine projects. Rainpower also has an extensive turbine laboratory in Trondheim, Norway and a fabrication and service facility in Sorumsound. In addition, the company has a highly specialised and dedicated facility in Oslo where it develops advanced control systems for hydro-power installations. At its state-of-the-art turbine laboratory in Trondheim, Rainpower offers commercial model design and testing, manufacturing, geometry measurements and field measurements. Meanwhile at its workshop location in Sorumsound, it is focused on installation, commissioning and the production of ‘Francis runners’ and injectors, as well as the rehabilitation and upgrading of turbines, governors and valve controls. This is also the location from which the company operates its 24/7 emergency services. Industry Europe 89
With a full order book and looking further ahead, Rainpower plans to focus on providing its innovative, high-quality solutions to new world markets such as Africa and Latin America.
Optimising value Boosting efficiency and creating value is a key part of Rainpower’s operations and culture, with the objective of producing more power from the same amount of water. As a result, the company is able to maintain its position as one of Europe’s most successful hydropower companies. What gives it its competitive edge is the fact that it is able to offer the best available technology in the high head and medium head hydro-turbine sector. In addition, the company has an enviable reputation that has been built up over many years by supplying products and services to some of the world’s biggest blue-chip clients. In order to developing its own turbines, the company relies on its extensive laboratory facilities, and the best design tools in the market which includes ‘element methodology’ and computational fluid dynamics that rely on the latest Ansys/Star software. For other products in its broad portfolio, the company offers a broad platform for governing and monitoring systems for the lifetime analysis of turbines in the high-head area. One of its many recent contracts was signed with OBOS Energi for the delivery of an electro-mechanical design for three new power plants based in Norway. Others include a contract with E-Co Energy AS for the rehabilitation and upgrade of two turbines at its Usta power plant in Norway. In overseas markets Latin America is very active with new contracts signed for major installations in both Columbia and Bolivia, in addition to others in emerging markets such as Asia and Africa. In Turkey Rainpower has a major contract to supply two 48MW Storm turbines for the Aslancik power plant. 90 Industry Europe
One of the reasons for Rainpower’s success in winning contracts in overseas markets is its strategy to establish local offices in both new and existing markets, thereby providing efficient and cost-effective solutions at the point of need.
New strategic partnerships Rainpower continues to lead the field in the development of innovative hydro-power plants and in particular for those that utilise large heads. Recently it entered into a strategic partnership with Statkraft and E-CO of Norway, both of which operate Francis turbines with large heads. The objective is to collectively achieve greater understanding of the dynamic phenomena that arise in these powerful turbines during their operation. This novel collaboration has helped Rainpower to establish improved criteria for the design and efficiency of Francis turbines with large heads. n This represents a significant breakthrough in turbine technology.
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Uninterrupted success The Riello Group of Italy is a market leader in the design and manufacture of heating and renewable power systems. The group was recently acquired by the Climate Controls & Security Corporation (UTC), which has enhanced Riello’s product portfolio, its HVAC technologies and global reach, as Philip Yorke reports.
he Riello Group was established in 1922 by its founder Pilade Riello in Legnago, Italy, and it remained a wholly-owned family business until 2015 when 70 per cent of the company was acquired by the United Technologies Corporation of America (UTC). The remaining 30 per cent was acquired by the corporation in December 2017. UTC is a leading global supplier of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and refrigeration systems. It also offers cutting edge fire and security systems, building controls and automation technologies. Today the Riello Group is a truly global player with 17 subsidiaries, nine state-of-the-art production sites and four research centres of excellence. It employs more than 3000 people worldwide and in 2017 it recorded sales of more than €800 million.
Prizewinning power supply solutions In May this year, Riello Power Systems, in association with its partner RWE Supply & Trading, won the coveted award for the most innovative energy-saving, power supply technologies. The prize was awarded for Riello’s and RWE’s solution for uninterruptable power supplies by the prestigious Deutsche n Rechenzentrumspreis es (DRZP), the ‘Oscars’ of the Data Centre Industry, the event’s sponsors. The special award 92 Industry Europe
was presented during a gala evening organised in conjunction with the conference, ‘Future Thinking’, in Darmstadt, Germany. The uninterruptable power supply (UPS) product ‘Riello Master+’ was developed in close cooperation between both companies in order to improve the safety and quality of data-centre power supply systems, and at the same time reduce installation and operating costs. These were the goals achieved by Riello and RWE, which were presented at the ‘Future Thinking’ conference in Darmstadt. “We have combined our unrivalled expertise to develop a unique and innovative UPS solution. Our latest ground-breaking system defines a new market reference for our customers. It reduces initial investment costs and running costs, while simultaneously increasing reliability and quality of the power supply itself,” commented Dr Hans Gunter Schwarz of GWE Supply & Trading. For Riello Power Systems, Ing. Luca Buscherini added, “The customer who chooses this solution benefits from multiple advantages. For example, it uses a unique UPS system and ‘premium type batteries’ with as an oversized accumulation capacity that can easily be used as an extended-time and integrated battery supervision system (BMS).” Today Riello is committed to the reduction of its environmental impact, which it considers a very important matter in terms of
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sustainability and the quality of life. As a result, Riello has focused its research efforts exclusively on the development of renewable energy sources, with a clear emphasis on solar energy. The company’s extensive plant in Piombino Dese, Italy has been completely restructured to enable the exclusive production of high-tech solar energy products.
Pioneering data-centre solutions The Riello Group’s uninterrupted power systems (UPS) multi-power (MPE) units are designed to offer optimal protection for critical, high-density computers and IT environments, such as data-centres, whilst achieving maximum availability. The new Riello products come
in three different cabinet frames to ensure flexible modularity, which in turn allows the end user to easily boost power, its redundancy levels and battery autonomy. The company’s multi-power units are designed to grow along with the demands of a business without oversizing the UPS, thereby optimising both the original investment and the total cost of ownership. Digital technology has an increasingly strong influence on day-to-day activities in almost all sectors and applications such as healthcare, power generation, social networking, telecommunications, commerce and education. Therefore, any activities and equipment related to data storage, processing and transfer should be supplied from the most reliable power source possible. Multi Power technology ensures that scalable, secure, high quality power supply is available for a variety of critical load applications. The new MPW power modules feature the very latest in UPS technology, with their three-level Neutral Point Clamped (NPC) inverters and Power Factor Corrected (PFC) input controls. The new MPW module ensures the highest levels of performance in terms of overall efficiency, input power factor and harmonic impact on the original supply source. In addition, the MPW module’s advanced communication system features a 7-inch LCD touch-screen, communication slots and relay cards with dedicated service ports. The advanced communication controls are uniquely designed and tailored for specific access levels for the organisation involved. Furthermore, its communication system can be easily integrated with building energy management systems (BEMS) and data centre infrastructure management systems. The company’s Multi Power suite of features not only ensures easy UPS expansion and optimum operation, but also simplifies maintenance, as well as minimising down-time and the meantime n between failure and meantime to repair.
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Vexve Oy, one of the world’s leading suppliers of high quality valves for the most demanding district heating and cooling applications, has expanded its reach. Major investment in a new production facility in Russia as well as in its product development capability is set to further boost the company’s position in global markets. Romana Moares reports.
ased in Sastamala, Finland, Vexve is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high quality valves specifically developed for district heating and district cooling applications. The company was founded in 1960 and its products, manufactured in its operational facilities in Sastamala and Laitila, are exported annually to over 30 countries. Vexve is known for high-quality products, rapid delivery and superior customer service as well as its expertise in energy and environment. Vexve’s products are sold under three brands – Vexve, Naval and Hydrox – which together create a comprehensive and unparalleled offering. The complete product range covers everything from ball and butterfly valves to manual gears as well as electric and hydraulic actuators, plus customised special solutions such as extension spindles. In line with internationally increasing sales, the company opened a new facility in St Petersburg in 2018. The production plant manufac96 Industry Europe
tures welded and flanged steel ball valves to better meet the needs of its local customers and to accelerate market growth. “Vexve has a long tradition in the Russian market and we are delighted to also be able to serve our long-term customers through local manufacturing,” says Jussi Vanhanen.
Reliable, efficient and smart The company’s R&D capabilities give it a clear competitive advantage. In the last few years, Vexve has launched several transformational products including the HydroX™ hydraulic control solution that represents one of the most advanced products in its category in the market, and, most recently, the Vexve X for HVAC market. “Vexve X, launched in October 2018, is the first complete series of shut-off and balancing valves on the market with integrated press fit
Energy & Utilities
connection made of carbon steel and acid-resistant steel,” says Mr Vanhanen. “The differentiating features are its integrated press fits. Before, the connections were either welded, threaded or flanged so now we have introduced a fourth option – a new technology which is increasingly demanded.” The X Series valves are designed to optimally close and adjust the heating and cooling networks of buildings. Integrated press fits reduce the number and working steps of the required parts and reduce the risk of leakage as the number of joints decreases with respect to the conventional solution. “In the first stage we are launching this product for the Finnish market and in the second stage international markets will follow,” said Mr Vanhanen.” In the last two years, Vexve has also spent considerable effort on the so-called ‘smart valve’. The intelligent valve solution now provides tools for optimising the network, improving reliability and enhancing maintenance. It is able to detect changing network situations in real-time so that network control can be optimally adjusted with accurate measurement data. “This has been a very important project for us and I am proud to say that the world’s first underground smart valves have been successfully piloted at Fortum’s district heating network in Espoo, Finland during 2018,” says Mr Vanhanen.
Top quality partner He further confirms that the company sees positive development across its geographical markets. “We have had a positive year in Europe where the economy has generally improved and the willingIndustry Europe 97
ness for investment has increased. We see an increasing demand in North America and are going to support sales in Russia. Our service centre in Beijing is also doing well, supporting our customers with the installation of actuators and providing technical support to the Chinese market, with an increasing number of renovation projects supported by the Chinese government.” Against the generally favourable market environment, are there any challenges for the company? “Well, the evolving market does display a new feature although I would not necessarily call it a challenge. After a period of gradual harmonisation of requirements and regulations on a global scale, we see some signs of this trend being potentially reversed, with emerging demand for local products meeting local regulations. This is a slow development and something which does not present an imminent threat but it needs to be considered. In the future, we have to be 98 Industry Europe
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able to adapt to local regulatory requirements. This is, by the way, what we have done in Russia – opening a facility serving the local market only,” said Mr Vanhanen. He remarked that internally, the company will continue to focus on top quality products and a higher level of production automation. “We believe in product development. This year, investment spent on R&D has been five times higher than in 2017 and this is an area which will remain at the top of our focus.” This dedication has paid dividends. A survey on customer satisfaction that Vexve conducted a year ago has brought outstanding results, confirming that Vexve is globally known and recognised for top product quality. “The feedback was overwhelming, demonstrating that we have chosen the right way forward. To make sure that our customers retain such a high level of satisfaction is a big commitment, and one that we intend to continue to meet in the future,” n Mr Vanhanen concludes.
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Optimising liquid assets Golar LNG is the leading independent owner and operator of LNG carriers and is at the forefront of the world’s Liquefied Natural Gas shipping industry. Today the company provides liquefaction, transport and storage for premier global energy companies such as Shell, Petrobas, Fortress Energy and Pertomina, as well as for many leading LNG trading houses. Philip Yorke reports.
olar LNG was founded in 2001 when it was acquired from its predecessor, Osprey Maritime. Today the company is a global leader in the acquisition, ownership, operation and chartering of LNG carriers and FSRUs (floating storage and regasification units) through its many international subsidiaries. Golar’s business was originally founded in 1946 as Gotaas-Laarsen Shipping Corporation. This company entered the LNG shipping business in 1970 when it ordered the LNG carrier ‘Hilli’, which is still an integral part of the Golar LNG fleet today.
Powerful growth strategy In keeping with its ambitious plans for the future, Golar LNG Limited has entered into new agreements for the conversion of the 126,000m3 LNG carrier Gandria to a floating liquefaction facility. 100 Industry Europe
In keeping with the FLNG Hilli and Gimi conversions, the primary contract was entered into with Singapore’s Keppel Shipyard Ltd. As with previous projects, Black and Veatch Ltd will provide its licensed PRICO® technology, perform detailed engineering and process design, in addition to specifying and procuring topside equipment and commissioning support. The decision to proceed with the company’s third major vessel conversion project was taken following a thorough review of the growing portfolio of business development opportunities for Go-FLNG. This has shown potential demand from several global customers for the delivery of floating liquefaction facilities in the near future. In the current low oil and gas price environment the use of the Go-FLNG concept to develop stranded and associated gas on a fast-track basis has gained momentum. This offers a cost-effective
Energy & Utilities
solution with the potential to provide early and robust returns for resource developers and host governments alike. The business model with its fixed tariff structure reduces project execution and capex risks for the resource holder and also provides a flexible alternative when compared to the development of more conventional, long lead time, capital-intensive, land-based LNG facilities. The company’s strategy focuses on the development of low capital cost, rapid deployment of floating facilities and utilising the conversion of high quality existing LNG carriers. Introducing new floating LNG technologies for the liquefaction of pipeline quality gas, or associated gas, requires minimal processing. This strategy compliments Golar’s industry leadership position in floating LNG regasification facilities development. In addition to signing the third contract, Golar, together with Keppel & Veatch, has agreed to work out acceptable structures for further Go-FLNG facilities which make it possible to capitalise on the experience gained to date, preserve the current industry ‘first mover’ position and continue to develop a powerful growth strategy.
cargo with the company sizing up new opportunities based on the existing concept. Golar LNG said in its latest quarterly report that following the signing of acceptance, “all four trains have been commissioned and tested to at or above nameplate capacity and the vessel has been operating with 100 per cent commercial availability.” The company added that it has also signed a preliminary deal with BP for a vessel similar to the Hilli Episeyo for the BP operated Greater Tortue/Ahmeyim project, located offshore from Mauritania and Senegal. Golar LNG said draft commercial, construction and financing agreements as well as FEED work are being progressed at a rapid pace in order to meet the required timetable for a potential final investment decision. BP confirmed that it intends to take a final decision on the project shortly and that production is targeted to
Cameroon’s increasing potential Golar LNG said its Floating Liquid Natural Gas facility, Hilli Episeyo, which is located offshore Kribi in Cameroon, is now close to exporting its sixth
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commence before the end of 2021. In addition, a number of high potential opportunities are being pursued with Hilli Episeyo’s proof of concept, thus adding momentum to the decision-making process.
Competitive advantage For some time now, LNG prices have been at a significant discount compared to oil prices and Golar Power has identified a range of potential LNG Importers who would benefit from a rapid switch to gas. The first converted vessel is expected to be available within 12 months. There are only three unfixed FSRU newbuilds presently under construction and scheduled for delivery within the next 30 months. The conversion model allows Golar Power to cost-effectively address projects with bespoke requirements at a price that remains competitive with the all-in delivered cost of a new-build equivalent. As the only company to have successfully converted LNG carriers to FSRUs, Golar expects that this strategy will once again position it to n aggressively exploit its competitive advantage.
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Angelantoni is a market leader in the design and manufacture of thermodynamic solar products, and is also leading the field in the development of futuristic, energy saving technologies. From ‘cold energy’ to high performance ions and thermodynamic power plants, the group is setting the stage for a revolution in the way industry approaches energy-saving and the future wellbeing of the planet. Philip Yorke reports.
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ngelantoni is an Italian company that was founded in 1932 by 28 year-old Giuseppe Angelantoni as a refrigeration business. The company has seen consistent growth over the years and a new dynamic organisational structure was established in 2012. Today the streamlined Angelantoni Group is comprised of three distinct divisions: Angelantoni Test Technologies (ATT), Angelantoni Life Science (ALS) and Angelantoni Clean Tech (ACT). The company also has a wholly owned subsidiary by the name of Archimede Solar.
Energy (ASE) The Angelantoni Group is a truly global player with eight production plants located throughout Italy, Germany, France, India and China. The group is innovation-driven in the areas of testing, biomedical and clean technology sectors, as well as in advanced solar technologies. Interestingly, it is the ATT division that stands out for its broad product portfolio of testing solutions, which are marketed through its three main brands: ACS for environmental test chambers, BIA for automotive and aerospace test benches and TIRA for electrodynamic vibration test systems, material testing equipment, balancing machines and mechanical engineering systems.
Cold comfort One of Angelantoni’s most recent and exciting subsidiaries is TURBOALGOR, a company which was founded in Italy in 2105. This innovative start-up business owns a worldwide patent for a groundbreaking device known as ‘Cold Energy’ technology which drastically
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reduces the electricity consumption of refrigeration equipment, as well as that of industrial and commercial air-conditioning facilities. At the Milano Congress Centre in September 2018, TURBOALGOR made a key presentation at a major trade event concerning the future of energy efficiency called, ‘It’s all energy efficiency’. The company was the main sponsor of the event and unveiled its ‘cold energy’ solution for the food industry and well as participating in the round table ‘Retail’ section. This was of particular importance to the Angelatoni Group, which has dedicated a great deal of its R&D activities to creating innovative solutions in this field, some of which are already patented with others currently under approval. ‘Cold energy’ is a disruptive technological innovation that marks a breaking point with the past and opens a new chapter in the refrigeration industry. The new technology brings comfort to everyone and in particular to the future of the planet. This energy-efficiency solution is unique in the world because it is based upon the preliminary compression of the refrigerant fluid through the induction of a turbocharger system that operates inside the traditional refrigeration cycle.
Advancing fusion reactor technology Always at the cutting edge of advanced fusion technology, the Angelantoni Group is playing its part in the development of SPIDER (Source for the Production of Ions of Deuterium Extracted from Radio frequency plasma), the most powerful negative ion beam source in the world. It will operate in the INTER Neutral Beam Test Facility, hosted by Consorzio RFX in Padua, Italy, of which the Angelantonio Group is a key collabora-
Energy & Utilities
tor. Its joint contribution is essential towards the development of the powerful heating systems needed to reach approximately 150 million degrees Centigrade, allowing the fusion reaction to take place. The futuristic SPIDER facility is the result of unique international collaboration between Italy and Consorzio RFX, Fusion for Energy (F4E) and the ITER India organisation, as well as ENEA, CNR, INFN and the University of Padua. The expertise that will be acquired through SPIDER will help the consortium to create the energy equivalent to a small sun here on earth. This will drastically reduce energy consumption and provide sustainable energy for thousands of years to come.
The system operates by allowing the parabolic troughs to follow the sun to continuously collect and concentrate the sun’s radiation onto a receiver tube located in the tube’s focal plane. Inside the receiver tubes there is a fluid that is heated by the solar rays from 290°C to 550°C and this result is achieved using a balanced molten salts binary mixture. ASE is the only company in the world that is able to produce Molten Salts Solar Receiver Tubes, but it can also offer receiver tubes for different technologies available on the CSP, such as oil and DSG (Direct Steam Generation). Currently ASE’s production capacity exceeds 200 n MWe and this is likely to increase yet further in years to come.
UK Space Industry chooses ACS The UK Space Industry’s scientific research laboratory, RAL Space, has signed a contract with Angelantoni Test Technologies’ ASC division for more than €20 million, for the manufacture of a large Thermal Vacuum Chamber (TVC). RAL Space carries out critical space research and technology development that to date has involved more than 200 space missions. The initial contract represents the first steps in meeting the UK space industry’s needs for a set of co-located world-class facilities for the environmental testing of space payloads and satellites. This significant contract includes the delivery of a large space test chamber, vibration facility and the combined electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and antenna management system. Angelantoni Test Technologies told Industry Europe that it is honoured to be the supplier of the large test chamber, which will be delivered in six large components and assembled on the National Satellite Test Facility (NSTF) in Harwell in the UK. With an internal usable diameter of more than seven metres and a length of 12 metres, the chamber will be the largest of its kind in the UK and one of Europe’s giants. It has an operational temperature range of 95K to 400K, which can be set in ten specific areas (shrouds), thus providing all the conditions needed to test a variety of complex science mission projects, as well as providing opportunities to develop new commercial satellites for earth orbit.
Thermodynamic power for China Recently Archimede Solar Energy (ASE), a division of the Angelantoni Group, announced that it had completed its first large thermodynamic power plant with parabolic trough collectors and molten salts for China. This major project was started in 2013 and is now fully operational with 32,000 tubes delivered, generating 55 MWe power and offering 15 hours of thermal storage, enabling it to produce electricity even when there is no sunshine. Industry Europe 105
Sabaf is a global leader in the development and manufacture of components for a broad range of household appliances. The company’s innovative and integrated technologies have revolutionised the home appliance market. Recently Sabaf acquired the leading Turkish appliance components manufacturer, Okida Elektronik, which produces a broad range of high-tech, electronic control boards, display units and power hoods for ovens and other appliances, as Philip Yorke reports.
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ounded in Italy in 1950, Sabaf has grown steadily to become Europe’s leading household appliance component manufacturer and continues to enhance its reputation as a major player on the global stage. The company produces thermostats, gas cooker burners and taps, as well as special hinges for dishwashers, ovens and washing machines. Today Sabaf is the supplier of choice for the world’s leading household appliance brands. Sabaf’s unrivalled production flexibility, continuous investment in new technology, and its ability to offer a wide range of components, helps to keep it well ahead of the competition. All Sabaf’s products are designed according to the needs of its individual clients and markets, which in addition enhances the strength of the Sabaf Group. With a turnover of over €152 million in 2017, the group is currently estimated to have more than 50 per cent of the European market and more than 10 per cent of the global market in this sector.
New horizons The acquisition of Okida in July 2018 has opened up new horizons for Sabaf and this strategic move will not only add to its enviable portfolio of products, but also bring new technologies to the forefront of its drive for the delivery of more sustainable, integrated solutions. Okida was founded in Turkey in 1987 and is a leader in the design and manufacture of a broad range of components for household appliances. The chief executive of Sabaf, Pietro Iotti, said, “The acquisition of Okida represents the first step towards the implementation of our
business plan presented at the beginning of this year, and is in line with the company’s strategy for expanding the range of products in components for household appliances, and the acquisition of new skills in the electronics sector. The combination of quality and innovation is recognised in Okida, and Sabaf’s widespread presence among all the main manufacturers of household appliances worldwide allows us to foresee strong sales synergies and an overall improvement in our service to customers.” With this strategic step forward, Sabaf enters a new but also complementary sector, which will enable it to significantly expand its product portfolio in a meaningful manner. It will also allow the company to draw on and apply skills of the electronics sector, which is becoming increasingly important to the traditional gas cooking sector. These gains will guarantee that Sabaf’s customers will continue to benefit from the most advanced, high-quality integrated products and solutions.
On-going product optimisation A dedicated programme of product optimisation at Sabaf has made it possible for the company to create many new product lines, including three distinct versions of its successful triple-crown burner, which in turn set new standards for the industry and endorsed its pole position at the forefront of the 4kW DCC market. Today Sabaf’s extensive product range includes gas burners for ovens and grills, as well as thermostats, valves and taps for an infinite range of household products. All of which provide optimal
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performance with excellent flame distribution throughout. Thanks to these products’ unique thermo-couplings, electrodes and innovative positioning systems, the burners are able to obtain performances equal to those of uncovered burners, which is a major breakthrough in this highly competitive sector. The company’s unrivalled range of thermostats are recognised as the products of choice by manufacturing industries worldwide and have been approved by the world’s most exacting certification institutes. These advanced state-of-the-art thermostats can also be used to activate other built-in appliance devices such as timers and micro-switches which are designed to operate fans, and oven lights etc.
Taking sustainability seriously Sabaf’s eco-mission is to guarantee sustainable development through its careful balancing of economic and financial requirements relating to those connected with the design, production and distribution of its
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extensive range of components for domestic gas cooker appliances. Therefore, the company is constantly engaged in making decisions based upon current ethical values and a respect for its social and environmental responsibilities. Sabaf’s manufacturing sites in Italy and elsewhere are designed to ensure that its products are not only based on the highest technological standards, but also created with the environment and sustainability firmly in mind. Further attention to environmental issues can be found in Sabaf’s manufacturing processes, which are constantly lowering energy consumption during manufacturing and in the development of more eco-efficient products. Underscoring its focus on the environment yet further, Sabaf has become an advocate, together with the Brazilian Regularity Authority, to uphold the ban on the use of Zamak, a zinc and aluminium alloy for the production of gas cooker taps, due n to its inherent health risks. For further details of Sabaf’s innovative range of household appliance components and services visit: www.sabaf.it Industry Europe 109
Smarter sound solutions R
eSound is part of the global GN ReSound Group, one of the world’s biggest providers of hearing-aid devices and diagnostic instrumentation products. Established in Denmark in 1943, ReSound has been committed to audio innovation from the outset, which has resulted in many audiology firsts. These include its ‘wide dynamic range compression system’ (WDRC) and digital feedback suppression, (DFS) which was the first system to eliminate howling and sound distortion in headsets. Furthermore, the company developed the world’s first open-standard digital-chip to enhance programming flexibility. Headquartered in Ballerup, Denmark, GN ReSound is present in more than 60 countries worldwide and continues to draw on its broad range of R&D facilities and centres of excellence located around the globe. Today the GN ReSound Group has more than 5,500 employees and its parent company, GN Store Nord, is listed on the Nasdaq Copenhagen Stock Exchange.
Smarter Hearing alliance Recently GN Hearing A/S, the medical device division of the GN Group, and Cochlear Limited of Australia, the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, have signed a landmark agreement to significantly expand their Smart Hearing Alliance collaboration.
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GN ReSound is a global leader in the development of ‘smart’ hearing aids that enhance the lives of those suffering from hearing loss. Since its inception, ReSound has been responsible for a string of ground breaking solutions including its 2.4GHz-hearing technology, rechargeable systems and unified headsets. Philip Yorke reports.
This Smart Hearing Alliance was first established in 2015 in order to develop the most integrated and best-in-class hearing solutions. This special collaboration gives hearing aid and implant recipients access to the latest advances in connectivity and wireless technology. This new technology allows bimodal recipients to achieve seamless connectivity between a Cochlear implant in one ear, and a GN hearing aid the other. The strengthening of this alliance involves joint research projects, extended sharing of new technology and greater commercial collaboration between the two. The vision for this new collaboration includes a focus on fast-moving connectivity and wireless technology, which in turn will help leverage research and investment in the development of both firmwear and software technologies. GN Hearing CFO Marcus Desimoni and Cochlear CEO & President Dig Howitt welcomed the signing of the new agreement. Desimoni said, “This strengthened alliance is an important step forward for millions of people with disabling hearing loss, by making available the most advanced technology more accessible and simplifying the experience with more integrated solutions. This strategic partnership is a very smart and cost-effective way to expand the R&D capacity of both companies in order to reach our goals”.
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Howitt commented, “At Cochlearm we’re driven to develop hearing solutions that empower people to connect with others and live a full life. By expanding our collaboration with GN Hearing, we’re able to bring the latest connectivity and wireless technology to our implant recipients more quickly. We are also able to give bimodal recipients unparalelled performance and a seamless experience with both devices”. One of the many positive outcomes of the increased level of collaboration is that the two companies are the first to bring to market smart iPhone bimodal solutions that synchronise streaming to both ears from a compatible iPhone. IPad or iPod touch. The all new Nucleus® 7 Bimodal solution is delivered by using a Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor in one ear, a compatible ReSound hearing aid in the other ear and a paired iPhone or iPod touch to control functionality for both hearing devices. The new Smart Hearing Alliance will be able to deliver bimodal solutions connecting Cochlear Nucleus implants, Cochlear Baha bone conduction implants, wireless accessories, and ReSound hearing aids.
Better by design The world’s first Premium-Plus hearing aid, ReSound LINX Quattro™ from GN Hearing, has won the coveted, Good Design Award 20128, which is organised by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion. With
the winning of this prestigious international award, ReSound hope that more people will benefit from its richer sound quality, unrivalled streaming, anytime personalisation and unique support, as well as its intuitive rechargeability. ReSound’s LINX Quattro tackles all the well-known challenges for impaired hearing in new and profoundly life-enhancing ways, making the hearing aid easier and more intuitive to use. The new options remove the pain of fiddling with small batteries and enabling the users to not only adjust their hearing aids through their smartphones, but also to contact their hearing care professional directly through the app, and to get adjustments to their hearing aids remotely. Not only did this new design bring the concept of smart hearing to the next level, but it has helped users to solve their core hearing challenges with ease. In addition, ReSound has created an exceptional streaming experience and made it possible to experience more sounds than ever before, thus helping users to regain confidence and support in their wish to live a ‘normal life’.
ReSound offers Tinnitus relief The idea of helping people to focus on something other than the pain or discomfort caused by the condition of Tinnitus, is the basic concept behind a new app made by GN ReSound. The free app is called ‘ReSound Relief’ and offers a unique combination of audio therapy and relaxation exercises. The product allows the user to combine a variety of familiar sounds such as birdsong or babbling brooks with music and other therapeutic natural sounds. The ability to combine sounds, offers an almost endless variety of possibilities for the Tinnitus sufferer. The unique sound-mixing feature allows users to mix five different sounds which can be individually adjusted to the desired volume of each sound. Eva Jensen from Denmark has suffered from Tinnitus for many years and she described her experience with ReSound’s Relief app: “It’s really great to be able to use this app when my Tinnitus is driving me crazy. If you are strongly affected by Tinnitus, then I would definitely recommend this app. There are so many possibilities with the creation of your own soundscapes. There is no doubt that I’m going to keep it on my phone, so I can get help whenever my Tinnitus is really bothering me”. For further details of GN ReSound’s latest innovative products and solutions visit: www.resound.com
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The coolest beverage technology on the market Lancer first pioneered advanced beverage-dispensing equipment nearly 50 years ago in San Antonio, Texas, and became one of the industry leaders. Five decades later, the name Lancer is synonymous with the very best in beverage dispensing systems featuring ingenious design, quality durable materials and ease of use. Romana Moares reports.
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ancer, with its corporate office still in Texas, manufactures a comprehensive range of advanced mechanically cooled and icecooled soft drink dispensers, dispensing valves, carbonators, and a variety of top of the range beer dispensing equipment. The company also produces an extensive line of beverage dispensing parts and accessories to suit all needs. The diverse range serves clients from different environments – food service, convenience stores, supermarkets, sports venues, rock concerts or theme parks.
Worldwide reach The company is operating on a global scale. “We have had operations in Europe since 1997, in Brussels Belgium. In 2002 we started Lancer UK to further expand our engineering and development capability,” says Mr Paul Haskayne, VP and Managing Director Lancer EMEA. “In 2006, the whole Lancer corporation entity
was acquired by Japanese company Hoshizaki, a leading multinational manufacturer of high-quality commercial kitchen and food service equipment, and the creator of Japan’s first fully automatic ice maker.” The acquisition has boosted the company’s position worldwide but left it sufficient room to continue to develop its own unique capabilities. “We do adhere to the corporate structure, but we also have our own P&L and local European identity, so we are seen as an independent subsidiary that generates revenue for the group based on our sales and knowledge of the European market and our ability to react to the many different time frames, languages and cultures in EMEA,” Mr Haskayne affirms.
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Lancer Europe today operates an office in Brussels, and the UK, and has sales managers in Russia, Spain and Romania, while the remaining regions are covered by the sales people from the Brussels office as well as independent distributors.
Reflecting local market trends Whether it’s the top-selling Ice Beverage Dispensers (IBD) or the patented valves, the company has achieved worldwide recognition as a provider of optimum beverage dispensing solutions. Ice-cooled chilling is an alternative to the traditional refrigerated ice bank chiller, where ice is used as the cooling medium on a beverage cold plate. Ice-cooled dispensers are available as a countertop or drop-in into bench configuration. Although the ice-cooled products for cooling drinks that have been produced in the US market for 50 years are still popular there, this has not been the case for the EMEA region. “To better serve those markets, we have developed our own European products – a Bridge dispensing tower, and a Bar Bridge dispensing tower. We have a philosophy of listening to the market and our customers and helping them to meet the needs of their clients. This is a feature that makes us rather unique,” Mr Haskayne points out. “We are currently developing a range of remote cooler carbonators for the European market, featuring Lancer’s unique design, and simplistic, but reliable operation. They have been designed and prototyped in our UK office, and will be manufactured in Telford at our parent company Hoshizaki’s UK plant where icemakers for the EMEA market are produced.”
Win-win approach for the future Lancer’s products have accompanied some the world’s premium events. “We supplied over 600 countertop coolers, some of which were used in the venues at the 2018 World Cup,” says Mr Haskayne, to give just one example. Lancer Europe also provided the very latest in post-mix dispensing equipment to venues around the Sochi Olympic zone, installed
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in bars, cafes, hotels and fuelling stations where 85 Lancer fountain dispensing machines served the visitors and participants. Its main winners at Sochi were counter electric dispensers. Given the current market development, the company is set to grow further, says Paul Haskayne. “Our growth strategy is to build on our relationships with our key customers, and support them with solutions for their customers, so that we can all win. “We also have to think outside the box with new ideas to grow our business,” he adds. “We are currently the EMEA master distributor for Blendtec, a prominent US manufacturer of blenders and bar equipment, offering the finest range of blenders for catering equipment. Also, we have developed a strategy to use the synergies with our parent company Hoshizaki to grow the beverage and kitchen business as a whole, utilising our expertise in our chosen areas in QSRs (quick serve restaurants),” he says. Pursuing the different business lines and further building on the company’s proven capability while at the same time responding to fast evolving market needs is something that Lancer has been good n at; and will continue to be in the future.
Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC
Expertise on tap Italian design combined with innovative solutions are the benefits that customers have come to expect from Italy’s leading manufacturer of taps and fittings for kitchens, bathrooms and showers. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to see strong growth though its development of new collections and a programme of strategic partnerships and acquisitions. Extensive portfolio
aini was founded 65 years ago, when Marco Paini established an artisan factory at Pagno near Milan in Italy. The company has since grown to become a renowned global player in its field. Paini also became a joint-stock company in 1972 and this was followed by strong growth driven by the global demand for new mixer traps and fittings and single lever taps. Subsequently, a number of strategic acquisitions and joint ventures have propelled the company onto the global stage, making it a market leader not only in Europe but beyond. Today the Paini Rubinetterie Group employs around 600 people and in 2017 recorded sales of more than €150 million. Its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Pagno, Italy cover almost 100,000 square metres, of which over 70,000 square metres are covered areas.
As a leading brand that is acknowledged as a premier player worldwide, the company offers customers an unrivalled portfolio of products, including collections designed specifically for the hotel trade. In addition, all Paini’s products are supported by a 5-year guarantee and comply with all the necessary legislation and certifications required in Europe and internationally, including IAPMO standards required respectively by the USA and France. The company’s Research Centre teams and their test facilities provide analysis and often break-through advances in mechanical, chemical and functional operations. All research and production operations are carried out in-house, utilising a broad range of modern high-tech production disciplines on the latest transfer and multi-spindle machines. Quality testing using advanced, computerised equipment is programmed according to specific evaluation protocols. In addition, the chromium plating lines are the most advanced in the industry and the thickness and quality of the plating is strictly controlled to meet chromium thickness standards required by the EU and other international legislation. On site the company provides colouring plants using epoxide powder and liquid, and this PVD system has proved highly successful. Today Paini offers a comprehensive variety of products ranging from spare parts to complete bathroom furniture systems. Its taps use only the highest quality materials and all products are made with respect for the environment.
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Expanding global reach While Europe remains the largest geographical market for Paini, representing over 50 per cent of turnover, with 20 per cent coming from the domestic Italian market, over 10 per cent of export sales go to the US where the company has a commercial branch and from which it expects strong growth in the years to come. Other significant growth areas include South America, Asia and Africa. More than 90 per cent of production takes place at the company’s facilities in Italy with the balance being produced at its manufacturing plants in China. Around four million pieces are manufactured in Italy where consistent growth will soon be enhanced by a further investment in manufacturing capabilities that will boost production by as much as 10 per cent. The two key customer groups served by Paini are the world’s DIY retail chains and wholesalers, which sell its products to construction professionals, such as plumbers.
Strategic acquisition boosts sales A recent milestone in the history of Paini Rubinetterie SpA was achieved when, along with its joint-venture partner The Swiss Franke Group, it acquired a leading Italian supplier of domestic and industrial bathroom taps: Mamoli Rubinetterie. This key acquisition forms part of the group’s growth strategy initiated several years ago. Alexander Zschokke, CEO of the Franke Group, commented at the time of the takeover, “With the acquisition of Mamoli, Franke is not only enriching its own portfolio of brands and those of Paini with a prestigious and long-standing Italian company in the bathroom taps industry, but is also taking another important step forward in consolidating its own competence in the bathroom and kitchen taps segment. “Together with Paini, we intend to invest in its Lacchiarela plant in Milan, and work in close cooperation with the management of Mamoli, which we very much value and with whom we share the same company values and philosophy.” Mamoli was founded in 1932 and has established itself in the Italian and international markets with a unique product design, owing to research, innovation and extremely high quality standards. Its range
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of taps for bathrooms and kitchens are made in Italy in its workshops in Lacchiarella (Milan) and are the result of years of dedication n and creativity. For further details of Paini’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.paini.com
Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC
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Optimising global growth potential
The Enics Group is a leading global Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider. The company helps industrial OEMs to optimise their value chains and improve their competitiveness through increased productivity and greater reliability. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a hugely diverse and successful company whose world-class offering is creating a greener, more efficient and more cost-effective world.
nics is the partner of choice for professional electronics companies in the fields of energy, industrial automation, transportation, building automation and instrumentation. It is one of the top EMS providers in the world and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Today the company employs more than 3000 people spread across eight manufacturing plants in Europe and Asia. The company was founded in 2004 as a result of a management buyout of Elcoteq’s Industrial Electronics division, however Ahlstrom Capital of Sweden is the main owner of the company. The year it was founded Enics started a new production plant in Elva, southern Estonia, where the company is now the largest employer. 120 Industry Europe
Innovation and acquisition driving sales The meteoric growth of Enics is largely a result of its commitment to innovation and the strategic acquisition of synergistic companies. For example, in 2005 Enics acquired Altronix of Sweden and in 2006 the company’s Beijing facility was officially inaugurated. Other strategic acquisitions included the takeover of electronics activities from ABB of Switzerland, as well as purchasing the assets of Nova Dubnica of Slovakia. The company also established a major out-sourcing office in Hong Kong in 2008. In 2009 it acquired the Industrial Electronics Services division of Sweco, Finland and in 2012 began operations in Suzhou, China.
Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC
Today Enics provides end-to-end EMS services ranging from engineering, full-scale manufacturing and after sales services, to sourcing and supply-chain management. “Our world-class offering includes fast prototyping, new product introduction (NPI) cost reduction services, test system development, printed circuit board assembly, box build and system assembly. We strive to achieve better performance in everything we do, and we want to be part of positive change for lives and businesses,” said Hannu Keinanen, President and CEO of the Enics Group.
Rewarding ‘sustainable’ results Recently Enics was recognised by Vaisala, a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement with its Supplier of the Year Award in two categories: Sustainable Business and Technology. These highly coveted awards recognise Enics’ contribution to embracing Vaisala’s goal of having a net positive impact on society, the environment and the global economy. Dirk Zimanky, Senior Vice-President, Market Execution at Enics said, “We at Enics are extremely proud and honoured to receive two Vaisala supplier awards. Vaisala is one of Enics’ key customers and we are delighted to serve them. Our excellent relationship is based on close cooperation, high responsiveness and proactivity, and we wish to develop this even further.”
Last year’s winners were selected out of more than 500 of Vaisala’s top international suppliers. The award is the highest honour that Vaisala can bestow upon a supplier. Enics was also the only supplier to be recognised with awards in two categories.
Growing product portfolio Enics is constantly growing its portfolio, as well as the scope of its global engineering services. This is now being optimised by the company’s new partnership with Goepel Electronic’s Strategic partnership programme known as ‘GATE’ (Goepel Associated Technical Experts). The main focus of the cooperation is on the development and practical implementation of new solutions, products and modules based upon ‘JTAG/Boundary Scan’ instrumentation as well as enhancement in local support. “We are actively developing our scope of engineering services. By widening our service portfolio in the test development sector through the enhanced partnership with Goepel Electronic, one of the world leaders in its field, we will be able to offer even more efficient test system solutions to our customers,” said Kristian Federley, Vice-President, Engineering Services and After Sales Services at Enics. “The Embedded System Access based (ESA) test technologies from Goepel Electronic will enable us to optimise future test
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solutions, and to be more economical, in addition to having superior diagnostics,” he added. The aim of the global alliance programme, GATE, is the applicationspecific transfer of Goepel Electronic’s JTAG/Boundary Scan product portfolio into a variety of specific custom test instruments through close cooperation. Thereby ESA (Embedded System Access) technologies are intended to be offered even more easily to the user.
Estonia expansion Enics is celebrating the fourth expansion in a row of its state-of-theart manufacturing facility in Elva, Estonia following an investment of more than €5 million in the construction and expansion of its production and test laboratory flagship. Jaanus Aal, site manager at Enics Elva said, “We are growing and have invested significantly in new technology to respond to our customers’ needs, whose products are more and more demanding. Automation makes our work processes much more efficient, which is why I can say with confidence that we are one of the top players in our field on the global scale.” The Enics Elva facility is mainly focused on higher volumes for leading industrial electronics customers. It is the biggest private employer in southern Estonia with almost 700 people employed at the site today. n
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Logistics & Transport
The age of the dragon Newag is a market leader in the design and manufacture of railway locomotives and their ancillary equipment. The company has seen strong growth in recent years thanks to its development of new technologies utilised in its advanced electric multiple units. Furthermore, the recent launch of a ground-breaking heavy-duty freight locomotive, the Dragon, has elevated the company’s reputation to a point where it compares favourably with the best in the world, as Philip Yorke reports.
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ewag was founded in Poland in 1876 to serve the newly built Polish railway system, focusing on the repair and maintenance of locomotives and mixed rolling stock. However, when the Warsaw underground system was opened, the company was contracted to design and build the futuristic ‘Inspiro’ fleet of electric trains. The success of these units resulted in Newag being retained to produce another first: the advanced ‘Impuls II Electric Multiple’, which in trials became the first train in Poland to exceed 211km/h. Since that time Newag has designed and manufactured the Impulse 45WE electric locomotive, which achieved a speed of 226km/h and was the first Polish-built train to meet the stringent EU engineering directives introduced in 2014. Following state ownership, the company was privatised in 2004; however, perhaps the most significant milestone was achieved in 2008 when it designed and manufactured its first locomotive
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entirely in-house. This was the electric multiple unit 19W. Today the company designs and builds many types of electric and diesel locomotives from its two state-of-the-art plants based in Poland. The company’s main facility is located in Nowy Sacz, where over 90 per cent of its production takes place, while the other plant is located at Gliwice in southern Poland where the focus is on the repair and maintenance of heavy electric and diesel locomotives.
Transforming rail efficiency On 12 July 2018, following many years of intense development and rigorous testing regimens at the Zmigrod test track, Newag unveiled its global contender for the heavy-duty rail traction market. The Dragon is a true goliath of heavyweight locomotives and an example of outstanding engineering excellence. The test track at Zmigrod, Poland hosted the launch event which was attended by members
Logistics & Transport
of the Polish government including Andrzej Adamczyk, Minister for Infrastructure and Andrej Bittel, the Deputy Minister for Infrastructure. Adamczyk said, “Today Polish industry has arrived in the 21st century with a remarkable new product, the Dragon 2 heavy duty, long haul electric locomotive. This represents an extensive investment programme in Polish Rail Transport. We are transforming the Polish Railway industry with this new era of futuristic, high-tech and precision-engineered trains.” Today the new Dragon 2 locomotives utilise the latest cuttingedge technology and most reliable operating systems in order to ensure unrivalled reliability and high working comfort for the driver-operator.
The main practical advantage of the Dragon 2 series is its very high tractive force, which in combination with the loco’s anti-skid system makes it a daunting partner when it comes to handling heavy freight and steep gradients. Each of the Dragon’s six driving axles enable it to pull extremely heavy loads, thus making it ideal for Polish heavy manufacturing industries and in particular for the mining and quarry sectors. The Dragon is able to achieve unparalleled levels of efficiency and weight reductions of 400kg, thanks in part to the PSM-175 SiC auxiliary power converter from MEDCOM, one of the world’s most innovative manufacturers of power electronics devices. MEDCOM’s PSM-175 SiC is an auxiliary power converter manufactured using high-frequency technology. Silicon carbide transistors
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were installed both in the DC/DC converter block (lowering voltage from 3 kV to 0.6 kV) and the traction inverter block. In addition, in order to achieve higher converter efficiency, fast 32-bit DSP microcontrollers and high-frequency magnetic solutions were used. The converter’s control system also features state-of-the-art, proven signal processing algorithms. The converter was fitted with an extended diagnostics and operating parameter recording system, and the communication module was equipped with Ethernet, CAN, USB, MMC, and RS232 interfaces. The PSM-175 SiC converter is also characterised by high voltage stability (+/-5 per cent), which means that start-up of high-power vehicle components does not result in a reduction or distortion of the voltage. Furthermore, the converter’s innovative design makes it possible to use various types of input power supply - such as combustion engine and generator. This means that the converter can be used in hybrid vehicles, such as on non-electrified route sections. MEDCOM’s converter is able to generate full power for all the electric devices in the locomotive, even at lower catenary voltage. “SiC technology has become one of the most promising paths of development in the power electronics market. Products containing components made of silicon carbide achieve better results in terms of efficiency and make it possible to considerably decrease the
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weight and the size of the device – just like in the case of the Dragon 2 locomotive, where the efficiency has increased to 96 per cent and the weight was reduced by 400kg. The lower the device’s weight and the smaller the dimensions of the components, the more opportunities we have to meet the ever more stringent requirements set by our Clients,” says Piotr Wroński, Vice-President of MEDCOM.
Dynamic testing Another confirmation of the high esteem in which Newag is held globally was the major order it received for its latest ‘Impuls ll’ EMUs (Electric Multiple Units). The latest EMU from Newag recently successfully completed its stringent dynamic testing programme at the Italian Railway track, RFI (Rete Ferroviar Italiana) located in the Tuscany region of Italy. The first train was designated as the ETR322-001, which passed its dynamic testing programme with flying colours. This now makes it possible for Newag to file an application to the Italian Railway Industry Safety Agency, to grant authorisation for placing the new Impuls II EMUs in daily service on the Italian railway network. The new Impuls II EMUs draw on many years of experience gained from an ever-evolving production and design programme, which is added to years of reliable service earned on the Italian rail network. Its designers have paid particular attention to safety and high levels
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Radionika The so-called “cabin radio” – an on-board device for radio communication between the driver and traffic controller – is a required fitting for every locomotive or train. Radionika Ltd, with headquarters in Kraków, is the Polish leader in the field of production of train radio communication terminals. The Koliber GSM-R/VHF train radio terminal, the best known cabin radio amongst train drivers in Poland, is a very universal solution. It is capable of operating in several radio standards – analogue (VHF or UHF UIC) or digital (GSM-R or GSM). This rich functionality of Koliber GSM-R/VHF radio is essential and required by railway operators who work in railway networks which utilise different radio systems. At a time of migration of analogue to digital GSM-R systems, this solution is the most awaited for, even expected, by the users. The company has in its offer a number of variants of the product construction (modular – flexible, keenly utilised in modernised vehicles; or the variant in the rack 19” chassis, installed in new vehicles), which allows to adjust the most optimum configuration of the radio-telephone to the needs and requirements of the operator. Since 2008, Radionika has been supplying its solutions to the company Newag. It has since then installed more than 3000 of Koliber units in the vehicles of practically every single railway operator in Poland. The radio appliances of Radionika have been installed in, amongst others, internal combustion vehicles of the 6DG and 15D type for PKP Cargo, electric vehicles in IMPULS series for regional railways, electric locomotives of the DRAGON type used by cargo operators. Since 2016 year, the majority of vehicles manufactured by Newag are already equipped with the dual system Koliber GSM-R/VHF radio-telephones, ready for use with the GSM-R system, currently being implemented in Poland. The excellent cooperation between Newag and Radionika companies in the field of preparing projects and manufacturing allows for a smooth running of production processes. They as well as problem-free use of vehicles with the Koliber radio-telephones installed on-board. Everyone benefits from this, customers of both of the companies. Radionika, apart from radio-telephones, also manufactures essential accessories, supplied together with the appli- ance like the GSM-R/GSM/GPS train antenna type AT2S or the micro-telephone set type KMT-01 for the cabin radio. In addition, the company has in its offer a wide ranging assortment of mechanical elements which simplify the installation of radio-telephones in vehicles.
of comfort for travellers. The passenger area is equipped with an advanced passenger information system, a GPS monitoring system and ergonomically designed luggage racks. In addition, the new Impuls II provides electric sockets, bicycle racks, a baby-changing station and lifts for the disabled. The new streamlined EMU from Newag cruises at a smooth operational speed of 160km/h (100 mph). In yet another accolade for Newag, PKP Intercity trains have signed a new contract to purchase 20 of the company’s latest electric locomotives, together worth more than PLN 370 million. This represents just one element of the biggest investment made in the history of PKP n Intercity, which is valued at more than PLN 7 billion. For further details of Newag’s latest EMU and DMU locomotives and maintenance services, visit: www.newag.pl Industry Europe 127
On track for growth Greenbrier-Astra Rail is a global supplier of specialist equipment and services to the global rail freight transportation markets. The company is a world leader in the design and manufacture of freight railcars. Philip Yorke looks at the many positive outcomes of the merger of Greenbrier Companies Inc and Astra Rail in 2017 and explores Greenbrier-Astra Rail’s strategy for future growth.
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Logistics & Transport
June 2017, The Greenbrier Companies Inc, and Astra Rail Management GmbH merged and began operating under its new company name, Greenbrier-Astra Rail. The enlarged company offers high-end freight railcar manufacturing, innovative engineering, repairs and refurbishments and premier sales and customer services. Greenbrier-Astra Rail also undertakes a diverse range of projects located outside the European theatre in regions such as those of the Gulf Cooperation Council nations (GCC) and Eurasia.
Unrivalled expertise The strategic union of these two world-class companies means that customers will receive unrivalled expertise in manufacturing and repair operations on the European continent. It is acknowledged that the railcar fleet in Western Europe is growing old with an average age of more than 25 years. This replacement demand, combined with anticipated growth in Europe and the opportunities afforded by its nearby emerging markets, positions Greenbrier-Astra Rail positively for future growth. Chairman and CEO of Greenbrier, Bill Furman said, “The merger between Greenbrier and Astra Rail extends our core competency in freight railcar building, aftermarket services and engineering for all railroad gauges, with a network spanning the globe from North and South America to Western Europe, the GCC and Eurasia. This will be
a significant and positive step in our strategy for diversification, and Astra Rail is a great partner. They bring new products to us as we do to them, and our present businesses are not directly competitive”. Combining the Greenbrier Europe operations with that of Astra Rail’s proven manufacturing and design capabilities and strong management team, will be of great benefit to its shared European railcar customers. It will create a more efficient and responsive manufacturing base that offers a broad range of rail related products. The combined enterprise brings increased scale in Europe and will also bring enhanced capabilities to serve new global markets in places where there is increasing demand.
Extended European platform Greenbrier-Astra Rail is led by a highly professional team with decades of experience in railcar markets throughout Eastern and Western Europe, as well as in emerging markets around the world. Daily operations are led by a management board including CEO and President Bernd Bose, until recently the CEO of Astra Rail, and CFO Bogdan Lesnianski, previously head of the Wagony Swindnica operations of Greenbrier. Coupled with its on-going investments in Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Mexico, Greenbrier has grown its international footprint and created a comprehensive global network. Today the company is capable of sup-
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Logistics & Transport
porting many markets from its global facilities, including its expanded platform in Europe. Greenbrier-Astra Rail currently employs more than 4,000 people and operates six state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities throughout Europe.
Rising rail freight volumes Freight volumes are rising worldwide thanks to the need to reduce greenhouse gases, which have been exacerbated by the increasing reliance on road transport. This is particularly true in Turkey where volumes are set to rise by over 65 million tons in the next five years alone. The Turkish government is planning to invest more than 23.5 billion US dollars towards its rail infrastructure projects through to 2023.
BVV Group BVV Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of quality wheels and wheelsets for all types of rolling stock railway vehicles. The wheels manufactured in BVV special grades are high thermal and optimised for noise-reduction and continuous mechanical load. The BVV freight carriage wheel for example, which is highly resistant to thermal loads, is an exceptionally long-lasting wheel that meets the high thermal requirements of freight carriages with composite pads. BVV is continuously working on improving the performance of our freight wheels and wheelsets through various projects. A recent example of this is BVV´s successful participation in the 5 L- demonstration project with SBB Cargo. The project marks another step towards an innovative and competitive freight train and is a pioneering achievement in Europe. The objectives involved achieving a significant reduction in noise emissions by at least 5-10 db in comparison to the low-noise tread-brake freight wagons currently being used. From standard products to highly innovative solutions such as weight or noise reduction for all kind of applications in freight transportation - BVV stands for high flexibility and on-time deliveries.
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The Turkish rail industry is also migrating to European rail standards for its infrastructure as intercontinental rail traffic grows. Today Greenbrier-Astra Rail is the leading designer and manufacturer of freight wagons, all of which are built to strict European standards. Following the merger, Thomas Manns, Chairman of the supervisory board of Greenbrier-Astra Rail said, “This transaction is transformational. Our combined operation is better positioned to pursue the growth opportunities offered by the freight car markets in Europe and globally”. Bill Furman, Chairman and CEO of Greenbrier-Astra Rail added, “Greenbrier views Turkey and the Mediterranean region as a key corridor within the global freight railway system. Expansion into Turkey is a logical extension of our market-leading Greenbrier Europe operation. Turkey broadens Greenbriers presence in the region where we are successfully working with the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) on key rail projects and are planning to partner with other Gulf Cooperation Countries on railway supply needs in those nations. We look forward to growing our presence in the Turkish rail market and the opportunity to be part of the industry’s growth within the region”. Greenbrier’s investment in Turkey clearly demonstrates its on-going commitment to enter promising international railcar markets. In turn this drive will produce greater shareholder returns as Greenbrier grows its leadership position on all four continents in the expanding worldwide freight railcar industry. Today one of Greenbrier’s most important strategic goals is to continuously enhance the quality of its products and services. Therefore the company aims to satisfy and exceed the highest expectations of its international customers on a long-term basis and to maintain its position as one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of modern railcars and wagons. It is also worth noting that the company’s
rail management systems have been certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2008, EN 14025, EN ISO 3834-2 and EN15085. This is also a field where Greenbrier works closely with TYUV (German Technical Inspectorate) and is also fully certified under the Deutch Bahn’s HPQ and VPI n quality standards. For further details of Greenbrier-Astra Rail’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.greenbrier-europe.com
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Down-to-earth solutions Alcomet is a leading European manufacturer of rolled and extruded aluminium products. The company offers a wide range of aluminium and semi-finished items for a broad range of industrial applications. It is currently targeting new markets for its latest addedvalue products in the energy and power distribution industries, as Philip Yorke reports.
lcomet was founded in Bulgaria in 1981 and has since gained an enviable reputation as a producer of high quality rolled and extruded aluminium products. Today the company produces foils and anodised powder coated profiles, sheets and strips that covers cast, rolled extruded and packaging products. With an annual capacity of more than 80,000 tonnes, Alcomet is one of Europe’s biggest suppliers of aluminium products as well as household foils for the consumer market. It is also one of Europe’s leading suppliers of electrical metals and components to the energy, transmission and power distribution markets. Alcomet’s state-of-the-art plant in North Eastern Bulgaria covers more than 370,000 square metres and has benefited recently from a €75 million facility upgrade which has helped to quadruple its output over the last ten years. A further investment of €40 million will see the purchase of the very latest process technology and an additional 18,800 square metres of covered production space. These new facilities are due to be commissioned during the first quarter of 2019. For its compliance with the highest quality management and environmental standards the company has been fully certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and EN 15088:2005. 134 Industry Europe
Continuous investment programme Alcomet has been investing continuously since its establishment to acquire new technologies and upgrade its facilities. This is designed to meet the latest technological standards to satisfy the more challenging demands of its clients, as well as to drive its move into new markets. The company’s latest investment programme spans a period of three years and will double production capacity and expand its production facilities by a further 13,000 square metres upon completion. On the aluminium rolling side, the investment involves the commissioning of a new cold-rolling mill with a max width of 2200mm, a continuous casting line, heat treatment facilities and new finishing lines. Whilst on the extrusion side, a new generation 25MN HybrEx® extrusion press will allow Alcomet to extrude profiles with a CCD of up to 310mm and a wall thickness as low as 0.8mm. The new, high-tech cold rolling mill is being supplied by the leading German manufacturer: the SMS Group. This additional production capacity will help the company to increase its presence in the US and North African markets.
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Diverse product range In each of its business sectors, Alcomet offers an unrivalled range of high-quality aluminium products. This is particularly true of its portfolio of electrical metals and components for the energy sector. Its extensive range of products includes copper and aluminium earth tapes, tubular busbars and connectors, stranded conductors and cables as well as a broad range of earthing materials, tools and accessories. In addition, it offers oil circuit breaker contacts and GRP walkways and flooring. Alcomet also produces standard and bespoke machine-engineered products, such as fabricated busbars, relay boxes, panels,
brackets and other components made to a client’s individual specifications. Alcomet’s innovative theft prevention products, such as its award-winning Guardian Security Range, is designed to deter the ever increasing theft of copper and aluminium earthing tape.
Expanding power connections Extending its product portfolio still further, Alcomet has announced the continued expansion of its power connection range and specialist services. Following increased customer demand, the company has once again expanded its Tubular Busbar and Power Connector range of products in order to help meet the growing needs of industry.
SIAD Bulgaria SIAD Bulgaria as part of SIAD Group has a strong, long lasting partnership with Alcomet for about 20 years. SIAD Bulgaria is the only supplier of industrial gases from 2014 and supplies Alcomet with liquid nitrogen, liquid argon, liquid carbon dioxide and other compressed gases. The new project that SIAD Bulgaria started at Alcomet is a super insulated liquid nitrogen distribution system. The project is related to the increasing of production capacity at our customer and includes four main points: 1. Supply and installation of super insulated liquid nitrogen distribution system, including line and equipment to the new 2500 t. press for cooling the working matrix. 2. Increase the liquid nitrogen storage area with additional equipment and cryogenic tank in order to face the new consumption. 3. Replacement of existing liquid nitrogen distribution line from 1800t. to 1300t. press and a modification of connections. 4. Upgrading the liquid nitrogen distribution line to the 2000t. press. The objective of this new installed system is to assure the supply of liquid nitrogen at the right temperature to the point of use. This increases the production capacity and assure a long service life of the equipment at the press site. SIAD Bulgaria takes the advantages of the traditions, innovations, experience and knowledge of SIAD Group and its experts, focused on special applications at customers’ sites in different industries and processes. SIAD Bulgaria has realized similar projects again with vacuum insulated pipeline system not only for heavy industry and metal fabrication companies, but also in healthcare field, at tissue banks, where the responsibility of the supply of high quality liquid nitrogen is also a critical point of importance. Our technical assistance, safety support and trainings at any time are an essential part of our business. SIAD Bulgaria is well known in the Bulgarian market as a reliable supplier of compressed, liquid, pure gases and special mixtures. SIAD Bulgaria has developed an optimal distribution and logistics network with three filling stations and more than twenty selling points in the country, covering many important local and international infrastructural projects and all customers’ needs.
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Alcomet also offers a connector requirement take-off service. This special customer service has been designed specifically to help combat lengthy lead times and their associated risks, from evaluation to design and despatch. Designs can be provided in 2D and 3D diagrams for added precision. The company’s in-house technical support teams offer a 24-hour turnaround on quotations and they maintain continued close contact throughout the procedure to ensure a fast, accurate and stress-free service.
Delivering system safety Recently Alcomet was asked to provide a viable and cost-effective solution for cable trenches and covers to protect main electricity cables on the site of a new 132kV grid substation and provide a cost-effective alternative to concrete. This was required due to some specific challenges appertaining to the designated brownfield site. To guarantee the safety of the structure, the equipment and its occupants, an effective earthing system for the new substation was needed alongside a solution to combat metal theft. In response, Alcomet supplied multiple runs of Alcomet GRP cable trenches and covers on site, thus providing a solution for vehicular and pedestrian access. With its high strength to weight ratios, ease of installation and zero maintenance the Alcomet GRP range easily met the stringent requirements of the new sub-station project. Alcomet also collaborated with project designers to accommodate specific layout requirements on site, producing bespoke mouldings to create various sizes of trenches and covers to meet the project’s specifications. Precision cutting was carried out at Alcomet’s GRP Processing Centre and held in stock for call-off by the client as and when required. To counter the problem of theft and vandalism in the area, specification of the award-winning ‘Alcomet Guardian Security Range’ was a clear choice. Tested and approved it offered the perfect solution to protect its customer’s investment. Through its close collaboration with project managers and partners, Alcomet added real customer value to this successful venture from its n early design stage to completion. For further details of Alcomet’s innovative range of products and services visit: www.alcomet.eu 138 Industry Europe
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
Accessing the future For almost 100 years EVVA has been a market leader in security and access technologies. As an independent family owned business, the company continues to lead the field in electronic access solutions for a broad range of industrial and domestic applications. Philip Yorke reports on a dynamic organisation with a firm focus on the future.
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VVA was founded in Austria in 1919 and has grown to become a global frontrunner in the design and manufacture of both mechanical and electrical security systems. The company is headquartered in Vienna and employs over 800 people, of which around 500 are based in Austria. EVVA is a truly global player with a strong European presence that is backed up with extensive distribution and service centres worldwide. The company’s key product categories are Electronic access solutions, Mechanical locking systems and Supplementary security devices. In 2017 EVVA recorded sales of more than €120 million.
Smarter integrated systems Smarter integrated electronic systems offer the greatest scope for EVVA and represent the largest single market sector out of its key strategic business sectors. These include access integration systems, security technology, security surveillance technology and security locking technology. The company’s advanced integrated security technologies can be used to best advantage in areas such as civil construction, hotels, education and healthcare. The consumer security market is also seeing strong growth with private households demanding more sophisticated solutions such as fully integrated surveillance systems that can be connected to a laptop, tablet or PC and available on the same platforms as those used for opening garage doors and switching on the heating etc.
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Greater versatility In August this year, EVVA’s electronic security systems range was extended with its advanced electronic cam lock, which can be integrated into any of the company’s well-known AirKey and Xesar systems. “This means that EVVA’s electronic product range is becoming more versatile than ever,” said Sabine Ribits, product manager at EVVA. “Whether it is for sensitive areas such as pharmaceutical cabinets, display cases with valuable contents at jewellers, or even lockers in sports facilities or letterboxes, our latest electronic cam locks are the ideal addition to our Xesar or AirKey access control systems. “Today these systems are simple to install and even easier to manage with their latest software as they are integrated just like most other electronic components. Here at the EVVA headquarters in Vienna we provide the best example as we offer ‘pick-up’ lockers at the shipping department that are equipped with electronic cam-locks. As a result, EVVA employees in Vienna can pick up their goods 24/7 whenever it suits them and no longer need to observe opening times,” Ribits added.
All-in-one solution The new electronic cam-lock from EVVA can be readily adapted depending upon the installation in question thanks to its shorter cylinder length. The company’s fixed cam (FVS) is also another new feature. Here the thumb turn is blocked when the cam lock is disengaged. In addition, any locking operation as part of this function is logged in compliance with data protection regulations. “One key objective was to offer our partners an important all-in-one product extension without complicating our ordering processes. For this reason, locking direction and cam lock designs are orientated to the EVVA mechanical locking systems. Furthermore, all cams from our mechanical locking system range are also available for the electronic cam lock and are available in three different variants,” added Ribits.
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
Delivering a smarter future It is clear that smarter electronic systems will continue to be the most significant drivers for growth in the future. In combination with smart phones there will be an infinite range of new opportunities on offer. This is particularly true of the security industry. Today customers know precisely what they want. This is where convenience and easy accessibility are paramount. Ideally these features combine with an easy-to-operate interface and simple to set up procedures. EVVA told Industry Europe, “The Internet of Things is affecting more and more areas of our daily life. Smart buildings with automated access control systems are already a reality and thus no longer a vision of the future. The smartphone is the key to integrated digital living. Today lights are switched off as soon as the property door is locked and air conditioning systems are de-activated when a door has been open for more than five minutes. The future means that fridges will automatically order milk and heating systems will increase the temperature shortly before occupants return. These market trends are also vital for security.” “The opportunities for industry and for consumers alike are infinite and today people are demanding one thing more than anything else: greater convenience. Constant change is EVVA’s permanent
companion and EVVA today is focused on creating greater data protection security, smarter buildings that link individual devices and more user friendly characteristics that range from perfect calibration to automatic battery replacements and straight-forward and flexible access options for an ageing population.”
Focus on digital services EVVA plans to continue to drive ahead with greater digitalisation and last year established a dedicated Digital Services Division. Gunther Glawar has been Executive Vice-President/CDO of this new division since September 2017. “Our success as a reliable partner is ultimately based on the fact that we have been developing patents since day one to drive forward innovations that centre around our customer’s needs. For this reason we aim to make ideal use of the opportunities and options digitalisation brings about for our company and our customers. We are delighted to have appointed Gunther Galwar as an acclaimed expert in n this field,” added Stefan Ehrlich-Adam, CEO of the EVVA group. For further details of EVVA’s latest products and services visit: www.evva.com Industry Europe 141
Centred on peripheral
The LNS Group is the world’s leading provider of one-stop shop solutions for the machine tool industry. Recently the company acquired a leading manufacturer of high-pressure coolant systems, chillers and cyclonic filtration products. It has also announced its next generation of fine, compact filtration systems, the SF Compact, as Philip Yorke reports.
NS was founded in Switzerland in 1973 by three highly skilled engineers, who decided to design bar feeders that improved the speed and efficiency of fixed and sliding headstock lathes. Their success has since been recognised worldwide and their culture of innovation remains at the heart of all LNS Group operations today. A major milestone in the company’s history occurred in 1975 when a young and ingenious precision-machining technician, Philippe Scheurer, was developing a unique machine tool concept. Following the contractual acquisition of Mr Scheurer’s patents, LNS invented the world’s first hydraulic bar feeder. This is better known as the Hydrobar®. This system guides a rotating bar into a bath of oil, covering it in a fine film of oil. This reduces friction, noise and vibration whilst allowing the lathe to increase the spindle speed and ultimately increases significantly the efficiency of the machines. The invention proved such a resounding 142 Industry Europe
success that not only did LNS increase its turnover dramatically, but the Hydrobar® brand has become a generic term that is still used throughout the machine tool industry. Today LNS is the clear global leader in the field of machine tool automation with around 1000 employees worldwide. The engineering group operates ten state-of-the-art production facilities, which are located in North America, the UK, China, Turkey, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and more recently, Germany. To date more than 130,000 bar feeders have
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
been produced and delivered by LNS and over 250,000 chip conveyers installed worldwide. Through a programme of continuous innovation and strategic acquisitions, the path travelled by LNS has led the group, which is still privately owned today, to achieve a truly enviable position in the global marketplace.
New turbo boosts productivity The LNS Group recently announced a new generation of fine filtration products when it launched its Turbo SF Compact chip conveyor. This latest conveyor from LNS leads the field with its self-cleaning filtration to 50 microns and its easy handling of virtually all materials and chip types, thus making manufacturers much more efficient. The Swiss manufacturers Precidec and Moser-Ingold were both able to optimise their productivity, thanks to the LNS turbo SF Compact chip conveyor, and to dramatically reduce their downtimes. The new SF Compact represents the culmination of many years of product development and testing, resulting in a new generation of fine filtration equipment that offers an excellent return on investment. This is in addition to its modular design for easy maintenance and low energy consumption. The latest addition to the LNS range of filtration products has been very well received worldwide thanks to its ease of material handling, and ability to process most chip types, thus in turn optimising production hours. According to LNS, customer feedback has been outstanding. “It’s not just a simple conveyor. The pre-filtration is a real innovation, reducing maintenance and optimising performance,” said Mr Herve Comment, General Manager of Precidec. This leading Swiss company is based in Moutier, Switzerland, and produces precision components for the watch industry, as well as for medical equipment and connectors.
The manufactured parts are used in various applications from mobile phones to defibrillators and luxury watches. Many different materials are machined in the production processes of the Swiss manufacturer. “That is why we need a chip conveyor that can handle a wide range of materials. It should also prevent the machine from jamming and increase its capacity to work in an autonomous manner. Besides its flexibility, the self-cleaning filtration of the innovative SF Compact is the main advantage for Precidec,” added Herve Comment.
Driving peripheral tool technology Recently the LNS Group acquired the US market leader in high-pressure coolant systems, ChipBlaster Inc. This will significantly leverage its sales and service network globally. ChipBlaster’s technologically advanced products will continue to be marketed on a worldwide basis. A common thread running through both companies is their goal of helping manufacturers to optimise the efficiency of their machine tools to improve performance, productivity and profitability. ChipBlaster’s president Greg Antoun said, “We’re excited to join the LNS family. Both companies continuously advance machine tool peripheral technology, create products of the highest quality, and focus on customer needs, so this will not only be of great benefit to each organisation, but also to the customers we both serve.”
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LNS offers an unrivalled range of engineered peripheral product solutions along with the industry’s most experienced technical staff. It can therefore implement, integrate and support all aspects of manufacturing automation in order to maximise productivity and improve a customer’s return on investment.
Expanding product portfolio “For almost 50 years, the LNS Group has developed innovative machine tool peripheral equipment and made a name for itself as the leading bar feeding and chip management system specialist in the world. In the last decade, the company successfully transformed itself into a true one-stop shop for the machine tool industry, offering an ever expanding range of machine tool peripherals and services.
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Metals, Metalworking & Mining
Different models of the Fox filtration systems have also been added by LNS engineering teams to meet a variety of new industrial requirements and solve a broad range of pollution problems in its customer’s facilities. The company’s mist collector series Fox WS2 is compact, and can be perfectly integrated into the machine tool and offers the ideal solution for metal cutting applications, whereas the Fox WM series is designed for the simultaneous collection of multiple machine tools and very large machine tools where considern able airflow is needed. For further details of the LNS Group’s innovative products and services visit: www.lns-europe.com
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Positive progress in anti-infectives Xellia Pharmaceuticals specialises in the development and manufacture of advanced, anti-infective treatments, which are used against serious and often life-threatening bacterial infections. The company’s major investment programme in new facilities in Europe and North America underscores its growing success and innovative product pipeline, which is set to significantly enhance global patient care and convenience. Philip Yorke reports.
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Pharmaceuticals & Medical
ith more than 100 years of experience, Xellia is an international, trusted supplier of advanced anti-infective drugs. These are comprised of active pharmaceutical ingredients as well as injectable products. Continuing the company’s on-going success, Xellia is generating a growing pipeline of innovative, value-added, anti-infective medicines that enhance patient care, while providing convenience and ease-of-use for healthcare professionals. Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, Xellia has a broad global reach with R&D, manufacturing and commercial operations spread throughout Europe, Asia and North America. It is currently investing heavily to expand its sales and manufacturing capabilities in the United States and Europe. Today the company operates five state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, which are located in Denmark, Hungary, China and the USA. Its Finished Dosage Form facilities are located in Denmark and the US. Xellia Pharmaceuticals is wholly owned by Novo Holdings AS and employs over 1500 professionals worldwide.
New boost to capabilities Recently Xellia formally opened its new US$ 25 million manufacturing facility at its extensive HQ site in Copenhagen, Denmark, making it the company’s largest global production facility. The latest state-of-the-art
facility houses the most advanced sterile manufacturing equipment and containment solutions in a modern, purpose-built environment. Xellia’s impressive Copenhagen site is responsible for manufacturing, stability testing and packaging of both sterile active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and the finished dosage forms (FDFs) for anti-infectives such as vancomycin and colistmethate sodium. Today anti-microbial resistance is one of the world’s most serious threats to human health and Xellia’s speciality anti-infective medicines are often used as the last line of defence, in situations where all other medicines have failed. This new upgraded facility will ensure that Xellia is able to continue to provide a reliable supply of injectable and anti-infective critical care medicines and keep at the forefront of manufacturing excellence. In addition, expanding production capacity for its sterile injectable products in the US in Cleveland and Ohio has added yet further to its global manufacturing capabilities. In Europe, completion of the company’s 3000 square metre multi-storey Centralised Laboratory Service building in Budapest provides additional product stability and further release-testing expertise. Xellia is also significantly expanding its product and innovation R&D teams with more than 15 new scientists recently joining its new, purpose-built Centre of Excellence in Zagreb, Croatia. This centre is providing exciting new solutions for improving efficacy, safety
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and the delivery of existing anti-infectives, as well as focusing on the reduction of any toxic side effects. The company’s new site in Zagreb is developing a range of novel drug-device combinations for its anti-microbial therapies.
Pioneering innovative formulations In September 2018, Xellia Pharmaceuticals and Leukocare AG entered into a global strategic partnership, in which both companies plan to collaborate closely to develop innovative and superior formulations. This will support the further development of Xellia’s pipeline
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of value-added antibiotic and anti-fungal products, all of which are designed to enhance patient care and provide positive outcomes. Under the new agreement, Leukocare will work closely with Xellia’s team of new product development experts and apply its propriety SPS (stabilising and protective solutions) formation technology platform to discover novel liquid formulations for multiple anti-infective products that will expand Xellia’s antibiotic and antifungal product portfolio. Leukocare on the other hand will receive licence fees, formulation development funding, plus royalties on future product sales.
Pharmaceuticals & Medical
Aleksandar Danilovski, CSO and Senior VP Global R&D and Regulatory Affairs at Xellia said, “Having access to Leukocare’s SPS® technologies and formulation development expertise strongly compliments our own in-house product innovation and development skills and capabilities. The partnership supports our long-term product development strategy of transitioning lyophilised products into liquid formulations. In addition to extending our product offering, liquid formulations will provide improved convenience and ease of use for healthcare professionals and extend improved patient care. Based upon our previous working relationship with Leukocare, we are convinced that our strategic partnership will achieve the desired outcome.” Michael Scholl, CEO at Leukocare, commented, “We are very pleased to enter this strategic partnership with Xellia, a world-leading developer and supplier of numerous important anti-infective products. We are looking forward to supporting our strategic partner in its product development, thereby facilitating Xellia to develop and launch its new pipeline of value-added anti-infective products for global markets.”
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Atotech is the global market leader in the production of electroplating chemicals, equipment and services. Its relentless R&D efforts, combined with its worldwide TechCentres, enable it to offer pioneering products and unparalleled on-site customer support, thus making it a valuable industrial partner. Philip Yorke reports on the latest developments at this dynamic company.
totech’s origins date back to the mid-19th century. Over the decades several mergers and acquisitions have led the company to become the global leader in the highly complex world of electroplating chemicals. It offers equipment and plating services for printed circuit boards, package substrates and semiconductor manufacturing as well as for decorative and functional surface finishing. Following a programme of continuous expansion, Atotech has established additional TechCentres worldwide. Furthermore, its focus on green product development has resulted in its leading the field in sustainable plating technology. In 2017, a major milestone was reached when Atotech became a fully independent, stand-alone company. Today it is the global market leader in plating technologies, generating sales of more than $1.4 billion, with more than 4000 professionals worldwide. As the world’s leading supplier of speciality chemicals, equipment, services and solutions for printed circuit board manufacturing and advanced electronics packaging, it offers unrivalled expertise in both
decorative and functional surface finishing. The company’s core business units include electronics and general metal finishing, as well as others that cover semiconductor technology and electronics materials. These new technologies are playing an increasingly important role in the future growth of the company.
Higher yields, longer life Atototech continues to set new standards for the production of higher yields and more sustainable processes with longer life. Recently the company unveiled its latest regeneration system, Satilume® LongLife, which combines its well-known Stilume® Plus, with advanced filtration and dosing equipment. Its continuous electrolyte filtration and optimised, fully automated additives dosing systems help stabilise the process and allows for uninterrupted manufacturing, thus enabling production increases from several hours up to five days with no further maintenance required. In addition to ensuring constant and stable satin nickel finishes with improved quality and appearance, Satilume® LongLife also
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increases the plating capacity of existing plating lines, thus reducing the amount of maintenance required and significantly lowering rejection rates. The company’s automated online analytics system also provides fast, simple and direct control of important parameters that influence the quality of plating processes. This fully automated online system is easily implemented in pre-existing production lines and provides consistent monitoring of the baths. It also ensures maximum control over the line by performing a comprehensive range of automated analyses, from titration and spectroscopy to conductivity measurements. If combined with dosing units, the system can also automatically adjust the composition of the baths, extending their lifetime and preserving the high quality of the plated layers. With prompt analyses results, the entire plating process can be effectively maintained at consistent, optimum conditions, resulting in higher material and production yields. In addition, by drastically reducing laboratory time, and automating the analytical control of process baths, it also allows for lower overall plating costs. For example, in order to achieve the same result manually, a decorative plating on a plastics line for automotive parts with 14 process steps and 40 parameters requires 17 hours of manual work. Another important plating process is one that improves nickel plating profitability, which today can be achieved in a more sustainable way. Atotech’s HELIX® or ‘Highly Efficient Long-ion Exchanger’ is the next generation of ion-exchange systems designed to recover 152 Industry Europe
nickel from the rinse water of the company’s semi-bright, bright, satin and microporous nickel processes. It provides advanced nickel recovery that results in higher efficiency and higher generated nickel concentrations from the rinses.
Worldwide R&D network Alongside the world’s leading manufacturers and OEMs, the company operates a unique global R&D network, which co-develops new production concepts to further drive innovation. Atotech’s global
Pharmaceuticals & Medical
R&D teams seek out new paths and set the benchmarks for the development of sustainable plating processes. The success of these commitments can be measured not only by the increase in sales, but also by the increasing number of Atotech patents. The company maintains close partnerships with its OEM customers as well as its tier one and two manufacturers, in addition to institutes, universities and other notable research bodies.
provide advanced analytical and technical support. With 14 production plants for chemistry and two for equipment, Atotech can be n relied on to provide fast, on-time delivery worldwide. For further details of Atotech’s innovative products and services visit: www.atotech.com
Innovation-driven success Atotech has an enviable reputation for its innovation-driven culture, which is designed to keep the company well ahead of its competitors. Currently Atotech has over 2000 worldwide patents in force. These have been developed at its many R&D centres worldwide, as the company continues to commit over 10 per cent of its annual sales to research and development. This is to ensure that it will always have the most advanced, sustainable products and processes at the disposal of its customers. The regional headquarters of Atotech are located in Rock Hill (USA) and Yokohama (Japan) and are supported by over 40 regional service centres of which 18 are specialised technical centres that
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Close-up on fashion Lloyd Shoes is a European market leader in the design and manufacture of premium fashion shoes. The company’s innovative styles and ergonomic technologies are complemented by its fresh approach to its ‘Concept Stores’ now being opened in China. Furthermore, Lloyd Shoes’ latest collections can be viewed in close-up in 3D via its special ‘ShoeViewer’ app. Philip Yorke reports.
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Textiles, Home & Personal Care
loyd is a well-established European shoe brand that was founded in 1888 in Bremen, Germany and has been headquartered in Suligen, Germany since 1942. Under the management of Poul Haugard Petersen, Andreas Schaller and Jorg Wetzel, it has seen consistent growth and in 2017 generated consolidated sales of more than €130 million. Its growing export sales accounted for almost 30 per cent of its total revenues last year. Currently over 7000 pairs of shoes are manufactured every day by Lloyd, which has 15 subsidiaries and more than 1600 employees worldwide.
Pioneering greater comfort Comfort has always been an important element of footwear fashion, especially for sneakers. To extend this concept Lloyd has presented models combining a sporting character with a business shoe in its latest Summer collection. The new innovative sneaker models play a significant role as the casual business trend has long since been established in the fashion world. New sole developments pioneered by Lloyd have established innovative trends in both style and form.
Optimal comfort is the new luxury offering, providing a perfect fit coupled with ‘high comfort finishing’ such as cushioning for the ball of the foot, soft impact inner soles and lightweight micro-cellular outsoles, all of which are blended with a special passion for design that is unique to Lloyd.
Ambitious growth With the ‘restart’ in China carried out earlier this year, Lloyd wants to build on its past achievements and to pursue a programme of ambitious growth in the years to come. In response to its new drive for growth, Lloyd Shoes has opened two new Lloyd Concept stores in Beijing under the aegis of its partner Lloyd China Ltd. The special feature established in the two new stores is their automatic storage system, which has been adapted from existing technology developed in-house by Lloyd Shoes. Each store’s fully automated storage system is located behind a glass wall within the retail space and is therefore fully visible to customers. With expert advice from a sales staff member, the customer looks for their model of choice, which is then called up in the storage Industry Europe 155
area by means of a tablet. After that, it is automatically issued from the storage area to the staff member or directly to the customer. In doing so, sales teams and technology are able to interact optimally with each other, without the consultation being interrupted by the walk to the storage area. In addition, the customer is witness to a new, and unique shopping experience. This modern service concept continues until the purchase is finalised as the customer has the option of paying via ‘WeChat’ with his or her own smartphone and can have the goods delivered directly to their home if they choose. “The new store concept is innovative, even for China, and shows that Lloyd thinks one step ahead, not only in fashion, but also in technical terms. This inspires the shopping mall managers and the customers alike,” said Andreas Schaller, Lloyd’s managing director. The leading fashion shoe manufacturer is also planning another store opening utilising the same principle, as well as a number of mobile pop-up stores for malls, airports and train stations.
Futuristic 3D fashion In good time for next year’s new fashion season, Lloyd Shoes is offering retailers and customers the opportunity to view its new editions in high definition 3D. With the new Lloyd ‘ShoeViewer’ app its shoes can be viewed in close-up, with each small detail becoming clearly visible. The Lloyd app can be obtained free of charge from any Apple App store and Google Play. “We are delighted to be able to show digital age consumers our products in this way so that the shoes look deceptively real. The image resembles the shoes so much that you think you are holding them in your hands,” Andreas Schaller said. “It is important for end customers to see each model for themselves with exact details in order to influence a possible buying decision positively. No questions remain unanswered, whether this is in regard to the nature of 156 Industry Europe
the shoe inside or which sole has been used. Specialist dealers also benefit from the new presentation as the stock catalogue offers a considerably more exact picture of the models than it did previously,” added Schaller. After successfully downloading and opening the app on the smartphone or tablet, the pages in a magazine or catalogue marked by a special icon can also be scanned. The shoes then appear as deceptively real 3D models in the Lloyds ‘ShoeViewer’. In the future the company is planning to extend the app’s functions with the object of providing its dealers and customers with an even better service. Anyone interested in the new app option can gain direct access to the desired app store using the link: www.lloyd.com/de/de/shoeviewer.
The TWE Group is a global leader in the development and manufacture of advanced nonwoven products. Its remarkable ability to maintain strong, consistent growth in the face of stiff international competition is testament not only to its portfolio of innovative products, but also to its ability to understand, evaluate and react positively to emerging market trends. Philip Yorke reports on a company that is acknowledged as the true pioneer in the nonwovens industry.
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he TWE Group was founded way back in 2012 in Emsdetten, Germany; however, it wasn’t until 1961 that it entered the nonwovens market and founded its highly successful nonwovens business, beginning with the production of synthetic, nonwoven materials for the first time. Today the company is a major global player with over 1300 employees active in more than 40 counties worldwide. Currently the company operates 17 state-of-the-art production facilities across Europe, China, India and the United States. The group’s portfolio of products cover an almost infinite range of applications from filtration and automotive interiors, to healthcare, hygiene, construction and living. In 2017 the group recorded consolidated revenues of more than $500 million.
Switchable functionality With selected partners, the TWE Group is spearheading a major project that is dedicated to the development of new, switchable functionalities for nonwoven products and surfaces, especially for applications in the filtration and automotive sectors. Within the scope of this pioneering project, which runs until November 2019, the latest innovative applications are focused on those concerning general filtration and motor vehicle interiors. The North Rhine-Westphalia State is working closely with the TWE Group to drive new nonwoven technologies forward. This unique European project has been designated: NGF 2.0. Within the scope of this ground-breaking programme, switchable solutions for nonwovens are created and developed. The many innovative outcomes will drive the opening-up of new business fields
for TWE and will also help to expand its current product portfolios in the fields of energy, vehicle equipment and the environment. In addition, the development of new data management tools and data evaluation modules for its intelligent switching of actuators, will be stimulated by the many new applications involved in the area of industry 4.0. This innovative project is funded by the State of Nord Rhine-Westphalia using funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is titled ‘Investment in growth and employment’. The full list of partners involved in this study include: • TWE-Bocholt GmbH • TWE-Vliesstoffwerke GmbH & Co. KG • Deutsches Textilforschungzentrum Nord-West • K+K Wissenstransfer e.K. • Institut fur Energie-und Umwelttechnik e.V. (IUTA). Together these players are expected to create a new platform for growth in the nonwovens industry by the year 2020.
New focus on value-added products The TWE Group sees big opportunities for growth in the global market for thin nonwoven products and innovative combinations that also offer energy savings and other ecological benefits. The company believes that offering value-added solutions is the way forward and research is continuing apace in order to offer clients even better value and an all-important competitive edge. However, for some of the company’s products, logistics have also become a very important factor. This is especially true of comfort
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products, where the costs of transportation can be prohibitive and could restrict the number of areas where TWE products may be sold. Therefore the establishment of production facilities in carefully selected strategic global locations is an obvious solution and one that the TWE Group has been pursuing actively for many years. Today the creation of innovative, value-added products is vital in order to meet the everchanging needs of its customers. This is a priority at TWE along with its on-going commitment to sustainability and the environment.
Natural fibre’s versatility An expanding ‘green portfolio’ has been significantly enhanced recently with TWE’s acquisition of some key companies in Europe and the USA. A major German manufacturer that specialises in the production of nonwoven products made from natural fibres such as Hemp, Flax, Kenaf and Jute, has opened many new opportunities to the group’s global growth prospects. The Isowood company has proved to be the perfect partner for the TWE Group. This instant expansion of its own natural fibre portfolio means that TWE can now secure a bigger stake in this important growth market. In the USA the TWE Group has also added three major US facilities to its operations through the acquisition of Vita Nonwovens, located in North Carolina, Texas and Indiana. This deal includes the company’s manufacturing sites in France, Belgium and Sweden, thereby enhancing the group’s presence in a number of key European markets as well as in the US.
Voyage of discovery In order to define more clearly the global demand for innovation, future markets and the applications of countless nonwoven products, TWE came up with a novel solution, ‘a voyage of discovery’. As part of its drive to communicate more effectively with its customers, the company 160 Industry Europe
has built a ‘TWE Solution City’ as a virtual city. This is a futuristic city where all the company’s products, markets and applications can clearly be seen, in addition to how they improve the quality of life for consumers worldwide. The unique TWE virtual city is also designed to demonstrate how its nonwoven products and solutions help to improve customers’ products in almost every aspect of daily life. This makes it possible for anyone visiting the virtual city to embark on a true ‘voyage of discovery’. It is very much a city of the future, and enlightenment can be gained by either visiting the internet, or through forthcoming trade n fairs, or via TWE’s own communication portals. For further details of the TWE Group’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.twe-group.com
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.
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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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 164 Industry Europe
botanic-fibre solutions The Lenzing Group is a global leader in the development and manufacture of botanic fibres derived from wood. Its latest €100 million investment in unique, sustainable solutions extends further its technological leadership, as Philip Yorke reports.
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Textiles, Home & Personal Care
he Lenzing Group was founded in Lenzing, Austria over 80 years ago and has grown to become a global market leader in the production of wood-based cellulosic fibres. The company has production facilities located in all major international markets and a worldwide network of distributors and sales agents. It provides the world’s textile and nonwovens industries with the highest quality, sustainably produced botanic fibres, and is the premier supplier to most of the world’s business-to-business industries. In December 2018 the Lenzing Group filed 25 new patent applications which represents the first wave of patent applications for its new Lenzing Web Technology®. This focuses on sustainable production processes and unique applications for nonwoven fabrics made of its 100 per cent continuous Lyocel filament. This latest technology provides a unique self-bonding mechanism where filaments bond directly into a fabric during the laydown process. This new Lenzing process allows for a much wider variety of basis weight, surface textures and dimensional stability than any other nonwoven technology in existence today. The development of new Lenzing web filament technology is one of the company’s most exciting R&D projects. The 25 patents relating to this new technology underscores the company’s commitment to the fast-growing nonwoven industry.
The Lenzing Group is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange and currently employs more than 5000 people worldwide. In 2017 the group recorded consolidated sales of over €3.1 billion.
Expanding production capabilities Due to the strong global demand for Lenzing’s TENCEL® Luxe filament yarn, the group established another milestone as a specialist in the manufacture of the highest quality products made from the renewable raw material: wood. Lenzing plans to invest around €30 million in a further pilot line at the company’s extensive head office site in Lenzing, Austria, with the basic engineering for construction of the new facility has already been initiated. “Thanks to the huge success of TENCEL® Luxe the company is currently positioning itself in the premium luxury market and is embedding its sustainability processes in combination with its superior aesthetics,” said Robert van de Kerkhof, Chief Commercial Officer of the Lenzing Group. “The fine filament yarn is comparable to natural silk due to its airy feeling on the skin and its unique matt finish. It is therefore perfectly suited for very fine fabrics made exclusively from this yarn and as a blending partner with silk, cashmere and wool.” The company told Industry Europe that the decision to construct an entirely new line will serve as the basis for generating a three-fold
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increase in capacity compared to previous output. The additional manufacturing capacity will be available towards the end of 2019. The Lenzing headquarters site was selected because research and technological know-how in plant construction are connected, which in turn will enable the company to develop the product further. The company added that a strong level of demand is further evidence of the group’s innovative strength. “This exciting, sophisticated yarn is already opening up new markets for the company in the eco-couture sector, thus contributing to the successful implementation of the group’s on-going ‘sCore TEN’ strategy for growth,” the spokesman said.
New joint-venture milestone Another new milestone was reached recently, when the Lenzing Group and Duratex announced their agreement on the terms and conditions to form a joint venture to build the largest, single line dissolving wood pulp (DWP) plant in the world. Dissolving wood pulp is the key raw material for the production of Lenzing’s bio-based range of sustainable fibres. For the future operation, the two companies have secured a plantation comprised of more than 43,000 hectares, which will provide the FSC® certified raw biomass product for the company’s expansion programme. The giant DWP plant will be located in the state of Minas Gerais, a province of Sao Paulo, Brazil. This decision supports the company’s backward-integration and global growth in speciality fibres,
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as defined in its corporate strategy, sCoreTEN. The deal will mean that Lenzing will hold 51 per cent of the joint venture, whilst Duratex’s share will be 49 per cent. The estimated cash investment created by the joint venture for the construction of the state-of-the-art DWP mill is expected to be in the region of one billion US dollars. The new plant will supply the entire volume of dissolving wood pulp required by the Lenzing Group. This bold step is an essential milestone in the Lenzing Group’s ambition to grow its speciality fibres business worldwide. “Speciality cellulosic fibres form an important contribution to making the global textile industry more sustainable. In line with its corporate strategy, the company is committed to strong organic growth in this field. We are pleased that with Duratex, a recognised leader in sustainable forestry management, we have a strong partner in this joint venture. Together we will create a very sustainable and competitive raw material base for Lenzing’s global expansion plans,” commented Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer of the Lenzing Group. For many years, Lenzing has been committed to a programme of optimisation for its diverse range of products and production processes as well as for the protection of the environment at all levels. The company’s remarkable catalogue of innovative processes and products are too many to include in this article, however for further information concerning the Lenzing Group’s innovative, sustainable n products and processes. Visit: www.lenzing.com
Leadership based on strong partnerships Henkel Adhesive Technologies is a leading solution provider for adhesives, sealants and functional coatings worldwide with a strong focus on innovations meeting the demand of tomorrow. Strategic partnerships form an integral part of this global success and are duly recognised – the company has recently awarded its top suppliers for outstanding performance and their contribution to the company’s global development. Romana Moares reports.
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also in this issue...
enkel Adhesive Technologies is part of Henkel, operating globally with a well-balanced and diversified portfolio. The group holds leading positions in both industrial and consumer businesses thanks to strong brands, innovations and technologies. In 2017, Henkel, employing over 53,000 people globally, reported sales of €20 billion and adjusted operating profit of around €3.5 billion. As a recognised leader in sustainability, Henkel holds top positions in many international indices and rankings. Its preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX. Henkel Adhesive Technologies, one of the group’s three businesses, is the global leader in the adhesives market – across more than 800 industry segments worldwide. The company offers a unique portfolio of breakthrough innovations, tailor-made solutions and strong brands in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings to about 130,000 customers. The solutions are an essential part of countless industrial and consumer goods that – for example – help to make cars lighter, electronics more powerful or food packaging safer.
Operational Excellence, Innovation, Sustainability The company’s suppliers are an integral part of this achievement. For the sixth consecutive year, Henkel Adhesive Technologies has awarded the performance of its strategic suppliers across the value chain. With its annual Supplier Awards the business unit recognises close and successful collaboration in the categories of Operational Excellence, Innovation and Sustainability.
In recognition of its efforts to improve the joint supply chain, Henkel has presented the Operational Excellence Award to Kolon Industries, a Korean chemical and textile manufacturing company. Kolon Industries delivered an excellent service level performance in 2018, with best in class ‘On-Time’ and ‘In-Full’ scores of the respective Henkel plants – a great supply performance in a challenging market environment. For the third time, Henkel Adhesive Technologies granted the Innovation Award to Kaneka, a Japanese company providing a broad range of polymers for various industrial applications. Based on Kaneka polymers and dispersions, Henkel Adhesive Technologies successfully launched new products and strengthened its portfolio of high-performance and cost-effective solutions for automotive and electronics markets. In the Sustainability category, Adhesive Technologies recognised Covestro for its ongoing efforts to contribute to the sustainable Henkel product and project pipeline, such as the collaboration on finding alternatives technologies to substitute hazardous materials, developing bio-based materials in their polyurethane portfolio as well as an excellent EcoVadis rating. Covestro develops and manufactures sustainable materials, enabling Henkel to extend its business in the application of flexible packaging with improved migration properties or in the area of wood engineering replacing formaldehyde-based products. “The know-how and experience of our suppliers are a key enabler for Henkel to continuously drive powerful innovations,” said Michael
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Todd, Global Head of Innovation and New Business Development at Henkel Adhesive Technologies, during this year’s award ceremony held in Düsseldorf. “The close collaboration between Henkel and our strategic suppliers unlocks new potentials that are essential to develop exciting innovations for our customers and to bring our business to the next level.” “The cooperation and direct exchange with our strategic suppliers enable us to deliver answers to the needs of our customers throughout the entire value chain” added Thomas Holenia, Corporate Vice President Purchasing at Henkel. “Working together and focusing on aligned strategic priorities makes our joint supply chains more agile, which generates competitive edges, especially in today’s challenging market environment.”
Solutions of tomorrow Henkel Adhesive Technologies drives powerful innovations and develops leading technologies that create more value for its customers. The company continuously improves its existing products and develops breakthrough innovations. In 2017, around 30 per cent of Henkel’s sales were generated from products launched onto the market in the last five years.
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In supporting this focus, the Adhesive Technologies business is investing more than €130 million in a new global innovation centre at the company’s headquarters in Düsseldorf. Once completed, the facility will allow more than 350 Henkel experts to develop new technologies and applications for a variety of industries. The building will also serve as a global customer centre, where Henkel will present new solutions for adhesives, sealants and functional coatings. The opening of the innovation centre is planned for the end of 2020. “The innovation centre for Adhesive Technologies will support our ambition to offer innovative solutions and comprehensive service to our customers. We want to take our innovation capabilities for adhesives, sealants and functional coatings to the next level,” explained Jan-Dirk Auris, Henkel board member for the Adhesive Technologies business. With the new innovation centre, Henkel Adhesive Technologies is further driving its innovation capabilities and leadership forward. The company remains focused on driving profitable growth by continuing to invest into its own R&D and product development, as well as into new market opportunities. Expanding its innovation horizon enables Henkel Adhesive Technologies to deliver tailor-made solutions for its customers today, while at the same time developing leading technolon gies that create even more value for them tomorrow.
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