Volume 29/2 – 2019
Niesmann+Bischoff motorhomes drive success Visualising the future of STEMMER IMAGING Cruising the Baltic with Tallink Grupp
Stored hydropower Europe’s green battery
At the table or on the menu A customs union with the EU might be worse than not leaving at all.
all know the story of the scorpion and the frog. Now there’s a new version going around. This time it’s the frog that askes the scorpion to help her get across the river. Unfortunately the outcome is likely to be much the same. The scorpion will sting the frog – because that’s what scorpions do – and they will both drown. The arrangement will probably be fatal for the frog whether she gets to the other side or not. Either way the frog party will be outraged that she has enlisted the help of the scorpion party to get her deal (which they hate anyway) across and will swiftly call for a new Frog Prince, who is not so stupid as to trust scorpions, to lead them. The scorpion will likely be in trouble too. The scorpion party will be outraged if the frog gets across with his help because, first, frogs are the enemy and, second, they never wanted to get across the river in the first place. Of course if he just stings her to death in midstream that will be fine and they can get on stinging each other until a new Comrade Scorpion seizes power. The Labour Party’s ‘red line’ in the current search for a ‘compromise’ is, of course, that there must be a permanent customs union with the EU (as well as alignment with the single market etc). But there is some uncertainty about whether this is something that the party really wants or whether it is something that they have to pretend to want because they don’t want Labour Leave voters to understand that nearly all Labour MPs and party members don’t want any Brexit at all. So they surely don’t want to help May get the deal done even though their support would be the scorpion’s sting that finished her, and maybe the Conservative party, off. What they really want, of course, is a second referendum (or the people’s vote or the confirmatory vote or whatever stopping Brexit is
now called). The fact that their leader actually would quite like to get out of the EU is something it’s not polite to mention.
Elementary lessons But for now it’s all about the customs union. It has been much remarked that Labour spokespeople have been emphatic about how this would bring a proper Labour Brexit that would protect jobs and so on but very much less clear about what such a permanent customs union would entail. So it was good to hear that Olly Robbins had been tasked with explaining to Mr Corbyn how customs unions actually work. This could take some time because, as the joke in Westminster goes, Labour folk are brought up to believe that unions are selfevidently good things while markets, obviously, are really bad. One supposes that he kicked off by explaining that a customs union or no customs union wasn’t really anything to do with the Withdrawal Agreement that they were all trying to get approved. Those things would be options to be considered in the Transition Period when we got around to talking about the future trade relationship with the EU. And the EU had made it clear that the Agreement was the only route to those discussions on offer and would not be changed. So was the Labour Party going to support the Agreement or not? We could then move on to look at these really interesting proposals for a customs union, or the customs union or whatever. Of course Mr Robbins might also have explained that while his boss had, on countless occasions, made it clear (as they all like to say) that the UK would definitely be leaving the customs union as well as the single market, it wasn’t quite as simple as that. We would obviously stay in both during the transition period and, if the Backstop then kicked in, potentially for ever after. So
the Withdrawal Agreement already promised a customs union in all but name (CUIABN presumably). Obviously he’d be grateful if Mr Corbyn would not mention this to anyone in the Conservative Party since the PM has assured them the opposite was the case. Not, of course, that any of the Brexiteers were fooled by that. The briefing might then have moved on, if Mr Corbyn hadn’t by then drifted off, to what they like to call the technical details. Maybe they could have explained that a customs union wasn’t the same as a free trade agreement. The EU customs union delivers tariff free trade with other EU members but obliges the UK to impose the EU’s common external tariff (CET) on imports from the rest of the world. That’s where we are now. But if we were out of the EU but in a customs union the CET would still apply to all non-EU trade but the UK would have no say in setting tariff levels and no real ability to make FTAs with non-EU countries. We would not even have automatic access to the trade agreements that the EU already has around the world – no longer being a member of the EU, we would have to renegotiate these agreements one by one. Furthermore, we would not be able to protect our interests in whatever future FTAs that the EU agreed with other countries and, even worse, such FTAs would allow automatic access to the UK market without the UK having reciprocal access to those countries’ markets unless it was able to make its own agreements. And what would be the chance of that if we had nothing to bargain with? As Liam Fox has said, the UK would have indeed a new role in the global trading system – with the EU controlling our terms of trade but with no voice in its policy making, it would be the UK itself that would be traded. As they say in Brussels, if you are n not at the table, you are on the menu. Industry Europe 1
CONTENTS Editorial Director Peter Mercer
Production Manager Tania Balderson
Editor Steve Gislam
Copy Manager Andrew Briggs
Profile Writers Romana Moares Barbara Rossi Dariusz Balcerzyk Edina Beale Philip Yorke Emma-Jane Batey Eugenia Fiusco Piotr Sadowski
Advertising Manager Stephen Moore
Comment 1 Opinion At the table or on the menu
Energy & Utilities Industry Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Eniko Kovacs Michael Hudson Oliver Clements Szidonia Hajdu
Katarzyna Pozoga Jurita Millere
Art Director Rob Czerwinski
4 Pumped hydropower – the green battery Hydro energy’s role in the renewables revolution 6 Energy & Utilities news The latest from the industry
Chemicals & Petrochemicals Industry 8 10
How the Hertzstück changed infrared detection
Chemicals & Petrochemicals news The latest from the industry
Paper, Printing & Packaging Industry 12 14
Designer Leon Esterhuizen
Taking 3D and infrared sensing to the next level
The momentum of metal cans The rise of metal packaging continues
Paper, Printing & Packaging news The latest from the industry
News 16 Winning business New orders and contracts 18 Linking up Combining strengths 20 Moving On Relocations and expansions across Europe 21 Technology spotlight Advances in technology
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© 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
Reports 22 23
Focus on Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris
Automation & Robotics 25
3D technology revolutionises denture production
28 30 34
Hungary’s most significant industrial business event MACH-TECH
40 years of technical innovation and customisation for the Salico Group Salico Group Autonomous innovation Nilfisk
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles 37 Bespoke cabin design Agrikon Kam 40 Optimised precision-casting DGS Druckguss 44 In Top Gear Niesmann+Bischoff 48 Peace of mind Oetiker 50 Leading the way ZF 54 Innovation meets tradition CLAAS 59 Top Performance ŠKODA AUTO
Above: Lucta Group p96
Chemicals, Petrochemicals & Offshore 62 66 69 72
Smarter marine solutions Wärtsilä Nourishing business Nitrogénművek Adding new life to leather Colorex Chemical Transforming the paraffin market Polwax
Construction & Engineering Above: Trumpf Group p35 Below: Niesmann+Bischoff p44
77 80 84 88
Advanced Hydraulics Hydreco Super-efficient window and door systems Alumil Road Operation using high-end solutions
Above: Hoppecke p92 Below: STEMMER IMAGING p120
New name, new strategy Emmegi Group
Energy & Utilities 92 Exploiting power-storage potential
Food & Beverage 96 A world of flavours Lucta Group 100 Cream of the crop Sammontana
Home Appliances, Furniture & HVAC 104 Re-inventing the headset Jabra 108 Rewarding excellence Electrolux 112 Plug-n Cool performance Embraco
Logisitics & Transport 115 Leader in the Baltic Sea Tallink Grupp
Above: Makoter p138 Below: Fippi p148
Machine Vison 120 The right vision STEMMER IMAGING
Above: Wärtsilä p62 Below: Hydreco p77
Metals, Metalworking & Mining 125 Reaching for the stars Forgital Group 130 Innovation on a roll Beltrame Group 134 Reinforcing perfection Feralpi
Paper, Printing & Packaging 138 Packaged for all seasons Makoter
Textiles, Home & Personal Care 142 Building a sustainable future Unilever 148 Focus on innovation Fippi 152 Pure magic Drylock Technologies Industry Europe 3
Energy storage systems are the key to meeting Europe’s renewables targets, Robert Williams reports.
Pumped hydropower the green battery
or many years, a key challenge in the energy sector has been how to store energy for when it’s most needed. As we move towards relying on renewable energy, it becomes even more pressing to have alternatives, when “the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow”. It sounds straightforward but has proved remarkably difficult to address – which is why we still have to have back up renewables with electricity generated from oil, gas and nuclear power stations. A huge amount of research work has been devoted to storing energy. Supercapacitators, lithium batteries, solid state batteries, hydrogen cells, there have been no shortage of options. The European Commission sees renewable energy as playing a major role in fighting 4 Industry Europe
climate change, as well as being capable of providing Europe with affordable and secure energy. While solar and wind energy have received much attention – and are already significant in Europe’s energy mix – other renewable energy sources, such as hydropower, are likely to grow in significance. This is partly because Europe’s 2020 target of 20 per cent of energy from renewables means adding an even greater amount of renewable energy, which some estimates put at between 35 per cent and 40 per cent According to the International Hydropower Association, “hydropower is a versatile, flexible technology that at its smallest can power a single home, and at its largest can supply industry and the public with renewable electricity on a national and even regional scale.”
In 2016, hydro-electric power supplied 71 per cent of all renewable electricity generated, accounting for 16.4 per cent of the entire world’s renewable and hydrocarbon electricity generation. In the EU hydro accounts for over 14 per cent of all prime electricity, and 70 per cent of all hydropower is from five main countries - Sweden, France, Italy, Austria and Spain.
Storing hydro power Norway is one country that could become, at least partially, the “green battery of Europe” by using hydropower plants to provide extra electricity. The existing network of hydropower plants could be developed to instantly boost power supplies across the continent. As the sources of energy change, power systems will have to become more flexible, so they can balance generation and consump-
tion. One way to introduce this flexibility into the grid is through pumped hydro storage. Norway has 937 hydropower plants, which provide 96 per cent of its electricity, making it the sixth largest hydropower producer in the world - despite having a population of only 5 million. Pumped hydro storage is the oldest kind of large-scale energy storage and works on a very simple principle – two reservoirs at different altitudes are required and when the water is released from the upper reservoir to the lower reservoir, energy is created by the downflow, which is directed through a turbine and generator to create electricity. The water is then pumped back to the upper reservoir during periods of low demand. Pumped storage hydro provides one of the few large-scale, affordable means for storing and generating carbon-free and low-cost electricity. it is one of the most cost-effective utility-scale options for grid energy storage, acting as a key provider of ancillary services. On average, European pumped storage plants are more than 30 years old, with two-thirds of them built between 1970 and 1990. It looks like conditions are ripe for new capacity construction. Pumped storage generation offers a critical back-up facility during periods of unexpected peak demand or sudden shortfalls in supply, If we want to see this happening on a European scale, it is essential that we upgrade the continent’s ageing grid infrastructure, ensure that countries open up borders, increase interconnection and trade electricity on a single market.” An alternative to building new dams is the Prosper-Haniel pit in the state of North Rhine Westphalia near the Dutch border. It
has produced coal for almost half a century but is set to turn into a 200-MW pumped storage hydroelectric reservoir. It will act as a super-giant battery with enough capacity to power over 400,000 homes for up to 4 hours when needed. Researchers from a number of German universities are working alongside private engineering companies and the government on the project. Once successfully up and running, this is something that could potentially be modelled and rolled out Europe-wide.
New grid systems The construction of pumped storage facilities, be they dams or mines, brings other challenges to the fore, as the stored energy still needs to be distributed. This will require an increase in the capacity of interconnectors in Europe and new techniques to enable non-dissipative long-distance transportation of huge quantities of electricity. A precondition for a pumped hydro storage boom is development of the power grids. In most cases, the existing grid structure is inadequate for absorbing and transporting the given amount of electricity to its storage location. For this reason, connections inside and between European countries must be expanded. So, in tandem with new power stations is the development of the grid system, as the existing grid structure is not up to the task of absorbing and transporting the necessary amount of electricity to and from its storage locations. For the Norwegian green battery, the crucial element is getting electricity out of Norway and to other parts of Europe, something that requires expensive undersea cables. The country is scheduled to connect with Germany by 2020, once the €1.5-2 billion
NordLink cable is operational, and by 2021 with the U.K. through the €2 billion NSN Link. Norway exports hydro power to the Netherlands and exchanges renewables with Sweden and Finland, and there are plans for similar green exchanges with Germany and the UK. But the key project is with Denmark, a country that relies heavily on wind energy. Norway imports Denmark’s excess windgenerated power and sends hydro-generated electricity back when the wind isn’t blowing, allowing Denmark to rely on renewables for about 40 per cent of its electricity needs. Energy storage and effective pan European distribution has a key role to play in the transition towards a carbon-neutral economy. By balancing power grids and saving surplus energy, it represents a concrete means of improving energy efficiency and integrating more renewable energy sources into electricity systems. It will also help enhance European energy security and create a well-functioning internal market with lower prices for consumers. Ultimately, making this growth in storage capacities a reality throughout Europe - and beyond - is a task for innovators, grid operan tors and policymakers alike.
Prosper-Haniel pit in the state of North Rhine Westphalia
Industry Europe 5
New developments in the Energy & Utilities industry
Full speed ahead for the K470 battery box from ZARGES
ARGES’ range of K470 battery box are used by many of the leading Formula E teams to store and transport the lithium-ion batteries used by the teams in their cars, but also across F1 for equipment for such as racing radios and intercom systems. The ZARGES cases are specially designed and approved for the transportation of hazardous goods, so can be used for both intact and defective batteries as they have a fabric lining that foams when heated to coat any batteries that are defective.
“Formula E racing is fast, exciting and technically challenging. The cars are some of the best engineered machines in the world, and they travel all over the globe. Using our K470 battery box gives top teams peace of mind that they are transporting the batteries in the safest way, and ensures that they can mitigate any risks should any damage arise to the batteries,” said Neil Harper, Sales Manager at ZARGES. Visit: www.zarges.com/uk/
The next generation of the Porsche Macan will be electric
he Supervisory Board of Porsche AG has decided to manufacture the next generation of the Macan as a fully electric series. This
will be the first all-electric compact SUV from Porsche, and is due to roll off the assembly line at the start of the next decade. The development represents an expansion of the Porsche range in the field of electromobility: the Taycan – the first purely electrically driven sports car from Porsche – will be launched to market at the end of 2019, followed shortly thereafter by its derivative, the Taycan Cross Turismo. “Electromobility and Porsche go together perfectly; not just because they share a highefficiency approach, but especially because of their sporty character,” comments Oliver Blume,
Chairman of the Board of Management of Porsche AG. “By 2022 we will be investing more than six billion euros in electric mobility, and by 2025 50% of all new Porsche vehicles could have an electric drive system. Nevertheless, over the next ten years we will focus on a drive mix consisting of even further optimised petrol engines, plug-in hybrid models, and purely electrically operated sports cars. Our aim is to take a pioneering role in technology, and for this reason we will continue to consistently align the company with the mobility of the future.” Visit: www.newsroom.porsche.com
200,000 Renault electric vehicles sold across Europe R enault has topped the 200,000 mark for sales of electric vehicles in Europe. At the same time, it has crossed a symbolic milestone in France with 100,000 vehicles registered. This double achievement underlines Renault’s position as leader in the European electric vehicle market, with steady growth in sales. “Today, we are proud to say that over 200,000 customers in Europe have chosen Renault to make electric driving part of their everyday lives!
Total signs definitive agreements for entry into Arctic LNG 2
otal has signed agreements with Novatek for the acquisition of a 10% interest in Arctic LNG 2, a development led by Novatek on the Gydan Peninsula, Russia. “We are delighted to have concluded the definitive agreements for our entry into this new world class LNG project based on the vast
6 Industry Europe
And of course this is just a step on a far longer journey. Our clearly stated aim for the past ten years has been to make electric mobility available to everybody. Groupe Renault’s ambition is for electric vehicles to account for 10% of sales by 2022. To achieve this, it will build on the eight electric vehicles that will make up the range by this date,” says Gilles Normand, Senior Vice President, Electric Vehicles, Group Renault. Visit: www.media.group.renault.com
Russian gas resources alongside our partner Novatek. Arctic LNG 2 builds on the success of Yamal LNG and will introduce several innovative solutions” commented Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total. “Arctic LNG 2 fits into our strategy of growing our LNG portfolio through competitive developments based on giant low cost resources primarily destined for the fast growing Asian markets.”
With production capacity of 535,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), Arctic LNG 2 will develop over 7 billion boe of resources in the Utrenneye onshore gas and condensate field. The project will involve installation of three gravity-based structures in the Gulf of Ob. Visit: www.total.com
INDUSTRYNEWS Babcock Wanson constructs Rapid Steam Generators for Europe’s largest LNG terminal
rocess heating systems specialist Babcock Wanson has completed a project for National Grid featuring two bespoke Rapid Steam Generators at its Grain LNG importation terminal in Rochester, Kent. Following a major project to substantially increase the LNG handling capacity at Grain LNG, which has seen new storage tanks installed with four times the capacity of each of the originals, it was decided to upgrade the process heating system that converts the LNG to a gaseous state. Working closely with National Grid, Babcock Wanson has designed a sophisticated steam generation system based on two of its 7000kg/h VPX Rapid Steam Generator to replace the existing two 3.5 tonne boilers on site. The new vertical coil Steam Generators feature three full gas passes, plus an in-built combustion air pre heater to give high operating efficiency. The pressure containing coil design of the Steam Generators form the main combustion chamber with the second and third passes for the gasses going between the coil windings to ensure high gas velocity with good heat transfer and self cleaning of the flue gas passes. A purpose built and matched Babcock Wanson burner ensures long life and simple operation. Visit: www.babcock-wanson.com
Future of battery tech
lobal battery manufacturer Accutronics showcased its range of reliable battery products for medical, home automation and security electronics at this year’s Battery Tech Expo. On show was the U1 battery, the latest lithium iron phosphate smart battery from Ultralife Corporation. Created for use in a wide range of transportable and stationary equip-
Energy efficiency in CIAT VectiosTM, the new generation of rooftop packaged units
IAT has launched Vectios, a new generation range of rooftop packaged units offering exemplary energy efficiency. Designed to exceed the requirements for seasonal efficiency (SEER > 3.53 and SCOP >3.20), Vectios also achieves up to 37 percent energy savings, compared to Tier 1 energy efficiency requirements. The 20 kW to 100 kW reversible heat pump operates within an outside air temperature range of -15 ºC to 48 ºC, and up to 52 ºC in the coolingonly version. CIAT designs, manufactures and supplies heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) global systems solutions that optimize energy consumption and enhance indoor air quality and comfort in buildings. CIAT is a part
of Carrier, a leading global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. Visit: www.ciat.com
Fortum solves major EV sustainability issue
lectrification will rapidly increase the need for batteries. A new solution by Nordic clean energy company Fortum makes over 80% of the electric vehicle (EV) battery recyclable, returns the scarce metals back into circulation and resolves the sustainability gap by reducing the need to mine cobalt, nickel, and other scarce metals. “There are very few working, economically viable technologies for recycling the majority of
materials in lithium-ion batteries. We saw a challenge that was not yet solved and developed a scalable recycling solution for all industries using batteries,” says Kalle Saarimaa, Vice President, Fortum Recycling and Waste. The hydrometallurgical recovery process allows cobalt, manganese and nickel and lithium to be recovered from the battery and delivered to battery manufacturers to be reused in producing new batteries. This technology was developed by Finnish growth company Crisolteq. Crisolteq has a hydrometallurgical recycling facility in Harjavalta, Finland, that is already able to operate on an industrial scale. “Circular economy in its strictest sense means recycling an element to its original function or purpose. When we discuss the recycling of lithium-ion batteries, the ultimate aim is for the majority of the battery’s components to be recycled to new batteries,” Saarimaa concludes. Visit: www.fortum.com
ment such as medical carts, robotics and UPS systems, the battery includes Ultralife’s SMART CIRCUIT™ battery management technology. This feature provides the user with accurate runtime information in addition to a balancing and protection system, which maximises both safety and performance. Alongside this, Accutronics’ stand will also highlight its range of batteries for port-
able devices and home automation systems, including the company’s Entellion range of batteries and the unique Thin Cell technology developed by Ultralife Corporation. Visit: www.accutronics.co.uk
Industry Europe 7
Taking 3D and infrared sensing to the next level trinamiX GmbH, based in Ludwigshafen, is a spin-off and wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF SE. Since it was founded in 2015 it has developed 3D sensor systems for object recognition and distance measurement XperYenZ™. With Hertzstück™ it is now committed to provide standard and custom-engineered products in the field of infrared (IR) detection.
cannot fulfill your product requirements.” This was the response of all suppliers when trinamiX wanted to order certain sensors in the form of a small chip and in high numbers. A disappointing message. To manufacture an optical sensor system for distance measurement, the team working with Dr. Sebastian Valouch and Dr. Wilfried Hermes were searching for something not yet existing in this form: a wafer-thin infrared sensor made of lead salt. The models previously available on the market were very sensitive to water and oxygen, which is why they are protected by a sort of tin can: five millimeters thick – a true waste of space in the miniaturised world of microchips. 8 Industry Europe
At this point the story could have already ended. However, the will and pragmatism of the BASF subsidiary persisted. Working in a team, they pooled electronics knowledge and chemical expertise and, in April 2015, they started developing their own sensor with ultrathin encapsulation. From the start, chemical and process development closely coordinated their activities, and only those ideas were implemented that would also work in series production. At the beginning, there was considerable discussion in the team – about 20 process steps had to be coordinated with one another. But, ultimately, the production could be moved almost directly from the lab to mass production.
Equipped with product samples and data sheets, the team talked to potential customers and presented the 0.5-millimeter-thick chip with thin-film encapsulation to experts – and sold the first Hertzstück™ already one month later. “We developed the sensor in only 18 months and established our own production. And the properties of our sensors were so good that we wanted to offer them to external customers as well”, says Dr Valouch.
Hertzstück? The name says it all The sensor is the heart of every measurement device. The less light needed to obtain good results, the higher the performance, the so-called “detectivity”. In their formula,
the unit “root-Hertz” plays a particular role. This is where the “tz” in the brand name and the root in the product logo stem from. The Hertzstück™ sensors come to life in the inhouse production in Ludwigshafen. From the chemical deposition to the encapsulation – trinamiX produces the sensor in the chemical lab and clean room in mass production according to the intended use and in different sizes. Hertzstück™ infrared detectors are available as: • Bare chip detectors • Detectors in TO housing • PbS detectors for wavelength from 1 – 3 µm • PbSe detectors for wavelength from 1 – 5 µm Hertzstück™ bare chip infrared detectors are protected by a thin-film encapsulation. They can be directly wire-bonded to printed circuit boards. Bare chip solutions enable small, flexible and very efficient devices.
Hertzstück™ detectors are also available with double encapsulation. The sensors are not only protected by a standard TO-package, but also by a novel thin-film encapsulation directly on the chip. Hertzstück™ multi-pixel detectors consist of 2 to 16 pixels in line or matrix design. The detectors cover a wide spectral range, which is highly relevant for applications in inline or mobile process analytics and quality control. The array modules comprise a 256 pixel array and a corresponding read-out electronics in a hermetic P28 package. Thanks to their low power consumption, Hertzstück™ PbS array modules are the ideal solution for mobile applications such as handheld spectrometers. The special potential offered by the inexpensive and high-performance sensors can be found in applications involving miniaturized
electrical engineering: Without the oversized casing, the chip could be integrated in corresponding measurement devices in smartphones – and in the future enable consumers to scan food for contamination as well as for water and sugar content. Many more measurements and applications are conceivable. n
Industry Europe 9
New developments in the Chemicals & Petrochemicals industry
Shell opens solar park at Shell Moerdijk chemicals site in the Netherlands
hell has opened one of the largest solar parks in the Netherlands at the Shell Moerdijk Chemical Plant. With 76,000 panels, the solar park has a peak capacity of 27 megawatts. The generated solar energy will be used to help power operations at Shell Moerdijk. “Developing this solar power plant in Moerdijk fits within Shell’s ambition to play an active role in the Dutch energy transition,” says Marjan van Loon, president-director Shell Nederland. “We are eager to limit emissions through energy efficiency improvements of our processes and investments in new energy activities. To accelerate energy transition, it is important that we align our activities to the ideas and initiatives in society. We know dialogue and collaboration is the key to success.” Robin Mooldijk, Executive Vice President for Manufacturing at Shell said: “At all Shell’s oil refineries and chemicals plants we are working to improve utilisation, energy efficiency and carbon intensity. Alongside process improvements and equipment upgrades, we also need vision and imagination. This solar park, now operational and helping to power our Moerdijk chemicals plant, is part of that.” Visit: www.shell.com
Solvay cuts emissions
olvay is investing in a new biomass boiler at its soda ash plant in Rheinberg, Germany, a decision that will cut the site’s CO2 emissions by more than 30% while at the same time improving its competitiveness. The new biomass boiler technology – which burns recycled wood chips – will
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WACKER opens new lab for food applications in shanghai
acker Chemie AG opened a new laboratory for food applications in Shanghai. This specialized lab will enable WACKER to provide its customers in Asia with even better support in developing innovative, customized products in the fast-growing food market. The focus is on food ingredients, for example for egg-free baked goods, whipped toppings or functional beverages, on dietary supplement ingredients such as highly bioavailable curcumin and on chewing-gum applications, for instance moldable sugar-free gum. Asia’s food market is flourishing. China’s food industry, in particular, is profiting from the strong purchasing power of its middle class. At the same time, the sector must face new challenges. Consumers are attaching ever-greater importance to healthy and sustainable nutrition, as well as products that are quick and easy to prepare. “We offer solutions to challenges currently facing the food industry,” says Dr Gerhard Schmid, president of WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS. “With our new range of services in Shanghai, we are strengthening our
position as an innovative partner to the food sector on the Chinese market.” The new laboratory, which covers an area of some 150 square meters, focuses primarily on applications involving cyclodextrins, cyclodextrin complexes and cysteine, as well as chewinggum applications. Visit: www.wacker.com
A revolutionary change in vehicle panel production
ABIC has announced a new, cutting-edge technology for producing lightweight, costeffective and recyclable vehicle panels using its UDMAX™ tape, a unidirectional, fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite. This innovative technology, which is designed to replace traditional panels made of metal and thermoset materials for interior and exterior automotive applications, will soon be commercialized in the bulkhead of a light commercial vehicle (LCV) produced in large scale for the global automotive market. The bulkhead was developed through an international collaboration among SABIC; RLE
International, an engineering services provider headquartered in the United Kingdom; AMA Composites, an Italian toolmaker; and Setex Textil GmbH, a weaver based in Germany. Vehicle panels made with UDMAX tape combine strength and impact resistance with light weight, which can result in mass reduction of interior panels of up to 35 percent in comparison to metal parts. In case of exterior panels, the composite material can help reduce mass up to 50%. They are produced using a highly efficient, one-shot process of lamination and low-pressure molding. Visit: www.sabic.com
lower CO2 emissions by 190 kt/year as the Group is committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 1 million tons over 2017-2025, regardless of its growth. “Solvay with this key project marks a critical step in achieving its new greenhouse gas target as part of our strategy to produce and serve our customers in a more sustainable and competitive way.
This biomass project follows earlier energy transition initiatives we launched at our soda ash sites in Bernburg and Rosignano and shows how we shape our future and reinforce our global leadership in soda ash,” said Christophe Clemente, President of Solvay Soda Ash & Derivatives Global Business Unit. Visit: www.solvay.com
INDUSTRYNEWS BASF opens innovative research center for catalysts and processes in Ludwigshafen
Clariant Active Ingredients turns to a superfood of the sea
ASF has opened a pioneering research center at the heart of the Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, close to the famous Ammonia Lab. This new pilot plant facility for catalyst and process development will be operated by the global research unit Process Research & Chemical Engineering. It houses highly automated experimental facilities for efficient process development and testing of new process catalysts. The highlights of the modernized lab include modular construction of the testing facilities, the use of digital technologies to better visualize and manage the pilot plant facilities, and a digitalized working environment. “With the increasing importance of the BASF segments Chemicals and Industrial Solutions, there is a growing need for product research and especially process research,” said Dr Detlef Kratz, head of the research unit Process Research & Chemical Engineering. “In our pilot plant facility, we are using state-of-the-art infrastructure to carry out experiments. This enables us to pursue new research approaches and reduce the length of research and development projects, while also continuing to improve the quality of the data collected. We are thus systematically pursuing our goal of increasing the likelihood of success of our projects.” Visit: www.basf.com
INEOS Oxide to double capacity of its new Ethylene Oxide and Derivatives facility
NEOS Oxide has announced that it is to double the size of its planned Ethylene Oxide (EO) and Ethylene Oxide Derivatives (EOD) facility to be built on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The new plant will produce 1.2 billion pounds of EO (circa 520kt). The plant is expected to be operational in 2023.
lariant, a focused and innovative specialty chemical company, and its Active Ingredients business hand cosmetics formulators the key to a revolution in anti-aging. New seaweed active ingredient Epseama pioneers the targeting of long non-coding RNA nc886 to improve signs of rejuvenate skin, reinvigorate its self-defense abilities and preserve skin youth. Epseama takes an innovative and differentiated approach and goes down to the root cause adeing factors. It does so by targeting the long non-coding RNA, called “nc886”, recently recognized as a key regulator of PKR, a protein known for inducing premature aging in various diseases and organs. Subsequent groundbreaking research by Clariant Active Ingredients into the unexplored impact of nc886 in the skin, demonstrated the correlation between aging and the decrease of nc886 expression. The result:
when properly expressed nc886 is a fundamental player in the rejuvenation of skin. With Epseama, the industry can develop effective skincare directed at the true causes of aging. Derived from a “superfood of the sea”, Epseama draws on the extensive nutrient power of a brown seaweed Laminaria japonica (Kelp or Kombu) for its effectiveness. It is farmed off the coast of a South Korean island and involves “ugly-food” sourcing. Visit: www.clariant.com
Total Acquires France’s Synova T otal has acquired Synova, a French leader in manufacturing high-performance recycled polypropylene for the automotive sector. Synova produces 20,000 tonnes per year of polypropylene that meets the highest quality standards of original equipment manufacturers and automakers from recycled plastics. Combining Synova’s recycling expertise and Total’s polymers
Ghislain Decadt, Operations Director, INEOS Oxide said, “Doubling the capacity of our planned Ethylene Oxide and Derivatives facility is a significant commitment in support our customers and their growth ambitions in the US. This build allows us to address a fast growing EO merchant market as well as our own requirements. Combined with our upstream olefins capabilities this
know-how will increase the supply of recycled polypropylene for automotive applications that deliver the same performance as virgin polymers. “By contributing to the lighter weight of vehicles, plastics improve their energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Producing them from recycled materials will also meet the challenge of managing their end of life,” explained Bernard Pinatel, President Refining & Chemicals, Total. “The acquisition of Synova is a concrete proof of our commitment to developing plastic recycling. It reinforces the activities we already carry out in recycling and contributes to Total’s ambition to be the responsible energy major.” Visit: www.total.com
world class facility will secure our position as a reliable and competitive producer.” Visit: www.ineos.com
Industry Europe 11
The momentum of metal cans
Kathryn Fox, Global Marketing Manager at Videojet Technologies, looks at the continued rise in the use of metal packaging and the coding and marking challenges it presents.
ecycling, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability are all priorities for the beverage industry. In light of media attention with regard to certain packaging substrates and consumer demand for more responsible packaging solutions, there has been an increased focus on the use of materials that contribute in a positive way. Materials that are a part of the circular economy – the ability to be recycled infinitely without any loss of properties – are of increasing importance. Metal packaging has seen a steady rise in the beverage industry in recent years due to its many positive attributes, one of which being functionality and another being sustainability. It is lightweight, easy to shape and size, offers a 360-degree billboard for advertising, and is integrated into the circular economy. Globally, the market for metal cans is expected to reach a value of $56.38 billion by 2023 – growing at a CAGR of 3.2 per cent from 2018 - and there are a number of factors that are contributing to this rise in popularity such as convenience and hardiness. 12 Industry Europe
The greatest quality of metal cans is its ability to be infinitely recycled without loss of product purity and quality. In contrast, a plastic product can only be recycled two or three times before its quality level decreases. The global recycling infrastructure is highly advanced to process cans. A recycled can could be back on a retail shelf within 60 days. The recycling rate for aluminium is above 70 per cen in many countries, while in the US – according to the Aluminum Association – the country processes enough ferrous scrap daily to build 25 Empire State buildings. Conversely, according to an article by Forbes, one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute globally, of which only 9 per cen are recycled. Another valuable property of metal is the barrier to light and oxygen it creates which can negatively impact a product’s quality levels in terms of degradation. Metal is also strong in transit and throughout the supply chain and can be manipulated into a vast array of shapes and sizes. In addition, metal cans provide a 360-degree platform for branding and messaging with many decora-
tive options available – from thermochromic technology that changes colour with the temperature of the liquid within, to matte, gloss and even fluorescent finishes.
Metal gathers momentum in a number of beverage segments While glass and plastic packaging has seen widespread usage for many years, metal is now becoming more commonplace in areas outside of its traditional market. Craft beers are a prime example here as many brewers are now informed that metal cans do not taint the flavour of the beer. Rather, metal cans protect beer from the very elements that contribute to its losing quality – namely light and oxygen. Can manufacturers are finding ways to accommodate the smaller production runs required for these craft brews, which has led to some striking designs and some equally innovative packaging. Sparkling waters are gathering momentum in metal cans, in addition to still water – which is far more familiar to consumers packaged in a plastic bottle. While some canned waters are
still aimed at the premium end of the market, one US based charity – CannedWater4Kids is using aluminium cans to bring safe drinking water to those that lack access. Finally, more alcoholic beverages – such as wine, Ready-To-Drink spirits and mixers – are being packaged in cans because of the convenience factor. It is not surprising that metal packaging is gaining market share.
The coding and marking challenges In terms of coding and marking, metal packaging presents a number of challenges for manufacturers, including metal finishes and curved surfaces. Printing a legible code onto a metal surface is not the same as printing onto a plastic bottle. Therefore, extensive testing must be carried out. Beverage canning lines run at incredibly high speeds – sometimes as fast as 2,000 cans per minute – and initial evaluations will ensure codes can be printed to the standard required. Continuous inkjet (CIJ) and laser marking are the two technologies that dominate coding and marking in the metal packaging
sector. Both technologies meet the needs of high-speed can applications, including coding on the concave bottom of aluminium cans. For continuous inkjet, advanced printheads require less frequent cleaning, allowing for longer run times, while smart cartridges feature an embedded microchip, allowing the printer to identify whether the correct fluid has been installed. For laser marking, fibre lasers are often recommended for metal packaging, as throughput is often higher. Laser coders have the advantage of not requiring consumables such as ink, and can therefore run for extended periods of time without the need for stoppage. Regardless of your operational requirements, it is critical to engage with a specialist coding and marking supplier when looking to code onto metal. A detailed evaluation can be carried out to ensure maximum efficiencies are achieved and a system can be recommended and installed that will guarantee the very highest quality codes are applied to products that comply with the complex regulatory landscape n of the food and beverage industry.
- The author, Kathryn Fox, is Global Marketing Manager at Videojet Technologies, a leading company in the product identification market, providing in-line printing, coding, and marking products, application specific fluids and product life cycle services.
Industry Europe 13
New developments in the Paper, Printing & Packaging industry
NiceLabel launches global partner programme
iceLabel, a leading global developer of label design software and management systems, has announced the launch of its global partner programme. The programme is designed to help partners meet customer demand for the digital transformation of on-demand label printing. The programme is driven by the evolution of the labelling software industry, characterised by an increased demand from customers for Paul Vogt, Channel Marketing Director, NiceLabel
streamlined, more efficient ways of managing their labelling requirements. The programme brings together a large community of new and existing partners worldwide in a structured, more collaborative way. Members of the programme gain access to technical and marketing support to assist sales generation and position themselves as trusted advisors to customers. “The labelling software market is maturing to the point where a partner programme is essential to bring structure, set expectations, and provide incentives and rewards,” explains Paul Vogt, Channel Marketing Director, NiceLabel. The programme is three-tiered — Integrator, Partner and Reseller. The top two tiers, Integrators and Partners, are differentiated by their investment in technical competence. They have skills to configure, manage and deploy advanced NiceLabel-based solutions. Visit: www.nicelabel.com
Frugal Cup begins production in Wrexham
rugalpac, manufacturers of fully disposable cups, has opened a new manufacturing facility in Wrexham, Wales. The Frugal Cup offers cafes and consumers an environmentally friendly solution to non-recyclable disposable cups. The new factory includes 21 new production machines working on three dedicated lines. The Frugalpac facility will supply coffee shops across the UK with its easily recyclable cups. At present, the vast majority of coffee cups are single use, and recycling plants can’t actually process those often perceived by customers as being recyclable. A report from the World Wildlife Fund and Eunomia Research & Consulting found that the UK, if the current trend continues, is on course to throw away 33% more single-use coffee cups by 2030 than it does at present. Frugal Cups will be available in three sizes - 8oz, 12oz and 16oz – in
Tetra Pak launches connected packaging platform
etra Pak has launched its connected packaging platform, which will transform milk and juice cartons into information channels, data carriers and digital tools. Driven by Industry 4.0, and with code generation, digital printing and data management at its core, the connected packag-
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four Frugalpac-branded styles as well as offering bespoke designs. Made from recycled paperboard, with no waterproofing chemicals, the cup’s foodgrade liner separates easily during the standard recycling process. The paperboard and liner can then be recycled through separate streams which means that the cup can be disposed of in any recycling bin. A Frugalpac statement said: “With ever increasing demand for brands and retailers to do more to support an environmentally-sustainable economy, our aim is to be the number one replacement for all the coffee cups in the market today. This is the start of the recycled coffee cup revolution, and we encourage consumers to find cafes that stock the Frugal Cup and to ask their local coffee shops to get Frugal!” Visit: www.frugalpac.com ing platform will bring new benefits to food producers, retailers and shoppers. For producers, the new platform will offer end-to-end traceability to improve the production, quality control and supply chain transparency. It will have the ability to track and trace the history or location of any product, making it possible to monitor for market performance and any potential issues.
Uflex showcased its finest at IndiaPlast 2019
flex went all out at their booth at this year’s IndiaPlast, held at the IndiaExpo Centre in Greater Noida between 28 February and 4 March. Uflex exhibited its wide range of products and solutions from all seven of its businesses. Amongst the array of products on display from Uflex, what became the centre of interest at the booth was a Live Demonstration of the Uflex Recycling Machine at the Green Pavilion of PMMAI. The pavilion showed how Multi-layer Packaging (MLP) Waste is recycled into pellets through a fairly simple method. The subsequent process of pellets being manufactured into useful Industrial & Household Products was showcased simultaneously. Essential products manufactured from recycled pellets like benches, floor and wall tiles, ladders etc. were displayed at the booth highlighting how multi-layer plastic waste cannot only be recycled, but also re-used. Uflex also showcased its EX LAM 400, extrusion coating and laminating machine and the Super-S-1300, a solventless laminating machine as well as introducing PETG resin, an amorphous polymer that does not crystallise thus making it an optimal replacement for transparent polymer. The Uflex holography division also showcased a range of Customised Holographic Cartons, which combine holographic patterns to form distinct, hybrid designs for packaging. Visit: www.uflexltd.com For retailers, it increases supply chain visibility and real-time insights, enabling tracking of stock movements and monitoring delivery performance. For shoppers, it will mean the ability to access information like the product was made, the source of ingredients and recycling information. Visit: www.tetrapak.com
INDUSTRYNEWS Robotic flexibility without jeopardising line efficiency
LAPAK is experiencing increasing demand for flow wrappers integrated with robotic feeding systems as bakeries push for greater flexibility from their packaging plant. “In the past year or so, we have supplied at least ten flow wrapping lines incorporating robotic handling for products such as cakes, chocolate bars and pastries,” confirms Massimo Furlato, project engineering manager with ILAPAK. “Our complete lines combine inherently flexible robotic handling with our versatile Carrera flow wrapping platform in a single source solution, so there is no compromise on overall line efficiency.” Working with a third party robotics supplier, ILAPAK project manages these turnkey installations, taking complete responsibility for the seamless operation of the line and relieving customers of having to source individual pieces of equipment and coordinate with different suppliers. The industry’s first IP65 rated fully modular flow wrapper, the Carrera 6000, is often at the heart of these lines. On this machine, size changeovers are executed in minutes, due to interchangeable product guides, removable stacking device and an interchangeable sealing head. It is capable of packing bakery items in various configurations, from individually wrapped goods to multi-packs. The wrapper has in-built quality control for detecting and rejecting broken products, a ‘no product no bag’ function and automatic reel splicing for continuous operation. Speeds of up to 100 pieces per minute on multipacks and 300 per minute on individual items are within the machine’s capabilities. Visit: www.ilapak.co.uk
New can design boosts Ölgerðin’s sustainability credentials
esponding to the growing popularity of cans in Iceland, brewery Ölgerðin enlisted Ball Corporation, to help them design and produce cans for the iconic AVA fruit water brand. A brand rooted in sustainability, Ölgerðin’s entire production factory is powered by
BillerudKorsnäs & ALPLA join forces to pioneer paper bottles
illerudKorsnäs and ALPLA announced the formation a joint venture in the Danish paper bottle company ecoXpac. BillerudKorsnäs has been a driving force in the ongoing development of a paper bottle, which was started by ecoXpac in 2010 and with Carlsberg Group since 2015. ALPLA and BillerudKorsnäs share the ambition to drive packaging in a sustainable direction. The two companies intend to combine resources, competencies and strengths to support scaling ecoXpac in the commercialisation of a fully biobased, recyclable paper bottle. In late 2016, Carlsberg Group revealed a first physical prototype of a paper bottle, the Green Fiber Bottle, and the first generation of paper bottles has since then been in a testing phase. The plan now is to continue the development to be able to launch and then scale up production. Following generations will be both fully biobased and have biodegrad-
able barriers thereby fully realising the vision and enabling consumers all over the world to live more sustainably. It is to realise this vision the two companies come together on this journey of innovation. “EcoXpac was founded with a strong vision for the future. That vision has never felt closer to reality than today,” says Martin Grosen Petersen, CEO of ecoXpac. The transaction is expected to be completed by autumn 2019. Visit: www.billerudkorsnas.com
Berlin Packaging acquires French firm Verrerie Calvet
hicago-based packaging firm Berlin Packaging has announced a deal to acquire French packaging manufacturer Verrerie Calvet, as it looks to strengthen its business in Europe. Located in Aimargues in the south of France, Verrerie Calvet offers glass bottles and jars along with a range of metal containers, closures, and specialty boxes and bags for transporting and shipping wine and oil.
sustainable energy sources with the water not needing any treatment before consumption. Iceland’s oldest beer and soft drinks producer decided to update its packaging to a new format with less environmental impact. Utilising Ball’s 33-centilitre standard format, the new can design features Ball’s popular HD printing technique. Jóhannes Páll Sigurðarson, Brand Manager at Ölgerðin, said: “As activists
Verrerie Calvet will be integrated into Berlin’s Bruni Glass division and will be run in partnership with the Bruni Glass team in France, which has offices and warehouses at Nice. Berlin Packaging CEO Andrew Berlin said: “Berlin Packaging has enjoyed tremendous growth in North America and Europe. Verrerie Calvet will be another avenue for us to create jobs, as we have done already around the world.” Stéphan and Eric Calvet of Verrerie Calvet added: “We are excited to become part of the Berlin Packaging family and to embrace our new Bruni Glass colleagues. We are proud of what we have built, and we know this new partnership will bring much more opportunity.” Berlin Packaging is a €2.3-billion supplier of rigid packaging products. Verrerie Calvet marks Berlin’s ninth acquisition since 2010 and the third in Europe since 2016. Visit: www.berlinpackaging.com for sustainability, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our footprint and refreshing our packaging was the natural next step. By working together with Ball we’ve been able to tick this box with the introduction of a sustainable new can format, and we’ve also gained access to its experts’ valuable insight and guidance.” Visit: www.olgerdin.is Industry Europe 15
New contracts and orders in industry
British Steel secures new Catalonia rail contract
ritish Steel has secured a new contract to supply high quality rail for track renewals in Catalonia. The steel manufacturer has secured the agreement – for its R260 rail – with network operator Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC).
The announcement comes a short time after British Steel secured contracts with RFI, Network Rail, Infrabel and Translink. Richard Bell, British Steel Commercial Director Rail, said: “We’re delighted to have secured this new contract with FGC. “Delivering with a short lead time is a great benefit to our customers and we look forward to supplying FGC with the high quality rail synoymous with the British Steel name.” British Steel has recently announced: • A two-year extension to supply Network Rail in the UK • A four-year deal with Infrabel in Belgium • An agreement for 68,000 tonnes of rail for Rete Ferroviaria Italiana in Italy • A contract for 18,000 tonnes of heat treated 108m Stress-Free rail to Rete Ferroviaria Italiana in Italy • An 8-year contract with Translink in Northern Ireland. Visit: www. britishsteel.co.uk
.ON plans to enter the French renewable energy market and has joined the ‘Dunkerque Eoliennes en Mer’ consortium. Together with the
Fortum’s 90-MW wind power project in Närpes, Finland approved
ortum’s Kalax wind power project in Närpes, Finland has been approved for the Finnish national renewables scheme. The effect of the wind power park is expected to be approx. 90 megawatts (MW) and the annual power generation around 300 gigawatt hours (GWh). The Kalax wind park will receive
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energy companies ENGIE from France and EDPR from Portugal, E.ON is taking part in the auction of the Dunkirk offshore wind farm announced by the French government for March. The 600-megawatt project is to be completed in the English Channel by 2025 and will supply more than 600,000 households with renewable energy. E.ON has been working as a technical advisor on the development of the project for two years now. The French government has now formally confirmed E.ON’s entry into the consortium. Visit: www.eon.com
ongfeng Forging Co., Ltd., part of the commercial vehicle manufacturer Dongfeng Motor Group, has placed an order with SMS group for the supply of an MP 5000 eccentric forging press with a forging force of 5,000 tons for its plant in Shiyan, Hubei Province, China. Founded in Shiyan in 1969, Dongfeng Forging Co., Ltd. operates a total of 26 forging lines at this site including, among others, a 12,000-ton wedge press supplied by SMS group. Dongfeng Forging intends to use the new forging press to manufacture light-truck crankshafts with a maximum finished part weight of 21.5 kilograms. The new eccentric press will forge parts precisely, highly efficiently, and fully automatically with a nominal forging force of 50 MN. In addition to the press, the scope of supply includes process development services, sequence-controlled loading and unloading belt conveyors, an electrically operated automatic walking beam for parts handling, and an integrated die spraying system. Visit: www.sms-group.com
support of €2.87 per megawatt hour (MWh) if the market price for power is below €30 per MWh. The scheme was opened up for a total annual generation of 1,400 GWh. The projects are to be commissioned within three years from approval. The Kalax project still requires an investment decision by Fortum. “The granted premium is very low, but will offer additional compensation on top of the
spot price, should market prices be very low. It is time for wind power to become a part of the power market on the same basis as other production forms, without separate support. The support scheme is supposed to be a temporary solution and new support schemes are not needed,” says Joonas Rauramo, Vice President Wind Generation at Fortum. Visit: www.fortum.com
E.ON bids with ENGIE and EDPR for Dunkirk Offshore Wind Project in France
Dongfeng Forging orders 5,000-ton eccentric forging press from SMS group
FPT Industrial powers new European Tractor brand Mancel (YTO) with it Stage V Engines F PT Industrial is powering new tractors produced in France by Mancel, a newly established manufacturer that represents the European interests of YTO, part of the China-based group Sinomach, which has activities in agricultural and
construction machinery. Mancel has committed to using FPT Industrial’s reliable and powerful N45 Stage V engine. The four-cylinder engine for Mancel offers peak power up to 115 kW and torque up to 640 Nm. The model is part of FPT Industrial’s proven NEF series, which totals 1.7 million engines produced since 2001. FPT Industrial’s HI-eSCR2 technology is the Brand-patented solution to comply with Stage V emission regulations and its key elements are: Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC), AdBlue injector and an integrated SCR system capable of limiting both NOx and PM. The system improves sustainability, performance and operating costs and it is maintenance free. Visit: www.fptindustrial.com
Meyer Burger awarded contract from leading Asian customer
eyer Burger Technology Ltd (SIX Swiss Exchange: MBTN) has announced the successful conclusion of an order from an existing, major Asian customer for its high performance MAiA® 6.1 platform which delivers an impressive throughput of over 6,000 wafers per hour for mass production scalable PERC technology. By selecting Meyer Burger’s MAiA® 6.1, which
launched in 2018, to drive the production expansion of its high quality PERC solar cells, this global leader in the PV industry has chosen today’s foremost standard in PERC manufacturing technology. Meyer Burger’s industrialized MAiA® with its superior passivation technology played a key role in finally establishing PERC as the new global standard in mass manufacturing of solar cells. PERC delivered a much higher module performance while reducing production costs compared to the former Al-BSF standard technology. Dr Hans Brändle, CEO of Meyer Burger, stated: “Today’s announcement of a repeat order from a leading PV module manufacturer for our next generation MAiA® 6.1 signals the beginning of ambitious new PERC expansion plans by the solar industry.” Visit: www.meyerburger.com
SMS group to modernize gas cleaning systems at POSCO Gwangyang
the gas cleaning systems will be adapted to deal with the higher process gas volumes. Primary gas cleaning is performed by means of easytomaintain dry electrostatic precipitators (ESP) which will be extended accordingly. This will enable the gas cleaning systems to treat higher process gas volumes while, at the same time, their cleaning capacity is improved. The gas cleaning systems will
MS group), in cooperation with AERIX Co., Ltd., South Korea, has been commissioned to modernize the gas cleaning systems of the three BOF (Blast Oxygen Furnace) converters at the integrated steel mill of POSCO in Gwangyang, South Korea. Within the scope of a production increase in the converter shop,
Wärtsilä to design and equip state-of-the-art transport vessel for Aker BioMarine
he technology group Wärtsilä has been awarded the contract to design a state-ofthe-art multipurpose transport vessel that will operate in Antarctic waters. Wärtsilä will also provide the vessel with a comprehensive package of integrated propulsion and hybrid solutions to ensure highly efficient and environmentally sustainable operations. The ship has been ordered by Norway-based Aker BioMarine and will be constructed in China, at CIMC Raffles. The ship design order with Wärtsilä was booked The 168 metres long, 20,300 dwt vessel will comply with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Polar Code. Because it will operate in the environmentally sensitive Antarctic, Wärtsilä’s sustainable technical and hybrid solutions, with high levels of safety and reliability, were considered as being the most suitable for this project. “We are proud to have been selected to design and equip this ship. It will be a customised vessel designed specifically to meet the owner’s operational requirements in a challenging environment. It emphasises once again Wärtsilä’s comprehensive strengths and capabilities, as well as our broad offering to the marine market,” says Lilli Chi, Managing Director, Ship Design, Wärtsilä Marine. Visit: www.wartsila.com
each be designed for a capacity rating of more than 108,000 Nm³ per hour (dry). Visit: www.sms-group.com
Industry Europe 17
Aprilia Racing and Gulf aim for the top in MotoGP P iaggio Group’s technical flagship, Aprilia Racing, joins forces with global lubricant icon Gulf, in a multi-year partnership deal for the world’s top motorbike racing championship. After two years working together in global motorcycle racing’s upper echelons – in the World Superbike Championship arena - the iconic Gulf brand and Aprilia Racing marque continue to make concerted progress together, making the step up into the pinnacle of motorbike racing, MotoGP, thanks to a new multi-year partnership.
“The opportunity to move up into MotoGP, as a major partner of Aprilia Racing was a logical next step forward after World Superbikes,” explains Gulf Vice President International, Frank Rutten. “Aprilia is one of the most successful racing marques of all time while Gulf, of course, has a long history of success in motorsport. Making the move up to Grand Prix racing with a manufacturer that we know matches our ethos of quality, endurance and passion and our desire for progress.” Visit: www.aprilia.com
Dassault Systèmes and ABB enter global software partnership for digital industries
BB and Dassault Systèmes have announced a wide spanning global partnership to offer customers in digital industries a unique software solutions portfolio ranging from product life cycle management to asset health solutions. The
two companies will provide customers an endto-end offering of advanced open digital solutions, enhancing competitiveness of industrial companies, while increasing flexibility, speed and productivity of their products’ lifecycles, manufacturing and operations. The partnership will combine the strengths of ABB Ability™ digital solutions and Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform, and build on both companies’ strong installed base, deep domain expertise and global customer access. ABB has already adopted the 3DEXPERIENCE
platform to model and simulate its solutions before delivering them to its customers. With this partnership, ABB will develop and provide customers with advanced digital twins, enabling customers to run ABB’s solutions and their operations with improved overall efficiency, flexibility and sustainability. The companies will, in a staged approach, focus on factory automation and robotics, process industry automation, as well as electrification solutions for smart buildings. Visit: www.new.abb.com
Bridgestone Europe completes acquisition of TomTom Telematics B ridgestone Europe NV/SA , a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation in EMEA, the world’s largest tyre and rubber company, has completed the acquisition of TomTom Telematics (Telematics), the leading provider of digital fleet solutions in Europe, for €910 million. First announced on 22 January 2019, the acquisition has now passed the relevant regulatory stages, had full approval from TomTom’s shareholders, and received a positive response from TomTom’s works council.
Bp, Virent and Johnson Matthey partner on production of bio-based paraxylene
, Virent Inc. and Johnson Matthey (JM) have signed an agreement that will further advance the commercialization of Virent’s Bioforming® process for production of bio-paraxylene (PX), a key raw material for the production of renewable polyester. Virent’s Bioforming® technology, which is being developed
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The acquisition builds on previous work at Bridgestone to strengthen its digital capabilities. Telematics, the number one in Europe in a double-digit growth industry, fits Bridgestone strategically and gives it a reinforced footprint in mobility solutions that make fleet operations more effective and efficient. Telematics will operate within Bridgestone as a standalone business while taking advantage of the strong brand equity, large customer base, global reach and retail network of Bridgestone.
with JM, produces drop-in reformate product from renewable sources that can be used to produce renewable fuels and also processed into lower carbon intensive bio-PX, the feedstock for bio- purified terephthalic acid (PTA), using existing technologies. As part of this agreement, the parties will work together to commercialise the BioForming® technology – BP will contribute technical
Its management team remains unchanged as a result of the deal and will draw on Bridgestone’s investments and capabilities to accelerate the current growth plans in Europe and other regions around the world where Telematics is present. Visit: www.bridgestone.eu
resources and has exclusive rights to negotiate becoming the sole manufacturer of bio-PX using Virent’s technology. Visit: www.bp.com
Airbus and Dassault Systèmes embark on strategic partnership A
irbus and Dassault Systèmes have signed a five-year Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to cooperate on the implementation of collaborative 3D design, engineering, manufacturing, simulation and intelligence applications. This will enable Airbus to take a major step forward in its digital transformation and lay the foundation for a new European industrial ecosystem in aviation.
Under the MOA, Airbus will deploy Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which delivers digital continuity, from design to operations, in a single data model for a unified user experience, making digital design, manufacturing and services (DDMS) a company-wide reality for all Airbus divisions and product lines. “We are not just talking about digitalisation or a 3D experience, we are rethinking the way aircraft are designed and operated, streamlining and speeding up our processes with customer satisfaction in mind,” said Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “DDMS is a catalyst for change and with it we are building a new model for the European aerospace industry with state of the art technology. Our target is a robust production setup that offers a reduction in product development lead time.” Visit: www.airbus.com
ABB and BP celebrate global MEC frame BP have appointed ABB as one of its global Main Electrical Contractors (MEC) for the provision of engineering, procurement and construction of electrical equipment for BP Upstream Major Capital Projects. “Adding value to our customers is at the heart of everything we do. Our goal is to enable our customers to lead – through safer, more productive and energy efficient operations – by utilizing our deep domain expertise, industry leading technologies, and engineering services,” said Peter Terwiesch, President, Industrial Automation, ABB. As a global MEC partner, ABB can assume full responsibility for the design and engineering, procurement and supply, project manage-
ment, installation, commissioning and on-time start up for overall electrical systems on BP projects that may be awarded to ABB under this global frame agreement. Visit: www.abb.com
ATR enters into a partnership with AviAssist in Africa
organised by AviAssist. Tom Kok, Director of AviAssist said: “We are thrilled to include the expertise, safety dedication and funding of ATR to our work in Africa and our ASPCs (AviAssist Safety Promotion Centres). This partnership demonstrates ATR’s leadership in flight safety. ATR aircraft play a crucial role in the development of new routes across the globe and Africa. The African Union also
TR has signed a partnership agreement with AviAssist, the independent non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting African aviation safety. The partnership strengthens flight safety awareness and accident prevention. Since 2015, ATR has participated in the Safety in African Aviation Conferences (SiAAC)
Neuraxpharm acquires Farmax to expand its pan-European footprint in Central and Eastern Europe
Jörg Thomas Dierks, CEO of Neuraxpharm
euraxpharm Group, a leading European specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of central nervous system disorders (CNS), announces the acquisition of Farmax, a CNS specialty pharmaceutical company, from SVUS Pharma. Farmax, located in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, was the commercial division of SVUS Pharma, and has a strong distribution presence in the Czech Republic, Slovakia as well as a small presence in Hungary. Farmax is a leader in sales and marketing both branded and non-branded generics pharmaceuticals for CNS disorders such as Zolpinox®. It also commercializes well-known OTC nutraceuticals such as Preventan® and Maxicor®. Farmax has been renamed Neuraxpharm Bohemia and will commercialize its products under the Neuraxpharm brand. Leveraging its proprietary sales force in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, Neuraxpharm Bohemia plans to quickly offer new and differentiated products to local patients and healthcare providers based on the group’s broad CNS portfolio. Visit: www.neuraxpharm.com
promotes route development with its Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative. SAATM aims to open up Africa’s skies and improve air connectivity. This partnership enables us to empower ever more safety champions throughout Africa.” More than 120 ATR aircraft are operated in 22 African countries by 30 airlines. Visit: www.atr-aircraft.com Industry Europe 19
Relocations and expansions across Europe
Stalatube’s new stainless steel production Ground-breaking ceremony marks start of facility in Poland is preparing for ramp-up new best-in-class production facility and significantly shortened delivery times and a £20M investment in high- Stalatube’s manufacturing stainless steel tubes in special closer reach especially to central European mardimensions and further processed stainless steel kets. The investment sum in total is €20 million. tech Aflex Hose factory products, is moving into ramp-up phase. This The investments increase Stalatube’s
ork has started on a new, high-tech £20M factory for Aflex Hose in Huddersfield – with an official turf-cutting ceremony which took place on the 20th March. The new factory, once operational, will help to boost the company’s production capacity by 70%. Aflex Hose, which is part of the Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group (WMFTG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc which is a FTSE 100 listed company. Aflex Hose innovates, develops, manufactures and assembles the widest and most technically advanced range of PTFE lined flexible hose products. Its products are used globally by food and drink manufacturers and throughout the automotive and pharmaceutical industries. Commenting on the official start of construction of the new factory, David Cole, Managing Director of Aflex Hose Ltd, said: ‘We are very pleased to be underway with construction work. The new Aflex Hose factory will enable us to boost production capacity by 70% as well as widen our offer to customers. This investment also demonstrates our commitment to creating new and long-term employment opportunities in one of Britain’s most advanced technology businesses.” Visit: www.aflex-hose.com
Record investments by cornish manufacturer
ngoing investment in one of the UK’s leading spring manufacturers is securing their position as a key international supplier for the automotive and industrial sector. Over the last 12 months, European Springs & Pressings, has invested over £2m in their two Cornish factories with a further
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investment in Lodz, Poland, together with the new production line in Finland, will enhance the company’s competitiveness through capacity increase
production of tailored sized I-beams and further processed products, such as stainless steel hollow sections, both of which are intended for demanding structural end-uses. The production of pre-fabricated components for the growing transportation sector will also be expanded. “Our strategy is to be closer to our clients and very flexible in meeting our customer needs. Tailoring products to meet the exact end-user requirements translates into savings in material and transportation costs and cuts down the time needed for further processing at the end client. This shows as savings on the bottom line,” says Stalatube’s CEO Jukka Nummi. Visit: www.stalatube.com
Marine Jet Power strengthens service capabilities with the opening of new APAC Headquarters in Australia
arine Jet Power (MJP) has announced the establishment of a new sales office for Asia Pacific (APAC), headquartered in Perth Henderson, Western Australia. The company CEO Magnus Sörenson, CFO Erling Tomasson and EVP of Sales and Marketing Damian O’Toole, attended the opening of MJP’s new office, located in the Australian Marine Complex overlooking Jervis Bay. Co-located with IKAD Engineering, the new MJP APAC headquarters is ideally situated in the Henderson Industrial area of Perth Western Australia, offering close proximity to a number of shipyards and fleet operators in the area. “Our commitment to the region is firm,” said MJP CEO, Magnus Sörenson. “Opening an office in
Western Australia in addition to our existing office in South Korea will further strengthen our service capabilities in the fast-growing APAC market.” Visit: www.marinejetpower.com
£1m invested more recently in a number of new advanced technologies. A new powdercoating line has been installed in a 700 sq. metre extension, a new heat treatment oven acquired and two high-performance spring-end grinding machines complete the recent purchases. Michael Gibbs, Managing Director of the Cornwall operations concludes: “Devel-
oping enhanced manufacturing capabilities through investment in high-tech infrastructure and education, enables us to sustain manufacturing competitiveness. With a global market place across multiple industries, it is essential that we maintain our reputation for innovation and manufacturing excellence. Visit.www.europeansprings.com
TECHNOLOGYSPOTLIGHT 3D Metal Print: Premiere in Poland with 3DMP®
dditive manufacturing (AM) in Poland has reached new heights with the first GEFERTEC arc403 machine installed at the Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals (Instytut Metali Nieżelaznych, IMN), the leading scientific centre of the Polish non-ferrous industry, based in Gliwice. The new industry standard 3DMP® (3D Metal Print) is now available in Poland for the first time. In the view of the Institute, additive manufacturing technologies are considered the most promising production methods and are being continuously developed for and applied to many industries. Further progress in the application of additive manufacturing technologies is strongly connected with the development and refinement of the batch materials. This is a particular strong-hold of IMN’s Metal Processing Department where those materials needed for AM are being continuously developed. “The arc403 machine and its 3DMP® process provide us with an excellent opportunity to further investigate the AM process and to design new materials of controlled mechanical and physical properties”, confirms IMN managing director Barbara Juszczyk, PhD. Tobias Röhrich, CEO of GEFERTEC, adds: “We are delighted to have won the IMN as a new client, since their research and development of innovative batch materials is paramount to 3DMP® and the broad range of industries it serves: from manufacturing to automotive to aerospace.” Visit: www.gefertec.de
Advances in technology across industry
FIA and Siemens partner to improve Rally spectator safety T he Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and Siemens have announced the start of a project aimed at improving the safety of spectators and drivers at Rally events around the world. The project will explore how a combination of technologies from Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems and Siemens PLM Software can be used to improve the detection of spectators in dangerous locations, and thus make it easier for race organizers and drivers to take preventative and/ or immediate action to avoid accidents. Through this partnership, unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show, the FIA will leverage Siemens’ expertise in chip-to-city engineering in real-world autonomous and connected vehicle applications. Outcomes from this project will directly benefit efforts to improve pedestrian safety in cities. “In the age of increasingly automated vehicles, racing will be an essential testbed for the auto-
motive industry, which needs the widest array of data and the most challenging environments to continue to build and train advanced autonomous, connected and electric automotive technologies,” says Edward Bernardon, vice president strategic automotive initiatives at Siemens PLM. “The first step in solving this problem is creating an advanced 2D and 3D simulation using vehicle and trackside arrayed sensorbased systems deployed on Rally stages. These systems include: • rapid-fire fusion of data from vehicle sensors via custom neural networking and AI to add a safetylayer around the human-driven vehicles; and • intelligent infrastructure technology including X2X communications that will create a safetyenabling network at Rally events, connecting drivers, spotters, race organizers and spectators. Visit: www.siemens.com/mobility.
Grant for Smart Engine development
ibertine FPE has secured a grant from Horizon 2020, the European funding programme for research and innovation. Phase 1 grant will be used to support development of Libertine’s IntelliGEN 20kWe Smart Engine platform for OEMs seeking to create power generators for electric vehicles and distributed power generation applications. In future, most vehicles will require an on-board electrical power generator. By 2030 it is estimated by Toyota that such ‘hybrid’ electric vehicle sales will outnumber conventional vehicles and battery electric vehicle sales by three to one. These future hybrid electric vehicles will require a revolution
in internal combustion engine design and performance to meet stringent regulatory and user requirements for efficiency, emissions, noise and vibration, packaging and fuel flexibility. Libertine is enabling this next revolution in internal combustion engine performance, using electronic piston motion control and high performance linear machines to ensure optimal combustion conditions during each and every cycle. The ‘Smart Engines’ created by this revolution will play a major role in global transport and power generation for decades to come. www.libertine.co.uk Industry Europe 21
Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on low growth and ailing banks.
rexit, China and a general global slowdown are threatening Germany’s export-led economy. Data from January brought a chill to boardrooms - and to the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel. New contracts were down 2.6 per cent month-on-month as the year started, statistics authority Destatis said in seasonally-adjusted figures. That was well short of the modest 0.5 per cent increase forecast by analysts. The “present ebbing in orders is a sign of a continuing economic slowdown in industry at the start of the year,” the economy ministry in Berlin acknowledged in April. Officials said the fall was less marked in a two-month comparison, with orders in December-January 0.5 per cent below those in October-November. Recent months have seen high volatility in orders data as uncertainty over trade tensions and a possible no-deal Brexit, weakness in important emerging markets like China and a slowdown in economic growth have made themselves felt. January’s data was weighed down by a 4.2 per cent reduction in orders from outside the 19-nation eurozone and a 2.6 per cent fall in business from Germany’s neighbours in the currency bloc. Meanwhile domestic demand also fell back, by 1.2 per cent. Makers of producer, consumer and capital goods all reported fewer new contracts. “We need to put the drop in January into perspective,” said Berenberg bank economist Florian Hense. “But it will take some easing of trade tensions, better news out of China and an end to the hard Brexit risk to stop the downturn.
Pain at the banks The one upside: a tsunami of financial houses exiting the square mile of the City of London for the skyscrapers of Germany’s money centre, Frankfurt. 22 Industry Europe
But thousands of jobs are also at risk in the beleaguered German banking sector unless a successful formula for a merger between Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank can be found. Berlin has been urging the two Frankfurt firms to explore fusing together to avoid either one being swallowed up by a foreign competitor and to create a muscular player that can finance Germany’s export-driven companies when the good times roll again. The banks have both been grappling with painful restructurings after years of falling profits and for long have been the subject of merger rumours. Deutsche Bank said it was “reviewing strategic options and confirms discussions with Commerzbank”, adding that “there is no certainty that any transaction will occur”. Commerzbank said both banks had “agreed to start discussions with an open outcome on a potential merger”. If they did tie the knot, they would create a European banking behemoth with some €1.8 trillion in assets, close to France’s largest bank BNP Paribas. Deutsche Bank’s market capitalisation is €16.1 billion while Commerzbank’s is €8.9 billion. Deutsche Bank’s CEO Christian Sewing said in a letter to staff that “we have to assess opportunities as they arise” and that “consolidation in the German and European banking sector is an important topic for us. Our stated aim remains to be a global bank with a strong capital markets business.” But white collar unions warn that thousands of jobs - perhaps as many as 10,000 - are at risk, whether there is a merger or not. Minister Olaf Scholz sent up shares in both banks at the close of March by confirming that “there are talks about the situation as it is” between the lenders, with the government a “fair companion” to the discussions. Critics of a potential deal have pointed to both Deutsche and Commerzbank’s weakened state in the wake of the financial crisis,
saying combining two ailing firms would not produce a healthy one. “Putting two guys on crutches together doesn’t make a sprinter,” Markus Kienle of SdK, a small retail shareholders association, quipped earlier this year. Commerzbank is still part-owned by the German state, after Berlin had to step in following its 2009 acquisition of troubled Dresdner Bank, and is part-way through a tough restructuring. Deutsche is also reorganising, and only returned to the black last year after many years spent fighting the financial and legal fallout of its breakneck pre-crisis expansion. Any merger would have to overcome a number of hurdles – from the marrying of the differing IT systems to differences between management styles, and the market challenges of recapitalising a giant already shaky on its legs before the get go. Two German unions firmly rejected the idea of a merger between the top lenders. Service workers’ union Verdi said the merger would make the combined banks “more attractive for a ‘hostile’ takeover, for example from France”. It warned that “at least 10,000 further jobs would be in grave danger” on top of thousands already slated to go amid the far-reaching restructuring projects. Nonetheless, marrying off Germany’s two biggest private banks would fit with Berlin’s new-found fervour to build up such titans. Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has joined his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire in calling on the EU to relax merger rules and allow the creation of world-spanning businesses, after Brussels rejected a tie-up between Siemens’ rail division and French train-maker Alstom. European banking supervisors have long urged mergers between lenders to create a more resilient financial sector – but prefer cross-border marriages to avoid bundling national problematic institutions together. n
France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on the on-going saga of Carlos Ghosn.
he disgraced former boss of French car giant Renault Carlos Ghosn this month claimed he was a victim of a conspiracy by ‘backstabbing’ executives at Nissan, after the Japanese carmaker had him sacked as chairman and arrested for allegedly spending almost €16 million of the company’s money on luxury property. Ghosn, 65, was freed on bail in early March after spending 108 days in custody in Japan on multiple allegations of financial misconduct. He is accused of spending €3 million on a sprawling penthouse apartment in Tokyo, and millions more on sumptuous homes in Paris, Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro and Beirut. Then in early April he released a public video message protesting his innocence and threatening to ‘name the names’ of his former Nissan colleagues he claims have betrayed him. One day after his message was posted on the Internet he was re-arrested over further allegations that he siphoned off €4.4 million in Nissan funds for personal use, including the purchase of a yacht. In the eight-minute video posted on his personal website, Ghosn said: “The first message is that I’m innocent. I am innocent of all the charges that have been brought against me. “I am also innocent of all the accusations that came around these charges – that are all biased, taken out of context, and twisted to paint a personage of greed and a personage of dictatorship. “I love Japan and I love Nissan. Nobody spends 20 years in a country, nobody spends 20 years in the leadership of a company without love and without attachment, and without engagement.” He added: “This is a conspiracy. This is not about specific events, or greed or dictatorship. This is about a plot. This is about conspiracy. This is about backstabbing. “There was fear that the next step of the alliance in terms of convergence and in
terms of moving towards a merger would in a certain way threaten some people or eventually threaten the autonomy of Nissan. “I have been the fiercest defender of the autonomy of Nissan and I made it clear that whatever steps are taken in the future that the autonomy would continue.” Ghosn also said Nissan executives had failed to lead the company properly while he was in detention. He added: “We are talking about people who really played a very dirty game, but hopefully the truth will happen. Who was taking care of Nissan, who was taking care of the brand, who was defending the corporate value and corporate interests? This is very sad, and for someone like me it is sickening.”
“ This is a conspiracy. This is not about specific events, or greed or dictatorship. This is about a plot. This is about conspiracy. This is about backstabbing.” After the release of the video, Ghosn’s wife Carole left Japan to try to win support for her husband from the French government, which has a 15 per cent stake in Renault, telling reports: “I don’t think [the French government] have offered him enough support and assistance. As a French citizen, it should be a right.” However, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire, told FranceInfo radio that he did not believe political intervention by France was the best way to help Ghosn. Ghosn was due to remain in detention in Japan until April 14, when prosecutors can apply to hold him for an additional 10 days. After that they must release him unless they bring formal charges or file new allegations. Asked to comment on the video, Nissan spokesman Nicholas Maxfield said: “Nis-
san’s internal investigation has uncovered substantial evidence of blatantly unethical conduct. The company’s focus remains on addressing weaknesses in governance that enabled this misconduct.”
Le cost-cuttter Ghosn, who has joint Brazilian and Lebanese nationality, graduated as an engineer in Paris in 1974, and began his career in 1978 at Europe’s biggest tyre maker Michelin where over 18 years he rose from plant manager in Le Puy-en-Velay, France, to chief operating officer for Michelin North America. He joined Renault as an executive vice president in 1996, and forged the alliance between Renault and Nissan three years later, then becoming Nissan’s fourth nonJapanese chairman. He also served as chairman of Mitsubishi Motors, and became one of the world’s leading industry tycoons after helping forge an alliance between the three companies to create the world’s biggest car seller. He won many admirers during his long career as one of the world’s leading auto executives, winning praise for his cost-cutting and vision to promote electric vehicles and low-cost vehicles. But he also attracted critics for his high salary, with shareholders voting down his pay in 2016, although the vote was nonbinding. Only by agreeing to a pay cut did Ghosn get shareholders’ approval at an annual meeting in Paris in June. Ghosn’s fall from grace has now led to speculation about the future of the alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. France’s Bruno Le Maire and Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko are said to have spoken by telephone to ‘reaffirm the strong support’ of both governments to the union, which they described in a joint statement as ‘one of the greatest examples of Franco-Japanese n industrial cooperation’. Industry Europe 23
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Automation & Robotics
3D technology revolutionises denture production The Trumpf Group is a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-tech laser products and machine tools for industrial applications. Its diverse product portfolio ranges from 3D dental printers to e-mobility solutions, electrical storage technologies and smart software. Philip Yorke reports on one of the world’s most progressive and innovative electrical engineering companies.
Industry Europe 25
he Trumpf Group is an independent, family-owned company that was founded in Germany in 1923, at which time it operated a series of mechanical workshops. It has since evolved to become one of the world’s most successful and respected electrical engineering companies. Trumpf leads the field in its many diverse disciplines which range from machine tools, to laser technologies and advanced electronic solutions for industry. Today the company’s innovative software solutions have paved the way for the development of a “Smart Factory”, thus enabling it to implement the most advanced technical processes in industrial electronics. With a highly skilled workforce numbering around 13,500 people, last year the Trumpf Group generated revenues of more than €3.6 billion.
Pioneering 3D laser technology The Trumpf Group is present in almost every sector of the manufacturing industry and its diverse portfolio of products and services is unparalleled. As a leading pioneer of industrial laser technology it came as no surprise to the market that in February this year Trumpf announced it had developed the world’s fastest dental 3D printer. Trumpf’s ‘TruPrint 1000’ utilises multiple lasers to make dental prostheses ten times faster than by conventional methods. In addition, wireless digital connectivity links the Trumpf system to machines, which in turn opens the door to the manufacture of entirely new dental products. This latest ground-breaking technology from Trumpf was unveiled recently at IDS, the world’s leading international dental technology trade show. This is where the company
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showcased its revolutionary TruPrint 1000. This is the world’s only small-format system that works with multiple lasers. This format enables it to manufacture dental products ten times faster than existing dental milling machines. This latest small format 3D printer from Trumpf boasts another innovative feature: connectivity. With its direct wireless link to milling machines, the TruPrint 1000 is able to print teeth that are designed to be mounted on implants. This implant-supported denture not only replaces the original tooth, but also the root to anchor it. This latest revolutionary product is helping to industrialise dental 3D printing. With the new TruPrint 1000, it takes just three minutes to print a tooth. Reinhard Stroka, head of the Dental Products Division at the Trumpf Group said, “More and more dentures are being mass-produced, particularly in Asia, which is why it is crucial to support the digital workflow. The ability to connect to the milling machine is a key milestone step towards fully automated mass production”.
Futuristic e-mobility solutions The Trumpf Group is already benefiting from the automotive industries’ shift towards e-mobility with its advanced battery storage solutions and laser welding technologies. These ground-breaking products were unveiled recently at the International Automotive Photonics Technology Conference, held in Ditzingen, Germany. Here auto-industry innovators presented their very latest e-mobility technologies and manufacturing processes.
Automation & Robotics
One of the Trumpf Group’s key contributions is a new laser that is specially designed for welding copper. This is acknowledged as being superior to any other laser welding product on the market and represents a major breakthrough in efficiency and precision. It is a significant development created by Trumpf’s laser specialists as part of its e-mobility growth strategy. Considered as the most important material for conducting electricity, copper plays an essential role in the e-mobility manufacturing sector. The new tailor-made laser offers a faster and more efficient means of welding copper for applications such as those found in high-power electronic systems used in today’s electric cars. “The transition towards e-mobility offers some major opportunities for German industry” said Christian Schmitz, head of the Laser Technology Division at Trumpf. “The important thing now is to rapidly address the new areas of opportunity for business and technology that are emerging from this global structural transformation”. The Trumpf Group expects further growth as a direct result of the fundamental changes in the automotive industry. The company’s sales of products and solutions which are channelled straight into the e-mobility sector have doubled compared to the sales figures for the previous year. “Twenty per cent of our order intake from the auto industry is now coming from e-mobility, which is twice as much as last year” Schmitz commented.
Boosting productivity A new machine drive concept that significantly boosts productivity and makes tool changes up to 70 per cent faster has just been launched by the Trumpf Group. This new ‘TruBend Centre 7030 concept, not only offers high-speed panel-bending, but it is also able to load and unload the machine automatically. The latest TruBend Centre 7030 is particularly adept when it comes to fabricating complex parts with various radius bends, short side lengths and narrow profiles. This alternative bending technology is much faster than any of those relying on existing die-bending machines. The Trumpf engineers have also added a feature that allows it to change multiple small tools at the same time. The new TruBend Centre 7030 also features an offline TecZone fold-programming solution that enables operators to programme many parts with just a few clicks of the mouse. The Trumpf Group has focussed on making its new TruBend Centre 7030 faster than ever before and its engineers have achieved this by splitting the machine’s drive unit into two parts. As a result, instead of equipping the machine with just one central hydraulic cylinder, the new design features one on the left and another on the right. This configuration increases its axis velocity and significantly boosts the machine’s productivity. The new on-demand servo drive also saves energy by running the motor only when the machine actually needs it. For further details of the Trump Group’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.trumpf.com Industry Europe 27
Hungary’s most significant industrial business event The MACH-TECH and INDUSTRY DAYS joint exhibitions will be held at the HUNGEXPO Budapest Fair Center on 14-17 May 2019, presenting the movers and shakers in a variety of industry sectors, professional novelties, cost-effective industrial solutions and the latest “spread” of Industry 4.0. Review (2017): The 2017 event was the largest industrial event organised in Hungary in recent years, both in terms of exhibitors and visitor numbers.
425 exhibitors from 19 countries were present, 26 per cent of which were foreign companies. Hungary’s largest industrial event was attended by all sectors playing a leading role in the expansion of industrial digitalisation, also known as Industry 4.0. The operators of machine-tools and other industries, robot manufacturers, electronic companies, logistics suppliers and machine control providers were all present in large numbers at the HUNGEXPO Budapest Fair Center. Compared to the 2015 event, several themes had been enhanced by 2017, in terms of exhibitor numbers and area covered, thus offering a wider range of choice for interested professionals: • robotics (127 per cent area growth) • machine tool production (40 per cent growth in exhibitor number and area) • industrial logistics (100 per cent area growth) • software (90 per cent area growth) 28 Industry Europe
The exhibition was attended by 16,800 visitors from 39 countries, which is an 11.4 per cent growth compared to visitor numbers two years ago (14,700 visitors in 2015). Visitors: • 72 per cent are primary decision-makers or are involved in the decision-making process • 36 per cent of visitors have already made specific business decisions at the venue • according to their primary goals for visiting the exhibition (Top 3 – respondents could mark multiple choices): - 50 per cent interested in innovation, novelties - 47 per cent maintaining existing business relations - 45 per cent establishing new business contacts, concluding business deals
Automation & Robotics
Additional planned events:
Three months prior to the start of the event, it’s safe to say that there’s a huge deal of interest for the exhibitions, and application forms keep coming in, not just from regular exhibitors, but also numerous new companies have also informed the organisers of their participation. 420 companies from 19 countries have now reserved a spot at the Budapest Fair Center, including 100 individual 100 per cent foreign sector operators. The success of the assortment of exhibitions is compounded by the fact that a new pavilion has been opened and so in 2019, exhibitors will occupy Pavilion D along with Pavilions A, G and F, providing visitors with a truly comprehensive overview of the current supply, opportunities and future developments of industrial sectors. The exhibitors applying for the event will be presenting a number of novelties, in order to show the visitors of INDUSTRY DAYS – MACHTECH that there is no rest for them between the two exhibitions as they continuously develop their products and services. Demonstrations of new machines can be definitely expected from Alfleth Engineering AG (CH) and Sandviken Tools Kft., while KLÜBER Lubrication Austria GmbH will present its latest lubricants. We have again announced our GRAND PRIX competition for exhibitors in 2019, which can be entered by companies offering products, services, procedures or technology featuring some innovation or innovative content in their respective industrial segments. Deadline for registrations is 22 March 2019 The submitted documents will be deliberated by a jury of professionals. The awards for the winners of the various categories will be presented at the exhibition’s opening ceremony.
• Industry 4.0 Conference • Linde forklift competition • Budapest and Pest County Chamber of Engineers energetics training • Railway vehicle conference hosted by the Hungarian Association of Welding Technology and Material Testing, including a symposium and workshop • Occupational safety conference • Top-quality presentations and workshops (AdvanTec Mérnöki Zrt., Galika, IFKA, Robot-X, Varinex, Walter Austria) • Techtogether competition for student groups enrolled in technical higher education
Industry Europe readers can register online in advance, allowing them to attend the event free of charge: www.iparnapjai.hu/industryeurope More information: www.iparnapjai.hu/en
Industry Europe 29
40 YEARS OF TECHNICAL INNOVATION Giorgio Viscardi, Sales Manager
AND CUSTOMISATION FOR THE SALICO GROUP
The Salico Group, initially established in Italy and now comprising affiliate and partner companies based in Italy, Spain, UK and US, puts quality and technological innovation at the core of its business and today serves customers globally with its market-leading solutions in the cutting lines sector. Claudia Lonardi talks to Giorgio Viscardi, Sales Manager, to find out more. 30 Industry Europe
Automation & Robotics
alico was first established in 1978 by Giordano Colombo and Carlo Salvioni near the town of Lecco, 40 km from Milan. It specialises in the development, engineering, manufacturing, operation and servicing of equipment for processing, finishing and cutting ferrous and non-ferrous metal strips. Its extensive product range includes slitting lines, cut to length lines, tension levelling lines, coating lines, packing lines and lines for foil mainly aimed at processing steel, aluminium, but also copper and brass. The company’s history is rich in technological innovations. In 1986, for instance, it invented and patented the world’s first eccentric rotary shear for thin gauge strip up to 3 mm, and in 1991 it designed the eccentric rotary tilting shear, for cutting trapezoids especially useful for the automotive industry. The main benefit of this innovative shear was to reduce the waste of high value materials, such as steel and aluminium. Among the most recent products developed by Salico, a new magnetic stacker for trapezoidal sheets of larger capacity, launched in 2016, and a shear that makes curved cuts, again mainly aimed at car manufacturers.
Local roots, global presence Over the years, Salico has established a strong global presence, starting from a number of companies in Italy: Salico SpA, Fumagalli, Salico Automation and Salico Foil. In 2007, in order to extend its international reach, together with the Gerbolés family, it established Salico Hispania S.A., a mechanical engineering company located in Madrid, Spain, which
focuses on the engineering of processing lines, including cleaning and degreasing lines for steel and aluminium. In 2012, Salico acquired West Midlands-based company KCS Herr Voss UK Ltd., specialists in the design and engineering of tension levelling lines and now one of Salico’s technology centres. Finally, in 2015, Salico and the North American company SES Engineering formed a joint venture and created SES Salico Finishing and Processing, located in Alliance, Ohio, which serves the North American market. The main customer segments for Salico include the car industry, aluminium and steel makers and a wide and diverse range of manufacturers who utilise metal sheets and coils, from those who produce pipes to ship-builders. Although the company’s reach is global, the owners deeply value Salico’s Italian roots and heritage. “Salico was established in Italy and it started by serving Italian customers“, Mr Viscardi said. As well as Italy, existing clients are mainly based in Spain and US. Other international markets that are currently opening up to the company with very promising results include Russia, India and South America. Salico is also currently planning to better explore the potential of European markets. It intends to target Germany in particular because of its significant car manufacturing and steelwork industries. “Our products appeal to the German market because of their advanced technology, their high quality and their competitive prices compared to local German brands”, Mr Viscardi pointed out.
Industry Europe 31
Quality assurance Salico’s customers require top-of-the-range products and services and the quality of its machinery is based on the company’s centralised manufacturing approach. “Salico manufactures everything it needs internally, which is a plus in order to ensure the highest level of quality”, Mr Viscardi explained. It only sources welded steel structures externally – based on its own designs- from a net of well-established local suppliers with which it has established close cooperation and that are located in close geographical proximity, in the unique and internationally renowned “Brianza industrial district”, which is where the majority of Salico’s competitors are based. In terms of investments, Salico is not planning other acquisitions in the near future. “At the moment, we are extremely busy, especially with our Italian, Russian and US customers, and our factories are full of machines that are non-stop produced to satisfy the number of orders we have been awarded by our customers. We would need more space, and we are evaluating a number of options,” Mr Viscardi told us. “Also, we are investing in renewing and continuously modernising our tool machines.” For example, the company has recently purchased high-precision grinding machinery that enables the production of more durable components and decreases product waste. According to Mr Viscardi, future growth for Salico will be based mainly on organic growth which will give priority to confirm and expand
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Salico’s presence abroad since Italy is historically very well serviced by the company. “We firmly believe in high technology products,” Mr Viscardi told us. “And we are focused, even though not only, on producing tailor-made machinery that meets the specific needs of each client; this is our main strength. We always strive to introduce something new for our customers.”
Autonomous innovation Nilfisk is a Danish company and a global leader in the design and supply of professional cleaning equipment. For more than 100 years, the company has adapted its products to suit the changing needs of global industrial markets with its ground-breaking products and solutions. Philip Yorke reports.
ilfisk was founded in Denmark in 1906 by Peder Anderson Fisker and Hans Marius Nielsen as Fisker and Nielsen. Originally the company produced electric engines for ventilators and drilling machines before turning its skills to produce vacuum cleaners in 1910. By 1954 the company had sold more than one million vacuum cleaners. Today the company’s core business is the supply of industrial and commercial cleaning machines and high pressure cleaning equipment. Its extensive premium cleaning products are supported by a trusted range of aftermarket services for the world’s professional markets. The Nilfisk Group is headquartered in Brondby, Denmark, with sales offices and distributors in around 50 countries worldwide. Nilfisk markets its products in over 100 countries with production facilities located in Asia, Europe and the Americas. The company employs around 6,000 people and in 2018 recorded sales of over €1.1 billion. In 2017 Nilfisk was listed as an independent company on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in Copenhagen.
Award-winning innovation A top innovation prize was recently awarded to NIlfisk for its development of the world’s first fully-autonomous floor scrubber: the Nilfisk Liberty A50. This latest and most advanced floor scrubber from Nilfisk won the innovation award in the floor cleaning category at the International Cleaning Trade Show in London. “Innovation is at the heart of the solution” was the reason for its success according to the verdict of the jury. This milestone product launch is the first in Nilfisk’s “Horizon Programme”, which forms part of the company’s strategic and long-term innovation business plan. The state-of-the-art Nilfisk Liberty A50 has been developed in collaboration with Carnegie Robotics, a leading global provider of
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advanced robotics, sensors and platforms. “We are extremely happy with this recognition for the Nilfisk Liberty A50” said Stewart Dennett, Nilfisk’s General Manager for the UK and Ireland, who added, “Our ambition is to change the future of cleaning and with the launch of the Nilfisk Liberty A50 in the UK and several other key markets, we look forward to increasing productivity for our customers and to take intelligent cleaning to a whole new level”.
Speed and accuracy Another of the company’s flagship products is its compact and highly manoeuvrable model, the Nilfisk SC401, a ‘walk behind scrubberdryer. This product offers all the speed, accuracy and ease-of-use that’s needed for the optimal cleaning efficiency of industrial floors. This unique, high-performance machine also offers an extremely low sound level during its operation, thus making it perfect for even the most noise sensitive areas. The SC401 is designed and built with proven Nilfisk technology that is guaranteed to increase daily cleaning productivity. Its highly consistent performance is ensured by the 43cm scrub-deck which is equipped with either a brush or pad. Thanks to the superior water pick-up provided by its curved squeegee system, the floor is left completely dry. This highly efficient cleaner will work tirelessly for up to 4 hours on a fully charged battery, and up to 100 minutes before the solution tank needs to be refilled. Other key benefits of the Nilfisk SC401 include its ‘SilenTech™’ technology which dramatically reduces sound levels and also offers an intuitive 3-button dashboard for simplicity of operation. In addition, the product’s special detergent mixing system is designed to prevent the overdosing of chemicals, thus helping to save the environment and the total cost of the cleaning cycle.
Automation & Robotics
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3 x more efficient Nilfisk offers the optimal solution when it comes to cleaning difficult and harder types of flooring, with its three way ScrubTec 334. This model sweeps, scrubs and dries all at the same time. Its unique design allows operators to clean right into the corners, under furniture and shelves and ensures efficient cleaning in both directions. This very light and productive machine with its low sound levels, is battery-driven, making it ideally suited for daytime cleaning. It also makes it an attractive choice for petrol stations, fast-food chains and other 24-hour working sectors. High productivity levels are achieved thanks to its speed of operation, whilst sweeping, scrubbing and drying at the same time, which ensures that debris, dirt and even the smallest dust particles are removed effectively. For more in-depth cleaning without the need for the sweeping feature, a microfiber roller can be used as another option. When cleaning, it is also possible to lift up the front of the squeegee from the user position, in order to make it easy to pick up larger debris without having to stop cleaning. With two different solution flows, it is possible to adjust the SC401 to fit precisely any cleaning task at hand. This facility also offers two simple ways to save time and costs without n compromising on the finished result. For further details of Nilfisk’s latest innovative cleaning products and services visit: www.nilfisk.com
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
Bespoke cabin design The Hungarian company Agrikon Kam has over 40 year’s experience in driver’s cab production. Its ability to manufacture bespoke cabins that are produced by the most advanced production systems has attracted the largest European machine manufacturers in many industries and resulted in continued growth. Edina Beale reports.
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ollowing the Second World War the need for new agricultural machinery led, in 1946, to the Hungarian state establishing a new factory in Kiskunmajsa. As a state-owned industry, the factory continued to produce agricultural machinery as required. In 1968, the company diversified and began to produce driver’s cabs for lorries. This development led to the first contract with the factory’s current major partner, Claas, as the new order required the factory to produce driver’s cabs for combine harvesters. The name Agrikon Kam was first used in 1987 and in 1993 Agrikon Kam was privatised, with two thirds of the company being bought by managers and staff, whilst the remaining third was bought by a foreign investment company. The antecedents of the management team have ensured that no dramatic changes were required to ensure the smooth transition to a privately owned company.
Extensive Portfolio Whilst first focusing mainly on requirements in the agricultural sector, as part of their strategic direction the factory successfully diversified its product range in 2011 and began to target the construction industry. Today the range of cabs is extensive with units developed for tractors, combine harvesters and construction machines. Agrikon is able to provide a full cab, which includes the roof, window screens and windows, lighting, climate control, seat and electronics. Alternatively, there is the ability to meet bespoke orders where one or more of the standard elements are not required. Due to its extensive industry experience and expert knowledge Agrikon is able to take part in the design and development process and work together with its large European manufacturing clients to meet their specific needs. 38 Industry Europe
Prominent partners Today Agrikon Kam is the leading manufacturer of driver’s cabs in Hungary. The enterprise currently employs over 500 people and last year turnover reached €34 million. Agrikon has been supplying the leading combine harvester manufacturer, Claas since 1975. This relationship was strengthened in 2015 when Agrikon began to deliver products to the group’s French operations as well as to the Hungarian and German Claas manufacturing units. Whilst successfully maintaining long term partnerships, Agrikon has also acquired many new partners in this segment and found opportunities in new markets. The company now supplies driver’s cabs for WackerNeuson and it has been regularly manufacturing Kramer, Hako and Terex driver’s cabs as well as receiving orders from the American/Belgian JLG. After exporting welded components to Liebherr for many years, Agrikon had also been selected to manufacture driver’s cabs for them.
Diverse technologies To meet the highest European standards, in recent years Agrikon has invested nearly €10 million to replace outdated technology with the latest available. Cabins are manufactured from steel sheets and other steel base materials and the factory uses a diverse cutting edge technology throughout the production process. For component production five modern laser cutting facilities are implemented to cut the steel sheets in 2D and 3D to the required size. These laser cutting technologies are now also used to cut all other steel base materials which enable the firm to improve on quality and efficiency. Their state-of-the-art bending machines are equipped with an
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
active angle control which helps to identify and correct the different mechanical attributes of the sheets during the bending process. The company’s welding machines are regularly replaced and upgraded to the latest technological solutions. Smoke ventilation is available in all areas of welding now. The separate welding hall is equipped with 14 welding robots and is complemented by another production hall where 70-80 manual welding machines are used. The KTL facility had a full reconstruction in recent times and now meets the highest customer demands. From surface coating to powder coating Agrikon is able to meet all specific requirements. In order to increase energy efficiency the company has made major investments to reconstruct their existing buildings and implement new lighting technologies. As in the car manufacturing business, quality expectations in measurement accuracy in this segment are continuously increas-
ing. At the Agrikon site staff have to move 2-3 metre long work pieces and prompt measurements are vital to fit them into welding machines and then for assembly. In order to increase measurement accuracy and speed, Agrikon has invested in the two most modern measuring systems; HandyPROBE and HandySCAN systems have increased the efficiency of measuring processes by 30 per cent. In the past decade Agrikon has become one of the most significant driver’s cabin manufacturers in Europe. The firm is in a fortunate position as there are no rivals in the cab manufacturing sector in Hungary; the company has the largest production capacities and is the most experienced operator in its field in the whole of eastern and central Europe. The management believes that its 40 year industry experience and expert teams will enable Agrikon to reach even greater n levels of success. Industry Europe 39
Optimised precision-casting Precision components made in light metal alloys play an increasingly important role in the world’s high tech industries. DGS Druckguss leads the field in the structural casting of aluminium and magnesium for automotive and apparatus engineering applications. Philip Yorke reports
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
GS Druckguss is a Swiss foundry company with over 80 years of experience in the production of high-quality die casting parts in lightweight alloys. Today DGS is a global player with three state-ofthe-art production facilities located in Switzerland, the Czech Republic and China. DGS is a well-known international casting and solution provider, with a special focus on aluminium and magnesium alloys. The company’s special competences lie in the fields of automotive structural parts for body-in-white, in which it enjoys a leading global position.
Pioneering ultra-lightweight castings DGS is a technology-driven company that operates cross-site research activities for products, processes and materials which are coordinated globally from its headquarters in Gallen, Switzerland. The company implements its ground-breaking and futuristic developments into commercial production before their global roll-out to its global distributors. In order to maintain its leadership position and innovative strength, DGS invests over 10 per cent of its turnover in advanced technologies and equipment every year. Its international research and development division is driving new innovations forward in close partnership with its customers. Together with its clients, DGS develops and tests new alloys and processes and conducts regular workshops for the joint promotion of ideas and continuous improvements. The company is a leading global systems supplier with material, product and process development that involves die casting, heat treatment, machining, assembly and passivation. DSG operates more than 50 die casting machines, which work with a closing force of between 250 to 3,200 tonnes.
DGS recently achieved a milestone in lightweight construction technology in a joint development programme with Audi AG, when it was honoured with a top award at an international die-casting competition in Nuremburg. The special feature of the award-winning product was its optimised design which reduced the product’s weight by almost 20 per cent when compared to the functionally identical part of the previous model. The pioneering breakthrough was achieved with a high-strength, optimised T6 heat treatment process. The thin-walled design also saves significant amounts of raw materials, thereby contributing to a more sustainable value-chain.
Record-breaking technology DSG has recently produced one of the largest die-castings ever made in Europe at its Swiss factory (outer dimensions are 2050mm X 54.5mm) The unique die-cast part serves as a frame for an innovative solar collector made by Hoval, a leading European producer of solar power installations. The new module is equally suited for rooftop applications as well as for in-roof installations. Despite its exceptional size, the finished part weighs only 6,400 grams and the frame is designed to resist wind speeds of up to 140km/h and snow-loads of up to 700kg/m2. An additional project requirement was that under all conditions the tightness of the gasket protecting the solar modules must be guaranteed in order to prevent water ingress, which would impair the function of the solar collector, which in turn could result in a total module breakdown. Compared to a welded part, which would usually be made from pre-formed profiles, the new casting solution offers a number of key
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advantages, such as the integration of attachment parts including edge reinforcements, consoles and stops. Furthermore, the special aluminium alloy used for the complex part requires no surface protection. This unique, very large casting is produced on a Buhler SCD 320 die-casting machine with a locking force of 3200 t. The size of the die alone and the need to ensure a high-quality and uniform casting despite the 2 metre long flow-paths, represented a particular challenge. However DGS was able to meet all its customer’s requirements especially with respect to dimensional precision, accuracy and productivity.
World-class development services DGS offers a comprehensive, world class range of development services to its customers. The company’s unrivalled experience and competence in die casting alloy and process development enables it to provide the best possible solutions for built-in components, assemblies and systems for its customers. DGS is recognised as a proven development partner for advanced technology and production competences in casting, along the entire value chain. Its know-how enables it to offer optimised and customised solutions in the fields of materials, products and processes. Axel Schmidt, head of technology at DGS said, “A satisfied customer will always return to us, either with new development tasks or with sophisticated and innovative products. We want him to become the best in his class”. Together with its key customers and suppliers, DSG continues to develop and test new alloys and processes for the world’s leading automotive brands. It also works closely with universities and practicaloriented development projects for best-in-class outcomes. For further details of DGS’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.dgs-druckguss.com
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In Top Gear Niesmann+Bischoff, a leading manufacturer of exclusive motorhomes, has had another highly successful year. Export Manager Cécile Klärner spoke about the latest business developments and the product innovations which will further enhance the company’s position in the motorhome sector.
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
ased in Polch in the German province of Rhineland-Palatinate, Niesmann+Bischoff is a luxury motorhome specialist. Operating from its single plant in the West part of Germany the company has gone from strength to strength. Last year, its parent company, the Erwin Hymer Group, was acquired by Thor Industries, a large group of manufacturers of leisure vehicles based in Indiana, USA, with 18 manufacturers of motorhomes and caravans, 18,000 employees and producing more than 237,000 vehicles. The combination of Thor and EHG has created the world’s largest RV manufacturer, with leading positions in both North America and Europe.
New bestsellers Niesmann+Bischoff currently offers three product ranges with different body and living concepts: Flair (1994), Arto (1998) and Smove (2016). Emphasis on the highest quality and outstanding design has won the company many awards, prizes and honours. “Niesmann+Bischoff are pioneers in terms of safety: we are still the only manufacturer in a position to offer airbags in the liner class,
i.e. the 7 t. IVECO models,” says Cécile Klärner. “Our motorhome newcomers Arto 88 LF, Arto 88 B and Flair 920 EK have been on the market since late 2018 – and have been in steady demand ever since the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, the largest caravanning and camping event in the world.” The new models further enhance passengers’ comfort, something which customers clearly appreciate - the luxury bathroom with shower, separate toilet room and dressing area combined with a comfortable 1.50 m. wide island bed make the Arto 88 LF the most frequently ordered Niesmann+Bischoff tandem axle layout in the whole of Europe. “The Arto 88 B is a unique layout that offers a “bar” table – instead of the classical couches - on a Fiat Ducato base. Our customers appreciate the extraordinary sense of space which is created by the straight lines of the couch. Some of them use this model as an office ‘on wheels’,” says Ms Klärner. “Our Flair 920 EK is currently the bestseller in the IVECO model range. One of its striking features is the enlarged kitchen worktop, which now provides an additional 45 centimetres and a
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very practical extension. The convenient sideboard with a sliding worktop next to the entry offers additional storage space and a 46-litre refrigerator may be added additionally to the classical fridge, providing more than 220 litres refrigerating space in total! Another well appreciated feature is the spacious bathroom with rain shower and glass doors,” she explains.
Raising the bar Innovation is an integral part of the business culture and the company is continuously searching for new improvements. “Our product development department is currently busy with a ‘family project’. We have found that beside our classical customers, i.e. retired couples over 60, there are families with children desiring to spend their leisure time on luxury motorhomes. And for the rental business of our dealers this kind of model is definitely missing so far,” explains Mr Klärner. “The challenge will be to create a motorhome with flexible rooms, which can be used by both adults and children without disturbing each other. It will be an innovative well-thought floor plan, unique on the market. The second challenge will be to integrate the latest technologies into our models such as lithium batteries with solar modules, smart home technologies… and more to come!” When designing and making a motorhome, each detail is carefully considered. A good example of the high-quality standard is the construction of the side panels. They are stored overnight after they have been pressed instead of being installed on the day they are produced. Ms Klärner explains that the storage period is the secret to the smooth walls, a benefit in long term because nothing twists or bulges.
Smart investment Hail, tree branches, continuous rain — the roof of a motorhome must be able to withstand a lot of punishment. The use of glass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP) with extra high glass content and high46 Industry Europe
strength seals provides optimal protection for the roof and makes it extremely robust and scratch-resistant, just like the other external components. Thanks to the high torsional stiffness of the box structure and the high-quality furniture the models are especially quiet when driving. “The choice of materials plays a decisive role for achieving high standards: a good example is our wood film for the furniture. It is highly durable, 3D and scratch-resistant. Or our upholstery: 50,000 abrasion cycles during testing vouch for the longevity of the sofa covers, while the three-layer foam concept guarantees a high level of sitting comfort,” says Ms Klärner. “We at Niesmann+Bischoff are architects, engineers, craftsmen and installers. Craftsmanship is an important part of our daily work,” she claims. “We invest a lot of time in the production of your motorhome. For others, this may be a luxury. For us it’s a smart investment. And we are convinced our customers notice this each and every time they are on the road in a Arto, Flair or Smove.” n
Peace of Mind Oetiker is a global leader in high-end connecting solutions designed for the vehicle sector and for industrial applications. The company, continuously investing in product development, is ready to face new market trends.
etiker is a family-owned business founded in Horgen, Switzerland by Mr Hans Oetiker, the inventor of the world’s first ear clamp. Since 1942, the company has developed and produced billions of connecting solutions, and today continues to be driven by the same values that have underpinned its success for the last 77 years. With a presence in 31 countries and operating 14 manufacturing facilities, Oetiker has become a trusted, global, long-term partner for the world’s leading OEMs. Oetiker offers a wide range of ear clamps, multi crimp rings, worm drive clamps, heavy duty V-profile clamps and straps, quick connectors as well as manual assembly tools and electronically controlled assembly tools, to meet customers’ demand for leak-free sealing, space-efficient design and worker-friendly, as well as automated assembly. “Oetiker provides customers with peace of mind that their mission-critical components are reliably connected,” affirms Andreas Ring, Global Product Marketing Manager. “Oetiker’s expertise ranges from powertrain and drivetrain applications to medical applications and appliances. We offer engineering, prototyping 48 Industry Europe
and testing support to quickly create reliable solutions for overcoming any sealing and connecting challenges. We provide a full 360° approach covering connecting solutions, assembly solutions and global customer service.”
In line with trends The biggest market for Oetiker is the automotive sector, i.e. primarily passenger vehicles followed by commercial and industrial vehicles. Almost all major OEM car producers and the Tier1 suppliers are Oetiker’s customers, some of them for decades. “Each year, our products reach over 90 million vehicles — almost every vehicle manufactured. The high quality of our products and our readiness to fully meet our customers’ needs are the secrets of our success,” says Andreas Ring. He points out that new trends such as autonomous vehicles, digitalisation and electrification are reshaping the automotive industry. eMobility, or the development of electric-powered drivetrains, is shifting vehicle design away from combustion engines.
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
“Oetiker embraces these new developments by continuously inventing new connecting solutions as well as assembly solutions. We are ready to accommodate these emerging trends, applying our wide-ranging experience and deep knowledge of the vehicle industry, we supply the same high-quality connecting solutions for mission-critical applications in eMobility, thus meeting the needs of future transportation.”
grow across all current product lines as well as in new areas such as the electric vehicles,” concludes Mr Ring, emphasising that in doing so, the company will follow its underlying principles: always in close proximity to n customers, to fulfill it´s customer promise peace of mind.
Global growth The company currently operates four production plants in the United States, two in Germany and one in Spain, Sweden, Lithuania, Canada, China and India. In 2018 Oetiker commissioned a new plant in Poland in response to increasing demand. The 7,500 square metre production and logistics site built in a green field is Oetiker’s first facility in Eastern Europe, set up to better serve customers in this rapidly growing region. Initial focus will be on the production of multi-crimp rings. Designed for cooling and heating and air intake systems in the vehicle powertrain, these rings offer ultimate space-saving, optimum sealing, efficient and reliable installation and resistance to high pressure and expansion. “We will continue to further invest in the Polish plant with a view to grow the business,” says Mr Ring, explaining that the facility will also house the European assembly and distribution hub for Oetiker’s quick connectors, a solution designed for pressure lines carrying media, and particularly suitable for oil and/or coolant and heating lines to turbochargers, engines, and transmissions. To further promote its business, Oetiker will be attending several major trade fairs in 2019, including Fastener Fair in Stuttgart. “Furthermore we are focusing on digital marketing by using social networks like facebook or linkedin to directly interact with our customers. We are planning to
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Leading the way
ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology, combining all relevant technologies for the megatrends of efficiency, safety and automated driving under a single roof. Its supply chain is an important foundation of ZF’s success – a fact that the company acknowledges each year with its Supplier Awards. Romana Moares reports.
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
a global leader in driveline and chassis as well as active and passive safety technology, ZF operates in particular in the passenger car and commercial vehicle industry. Alongside transmission systems, units and components, its products in the automotive sector also include chassis systems and components, safety technology, electronics and sensors. The company has a global workforce of 146,000 with approximately 230 locations in some 40 countries, and with sales of €36.4 billion in 2017 it is one of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide. More than six per cent of its turnover is spent on research and development annually – in particular in the development of efficient and electric drivelines and also in striving for a world without accidents. With its broad portfolio, ZF is advancing mobility and services for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology applications.
Strong through partnerships The company’s suppliers are an integral part of its expanding operation, each being a trustworthy and valued business partner. Each year, ZF honours outstanding suppliers in the ZF Supplier Awards. The 2018 awards were handed out during the ZF Global Supplier Summit, this time dedicated to digitalisation. Seven companies were honoured for their outstanding services in four categories: digitalisation, innovation, production material and non-production material. During the event, ZF top management gives its strategic suppliers from around the world a look not only at the corporate strategy and new technologies and solutions, but also at the new purchasing and logistics requirements that will emerge from them.
“We are right in the middle of a major transformation in mobility and digital products and services, more than anything else, are accelerating this change,” says ZF Board member Wilhelm Rehm, who, in this function, is also responsible for the company’s materials management. “To realise our vision of a future mobility with zero accidents and zero emissions, we need suppliers by our side as development and innovation partners more than ever.” In addition to outstanding quality, ZF expects characteristics like internationality, flexibility and reliability from its suppliers.
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FROM EFFICIENT LUBRICATION USE TO INDUSTRY 4.0 Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies and always involved in the development of innovations for the industry. To ensure that new ideas will work in the future the aim is to be a strong partner for all industry requirements. In our increasingly connected world, today companies are able to use intelligent technology to manage machines and facilities more efficiently. For example in the transformation of Industry 4.0, predictive maintenance is an important part and aimed to reduce the likelihood of failures and, as a result, avoid costly downtime and lower maintenance costs. Monitoring the condition and performance of equipment as well as lubricants during its normal operation can help saving total costs of ownership. To ensure that businesses save money and time on maintenance and also to avoid potential production loss caused by equipment failures, Shell offers a specific check of oil and machinery. This oil condition monitoring service helps keeping the business running smoothly by identifying potential lubricant or equipment failures before they become critical. It is an early warning system which aims that both equipment and lubricants are working under optimum conditions. The large product range of Shell Lubricants can help to reduce deposits in machines, for example in pipes and gearboxes as well as avoid blockings in filter units. Additionally, an effective lubrication management is vital to improve productivity and reduce lubricant consumption as well as maintenance and operating costs. Ultimately, it leads to higher efficiency and less equipment downtime. Experts are working every day on this innovative approach which ensures that Shell is a partner already today and in future visions of the industry.
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
Outstanding suppliers This was the second year that ZF presented a supplier award for the ‘Digitalisation’ category. In 2018 it went to a company in Silicon Valley, Excelfore, which combines the expertise of 75 software engineers with the spirit of a start-up company. The middleware solutions it develops will make the next generation of networked cars possible. ZF is working with Excelfore on the cloud platform eSync, which provides a standardised solution for over-the-air software updates in vehicles and is used in error diagnosis. The expertise of Excelfore has also helped ZF reinforce its market position in the area of occupant safety systems. The winner of the ‘Innovation’ category is the plastics specialist Oechsler, which supplies ZF worldwide with actuators for electronic parking brakes, and has invested significantly in 3D printing technology in the last few years. Oechsler’s ground-breaking approaches have supported ZF in its efforts to shorten the development times of complex transmissions and housings. Three suppliers tied as winners in the ‘Production Materials’ category. Iron Force Industrial not only has the expertise to cover ZF’s demand for steel and specific tubes – the Asian company stands out thanks to its flexibility and the rapidity with which it responds to requests. VOIT Automotive GmbH specialises in aluminum die-casting and other forming technologies, and has significantly helped to strengthen ZF’s global production footprint. Last but not least, Shell Deutschland Schmierstoff GmbH, the third winner in this category, is ZF’s main supplier of transmission oil. ZF’s long-term partnership with Shell Deutschland stood out this year particularly due to its competitive prices, cooperation with logistics and close collaboration in developing oil for the fourth 8HP automatic transmission generation.
life cycles, remanufacturing tools and developing new concepts, the company has always proven its innovativeness and reliability. JAS Worldwide was the ZF Group’s largest sea freight forwarder in 2018 and also an important logistics service provider for air freight, setting standards industry-wide, especially in terms of supply chain transparency. The continual development of new technology is of crucial importance to ZF. Manufacturers expect innovative products to set their vehicles apart from the competition. Functionalities for better driving dynamics, comfort and safety – as well as fewer individual components and assemblies – are increasingly in demand. ZF’s research and development team is set to meet these challenges with its extensive expertise and clear understanding of the dynamic relationn ships in the whole vehicle.
Meeting the challenge The awards for the ‘Non-Production Material’ went to companies based in Tübingen and Atlanta. Paul Horn GmbH has been a reliable partner for cutting tools and tool retrofitting. When optimising Industry Europe 53
Innovation Meets Tradition CLAAS, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural machinery, has recorded continued growth despite a volatile market environment, confirming that commitment to introducing innovative machines that anticipate future requirements is the way forward. Romana Moares reports.
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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
LAAS, a family business founded in 1913, is the European market leader in combine harvesters and the world leader in self-propelled forage harvesters. CLAAS is also a top performer in worldwide agricultural engineering with tractors, agricultural balers and green harvesting machinery. In addition to machines, the CLAAS product portfolio also includes state-of-theart farming information technology. The company has experienced an extraordinary growth phase in the last two decades and in the last financial year was able to increase sales to a new record of €3.88 billion. “We have continued our growth in a volatile market environment and once again significantly improved our profitability. We have continued to expand in Germany and Western Europe in particular,” said Hermann Lohbeck, speaker of the CLAAS Executive Board. A focus on innovation has been one of the factors that have made CLAAS a leader in the industry. Last year, investments made in
research and development reached a new record of €233 million. Particularly worth mentioning are the fast developing agricultural machines equipped with intelligent technologies to communicate with each other and to automatically coordinate working processes.
At the cutting edge The latest additions to the extensive product range include the NEXOS narrow-width tractor which is now available with a suspended, 4-wheel-drive front axle, ensuring greater comfort when working in the fields and driving on roads. All NEXOS models can be fitted with the new PROACTIV front axle suspension. Thanks to the two slanted, outwards-facing suspension cylinders, the tractor’s weight is optimally supported by the front axle, ensuring passive roll stabilisation when turning around curves. It also guarantees optimal driving comfort when travelling along roads or rural tracks and when working. Industry Europe 55
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There have also been major innovations in forage harvesting: in addition to the newly developed ROLLANT 540 round baler, the DISCO MOVE front mower was also launched which features optimal ground contour adaptation. And, with the JAGUAR 960 TERRA TRAC, CLAAS has been the first manufacturer to bring a forage harvester with an integrated crawler solution to the market. The new, award-winning concept offers the best soil protection in all conditions. An intelligent headland protection system prevents damage to the grass cover and enables year-round operation. For the 2019 model year, CLAAS is fitting the AQUA NON STOP COMFORT knife sharpening system with LED interior lights and a sharpening chamber rinse function, for an even more user-friendly knife sharpening operation for balers and self-loading forage wag-
ons. This is the first fully automatic knife sharpener on the market. The device accommodates up to 51 knives per cycle. More than 90 templates are available, providing precise sharpening along the knife contour for the knives from practically all manufacturers.
Sustainable business More innovations have been achieved also on the digital front - CLAAS machines are now even better integrated into 365FarmNet, the innovative software solution for an agricultural business, by means of automatic interpretation of telemetric data. This marks an important step toward automatic documentation for CLAAS. The new data exchange system is secure in several respects. Unlike data transfer by USB stick, the risk of data loss or user error is minimal and a reliable state-of-the-art data Industry Europe 57
transfer is guaranteed. The farmer has complete control over what data is transferred. The system provides accurate results even when field work is interrupted for example by bad weather. CLAAS has not only invested in new products and information technology but also in an innovative working environment. The course remains set for growth in the tractor business with the modernisation of the main assembly line started in Le Mans. The customer oriented service and replacement parts business is also being expanded. Moreover, a new high-bay warehouse is being built in Hamm, which will double capacity to 58,000 pallet bays. In addition, substantial investments were made in new distribution centres in the United Kingdom and France. Just recently, CLAAS opened an evaluation centre for the development of new agricultural machinery at the Harsewinkel site, an investment worth €15 million, of which €3.2 million was spent 58 Industry Europe
just on testing technology. With the new building, CLAAS aims to achieve shorter development times for its combine harvesters, forage harvesters and tractors. Thirteen test cells can be used to simulate various forces encountered during harvests around the world. The tests on the electrically driven test rigs run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Backed by the investment, CLAAS expects stable development in the global agricultural engineering markets for the near future, driven by increasing demand for professional agricultural technology. In response to this demand, the company is set to continue to provide excellent quality of both products and services to sustain competitiveness in the future, while being fully committed to its corporate responsibility agenda n to ensure a sustainable and responsible business for the future. For more information, visit: www.claas.com
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
ŠKODA AUTO has recently commissioned a new competence centre at its state-of-the-art Kvasiny plant. With the expansion of the plant, the Czech car manufacturer is preparing for the production of the ŠKODA SUPERB with plug-in hybrid drive The brand’s first hybrid vehicle is planned to roll off the production line in 2019. Romana Moares reports.
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KODA is one of the longest-established automobile companies in the world. With more than 1.25 million cars delivered to customers in 2018, the company reached the benchmark of a million cars for the fifth time in a row. The Czech car manufacturer, which significantly strengthened its position by joining the Volkswagen Group in 1991, currently offers 9 model ranges made at its three Czech manufacturing sites - Mladá Boleslav, Kvasiny and Vrchlabí, where gearboxes are made - employing over 36,000 people. In 2018, Skoda produced more vehicles in the Czech Republic than ever before in its 124-year history. In total, 886,100 vehicles ran off the production lines at the Mladá Boleslav and Kvasiny factories, an increase of 3.3 per cent compared to the previous year, and a result of the ongoing modernisation and expansion of the Czech production sites.
the company surpassed the mark of 300,000 vehicles produced at the Kvasiny plant for the first time. In 2019, production of the ŠKODA SUPERB featuring plug-in-hybrid drive will begin in Kvasiny and in 2023, the Volkswagen Passat family will also be manufactured there alongside the ŠKODA KODIAQ and ŠKODA SUPERB. “Kvasiny is a state-of the-art-plant with a rich tradition and an excellent, highly competent workforce,” affirms Mr Černý. “Production of cars started here in 1934, with the first ŠKODA SUPERB rolling off the lines 13 years later, later on joined by the FELICIA (1958 to 1964), the 110 R Coupé (1970 to 1980), the PICK-UP (1995 to 2001), the first and second generations of the SUPERB, and finally the ROOMSTER and the YETI. Today, the plant makes the ŠKODA’s SUPERB, KODIAQ, and KAROQ models as well as the SUV SEAT ATECA.”
New competence centre
The ŠKODA AUTO Kvasiny plant is one of the world’s most advanced automotive plants and is currently undergoing the most comprehensive modernisation and expansion in its history of more than 80 years. As part of its SUV campaign, which began with the ŠKODA KODIAQ, the company invested a total of eleven billion CZK in modernising production processes. “In 2018, a new multi-functional competence centre was commissioned, concentrating all areas for vehicle testing and analysis under one roof, including the testing and quality centre, the logistics centre as well as space to store pre-production vehicles,” says Jiří Černý, Manager of the Kvasiny plant. The Kvasiny plant has a prominent role in the country’s economy. ŠKODA AUTO currently employs around 9,000 people in Kvasiny, making the company one of the region’s largest employers. In 2018,
The Kvasiny plant is preparing to embark on the road to electromobility: The production site is establishing a new electricity distribution network and charging stations for electric vehicles, with a view to launch the production of the ŠKODA SUPERB plug-in hybrid later this year. The investment in the new multifunctional competence centre has been made to support this development. The fact that all areas of vehicle testing including the acoustic laboratory, odour laboratory and vibration test stands, are now contained in a single complex brings definite advantages - the shorter distances between individual departments will accelerate inspection processes, allowing for a faster result evaluation. The centre is equipped with the latest technology such as a water chamber where climate conditions varying from fine drizzle to tropi-
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cal downpours can be simulated. In addition, the test centre features a state-of-the-art “silent cabin”, where acousticians can monitor disruptive driving noise. Vibrations of the entire vehicle can be simulated with a “shaker”, and there is also a laboratory dedicated to dynamic tests.
Ready for e-mobility
“As an important pillar of production, the Kvasiny plant makes a considerable contribution to achieving the production targets defined in ŠKODA’s Strategy 2025. Starting in 2023, the models in the Volkswagen Passat family will be produced in the Kvasiny plant alongside the SUPERB. This will enable us to create additional synergy potential between the brands,” Mr Černý explains.
2019 marks ŠKODA’s entry into the era of electromobility. 124 years after the company was founded, the Czech automaker is launching the SUPERB PHEV with plug-in hybrid drive and a fully battery-powered version of the CITIGO. In 2020, the first production vehicles will follow based on the MEB. Over the next four years, ŠKODA is investing around two billion euros in alternative drive systems and new mobility services and will have introduced more than ten electrified models by the end of 2022.
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Smarter marine solutions Finnish multinational Wärtsilä, a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets, is celebrating its 185th anniversary this year. Having recently signalled its intention to transfer from an equipment manufacturer, to a Smart Marine and Smart Energy organisation, following the acquisitions of global companies such as Transas, Greensmith Energy Management and Guidance Marine, Wärtsilä is positioning itself as a global marine and energy systems integrator. Philip Yorke reports.
ärtsilä was founded in Finland in 1834 with the construction of a sawmill by a rapid river in Tohmajärvi. Since then, the company has grown and expanded into a true global leader in Marine and Energy Smart solutions. The company’s core technologies for the marine sector include key services for a broad range of vessels including cruise ships, merchant ships, navy ships, as well as special vessels, tugs and offshore hybrid seg-
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ments. Marine support services include online services, underwater services, turbocharger services and also dedicated solutions for the marine, energy and oil and gas markets. In 2018 the company employed almost 20,000 people. Today Wärtsilä operates globally from 200 locations in more than 80 countries worldwide. Last year the company posted sales of over €5 billion.
chemicals, petrochemicals & offshore
Celebrating 185 years of progress On the 12th April this year, Wärtsilä will be celebrating 185 years of its company’s progress. To commemorate this milestone, Wärtsilä has commissioned a book called “Of machines and people”, which brings together many stories of Wärtsilä’s history over the past 50 years. The book depicts the last five decades of operation by looking at the way that the people who have been part of creating the new Wärtsilä have experienced them. ‘Of machines and people’ is not a traditional version of a company’s history opus. It is an easyto-read visual journey dedicated to the last five decades of Finish society and filled with fascinating personal anecdotes and stories. “Wärtsilä is an institution, and it has been a major employer and creator of many industries throughout its long history. Almost every Finn has a personal link to the company in some way” said journalist Pekka Vanttinen, who undertook the monumental task of composing the story from countless interviews with Wärtsilä employees, past and present. The editor-in-chief of the book was Atte Palomaki, Wärtsilä’s Executive Vice President, of communications and branding. He says that in honour of Wärtsilä’s anniversary, the company has donated copies of the book to every library in Finland.
New smart-marine vision In line with its intention to accelerate its smart marine eco-system vision and its transformation from an equipment maker to an integrated Smart Marine Company, the global marine technology group has recently strengthened its position as a global leader in the world’s maritime markets. In doing so it has introduced the first Wärtsilä-branded, high-speed engine: the Wärtsilä 14. This is a high-speed, compact engine designed to fit customers’ needs for limited space and weight. The engine also offers lower capital costs.
In addition it meets all current and future global emissions regulations and provides customers with improved efficiency, as well as increased safety and greater environmental sustainability. This all-new engine underscores Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine vision, as the brand continues to offer customers increasingly wider options for meeting the industry’s specific operational needs. Highly versatile and engineered to support a wide range of applications within both marine and offshore markets, the new Wärtsilä 14 engine serves as both a main propulsion unit and an auxiliary genset, and is ideal for hybrid installations. This small but mighty high-speed engine is available in 12 and 16 cylinder configurations, delivering output of 755–1340 kW in mechanical propulsion, and 675–1155 kWe in auxiliary and diesel-electric configurations. Wärtsilä’s genset offering is ideal for vessels, owners and operators, where power-to-weight ratio, fuel type, efficiency and safety and environmental compliance are key considerations. Examples of such operating operations include tugs, fishing vessels, offshore service vessels, small ferries and the merchant auxiliary market requirements among many others.
Smart power generation Wärtsilä has also been involved in the design and construction of power plants used by industry and utilities for decades. The company has delivered a staggering 4,800 power plants ranging from 10 to 600 MW in 177 countries worldwide, making it a true global player. The smart power generation power plants work using multiple internal combustion engines and can run on any liquid or
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gaseous fuels, including biofuels. Wärtsilä power plants provide a high level of energy efficiency, as well as operational flexibility, helping to integrate solar and wind power into the grid. At the vanguard of the global transition of the energy landscape towards more flexible, sustainable energy systems, Wärtsilä is envisaging a 100 per cent renewable energy future. As the Energy System Integrator, they continue to design, build and serve power systems for future generations.
Oil & gas For several decades, Wärtsilä has been a pioneer in the development of gas technology. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the main driver of the global gas market and the company has offerings for every step in the gas value chain. From product level to total LNG solutions to engine power plant integration, Wärtsilä is consistently developing its gasfuelled solutions so to retain the combination of low emissions and high efficiency that is unparalleled in the oil and gas industry. Wärtsilä also provides services to their customers, from financing and project development, and procurement to engineering. With broad portfolios in both on and offshore LNG solutions, every step of the process is covered.
Revolutionary dock-to-dock solutions Recently Wärtsilä Marine successfully completed a further round of test procedures of its revolutionary, automated dock-to-dock system. In an unprecedented operation, and in the presence of the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA), the system was further tested on the ferry “Folgefonn”, this time for a full dock-to-dock capability. This was conducted with the autonomous operation being utilised uninterrupted for the entire route, whilst visiting three ports serviced by the ship.
“This represents a huge step forward in validating automated shipping solutions, and an important progression within our Smart Marine Programme. This emphasises once again Wärtsilä’s recognised position as the global technology leader in marine innovations. We continue to lead the way in developing ‘intelligent’ products and systems needed to move the maritime industry forward towards a new era of super-high efficiency, safety and environmental sustainability” said Joonas Makkonen, Vice President Voyage Solutions, Wärtsilä. The success of these tests cannot be underestimated. Once the operator selected the next destination berth, the operation was started by simply selecting “Sail”, which authorises the autonomous controller to take full control of the vessel. Following this the vessel was able to leave the dock, manoeuvre out of the harbour and sail to the next port of call. Thereafter it was able to make its way through the harbour entrance, and dock alongside the terminal, and all without human intervention. It is believed to be the first attempt at a fully automated dock-to-dock operation in a complete ‘hands-off’ n mode, for a vessel of this size. For further details of Wärtsilä’s latest innovative marine products and services visit: www.wartsila.com.
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Nourishing business Hungary’s leading fertiliser producer, Nitrogénművek Zrt began a new series of investments in 2004 and by 2017 had invested €450 million into developments. As a result of this, the firm has been completely transformed from a local producer to a large trading company with astrong manufacturing background. Edina Beale reports.
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stablished almost 90 years ago, Nitrogénművek Zrt is the only nitrogen fertiliser producer in Hungary that has the ability to manufacture ammonia and chemical fertilisers. Although many of the company’s products include nitrogen fertiliser, its Pétisó (CAN) has become a real favourite among Hungarian farmers in the past decade. Basic products of ammonia and nitric acid have been produced since the establishment of the factory and urea products have also been manufactured for 50 years; ammonium nitrate has been produced for over 70 years. When in 2000 Nitrogénművek became a member of the Hungarian Bige Holding group, owned by Mr Laszló Bige, the firm has taken a brand new development approach and has undertaken large scale investments.
Exceptional capacities As part of these investments some of the most efficient plants in Europe were built. The company expanded their ammonia plant, built a new granulating plant that operates together with a new automatic packaging plant whilst in the summer of 2017 a new nitric acid plant, a dolomite crushing plant and a neutralising plant was opened. As a result of these developments, Nitrogénművek Zrt is now able to produce 1,475,000 tonnes annually of fertilizer products. The company’s second nitric acid plant in Pétfürdő was built by the German Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions. The aim of this investment was to increase the production of fertilisers by expanding the capacity of nitric acid production. The new plant not only has an exceptional 1,150 tonnes daily production capacity but it is also able to produce nitric acid with 60 per cent density by using dual pressure technology.
The main factory building is nearly 50 metre high and extends over more than 1,200m2 to provide space for the latest and largest storage facility and a 19 metre dolomite powder tank, which can store 300 tonnes of powder. The construction of the steel structure of this building required two tower cranes working constantly for two months. Outside of the factory a 40m3 capacity storage tank for raw materials has been erected and a 20 m high and 7.5 m diametre gas washing facility. There is only one other plant in Europe with similar capacities and that operates in Turkey. In January 2017, the new plant was granted a permit for official use and was opened on 21 June following all necessary operating tests. The new operation created 10 operators’ jobs and provided work for many in the area of maintenance, logistics, quality control and procurement.
Wide product assortment In 2003, Nitrogénművek Zrt established its Genezis brand which covers the whole spectrum of its fertiliser products. The range includes nitrogen fertilisers, complex NPK fertilisers and irrigation and leaf fertilisers. Its most important trademark is Pétisó which was patented in 1932. The main advantage of this fertiliser product is that it can be used for any plants as well as reducing the acidity of the soil whilst also being easy to transport, store and use. In 2014, the company extended its activities and began trading with seed products and pesticide chemicals. The firm also offers chemical products and industrial gas products that are produced during the fertiliser manufacturing process. However the production and sales of nitrogen based fertiliser remains the most significant aciitivity.
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Export focus Whilst primarily serving the needs of Hungarian agriculture, Nitrogénművek Zrt has also developed a significant export business The company aims to concentrate on operating its existing foreign subsidiaries and distribution centres whilst also establishing new
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units in unexploited markets. The current focus is on neighbouring countries such as Slovenia, Austria and Italy but Nitrogénművek Zrt also has representative offices in Slovakia, Serbia, Romania, Germany, Italy, Croatia and Bulgaria, too. With its long history, extensive professional experience, its own trading network and high quality products, Nitrogénművek has all it takes to continue as a flourishing business. Now due to the new developments the firm has enormous capacities to serve both its existing customers and to strengthen its presence abroad. “These investments were completed just in time for when the fertiliser market got stronger. We have been experiencing an increasing demand in both domestic and international level,” reveals Mr Zoltán Rácz deputy sales director. “The market share of the seed and pesticide sales divisions launched in 2014 is now significant, so our main goal is optimisation that will improve the results of our activities. We continue to concentrate on efficient operations.” Nitrogénművek’s next investment program, which is planned to be on the same scale as the previous one, will probably start within three to four years. The company is likely to finance this development through international bond issuance. Mr Rácz concludes: “Our goal now is to further increase our reputation among international n investors, thus preparing for the next investment cycle.”
chemicals, petrochemicals & offshore
Adding new life to leather For more than 50 years the Colorex Chemical Co. has been providing high quality cleaning and restoration products to professional cleaners for the care of leather, suede, fur and textile garments. Philip Yorke looks at a highly successful US company that continues to develop innovative, cost-effective products for the leather and fur industries.
olorex serves a broad range of industries with its highly specialised cleaning products, which are designed for a broad variety of applications. These range from professional garment cleaning companies, to airlines, furniture makers, shoe repairers and furriers. The company has become an industry leader worldwide by committing itself to producing and distributing innovative products backed by quality formulations and cost-effective solutions for its customers. The company’s products are sold throughout the world and have been designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
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One step ahead
One of Colorex’s flagship products is its well-known ‘Leather Guard’ brand which is safe, easy to use and made up of a unique combination of cleaners, oils, and waxes that bring dried and faded leathers back to life with just one treatment. This product is used extensively in the manufacturing of leather itself to protect the leather from ‘spotting’ and other hazards. Leather Guard also provides leathers with a high degree of water repellency, as well as excellent surface feel and deep, penetrating lubrication in order to provide superior softness and flexibility. Leather Guard does precisely what the name implies, it guards against a wide variety of threats to virgin leathers that include water staining, scuffing, spotting, soiling, marking, grease and salt. Thanks to these special properties, Leather Guard significantly prolongs the life and beauty of leather. This product is also safe and easy to use and can be sprayed or rubbed directly onto the leather. After just 60 seconds the substance can be wiped off and the results are then clear to see. Leather Guard is available in both liquid and hand-rub formulas. Another world-beating product from Colorex is its ‘Next-step Leather Finish’. This was developed and designed for the qualityconscious leather cleaning service. Its unique formula is based on Tannery-Level Performance Standards that offer the highest-grade finish possible. Next-Step is created with the latest chemical technology that provides a finish that is both tough and durable, yet soft to the touch. The special pigments used in this product provide a sharp, deep and distinctive colour that won’t ‘crack’ or peel.
When it comes to the preparation and cleaning of furs, Colorex is again a market leader. The company’s ‘One-Step Fur Cleaner & Glazer’ is a revolutionary new product that allows cleaners to clean and glaze furs in one simple step, thus saving time and money in the processing of fur garments. Gone are the days of corncob, pumice and saw-dust and the blowing-out of pockets and seams. With the latest range of One-Step products, garments come out clean and beautiful every time. This highly effective product is non-hazardous, economically priced and easy to use. Today’s market is full of different types of leathers. Once they are cleaned many of these leather garments will lose their original look and feel. Colorex has addressed this problem by developing another unique ‘Next-Step’ product, which is its ‘Next-Step Feel & Top Coats’ finisher. Colorex’s Feel Coats, known as Next-Step Waxy, and Next-Step Nubuck, leaves garments with a very special final feel. For topcoats, Colorex’s Next-Step Dull and Next-Step Bright, provide users with complete control on the final look of each garment.
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Softer approach Colorex recently developed a suede and leather softener that outperforms all others. Softene® now allows companies to create an excellent feel and softness for both leather and suede garments. Today Softene® from Colorex is the only non-hazardous, water based, sprayable feel agent on the market. It is also guaranteed to make a noticeable difference in the softness and handling of any type of suede or leather garment. Further-
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more, Softene® is also easy to use, cost-effective and part of the company’s popular ‘Next Step Finish’ product line. When it comes to the colouring of leather, Colorex is also the clear market leader here, thanks to its ability to create high gloss and deep, consistent colours. The company’s ‘Capeskin Leather Finish’ mixes with LLA to provide an even higher gloss finish and offers a significant reduction in the required pigment load. This special finishing product is designed to offer deep rich colours for every garment. In addition, Capeskin Leather Finish also provides excellent stain coverage, and as a lacquer-based product offers unrivalled durability. Yet another exclusive product from Colorex is its LLA Clear Lacquer Finish, which is available in 5 gallon, 30 gallon and 55 gallon drums. The LLA’s primary use is for glamorising leather garments that when completed, did not retain their original gloss finish. This product could therefore be used on any smooth-grained leather garn ment as a topcoat to add to its look and ultimate value. For further details of Colorex Chemical’s innovative products and services visit: www.colorexchemicals.com Industry Europe 71
Transforming the paraffin market Polwax SA, a company from Jaslo, Poland, is one of the European leaders in the paraffin market. It is a producer and distributor of refined, deodorised paraffins, waxes and industrial paraffin products. The company is currently on the brink of a technological breakthrough with a unique slack wax solvent de-oiling installation. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.
ecember 31, 2019 will be a significant date in the history of Polwax. On that day, the most modern European slack wax solvent deoiling installation located in Polwax’s plant in Czechowice-Dziedzice, Silesian region, southern Poland, is to be put into use. “For our company it will be a big leap forward. As a result, we will enter a new phase of our development; frankly, launching this installation will drive Polwax to the industry’s top league. On the other side, the company would have no future without this investment,” says Dominik Tomczyk, Polwax CEO.
Experts in paraffin products Polwax has been operating since 1999. In the years 2004–2012, it was a part of Capital Group Lotos SA, well-known for its crude oil production, refining and marketing of oil products.
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At the beginning of 2012 the company was privatised in the process of a leveraged management buyout (LMBO), in which its managers, passive investors and a private equity fund took part. This was essential to Polwax’s future development. In 2014, the company made its debut on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, while in March 2015 it purchased two laboratories: in CzechowiceDziedzice and Jaslo. Owing to its many years of experience and innovation, and the continuous expansion of its product portfolio, Polwax is now one of the world’s leading producers and distributors of refined and deodorised paraffin, waxes and speciality industrial paraffin compositions. Its wide product offering includes solutions designed for the candle-making industry, products for special applications, anti-cak-
ing agents for fertilisers, pattern waxes, speciality products used in the manufacture of candles, products designed for the manufacture of grave-lights, anti-corrosion agents, wood impregnation products, HOT-MELT adhesives, and grave-lights and candles. They are used in a variety of industries, such as the fertiliser industry, precision moulding, wood processing, varnish and paint production, the rubber industry, paper and packaging, production of building materials, production of explosives, candle production, food and cosmetics. Polwax SA also runs its own analytical laboratory, which provides research in the field of oil products, water and wastewater. The company’s annual sales in 2017 were estimated at PLN 283.5 million (more than €67.5 million). Around 75 to 80 per cent of Polwax’s production output is sold on the domestic market,
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whereas the remaining part is marketed mainly in the European Union (Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Hungary) and in eastern Europe.
The future is underway Construction of the slack wax solvent de-oiling installation, the most ambitious investment in the company’s history, started at the turn of 2017 and 2018. “Analysing the paraffin market, we concluded that our main product – candles and grave lights based on high-tech engineering, which accounts for 65 per cent of our total production – is dying out and there is no future in it. We considered that the only solution for the company is to make the highly technologically processed products, for which a modern slack wax solvent de-oiling installation is a must,” explains Mr Tomczyk. The total investment costs are estimated at PLN 160 million (more than €38 million). The installation is being built using ThyssenKrupp UHDE technology. This German company is also the creator of the base project and supplies nine key devices that have a fundamental impact on the quality of the installation products. ORLEN Projekt SA,
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a company specialised in the design and construction of new facilities in the petrochemical, chemical and environmental sectors, is the investment’s general contractor. “We have chosen ORLEN Projekt SA from among many bidders due to its technological experience and understanding of chemical processes. Remember that it is a part of the ORLEN Group, which is the undisputed leader on the fuel market in central Europe. To imagine the technological leap that Polwax SA will perform, it is worth realising that currently our two plants make 27 using of products. Thanks to the new installation, we will increase our offer with another
28 using. Today, we obtain about 20–30 per cent of the content from one tonne of raw material. The installation will allow us to go up to 55–60 per cent. Currently, we are processing 55–60,000 tonnes of raw material, and from the year 2020 we will be processing about 70,000 tonnes. Moreover, the share of exports in our total sales will grow to 75–80 per cent. The installation will allow de-oiling of light, medium and heavy slack wax, thus expanding the company’s range of products to include new products addressed to a wider group of industrial customers,” points out Mr Tomczyk. Polwax’s slack wax solvent de-oiling installation will be ecologically friendly and will be the most modern plant of its kind in Europe from a technological point of view. Two other such installations were built in Europe in the early 1970s and demonstrate a 40-year-old technological standard. Proof that the new investment was a good strategic move is the fact that the company has already n many customer orders for the year 2020 and onward.
Dominik Tomczyk President of the Management Board
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Construction & ENGINEERING
Advanced Hydraulics The Italian branch of Hydreco, the global specialist in hydraulic solutions for a range of sectors, is set to grow off the back of recent market trends. Managing Director Michele Guiati speaks about the latest company developments and its plans for the future.
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ydreco, the designer, manufacturer and distributor of products servicing the transport and mobile hydraulics sector, has a 100 year combined history in developing solutions through a rich heritage of legacy companies. “The history of some of our predecessors goes back all the way to the early 1900s,” says Mr Guiati. The joining of David Brown Hydraulics, Powauto and Hydreco in 1997 brought together some of the most respected products, people and heritage brands in the business, and formed a strong hydraulics group, rebranded in 2013 to operate under its current name.
Italian competence With a workforce of over 110 people, Hydreco operates four manufacturing sites located in the UK, Italy, Australia and India and three sales offices in the USA, Norway and Germany. “Geographically, our operation covers the whole world, although the biggest market remains Europe,” noted Mr Guiati. The Group’s transport hydraulics product range covers power take-off units, pneumatic joysticks, pumps, valves, cylinders as well as vehicle accessories. Going off-road, Hydreco can provide a very wide range of solutions, based on gear pumps, control valves, pilot valves, handles, manifolds, ECU, displays and other electronic devices. Each of the four production facilities focuses on a different product range: the UK plant primarily makes hydraulic steering units, the Indian company produces
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mainly gear pumps and the Australian facility specialises in power takeoff and remote controls. Mr Guiati explains that Hydreco Hydraulics Italia, which employs 21 people, is responsible for the development and production of the joystick range: the remote controls that are applied for off-road vehicles used in agriculture, construction, material handling, lifting and similar industries. “We supply the joysticks both to our sister companies within the group and to external customers in Italy and in several other countries including Germany, France, Canada and the United States. A significant example of our capability is represented by the timber crane market, where we have gained a strong competence that led to us being the prime servicer of the main OEM’s in the forestry industry in such countries as Sweden, Austria, Poland, Italy and many others”.
Stronger in partnerships Mr Guiati affirms that the company is fully on track with the latest market requirements. “The sector has recently increased the focus on electronics to provide more accurate and powerful controls to the traditional hydraulics functions. We can now provide a fully electronic joystick, as well as ECUs and other electronic solutions, supporting the most used communication protocols and signals in the mobile market and easy to integrate with existing hardware and software environments.”
Construction & ENGINEERING
“The integration of the electronic and the traditional hydraulic sides is called mechatronics. This is something we work on a lot, in order to develop not just components but complete solutions in line with our customers’ requirements. Working with customers to provide solutions that meet their needs has always been a key factor in our competitiveness.” Hydreco Hydraulics Italia targets small to medium sized businesses, offering not only advanced products but also engineering support. “Flexibility combined with the highest level of support is another of our business strengths, and one that our customers highly appreciate,” Mr Guiati affirms. The company’s performance is enhanced by its supplier network, of which roughly 90 per cent is located in the region. “The Emilia-Romagna region is known as the ‘Mechanical Valley’, boasting a high number of companies with excellent engineering skills. We have trusted, reliable suppliers who provide top quality components at competitive prices the two factors that make our range very attractive”, Mr Guiati points out. “We design and engineer everything in-house, component by component, and our suppliers provide the physical parts. This partnership works very well and helps to keep our plant extremely effective and efficient. Our suppliers are an integral part of our successful operation.”
With the increasing demand for cutting edge technologies, the company expects to continue to grow over the next few years. With the support from their integrated supplier network as well as the other entities within the group, Hydreco Hydraulics Italia is well placed to make use of the new opportunities emerging in both existing and new markets, deploying its expertise to provide just the right technical solutions for its customers. “We will be exhibiting in April at Bauma, the world’s leading trade fair, in Munich, presenting our latest products and solutions. I would like to take this opportunity to cordially invite our customers, suppliers and all business partners to our booth to see the latest results of our journey through our technological and hydraulics expertise for n themselves,” concludes Mr Guiati.
Right place, right time Hydreco Hydraulics Italia can rely on an abundance of technical skills provided by the people living and working in the area. “This region is well known for its technical talent, which was also one of the reasons why this company was founded here. We are proud to have excellent and highly competent people, and we value them greatly,” says Mr Guiati.
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Super-efficient window and door systems Alumil is a market leading producer of branded aluminium windows, doors and photovoltaic systems. Philip Yorke reports on the company’s latest innovative products and its strategy for future growth.
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Construction & ENGINEERING
lumil S.A. was founded in Greece in 1988 and today remains an independent family business. Through its modern production facilities and strict quality controls that operate throughout its entire production processes, it ensures the creation of superior products of high added-value. A programme of continuous research and development has led to it offering unique thermal and design solutions with many innovative features. Today with more than 30 years of experience and over 2,200 employees in the design and production of architectural aluminium systems, Alumil is one of the world’s most successful and technologically advanced companies with twelve state-of-the-art production lines located throughout Europe. Overall control of the company is directed from its headquarters in Greece, where human resources, marketing and global management is coordinated. The Group’s sales network is extensive and covers over 50 markets worldwide. Today its strategy for growth includes expanding its presence in emerging markets such as India and Africa by promoting its energy-efficient architectural window and door systems.
Research-driven success Research and development is part of the Alumil Group’s DNA and is responsible for its remarkable ongoing success. The company’s experienced and committed engineers are continuously inventing new, innovative technical solutions that take thermal insulation and energy efficiency to new levels. Thanks to its comprehensive ‘Advanced Testing Centre’ in Greece it remains at the forefront of technological development, keeping it one step ahead of its competitors. In addition, it maintains close collaboration with several leading
European universities and independent research centres. All Alumil’s products are fully certified by leading institutions worldwide. The latest high-tech business unit of Alumil is its subsidiary, ‘Carbon Fibre Technologies’ (CFT), which focuses on the development of carbon fibre products and their applications in architectural window and door systems. Composite materials are becoming more and more important in the building industry and carbon fibre, with its impressive mechanical properties has the potential to offer major advantages to customers when used in combination with Alumil’s unique aluminium solutions for robust yet lightweight constructions for windows and doors.
Heavy-duty precision Recently Alumil announced a breakthrough with its system for heavyduty folding doors. The company’s Supreme SF85 has been designed for exceptional, oversized folding doors that ensure ultra-smooth and long-lasting trouble-free operation. The minimalist design and extremely narrow sight-lines (105mm sash to sash), as well as its outstanding performance in terms of water tightness, air permeability and wind load resistance, make it a sure winner. This new system is ideal for high-end residential use, offering solutions that offer fewer and wider vents, as well as for heavy-duty commercial projects, which may require many vents and structures up to four metres high. Furthermore, the system is perfectly suited to a wide variety of applications, including semi-structural and corner versions with odd and even numbers of vents. This latest Alumil system has been engineered to offer enhanced safety characteristics and is certified to RC2 class burglar resistance thanks to its special quadruple locking latches and anti-lift roller
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hinges. Finally, the system also stands out for its extremely high thermal insulation properties for maximum energy savings with Uw=1.0 W/m2K, for three panel folding doors with dimensions of 3.0 X2.6m and Ug=0.6W/m2K.
Unique e-motion system In keeping with its drive for energy efficiency and reliability, Alumil has also launched a new, fully automatic minimal sliding system: the Supreme S650 e-motion. This advanced product is electrically driven and is a remote-controlled version of the company’s minimal sliding system, the Supreme S650 Phos. It is the ideal choice for minimal constructions, especially when the project requires coverage of large openings, ease of use and maximised use of the end-user’s field of vision. More specifically, the new series is available for single-sash configurations with fixed lights and for double, horizontal sliding sashes. The Supreme S650 e-Motion offers excellent performance levels for its category and is fully certified by the Rosenheim Institute in collaboration with the CFT testing centre. This is a unique product that combines very high functionality and ease of use with sophisticated minimal design in accordance with the latest architectural trends.
During the last few years Alumil has gained substantial experience in the production and installation of large-scale PV projects in various countries worldwide including Italy, Greece, Germany, Romania, Turkey, England, Cyprus, Egypt and Japan. Alumil Solar also provides complete technical support for the professional installation of its aluminium mountn ing structures in very large field-based installations. For further details of the Alumil Group’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.alumil.com
Innovative PV structures Alumil also has had more than 15 years of experience in the design and manufacture of PV mounting structures for field and rooftop installations. Alumil Solar is a dedicated business unit of the Alumil Group and provides advanced and fully certified Photo-Voltaic (PV) mounting structures from the high strength aluminium alloy: A1 6005T6. The full range of PV mounting structures, which are marketed under the trade name ‘HELIOS’, are fully certified according to Eurocode 1 and 9 specifications. These innovative designs make it possible to mount all sizes of PV frames and the full variety of PV technology patterns. Industry Europe 83
Traffic logistics in big cities like the Hungarian capital can prove a headache for planners. Budapest Közút CEO Dr. Kornél Almássy gives us a run down of how his company has been utilising advanced Intelligent Transport Solutions to make the traffic run smoother and reduce carbon emissions in his city.
Road Operation using high-end solutions 84 Industry Europe
Construction & ENGINEERING
udapest Közút has grown beyond its original maintenance and operational tasks and has been transformed from the deficit making nationally-owned Budapest Public Maintenance Company into a growing, stable and profitable company. Due to the application of traffic management, road reconstructions, fast-correction road actions and technical quality assurance has improved. Today our company is proud to use cutting edge technology such as 3D laser scanner-based GIS solutions (RODIS). RODIS has a unique set of technologies that allows us to measure and analyse the whole city’s road network consistently and quickly. The solution was the very first in Europe and one of the first in the world that collects with survey grade accuracy, using an ultra-high-density 3D point cloud and panoramic images for city operational purposes. As a result, today we have accurate and up-to-date data along the whole road network of Budapest. Data about roads, buildings and green spaces is used not only by in-house departments but also external road designers and other professionals from similar industries. ITS Systems (Intelligent Transport Solutions) have been developing ways of making traffic management more efficient. The main goal is to make traffic flow more smoothly, with less noise, and giving us more control over the flow, making it safer and lessening the city’s overall carbon footprint. Budapest’s smart traffic infrastructure system is outstanding. We operate more than 600 intelligent cameras for real time traffic monitoring and licence plate recognition, and we control more than 1,100 traffic light junctions. Budapest Közút took over engineering works on Line 4 of the Budapest metro in 2013. After completing work on the line, we were also invited to conduct further engineering work in the metro system such as escalators, and underground maintenance. We have also been involved in the reconstruction of the M3 metro line as consultants and QA engineers.
RODIS-KAPU Achieving the asset management, planning, design and strategic planning goals of RODIS (ROad Data Information System) began in 2013. RODIS applies LIDAR technology using Mobile Laser Scanning solutions with ground photogrammetry. The result of the survey is a 3D “image”, a so-called point cloud, that supports further economic city planning and quality checking as well as very high accuracy analysis like PMS. The data contains over 40 million images and 400+ TB 3D data that covers Budapest’s approximately 5,000 km of public roads in survey grade level. The dataset covers the full road network including 3D point cloud, 360° panoramic images, the 3D vector database of all maintained assets and 3D city models of certain features. RODIS’ next step was a 2D and 3D GIS (Geographic Information Systems) portal, and thus KAPU (a road information database) was developed. The on-line system supports asset management activities, RODIS data integration to the current ERP system, and gives online support for various GIS analysts. The system was launched in 2014. It was developed to serve various in-house departments and third-party organisations giving GIS sub-portals to each but using the same database. The system has multi-level authentication, so each user has their own data and online GIS tools available. Together RODIS and KAPU form a truly state-of-the art GIS systems. It serves not only internal departments but many other agencies acting within the city with homogeneity and survey grade VHR (Very High Resolution) data and online GIS services. RODIS - KAPU allows most of the necessary data PMS analytics may require. Thanks to RODIS, 3D survey grade level detailed surface and other geodetic data is available for all public roads and pedestrian paths in Budapest. This data cannot only be the base of PMS network level modelling but also good enough for utility level planning source data. The processed point cloud can provide very high resolution DTM and DSM models of all public area surfaces. Industry Europe 85
ITS projects In the euro regional ITS projects – like Connect, EasyWay, Crocodile I, II, III etc. - our aim is to support the traffic control of Budapest by the development of dynamic traffic management systems covering the whole network. It also includes development of the central software functions, monitoring equipment with related wire and wireless communication network, and real-time on-field and online information systems.
Centre-development The main aims of the development of dynamic traffic management are to increase the service level and operational safety of the infrastructure responsible for the traffic control, thus the need for detection of operational and traffic disturbances can be reduced and the effectiveness of the intervention can be improved. It contains modernisation of the infrastructure of the capital’s traffic control centre and the extension of the functions used in the operative traffic management and the operation in order to provide high quality ITS services. Along with infrastructure modernisation and connecting software, it contains developments of our DATEX II data and host system that publishes real-time traffic information in a standard format (WFS and DATEX II v2.3) for external professionals and for the Hungarian National Access Point, which includes - in addition to the version update - the expansion of static and dynamic data according to the domestic and international market trends and priorities.
On-site network development Central traffic control systems require high-precision real time traffic data, travel time data, and suitable intelligent roadside platforms for traffic management (e.g. WMS) across the entire network of Budapest. We operate more than 600 intelligent cameras for real time 86 Industry Europe
traffic monitoring and license plate recognition and guide more than 1,100 junctions with traffic lights. Along with the development of the central software functions it is also necessary to develop the traffic monitoring equipment and the connecting wired and wireless highspeed communication network. It contains recent developments of high speed optical, and WiFi systems, but we have begun plans for the near future for the construction of the base field of the C-ITS systems infrastructure on network elements directly and indirectly related to the TEN-T network for testing the urban application and in order to implement and extend it step by step.
Co-operation In Hungary there are two main road operators, our company is responsible for road operations in Budapest, and Magyar Közút Nonprofit Zrt. (Hungarian Public Road Non-profit Pte Ltd Co) is responsible for the rest of the country. On the agglomeration network – especially on the M0 ring roads and the connecting road of the capital – we cooperate with the operator of the national road network for implementation of action plans defined in TMP on operative as well as on strategic level. Cooperation is based in the development of the DATEX II data exchange platform, and the increase in the quantity of the data exchanged, supporting the high demand of data of C-ITS systems.
End-user information support Along with the development of central systems and monitoring systems the third main aim is the development of a real-time on-field and on-line information system for road users, in order to forward an optimal traffic flow by informing them in real-time, dynamically and punctually, focusing primarily on the M0 ring road, the national road network and the border area of the capital’s network. The development of our online public platforms (web page and mobile applica-
Construction & ENGINEERING
tion) also includes expansion of the data published automatically to the vehicles by the central traffic management system and expansion of the data content of data scopes sent already. It also pertains to developments related to expanding the data scope to provide high quality services for cooperative vehicles.
Metro Engineer Department The Metro Engineer Department of Budapest Közút – as a 100 per cent Municipality shareholder entity — was formed in 2013 to act as a transaction engineer for on-construction actions of the Metor4 metro-line to make it more efficient. The Metro project and related infrastructural construction works have been successfully finished recently and our high-level engineering work was prized by many professional organisations. It is important to highlight one of the most important infrastructure works on the Metro line: the M1M7 multi-level (highway) junction. This is Hungary’s busiest traffic junction, and it took serious organisational and management work by the Department to keep the traffic smoothly running. The M4 metro-line construction by its nature is very complex work and has been a challenge for the team, especially as it is a deep construction project, crossing Danube River. Split-walls had
to be applied for workplace protection. Train running controls, power supply, and fire protection systems are today’s high-end solutions, trains are running driverless without human control. Right after handing over M4 the new, M3 reconstruction project preparation works began. M3 has been running for many decades so its technological level does not fit today’s requirements. The Department is responsible for whole technical QC and engineering tasks based on the agreement with the contractor, Budapest Public Transport. The work is divided into three phases and the construction started in 2017. The next stage is to hand over the Northern section and start the Southern phase, which involves closing that section down. The reconstruction covers the whole rails and side-rails, water drainage system, lighting system, cable console structures, cabling and isolation reconstruction will be done along the whole line. All stations will be installed with the highest quality fire protection and building monitoring system, as well as architectural renewal. It is an important task to allow clear access to the stations for disabled passengers, so elevators will be built. These elevators — mostly at deeper n stations — are steep elevators next to escalators. Written by Dr. Kornél Almássy, CEO of Budapest Közút Zrt.
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New name, new strategy In September 2018 the evolution of Italy’s Emmegi Group into a deliverer of solutions for ‘smart cities’ was marked by a new corporate identity – Voilap holding.
mmegi, the Modena based leader in cutting and milling machines for aluminium, light alloys, steel and PVC, was centre stage at the Nuremberg Fair in March, with several pieces of important news. In the world of PVC it launched an innovative new welding solution destined to make a huge impact, creating a seamless weld with a limited investment; and in the aluminium sector, it launched a new generation of Comet machining centres, offering advanced performance and with a particular focus on ergonomics and ease of use – thanks to a 24” vertical monitor and a new software interface with touch screen panel. Founded in 1970 by Giuseppe Caiumi in Modena, Emmegi has grown into a group that offers customers complete solutions in key sectors of the building construction sector, above all in the door and widow manufacturing industry. The group has a total workforce of 1400 people and in 2018 will achieve a total turnover of more than €300 million. The group has 58 companies and operates worldwide with the brands Camäleon, Elumatec, Elusoft, Emmegi, Emmegisoft, Imecon, Keraglass, Tekna and Voilàp Digital, with seven production plants (four in Italy, one in Germany, one in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one in China). It has an extensive network of 40 commercial branches and a global presence in more than 60 countries.
Programme for growth The last four years of rapid growth at the Emmegi Group began in 2014 when it acquired the majority of Keraglass Industries, a leader in the sector of glass processing plants, and Tekna, which had been 88 Industry Europe
competing in the market for aluminium extrusion machines for over 50 years. Also in 2014 Voilàp Digital was established, a digital company offering services to the industrial sector for the optimisation of offline-online business processes. But it was in 2016 that the group transformed its position in the industry when its holding company Cifin took over the German Elumatec Group, which since 1928 has been a point of reference in the design, production and marketing of machines, lines and plants for machining aluminium and PVC profiles. In addition to its main manufacturing plant near Stuttgart, Elumatec had another plant in Bosnia as well as a sales network covering over 50 countries. Together Emmegi and Elumatec have a workforce of some 1200 and a turnover of around €225 million.
New identity Following this, in 2018 Cifin also acquired the majority of Imecon Engineering, a leading Italian company specialised in the design, prototyping and production of turnkey technological solutions in the field of Digital Signage. But this move not only opened up a vital new market for the group – it also marked the creation of a new corporate identity. In September the Cifin Group announced that its 10-year transformation project would now be marked with the introduction of a new name for the group: Voilap Holding. Speaking at the launch of the new group, Valter Caiumi, Chairman of the Cifin Group, noted: “This acquisition not only reinforces each organisation thanks to the skills and expertise of the Imecon found-
Construction & ENGINEERING
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ers and their colleagues, but completes this phase of the group’s evolution, positioning it on the leading edge among those who contribute to achieving the results sought by intelligent cities: smart buildings, solar panels, smart vehicles, traffic areas are just some of the sectors that our technology can be applied to. The metamorphosis of the group also included a natural, planned change of our name: starting today Cifin has become Voilàp Holding, a multicultural brand that contains all the brands of the group, that recognises and unites our differences, elevating them to a new perspective. Thanks to a blending of technology and experience, of virtual and reality, our group will continue to develop and pursue goals that are ambitious and always new. “The new name marks another step in an evolution that has seen Cifin, a group that has always been focused on the digital world, establish itself as a leading international manufacturing group in the design, production and distribution of technologies for the machining of aluminium, PVC and steel profiles, as well for glass machining. In full harmony with the concepts of smart industry, the transformation involved a consistent, progressive effort to move closer to the end user, implementing the precepts of Industry 4.0 to provide digital solutions to consumers that are able to offer a purchasing experience or an innovative, simple, accessible knowledge within an increasingly integrated B2B2C chain. With Voilàp Digital another step has already been taken to speed up and simplify the future.” 90 Industry Europe
Exploiting powerstorage potential
Since 1927, Hoppecke has been pioneering power storage systems for national grids, manufacturing industry and consumers. Philip Yorke reports on a dynamic company that leads the field in energy storage technology.
ince 1927, Hoppecke has been pioneering the development of industrial battery systems for the reliable and efficient storage of electrical power. The company serves four principle areas of application: Emission-free drives (Trak), Secured power supply (Grid), storage of regenerative technologies (Sun) and railway and metro systems (Rail). The Hoppecke Group’s broad product portfolio includes an unrivalled range of high-tech batteries and cells, as well as complete energy systems that utilise the most modern charging technologies.
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With its ongoing development of marketable, and futuristic energy storage solutions, Hoppecke makes an important contribution to solving the societal challenges resulting from the implementation of global climate-protection goals. Since it was established in 1927, the company has been in the possession of the founding Zoellner family, and it remains an independent company to this day. With its headquarters located in Brilon-Hoppecke in Germany, the company has 20 subsidiaries
Energy & Utilities
as well as distributors and assembly facilities worldwide. Recently Hoppecke recorded revenues of more than €400 million and it currently employs over 2,000 people.
Instant, reliable energy The advanced energy storage systems developed by Hoppecke give manufacturing industries a secure power supply that protects them against power failures, thus preventing any power outages from threatening continued production. These reliable energy supply systems are operationally ready at all times to protect people, goods and company data. Hoppecke’s unique energy storage systems are also used to ensure both the quality and stability of national power grids, as well as being useful as a reliable back-up energy supply. Whether lead acid, lithium or nickel configurations, Hoppecke is able to provide companies and consumers with all their energy storage needs.
Optimising renewable energy The advanced energy storage systems developed by Hoppecke also offer the perfect way for home owners to make the most of their solar
power systems. Hoppecke’s Sun portfolio of products allows consumers to create their own private power supply. This makes worries about energy prices and power cuts a thing of the past. As the use of renewable energy increases, so too does the importance of energy storage systems. These highly efficient solar systems from Hoppecke save users a considerable amount of money and they are fully independent of the national grid. The storage of self-generated renewable energy is also ideal for small businesses, agriculture and industrial manufacturing companies.
High-output storage The company’s high-power, Sun-systemiser Scaletube technology is able to provide high-power battery storage for the intermediate storage of large amounts of power and create outputs of extremely high power ratios. Each Sun systemiser Scaletube is customised in order to precisely meet the individual needs of the customer. Users of these advanced storage systems profit from the combination of lead acid batteries with EES technology for large storage capacities and high availability, as well as utilising lithium-ion batteries with rapid power outputs for strongly fluctuating currents.
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Through the modular structure of the Sun Systemiser Scaletube there is the option to combine two technologies, each with their own specific advantages. These units can be used for a wide range of applications and in many cases offer the best possible combination of performance and cost-effectiveness. With its innovative rack system, an exceptional level of stored power can be achieved in a very small space.
Energising transportation systems From extreme temperatures to strong shock vibrations, Hoppecke’s tailor-made systems work without fail in some of the world’s toughest environmental conditions. With their smart technological innovations, Hoppecke’s special-drive batteries are operational from Siberia to the Sahara.
With its unique rail portfolio Hoppecke has been a reliable partner for providing efficient rail battery solutions for more than 30 years. Being the partner of choice for all necessary battery technologies means that the right solution can be found for every individual customer’s needs. To date Hoppecke has delivered over 2.5 million FNC® cells to its customers in the railway sector worldwide. This outstanding success is due to the many advantages that the company’s FNC® technology enjoys over other storage systems. No other nickel cadmium technology available today is better suited for the production of special formats than Hoppecke’s advanced fibre-structure technology. Its extraordinary versatility allows the company to meet the many diverse needs of its customers throughout the world.
Unique plug-and-store solutions The home storage systems developed by Hoppecke are simple to connect and operate with its unique plug-and-store technology. allowing installation to be completed in under 30 minutes. In addition, its compact components and modular construction make it possible to install the unit in very tight spaces. The company’s home storage system also uses its own battery management system (BMS). This ensures the highest level of safety when installing and operating a home storage system as the range of multi-level and redundant safety mechanisms within the system monitor the battery independently of the inverter. In addition, the patented Hoppecke battery management system uses just two watts of n power during its operation. For further details of Hoppecke’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.hoppecke.com
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A World of Flavours Lucta Group, a leading Spanish and international flavour, fragrance and feed additive producer, has enjoyed seven decades of progressive growth. Today, the company runs a global operation and looks at further expansion.
ucta, a specialist in flavours for the food and drink industries, feed additives for animal nutrition and wellbeing, commemorates its 70th anniversary in 2019. The family-owned business has developed into a global player with a footprint on four continents and an excellent market image. “The company has a matrix organisation, with functional and geographical hierarchies. This fosters international cooperation across business units and allows autonomy and decision making on a regional level, as attachment to local preferences is deeply rooted in the human experience, and because social and cultural differences vary from one geographic region to another,” explains Mr Manuel Garcia, the Group Director of the Flavours Division. He points out that Lucta’s global operation today includes five creative centres and five manufacturing sites with 993 associates of 35 different nationalities. “Our extraordinarily talented and experienced human team has been one of the factors behind our 96 Industry Europe
market growth. Our skills level is high - every other employee of our company has a university degree, and almost one out of three work in the R&D area.”
Growth by innovation Traditionally, the Group’s core business has been divided into three divisions - Flavours, Fragrances and Feed Additives. A fourth, Innovation Division, was added a few years ago, with an exclusive dedication to the development of innovative skills and technologies essential to provide the industry with new products, says Mr Garcia. “We are engaged in expanding our flavour application laboratories, in order to further support our customers’ product developments.” “While our global flavour sales grew by a modest 24 per cent, in Europe we have recorded an organic growth of 45 per cent during the last three years, which is memorable in the mature food and drink markets we serve.”
Food & Beverage
Lucta’s market position was strengthened considerably in 2015, when the company acquired Flavors & Fragrance Specialties, Inc. (FFS), a New Jersey based company, familiar to Lucta in culture, leadership and values, and complementary in product segments and technologies, mainly in flavours for coffee-based beverages and in fragrances for personal care. “In our first full year exercise after the acquisition, the impact in our operations represented 23 per cent of our total sales,” Mr Garcia points out. “Today, we are amongst the top 15 largest companies in the consolidated flavour and fragrance arena. We are increasing powder flavour capacity in Colombia and building a complete new plant and creative centre in Mexico. However, it should be noted that we evaluate acquisition opportunities only if there is fit with our core or with adjacent areas.”
Meeting new preferences Lucta’s Flavours Division produces flavours for speciality beverages such as hot and cold brewed coffee or plant-based alternatives to dairy drinks; sweet flavours for dairy, bakery and confectionery, and savoury flavours for processed meat, snacks and fish derivatives. The company is aware of the importance of staying ahead of trends. “We have conducted consumer research in 10 countries, with the most dynamic and demanding demographic segment - the Millennials. Described as the “Foodie Generation”, Millennials are adventurous and curious flavour consumers who like to take risks with their food. We have learned their taste preferences and we have for instance, identified the main drivers for flavoured coffee growth in dairy-based coffee drinks known as Espresso-based beverages (EBBs),” says Mr Garcia, adding that the company will be showcasing the craft flavours Liliana Eguiza, flavourist, winner of the 1st edition of the photo contest “Your Vision of Lucta”
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Carlos Ibáñez, scientist, smelling volatiles at a sniffing port in the Innovation Division
for coffee-based beverages in the “World of Coffee” trade show held in Berlin in June 2019. “We also see potential in processed meat products that include plant based proteins in their recipes, suiting increased consumer demand for flexitarian diets. As non-meat proteins confer off-flavours to processed meats, it is our goal to integrate these unexpected notes, achieving a tasty and balanced profile as a way to improve enjoyment throughout the eating experience.” Mr Garcia explains that healthy eating continues to be the most relevant trend in today’s marketplace, pointing out that reducing sugar, salt, and fat may have negative consequences for food enjoyment. “Sugar, salt, and fat reduction can have similar side-effects in the form of diminished flavour perception, satiety and satisfaction. Aroma is the main contributing factor to flavour and enriching and designing more complex flavour profiles could be the best way to build a strong association between aroma and good nutritional feedback. We believe that this is the best recipe for a successful and healthy product.”
Focus on excellence The Division’s customer base is rather diversified, with the top 20 clients representing around 40 per cent of the flavour sales. The core markets 98 Industry Europe
are Western Europe and the Americas, which currently account for 88 per cent of Lucta’s flavour sales. Substantial potential is seen also in Asia, followed by Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. “We have been developing capabilities in nutritional food and sports supplements, as well as in beverage specialties like craft beer and alcoholic sodas, to mention a few,” affirms Mr Garcia. “We are committed to profitability with principles – placing fairness first in all business engagements. It is our mission to satisfy our customers’ needs in order to guarantee mutual success. We invest in adaptive teams, capable of responding in time, with creativity and assertiveness.” “Our key competitive advantage is the in-depth understanding of products, customers, markets and the underlying dynamics of trends that will come to stay. We build on our pillars of specialisation as a guarantee of competitiveness; of innovation, as a guarantee of improvement; and of paramount service, as a guarantee of trust,” says Mr Garcia, noting that there is no expansion without close cooperation. “As we have consolidated trust-based relationships with our partners, we are in a good position to capture new opportunities in our core markets with a view to reach a turnover of €500 million by 2026. This will possibly, but not necessarily, include an acquisition,” he conn cludes, summarising the company’s plans for the future.
Cream of the crop
Think of quality ice cream, and you think of Italy. Philip Yorke reports on Sammontana, a company that is at the pinnacle of the gelato industry in Europe and is now setting new standards for greener production processes.
he story of Sammontana began more than 70 years ago when Romeo Bagnoli, a father of six children, established a café with an ice cream bar in a village near Florence. He subsequently bought a dairy in the village of Sammontana. News of his passion for ice cream quickly spread throughout Italy, creating a demand which sees no sign of abating. Today, Sammontana is a large, Italian blue-chip company that employs more than 1,000 people and operates four state-of-the-art production sites in Italy, as well as a modern logistics hub in Montelupo in the province of Florence. Sammontan produces more than one billion portions of frozen ice cream and confectionery every year. The company is famous for its classic ice cream and confectionery brands: Sammontana. TreMarie, II Pasticcere, Mongele and Bon Chef. All these products offer a unique taste, born of the intuition, care and passion of the founder, for which the company is renowned throughout Europe.
Delivering ‘greener’ ice cream Italy’s market leading producer of ice cream and frozen confectionery saw a 3 per cent growth in turnover to €362 million and an EBITDA stable at €45.7 million in 2017. The company generates over 40 per cent of its turnover from the frozen croissant sector where it is the clear market leader with its well-known Tre-Marie brand. Sammontana has pioneered a dedicated green conversion programme which is aimed at significantly reducing the environmental impact of its processes. This includes adopting the most advanced packaging solutions, the increasingly efficient use of water and energy, the effective selection of raw materials and innovative waste and logistics management.
Pioneering eco-design Thanks to its collaboration with the University Consortium of Applied Research (CURA) of the University of Padua, the company has adopted an operating procedure and customised models of ‘Eco-Design’ to evaluate more sustainable design alternatives. “We identified the production processes that create a greater environmental impact, on which 100 Industry Europe
Food & Beverage
improvements could be made” said Sammontana’s Director General for industrial and environmental affairs, Carlo Felici Chizzolini. “From raw materials to packaging, to production phases, up to distribution, and the use and disposal of containers, every aspect of our day-to-day operations is considered”. The result of all this activity can be seen in the new ice cream brand, ‘Prima Ricetta’ which has now been in production since 2018, and which from conception has represented the ultimate in eco-friendly manufacturing, with 100 per cent Italian ingredients, no dyes and with only natural flavours.
Production optimisation The production planning processes involved in the running of a large and complex company like Sammontana requires sophisticated processing tools that are not only powerful and refined, but also capable of
transforming information into data for everyday business operations. However, they must also be flexible and scaleable to respond to ongoing changes in the marketplace. These considerations become even more important when a company that makes a seasonal product such as Sammontana is concerned. For these reasons, as early as 2004, Sammontana turned to the Cegeka consultancy of Italy, in order to review and advise on production planning processes and to identify the most suitable tools to improve production management. As a result, the company adopted the ‘My-Plan’ solution proposed by Cegeka, which is focused on estimating stock-holding scenarios, in order to integrate it with the latest logistics management software. Enrico Franchi, Sammontana’s IT Manager said, “The new system has allowed us to have a greater capacity to react to market trends by providing precise information on future movements in demand.
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This is largely thanks to its considerable processing capacity. The system can in fact be easily fed with data coming from various company databases and so we are able to manage the many necessary operational parameters.” In 2011 the migration of plants also involved the acquisition of the Gran Milano Group, which was then operating on a single management system. Today, with just one server installed in Sammontana’s headquarters, the company is able to monitor the situation of the entire group, from the production planning of plants, to the monitoring of integrated logistics and distribution activities. Currently the implementation of the ‘My-Plan’ system from Cegeka allows Sammontana to carry out the global planning of all its factories, both for ice cream products and for its frozen bakery lines, by dialoguing with the management and logistics systems. “These schedules can now be handled in a few minutes because ‘My-Plan’ allows a processing speed that is enormously superior to that of standard management systems. My-Plan also allows us to tackle one of the critical problems typical of seasonal production, which consists of optimising stock levels.
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“With ice cream for example, we try to work with limited security stocks because the cost of immobilisation is high. It is also very important to be able to guarantee the ‘shelf-life’ of the products for consumers” commented Giancarlo Castaldo, head of Ice Cream Planning at n Sammontana Italia. For further details of Sammontana Italia’s products and services visit: www.sammontana.it
Jabra is a global leader in the development and manufacture of corded and wireless headsets. The company continues to gain market share through its development of innovative products that set the standards for the industry. Jabra was the first company in the world to introduce Bluetooth headsets and is now building on its competitive edge with the launch of its latest third generation, true wireless earbuds. Philip Yorke reports
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Home Appliances, furniture & HVAC
he Jabra Corporation is a subsidiary of GN Netcom which has its roots in the Norcom Electronics Corporation of America, and was founded in 1983 by entrepreneur Elwood Norris. In 2006 GN Netcom consolidated its contact centre and office headset division under the Jabra Brand and this was followed by a restructuring of the company in 2008. This strategic move resulted in a greater focus on its business-to-business and consumer markets respectively. The GN Group operates in more than 90 countries and currently employs more than 5000 people worldwide. Today the company continues to focus on its new product development, innovation and investments in new technology. Jabra’s head office is located in Copenhagen, Denmark from where it manages its extensive and diverse global operations.
Celebrating 20 years of innovation Last year Jabra celebrated the 20th anniversary of its ground-breaking, innovative technology that launched the world’s first Blue-tooth enabled headsets. Since 1998, Bluetooth has been a key driver for sales and innovative wireless options for both business professionals and consumers. Subsequently, this technology has underpinned numerous other new product launches for Jabra. It enabled the company to create the first consumer Bluetooth headset in 2000, thus paving the way for wireless communications in the enterprise and consumer sectors. The Danish company launched the first wireless headset for conference calls in 2003. More recently, with the release of the Jabra Elite Sport, in 2016 and the Jabra Elite Franchise in 2018 with its third generation wireless technology, Blue tooth has proved that it continues to lead in today’s sound technology industry.
Talk Franchise driving sales Following its celebration of 20 years of Bluetooth enabled products, Jabra has now re-launched its BT Mono headsets in one franchise named after what they deliver best: Crystal clear sound. The Talk
Franchise includes its renowned mono headsets that include models such as The Eclipse, Stealth, Mini and Boost. Claus Fonnesbech, Senior Director, Media Relations at Jabra said, “Comfortable, stylish and designed to make your day-to-day activities run smoothly, Bluetooth Mono headsets are still a great extension to your phone, thus allowing you to remain hands-free at all times. Whether at work or on the go, you can make and receive calls whilst performing numerous other tasks with ease”.
Elite active performance Recently Jabra unveiled its Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t models, representing the company’s third generation of true wireless earbuds. These have been designed to guarantee a consistently stable wireless connection with up to 15 hours of battery life with its cradle. In launching these two advanced products, Jabra has reinvented a set of truly wireless earbuds, incorporating its knowledge about usage, comfort and design from its first innovative wireless products. The new earbuds deliver superior audio quality for calls and for music without wires. The products come in two versions: one for daily on-the-go use and another that offers an ‘Active’ version, designed for training and sports activities. Building on the success of the Jabra Elite Sport, the best-selling and most technically advanced true wireless sports earbuds, they are engineered to deliver an even better voice and music experience as well as incorporating new design styles and colour choices. Developed in order to deliver superior sound, the Elite 65t brings together unique technological features to provide the best-in-class quality for voice and music. It is built to ensure a stable and reliable wireless connection and to deliver the best call and command voice quality possible. The product’s innovative four microphone solution combined with an optimised acoustic chamber, enables advanced noise suppression and voice enhancement for every type of environment. These unique earbuds also allow music to be personalised using a music equaliser accessed from the Jabra Sound+ Companion app. Industry Europe 105
In addition, the earbuds are fully enhanced for sports use with a more secure fit, through special coating, integrated accelerometer for tracking features in the Jabra app, and include IP56 sweat, water and dust-proof certifications.
Sound quality evolution In 2018, Jabra also announced the launch of its Evolve 75e range, which was the world’s first professional UC-Certified wireless earbuds. The company have been pioneers in sound for around-theneck wireless earbud design in the workplace. The new product’s Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and ‘busy-light’ technology, allows users to fully concentrate at home and at work. This new edition to the market-leading Evolve range of headsets for professional use, is Skype-for-business certified and offers up to 14 hours of battery life on a single charge. Recent research has revealed that the majority of today’s ‘flexible’ workers (78 per cent), say that their personal productivity at the office is impacted by noise and interruptions. The new product is the ultimate business tool for both sound and freedom, thus helping to maintain collaboration, concentration and productivity in busy, open plan offices without the need for designated ‘quiet rooms’. In addition, the Jabra Evolve earbuds have smart controls for work and play. Five buttons allow for quick control of calls and music, including a smart button for one-touch access to all major virtual assistants, including Siri, Google Now, Cortana and Bixby. The vibrating neckband also gives silent notifications to make sure that users don’t disturb others and that incoming calls are never missed. “The Jabra Evolve 75e delivers professional quality sound for calls and music that lasts as long as you need in a wireless earbud design. These first professional UC-Certified wireless earbuds meet the needs of today’s mobile, and increasingly connected worker, who demands the same user experience from both consumer and professional solutions” commented Holger Reisinger, SVP at Jabra. 106 Industry Europe
Intelligent sports solutions In another world first, Jabra announced the launch of its next generation of wireless sports headphones that provide a fitness tracking feature. The company unveiled its Jabra Sports Pulse and Jabra Sport Coach special editions with improvements in fit, sound, and durability, as well as a range of other smart new sports features. Complementing the company’s existing line-up of Jabra sports headphones, the new editions offer high quality calls, music for motivation and intelligent in-ear coaching to help enhance training effectiveness. In addition, these next generation versions deliver innovation in all areas, with passive noise cancellation, a broader choice of fitting options, improved durability and many other unique, n and intelligent sports features. For further details of Jabra’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.jabra.com
Rewarding excellence Electrolux is a well-known global brand that is a market leader in the design and manufacture of home and commercial appliances. The company continues to set new standards in efficiency, connectivity and sustainability. Electrolux works in close partnership with its key suppliers whose dedicated contribution is recognised every year with a special supplier event in Stockholm. Philip Yorke reports.
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Home Appliances, furniture & HVAC
he Electrolux company originated from the merger of two companies in Sweden in 1919; Lux AB and Svenska Elektron AB. Its early history is closely tied to the vacuum cleaner market but today the multinational makes a broad range of domestic and commercial appliances. Headquartered in Stockholm it is consistently ranked as the world’s second largest appliance maker (by units sold) after Whirlpool. Electrolux has a primary listing on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the OMX Stockholm 30 index. The company currently employs over 56,000 people worldwide and in 2017 recorded consolidated revenues of over 125 billion Swedish Krona.
Performance-plus The outstanding performance of Electrolux’s suppliers make a vital contribution to the company’s ability to make world-beating products. Recently Electrolux held its sixth annual Supplier Awards event in Stockholm, where the company gathered 29 finalists from more than 3,000 suppliers for a special awards ceremony. In addition there was a one-day event to engage suppliers on key topics and best practices about co-development, supplier development,
innovation and sustainability. At the awards ceremony 13 suppliers were recognised by being awarded prizes in three categories: Supplier Excellence, Supplier Innovation, and Global Service Provider. The Supplier Excellence Award recognises operational excellence in product development, price competitiveness, quality and the supply chain and social and environmental practices. “Suppliers nominated for this award have demonstrated a sustainable performance record that enables Electrolux factories to produce the most competitive home appliances with the best possible quality” the company told Industry Europe. The winners included: Brascabos, Petro Pac, Diehl Controls, Jiaxpera, Dinair and Omas. The Electrolux Supplier Innovation Awards recognise the collaboration between Electrolux and its suppliers to develop new innovative components and features that make a difference to group products and consumers. The winners included the OMS Besser Group, Jones Plastic & Engineering, Microsemi, KX Technologies, Murata and Talent Plastics. The Global Service Provider Award recognises service providers with the highest quality of service, innovation and impact that contributes to creating outstanding consumer experiences. The
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suppliers nominated for this award support Electrolux to continuously improve, act sustainably and are actively looking for opportunities to help the company drive digitalisation. The winner in this category was Vecar. Peter Truyens, senior Vice President Group Purchasing at Electrolux commented, “Our suppliers are an integral part of our success and they help us to achieve better consumer experiences through the development of innovative and sustainable products”
A sustainability ‘first’ Electrolux has developed a new refrigerator prototype that is a world first. The company’s bioplastic concept fridge is unique in that all the visible plastic parts are made of special Bioplastics from renewable sources. The Bioplastic sourced for the refrigerator has more than an 80 per cent lower carbon footprint compared to the conventional plastics in use today. The new prototype refrigerator is part of the Electrolux strategy to create more sustainable home appliances. Unlike ordinary plastics that are oil-based, the bioplastics come from renewable sources such as corn and sugarcane and are 100 per cent recyclable. Over the last few years the Electrolux Global Creativity and Technology Centre (GC&T) has explored and tested how bioplastics can be applied in Electrolux products and packaging. The special material used in the new refrigerator was provided by ‘Nature Works’ a world leading supplier of biopolymers. “We are very excited to have developed the world’s first bioplastic concept fridge, which is truly ground-breaking. Our ambition is to develop even more innovative and sustainable home appliances that we may see on the market in the future” said Jan Brockmann, Chief Operations Officer at Electrolux.
New ‘Pro-Smart’ oven launch The latest innovative appliance from Electrolux has just been launched and made its market debut recently in Norway and Sweden. The Electrolux ‘Connected Steam Oven’ with a built-in camera has taken the market by storm by lifting the cooking experience to a new level. The all new Electrolux CombiSteam 110 Industry Europe
Pro Smart, is equipped with an integrated camera that provides live feed directly from the oven to a mobile device. Via the mobile application and WiFi access, the camera gives consumers an overview of the food in the oven, even when not in the kitchen. The new Electrolux app also provides hundreds of professional recipes and consumers can send the recipe directly from their mobile device to the oven. Users can also remotely control the cooking process by changing the timer duration and temperature. Today Electrolux is investing heavily in connected appliances that enhance the cooking experience for consumers and create new business opportunities. Yet another example of Electrolux’ commitment to innovation and sustainability is its introduction of a ‘smart fridge’ designed to reduce food waste. Teaming up with a new app provider called Karma, it represents the first step in an effort to save n food from landfill sites and protect the environment. For further information about Electrolux’s innovative appliances visit: www.electroluxgroup.com
Home Appliances, furniture & HVAC
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Plug-n Cool performance Embraco is a global leader in the design and manufacture of compressors and electronic controls for the refrigerator industry. The company is well-known as a pioneering product innovator. Philip Yorke reports on some of Embraco’s latest products and energy-saving solutions.
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mbraco is a multinational company that is focused on delivering innovative solutions for refrigerators designed for commercial and domestic applications. The company was founded in Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil, in 1971, in order to supply products for the Brazilian refrigerator industry, which at the time relied entirely on imported compressors. Embraco expanded quickly thanks to its customer focus and innovative products and subsequently established modern production plants in Brazil, Italy, China, Slovakia, the USA, and Mexico and has also set up a sales office in Russia. Today the company offers advanced refrigerator technologies for the household, and commercial segments, such as retail food outlets, restaurants and medical installations. Today Embraco produces more than 40 million compressors a year and employs over 10,000 people. The company distributes its products to more than 80 countries worldwide.
Home Appliances, furniture & HVAC
Super energy-saving A recent addition to Embraco’s growing high-tech product portfolio is its ‘Plug n’ Cool’ high energy-efficiency system that was specifically designed for supermarkets. This complete refrigeration solution system enables a reduction in supermarket energy consumption by more than 35 per cent. The new solution provides better food preservation and cooling capacity with significantly lower energy consumption, as well as offering gains in internal space. A leading independent supermarket group called the MIG Group, based in Brazil, recently replaced its refrigeration system in one of
its many modern 1,600 square metre stores with the latest Embraco Plug n’ Cool solution, which is a sealed refrigeration unit focused on vertical coolers. Modular in design, the new equipment can be used in different store formats, from small family businesses to the largest wholesalers, thus increasing overall in-store design flexibility. As ‘Plug n’ Cool’ is more compact than its competitors’ products and does not require a machine room, it can provide customers with significant display option gains. These can amount to over 20 per cent more space for product display and merchandising units. Another key advantage is the system’s sustainability appeal which uses R290 Propane natural gas refrigerant thus reducing CO2 emissions by 97 per cent during the product’s entire lifespan. Because it is a plug-in system, the installation time of the refrigeration cabinets is not only 70 per cent faster, but much easier to maintain and clean.
Showcasing efficiency In February this year, Embraco showcased its latest cutting edge technologies at the REFRIGERA 2019 Trade Fair in Italy. Here the company was seen to be reinforcing its leadership position as one of the biggest players in the market. Offering an unrivalled range of refrigeration technologies Embraco offered an entirely new set of applications for the food retail, food service and merchandiser markets. One of the company’s most advanced high-efficiency solutions can be found in its latest EM compressor brand, which was formerly known as the household family of products that has now successfully migrated to the commercial segment. The EM range is extensive and accommodates the most complete product portfolio utilising the natural refrigerant, R290. Also showcased was the latest FMF line-up for
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light commercial applications that offered medium and low temperature reach-ins, as well as supermarket islands using the company’s ‘Fullmotion’ variable speed technology. The new NJX and Scroll solutions also presented a complete lineup at the trade fair, thus expanding the range from 500w to 13kW with the new low-GWP refrigerants. Moreover, the company’s Scroll portfolio has also been expanded to include models with inverters, because its variable speed motors affords additional energy saving advantages. Successful in the rest of the world and tailor-made for the European market, Plug n’ Cool is now experiencing a growing demand for its high energy efficiency and broad range of benefits on the European continent.
Integrated research The on-going development of new technologies ensures that products manufactured by Embraco remain the top-performers in the refrigerator industry. To maintain a high level of investment in R&D the company invests more than 4 per cent of its revenues in its R&D Centres, which also have the support of 43 company labs located at its various plants worldwide. These state-of-the-art labs are equipped with cutting edge technology for research, measurement and diagnostics, as well as creating software for simulation and experimental projects. Embraco currently holds a total of 1,277 patents and its team of 500 engineers and technicians work in an integrated manner to provide solutions for the top manufacturers of domestic and commercial refrigeration products worldwide. The company also has technical cooperation agreements with renowned university laboratories and research centres, thus forming a global network for innovation and the continuous improvement of its product portfolio. Embraco not only supplies the latest generation of hermetic compressors and condensing units but it also teams up with its clients to n develop ever more efficient refrigeration systems. For further details of Embraco’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.embraco.com 114 Industry Europe
Logistics & Transport
The new Tallink LNG-powered vessel Megastar, sailing with Valmet DNA automation system covering machinery, air condition and emergency shutdown systems.
Leader in the Baltic Sea Tallink Grupp is the leading provider of high-quality mini-cruise and passenger transport services in the northern Baltic Sea region, as well as the leading provider of ro-ro cargo services on selected routes. As a result of recent investment and an ongoing fleet renewal programme, the company currently deploys some of the most advanced cruise ferries in the region, setting a new benchmark for travel standards on the Baltic Sea. Romana Moares reports. Industry Europe 115
he company’s history goes a long way back. In 2006, its position was significantly reinforced by acquiring a stake in the traditional Finnish ferry provider Silja Line, forming an integrated company that has become the largest cruise operator in the Baltic Sea region. The extended company’s ships continued to operate under their current flags on routes between Finland, Estonia, Germany, Latvia and Sweden. Mr Paavo Nõgene, the new Chief Executive Officer of AS Tallink Grupp, reflects: “The merger has enabled us to grow our business significantly here in the North Baltic Sea region and acquire a 47 per cent market share in sea transportation in this part of the Baltic Sea. The merger has enabled Tallink to move from being purely an Estonian business to being a truly international business, and has significantly boosted our market position.”
For passengers’ comfort Tallink Grupp today operates on seven different routes, offering yearround regular sea transportation services. In 2017 alone the company transported approximately 9.8 million passengers and nearly 365,000 units of cargo. Mr Nõgene explains that the vessels provide not only comfort for the general public, but also very good facilities to business travellers. “Onboard our shuttle vessels Star and Megastar we have both a Business Lounge and Comfort Lounge for our business customers. The Business Lounge ticket gives our business travellers the most comfortable voyage
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on the Baltic with a seasonal buffet, drinks, daily papers and Business Lounge shopping options. Our shuttle and cruise vessels also have modern smaller meeting rooms as well as larger conference facilities and are very popular meeting and conference venues on the Baltic Sea.” The maritime services are supplemented by complementary business lines – Tallink Grupp operates four hotels in Tallinn and Riga, has a stake in a popular Estonian taxi company Tallink Takso and runs a successful duty free and retail business with 41 shops on-board all of its vessels and 15 stores onshore in Estonia. “We have recently acquired the franchises of global brands such as Esprit and United Colours of Benetton in Estonia, operate the only floating Burger King in the world and this spring brought the We Proudly Serve concept of Starbucks on-board our vessels,” says the CEO, describing the wide business scope. “Our aim is to continuously look for new ways to offer our customers the best quality products, top services and memorable experiences with Tallink Grupp.”
Sustainable cargo shipment Tallink Grupp provides cargo transportation on all its routes and Mr Nõgene confirms that this line of business is expected to grow in the future. “In 2017, we moved our cargo route, which used to operate from the Tallinn Old City Harbour in the city centre to Muuga Harbour, thus easing congestion in Tallinn city centre significantly. Muuga Harbour is a fast-developing harbour just 11 kilometres out of Tallinn and offers great potential.”
Logistics & Transport
Worth considering: LNG vessels for a better future
Valmet’s vision is to become the global champion of serving customers. One of our main strategic targets is to focus on sustainable solutions. For marine, this means that we offer solutions in compliance with both the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) and the European Union’s guidelines. To reduce air emissions, shipowners can choose to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel or flue gas cleaning technologies for their vessels. We are able to offer both options for customers. We deliver integrated solutions to guarantee safe and reliable performance. Our solid expertise from decades of marine deliveries, combined with the latest process automation solutions Valmet DNA for LNG and advanced software innovation for the supply chain operations, provide reliable solutions for shipyards and shipowners. Read more: www.valmet.com/marine
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In October 2018 the company signed a Letter of Intent with Rauma shipyard in Finland for the construction of a new shuttle ferry. The new ferry, set to operate on the Tallinn-Helsinki route, will be dual-fuel operated, using LNG as its main fuel, and will have capacity for 2800 passengers. It will be equipped with the latest technologies and the most innovative solutions available with the aim of becoming the most energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly vessel operating on the Baltic Sea. “Sustainability is an issue of increasing importance and one of our priorities,” Mr Nõgene affirms. This has been demonstrated for example by a partnership agreement with Neste Oil for the supply of low sulphur marine diesel oil to Tallink Grupp’s ferries making port calls in Finland. The marine diesel oil has less than 0.1 per cent sulphur and fully complies with the EU Sulphur Directive requirements.
Pioneering approach “Neste has been more than just our marine fuel provider. We work together on several development projects and have agreed that Neste
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may use our ships for testing new solutions and improvements. The cooperation has been and continues to be mutually beneficial. “But Neste is only one of our many cooperation partners. We have a number of on-going projects with various partners, aimed at making our operations more efficient and green,” he adds. “We also have an on-going fleet renewal programme, the aim of which is to improve the efficiency of our fleet and to enhance our customers’ experience on-board through continuous upgrades. In the last five years alone we have invested nearly €80 million into the upgrades to our fleet and this will also continue in the years to come.” Mr Nõgene confirms that Tallink Grupp is set to continue to grow and develop. “In addition to business expansion, we have achieved an important milestone in December – a dual listing of our shares on Nasdaq Helsinki in addition to our listing on the Tallinn stock exchange. And the development does not stop here – we have a lot of new ideas and plans to achieve further growth, in line with our vision to be the market pioneer in Europe by offering excellence in leisure and business travel n and sea transportation services.”
The Right Vision
STEMMER IMAGING is one of Europe’s leading machine vision technology providers for science and industry. The company has gone through some significant changes over the last few years, further cementing its leading position in Europe and beyond, as UK Managing Director Mark Williamson explained to Romana Moares.
TEMMER IMAGING offers the optimum combination of innovative products, intelligent consulting and extensive service, all coming together to provide a complete solution. As a provider of industrial machine vision systems and components, such as cameras, optics, illumination, cabling and especially its proprietary software, the company has built a strong position in the dynamically growing market. The German based company reached an important milestone in 2018. Its founder, Wilhelm Stemmer, handed over responsibility for the family business and sold his shares to SI HOLDING GmbH, a company of the PRIMEPULSE SE Group, and several of the company managers. The change in ownerships was not the only key event. On 22 January 2018, the company announced the placement of new and existing ordinary shares as part of an initial public offering in the Scale segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange’s Open Market. “We are now a public company. The issue proceeds are intended to be used to implement the company’s ambitious plans for expansion and innovation. In particular, we plan to strengthen our competitive position in the European 120 Industry Europe
market, to make targeted use of growth potential in Asia and to develop innovative products, solutions and services.” said Mr Williamson. “The floatation enabled us to execute a growth strategy - we have acquired two additional companies, the French ELVITEC and Dutch Datavision, both specialist in advanced imaging and machine vision solutions. In addition we invested in Perception Park, an innovative software provider focused on hyperspectral imaging based in Austria,” he says, adding that in the last financial year, STEMMER IMAGING achieved an outstanding financial performance of over €100 million in turnover.
Novel applications Mr Williamson says that the company is continuing to develop its product portfolio through both third-party products, creating vision subsystems for OEM’s and creation of proprietary software solutions. He explains that vision technology does not only achieve extraordinary results in industrial applications, it is also very useful in other areas: “Our products are applied in sports, traffic, broadcast and other fields, demonstrating the wide range of use. For
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example, together with Hawk-Eye Innovations, we have delivered imaging technology for the decision review systems used internationally in sports such as cricket and tennis and for goal line technology in football.” “In industry, machine vision technology has been applied mostly in automated inspection but there is still a massive market with manual assembly. We have launched a new product at the beginning of this years in partnership with Ricoh - a ‘human assistance’ camera that offers a different approach, where the power of industrial vision is deployed during the assembly process to ensure that each and every action is carried out correctly and completely before the operator can move on to the next step.”
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Unique position STEMMER IMAGING has capitalised on not only the efficiencies of being one of the largest machine vision suppliers across Europe but also the level of value add we provide to our customers. “As we are Europe wide, we can afford to hold €9 million worth of stock, which means that the probability of having a product available for the next day delivery is very high compared to smaller single country companies.” “The other thing that sets us apart is the depth of knowledge. We employ over 300 people across Europe of whom 70 per cent are technically qualified. Our average depth of knowledge is immense; this allows us to have experts with specialist in-depth skills enabling
to deliver optimized solutions for customers. And our third strength is our ability to do service. If a customer wants a modification or sub systems integration of components, we can do that quickly and exactly as he requires.” Mr Williamson explains that despite the general shortage of technical skills in the European market, the company is able to hire the right people. “Being market leaders does mean people want to work for us however we work hard to bring young talent in to the company. We have good links to schools and run STEM days to motivate school children to be inspired by what technology can accomplish. We have apprenticeships in many locations and offer work placements for university students, many of whom we hire. We have a very high staff
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retention rate - and even if people leave, many return after gaining other work experiences. We are a good company to work for, a caring organisation that values its staff greatly.”
Set to grow The company’s strongest market continues to be Europe but Mr Williamson admits that opportunities further afield are also in the viewfinder. “We have recently signed an agreement with a company in China to promote our business in that huge market. Still, our strategy is to expand within Europe. We have nine European countries covered now and want to increase that reach.” Increasing digitalisation and the trend towards greater automation across industry sectors truly plays into STEMMER’s hands. Machine vision and imaging solutions are key technologies for Industry 4.0 and smart factories. “The OPC UA machine vision working group released the first versions of their companion specifications just about a year ago and I’m proud to say that our CVB machine vision library is one of the first to meet the specification. We offer software products that make machines compatible with the Industry 4.0 concept.” The countless applications of industrial camera technology and machine vision solutions provide STEMMER IMAGING with significant opportunities for growth. “With the flotation last year we are well placed to invest in not only product development and acquisitions but also in internal systems that will deliver new and more efficient ways to specify machine vision systems and interact with the company. The future possibilities for machine vision technology is exciting and we are well positioned to continue to lead this growing market by serving more regions, adding new technologies and providing more services to make the adoption of this technology easier.” concludes n Mr Williamson. 124 Industry Europe
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
Reaching for the stars The Forgital Group of Italy has been a driving force within the aerospace industry since it was first involved in the Ariane IV space launch project in 2014. The group is equally pre-eminent in other key industries that require state-of-the-art technologies, such as Oil & Gas and advanced vehicle transmission systems. Philip Yorke reports.
he Forgital Group of Italy is a global company that specialises in the manufacture of forged and laminated steel rings made of carbon steels, alloy steels, stainless steels and titanium alloys. Forgital Italy was founded in 1873 by the Spezzapria family near Trento, Italy. Today the fifth generation of the family continues to direct and manage the company, whilst constantly improving its diverse range of engineering activities.
Innovation has always been at the heart of Forgital’s business activities with high levels of investment in research, modern production installations and sophisticated monitoring and testing systems. Sustainability and protection of the environment are also key priorities at Forgital. The precision rolled rings manufactured by the company cover an extremely wide range of applications and are used throughout manufacturing industries worldwide. Forgital products are supplied Industry Europe 125
in a variety of prescribed formats. These include heat-treated, semifinished or machine-finished products and all are delivered complete with the relevant certification attesting to the high-quality technological properties of the materials used. These raw materials have been predetermined for their quality as a result of a number of non-destructive testing programmes.
Delivering operational excellence The Forgital Group guarantees operational excellence throughout its entire production processes. This is achieved via its dedicated ‘Opera-
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tional Excellence Team’. This highly qualified department is committed to ensuring the continuity of improvement in both its production and management processes. The Forgital Group has recently entered the aero engine market and joined the exclusive circle of companies qualified in the supply of vital aero engine parts. These parts include components for both turbojet and turboprop engines which have been designed for the most advanced aircraft in production today. Forgital has also invested heavily in the oilfield sector making it possible to offer major competitive advantages and qualitative improvements
across the board to its customers. For deep water activities, Forgital provides key components for the drilling of offshore wells, for submarine wellheads and products for conveying petroleum. In the surface sector, the Forgital Group was the first company in the world to achieve the mass production of high-precision rolled balls for ball valves. For surface applications it supplies ball valve components for gas and oil pipelines, as well as other key equipment such as closures, bodies, flanges, j-lay collars, connectors and boxes.
Rolls Royce standards The Forgital Group’s sister company ‘FLY’ was founded in 2008 and celebrated ten years of progress in 2018. It is the group’s dedicated production centre for the manufacture of high-precision components for the aerospace industry. FLY’s turnover is growing strongly, driven in part by its premier contracts for the supply of components for the latest Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines. This major, prestige contract will double the company’s workforce by the year 2020. Further positive developments have included the on-going involvement of the Forgital Group in the European launcher for the Ariane 5 space rocket programme. This has resulted in the realisation of several other high profile contracts in the aviation industry. As a result of
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this strong and continuous growth, the Forgital Group has allocated almost €30 million, in association with the Province of Trento, Italy, for the construction of a new, state-of-the-art plant located adjacent to the existing facility. Since its early beginnings in 2008 the plant has tripled its productive working area from 6,000 to 17,500 square metres. The award of these latest contracts will mean the addition of a further 6,600 square metres of production capacity for the company’s FLY aerospace division. As a direct result of Forgital’s sister company’s success in the aerospace sector, its turnover has doubled year on year going from a few hundred thousand euros, to around €175 million today.
Top gear The Forgital Group not only guarantees excellence for its customers, but also provides value added services. With its close partnership style, fast and efficient production and transitional work flows, customers can outperform their competitors. Dedicated customer services also include ongoing consultations and the reassurance provided by a high-reliability organisation, that is also committed to sustainability and protection of the environment. These attributes
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
become critically important when it involves extreme applications and serious demands on product excellence. In these circumstances, Forgital’s customers can rely on guaranteed quality, long service life, logistical flexibility and cutting-edge technology that keeps them one step ahead of the field. When it comes to the production of vital components such as bearings, gear wheels and shafts, reliability and long service life is paramount. The Forgital Group makes components for gear wheel and slewing bearing sectors such as toothed wheels for platforms, port and naval cranes, excavators and wind turbines. The company’s dedicated client services and unrivalled high-quality products makes the Forgital Group the ideal partner for the n world’s most sophisticated engineering projects For further details of the Forgital Group’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.forgital.com
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Innovation on a roll The Beltrame Group is the European leader in the production of rolled steel sections and is the main supplier of special steel bars for shipbuilding and earth moving machinery. Philip Yorke reports on the company’s latest innovative, high-tech solutions that are keeping it well ahead of its competitors.
oday the Beltrame Group is at the forefront of technology and innovation within the steel industry. The company boasts a century-old tradition that was pioneered by the Beltrame family at the end of the 19th century and continues today through its Lamines Marchand Europeens French subsidiary. Antonio Beltrame founded the company in 1896 in Vicenza, northern Italy. In the 1920s the steelworks “Ferriere Vicentine” was created by the family. Strong growth during the 1930s saw new production choices and the commercial reorganisation of the company. With globalisation and the opening up of international markets 130 Industry Europe
in the1960s, the Beltrame steelworks moved towards the production of merchant laminates for buildings, and iron structures for civil engineering works and industrial buildings. Today the Beltrame Group’s distinctive points of difference are the exceptional quality of its products and its ability to satisfy its customers’ needs through a range of dedicated client services. With nine strategically located plants, it is the only European steel-rolling operation with production exceeding three million tonnes per annum. The Beltrame Group employs over 2,000 people and its products are distributed worldwide.
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
Focus on sustainability and efficiency Sustainable development is at the core of the company’s efforts to minimise production waste and significantly reduce emissions. This long term commitment to protecting the environment allows the Beltrame Group the dual benefit of reducing the exploitation of limited natural resources whilst simultaneously reducing production waste. Bearing the CE mark the inert ‘Beltreco’ aggregate is available in a variety of ratios and is produced according to the EN 13242 for road foundations, and EN12620 for reinforcing steel in concrete. The Beltrame Group Management System is also certified in accordance with ISO 9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS 18001. These international standards ensure Beltrame’s consistent reliability and efficiency. These certifications also underscore its commitment to the environment, employee health and safety and customer expectations, which in turn supports the company’s continuous process of improvement. All the company’s products are fully certified and all hot rolled steel products bear the CE mark thus demonstrating fitness for use as construction products for concrete in all major European countries. Furthermore, all Beltrame’s products meet the stringent inspection standards of the ship classification societies worldwide, ensuring they are fit for shipbuilding. The company’s special steel products undergo ultrasonic testing to ensure they meet the standards for use in the most demanding applications.
Optimising control processes Recently the Beltrame Group began a search for an HMI/Scada solution in order to better visualise and control processes within its multiple steel plants. Key objectives of these processes included lowering pollution within the fusion furnaces, cooling, stocking and
the insertion of iron alloys in silos. Each plant should have its own graphical interface, settings and alarm requirements. In addition to a robust system for the set-up, monitoring and control of its plants, AVF Beltrame required a solution that was easy and fast to design and deploy. The selected system would need to easily handle several thousand tags and I/O points, working with existing Allen Bradley PLCs. An additional requirement was the integration of the company’s existing Microsoft SQL Server installation. As a result of these diverse needs, Beltrame selected the Iconics Genesis32™ OPC Web-enabled HMI/Scada suite to assist in the production of its rolled steel from iron scrap. Currently the company has more than 30 installations between its steel plants and rolling mills. This state-of-the-art system has allowed the company to save thousands of euros and has significantly sped up its own internal application development times. The flexibility of the Genesis32 system also provides Beltrame with the ability to better adapt to new processes or environmental changes and allows additional applications beyond the present fusion furnace pollution abatement, plant cooling and iron alloy stocking/silo insertion.
Unrivalled service The on-going success of the Beltrame Group is not only based upon its innovative, high quality products, but also its unrivalled customer services. A spokesman for the Beltrame Group said, “We serve our customers anywhere in the world faster and with a more extensive range of products than any of our competitors. We are the clear market leaders in the merchant bars market for one clear reason we offer the best complete service.
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“We have operated in the steel industry for well over a century producing rolled sections for use in construction, shipyards and excavators. Our high-tech facilities across Europe have the capacity to produce more than 3 million tonnes a year and include four electric furnaces and ten rolling mills. With our other facilities across Europe, Beltrame also has a strategic advantage in terms of its broad spread. “We know that we have a unique competitive advantage in that we have learned extraordinary things about delivering the best possible merchant bars over the last century alongside being resolutely modern. Our workforce is dynamic, and our facilities are equipped with the latest machinery and technology – this is a powerful combination” The Beltrame Group is committed to producing quality, environmental sustainability and energy conservation and to making strategic decisions that achieve key objectives designed to support these core values into the future. For further details of the Beltrame Group’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.beltramegroup.it
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Reinforcing perfection The Feralpi Group is one of Europe’s foremost steel producers and specialises in the manufacture of steel for the construction industry. The group is best known for its reinforcing steel bars, and wire rod and mesh products. However, Feralpi stands for so much more than speciality steels, as Philip Yorke reports.
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Metals, Metalworking & Mining
eralpi Siderurgica was founded in 1968 in Bresica, Italy and its continuous development has resulted in a steel metals group that currently produces around two and a half million tonnes of steel and rolled products a year. In over 50 years of business the company has expanded into foreign markets and currently employs more than 1,500 people worldwide. With its strong presence in the iron and steel industry, Feralpi has diversified into the development of innovative new products and new markets through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Today the Feralpi Group also deals in special steels for cold working, structural steelwork, the environment and fish farming, in addition to offering financial consultancy services and shareholder management support. From the outset, Feralpi has not only focused on manufacturing the highest possible quality construction steels, but it has been committed to doing so by using the best technologies available and patenting new solutions resulting from its extensive investments in research and new product development.
Greener innovation For the Feralpi Group innovation is seen as the engine of growth and as such is an important element of its business strategy. The company is dedicated to the search for competitiveness that requires projects that pursue tangible sustainability. This entails achieving optimal technical per-
formance by reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions, whilst increasing standards in a continuous programme of improvement. One perfect example of this strategy can be found in the company’s “Green Stone 2” project, which transforms EAF slag from harmful waste into a useable green by-product. The process of dross was developed in collaboration with a specialist independent company, and it now makes it possible to transform the slag waste into by-products known commercially as “Green Stones”. These are used widely in the construction industry in place of materials from non-renewable sources. Following controls by an international certification body, all “Green Stone” by products were given the CE2 marking according to specific UNI EN standard ptotocols.
Making Whaves The Feralpi Group is also a co-partner in a pioneering heat recovery programme called “Whaves” (Waste Heat Valorisation for more Sustainable Energy-Intensive Industries. Awarded by the Sustainable Industry Low Carbon scheme (CIP-SILC) initiative, the programme is aimed at supporting industrial processes in pursuing a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining a clear competitive edge. The important SILC initiative contributes to the achievement of the strategic objectives and energy efficiency established by the
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European Union. The first prototype of an EAF heat recovery system using ORC technology was developed at the Feralpi Group member company ESF, at its modern steel mill in Riesa, Germany. The new advanced heat recovery system can be used in many industrial processes, thus contributing to their sustainability and competitive edge. The impact of this system at a European level has a potential to reduce emissions by more than 6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, which requires investments in European technology estimated at around €8 billion.
Stronger French connection The Feralpi Group company, ‘Presider’, is a Turin based steel manufacturer with a global product portfolio. The company has recently invested in a major new manufacturing plant in France in order to strengthen its
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Metals, Metalworking & Mining
sales in both Mainland Europe and Eastern Europe. Presider is now able to serve its customers from its new Parisian headquarters, which places it even closer to its French customer base. The investment is considerable, with a purpose-built state-of-the-art facility that covers over 37,000 square metres, much of which is dedicated to its new production lines. Thanks to its new Parisian headquarters, the Feralpi Group’s subsidiary, Presider will be able to tap into and better serve some of the country’s most prestigious infrastructure projects. These include the Grand Paris Express, a Parisian network project consisting of four regional automatic subway lines that loop around Paris with a total track length of more than 200km.
Hot topic In order to optimise the production processes at its two rolling mills at Feralpi Siderurgica, an innovative, “Hot Charge” project was conceived to optimise productivity and energy efficiency. Major investments were made at Rolling Mill One in Lonato del Garda to install roller systems for conveying billets from continuous casting straight to the heating furnace, in addition to the complete remaking of the core heating furnace. This has made it possible to considerably reduce the holding times of the billets thus leaving the continuous casting machine free to be fed to the rolling-mill heating furnace, and to feed them at a temperature of around 650C, instead of the usual ambient temperatures. The final results certainly justified the big investment in Paris. Benefits included a significant reduction in natural gas consumption, a major reduction in electricity consumption, increased productivity and a conn siderable reduction in the release of direct CO2 emissions. For further details of Feralpi Group’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.feralpigroup.com Industry Europe 137
Packaged for All Seasons Makoter d.o.o., the Slovenian producer of polyethylene foils and bags, has earned a reputation as a reliable and trusted supplier of high quality packaging materials to renowned brands. In line with a growing focus on sustainability, the company has been adapting its processes and products to suit the current market requirements. Romana Moares reports.
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PAPER, PACKAGING & PRINTING
he last few years have been a time of investment and growth for the Slovenian producer Makoter d.o.o. In 2018, the company increased production capacity by installing a new ink dispensing system and acquiring two new machines for plastic bag production, in line with its strategy to shift focus from consumer to industrial packaging. Makoter d.o.o. is set to continue to develop its key competence production of polyethylene packaging materials - building on a tradition that started back in the 1980s. “The company’s core business has always been more or less the same since its establishment in 1981, although the product applications have changed - our first products were predominantly plastic bags for refrigerators. Following investment in new technology, another product group - plastic shopping bags was introduced, later on followed by bags for industrial packaging,” says Mr Bostjan Jeric, the company’s commercial manager. Quality has always been the topmost priority of the company’s management as a key prerequisite of a long-term successful business operation. The company is ISO 9001 certified and in terms of quality and reliability, fully meets requirements of its demanding clients in the western markets.
Modern packaging material Currently employing about 140 people, Makoter d.o.o. is located on a single site with enough premises to allow for potential further expansion if required. This may soon be the case as, despite the current anti-plastics campaigns, demand for plastics as a safe, hygienic and convenient packaging material is not in decline - there will always be sectors where plastic materials are irreplaceable because of their unique properties. Makoter’s product range may be divided into two categories - polyethylene bags and foils. The bags, representing the largest product group, are applied mostly as packaging materials for paper products (toilet paper, kitchen towels). The company also produces carrier bags though production of these is being gradually reduced. Today, plastic carrier bags represent just about 10 per cent of Makoter’s total output. Polyethylene foils, accounting for around 30 per cent of total output, include construction foil, foils for machine packaging, stretch foils and thermo contractile foils. Some of the foils are used for laminating with aluminium or paper to be used for food packaging.
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Reflecting the trends Mr. Jeric explains that innovations are an integral part of the company’s development. “We are now working with one of our clients to improve the materials in terms of reduced thickness, and also start to test bag production reflecting post-consumer waste. The waste is never the same and always depends on the different types of foils. Any innovation is always discussed with customers as their machinery requirements and capabilities must also be reflected in any potential changes,” says Mr. Jeric. With the ever-increasing focus on sustainability and environmental protection, Makoter d.o.o. is now researching the use of recycled materials and installing machines producing minimum waste. Bio-
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degradability is another buzzword of today but for the time being Makoter d.o.o. is not likely to pursue this path, as Mr. Jeric explains: “We will see what the future brings. As most of these biodegradable materials are made of agri-products, we have decided not to support the notion of crops being used for making plastics.” “We hear a lot about plastics polluting the planet but it must be pointed out that is it not the plastics but the people that are responsible for the pollution. Therefore, the focus must be on plastics recycling rather than overall reduction - in the foreseeable future, plastics will continue to play an indispensable role in many industries, as there is simply no other material that would provide comparable benefits.”
PAPER, PACKAGING & PRINTING
Sustained leadership Over the years, Makoter d.o.o. has established a prestigious customer base including some of the leading brands in the paper industry, such as Essity, Paloma, Fripa, Metsä, SHP Harmanec and others. “At the moment, 70 per cent of Makoter’s total output is sold in export markets, mainly in Germany and Austria, but also in Slovakia as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina,” says Mr. Jeric. With the increased capacity, the company will now be looking for new clients as well as to increase business from existing customers.
“In line with the anticipated growth, we will continue to invest in new technology if required by market developments, as well as in our human capital, the most important asset of any company.” According to current trend assessments, the demand for plastic packaging materials in Europe will continue to increase, with a particularly high demand for industrial packaging. In line with this trend, Makoter d.o.o. will continue to strive to sustain its leading position within the European packaging materials sector, while developing and adapting to new technologies in line with evolving market requirements. n
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sustainable future AS
our readers will be well aware, Unilever has a large stable of over 400 brands sold across the world, from Ben & Jerry’s, Hellmann’s and Lipton to Surf, Sunslik and Rexona. The company continues to combine its solid international success with a commitment to reducing its environmental footprint and effecting real social change. In November 2018, Unilever made the announcement that its CEO, Paul Polman, would be stepping down after 10 years at the helm. During this time, Mr Polman has overseen a strategic transformation that has seen Unilever become a model for sustainable growth. All this while continuing to deliver top and bottom line growth, delivering a Total Shareholder Return of 290 per cent over his tenure. In 2017 it achieved a turnover of €53.7 billion, with growth across all three divisions.
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The year 2018 has seen some big developments at Unilever, the global food, home and personal care giant, with the appointment of a new CEO, acquisitions and the continuation of its strategy for sustainable growth. Industry Europe reports.
The man taking over from Paul Polman, Alan Jope, has headed Unilever’s Beauty & Personal Care division since 2014 and has been on the company’s Leadership Executive since 2011. His main challenges will be to carry on Polman’s sustainability legacy while navigating today’s uncertain economic landscape and maintaining prices and margins to ensure Unliever remains competitive.
Sustainability focus As we reported last year, under Mr Polman’s leadership Unilever has wholly committed itself to sustainable development, and it says this will continue to be a cornerstone of its business moving forward. Remember that, according to the company, on any given day 2.5 billion people will use Unilever’s products – whether that is food,
Textiles, Home & Personal Care
personal care items or household cleaning products. This gives the group a unique opportunity to have a positive influence on the future of consumers throughout the world. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), established in 2010, functions as a kind of ‘mission statement’, with three main goals: to help more than a billion people to improve their health and wellbeing; to halve the environmental footprint of its products; and to source 100 per cent of its agricultural raw materials sustainability and enhance the livelihoods of people across its value chain. And this strategy continues to fuel growth. In 2017 Unilever reported that its most sustainable brands grew 46 per cent faster than the rest of the business and delivered 70 per cent of its turnover growth. At the start of this year, the company had 26 sustainable living brands (up from 18 in 2016), with new entrants including household names such as Vaseline, Sunlight, Sunsilk and Wall’s. By the end of 2017, according to the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan report, 601 million people had been reached through its programmes on handwashing, sanitation, oral health, self-esteem and safe drinking water. In addition, by the end of 2017 109 of its
manufacturing sites across 36 countries were using 100 per cent renewable electricity and 56 per cent of its agricultural raw materials were sustainably sourced.
Working together Over the past year we have seen several instances of globallyrenowned corporations combining their strengths on sustainability initiatives, and Unilever is among them. For example, in October this year Unilever and resource management specialist Veolia signed a three-year partnership to work jointly on emerging technologies that will help to create a circular economy on plastics across various regions, starting in India and Indonesia. In so doing, the companies have acknowledged that reducing plastic waste is a shared responsibility that requires joint action. In 2017, Unilever made a commitment to ensure that all its plastic packaging will be designed to be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. To help create an end market for this material, it also committed to increase the recycled plastic content in its packaging to at least 25 per cent by 2025.
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Marc Engel, Unilever’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, commented: “The scale of the plastic waste issue is getting worse, not better, with the production of plastics expected to double over the next two decades. We all have a lot more to do to address this critical issue and we hope that by partnering with Veolia, a world leader in waste management, we can take meaningful strides towards a circular economy.” Furthermore, in September, at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco, USA, Unilever committed to supporting work in Sabah, Malaysia as part of its strategy to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain and further reduce emissions. Unilever is to help sustainably
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certify 60,000 hectares in Sabah as part of a programme led by Forever Sabah, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Malaysia and the PONGO Alliance. Sabah is pushing to certify 100 per cent of the state’s palm oil production to Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification by 2025. According to WWF, this will help to reduce 17 million metric tonnes of CO2e in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. According to Unilever Chief Sustainability Officer, Jeff Seabright: “At the COP 21 climate negotiations we pledged to support a jurisdictional approach of production and protection. This means we are moving our sourcing to areas that have good forest management
Textiles, Home & Personal Care
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and working in partnership to reconcile competing, social, economic and environmental objectives. Our ultimate ambition is to help drive a sustainable palm oil industry.”
Rethinking plastics Aside from the above, in December 2018 Unilever announced it would be developing and piloting a crowdsourced plastic-free laundry solution to combat single-use sachets. This follows the EU’s announcement in October that it would be introducing a ban on single-use plastics. Unilever will be investing €100,000 in the plastics-free laundry tablet – an idea that was one of 10 new solutions to emerge from its ‘Rethink Plastic’ Hackathon, a one-day event that brought together Unilever teams with leading designers, innovators, venture capital and packaging experts. The tablet concept aims to replace the billions of single-use laundry sachets sold every year to provide an affordable solution for low-income consumers in developing markets. The innovation resides in an affordable plant-derived coating that protects each tablet against humidity, one of the main reasons for using plastic packaging in the first place. The tablet will be further developed before being trialled in a suitable market. Kees Kruythoff, President of Unilever Home Care, said: “The scale of the plastic waste issue is getting worse, not better, with the production of plastics expected to double over the next decade. Addressing this issue is the shared responsibility of all stakeholders in the value chain. However, as a major player in the consumer goods industry, we are aware that our response is critical in setting the pace of change. This hackathon is part of our broader work with leading experts and innovators to redesign our packaging and work with the wider industry to accelerate the systemic change that is so urgently needed.”
Recent developments Each year, Unilever expands its global brand stable with new acquisitions, and 2018 has been no exception. Perhaps the biggest announcement was in December, when it agreed to acquire the Health Food Drinks (HFD) portfolio of GSK in India, Bangladesh and 20 other Asian countries. In 2018, the portfolio generated a total turnover of €550 million for GSK, primarily through the Horlicks and Boost brands. This transaction is in line with Unilever’s stated strategy of increasing its presence in health food products and high-growth emerging markets. According to Nitin Paranjpe, President, Food & Refreshment, Unilever: “The iconic Horlicks brand has a deep heritage, credibility and resonance around the world. The acquisition is transformative for our Foods and Refreshment business allowing us to enter the Health Foods Drinks 146 Industry Europe
category, further strengthening our position in health and wellness. It is rare to be able to acquire brands with such leading market positions and fantastic consumer equity in one of the world’s most exciting and fastgrowing markets. Improving the health and wellbeing of 1 billion people by 2020 is a key pillar in our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.” Earlier this year, in June, Unilever signed the initial agreement to acquire a 75 per cent stake in the Italian personal care and wellbeing business, Equilibra. This was finalised in October. Equilibra has a growing presence in the so-called ‘natural’ personal care segments with its skincare and haircare ranges using plant-based ingredients.
An ongoing challenge In light of the continuing social and climate challenges we face, global giants like Unilever have the power to set an example and pave the way for companies to take responsibility for their environmental footprint. It is to be hoped that it will continue to do so under its new CEO, and that many others will follow suit. This ethos of building a truly sustainable future is perhaps best summed up by the outgoing CEO, Paul Polman: “It has been an honour to lead Unilever over the last 10 years. Throughout this time, I have been humbled by the commitment and hard work of our people, and their passion for creating a truly purpose-driven company. I am very grateful to them, as I am to Unilever’s many other stakeholders, with whom we have worked to build our long-term, sustainable business. “I look forward to engaging with many of these partners – in a different capacity – to help address the many environmental and social challenges facing the world.”
Focus on innovation Perfect performance and the finest raw materials - these are the attributes on which the reputation of Fippi, the Italian baby diaper maker was based, and which continue to boost the company’s international expansion. Filippo Guarnerio, Fippi’s Sales Director and grandson of the founder, spoke to Romana Moares about the company’s recent developments and its ambitious plans for the future.
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Textiles, Home & Personal Care
ilan-based Fippi, a family-owned company established some 50 years ago, is one of the leading European manufacturers of private-label baby nappies. Decades of experience combined with continued research into innovative materials and practices have resulted in today’s portfolio of first class products supported by an excellent level of service. As a medium-size, family-run company, Fippi has the added advantage of flexibility and adaptability, always ready to accommodate customers’ needs in a fast and efficient manner, explains Filippo Guarnerio. “The company was founded by my grandfather in the 1970s, as one of the first companies in Europe to produce disposable baby diapers. The target market was Germany, which gave us a seal of quality from the very beginning. The first German clients required top product quality and performance and these characteristics are still the corner stones of our business today.”
Solid values The company has grown considerably in the last two decades under the management of Mr Guarnerio’s father who has made the business international, and a market leader in the production and distribution of private-label baby diapers. Today Fippi’s customer base includes leading brands such as Lidl, Carrefour and other European premium market leaders.
“We have been working with our key accounts for a long time and our relationships are based on trust and respect. These relationships have enabled us to develop not just from the commercial perspective but also from the technological one,” says Mr Guarnerio. “Fippi has always focussed on technological advancement and innovation and has regularly introduced change into the business to stay at the forefront, to offer the best products with the most up-to-date technology.” The same philosophy applies to the company’s production plant. Although Fippi’s headquarters and production facility are still located in Rho in the province of Milan where the company was first established, in 2009 the company moved to new, modern premises covering 40,000 square metres equipped with first-class machinery and equipment. “The plant has been assessed by auditors as one of the most up-to-date sites in terms of organisation, safety and performance parameters,” says Mr Guarnerio. “The new site has been a strategic investment. The facility has enormous capacity; currently we run four lines for baby diaper products capable of producing 1.5 billion diapers per year, and we are planning to install an additional line,” he explains. Industry Europe 149
Innovative product range The company manufactures mainly for European private labels but also makes its own brand, Pillo, sold in the local market. As Mr Guarnerio pointed out earlier, the company’s R&D is highly customer-oriented and generally follows the market leaders within its sector. “Our strategy is to offer the same quality based on similar technology at better price. Our technical parameters are the same as Pampers, for example, but the products are more cost-effective.” Just recently, Fippi introduced a new product - a baby diaper which is allegedly a true revolution in terms of it characteristics:
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DRYWAY, a baby diaper with advanced three channel technology. The super-absorbent, smooth, practical and comfortable diaper is the result of the state-of-art materials used as well as the expert know-how of Fippi’s R&D specialists. DRYWAY technology quickly and evenly distributes dampness, thanks to its three absorbent channels designed to improve liquid distribution. This means the baby feels instantly dry, and remains so throughout the day. Easy-fasten strong-grip tapes and super-elastic flaps ensure the baby enjoys maximum freedom of movement and any leakage is prevented by the diaper’s handy guards.
Textiles, Home & Personal Care
Anticipated growth “Innovation is always on our minds,” says Mr Guarnerio, adding that the company is following the new market trends very closely and is currently working on different solutions to satisfy the concept of sustainability in terms of both the product and the production site. As quality is such a key attribute, the company makes every effort to choose the best suppliers. “We need to obtain the best materials we can find in the market. Most of our suppliers are international companies and our relationships are based on long-term partnerships and trust, which is an advantage now that raw material prices are increasing. Thanks to our solid relationships we can handle this challenge well,” says Mr Guarnerio. Fippi is a European manufacturer and Europe remains its key territory, at least for now. Apart from Italy, most of Fippi’s diapers are shipped to France, Spain and Switzerland, followed by other EU countries. However, the geographical focus may soon expand. Mr Guarnerio confirms that the company is intent on increasing its business. “We forecast a considerable increase in terms of both the output and staff numbers, as well as geographical expansion. Although our customer base is in Europe, we are now eyeing markets further afield. With our experience and proven track record, I’m sure there is a good potential in existing as well as new markets to secure future business growth.”
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Drylock Technologies is a Belgian company that has single handedly revolutionised the absorbent hygiene industry. Its advanced propriety “Magical Tubes®” technology outperforms all others. An independent and dynamic family-owned company, it continues to make significant gains in its global markets, as Philip Yorke reports.
just seven years, Drylock Technologies has grown from a simple innovative concept to a major global brand with revenues in excess of €400 million. The company is headquartered in Zele, Belgium, and is wholly owned by the Van Malderen family. It is driven and operated by a team of highly qualified professionals that have extensive experience in the absorbent hygiene industry. Today the company employs more than 2,600 people and supplies its innovative hygiene products worldwide.
Unrivalled performance Drylock’s unique and patented ‘Magical Tubes’ propriety technology was developed in-house and delivers unrivalled performance for consumers. This innovative hygiene technology has made the company a market leader and has created a game-changer in the private label sector. Drylock ‘Magical Tubes’ have been displayed on-shelf since October 2017 with outstanding results. In response to increasing global demand for this award winning product, Drylock has made significant investments in a number of key state-of-the-art facilities. In 2018 alone it more than doubled its baby-care production capacity. Towards the end of 2018 it also extended its ‘Magical Tubes’ technology to feature in its latest Baby Pant products and Adult Pants lines, with plans to include the new technology in many other product lines. Drylock’s ‘Magical Tubes’ technology not only dramatically reduces urine leakage but also offers a much improved fit that enables air to flow during the time that the diaper is worn. The remarkable results of this ground-breaking technology is the result of exhaustive consumer trials that prove the product’s efficacy. Drylock holds extensive intellectual property rights in support of
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its hygiene technologies and has thereby created a well-tried and tested platform that can easily be expanded to meet growing worldwide demand.
Doubling European production Because of the demand for Drylock’s Magical Tubes® absorbent core technology the company has had to dramatically scale-up its European production capabilities. In the first quarter of 2019 Drylock will commission two new European production sites. One will be operational in Spain and the other in the Czech Republic, thereby enabling Drylock to better serve its pan-European customer base. This major investment will add a further 50,000 square metres of modern production capacity to its output. In Segovia, Spain, Drylock will be breaking new ground with its new state-of-the-art site that will be set to serve its southern European customers, whilst expanding its Magical Tubes baby product platform. In the Czech Republic the expansion of the company’s flagship Hradek site also involves a doubling in size of its existing facility there. This expansion will not only include a new automated production facility but also a modern and highly efficient new warehouse facility.
Expanding global reach Following a major expansion programme in Europe, Drylock Technologies recently set foot in Brazil with its acquisition of two leading companies in the adult and baby-care sector. The well-established Mardam and Capricho companies both have their headquarters and operations in São Paulo, which is the largest metropolitan consumer market in Latin America. The management teams of both companies
Textiles, Home & Personal Care
will join forces to manage and expand the combined businesses under the Drylock brand. Drylock will retain 100 per cent of the shares in the new Brazilian company. Brazil is the world’s fourth largest baby care market with annual sales of diaper and baby-pant sales of €1.7 billion. In addition, the current adult care market is over €450 million. Drylock Brazil will have annual
projected sales of more than €100 million in its first year of trading, which will represent a 7 per cent market share in the baby care sector and an 8 per cent share in the adult care market. Currently Drylock has sales in both baby care and adult care categories in all major South American markets and sees the recent acquisition of two major local Brazilian companies as a natural step for the company’s development in the region. With its strong and growing presence in Brazil and Latin America, and with the increasing potential of own label products, Drylock sees Latin America as an important player in its overall global growth strategy.
New US headquarters At the end of October 2018, Drylock Technologies held a significant ribbon-cutting ceremony for its USA operations. This $30 million investment followed just 18 months after the company’s acquisition of Presto Absorbent products in 2017. The major expansion took place at its Eau Clair site that now includes a purpose-built headquarters building as well as new machinery installed for its adult incontinence lines. Drylock’s CEO Mr. Bart Van Malderen said, “I am proud to deliver on our promise to all our US employees with this state-of-the-art
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office building. The new headquarters have been built to the highest standards, and include a fully equipped cafeteria, gym, flexible working standards, ergonomic seating, meeting rooms and a 360 degree panorama on all floors. Moreover, the facility has the largest and most modern lab of the entire Drylock Group, enabling us to continuously lead the field in hygienic innovation.” “As our business is growing also our capacity has been expanded with two new adult incontinence lines that contain our latest technology. We now possess a platform to grow and provide the best workn ing conditions for all of our employees”. For more details of Drylock’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.drylocktechnologies.com 156 Industry Europe
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