Industry Europe – Issue 29.5

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VOLUME 29/5 – 2019

“WORKIN’ ON THE eHIGHWAY” FROM SIEMENS HB FULLER – STICKING WITH A WINNING FORMULA

NONWOVENS SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS



OPINION

STEVENGISLAM

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Green with Envy As

we see a ramping up of the climate change protests by a newly emboldened Extinction Rebellion, like with so many other issues facing the world at this point in history, their actions seem to result in a total division of opinion and a further entrenchment of previouslyheld stances. What one person might see as a passionate fighter for future generations, another might see as an uncooperative crusty who should abandon their hempsmelling bivouac, to use the vivid words of our ever-eloquent Prime Minister. In September, the movement’s unofficial figurehead, Greta Thunberg, made a fiery speech to the UN to either palpably uncomfortable claps of grudging agreement or seething, outright hostility and personal insults with almost nothing in between. But there surely must be a more nuanced position on all this. It’s hard now for anyone to deny that the weather is changing. Winters are so much less, well, wintery, than they used to be. And the plastic island in the Pacific that’s now double the size of Texas and growing… Even the most ardent climate denier can’t think that’s good, can he? And I say “he” because there appears to be something else at play here. For, while it may be true that it is undoubtedly galling for any adult to be lectured by a grumpy teenager, there seems to be a trend in the kind of people who are lining up to attack her; Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Piers Morgan, Jeremy Clarkson… The question of what it is exactly about this soft-spoken teenager with her hand painted sign and long overcoat that makes these wealthy, middleclass, white men over 60 feel the need to attack a 16 year old girl with Asperger’s is probably a matter for a different publication, but it’s not hard to join up the dots. One interesting thing to note is they never seem to attack the science behind her arguments,

just the fact that she is young, female, outspoken, and has a different way of thinking. The fact is, the world is changing, one way or another. Despite their methods, which are, to put it lightly, irritating for average working-class commuters in London, what ER represents is the sharp end of a long stick. In the same way that the likes of Trump and some of the more intransigent elements of the Brexit movement are representative of the death throes of an old order, kicking and gasping for air before it is slowly suffocated under the weight of the generation behind it, ER represents the noisier, angrier face of the ones holding the pillow. Another common response to these environmental challenges is to take a position of staggering indifference. The argument that individual actions make no difference or that we’ve simply left it too late are hardly arguments at all, but more like an abdication of personal responsibility by those who simply unwilling to make a few behavioural changes, or those who have essentially given up on humanity entirely. Of course, what they have got right is that individual actions are next to worthless without widespread actions on the part of governments, businesses and industry. Perhaps if the nihilistic types paid a little more attention to the news that doesn’t make the headlines, they’d see that an there’s been a sea change across all sectors of industry. Every day, companies are falling over each another to catch journalists’ eyes and prove their green credentials; sending out press releases filled with buzzwords like “carbon neutral”, “sustainability” and “circular economy”. While it’s easy to be cynical about their motives (of course, it’s at least partly about getting good PR, let’s not be naïve), the end results are, without question, a step in the right direction. Human beings seem to do our best work when we’re really up against it. There’s

nothing like a deadline to inspire a flurry of activity. And while we all, as individuals, should do our bit and make a few changes in our behaviour, it is down to politicians and business leaders to lead by example. While the transition is not going to be easy, and there is no guarantee that large portions of the world won’t be underwater in a century’s time, or that the ecosystem hasn’t been irreversibly altered, if we don’t try, then we’ve all got big problems. After all, no one ever won the lottery without buying a ticket. And even, (suspending our disbelief here) if climate change does prove to be a giant hoax and, in the process of falling for it, we end up making the world we live in a cleaner and healthier place to be, then that is clearly no bad thing. You don’t have to agree with ER’s methods or all of their rhetoric to see that beneath the polemic and publicity stunts they have a very strong point. In the same way that the Black Panthers had a very strong point - some of their methods may be difficult to support, but in any social movement there has always been a noisier, more extreme element that gets the most attention precisely because they shout louder than anyone else. Savvier business leaders have seen the change coming for a while now and, whether they believe in man-made climate change or not, they’re adjusting to the new way of thinking to keep the flame of their businesses burning as one generation hands it over to another. After all, generational differences have always been there but this one seems to be the starkest yet. As Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan sang over half a century ago, “you don’t need a weatherman to know the way the wind blows”, and a quick glance out of the window will tell you that there’s a storm coming and those businesses who don’t fix the roof while the sun is still shining, might find themselves washed n away in the deluge. Industry Europe 1


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

Managing Partner & Production Director Stephen Moore Sector Managers Milada Preslova Eniko Kovacs Michael Hudson Oliver Clements Szidonia Hajdu

Above: Siemens eHighway p4

Art Director Leon Esterhuizen

Katarzyna Pozoga

Logidtics & Transport news

Comment 1

Opinion Green with Envy

Logistics & Transport Industry 4 6

Keep on trucking

Electrified road freight traffic – the eHighway by Siemens The latest from the industry

News

Operations & Finance Director Tania Balderson

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Winning business New orders and contracts Linking up Combining strengths Moving On Relocations and expansions across Europe Technology spotlight Advances in technology

Nonwovens & sustainability

Industry Europe Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 779850 Email: studio@industryeurope.net Web: https://industryeurope.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndustryEurope

© 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.

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14 22 26 28 30 32

Sustainable Innovations Nonwovens The voice of nonwovens EDANA When Excellence Matters RKW Group Calcium Carbonate designed for PP spunmelt and dry-laid nonwovens Omya Woven with Nature Kelheim Fibres Unique Expertise with Full Flexibility

Investkonsult Sweden

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Innovative Fibres for Sustainable Absorbent Hygiene & Wipes Applications Birla Purocel

Aerospace & Defence 35 38

Automation & Robotics 42

Driving digital transformation technology forward Schneider Electric

Automotive & Heavy Vehicles 46 50 54 58 62 65 68 71

Buses that combine tradition and modernity Autosan Ground-breaking, sustainable, adhesive technology HB Fuller New Horizons Federal Mogul Top mind-set - top wheel-set GHH-Bonatrans On-the-button Farmtrac Tractors Delivering a brighter, greener future Kioto Czech On track for new eco-railway systems Koncar Condensed and integrated cooling solutions RAAL

Chemicals, Petrochemicals & Offshore 74

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Flying high FACC Commanding advantage Aselsan

Innovation Meets Sustainability RAHN Group


VOL 29/5

Above: Nonwovens p14

Construction & Engineering

Above: Aselsan p38 Below: HB Fuller p50

77 80 84 88 92 96 100 104 106

Sustainably safer Tarkett Ingredients of technological success AZO Testing times for lithium FLSmidth Railway seats of the future Growag The foundations of sustainable growth HeidelbergCement

Clear advantage Press Glass Delivering mission-critical storage solutions Riello Taking Lock Tech Further Forestia See-through innovation NorDan

Energy and Utilities

109 Total transformation Kolektor Etra 112 Masterclass in mechatronics Bitron

Above: Press Glass p96 Below: Sabaf p126

Food and Beverage

115 Cream of the crop Lacpol

Home Appliances, furniture & HVAC 118 122 126 129

Delivering future interface technology OJ Electronics Signalling a brighter future Philips Lighting Delivering fully integrated, eco-efficient appliances Sabaf Setting the trend in window and door joinery Petecki Group

Logistics & Transport

132 Responding to new massive torque demands Sisu Axles

Metals, Metalworking & Mining

135 Supersonic surface solutions Oerlikon Balzers 138 Open and closed success EFFEBI 142 Life Science Precision Texor

Paper, Packaging & Printing Above: Koncar p68 Below: HeidelbergCement p92

146 150 154 158 162

Sealing the market Avery Dennison Big bopper Plastchim-T Sustainable Packaging for a Better Planet Smurfit Kappa Flexible packaging - double wrapped Uflex Driving change in packaging printing Uteco Group

Above: Avery Dennison p146 Below: Karl Conzelmann p170

Plastics & Rubber

166 Roller Covering of Exceptional Quality A.Piovann

Textiles, Home & Personal Care 168 172 176 179

Beauty from the wild Artic Lumene XLuxury lingerie… by design Karl Conzelmann Pioneering exceptional functionality TWE Group Setting new standards in style Yünsa Industry Europe 3


KEEP ON TRUCKING

Shifting road freight to rail has its limitations. A large share will always have to be transported by truck. But the eHighway system from Siemens could be a major contributor to the decarbonisation of freight transport particularly effective from an environmental and economic perspective on heavily used truck routes, e.g. between ports or industrial estates and cargo hubs, or between mines and central transshipment terminals.

Current collector plus hybrid drive

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nternational freight transport volume is growing continuously. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) predicts a trebling of global freight transport volumes between the years 2000 and 2050. Despite considerable expansion of rail infrastructure, railroads will only be able to handle around a third of this additional freight traffic. The majority will therefore have to be transported on road. Experts expect CO2 emissions from road freight traffic to more than double by 2050. 4 Industry Europe

Innovative ideas for passenger cars already exist but there is an urgent need to provide an economic alternative to fossil fuels in road freight transport too. The electrification of road freight transport would enable significant reductions in CO2 emissions. The eHighway system from Siemens innovation supplies trucks with power from an overhead contact line. This means that not only energy consumption is cut by half but also local air pollution is reduced. The eHighway is

The core of the eHighway solution is an intelligent current collector combined with a hybrid drive system. The eHighway trucks are equipped with a current collector to collect power from overhead cables and produce zero local emissions. On roads without overhead lines, a hybrid drive system assures full flexibility of the truck. The intelligent current collectors enable the vehicle to connect and disconnect with the overhead contact line at speeds of up to 90 km/h. Using the overhead contact line power is transmitted directly into the vehicle, enabling an optimal efficiency level of more than 80 percent. Braking and accelerating trucks can exchange energy with one another via the contact line, for example on sections with a mountainous topography. The trucks are also able to recover braking energy and feed it back into the grid. Existing overhead lines, for example in


trolleybus systems, prove the safety of the technology for road applications. Extensive experiences from rail and tram operations confirm the long lifespan and relatively low maintenance and servicing costs of these systems. The technology can easily be integrated into existing road infrastructure and does not pose an obstacle to other road users. The hybrid drive system enables the truck to remain flexible, for example when overtaking and on non-electrified routes. Compared to the conventional combustion engine, the hybrid drive is considerably more efficient, has a longer service life and requires less maintenance. The eHighway system is open for a multitude of different hybrid configurations. The intelligent current collector enables the vehicle to connect and disconnect with the contact line system at speeds of up to 90 km/h and compensates for movements of the truck within the drive lane. So no lane guidance system is required. The technology represents an innovation compared to purely electrically driven trolleybuses, which can only run on fixed routes, and to the hybrid trucks used in opencast mines.

Transport accounts for more than one third of Sweden’s CO2 emissions, with almost half of that coming from freight transport. As part of its climate protection strategy, Sweden has committed to having a fossil fuel independent transport sector by 2030. Due to the expected growth in freight transport, road freight is set to grow even as rail capacity is increased. A solution to decarbonized road freight is therefore necessary. During the two-year trial, Sweden’s Transport Administration Trafikverket and Gävleborg County wanted to create a knowledge base on whether the Siemens eHighway system is suitable for future long-term commercial use and further deployment. “By far the greatest part of the goods transported in Sweden goes on the road, but only a limited part of the goods can be moved to other traffic types. That is why we must free the trucks from their dependence on fossil fuels, so that they can be of use also in the future. Electric roads offer this possibility and are an excellent complement to the transport system”, said Anders Berndtsson, chief strategist at the Swedish Transport Administration.

Sweden is first

Germany and California follow

The first eHighway system on a public road opened in Sweden in 2016, where the catenary system for trucks was tested on a two-kilometer stretch of the E16 highway north of Stockholm. The trial used two diesel hybrid vehicles manufactured by Scania and adapted, in collaboration with Siemens, to operate under the catenary system.

Following the Swedish trials Siemens Mobility was commissioned by the state of Hesse in Germany to build an overhead contact line for electrified freight transport on a ten-kilometer stretch of autobahn. With this field trial, the eHighway was being tested on a public highway in Germany for the first time. The system is installed on the A5 autobahn between the

Zeppelinheim/Cargo City Süd interchange at the Frankfurt Airport and the Darmstadt/Weiterstadt interchange. In March 2018, a further contract was awarded by the Research and Development Center of the University Kiel for the construction of a five-kilometer eHighway on the A1 autobahn between the Reinfeld and Lübeck interchanges. Siemens has also developed a eHighway demonstration project in California. This project was undertaken in collaboration with vehicle manufacturer Volvo on behalf of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). Tests were conducted to see how different truck configurations interacted with the eHighway infrastructure in the vicinity of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In the framework of this project one mile of infrastructure was erected in both directions along a road in the city of Carson. This stretch represents a part of the road from the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach to the cargo hubs near the coast, which are served by thousands of trucks every day. Southern California’s environmental agency in charge of clean air policy wants to gather information along this section of road to determine whether the eHighway system is suitable for commercial use, e.g. along the nearby Interstate 710. The aim, as with the projects in Sweden and Germany, is to make road freight transport emission-free in the future by drastically reducing the quantity of particulate matter, carbon n dioxide and nitrogen oxide in the air. Visit: new.siemens.com Industry Europe 5


NEWS

New developments in the Logistics & Transport industry

Scan Global Logistics opens fashion and retail hub in Myanmar

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orben Nybo Jensen, Regional Director of Business Development, Asia says: “Customer demand has dictated that we need to establish own representation in Myanmar even though we are already highly represented in the South East Asian countries. Our European Fast Fashion customers are increasingly shifting manufacturing from China into countries such as Myanmar, and with the on-going Sino-US trade tension, also many US based fashion & retail brands are now showing an interest in this market.” As a start, the Myanmar team is primarily handling the logistics of customers within fashion and retail; import of raw material and export of ready-made garments for delivery

Siemens’ gearless drive technology powers high-capacity overland conveyor in Quellaveco

TX Logistik set to expand operations in Romania

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Logistik AG is exploring opportunities for a new intermodal connection between Oradea in Romania and the Rhine-Ruhr area of Germany. During a presentation attended by around 100 people at the Oredea terminal near the Hungarian border, initial discussions were conducted with representatives from

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in the US, the Japanese and the European markets. In addition, the team is highly engaged with solutions that will help manage supply chains easier in peak seasons, and

they will be offering a range of intermodal solutions as valuable alternatives to normal air and ocean freight. Visit: www.scangl.com

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reserves – enough to wire 80 million homes or equip 90 million electric vehicles. With the rugged landscape in Quellaveco, transporting the primary crushed ore requires durable and efficient technology systems. By employing Siemens’ technology on this project, thyssenkrupp’s new conveyor system will transport 127,500 tons of primary crushed ore per day from the pit to the stockpile adjacent to the copper concentrator. Vast sections of the overland conveyor must traverse from one valley to another through a 3.2 km long tunnel. After exiting the tunnel, the conveyor will pass over hilly terrain before feeding the stockpile. “This order again shows how gearless conveyor systems meet today’s demand for ever more efficient mining solutions and increased safety requirements,” said Torsten Gerlach, CEO of thyssenkrupp’s Mining Technologies business unit.” Visit: www.siemens.com/mining-digitalization

owered by Siemens’ new gearless drive technology, thyssenkrupp’s high-capacity overland conveyor will access one of the world’s largest copper reserves in Quellaveco. The Quellaveco mine in Peru contains approximately 7.5 million tons of copper in ore

forwarding agents and logistics companies and other Romanian industries. In addition, TXL demonstrated on the spot how semi-trailers and road vehicles can be simply put on the rails with the innovative transhipment systems NiKRASA and roadrailLink. “We still see considerable growth opportunities for intermodal transport on the west-east axis,” says Berit Börke, CSO

of TX Logistik. “Romania in particular is a market with potential for new connections to Western Europe.” Since spring 2018, the railway logistics company has been operating an open train connection between Cologne and Curtici in Romania with five round trips a week. Megatrailers are mainly transported on that route. Visit: www.txlogistik.eu


NEWS

INDUSTRYNEWS FTA FUTURE LOGISTICS 2020 KEYNOTE SPEAKER Schiphol Airport signs

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1st century logistics businesses face the challenge of delivering in an ever-changing world, with the new technologies, modes of transport, a shifting workforce and other forces re-shaping the conventions which have dictated the shape of business to now. And with such rapid changes occurring daily, FTA’s Future Logistics Conference, to be held at ITT Hub 2020 in Farnborough on 13 and 14 May 2020, will provide the ideal opportunity to debate the blue-sky issues facing the industry, led by the event’s keynote speaker, Tim Peake CMG. “Logistics is at a crossroads of opportunity,” says Elizabeth de Jong, Director of UK Policy at FTA, “with new technologies and other disruptive forces driving changes in the way goods move, both domestically and across borders. Anything is possible, as our sector looks for new and improved ways of delivering for its customers. We are thrilled to have secured Tim’s services as keynote speaker at 2020’s Future Logistics Conference, to share his experiences and challenge the way that logistics, public transport and technology operates, both now

and in the future. It promises to be a stimulating and thought-provoking session. Peake, 47, was the first British astronaut to visit the International Space Station, where his work during Mission Principia inspired millions about the possibilities which space could offer. A former test pilot, he is also a STEM ambassador, schools’ speaker and best-selling author. Visit: www.fta.co.uk The event’s keynote speaker, Tim Peake CMG.

Vanderlande is key player at Istanbul Airport

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anderlande has been a key player in the successful go-live at Istanbul Airport (IST) with an integrated solution comprising a state-of-the-art baggage handling system (BHS), intelligent software and life-cycle services. İstanbul Airport is the most significant BOT (build, operate, transfer) project in the history of Turkey and has the potential to become the largest single terminal airport in the world. It will connect to more than 300 destinations

Kalmar’s crane solutions to play pivotal role Iin terminal expansion at IPM Altamira, Mexico

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almar, part of Cargotec, has signed a contract to supply Infraestructura Portuaria Mexicana (IPM) with two shipto-shore (STS) and three rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes for the IPM Altamira terminal. The order includes Kalmar

and handle over 200 million travellers when all phases are complete. To meet IGA’s requirements, Vanderlande’s design included several cutting-edge technologies and the company’s globally proven VIBES software controls suite. In addition, Vanderlande has signed a five-year O&M agreement with IGA. Within this performance-based contract, Vanderlande will assume responsibility for the IT and controls, maintenance, operations, and performance of the BHS. Operating the BHS control room, Vanderlande will oversee the baggage flows for the entire airport, while its 270-strong service team will provide 24/7 support. Visit: www.vanderlander.com SmartPort process automation solutions for the RTGs. The IPM Altamira terminal is located on the Gulf of Mexico, in the state of Tamaulipas. The terminal’s current equipment fleet already includes one Kalmar STS crane, eight Kalmar RTGs and a variety of Kalmar mobile equipment such as terminal tractors and forklifts.

long term contract with BEUMER Group

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oyal Schiphol Group has awarded BEUMER Group one out of two framework agreement contracts covering future baggage handling projects as part of the Group’s objective to expand, replace and/or modify Amsterdam Schiphol Airport’s baggage handling system over the coming years. The airport is striving to develop Amsterdam Schiphol as “Europe’s preferred airport” and a vital component of that is ensuring that the baggage handling system design is both extremely reliable and meets high levels of availability. Royal Schiphol Group believes that the best way to make this a reality is to opt for a long-term cooperation, which will ultimately guarantee optimum integration between baggage handling systems. BEUMER Group A/S Managing Director, Klaus Schäfer comments: “BEUMER is well known in the industry for an ethos that places great value on long-term partnerships. Indeed, the company prides itself on the overall reliability of its products and also in the way it makes knowledge and experience available to airport customers so that they can benefit from sustainable system design solutions.” Visit: www.beumergroup.com

The Kalmar STS cranes will be Super PostPanamax size with an outreach of 21 container rows and have twin-lift capability with a capacity of 65 tonnes under the spreader. Visit: www.cargotec.com

Industry Europe 7


NEWS

New contracts and orders in industry

BRAMMER BUCK & HICKMAN WINS CONTRACT WITH GAS TURBINE ENGINE COMPANY

BABCOCK WANSON PROVIDES URGENT PROCESS HEATERS FOR FLOUR MILLER

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substantial new contract with Trac Precision Machining Ltd., for the supply of tools and consumables, and other associated products, has been awarded to Brammer Buck & Hickman, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of industrial maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) products and services. Trac Precision Machining is part Chromalloy, which delivers innovative solutions designed to reduce manufacturing and operating expenses and extend the life of gas turbine engines. It works with OEMs, commercial airlines, the military, plus oil, gas and power companies. Chris Lowe, Procurement Manager at Trac Precision Machining, comments: “Brammer Buck & Hickman are a key integrated service provider to Trac Crewe & Chromalloy Alfreton. Although the relationship is still in its infancy, the level of support & transparency has enabled both sites to increase efficiencies, and reduce down time.” Visit: www.bbh-rubix.com

FACC secures three-digit million order from Bombardier

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ombardier Belfast has placed an order with FACC for the production of thrust reverser trans cowl components for the A320neo aircraft family. With this order, FACC has now extended its long-standing cooperation with Bombardier in the areas of Cabin Interiors and Aerostructures including engine nacelle components.

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abcock Wanson has supplied flour millers Whitworth Bros. Ltd. with two TPC Thermal Fluid Heaters for its flour heat treatment process at its Barlby Road, Selby site. Babcock Wanson TPC 600B and TPC 1000B thermal fluid heaters are now in situ

and are being used to pre-heat filtered air, which is then used as part of the heat treatment process of flour which changes the baking properties for suitability in different food products, such as sauces, batters etc. “The thermal fluid heaters have performed to our expectations and have proved to be cost effective” states Alan. Babcock Wanson offers a complete range of products and services for boiler houses and other process heating needs, from steam boilers, thermal fluid heaters, rapid steam generators and hot water boilers to VOC and odour treatment by thermal oxidation, water treatment or process air heating solutions. Visit: www.babcock-wanson.co.uk

Wärtsilä Hybrid Upgrade solution to enhance sustainability for offshore vessel

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he technology group Wärtsilä has been selected to engineer, supply, and commission a hybrid propulsion system for an offshore sector vessel. Norway-based Eidesvik AS has contracted Wärtsilä to carry out the upgrade project on its ‘Viking Neptun’ construction vessel. This latest order follows two similar hybrid upgrade contracts awarded to Wärtsilä in recent months. The 15,900 DWT ‘Viking Neptun’ was built in 2015. It is fitted with Wärtsilä engines and Wärtsila’s Low Loss Concept (LLC) electrical systems. By choosing Wärtsilä’s battery hybrid solution, the ship will be able to operate on a single generator set together with batteries during dynamic positioning (DP) operations. Integration of the new system with the existing Wärtsilä control systems will be seamless.

“Wärtsilä continues to lead the industry’s technological transformation into a new era of greater efficiency and more sustainable operations. Our hybrid solutions are well established and proven, and this latest project order is a further endorsement of our competences in this field,” says Cato Esperø, Head of Sales, Service Unit Nordics and Baltics, Wärtsilä Marine. Visit: www.wartsila.com

“This new order is of great strategic importance for FACC and for the Engines & Nacelles division in particular, as the cooperation with Bombardier Belfast is an expansion of our customer and product portfolio. Through its cooperation with Bombardier Belfast, FACC is further expanding its market share on the A320 aircraft family and benefits from the

global success of the aircraft,” explained Günter Nelböck, Vice President Engines & Nacelle of FACC. “Stable growth of the FACC Engines & Nacelles division and the creation of secure long-term jobs in the region are thus guaranteed.” Visit: www.facc.com


WINNINGBUSINESS

Siemens to build digital substation with grid IoT applications for Glitre Energi Nett

Three new ATR 72-600 aircraft for Aurigny

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ogether with the Norwegian distribution system operator Glitre Energi Nett, Siemens will build a digital substation to pilot Internet of things (IoT) analytics and applications for power grids. IoT-ready Siprotec protection and control and Sicam automation devices will be connected via OPC UA PubSub, an open standard communication protocol, to MindSphere – the Siemens cloud-based open operating system for IoT. The Siprotec dashboard cloud application will make previously inaccessible data fully available and help to process grid data for the first time in the cloud with zero engineering effort. The complexity of the Norwegian power grid is growing due to the increasing number of e-vehicles and the expansion of the corresponding charging infrastructure. At the same time, grid operators are aiming to optimize the utilization of assets and the overall grid while complying with regulatory requirements and meeting growing demands in a sustainable way. For this pilot project for grid IoT, Siemens and Glitre Energi Nett are working closely together to improve data accessibility and analytics to increase grid reliability and availability through early detection of field issues and risks, reduce maintenance costs by condition monitoring and extend the nominal substation capacity at lower outside temperatures. Visit: www.siemens.com/smartinfrastructure

Bowmer + Kirkland appointed as constructors of Space Park Leicester

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owmer+ Kirkland (B+K) have been appointed to construct Phase 1 of Space Park Leicester. Space Park Leicester is currently being developed by the University of Leicester in collaboration with local, national and international partners, and will provide state-of-the-

art, high-tech facilities for research, development and manufacturing. It will house capabilities and companies covering an end-to-end capability, from satellite design and engineering, through to downstream data and its applications, which creates unmatched opportunities for collaboration. Iain Gillespie Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at the Uni-

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TR, the world number one in the regional aviation market, has delivered the first of three ATR 72-600 aircraft to Aurigny. By replacing its fleet of three ATR 72-500 aircraft with the -600 Series, Aurigny will optimise its operations by acquiring the most efficient regional aircraft. An ATR 72-600 burns up to 40% less fuel and emits 40% less CO2 compared to a regional jet. The Guernsey-based airline will also further benefit from -600 Series’ latest generation Standard 3 avionics suite and is the launch customer for the ClearVision™ Enhanced Vision System (EVS). The EVS will provide pilots with outstanding vision and situational awareness during conditions of reduced visibility. In the cabin, Aurigny’s passengers will also benefit from the -600 Series’ modern Armonia cabin which will introduce the latest standards of comfort, offering more space for luggage in Overhead Bins and providing passengers 18” wide seats. Stefano Bortoli, Chief Executive Officer of ATR commented: “When an airline upgrades its ATR fleet to the latest generation -600 Series with ClearVision™, it tells us that our platform has a perfect fit with their operations and that they trust us to continue delivering innovations that will make a genuine and positive impact in the future.” Visit: www.atr-aircraft.com versity of Leicester said: “We are really pleased to announce the appointment of Bowmer+ Kirkland as constructors for this exciting project. We’ve been hugely impressed with their approach and are confident that this relationship will be a great success.” Visit: www.alphagalileo.org Industry Europe 9


NEWS

Combining strengths

VORTICE S.p.A. acquires CASALS V

ORTICE S.p.A. has announced the acquisition of the historic Spanish brand CASALS, purchasing 100% of the share capital from VENTILACIÓN INDUSTRIAL IND. S.L. (Sant Joan de les Abadesses, Girona, Catalonia, Spain), a Company that operates in the Industrial Ventilation Systems sector. The two historic Companies, which were established and developed in different periods and geographical contexts, will continue to pursue the same values and objectives as they did before. Thanks to this partnership, VORTICE Group will be able to reinforce its offer with

Wacker joins with Nexeon W

acker Chemie AG is intensifying its research activities on silicon-based materials for high-performance batteries by taking a holding in Nexeon Ltd. The Munich-based chemical company announced today that it is acquiring a 25 percent stake in the UK specialist for new battery materials. Nexeon develops, produces and sells innovative, silicon-based anode materials that significantly enhance the performance of lithium-ion batteries. WACKER has conducted research in this area since 2010 and has cooperated with Nexeon already.

Visit: www.wacker.com

akuten Mobile launched as Japan’s newest mobile network operator in October 2019 with the world’s first end-to-end, fully virtualised cloud-native mobile network. This partnership with Orange allows Rakuten Mobile to provide its subscribers with international data roaming services around the world. The agreement also extends beyond

international connectivity to include support from Orange professional services, enabling Rakuten Mobile to meet the needs of tomorrow’s customers. Orange provided Rakuten with a complete roaming solution that enables Rakuten to directly connect with carriers in others countries via IPX network connection, support-

Alpla aquires two spanish companies

Germany, ALPLA has long been an established partner in the field of PET recycling. These operations currently have an annual capacity of 70,000 tonnes. ALPLA is now taking the next step by buying two HDPE recycling plants. ALPLA signed the purchase agreements for the acquisition of Suminco S.A. in Montcada (near Barcelona) and Replacal

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LPLA, the global manufacturer of plastic packaging solutions, is further expanding its recycling activities – it is moving into polyolefin recycling with its acquisition of two companies based in Spain. With two of its own PET recycling plants in Austria and Poland (PET Recycling Team) and joint ventures in Mexico and 10 Industry Europe

Visit: www.vortice.com

“Today’s agreement is a key step in strengthening our activities in silicon-based anode materials for next-generation batteries by putting them on an even broader base,” said Christian Hartel, responsible for R&D on WACKER’s Executive Board. “On the one hand, it means we can intensify and further develop WACKER’s own successful research in this field. On the other hand, this stake reinforces our cooperation with Nexeon as we jointly develop supplementary material strategies. WACKER is ideally positioned to develop and produce these innovative materials, given our decades of in-depth expertise in silicon chemistry.”

Orange signs a contract with Rakuten, Inc.

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catalogues that complement the products of the entire Group, which will expand the Company’s network and open up further commercial avenues on the international market. “From now on, VORTICE and CASALS will be sharing their technical knowledge and commercial assets, which will allow us to create a multiplier for the growth and development of both companies. We will also be reinforcing the logistics and production facilities as well as strengthening the development process for new products by the two Companies Research & Development teams” said Stefano Guantieri, Director-General of VORTICE S.p.A. and the new Vice President of CASALS.

ing with industry-leading technical expertise on-site that allowed the network to be built in record time. Visit: www.orange.com

S.L. in Palencia (north of Madrid) in October. Both businesses belong to a Spanish family-owned enterprise with more than 35 years of experience in manufacturing HDPE recyclates. The annual capacity of the plants, which have a workforce totalling 50, will be expanded to 35,000 tonnes. Visit: www.alpla.com


LINKINGUP Cerulean collaborates with Festo to improve tube packing efficiency

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erulean, a manufacturer of tube packing solutions, has collaborated with industrial automation specialist Festo to simplify the design of its popular FPS-1 tube packer to deliver an improved, more energy efficient, and future-proof packing solution. Traditionally tubes of product for personal care, such as cosmetics, suncream and toothpaste, can be difficult to stack as they are light weight and cap heavy. The transition between batches of tubes being completed and entering the packing stage requires either a large-scale, bespoke automation solution or hand packing into cartons by multiple production workers, which is both labour intensive and less hygienic. Pausing production inevitably leads to inefficiencies and disruption of the production line. Cerulean was looking to upgrade its system to simplify this transition in a continuous production and high-speed environment. “When Cerulean enquired about Festo’s latest components and capabilities, we took the opportunity to ask what they wanted their packing machines to be capable of in the medium to long term,” said Josh Roberts, Festo Business Development Consultant. “It quickly became clear that we could work in partnership to make significant improvements to the FPS-1 system: not only in terms of pneumatic efficiency, but also to make it Industry 4.0 ready.” The automation and pneumatic upgrades to the tube packer are designed as two kits: a valve control kit and an actuator kit. Each kit has

the same footprint as the equipment it is intended to replace. Each kit has its own unique order number – eliminating the need to order multiple components – and is supplied fully assembled and ready to install. The packing process is now fully automated, which results in less time and less cost. Festo’s pneumatics allow the FPS-300s to introduce the correctly sized standard carton and to push a layer of tubes into place without any human intervention. Then pneumatic grippers release the carton and allow it to fall to the next level so filling and packing can continue uninterrupted. When the carton is full, it is lifted onto an overhead conveyor and taken on for palletizing. Visit: www.festo.com

Cerulean’s new FPS-300s tube packer featuring Festo automation can handle a wider range of tube sizes and eliminates the need for human intervention.

Groupe GM partners with La Compagnie de Provence to bring exclusive amenities to hotels worldwide

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roupe GM, international player in the hotel amenity industry, has launched a highquality, fresh and fragranced amenity line in collaboration with La Compagnie de Provence. This line is the third to come out of Groupe GM’s partnership with the renowned French cosmetics brand.

K+S merges two subsidiaries

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+S has taken a further step on the way to becoming “One K+S”: The subsidiaries K+S KALI GmbH and esco - european salt company GmbH & Co. KG, have now been merged into one company under the new name of K+S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH. K+S had already merged its disposal and logistics activities into K+S

In 1990, two friends from Marseille passionate about design and decoration decided to revive the traditional Marseille soap cube. In 1999, they reinterpreted Provence’s most ancient tradition: the art of soap making. The liquid Marseille soap was born, a modern twist on the traditional iconic soap bar. True to the Provencal tradition, the liquid Marseille soap is made in a cauldron from vegetable oils just like its solid ancestor. La Compagnie de Provence hotel line is perfumed with the “Extra Pur” collection’s best-seller: Olivewood. One of the most emblematic scents of Provence. A sensual fragrance with notes of wood, heated by the KALI GmbH. To think and act as one company follows the new corporate strategy Shaping 2030. By bundling all potash, salt, waste disposal, and transportation activities within Germany in a single company, K+S can more easily achieve a wide range of synergies in production, engineering, and logistics to meet customer demand even better.

sun, enhanced by notes of citrus and camphor that bring a touch of freshness to the scent. This new range features four 40ml tubes of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and body milk. The range also includes perfumed soaps available in 30g and 50g, two 300ml Ecopump containing liquid soap and hair & body. In line with La Compagnie de Provence’s quest for providing natural yet efficient formulas, 96% of the ingredients used are of natural origin. “Groupe GM is honored to continue its partnership with La Compagnie de Provence, a great company that truly embodies Provencal tradition and manufacturing.” says President of Groupe GM, Laurent Marchand. “This latest line’s dedication to authenticity and elegance intrinsically makes it a great fit for Groupe GM’s ever-growing portfolio.” Visit: www.groupegm.com Alexa Hergenröther, CEO of the Europe+ operating unit, and Bastian Siebert, Head of Operations in the Europe+ operating unit, are both general managers of the company, Visit: www.kpluss.com

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NEWS

MOVINGON Airbus inaugurates test facility for propulsion systems of the future

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irbus Chief Technology Officer Grazia Vittadini and Airbus Defence and Space CEO Dirk Hoke have officially opened the E-Aircraft Systems House test facility at Airbus’s Taufkirchen/Ottobrunn site alongside Ilse Aigner, President of the Bavarian State Parliament. The test centre will provide a space to research technologies for alternative propulsion systems and energy sources – such as electric motors for unmanned aerial vehicles, hybrid propulsion systems and hydrogen for combustion or synthetic fuel use. The building, which allows complete systems to be integrated and tested, is the first test centre of its kind worldwide. Grazia Vittadini said: “The E-Aircraft Systems House represents a real competitive advantage for Airbus. With its 3,000 m2 test area, we now have the infrastructure to move the transition to emission-neutral flight forward at an even faster pace.” Visit: www.airbus.com

Stalatube’s new production facility in Lodz, Poland

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talatube Oy of Lahti, Finland, has invested a total of EUR 20 million in the past two years, of which EUR 7 million has been invested in a production facility in Poland. With the Polish subsidiary and new production lines, the company will improve its competitiveness and significantly reduce delivery times.

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Relocations and expansions across Europe

New European HQ for Elgi

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lgi Equipments, one of the world’s leading air-compressor manufacturers, with 2 million installations across 100 countries, has opened its new European headquarters in Belgium. Situated at Drève Richelle 167, 1410 Waterloo, Brussels, and spread over 400+ sq meters, the workplace will house over 20 people and feature training rooms and offices designed to build collaboration and foster innovation, in line with the ELGi values that form the backbone of our culture worldwide. Speaking at the inauguration Dr. Jairam Varadaraj, CEO, Elgi Equipments said “We have achieved significant success in the USA, the world’s second largest air compressor market, in a short span of 5 years. Europe is the third largest market worldwide and presents us with a huge opportunity.” Chris Ringlstetter, President, ELGi Europe said “Over the years ELGi has been establishing itself across Europe, with a strong focus on diesel

powered screw compressors (portables) and an expanding product portfolio of electric powered screw compressors (stationary). We will continue to evolve and grow our Pan-European presence substantially, while expanding our existing channel footprint.“ Visit: www.elgi.com

Solvay expands its aerospace thermoplastic composites capacity in the US

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olvay is expanding its thermoplastic composites capacity with a new production line at its U.S. facility in Anaheim, California, underscoring its commitment to meeting strong demand growth from aerospace customers for this high performance material and Solvay’s proprietary and unique technology. Solvay will have multiplied its qualified capacity by four since 2016 with the commissioning of this new tape line and upgrades to existing lines. The expansions aim to not only improve output, but also quality, consistency and industrial reliability. “This significant expansion in a short time, coupled with our unrelenting attention to Centrally located in Poland at the intersection of motorways, the Polish production unit serves as a manufacturing facility for more labor-intensive processed tube and profile products for the global market. With this investment, Stalatube seeks to strengthen its position in the end-user field of stainless steel tube and profile products, in particular closer to European end-user customers. Stalatube’s largest export country in Europe is

overall quality and productivity improvement, illustrates our engagement to serve our customers best. Their strong demand shows they value how our materials reduce manufacturing time and cost, helping to raise the build rate of aircraft,” said Augusto Di Donfrancesco, Member of Solvay’s Executive Committee Visit: www.solvay.com

Germany, within 300 kilometres of the Polish plant in Lodz. The facility consists of two product lines: one for tube components and the other for welded tubes and profiles. With further investments to be made by 2020, the plant will also start producing readymade welded structural solutions for selected end-user sectors. www.stalatube.com


NEWS

TECHNOLOGYSPOTLIGHT

Advances in technology across industry

Improving drug delivery

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anocapsules and other containers can transport drugs through a patient’s body directly to the origin of the disease and release them there in a controlled manner. This method is known in science as drug delivery. Chemistry professor Ann-Christin Pöppler from JuliusMaximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany, is convinced that this method still has great development potential. She analyzes the molecular capsules that enclose drugs like a container and transport them to the site of action. Professor Poppler is mainly investigating polymeric micelles. These consist of many chains of molecules, which assemble into spherical structures. When they come into contact with fat-soluble substances, they arrange themselves on their surface and at the end surround them like a coat of hair. This forms a container with a “water-loving” outer shell and a “fat-loving” core. But research has shown that if increasing amounts of active

ingredients are packed into the polymeric micelles, their dissolution suffers – the release of the active ingredients then becomes increasingly difficult. The Würzburg research team found the reason for the decreasing solubility through a set of different experiments: As the container is loaded more and more, the active substances no longer settle exclusively in the core but also on the container surface. There they can almost glue the individual micelle hairs together. These molecular interactions reduce the solubility of the entire structure. Next, the team hopes to find out whether the dissolution of the container can be improved by structural changes to the micelles. One of the goals of drug delivery is to ensure that a container absorbs as much active substance as possible and dissolves as well as possible in the body. For more information, visit: https://go.uniwue. de/polymicelles

Composites Evolution launches a range of natural fibre prepregs for motorsportt

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o reduce environmental impact, there is increasing interest across several motorsport series in the use of natural fibre composites for parts such as aerodynamic devices and doors. GT4 has been leading the way with recent models from the likes of Porsche and Toyota featuring natural-fibre body parts. Composites Evolution has brought together its extensive expertise in high-performance flax reinforcements with its Evopreg range of epoxy prepregs to offer motorsport customers a proven and flexible range of material and design options. The new flax-epoxy prepreg products include a lightweight woven surface ply (100 g/m², 2x2 twill), a medium weight woven ply (300 g/m², 2x2 twill) and a 150 g/ m² unidirectional ply. Using materials supplied by Composites Evolution, KW Special Projects applied their expertise in component manufacturing to produce the GT rear wing component . To demonstrate the use of flax prepregs alongside other high-performance materials, half the wing

has been produced in flax-epoxy and half in carbon-epoxy. Brendon Weager, Composites Evolution’s Technical Director, commented “No other prepreg supplier has the depth of flax knowledge that resides within Composites Evolution. We’re ideally positioned to help motorsport customers introduce natural fibre materials into their cars and bikes.” Visit: www.compositesevolution.com Photo courtesy of KW Special Projects Ltd.

Versarien pioneers robust

graphene-enhanced polymers for large-scale industrial structures

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ersarien plc, the advanced materials engineering group, has teamed up with several major global collaboration partners to commercially develop large-scale industrial deployment of high-purity, lowdefect graphene materials. Most recently, Versarien supplied its proprietary few-layer graphene nanoplatelets to a leading fully integrated infrastructure firm to develop a structure that will serve the UK’s transport infrastructure. In this instance, Versarien’s proprietary graphene materials have enabled a structure to be manufactured that is significantly stronger than similar assemblies using conventional polymers, and with better thermal stability. Versarien produces a range of graphene powders and inks for different applications and markets, which can be blended with a vast array of polymers and other materials. The company’s Polygrene range can be used in industrial extrusion, moulding and 3D printing processes. The high graphene purity and low defect ratio enable graphene’s unique properties to be fully leveraged, such as improvements to mechanical strength, stability and resistance, to decomposition at high temperatures and excellent conductive properties for heat and electrical current. Secondary characteristics include resistance to chemicals and extremely low gas permeability. Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented: “Graphene can address so many complex structural engineering challenges that were once considered impossible to solve. Greater mechanical strength and thermal dynamics are just a couple of the benefits offered by our Polygrene solution. We plan to reveal details of new major collaboration projects from all over the world in the coming months.” Visit: www.versarien.com Industry Europe 13


NONWOVENS SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS Nonwovens are a unique class of textile material formed from fibres that are bonded together through various means to form a coherent structure. Given their rapid industrial development and diverse markets, an understanding of nonwovens and their place within the growing focus on sustainability is becoming increasingly important.

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onwoven materials are increasingly popular for both consumer and industrial applications, from hospital gowns to heavy-duty construction materials. Nonwoven fabrics are materials formed by mechanically, thermally, or chemically binding fibres or filaments. They are used in a wide array of industries and applications, either in combination with other materials or alone, such as apparel linings, automotive headliners and upholstery, carpeting, engineering fabrics, geotextiles, diapers, filters, wipes, hygiene products, insulation, roofing, healthcare and medical products. Nonwovens are designed for their specific application, ranging from thin, lightweight nonwovens to strong and durable nonwoven applica14 Industry Europe

tions. The combination of their specific characteristics through raw materials selection, the formation and bonding methods used and the applied finishing treatments, such as printing, embossing and laminating, all permit the delivery of high-performance products.

Smart and growing Today, nonwovens can be found in almost every aspect of daily life and society. They provide specific functions such as absorbency, liquid repellence, resilience, stretch, softness, strength, flame retardancy, washability, cushioning, thermal insulation, acoustic insulation, filtration, use as a bacterial barrier and sterility.


NONWOVENS & SUSTAINABILITY

These properties are often combined to create fabrics suited to specific jobs, while achieving a good balance between product uselife and cost. They can mimic the appearance, texture and strength of a woven fabric and can be as bulky as the thickest paddings. In combination with other materials they provide a spectrum of products with diverse properties. Today, “smart” or “functional” nonwoven materials are gaining ground across several industries. These high-tech nonwovens incorporate smart coatings or interior layers that provide added functionality such as conductivity, sensor capabilities and antimicrobial characteristics. Smart coated nonwoven materials are already creating new market opportunities in several markets. For example, antimicrobial properties can be added to disposable hospital gowns and other medical and personal care products. Moisture-sensing nonwoven materials have potential applications for construction and building materials as well as agricultural and environmental purposes. Heated nonwoven materials likewise have potential market opportunities in a variety of industries, including medical, transportation, construction, marine and military. It comes as no surprise that over recent decades the use of nonwovens has grown steadily. According to figures collected and compiled by EDANA, the leading global association and voice of the nonwoven and related industries, the overall production of nonwovens in Europe grew by around 1.3 per cent in 2018 to reach 2,760,000 tonnes. Over the last decade, the annual average growth rate has been nearly 4 per cent, and similar development is expected in years to come.

Indispensable in everyday life Let’s look at the role nonwovens play in modern life. Nonwovens are extensively used in the medical field and in protection against biological agents in other sectors. They deliver critical safety properties, such as prevention against infections and diseases. With today’s multi-drug resistant strains of bacteria and virus, nonwovens can help in the fight against cross-contamination and the spread of infection in a medical or surgical environment. Because they are used only once and incinerated after use, the need for handling is avoided and the spread of contaminants is minimised. Nonwovens are also increasingly a major component in the design of “smart” wound-care products, providing such functions as the creation of a moist wound healing environment, with controlled vapour transmission, absorbency and low skin adhesion. The most recent nonwoven innovations include the design of new scaffolds for 3D biological tissue engineering, implantable fabrics that can reinforce natural tissues, and nano fibre nonwoven filtration media offering enhanced particle capture properties. New nonwoven materials with improved finishes including liquid repellent, virus-proof and bacterial barrier properties have also been developed for applications such as surgical masks, gowns and drapes. In the hygiene sector, nonwovens have become indispensable. Absorbent hygiene products (AHPs) have made an important contribution to the quality of life and skin health of millions of people. Users of absorbent hygiene products benefit from the softness, smoothness, leakage prevention, strength and protection provided by nonwovens.

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In the transport sector, nonwovens are used in numerous applications including cabin air filters, seat trim, floor mats, trunk liner and tyres. The use of nonwovens in the interior and exterior of vehicles continues to grow, and today over 40 automotive parts are made with these types of fabrics. Nonwovens can be up to 30 per cent lighter than the traditional materials they replace and can thus make vehicles lighter and more economical, an important requirement of today’s transport industry. Similarly, nonwovens offer multiple advantages to the construction sector. Geotextile nonwoven fabrics are used in roadway construction - they can extend the life of a paved road by helping to reduce the number of potholes. Geotextile nonwoven fabrics are also used for erosion control. Road crews use them for the land beside roads and motorways to help prevent erosion from rain, snow and wind. The development of nonwovens over the last decade has demonstrated that the sector continues to be adaptive and highly creative, seeking and utilising emerging opportunities. This means that in the coming years, we may see a range of nonwoven products that will replace more traditional textiles. This development is further boosted by the increasing focus on sustainability, an area of prime importance for the sector.

Sustainability in focus Sustainability is one of the core themes in the agenda of any government as well as of corporations. For manufacturers, sustainability is becoming an inevitable element in promoting one’s sales and market 16 Industry Europe

position. Businesses must now find ways to reconcile economic growth with environmental protection and social responsibility – balancing people, planet and profit. Nonwovens offer manufacturers a number of advantages. As Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi pointed out in his comprehensive report published on www.textileworld.com, the nonwoven industry has created an ecosystem that is built on automation, reducing the dependence on low cost labour — hence, the industry has not had to set up manufacturing facilities in low-labour cost regions in the world. Nonwovens are typically made and converted where they are sold, thereby minimising shipping costs. As a product, a nonwoven itself is sustainable in terms of its low manufacturing time with a very quick production cycle, requiring a comparatively lower number of production processes to produce a product compared to competing products in the woven and knit categories. Still, there are many ways to make a nonwoven manufacturing line entirely green and sustainable. These include being less energy intensive, less water intensive, using energy and water from renewable resources, following the 3 Rs in the production cycle, and more. Smithers, a multi-national provider of testing, consulting, information, and compliance services, has published The Future of Sustainable Nonwovens to 2022, analysing the sector trends and reflecting on sustainability in terms of both products and processes. For every nonwoven product, process, raw material and end use, the percentage of sustainable development is assessed and used to define the ‘sustainable nonwoven’ segment of that product, process or application.



Smithers points out that for sustainable nonwovens, drylaid, with spunlace and needlepunch favoured for sustainable nonwovens, leads all processes. Spunlaid is the second largest process used to process sustainable nonwovens; not because existing products are sustainable, but because this process is currently so large and so important in the nonwovens industry. The cost effectiveness and performance advantages make this technology very difficult to displace; it is more likely that solutions such as recycling, and biopolymer raw materials will be found to preserve its usefulness in sustainable nonwovens. Airlaid is the third in usage for sustainable nonwovens. This lowenergy, low-waste process relies heavily on the most sustainable raw material (wood pulp) and is, on average, the most sustainable process. Unfortunately, not all products can be made with airlaid; lightweight (less than 45 g/m2) hydrophobic products are very difficult and expensive. Additionally, global airlaid capacity is limited and expansion slow. Wetlaid has the smallest representation among nonwovens processes used for sustainable nonwovens. This is more a reflection of wetlaids’ small share of the overall nonwovens market than its lack of sustainability. With its ability and tendency to use large quantities of wood pulp as a raw material, and with hydrogen bonding providing at least some strength, the process is relatively sustainable. However, chemical, energy and water use are issues. 18 Industry Europe

Environmentally conscious solutions Sustainability is key not only in terms of the production process, but, increasingly, in terms of use and disposal. In January 2018, the European Commission adopted the world’s first comprehensive Plastics Strategy. In May, the Commission released the “Single-Use Plastics: New Measures to Reduce Marine Litter” report, which proposed new rules to reduce the 10 most found plastic waste items on Europe’s beaches that account for 43 per cent of total marine litter. The ten items included non-woven wet wipes and sanitary items, pushing the sector to take a more pro-active stance, and coming up with different solution for wet wipes and sanitary items. Today, many manufacturers offer alternatives for producing sustainable wipes and other products. For example, a major innovation was introduced by Austria-based Andritz AG. The high-performance Wetlace™ process for flushable, dispersible, and biodegradable wipes was showcased back in 2015. Similarly, Germany-based Trützschler Nonwovens GmbH, in collaboration with the Voith Group, Germany, offers solutions that can replace existing fossil-based polymeric fibre products with cellulose and other bio-based polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) to overcome the EU ban. Another German company, Kelheim Fibres, has introduced speciality fibre Danufil® QR that is tailor-made for use in disinfectant wipes. Due to their negative charge, standard viscose fibres bind up to 80 per cent of the so-called “quats” (quaternary ammonium


NONWOVENS & SUSTAINABILITY

compounds), widely used disinfectant substances, hindering their actual purpose. The positively charged Danufil® QR resolves the issue by reducing this undesired effect to less than 10 per cent. Finally, disinfectant wipes can benefit from properties like softness or excellent fluid handling, which make viscose fibres a sought-after raw material for other hygiene, medical or food applications. With this product, the Bavarian manufacturer has won the World of Wipes Innovation Award. Nick Carter, director of Market Business Intelligence and Intellectual Property at Avgol, global hygiene market leader with the most comprehensive range of ultra-lightweight spun-melt nonwoven fabrics, explains the drivers behind sustainability in the market, the increased need for sustainable and eco-conscious practices and how Avgol is putting sustainability at the forefront, supported by its Forward Innovative Thinking (‘FIT’) strategy. “Nonwovens is an indispensable sector of textiles, producing a variety of invaluable products, many of which are disposable, that are vital to consumers’ daily lives. As a result of increased consumer awareness, and some concern about the impact of disposable products, sustainability in the nonwovens industry is now paramount. Product developers are now looking to create the effective, environmentally conscious solutions demanded by the market.” “With the global consumption of sustainable nonwovens predicted to rise significantly, this is clearly a high-growth area rep-

resenting the potential for significant business benefits of adapting sustainable practices.” “We are developing lightweight, high-performance solutions, such as the recently launched beneFIT Control. We not only bring our customers added value with leading-edge solutions but also deliver sustainability benefits when it comes to product shipping. Our revolutionary lightweight fabrics offer the potential for more packable diapers, adult incontinence and feminine hygiene products, reducing packing requirements, improving logistics and improving the product’s overall carbon footprint as more can be packed in each shipment,” he affirms.

Recyclable and biodegradable As the consumption of short-life nonwoven products increases, the burden on waste disposal also rises. As a result, there is an increasing effort to design and develop biodegradable nonwovens, with research and development efforts from both academia and industry. Several new biodegradable polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) and Biomax have helped the industry to produce larger amounts of biodegradable nonwovens. PLA, a repeating unit of lactic acid, is a polymer from the group of aliphatic polyesters. One of its most important characteristics is that it is a biodegradable and compostable thermoplastic polymer produced from starch-rich vegetable sources such as corn, sugar cane and wheat. Industry Europe 19


In addition, the use of natural fibres in nonwoven products is also increasing. There is a continuing effort to develop new ways to produce biodegradable nonwoven materials through the combination of natural fibres and other biodegradable resins or fibres; these research and development activities are helping these environmentally friendly fabrics to become affordable materials for many consumer products. Numerous manufacturers have addressed the issue. For example, Austrian Lenzing has pioneered a new technology platform, Lenzing Web Technology, with a focus on sustainable nonwoven products that will help open up new market opportunities. Following an investment of EUR 26 million and several years of R&D, Lenzing has commissioned a pilot facility located at its headquarters in Austria. With the Lenzing Web Technology, absorbent nonwoven fabrics with a botanic origin will be manufactured using an environmentally responsible production process. The nonwoven fabrics produced in 15gsm to 80gsm basis weights with a wide range of surface textures and drapeability properties will also be certified biodegradable, clean and safe, the company explains. “While the nonwoven segment currently represents 30 per cent of our core business, we are committed to driving stronger growth through more active involvement in innovations across the value chain. Lenzing Web Technology is a key milestone that embodies our focus on specialty products under our corporate strategy sCore TEN,” said Stefan Doboczky, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of the Lenzing Group. Lenzing Web Technology will serve as a platform technology for a wide range of future products for the nonwoven industry. The flexibility of the technology and the possible integration with other nonwoven and textile technologies will enable the development of a wide range of composite structures for highly engineered enduse applications. 20 Industry Europe

“Given that the nonwoven fabric market is expected to reach close to USD 35 billion in size in 2022, with a staggering compound annual growth rate of 7.5 per cent per year over that period, it is crucial to support eco-responsible development of the nonwoven industry by using sustainable raw materials,” said Wolfgang Plasser, Vice President of Global Business Management Nonwovens at Lenzing. “Consumers have become more aware of the negative impact of plastics in waterways and marine ecosystems. It is therefore incumbent upon the disposable products industry to step up and address such concerns. We envision that our new Lenzing Web Technology will enable the value chain to create more innovative applications out of natural, biodegradable cellulose materials.”

Green developments In the automotive industry, many producers of nonwovens are growing their line-ups of innovations in order to cater to the growing electric vehicle market. Market trends such as “green” mobility and autonomous driving are also providing growth opportunities for nonwovens producers, according to Gerhard Klier, sales director Technical Products at Sandler, the leading nonwovens manufacturer based in Germany. “Lightweight, yet highly functional components continue to be in high demand,” he says. “At the same time, these new mobility concepts entail new requirements on the utilised materials. For example, the noise level in electric cars is different to that of cars with combustion engines. Therefore, new materials are needed. All of this creates opportunities for further development of our products and innovation.” Manufacturers taking the lead in sustainable products include Switzerland-based Autoneum, the global market leader in acoustics and thermal management solutions for the automotive industry.


NONWOVENS & SUSTAINABILITY

The company offers an optimised product portfolio for the electric vehicles of existing and new car manufacturers with innovative technologies such as Tune-It for carpet systems and Hybrid-Acoustics ECO+ for inner dashes and floor insulators. Tune-It is based on an innovative fibre combination in the carpet backing with which, for the first time, sound insulation and absorption can be tuned to the specific needs and geometry of the passenger cabin across the entire surface of the carpet. The environmental footprint of this carpet technology that consists of 100 per cent PET is also reflected in the fact that Tune-It based components are fully recyclable. Compared to conventional carpet moulding, where non-recyclable production waste can reach a share of 30 per cent, off-cuts produced during the manufacture of Tune-It can be processed into pellets and completely returned into the carpet manufacturing process in the form of fibres. In his analysis, Dr. Pourdeyhimi argues that in the future, there will be much more significant focus on the use of biopolymers such as PLA, polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), and their blends, and when possible, cellulose fibres. “It’s likely that a generation of new products will replace the existing state-of-theart. One key is that these new materials must also be economically sustainable — today, the industry has many sustainable solutions that are not yet sustainable economically and that will remain a challenge unless regulations and taxation outweigh the material costs. In the more niche markets, these new bio-friendly products will appear first, as was seen with the PLA-based coffee and tea filters and single-use coffee pods.”

Game-changing innovations

trace chemicals. This new product gives formulators the freedom to formulate with SBS, SIS or APO while getting the lowest odour and trace chemicals content for every hot-melt chemistry used, and SBS/partially hydrogenated resin hot-melt chemistry. SMS Bico Fabric from Fitesa: a cutting-edge PE/PP spunbond and PE meltblown nonwoven imparting the softness of PE and the strength of PP for hygiene applications in a SMS construction. The innovative fabric offers drapeability and liquid barrier properties as a transformative solution for the hygiene markets. The FEUR System by Vemarei: a unique faecal incontinence protection system features a discreet innovative pouch and pull cord design that is easy to remove after a bowel movement, providing continued cleanliness to the wearer. The FEUR System’s interior pad core is made from a highly absorbent nonwoven placed between two outer nonwoven layers welded together to create a channel for a pull cord that the wearer can pull at first sign of a bowel movement, thus creating an absorbent pouch container. The innovations reflect a growing demand for nonwovens across all industries. Both EDANA and INDA forecast strong market demand for nonwovens materials through the next five years, as published in their Worldwide Outlook for the Nonwovens Industry, 2018-2023. “The worldwide nonwovens industry’s prospects are excellent, and it remains an exciting industry in which to be involved,” said the report’s co-authors Jacques Prigneaux, Market Analysis and Economic Affairs Director at EDANA. Brad Kalil, Director of Market Intelligence and Economic Affairs at INDA added: “The future of nonwovens promises to be interesting and potentially very rewarding.” n

Both leading nonwovens associations, EDANA and INDA, regularly publish the latest innovations and pioneering achievements in the sector and promote its further development by means of various events and presentations. For example, game-changing products using nonwovens and engineered materials in a creative, novel and technically sophisticated approach will be presented by the three finalists of INDA’s 2019 prestigious Hygienix Innovation Award at the fifth edition of Hygienix — the premier event devoted to the latest in sustainable technologies, emerging markets, converting challenges, product and technical innovations, and market trends in the absorbent hygiene and personal care industry, taking place in November in Houston. The three finalists for this most recent Innovation Award, representing examples of their latest developments, selected by INDA’s Technical Advisory Board of technical professionals from member companies from over twenty contenders, were: Regalite™ UltraPure from Eastman Chemical: a new innovative hydrocarbon resin with low odour, low VOC properties, and low Industry Europe 21


THE VOICE OF NONWOVENS EDANA is the leading global association and voice of the nonwovens and related industries.

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ince 1971, EDANA has provided its more than 250 members with a comprehensive range of services with the information and data necessary to enhance the industry’s goals and performance. The association has a global reach with a focus on Europe, the Middle East and Africa Nonwovens are innovative, high-tech, engineered fabrics made from fibres. They are used in a wide range of consumer and industrial products either in combination with other materials or alone. Nonwovens are designed for their specific application, ranging from thin, light weight nonwovens to strong and durable nonwovens, be it consumer or industrial applications. The combination of their specific characteristics through the raw materials selection, the formation and bonding methods used or the applied finishing treat22 Industry Europe

ments, such as printing, embossing, laminating etc. allow to deliver high-performance products. All EDANA’s activities are focused on reflecting the changing dynamics of the nonwovens industry, in particular by advocating free and fair trade, fostering product stewardship and promoting an environment beneficial to innovation and to sustainable and profitable growth. In EDANA all the parts of the nonwovens supply chain are brought together under one umbrella. Members supply products and services ranging from raw materials to finished products and everything in between including machinery, components and development and testing facilities. In fact, EDANA represents not only all types of nonwovens, but also materials often used with nonwovens, such as films and superabsorbent polymers.


NONWOVENS & SUSTAINABILITY

Promoting sustainability EDANA has developed a Sustainability Vision 2030, giving clear insight into the priority topics on sustainability for the industry. The vision combines the most prominent topics of the materiality matrix with key United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) for the industry. The four key areas are: Sustainable supply chain, Eco-efficiency, Building trust, and Responsible end of life. Each area is defined by a clear ambition. The vision helps members to identify their priorities and further develop their own sustainability strategy. EDANA’s role is to facilitate interaction and help the industry progress towards its sustainability goals in line with the United Nation’s SDG’s.

Innovation and research Innovation and research are at the very core of nonwovens and its related industries. Whether it is technical, scientific or process-related innovation, it drives the industry and the people behind it. The designers and manufactures strive to invent and deliver ever more advanced solutions to the challenges facing society including sustainability. EDANA is committed to stimulate innovation and to help young talents from centres of excellence and universities get access to the

companies working in the nonwovens industry. To make this commitment a reality, several activities are in place. Its focus areas include polymers (as a raw material), man-made cellulosic fibres, natural fibres, synthetic fibres, paper/cellulose and nanomaterials. Services offered comprise project management, development work, pilot facilities, lab-scale facilities, consultancy, training courses and PhD opportunities. Centres of Excellence for nonwovens members of EDANA include: • Centre Européen des Textiles innovants (CETI) • Centre Technique du Papier • DITF – Deutsche Institute fur Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf • Nonwovens Innovation & Research institute (NIRI) • RI.SE - Research Institutes of Sweden • STFI - Sächsisches textilforschungsinstitut • The Bombay textile research association - BTRA • The Nonwovens Institute • The University of Huddersfield • The University of Leeds, Nonwovens Research- School of Design • VTT Technical Research Center of Finland Industry Europe 23


Events A key part of EDANA’s activities is the organising and promoting of events for the nonwovens industry. OUTLOOK™, for example, is the world’s premier conference for the nonwovens hygiene, personal care and wipes products. Its programme provides updates on market growth and opportunities, innovations, technological developments and information on regulatory activities for the diaper, wet wipe, femcare and incontinence product categories, as well as a wealth of economic information that enables business decisions for the future. It is a first-class platform with multiple networking opportunities bringing all players, from middle to senior management in the supply chain together.

24 Industry Europe

Since OUTLOOK™ was launched in 2001 in Europe, its success combined with increased market demands in other parts of the world led to the organisation of sister conferences in Latin America, Asia and India. The NIA is a 2-day conference and tabletops exhibition bringing together academics, students, scientists, engineers and industry experts. The aim is to encourage the sharing of knowledge, research and developments that will support the innovation and growth in the nonwovens and related industries. Many activities are offered throughout the conference to provide the best breeding ground for innovation, innovation roundtables, a guided tour of the hosting institute facilities, tabletop exhibitions dedicated to the presentation of Centres of Excellence and an area for posters designed by R&D students showcasing academic


NONWOVENS & SUSTAINABILITY

projects. The organisation rotates between nonwovens centres of excellence, with an initial focus on Europe, and particular emphasis on the host’s area of expertise and current research projects. Any research or academic institute or university department interested, is invited to join this network.

INDEX™ INDEX™ is the world’s leading nonwovens exhibition, and a global showcase for the nonwovens and related industries. Senior industry professionals from around the world come together to seek competitive insights, learn about the latest technologies, and to network, for four days of intensive and rewarding business activities. Taking place once every three years, it brings together over 12,750 trade visitors from over 100 countries to see the products and services displayed by 666 exhibitors, from 41 countries, in more than 24,000m2 net of stand space.

Stewardship Programme In October 2019 EDANA announced their intention to create a Stewardship Programme for Absorbent Hygiene Products to limit

the presence of chemical impurities found in diapers, incontinence care and female sanitary items, such as tampons and sanitary towels. Industry will devise the programme in consultation with regulators, academia, consumer groups and suppliers. EDANA will commit to a new level of transparency with consumers and define limit values for impurities and ensure these cannot be found above those values, using consumer relevant test methods that will be reviewed and supported by independent experts. The programme will create an industry-wide list of chemicals, including substances such as PAHs, PCBs, dioxins, furans, phthalates and formaldehyde “Absorbent hygiene products help millions of Europeans live active, healthy and happy lives, from early childhood to old age and have a long history of extensive safe use. Consumers should know that they are safe, and we want to provide transparency and reassurance with our commitment. This programme will further build on the longstanding record of responsible safeguarding of these products. Our commitment is grounded in consumer needs and science, and at the same time goes beyond existing legislation,” said Pierre Wiertz, General Manager of EDANA. n

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WHEN EXCELLENCE MATTERS The RKW Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of film and nonwoven solutions. With around 3,000 employees at 20 global locations, the company processes approximately 370 thousand tons of plastic materials each year.

In

the world of polyolefin films and nonwovens, the RKW Group is a well-known presence. With over 60 years of film manufacturing experience, the firm has long been recognised for its high performance and quality standards. RKW has embraced sustainability as an integral part of its corporate social responsibility plan. With sustainable film and nonwoven solutions, the Group’s goal is to improve the daily life of consumers.

Comprehensive Sustainability Approach Sustainability is a core focus of RKW. This is immediately obvious when reading RKW’s award-winning Sustainability Report, which details its extensive strategy. The company has already taken steps to realize many of its objectives, such as reducing energy consumption by investing in equipment with energy-saving potential. Some of the many other actions include purchasing energy from renewable sources, recovering heat for reuse, reducing water consumption, installing building insulation, or using materials based on renewable sources.

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RKW is also a member of the Zero Pellet Loss Initiative, and so aims to reduce pellet loss across the entire process chain and recycle scrap wherever possible. Every RKW Site has its own recycling facilities, where scrap is reprocessed into high-quality regranulate. Reducing film thickness and weight, known as ‘lightweighting’, is also a challenge the company is concentrating on. It supports RKW’s sustainability strategy by increasing load sizes in trucks and thereby reducing the number of trucks on the road. A range of products have already benefited from RKW’s efforts in this area.

RKW Gronau Site RKW’s main production Site for nonwovens is located in Gronau, Germany. It offers a wide range of nonwoven solutions that are customized for every potential need. These are manufactured with state-of-the-art technology ensuring high standards of purity combined with excellent mechanical properties. The nonwovens


NONWOVENS & SUSTAINABILITY

are produced as a basis for specialty applications in the hygiene, health, agricultural, building and automotive fields. There are many uses for the nonwoven raw materials RKW supplies. They serve as components for diapers and incontinence pads, such as closure systems, as well as liners for feminine hygiene pads. They can also be found at construction sites, where their superior characteristics make them ideal as sealing tape. In the medical field, RKW films can be found in the operating room as surgical drapes.

Advantages of Gronau’s Nonwovens Ludger Kuhn, General Manager RKW Gronau and RKW Halberstadt, believes that customers especially appreciate the company’s flexibility. “With our production layouts, we are able to deliver smaller production lots and can offer special treatments such as flame-retardant or hydrophilic and extra-hydrophobic properties.” Gronau is also able to produce hydroentangled spunbond nonwoven, under the trademark RKW HyJet®. As it offers extremely soft, scratch-free material, it is ideal for applications in hygiene disposables and coverings for new vehicles being transported from the factory to the showroom. In keeping with the company’s sustainability goals, the Gronau Site has implemented a way to reduce the consumption of water during production of RKW HyJet® nonwoven. In order to integrate fiber into the nonwoven material, a high-pressure method is needed which uses large quantities of water. However, by changing the water recirculation stream, demand has been significantly reduced. While positively impacting the environment through conservation approaches such as this, RKW also increases efficiency – a longterm benefit for customers.

Innovative Protection for Crops One fresh innovation at Gronau is its newly developed material for crop coverage. It artificially promotes earlier harvesting because it provides protection against negative weather influences and enables the formation of an internal micro-climate. In addition, compared to other material, it is stronger and better able to resist external mechanical forces such as animal encounters. All this reduces crop losses and maximizes output. This new nonwoven crop cover from RKW was developed based on market needs and with an eye again to sustainability. The durability of the material means it can be used longer, consequently contributing to reducting plastic waste in the agriculture industry. With normal coverings, farmers are only able to use crop covers for one season. This material can potentially be used for up to two seasons – a 100 per cent increase in value.

Working Towards a Sustainable Future RKW recognizes that environmental protection and social responsibility are connected inseparably. The Group is an active member of industry associations that focus on sustainability initiatives. These include Agriculture Plastic Environment (APE Europe), which aims to improve agri-waste recycling rates; or CEFLEX, a collaborative consortium of companies which is creating a circular economy roadmap. RKW plays a major and active role at EDANA, where the association’s mission is to create an ‘environment beneficial to innovation, sustainable and profitable growth of industry to best serve consumers.’ “When excellence matters.” That is RKW’s corporate slogan, which perfectly captures the essence of the company’s guiding principle to provide superior, sustainable products and services to its customers. n

Industry Europe 27


CALCIUM CARBONATE DESIGNED FOR PP SPUNMELT AND DRY-LAID NONWOVENS Omya is a global producer of calcium carbonate for industrial applications. It is a privately owned Swiss company with more than 175 plants and own mineral deposits around the world.

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alcium carbonate can be found everywhere in daily life. It is used widely as a coating agent for paper and paperboard as well as for paints, as an additive in food/-pharma and cosmetics, as a soil fertilizer in agriculture, for water remineralization, for flue gas desulfurization and many other applications. In plastics the first applications date back in the 50s of the last century when Omya introduced the first surface coated calcium carbonate for PVC applications. Since then the mineral has become an integral part of many formulations for wire and cables, pipes, conduits and profiles. Later, more and more applications in other polymers such as PS, UP, PUR, PA, ABS or PET were established. Polyolefins are also a major application of calcium carbonate. Sheets for thermoforming, PP raffia tapes and injection molded articles typically contain up to 40 per cent of mineral. Shopping bags or T-shirt bags used in packaging are loaded with 5 per cent to 30 per cent. The improved performance with calcium carbonate is used to downgauge film thickness. BOPP films take advantage of the cavitation functionality of the carbonate particles. Voids created with 7 per cent to 25 per cent calcium carbonate particles help to reduce density down to 0.5 g/cm3 and boost the opacity of the films. If the addition rate of calcium carbonate is increased further to 40 per cent to 60 per cent, an open cell structure can be achieved. This effect is used to produce breathable hygiene films for baby diapers and adult incontinence products. The membrane function is characterized by a high water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) in combination with a good water column even for very thin films down to 8 g/m². Such demanding applications require specific properties of calcium carbonate powder. It is therefore essential to develop tailormade solutions to fulfill the specific requirements of these markets. 28 Industry Europe

Omya relentlessly pushes the boundaries of established applications and introduces novel products to open new markets. Key to our success has been addressing all aspects along the value chain from raw materials, formulations, compounding, converting down to the requirements of the end application. A good example of Omya’s perseverance in innovation is the development of the new Omyafiber® 800 calcium carbonate for PP spunmelt and dry-laid nonwoven fabrics. This product is specifically designed to provide an attractive solution which creates value for our customers. It is a fine ground calcium carbonate that is naturally very pure. The particle size and the particle size distribution are tailored to achieve outstanding processability and fiber properties. A new and improved proprietary surface treatment is applied to the calcium carbonate to achieve excellent dispersion of the mineral particles in the polymer matrix. It allows enhanced processability and optimized compatibility. The product is food contact approved according FDA and actual EU regulations and for further regulatory requests Omya can give an appropriate answer. To successfully apply the new product, the whole value chain must be considered. Omyafiber® 800 is produced by Omya as a calcium carbonate powder. To apply this mineral to PP nonwovens, a masterbatch concentrate must be produced in an intermediate compounding step. To ensure good processability and product quality, the compounding technology needs to provide perfect dispersion of the mineral. To dilute the masterbatch concentrate pellets must be mixed with virgin PP and fed to the nonwoven process. A typical formulation may contain around 14 per cent masterbatch with Omyafiber® 800. The PP is typically a homopolymer with a melt flow rate (MFR) of 25 to 35 g/10 min at 230°C and 2.16 kg. The whole processing chain is shown in figure 1.


NONWOVENS & SUSTAINABILITY Figure 1: How to incorporate Omyafiber 800® into the PP nonwoven fabric

Masterbatch Compounding

100% Omyafiber®

70% Omyafiber® in PP masterbatch

Omyafiber® 800 provides value that pays off. Raw material savings are substantial. But cost savings are not the only attraction. In spunlace and carded nonwoven fabrics it creates natural cotton like haptics and softness. At high and low basis weight fabrics it improves tensile strength and elongation. Higher whiteness with Omyafiber® 800 allows savings in titanium dioxide (TiO2). During processing and on the final fabric the static charge is reduced. Omyafiber® 800 is also beneficial from sustainability perspective as it has a substantially lower carbon footprint then PP resin; it improves the CO2 balance. The value proposition is not only seen in internal lab investigations. Extensive technical evaluations have been done with wellknown research institutes. In recent years processing trials have been done at the European Centre of Innovative Textiles (CETI)

Fiber & Nonwoven production

Virgin PP plus Omyafiber® imasterbatch

in Tourcoing, France. Further trials on a Reicofil 4 nonwoven line have been conducted at the Sächsische Textilforschungsinstitut (STFI) in Chemnitz, Germany. The successful trials were essential to ensure the outstanding processability of Omyafiber® 800 on industrial lines. The trials were conducted with different technologies. Spunbond nonwovens have been produced with thermal calendering. Further trials with spunlacing or hydroentanglement as bonding step have been conducted. Trials with PP staple fibers which were carded and hydro-entangled have been done. In all trials 10 per cent Omyafiber® 800 was incorporated in the nonwovens via the addition of 14 per cent masterbatch. Scanning electron micrographs of PP multifilaments containing 10 per cent Omyafiber® 800 are shown in figure 2.

Figure 2: PP multifilament fibers containing 10% Omyafiber® 800 showing perfect mineral dispersion

The trials proved that Omyafiber® 800 caused no die build-up at the spinneret nor any extrusion pressure evolution during processing. The processes ran stable without fiber breakage. The evaluations helped to establish the know-how to optimize the process. More detailed technical results are available from Omya for further discussion. To realize all beneficial features with Omyafiber® 800 it is important to ensure high quality along the value chain from raw material producer via the compounders to the nonwoven producers. Therefore, it is crucial that all stakeholders work together to make the development a success. Omya is committed to support our partners during this implementation and optimization phase. They can count on the technical advice from our dedicated and experienced scientists and engineers. Our technical experts rely on state of the art technical centers around the globe. Their technical service is based on application-related and analytical tests in Omya’s laboratories. It also includes hands-on support in our customer’s production sites. n

Figure 3: Close collaboration of all stakeholder along the value chain is key for a successful product introduction

Editorial written by: Martin Brunner, Christophe Roux and Michael Knerr. Industry Europe 29


Plastic Free Solutions: VILOFT® short cut fibres are a leading material for producing fully flushable and biodegradable wipes.

WOVEN WITH NATURE Kelheim Fibres is the world’s leading producer of viscose speciality fibres, combining innovative technology, technical expertise and outstanding customer service. Alexander Bachmann, the company’s Strategic Sales and Marketing Manager speaks about the latest developments.

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avaria-based Kelheim Fibres, established in 1936, is one of the oldest producers in its sector. Its speciality viscose fibres are used in widely diverse applications ranging from fashion, hygiene and medical products through to the nonwovens industry, and can be found worldwide. Today, around 80 per cent of the company’s output is sold in the export markets. “We develop and produce high-value products. This has been our key strength and the reason we have survived the competition from low-cost manufacturers,” says Mr Bachmann. “Our products are 100 per cent bio-based and fully bio-degradable, making an important contribution towards the reduction of plastic waste and 30 Industry Europe

pollution by microplastics. With the growing preference for noplastic use, this is expected to be a growing business.” He explains that innovation has always been a factor that has kept the company at the forefront, mentioning the recently launched Danufil® QR, the ‘fibre that sets quats free’, tailor-made for use in disinfectant wipes. The product has recently won the World of Wipes Innovation Award. Danufil® QR is the only viscose fibre worldwide that – in contrast to standard viscose fibres – binds less than 10 per cent of “quats” (quarternary ammonium compounds), so that this common disinfectant can release its intended effect in the wipe.


NONWOVENS & SUSTAINABILITY Hidden Champion: Kelheim Fibres is the leading producer of tampon fibres and is planning to expand their position in the nonwoven hygiene market.

Danufil® QR fibres are made entirely of renewable cellulose and are therefore fully biodegradable. They can be easily processed with all nonwoven technologies.

State-of-the-art plant The company suffered a major setback last year when most of the plant was destroyed by a large fire. Still, Kelheim Fibres has managed to turn this misfortune into an advantage, says Mr Bachmann. “The need to rebuild the technology gave us the opportunity to focus on modern state-of-the-art equipment and particularly on resource-saving and environmentally-friendly production technology.” He pointed out that it is not just the technology that has been renewed but during the long shutdown the company also revised and implement changes in the whole process and production systems, significantly improving flexibility. “The ultimate outcome of this disaster is that we now operate a highly efficient, state-of-the-art highly environmentally-friendly production technology - we are now the fibre producer with the lowest CO2 and sulphur emissions in the world.” This may further enhance the company’s competitive advantage as more and more producers, including the fast fashion brands, push for environmental-friendly products, and sustainability has become an important decision-making factor. “Just a few years ago, we couldn’t compete with the Asian manufacturers. Even then we were highly sustainable, but nobody cared. This has now changed,

as sustainability has become a hot topic, and this development is of course very interesting for us.”

Natural from start to finish Sustainability will stay at the core of Kelheim Fibre’s further development. This year the company has joined the CanopyStyle initiative, aiming to make sure that no wood from ancient and endangered forests is used for the production of viscose fibres, by seamlessly documenting the supply chain. Kelheim Fibres already meets the requirements of the strict EU Timber Regulation and exclusively uses wood pulp from sustainable forestry with either FSC® or PEFC™ certification. “Joining the CanopyStyle initiative is a logical next step which will deliver more transparency to customers and consumers,” says Mr Bachmann. He affirmed that the company will continue to offer speciality fibres that can be tailor-made to the customer’s specifications and enable the production of future-oriented materials with integrated functionality. Examples include short-cut fibres that can be carbonised and integrated in compounds to create an electromagnetic shield or even electrical conductivity. “We consider ourselves to be the world-leading nonwoven viscose fibre manufacturer and in the future, we plan to focus even more on the nonwoven industry, particularly the hygiene segment. The nonwoven business has been our key strength for many years and we would like to expand that knowledge further, to develop more groundn breaking products, meeting the requirements of the future.”

Green Chemistry: Massive investments in environmental projects have made the cleanest viscose fibre in the world possible.

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UNIQUE EXPERTISE WITH FULL FLEXIBILITY Investkonsult Sweden AB, the global specialist in nonwoven and absorbent hygiene machinery brokerage and consulting services, has based its success on profound market knowledge and a dedication to fully meeting its clients’ needs. Small, smart and flexible has proven to be the right strategy for this Swedish family-owned company. 32 Industry Europe

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ur success is based on our efforts to understand the nonwoven and absorbent hygiene markets and to always be attentive to our clients’ needs and requirements,” affirms Johan Berlin, the company’s owner and managing director. Starting as a trader of conventional textile machines in the 1970s, Investkonsult changed direction at the turn of the millennium when Mr Johan Berlin took the company over, in order to fully focus on the non-woven and absorbent hygiene machinery segment. “While still selling and buying machines, we realised that we had reached a level of specialisation that no one else had. Consulting came as a natural progression, making use of our specific in-depth


NONWOVENS & SUSTAINABILITY

knowledge,” explains Mr Berlin. “We provide knowledge, reliability and transparency, as well as control over the equipment we re-sell, knowledge that has been built up during extensive travelling and customer visits. This is what makes us special.” Today, Investkonsult is one of the few companies worldwide that specialises solely in these two fields. “Timewise, maybe 30-40 per cent of our business is consulting, but turnover-wise machinery brokerage still represents 90 per cent. The two business lines complement each other, consulting opens doors to major multinational companies to which we would not have had access before,” he points out.

Global specialist Investkonsult’s major clients are existing non-woven manufacturers who have a desire to increase capacity by purchasing second-hand machines that are immediately available and in good condition. “Specialisation built on a profound knowledge of the sector and maximum flexibility due to our small company size are our clear competitive advantages. These have enabled us to achieve impressive results. For example, we have arranged sales of several spun bond lines to various clients including installation. We are the only brokerage/consultancy that has executed such projects.” “What makes us unique compared to traditional brokers of used equipment is that we work only by exclusive contract from our Principal, i.e. the seller. On the other hand, our ambition is to create strong and long-lasting relations also with the buyer, providing him with guidance and assistance. By establishing customer relations with a high level of trust and by constantly improving our services, we ensure that many of our customers choose our brokering services each time a procurement need arises.” Mr Berlin explains that the company provides its services worldwide with the exception of China. “Europe constitutes our main market at least for sourcing equipment, but when it comes to selling the same equipment there is a split between Europe, North America, South America, India and Asia.”

Despite the workload, Mr Berlin is adamant he will not increase his staff of five people. “We are content with being a fairly small company working on a global scale. There are very few companies in the world with our expertise so we have enough work to do as it is.” “I want to keep the business as a family company. It is not easy to find people with the right competence as this is such a specialised segment, so we would like to continue as we are - a one-stop-shop solution provider that strives to be the best in its area of expertise.” “When multinational companies with thousands of employees worldwide come to us - a tiny company from Sweden - for advice and expertise, that’s a nice position to be in. I would like to keep it n this way,” he affirms in conclusion.

Johan Berlin, managing director of Investkonsult Sweden

One of a kind How is it that a tiny company from the middle of Sweden has managed to develop the reputation of a global sector specialist? “Non-wovens are a fairly small, tight-knitted world where people know each other. Of course, being a member of EDANA and other organisations helps.” “We also exhibit at major fairs. We are always present at the Outlook conference, as well as exhibiting at both INDEX (next year) and IDEA (2022). From time to time we also exhibit in India (Techtextil) and participate in other events in India as it has been a key market for us.” Industry Europe 33


BIRLA PUROCEL – INNOVATIVE FIBRES

FOR SUSTAINABLE ABSORBENT HYGIENE & WIPES APPLICATIONS Birla PurocelTM is a nonwoven fibre brand of Birla Cellulose which is one of the largest producers of viscose staple fibre. Birla Cellulose is part of the Aditya Birla Group is a 48.3 billion-dollar Global Conglomerate.

At

Birla PurocelTM, our philosophy is based on three key pillars – Planet, Innovation & Partnerships. Based on the same philosophy, we’ve launched a plethora of innovative fibres to provide sustainable product solutions for absorbent hygiene, wipes & many other nonwoven applications. All these innovative fibres are made from natural & 100 per cent biodegradable viscose staple fibre. One of our key innovations, PurocelTM EcoDry is a biodegradable & compostable fibre for sustainable and environment friendly hygiene disposable products. It helps in creating nonwoven absorbent hygiene products that keeps the user’s skin dry while at the same time allowing fluids to be easily transferred to the absorbent core. PurocelTM EcoDry has been successfully used to make the top sheet of a sanitary towel. This not only achieves performance equivalent to present day polypropylene-based top sheets but also made it 100% biodegradable & more comfortable for the user. The sanitary towel is a highly engineered product made up of different layers, most of which are made up of plastics and take years to degrade fully, often ending up in landfill for eternity. PurocelTM EcoDry based top sheet has the potential to substantially reduce this landfill burden for a better tomorrow! Another innovative fibre of ours, PurocelTM EcoFlush can be used to make flushable wipes which solves the huge problem of sewage clogging. PurocelTM EcoFlush consists of short length fibres which provide a fine balance between strength and dispersion. PurocelTM AntiBac Plus is one of our unique innovative fibres that helps in creating nonwovens that restrict the growth of odour-causing bacteria. This specially treated fibre makes nonwoven fabrics safer and minimises the usage of preservatives in the end product (wipes). The fibre retains its efficacy after standard spunlacing. Thus, Purocel AntiBac Plus is not just a fibre but a promise of long-lasting antibacterial protection. We’ve also created PurocelTM QR (Quat Release) fibres for effective cleaning and disinfecting in household and industrial environments. These speciality fibres have been infused with a quat release technology which enables easy & quick release of quats - quaternary ammonium compounds usually found in quat based deep cleaning disinfectants. 34 Industry Europe

QR technology enables higher amounts of disinfectant (>85%) to get transferred to the target surface thus effectively cleaning hard surfaces of your household and industrial areas. Along with the deep cleaning, wipes made from Purocel fibres are biodegradable compared to existing deep cleaning wipes made out of synthetic fibres. Due to its ability to hold more water, it offers better fluid management while offering soft feel inherent to viscose fibre. Purocel QR fibres can be used in blends with other fibres like polyester, polypropylene or standard viscose in disinfecting and surface cleaning wet wipes. PurocelTM EcoDry, EcoFlush, AntiBac Plus & Quat Release (QR) are just of few of our many innovative fibres for our plethora of nonwoven applications. We’ve been able to create these innovative fibres for a better planet by closely working with our esteemed value chain partners through partnerships. All of our innovative fibres are a culmination of combined efforts of our value chain partners from making the right fibre to getting it integrated well in the final product. Planet, Innovation & Partnerships, that’s Birla Purocel – n Because we care!


AEROSPACE & DEFENCE

FLYING HIGH B

eing the technology partner of all major manufacturers, FACC works together with its customers on developing solutions for the mobility of the future. Every second, there is an aircraft taking off with FACC technology on board. FACC technologies are also environmental winners. They help save weight and therefore fuel while optimizing flight characteristics, thus expanding the total range of aircraft. FACC employs 3,500 people from 38 nations working in 13 countries worldwide. With a customer base that includes all major manu-

FACC, a worldwide leading aerospace company in the design, development and production of innovative components and systems for aircraft interiors, is on course for growth, benefitting from the favourable aerospace market environment and full support from its supplier chain. Romana Moares reports. facturers and tier1 suppliers, the company is listed in the ATX of the Vienna Stock Exchange and part of the Fortune-500 Group AVIC, providing access to the largest growth markets within the industry. Last year, the company was again able to benefit from positive market development and achieved record revenues of over €782 million. “On its 30th anniversary, our company successfully continued its evolution, achieving the highest turnover in its history,” confirmed Robert Machtlinger, FACC CEO. “The good business result

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of the Group is based on our enormous innovative strength and the associated competitive advantage. Positive long-term market forecasts, growth through innovation and efficiency coupled with the high motivation of our employees ensure our success.”

Supplier Excellence Awards FACC management makes it clear that the company’s supplier chain plays a paramount role in the positive business development. On May 9th 2019, FACC hosted its Supplier Conference at “Messezentrum Ried”. More than 190 key suppliers took part in the event and the FACC Supplier Excellence Awards were presented for exemplary performance to the Group’s strategic partners. To distinguish excellent supplier performance, the FACC Supplier Excellence Awards were presented in Gold, Silver, and Bronze categories along with the coveted “Special Performance Award”. Executive Vice President - Procurement, Rudolf Leitner highlighted the contribution of suppliers to the Group’s outstanding financial results. “It is always a pleasure for us to honour our suppliers for their excellent performances in the past year. Our suppliers’ continued commitment ensures that we can offer innovative solutions that meet the requirements of our customers.” Recognised as the best supplier, Isovolta AG won the “Supplier Excellence Award” in gold. The Austrian enterprise is an interna-

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tionally leading manufacturer of composites and has been reliably supplying FACC with pre-pregs, especially for the Cabin Interiors Division, for more than 20 years. The cooperative partnership is determined by material and technology know-how, as well as efficiency throughout the order management process. The “Supplier Excellence Award” in silver was received by Germanyheadquartered FlammAerotec GmbH, the producer of sheet metal formed parts and machined parts of the highest precision according to premium standards, while the “Supplier Excellence Award“ in bronze was presented to the Upper Austrian enterprise Kellner & Kunz AG as a competent C-parts Management Partner. Kellner & Kunz AG is a leading commercial enterprise and service provider in the field of tools, chemicaltechnical products, as well as fastening technology and work safety. Finally, the FACC “Special Performance Award” was bestowed to Scholz Maschinenbau GmbH & Co.KG who manufactured and installed two autoclaves - one of them featuring a length of 19.9 meters and a diameter of 6.1 meters, making it the biggest ever applied by FACC.

Together we stand During the FACC Supplier Conference, Mr Machtlinger presented the business strategy of the company and emphasised the importance of quality, operative excellence, social responsibility, as well


AEROSPACE & DEFENCE

as positive partnership in Supplier Management. He reiterated: “The conference was an excellent forum to strengthen our supplier relationships and to communicate the most important strategic priorities ensuring a powerful partnership. A strong supply chain is key to our business activities as a recognised technology partner for the global aerospace industry. Together we can shape the mobility of the future together.” With its balanced and comprehensive customer and product portfolio, FACC is set to continue on its growth course in the 2019/20 financial year and, based on its current market assessment, expects sales growth to be in line with market growth. Changes in the product mix, in particular the discontinuation of

the A380 aircraft program, will be compensated by new orders acquired in the last two financial years. “We are doing everything in our power to achieve fixed cost degression through targeted operational measures and to further increase profitability - with the aim of compensating for natural cost increases,” said Mr Machtlinger. “Over the past 30 years, we have consistently worked on the technological development of the company and have risen from a start-up to a world-class group. We are proud of the past 30 years, but we will not pause for a moment. On the contrary, we are n going into the next 30 years with full vigour”. Visit: www.facc.com

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COMMANDING ADVANTAGE Aselsan is an international defence electronics company whose command control systems offer unique operational advantages thanks to its latest electro-optics and advanced avionics systems, as Philip Yorke reports.

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selsan was founded in Turkey in 1975 in order to meet the communication needs of the Turkish Armed Forces. Today Aselsan has become a world leader in the manufacture of a broad range of defence electronics systems including radar and electronic warfare, electro-optics, avionics, unmanned systems, missile defence systems and command and control systems. As a major exporter, Aselsan invests in international markets via its global network of local partners and is rated as one of the top 100 defence companies in the world.

Leading in remote weapon systems Aselsan, as the leading defence systems manufacturer of Turkey, is also among the top producers of Remote Weapon Systems in the world, with its production capacity of more than 100 systems per month and its exports to 18 countries worldwide. Today, over 3,000 Remote Weapon Systems developed by Aselsan are successfully being used by the Armed Forces of many different countries. Most of these advanced systems are field-proven as they are being actively used in counter terror operations in Turkey and elsewhere throughout the world. The company’s latest remote defence system offering is the SarpZafer, which allows troops to change or load their ammunition from the inside of a vehicle. With this unique system, there is no need for operators to go outside the protection of the armour-clad vehicle. This provides a major advantage in the battlefield, enabling counterfire against asymmetric threats under much safer conditions. According to the information received from the company, the system has been developed to be used with small and medium calibre machine guns and can detect the direction, range and coordinates of hostile fire, thanks to its integrated ‘Gunshot Detection System’.

With its high hit accuracy, the system is designed to be integrated into any type of wheeled or tracked armoured vehicle. It can also be used as a stationary defence vehicle to protect critical assets. Furthermore, it can be wireless mounted on unmanned vehicles. Through its advanced electro-optical suite and fire control computers, the system provides automatic target tracking and detection functions in all day/night weather conditions. It also provides highly accurate ballistic calculations that result in optimal first-round hit successes. Among the other advanced products in Aselsan’s range of Remote Controlled Weapon Systems, is Sarp-Dual which can be equipped with two weapons at the same time, and Sarp-NSV, which is equipped with a Russian 12.7 mm NSV machine gun.

Driving force for local technologies For many years, Aselsan has been the driving force that supports the production of Turkey’s local technologies. Its latest 4.5G mobile antennas were brought by Turkcell, the country’s leading utility and communications company as the cornerstone of its 4.5G network installations. Following the announcement, local antennas have already started serving customers through the new, live 4.5G network. Produced exclusively by Aselsan, the antennas were configured to suite the Pendik field in Istanbul. With the installation, Turkcell has become the first operator in Turkey to deploy local 4.5G mobile antennas in its network. Joining forces with Aselsan for its advanced technical requirements, Turkcell has also played an active role in the development of 4.5G mobile antennas. Trials with prototypes started in 2016, and the live field trials with the prototypes were conducted in Ankara

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SMAG Mobile Antenna Masts Customized solutions up to 40m without guy wires

SMAG Mobile Antenna Masts is worldwide the leading manufacturer for electromechanical and hydraulic operating Mobile Antenna Masts up to a height of 40m that do not require any kind of guy wires. The masts have been manufactured in Salzgitter/Germany since as early as 1974 and more than 1900 mast systems are used across the world for communication, data transmission, border control, securing points or areas of interest, observation, reconnaissaince and jamming. SMAG Mobile Atenna Masts comply with Military and European regulations, as well as safety standards and provide highest mobility, even in rough terrain and can be operated in intermediate heights. Mounted on trucks, trailers, armoured vehicles, platforms and adapted to mobile containers, the antenna masts fulfill all military standards and guarantee a successful mission! SMAG Mobile Antenna Masts with their core competence: Welding of steel and aluminum according to defense technology requirements, is the competent partner in all questions relating to mobile antenna masts and offers also special services, e. g. modernisation and refit solutions according to new technical and economical requirements. The worldwide leading market position in the design, manufacture and supply of standard and customized mobile antenna mast systems, is the result of strong issue-solving capabilities and have set standards in the industry, a powerful global sales force and complete worldwide service.

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and Istanbul in 2017. Following the signing of the contract last year, the procurement agreement was subsequently adopted for 2030 antennas to be installed across the country. “Aselsan has worked to supply local and national communication systems since 1975. We proudly announce that our ‘4.5G Base Station Antenna Production Project’ in association with Turkcell, today started to serve live national networks,” said Bayram Genccan, Vice President of Communication & Information Technologies at Aselsan. “We have reached a level where we compete with global competitors. The improvement process will expedite as we receive field information with the installment of antennas in live networks. With Turkcell’s local support, we plan to incorporate our experience and knowledge in 4.5G to develop products during the 5G era,” added Genccan. “In the first installment phase 1000 4.5G mobile antennas will be configured to Turkcell’s 250 base stations by the end of the year.”

Today Aselsan and Sikorsky are co-developing the IMAS suite to provide Turkish pilots with powerful smart displays, point-andclick functionality to speed input of pilot commands, and ergonomic enhancements to the Pilot Vehicle Interface that will reduce pilot workload. Navigational improvements tailored to Turkish requirements will include an integrated Terrain Avoidance Warning System, an integrated advanced digital map, and coupled flight control functions for guided approaches to landing zones. The TUHP program is valued at approximately USD 3.5 billion for 109 T70 aircraft, inclusive of the work to be performed by Sikorsky, n TAI and other suppliers. For further details of Aselsan’s latest innovative electronic defence systems visit: www.aselsan.com.tr

Helicopter programme lifts off US helicopter firm Sikorsky has recently transferred a S-70i Black Hawk helicopter to Aselsan for use as the prototype aircraft for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program (TUHP). The aircraft will enable Sikorsky to integrate an Aselsan-developed avionics suite into Turkey’s new T70 utility helicopter, and later into Turkish-built Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk aircraft to be sold internationally. Called the Integrated Modular Avionics System (IMAS), the new avionics suite is a collaborative design by Aselsan, Sikorsky, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and pilots serving the Turkish Armed Forces to meet the requirements of Turkish T70 operators and other potential customers. TAI leads a team of Turkish aerospace companies that will build at least 109 helicopters with the T70 designation for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program. The IMAS suite will be produced in time for initial deliveries of T70 aircraft to Turkish end users in 2021. Industry Europe 41


DRIVING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FORWARD Schneider Electric leads the world in digital transformation technology for advanced energy management and automation systems. Philip Yorke reports on a remarkable, broad-based company that excels in providing integrated solutions that combine energy, automation and advanced innovative software.

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chneider Electric is a French multinational corporation headquartered in Rueil-Malmaison, France. It is also located at the World Trade Centre in Grenoble. The company was founded in 1836 as Schneider & Cie. It was ultimately renamed Schneider Electric in May 1999. In 2018 the company employed over 155,000 people and recorded revenues of almost 26 billion euros.

Ten times faster Today Schneider Electric’s online tool makes product selection ten-times faster and helps panel builders save considerable time and effort as well as avoiding errors when configuring circuit breakers. The global leader in energy management and automation, has launched MyPact, a web-based product selector and ordering tool


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for low voltage (LV) circuit breakers. Accessible by desktop, tablet or smartphone, MyPact is compatible with the latest Schneider Electric products, including its Compact and Masterpact LV circuit breakers. When assembling a panel or board, panel builders can lose precious time by accidently selecting incompatible products. Often the mistake is realised too late, and contractors suffer delays as they remove and rewire their panel components. MyPact recoups lost time, offering fault-free product selection and a faster ordering process. It allows panel builders to start projects and populate them with error-free, compatible components entirely in-platform. The unique digital tool notifies the user when they have

chosen an incompatible product and can offer recommendations to ensure they choose a device with the right voltage for their setup. In addition, MyPact helps deliver an up to ten-fold decrease in the time taken to choose the correct panel components. It provides comprehensive product information through free PDF downloads and allows users to order directly from Schneider Electric straight from the platform. Users can even save projects in progress within the tool’s secured cloud storage, helping them put down and pick up their work anytime and anywhere. Gary Buckingham, product and segment marketing manager at Schneider Electric, said “We see technology as a powerful aid to help

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make the lives of our customers easier. We hope MyPact becomes an essential tool for our panel-building partners, helping them win back lost time and increase their productivity. It’s the fastest, easiest, least-hassle way to make a bill-of-materials that’s ready to go.”

Boosting facility management efficiency Schneider Electric helps facility managers take greater control with its new Network Automation Controller. The all new controller helps managers monitor and control key processes from a single device, thus saving time and money, as well as reducing waste and significantly boosting energy efficiency. The company recently launched its latest solution to make operating large commercial buildings and facilities cheaper, easier and much more efficient. The Network Automation Controller (NAC) for the Schneider Electric C-Bus system helps integrate and control the array of vital functions found in today’s buildings. 44 Industry Europe


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The NAC provides users with the means to control their entire building from a single, secure system. It integrates and communicates easily with the central building management system, becoming a gateway for managers to monitor and control all of the building’s crucial systems, including power consumption, circuit breaker status, lighting, heating, security and cameras. Thanks to its flexible and customisable user interface, all building functions are controlled and displayed through its web server application on both local and mobile devices. The easy-to-use interface allows managers to stay on top of operations whether they are in the office or working remotely. To help managers retain visibility across operations, the NAC shares automatic notifications in the event of a detected systems failure. These automated alerts ensure that issues can be resolved quickly and before they have an adverse effect on the building or its occupants, such as during a sudden loss of lighting. The NAC device also helps managers play a pro-active role in the energy efficiency of their building. It collects data from across the building’s functions, giving managers easy access to all maintenance, management and energy usage information. It displays gas, water and electricity measurements, and monitors consumption on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis. The NAC then stores and analyses this data before identifying potential energy-savings. Energy billing is possible at a glance and provides managers with enhanced scope to identify efficiencies and cut waste. Unlike other solutions, the NAC is reprogrammable and can be easily mounted to the C-Bus via standard DIN rail mountings. Installations will be faster, and the time saved will translate into lower costs for customers and managers.

Asad Zaidi, category marketing manager for smart space at Schneider Electric, said, “The C-Bus NAC gives building and facility managers the ease and degree of control they need to ensure peak operational and energy efficiency. It makes the integration of multiple, complex systems and the installation of new products faster, saving significant time and costs.” The Network Automation Controller for the Schneider Electric C-Bus system is now available for purchase via Schneider Electric’s n EcoXpert channel and its distributor partners. For further details of Schneider Electric’s latest energy-saving and innovative automation products visit: www.schneider-electric.com

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BUSES THAT COMBINE

TRADITION AND MODERNITY Autosan, a company from Sanok, is Poland’s leading bus manufacturer. “Our business idea is to keep up with the latest customer’s needs; we offer state of the art technical and technological solutions; we care for people and the environment; our key values are experience, dynamism, reliability and economy”, says Mr. Eugeniusz Szymonik, the company’s CEO.

Mr. Eugeniusz Szymonik, CEO of Autosan

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he name of Autosan has been well known to many generations of Poles, since Autosan is one of the country’s longest-running companies. “Autosan limited liability company is the heir to the 187-year tradition. Moreover, it is the only Polish automotive factory that survived the political, social and economic changes that took place in our country in the early 1990s. It is worth remembering that before 1989, there were 20 automotive factories in Poland, which placed the country among leading European automotive producers”, points out Mr. Szymonik.

Long tradition The story of the bus factory in Sanok, a town located in the southeastern Poland, started in 1832, when a small boiler plant was founded by two local entrepreneurs: Mr. Walenty Lipinski and Mr. Mateusz Beksinski. Soon the workshop expanded for locksmith and blacksmith services and eventually transformed into a large factory. At the end of the 19th century the company was the biggest manufacturer of rail-coaches, freight and tram cars in Poland. In the late 1920’s Autosan launched its first buses with wooden skeletons on the Lancia chassis; in 1949 it made its first trams after the end of the second World War, designed for Warsaw. In 1957, a new tourist bus was designed by Mr. Zdzislaw Beksinski, a famous Polish painter, sculptor, photographer and illustrator. Not many people know that for 10 years of his professional life the artist had

been associated with Autosan bus factory. It was his great-grandfather Mateusz who was one of the founders of the boilers workshop, which was the forerunner of the later factory for wagons and buses. In 1973, its market debut had the company’s iconic bus model, Autosan H9. Its technical solutions were a major advance in the development of the structure and matched world standards of that time. Autosan H9 had been produced for 30 the years. More than 58,000 vehicles of this type left the factory’s gates. The following years saw the expansion of the company; however, the political and economic transformations that took place in Poland at the end of the 20th century placed Autosan in very difficult conditions. As a result, in September 2013, the then management board of the company submitted a bankruptcy application. Next month, the court appointed a bankruptcy trustee for Autosan, thus enabling the company to continue its economic activity. In 2016, Autosan was taken over by a consortium consisting of PIT-RADWAR and Huta Stalowa Wola, both members of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (the Polish Armaments Group), a leading supplier of army equipment, which brings together more than 60 companies. Thus, Autosan is backed by the PGZ economic potential (the group’s annual sales are estimated as PLN 4.5 billion, which is more than EUR 1 billion) and its know-how. The company recommenced its activities under the name of Autosan sp. z o.o. (limited liability company).

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Tezana Tezana has been operating on the market since 1996 and is a representative of global manufacturers of drivetrains and powertrains for applications in automotive industry. For bus applications Tezana offers a full range of FPT On-Road engines, Allison automatic transmissions, Eaton manual gearboxes, Meritor axles and other components (ie. axles & bridges). In order to bring to OEMs better Powertrain integrated product solutions Tezana offers also a complete drivetrains - a coupled engine + transmission unit customized to the individual customer needs - to provide best performance and economy bringing single order benefits – just one warranty for all package – more competitive pricing, maximum flexibility trough a wider scope of supply.

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Back on the road “In 2016, Autosan was reborn and in the following years, we had to sort out many things, including our technical facilities and infrastructure. Now the company is again the competent, friendly and trustworthy business partner you can rely on”, says Mr. Szymonik. Autosan’s current range of products includes a wide range of modern buses, designed for cities, suburban areas and intercity passenger traffic, as well as special application buses. “We manufacture all types of buses except for tourist buses”, adds Mr. Szymonik. There are two production lines in the Autosan factory in Sanok, including the one prepared for the manufacturing of electrical and hydrogen-powered buses. The company’s plan for 2019 is to manufacture 200 buses, while for 2020, production is set to grow to 300-350 vehicles. The annual production capacity of Autosan is approximately 2,000 buses, although, as Mr. Szymonik admits, it is currently possible to produce between 700 and 800 vehicles. The company is currently focused on the Polish market, although it is closely monitoring the foreign markets. Recently, it sold first electric bus to Germany. “In my opinion our export chances are significant, because being a strong player in the very demanding Polish market, where we compete daily with leading international bus manufacturers, we are ready to meet the high expectations of foreign customers”, points out Mr. Szymonik.

What makes Autosan stand out from most bus companies is the fact that its buses are made of stainless steel, and therefore corrosion-free. In Europe only three manufacturers use this method, including Autosan. The company’s buses are painted with the best paints on the market, their engines meet the Euro 6 standard and come from such recognised producers as Cummins and IVECO, while components and solutions are purchased from international manufacturers, such as Allison, ZIEHL-ABEGG, ZF, VOITH, to name but a few. Over the next 2-3 years, the company is going to introduce the entirely new, modern design of its buses.

Not just buses The company’s business profile also includes the production of military equipment (for instance: special truck bodies, cabins for electronic devices of mobile special objects, cabins for communication and radiolocation equipment) and rail stock components (complex steel welded structures such as the entire rail vehicle sections, components as cabins, roofs, walls, handrails, tunnels, portals, etc). Sales from these both departments account for about 20-25 percent n of the company’s total sales.

For more information, visit: www.autosan.pl

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HB Fuller is a company familiar to everyone in the packaging industry and wherever adhesives play a key role in manufacturing. As a global innovator and champion of sustainability it ranks as one of the world’s most dynamic and successful companies in its field. Philip Yorke reports on some of HB Fuller’s latest ground-breaking achievements and industry trends.

GROUND-BREAKING, SUSTAINABLE, ADHESIVE TECHNOLOGY

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he company’s founder, Harvey Benjamin Fuller, had a vision more than a century ago to formulate innovative, convenient and economical adhesives. That spirit still resonates today in everything the company does as a global leader in adhesive technology. HB Fuller was founded in 1887 when it introduced Fuller’s Premium Liquid Fish Glue, which was known to “cement everything” from tin cans for mechanics to barrels for factories. Fuelled by the success of his first adhesive, Harvey Fuller formulated more specialised adhesives, including Fuller’s Premium Wet Paste Adhesive used for gluing shoes, hanging wallpaper, mending books, attaching labels and manufacturing boxes. H.B. Fuller’s success is built upon its unrivalled knowledge and commitment to continual innovation. From the first hot pick-up “gum” to being one of the first companies in the world to specialise in waterproof adhesives, H.B. Fuller has paved the way for adhesives to improve products and lives across the globe.

Next-generation solutions Earlier this year, HB Fuller launched a set of new, more sustainable adhesive solutions at a major international trade fair ‘Ligna 2019’ in Hannover, Germany. This is one of the world’s most important trade fairs for all segments of the woodworking industry sector. H.B. Fuller showcased specifically designed next-generation adhesive solutions to address the growing demand from wood furniture and flooring manufacturers for materials that help reduce

hazardous emissions from their finished goods. These new products include Rakoll® 4933, a formaldehyde-free, water-based adhesive; Rakoll® 5010, a low monomer emission reactive hot melt adhesive; and a range of NEP-free primers for edge-banding applications. The company’s high-quality adhesive solutions and process innovations also support its customers’ requirements to lower costs, increase efficiency, and improve production output while strengthening product experience. In fact, the adhesive used may be a relatively small component in furniture and flooring but it can play a powerful role in business performance. “We continuously listen to our customers and understand today’s challenges to both maintain efficient manufacturing processes and meet consumer demand for more environment-friendly goods,” says Johannes Christiani, business development manager, H.B. Fuller EIMEA - Durable Assembly. “We are launching exciting adhesive solutions for woodworking with the most recent innovative additions to our trusted Rakoll range that offer customers the potential to gain a competitive advantage by obtaining low hazard certification for their high-performance finished products.”

Emerging solar-power trends Solar power manufacturers continue to look for a collaborative partner who can give them the competitive edge and provide key insights and solutions into the industry’s emerging trends. HB Fuller’s Engineering Adhesives operating division identifies and leverages

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trends in this fast-growing and ever-changing market, and it partners closely with customers in order to address their specific needs. Some of the more recent trends to emerge in the solar industry include a focus on durability, as manufacturers are interested in creating longer-lasting modules that can be in the field for 40 years or more. Additionally, there continues to be the development of lighter and thinner materials in order to lessen both transportation and shipping costs, putting HBF in the ideal position to provide stronger materials and to offer a broader range of chemistries to help manufacturers adapt to market trends and meet the latest industry demands. Adhesives solutions in this market space are generally highly engineered and are designed to solve difficult problems, as well as to perform well in harsh conditions and, in general, meet very demanding performance specifications. H.B. Fuller offers the most comprehensive set of materials to solar manufacturers and installers. Typical customers include manufacturers of solar modules, companies that install solar panels, and companies that manufacture components incorporated into the solar value chain.

application in real time, via UV detection systems. However, optical brighteners added to make boards appear white also fluoresce under blue UV light, thus reducing the efficiency of the adhesive detection system, especially when it comes to recycled boards. The challenge therefore became how to make the adhesive visible when brighteners added to boards are fluorescing at the same UV length. The company’s detection system experts selected the green/yellow UV wavelength, and achieved HB Fuller’s goal to keep adhesives identifiable in any context, while complying with all international regulations.

Greater supply-chain visibility.

Pioneering a zero-defects process

Today packaging manufacturers need a strong partner with technical expertise that understands today’s market and supply chain challenges, and to help them solve their unique specifications and still meet all regulatory requirements. A major milestone in achieving greater supply chain efficiency has been HB Fuller’s on-going research into increasing supply-chain visibility. This resulted in a groundbreaking technical development. HB Fuller is now able to gain a single view of data using its unique Ascential solutions software to tap into disparate inventories and complex customer information sources.

Aiming for a zero-defects process, packaging manufacturers are currently using quality control technologies such as integrated sensors and camera detection mechanisms, to track and adjust adhesive

For further details of HB Fuller’s latest innovative adhesive solutions n and technologies visit: www.hbfuller.com Industry Europe 53


NEW HORIZONS Following last year’s acquisition of Federal Mogul by Tenneco Inc, Federal Mogul Hungary Ltd is now a key part of one of the world’s leading producers of Ride Performance and Clean Air auto solutions.

In

October 2018 Tenneco Inc., one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers and marketers of Ride Performance and Clean Air products and technology solutions for automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment markets and the aftermarket, announced the acquisition of Federal-Mogul LLC, the leading global supplier to original equipment manufacturers and the aftermarket. A key European operation acquired in the transaction was the Federal Mogul production facility at Kunsziget in Hungary. The Hungarian plant produces four main products – static cold gaskets, dynamic seals, vale stem seals and wiper blades. The company’s main brands, which include Champion, Moog, Ferodo, Beral, Payen, Goetze, Nural, AE, Glyco and FP-diesel, are well known names across Europe; it supplies autoparts to 98.5 per cent of European vehicles. Products manufactured at Kunsziget are deliv54 Industry Europe

ered direct to the customer on a just-in-time basis, whether engine builders or automotive assembly plants. The nearest customer is Audi’s Hungarian engine plant 20km away in Győr, but the company also supplies many other prominent automotive companies including BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler, as well as autopart manufacturers including Continental and Bosch.

Two new Companies Following the Federal Mogul acquisition, Tenneco is separating its businesses lo form two new, independent companies, an Aftermarket and Ride Performance company as well as a new Powertrain Technology company. The aftermarket and ride performance company will be one of the largest global multi-line, multi-brand aftermarket companies, and one of the largest global OE ride performance and braking compa-


AUTOMOTIVE & HEAVY VEHICLES

nies. The aftermarket and ride performance company’s principal product brands will feature Monroe®, Walker®, Clevite®Elastomers, MOOG®, Fel-Pro®, Wagner®, Champion® and others. The powertrain technology company will be one of the world’s largest pure-play powertrain companies serving OE markets worldwide with engineered solutions addressing fuel economy, power output, and criteria pollution requirements for gasoline, diesel and electrified powertrains. Its focus will be on developing advanced ‘Clean Air’ systems to reduce emissions in both traditional and hybrid applications. Its products will include engine bearings, pistons, piston pins, piston rings, cylinder liners, valve seats and guides, spark plugs, ignition coils, transmission products, technical textiles and connecting rods. The powertrain technology company will serve light vehicle, commercial truck, offhighway and industrial markets. “Our acquisition of Federal Mogul makes possible the creation of two new product-focused companies with even stronger portfolios positioned to capture unique opportunities in their respective markets,” said Roger Wood, co-CEO, Tenneco. “Now that we

have completed the acquisition, we look forward to accelerating the successful realignment of the businesses and creation of the new companies.”

New technology solutions In April this year Tenneco showcased its latest powertrain and clean air solutions at the 2019 Auto show in Shanghai. These included the company’s all-new Megabond cylinder liners. The advanced liner technology was developed to meet the durability, performance and packaging demands of engine manufacturers globally. Providing superior mechanical bonding strength and robustness, Megabond liners enable more compact high-efficiency engine designs and easier cylinder block manufacturing. The Megabond technology was developed at the company’s technical facilities in Friedberg and Burscheid in Germany. Also showing wasTenneco’s PRiME 3D software, a breakthrough dynamic simulation tool that supports manufacturers cutting engine development time by up to 70 percent while allowing emissions and fuel consumption reductions to be achieved through the early opti-

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Since 1976 with more than 40 years of experience PMG is a global leading company in the field of specialty rubber compounds. The production at PMG Italy is in three mixing plants to produce black conventional compounds, coloured compounds and the mixing unit dedicated to FKM compounds with two lines for black and coloured compounds. PMG production is based on all specialty elastomers and the core business is represented by the production of FKM compounds, for which PMG is a global leader for product portfolio and volume produced. PMG East Srl. started operations in January 2006 at Timisoara (Romania) with a mixing unit for conventional black compound. The site is equipped with a state of the art mixing line to serve our Customers in Central and Eastern Europe. PMG Rubber Technology (Changshu) CO Ltd. In December 2016, PMG Rubber Technology Ltd has started operations in Changshu (China). The plant is located in Fervent Industrial Park, north of Shanghai on an area of 7500sqm. The unit is equipped with two lines for black and coloured FKM and a line for black compounds in operation by the end of 2017. A local team of experienced technicians and sales professionals, laboratory facility and modern equipment together with PMG know-how represent a unique opportunity to be close to our customers in the Asia Pacific markets.

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mization of piston and piston ring design. An industry first, PRiME 3D enables the generation of a physically realistic virtual model of a running engine during the design process. The software can accurately predict cylinder component performance, along with characteristics like friction losses and oil consumption, already at an early stage of engine development, eliminating many iterations of design, prototyping and physical testing.

Complementing its portfolio of technologies for improved internal combustion engines, Tenneco´s Powertrain division also presented a range of electrification products. Developed by its Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) product group, these products support enhanced performance and utilize otherwise wasted kinetic and exhaust gas energy to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. Featured products included CPT SpeedStart®, an advanced startergenerator for micro and mild hybrid applications, COBRATM electric supercharger for increased air supply of ICEs, and TIGERS® turbogenerator integrated exhaust gas energy recovery system. Reviewing the establishment of Tenneco’s new business structure, Brian Kesseler, co-CEO, Tenneco, comments, “The successful integration of Federal Mogul into Tenneco marks an important step as we progress toward the transformation of our company into two strong, leading global businesses with the scale and financial flexibility to drive long-term value creation.” n

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TOP MIND-SET - TOP WHEEL-SET

GHH-Bonatrans is a global engineering company and an undisputed leader in the design and manufacture of high-quality wheelsets for all types of rollingstock. With its centres for engineering excellence and unrivalled engineering expertise, the company continues to set the industry standard in the rail transport sector, as Philip Yorke reports. 58 Industry Europe


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HH-Bonatrans has been contributing to the railway industry for more than 200 years and has been responsible for countless innovative engineering breakthroughs. The merger of the world’s two leading railway engineering companies, GHH and Bonatrans in 2014, generated a unique opportunity for international growth for the new company and a host of new innovative products. From development and engineering to production and assembly, the complete rolling stock wheelset system is at the core of GHH-Bonatrans’ expertise. The company designs and produces the highest-quality wheelsets and their component parts for all types of rolling stock, including high-speed and mainline trains, metro, trams,

locomotives and freight wagons. It delivers its products to more than 80 countries around the world. Today the company’s comprehensive product portfolio has universal recognition for its uncompromising performance, technological advancements, rugged reliability, full-service solutions and top-class customer services.

Focus on safety and comfort Wheelsets are the interface between the train and the core rail infrastructure and carry the whole weight of the rolling stock at speeds of up to 450 kmph. Consequently, each wheelset becomes

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the safety-critical component of any rail-bound vehicle. Wheelsets move passengers through densely populated areas, so comfort as well as respect to quality of life and the environment play increasingly important roles. The transportation of freight and passengers is a public service like any other and so GHH-Bonatrans strives to keep the world’s railway systems competitive with other modes of transport. Built to the most robust standards with service-proven design, the company ensures to deliver strict standards of manufacturing quality and a thoroughly tried and tested maintenance service programme. Today GHH-Bonatrans represents an impressive part of the world’s history of wheelset design and manufacturing. Generations of experts have contributed to the evolution of the latest wheelsets. With more than 200 years of history in wheelset manufacturing, the company has earned an unrivalled reputation for its expertise. This is strengthened consistently by investments into highly specialised research and development, as well as in cutting-edge technologies. As a result, proven, new and innovative solutions are regularly launched into the rail rolling stock industry.

Innovation a top priority Since 1808 GHH-Bonatrans has been involved in making the world’s most reliable and safe wheelsets and has developed an extremely

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high level of expertise making it capable of meeting any market challenges or advanced requirements for today’s wheelset solutions. This could never be possible without innovation being a top priority at GHH-Bonatrans and with it a clear focus on systematic research. GHH-Bonatrans maintains its technological leadership by investing a significant proportion of its revenues on research and development and has set concrete long-term research targets. The company’s focus is aimed at improving its current product’s qualities, performance, safety and comfort. The wheels of innovation never stop turning and new products that meet today’s latest challenges are the result of this dedication to research excellence. These groundbreaking new technologies can be found in the company’s latest “BonAxle” which is a unique, innovative inductionhardened component. It is the company’s solution to the global requirements of increased safety and reliability. It also brings with it a significant decrease in life-cycle costs. This latest axle is likely to bring paradigmatic changes in railways across Europe and beyond. In addition, the company’s “BonStar” brand represents a family of new wheel materials for all types of passenger, locomotive and freight wheelsets. In comparison with the wheels made of standard EN grades, BonStar ensures 30 per cent greater life in mileage by increasing the fatigue limit in the wheel web significantly and by providing greater hardness and strength of the rim.


AUTOMOTIVE & HEAVY VEHICLES

Longer, quieter lifecycles

Super-resilience

BonaSilence is a family of dynamic noise absorbing systems developed by GHH-Bonatrans and it is possible to find the latest example of this unique product in the new metro cars for Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) supplied by Stadler. Here, driving and standard wheelsets are equipped with multi-segmented dampers, mounted on the wheels, are thus able to reduce the wheel rolling noise by 10dB in comparison with standard wheels. The dampers significantly reduce any squealing noise too. Expected lifespan of the damper is minimum 15 years, furthermore the special analogical damper can be designed to fit any new wheelset diameter.

The newly developed and super-resilient wheel for 12.5 t axle loads meets all the requirements for a resilient wheel, with tread diameters of 600mm new / 520mm worn and secures low radial stiffness at 20-40 kN/mm. The advanced design of all components has been enhanced and the rubber elements have been completely reshaped. Excellent strength of the ‘GHH-Ultra-S’ was verified by applying the German quality standards FEM analysis and assessment of stresses n by application under FKM-guidelines. For further details of the latest GHH-Bonatrans innovative wheelset products and services visit: www.ghh-bonatrans.com

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Farmtrac Tractors of Poland has launched a unique service for customers worldwide. Philip Yorke reports on a company that now leads the field in tractor design and customer service.

ON-THE-BUTTON

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AUTOMOTIVE & HEAVY VEHICLES

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armtrac Tractors Europe is one of the leading producers of agricultural tractors in Europe and Asia. Founded in 2000 in Mragowo, Poland, Farmtrac today is among the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural tractors. Over 20 types of tractors are currently manufactured in Poland as well as in India. The European customers for these tractors are well-known brands that include ZF, Bosch, Perkins, Carraro and MITA and many others. All the machines have European certifications that meet the highest European standards. Today the ‘Escorts Group’ of India owns 100 per cent of Farmtrac Tractors Europe and is a leading engineering conglomerate operating in the high-growth sectors of Agri Machinery, Material Handling & Construction Equipment and Railway Equipment. The Group has earned the trust of over five million customers by way of product and process innovations over the seven decades of its existence. ‘Escorts’ endeavors to transform lives in rural and urban areas by leading the revolution in agriculture mechanisation.

Care around the clock Farmtrac tractors recently announced that the company has launched a new feature called the ‘24X7 Care Button’ for customer service on its entire range of Powertrac and Farmtrac tractors. Now, all customers can simply press a special button on their tractor any time of the day or night for technical help and receive a call back from a trained Company Engineer within 2 minutes. The company claims that this way they can always remain in direct touch with their customers and provide immediate assistance if and when the need arises. Speaking on the launch, CEO of Escorts Agri Machinery, Shenu Agarwal, said, “Escorts intends to create new benchmarks in Customer Service with launch of the 24X7 Care Button. Our tractors operate in far

flung areas of this vast country. The livelihood of our customers depends on their tractors. In peak season, they cannot afford to lose even a single day of a tractor’s work. If anything goes wrong, it is our duty to provide immediate assistance. We are investing in a large fleet of Mobile Service Vans and Bikes at our dealerships so quick doorstep service is provided to the customer in case of any need.” Factory-fitted now on all Powertrac and Farmtrac tractors, the device contains a speaker phone, a microphone and a specially designed SIM card, which helps Escorts maintain a direct, two-way contact with the tractor and the customer. This unique feature is supported in the back-end by a multi-lingual, round-the-clock call centre. Once the button is pressed, the customer receives a call back in a matter of a few seconds, and company’s trained engineers provide instant online assistance. If for some reason the customer is not contactable on his mobile phone, a call can be made directly to the tractor through the device’s own SIM, speaker and microphone. If needed, the company’s engineer can dispatch trained staff from a nearby company dealership to a customer’s doorstep at the appointed time. The loop is closed once customers confirm that their problem is resolved to their complete satisfaction.

Hi-tech showcased at EIMA Farmtrac recently announced the launch of a new range of FT 6080 Pro and FT 6090 Pro Farmtrac tractors in 80 & 90 HP category. This was done simultaneously in Italy and Mexico at EIMA, the International Exposition of Machinery for Agriculture and Gardening, Bologna, and also at Expo Agroalimentaria Guanajuato, Irapuato, respectively. Aligned to Farmtrac’s pedigree of classic, simple and efficient farm machines, these new FT 6080 Pro and FT 6090 Pro Industry Europe 63


tractors are technologically superior and offer unrivalled value for money for farmers worldwide. Custom manufactured, Farmtrac FT 6080 Pro & FT 6090 Pro tractors are cost-efficient, high-end machines with on-board stateof-the-art technology. These tractors offer the competitive edge of unchallenged fuel economy backed by zero RPM drop in engine, lifting capacity up to 3,000 kg, cold start ability at -15˚ C and special features for paddy cultivation. Speaking on the occasion, Ravi Menon, Chief Executive Officer, Escorts Agri Machinery, said, “Our brand Farmtrac has always aimed at providing farmers with advanced agricultural equipment, which have the best value for money. With our new Global Transformation Vision 2020, we wish to change the way farmers globally perceive farming, by producing tractors with value proposition of fuel efficiency and cost-effectiveness.”

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Rajiv Wahi, Head – International Business, Escorts Agri Machinery, elaborated further saying, “The new range of Farmtrac tractors is positioned to fill the often-perceived market gap in the category. We have strengthened our global networks to effectively cater to farmer demands in newer geographies. With the Farmtrac product range, we aim to provide a Simple, Classic and Efficient range of Tractors to farmers in Europe and America.” The company also showcased ‘FarmPower’, its new venture in the farm implements market. FarmPower implements will serve as a solutions provider as they will assist farmers in achieving better farm practices. FarmPower includes products that help farmers at all levels of farming from land preparation to post-harvest activities. These implements are designed to increase productivity levels at every stage of farming activity. For further information about Farmtrac tractors and their n latest innovative products and services visit: www.farmtrac.com


AUTOMOTIVE & HEAVY VEHICLES

DELIVERING A BRIGHTER, GREENER FUTURE Kioto Czech is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of automotive lighting products. The group’s many innovations have led to a number of ‘firsts’ in addition to providing greater energy savings and protection of the environment, as Philip Yorke reports.

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oito Czech is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japanese Koito Manufacturing Co. and acts as a second strategic European base to its existing UK facility. The Czech company was founded in 2001 and started its production in the town of Žatec in September 2002. At present, it is one of the main employers in the Ústí region. Today the Koito Group occupies a fifth of the world automotive lighting market and is a leader in its field. Koito Manufacturing Ltd. with its headquarters in Japan has production plants and branch offices in Asia, in America and Europe. The Koito Group produces lighting equipment for a broad spectrum of automotive applications including advanced lighting systems for cars, ships, aircraft and for rail transport including electrical components and bulbs. Koito is a truly innovative company that has achieved many ‘firsts’ in the area of automotive lighting. These include the first commercial application of LED technology in automotive headlamps, the integration of low beam and high beam LED components inside one reflector, the implementation of plastic lenses in cars and many others. Koito’s innovations have led to major energy savings and to greater environmental protection across the board.

Glaring safety advantages The Koito Czech company recently released the World’s First BladeScan™ ADB (Adaptive Driving Beam) system, which makes a significant contribution to the reduction of traffic accidents through its high-resolution lighting distribution control systems.

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In order to prevent the risk of traffic accidents at night, Koito has been developing headlamp systems called “ADB™” which automatically control the high-beam lighting range in response to any driving conditions. The breakthrough ADB technology ensures wide visibility for drivers while avoiding the problem of glare to oncoming vehicles. “We are promoting the wide use of ADB by commercialising our current mainstay ADB system, an “Array 3 ADB,” that controls light distribution by turning on/off each LED individually” said a company spokesperson. The newly released “BladeScan ADB” emits LED light to two fast-revolving blade mirror reflectors and lights-up forward vision by using the residual image effect. By turning on/off its twelve LEDs in line with the rotation of its blade mirrors, BladeScan ADB ensures high-resolution light distribution equivalent to the use of 300 LEDs and minimises the shading area. This unique system has the ability to light the vicinity of oncoming vehicles and vehicles ahead or any area between them and helps drivers to detect crossing pedestrians at an early stage, thus potentially contributing to a major reduction in road traffic accidents. The new “BladeScan ADB” system has already been adopted by Toyota Motor Corporation’s new “Lexus RX4” model. Koito aims to further expand the use of ADB in conjunction with an “Array ADB” and is committed to further pursuing its cuttingedge LED technologies and to develop “customer-first” products in order to enhance the safety and comfort of the world’s busy motorised society.


AUTOMOTIVE & HEAVY VEHICLES

New interactive ‘LiDAR’ technologies It was recently announced that Koito and Blickfeld GmbH of Germany have agreed to explore advanced technologies for the development of LiDAR 3D solid state technology that can be fully Integrated into headlamps interactively with ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System). Today Koito strives to respond to future changes in mobility, such as connectivity, autonomous driving, sharing, and electric vehicles. The company is dedicated to the development of cutting-edge technologies that stay ahead of its customer’s and market needs, thus enabling the commercialisation of products at the earliest opportunity. Moreover, Koito will continue to bring attractive products to market in a timely manner. As one of these strategies, the Koito group has re-enforced its information and research structure globally and started to develop the latest LiDAR technologies designed for headlamp integration in collaboration with Blickfeld of Germany. The collaboration of KOITO’s lighting technologies and LiDAR technologies provides high-end automotive components with built-in LiDAR for car manufacturers and are designed to function interactively with ADAS and its autonomous driving technology. As LiDAR’s core technology, Blickfeld’s 3D solid-state LiDAR adopts a silicon MEMS mirror. Thanks to its compactness, the

LiDAR technology can be integrated directly into an existing vehicle’s lighting equipment system, thus enabling real-time 3D mapping and object detection, as well as classification, and tracking without in any way altering the exterior design of the vehicle. Koito told Industry Europe that it is committed to further pursuing these cutting-edge technologies and to developing “customer-first” products in order to enhance the safety and comfort for motorists.

Optimising energy efficiency It is well known that Koito pioneered the reduction of LED Lo-beam Power Consumption and has since developed headlamps that use energy-efficient, long-lasting LEDs as the light source. The company was the first to mass-produce the world’s first LED headlamp in 2007. Since then, the power consumption of LED headlamps has been decreasing each year; currently it is about 50 per cent of that of discharge lamps (low beam). In this way the company has been enhancing fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions ever since. n For further details of Koito Czechs’ innovative lighting systems and services visit: www.koito-czech.cz

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ON TRACK FOR NEW

ECO-RAILWAY SYSTEMS Koncar is a global market leader in the development and production of electric rail and road transport vehicles. The company is pioneering a series of new eco-friendly trains and is on track to produce a range of advanced electric multiple units. In another business first, Koncar is also working closely with SKF to develop special, heavy duty bearings for its latest rolling stock, as Philip Yorke reports.

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oncar Elektroindustrija is a substantial electrical, transport and energy company based in Zagreb, Croatia, and listed on the Zagreb Stock Exchange. Today the company consists of 18 subsidiary companies that employ almost 4,000 people. Annual sales account for over 500 million euros of which half are exports. Currently Koncar delivers its high-tech products and power plant units to more than 100 countries worldwide.

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The Koncar company dates from 1921, when its initial manufacture of electrical motors commenced in Zagreb. The company is named after World War II resistance fighter Rade Končar From the outset the group has strived to produce outstanding, energy-efficient electric rail and road vehicles, as well as power plant equipment and infrastructure components. Headquartered in the largest industrial area of Zagreb, the company operates from a state-


AUTOMOTIVE & HEAVY VEHICLES

of-the-art manufacturing facility that extends to more than 20,000 square metres. This major manufacturing plant was designed specifically for the production and assembly of electric rail and road vehicles and is strategically located close to the city’s main road and rail networks. The main business of Koncar Electric Vehicles today involves the development, production and modernisation of electric vehicles of all kinds and their related components. These high-tech operations are supported by teams of fully qualified service engineers who provide ‘around-the-clock’ customer support services.

The dawn of eco-transport efficiency Croatian Railways are introducing a total of 44 eco-friendly, low-floor trains that will travel across Croatia. These will be manufactured, under a 1.63 billion kuna contract signed recently by the Croatian engineering company Koncar Elektricna in association with its domestic partners. To all those present at the signing ceremony, the Croatian PM underlined the importance of the contract for Croatia’s railway transport, its passengers’ satisfaction and the economy as a whole. This is all the more important as the trains will be produced in Croatia utilising Koncar’s unique production know-how and expertise. The first of the 44 trains has already been produced and put into operation. Subsequently 1-2 trains are being manufactured monthly until completion. Sixteen of the 44 trains will serve within the boundary of the city of Zagreb and will commute to nearby towns, whilst the remaining 28 will operate throughout the country. Koncar Electrical Industry’s CEO Darinko Bago said the contract was important for

all, including the state because it would receive around 400 million kuna of VAT on the 1.63 billion kuna project. Minister Hajdas Doncic added that the contract bore testimony to the government’s commitment to investing in the railways. Apart from the new trains, also under way is the renovation of the railway infrastructure and many logistical improvements. These will result in significant economic growth and better passenger services, the minister said.

Driving new bearing technology Recently Koncar finalised an agreement with SKF for the supply of bearings, axle-boxes and associated equipment for its latest lowfloor electric and diesel-electric multiple unit trains. For the last few years, SKF has been involved with Koncar and its development of their all-new electric multiple units and diesel-electric multiple units (EMUs and DMUs). Koncar’s designers, along with SKF’s experts, have been able to draw on their combined experience as major suppliers to the global rail industry. A contract was subsequently signed for the supply of SKF link-arm axle-boxes, sensorised tapered roller bearing units, fitted with Gerken earth return devices, bearing temperature monitoring systems and speed sensors for the wheel slide protection units. In addition to benefiting from the valuable technical assistance provided by SKF, Koncar can now also simplify its supply chain thanks to the complete package being sourced from just one supplier. At the same time, fully integrated solutions such as the temperature sensor-equipped bearing units save time and reduce the complexity of the bearing condition monitoring systems.

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The architecture of the EMU and DMU vehicles comprise five and four bogies respectively. During the development of these trains, SKF was initially involved in the supply of components for the prototype and for two additional units.

Advanced auxiliary propulsion Koncar-Electronics and Informatics designs, produces and maintains a wide variety of electronic power equipment for electric locomotives, electric and diesel-electric multiple units, trams, passenger cars and trackside facilities. The company offers high-quality, ultrareliable auxiliary propulsion products that offer a long service-life and compliance with the most stringent international standards. The Kontrac GP550AC propulsion converter for electric-multiple units is liquid-cooled with rated propulsion power of 550kW, which enables motor torque control, and full regenerative or resistor braking. This advanced converter is characterised by the modular design of its power units, high-efficiency and easy maintenance.

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The Kontrac PN110AC however is an air-cooled auxiliary traction converter. It is fed from a dedicated winding of the main transformer and supplies stabilised voltages to electrical loads. The converter has two three-phase inverters, with two AC outputs and one battery charger, which ensures a constant DC output. Koncar-Electronics and Informatics also produces Kontrac GP550DE, a propulsion and auxiliary converter for diesel-electric rail vehicles. The converter enables motor torque control, regenerative or resistors braking and is designed to be mounted on the vehicle roof. In addition to the propulsion power, the GP550DE provides two AC outputs and one DC output for supplying all auxiliary consumers on-board the diesel-electric multiple units. The propulsion power of the converter is 475kW and its total nominal n power is 550kVA. For further details of Koncar’s latest innovative, eco-friendly vehicles and advanced transport systems visit: www.koncar.com


AUTOMOTIVE & HEAVY VEHICLES

RAAL is a European market leader in the design and manufacture of modular heat exchangers and cooling systems. With over 40 years’ experience in the field, the company provides custom cooling solutions for countless applications that range from automotive and industrial, to construction and mining, as Philip Yorke reports.

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CONDENSED AND INTEGRATED COOLING SOLUTIONS

AAL is a fully integrated engineering company based in Romania, that is active in all aspects of the manufacturing, design and testing of modular heat exchangers and cooling systems. The company is fully integrated, which means that every process and product is created in-house. This competitive advantage allows for very short development and assimilation cycles in the creation of new products as well as in the short-term production and supply of limited series production quotas.

The company utilises its own dimensioning software for heat exchangers, and its software is also developed in-house and based on theoretical studies that involve thousands of test procedures. The company uses FEA (Finite Element Analysis) to simulate the structural, flow and vibration stress conditions of each assignment. Today RAAL can claim unrivalled experience in designing heat exchangers and cooling systems. Starting from the specifications, dimensions or CAD data of the application, RAAL designers are Industry Europe 71


able to find the best solutions for the most efficient use of available space. The company’s designers also have the ability to continuously optimise its products, so as to fully meet the requirements of any application.

Advanced validation testing The extensive RAAL Testing Centre is a state-of-the-art facility where the validation of new products is performed. Based on technical specifications or on the parameters obtained by means of DAQ carried out on a customer’s equipment, the heat exchangers are tested for performance and strength. RAAL’s Testing Centre capabilities include thermal and fluiddynamic performance tests in its modern wind tunnel, durability tests, thermal cycle, pressure cycle, and burst-pressure. All of which are performed at ambient or at high temperatures in the dedicated climate chamber. The Centre also undertakes durability tests, shock and vibration testing, internal cleanliness tests and chemical and accelerated corrosion tests. This is in addition to conducting thorough and extensive metallographic studies. RAAL engineers also have a vast experience in tool and die design, and in developing the specific equipment necessary for its manufacturing processes. The company places special emphasis on the design, manufacturing and optimisation of its new generation of fin-forming machines, which are capable of producing a wide range of fins and highly efficient turbulators. As one would expect, all RAAL products are manufactured in full compliance of the latest international standards, such as ISO 9001:2008 and ISO/ TS 16949:2009 - Quality Management Systems. As well as EN ISO 14001:2004 - Environmental Management System and OHSAS 18001:2007 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems.

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Unique flexibility All RAAL’s advanced heat exchangers and cooling systems are adapted to precisely suit a customers’ needs and are developed together with them. The company is justly proud of its strong, creative research and development department that has been at the forefront of innovative thermal development for more than four decades. With over 150 specialist engineers and a well-equipped test centre, it has registered many patents for its fins & fin-forming machines and the latest design and technology solutions. With its considerable on-going investment in R&D, and the latest equipment and cooling system technologies RAAL produces more than 50 prototypes every month, thus making it possible to achieve the development of a new product within 50 days, which is far less than many of its European competitors. Each customer and every application are important to RAAL and, in this regard, it has trained and specialised its teams in different fields and applications. These include tool and die design, manufacturing, sales, logistics and marketing. RAAL is also unusual in that it is one of the few fully integrated companies in Europe that offers short-term product development and delivery at very competitive rates.


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Focus on sustainability For many years RAAL has offered compact and lightweight products that offer minimal impact on the environment. This is mainly due to the reduced consumption of materials and greater fuel efficiency. Its advanced cooling solutions comply with all the new environmental regulations on polluting emissions (Tier 4F, etc.). What’s more, the company’s full range of modular customised products are all 100% recyclable and subscribe to the international Environmental Management System according to EN ISO 14001:2004. RAAL’s continuing focus on green issues and sustainability thus sets a positive example to other manufacturers in the field and makes an on-going contribution to combatting global warming.

Increasing thermal performance

nology. Different working fluids can be used including water, oil, air and refrigerant. The latest Brazed Plates designs can be used for the various types of heat exchangers that the company manufactures which provide constructive solutions for all sectors from automotive and industrial, to ATV’s and avionics. Furthermore, RAAL manufactures heat sinks, cold plates and battery coolers for hybrid and electric cars. In order to meet the increasing demand in this sector, the company has recently opened a new, state-of-the-art production hall dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of heat exchangers designed for the cooling of electronic circuits and batteries for hybrid and electric vehicle applications. n For further details of RAAL’s innovative heat exchangers and cooling systems visit: www.RAAL.ro

With its strong commitment to increasing the efficiency of its products, RAAL’s Brazed Plates heat exchangers have been specifically designed to increase thermal performance in the fluid-to-fluid cooling applications. This type of heat exchanger is made entirely of aluminium alloys using advanced, controlled atmosphere brazing tech-

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INNOVATION MEETS SUSTAINABILITY Next year, the RAHN Group, an international family business based in Switzerland, will celebrate 80 years of successful development and expansion. With focus on innovations, RAHN combines high-quality products, in-depth expertise and comprehensive services to offer its customers tailor-made integrated solutions. Romana Moares reports.

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AHN Group has come a long way since its beginnings as a oneman business founded by Hans Rahn, trading in chemicals, in 1940. Today, as a technology-oriented company, the Group provides customers in around 50 countries all over the world with natural and synthetic raw materials together with services to be applied in industries including paints and coatings, cosmetics and foodstuffs. The Group’s operation is underpinned by two business lines - Energy Curing, where RAHN is a worldwide active supplier of additives, oligomers, reactive diluents and photoinitiators; and Cosmetics, built on the combination a modern, high-quality specialities portfolio and customer support for developing successful cosmetic concepts. With four laboratories in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, China and the USA, RAHN can provide local customised solutions and expertise in various application fields. “RAHN’s philosophy is based on a high level of customer support with cutting edge technical data combined with up-to-date health, safety and regulatory information. In the product development and product application areas, RAHN supports its clients with more than 35 years of experience in radiation curing,” affirms Roger Küng, Head of Operations EnergyCuring. 74 Industry Europe

Technology innovator Mr. Küng continues; “RAHN is a premier worldwide supplier of additives, oligomers, monomers, photoinitiators and other customised specialty chemicals. Our products are used in ultraviolet, LED and electron beam cure technologies and are essential components of high-performance inks, coatings, adhesives, medical, rapid prototyping and other applications. The range of products are established under the trademarks GENOMER*, GENORAD*, GENOCURE* and GENOPOL* and are widely used industry standards.” Innovations have always played a prominent role in the company’s development. Today, RAHN brings its global support for UV systems to the rapidly developing 3D printing market. Whatever the client’s needs, RAHN has proven materials, extensive experience and world class technical and regulatory support. “The core focus of RAHN EnergyCuring is on materials for photopolymer systems. The primary 3D printing technologies utilising photo-curing are Vat photopolym-


CHEMICALS, PETROCHEMICALS & OFFSHORE

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erization processes including stereolithography (SLA), variations on direct light processing (DLP) and material jetting.” Mr Küng points out that RAHN has published a Product Flash with an emphasis on Bio-Renewable Contents of specific RAHNProducts. “This document meets an increasing market demand and lists products that are partially based on bio-renewable (i.e. plant or bio-based, ‘green’) raw materials,” he says. “Our customers create amazing results with our raw materials, for example for digital inkjet printing – no matter whether gloss, matte, or even 3D effects. What’s more, the materials can be used to print on almost anything. Whether paper, glass, wood, plastic or metal - we have the right products to meet all sorts of needs and technical requirements.”

True Partner Similarly, the Cosmetics division is based on innovative concepts meeting the requirements of sustainability. It was founded in 1965 but the real boost came in 1999 when RAHN launched its own cleverly devised RAHN-Cosmetic Actives for use in a variety of applications, a holistic platform satisfying individual customer requirements. Focus is on harnessing the potential of nature and combining it with modern technology to generate market-orientated, tried and tested active concepts. The product range is wide and varied - the latest additions include CELLACTIVE® - Carbon Neutral Essential Cell Boost Factor for skin and hair, available since January 2019, paving the way for a new generation of climate-neutral cosmetic active ingredients with excellent transpar¬ency across the whole supply chain, while assumption of social responsibility compensates for any unavoidable emissions. “As an independent Swiss family-run company, now in the hands of the third generation, RAHN is able to make swift business decisions and entertain long-term commitments,” Mr Küng points out, adding that staying at the research front will continue to be one of the Group’s tasks to sustain and further develop its market position. 76 Industry Europe

“Just at the end of May this year, RAHN China inaugurated its new office and laboratory. With the new laboratory, RAHN considers to further engage with customers and extend on application projects as well as technical support.” He acknowledges that progress would not be possible without the company’s greatest asset - the people. “The profound sector experience is one of our competitive advantages - our crucial success factors are the specialist skills and expert knowledge of our staff. We have an extremely loyal team of employees, so customers will continue to deal with the people they know as time passes by.” “RAHN is your partner for Excellence, not just any supplier,” he continues. “We have been researching, producing and supplying customised speciality chemicals for more than thirty years. Over the time, we have nurtured long-standing partnerships with our customers. This kind of collaboration is the only way to finding the optimum n answer to the challenges that we have to face.”


CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

SUSTAINABLY SAFER For 140 years Tarkett has set the standards in industrial flooring design. It is the global leader in the manufacture of innovative flooring systems and sports surface solutions. Today Tarkett continues to enjoy strong global growth thanks to its sustainable, eco-friendly products and built-in high safety profiles. Recent major UK contracts further confirm Tarkett’s position as the world leader in its class, as Philip Yorke reports.

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arkett was founded in France 140 years ago and today employs almost 14,000 people worldwide. The company serves over 100 countries through its key brands that include Tarkett, Desso, Johnsonite, Tandus Centiva, FieldTurf and Beynon. As an indicator of its dominant role in the global marketplace, Tarkett sells over 1.5 million square metres of flooring every single day. Market applications include flooring products for hospitals, schools, housing, hotels, offices, stores and sports fields.

Closing the loop As the world’s population grows, the pressure on natural resources and the environment is set to increase. Tarkett is closing the loop and helping customers to manage their flooring waste products while contributing to safeguarding the world’s natural resources and protecting the environment. Tarkett turns flooring waste and secondary materials into new, high-quality products. The company has transformed its business operations in order to accelerate its commitment to establish a more regenerative, ecologically conscious economy, known as the circular economy, by eliminating waste throughout its products’ life cycles. Tarkett helps its customers to manage their flooring waste through its unique ReStart® take-back programme. Tarkett also partners with other industries, for example, with Aquafil to recycle discarded netting components in its carpets. It also partnered with local water companies in the Netherlands to recover chalk residues from the water treatment process into its carpet backing materials. It is well known that for many years Tarkett has been committed to the cause of sustainability and the circular economy. It has done this by applying cradle-to-cradle principles across all its activities. The company’s ReStart® collection and recycling programme is one of the cornerstones of its commitment to closing the material loop. 78 Industry Europe

Furthermore, a new strategic partnership with Veolia has enabled it to offer clients a better collection and recycling service, whilst increasing volumes and the quality of recycled input in its flooring. It also illustrates the capacity of the private sector to offer solutions that support sustainable, economic growth.

Sustainable safety flooring Slips, trips and falls are the main causes of injury in the workplace and equates to over 37 million accidents worldwide every year. These accidents represent over 40% of all reported major injuries according to the global Health and Safety Executive. Tarkett Safety Flooring with its increased embossing features can prevent accidents, and ensure overall safety for all areas, and significantly reduce risks, thus making it the perfect choice for commercial applications. Tarkett’s Safety Flooring is sustainable. This also means that its slip resistance will last the entire lifetime of the product and not just until the surface layer wears away. Heavy duty, and even easier to clean and maintain thanks to Tarkett’s new ‘Smart Particle’ Technology, Tarkett offers R10 and R11 Safety floors in classes A, B and C. This guarantees that even when wet, they offer increased slip resistance to the user. Tarkett’s Safetred ION Contrast, Safetred ION Linen, Safetred Naturals and NEW Safetred Wood collections all offer a modern, contemporary twist on traditional safety flooring designs and colour palates. This means that it is now possible to achieve the desired domestic feel to any public or private institution project.

Pole position When it comes to rankings in the field of sports and leisure surfaces, Tarkett is firmly in pole position. The company recently took the chequered flag with its superb finish at Donington Park Race Circuit. As the


CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

oldest UK motor racing venue still in operation, Donington Park has been at the centre of high-octane Grand Prix action since 1931. Throughout its long history, this popular venue has seen a number of refurbishments and renovations to maintain its leading position amongst the top racetracks in Britain and across the world. Now owned and operated by the prestigious MotorSport Vision (MSV) Group, Donington Park has benefited tremendously from huge investment in recent months to update and enhance the venue in line with MSV’s other circuits. Having previously worked with Tarkett on other projects, MSV was keen to rekindle its partnership when it came to choosing a high quality flooring solution for its new restaurant at Donington Park. Giles Butterfield, Group Operations & Engineering Manager at MotorSport Vision, commented, “We needed a hard-wearing surface that could cope with high-volume footfall in all weathers whilst complementing the overall look and feel of the new restaurant. Tarkett has taken our brief and delivered with an installation that completely fits the bill.”

Working closely with award-winning Kinnersely Kent Design, who oversaw the site refurbishment process, and professional flooring specialist, Alex Bugler (APA Contracts), Tarkett created a smart and eye-catching design using a combination of safety flooring and luxury vinyl tiles to superb effect. Tarkett provided 144 square metres of Safetred ION Linen in Sky Blue for the preparation areas and behind the counters, also 62 square metres of Safetred Natural in Rock Steel for the serving areas. These products were selected to provide a hardwearing yet attractive flooring option, incorporating superior particle enhanced R10 slip resistance, that offer both safety and practicality. For the higher spec areas, they selected Tarkett’s latest innovation in modular vinyl tiles - iD Supernature - a new collection using advanced n in-house digital printing technology. For further details of Tarkett’s latest innovative flooring products and customer services visit www.tarkett.com.

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AZO is a global market leader in the automated handling of raw materials. Philip Yorke reports on a company that offers unique tailor-made solutions for manufacturing companies involved in the production of pet foods, confectionary, pharmaceuticals and baking, among many others.

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CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

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he AZO Group of Germany is a true global leader when it comes to the automated handling of raw materials with its network of high-tech partners and agents worldwide. Its workforce of more than 1,000 people is able to draw on an unrivalled wealth of experience in plant engineering and construction that has been accumulated over a period of more than 70 years. Inventiveness and innovation go hand-inhand at AZO, which began when its founders invented the revolutionary cyclone screener back in 1949. This breakthrough has been followed with countless other innovations in bulk materials handling that offer long-term benefits and unique prospects for growth for manufacturers. Today the company’s broad range of engineering services range from the design and supply of individual components, to the construction of complete turnkey plants, advanced automation systems,

installation, commissioning, and complete after-sales service. All AZO services are available from a single source as well as never being far away from customer’s location anywhere in the world.

Better by design When it comes to engineering, no one project is the same as a customer’s requirements dictate the specifications, whilst thorough groundwork forms the basis of the final customised solution. The company offers total support in pre-engineering and the planning of new plants, as well as for the expansion and refurbishment of existing plants. It conducts feasibility studies and works on viable proofs of concept until it arrives at the optimum solution for a project that satisfies all its client’s various requirements.

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Fully automated production processes in the fields of foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, chemicals and plastics are the company’s core activities. Everything is available from a single source, from individual components for storage, discharge, screening, conveying, dosing and the weighing of raw materials, to the development of unique, innovative systems. These technologies can involve dispersion, mixing and the homogenisation of liquid and semi-solid products, right through to turnkey solutions. The company’s role is not over until the new production line is running to a customer’s complete satisfaction. When it comes to control engineering and automation, from the latest sensor technology to the commercial production and plan-

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ning phase, the company provides tailor-made, solutions at every stage. This ensures that plant engineering, process engineering and automation can dovetail seamlessly, with no interfaces.

Pioneering solutions With its unrivalled knowledge and many years of experience in an ever-widening range of bulk handling sectors, the company will transform and upgrade any existing plant control technology. It makes no difference whether controls are required for the baking business, spice mix production or to manufacture tablets. As a competent partner to the food and pharmaceutical industries, the


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company is acknowledged for its ground-breaking, pioneering solutions that can be relied upon at every stage of the handling process. In the bulk handling of raw materials, AZO is the global leader in automated controls for the entire value chain: from efficient materials management in the supply and replenishment of raw materials, to conveying, detailed recipe control, and the weighing and mixing processes. This is in addition to container handling, support for cleaning intervals, temporary storage and feeding to the subsequent packaging processes, and with end-to-end chronological documentation for use in batch tracing, all rooted in proven practical applications. Flexible plant controls with the option of rapid recipe change, are also available with absolute product and production safety together with support in complying with regular cleaning and inspection cycles. Today, intelligent plant controls are the perfect supplement to any company’s plant technology systems. Together they represent the best possible solutions, thus helping to increase a customer’s competitive edge, both in the long and the short term.

Eliminating batch contamination The automated handling of raw materials in the manufacture of pet foods involves a large number of different components, such as flavourings and colourings. This makes automation of the raw materials used in producing mixed batches with absolute minimum contamination essential. Bulk components, which are used in almost every

recipe, are usually handled using outdoor silos for storage and vacuum conveyors for transfer to scale hoppers in the mixing area that are able to withstand a powerful vacuum. Dosing and screening are usually done by type-DA cyclone screeners that provide highly accurate weighing parameters throughout the process. In order to meet the requirements for a high number of batches, partial batches are produced while the mixing process is ongoing. These are conveyed with careful handling to the mixer provision level. These partial batches can be produced for the different product groups using several AZO Componentors® in a circular configuration. These special devices are often employed when there are less changeovers of products and the products or the partial batches are allocated onto individual mixer lines. In such cases, indoor silos are frequently used to store raw materials. If there is a larger number of medium and minor components, entailing a greater need for flexibility when changing over raw materials, the components are dosed and weighed by the company’s patented ‘Componentor’ system and supplied to the mixing process. In addition, the company’s Dosinentor® offers an affordable solution for automating these components and provides a high level of flexibility n when changing over individual raw materials. For more details of AZO’s latest pioneering, automated bulk handing systems visit: www.azo.com

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TESTING TIMES

FOR LITHIUM

In the race to supply the world with battery-grade lithium, FLSmidth stands out as the clear supplier of choice. Its new, best-in-class centres of excellence in Utah and Pennsylvania offer the most advanced testing capabilities for both brine and hard-rock lithium sources, as Philip Yorke reports.

FL

Smidth was founded in 1882 by Frederik Laessoe Smidth in Copenhagen, Denmark. From humble beginnings as an engineering consultancy it saw consistent growth and today is a global leader in the provision of machinery, systems and services for the cement and mineral industries. Over the years the company expanded its non-core activities and in 1989, the entire FLSmidth Group consisted of more than 125 companies operating in areas such as cement, engineering, plastic, aerospace and cement building materials. Throughout the 1990s leading international manufacturing companies such as Pfister, Ventomatic and MAAG Gear were acquired by the group. Today FLSmidth leads the field in its chosen disciplines and in 2018 employed over 13,000 people and generated revenues of more than DKK 20 billion.

Huge new markets More than half of the world’s 250,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) used in 2018, was accounted for by electric cars and by 2028 that figure is expected to be over 90% of 1,365,000 tonnes. Electric vehicles need large batteries and rising demand in this field is expected to create huge new markets for battery-grade lithium in the foreseeable future. Industry Europe 85


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Today there is a global race to get these new projects off the ground, and time-to-market is overriding all other factors when customers consider the opening up of new production facilities. One way to speed up the process of designing and opening a new lithium facility is to ensure that the right testing is carried out of the source material. Some mining companies take a traditional approach and go to established commercial laboratories. However, those test procedures are not sufficient for the technology and equipment-design required to build today’s high-performance, more efficient facilities. At its state-of-the-art testing centres in Salt Lake City, Utah and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, FLSmidth has the world’s best-in-class testing capabilities for the testing of both brine and hard rock lithium sources. Testing at those facilities incudes mineral testing and pyroprocessing testing for the design of optimal manufacturing plant. Based on these tests, the company can design the optimal process flowsheet, plant design and plant layout. This means it is able to offer exceptional value when customers approach FLSmidth early in the design process. The earlier that project discussions begin, the quicker the projects can move forward and the better the plant design will be. The early involvement of FLSmidth also results in lower capital expenditure and a significantly faster time to market.

Other processing solutions Despite the young age of the industry, FLSmidth has more than 20 years of experience with specific hydro-processing in lithium facilities. For other processes, the company is able to replicate process equipment from other commodities and make modifications in order to meet other specific requirements. KAO diamond mine in Lesotho, owned by Namakwa Diamonds, recently needed a significant pump conversion to be carried out in the field. This is an undertaking that can be both difficult and time consuming. In addition, it is also a ‘high-stakes’ operation as a cyclone feed is critical to the overall mining process and the ability to

generate cost-effective returns. A wrong decision at this stage can result in a lot of lost revenue. It also takes trust to allow the changing out of a pump that a company is familiar with and to replace it with an entirely new and unknown pump, all based on a promise of significant cost-of-ownership rewards for the mining company. It was the potential for greater cost-efficiency that convinced the KAO Diamond Mine to implement the latest KREBS MillMax™ Pump. After initial discussions, the first trial pump, a MillMax 8X6 centrifugal seal was installed in a cyclone feed application (DMS 2 Pump 1). After seven months of operation, results proved that the MillMax was performing exceptionally well, especially when it came to the area of reduced wear. Brad Moralee, head of Product Unit Pumps, Cyclones and valves at FL Smidth said, “It is a high pressure situation for us, you are typically given a window of opportunity during a routine shutdown to complete a major change. After which, the new pump must run as expected when the plant is recommissioned. You need the combination of a great product, but more importantly great technical understanding of the process to be able to propose the correct, optimal solution. We also understand what is at stake from the customer’s perspective”. For KAO the change produced ‘knock-out’ results when compared to the previous solution from a different supplier. The MillMax increased maximum operational life by an amazing nine times across the impeller, casing ad back-liner. This has seen KAO look again to FLSmidth, who suggested running a one month trial with the SlurryMAX®, which had recently just arrived on the South African market. The new SlurryMAX trial was based purely on its sealing capabilities, as KAO were already confident of the hydraulic performance of the pump and had no concerns about wear either as they were confident that it would demonstrate predictable and even wear-life n across all the wet-end parts. For further details of the FLSmidth Goup’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.fldsmidth.com Industry Europe 87


RAILWAY SEATS OF THE FUTURE For nearly 50 years Growag, a company from Grodzisk Wielkopolski, has been Poland’s leading manufacturer of railway passenger seats and shock absorbers. “Despite such a long activity on the market, we are still young, dynamic and modern company”, says, Growag’s president of the board.

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“WE

constantly invest in the latest technology and modern engineering park as well as in the research and development department, which works on future solutions. We meet international standards, both technical and ecological. Our efforts contributed to creating a modern enterprise that have earned the trust of its customers, whom we can offer products of highest quality”, says Growag`s CEO. The company was founded in 1972. From the very outset, it has been manufacturing passenger seats for railway cars and shock absorbers for railway car bogies, as well as providing a wide range of services for the railway and other industries. “Railway seats are very complicated constructions, as ergonomics and strength are subject to very restric-

Geo Globe Polska For over 25 years we specialize in vacuum thermoforming of plastics (including the twin sheet technology). We specialize in the production and design of returnable packaging, as well as making of interior elements for commercial vehicles, car body parts (also for electric cars), seating (for railway and aircrafts) and other high quality plastic parts. We offer to our customers a wide range of services – from designing the final parts, to designing the tools, prototyping and running serial production. We make the tools for our production in-house, using CNC machines, taking full control over the process and as the result - decreasing the lead time. Our goods are produced according to the ISO 2768 ck standard, related to thermoforming. We make, among others, parts for medical, advertising, automotive companies, using the latest materials with high impact or flame retardant charachteristics that have a long life span and can be recycled. www.geoglobe.pl

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tive regulations – for example in terms of fire regulations. Each our seat is manufactured with special attention to all those details that make traveling so much more comfortable and enjoyable. Our additional advantages are flexibility and customer-oriented approach, rapid modelbased prototyping and development, competitive price/quality ratio and timely implementation of projects”, explains the president of the board.

For Europe and beyond Today, Growag employs more than 120 people. All production is carried out in its Grodzisk Wielkopolski factory, which is in western Poland, some 20 minutes away by car from the A2 highway to Germany. In recent years, the company’s annual growth has been spectacular. In terms of results, annual growth has systematically reached double-digit figures since 2015. Exports share 20 per cent of the Growag’s total sales, the main concentration effort export is the EU countries. Now it has started to expand in South and Middle America, Russia and Turkey. It recently delivered seats for the underground trains in Minsk, Belarus. As an international railway industry supplier, Growag has been certified under ISO 9001, the globally recognised Standard of Quality Management, guaranteeing the highest quality, reliability and technical safety of the company’s products. It also has the CL1 certificate according to EN15085-2:2017. Recently, it obtained the Russian GOST certificate, now administered by the Euro-Asian Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification


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(EASC), a standard organization chartered by the Commonwealth of Independent States (a regional intergovernmental organization of 10 post-Soviet republics in Eurasia). The company cooperates with the best R&D engineering and design offices in Poland. Growag has developed a unique work method called Ergo-tech, which is a process as well as a set of practical procedures in the company’s key fields of activity. The methodical approach allows Growag to follow effectively the changing expectations of its clients and ensure the highest quality of delivered solutions. The company delivers its products to all major rolling stock manufacturers such as: Stadler, Siemens, Grivita, Hyundai Rotem, NEWAG, PESA, and FPS, as well as their customers. Growag is also one of Poland’s leading manufacturers of shock absorbers, which comply with the highest quality standards. These are designed for use in passenger rail carriages, electric and diesel multiple units, locomotives, metro trains and tramways. “Our shock absorbers are very good and very durable. In this respect, they surpass all applicable standards”, says the president of the board.

Seats for long and short travels The company specializes in manufacturing upholstered passenger seats for both the 1st and the 2nd class rail cars for long-distance travel, including sleeping cars. It shares about half of Poland’s railway passenger seats market and is an indisputable leader of the regional transport segment of that market. Currently, Growag focuses on two market segments: the premium segment seats dedicated to railway units operating on long

distances and the seats for regional transport, the fastest growing segment of the railway market. The former has found its full expression in the Equinox seats line co-financed by the EU funds under the Intelligent Development program. “The Equinox line is our response to the constantly growing requirements and the demand of the global rail market, while taking care of the natural environment. The state-of-the-art construction and material solutions used in production enable us to noticeably reduce the welding process throughout the production cycle. In addition, we managed to achieve a lower weight of seats, which in turn translates directly to reducing the energy consumption of rolling stock and operating costs. The technology used enables quick and easy creation of various chair configurations, and the modular and universal construction ensures any modifications, fully adapted to the individual needs of the recipients”, explains the president of the board. In the regional transport sector (up to 250 km distance) the company cooperates with the Polish Institute of Industrial Design, one of the oldest institutions dealing in industrial design in Europe. “A whole line of new seats will be ready next year. The seats will be of the lowest possible mass, comfort, of modern design and technology”, says the president of the board. One of GROWAG key partners on the Polish market is GEO GLOBE. Through long-term and multifaceted cooperation, they jointly n implemented difficult and innovative projects. For more information, visit: http://www.growag.pl Industry Europe 91


HeidelbergCement, the German-headquartered multinational building materials company, is currently expanding its operations in the USA and taking a major step towards the realisation of a carbon neutral future for the cement industry

THE FOUNDATIONS OF SUSTAINABLE GROWTH

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In

September 2019 HeidelbergCement announced that its North American subsidiary, Lehigh Hanson, Inc., had entered into an agreement with Giant Cement, a subsidiary of Elementia S.A.B. de C.V., to acquire its Keystone cement plant in Bath, Pennsylvania. The Keystone plant has been operating since 1928 and supplies the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York markets with bulk and bagged Portland cements. The plant operates with a kiln line which was modernised in 2009 and has a capacity of 1.1 million tonnes of cement per year. “With its modernised kiln, healthy customer base and large limestone reserves, the Keystone cement plant is an excellent strategic fit for HeidelbergCement in North America and an important step in strengthening our cement footprint in this key market,” said Dr. Bernd Scheifele, Chairman of the Managing Board of

HeidelbergCement. “The acquisition of one of the most modern and environmentally sustainable cement facilities in the United States will further help Lehigh Hanson reduce its carbon footprint by safely substituting alternative fuels for traditional fossil fuels such as coal. In addition, we anticipate a number of operational efficiencies as a result of this transaction.”

Global reach HeidelbergCement is one of the world’s largest building materials companies. Its core activities include the production and distribution of cement and aggregates, the two essential raw materials for concrete. Its downstream activities include mainly the production of ready-mixed concrete, but also of asphalt and other building products in some countries.

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With the takeover of the Italian cement producer Italcementi in 2016, HeidelbergCement became the world number one in aggregates production, number two in cement, and number three in ready-mixed concrete. Thanks to this acquisition, it also gained access to important new markets, including France, Italy, Egypt and Morocco as well as Thailand, Kazakhstan, India, the USA and Canada. Today the Group has activities in around 60 countries with 63,000 employees working at more than 3,000 production sites. HeidelbergCement operates 156 cement plants with an annual capacity of 197 million tonnes, more than 1,700 ready-mixed concrete production sites and over 600 aggregates quarries. In June 2019, HeidelbergCement further expanded its European operations with the acquisition of Cemex’s Centre region aggregates and ready-mixed concrete businesses in France. The acquisition includes seven aggregate quarries and 28 ready-mixed concrete plants. The acquired aggregates reserves and resources amount to about 25 million tonnes. HeidelbergCement France will fully integrate the operations into its own network. “With this acquisition, we strengthen our vertically integrated market position in central France,” said Dr. Scheifele, “The operations fit very well into our existing network of aggregates and ready-mixed concrete plants in the Paris region, and we expect significant synergies. The acquisition is part of our strategy of disciplined growth and increasing shareholder returns.”

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A Sustainable Future Cement production is by nature raw material and energy intensive. Consequently HeidelbergCement has always built its long-term success on sustainable business practices. This includes securing access to raw materials reserves, efficient and innovative production processes, the development of new products and the use of alternative raw materials and fuels. HeidelbergCement is also active in the promotion of biodiversity at its extraction sites. A major new step in advancing this sustainability agenda was taken in September of this year when the company signed an agreement to work with the state-owned Norwegian energy Group Equinor on the capture and storage (CCS) of CO2. Since 2011, Heidelberg Cement’s Norwegian subsidiary Norcem has been running a project dedicated to CO2 storage in the cement industry at its Brevik cement plant. The CCS project “Northern Lights”, which includes the project at the Brevik cement plant, has been initiated by the Norwegian government in three different industry sectors. According to the plan, the captured CO2 emissions are to be transported to empty oil and gas fields beneath the North Sea beginning in 2023 and stored there permanently. The Norwegian government shortlisted Brevik for an industrial-scale CO2 capture trial at the start of 2018. The Memorandum of Understanding signed with Equinor is a further step towards realising this CCS project. The agreement also

includes the intention to examine the possibility of capturing CO2 at other HeidelbergCement plants for storage within the Norwegian continental shelf. Additionally, both companies will work on optimising the CO2 transport chain and strive to implement CCS as a panEuropean solution for CO2 disposal. “At our Brevik cement plant, we have shown that we are able to capture carbon dioxide on an industrial scale,” says Dr. Bernd Scheifele. “Our CCS project is currently the most technically mature in the cement industry. We plan to capture around 400,000 tonnes of CO2 per year at Brevik, which corresponds to around 50 per cent of the plant’s total carbon emissions. For us, CCS – alongside our measures for reducing CO2 emissions – is another important element in our vision of CO2 neutral concrete production by 2050.” HeidelbergCement is set to reduce its specific net CO2 emissions per tonne of cement by 30 per cent compared to 1990 levels by 2030. This target has been approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) and is in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, making HeidelbergCement the first cement company worldwide to have approved science-based CO2 reduction targets. By 2018, the company had already achieved a reduction of 22 per cent. HeidelbergCement will realise its vision of carbon n neutral concrete – at the latest – by 2050.

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CLEAR ADVANTAGE Press Glass is a leading Polish company whose remarkable story began in 1991 when it took the form of a Polish/Swedish joint venture. Since the company was taken over by Polish entrepreneur Arkadiusz Mus in November 1992, the company has seen strong, continuous growth. With the advantage of inspired individual leadership, the company is now Europe’s largest independent producer of insulated glass. Philip Yorke reports.

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Today Press Glass remains committed to its search for effective, innovative solutions which in turn guarantees its clients optimised production potential. “We are open to implementing new products and solutions because our customers inspire us. Our dedicated customer service teams provide efficient and prompt information flow at each stage. “We offer our customers systems for automated, electronic order transfer. Using our ‘Delivery Check System’ Customers can view in real time the status of their order, download delivery specifications and invoices. We guarantee prompt and accurate servicing of even the most complex of order requirements. Our Business Partners can depend on us for quick responses at critical moments and for us to adhere to agreements regarding special specifications,” said a company spokesperson.

Shedding new light on royal hospital

In

2001 the dynamic Press Glass company created the ‘Press Glass Capital Group’ and shortly afterwards constructed another facility of more than 12,000 square metres in Poland. This modern complex was equipped with specialised technology for the production of tempered and machined glass. Subsequently, more state-of the–art facilities were built in Croatia followed by the purchase of 100% of the UK Glass Systems Group. In 2019 a second plant was established in the United States at Ridgway, close to the state border of Virginia and North Carolina, a short distance from Stoneville, where the first US plant was located and is now the headquarters of Press Glass Inc. Customer service is paramount at Press Glass, which goes some way to explaining the company’s unrivalled, exponential growth. Together with its customers it develops a personalised, mutually beneficial, and long-term model of cooperation.

Over 100 years of history of the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, UK has been crowned with the construction of the ultra-modern Cambridge Biomedical Campus – a research centre that has the ambition to become one of the world’s leading scientific and healthcare centres. For the special glazing on this campus, Press Glass supplied a total of almost 10,000 square metres of high-quality insulated glass. The campus design takes into account the scientific and medical functionality of the facility. The first two floors of the building form a square with an elliptical end, where offices are located along with an outpatient wing and operating theatres. Rooms for patients are situated on the upper floors of the building on an ellipse plan with an internal courtyard. The pioneering structure of the building together with substantial facade glazing provides a broad, natural source of light that is uplifting for patients. At this prestigious site, Press Glass delivered approximately 2,500 square metres of insulated solar control glass and 7,000 square metres of enamelled tempered glass with the HST test accordance

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Technoform With registered offices in Kassel Germany and more than 40 branches worldwide, Technoform has been extruding customized special solutions and custom-fit standard applications made from plastic for a wide range of industries since 1969. For a modern and sustainable building key factors are: high energy efficiency, durability, and indoor climate. To achieve this, thermally optimized edge bond solutions for insulating glass are what it takes. With our warm edge TGI-Spacers between the glass panes we improve the thermal performance of the edge bond and thus guarantee gas tightness at a peak level. Contact us if you want to increase the quality and durability of your window, door, and facade systems through an optimized glass edge bond.

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and frames glued with structural silicone, which were installed as glass facade panels in a ventilated facade system. The building, located in Cambridge, famous for its historic university, also attracts compliments for its friendly interior atmosphere. Two central atria of the building allow deep natural lighting of corridors. At the main entrance to the hospital, a huge illumination in the form of glazing with digital printing awaits patients and medical staff. This unusual digital print on glass was made at the UK’s extensive Press Glass plant.

Harbour zones brought to life Sørenga is a residential complex located in the harbour area of Oslo and is one of the places that gives the capital city of Norway a new and unique character. Most of the buildings in the new residential


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district use glazed units manufactured by Press Glass, which were installed by the Norwegian company Lian. The area, which is currently filled with residential buildings, was used for many years for harbour operation purposes. However, the harbour lost its significance following social and economic decline. At the beginning of this century the authorities of Oslo decided to carry out a thorough upgrade. As a result, Sørenga residential complex is among several completely new zones developed in the post-industrial part of the city, that now have new life. The designs of individual structures were developed by different design studios. Consequently, each of the structures presents a different approach and vision. Their common feature is environmental friendliness and a clear vision of the future.

The new investment in Oslo focuses on using environmentally friendly materials and the introduction of greenery to the site. So that today, plants can be found not only between the buildings but also on the sloped roof of one of the biggest structures in the harbour. It should be highlighted that the whole complex was built as a part of a larger Bjørvika project. All elements of the project are expected to be completed by 2035 and the target number of permanent residents in the district is estimated to amount to over n 5,000 people. For further details of Press Glass’s innovative glass solutions and prestige case histories, visit: www.pressglass.com

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DELIVERING MISSION-CRITICAL

STORAGE SOLUTIONS

Riello is a global market leader in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic storage solutions and high-efficiency burners for the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. Its expertise in the development of hyper-efficient, low Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emission products and renewable energy storage systems has helped to drive the company’s global revenues to a new level, as Philip Yorke reports.

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R

iello’s history has been as innovative as its products. The company was founded in Italy in 1920 and in 1923 it became the first company to adapt domestic light oil burners for use in bakers’ ovens and other specialist applications. In 1925, due to the gas-oil crisis and following considerable investment in R&D, the company adapted burners to accommodate the new heavy fuel oil. During the 1930s and 40s the company continued to innovate, thus anticipating and responding to changes in the market to meet users’ requirements, and in 1950 invested heavily in more extensive production facilities. In 1958 a special department was set up for the automation of burner components. Further expansion and product development kept the company at the leading edge of its sector through the 1960s, 70s and 80s, with expansion across Europe, entry into the US market and the opening of a production facility in Canada. Between 1985 and 1990 subsidiaries were established in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and Switzerland.

Through its programme of consistent investment in R&D, the company has achieved market leadership in Europe with its highefficiency burners with low NOx emissions, and advanced energystorage systems that provide unrivalled power supply protection for industry with particular emphasis on mission critical installations such as data centres.

Futuristic energy storage solutions In June this year, a new collaboration between RWE, Europe’s leading energy trader, and Riello UPS, the second-largest manufacturer of uninterruptible power supplies in Europe, has transformed the future horizons for energy storage options. The new strategic alli-

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ance will provide energy-intensive, mission-critical sites such as data centres, with the opportunity to capitalise on the growing trend for battery storage without compromising on their overall reliability and power availability. Electricity generation in Europe is in the process of a huge transformation, with old-style plants powered by fossil fuels on the way out. For example, in May 2019, Britain went coal-free for more than a fortnight, with renewables such as solar, wind, and tidal playing an increasingly important role. While this shift to low carbon delivers significant environmental benefits, it does introduce other problems as these green sources can be more unpredictable. This, in turn, makes it more difficult for the National Grid to balance supply with demand and ensure power supply stability.

The obvious solution to this challenge is a move away from the traditional centralised method of power generation, transmission, and distribution to a dynamic, decentralised network driven by smart grids, onsite generation, and battery storage, where energy users can also be producers. With Riello and TWE working in close harmony together to make global energy-storage a reality the benefits to consumers and manufacturing industries are immeasurable.

New Low-NOx solutions When it comes to the heating side of its business, Riello is now able to offer new low NOx solutions for hospital environments with its latest three RLS300/EV Riello Dual Fuel electronic cam burners that come complete with variable speed drive. These advanced burners have been installed in many hospital applications where low NOx, coupled with fuel efficiency gains were required. Moving to a fully modulating burner control, coupled with the efficiency gains from a switch to electronic cam and variable speed drive, today’s hospitals can expect to make substantial energy savings by installing these highly efficient Riello burners.

Unique “Next Energy” systems Riello UPS’s super-efficient ‘NextEnergy’ range is now reinforced with a new and improved version of the NXE 250. Like the entire NXE family, the 250 kVA model is manufactured using the most innovative transformerless technologies to provide unbeatable dualconversion in online UPS protection. Designed to meet the power requirements of the future and deliver maximum availability in mission-critical applications such as data centres, the ‘NextEnergy’ battery-based systems offer unity

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power factors and feature a broad range of energy-saving attributes that reduce operating costs without compromising on performance. In online mode, the NXE is capable of TÜV-certified operational efficiency up to 97 per cent, which can increase to 99 per cent in Eco or Smart Active mode. In addition, a new operating mode called ‘Active Eco’ enables the load to be fed at high efficiency, from the bypass line, while at the same time working as an active filter to reduce any current harmonics, increasing the power factor towards the entrance network. The new ‘NextEnergy’ range offers data centre operators and IT managers exceptional flexibility. What’s more it can be installed with or without a neutral connection, thus potentially reducing power

distribution system costs, while up to 8 UPS can operate in parallel to provide increased capacity or redundancy. Furthermore, Hot System Expansion (HSE) functionality enables extra UPS to be added without having to shut down the system or switch to bypass. A high-definition 7-inch colour LCD touchscreen display panel showing voltage, UPS status, and battery levels puts full control at the user’s fingertips, whilst the ‘NextEnergy’ system also comes with an array of communications ports and is fullycompatible with Riello UPS’s full suite of communications software such as its well-known PowerShield3. For further details of Riello’s latest innovative, energy-saving products and services visit: www. n riello.com

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TAKING LOCK TECH FURTHER Forestia is a market leader in the design and manufacture of particle board systems for walls, floors and ceilings. In partnership with other companies, Forestia has pioneered tailor-made, locking technologies for easy installation that enhance both the strength and versatility of its products, as Philip Yorke reports.

F

orestia is one of Scandinavia’s leading suppliers of particle board construction products. It was founded in Norway almost 50 years ago and has been in the ownership of the Bygma Group ASA since 2006. Today the company produces particle boards in a variety of thicknesses and sizes for flooring, interior walls and ceilings. Forestia also supplies both foiled and unfoiled particle boards for a variety of industries including the furniture and construction industries. Forestia’s capacity for particle board production is more than 3,000,000 square metres per year. Quality assurance is guaranteed in accordance with the relevant ISO certifications and also in accordance with the PEFC Chain of custody of forest-based products. The company’s on-going success can be attributed to a number of things including its commitment to sustainability, a continuous focus on product development and unrivalled customer service.

Unique 2G locking technology Earlier this year, Forestia signed a ‘milestone’ licensing agreement with another leading Norwegian particle board producer: Valinge. As a result, it is now launching a range of special particle board subfloors with a uniquely developed version of Valinge’s 2G locking technology. By adding the 2G mechanical locking system on the 104 Industry Europe

long side of the company’s subflooring, Forestia becomes a pioneer in meeting the growing demand for particle board products that offer easy installation, high quality and outstanding performance. Terje Sagbakken, CEO of Forestia said, “It’s great to make everyday life easier for our customers, both from a cost and installation perspective. It is important for us to be innovative and develop solutions which make the handling of our products easier and better for our end-users. Our expertise in raw materials, combined with Valinge’s knowledge of precision locking technologies, made us come up with the best possible solution for click-in, load-bearing subflooring” The unique 2G locking systems by Vilinge is one of the most used and appreciated systems in the world for floating installations of laminate, wood and resilient flooring. However angling installation of the long side also offers many advantages for subfloors. By customising and adjusting the profile there has now been created a basis for a whole new patented collection of subfloors. This in turn allows the remarkable 2G locking technologies to be developed still further by Forestia.

Advanced, tailor-made packaging systems This year Forestia invested more than two million euros in an advanced packaging system for its broad product portfolio.


CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

The packaging system line itself consists of numerous complex modules and components and the line contains multiple manipulators for the packing and unpacking of products using foil machines, robotic arms and stretch-wrapping machines. The new manufactured packaging system line is also designed to pack wooden plates onto pallets. The capacity of the new packaging system designed especially for Forestia by ‘Goldpack’ is unmatched and represents one of the most advanced packaging system lines of its kind in the world. Having a good packaging system line and being able to provide strong protection for products is vital in today’s demanding marketplace, where precise packaging needs to be optimised at every stage of the packaging process.

Taking the rough with the smooth

for those who want the very latest in fashionable and stylish prepapered panel designs. The ‘Classic’ collection comprises classic, decorative finishes and surfaces. This collection offers unlimited combinations where the classic stripped wallpapers come with co-ordinating plain wallpapers to provide exclusive and enduring results. The Forestia Basic Collection is comprised of simpler decorative finishes with understated patterned surfaces for delicate, light and timeless rooms. These finishes are equally at home in private or n public environments. For further details of Forestia’s latest innovative particle board panels and pre-papered wall panel products visit: www.forestia.com

There are certain applications for wall and ceiling panels which require strong and solid panels that are able to withstand consistently rough and tough treatment. These include for example storerooms, garages, machinery rooms, farm laundry rooms, dairies and bake-houses. Forestia’s ‘Elitex’ range features a smooth hard surface which is comprised of unique melamine-coated wall panels that ensure that walls in tough environments are not easily damaged. In addition, the Elitex wall panels have a moisture-resistant core which has been thoroughly tried and tested at every stage of manufacture. As well as being robust and suitable for screws and other fittings, they are also ideal where requirements for hygiene and tough cleaning regimens are essential. The new Forestia ‘Elitex’ panels are also now equipped with a special locking profile for added strength and flexibility.

Endless variety Forestia is well known for its endless variety of high quality chipboard pre-applied wallpaper products. These are divided into three distinct product collections. The company’s ‘Trend’ collection is designed Industry Europe 105


SEE-THROUGH INNOVATION NorDan is a European market leader in the design and manufacture of safety windows and doors. Innovation has played a major role in its success to date and it continues to maintain its reputation for quality and originality. The company recently moved into the European Modular Off-Site market where it has already made major gains into the market, as Philip Yorke reports.

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orDan was founded in 1926 by a Norwegian entrepreneurial carpenter called Johannes Rasmussen, who began by making wooden staircases, windows and doors. His enterprise and innovative designs soon meant that he had to invest in larger premises and it was also at this stage hat he decided to focus exclusively on windows and doors. Rasmussen soon put his crea106 Industry Europe

tive talents to work and set about designing a window that was both versatile and completely secure against the elements, The result was the world’s very first ‘tilt & turn’ window, which became an instant success. Today the company remains in private hands and is managed by the third generation of its founding family. Nordan has become one of the


CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

world’s most successful and progressive window manufacturers with state-of-the-art facilities in Otta, Ergersund and Arneberg in Norway as well as in Varnamo, Kvillsfors and Tanumshede in Sweden. In addition, NorDan has a major production plant in Wolsztyn in Poland where the company employs over 1,600 people. In 2018 NorDan recorded sales of NOK 2.5 billion, and in 2018 the Group consisted of ten modern factories, 25 project management offices and a total of over 2,000 employees.

windows across the whole of the housing sector. In fact, due to the significant demand for housing in the UK, NorDan has set out a clear ‘off-site strategy that includes accurate product certification, procurement and logistical systems, together with a robust quality assurance system. As a group we are investing further in the expansion in our production unit sectors in order to take advantage of the increase in demand for our products away from the traditional aluminium and PVC window and door products.

Off-site market expansion

For ‘NTech’ read High-tech

For a number of years NorDan has been reporting strong growth in the ‘Off-Site’ industry sector. As a result of the significant developments in this market the company is now engaged with more than 20 leading European Off-Site clients and delivering full modular solutions across markets in Sweden, Norway, Eastern Europe and in the UK. NorDan told Industry Europe, “The exciting part of this development is the synergy between NorDan, our off-site customers, and the major benefits provided for our joint client-base. “In the UK as well as well as throughout Europe, we now see significant demand for our high quality aluminium-clad timber

For over ten years NorDan has been proud to manufacture and supply the UK market with a range of external entrance doors from Bor of Sweden under the brand name: BorDorren. However, during the last two years a number of factors have influenced the NorDan strategy on external entrance doors and so recently the NTech door range formerly replaced that of the BorDorren range. This included the launch of a brand-new product a little over a year ago called the NTech Security Entrance Door. This advanced high-tech product is being produced at NorDan’s latest state-of-the-art factory in Powodowo in Poland. Industry Europe 107


The NTech Security Entrance door has all the attributes of NorDan’s well established composite entrance door-set, which offers protection from forced entry and the robustness to cope with extreme weather conditions. The new NTech Security Entrance Door-Set combines the company’s 90 years of manufacturing experience, with Norwegian integrity, and in tandem with NorDan’s unrivalled reputation for innovation. Products manufactured at Powodowo are designed and produced with key commitments relating to customer satisfaction, elimination of defects, environmental awareness and exceptional technical support. Currently there are seven door styles to choose from in the NTech Range. However with this product range now being the sole external entrance door available to the UK market from NorDan, the company will continue to focus on the further development of the NTech range and its future in the company’s strategic product portfolio.

Constant drive for innovation

By constantly asking itself questions about what can be done better, smarter and more beautiful, a steady stream of innovative products and processes has been forthcoming from NorDan. These include the famous ‘Swan Marked Window’ seal of safety, passive windows with insulated frame and sash, pre-finished surface treatments, pre-mounted bushings and pre-glazed windows and doors, to name but a few. Today the company’s future depends on its ability to outperform and out-class its competitors, therefore there is always constant activity at its headquarters in Moi, Norway. However, the environment, customer comfort and safety remain very much in focus at NorDan. For further details of NorDan’s latest innovative products n and services visit: www.nordan.co.uk

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ENERGY & UTILITIES

TOTAL TRANSFORMATION Kolektor Etra is a market leader in the design and manufacture of high-power transformers rated up to 500MVA and to 420kV. It leads the field in the development of heavy-duty eco-friendly power transformers. This high-tech Slovenian company recently secured a contract with Fingrid Power of Finland, for around 20 million euros, the biggest single contract in the companys history, as Philip Yorke reports.

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ased in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Kolektor Etra was founded in 1933 and to this day remains a privately-owned limited company with more than 1,000 employees and revenues of over 100 million euros. According to the latest press release from Fingrid, the Slovenia-based company Kolektor Etra will shortly totally transform Finland’s electricity transmission connection capabilities between the south and north of Finland and provide significantly improved power access and overall eco-efficiency from east to west. The EUR 20 million plus contract involves the supply of 400 MVA 400/120kV power transformers to boost Finland’s national grid. The heavy-duty, high-tech equipment will be delivered to the Finnish transformer substations located in Pyhäselkä and Petäjävesi Fingrid said, adding that the signed contract also allows for the delivery of five optional power transformers in 2020–2023. Accordingly, the purpose of allowing for five optional power transformers, is to provide for the several pending wind power projects planned across Finland. The transformer substation in Pyhäselkä will be replaced within twelve months. This upgrade and the new power transformers ordered now, relate to the renewal of the Oulujoki grid. The Oulujoki grid will be replenished in a number of stages throughout the 2019–2020 period. This means that the country’s aging power grid will now be thoroughly modernised, with additional wind power projects of several hundred megawatts also planned for the area. Fingrid has developed its advanced power grid in close

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cooperation with the electricity producers and distribution system operators in the area. The replacement of the transformer substation in Petäjävesi and the new power transformer ordered for the main substation relates to a much larger project called Forest Line, which will improve the transmission connection between the south and north of Finland, in order to better serve the growing needs of Finnish industrial companies and its consumers. The aim of the projects in both Pyhäselkä and Petäjävesi is to ensure that Finland remains a single-price region for electricity supply, according to the Fingrid press release. The purpose of the five optional power transformers is to provide connectivity for the many pending wind power projects across Finland.

Big developments in Belarus Following the recent agreement signed between the Belarusian national electrical company, ‘Belenergo’ and Slovenia’s largest power engineering company Kolektor Etra to establish a modern manufacturing facility in Belarus, work has begun on the construction of the latest state-of-the-art plant. This has been initiated in order to produce powerful, eco-friendly transformers to be installed throughout the region. The company sees this as heralding a new era of cooperation between the two countries. Kolektor Etra has well-established contacts with Belarusian companies and earned the reputation as a supplier of the highest quality


ENERGY & UTILITIES

high-power transformers. For more than 80 years Kolektor Etra has been manufacturing and repairing a broad range of power transformers. These account for the bulk of the company’s output, of which more than 90 per cent is manufactured for export markets. The company excels in its many disciplines where it focuses special attention on power loss and noise reduction. Today the Belarus facility is fully operational and providing reliable power supplies across the full breadth of the country.

Award winning exporter Recently Kolektor Etra received a prestigious award for the best Slovenian exporter of 2018. This was granted by the Conference of Slovenian Exporters, which was held a few months ago at Brdo pri Kran. “Apart from export achievements, Kolektor Etra was able to prove that as a manufacturer it is growing three times faster than the European marketplace. This does not come at the expense of getting low-priced deals, but by joining higher price levels managed by multinationals, while increasing its profitability. In the foreign

markets, it promotes its own brands, built by technically advanced energy transformers and in the development of which, it also uses artificial intelligence. “Kolektor Etra generates 90 percent of its revenues from export sales abroad, more than half of which are focused on the demanding Scandinavian markets. It is distinguished by its stable financial performance indicators, including 15 per cent annual sales growth over the past five years, above-average profitability and an ambitious future plan for growth”, “These facts were stated by the judges as the key reasons for the company winning the coveted prize. A Kolektor Etra spokesperson said, “We are proud that with clear vision, hard work and dedication, as well as continuous improvements, investment in development and the use of artificial intelligence, we have been able to prove why we deserve this special award. For further details of Kolektor Etra’s latest range of econ friendly, high-power transformers visit: www.kolektor-etra.si

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MASTERCLASS IN MECHATRONICS Bitron is an independent, high-tech Italian components manufacturing company with a broad product portfolio that ranges from household appliances and automotive products to HVAC and renewable energy systems. Philip Yorke reports on a market leader that continues to excel through innovation and sustainable manufacturing processes.

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ENERGY & UTILITIES

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he origins of Bitron go back almost 65 years, more specifically to 1955 when three brothers; Enrico, Giovanni and Carlo Bianco, established a workshop in Italy to manufacturer household appliance components. Steady growth continued over the years, and the company expanded both in terms of geographical reach and market segments. These were further boosted by a series of strategic acquisitions. In 1992 there was the decision to create a new corporate identity, and thus all the companies of the group were renamed Bitron. Today the group is organised into four key business divisions: automotive, household appliances, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) and renewable energy. As with its other market sectors, Bitron is a leading global supplier of mechatronics products for automotive interiors. This includes pedals, switches, sensors, control-panels and displays. In addition, Bitron produces power-train components for commercial vehicles, motorcycles and scooters. The company’s portfolio of HVAC components and systems is equally extensive and includes items for boilers, heat pumps, water heaters and other applications. The company’s range of hydraulic and electrical components and heat exchangers are comprehensive and unrivalled in the industry.

Some of the advanced manufacturing processes already integrated into its automatic lines are laser and hot blade welding for plastics, laser marking, coating, resin-dispensing and mechanical insertions. The company has also developed a standard automatic, patented line called ‘the MAC line’ that can be configured and set up for multiple products and finishing processes, with the objective of achieving an automatic workflow that enables high mix, low volume production. In addition, Bitron’s MES (manufacturing execution system) provides comprehensive solutions for traceability, production scheduling and quality KPI monitoring on a real time basis. Standard reports are also available, such as unique ID tracking or component batch utilisation. All its process monitoring systems work in real time, to help production operators and engineers to improve process quality and output. Bitron’s product testing division manages in-circuit testing (ICT), functional verification testing (FVT) and special, customised tests. The company’s In-Circuit Test (ICT) is entirely designed and manufactured in-house including interface boards, test software and debugging. In addition to classic in-circuit parameters, it also tests LED function and colour, as well as mechanical switches and potentiometers,

Diverse technologies Bitron’s commitment to R&D has resulted in highly efficient, fully automated production lines with high process verticalisation, in order to allow the complete assembly of products inside its own plants.

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using mechanical actuators. Functional tests on energised boards are also carried out on these fixtures. Devices such as microprocessors can be programmed during the ICT process. Furthermore, the equipment can easily be manually or automatically loaded and unloaded. The company also use the latest flying probe systems for fast prototyping.

Customised functional verification Bitron designs and develops standard functional verification test equipment as well as customised models for specific tasks, such as the testing of electricity meters, photovoltaic installation controls and tyre pressure sensors. Its advanced systems measure voltage, current, energy, power, pressure and torque. Loading and unloading can be carried out manually or fully automated. All test data is stored on centralised servers to respond to traceability requirements. As a global EMS provider, Bitron’s supply chain management system has dedicated modules for demand planning analysis, components procurement and delivery tracking. The ERP system can handle both manual order transmissions, and EDI implementations, according to its individual customer’s requests.

Optimised photovoltaics Components and systems are fully optimised for solar panels, boilers, heat pumps, water heaters and other applications. These include hydraulic groups, electronics components and heat exchangers, which are all produced by the company’s HVAC division. The Endana devices for the optimisation, monitoring and safety of photovoltaic panels and systems are also the specialisation of the renewable energy division. Bitron employs over 6,000 staff worldwide, operating from 13 manufacturing plants and 10 marketing and sales offices. Its current 114 Industry Europe

turnover exceeds EUR 700 million, with a significant proportion being reinvested in R&D every year. This is an area to which the company dedicates about 9 per cent of its workforce. Whilst most research is conducted in-house, partnerships are also in place with specialist universities for particular projects, such as those for renewable energy systems. Innovation & R&D have been priorities for Bitron since it was founded in 1955. The company is particularly skilled in designing systems and components for integrating several functions into one multifunctional system, thereby optimising design and reducing costs. Each year Bitron dedicates around 7 per cent of its turnover to R&D to enable it to stay ahead of its competitors and to ensure that its global OEM customers retain n their competitive edge. For further details of Bitron’s innovative products and services visit: www.bitron.net


FOOD AND BEVERAGE

CREAM OF THE CROP

The Lacpol Dairy Group of Poland was recently acquired by Polmlek, making it the cream of the crop in the dairy sector and one of the biggest dairy product producers in Eastern Europe. Philip Yorke reports on Lacpol’s important milestones that led to its acquisition and how the company’s new parent company is already enhancing future business prospects.

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he Lacpol group was founded in 1982 as the foreign trading arm of the Polish cooperative dairies and has since risen to become one of the top ten largest dairy companies in the area, with a turnover of more than EUR 220 million. Currently Lacpol has over 100 shareholders and these include some of the region’s big-

gest dairy producers, such as Rolmlecz, which is the largest single shareholder of Lacpol with more than 30 per cent of its equity. With the growing possibility of its partner dairies able to export their products under their own brands, it was inevitable that Lacpol’s business model had to change. Therefore, in addition to increasing

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its milk processing potential with its own production facilities, Lacpol also began selling its own branded products on the Polish market. This in turn has prompted a structural change in the company, as in the past it had focused exclusively on dry dairy products that were suitable for export. However, today it is investing increasingly in the manufacture of fresh dairy produce.

From strength to strength The leading dairy company, Rolmlecz is the most important partner of Lacpol and is also the parent company of the Lacpol Group. Rolmluecz’s activities are focused on purchasing milk and its sales to the distributors of the Lacpol Group. It is also involved in the production and distribution of packaging materials and the management of road transportation facilities. Today the Lacpol Group is one of the region’s leading producers and distributors of dairy products. The company’s most important products include ripened cheese, cream, yoghurt, buttermilk, cottage cheese, butter, powdered dairy products and milk drinks. It is also involved in the production of a number of fruit and vegetable juices. The Lacpol group operates an extensive range of production facilities and plants including 9 state-of-the-art, primary production plants located throughout Poland.

A new force in dairy The recent purchase of Rolmlecz, Lacpol’s largest shareholder, has created a new strategic force in the Polish dairy industry. Overall. Lacpol’s main shareholders are dairy cooperatives who joined forces to export their dairy products abroad, and although Lacpol subsequently became a strong player in export markets, it did not have a strong position in its

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domestic market. The advent of the company’s takeover by Polmlek addresses this imbalance in that much of its product portfolio is now dedicated to satisfying the Polish domestic markets. Thus the Polmlek Capital Group has become the new owner of 9 large production and service facilities. However, not all these modern plants process milk, with some involved in the manufacture of fruit and vegetable juices. In 2018 total revenues derived from these plants exceeded PLN 1.3 billion (EUR 0.3 billion). As a result of this latest acquisition, more than 3,000 suppliers have moved over to Polmlek. In total, the new company will have almost 10,000 suppliers making it one of the giants of the dairy industry in Poland. It is also worth noting that due to the acquisition of Fortuna, another Polmek company, the group has also become a major player in the juice and beverage market. It is understood that the directors are now looking to buy into other branches of food processing in order to broaden their product portfolio and enhance the group’s future prospects for growth.

Boom in export markets According to milk producers and processors in Poland, the Polish dairy sector has been flourishing this year and the prospects for strong growth are good. This bodes well for the recently enhanced Lacpol Group. Poland is the 4th biggest milk producer in the European Union, and it is steadily rebuilding its dairy sector after the dairy crisis of a few years ago. Farmers are expanding their farms and exports are booming. “I hope we can keep this positive vibe for a while, says Andrzej Grabowski, co-owner of Polmlek, a company that launched one


FOOD AND BEVERAGE

of the largest dairy factories in Europe just recently and saw revenue increase by 14 per cent last year. Also other dairy processors are doing well and are able to invest again. For example, Mlekpol showed a revenue of PLN 3.2 billion (EUR 0.76 billion). Polmlek came in third with PLN 888 million (EUR 211 million), however this will increase significantly with the new acquisition of Lacpol now in place. In addition, milk consumption is on the rise in Poland, as well as in its export markets. In 2018, consumption of all dairy products in Poland increased by 5.5 per cent, reaching 220 litres of milk per person. In particular the consumption of yoghurt, aged cheese,

processed cheese, milk desserts and cream cheese is seeing stong growth. In Poland, farmers produce around 30 per cent more milk than the domestic consumption. As a result, the Polish dairy sector must export the surplus in the form of milk powder, butter and cheese. “Export of Polish dairy products in Q1 2018 increased by 36 per cent compared to the same period in 2017, explains Marcin Hydzik, president of the Polish Milk Processors Association. “The Polish dairy sector keeps on growing and it is estimated that by the end of 2019 production will reach 12 billion litres of milk, hence representying a significant n increase in export sales.”

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DELIVERING FUTURE

INTERFACE TECHNOLOGY OJ Electronics is a Danish company that is a market leader in the design and manufacture of electronic control systems for HVAC applications, power and underfloor heating. The company continues to see strong growth through the creation of its innovative and sustainable interface products and advanced drive solutions. Philip Yorke reports.

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or more than 55 years OJ Electronics has been developing electronic controls for HVAC, power, and underfloor heating applications. During this time, it has accumulated in-depth expertise on applicationspecific solutions and know-how. This enables the company to create highly innovative, standard and customised solutions that support and build on its customers’ success. OJ’s focus is on developing and producing products of the highest quality, utilising advanced design, functionality, reliability and intuitive operational options. The company is headquartered in Sønderborg, Denmark where its products are available through a broad network of global distributors. Today OJ Electronics is committed to developing intelligent solutions that ensure maximum comfort with minimal energy consumption. The company’s products help create intelligent and energyefficient solutions for indoor climate management – whether it is for controls for electric or hydronic floor heating, or HVAC controls and power applications.

New future-ready solutions Earlier this year, OJ Electronics launched an entirely new interface for its advanced DV drive product range. Known as the OJ-DV-HMI35T, this latest addition to the OJ family is a touchscreen panel with a user-friendly graphical interface, specially developed for operating

the OJ-DV range. It’s made using the latest technology, making it fully ready for any future challenges. Preben Jessen, product manager at OJ Electronics said: ‘We felt it was time to update our handheld interface for our Drive range, and as always we set out to do it properly. When designing the OJ-DV-HMI-35T, we focused on making it as user-friendly as possible. This holds true of the big stuff, like the decision to provide a large touchscreen, but also of the finer details like the structure of the menu. Users will find that it’s very easy to navigate”.

Greater scope The scope for future updates is an important point for Preben Jessen: ‘This is quite a major update of the Drive interface – it’s an entirely new piece of technology, not just an overhaul – and so we wanted to make it as future-ready as possible. It was created using the very latest components available, and as a result we have the option of adding more functions over time. It all depends on where the industry is headed and what our customers require, but the OJDV-HMI-35T is certainly ready to face any new challenges!’ ‘Easy installation is always a key concern when designing new equipment,’ says Jessen, ‘and in this case, Modbus is a major help: the panel communicates with the OJ-DV unit via a Modbus interface, which is about as easy as it gets. In terms of physical Industry Europe 119


installation, the bumper cover has two magnets, so on a metal surface you can simply click it in place. Of course, we’ve also included a hole for hanging it on a screw if that’s what the situation calls for”. Jessen concludes by pointing out another small, but important aspect of the design: ‘We always consider the realities of everyday life when we make new solutions, so the OJ-DV-HMI-35T panel comes with a silicon bumper cover to protect it against bumps, oil, dirt and drops from heights of up to one metre”.

Value-added floor thermostat According to OJ Electronics, the new, digital MTD3 electric floor heating thermostat provides much more than the traditional basic thermostat, such as advanced Eco-design and EN 50559 compliance. The new MTD3 raises the bar for basic thermostats with its

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large display and expanded functionality. This enables contractors to stand out in the basic thermostat market. With the new MTD3, customers get a highly functional thermostat that meets the demands of the European Eco-design directive – which means that you no longer need to use high-end products with functionalities that users may not require. That’s why OJ calls this a true ‘Digital Thermostat’. In addition, EN 50559 compliance is often required in major tenders – and with the MTD3 you have access to an affordable product which fully meets the requirements of this standard. With typical thoroughness, OJ’s MTD3 has been field tested for an entire year in more than 100,000 installations. It proved to have a return rate of just 0.07%, thus clearly demonstrating its high quality and ensuring that any expenditure on complaints and claims is likely to be minimal. Furthermore, the new MTD3 comes with a blind cover, making it ideal for public spaces where access to thermostat


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adjustments could be restricted, such as institutions. This in addition, will open up new market opportunities for many customers. It is also possible to obtain MTD3 thermostats very quickly today as the company offers small volume production and fast delivery quotas. As a result, customers can keep their inventory levels low and free-up capital.

Simply better OJ Electronics has also launched a new member of the DRHX family of drives for rotary heat exchangers. Designed for constant speed, the new variant was created with simplicity of operation in mind. Jessen commented, “The constant-speed variant was conceived thanks to popular demand. Many of our customers expressed a wish to have a very simple, constant-speed drive for rotary heat exchangers, so of course we complied. “It’s basically a pared-back version of the existing DRHX range, making it ideal for those situations where you don’t need variable speed, but simply a reliable drive for your rotary heat exchanger. And we expect it to be very popular with many customers, not least in the Middle Eastern and Asian markets.” The new, simpler DRHX model is part of OJ Electronics’ overall strategy to offer a more comprehensive choice: ‘We want our customers to be able to find what they need from us. So we regularly expand our product ranges to match the latest requirements from the market. Sometimes, that means adding – or inventing sophisticated new technology” Jessen added. n For further details of OJ Electronics’ latest innovative products and services visit: www.ojelectronics.com Industry Europe 121


SIGNALLING A BRIGHTER FUTURE In March 2018, Philips Lighting announced its decision to rename the company: “Signify”. In its first year of trading the company recorded revenues of more than €1.5 billion. Philip Yorke looks at the transformation of an industrial giant and the cutting edge advances it has made in its first year of operation. 122 Industry Europe

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hilips Lighting was founded in the Netherlands in 1891 and began by manufacturing carbon-filament lamps. It has since been responsible for many of the world’s most important, groundbreaking innovations from the invention of the x-ray and solid-state radio technology, to the development of LED’s (light emitting diodes). When the company changed its brand name to ‘Signify’ it became the global number one for connected, LED and conventional lighting products overnight. The choice of the new company name ‘Sigfnify’


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“originates from the fact that light becomes an intelligent language which connects and conveys meaning” according to Eric Rondolat, CEO of Philips Lighting. However, the company will continue to use the Philips brand, the world’s biggest lighting brand, under its existing lighting agreement with Royal Philips. At the launch of the new company Rondolat added: “We’re excited to announce our new company name as another step in our transformation journey. Our new company name is a clear expression of our strategic vision and a fabulous opportunity to introduce a new corporate look and feel that is uniquely our own, and will serve to further unite our 32,000 employees. At the same time, we remain proud to continue to use the Philips brand on all our products.” Today Signify is the world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Signify’s energy efficient lighting products, systems and services enable its customers to enjoy superior quality light, and make people’s lives safer and more comfortable, as well as businesses more productive and cities more liveable. With sales in 2018 of more than EUR 6.4 billion, approximately 30,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries, Signify says that it is unlocking the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. 124 Industry Europe

Pioneering sustainable, solar street lighting In Seville in Spain, Signify is using its pioneering solar lighting products to enhance the safety of visitors to the Infanta Elena Park. During the pilot project, 20 Philips ‘SunStay’ solar streetlights will be installed in the park, underscoring both Seville’s and Signify’s commitment to sustainability. By integrating the solar panel, luminaire, charge controller and battery in one housing, the Philips SunStay streetlights are compact and easy to install and maintain. They will also help Seville, a city committed to sustainability and ecology, to reduce energy costs and improve its own carbon footprint. Juan Espaadas, the Mayor of the City of Seville said, “Seville is a city committed to the fight against climate change and a model of a sustainable city that meets the objectives of the strategic plan; Sevilla 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. All the municipal electricity supply is converted into 100 per cent renewable energy. That is why it is so important that one of the green areas of the city is where we will develop an innovative business project to find solutions that improve citizens’ public spaces usage and, at the same time, contribute to the reduction of emissions and improve sustainability”. Today Philips SunStay streetlights save on cabling costs, reduce carbon footprint and lower overall capital and operational expenditure. With


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an output of 3,000 lumens of warm light and an efficacy of 175 lm/W, they’re more efficient than any other existing solar street lighting.

Driving the global lighting challenge In 2018 Signify made major progress toward its sustainability targets set for 2020 as part of its “Brighter Lives – Brighter World” programme. The new company is committed to achieve carbon neutrality and to shift to 100 per cent renewable electricity and to generate 80 per cent of its revenues from sustainable products, systems and services by the year 2020. Nicola Kim, Head of Sustainability at Signify said: “In 2018 we achieved 79 per cent sustainable revenues, reduced our global carbon footprint by 49 per cent and realised carbon neutrality in the US and Canada. On top of that, we also reduced the amount of waste delivered to landfill by 17 per cent compared with 2017, by recycling 82 per cent of our waste.” “We are proud of our achievements as we can only make such strong progress towards out Brighter and Better World targets when all our employees are behind it, as sustainability is really at the heart

of our purpose. All of us at Signify are committed to create brighter lives and a better world by providing light which is energy efficient, saves resources and improves lives.” In recognition of its progress, Signify was named ‘Industrial Leader’ in the Electrical Components and Equipment category of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the second year running. In addition it was included in CDP’s “Climate A List” for reducing its environmental impact, as well as being noted in CDP’s “Sustainable Supply Chain List”. Signify’s 2018 sustainability highlights included the delivery of more than 1.7 billion LED lamps and luminaires since it joined the Global Lighting Challenge in 2015, thus avoiding the release of 43 mega-tonnes of CO2 emissions. The company also generated almost 80 per cent of its revenues from energy efficient products, systems and services. In addition, it achieved a supplier sustainability performance rate of 93 per cent. n For further details of Signify’s latest sustainable energy-efficient products and services visit: www.signify.com

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DELIVERING FULLY INTEGRATED, ECO-EFFICIENT APPLIANCES

Sabaf is a global leader in the design and manufacture of components for a broad range of household appliances. The company’s fully integrated, eco-efficient technologies have continued to set new standards in the home appliance market. Furthermore, a recent acquisition has also enhanced the company’s industrial strengths and its product portfolio, as Philip Yorke reports

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ounded in Italy in 1950, Sabaf has grown steadily to become Europe’s leading household appliance component manufacturer as it continues to enhance its reputation as a major player on the global stage. The Sabaf Group produces thermostats, gas cooker burners and taps, as well as special hinges for dishwashers, ovens and washing machines. Following a recent acquisition, it also offers refrigerators and vacuum cleaners. Today Sabaf is the supplier of choice for the world’s leading household appliance manufacturers. Currently the company invests over 4 per cent of its annual revenues 126 Industry Europe

in research and development. The dedicated design and development of new products meets its on-going need to create increasingly safer and more eco-friendly components. This new generation of appliance components are designed to reduce harmful emissions and to make significant energy savings throughout the product’s lifecycle.


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Sabaf’s unrivalled production flexibility, continuous investment in new technology, and its ability to offer a wide range of appliance components, has helped to keep it well ahead of its competitors. All Sabaf’s products are designed according to the specific needs of its clients and to accommodate the cultural differences in diverse world markets. These considerations in turn enhance the strength of the Sabaf Group. With a turnover in 2018 of more than €160 million, the Sabaf Group is currently estimated to enjoy more than 50 per cent of the European market and over 10 per cent of the global market in its highly competitive industrial sector. Thanks to its dedication to constant research and innovation, the Group has succeeded in consistently achieving excellent financial results, and by identifying the most advanced and efficient technological and productive solutions, has managed to maintain its pole position in the domestic appliance sector.

Taking technology further

Sabaf is widely acknowledged as being the undisputed global technology leader in its field. Its capacity for delivering its own brand of unique technological innovations sets it apart from others. A major Sabaf differentiator is the company’s advanced, integrated production capabilities that not only include the ability to manufacture appliance components to the highest possible standard, but also to produce the machinery that manufactures and assembles the products. This is a clear and distinctive advantage for the Sabaf Group.

Thanks to its considerable investments in the development of new technologies and innovative new products, the company has been able to keep pace with the evolution of global demand, by offering increasingly safe and more eco-efficient products. Sabaf has also been able to help meet the changing and challenging needs of many global manufacturers who, for reasons of increased production efficiency, have ceased to produce gas-related appliance components. They have therefore sought collaboration with companies capable of producing eco-friendly components of especially high-quality and reliability. When it comes to making a decision, Sabaf continues to be the manufacturer of choice.

Expanding product portfolio A recent strategic acquisition by the Sabaf Group will not only add to its already enviable product portfolio, but also bring new technologies to the forefront of its drive for the delivery of more sustainable

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and integrated solutions. The Sabaf Group recently acquired the leading Turkish appliance component manufacturer Okida. This company was founded in Turkey in 1987 and is a leader in the design and manufacture of a broad range of specialised components for household appliances, such as cooker hoods, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators and freezers. The chief executive of Sabaf, Pietro Lotti said, “The acquisition of Okida represents the first step towards the implementation of our business plan presented at the beginning of this year, and is in line with the company’s strategy for expanding the range of products in components for household appliances, and the acquisition of new skills in the electronics sector. The combination of quality and innovation is recognised in Okida, and Sabaf’s widespread presence among all the main global manufacturers of household appliances and allows us to foresee strong sales synergies and an overall improvement in our service to customers”. With this strategic step forward, Sabaf has entered a new, complementary industrial sector, which will enable it to significantly expand its product portfolio in a meaningful and qualitative manner. It will also allow the company to draw on and apply skills of

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the electronics sector, which is becoming increasingly important to the traditional gas-cooking sector. These gains will guarantee that Sabaf’s customers will continue to benefit from the most advanced, and highest-quality integrated products and solutions.

High-performance breakthrough Sabaf’s extensive product portfolio includes gas burners for ovens and grills, as well as thermostats, valves and taps for a vast range of household products. All these advanced technological products provide optimal performance with excellent flame distribution throughout. However, thanks to their unique thermo-couplings, electrodes and innovative positioning systems, the burners can obtain performances equal to those of uncovered burners, which is acknowledged as a n major breakthrough in this highly competitive sector. For further details of Saba’s innovative range of household appliance components and services visit: www.sabaf.it


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SETTING THE TREND IN WINDOW AND DOOR JOINERY The Petecki Group, based in Lodz, Poland, is the leading European manufacturer of windows, doors, sectional gates, exterior aluminium blinds and facades. The company’s quality products are made with attention to details and to modern design. In 2020, the Petecki Group will celebrate its 25th anniversary.

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he Petecki Group is a very strong brand and the company sets new trends and creates new standards in the joinery industry. It has four production plants, 1,000 employees, millions of satisfied customers and more than 450 awards. Its daily capacity is estimated as more than 5,000 products. The company is inspired by perfection, which is why the know-how of people employed at various positions is extremely important in ensuring the quality of its final products.

The company was founded in 1995 by Mr. And Mrs Petecki. Initially, it was a small manufacturer of window and door joinery; however, from the very beginning, its owners’ intention was that it should be a modern, innovative company. In 2001, the group’s total production reached more than 500.000 windows. Two years later, the company entered foreign markets and since then it has developed a distribution network which has expanded beyond Europe. Now exports make up 80 per cent of the group’s total sales and Petecki windows are sold to France, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, South Korea and Sweden. The company’s know-how and the scale of its business ventures allow the Petecki Group to adapt to every market demand and all countries’ requirements In 2006, the company introduced the HST system, which proved to be a hit on the market. The following years saw continuing investment in expanding the window range, but also for fire and anti-burglary products. It was the time to acquire further quality certificates, proving the highest quality of products offered. The year 2013 the Petecki Group’s production exceeded 5 million windows.

facility in Lodz specialises in aluminium joinery for the 21st century, not only traditional doors and windows, but also for winter gardens, folding doors and sliding and facade systems. In 2000 a new production facility in Lask near Lodz was built. It is still the largest plant within the Petecki Group, although since that time the group has added two more factories. The total surface area of the plant amounts to more than 5 ha, and includes production halls, modern laboratories, logistics, the quality and administration departments. The Lask complex is considered the most modern facility of this type in Europe. Due to its wide technological range, it enables the production of windows in various systems and with various components. The plant in Gostynin has been a part of the Petecki Group since 2006, being a response to the market’s demand for high quality joinery and an opportunity to increase the company’s total production. The plant enabled the commissioning of additional production lines equipped with the highest quality machines from Urban and Stürtz that helped the plant to achieve a monthly output of 25,000 window units. The plant in Gostynin produces window and door carpentry based mainly on Brügmann/Salamander systems. The plant in Chrapczewo is the fourth and the latest production complex of the Petecki Group. Its responsibility is the production of carpentry for the most demanding customers and specialization in non-standard orders. This is where triangular, round, semi-circular and even undefined shapes of windows are produced.

The power of four

Wide range of the offer

In the mid-nineties the company’s first plant at Lodz was founded. Initially, it focused on the production of PVC window frames based on REHAU profiles. Since then, a lot has changed and today the

The group’s range of products is very diverse. Recently, it introduced a unique Spectral coating and a new colour scheme. The new Excellent Line 76 MD window and the HSeD sliding door system

Building a strong brand

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are still very popular among customers, as well as the product line based on the Blu Evolutions system, and the premium segment Future Line 82 windows. The HS doors and PATIO windows also show an upward trend. The company is also a well-recognized producer of aluminium facade systems. A wide range of possibilities to create facade solutions in terms of complex shapes, size, functionality, aesthetics,

after thermal improvement works, equipped with natural

thermal insulation and burglary resistance is undoubtedly a huge advantage of the Petecki offer. The group also produces various types of gates, including segment, industrial and garage gates. Last but not least, Petecki is a manufacturer of exterior aluminium blinds. They are an inseparable element of modern buildings. They are also perfect for the revitalization of existing buildings. The Petecki Group cooperates only with trusted and renowned global brands of window profiles, suppliers of elements and sales partners. These are companies such as Roto, Yawal, Salamander, Veka, Rehau, Brugmann and Pilkington. They have been very carefully selected. Cooperation with one supplier has resulted in another novelty, the unique Roto NX fitting. Now, the company is undertaking the full modernization of its production facilities, focused on further investments, robotization and full automation of the PVC and aluminium windows production process. The group’s strategy includes the improvement of processes related to the thermal parameters of the products. It also invests in n the products’ security parameters.

ventilation, mechanical extract ventilation, and hybrid

For more information, visit: www.petecki.eu

Brevis We are the largest manufacturer of trickle vents in Poland. We supply our products for the Polish window industry – the leader of the European market. Our portfolio encompasses ventilation solutions for both new buildings and the ones

ventilation. Meeting the modern expectations, we offer a over frame trickle vent with thermal insulation – Insolio – which can be installed without any interference with the window frame structure as well as a new acoustic trickle vent – Ventair Akustik – characterized by record isolating parameters up to 48 dB. We are the first company to actively combat smog by means of implementing filtration feature in trickle vents. We have mounted an anti-pollution and anti-allergic filter in a replaceable cassette of the Insolio F and NDF trickle vent and in the automated Urbino air intake. Learn more at www.brevis.com.pl/en.

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RESPONDING TO NEW

MASSIVE TORQUE DEMANDS

Sisu Axles manufactures heavy-duty planetary axles for a wide range of vehicle types from trucks and container handling equipment to military vehicles. These axles are subject to extreme forces whilst delivering very heavy loads. Increasing competition among vehicle manufacturers has forced Sisu to make their axles capable of delivering even more exceptional torque and superior handling, as Philip Yorke reports.

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LOGISTICS & TRANSPORT

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isu Axles is a market-leading, Finnish industrial engineering company that is active in three key areas: heavy-duty trucks, defence equipment and tractors. It works with many of the world’s biggest OEM’s including Kenworth, Western Star, Peterbilt and Ginaf. The high-tech axles that go into these vehicles must be extremely durable and offer greater torque capacity than ever before. To ensure the new axles meet the increasing demands of their global customers, the product development team at Sisu Axles requires the most accurate measurement data possible and the some of the world’s highest specification production processes.

telemetry from rotor to stator. The compact size of the new transducer also means that it takes up very little space in the test bench itself. Furthermore, the wireless data transmission capability simplifies both transducer installation and test bench operations. Sisu Axles’ new system is also easier to integrate with existing measurement systems and electronics. In addition to accurate data and wireless transmission the third important benefit of Sisu’s state-of-the-art measurement systems is that its results are available at all times. Real-time measurement data can therefore be displayed on a PC screen and can also be stored in the measurement database.

Delivering greater all-round accuracy

New star performer

To underscore the importance of achieving unrivalled accuracy in its new product development activities, Jouni Teppo, director of R&D at Sisu said, “It is essential for our new product development that design data can be verified using a highly accurate test bench. We can then make sure that what has been calculated takes place in practice. With the data we receive, we can make significant savings in production costs. Accurate and real-time torque data is extremely important to us.” According to Teppo, the biggest advantage of the installation of its new HBM T40 torque transducers is that they offer an exceptional level of highly accurate torque measurement data. With the earlier test benches the measuring error could have been several percent, however thanks to this latest investment in new technology, it is possible to achieve 0.05 percent accuracy.

The Western Star XD-25 extreme-duty truck, is a monster machine by any standards, and one that delivers more than 25 tonnes of load capability. It is also equipped with a Detroit engine that delivers up

Advanced wireless data transmission According to Sisu, one of the benefits of the latest transducers it employs is that torque data can be transmitted wirelessly from the test bench. The digital torque data signal is transferred wirelessly by Industry Europe 133


to 560 HP and a peak torque of up to 1850 lb. ft. The Sisu FR2P32 planetary axles are responsible for delivering the XD-25’s massive engine torque to the ground. This high-speed tandem boasts a 70,000 lb. GAWR (gross axle weight rating) combined with top speeds of approximately 104 kph (65 mph) making it the outstanding global performer in its class “Western Star chose Sisu for the XD-25 due to its blue-chip reputation and dedication to robustness and quality,” said John Tomlinson, XD & Vocational Sales Manager for Western Star. “This truck represents the durability and ruggedness needed within our construction and off-road hauling markets. We are excited to have Sisu as a part of the XD Series family and know they are the perfect choice for meeting the XD-25’s stringent requirements.”

Sisu axles are engineered using only premium components to provide optimum performance and reduced maintenance for extended product life. The double reduction, high-speed planetary axles come in a variety of ratios ranging from 4.11 to 12.53 and provides up to 600,000 lb. GCWR (gross combination weight rating). “Sisu axles first became available from Marmon-Herrington in 2011. Since then, our companies have collectively taken this product to the next level,” said Dan Souhan, Sales & Marketing Director for Marmon-Herrington. “By offering the industry’s only Rapid Response Program, Marmon-Herrington is also able to deliver key products in 30-days or less. This program has aided greatly in allowing our customers to win new business and we are excited to offer Sisu axles as part of this program.”

World-beating Tandem and Tridem axle sets Sisu’s parent company, Marmon-Herrington recently announced the release of a new 90,000 lbs. Sisu tandem axle set, and a new 136,000 lbs. Sisu tridem axle set. These latest world class product releases are double reduction planetary drive axles for heavy duty applications within the North American truck market. For approved applications, the new tandem axle offers a maximum GCWR (gross combination weight rating) of 400,000 lbs. and the tridem axle offers a maximum GCWR of 600,000 lbs. Sisu Axles has also increased maximum approved ratings for its industry standard 70,000 lbs. tandem axle set to 400,000 lbs. GCWR, and 600,000 lbs. GCWR for its 106,000 lbs. tridem axle set. “We are pleased to offer these new products to satisfy the needs of our loyal mining, heavy haul, and oil & gas fleet users,” said Rick Blair, Marmon-Herrington OEM President. “Sisu products have long been known for their exceptional reliability and strength. The new 90K tandem and 136K tridem allows us to continue a tradition of offering industry-best products to our customers.” “We care about our customers and listen to their needs. We’re constantly striving and adapting to provide product solutions that meet the ever-changing needs in each of their industries,” said Dan Souhan, director of Sales and Marketing, “These new offerings exceed the ratings of other products currently on the market. The 600,000 lbs. GCW rating for both the 106K and 136K tridem sets a new standard for high speed, double reduction planetary axles.” Production of these eagerly anticipated new offerings has already begun and products are now available to ship worldwide. It is worth noting that Sisu Axles has been supplying similar 90,000 lbs. tandem and 136,000 lbs. tridem axles for many years to customers outside the North American market. For more details about Sisu’s latest heavy-duty axles and services visit: n www.sisuaxles.com 134 Industry Europe


METALS, METALWORKING & MINING

SUPERSONIC SURFACE SOLUTIONS Oerlikon Balzers is a leading global technology group with a mission to become the world’s number one provider of advanced surface solutions, as well as high-tech industrial materials and materials processing technologies. Philip Yorke reports on a remarkable company that is breaking down barriers and setting new standards in the industries that it serves.

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As

a leading global technology and engineering Group, Oerlikon Balzers operates its business in two key segments: Surface Solutions and Manmade Fibers. The high technology group employs more than 10,500 specialists at 175 locations in 37 countries across the globe. In 2018, Oerlikon generated CHF 2.6 billion (EUR 2.39 billion) in sales and invested around CHF 120 million (EUR 110.3 billion) in R&D. Oerlikon engineers materials, equipment and surfaces to high specification standards and provides a unique range of services in order to enable customers to obtain high-performance products and systems that offer them extended lifespans. Drawing on its key technological competencies and strong financial foundations, the group is sustaining mid-term growth by executing three strategic drivers: addressing attractive new growth markets, securing structural growth and expanding through targeted mergers and acquisitions.

capabilities promise to help address the industry’s most difficult challenges, whilst improving efficiency and safety more economically. The company’s “Additively Manufactured Components”, also known as 3D-printed or digitised components due to the precision with which they are made, are lighter and better designed than components made with traditional manufacturing techniques. Incorporating digital solutions in both air and space environments has already created new advances in the aerospace industry. “With their bundled expertise, the two partner companies cover the entire value chain from component design and manufacturing to testing and qualification,” says Hans J. Steininger, Chief Executive Officer of MT Aerospace AG, a subsidiary of Bremen-based OHB SE aerospace company. “In this way, we can offer customers a ‘one-stop shop’ solution from product specification to the finished, qualified part.”

End-to-end aerospace solutions

Additive manufacturing is seen as the next industrial revolution. Instead of using traditional techniques, casting, machining, joining and assembly, it allows complete freedom to create complex integrated shapes that are optimised for function, performance and cost. “Through this partnership, we look forward to continuing to lead innovation and digitalisation trends in the aerospace industry by accelerating and scaling up the process from concept to operational delivery,” said Prof. Dr. Michael Süss, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oerlikon.

On June 17th this year, Oerlikon AM and a leading aerospace company called MT Aerospace, created a strategic alliance to accelerate the use of additive parts in the aerospace and defence industries. The new partnership aims to bring greater efficiency and cost savings to the aerospace and defence markets by providing end-to-end solutions for their customers. The two companies are important players in the aerospace market, and their combined expertise and sophisticated technical

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Driving the additive revolution


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“To advance the application of additive manufacturing, collaboration with key players like MT Aerospace is essential. We are looking forward to bringing more additively manufactured parts to aerospace.” By bundling their capabilities, Oerlikon AM and MT Aerospace are setting a path for their customers to unleash the full potential of additive manufacturing. The ability to optimally design specific parts or components provides obvious design and manufacturing benefits for all.

Focus on aerospace Aerospace is one of Oerlikon’s most important, markets, where customers benefit from solutions that improve safety, aircraft power and efficiency. Oerlikon supports aerospace customers throughout the entire value chain with a portfolio ranging from coatings for cutting tools for the machining of aerospace components, wear protection for critical parts, abradable and thermal barrier coatings to powder and services for additive manufacturing processes. Oerlikon’s advanced materials, functional coatings and process technologies boost performance and improve safety and fuel efficiency, while reducing emissions. These solutions not only meet customers’ precise technical requirements but are also super-efficient and cost-effective.

Unique innovation hub Earlier this year, Oerlikon celebrated the inauguration of its all new USD 55 million (EUR 49.5 million) Innovation Hub & Advanced Component Production facility in Huntersville USA as part of its ongoing global growth strategy. The facility will serve as a cornerstone of Oerlikon’s Balzers’ additive manufacturing business in the US as well as acting as a springboard for its broader global activities. The 125,000 square foot facility currently employs about 60 people and is fully operational. The additive manufacturing production

facility is Oerlikon’s second location in North Carolina – the other site provides manmade fibers, in particular, carpet yarn systems. Additive manufacturing uses high-tech tools, rapid prototyping and metal and plastic 3D printing to help customers create new components and transform production processes. With the help of Oerlikon’s additive manufacturing experts and the use of new technologies, companies can produce more complex and better performing components that are lighter and last longer, whilst also simplifying logistics and reducing the environmental impact. This latest major investment is part of the USD 400 million (EUR 360 million), that the company has already invested in the US in the past five years. Oerlikon expects to invest another USD 200 million (EUR 180 million) in the next three years, adding some 400 new jobs. The Huntersville facility will continue to add jobs gradually and is poised for expansion as the business grows. “This facility marks an important step in our investment strategy for growth,” said Prof. Dr. Michael Süss, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Oerlikon Group. “Additive manufacturing will play a decisive role in how industries and industrial processes will look in the future. We are committed to investing in this business and leading the industrialisation of this technology.” “We are already working with customers in the aerospace, automotive, energy and medical industries worldwide, and we anticipate continued growth in those sectors, as well as in others,” said Dr. Sven Hicken, Head of Oerlikon’s Additive Manufacturing business. “We believe that additive manufacturing can transform production in many industries, and we are excited that our presence here allows us to better demonstrate those possibilities to our customers.” n For more details of Oerlikon Balzer’s futuristic cutting-edge surface technologies and services visit: www.oerlikon.com

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OPEN AND CLOSED SUCCESS EFFEBI is a European market leader in the design and manufacture of industrial brass valves. In a highly competitive market this long-established Italian company continues to set new standards. It is also perfectly placed to take advantage of a resurgence in the oil and gas exploration sectors, as Philip Yorke reports

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ith over forty years of experience in the production of industrial brass valves, EFFEBI has operated in all fields of civil and industrial engineering and offers a vast range of increasingly innovative and tested shut-off valves. Thanks to its totally integrated production processes, which includes carefully selected raw materials and hot-stamping by EFFEBI’S subsidiary company Pressytal, the company maintains its pole position in the industrial valve industry. All the company’s production processes are supported by a strictly controlled quality system and are certified according to ISO 9001:2008. EFFEBI has grown to become a leader in the Italian and international market and is a point of reference in its field. Recently the company extended its range by acquiring the design and coveted trademark “TOF Joint System”, endorsing its position as the leader in the valve production and of brass fittings for PE and steel pipes.

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Since then the company has further widened its product range by adding brass fittings for the connection of multilayer pipes as well as for a range of threaded fittings. During the last few years, the company’s industrial valve portfolio has increased progressively with many technical advances being contributed based on the research capabilities of its subsidiary company Binox, which produces industrial valves for a wide variety of different applications. In order to offer a more efficient service which aims at optimising client satisfaction, the company has also opened a new 7,000 square metre logistics centre nextt to its head office in Italy.

Flexible TOF system The company’s unique ‘TOF joint system’ is a clever and simple device, it is also flexible as well as being easy and quick to install. It


METALS, METALWORKING & MINING

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consists of only two elements, a rubber truncated cone-shaped gasket and a metal or plastic anchor ring. The rubber ring has a special configuration due to the polyethylene and production technology. The truncated cone conforms to pipe tolerance that includes ovality and ensures a perfect hydraulic seal thanks to its proportional resistance, thus offering an important support to the mechanical sealing ring. The special configuration of the mechanical sealing ring further ensures a good adaptation to pipe tolerance and a perfect fastening to the pipe. For PE 100 pipes and gas pipes an internal reinforcing element acting as a bushing, makes the pipe more rigid. The TOF PE joint with reinforced bushing is suitable for PE-X pipes and the joint is classified as a type A compression unit. EFFEBI’s TOF system

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is used widely throughout the gas and oil industry as well as countless other manufacturing industries worldwide.

Resurgence in demand A key driver for the global industrial valves market is the oil and gas industry and the resurgence in oil and gas exploration activities. Consequently, EFFEBI is well placed to take advantage of this and many other global growth markets. Today the oil and gas exploration activities are recovering after the steep decline of oil prices in 2014, which had led to many companies postponing their upstream projects. The crude prices witnessed strong growth by the end of 2017 and a further rise in


METALS, METALWORKING & MINING

2018. Several oil and gas upstream projects were commenced in 2017 due to the rise in oil prices, which resulted in significant drilling activities. The global industrial valves market industry is also seeing major advances in valve technology helped by the research and development of companies such as EFFEBI. Key valve components have been upgraded with the development of technological modifications to withstand the hostile working applications of many industries. The actuator is a component of the valve, which controls mass and energy flow by regulating the valve. The manufacturers of these have been integrating sensors and electronic components with actuators to improve their data capturing and monitoring capabilities.

“Advances are also being witnessed in valve positioners used for adjusting positions of actuators based on the control signal. The advances in sensor technology and decrease in cost of sensors are allowing valve positioners to deliver data regarding valve stroke and thrust, output pressure to the actuator, temperature, valve plug wear, and valve performance,” said a senior research analyst at Technavio Italy. Interestingly, the ball valves segment held the largest industrial valves market share in 2018, accounting for more than 30 per cent of the market. This product segment is expected to dominate the global market in the foreseeable future and is a key market for EFFEBI’s brass valves. For further details of the company’s latest innovative n valve products and customer services visit: www.effebi.com

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LIFE SCIENCE PRECISION Texor AB, the core member of Swedish Texor Group, is a global specialist in advanced manufacturing solutions in stainless steel for the life science industry. Quality is key in this sector, and the factor on which the company has based its reputation and growth. Romana Moares reports.

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METALS, METALWORKING & MINING

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he Texor Group is one of the world’s leading sub-contractors of chromatography columns for the biotech industry and one of the foremost sub-contractors and system suppliers of Advanced Manufacturing Solutions for the life science industry. The Group consists of Texor AB based in Lycksele, a successor of a business unit founded in 1967, and Zetterströms Rostfria AB based in Molkom, acquired in 2007 adding design competence and capacity, a step towards an increased focus on deliveries of complete systems to the global life science industry. Texor operates in an industry of the future - its major clients are biotech, biopharma and traditional pharmaceutical companies. Developments in the field of biotechnology are moving fast and, in line with the discovery of new techniques and substances, fresh requirements are placed on suppliers to the life science industry. “In summary, we are sub-contractors for the medical industry, building and supplying machines for drug production. This is our core business, which is supplemented by production of parts and machines for the food industry,” says Managing Director Josef Alenius. He further explains that the company’s customers have one thing in common - requirements for the highest product quality and for delivery reliability including traceability. “In the production of all pharmaceuticals, regardless of whether they are produced in the traditional

manner based on chemically produced molecules or by means of biotechnology, often with proteins as a base, the industry demands the highest standard and quality of production equipment.”

Utmost quality The company’s core competence is in the production adaptation of complicated products and systems. The purpose is to achieve optimised and cost-effective production with an optimal flow in the process. “Most of our products are made to customer specifications so it is impossible to single out a typical product. We have been manufacturing complex products and systems in stainless steel for more than 30 years. Our speciality is the manufacture of chromatography columns, which we have been doing for more than 15 years,” says Mr Alenius. “The very high level of quality that we have to achieve is our most important competitive advantage. That quality is not so easy to replicate, for example in low cost countries. The quality relates not just to the product as such but to the whole process of delivery, i.e. including documentation.” “We have full control and traceability of all raw materials, purchased goods and components. We conduct regular quality tests, measurements, testing and sampling of our production process in order to identify possible failings and faults at an early stage.”

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METALS, METALWORKING & MINING

He affirms that Texor assumes the overall responsibility for all the documentation required by the customer and the authorities, accompanying each solution, such as certificates, test reports, traceability protocols and manuals, delivered according to customer requirements either electronically, on CD or on paper in binders.

says Mr Alenius. “In the longer term, we would like to become a supplier of a complete product, possibly sold directly to the end customer. This will not happen tomorrow, but this is the direction in n which we are going,” he affirmed in conclusion.

Moving forward The company operates a purpose-built and flow-optimised production facility in Lycksele with an area of more than 4,000 sq m, as well as an automatic transportation unit providing the different machine groups with its production orders. Texor’s solutions are shipped to customers worldwide. “We have recorded increased sales in Singapore and India over the last year and are now experiencing growth in the United States. Central Europe is also doing very well in terms of sales, as a result of increased capacity requiring more machines in that region,” says Mr Alenius. He affirms that despite the high cost, their solutions sell well in Asia. “You cannot produce medicals on low-quality machines. We believe that the competence and experience we have built up in our manufacture of chromatography columns are unique in the world and are happy to apply that accumulated experience to designing advanced manufacturing solutions for customers wherever they may be.” The company is now looking at further strengthening its footing. “We are considering potential acquisitions to expand our portfolio,” Industry Europe 145


SEALING THE MARKET US-based Avery Dennison Corporation is a global manufacturer and distributor of pressure-sensitive adhesive materials, apparel branding labels and tags, RFID inlays, and specialty medical products. Not surprisingly, sustainability is one of the key topics in line with current market trends, and the company has strived to lead the way in introducing environmentally friendly products. Romana Moares reports.

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PAPER, PACKAGING & PRINTING

A

very Dennison is a worldwide leader in adhesive technologies, display graphics and packaging materials used to engage customers and manage inventories. The company’s products, which are used in nearly every major industry, include pressure-sensitive materials for labels and graphic applications; tapes and other bonding solutions for industrial, medical and retail applications; tags, labels and embellishments for apparel; and radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions serving retail apparel and other markets. Headquartered in Glendale, California, the company employs approximately 30,000 people in more than 50 countries. Reported sales in 2018 were USD 7.2 billion.

Towards a cleaner future As a forerunner in its sector, the company has assumed a leading role in making sure its operations as well as solutions meet the environmental challenge. In 2015, Avery Dennison announced eight sustainability goals for 2025 and four years later, the company is building momentum towards them all and driving change, both internally, and in its industry and communities. “We have set our sights on achieving our 2025 sustainability goals and are implementing action plans that will make those goals a reality. Through sustainability, Avery Dennison has the opportunity to unlock a new level of leadership for our industry, and value for our enterprise,” says Mitch Butler, President and CEO of Avery Dennison. Just recently, the company’s progressive stance has been recognised at the international level. In September 2019, Avery Dennison won the Environmental and Sustainability Award for its recycled PET

(rPET) liner at the 2019 Label Industry Global Awards ceremony held in Brussels, Belgium. This is the second consecutive year Avery Dennison has been recognised with this prestigious award for its advances in sustainable labelling products and services.

Real-world sustainability solutions “Avery Dennison is honoured to be recognised for this advance in sustainable label materials,” said Jeroen Diderich, vice president and general manager for Label and Graphic Materials EMEA. The liner, which uses 30 per cent PET post-consumer waste (PCW), meets technical qualifications while maintaining quality and performance for label design, printing, and application. The post-consumer waste liner portfolio is the latest in a broad range of sustainable labelling solutions aimed at reducing waste, not only throughout the company’s operations, but across the entire label and packaging materials value chain. Mr Diderich explained that the company is focused on creating real-world sustainability solutions, which includes ‘closing the loop’ by using post-consumer waste to create new products. The rPET portfolio offers four constructions, including one that uses ‘switchable’ CleanFlake™ Adhesive Technology, designed to enable label materials to separate cleanly from the PET bottle during the recycling process. This ultimately helps avoid contamination in the recycling process to ensure the PET can be converted into usable material. “We’re integrating our sustainability goals within all our operations and engaging employees at all levels,” affirmed Mr Butler. “Across the company, we’re harnessing our core strengths, applying to sustainability the same creativity, determination and passion for

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Ahlstrom-Munksjö. Sustainable release liners. Fibers are one of the wonders of nature, and expanding their role by developing sustainable everyday products is the mission driving the growth of Ahlstrom-Munksjö, a global leader in fiber-based materials, supplying innovative and sustainable solutions to customers worldwide. In the release liner business, the company aims at strengthening long term relationships, delivering customer value through product, service, innovation and sustainability. With diverse technologies, Ahlstrom-Munksjö offers the most comprehensive range of paper substrates, matching the needs of all liner segments, from PSA labeling to specialty tapes, medical or PSA graphics. “Our customers need liners that run perfectly on highest speed coaters and which can be

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trusted in the most demanding applications. For this reason, we work closely with them, and we continuously invest in asset upgrades that will advance product quality levels”, says Marco Troglia, Vice President, Release Liners. Multiple manufacturing sites in Europe and the Americas also put the company in a better position to further lift service levels. Moreover, growing bigger means a broader array of competences and R&D capabilities, with new opportunities of cross-fertilization between businesses or geographies. Sustainability is always a key driver: an expanded eco-design methodology is imbedded in the innovation process, and all product development projects are assessed to determine if and how they will provide a more sustainable solution than the existing ones.

For three consecutive years, AhlstromMunksjö was awarded with the Gold rating from Ecovadis, a platform designed to evaluate supplier CSR performance in global supply chains. Ecovadis methodology, already adopted by thousand of companies, placed Ahlstrom-Munksjö among the top 1% most sustainable companies assessed.


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problem-solving that we bring to our customers. And, beyond our walls, we’re tackling industry-wide challenges by collaborating with customers and partners to develop new systems and solutions.”

Recognising suppliers’ efforts To achieve its own sustainability goals while also reducing the environmental impact of the supply chains the company encourages its suppliers to align their operations with the company’s environmental goals, standards and guiding principles. The company has programmes in place to identify suppliers that go above and beyond to improve the supply chain; and works with those in need of improving their operations and the environmental impact of the supply chain overall. In April 2019, Avery Dennison Label and Graphic Materials honoured 18 pressure-sensitive industry suppliers during the company’s annual supplier recognition ceremony, held in Noordwijk, Netherlands. The Avery Dennison Supplier Distinction Award Programme considers four areas of excellence required to maintain a competitive advantage in an increasingly demanding industry: Sustainability,

Quality, Service, and Growth. To be considered eligible for recognition, a supplier must have met key metrics in each of the four areas. Three suppliers were also honoured with a ‘Special Recognition’ designation for helping the company ensure uninterrupted service to its customers. The 2019 Avery Dennison Supplier Distinction Award Winners were: Ahlstrom-Munksjö; Mondi Release Liners; Pallet Alliance Inc.; Eternal Materials Co Ltd; Randstad; Filmax; Ricoh Co. Ltd.; Heritage Interactive Services; Sappi; Manucor; Synthomer; Mexichem; Wacker; Mondi Technical Film; Wampolet. “The Avery Dennison Supplier Distinction Award Programme is our opportunity to celebrate suppliers from around the world that meet or exceed our standards for customer satisfaction and performance,” said Garrett Gabel, Vice President, Global Finance and Procurement, Label and Graphic Materials. “Thanks to their dedication to the values highlighted in this programme, we are able to continue to collaborate, innovate, and ultimately grow with n our customers.” Industry Europe 149


BIG BOPPER Plastchim-T is a packaging success story and a company that continues to lead the field in sustainability, quality and output. Working in close cooperation with Brueckner of Germany it has invested in their record-breaking 10.4m wide high-speed BOPP lines. Philip Yorke reports on the impact of Plastchim’s latest high-tech acquisitions.

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lastchim-T is a leading, privately owned European manufacturer of biaxially-orientated polypropylene films (BOPP), cast polypropylene films (CPP) and a diverse range of flexible packaging products. Founded in Bulgaria more than 50 years ago, the company has grown from a domestic orientated business to a pan-European leader in packaging and related industries. Today Plastchim-T has two state-of-the-art production facilities in Bulgaria and employs over 1,000 people. The company operates two distinct business divisions: Packaging Films and Flexible Packages Production. Both of its production facilities are located conveniently close to the country’s borders in Alaskovo and Tervil. The two modern plants occupy a combined total of more than 150,000 square metres of production space. Current annual production capacity is around 60,000 tonnes of BOPP films, 6,000 tons of CPP films and 2,500 tons of PE films. This is in addition to a further 10,000 tons of woven PP packaging. The company’s goal is to provide its customers and partners with the highest possible quality products and services, and to offer valuable business solutions to the packaging industry.

Breaking all records A new BOPP film line recently launched by Plastchim-T has broken all international records for speed and output volumes. The latest 10.4 metre wide film stretching line has already exceeded its capacity speed mark of 600 metres a minute for the first time ever. This state-of-the-art equipment also surpassed the existing film orienting hourly production record of 7,600 kilograms per hour, according to the German manufacturer Brueckner Maschinenbau. The advanced

high-speed line also chalked up another record with its specific energy consumption per kilogram of film produced, thereby achieving the lowest ever measured. “Our new Brueckner BOPP plant was intended as an investment for the future. We had planned to realise speeds of 600 metres a minute sometime in the next two years, however, our team and the specialists from Brueckner have reached that milestone in much less time. Of course we are very pleased about that, not just for the sake of speed and efficiency, but because of the associated unique energy and production optimisation of the system” commented Plastchim-T’s owner, Aydan Faik. This new line will also be capable of producing high quality special foils, such as those required for metallisation, at speeds of more than 500 metres per minute. Plastchim-T already runs other Brueckner lines with working widths of between 4.2 and 10.4 metres, which allows it to react flexibly to changing market requirements. This means that it can offer different film types in smaller or larger quantities, even with the shortest delivery times being demanded. In addition, Plastchim-T has also installed a residual heat recovery system in order to capture the heat generated from its compressor cooling system to warm its raw materials warehouse.

Focus on the environment Platchim-T has been leading the field in Bulgaria for many years with its commitment to protecting the environment and reducing global warming. The company is dedicated to conducting its business in a manner that will protect the environment and it adheres to all the relevant legal requirements and environmental management practices.

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In order to reduce its overall environmental impact and use of resources, the company continuously reviews and improves its diverse operations. Plastchim-T has implemented pollution prevention practices that are controlled by clear action planning, as well as risk assessments and a continuous programme of staff training. As a result, all PlastchimT’s staff are fully aware of their environmental responsibilities. Wherever possible, the company also minimises the waste created by its activities by promoting practices such as recycling and energy saving procedures. The waste disposal is organised in accordance with the best industrial practices. To further underscore the company’s commitment to protect the environment a specialist recycling company: Next Generation Recycling Maschinen GmbH (NGR) produces specialised machinery for Plastchim-T for the reprocessing of thermoplastic waste back into high-value raw materials. With NGR’s “One-Step” technology, a patented cutter-feeder-extruder combination, there is no additional pre-cutting necessary, not even for difficult-to-cut materials. As a result, reprocessing costs are low and manpower requirements reduced to a minimum. Furthermore, due to the gentle cutting in the shredder and extrusion process, which ensures minimal degradation, NGR’s recycled high-quality pellets are guaranteed, and as a leading producer of BOPP film in Europe, Plastchim-T is proud of its sustainability record having been operating NGR recycling systems for many years.

Bags of flexibility When it comes to flexible packaging and the production of industrial bags, Plastchim-T is the manufacturer of choice. It offers a broad range of high quality bags that provide unrivalled strength and flexibility. Its small sewn bags are produced from Polypropylene (PP) circular woven fabric

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with a capacity from 5 to 100 kilograms. They can also be supplied coated or uncoated as well as with or without a gusset and with or without an inner polyethylene bag with an open top or ventile finish. The printing of its small bags can be done on one or two sides and in up to six colours. These bags are ideal for the packaging of fruit and vegetables. Platchim-T’s ‘Block bottom bags’ are made of a coated fabric, with glued bottom plates. After filling, the shape of the bag is closer to Parallel-piped, and this can offer an advantage in n some cases to sewn bags. For further details of Plastchim-T’s innovative packaging products and services visit: www.plastchim-t.com

Windmöller & Hölscher Machinery – competence in woven sacks For 40 years Windmöller & Hölscher has been developing and manufacturing machinery for the production of flexible packaging made from woven PP. In 2005 the company began to complete the woven PP product portfolio under the brand BSW. The successful brand BSW was renamed in 2017 and now continues under the new name of Windmöller & Hölscher Machinery. Highly skilled employees design and produce tape stretching lines, circular looms, extrusion coating, fabric printing and woven sack converting machinery. Plastchim as a reliable European partner have been operating W&H machines successfully for many years.



Smurfit Kappa is one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging solutions in the world, with around 46,000 employees in over 350 production sites across 35 countries. Focus on the environment and sustainability, always an integral part of the company’s ethos, has now been further reinforced by a new initiative. Romana Moares reports.

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he world leader in paper-based packaging has an unrivalled portfolio of paper-based packaging solutions, continuously updated with market-leading innovations. Its leading position is supported by business integration, optimal paper design, logistics, timeliness of service, and, last but not least, by its data, engineering and creative thinking in every part of the value chain. Smurfit Kappa’s products, which are 100 per cent renewable, recyclable and produced sustainably, improve the environmental footprint of the company’s customers.

Pioneering solutions Smurfit Kappa manufactures a wide range of paper mainly used for packaging purposes, with a total global paper and board capacity of approximately 7 million tonnes per annum. The packaging is designed to

promote and protect customers’ products. The company manufactures approximately 11 billion square metres of corrugated packaging and is a key supplier of solid board, folding carton and tubes. The company is committed to sourcing and managing natural resources in the most efficient and responsible way possible. This is done through sustainable forest management at its own plantations and forests and transparent processes across the supply chain – 100 per cent of paper produced and sourced for its packaging solutions is FSC®, PEFC™ or SFI™ Chain of Custody certified. “We pursue a closed loop model of paper-based packaging,” said Mr Arco Berkenbosch, Vice-President of Innovation and Development at Smurfit Kappa. The model starts with 100 per cent renewable, sustainable primary raw materials, and 75 per cent of

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the company’s raw material is recycled fibre – more than any other packaging material. “Our core business is to deliver a fit-for-purpose solution meeting our customers’ needs. In view of the pressure to reduce waste, we have a lot of projects going on to optimise the amount of packaging, making sure that the customer can have the same functionality while using less material.” There are several examples of new products recently developed, such as a totally new range of complete Bag-in-Box® packaging solutions for products such as food, drinks or detergents replacing rigid plastic containers; or paper-based beer bottle holders - a fully recyclable solution, again replacing plastics. The company has also launched a pioneering product for agriculture - AgroPaperTM, a renewable and compostable paper designed to replace the plastic material that is used by many farmers and growers

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for ‘mulching’ when growing vegetables. The product, which can be laid with existing machinery, prevents weed growth and does not need to be removed after harvest as it is fully compostable.

Sustainable focus Speaking about recent market developments, Mr Berkenbosch noted that increasing demand for sustainable, more recyclable packaging is evident, a direction very much in favour of paper-based packaging. “The most important aspect of paper-based packaging is that it is renewable and recyclable, as well as biodegradable. Focus is on recycling, and in general, our products are expected to be reused 8-10 times. For packaging to be truly sustainable, it must be produced and designed in a sustainable fashion and be biodegradable within a relatively short time. Paper-based packaging is uniquely positioned to do this.”


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Last year, the company launched an initiative to support more sustainable consumption and production patterns for packaging, targeting stakeholders across society as a whole - Better Planet Packaging. “The purpose is to bring together the knowledge of various partners, universities and others from the outside world, to see how sustainable packaging can be further developed, promoted and implemented,” explained Mr Berkenbosch. The Smurfit Kappa Better Planet Packaging initiative seeks to reduce packaging waste and provide a collaborative platform to solve one of the biggest challenges in the packaging industry – to reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste that is generated every day. Earlier this year, the company launched the Better Planet Packaging Design Challenge, a competition that invited creative minds both inside and outside the company to submit proposals for the sustainable packaging solutions of the future. The quality of the submissions as well as the number of participants, was overwhelming and the company is going to work with winners on putting their proposals into practice, said Mr Berkenbosch.

Helping the planet The fact that the drive towards a more sustainable future has reaped dividends for the company, is clear from its First Half 2019 Results Report - Smurfit Kappa achieved another set of excellent results with revenue up by 4 per cent and EBITDA increasing to EUR 847 million, up 17 per cent on the prior year. During the first six months of 2019, the Group continued to expand and strengthen its geographic footprint with acquisitions in Bulgaria, Colombia and Serbia. The report highlights the fact that the qualities of Smurfit Kappa continue to be evident, not alone in terms of financial performance but in its world-class containerboard system, customer-focused innovation and, last but not least, leadership in sustainable packaging. “Sustainability has been an integral part of our product development, a core of the business model and the main unique selling point, and this agenda will carry us into the future,” Mr Berkenbosch acknowledged. “The Better Planet Packaging is an open initiative and we invite all kinds of stakeholders to join us, to see how we can n make packaging into something that helps our planet.”

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FLEXIBLE PACKAGING - DOUBLE WRAPPED One of the packaging industry’s biggest success stories began in India in 1988 when Uflex Ltd. was established by Ashok Chaturvedi in New Delhi. Success followed quickly with the company achieving consistent growth of around 20 per cent per annum since it was founded. Today Uflex leads the field with innovative, sustainable products and solutions. Philip Yorke reports.

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Flex Ltd is India’s biggest flexible packaging company with extensive manufacturing facilities for the production of a wide range of plastic films and packaging products. These state-of-the-art facilities provide modern packaging solutions to clients across more than 140 countries worldwide. Today Uflex offers finished packaging for a wide variety of products from snack foods, candy and confectionery, to cereals, beverages, noodles, soaps and detergents. This is in addition to other major sectors that it serves such as shampoos, vegetable oils, cheese & dairy products, frozen foods and pharmaceuticals. Flexible packaging has evolved over time to replace rigid packaging that today still includes metal cans, glass containers, paper board cartons, and rigid plastic containers. Flexible packaging also offers the key advantages of providing barrier properties that are essential for many product sectors. Here it can provide considerable advantages over rigid packaging in terms of its effective ‘doublewrap’ multi-barrier protection and tamper-proof product security.

Expanding global reach Currently Uflex is looking at achieving significant expansion at home and abroad. The company is currently setting up its second production line of PET films with a capacity of over 30,000 tonnes per annum (TPA). This has involved the provision of an additional capital investment of USD

55-million, which will in turn aggregate to a total capacity of 56,400 TPA in Mexico, a country which is a part of NAFTA, thus extending Uflex’s access to the North and South American markets. The first phase of the project with 26,400 TPA polyester film capacity has been successfully completed and already commenced production. The implementation of the second phase is also now complete. With further global expansion in mind, Uflex is setting up a second phase CPP and polyester (PET) film project in Egypt. The company plans to be able to produce over 30,000 TPA of PET film & 12,000 TPA of CPP film in the second phase. This involves a total investment of more than USD 80-million.

Award-winning exporter After pioneering the growth of the flexible packaging industry in India, Uflex has gained an unrivalled position in the market. Since its inception in 1988 it has turned into a multi-billion-dollar company that values quality and customer satisfaction above all else. With consumers spread throughout the world, Uflex enjoys a global reach that touches millions of homes every day. Uflex has state of the art manufacturing facilities not only in India but also in other countries including Dubai, Mexico, USA, Poland and Egypt. Uflex facilities all enjoy ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications and has FDA and BGA approvals for its products.

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In addition, Uflex is also a part of the D&B Global Database and winner of various prestigious national and international awards including the top exporter of BOPET and BOPP films, and the Worldstar award for packaging excellence. Recently Uflex has also won FPA, AIMCAL and the Dupont Awards.

Focus on eco-friendly packaging With the world’s attention turning to the problems of global warming, the company is focused on the production of a variety of ecofriendly flexible packaging materials, and value-added films such as BOPET, BOPP and CPP. This is in addition to Holographic/Metalised products, printing inks & adhesive, rotogravure cylinders, thereby providing world class flexible, sustainable packaging solutions to its customers globally at competitive prices. Uflex also specialises in the manufacture of a wide variety of packaging machines like Vertical Form-Fill-Seal Machines, Horizontal Wrapping Machines, Special Purpose Machines, and High-Speed Pouch Making Machines. According to Uflex’s CFO Rajesh Bhatia, the holographic division has grown over 400 per cent in the last four to five years and is set to grow even faster in the future.

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Bhatia told Industry Europe; “Considering the encouraging demand for our brand protection and anti-counterfeiting solutions, we are in the process of expanding our holographic manufacturing capabilities in Jammu with a Capex of nearly Rs 150 crore’. “Our holography business manufactures a plethora of technologically enhanced brand protection and anti-counterfeiting solutions, ranging from holograms (analog 2D/3D conventional), dot matrix (up to 24,000 dpi); non-diffractive litho (up to 120,000 dpi and e-beam; wide web holographic films. We can also supply UV embossing films, as well as high-refractive index films, and holographic pouches. Labelling solutions using foils and holographic effects are also available among many other options. Apart from packaging products, holography and films, we also have a major presence in chemicals and engineering.” Being in the business of flexible packaging, eco-friendly practices play an important role in the conservation of natural resources and the reduction of carbon emissions through recycling and reprocessing of the waste materials, thus avoiding the need for land-fill. For further details of the company’s latest innovative eco-products and n services visit: www.uflexltd.com



DRIVING CHANGE IN PACKAGING PRINTING The Uteco Group of Italy is the global leader in the development and manufacture of printing and converting machinery. It outperforms all others thanks to its commitment to driving change in the functionality and sustainability of its products. Philip Yorke reports.

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teco Converting is the clear world leader in the production of printing machines designed for the most diverse flexible packaging applications. Uteco offers innovative solutions through its wide range of flexographic and rotogravure printing machines, coating and laminating machines, ink-jet hybrid and digital production machines. The company is headquartered east of Verona and comprises more than 100,000 square metres of production space, spread across four modern production facilities The Uteco Group today counts on an installed base of more than 3,000 machines worldwide, it operates four plants in Italy and sells its products through a direct salesforce as well as a network of over 50 agents. Uteco has been present in North America since 1991, with its own sales and service network and in Singapore with a sales office since 2016. In 2018 the company recorded sales of more than €130 million.

New Ultrastream technology In February this year, Uteco signed an agreement with Kodak to purchase its latest inkjet printing systems that feature its advanced ‘Ultrastream Technology’. The Kodak Ultrastream Technology was first debuted as a conceptual demonstration at the Drupa Trade Fair in 2016 with development plans for its availability to OEM Partners in 2019.

This futuristic and sustainable ink-jet technology delivers 600X1800dpi with production speeds up to 150mpm, uniquely utilising environmentally friendly and economic water-based inks for both plastic and paper applications. Uteco introduced its first Saphire EVO solutions in 2018 which immediately captured the interest of the industry for both their performance and sustainability profiles. The company will be among the first equipment manufacturers to employ Kodak Ultrastream Technology, to expand its high-productivity digital press portfolio for flexible packing into 2020 and beyond. Aldo Peretti, CEO of the Uteco Group said, “Our customers are looking for sustainably advantaged hybrid digital production solutions to enable short run versioning with compelling economics. These combine traditional flexo and gravure, along with the latest digital inkjet technologies. These solutions optimise film handling across the board for priming, post-coating and drying to deliver the high-performance requirements for the packaging industry. Kodak’s continuous ink-jet system continues to be the technology of choice which delivers great quality, high-productivity and cost-effective running costs”.

Unique zero-impact solutions Recently Uteco launched its Data Acquisition Analysis system that consists of four modules: the ink module is concerned with consumption measurement and operational history, the OEE Module measures progress and efficiency parameters, the Energy Module is designed to measure energy consumption and operational efficiency, and finally the Data Logger Module is the machine’s data management Control System.

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printing, coating, laminating, and slitting operations. These highly innovative processes were developed thanks to the inclusion of a number of Uteco’s patented technologies and through the latest electron beam technology. This futuristic technology provides a big step forward and can be utilised with water-based, solvent-based or UV inks and is completely safe for human operations. Furthermore, this technology guarantees no contamination at any stage of production and the inks and coatings do not require photoinitiators, which in turn means there are no migration problems. Thanks to the use of Uteco’s patented solution, Thermilox®, exceptional production speeds of up to 400mpm can be achieved.

An increasing international presence

Each module can automatically generate reports and process results in real time on the basis of the data acquired by the machine. The data is centralised on a controller and PC, and is available to the customer in a variety of formats. Thanks to Uteco’s major investment programme in both innovation and resources, the company has developed a unique multi-process solution that has zero-impact on the environment. This unique print-packaging solution is based upon four processes that are integrated into the same machine and cover all

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Strong and consistent growth over the years has enabled the Uteco Group to strengthen its role as a champion of the “Made in Italy” programme throughout the world, with an even stronger presence in all international markets thanks to expansion via acquisitions in Italy and worldwide. At the same time the Verona operations remain the central hub for all new developments. The momentum for this strong growth has now been enhanced by the recent acquisition of Uteco by the private investor group: NB Renaissance Partners. Marco Cerrina Feroni and Stephano Bontempelli, senior partners of NB Renaissance said, “Uteco represents an Italian leader with global reach and a strong positioning in printing machines for flexible packaging, a sector underpinned by important long-term growth trends worldwide. As a result of its continuous investment in R&D and product development, Uteco today represents a unique player in the sector and our goal is to support its management team in order to further accelerate the Group’s expansion in the international marketplace” n For more details of Uteco’s latest innovative printing machines and services visit: www.uteco.com



Italian A.Piovan, a major producer of roller covering, has taken up the challenge of Industry 4.0. With increased focus on R&D, the company is set to fully accommodate customers’ existing and future requirements, as R&D Manager Laura Capovilla explained to Romana Moares.

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adova-based A.Piovan has produced roller, special seamless conveyor belts and sleeves in rubber, silicone and polyurethane for 40 years. The company is a prime partner to OEMs for the development for customised solutions. “Our experience in different field allows us to have a wide solution database,” says Ms Capovilla. “We are the only company in the European market to boast an internal fully-automated rubber compound production system with advanced traceability, historical memory of all compounds and full quality control.” 166 Industry Europe

“Over the last two years we have embraced the digital revolution accommodating the Industry 4.0 principles in order to further improve traceability, quality and delivery time in response to today’s customers’ needs,” she confirms. “Accordingly, we have invested in the latest technology and recently installed an automated rubber component dosing system in our rubber compound department. Furthermore we added two new grinding machine to reduce delivery time and improve product dimension tolerances to meet the increasingly stringent market needs.”


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Digital transformation A Piovan’s state-of-the-art production plant in north-east Italy houses production of rollers up to 10 meters in length and 2 meters in diameter, various types of sleeves and endless conveyor belts with rubber hardness ranges from 12 sh A up to Ebonite. “Production is vertically integrated to ensure the best production process control and to maintain the highest quality standard,” explains Ms Capovilla. “Our current focus is on two areas - to improve our mechanical division for roller construction to enhance our response to market requirements; and to complete our digital transformation to reduce delivery time and improve plant efficiency.” Ms Capovilla said that the company’s R&D department continuously researches new rubber compounds to address existing and potential customers’ needs. The latest innovations include a spreader sleeve which can be shipped directly to the customer and easily mounted on the steel roller with compressed air alone, thus saving time and shipping costs.

The company’s customer base includes machine manufacturers and engineering companies on all continents. A. Piovan is the world leader in rubber components for the tanning industry, and also supplies its products to the textile, sheet metal, packaging, coupling, wood, glass and food industries. “We are certainly a point of reference in Italy for those looking for a reliable product with high performance,” says Ms Capovilla. “Now we would like to further strengthen our position in the European markets n with our tailor-made roller solutions.”

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BEAUTY FROM THE WILD ARTIC Finland’s Lumene is taking its unique naturally-sourced beauty products into new markets.

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innish beauty brand Lumene is planning to expand its markets beyond its traditional Nordic borders. A recent brand refresh, which emphasises Lumene’s use of natural local products and Arctic spring water while expanding its travel retail footprint, aims to increase its global appeal while maintaining its position as a market leader in Finland. “Expanding travel retail is key to Lumene’s global growth strategy,” a company spokesperson explains. The company is also focusing on developing new e-commerce business in China and the UK, through partners such as FeelUnique, LookFantastic and Tmall

Winning formula Lumene is based in Kauklahti, Espoo. Its skin care and cosmetics products have been developed and manufactured in Finland for more than 45 years. Today its key markets are Finland, Scandinavia, USA and Russia. The Lumene group employs 500 people globally in a variety of roles including, research and development, marketing, manufacturing, sales and finance. The company believes that its continuing success in a highly competitive market is founded on a winning formula of Finnish expertise, innovative scientific research and product development that combines the latest technology in the field with effective ingredients sourced from the wild Arctic.

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Lumene’s iconic and historically best-selling ranges, such as Lumene Nordic-C, Invisible Illumination and Foundations, have won it Beauty Awards and achieved industry accolades both in Finland and beyond.

The power of nature Its pride in its Nordic heritage and belief in the potency of the wild Arctic ingredients it uses in its products drives all Lumene’s activities. Finland is one of the best places in the world to source those natural ingredients. It is perhaps the last unspoilt sanctuary on Earth, with organically certified forests and wetlands and some of the purest water on the planet in its 187,000 lakes and 32,000 natural springs. Lumene uses hand-picked Nordic botanicals,that are selected not only for their ability to nourish the skin but also for their local origin and sustainable source. All its skincare formulas are 100 per cent vegan and cruelty-free. Some of its formulas are as high as 100 per cent naturally derived ingredients.

Vitamin C technology Berries, seeds, plants, tree saps and even mushrooms have evolved in the wild in Finland over thousands of years to survive and thrive under a uniquely disruptive and challenging annual light cycle with 8 months of darkness followed by continued light. It is this that gives Arctic plants an incredible antioxidant potency.


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For example, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and it helps neutralise free radicals on the skin that can cause skin aging. However, the usage of Vitamin C or ascorbic acid in finished cosmetic products may be impractical since ascorbic acid is very unstable. The compound degrades itself when in contact with water, light and/ or air. This means that after a certain amount of time none or very little Vitamin C is present in the cosmetic product. And some Vitamin C creams turn brownish after keeping them on a shelf for longer periods of time. Lumene has found a way to deliver the benefits of Vitamin C without these problems. In effect, Lumene skincare products do not use Vitamin C as such, but its stabilised derivatives.

The Magical Cloudberry One of Lumene’s key sources of effective Vitamin C is the Arctic Cloudberry. Made unusually potent by the arctic light cycle, these rare tiny berries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that in skincare products can help make skin look healthier and brighter. The Cloudberry is found in the Nordic marshes and wet meadows, growing in damp and freezing conditions. In the summer it prospers in the 24 hour sunlight, while maintaining the resilience to last out dark, perishing winters. These harmonious qualities mean the Cloudberry is supremely powerful, with a unique composition that can be harnessed to give enlightening benefits to your skin. It is one of the key ingredients in Lumene’s skin brightening VALO range. Lumene VALO Day Cream SPF 15 is a product that you can use daily. It contains liposome encapsulated magnesium ascorbyl phosphate that slowly releases Vitamin C into the skin. Lumene’s VALO Glow Boost Essence is a water-based skin care product that contains the key derivative ascorbyl glucoside. Combined with Lumene’s patented spray dried Cloudberry powder, this hydrating 170 Industry Europe


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formula works to promote the appearance of more youthful-looking skin that feels smoother and more radiant.

Into the UK In 2018 Lumene launched a range of handpicked products on to the UK market. These include its Nordic Hydra [Lähde] range and products such as the Hydration Recovery Hydrating Gel Mask and the Arctic Dew Quenching Aqua Serum. Each product contains the oxygen-rich, pH balanced, pure Arctic spring water which features in the Nordic [Valo] range. All these products are geared towards radiance and skin health, including the Glow Boost Essence and Arctic n Berry Cocktail Brightening Hydra Oil.

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LUXURY LINGERIE… BY DESIGN Karl Conzelmann is a market leading European fashion house. It is famous for its Nina Von C brand that dominates the luxury lingerie and women’s underwear markets. Founded almost 100 years ago, the company remains at the forefront of designer fashion appeal, thanks to its chic collections and use of unusual, high quality fabrics. Philip Yorke reports.

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he Karl Conzelmann company was founded by Karl Conzelmann and his wife Emilie in Germany in 1920. Initially, the company designed and produced general underwear for women, men and children. However, in 1978, the brand Nina Von C was introduced. This proved to be a great success. In the space of just a few years, this brand was seen internationally to epitomise 172 Industry Europe

women’s high-quality luxury lingerie. Nina Von C is the flagship brand of the lingerie specialist Karl Conzelmann GmbH & Co. KG based in Albstadt in Germany. Under the Nina Von C brand, the company offers luxurious women’s lingerie at attractive prices and with a broad range of sizes and designs. The focus of the brand today is on sensual,


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natural and feminine designs for the modern woman. In addition, emphasis is placed on high quality workmanship and an excellent individual fit. Today, Karl Conzelmann GmbH remains an independent family business and its Nina Von C lingerie and underwear brands are designed and manufactured at locations in Germany as well as in Portugal and Romania. The company’s famous fashion collections are distributed worldwide. In addition to its global Nina Von C brand, Karl Conzelmann GmbH & Co. KG has also been producing and distributing the well-known underwear brand Bruno Banani since the autumn of 2009. The senior design house and parent company of Karl Conzelmann is Karl Conzelmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft GmbH. This most entrepreneurial family of businesses includes not only Karl Conzelmann GmbH & Co, but also Viania Dessous GmbH

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and Gebrüder Conzelmann GmbH & Co. KG, this is the producer of classic and commercial daywear for women, men and children under the label ‘Con-ta’.

Accentuating natural beauty Currently Karl Conzelmann is well placed to take advantage of the strong growth in the global market for luxury lingerie and women’s underwear. In 2019, the global lingerie market has been valued at around USD 30 billion, and this is expected to increase by around 10 per cent by the year 2025. Increasing awareness about the best possible fit and rise in spending power among women are expected to drive the market forward over the next five to ten years. Nina Von C has focused on providing a broad range of products in multiple designs for various markets including those such as sports, bridal wear, and regular wear. Growing popularity of perfect fitting


TEXTILES, HOME & PERSONAL CARE

and sensual collections is attributed to an increasing need among women to accentuate their natural beauty. In addition, the clever use of flexible fabrics used in lingerie today is another factor that is helping to drive the market forward. The increasing global demand for modern fabrics, as well as for traditional fabrics such as nylon, polyester, satin, lace, sheer, lycra, silk, and cotton is also making a difference to the sector’s growth potential. Lingerie designers at Nina Von C are focused on creating products with lace, embroidery, and luxurious materials with brighter hues, which are expected to increase in popularity in the foreseeable future. Interestingly, it would appear that consumers today are more inclined towards underwear in subtler colours, fabrics, and styles, which is encouraging Nina Von C to introduce trendy lingerie that meets a host of new preferences for sportswear, evening wear, bridal wear and beachwear.

sible in a wide range of styles and sizes. Today, companies are using fabrics with elastic laces, pleated polyester, tulle, and micro fibres for the creative design of lingerie. The women’s underwear sector is also expected to expand at the fastest rate of all underwear garments. Manufacturers like Nina Von C are focusing on offering products made of comfortable fabrics such as cotton and nylon, designed with various styles of hipsters, shorts, and full briefs. This, in turn, has increased the availability options for consumers, thereby fuelling growth further. Many designer companies are coming up with special kinds of women’s underwear such as jacquard and lace designs, no VPL (visible panty lines) lace trim, and high-waisted control to provide greater comfort and flexibility. The future for Karl Conzelmann looks positive indeed for its Nina Von C brands and its sister European companies. For further details n of Nina Von C products and services visit: www.ninavonc.de

Focus on fit and comfort Currently the brassiere market represents more than 50 per cent of global women’s underwear sales, which is also reflected in the sales of Nina Von C underwear collections. Availability of a diverse range of fabrics and continuous advances in technology have provided Nina Von C designers with an opportunity to make stylish innovative products and maintain their dominant position in the market. Innovations such as laser cut seamless brasseries are now easily acces-

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PIONEERING EXCEPTIONAL FUNCTIONALITY The TWE Group was founded in 1961 and today is one of the world’s foremost developers of highly functional non-woven products. From negative pressure wound therapy dressings to advanced applications in acoustics, automotive and household products, TWE sets the standards …and the pace of change in industry, as Philip Yorke reports

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hen the non wovens division of the TWE Group was established in 1961, in Emsdetten, Belgium, it was the first in the world to produce a synthetic non-woven material and heralded a culture of innovation that prevails to this day. Currently the company employs more than 1,400 people worldwide from over 40 different nations. Its strict demands in terms of efficiency, durability, comfort and the safety of its products are widely acknowledged as the best in the world. TWE works closely 176 Industry Europe

with its global partners to develop innovative, highly flexible nonwovens to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Delivering optimal wound management In the medical sector TWE’s nonwovens are used in two vital medical applications. Firstly in adhesive plasters for the treatment of minor and acute wounds, and secondly to treat more serious chronic wounds. The latest generation of wound dressings use


TEXTILES, HOME & PERSONAL CARE

“negative pressure” therapy to support and accelerate the healing process of hard-to-manage wounds. TWE has developed a very special nonwoven for this innovative new therapy which can replace most of the foam dressings currently used in this type of application, as well as offering many other significant benefits. These dressings are always used in the treatment of particularly large, chronic wounds, which will not heal solely or without the aid of medications, gels and bandages. Hospitals are now moving towards this new process of wound treatment known as Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT). It has been clinically proven that a wound heals six times faster with the use of this negative pressure wound therapy than with a traditional dressing. “Our Aerofil product is exceptionally elastic yet soft, and in these dressings it serves to pack and absorb liquid from the wound. Because Aerofil can be sterilised with no physical or chemical side effects, it is perfectly suited for this area. Our product really shows its strength when sterilised, because it dries very quickly following sterilisation in hot steam and does not discolour when exposed to gamma radiation or when ethylene oxide is present. The result is a bright white nonwoven that is perfect for use in all wound management products” said a TWE spokesman.

Unrivalled functionality In the field of cleaning and household products, TWE’s stay-fresh, and ‘odour-stop’ wipes offer exceptional functionality and are capable of far more than simply absorbing water and removing dust and dirt. When using a dishcloth at home to wash your dishes or clean your house, consumers rarely give the cloth itself a thought. However there are products in the field of cleaning today that offer exceptional functionality. These include TWE’s latest “Odour-Stop-Stay Fresh” wipes. The problem with traditional dishcloths is that they soon start o smell unpleasant. It is not just dirt that is responsible for these odours, so are the bacteria that breed in them. TWE treats its Odour-Stop cleaning cloths to significantly inhibit or prevent entirely the build-up of dishcloth odour. Thanks to a special bacteriostatic treatment based on pyrothione zinc, the formation of bacteria is stopped in its tracks. TWE avoids the use of silver or any other nanomaterials and complies fully with international Okotex standards that guarantees that there are no health concerns to consider. Not only does the bacteriostatic treatment have the advantages already described, but it also increases the absorption of the dishcloths by up to 15 per cent thanks to a hydrophilic binder.

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Furthermore, wipes form the company’s Odour-Stop range can be washed at up to 60 degrees centigrade with no loss of their positive bacteriostatic action.

Sound absorbing solutions The world’s most important trade fair for noise control and sound design ‘Acoutex’ celebrated its world premiere in Dortmund, Germany in October last year. For the first time experts from the acoustics sector of industries such as construction, traffic and interior design businesses came together and a total of around 1500 experts were counted in the main Westfalenhalle in Dortmund. Now TWE can look back on two very successful trade fairs during which it was able to bring its sound-absorbing nonwoven

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solutions for the construction and automotive sectors closer to this growing specialist audience. One particularly outstanding product on display was an acoustic quaver chamber made from TWE’s sound absorbing nonwovens. Both TWE sound absorbing products, “Safe-T-Sound” from the business unit building as well as products from its “Quiet Web Series”, (which are otherwise used in automobiles), were used to great effect in the main hall. As a result, plans are already advanced for TWE’s attendance at the next Acoutex Trade Fair that will take place again n on 2nd October 2019 in Dortmund. For further details of TWE’s latest innovative nonwoven products and services visit: www.twe-group.com


TEXTILES, HOME & PERSONAL CARE

SETTING NEW STANDARDS IN STYLE

Yünsa is one of the world’s biggest producers of premier worsted fabrics and the largest in Europe. The company continues to set new standards in quality, style and diversity with its worsted yarns blended with cashmere, lycra, cotton and linen, as Philip Yorke reports.

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ounded in 1973, Yünsa is the largest integrated high-segment worsted wool fabric manufacturer in Europe and one of the five biggest in the world. When Yünsa started producing worsted fabrics in 1973 it focused on the manufacture of men’s fabrics and later in 1998, it added women’s fabrics, according to information supplied to Industry Europe. Yünsa primarily manufactures 100 per cent worsted fabric, as well as worsted fabrics blended with cashmere, lycra, viscose, cotton and linen. In addition to 4,500 tonnes of worsted yarn, Yünsa produces and uses its own yarn that has 12.5 million metres of worsted capacity per year.

Today Yünsa has customers in more than 50 different countries, with Germany remaining the company’s biggest market. In addition, it is the leading fabric supplier to some of the world’s most famous brands. The company was listed on the Turkish stock exchange almost 30 years ago.

Strengthening exports Yünsa, the biggest integrated high segment worsted fabric manufacturer of Turkey and Europe, last year broke all previous records achieving revenues of more than 42 million euros. The company recorded an increase in sales of 19 per cent, according to a recent Industry Europe 179


report. The company has also been included in the list of the 100 most valuable Turkish brands by Brand Finance. “Today, we are exporting to more countries, and offering more than 400 products to our customers. In Turkey, we represent 70 per cent of the global exports in our sector. Exports consist of 2/3 of our annual turnover and we supply over 5 per cent of the world’s total worsted market. In the last 5 years, we exported products worth more than €42 million to the international market. Today, we are one of the five largest high-segment worsted fabric exporters in the world and we are doing business with many international brands,” said Nuri Refik Duzgoren, general manager of Yünsa. Yünsa has continued to strengthen its position in export sales with its distinctive brand value. In a newly released survey by the international brand rating agency, Brand Finance, it rated the brands operating in Turkey in the automotive, finance, energy and many

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other industries. The report reveals that Yünsa improved its brand strength from rating from ‘BBB’ to ‘A’ and has been since registered as one of the most valuable brands in Turkey “The textile sector is a challenging one compared to the other sectors in Turkey and in the world in terms of changing dynamics, production process and the supply of raw materials. We produce high-segment products in this sector. We manage our financial and operational processes with the right strategy. We have a large customer portfolio including countless global brands. We are successful in exports, which is an important factor that in turn increases our brand value,” added Duzgoren.

Four-season success Recently, Yünsa launched a range of new fabrics suitable for all four seasons. With volatile seasonal changes, Yünsa fabrics can be a saviour, with its breathing and humidity controlling features. The col-


TEXTILES, HOME & PERSONAL CARE

lection is made with blending wool, which is a natural and sustainable raw material, with linen, silk, and cashmere. In the autumn season, one can see a minimal casual street style with blazer jackets and chino trousers that can be worn with knitwear during the time when the winds of change are felt during the autumn months. At other times when the weather is unpredictable, the items made of wool-blended fabrics have the ability to keep humidity control in balance and allow customers to enjoy the season in comfort. The casual fabrics from Yünsa Laboratory, in which the cotton is glossed with linen and lycra, will provide many benefits to consumers, especially in assisting in the layering process, the company said. In the autumn when weather conditions are tough, cashmere clothes are one of the most desirable. People can choose to wear trench coats that can be worn with a shirt, pullover or blazer jacket. A calm, dignified style can be seen with trench coats with narrow cuts or loose patterns, which can also help individuals adapt to the effects of the changeable autumn season. For protection from sever or rainy weather, trench coats produced from the water-repellent fabrics of Yünsa are the most sought-after. When the temperatures start to rise above the seasonal norms during summer, the most preferred items are shorts and basic t-shirts. When choosing, the issue that should be considered is whether the fabric is breathing or not. With its breathable and flex-

ible structure, the YünsaLab collection with linen-cotton blend that adjusts the body-environment relationship is the best way to make the most of this comfortable combination by preventing overheating and sweating in humid summer weather.

Growing product portfolio Today Yünsa is the apparel fabric powerhouse of Europe and is turning its sights towards upholstery, specifically wool and wool blends combinations. The company produces 14 million metres of wool fabrics a year and is a key supplier of mens’ suits to top brands such as Hugo Boss and Zara. Yünsa is based in the Levent district of Istanbul. The new home collections were showcased for the first time recently, although the upholstery line has been on the market for the past two years and has been quietly on display at Villa Berlusconi during Proposte. “We’re focused on contract wool fabrics with 50,000 double rubs but we have wool for residential use also,” says Ersin Samsa, upholstery sales manager. The range is priced 10-18 euros per metre. We are also able to make a Zirpro finish that enables our products to pass flame tests like BS5852 – 0 (Cigarette) and 1 (Match) tests for n use in domestic environments. For further details of Yünsa’s latest innovative worsted fabrics and stylish seasonal collections visit: www.yunsa.com

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Stuart Gregory, the Managing Director of Petrofer UK

LUBRICATING THE WHEELS OF GROWTH

PETROFER UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of PETROFER Germany, one of the world’s leading companies for industrial lubricants, oils and specialised fluids, is set to embrace emerging sector changes. Stuart Gregory, the Managing Director of Petrofer UK and a member of the Global Executive Committee, spoke to Romana Moares about the latest developments and upcoming challenges and opportunities.

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stablished in 1948 in the northern German city of Hildesheim, PETROFER has developed into a leading company in its sector, offering a combination of chemical products, services, and technical expertise in almost 50 countries throughout the world, supported by 14 manufacturing sites. Combining tradition and vision, this privately owned company builds on innovation, quality, expertise and employee dedication. PETROFER’s portfolio of process fluids and products is divided into ten distinctive product groups; these are used in applications such as metal forming, forging, die-casting, pressing, metal cutting, cleaning, hydraulics, general lubrication, heat treatment and corrosion prevention. All of the products exceed current environmental, H&S and legislative requirements.

Embracing change Mr Gregory, who has been with the company for 24 years, and is also the Technical Co-ordinator for Japanese Business in Europe, as well as the President of the UK Die Casting Society and the Vice182 Industry Europe

Chairman of UK Cast Metals Federation, explained that in addition to its sales team, the UK subsidiary has service engineers covering the whole of the UK along with a laboratory providing regular fluid analyses on the majority of our products to all our customers. “Our core business is very much market led,” he noted. “Different countries have different sectors which are in focus; for example, Germany is a very much an automotive led country, while Turkey, on the other hand, is perceived as a metal processor or a component supplier. Our product offering reflects local needs and local demand. However, our global market perspective generally focuses on hot metal industries around the automotive sector and its supply chain.” He further acknowledged that the company is ready to embrace market developments. “The biggest challenge that we see in the formulated chemistry industry is the huge change in the automotive technology worldwide in terms of electric drives, lower weight, new materials and new techniques. The market is further affected by factors such as the REACH registration of chemicals, restriction of certain products as well as the geopolitical situation in terms of


CHEMICALS, PETROCHEMICALS & OFFSHORE

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availability of raw materials. So there are several winds hitting the ship, so to speak – a changing society, changing raw material availability and changing legislation.” “Responding to the new challenges in the die-casting and metal forming processes, we have developed a whole range of new die-casting products that are very efficient, with minimum losses. They have been very well accepted in the marketplace,” Mr Gregory affirmed.

Ergon, Inc. Ergon has been refining the definition of service since 1954 and is the world’s largest producer of naphthenic specialty products and second largest producer of bright stock. The company has earned the trust of customers in more than 90 countries around the world by offering reliable, consistent supply and products of the highest quality. With both naphthenic and paraffinic refineries and a global terminaling and distribution network, they are committed to meeting customer needs for solvency and viscosity. Ergon continues to invest in leading manufacturing practices, innovative service and global distribution, which is enhanced through relationships with suppliers such as Petrofer Chemie H.R. Fischer GmbH + Co. KG. • • • • •

World Largest Producer of Naphthenic Base Oils Global Distribution Network Regional Offices and Depots Secured Raw Material Resources Reliable, Consistent Base Oil Supplier

Learn more at ergoninternational.com.

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Sustainable chemistry As one of the leading suppliers of quality products including industrial lubricants, chemicals and specialised fluids, PETROFER bears a high responsibility for people, nature and the environment. Certified according to ISO 9001 in the UK and ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 at the German manufacturing plant, the company is committed to remaining a preferred partner for quality products and services in the coming decades. “With our sustainability claim, we strive for ecological, economic and social balance. Specifically, this means for our commercial actions: the conservation of natural resources, the avoidance of environmental pollution, the use of environmentally sound and energy efficient processes and the selection of suppliers according to quality and environmental aspects.” “All of our facilities are run with environmental protection in mind. This is reflected in such things as chemical cleaners. With modern chemicals, these can achieve great performance with ambient temperatures, thus improving energy savings as well.” Speaking about current trends, Mr Gregory acknowledged that just like in other sectors, the focus on sustainability is increasing in the chemicals sector. “We produce about 600 formulations



globally, and the main drive is to be part of sustainable chemistry for the future. Efforts are directed, in particular, at a reduction in disposal costs, i.e. towards products with longer life expectancy that are sustainable, commercially attractive and offer higher performance for emerging technologies, while reducing impact on the environment.”

Setting the benchmark Today, just like in the past, PETROFER is committed to continuous improvement and technical advancement. The company is growing its global presence, and its research and development sets international innovative benchmarks and quality standards utilising unique know-how. “Growth is supported on several fronts. We are building a new facility in China, have a new grease manufacturing facility in Turkey

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and are expanding our operation in India. We are also looking at building a new facility in Brazil. These expansion plans follow the developing economies in those countries. China, India, Turkey, Brazil, and also Mexico with its rising automotive industry are all high growth markets with substantial potential.” He affirmed that PETROFER’s future is to move quickly with a rapidly changing world and adjust the product range to new technologies. “With new emission regulations looming, many countries are building smart, modern and highly advanced super factories. We need to monitor these developments and match our products to future demand, to continue to stay at the forefront of our sector.” Our company motto reflects this; “We listen, We develop, We deliver”. n


CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

NEW PROFILE TECHNOLOGY LIFTS THE GULF Alphacan is a global leader in the design and manufacture of customised U-PVC profiles for windows, doors and facades. Recently the company showcased its latest extrusion technologies at the world’s largest dedicated windows, doors and facades exhibition (WDF) held in Dubai. Philip Yorke reports on an interview with the company’s Export Sales manager, Edwardo Jimenez and Alphacan’s expanding and uplifting presence in the Gulf region.

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ith more than 50 years of experience in the production of U-PVC profiles for windows and doors, Alphacan has earned itself an enviable reputation for its high-quality products and continuous ground-breaking innovations. The company operates three state-of-theart production facilities in Europe; these are located in: France, Italy and Croatia and between them employ over 600 people. Today Alphacan specialises in the lamination and finishing of U-PVC profiles and has developed exclusive technologies designed to customise windows, doors and facades according to the latest fashion trends. The U-PVC profiles are guaranteed by the quality labels issued by authoritative European Quality Management organizations. All Alphacan products offer excellent insulating properties and are reliable, maintenance-free and available in a wide range of colours and creative textured finishes.

Innovation and vision Recently Alphacan Srl exhibited its latest products at the Windows Doors and Facades Event 2019 in Dubai. The company’s Export Sales Manager, Eduardo Jiménez described his strategic objectives and participation in the largest dedicated sales platform for windows, doors and facades in the Middle East region. “At the big WDF event we showcased our exclusive range of U-PVC profile systems for windows, facades and doors. This is a complete range of high-performance products driven by Italian style and design, which are designed to appeal to windows manufactur-

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ers, architects and designers, as well as to contractors, real-estate agents and construction companies. Our ‘System Master’ is a unique casement window system that is both compact and modern and especially suited to the Gulf region and Asian countries. Our sliding window systems such as In’Line’ and ‘PFS Mini’ are extremely versatile and offer multiple solutions for every kind of construction need. The former allows the construction of in-line sliding windows and doors for wide openings, whereas the second is a compact system intended for smaller spaces”.

Unique louvre shutter system Also, on show at the exhibition was Alphacan’s innovative ‘Persiana’ series which offer an external louvre shutter system that is available with fixed or adjustable slats. This system enables users to darken and protect their homes from sunlight. In addition, it guarantees customers a fully adjustable ventilation system that provides them with complete privacy. Furthermore, Alphacan’s world premiere of its customised finishing options available in the form of ‘My- Design’, were showcased via a window made with Alphacan’s System ‘In’Alpha70’, which offers fully optimised thermal and acoustic properties. The ‘My-Design’ collection is based on an entirely new printing technology developed exclusively by Alphacan, which allows the customisation of any of its U-PVC windows with any graphic, image and colour that is desired.


CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

Futuristic finishes Alphacan’s designers and engineers have produced an unlimited range of windows and doors that suit perfectly any interior decorative finish. The exclusive and futuristic finishes shown at the event included ‘Tropical Leo Tiffany’ which is a graphic pattern created by Italian designers and is a novelty in the Middle East region. This clearly demonstrates the diversity of Alphacan’s technologies and what they can achieve in the areas of flexible design and decoration.

All Alphacan’s U-PVC systems are available in a wide range of laminates and colours that boast around fifty different options. These in turn are divided into either solid colours, wooden effect finishing’s or metallic textures. In addition, it is possible to add an external aluminium cladding which makes it possible for Alphacan windows to suit any façade style and colour, with a clean metallic finish. This year Alphacan exhibited its product portfolio in partnership with the Italian windows manufacturer Tonini Serramenti, which is already present in the Emirates. This strategic partnership enables Alphacan to give accurate consultancy to its customers on the design and finish of its windows, doors and facades for the Middle East region. Furthermore, Tonini showcased the exclusive finishing of its ‘Fashion Tonini’ collection, a series of luxury windows decorated by hand with real leather and other exclusive fabrics. Alphacan strongly believes that its products, especially those driven by Italian design and creativity, represent new and interesting building solutions, which are all dedicated to this high-end market segment. This strategy is very much in line with the Saudi Arabia Saudi Vision 2030 program. More specifically, the possibilities of innovative decorations, such as fully customised designs, the use of special designer materials such as aluminum or leather and many more aesthetic novelties help to create a greater share of the Middle East market.

Uplifting urban environments Today the Gulf region has achieved a very high level of design, construction and architectural techniques, as exemplified in the many exciting buildings recognised all over the world from its skyline. Alphacan also values its capacity for adopting new technologies and innovations in order to create the world’s most pleasing and uplifting urban environments. Jimenez added, “We aim to come across with local partners interested in our products and innovations, partners who share our vision on customized architecture and decoration, and who are driven by innovation and design. We believe that all visitors will have appreciated our ‘Made in Italy’ creativity, finding inspiration for their projects, their homes, and entirely new concepts for windows, doors and n facades. We want to transmit our passion in all that we do”. For further details of Alphacan’s latest innovative windows, doors and facades visit: www.alphacan.com Industry Europe 189


OPTIMISING MACHINE TOOL EFFICIENCY LNS, the one-stop shop for machine tool peripherals, has introduced a new product line to its global customers

At

the EMO machine tool exhibition in Hannover, September (2019), the world leader in bar feeding, air filtration, coolant management and chip management systems for machine tools, the Swiss-headquartered LNS Group, introduced its new “Chipblaster” product line. With over 1000 employees, a global sales and service network and nine production sites on three continents, the LNS Group intends to leverage its worldwide presence to introduce the “Chipblaster” product range to the world-wide market. The LNS Group acquired Chipblaster Inc. in October 2018. Founded in 1994 in Pennsylvania, USA, Chipblaster Inc. is an established market leading manufacturer of high-pressure coolant systems, coolant chillers and cyclonic filtration systems – making it a perfect fit into the LNS Group portfolio of products and services. The Chipblaster Inc. range of integrated machine tool accessories include the “Chipblaster” high-pressure coolant system, the “Chipchiller” series of high-performance coolant chiller units, the “Skim190 Industry Europe

blaster,” oil skimming unit to eliminate tramp oil and the stand-alone or modular Cyclone filter system for fluid filtration down to 2 microns. Commenting upon the acquisition, LNS Group CEO Gilbert Lile says: “Chipblaster” is a market leader in the U.S. high-pressure coolant industry and is a natural fit into our machine tool peripheral product portfolio. At LNS, we plan to leverage our global sales and service network to sell “Chipblaster’s” technologically advanced products on a worldwide basis. A common thread running through both companies is the goal of helping manufacturers optimize the efficiency of their machine tools to improve performance, productivity and profitability.”

Covering machine tool needs Since it was established in the Jura Arc region of Switzerland in 1972, originally to develop mechanical bar loaders for precision-machining used by watchmakers. LNS has grown to become the global machine tool industry’s leading supplier of advanced barfeeders, chipconveyors and cooling air-filtration systems.000 air filtration systems


METALS, METALWORKING & MINING

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Today there are over 160,000 LNS bar feeder units installed worldwide as well as 140,000 chip conveyors, 35,000 coolant systems and 13,000 air filtration systems. LNS bar feeders are universally recognized for their groundbreaking Hydrobar bar-guiding technique. In the most varied applications, LNS bar feeders ensure maximum productivity on all types of fixed or sliding headstock lathes. In addition, LNS bar feeders offer record reliability and flexibility and the fastest diameter changeover available today. LNS also specializes in a wide range of airfiltration solutions for the elimination of pollution related to the metal manufacturing environment. Originally developed for the elimination of mist, aero-

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sols and smoke typical of metal cutting operations, these filters can also be employed in applications like Grinding and Electro Discharge Machines. Introduced in 2016, LNS’ Turbo SFcompact is a completely new approach to fine filtration. With its compact size, self-cleaning filtration to 50 microns, easy handling of most materials and chip types, excellent return on investment, modular design for easy maintenance and low energy consumption, the SFcompact is, the company believes, a revolutionary system in air filtration. “The SF-compact combines more than 30 years of knowledge in designing, manufacturing and servicing chip and coolant management products for the machine tool industry. It is the culmination of


METALS, METALWORKING & MINING

years of development and testing – a true high-tech fine filtration solution complementing the rich product portfolio of LNS”, explained Jamie Towers, Global Product Manager CCM at the LNS Group.

Chip conveyors and coolant systems LNS’ conveyors and complete chip disposal systems are designed for all machine types (milling, turning or machining centres) For the most varied applications a complete range of conveyors covers all material types and chip shapes. Additionally, LNS chip conveyors can be equipped with up to 50 microns filtration systems. LNS offers a complete range of high-pressure coolant systems and tramp oil removal systems that guarantee optimal lubrication allowing a considerable increase of machining speeds. The additional benefits are an improved surface finish of the parts, increased lifespan of the cutting tools and superior chip management.

since the creation of LNS in 1973 has allowed the group to be finetuned to be even closer to its regional markets and to respond even faster to the future technology evolutions. The LNS market is managed through a network consisting of sister companies and exclusive agents. This global distribution network, which has been built over nearly 50 years, allows the Group to create customer loyalty and to acquire new customers. This distribution network is being constantly expanded in order to cover new n regions as efficiently as possible.

Expanding markets As well as offering a complete product range, LNS is engaged in a constant search for new technologies and solutions that will allow customers to maximize their productivity. The experience gathered

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A LEGENDARY BRAND With the recent relaunch of its iconic Swiss jacket, Strellson marks a quarter century of the finest fashion in modern menswear.

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TEXTILES, HOME & PERSONAL CARE

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ast year (2018) the Swiss producer of quality menswear, Strellson, launched an anniversary collection to mark 15 years of production of its legendary Swiss Cross coat. This iconic casual jacket was originally developed from old Swiss army blankets and launched as a limited edition in 2003. The hooded jacket became instantly famous thanks, in part, to headlines in the British press pointing out that it included a Swiss Army-style knife attached by a chain in a pocket. As the sale of knives to minors was illegal in Britain, retailers in the UK were initially forced to withdraw the product. In fact, the Swiss Cross coat swiftly became a must-have item. Strellson had started with a limited production of 3,000 pieces but after the company placed an ad in one of Zurich’s main newspapers, the whole lot sold out in a few days. For a while, the company couldn’t even get its hands on enough army blankets to meet demand. As one its designers said at the time, “Somehow we just managed to hit the Zeitgeist.” Over the years, the shape of the coat has been refined, but the integrated penknife remains part of the design. And the jacket actually led to Strellson’s expansion into two product lines – the brand was split into a sportswear and a business line, each with individual distribution strategies.

Ever since, Strellson’s Premium Line has focused on business suits, while the Sportswear Line continues to revolve around the coat.

Three brands Strellson AG is an international fashion and lifestyle company based in Kreuzlingen, in Switzerland. It is the country’s largest menswear manufacturer, producing mid-range products aimed at men between 25 and 40. Together with the well-known fashion

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brands Windsor and Joop, it is today part of the Swiss-owned Holy Fashion Group. All three brands are managed individually, each with their own distinctive strategy and orientation The Strellson range is characterised by bold and straightforward design that is Innovative and cosmopolitan. The brand stands for premium fashion with a distinctive silhouette for ambitious men. The aim is to produce both tailored and casual clothing for active and stylish men of today and tomorrow. All Strellson garments are designed in Switzerland. JOOP! is the premium design brand of German origin with a clear market position and a high degree of recognition. Its comprehensive product portfolio offers a modern lifestyle for men and women who value fashion and design. JOOP! stands for the natural combination of a sense of style and the finest quality – always with the unmistakable signature of the brand: contemporary and effortless. Windsor, for the Holy Group, is more than just a brand - it stands for not just fine menswear but a whole way of life. Windsor, charac-

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terised from its beginning by elegant English fabrics and styles and now known for the finest Italian wool used in its suits, jackets, blazers and coats, caters to people for whom quality and modernity are core values. The brand has indeed been synonymous with premium fashion for over 100 years.

Reaching new markets Strellson’s European expansion began in 2008 with the opening of a Strellson Sportswear monostore in Berlin, Germany. In the next year more monostores were opened in Graz (Austria), Lille (France) and Moscow (Russia) as well as a number of stores in China. In 2011 the first flagship store opened in Düsseldorf, Germany. Further stores were opened in Lyon (F), Toronto (CA), St. Petersburg (RUS) and Poland. These were followed in 2013 and 2014 by stores in Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Shanghai, Minsk, Hong Kong, Gdansk and Mexico City.


TEXTILES, HOME & PERSONAL CARE

In recent years the company has strongly focused on the expansion of its e-business, with the launch of new branded online shops for Strellson, Windsor. and JOOP! In 2015 the HOLY FASHION GROUP strengthened its individual brands through differentiated positioning and organizational focus. Windsor womenswear and JOOP! womenswear were established at the headquarters in Kreuzlingen while JOOP! moved into the spectacular JOOP! Villa in Hamburg, where the brand’s history began. 2016 saw Strellson entering the US market and the foundation of the Russian subsidiary Strellson Russia OOO. This was followed in 2017 by the establishment of the Canadian subsidiary Strellson North America Ltd. in Toronto.

Welcome to New York Strellson’s Winter 2019 collection is themed around New York, USA. The campaign identifies the city as the place where English attributes merge with the clarity, openness and modernity of New York and the urban lifestyle of the ‘New Generation’. The new lines combine a natural simplicity and authenticity with a rediscovered elegance. New shapes and volumes influence the look and accordingly formal and sporty-looking elements are represented in the styling over a soft, relaxed silhouette. The workmanship and interplay of style and fabric become a central aspect. The collection also features an outdoor material mix in which nylon and bonding qualities come into play. This material mix combines with the finest finishing and treatments to give the individual styles n and qualities new authenticity for the fabric.

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LEADING THE WORLD IN SURFACE FINISHING Germany’s Atotech continues to expand its technologies and its markets with strategic acquisitions and new product development.

198 Industry Europe


HYGIENE, MEDICAL & PHARMACEUTICAL

In

August 2019 Atotech, a global leader in advanced plating chemicals, equipment and services for the printed circuit board, IC-substrate, semiconductor and surface finishing industries, announced that it had acquired J-KEM International. Based in Rosersberg Sweden, J-KEM is a global supplier of highquality chemical products and processes for the printed circuit board and general metal finishing industries. J-KEM’s strong technology and customer relationships complement Atotech’s product portfolio and will help expand addressable markets and drive future growth. J-KEM’s customers now have full access to Atotech’s regional and global product development, production and technical support capabilities, including its world class and accredited material science and analytical services. Geoff Wild, Atotech’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are thrilled to add J-KEM’s strong products and technologies to Atotech. We see substantial opportunities to further grow our business with this set of new and excellent products. In particular, J-KEM brings to us a graphite process that gives superior performance, an accelerator-free system in collaboration with an EDTA electroless copper process, as well as a palladium-based direct metallization process. “These additional capabilities will help expand our reach into exciting growth markets like flex-PCBs and exotic materials. J-KEM’s strong reputation for technical performance fits well with our unique solution-based approach that combines a comprehensive offer of proprietary process chemicals and equipment with best local service. “This acquisition is representative of our strategy to drive growth and expand the scope of our technology so we can address a

greater share of the market. We will continue to look for opportunities that make us a more important partner to our customers.” Johan Lundqvist, J-KEM’s Chief Executive Officer, added, “We are pleased J-KEM is joining the Atotech family, as it makes sense for both sides. J-KEM will contribute to Atotech’s portfolio, and existing J-KEM customers will benefit from Atotech’s best-in-class service. We look forward to being part of the Atotech team.”

A Vital partner Atotech is one of the world’s leading suppliers of specialty chemicals and equipment for the printed circuit board, chip carrier and semiconductor industries, as well as decorative and functional surface refinement. Since it was formed in 1993 from a merger of the Elf Atotech group of companies with M & T Harshaw and Schering’s electroplating division, it has become a vital partner for countless industries that require both functional and decorative surface-finishing solutions. Today Atotech is present in more than 40 countries and runs 17 TechCenters, 14 chemistry, and 2 equipment production sites It is a

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world leader in pioneering innovations in the industry, with over 2,100 registered active patents - 1,700 for chemical processes and 400 for equipment. Its global headquarters are in Berlin, Germany, and its regional HQs are in Yokohama, Japan, and South Carolina, USA. The company currently operates in two business segments: Electronics (“EL”) and General metal finishing (“GMF”). Its systems and solutions enable the creation of the electrical conductivity integral to the function of printed circuit boards and semiconductors and also provide functional and decorative surface finishing for a wide range of applications, including applications subject to stringent environmental regulations Atotech products and solutions can be found in a wide variety of crucial end markets. These include surface finishing and electronics for the automotive industry, communication applications for smartphones, next generation connectivity and cloud computing, big data processing infrastructure, medical equipment, household appliances and much more.

Polygon PLB In June 2019: Atotech announced a new line of innovative horizontal production equipment – the POLYGON PLB LINE. This new production equipment is designed for printed circuit board manufacturers with high reliability and high performance demands in multilayer, rigid-flex and HDI panel processing taking advantage of a complete wet-in-wet in-line solution. The POLYGON PLB LINE is a new de-smear and electro-less copper production line that provides Atotech’s customers with numerous production advantages, including excellent process performance due to an advanced fluid delivery system, reduced consumption rates for chemistry and water, and an operator-friendly design for best-in-class process control and maintenance. 200 Industry Europe

Designed in Feucht, Germany, and built in Guangzhou, China, Atotech’s new POLYGON Line series features all production-critical characteristics and applies them to a highly reliable, high-volume, and cost-effective machine.

Employer award In 2019 Atotech once again received a top employer award in Germany from the Top Employers Institute. Atotech’s focus was on employee development through talent management and training and development programs, leadership development, career and succession planning, and compensation and benefits. Dirk Schepers, Personnel Manager of Atotech Deutschland GmbH, said “We are very happy about this special award as Top Employer. It not only rewards our aspirations and activities for ongoing employee development, but also reflects the outstanding achievements of our colleagues working and making Atotech successful. “ Annette Döring-Nahas, HR Business Partner at Atotech, adds: “We are particularly proud of our initiatives to digitize HR processes and roll out talent management programs that we will continue to n invest in the future.”


FURNITURE & UPHOLSTERY

SOUND SLEEP SOLUTIONS Smart technology and environmental commitment are driving success for mattress fabric specialist BekaertDeslee

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In

2018 BekaertDeslee, the world’s leading specialist in mattress fabrics and mattress covers, completed the construction of a new Innovation & Design Center (IDC) in Waregem, Belgium. The new, 3,575 m² building is located at Groenbek, a business area across the street from BekaertDeslee’s headquarters. The BekaertDeslee IDC is the “home” for the creative and technological heart of the group: the pilot plant, R&D, Engineering, Design, and Marketing & Communication. “600 million people sleep on our fabrics every night. We spend years on research and development to improve their sleep quality,” said the company. “With the new IDC we are putting a bigger focus on innovation than ever before in order to transform the way we serve our clients, develop our people, and lead our industry. “Through BekaertDeslee IDC, our nine business units are connected across the globe as one virtual network to scan the world for new trends in sleeping technology. This worldwide radar allows us to translate upcoming technologies into innovative products fit for the bed environment.” BekaertDeslee IDC’s facilities include full production size machines, to enable the development of the latest technology in weaving, knitting and finishing. This fully integrated approach ensures all the company’s units worldwide get rapidly geared up for full production. BekaertDeslee IDC is also home to BekaertDeslee Academy, a platform for open innovation, where suppliers, customers, scientists,

202 Industry Europe

universities and research institutes are able to engage with the company in the co-creation of unique products and services.

Merger of equals BekaertDeslee was established in 2016 through the merger of two Belgium based textile companies, Bekaert Textiles and DesleeClama, creating the worldwide leader in mattress fabrics. The new company brought together 19 production facilities worldwide and about 2,600 employees. Both companies have a long history in the Belgian textile industry. Bekhaert Textiles was founded in 1892 and Deslee Textiles in 1928. The global expansion of both companies accelerated in the 21st century with Deslee Clama opening new factories in Brazil, Romania, China and Estonia and Bekaert expanding its operations to China, Argentina, Mexico and Turkey. “The Bekaert Textiles - DesleeClama deal fits both companies’ growth strategies and creates important new market opportunities, in particular the increased awareness surrounding the importance of sleep and the increased growth in the worldwide mattress market”, said a company spokesperson in 2016.

Smart solutions BeekaertDeslee declares that change and continuous improvement are at the heart of everything it does, driving innovation in design, technology, services, communication and manufacturing.


FURNITURE & UPHOLSTERY

Its goal is to bring relevant innovation to the market, close to the customer, to meet the worldwide awareness that sleep is crucially important for health, mental wellbeing and performance. BekaertDeslee ‘Solutions’ offers on trend “sleep solutions” for the consumer who is increasingly aware that quality time in bed is important. With cut & sew manufacturing units in the US, Mexico and Romania, the company produces ready-made mattress covers fitting customers’ exact and unique requests. SmartSleeve®, for example, is a revolutionary mattress protector that optimises sleeping comfort, health and the hygiene of the mattress. SmartSleeve® combines three top technologies that offer the optimal conditions for a good night’s sleep. The fabric is knitted in a special 3D-structure (CAIRFULL) that permanently ventilates the mattress and reduces the pressure of the body on the mattress. SmartSleeve® also regulates the moisture level and temperature of the sleep environment while a probiotic biotechnology in the fabric keeps the mattress clean in a 100 per cent natural way. BekaertDeslee also develops ‘smart’ textile solutions for healthcare markets through its Meditiss division. Here the main focus is on the welfare of young and old people who need to spend a lot of time in bed, either at home or in the hospital. The Meditiss products provide an answer to the most common causes of bad sleep such as dust mites and allergies, incontinence and heat and perspiration.

Supporting ocean cleanup BekaertDeslee has recently announced that it is taking part in a massive ocean cleanup initiative – Seaqual.

Every year, 8 million tonnes of garbage reach the seas. 75 per cent lies underneath the ocean’s surface, forming an immediate threat to marine life. Governments, businesses and consumers share the responsibility to preserve the oceans for future generations. The Seaqual™ organisation pays fishermen from the Spanish coasts of the Mediterranean Sea to collect garbage and bring it ashore. For this initiative, additional garbage harvesting platforms will be built in the Americas and in Asia. Each material, including aluminium, metal, glass or plastic, goes to its own unique recycling chain. Textile technology enables BekaertDeslee to take the plastics found in the ocean and upcycle them into new yarns that are used to produce its high-quality mattress textiles and mattress covers.

Awarding excellence BekaertDeslee has been named ‘National Winner’ in the 2019 European Business Awards, one of the world’s largest business competitions. BekaertDeslee was chosen from 2,753 businesses named as Ones to Watch in a list of business excellence published in July and selected as a National Winner by a panel of independent judges including business leaders, politicians and academics. It is the best business in Belgium in the category Social Responsibility and Environmental Awareness and will now go on to represent Belgium in the final stage of the competition. Adrian Tripp, CEO of the European Business Awards said: “This is a significant achievement and BekaertDeslee is an outstanding leader in its field. To be chosen as a National Winner means you show great innovation, ethics and success. It also means you are one of the best businesses in Europe. We wish BekaertDeslee the n best of luck in the final round.”

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HOUSES ON WHEELS The Elcamp Group, a company from Krakow, is Poland’s leading manufacturer of premium motorhomes under the Globe-Traveller brand. It is also a distributor of motorhomes and caravans of such famous producers as Hymer, Adria and Westfalia.

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AUTOMOTIVE & HEAVY VEHICLES

T

he Elcamp Group provides comprehensive maintenance services for motorhomes and caravans. It also offers full pneumatic suspensions, which are the most modern solutions among currently available on the suspension market. Finally, it runs a professional repair centre for damaged tourist vehicles. “We are appreciated by our customers for the highest quality and timely implementation of even the most demanding maintenance services. We all love to travel by motorhomes and our goal is to create a place where fans of houses on wheels will be able to take full care of their vehicles in a friendly atmosphere, from consultancy, through the service to the purchase of parts and additional equipment for their vehicles”, explains Mr Andrzej Zawilinski, the group’s CEO.

Sport and caravanning The Elcamp Group is a part of the Zasada Group, one of the oldest and biggest Polish corporate groups, bringing together more than 30 companies, in sales, production and services in Poland and throughout Europe. In total, it employs more than 3,000 people. The Zasada Group was established by Mr Sobieslaw Zasada, one of the most successful Polish sportsmen of all time, who after a sporting career successfully turned to business. As a rally driver he won the European Rally Championship three times (and was the runner-up three more times) at a time when the European champion was in fact the world champion. Furthermore, he was Rally Champion of Poland 11 times and in his entire sports career he has won more than 150 rallies all over the world. Mr Zasada is an avid fan of caravanning, which helped the Elcamp Group to develop. The company has been operating since 1996 and offers a whole range of motorhomes and caravans: from small vehicles “Westfalia”, through “Adria”, “Carado”, luxury “Hymer” and “Eriba”. In

2011, it opened in Krakow a new facility with a six-storey service hall, a shop with camping accessories, a car wash, a spacious and convenient parking lot as well as a camper park, where guests from all over the world can stop and stay overnight.

Icing on the cake “Our flagship product is the Globe-Traveller camper van, which is made entirely by ourselves and has been on the market since 2009. It is an exclusive vehicle from the market’s premium segment, based on the Fiat Ducato or Peugeot Boxer chassis and handcrafted using the best quality components in our workshop in Karczew, near Warsaw. In terms of aesthetics and the sense of space, our vehicles resemble yachts or luxury liners. Standard equipment is the most comprehensive available on the market”, points out Mr Zawilinski. The way Elcamp makes camper vans is not a on typical assemblyline. At each step of the process, the uniqueness of each motorhome is considered; all details are adjusted so that the whole construction is complete, and everything perfectly fits together. The company operates its own carpentry shop where furniture for each vehicle is made; it also has as well a technology and design office. Since the Globe-Traveller is a premium camper van, its standard equipment includes several components, which in the case of other manufacturers, are on the list of extra options. Electric step, passenger airbag, leisure battery, heating, skylights, ‘turbo vent’ are just a few examples of what is included in the base equipment. For those customers who wish their camper van to stand out from the others, the company offers a long list of optional equipment to allow true personalisation of their motorhomes. Leather upholstery, leather steering wheel and gear knob, automatic air conditioning, GPS navigation, solar panels, TV set with satellite receiver, and many more options are available. Industry Europe 205


Strong European market player The company employs more than 60 people, primarily a team of professionals and enthusiasts who genuinely love what they do. The Elcamp Group’s annual sales reached more than €10 million in 2018; its production output in 2018 was 150 vehicles, while in 2019 it is estimated as 180-200 units. Most of the production goes abroad. In recent years annual foreign sales have totalled 100-130 vehicles. Such European countries as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary are the Elcamp’s main foreign markets. “We have a wide group of regular customers and an increasing number of new owners of campers and caravans who trust in our team. Interestingly, we have also a group of younger customers who

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quickly got bored with the traditional kinds of tourism and turned to motorhomes to be able to take active holidays. They prefer to visit many interesting places instead of lingering in one place”, says Mr Zawilinski. The market success of Elcamp has not encouraged the company to rest on its laurels. It intensively invests in its further development, e.g. recently it purchased the latest design computer software; it plans to build a new production facility to increase capacity. It also is preparing to expand the range of engines used in its camper vans (currently they are diesel engines) with ecological engines that are the future of mobility. n Visit: www.elcamp.pl Visit: www.globe-traveller.eu



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