Industry Europe – Issue 30.5

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Volume 30/5 – 2020

High-Flying – 3D printing in the US Air Force Olbrich – Innovation in Machine Production OJ Electronics – Intelligent Energy-Efficiency

Cybersecurity -

The New Frontier



EDITORIAL

STEVENGISLAM

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If hindsight is 2020, is foresight 2021? L

ooking back, 2020 was always going to be turbulent. US election years often are. As the year came into being, on its very first day – to a backdrop of Italy-sized infernos engulfing Australia - the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission released a briefing about the outbreak of a pneumonia strain with an unknown aetiology – 44 cases in total. For most of us in Europe, the virus going around a city in China that few of us could point to on a map, as awful as it sounded, didn’t affect us. After all, bird flu worried us back in 2005 and then seemingly vanished. A few years later, swine flu made the headlines but seemed to go the same way. This Coronavirus – the one worrying all the health experts on the news - would surely follow a similar pattern. Perhaps we’d all settled into a state of collective complacency, almost blithely assuming that some clever people would sort it out again. Few of us imagined it would reach global pandemic proportions. And, most likely, even fewer of us imagined that what felt like the end of the world as we knew it, would actually feel fine. Despite what Hollywood taught us, society didn’t collapse into an orgy of looting, violence, and anarchic nihilism. Instead, something quite remarkable happened. People started being nicer to each other, telling each other to “Stay Safe” – to a point that it almost seemed disingenuous. Governments handed out money in a way that would’ve previously been lambasted as fiscal irresponsibility. It was arguably the first truly globally unifying event the world has ever seen. In our collective effort, from San Francisco to Sydney, Santiago to Shanghai, we were all doing the same thing - nothing. Except, of course, for those who weren’t. Those people were doing everything. Every day, putting on their PPE armour and heading to the frontlines to do battle with an enemy that we didn’t understand. While many politicians floundered in ignorance or incompetence, others took charge calmly and quietly. Our doctors, nurses and key workers stepped up and did their jobs. As one British MP pointed out in parliament, many of those working hardest during the pandemic,

to keep our food supplies moving and the bases of society functioning, were those whom we’d labelled “unskilled workers”. Now, on the cusp of December, with at least four vaccines in the works, a bright new year beckoning, and a semi-sensible old white guy getting ready to move into the White House as a much less sensible old white guy is snuck out through the rear staff entrance, under a blanket, with his tail through his legs - we can begin to breathe a sigh of shared relief. We’re not out of the woods yet, of course. We still have winter to get through. And it will be several months before the vaccine can be rolled out sufficiently enough that life can start to settle on whatever the new normal will be. And while we should be cautious about complacency, we should allow ourselves a moment of quiet pride. When things got scary, most of us put aside the old adages that seemed so sacred not that long ago and worked together towards a common goal. In the past year, amidst all the sickness, death, and political turmoil, we have seen countless shining examples of the very best of humanity and human endeavour. We have, unfortunately and somewhat inevitably, also witnessed the worst aspects of society at play during 2020. In the US, while over 40 million people filed for unemployment, a handful of billionaires watched their bank balances bulge. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos saw his personal fortune swell by a jaw-dropping $48 billion between March and June. Tesla’s Elon Musk benefitted to the tune of $17.2 billion, while Zoom’s Eric Yuan, had to suffice with a meagre $2.5 billion. In total, it is estimated that billionaires in the US profited by $637 billion during the pandemic. While it would be easy to shrug this off as “right place, right time”, or argue that these men have worked hard for their money – which they undoubtedly did at some point in their lives – the fact that the global poor continues to suffer disproportionately should leave a bitter aftertaste following the self-congratulatory high that the news of a successful vaccine brought. The vaccine should be just the first stage of a post-Covid world. We’ve seen what we

can do when we pull together and put the common good ahead of personal interest. Earlier this week at a virtual G20 summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel – that rarest of political figures who retained both credibility and sanity during the crisis – voiced concerns that not enough progress had been made in ensuring access to the vaccine for the world’s poorest. French President Emmanuel Macron – admittedly somewhat less credible - spoke of forging industrial partnerships, and even uttered words that would have been almost sacrilegious pre-Covid and spoke of sharing intellectual property rights. The will is there, and the right words are being spoken. Now, that will and those words must translate into action amounting to real and lasting change. Cautionary kudos goes to AstraZeneca - the UK pharma firm, which pledged to roll out the vaccine for no profit “during the pandemic”. Though it retains the contractual right to declare the pandemic over from July 1, 2021. January will begin with the UK leaving the European Union and end (theoretically) with the end of Trump’s tenure as president – an ideal time to take stock. The forces that led to the election of Trump and to Brexit are the same forces that created enough distrust in politics, business, industry, and the system, to make conspiracy theories appear plausible. These events are the symptoms, not the sickness. Capitalism is in crisis and will remain so as long as the money keeps trickling upwards, because with that upwards flow comes the perception that the rewards of the innovation and progress that capitalism has brought are reaped predominantly by the few. It is entirely possible to harness the political and public will that carried us collectively through the crisis and forge a fairer society for those most vulnerable to its sharper edges. Moving forward, let’s have more AstraZeneca and less Amazon, and everybody, including capitalism, will benefit – because while we may be on the cusp of beating Covid-19, the n underlying crisis is still ongoing. Industry Europe 3


CONTENTS Editorial Director Steve Gislam Editorial Manager Ash Jones Managing Partner & Production Director Stephen Moore

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

Head of Sales & Advertising Oliver Clements Sector Managers Michael Hudson Szidonia Hajdu Katarzyna Pozoga Milada Preslova

Art Director Leon Esterhuizen Operations & Finance Director Tania Balderson

Above: Kaspersky p6

Comment 3

Editorial If hindsight is 2020, is foresight 2021?

Focus on Automation, Robotics & AI 6

10

Cybersecurity, Industrial Infrastructure & Digitalisation IE talks with Kaspersky’s Georgy Shebuldaev & Digitalisation

Automation, Robotics & AI news The latest from the industry

Focus on Aerospace & Defence 12 14

Industry Europe PO Box 3750, Norwich NR7 7GZ, 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

How 3D printing keeps USAF flying IE talks to Essentium’s Elisa Teipel

Aerospace & Defence news The latest from the industry

News

16 18 20 21

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

© Industry Europe 2020 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.

FOCUS MEDIA GROUP LTD.

4 Industry Europe

Above: Essentium p12


VOL 30/5

Above: LiBiao p10

Automation, Robotics & AI 22

Setting the standard for production machinery OLBRICH

Automotive & Heavy Vehicles 26 30

Rethinking Motorhomes Niesmann+Bischoff Keeping the world in motion Nord Motoriduttori

Construction & Engineering Above: OLBRICH p22 Below: Nord Motoriduttori p30

33 36 40 44

The experts in raw materials handling AZO Hungary’s cab specialist Agrikon Kam The future, today Komatsu New walls in no-time Forestia

Energy & Utilities 47

Above: OJ Electronics p54 Below: Astra Rail p66

Still burning brightly Sabaf

Food & Beverage 50

Tradition and technology for the finest tastes Sammontana

Home Appliances, Furniture & HVAC 54 58 62

Intelligent solutions OJ Electronics Focused on global markets Bitron Innovation in technology to heat a continent Baxi

Logistics & Transport

66 Expanding capabilities in growing markets Greenbrier

Metals & Mining 70 74 78 82

Promoting clean technology Nuova Solmine Innovation for a sustainable world Feralpi From components to complete systems Texor Ready for take-off Forgital

Textiles, Home & Personal Care 85

Above: Komatsu p40 Below: Sabaf p47

A century of the finest lingerie Karl Conzelmann

Paper, Packaging & Printing 88

Committed to continuing innovation UTECO

Above: Feralpi p74 Below: UTECO p88

Above: Sammontana p50 Industry Europe 5


IE Talks Cybersecurity, Industrial Infrastructure & Digitalisation With Kaspersky In an increasingly digitalised world, cybersecurity and protection of digital information are becoming more important than ever. As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the world and with a larger percentage of the global population working from home, cyber attacks threaten infrastructure on a larger scale than before.

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ussian cybersecurity experts Kaspersky recently revealed a string of cyberattacks on various industrial centres dating back to 2018. At its core was the highlyadvanced malware MT3 - dubbed “MontysThree” by the team - which used various advanced subroutines to remain undetected. MontysThree was responsible for a series of advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks on various actors in the industrial sector. These kinds of attacks are rare but present a potentially catastrophic target for hackers. Today, Industry Europe will be diving into the world of cybersecurity and its role in our digitalised future from those involved in the sector. To this end, we interviewed Georgy Shebuldaev, Head of Growth Center at Kaspersky, to find out why protecting industrial interests is so vital. Industry Europe: Thanks for joining us, Georgy. If you could introduce yourself and what you do, we can begin.

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Georgy Shebuldaev: I am the head of the Growth Centre at Kaspersky. The Growth Centre is where we target new Kaspersky business opportunities to deal with various burgeoning sectors. One of our new branches is in industrial cybersecurity, which is a relatively new interest for us, in comparison to protecting home and corporate users. That’s why I’m here. IE: Would you care to explain why it is so vital to protect industry in the same way you would legislature or corporate cybersecurity? GS: Well, the most straightforward answer is just in the connection between safety and security. Regarding Operational Technology (OT) and industrial infrastructure, the connection between safety impacts because of cybersecurity events is very strict. Far more strict in comparison to both banking and corporate networks. The possible risks are bigger. On the topic of the interaction of production processes in

something such as the energy sector, we have the potential for blackouts and a cascade of unpleasant situations and risks. Over the past 20 years, our OT infrastructure has become far more digitalised day-byday. Because of this, the probability of such risks emerges. That’s why, on a global level, we’re seeing a positive movement and a greater push for regulations and mandatory requirements for OT cybersecurity because the issue of plant cybersecurity becomes not only a company-wide risk but could send shockwaves that can be felt at a state level. IE: What potential threats exist or could exist in the future? GS: There isn’t a massive difference between what we see in corporate and business structures and what can happen in operational technology. The best example is ransomware, which is designed to be encrypted into corporate machines to get


some money in exchange. When it accidentally gets into OT infrastructure it can cause interruptions of production which can lead to big money losses. We are still seeing a lot of situations - both among our customers and in the wider world - of commodity-based cyber threats hitting OT infrastructure. At the same time, threats that are far more dangerous and difficult to protect against, such as supply chain attacks, could cause some deeper problems because standard ways to prevent them - the barriers we build around our OT infrastructure - won’t work. As we move deeper towards Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, with free data exchanges and shared cloud services, we may see the return of forms such as denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on network infrastructure increasing.

this isn’t worth our time” when they attempt to gain information from these industries. Making data frustrating or inefficient to access to will ultimately decentivise attacks from cybercriminals in the long run. In some cases, however, leaving even a small room for an attack is not acceptable. In cases such as this, we analyse every potential threat vector and the possible impact of those threats on the industry. If we are unable to be 100% sure that all possible cyber-impacts are closed with some countermeasures in place, then we go back to focusing on safety: one more barrier, one more duplication layer etcetera. The relationship between safety and cybersecurity ultimately becomes cross-functional and somewhat symbiotic in more extreme scenarios.

IE: How can businesses and industry as a whole best prepare to deal with these evolving threats?

IE: What kind of effects could potential cyberattacks have on industry if companies don’t prepare correctly?

GS: I feel as though in 2020, there are already enough regulations, frameworks, software renders and experts available on the market to protect ourselves from basic threats. If I had to guess, there are probably enough cybersecurity tools to protect against 90-99% of day-to-day threats. There is already a good stock of security technologies in place, especially in business. All it requires is a standard set of preventive measures, such as network security, segmentation between corporate and industrial networks, proper remote connections with logins, monitoring etc and preventive technologies and applications such as competent antivirus software and device control. Most companies will have most, if not all, of these in place to protect their interests. However, if we look at more advanced, or “super-critical” industries, the situation is a bit different. From my perspective, when we talk about cybersecurity - or so-called cyber unity - we aim to make any kind of attack inefficient or difficult in general. Our goal is to make criminals want to pick another target because, at the end of the day, protecting business is vital. We want them to think “this is enough for me;

GS: It depends on the situation. It’s on a spectrum. In some cases, nothing or very little will happen because if the attack surface is narrow, in which case normal safety measures should be adequate. Operators simply restore data from the backups and move on. In fact, one of the biggest problems with industrial cybersecurity awareness is that the majority of incidents are not properly investigated. Operators deal with the consequences, while not fully understanding where the attack actually came from. If there is a situation where the attack surface is far larger, we can see huge money losses. For example, one of the latest cases was the Norsk Hydro attack that happened last year which cost the company nearly €50 million in funds owing to their business freezing entirely. In critical situations, such as with what unfortunately happened in Ukraine back in 2016 where the whole region faced a blackout owing to a cyberattack, the consequences may be huge and could cause irreparable damage. For instance, hospitals could face power shortages or a dam holding back floods could fail, which raises the stakes to involve human lives.

IE: With increased connectivity - Industry 4.0, Internet of Things etc. - comes increased risk from cyberattacks. Should companies extend recruitment to cybersecurity opportunities or just stick with measures in place to protect their data? GS: Both approaches can be successful. First of all, just adding some preventive tools is not enough. On the other side, there are always humans. It comes down to expert monitoring and being able to do incident response adequately and deal with and minimise the impact while learning from the situation. Going back to the original point, some companies like the “on-premise” model, where they have teams of technicians dedicated to cybersecurity and dealing with threats. Others are more attracted towards service models - paying a third-party a subscription to handle cybersecurity. The chosen model is often dependent on the region. For instance, here in Russia, we tend to prefer the “on-premise” solutions, as do many places in the Middle East. On the other hand, Western Europe and the US tend to favour the service model. The market for service experts is relatively small and fairly niche. It is a new sector as a connection between OT and cybersecurity. It requires a high amount of expertise both in what you are protecting and what you are monitoring against. There has been an educational shift in recent years amongst companies such as ours towards the training of this calibre, but there is still a lacking labour force for his sector. Because of these shortcomings, a service model should win out in terms of protection efficiency for the short-term. IE: Could this lead to an increased demand for automotive or AI-based software to aid in cybersecurity? GS: I guess a certain level of automation for detection and response to threats is inevitable. There is still a long way to go until we see the “cyber-immunity” concept in a live scenario when you will be able to replace people in this situation. For the Industry Europe 7


moment, it’s always about inventing new ways to counter the new and creative ways cybercriminals can breach infrastructure. I don’t think automation and AI for cybersecurity on an industrial and mass scale is a pertinent goal with current technology. IE: There are rumours that some governments still prefer physical copies of documents kept under lock-and-key and armed guard. How can industry respond to that kind of thinking? GS: There might be some specific scenarios where those kinds of offline safety measures can be the best option. When we look at the broader scale, this temptation to just build a fence and try to air-gap in industrial infrastructure using methods from the outside world actually brings even more harm from a cybersecurity perspective because there is no way to ensure that an air-gapped system is 100% secure. First of all, it can be tedious and hard to maintain, and second of all, the software may not be entirely relevant to the air-gapped infrastructure or have the capacity to cover all of it. If we are isolating and focusing on building the fence but not “looking inside” - analysing and such - we lose the ability to properly maintain systems owing to reduced visibility. As such, we also lose the ability to do proper automated responses, linking back to the previous question. For example, I had a customer with whom I met 13 months after ransomware attacked their servers, and they were still dealing with the fallout from the attack because they had such a large and fragmented system. Malware managed to get in but they were unable to identify the response in due course. On a broad scale, the increased connectivity is the answer as to how to raise cybersecurity operations and make attacks far easier to handle. IE: How can smaller businesses with fewer resources protect their own interests in an evolving, more digitised world? 8 Industry Europe

GS: From a cybersecurity perspective, not much differs. The same approaches cost less on a smaller scale. I would argue a service model is key here. The most important thing is to adopt digital technologies and to not be afraid of cybersecurity risks but to just deal with them as a matter of course. After all, digitalisation is about efficiency, and efficiency is about cutting costs, and cutting costs means a lower final price for production and being successful as a business. I hope that soon, we will see the products of increased digitalisation and Industry 4.0 concepts, such as heavily-decentralised marketplaces where smaller businesses will be able to offer their production facilities. For instance, in this market, Kaspersky’s job would be to provide cybersecurity. I think this is just a part of the progress. IE: How can we incentivise businesses to make the switch to full digitisation or increased worker automation? GS: Increased business. If, for instance, you wanted to sell steel constructions, you need to be able to sell them on a dedicated market for a market price. When one company wants to produce or implement digital ways of managing its supply chains, cut costs, or do more proper planning to efficiently load its production facilities, then they win the market. The ones who do not do this will fall behind. It’s just business as usual. If everyone embraces full digitalisation, then everyone is put on an equal playing field. IE: How has the ongoing coronavirus pandemic affected demand for cybersecurity, with a large portion of the population working from home? GS: This has had something of a positive impact on the perception and importance of cybersecurity. The global switch to digital platforms has raised more awareness for it as an industry and raised its priority in the echelons of management maintenance of enterprises.

We have advised on increased cybermanagement, such as how to perform secure remote connections, both to industrial and corporate clients. In general, I like to think that in my field of interest and among my contacts, I would state that customers were prepared and acted accordingly and adapted quickly, and transformed and went digital securely and safely. Now, the question is: when it all ends, what will happen? Still, when we think of digitalisation we think of robots and artificial intelligence and the displacement of jobs. We are human, after all. It is in our nature to not prioritise questions when they are not urgent. We’ll see. IE: Do you think this would’ve had the same positive aspect a few years ago with the advent of digitalisation? GS: An interesting question. It depends on the time-frame. If the pandemic happened, say, 15 years ago, I would say it would be almost impossible for industry to operate effectively. The technology of the time was not yet there, such as with secure connections and remote operations and more advanced operating systems. If the time-frame was lessened to maybe two-or-three years ago, I think it could have had a similar impact. IE: Did you have any advice or tips and suggestions for industry to help in their cybersecurity issues or help them as we move towards increased digitalisation? GS: I think in general, open communications and open interaction is something worth encouraging. When we look at OT infrastructure, it is still relatively closed. They are still involved in closed communities and a lack of transparency regarding information. The more effective the disclosure of information, investigation with experts and community involvement will have a positive impact and encourage those companies looking into investing in OT cybersecurity to finally make the jump. Several companies are leading in this process. From this perspective, I think active cooperation and open information exchange is something we need. Technology-wise, there is a lot of fish in the sea when it comes to vendor experts and different services. We are at the point where it is n all about adoption and investment. Visit: www.kaspersky.co.uk



NEWS

New developments in the Automation, Robotics & AI industry

Kaspersky Unveils Targetted Attacks Against Industrial Holdings

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esearchers at Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky have revealed a number of highly targetted attacks against various industrial holdings dating back to at least 2018. These kinds of attacks are rarer in a world with advanced persistent threat (APT) actors than campaigns against diplomats and other highprofile political figures. The toolset used in the attack - named MT3 by its authors, but dubbed “MontysThree” by the firm - uses a variety of subroutines and techniques to remain undetected, including hosting its communications with the control server on public cloud services and hiding the main malicious module using steganography. A majority of APT attacks are usually aimed at government entities, telecoms firms or diplomats due them possessing highly valuable and confidential information in their day-to-day operations. Attacks on industry are rare but can be equally as devastating, according to the cybersecurity leaders, owing to such targetted attacks having disastrous consequences on businesses and markets. Because of this, once MontysThree was detected in the summer of 2020, the analysts as Kaspersky were quick to take note. To carry out this espionage, MontysThree deployed a malware program consisting of four modules. The first - the loader - was spread using self-extracted archives such as .rar files containing pertinent information like medical records to trick employees into downloading the files - a common technique using in phishing. The primary purpose of the loader is to ensure the malware isn’t detected. To do this, they employ a system known as steganography, the

act of hiding malicious data in an ordinary, non-threatening file or message. In this case, the data was hidden in a bitmap. The malware run by MontysThree uses several encryption techniques to remain undetected, namely the use of an RSA algorithm, typically used for secure data transmission. The algorithm used is specifically designed to target both Adobe and Microsoft files, while also being able to capture screenshots and “fingerprint” the target to see if it is of any use to the company. Denis Legezo, a senior security researcher with Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team, said: “MontysThree is interesting not just because of the fact that it’s targetting industrial holdings, but because of the combination of sophisticated and somewhat ‘amateurish’ TTPs. “In general, the sophistication varies from module to module, but it can’t compare to the level used by the most advanced APTs. However, they use strong cryptographic standards and there are indeed some tech-savvy decisions made, include custom steganography. “Perhaps, most importantly, it’s clear that the attackers have put significant effort into developing the MontysThree toolset, suggesting they are determined in their aims - and that this is not meant to be a short-lived campaign.” They offer and recommend companies providing staff with basic cybersecurity hygiene training, as many targetted attacks start with phishing scams or other such social engineering techniques. They also recommend setting up divisions with the latest threat intelligence software, as well as the implementation of EDR solutions for endpoint level detection. They also recommend firms protect both industrial and corporate endpoints, using specialist software designed to trace and reveal them. Learn more at: www.kaspersky.co.uk

LiBiao Launch Parcel Sorting Robots In Europe

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hinese robotics company LiBiao has announced the release of their specialised parcel-sorting robots onto the European market with its “Mini Yellow” range of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). The line has been specifically designed as a cost-effective and highly-efficient alternative to the high capital expenditure sortation devices that have traditionally been used as part of global busy parcel and e-commerce companies. They are actively seeking distribution partners to help them expand their markets in places such as the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. 10 Industry Europe

Initially, two CE-certified models will be offered to Europe: the 5kg tilt-tray robot and a 30kg crossbelt model. The robots are far more compact than other AMR’s, with 350 models being able to cover an area of 1,300 square-miles supposedly at a throughput of 20,000 items per hour. LiBiao also provides the control software for the robots, which they claim operates the robots in a smooth and efficient manner. The Chinese roboteers also claim the software should be compatible with all modern European warehouse management systems. Due to their size, the Mini Yellows are quick and easy to set up and require minimal maintenance. The design requires no fixed infrastructure, therefore the modular system is scalable and more robots can be added as desired and the technology is fully portable, meaning technology can be switched and allocated between sites if necessary. So far 10,000 LiBiao robots are active across China, New Zealand, Australia, the USA and

South-East Asia and the technology has been deployed at a number of “blue-chip” client facilities worldwide, including Walmart in the US, Uniqlo in Japan and China Post in China. The company estimate that roughly 2 billion parcels are handled by their models per year. LiBiao Robot’s founder and chief executive, Xia Huiling, comments: “Demand for more efficient and smarter warehouse management is strong in Europe, where online shopping has been growing at a tremendous pace and driving up the number of parcels handled, so we believe that the market will benefit from our advanced mobile robot technology. “The hardware, software and management system for the ‘Mini Yellow’ sorting system has been refined to the point where our clients usually recover the cost of their investment within one and a half to two years. And, such are the high levels of customer satisfaction with ‘Mini Yellow’ technology, that some 70 per cent of the businesses that have introduced the system so far have become repeat customers.” Visit: www.lotsofbots.com/en/libiao-robotics


INDUSTRYNEWS

Global Population Of Industrial Robots At Record High, Says IFR Report

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new report from the International Federation of Robots (IFR) - has shown a record number of industrial robots operating in factories around the world. The report also found the continuation of strong sales figures, offering some signs of hope the robotics industry may have been left relatively unscathed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The World Robotics 2020 Industrial Robots report found 2.7 million robots already working across the world. Sales of new robots remain high with 373,000 units shipped globally in 2019, a drop of 12% from the previous year but still the third highest volume ever recorded. “The stock of industrial robots operating in factories around the world today marks the highest level in history,” said Milton Guerry, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “Driven by the success story of smart production and automation this is a worldwide increase of about 85% within five years (2014-2019). The recent slowdown in sales by 12% reflects the difficult times the two main customer industries, automotive and electrical/ electronics, have experienced.”

“In addition to that, the consequences from the coronavirus pandemic for the global economy cannot be fully assessed yet. The remaining months of 2020 will be shaped by adaption to the ´new normal´,” he continued. The report found that Asia remains the strongest market for industrial robots with new installations there accounting for around twothirds of global supply. China is still by far the region largest adopter with robot numbers reaching 783,000 in 2019 - a rise of 21% - and while sales that year were below the record years of 2017 and 2018, it still doubles the number sold five years ago. Japan ranked second with 355,000 - up 12 %, and India rising by 15% to 26,300. In Europe, Germany remains the main user with around 221,500 robots, which is three times as many as Italy (74,400 units), five times that of France (42,000 units) and about ten times that of the UK (21,700 units). The adoption of human-robot collaboration is also on the rise, with cobot installations growing by 11%. With more suppliers than

Rockwell Automation Recognised

For Dedication To Equality By Society For Women Engineers

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ockwell Automation has been awarded the Diversity and Inclusion Programme Award by the Society for Women Engineers (SWE) - the world’s largest organisation advocating for further inclusivity for women in the STEM fields - an area they are still greatly underrepresented in. Rockwell claims the award shows their dedication to encouraging all workers to bring authenticity to their roles as well as setting an example for other companies to follow. They are to collect the award at the SWE’s annual convention, WE20, due to be held virtually from November 3-14.

ever offering collaborative robots and the range of applications widening, the market share reached 4.8% of the total of 373,000 industrial robots installed in 2019, making it a fast growing but still infant market. The report also gave an outlook for the future, post-coronavirus, concluding that the heavy impact the pandemic had on 2020, it did offer a chance for modernisation and digitalisation of production as the world recovers. “In the long run, the benefits of increasing robot installations remain the same,” said IFR in a press release. “Rapid production and delivery of customised products at competitive prices are the main incentives. Automation enables manufacturers to keep production in developed economies - or reshore it - without sacrificing cost efficiency.” Learn more at: www.ifr.org/

Blake Moret, chairman and CEO of Rockwell, said: “It is an honour to be recognised by the Society of Women Engineers. We believe in the value of diversity because diverse teams make better decisions. We know that having a competitive advantage in industry and talent means fostering an environment where all employees can and want to do their best work.” The award recognises Rockwell’s “culture of inclusion” and continued dedication to showing that engineering can be a viable and fulfilling career choice for women of any background. Michele Matthai, director for Culture of Inclusion and Diversity at Rockwell Automation, said: “We are always striving to better understand and remove barriers to full inclusion that may exist in our processes, procedures and everyday interactions. “The SWE’s recognition is a testament to our commitment to creating a more inclusive culture within our company - and across our industry.” Visit: www.rockwellautomation.com Learn more at: www.swe.org

Industry Europe 11


High-Flyers: IE Talks To Essentium About Its US Air Force Contract News broke earlier this week that US-based additive manufacturing company Essentium had signed a contract for the “development and deployment” of 3D printing within the US Air Force (USAF) and National Guard Bureau.

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he contract was part of a $550 million Strategic Financing Initiative by USAF to “identify and advance the ‘big bet’ technologies”. Some of the technologies being bet on include Augmented Reality contact lenses, swarm military satellites, AI/ Data Fusion approaches to human-machine interfaces and 3D Printing. A technology that has, in many ways, become emblematic of Industry 4.0 - from construction to healthcare to space tech - 3D printing, or Additive Manufacturing (AM), has made an indelible mark on virtually all sectors and looks certain to become a staple in manufacturers’ toolkits for the foreseeable future. Industry Europe’s Steve Gislam caught up with Elisa Teipel, Chief Development Officer and Co-founder of Essentium to find out just how the company and its unique High Speed Extrusion (HSE) 3D Printing Platform can benefit the world’s largest air force.

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Industry Europe: Additive manufacturing is fairly well established now as a technology. In what ways can it drive development for the US Air Force specifically?

IE: What kind of cost savings can USAF expect to see? Obviously, each component is different, but do you have any ballpark figures for this?

Elisa Teipel: The big push is in the area of sustainment and the lifecycle management of the ageing aircraft that it has in its fleet. The sustainment effort is huge because many of these planes have been in service for more than 50 years and the original manufacturers of the equipment are either no longer in business or no longer making the specific parts. This means that it’s expensive and can take a long time – six months, 12 months, sometimes even longer. No company really wants to make ones or twos of a component, which is where industrial AM, like Essentium’s HSE 3D Printing Platform, comes in. As a technology, it can really help the sustainment and management of the older aircraft.

ET: It really depends on the material and the size of the part, and so on. The cost saving can be anywhere from five to ten times the price for each piece – and is made up to 15 times faster – than using traditional manufacturing methods. IE: What will be the impact that the introduction of the technology has on jobs, directly and indirectly inside and connected to the US Air Force? ET: There are two ways of thinking on this issue. One is that AM will become just another tool in a machine shop. Something that airmen or engineers can use for ground support, tooling or just in general as another tool in the shop.


Additive Manufacturing - One of the “big bet” technologies that the US Air Force is investing in.

But there is another school of thought that is connected with Air Education and Training Command. They’re looking at having another type of job code created for AM. It’s such a specialised skill that if you really intend to maximise its use, it makes sense to have people from the Air Force be trained or retrained in it. Those people’s jobs would then be to manage a fleet of printers, for example. It’s a two-fold approach. IE: So instead of USAF outsourcing the job to a traditional aerospace components manufacturer, it would be done onsite by a trained specialist within the USAF? ET: The way the technology used to be rolled out, it was in an ‘either/or’ way. The old way or the new way. What’s so special about AM is that it’s so complementary. It means that USAF can be printing its own parts but the larger OEMs that would traditionally make things for them can also purchase and have machines to make parts themselves. It all really depends on what is needed. I personally think that AM can and will be, indeed is being, used both for the USAF and the typical subcontractors. IE: And can you tell us some more about the actual components that Essentium will be developing and manufacturing? ET: Of course. So, components that can be manufactured include almost any ground tools, to HVAC ducts, to general ground support tools and fixtures. Anything really on the ground. We’re working on making airworthy parts but that’s a whole other process. USAF has started to do that but it’s slower going than anything that stays on the ground. IE: Is AM a technology that will ultimately be able to be used in the actual field of combat? Or is it more likely to be reserved for repair and maintenance? ET: The goal is to get printers out in the field because you really want to be able to make expeditionary parts. Where you really see AM shine is when you use it as a tool for logistics. It’s often the case that battles have been won on logistics, as Eisenhower famously said. By having a printer on the ground, it’s possible to quickly make a part

Elisa Teipel, Chief Development Officer & Co-founder at Essentium

right there in the field, saving all kinds of logistical problems.

are the materials are they able to ultimately become part of the circular economy?

IE: So, it could have a large impact on future operations all over the world.

ET: In the AM community in general, unless you’re using PLA (Polylactic acid), it’s very hard for it to be recyclable or renewable. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t looking at it. Essentium and many other companies are examining ways how we can reduce the carbon footprint because obviously whenever you’re using a plastic polymer material, along with carbon fibre maybe, or glass, then that brings it to where you need to think about what the lifecycle and so on is. Therefore, part of what we’re doing with USAF is looking at the lifecycle management of the platform and the materials in general. So, over the course of time, we hope to have more answers to that and to come up with plans that are beneficial, not just to Essentium but to the industry as a whole.

ET: Absolutely. IE: What about the quality? It’s quicker to make as well as being cheaper but does this have an impact on the quality compared with traditional manufacturing techniques? Would the pieces need replacing more often? ET: The quality is actually better. If you look at what we’re doing, it’s not FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) but High Speed Extrusion. It’s a lot faster and it allows the plastics to bond together better and has better qualities in general. So, it’s really a win-win-win situation – faster, cheaper and better quality. I think the interesting part with it is that it’s like FDM because it’s extrusion-based but with the high speed, it really is what gives the part it’s making better properties. IE: I wanted to find out more about the Essentium High Speed Extrusion 3D Printing Platform you’re using and what makes it so unique. Does it correlate specifically well with military and defence applications or does it have a cross-sector appeal? ET: One of the unique things is that it’s an open platform. Other similar technologies tend to be closed platforms and only certain materials are able to be used. However, with our platform, we went in with a different way of thinking – a different mindset. For us, it’s a tool and you want to be able to pump out as many materials as possible and get the most out of that tool. We have many more materials available, which allows room for development. We work with several companies who have a specific material that they want to be able to use the platform for. So the speed is one thing, the fact that it’s an open platform, having access to new materials. All these capabilities relate really specifically to USAF’s needs because currently there’s only one material that’s airworthy and there really needs to be more in order to be acceptable to the public. It can’t just be one expensive material. IE: On the subject of materials, what’s the carbon footprint like? How sustainable

IE: I’d also like to find more out about the cybersecurity element of the platform. Is there something in place to protect the platform from hackers and other cyber threats? ET: In common with the USAF and other companies, we use air gapping - not connecting the tech with the wider network. You need to plan around it a little, but it seems that right now it’s the safest way, so there’s no breach of cybersecurity. Having said that, as a whole, USAF and the AM community is looking at how to access files and be able to download on demand. So, you’ll see a lot coming out in the next two or three years on this. For now, though, air gapping is the best way. IE: Anything you would like to add? ET: Some of the parts in older aircraft are made of materials that are no longer considered safe. For example, some of the resins used. So, we’re working on materials that can be used as a replacement for those older materials. We’re not just offering 3D printing but offering a full solution to help with sustainment challenges, to help with efficiency, help with transforming aerospace and defence in newer n ways than it was thought about before. Visit: www.essentium.com Industry Europe 13


NEWS

New developments in the Aerospace & Defence industry

Essentium To Develop Materials & Components For US Air Force

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exas-based 3D printing company Essentium has been awarded a contract by the US Air Force to “drive the development and deployment of advanced additive manufacturing (AM) solutions”. The company will work on applications in tooling, ground support, maintenance repair and overhaul, and flight-certified parts for military aircraft and ground vehicles owned by both the US Air Force and the National Guard Bureau (NGB). The multi-year collaborative contract has the potential to save both services millions of dollars and manhours by ramping up additive manufacturing production and developing certified materials that will produce consistent, high-quality AM parts and components that are both faster and cheaper to make. This contract is part of more than $550 million (€469 million) recently deployed through the US Air Force’s Strategic Financing (STRATFi) initiative, the goal of which is “to identify and advance ‘big bet’ technologies that have the potential to protect and advance the future dominance of the US Air Force and its airmen,” the company said in a press release.

The contract will also help the NGB advance its ability to speed the production of parts for ageing fleets of air and ground vehicles. The US Air Force is under pressure to accelerate aircraft repairs, reduce costs, and quickly get aircraft back in the air. For many ageing aircraft, replacement parts are scarce, and it is challenging to find manufacturers willing to resume the production of parts that may not be reordered for many years. Parts ordered one or two at a time are expensive and can entail exceptionally long waits, often leading the Air Force to “cannibalise” parts from the ‘aircraft boneyard’ at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. To address these production, supply chain, and procurement challenges, the Essentium-US Air Force project team will work together on the testing and development of new materials and processes using the Essentium High-Speed Extrusion (HSE) 3D Printing Platform. According to Essentium, the HSE platform offers fast print speeds “for rapid part production at the point of use, whilst decreasing the time required to certify new materials for use in flight.” Nathan Parker, Deputy PEO, Rapid Sustainment Office, U.S. Air Force, said: “Developing safety-critical aeroplane parts is closer than ever before due to cutting edge technology like Essentium’s additive manufacturing solution. Essentium demonstrated it has the expertise and capabilities to create parts with consistent replication using the Essentium HSE 3D Printing Platform. We will work together to drive additive manufacturing technology forward; for faster aircraft repairs that massively reduce time to deliver parts to keep our warfighters ready.” Elisa Teipel, Ph.D., Chief Development Officer and Co-founder, Essentium, Inc. said: “The sky is the limit for the potential benefits of additive manufacturing for the US Air Force. As well as reducing operating costs by tens of millions, the strategic capability we will work with our STRATFi partners to deliver through this program will help bring about an end to the scenario of days of aircraft sitting on the tarmac awaiting simple replacement parts which may be 3D printed and can get them flying again. We are beyond thrilled to be awarded this contract and work with our government customers to help drive significant advancement in military parts manufacturing and advance the U.S. Air Force’s military leadership.” Learn more at: www.essentium.com

Bulgaria Signs Agreement For Navy Patrol Ships B

ulgaria has signed an agreement with German shipyard Lürssen for the construction of two multi-functoinal modular patrol ships for the navy worth an estimated €503.1 million. The contract is expected to be signed sometime next week, according to business outlet Capital. The outlet reported the deal was conducted behind closed doors after a weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday. The defence ministry’s decision to team with Lürssen was challenged earlier in the

14 Industry Europe

year owing to contractr competition with Italy’s Fincantieri. The two new vessels are set to replace Russian-crafted vessels which have aged beyond repair. The deal was concieved back in 2017 but was delayed after the initial proprietor dropped out owing to government spending limits. It is currently unkown when construction will commence. Learn more at: www.luerssen.de/en


INDUSTRYNEWS

Germany Mulls BDI Proposal For North Sea Satellite Launchpad

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he German government is mulling over a proposal from the Federation of German Industries (BDI) for the creation of a mobile satellite launchpad in the North Sea. The plan would see small satellites of up to one tonne being launched with German-built rockets. While no specific site has been chosen as of yet, it would be within Germany’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The project, which is being lobbied for by the BDI, which represents large, medium and small companies across the country, would be a public-private partnership. German media quote the BDI proposal as saying “a German launchpad is technically feasible and makes strategic and economic sense”. The digital economy relies heavily on the use of satellites, which makes space projects increasingly attractive for start-ups. The launchpad proposal would involve three German start-ups including Isar Aerospace, based in Ottobrunn, near Munich, which is developing two-stage 27 metre (89 ft) rockets that it plans to begin launching next year.

One of Isar’s advisers is Bulent Altan, one of the former vice presidents at SpaceX, the space services company led by Elon Musk. The proposed platform would be not be for booster rockets of the kind used by the European Space Agency, but would be used for “mini-rockets”. Mini-rockets - compact satellites powered by low-cost, miniaturised electronics - are becoming increasingly popular. The problem thus far has been getting them into orbit. Usually, these smaller rockets are taken in groups of 30 to 60 at a time into the upper atmosphere on larger rockets. What this means is that companies have to wait on the readiness of others and also going into orbits which represent a compromise, rather than the ideal orbit for the particular mission. A launchpad based at sea is ideal because for those countries without a land area far away from population centres - such as Germany - it presents a safe solution in the event of an in-flight failure which would see the vehicle fall back down to Earth.

Over 5,000 Sign Open Letter For EU President To End Quarantine Restrictions On Air Travel

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ver 20 EU travel and tourism associations have issued an open letter to European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen urging her to end lockdown restrictions for the industry to resume the livelihoods of the roughly 27 million people working in the sector. The letter calls for the end of the “extreme” quarantine restrictions and for them to be replaced with a proposed “EU Testing Protocol for travel” legislation that will help mitigate variables they say are crippling the travel industry. The group, who represent over 5,000 companies and the people who work for them, have pointed to inconsistencies with how the various EU member states are handling travel restrictions, calling for across-theboard regulation in getting the sector back up and running. The letter has been signed by representatives from across the travel and tourism sector, including workers, airlines, airports aeronautics manufacturers, railways, ground handlers, caterers and their supply traders and many more in a bid to reignite the industry before the damage caused by the pandemic and travel restrictions become irreparable. It comes as the latest report from ACI EUROPE, an airport body who are also signatories to the letter, which shows a decline for the industry for the first two months of September - which now sits at a net loss of -73% - down from a sluggish “peak recovery” period of -65% for August.

The BDI proposal suggests that the German government put forward and initial investment of around €30 million, after which it is envisaged the North Sea launchpad would become commercially profitable. German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has spoken favourably in the past about the prospect of Germany developing its own space launch facility. Nonetheless, there have been reports in German media that the BDI plan could be a source of political friction with Germany’s partners in Europe, for example Sweden, Norway and the EU itself, who have been reported to harbour similar ambitions. Learn more at: www.english.bdi.eu/

In the open letter to Mrs Von der Leyen, the signatories describe the situation as “chaotic” and “in need of her personal involvement.” They said: “We are urging you to make this issue a top priority and calling on you to address this issue directly with Heads of State and the Government. “We are therefore asking you to ensure that the Commission takes the lead in the development of an EU Testing Protocol for travel and its implementation to avoid quarantines and re-open borders.” They added: “Beyond the huge economic and human costs involved, the freedom of movement of people and the principle of non-discrimination - the core pillars and essential purpose of the European project - are at risk.” The signatories are uniting behind a call to action by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) which claims that extreme regulation is ineffective in suppressing the spread of airborne diseases where community transmission is already present, such as in Europe. They end the letter by saying they “hope the EU will not let [them] down.”

Industry Europe 15


NEWS

New contracts and orders in industry

Nokia Selected To Provide Finland With 5G RAN N

okia has been selected by fellow Finnish phone company Elisa to provide nationwide 5G radio access networks (RAN) with the aim of providing ultra-fast, low latency broadband mobile service to customers. The deal continues the two company’s partnership into the 5G era as Elisa attempts to digitalise Finland and make it a world leader in the 5G market. Deployment of the project using Elisa’s AirScale 5G radio network portfolio is due to begin immediately. According to Nokia, their 5G RAN supports a “flexible, AI-integrated architecture,” which the phone titans claim “triples the throughput of [their]

market-leading RAN technology” emphasising performance and scalability to bring 5G networks to as many people as possible. Nokia has also recently been selected to take over 5G services in Britain by British Telecommunications (BT) as they cease operations with Chinese phone company Huawei. The project will also focus on mobile network technology migration so that new radios will server both 4G and 5G subscribers across the country. Elisa is expected to discontinue service for their 3G network starting in 2023 to support its focus on 5G. Elisa is the first operator of its kind in Finland to install a commercial liquid cooling 5G base station, which they claim reduces the potential energy expense of that base by 30% and CO2 emissions by as much as 80%. Nokia has delivered zeroemission products to over 150 company’s worldwide and is committed to decreasing emissions from its operations by as much as 41% by 2030. Veli-Matti Mattila, CEO of Elisa, said: “We continue facilitating the benefits of 5G to our customers in Finland, one of the world’s leading mobile service markets and are delighted to work with Nokia to enhance our capabilities.

“Nokia has been an important strategic partner for us a long time and its technology has helped us to deliver state-of-the-art 5G-based enhanced mobile broadband experiences to our customers. “I believe we will have exciting years ahead creating new solutions to meet our customers’ needs, also in the field of private networks, ultra-low latency services and massive IoT. I look forward to continuing to develop this relationship into the 5G era and beyond.” Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO of Nokia said: “Nokia has a long-standing partnership with Elisa, which we are excited to extend into the 5G era as their strategic supply partner. Together we have delivered many technology ‘firsts,’ including installing the first-ever commercial liquid cooling station, which highlights our shared commitment to decreasing emissions while providing worldclass connectivity. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with Elisa on its ambition to digitise Finnish society.” Visit: www.elisa.com For more information: www.nokia.com

Dawn Aerospace Awarded ESA 3D Printed Rocket Engine Contract

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he European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded a contract worth €385,000 to Dutch launch provider Dawn Aerospace as part of its Future Launcher Preparatory Programme (FLPP). Through the contract, ESA will provide support to Dawn for the development of 3D printed combustion chambers for high performance, high combustion pressure rocket engines. “We are proud to work in cooperation with the European Space Agency,” said Jeroen Wink, Dawn Aerospace CEO. “This is important work that will lead to higher-performance, more reliable rocket engines that can fly to space hundreds of times without refurbishment.” The materials commonly used in additive manufacturing, such as stainless steel, titanium and Inconel lack the necessary thermal conductivity needed for ultra-high-performance combustion chambers. The work that Dawn is planning for the project involves 3D printing high melting temperature and high thermally conductive materials. The finished products will then be utilised for the Mk-II Aurora spaceplane. As a technology, Additive Manufacturing offers lighter and cheaper rocket engines with fewer individual parts and ultimately higher performance. ESA’s FLPP is a key component of Europe’s space access strategy and the programme is overseeing research into a variety of new launch tech16 Industry Europe

nologies, lightweight and high-performance systems, low-cost structures, reusability and green launch systems. Learn more at: www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Space_Transportation/ New_Technologies/FLPP_preparing_for_Europe_s_next-generation_ launcher

An artist’s impression of the Dawn Mk-II Aurora


WINNINGBUSINESS

Metalysis Awarded ESA Funding To Find Oxygen In Moon Rock T

he UK’s Metalysis has been awarded a nine-month funding contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the development of technology that transforms moon dust and rock into oxygen and metal powders, paving the way for the eventual establishment of a lunar base. The Sheffield-based company’s recent study, conducted in partnership with Glasgow University, found that the technology could extract 96% of the oxygen from a material called JSC-2A - a simulant material with a composition similar to regolith, or moon dust. The process, which has been used at an industrial scale on Earth in titanium and tantalum production since 2018 but with oxygen as a byproduct, involves the passing of an electrical current through the material, resulting in the creation of pure oxygen with the metal powders being a useful byproduct. Ian Mellor, Managing Director at Metalysis, said: “We are really pleased Metalysis is involved in this exciting programme; taking an established earth-based technology and applying it to a lunar setting. The fact that the process is capable of simultaneously producing both oxygen and metal powders is unique, offering potential solutions to two key areas of the ESA Space Resources Strategy.” The creation of oxygen on the Moon would be of enormous benefit, not just for human life support, but also in the production of rocket fuel for further exploration. The metal powders could be utilised in the future for lunar construction workers to use as a building material.

If the process can be refined and made to work well enough, it will lead to the creation of extraction facilities that produce oxygen and valuable materials on the lunar surface, saving time and bringing down costs hugely as they will not need to be hauled from Earth. Sue Horne, Head of Space Exploration at the UK Space Agency, said: “In the future, if we want to travel extensively in space and set up bases on the Moon and Mars, then we will need to make or find the things required to support life - food, water and breathable air. “The involvement of Metalysis in a programme that aims to do just that, by producing oxygen on a lunar setting, will showcase the UK’s space credentials on the world stage and help unlock breakthroughs that bring future space exploration a step closer.” According to ESA estimates, extraterrestrial resource harvesting could create potential revenues of €73-€170 billion between 2018 and 2045. This will be in large part dependent on the successful establishment of a permanent human presence on the Moon, for extraction of lunar minerals and to act as a staging post for missions into deeper space. Learn more at: www.metalysis.com An artist’s impression of Moon Base activities. Photo: ESA - P. Carril

Nvidia To Invest £40 Million Into UK’s Most Powerful Supercomputer

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S computing chip company Nvidia has announced its intention to invest roughly £40 million into building the UK’s most powerful supercomputer, which the company claim is to be used in drug discovery and for healthcare challenges such as coronavirus. Nvidia hopes to build the machine in Cambridge, England, appropriately named “Cambridge-1,” by the end of the year. Among its first partnerships will be pharmaceutical manufacturers such as GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, gene analysis company Oxford Nanopore and researchers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London.

This news comes as Nvidia is still awaiting confirmation of their $40 billion (€33 billion) purchase of Arm Holdings last month, which is potentially the largest purchase in semiconductor history. The supercomputer could help revolutionise clinical trials in the face of the pandemic owing to their ability to analyse millions of molecules before deciding which ones will prove the most useful, which could accelerate the typically slow and costly journey for drug discovery. Jensen Huang, Nvidia’s co-founder and chief executive, said: “The Cambridge-1 supercomputer will serve as a hub of innovation for the UK, and further the groundbreaking work being done by the nation’s researchers in critical healthcare and drug discovery.” Back in January, the first-ever drug molecule invented solely by AI was announced. The entire process took 12 months, which is a major step up fro the average four-and-a-half years the process would

take manually, suggesting this could be a significant technological advancement for the sector. In addition to Cambridge-1, Nvidia also unveiled a set of AI tools specifically designed to help with drug discovery dubbed “Nvidia Clara Discovery.” The chip manufacturers claim the programme could support researchers by analysing data on a massive scale, including information on existing treatments and research literature. In a statement, Matt Hancock, UK health secretary, said: “Accelerating drug discovery has never been so important, and it is investments like this that can make a real difference in our fight against countless diseases.” The company also announced the supercomputer would become part of a planned “AI Centre of Excellence” in Cambridge alongside another planned build which they hope will emerge from their partnership with Arm. Learn more at: www.nvidia.com/en-gb Industry Europe 17


NEWS

Combining strengths

Tesla & Neoen To Build New Battery Facility In Australia

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lectric car maker Tesla is teaming up with French renewable energy company Neoen to build what will be one of the world’s largest lithium-ion batteries in Australia to aid the country’s transition from coal-fired power to renewable energy. The Victorian Big Battery is to be located in Geelong, south-west of Melbourne and will have a capacity of 450 megawatt hours, and store enough power to provide energy to around half a million homes for an hour. The Battery will also be used to both modernise and stablise Victoria’s energy grid, where the government has a policy of delivering 50% of the state’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. “By securing one of the biggest batteries in the world, Victoria is taking a decisive step away from

coal-fired power and embracing new technologies that will unlock more renewable energy than ever before,” said Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria’s environment minister. The battery will also help plug the gaps caused by the intermittent nature of solar and wind power, with its reserve capacity being connected to the grid when the sun is not shining and wind conditions suboptimal. The government awarded Neoen the contract to provide system integrity services to the grid and will use Tesla’s megapack technology to deliver the 300MW battery by the end of 2021, the company said. It was the first large-scale battery in Australia to provide fast frequency services and inertia - both important elements required for grid stability - to the national network. Australia has traditionally relied heavily on coal for its energy requirements, which is plentiful in the

country, though the most polluting form of energy. In recent years, however, many large plants have shut their doors and coal consumption fell to a 25-year low in 2018-19. Tim Buckley of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, told the FT the decision by Neoen and Tesla was a sign of momentum in Australia’s energy transition: “This is not a slow, orderly, incremental change under way. This is great to see. This technology-driven energy transition is inevitable and accelerating.” Learn more at: www.neoen.com/en

NASA Choses Nokia To Build

Moon Mobile Network F

innish telecommunications giant Nokia has been chosen by NASA to construct the first mobile network on the moon, the company has said. The lunar network is to be part of NASA’s attempts to return humans to the moon by 2024 and to build long-term colonies there under its Artemis programme. Nokia said the first wireless broadband communications system in space would be built on the lunar surface in late 2022, before humans make it back there. The company will partner with Intuitive Machines, a Texas-based spaceship design company, to deliver the network equipment to the lunar surface. Following successful delivery, the network will configure itself and set up the first Long-Term Evolution (LTE) communications system on the moon. “The network will provide critical communication capabilities for many different data-transmission applications, including vital command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video,” Nokia said. Learn more at: www.intuitivemachines.com

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LINKINGUP Trimble Partnership Unveils Technologies For New Robotic Dog

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partnership between Trimble and Boston Dynamics has unveiled new technologies for the construction industry by allowing for automated inspections and data capture. The primary function for “Spot” is to survey construction sites. The bot will then harness artificial intelligence to process the data and draw up a progress report and real-time solutions which can be tracked to give managers the best idea on how to proceed on an ongoing basis. The dog can carry up to 14kg of surveying equipment and is remote-controlled via an intuitive tablet with an added function of being able to program autonomous routines to gather consistent data with minimal effort. Martin Holmgren, general manager, building field solutions at Trimble said: “Robots will play a crucial role in automated construction workflows and can augment the human workforce by handling dirty, dull and dangerous tasks.”

Spot has already been applied by several clients to a variety of construction needs. It can be programmed to perform repetitive tasks, and its automated approach to field data capture can provide clients with real-time awareness of project status, helping to accelerate project delivery. Mr Holmgrem adds: “Our experience with early adopters like Mortenson gave us visibility into the transformative potential of an integrated solution that seamlessly marries a world-class robot with construction-specific sensors and workflows. “We’re excited about this alliance and the potential to bring unprecedented improvements in safety, quality and productivity to our construction customers.” Spot is slated to be available on the consumer market by Q2 2021. Learn more at: www.bostondynamics.com

Bulgaria Becomes Latest To Join US Anti-Huawei Coalition

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coalition of countries, led by the US, has sprung up against Chinese tech company Huawei owing to security fears for its 5G network, with its most recent signatory being Bulgaria. Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov signed a framework agreement last week putting their support behind the US-backed coalition. Fellow Balkan state Slovenia was inducted into the group back in August, and more recently, Huawei lost out on a contract to supply the UK with an ultra-fast 5G network to Finnish telecoms giants Nokia, around the time they were selected to handle the networks within their home nation. Bulgaria is taking steps to satisfy the US and remove Huawei from its 5G network, with the aim of the American government aiding in future nuclear projects. A spokesman for the US embassy in Sofia said in a statement: “Bulgaria has joined the Clean Network initiative. This is another big step forward in our relationship. With this act, Bulgaria joins the growing coalition of countries and companies committed to protecting their 5G networks from unreliable providers.”

Three Bulgarian mobile companies are testing 5G network efficiency using existing Huawei technology. By law, if the framework is signed through, and these companies have to stop using them, they must be given appropriate compensation. At the same time, the Bulgarian government are also subject to grants through the EU’s Covid-19 recovery fund designed to help Western Balkan nations integrate into the EU, despite the nation having been a member since 2007. These funds may help them recover from any losses stemmed from ousting Huawei from their nation. It also makes them subject to various aspects of the European Green Deal regarding post-pandemic recovery. Learn more at: www.huawei.com/uk

Valmet Completes Acquisition Of PMP Group

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innish paper tech and automation firm Valmet has finished the acquisition of Polish company PMP Group, based on the terms of an agreement forged back on September 11 for a reported €64 million. The Polish developer supplies process technologies for tissue, board and paper machines globally, focusing on small and medium-sized tissue machines and board and paper machine rebuilds. Through this merger, they will become a part of Valmet’s paper business line. With net sales totalling €70 million for the 2019 fiscal year alone, the company employs around 650 people across Poland, Italy and China. PMP will be included in Valmet’s fiscal report for the first time in their fourth-quarter reporting for 2020. Jari Vähäpesola, paper business line president for Valmet, said: “The acquisition was completed as planned and we are happy to welcome 650 new colleagues to Valmet. The combination of Valmet’s current paper technology and services for wise and fast machines and rebuilds, together with PMP’s product portfolio, competence and presence in strategic markets, will create new business opportunities. “From now on we will work as one team with a wider product offering, to further strengthen our capabilities to server paper, board and tissue producers globally.” Mirosław Pietraszek, the former president for PMP group said: “I am satisfied that the closing process has been completed successfully. It is a great moment to celebrate the opening of a new chapter in our history. I am convinced that together with Valmet, we will create a professional, unique and strong team across the globe to bring our customers a more comprehensive service span and stateof-the-art solutions. “As a team, we are ready for new challenges and are excited to become a part of Valmet.” Learn more at: www.valmet.com Industry Europe 19


NEWS

MOVINGON

Relocations and expansions across Europe

UK Reclaims Nuclear Weapons Contract From AWE Consortium

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ritain’s defence ministry announced on Monday that it has secured the contract to create nuclear weapons for the nation from a consortium containing Lockheed Martin, Serco and Jacobs Engineering beginning June 2021. The three companies manage an entity called AWE Management, with each owning a majority stake in the firm. The role of creating a British nuclear deterrent was first outsourced to private companies by the Blair administration back in 2000. The government said in a statement: “The change in the model will remove the cur-

British Airways Boss Stands Down Amid Job Cut Scandal

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lex Cruz, the CEO of British Airways, is set to quit after heavy criticism following his management of the roughly 12,000 job cuts the company faced after a disastrous year for the industry in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. He is to be replaced by Sean Doyle, the chairman of Aer Lingus, who is also due to take over Cruz’s role of chairman after a transition period. Both companies are part of the Internation Airlines Group (IAG), who have promoted Aer Lingus CAO Donal Moriarty to its executive position temporarily while a replacement is found.

rent commercial arrangements, enhancing the Ministry of Defence’s agility in the future management of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, whilst also delivering on core MoD objectives and value for money to the taxpayer.”

Serco announced on Monday that the firm would lose the contract to develop nuclear weapons, as AWE would be transferred back under the direct control of the ministry on June 20, 2021. Shares in Serco fell by 13% once news of the transaction broke. They said AWE were set to invest roughly £17 million into the project in 2020. Sky News, who first broke the story, admitted they were unsure if the three companies would be compensated for the termination of their contract, which was not set to expire until 2025. Learn more at: www.lockheedmartin.com

IAG chief executive, Luis Gallego, said: “We’re navigating the worst crisis faced in our industry and I’m confident these internal promotions will ensure IAG is well placed to emerge in a strong position. “Cruz has led the airline through a particularly demanding period and has secured restructuring agreements with the vast majority of employees. As our new team comes together we remain focused on making the right operational and strategic decisions for the long-term benefit of all IAG’s shareholders.” Cruz had been CEO of British Airways since 2016 and was charged with making the company cost-effective to help it compete with rivals. The aviation industry was severely affected by the Covi-19 pandemic, with worries the entire

sector could go under if restrictions on travel are not lifted soon. The ill-effects of Brexit may also have unintended effects on the aerospace industry, among others. Back in July, IAG reported a record loss of €3.2 billion owing to the effects the pandemic had on the travel and aerospace sectors. The company has warned that passenger demand will not return to normal levels until at least 2024. The company expects capacity to fall by 63% in 2020, compared with the previous year, up from the 59% initially forecast. This trend is set to continue into next year, which is predicted to see a 27% drop from 2019 numbers. Visit: www.britishairways.com

SpaceX Martian Colony Will ‘Make Its Own Laws’ According To Starlink App

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lon Musk’s SpaceX has decided they will not be subject by Earthbound laws once their Mars colony has been established, according to the terms of service for their Starlink project. The ToS appear on the newly-launched Starlink app which contains all the pertinent information people involved with the project, such as access to software updates and billing information. It also contains a brief overview of how the colony will operate, reportedly adhering to a set of “self-governing principles.” The company have stipulated that SpaceX supply satellites will still be bound to the laws of the state of California, where the company are 20 Industry Europe

based, but anything outside of the Earth’s orbit is not subject to the same laws. Such satellites could be used to ferry supplies or to provide an internet connection to people and machines in the colony. More than 800 internet satellites have already been launched into orbit, with tens of thousands planned in the coming years. Musk has revealed his intent to create a selfsustaining city on Martian soil last week, but no extra details have been divulged. The ‘Governing Law’ section of the ToS says: “For services provided on Mars, or in transit to Mars via Starship or other colonisation spacecraft, the parties recognise Mars as a free

planet and that no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities. “Disputes will be settled through self-governing principles, established in good faith, at the time of Martian settlement.” The Earthlight Foundation’s Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities of Humanity list space as “free for all, by all, for all, and to all.” Learn more at: www.spacex.com


NEWS

TECHNOLOGYSPOTLIGHT

Advances in technology across industry

BladeBUG 6-Legged Repair Robot Takes Its First Walk Offshore

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ast month, just off the Scottish coast near Fife, BladeBUG, a six-legged inspect-andrepair robot, took its first blade walk at ORE Catapult’s 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration offshore wind turbine. BladeBUG is said to represent cost reductions of as much as 30% on lifetime blade maintenance undertaken by rope-access technicians. ORE Catapult has forecasted that for nextgeneration turbines, these savings could reach up to 50%. Maintenance costs have long been an area of particular concern for offshore companies, with faster tip speeds and sea conditions combining to create significant damage to blades over time. The BladeBUG robot is a £1 million (€1.12 million) collaborative project, funded in part by Innovate UK. The aim is to develop a robot capable of inspecting wind turbine blades for cracks and other damage, transmitting the data back to shore and resurfacing the blades, by the end of next year. This was the first time BladeBUG was tested in real-world conditions, having previously been

demonstrated on the vertical training tower at ORE Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth. The walk has proven the six-legged robot’s ability to carry out lengthy deployments. The demonstration saw the robot take a 50-metre walk on a vertically-positioned blade. The trial showed the BladeBUG’s ‘perfect’ vacuumpacked feet adherence to the turbine blades in offshore conditions, as well as its ability to navigate the curves of the blade, and transmit blade scans and a video feed to the technicians onshore. ORE Catapult operational performance director, Chris Hill, hailed BladeBUG’s technology was a ‘potential game-changer’. “I consider BladeBUG’s first walk at Levenmouth as offshore wind’s ‘moon walk’ – a historic milestone in the industry’s evolution. Robotics are here to stay, and they will be an essential ingredient to operating ever-expanding wind farms, deeper-water sites and faster, bigger turbines in the coming years,” said Hill. BladeBUG CEO Chris Cieslak said: “In little over a year we have gone from designing and testing our first prototype, to taking our first

tentative steps with our Mark I robot, to now seeing the BladeBUG robot walk along the blade of an actual offshore wind turbine. We cannot wait to perform further trials and demonstrate the capabilities further offshore.” BladeBUG is a key part of the £4.2 million (€4.68 million) MIMRee project, the goal of which is to develop a fully autonomous inspect-and-repair system for offshore wind farms. The robot will work together with an autonomous vessel and a team of drones, using a robotic arm to clean and resurface damaged blades. The final MIMRee tech trials are scheduled to take place in mid-2021. Learn more at: www.bladebug.co.uk

KLM & TU Delft’s Flying-V Future Plane Takes First Test Flight A rendering of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ Flying-V aircraft. Photo: Edwin Wallet, KLM

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scale model of the Flying-V, a new aircraft design that Dutch national carrier KLM hopes could revolutionise air travel, took its first successful test flight earlier this week in the skies above Germany. Developed after two years of collaboration between engineers from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and KLM, the Flying-V integrates several formerly separate parts of a traditional

aircraft in its one piece fuselage and wing structure including the cargo hold, passenger cabin and fuel tanks, forming a V-shape. The improved aerodynamic design enables it to use present infrastructure at airports, such as runways and cabins, whilst burning 20% less fuel than today’s most advanced aircraft, the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. For the test flight, the team built a scale model of the Flying-V, three metres in width and weighing 22.5 kg, which required the pilot to take-off, perform a number of test manoeuvres until the battery was almost empty, and then land. In a statement, project leader Dr. Roelof Vos said: “One of our worries was that the aircraft might have some difficulty lifting-off, since previous calculations had shown that ‘rotation’ could be an issue. The team optimised the scaled flight model to prevent the issue but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You need to fly to know for sure.” The statement also added that the model was able to take off easily after it reached 80 km per hour, but there was still more work to be done on the landing, which it described as “slightly rough”. The Flying-V’s design requires it to land in a similar fashion to the Concorde, with its nose high, which means the landing gear needs to be extra long. The team at Delft University aim to make air travel more sustainable and are also looking at ways in which fully electric and hybrid propulsion systems could be utilised to lower carbon emissions. Visit: www.klm.com Industry Europe 21


Setting the standard for production machinery New orders from Russia this year confirm the position of Germany’s OLBRICH as the market leader in machinery for the production of wallpaper, floor coverings, films and technical textiles.

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the beginning of 2020, OLBRICH GmbH, the specialist in machinery for the production of wallpaper, floor coverings, films/foils and technical textiles received an order from ARTEKS, one of the leading manufacturers of wallpaper in Russia. Arteks, which is based in St Petersburg, already operates five Olbrich lines for the production of modern wallpaper. The sixth coating and printing line was ordered to enable the company to increase its annual production volume to up to 24 million rolls. The new order includes a 10-colour screen/gravure-printing line with a production speed of 50 to 70 m/min. A register embossing machine 22 Industry Europe

and an additional scatter coating for special surface effects round off the new wallpaper line. The standard working width is 1,200 mm. The new production line has now been delivered and put into operation. For over 70 years Olbrich has been setting standards in the wallcoverings industry with its innovative production facilities. This continuous innovation has made it the largest supplier of machines for this particular industry today. In the last twelve years alone, its engineers and process specialists have implemented hundreds of projects - including more than 60 combined printing systems for the pan-European wallcoverings industry.


Automation, Robotics & AI

Floor coverings line This year Olbrich also completed an order from another Russian company - a leading manufacturer of floor coverings. This challenging project was to deliver a new coating and laminating line for the production of heterogeneous floor coverings with a working width of up to 4,100 mm. For the first time, a new process technology, which Olbrich developed exclusively together with this customer, was used for this customer-specific line. In total, up to 30 million m²/year of heterogeneous floor covering can now be produced on the line at production speeds of up to 30 m/min. Despite the current COVID19 conditions and restrictions, Olbrich was able to complete the order for the new complete line on schedule. Due to the travel and hygiene restrictions, however, only one Olbrich employee was actually on site during the commissioning but the company’s specialists were present during the acceptance runs and were also available, throughout the project, in virtual meetings, telephone conferences and live online support.

It is this kind of close cooperation with its customers in the floor coverings industry that has gained Olbrich such a world-wide reputation. Its machinery experts implement systems for each of a customer’s process steps, from multi-layer product construction through surface finishing to the winding or packing of ready-to-sell floor covering rolls or tiles.

Seventy years of innovation OLBRICH GmbH is a leading manufacturer of customized designed and manufactured production equipment for coating and laminating lines as well as single machines. OLBRICH serves the wallcovering, flooring and technical textiles industries and also the paper, film and foil converting industry in Europe and worldwide. It has been operating successfully on the market since 1949 and is now, together with Polytype Converting GmbH and R+S Technik GmbH, part of the OLBRICH Group Olbrich’s mechanical engineering specialists have constantly been dealing with the latest technical solutions from the most diverse

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Automation, Robotics & AI

applications. Today more than 900 employees belong to OLBRICH GmbH, which has its headquarters in Bocholt, Germany and further locations in Holoubkov, Czech Republic and Jiangyin, China. Its highly qualified employees and engineers are able to deliver the best possible technological solutions for its customers’ projects as well as support from its own technical centre and an international network of service and sales partners. The company’s technical centres in Germany and Switzerland and five different pilot plants drive the company’s innovations. They provide proven knowledge on planned investments under production conditions and are the perfect complement for the engineering competence offered by Olbrich. Today, many hundreds of customers on all continents produce wallpaper, floor coverings, films/foils and technical textiles with OLBRICH reliable plants and machines.

A defect-free surface finish and high-precision registration controls are special features of Olbrich printing and coating systems. Its machines offer flexible coating units for forward and reverse operation, direct and indirect coating as well as trolley systems for fast product changes with the shortest possible changeover times. In addition, powerful and economical intermediate ovens and main dryers ensure high system speeds for high-quality results. Thanks to Olbrich state-of-the-art machine concepts, it is today the market n leader in the field of lacquering lines for automotive films.

Coating systems At the end of 2019, Olbrich received a contract for a lacquering line from a well-known German producer of panel-shaped materials for facades. It is supplying state-of-the-art technology for the production line including drives & controls and complete Scada system. The new line is characterised by the implementation of a roll-coating system and is used for one-sided coating of special papers. In addition, the line includes Olbrich’s highly effective CTS-TP nozzles, which are a unique selling point in the market and have meanwhile established themselves worldwide as the benchmark in drying technology. The working width is up to 2,200 mm and on-site production will run continuously. The production capacity of this coating line will be up to 12 million square meters per year. Industry Europe 25


Rethinking

Motorhomes With new upgrades to its most successful models and the resources of a global group behind it, Niesmann+Bischoff is targeting an ever-wider market for high-end motorhomes

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the autumn of 2020, Niesmann+Bischoff, the German specialist in luxury motorhomes, launched the latest version of its Smove, the ground-breaking compact model that made headlines when it was first introduced in 2016 for combining the comfort of a top-class motorhome and the driving dynamics of a saloon car. The new iSmove is aimed at a new, younger target group wanting to enter the world of premium motorhoming with a standard driver’s licence. To provide premium quality in a vehicle with a weight of less than 3.5 tonnes without compromising in terms of space, 26 Industry Europe

it was necessary, says Niesmann+Bischoff, to rethink the entire motorhome. Everything had to be called into question. The key to the new iSmove concept is an interior space design and a multitude of features that are usually only found in the heavy-weight class of 7.5 tonnes. Clear lines of sight through the entire vehicle and natural acoustics provided by felt-lined interior walls create an entirely new sense of space. An innovative lighting concept with modern glass panels to control the spotlights in the dark anthracite ceiling provides an exceptional feel-good atmosphere in the evening.


Automotive & Heavy Vehicles

To make optimal use of the existing space, Niesmann+Bischoff came up with seven completely new ideas . These include an electrically operated lifting kitchen shelf, a rotating belted bench seat, a lifting bed that completely disappears in the ceiling and a sliding mechanism that doubles the usable space for the shower and toilet. Hubert Brandl, Managing Director of Niesmann+Bischoff says, “Smaller exterior, bigger interior. Less weight with everything and more inside. You might say a little less more. With the new iSmove, we have maximised premium quality by focusing on the essentials with a host of clever features. The result is a new motorhome for a new generation of customers who want to make the most out of every moment of their lives.”

Combining strengths Based in Polch in Rhineland-Palatinate, Niesmann+Bischoff operates from a plant which serves as its headquarters and its production factory and employs some 250 people. Since 1996 it has been a subsidiary of the Erwin Hymer Group The Erwin Hymer Group is one of the premier manufacturers of recreational vehicles in a growing European market. Headquartered in Bad Waldsee, Germany, it has 20 brands, a strong reputation for investing in product innovation and a dedication to providing exceptional customer value. EHG sells through a worldwide network of more than 1,200 retail dealerships and employs more than 7,300 dedicated team members globally. Its product portfolio spans all major RV categories and price points, from lightweight travel trailers to high-end motorhomes. In 2018, the Erwin Hymer Group became part of Indiana-based Thor Industries Inc. The combination has created the world’s largest recreational vehicle manufacturer, with leading positions in North America and Europe.

Face to face comfort For many years, the most popular model in the Niesmann+Bischoff range has been the Arto. Now adding half a metre to the Arto 77E model has resulted in the 8.34 metres of the new twin-axle Arto 82 E, which boasts features such as an additional wardrobe for more storage space, an extendable living area table, and a solid sliding door separating the bedroom from the bathroom, which also features a wardrobe. The new Arto 82 E as well as the Arto 77 E and the seven Arto layouts -78 F, 85 E, 88 E, 88 EK and 88 LF - belong to “Generation 2020”, which are also available with the new “face-to-face” interior layout. In this living area variant, the kitchen and sofa form a straight line behind the driver. The opposite side features a bench, which is also available with an optional fourth seat. Hubert Brandl said: “In our new face-to-face variant, generosity meets up with comfort. Travellers can enjoy the additional space and Industry Europe 27



Automotive & Heavy Vehicles

room to move in the front portion of the motorhome – making it ideal for travelling couples.” The enlarged floor area also gives an accompanying dog enough space to stretch out all four legs. In the new 2020 model year, all of the Arto and Smove layouts will be equipped with Fiat chassis and engines according to the emission standard Euro 6d-Temp. 140 PS are standard with the option of 160 or 180 PS, respectively.

Advanced technology From 2020, the Niesmann+Bischoff Arto and Smove range will feature a nine-speed automatic transmission. With the new automatic transmission, which has been available on the Flair range

for more than four years now, the gear shift is even smoother than ever before. Keeping an eye on the RPM is a thing of the past. “The integration of an automatic transmission significantly increases the driving comfort of both the Arto and Smove. During the smooth, stepless gear ratio changes, the traction is not interrupted, which reduces fuel consumption”, said Hubert Brandl. The new nine-speed automatic transmission is available as an optional extra. It will replace the automatic transmission from Fiat, which the company has removed from their range. Also new is the Niesmann+Bischoff Lithium Energy Package which offers cutting-edge energy supply technology. Two solar modules with 250 watts (upgradable to max. 500 watts) are fitted on the roof with a MPPT solar controller (Maximum Power Point Tracking) for optimal energy supply even when it is cloudy. The modules provide increased stability thanks to an integrated aluminium panel and 80 per cent less weight compared to conventional framed glass modules. The system features three lithium batteries with 300 Ah (3 x 100 Ah = 285 Ah useable capacity), a combi charger with inverter (from 12 V to 230 V) with 3,000 W continuous output, a charging booster, battery monitor and battery management display.

Industry Europe 29


Keeping the world in motion

Nord Motoriduttori makes power transmission products, manufactured on-site to industrial customers across Italy as well as supplying its German parent company with components for its worldwide operations

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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles

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ord Motoriduttori was founded in 1987 as the Italian subsidiary of Getriebebau NORD, the world-leading manufacturer of drive technology. Originally established as a sales office, the company now produces electric motors and gearboxes for the Italian market as well as for other branches of NORD all over the world. Its state-of-the art plant in San Giovanni in Persiceto, near Bologna, currently employs about 220 people. On-site production of the entire range of Nord Drive Systems products, such as gearboxes, geared motors, electric motors, and frequency converters, ensures faster delivery terms and a complete aftersales service to customers across the Italian market. Nord Motoriduttori retains a closeness to customers and offers support whenever needed, and also solves the most complex needs in power transmission.

Drive technology leader Getriebebau NORD (Nord Drive Systems) is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of drive technology – for both mechanical and electronic solutions. Founded in 1965 and now headquartered at Bargteheide, near Hamburg, its range of products includes geared motors, motors, industrial gear units, frequency inverters, motor starters and frequency inverters for decentralised drive control. The Bargteheide facility houses a technology centre, a final assembly plant, a logistic

centre and the group administration offices. Several more production facilities are grouped around the site in northern Germany Today, Nord Drive Systems is putting thing in motion throughout the world. Its powerful solutions drive huge cranes in harbour facilities, retractable roofs in sports stadiums, luggage conveyor belts in airports and ski lifts. Its products embody an innovative combination of compact mechanics and intelligent electronics. It markets and produces a complete product line of mechanical and electronic drive components including gear reducers, motors, frequency inverters and servo controllers. With over 60 assembly works and service support locations in all the important industrial nations, Nord Drive Systems can ensure constant closeness to the customer and smooth cooperation on location. It is able to combine the know-how and competence of a global player with the knowledge of the country and culture of its regional partners. Whether in Bargteheide, Beijing or Budapest, Nord Drive Systems can put the world in motion for all its customers across many industries.

On the high seas Nord Drive Systems has recently supplied geared motors for a fish meal production system on a factory trawler in Germany’s deep-sea fishing fleet.

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Automotive & Heavy Vehicles

The Hedinn Protein Plant (HPP) operates 24/7 and processes up to 50 tonnes of raw material every day. During a tour, as much as 1,000 tonnes of fish is caught. Some of the process stages require the use of screw conveyors, dryers, and pumps. These are driven by bevel geared and parallel shaft geared motors from Nord Drive Systems. During the long weeks at sea, it is important to have a reliable system on board to avoid production losses. However, if there is a problem, spare parts must be quickly available and a global customer service must be ensured. Nord Drive Systems is present throughout the world and never too far from the ship, wherever it may be. A special 24-hour service also ensures that even a completely assembled geared motor is available as a replacement within a very short time

Giving a great performance Another recent application of Nord Drive Systems expertise has been in the modernisation the stage technology of the Theatre aan het Spui located in the centre of The Hague, in the Netherlands. The entire overhead machinery with all traverses, lighting bridges and pulling equipment had to be installed at a minimum space below the ceiling. All the equipment was replaced with a new construction - the drive system was modernised and the electronics were brought up-to-date. Three moving gantries, twelve scenery hoists as well as several chain hoists ensure maximum flexibility and enable scenery, curtains, decorations, stage elements, lighting, and sound equipment to be moved to any point in the auditorium.

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NORD has supplied three different geared motor types for the Theatre aan het Spui: two-stage NORDBLOC.1 helical in-line gear units with powers of 0.75 kW and two-stage parallel shaft gear units with 2.2 kW as well as 4 kW power ratings. Helical in-line gear units are used for all horizontal movements and parallel shaft gear units for vertical. The drive technology’s main advantage in this instance is the compact design.

Meeting future needs In the last year, Nord Drive Systems has extended its capacities in China and at its U.S. site in Waunakee, Wisconsin. Motor production has also been considerably extended with the completion of a new motor factory in Poland. Meanwhile at the Bargteheide site, a new automated small parts store is being built. By competitively expanding its product portfolio, NORD has kept itself abreast with new developments such as Industry 4.0 and the energy transition. One of these new solutions is the NORDAC PRO SK 500P. This represents a milestone in frequency inverter innovation, offering ultimate functionality, connectivity, and modularity. In addition to improved characteristics and performance features. The new inverter generation uses the proven NORDAC parameter structure and is physically and functionally downward compatible. A new IE5+ synchronous motor with a significant higher energy efficiency also supplements the electric motor range. In particular, it can be used for baggage handling, intralogistics and in the post & n parcel sector.


Construction & ENGINEERING

The experts in raw materials handling In 2019, Germany’s AZO Group celebrated 70 years of industry-leading innovation in the automated handling of solid and liquid raw materials. Now it is pioneering the digital transformation of its business

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ast year, Germany’s AZO Group, the world leader in automated systems for handling of raw materials, announced the merger of its subsidiary company Azo Controls with Azo GmbH KG “This is an important milestone for the AZO Group on the path to digital transformation,” the company explained. “With the benefit of leaner organisational structures, we will be able to improve the efficiency of work processes across all departments, including those in engineering. It will enable us to further boost productivity and the standard of service. “We believe that this is the right time and the right way to broaden AZO’s scope to meet the needs of our customers and to face the challenges of the future. A mechatronic approach necessitates closer integration between process engineering and control systems in order to improve the efficiency and productivity of our plants even further. We welcome the challenge of digital transformation, with the goal of creating real added value for our customers.”

Anniversary celebrations Later the same year AZO celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding in 1949, when Adolf Zimmermann began building flour mills in a former sheep-pen in Osterburken. Since his development of the Pyramidal grain cleaning machine and the Triumph centrifugal flour sifting machines in the 1950s, AZO has assumed a pioneering role in the automation of raw materials and processes in the food, pharmaceuticals, plastics and chemicals sectors. It has initiated game-changing developments in the handling of bulk materials, in pneumatic conveying systems and in automatic mixer feeding.

The company’s Open House celebrations in September saw its premises transformed into a huge festival area where more than 7000 visitors filled the Osterburken facility, a space where forklifts and trucks usually operate. The electrical production, the customer centre, the bulk materials laboratory, the assembly hall, the sheet metal centre and the production centre were all open to visitors. Using the legendary AZO cyclone screener, a journey through time was presented from the founding of the company up until today. The control technology also looked back on the beginnings of automation with a time travel consisting of pictures and hardware. The comparison between a technical drawing on the drawing board and the digital 3D VR glasses, through which visitors could run through complete AZO systems in virtual reality, also showed the huge development in 70 years of company history.

All from a single source Today the AZO Group is one of the world’s most experienced companies in the automated handling of raw materials. With more than 1000 employees, it delivers solutions for production processes in the food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, chemicals and plastics sectors. The company’s engineers are experts in the physical analysis of raw materials, engineering, process engineering, plant engineering, control engineering and automation, and digitalisation. With four plants in Germany and operations in France, Belgium, Russia, USA, China and Thailand, AZO’s capabilities range from engineering and the supply of individual components to the construction of complete turnkey plants, automation, installation and comprehensive after-sales service Industry Europe 33


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Construction & ENGINEERING

Its customers are thus able to get everything from a single source – from individual components for storage, discharge, screening, conveying, dosing and weighing of raw materials, through pneumatic conveying systems, screeners and bulk containers, to innovative systems for dispersion, mixing and homogenisation of liquid and semi-solid products, right through to turnkey solutions.

Unmatched expertise AZO’s expertise begins with the physical analysis of raw materials. Each raw material has its own unique properties. And even the same raw material can behave completely differently in different locations and under different circumstances. Solid knowledge about the properties of the products being processed and a wealth of experience in data evaluation and linkage are therefore much sought after when it comes to designing plants for the automation and logistics of raw materials. For decades, AZO has been analysing the different raw materials in its bulk solids laboratory and recording all the relevant data for automated handling in an extensive database. Since no one project is the same as another, AZO offers customised solutions. It supports its customers in pre-engineering,

planning new plants and in the expansion and refurbishment of existing plants. It conducts feasibility studies and works on viable proofs of concept to arrive at the optimum solution for any project.

Smart solutions From consulting to implementation, from sensor technology to the commercial production planning phase, AZO’s plant engineering, process engineering and automation dovetail seamlessly to create reliable, comprehensive solutions with no interfaces and yet the utmost in connectivity. Starting with the creation of a digital twin via simulation and virtual reality, AZO can also build up a digital map of a customer’s plant that can be accessed virtually before the physical manufacturing begins. Thanks to data recording, visualisation and analysis, it also adds value to any production system during the operating phase. Smart data, a spare parts platform and augmented reality n are integral components of the AZO offer.

For more information, visit: www.azo.com

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Hungary’s cab specialist With its advanced manufacturing technology and capacity to expand production, Hungary’s Agrikon Kam is looking to rapid growth in its European markets

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GRIKON KAM Kft was established in Hungary in 1993 when its predecessor company, the state-owned Mezőgép, was privatised. Since the 1970s the factory has been producing cabs for Claas harvesters and this business has since been developed to include specialised cabs for a diverse range of applications and international customers. Today AGRIKON KAM is focused on the complete or partial assembly of cabs for combine harvesters, forage harvesters, trac-

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tors as well as cabins for construction machines such as grapples, telescopic loaders, road rollers, wheel loaders. It also produces welded and partially mounted main units for these machines, such as inclined bearing structures, various ancillary structures and other welded assembled and painted components. AGRIKON’s manufacturing site at Kiskunmajsa covers around 70,000 square metres, of which 36,000 square metres is built-on. In addition to this, AGRIKON has a 60,000 square metres of free


Construction & ENGINEERING

industrial area that can be used for any development purpose. The current operation produces some 25,000 units a year but the facility is capable of producing as many as 40-45,000 cabs or cab units a year, giving it a huge potential to expand production for new customers. Today Agrikon’s international business has grown to include the supply of cabins and other components to Claas production operations in Hungary, Germany and France. It also supplies cabs to JLG in Belgium, Zetorand and Ammann in the Czech Republic, Zao Argrotechmash in Russia, Kramer, Hako, Multicar and Terex in Germany as well as to Liebherr in Austria.

Advanced manufacturing With more than 50 years’ experience of specialised cab manufacturing, Agrikon Kam has developed an integrated manufacturing

process that uses state-of-the-art technology to carry out almost every step of the cab manufacturing process in-house. The production process today begins with the manufacturing of parts from steel base materials with laser machines for sheet and tube and profile cutting. The parts are then welded in various welding positions, welding lines, special welding machines and welding robots. The plant’s 14 welding robots range from flat pre-welded units to full cabinet welding. Surface treatment of welded components is provided by various painting equipment (e.g. cataphoretic primer-painting line (KTL), plastic powder coating, wet finish paint lines). The painted cabs are then assembled in strips in the state-ofthe-art 6,200 square metre assembly hall. Agrikon Kam also operates a state-of-art range of measuring machines. A brand-new measuring room houses 3D measuring machines and scanners that enable complete cabin frames to be

Industry Europe 37


measured with total accuracy. Other equipment includes a vibration testing meter, electric test equipment and a, water tightness test cabin. The paint quality of components is tested for its resistance to salt spray and many other environmental impacts. After packaging, the complete products are shipped from the company site by truck or by direct rail transport from the factory’s own rail siding. All Agrikon manufacturing processes employ the latest manufacturing technology to ensure the company’s competitiveness. A 10-million euros investment programme in recent years has seen the introduction of laser machines, program-controlled bending machines, advanced welding machines, welding robots, advanced

38 Industry Europe

painting lines, and advanced assembly plant and measuring technology, The investments have also included Pro Engineer, CREO 2 and CATIA V5 design software. All of this is complemented by the in-house logistics process, which guarantees the highest quality of customer service.

New measurement technology A recent development in Agrikon’s critical metrology capabilities has been the introduction of the Creaform HandyPROBE optical measurement system. “Throughout our production process we need to carry out measurements in a huge range, from small parts with mm dimensions


Construction & ENGINEERING

to the assembled cabs and complex welded structures,” explained an Agrikon Quality Controller. “For this purpose, we were searching for a solution that is easy and fast to operate and can be deployed directly on the shop floor without building a separate measurement room. Having considered all the possibilities, we chose the Creaform HandyPROBE optical measurement system.” HandyPROBE is an innovative dual camera optical measurement system that eliminates the disadvantages of probes and their physical connections and is therefore able to carry out any measurement tasks quickly and easily. Thanks to the dynamic reference, both the camera and the workpiece can be moved

without recalibration during the measurement process, which in turn shortens the measurement time considerably. This enables Agrikon engineers to move the system freely and walk around the long, welded structures without any of the restrictions associated with stationary devices. In the last ten years Agrikon has become one of the most significant driver’s cabin manufacturers in Europe. It currently has the largest production capacities in its field in the whole of eastern and central Europe. The management believes that its proven capabilities and its installed capacity now offer the opportunity to expand annual producn tion to meet the needs of new customers throughout Europe.

Industry Europe 39


Constant innovation keeps Komatsu Italia at the leading edge of construction equipment technology

The Future Today

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Construction & ENGINEERING

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omatsu Italia Manufacturing S.p.A. is a leading designer and manufacturer of construction equipment for the European market. Its products include small and medium-sized hydraulic excavators, mini excavators, medium-sized wheeled hydraulic excavators, backhoe loaders and skid steer loaders. The company is the Italian arm of Komatsu Ltd, the Japanese corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, that is a world leader in equipment for the mining and construction sectors. Komatsu’s interest in Italy goes back to its 1991 investment in the Italian company FAI, which became a wholly-owned company in the Komatsu

Group in 1996. Today Komatsu Italia operates from a 95,000 square metre facility in Este, in the Veneto region of northern Italy and currently produces some 4,100 units a year. The company plays a key role in the operations of Komatsu Europe International n.v., which is headquartered at Vilvoode in Belgium.

Versatile and user-friendly With operating weights from 1 to 5.3 tonnes Komatsu’s mini excavators are remarkably versatile. Compact, light, and very powerful they work anywhere, particularly in tight spaces.

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Komatsu skid steer loaders feature operating loads ranging from 500 kg to 900 kg. They display an impressive digging force and lifting capacity and are perfectly suited for a large variety of jobs. A powerful and compact Komatsu engine ensures low fuel consumption and exhausts emissions. Komatsu wheeled midi-excavators are the perfect compromise between the compactness and manoeuvrability of mini-excavators and the power of larger earthmoving machines. With a long tradition of quality and experience in the worldwide industry of backhoe loaders, Komatsu aims to set new bench-

42 Industry Europe

marks for this market. Its range of two- and four-wheel steering machines offer optimisation of the operator’s work environment, state-of-the-art technical solutions, and a wide choice of optional equipment and configurations.

New products every year In July 2020, Komatsu Europe launched the new WA800-8 wheel loader. Designed for maximum operating comfort, the WA800-8 comes with many interesting features, including a Modulation Clutch and Variable Traction Control, an Auto Kick Down and an RPM set. Combined


Construction & ENGINEERING

with Komatsu’s redesigned extra-large 11,5 m³ bucket and its optimised maximum fill factor, the WA800-8 offers superior efficiency. Komatsu says that the all-new WA800-8 rewrites the rules for stability, giving the operator a safe and comfortable work environment. With a 115 tonnes operating weight, the WA800-8 allows for 20,700 kg rated load capacity in a standard boom configuration. Another new product in 2020 is the PW158-11 wheeled excavator. Tipping the scales at an impressive 16 tonnes, the all new PW158-11 short-tail excavator offers all of the unrivalled versatility and innovation of the Komatsu PW-11 range - extraordinary comfort, intelligent safety features, exceptional ergonomics, superb productivity, factory-installed Quick Couplers, and the highest levels of standard specifications ever seen in an excavator. It also delivers great lifting capacity in a highly compact package. Designed and developed in Europe, the PW158-11 taps into 100 years of Komatsu development and manufacturing know-how to deliver a product built exclusively for European customers. Komatsu’s new 112 tonnes D475A-8 crawler dozer was also launched this year. Its powerful and economical Komatsu engine integrates the latest emission control technologies and fuel-saving features. Increased engine power provides faster reverse climbing speed, lower cycle times and a drastic increase in productivity. Gregory Peeters, Product Manager at Komatsu Europe, says: “The new D475A-8 was designed with the operator in mind, to easily enable the full use of the increased engine power and to safely and comfortably improve productivity. It’s a safe, fast and powerful addition to any customer’s fleet”. Standard features can be activated by the operator for comfortable operations and high productivity. The variable giant ripper is ideal for digging through tough material. The Auto Downshift function, reverse slow mode or Track shoe slip control mode are all easily available and can be quickly cancelled. The K-Bogie

undercarriage system increases the length of track on ground to improve machine stability and traction. The latest KOMTRAX and KOMTRAX Plus telematics, and the Komatsu Care maintenance programme offer top fleet management and support, protect the D475A-8 against misuse and guarantee maximum efficiency and uptime.

A tradition of innovation Constant innovation is at the heart of all Komatsu’s product development programmes. Back in 2013, the company created a revolution in the industry with the launch of its first D61EXi/PXi-23 “Intelligent Machine Control” dozer. This signalled a dramatic change in traditional construction concepts - and significantly improved efficiency across the entire construction site. Komatsu’s proven intelligent Machine Control concept has now penetrated markets worldwide. Thousands of operators and owners enjoy the safety and precision of Komatsu’s exclusive technology, factory fitted on both dozers and excavators, and the outstanding improvement in productivity it brings to the jobsite. Komatsu is also pioneering advances in hybrid technology for construction machinery. Its unique hybrid system harnesses free kinetic energy, converts it to electricity for a powerful and quiet performance and helps to reduce the carbon footprint and fuel consumption by up to 40 per cent. Komatsu Hybrid excavators feature a unique 100 per cent electric swing system. All the hydraulic power is freed up for the boom, arm, and bucket movements, with cycle times and productivity greatly improved. The electric swing motor/generator captures and regenerates energy as the upper structure slows down and converts it into electric energy. The captured energy is stored in the ultra-capacitor and used by the generator/motor to assist the engine when it needs to accelerate.

Industry Europe 43


New walls in no-time Norway’s Forestia, the specialist in particle board products for the construction industry, continues to expand its range of easy-to-use and time-saving panels.

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Construction & ENGINEERING

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orestia AS is one of the leading suppliers of particle board in the Nordic region. The company produces particle boards in various thicknesses and sizes for flooring, interior walls, and ceilings. It also supplies particle boards, both foiled and unfoiled, for the furniture industry, and I-Beams. At its 21,000 sq m facility at Braskereidfoss, Norway, Forestia has a production capacity of 300.000 sq m of particle board per year. The ability to adapt has been one of the fundamentals of Forestia’s operations for over 45 years. It has always focused on continuous product development and ensured that quality assurance at all levels is given the highest priority. Today Forestia is able to combine its long experience with very high product quality and excellent logistics systems. Through close cooperation with customers and other partners, it works continuously to further develop products and solutions. Forestia has been part of Norway’s Byggma Group ASA since 2006. With some 670 employees, Byggma ASA is one of the leading suppliers of building materials to building suppliers and chains

in Norway. The group includes well-known companies such as Huntonit, Uldal, Smartpanel, Byggform, Scan Lamps, Aneta and Masonite Beams as well as Forestia.

Extensive product range Forestia’s current product range includes Forestia One-Step Wall, a foil covered, 600mm wide wall panel with lengths between 2390mm and 4200mm. The panel has tongue and groove with a v-joint on the long sides. Forestia One-Step Wall is available in a number of decors. The panels can be used as a cladding material in all buildings where the requirement for reaction to fire performance is D-s2,d0. Forestia One-Step Wall can also be used as ceiling panels, thanks to its long lengths. Walls4You is a high-quality chipboard for walls with top quality stylish pre-applied wallpaper. A wide selection of wallpapers is available. Its Walls2Paint product is a pre-papered wall panel that is ready for painting. There is therefore no need for plastering and finishing and the panels are easy to fit and can be painted in any colour.

Industry Europe 45


Construction & ENGINEERING

Forestia’s One-Step ceiling is a foil-covered panel, profiled on all four sides with tongue and groove and v-joint. The panels can be used in all rooms where there are no requirements for moistureresistant materials. The One-Step ceiling can be washed with any standard non-greasy detergent. The boards are also suitable for the fitting of downlights. Forestia Elitex is a range of extra-strong wall panels specially designed to withstand rough treatment. The melamine-coated panels are suitable

for storerooms, garages, mechanical rooms, farm laundry rooms, dairies, bakehouses or other business activities. They also have a moistureresistant core which has been tried and tested for over 40 years and are now equipped with a locking profile and in a new colour, grey slate. In addition to being robust and suitable for screws, they are also suitable where requirements for hygiene/cleaning are essential.

Click-in sub flooring In 2018 Forestia significantly enhanced its offer to customers with the launch of particle board subfloors with a specially developed version of the 2G locking technology from Välinge, the Swedish pioneer of the concept of glue-less click flooring. The 2G locking system by Välinge is one of the most used and appreciated systems in the world for floating installation of laminate, wood and resilient flooring. However, angling installation of the long side also has a lot of advantages for subfloors. By customizing and adjusting the profile, Välinge has now established the basis for a whole new patent family, thereby allowing the 2G locking technology to develop further “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 handing with our products easier and better for our end-users. Our expertise in raw material, combined with Välinge’s knowledge within locking technologies, made us come up with the best solution for click in loadbearing subflooring”, said Terje Sagbakken, the CEO of Forestia, when the agreement was announced.

Advanced packaging system Today Forestia’s products are delivered to its customers in state-ofthe-art packaging thanks to a project undertaken two years ago with Goldpack, the Slovenian leader in advanced packaging solutions. The two million Euros packaging system line is designed to pack the wooden panels onto pallets. The capacity of the line is extremely high and is one of the most developed packaging system lines in wood industry in Europe. The system line is made up of multiple manipulators for packing and unpacking, foil packaging machines, robotic arms as well as stretch wrapping machines. Every single component of the line is connected to the transport systems of rollers, chains and tracks. As a leading manufacturer in producing packaging systems for the wood industry worldwide, Goldpack can ensure that client support is constantly available and that its machines have the option of conn stant software upgrades as systems technology develops. 46 Industry Europe


Energy & Utilities

Still burning brightly Italy’s Sabaf, a global leader in components for household cooking appliances, continues to see strong growth even in the current market conditions

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espite the difficult circumstances experienced across European industry during the pandemic, Italy’s Sabaf Group has been able to announce revenues for the third quarter of 2020 of €47.2 million, 16.8 per cent higher than €40.4 million of the third quarter of 2019. In the first nine months of the year, preliminary sales revenues totalled €125.4 million, up by 8.8 per cent over the same period of

2019. This performance reflects the company’s success in launching new gas burner supplies to strategic customers on a global scale and marks the peak of a design and industrialisation strategy that has been implemented at the Group in the last two years,. In 2019, the Group invested €10.5 million to acquire 68.5 per cent of the Italian company C.M.I. s.r.l., one of the main players in the design, production, and sale of hinges for household appliances

Industry Europe 47


(mainly for dishwashers and ovens). The acquisition of C.M.I. s.r.l. has allowed the Sabaf Group to achieve a leadership position on a global scale in the hinges sector, making it a reference partner in this sector for all manufacturers of household appliances. Over the last year the Sabaf Group also carried out organic investments of €12 million mainly aimed at increasing and automating the production capacity for special burners and the manufacturing of machinery and moulds for new burners.

Worldwide market Founded in 1950 in Lumezzane, Brescia, originally for production of brass taps for the farming industry, Sabaf S.p.A. is today a company that produces components for household cooking appliances for customers worldwide. It has more than 650 employees and five manufacturing sites in Italy, Brazil, Turkey, and China. The company’s core production is of taps, thermostats, and burners for gas appliances. In 2015, it opened a new production plant in Kunshan, Jiangsu, in China, to produce burners for the Chinese market, and the following year, it acquired a controlling stake in ARC

48 Industry Europe

Srl, a leader in the manufacture of burners for professional cooking, allowing Sabaf to enter a new market related to its traditional sector Sabaf continued to expand its product range with the 2018 acquisition of Okida Elektronik, a Turkish company specialising in the design, manufacture and sale of electronic control boards, timers, display and power supply units for ovens, kitchen hoods, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, and freezers. Sabaf invests about 3 per cent of its annual turnover in research and development. A large part of this investment is in the design and development of new safer components that help to reduce atmospheric pollution and to save energy both during their production and their use by the final user. The strong vertical integration of its production plants enables the company to manufacture much of the machinery it uses to produce and assemble its products, delivering maximum optimisation in both processes.

Rewarding excellence In May 2019, SABAF received the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Italia 2019 award The award, now in its second edition in Italy, was established by Deloitte in Canada in 1993 and since then has been awarded to over 1,200 companies worldwide, establishing itself as a brand of excellence in business organisation. Pietro Iotti, Sabaf CEO, said at the time: “The award given by Deloitte is particularly satisfying because it is the result of an overall survey of our company based not only on numerical parameters, but also on the analysis of the strategy, the governance model and the involvement of all categories of stakeholders. This award is for the work of the entire organisation, encouraging us to continue along the path of growth that we have outlined.”


Energy & Utilities

A complete service Sabaf has been designing and manufacturing a wide range of taps and thermostats for gas cooking for over 60 years. The taps, which can be made in brass or extruded aluminium alloy, are used in free-standing cookers or in built-in hobs and are available with and without flame failure devices. Sabaf taps can be fitted with microswitches to light the burners or for additional functions. Sabaf gas thermostats are used in free-standing cookers and built-in ovens and are available in one- or two-way versions (to power the oven and grill burners). To meet the multiple market requests and culinary traditions of countries all over the world, Sabaf has also developed new models of gas cooker burners, which differ in power and distribution of the flame. Production takes place in highly advanced plants with the latest generation robotic casting working centres, making possible the combination of very large production volumes with a very high level of product quality. Through its Turkish subsidiary OKIDA Elektronik, Sabaf also supplies electronic control boards, timers, display and power supply units for ovens, kitchen hoods, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators and freezers.

Crucial to its growth strategy has been its ability to meet the needs of the many global appliance manufacturers who, for reasons of internal efficiency, stopped their own production of gas components and looked for collaborations and co-design relations with specialized companies capable of producing components of high quality and reliability. Thanks to this development in the worldwide supply chain, Sabaf has been able to ensure that its technology is recognised as stateof-the-art by the largest international manufacturers, as well as by n the most important companies in its domestic market of Italy.

A technology leader Sabaf is acknowledged in the appliance component industry as being an undisputed technological leader at a worldwide level. Its capacity for technological innovation, of both the products and the machinery to manufacture and assemble them, is a distinctive characteristic of the group. Thanks to the choices and investments made, both in the development of technology and in innovative products, the company has been able to anticipate in time the evolution of global demand, offering increasingly safe and efficient products.

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Tradition and technology for the finest tastes Seventy years after it began making gelato in an ice cream parlour near Florence, Sammontana Italia is still winning awards for its high-quality products

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Food and Beverage

In

2018, Sammontana Italia, the leading producer of ice cream in Italy, was awarded “Product of the Year 2018” for its new Amando ice cream. A full-flavoured lactose-free ice cream based on almond milk, Amondo encompasses all of Sammontana’s experience and ability to innovate and meet evolving consumer demands. An all-Italian novelty from the company that had already in 2017 been awarded recognition for its NonBitere stick, Amando’s secret is almond - a natural ingredient, which is rich in vitamins, minerals and vegetable proteins, with energising and antioxidant properties. It is, the company claims, a product that perfectly incorporates the vital work that the Sammontana Research and Development department carries out every day. A new taste experience that meets the nutritional needs of consumers without forgetting the goodness and the luxurious taste of the product.

Seventy years of Italian quality The story of Sammontana began with an artisanal ice-cream parlour in the suburbs of Empoli, a town south-west of Florence, more than 70 years ago. Today Sammontana is the largest Italian gelato company and also leads the field in the busy frozen-desserts sector in Italy. The history of the company has been studded with market successes and achievements in terms of innovation, from Barattolino Sammontana to Stecco Ducale and from Coppa Oro to the Cinque Stelle cone range. In recent years these highly successful lines have been joined by products created specifically for figure-and-healthconscious customers with light natural ingredients, such as Fruttiamo, a product derived 100 per cent from plants which contains lots of delicious fruit, and Amando, the tasty gelato made from dairy-free gluten-free almond milk.

2013 and now houses the latest technology for Sammontana gelato and the Tre Marie pastry production. The Vinci pastry products plant has recently boosted its environmental performance, thanks to a new wastewater treatment plant. And Pomezia, which since 1973 has been the Sammontana Italia factory dedicated to the refined frozen pastry of Tre Marie, is now equipped with two production lines and a technology for packaging in small bags

Leading brands Sammontana’s market leading brands today include Sammontana ice cream, TreMarie, Il Pasticcere, Mongelo frozen pastry products and Bonchef savoury snacks and cakes Tre Marie, the brand born with panettone in a pastry shop in Milan in the late nineteenth century, has been present in bars since the seventies with its frozen croissants. These products offer a daily experience of pleasure that makes breakfast at the bar a unique occasion day after day. Bonchef is a line designed for delicious breaks and tasty lunches, comprising healthy and nutritious vegetables, many types of bread and pizzas and savoury snacks and cakes. The wide range of Bonchef

Continuing investment Sammontana in 2020 remains a wholly owned Italian company, employing more than 1,000 people. Its headquarters are still located in in Empoli and it operates four other production sites, all located in Italy, as well as an avant-garde logistics centre in Montelupo, a commune in Florence metropolitan area. Sammontana’s largest facility, in Empoli, has recently been equipped with a latest generation cone line and an entirely robotic tray line. Its production site in Verona was completely renovated in Industry Europe 51



Food and Beverage

products is characterised by a high service content that offers support to ensure perfect cooking and impeccable preparation.

Committed to a clean environment Sammontana Italia was the first in the ice cream sector to adopt a 4-step strategy aimed at compensating and reducing the Carbon Footprint of the entire life cycle of its main product. This path led, in July 2016, to the signing of a Voluntary Agreement between Sammontana Italia and the Ministry of the Environment for the compensation of the environmental footprint of Barattolino Sammontana, according to the international certification standards provided for by the Agreement. The preparatory phase for the compensation of the Carbon Footprint, i.e. the evaluation along the entire life cycle of the product, has meant an important analysis that Sammontana Italia has carried out in collaboration with the University Consortium of Applied Research (CURA) of the University of Padua. The results

of the evaluation, shared with the Ministry of the Environment, contributed to the definition of a “carbon management” model in the ice cream production sector. The company also believes that educating the new generations the adults of tomorrow - in good practices for the protection of our planet is of primary importance for a greener future. The “Barattolino Scuola Missione Green - A Dream for Tomorrow” project, launched by Sammontana with the first edition in 2017, is a complex program that has the main objective of educating children to take care of the environment, encouraging responsible attitudes aimed at respect and protection of nature. In 2018 Sammontana Italia further extended its environmental projects to the food service and hotel industries’ Horeca programme, selecting some bathing establishments throughout Italy where only ice cream with compensated environmental impact will be sold and consumed. The bathing establishments selected by Sammontana will also enhance their commitment to environmental protection through dedicated equipment, including energy-efficient refrigerators, and will sensitise their guests to the responsible consumption of ice cream through information material. The project started with the selection of six beaches, chosen for the environmental sensitivity demonstrated in carrying out their activities (e.g. separate collection and recycling, low-consumption lighting and on-site self-generation of electricity n with renewable sources such as solar panels).

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OJ Electronics is a leader in energy-efficient control solutions for HVAC and underfloor heating. Today it is focused on developing products with high level functionality and intuitive operation.

Intelligent solutions W

hen the owners of a successful restaurant in Sønderborg, Denmark, recently decided to build an entirely new hotel adjacent to the restaurant, they turned to Denmark’s OJ Electronics for a system to manage the heating and ventilation in the rooms, ensuring that guests get exactly the comfort they need – and that the hotel itself enjoys greatly reduced energy consumption. Thomas Grosen, project manager for all ventilation aspects of Hotel Bella Italia, first suggested that OJ Electronic’s new GreenZone™ system should control the indoor climate of the hotel’s individual rooms. GreenZone™ is a sophisticated VAV (Variable Air Volume) zone control system capable of handling different temperature and comfort settings in up to 125 separate zones per AHU (Air Handling Unit) – while also saving plenty of energy in day-to-day operations. Thomas says: “What we wanted to do at Bella Italia was to create a system that is intelligent, and which saves energy. The intelligent aspects are obvious from the fact that you can access full information about the system and its performance at any time.” 54 Industry Europe

From products to solutions For more than half a century OJ Electronics has been designing and developing electronic controls for underfloor heating and HVAC controls and drives. With its headquarters in Sønderborg, Denmark, the company supplies its products through subsidiaries and sales offices covering the global markets, including offices in the USA, Russia and Poland. In the past, says the company, its business was the production of world class products but today the focus is on the supply of connected solutions that are easy to control from anywhere in the world, whether it is for improved comfort or easier maintenance. Consequently, OJ now defines its vision as all about innovation, or, in its own words, WIN NXT GEN. It is determined to lead in the development of the next generation of HVAC Controls & Drives and electric floor heating thermostats for all its customers. Always meeting the market with new products, always embracing new technology.


Home Appliances, furniture & HVAC

HVAC Controls Today, OJ Electronics’ range of HVAC Controls and Drives include AHU Controls, Fan Solutions and drives for Rotary Heat Exchangers. AHU controls fit perfectly into modular and compact AHU-units and are based on a versatile, modular platform. The controls come preprogramed and are freely configurable. The OJ DV Fan Solutions product range features 13 power variants from 0.5 to 15 kW fitted inside different housing sizes to match any rooftop fan, plug fan, or AHU application and they can be used in the field of industry, indoor climate, data centres, energy solutions, agriculture, transportation and retrofit solutions. OJ’s DRHX drives for rotary heat exchangers combine Modbus {data communication protocol) as well as analogue technology in a flexible design. They have a self-cooling design, which eliminates the need for additional cooling such as fans. The gear-free technology ensures accurate control throughout a wider range of speeds than ever before. A patent-pending sensorless software Industry Europe 55


monitors the rotation of the rotor, which means that no physical/ optical rotor guard is required. This gives a simple efficient solution, with fewer components for an easier installation

Thermostats for Electric Floor Heating OJ’s Microline® WiFi thermostats offer everything you would expect from a smart touchscreen thermostat – intelligent, adaptive controls, intuitive operation and a sleek design. The OJ Microline® apps make it easy for users to organise their thermostats to exactly match their temperature control needs. What is more, detailed information on energy consumption etc. allows users to control the heating to maximise their energy savings. OJ Microline® programmable thermostats are very easy to program, while end users get energy savings and optimum comfort. There is a wide range of options from simple segment or monochrome graphical displays up to advanced full-colour touch displays.

Investing in new test facilities OJ Electronics is currently putting the finishing touches to the latest expansion of the company’s in-house test facilities. Spanning no less than 340m2 of floor space in a building that has been converted for the purpose, the new test area will focus especially on electric drives but will also be used for the testing of other ventilation applications as well as thermostats for electric floor heating. Martin A. Jensen, Senior Quality Manager at OJ Electronics, explains: “We’ll use the facility to conduct a wide range of tests, but we will focus mainly on electric drives, testing them in various applications that echo those of our clients – and use their actual 56 Industry Europe


Home Appliances, furniture & HVAC

products in different combinations. For example, we will install and test set-ups with fans ranging from 500W to 15kW, checking their uses in ventilation units, as rooftop fans for ventilation in houses and agricultural facilities, and rotor applications for heat recovery.’ “It’s quite an investment for us; we’re spending some 80,000 euros on these test facilities,” says Martin Jensen. “But at OJ Electronics, we’ve always prided ourselves on making solutions that reflect our customers’ real life and real applications, and our new test facilities makes it even easier for us to do just that.”

New fan controller for energy renovation projects The latest electric drive in the OJ range of supporting products was created specifically with energy renovation and retrofit projects in mind. “Like so many HVAC controls created by OJ, this was directly prompted by customer demand,” explains Preben Jessen, Product Manager for Drives at OJ Electronics. ”A lot of our customers work with energy renovation and retrofit projects where they want to cut out a single, large fan and replace it with several smaller ones around the system – which also allows them to introduce differentiated control rather than just a simple on-off switch. Systems of that kind are much more energy-efficient than the old set-ups, but of course you’ll need a controller for the new fans. That’s where the new OJ-VCH HMI electric drive controller comes in.” ‘‘Even though it lets you control up to 32 fans, the controller itself is very compact and simple to use,” says Preben. ”You can control the speed of the fans directly, or you can let the fan speed be governed by the flow or pressure in the ventilation system. Similarly, you can control the speed, pressure or flow directly from the 3.5” touch display – or via a 0-10V analogue signal if you prefer. And if you want alarms in the event of system faults, you can

fit a relay option module in just one of the connected drives and select it from the on-screen menu as a shared alarm relay that covers the entire system.” ”At the end of the day, we set out to make a device that would make energy renovation projects simpler. So, we included the features that would make that happen – and left out all the things you don’t need for ventilation projects. That’s the way we at OJ Electronics constantly work to deliver the solutions that meet the n exact needs of all our clients!”

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Focused on global markets Italian EMS leader Bitron is getting closer to its customers by expanding its production facilities across the world

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lobalization and shorter product life cycles require manufacturing companies to work even more closely with their global customers. Strategic alliances, new manufacturing plants in globally strategic locations and a worldwide marketing and sales organization are essential elements in the growth strategies of today’s European enterprises. This is why Bitron, Italy’s leading manufacturer of mechatronic devices and systems, has been expanding its manufacturing 58 Industry Europe

facilities to cover its principal global markets throughout the past decade. Its electronic boards assembly operation in Poland was expanded in 2016 with the opening of a new dedicated electromechanical plant and the following year saw the start-up of a new R&D centre in Romania. In 2017 a new dedicated electronics plant was opened at Bitron de Mexico, a plant that had been producing electronic devices at Queretaro since it was established three years earlier. And, on the


Home Appliances, furniture & HVAC

Industry Europe 59


other side of the world, 2018 saw the further expansion of Bitron’s operations in Qingdao, China, where it has been established since 2004, with the opening of a further manufacturing plant. Today, therefore, Bitron is a company with a truly global presence, comprising: 15 manufacturing plants and development centres, 16 sales & technical centres as well as an after-market centre. Yet it is still a privately held company that has established itself as a leader in the research, development and manufacturing of mechatronic devices and systems for the automotive, appliance, HVAC and energy industries.

Serving the electronics industry With some 2459 highly skilled employees, Bitron manufactures and delivers fully assembled electronic circuit boards (PCBA) using state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technologies. Working with many different customers in different markets, Bitron has developed competences as an ODM, while also providing pure Electronic Manufacturing Services. Bitron Electronics continues to be the core business of the Bitron Group. 36 per cent of its current turnover comes from electronics. For decades Bitron Group has developed PCBs and user interfaces for the Home Appliance as well as the automotive industry. Bitron HVAC Division, the other major part of the Bitron group, is focused on developing and producing components and systems for OEMs in the HVAC market. Recently Bitron also entered the Energy Industry through energy meters sold to a big player in the Italian market. 60 Industry Europe

Expanding product portfolio Bitron is a leading global supplier of mechatronics products for automotive interiors. These include HMI (human machine interface) products able to manage switching, tactile, visual, lighting and acoustic elements in applications such as air bag reminders, steering wheel controls and door & panels switch modules. Bitron sensors for automotive applications include products for heating systems, oil pressure & temperature, fuel pressure & temperature and brake & accelerator pedals. There are also Electronic Control Units for auto heating, seat management, doors, windows & mirror management, fuel pump injection, fan control and head lamp cleaner timers. Bitron also develops and produces power converters and commands for automotive applications in light commercial vehicles, electric vehicles and construction equipment. Bitron’s portfolio of components and systems for domestic appliances includes user interface modules for the control of all types of appliances, with mechanical and tactile switches, selector knobs and displays using LED or LCD displays. Its leadership in mechatronic components has enabled it to develop more friendly user interface and power control boards for each customer’s product line. Services include use of TFT, LCD display, touch sensor buttons and switches interfaced with each customer bus system. HVAC products from Bitron comprise electronic user interfaces for gas wall hung boilers as well as boiler main control units as well as components for heat pumps, water heaters and other applications.


Home Appliances, furniture & HVAC

BITRON products for energy applications include electric vehicle charging stations and single and three-phase smart meters while it also now produces controls used in medical devices for diagnostics, therapeutics, image acquisition and monitoring of vital signs.

Working with the latest technology Bitron’s core technological competences include state-of-the-art automated production, traceability, testing and logistics management. The company’s automatic lines feature high process verticalization enabling in-plant assembly of the complete finished product. Processes integrated into the automatic lines include laser and hot blade welding for plastics, laser marking, coating and resin dispensing, mechanical insertions. Bitron recently developed a standard automatic line (MAC line, patent pending) that can be configured and set up for multiple products and finishing processes, to combine automatic workflow with high mix low volume production. Bitron MES (manufacturing execution system) provides comprehensive solutions for traceability, production scheduling and quality KPI monitoring on a real time base. Standard reports are available, such as unique ID tracking or component batch utilization. The company’s testing section manages in-circuit testing (ICT), functional verification testing (FVT) and special, customized tests. In addition to classic in-circuit parameters, it also tests LED function and colour, as well as mechanical switches and potentiometers, using mechanical actuators. As a global EMS provider, Bitron’s supply chain management system has dedicated modules for demand planning analysis, components procurement and delivery tracking. Its ERP system can handle either manual order transmission or EDI implementations, according n to customer requests. Industry Europe 61


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Innovation in technology to heat a continent Since becoming part of BDR Thermea ten years ago, Italy’s Baxi has accelerated its development of green solutions for Europe’s heating market

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axi SpA, the leader in Italy’s heating and air-conditioning sector, has been responsible for many of the country’s most ambitious heating projects. One of the most technologically innovative of these was the recent delivery of a hybrid system for heating and domestic hot water for 62 newly built apartments near the San Siro Stadium in Milan. The solution adopted for the project was the installation - by Nuova Impianti SpA of Malagnino (CR) - of three high-power floor-standing condensing boilers in combination with three heat pumps and four boilers. The heat pumps and condensing boilers serve the heating system and work with a hybrid logic according to the external air temperature. Domestic hot water is guaranteed through pre-heating by the heat pumps and by subsequent integration with the boilers. The hybrid system represents the optimal solution in all seasons since it makes use of different technologies to take full account of the seasonal climatic conditions. In summer, the heat pumps preheat the water up to a temperature of 35°C, then the boilers start operating to reach a temperature of 55-60°C. In winter, on the other hand, the heat pumps have priority until the external temperature

drops below 8-9 ° C; the boilers intervene when the external temperatures are lower as they are more efficient in those conditions. The advantages derived from the use of a hybrid system are both economic and environmental. Hybrid systems considerably reduce CO2 emissions, making them an important part of Baxi’s continuing commitment to green solutions.

At the leading edge Since 2009, Baxi has been a part of BDR Thermea, one of Europe’s largest manufacturers and distributors of domestic and commercial water and space heating systems. Founded in 2009, BDR Thermea is headquartered in the Netherlands and employs more than 6,500 people in more than 100 countries worldwide, with leading positions in Europe, North America, Turkey, Russia and China. The Group, with a turnover of 1.8 billion euros in 2018, operates under renowned international market-leading brands including De Dietrich, Baxi, Remeha, Brötje, Chappée and Baymak. First established in Italy as an enamelling shop in 1925, Baxi SpA is today a modern technology-driven company that occupies one of the largest industrial sites in Europe and has a production capacIndustry Europe 63


ity of over 4,000 boilers per day. It has been at the leading edge of technological development in the heating industry with its pioneering heat pump heating systems, hybrid systems and, most recently, with the first hydrogen-powered premix condensing domestic boiler. Over the years another fundamental aspect of Baxi’s DNA has become increasingly evident - its commitment to green solutions. In 2018, Baxi equipped its Bassano plant with 3,600 solar panels, with which it satisfies 25 per cent of its total annual energy demand and 100 per cent of that for the production of boilers. “The challenge we are engaged in today is sustainability and zero environmental impact. This is why we have created cutting-edge technology to heat water without threatening the environment,” says General Manager of Baxi, Ing. Alberto Favero. He points to the latest evolution of Baxi, the H2, hydrogen boiler. H2 is the result of years of research, a product developed for the energy transition, with zero emissions. Today Baxi’s product range includes condensing boilers, conventional boilers, heat pumps and hybrid systems, solar systems, heat metering and air conditioning systems. In a world where consumer expectations are growing continuously, Baxi recognises that it is essential to be able to offer services that meet these expectations. It has developed “BAXI AL TUO SIDE”, the new monitoring & management system that allows remote management and constant monitoring of the plant with support available in real time. And the Baxi Plus 10-year warranty program allows the end user to extend the Baxi Conventional Warranty of the new boiler up to 10 years and thus enjoy a long period of peace of mind, protected from any unexpected expense.

The hydrogen future On 25 Jun 2020, the world’s first hydrogen powered domestic boiler will be put into operation in Rozenburg, the Netherlands. Developed by Baxi’s parent company, BDR Thermea Group, 64 Industry Europe


Home Appliances, furniture & HVAC

this ground-breaking boiler burns pure hydrogen that has been produced by wind or solar energy without releasing any CO2. Gas network provider Stedin, the company that initiated the project, is responsible for the production and supply of the sustainably produced hydrogen. The boiler was developed by BDR Thermea Group’s Research and Development (R&D) team in Italy. After the successful first pilot in the Netherlands, which is being carried out by the Group’s Dutch subsidiary Remeha, it is now carrying out a larger scale field trial in the UK. New opportunities for projects in other European

countries are now being explored as part of the broader, panEuropean development of this technology. “The development of a hydrogen boiler is part of BDR Thermea Group’s solutions for decarbonising heating”, says Bertrand Schmitt, CEO of BDR Thermea Group. “Power to gas (hydrogen) is a necessary technology if we want to store sustainably generated energy over a longer period of time, as abundant wind and solar energy is not always immediately available, such as during the winter. With the new hydrogen boiler, along with our fuel cell appliances, we are firmly committed to n making the built environment more sustainable.”

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Expanding capabilities

in growing markets New market opportunities for Greenbrier-AstraRail are opening up with the recent expansion of its parent company into Turkey

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Logistics & Transport

In

2018 Greenbrier Europe, the leading designer and manufacturer of freight wagons for the European market, significantly extended its reach across the continent with the acquisition of a majority interest in the Turkish railcar builder Rayvag. The Turkish company now operates as an integral part of Greenbrier Europe, together with Poland’s WagonySwidnica and Romania’s AstraRail, Rayvag is based in Adana, Turkey. As well as manufacturing railcars Rayvag also provides maintenance services for railcars and manufactures bogies and spare parts for railcars in the region. Greenbrier-AstraRail, the US company’s European operation, was itself established in 2017 when Greenbrier’s European business in Świdnica, Poland, and AstraRail’s manufacturing operations in Arad, Romania, were brought together to form an end-to-end freight railcar manufacturing, engineering and repair business to serve customers across Europe and in the nations of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).

Headquartered in in Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA, Greenbrier is a leading international supplier of equipment and services to global freight transportation markets. Greenbrier designs, builds, and markets freight railcars and marine barges in North America, as well as freight railcars and rail castings in Brazil.

Rewriting railway history AstraRail’s history goes back to 1891 when the Austrian industrialist Johann Weitzer founded the Johann Weitzer Maschinen-, Waggonbau und Eisengießerei Aktiengesellschaft. From 1903 onwards, the Arad-based company rewrote railway history with the Weitzer-De Dion-Bouton motor coach. This petrol-electric powered railcar was the first in a series of fuel-driven railcars in Europe. AstraRail’s Arad factory formerly concentrated on manufacturing freight wagons and passenger carriages as well as engines. During the course of more than 120 years, over 250,000 wagons

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were produced, which makes up 25 percent of the company’s entire production. In 2012, the AstraRail properties were acquired by Thomas Manns and together with Mr. Bernd Böse, who ran the operative business of AstraRail, he built the multi-plant business into a highly profitable operation with three manufacturing, engineering and repair factories in Arad, Severin and Caracal, Romania. Today, Arad is home to AstraRail’s headquarters where bogies and freight wagons are produced on a covered area of 150,000 square metres. As Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Greenbrier-AstraRail, Thomas Manns now leads the new company’s commercial operations.

At the time of the merger, Chairman and CEO of Greenbrier Bill Furman said, “Greenbrier is committed to pursuing strategic opportunities for growth afforded by shifts in global demand for railcars. Greenbrier-AstraRail extends our core competency in freight railcar building, aftermarket services and engineering for all railroad gauges, with a network spanning from North and South America to all of Western Europe, the GCC and Eurasia. “AstraRail is a great partner. They bring new products to us as we do to them, and our present businesses are not directly competitive. Combining the Greenbrier Europe operations with AstraRail’s manufacturing and design capabilities and strong management team will be a benefit to our shared European railcar customers by creating a more efficient and responsive manufacturer that offers a broad range of products.”

Eastern expansion Greenbrier’s expansion into Turkey through the acquisition of Rayvag is a logical extension of its European growth plans. It broadens the company’s presence in the region where it is already working with Saudi Railway Company (SAR) on key rail projects and is planning to partner with other Gulf Cooperation Countries on railway supply needs. Rayvag was founded in 2007 by Asim Suzen who retains a 32 per cent equity interest in the business. Suzen continues to serve Rayvag as its Managing Director. “Rayvag is committed to growth but could not achieve scale without this investment by Greenbrier,” Suzen said. “GreenbrierAstraRail’s expertise in designing freight wagons that meet European rail standards, as well its world-class manufacturing systems and 68 Industry Europe


Logistics & Transport

procurement practices, position Rayvag to respond to the rapidly advancing demands of Turkey’s freight rail industry.” The freight transport sector in Turkey is growing quickly and the Turkish government is committed to modernising the existing rail system. Beginning in 2014, the state-owned Turkish Railways opened the rail network to use by private operators. Since then, freight movement on the railroad is on the rise. With rail freight volumes expected to see an increase of 65 million tonnes by 2023, the Turkish government plans to expand rail lines, proposing to invest more than USD$23.5 billion towards rail infrastructure projects through 2023. The Turkish rail industry also is migrating to European rail standards for its infrastructure as intercontinental rail traffic grows.

This allows Greenbrier Europe to acquire new railcar customers while also allowing it to serve existing customers which operate on the nearly 5,500-mile / 8,850 km Turkish rail system. Despite strong rail penetration across the country, currently only 5 per cent of Turkey’s freight traffic moves by rail, compared to an average 17 per cent of freight transported by rail in Europe. The expanse of the Turkish rail system and Turkey’s strategic location between Europe and Asia makes it a prime location for freight rail growth. “Greenbrier views Turkey and the Mediterranean region as a key corridor within the global freight railway system. We look forward to growing our presence in the Turkish rail market and the opportunity to be a part of the industry’s growth within the region.” said Greenn brier CEO Bill Furman.

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Promoting clean technology Italy’s Nuova Solmine is at the forefront of the drive to reduce emissions and minimise environmental impact in the European chemicals sector.

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Metals, Metalworking & Mining

N

uova Solmine is a leader in the production of sulphuric acid in Italy and the Mediterranean basin. It operates a double absorption sulphuric acid plant with a capacity of approximately 1,700 mt/d in Casone di Scarlino, Tuscany. Central to the company’s concern for minimising the environmental impact of its processes is its continuous investment in clean technology. A key part of its operation involves the use of demineralised water. Its demineralised water production plants are fed with river and well water that has first been sterilised, filtered, and softened. The Scarlino plant, (with a production capacity of 100 cubic metres per hour, and stocking capacity of 1200 cubic metres) uses a part of the water to produce steam. The remaining water is sold to neighbouring industries for use both internally and for bottling. The steam from the heat produced from the combustion of sulphur and methane, in the sulphuric acid exothermic process, is then used to produce electric energy which is used in the plant or transformed (130KV) in the sub-station so that it can be put into the national grid. Approximately half of the normal production of energy is sold and the remaining part is for consumption by the Scarlino plant.

“We wanted to replace our old final absorption tower with a highly efficient new tower that would guarantee constant reliable emissions control and not require as much maintenance as the last one did,” said Gabriele Pazzagli, Scarlino Site Manager, Nuova Solmine. DuPont Clean Technologies was awarded the turnkey contract to design, execute, supply, and erect a replacement tower made of lightweight and corrosion resistant MECS® ZeCor® alloy in July 2017. From start to finish, the project took 11 months to complete with the replacement of the old brick-lined tower taking place during a planned plant turnaround in August 2018. To date, the new MECS ZeCor FAT is performing well, achieving a pressure drop that is under the contractual target, as well as Sulphur Trioxide acid mist emissions well below the environmental limits.

New FAT In late 2019 Nuova Solmine took another major step in meeting its low emissions goals with the bringing into service of a new Final Absorption Tower (FAT) at the Scarlino plant.

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The design of the MECS ZeCor alloy FAT tower at Nuova Solmine is the result of several years of research, during which DuPont Clean Technologies developed alloy towers with improved absorption efficiency and acid distribution. The new towers also bring a reduced pressure drop, a decrease in packing height and lower operating costs. These qualities have provided Nuova Solmine with a very effective and timely way to meet its emissions, maintenance, and installation goals.

Zero emissions Nuova Solmine’s Casone plant covers around 140 hectares of land and has an annual capacity of approximately 600,0000 tonnes. Sulphuric

72 Industry Europe

acid is produced at the plant using the ‘contact process’. This process has significant advantages for both energy use and the environment given that sulphur combustion and its successive oxidation do not produce any carbon dioxide gas emissions. It eliminates the waste from the original procedure of baking the pyrite and significant heat production is generated that allows a large quantity of energy to be produced with zero carbon emissions. Because of its purity, the sulphuric acid produced by Nuova Solmine has many uses in industrial processes, including water purification, synthetic fibres, explosives, pharmaceuticals, pigments, batteries, paper, detergents, tanneries, plant protection products, fertilisers, plastic materials, foodstuffs, and in the iron and steel industry.


Metals, Metalworking & Mining

Acid from waste Nuova Solmine’s Serravalle Scrivia plant, near Genoa, produces approximately 75,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid and oleum a year through the treatment of waste containing sulphur and by regenerating spent acid. As a result of its use of advanced technology and the highly specialised skills of the personnel, the sulphuric acid is guaranteed a high grade of quality and purity comparable to that produced from sulphur, while at the same time contributing to the protection of and respect for the environment through the recovery of waste that would otherwise be disposed of. The plant works in a continuous cycle, thus guaranteeing that clients can deliver their waste products all year round and avoid the typical problems associated with such deliveries to other recycling organisms. The ample stocking facilities available for various types of waste are an added advantage.

Mediterranean markets Nuova Solmine’s market is both domestically in Italy, where it is the leading company for the sulphuric acid and oleum, and several other countries, with particular focus in the Mediterranean - Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Israel, Turkey and Greece. Signifi-

cant sales are also made to Portugal and South America where sulphuric acid plays a major part in the production of metals and fertilisers. Foreign sales are made directly to clients or through international trade. Nuova Solmine sells not only its own sulphuric acid but also sulphuric acid from various production sites abroad. The most important, and closest, foreign market is Spain (notably the Barcelona area) where, in 2012, Nuova Solmine founded its own company, Nuova Solmine Iberia, with its own storage for local distribution. Nuova Solmine distributes its products through tanker trucks and other important facilities. The Scarlino site has a direct pipeline connected to a pier for charging vessels. It has also a railway junction that allows acid and oleum to be moved by train in special containers to its clients. Nuova Solmine plants work on a continuous production cycle, 365 days per year to produce 670,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid per year, using about 210,000 tonnes of sulphur purchased from the main Italian refineries. Acid and oleum are stored in dedicated tanks of 76,000 tonnes of volume. Storage tanks charged on vessels are also used for national distribution. In 2013, Nuova Solmine invested in a logistics platform in the port of Vasto from which it supplies clients in the centre and the south of Italy.

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Innovation for a

Sustainable World

With a renewed commitment to sustainable production, Italy’s Feralpi Group confirms its position as a European leader in the production of steel for the construction industry

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Metals, Metalworking & Mining

T

his summer, the Feralpi Group was proud to play a major part in the construction of the new Genoa bridge. The dramatic collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa on 14 August 2018 claimed 43 lives and shocked the whole of Italy. Through its subsidiary Nuova Defim Orsogril, the steel company was able to help in the rebuilding of the bridge, despite the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. Steel gratings for the bridge were transported 200 kilometres from the Nuova Defim Orsogril plant to the construction site. The Feralpi Group is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of steels for use in building construction. The parent company Feralpi Siderurgica, which was set up in 1968 in Lonato del Garda, near Brescia, has developed steadily over the years to form a group of industries that currently turns out two million tonnes of steel and rolled products a year, and has a workforce of 1,500 permanent employees in Italy, Europe and North Africa. In over fifty years of business, the company has expanded its foreign markets and has been highly successful in facing the challenges of an increasingly globalised steel industry. Building on its long tradition in steel manufacturing, the Group has developed according to a strategy of diversification into new products and markets, which has involved not only its internal organisation but also external transactions thanks to the acquisition of numerous enterprises operating in the steel industry.

Today the Group’s main operation in Italy, Feralpi Siderurgica, is a leading manufacturer of reinforcing steel in bar, smooth and ribbed wire rod, recoiled, drawn and welded wire. The plant is equipped with high-tech systems for cutting up and shredding scrap and for the sorting of ferrous materials, which are delivered by road or rail. The steel mill uses “mini-mills” electric-arc furnace technology for treating molten steel in ladles and the continuous casting of steel billets that feed downstream rolling mills in real time. The plant turns out rebar meeting various national and international specifications as well as reinforcing steel in coils and wire rod.

Still on track Before this year’s lockdown, 2019 was another positive year for Feralpi, with profit, turnover, margins and production holding up following a good 2018. Investments remained high at 54.5 million euro and was targetted not only at achieving maximum efficiency, but also at contributing to the decarbonisation of production activity, reducing consumption and emissions, and developing new circular economy models to facilitate the optimisation of resources and the adoption of energy-efficient technologies. With regard to the circular model, particularly important is the experimental furnace recovery project, with products generated by reusing plastic materials/polymers as reduction agents to replace

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coal to reduce the use of fossil fuels and other natural, by capitalising on recovered materials. “The positive results achieved in 2019 strengthen our Group, even in a situation where the market slowed down, especially in the second half of the year”, commented Giuseppe Pasini, Chairman of the Feralpi Group. “What didn’t slow down was our inclination towards investments, which continued to be robust to remain competitive, and picking up on what the UN 2030 Agenda and the European Green New Deal are asking of manufacturing companies.”

accelerator of sustainable development“, says Alberto Messaggi, the Feralpi Group CFO. “Supporting a company’s commitment, including financially, to focus on its environmental performance is a concrete sign of progress. We trust that the guidelines that focus on this model, which have also been supported in recent announcements by the Italian government, can be consolidated to n quickly permeate businesses.”

Continued expansion In April 2020, the Feralpi Group took over full control of Leccobased Caleotto SpA by acquiring 50 per cent of the share held by Duferco Italia Holding. Caleotto is now fully incorporated and vertically integrated in the Feralpi Group, thereby guaranteeing full support in the business plan development of this company, which has been producing wire rod for the drawing sector for over a century. Caleotto, Feralpi and Duferco will continue to work together to guarantee continuity in production, to achieve the highest quality standards and to support the major technological investments made. “Following the business continuity policy adopted over the last five years, the Feralpi-Duferco synergy plan has effectively relaunched the production plant both technically and commercially,” explains Giovanni Pasini. “Clearly, in this period deeply affected by the global pandemic, our utmost priority is safeguarding people’s health, but as soon as conditions allow, we will have to start up immediately with renewed energy”.

Developing sustainability This year the Feralpi Group became the first steel manufacturer in Italy to obtain a ‘green’ loan of 20 million euro to finance sustainable investment. The finance is made available by BNL-BNP Paribas Group, and combines business development with environmental sustainability. This type of loan comes with conditions linked to specific sustainability indices that are measured and monitored. For Feralpi, this means further lowering greenhouse gas emissions in the next five years. “Not only does the arrangement attest to the company’s commitment and awareness of its responsibility, it is also a clear sign that the availability of green finance and a structured offering is an Industry Europe 77


Sweden’s Texor is developing its capability to supply complete systems in stainless steel for the Life Sciences sector.

From components to

complete systems 78 Industry Europe


Metals, Metalworking & Mining

T

exor AB is a specialist in the manufacture of stainless-steel components and systems for the life sciences and food sectors worldwide. It has over 50 years of experience in processes such as machining, grinding, welding, cleaning and electro polishing. Today it works closely with many global biotech and biopharma companies in the production and assembly of stainless steel products such as pressure vessels and chromatography columns (devices used in chromatography for the separation of chemical compounds). Texor’s history goes back to 1967 when a factory to produce road signs was established in Lycksele, in Sweden’s Lapland, by Alfa Laval. In the 1970s the focus of production changed to manufacturing stainless steel components, mainly to supply other sections of Alfa Laval. In 1988, Texor was acquired from Alfa Laval by its present owner, Carl Bennet, through his wholly owned company, Lifco AB. Lifco is an industrial and trading conglomerate consisting of 164 companies in 30 different countries with a total of 5,400 employees and an annual turnover of SEK14 billion (€1.3 billion). Its subsidiaries

operate in several fields including dental materials and equipment, demolition tools and attachments to cranes and excavators, construction materials, contract manufacturing, environmental technology, forest equipment and vehicle interiors.

Expanding competences In 2007, Texor acquired the Swedish company Zetterströms Rostfria AB, a designer and manufacturer of equipment such as pressure vessels, heat exchangers, skids, and thermo channel products mostly for the pharmaceutical industry. This acquisition added to Texor’s design competence and capacity and represented a step towards an increased focus on deliveries of complete systems to the global life science industries. Today, Texor has 53 employees and operates a purpose-built and flow-optimised production facility in Lycksele with an area of more than 4,000 square metres. as well as an automatic transportation unit providing the different machine groups with its production orders. Its equipment includes twelve CNC machines and five Industry Europe 79


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Metals, Metalworking & Mining

manual turning machines. Its biggest CNC can machine materials up to 1,600mm in diameter. Components larger than that are machined at one of its approved suppliers. The company sources its key materials such as elastomers, plastic and stainless steel components from a world-wide supplier base that meets the highest quality requirements of the biopharma industry. As a supplier of complete systems, Texor can also handle assemby and complete documentation for customers such as GE Healthcare, Merck Millipore, Tetra Pak and Alfa Laval.

Complete quality control “The core business of Texor is to operate as sub-contractors for the medical industry, building and supplying machines for drug production,” explains Josef Alenius, who has been CEO of Texor AB since 2014. “This is supplemented by production of parts and machines for the food industry.”

“The very high level of quality that our customers in the pharmaceutical industry require and that we have to achieve is, in fact, our most important competitive advantage. And those requirements concern not just the product but the whole process of delivery, including documentation. Consequently, 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.” Texor’s products are supplied 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,” says Mr. Alenius. “Central Europe is also doing very well in terms of sales, as a result of increased capacity requiring more machines in that region. “Despite the relatively high cost of our products, they sell well in Asia. You cannot produce medicals on low-quality machines and the quality n Texor offers is not so easy to replicate in low cost countries.”

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Ready for take-off Until recently a family-owned Italian company, the Forgital Group is now positioned for global growth

In

August 2020, Forgital Group, the Italian-based manufacturer of large forged and machined components for the global aerospace and industrial sectors, announced that Aldo Carrabino had been appointed acting Group CEO. Luca Zacchetti, the previous CEO, was stepping down from his full-time role for personal reasons. Aldo Carrabino, who joined Forgital as CFO in November 2019, will continue to act as CFO alongside his interim Group CEO position. The company is evaluating candidates to take over the Group CEO role on a permanent basis, while Luca Zacchetti will join the Strategic Committee of Forgital to continue to closely support Forgital in its future development. The Board of Directors at Forgital Group, said: “We are grateful for the significant contribution Luca has made to the development of Forgital in his time as CEO, including securing a smooth transition from an entrepreneurial and family-owned company to its current 82 Industry Europe

role as part of a global group. Thanks to Luca, the company has strengthened its relationships with existing customers and started new strategic commercial partnerships, paving the way for a major global growth platform, notably in the aerospace sector.” “We are also delighted that Aldo has agreed to be Group CEO ad interim while the Board finds a permanent successor. Since joining Forgital, Aldo has successfully led the finance function delivering on many opportunities to improve efficiency and performance and we have every confidence in his ability to steer the company as CEO for the months ahead.”

Joining a global group Founded in 1873 in Vicenza, Italy by the Spezzapria family, Forgital is a specialist manufacturer of machine-finished forged and laminated rolled rings, made from several different materials, including steel, aluminium, titanium, and nickel-based alloys. Its products


Metals, Metalworking & Mining

are used in several applications across many industries, including aerospace, oil and gas, construction, mining, and power generation. Forgital employs over 1,100 people across nine facilities in Italy, France, and the United States in its dedicated global salesforce. Today the Vincenza factory has three hot-working lines, a complete range of over 20 furnaces for heat treatments and an extended machining capacity. A new chapter opened for the Forgital Group in September 2019 when it was acquired by the multi-national private equity company The Carlyle Group. Welcoming the new member of the Carlyle Group, Derek Whang, Principal on Carlyle’s Aerospace, Defense and Government Services team, said: “We look forward to partnering with all Forgital employees as we embark on this next chapter. The Company has a tremendous heritage, and we are committed to upholding Forgital’s exceptional track record and delivering its mission critical parts to all customers.”

Expanding in aerospace The rolled rings manufactured by the Forgital Group cover an extremely wide range and are used in applications in many industries. In recent years the Group has expanded into the aero engine market and has become one of the small number of companies qualified in the supply of important airplane engine components for many of the most important aircraft currently in production. Forgital’s development in the aerospace sector began with the project for the Ariane IV launcher and developed along with Ariane V, Vega, PSLV and GSLV programmes. Today, the Group provides components used in the manufacture of jet aircraft engines, space launchers, satellites, and orbital stations. In 2007, Forgital established its FLY specialty machining and custom fabricating operation in Grigno, Italy, to serve its aircraft and jet-engine customer OEMs and subcontractors. Services include quality control, testing, and coordinate measuring service, as well as

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Metals, Metalworking & Mining

specialty machining. Among its current customers are the RollsRoyce Trent XWB engine program, and the Ariane Space consortium producing a launch system for the Ariane 5 rocket. Since its establishment, FLY has grown from the initial five employees to some 200 and from a production site of 5,000 square metre to a plant now exceeding 25,000 square metre. It has developed into an innovative machine shop able to complete Forgital’s production chain with the supply of complete finished and fully assembled components for aviation and aerospace customers worldwide. Forgital’s aerospace business took a major step forward four years ago with the award of a contract from Rolls Royce for components for the RR Trent XWB engine. The very first Trent7000 Fan Case Assy Module, which will equip the Airbus A330 Neo aircraft family, was delivered to the Rolls Royce headquarters in Derby, UK, in 2016. For this module, Forgital provides titanium components for the Front Fan Case and the Mount Ring. In 2017, the Forgital Group announced that its FLY plant was to double in size. It allocated 27 million euro for the construction of a new 6,600 square metre plant adjacent to the existing factory.

Capabilities across sectors The Forgital Group is also a major supplier of products for the oil and gas sector. For surface applications it supplies ball valve components for pipelines. For deep water operations it supplies components such as connectors and riser flanges for submarine well-heads and for conveying petroleum products to the surface. Forgital components for the transmission markets include bearings, gear wheels and shafts that are widely used in port and naval cranes, crane trucks, cranes for the building industry and excavators 84 Industry Europe

The Forgital Group’s operations in the power generation sector go back to the early seventies with its involvement in nuclear energy development projects in Europe. Today, its power generation business provides components for steam turbines, gas turbines, nuclear power plants, hydro power plants and wind power plants Operating across all its business sectors, Forgital Group’s ‘Compact Supply Chain’ is an integrated system of technologies and services that supports all phases of the production process, from ingots to assembly. It offers customers direct, full product responsibility, simplifying their procurement process, as well as bringing significant cost and logistics advantages. The system also reduces lead times n and working capital across the board.


Textiles, Home & Personal Care

A century of the

finest lingerie

Through a hundred years of constant change and innovation in the lingerie business, Karl Conzelmann remains a proud family business that is known throughout Europe for the style and quality of its lingerie ranges.

In

2020, Karl Conzelmann GmbH & Co. KG, the German producer of quality lingerie, is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Known internationally for its flagship brand Nina von C, Karl Conzelmann is a traditional family company that has been designing and producing the finest lingerie in the Swabian town of Albstadt since it was founded in 1920. Today its production facilities also include factories in Portugal and Romania. In addition to Nina von C., the brand portfolio also includes the young brand “Like it!”, which was launched with instant success in 2013. Now run by the third generation of its original family owners, the company’s 130 employees produce four collections each year for Nina von C, inspired by the latest fashions displayed at international trade fairs and fashion magazines. The Nina von C brand today stands for contemporary femininity caught in high quality, fashionable and romantic lingerie, and loungewear. It features skin friendly materials, mostly made of natural fibres, accented with exclusive laces and intricate embroideries. Its delicately finished bras, pants and camisoles are available in in all European sizing at affordable prices. It also offers cosy and seductive lounge wear made of the most comfortable materials for day and night use.

A complete range Design, material, and function go hand in hand with Nina von C. underwear. Its designers create contemporary underwear for active and self-confident women and attach great importance to the material used. Natural fibres such as pure and organic cotton in the best quality or skin-friendly microfibres are used to create underwear that is breathable, climate-regulating and moisture-absorbing.

Briefs are one of the basic items in any woman’s underwear drawer. The Nina von C range includes trendy hipster and jazz pants, comfortable midi and hip briefs as well as waist briefs, short mini briefs, and thongs. With all models the customer can choose between simple, elegant, and sensual variants in several colours. Many of the briefs can be combined with the matching bras. The bra too plays an important role in the Nina von C. underwear range. There are bras with a push-up effect, underwire bras, and cup bras as well as soft bras, bustiers and bra shirts. Nina von C loungewear fashion prioritises comfort and freedom of movement with comfortable long pants and shirts in great qualities and designs. . Epitomising the fun side of lingerie, the “Like it!” range, a product mix based on super comfortable pants combined with shirts, lounge wear and soft bras, has been a stunning success in Germany and other European countries since its launch seven years ago. Made for modern women, who love fashion and colours, in extremely soft and skin-friendly materials, “Like It!” offers an ever-changing possibility of mix and match for every woman, for every day and every occasion.

Fabric production at Albstadt Knitting is at the “heart” of Karl Conzelmann’s business. 85 of the fabrics it processes are knitted by the company itself in its Albstadt factory. Many of the fabrics are its own creations. The main focus is always on the quality and sustainability of the yarns, so the operation mainly uses European products and, in the case of cotton, only yarns with organic seals. The cutting of the fabrics is fully automatic, attaching particular importance to accuracy and low material waste. The most innovative technology meets traditional craftsmanship throughout the production process. Industry Europe 85


86 Industry Europe


Textiles, Home & Personal Care

Since 1991 the company has been sending cut products to its subsidiary in Portugal, Viviana LTD, for packaging and set-up. Located in Cernache do Bon Jardim, a small town near the city of Serta, this facility ensures efficient production conditions, good infrastructure and high quality standards. In Portugal, as in Germany, production is carried out using the latest technology and machinery and sophisticated methodological training. A major expansion of the company’s operations took place in the 2000s. A second factory in Romania was opened, a new CNC cutting system for tubular and wide goods was installed and loungewear was added to the range. Market penetration of the Nina von C. brand was greatly enhanced with the opening of shops and flagship areas in department stores and extensive advertising campaigns. In 2019, the production and logistics area at Albstadt was expanded by some 2,600 square metres.

tions. As early as the 1970s, the company was ahead of current environmental awareness with a switch from chloride to hydrogen peroxide bleaching. As a family business, it is happy to take responsibility for its staff, many of whom have been honoured for their long-term loyalty. The company is proud of its Albstadt location, at the centre of the Swabian knitting industry, and is determined to secure it. Therefore, sustainability is a key tradition for Nina von C. Responsible consumption and sustainability are central to the company’s operations.

Environmental pioneers Karl Conzelmann attaches great importance to sustainable thinking and marketing in order to protect resources for future genera-

Industry Europe 87


Committed to continuing innovation UTECO’s incorporation of Kodak ULTRASTREAM technology in its latest flexible packaging printing machine looks like being an industry game changer

88 Industry Europe


PAPER, PACKAGING & PRINTING

In

December 2019, UTECO, Italy’s leading manufacturer and supplier of printing equipment for the flexible packaging industry, announced advanced sales of its new V Sapphire EVO W flexible packaging press, the first in the market to feature Kodak’s ULTRASTREAM continuous inkjet technology. As packaging converters and brands look for more cost-effective solutions for shorter production runs, Kodak and Uteco have created an industry-changing press. Featuring water-based inks and production speeds equivalent to analogue presses, the Sapphire EVO W can print short to medium-run length jobs, achieving price points favourable to flexography. Included in the delivery of the Sapphire EVO W is Kodak’s environmentally friendly and industry-compliant inks and fluids which open the door for applications in food, beverage, and personal care. “ULTRASTREAM is revolutionising flexible packaging for brands,” said Randy Vandagriff, President, Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division and Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. “Uteco’s application of our technology in their new press is a game changer and a great example of how Kodak is helping printers to lower their costs and drive efficiency. We are proud to be delivering on the promise we made in February to have units in the market by the second half of 2020.”

“As the world leader in the production of printing and converting machines for flexible packaging applications, we recognise the need for digital solutions in our customers’ operations,” said Aldo Peretti, President and CEO of the Uteco Group. “Converters and brands expect quality solutions that are sustainable and uphold brand integrity. We are proud to work with Kodak to deliver new technologies that meet such demands and enable growth.”

Focused on R&D Established in 1985, Uteco Converting S.p.A. is the world leader in the production of printing and converting machines designed for flexible packaging applications. Uteco offers innovative solutions through its wide range of flexographic and rotogravure printing machines, coating and laminating machines, Inkjet- hybrid and digital production and high-tech tailored machines, constantly focusing on research and innovation. The company’s headquarters are based in Colognola ai Colli, to the east of Verona, Italy, and include some 75,000 m2 of production space, with the Central Plant, Uteco Plant #2, Uteco Plant #3 and Uteco Plant #4, a new facility that became operational in 2019. Over 350 specialists in design, production, control, assistance, marketing, and sales work in the plants.

Industry Europe 89


90 Industry Europe


PAPER, PACKAGING & PRINTING

The latest expansion - Plant #4 – is focused on the new coating & laminating product range production. After this further expansion of its production capacity, Uteco achieved important sales of digital machines in the last year not only in Europe but throughout the world The company also credits its record year to results stemming from its Modern Quality Organization, which incorporates Lean, 6-Sigma, and its production management systems that are operated according to Industry 4.0 criteria.

Success in the US and Japan Of particular significance in 2019 was the success of Uteco North America in achieving record sales for the North American market in 2019. Thanks to successful launch of new products such as the Sapphire Evo, coating and laminating lines and the new generation of flexo & roto, Uteco NA was able to exceed its own expectations. “Uteco takes pride in focusing on market demands and providing customers with world class equipment manufactured with the highest standards of quality to provide tailor made solutions to its customers”, said Mario Mucciacciaro, Executive Vice President of Sales for North America. Continuing the wave of global success was the first non-European installation in Japan of the latest generation Uteco digital machines for the Japanese client, Kinyosha Printing Co.Ltd. “It is exciting”, declared Mr Izumi Makino, President of DP2 International (Digital Package Print International, responsible for packaging digital marketing activities in the Kinyosha group), “to

be the first operating installation site in the world for this groundbreaking capability in the packaging market. The flexibility to digitally print on flexible substrates and papers with environmentally friendly inks will enable us to offer our brand customers new creative solutions.”

Green solutions at the K show At the K Show 2019 in Dusseldorf, Uteco Group showcased its Rainbow 4.0 with great success. This solventless “total green laminator” was in tune with the main focus of this K Show, which focused on resourcesaving processes, functionality and sustainability. Despite the uncertain business climate in certain sectors of the industry, Uteco was able to generate commitments on over 13 machines worth 18 million euros during the K Show, which far exceeded the most confident expectations. Uteco’s product line was well represented with sales of machines such as coating & laminating, flexo (the core business), rotogravure and the continued strong demand for Uteco’s newest hybrid digital platform. During the Show, demos were streamed live directly from the Uteco Plants and from its ConverDrome® dedicated R&D facility. Machines that were showcased during these live demos were the Next 450 rotogravure machine, Sapphire Evo the latest hybrid digital machine, and the highly successful and bestselling flexo machine, the Onyx 810. At K 2019 Uteco was therefore once again able to demonstrate its ability to be the ideal partner for all converters who need highly technological solutions and innovations that range from coating and n lamination to flexo and roto printing.

Industry Europe 91


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